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TypeScript plugin

Plugin package:@rushstack/heft-typescript-plugin
Plugin name:typescript-plugin implemented by TypeScriptPlugin.ts
Plugin config file:typescript.json
heft.json options:(none)

This plugin invokes the compiler for the TypeScript programming language.

When to use it

TypeScript is the standard programming language for Rush Stack. There are many benefits to having one "lingua franca" across all coding investments, rather than having to maintain different expertise and libraries for different languages.

We recommend TypeScript for:

  • Application development: It's even a good choice for prototypes and small experiments.
  • Tooling infrastructure: A great developer experience multiplies everyone's productivity, so build tools should be treated as first-class software projects with their own designs, documentation, and tests.
  • Device apps: Where possible, TypeScript can also be used for native development via runtime hosts such as React Native.
  • Desktop apps: There are also runtime hosts such as Electron for making desktop apps.

Obviously certain components may inevitably require Java, C++, Swift, etc. But ideally developers should not be required to install native SDKs unless they're working on those components. The Expo client takes this concept to an extreme, enabling you to compile and run a phone app without installing native tools at all. This ideal isn't always feasible in practice, of course. It's a mentality, not a dogma. The main point is that there are significant benefits to normalizing the code base so that any engineer can easily contribute to any project, and any project can load any library.

package.json dependencies

If you are using a standard rig such as @rushstack/heft-node-rig or @rushstack/heft-web-rig, then TypeScript will already be loaded and configured.

Otherwise, you'll need to add the plugin package to your project:

# If you are using Rush, run this shell command in your project folder:
rush add --package @rushstack/heft-typescript-plugin --dev

You will also need to add the typescript package to your project:

# If you are using Rush, run this shell command in your project folder:
rush add --package typescript --dev

If your tsconfig.json enables "importHelpers": true for more efficient transpiler output, you may also need a dependency on tslib:

# If you are using Rush, run this shell command in your project folder:
rush add --package tslib --dev


If TypeScript is not already being provided by a rig, your heft.json config file could invoke it like in this example:

<project folder>/config/heft.json

"$schema": "",
. . .
"phasesByName": {
"build": {
"cleanFiles": [
{ "sourcePath": "dist" },
{ "sourcePath": "lib" },
{ "sourcePath": "lib-amd" },
{ "sourcePath": "lib-commonjs" },
{ "sourcePath": "lib-es6" }
"tasksByName": {
"typescript": {
"taskPlugin": {
"pluginPackage": "@rushstack/heft-typescript-plugin"

The primary configuration comes from TypeScript's tsconfig.json file.

For advanced scenarios, Heft also supports an optional config/typescript.json config file that can be used to configure toolchain features such as multiple emit targets for the TypeScript compiler. It also supports a staticAssetsToCopy feature for copying files such as .css and .json into the emit target folder.

See also