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The iModel.js Library

Copyright © 2019 Bentley Systems, Incorporated. All rights reserved.

The iModel.js library is an open source library for creating, querying, modifying, and displaying iModels.

If you have questions, or wish to contribute to iModel.js, see our Contributing guide.

About this Repository

Build status

This repository is a monorepo that holds the source code to several iModel.js npm packages. It is built using Rush.

See rush.json for the list of packages. These packages are described below:

  • package.json
    • Private, not published
    • Provides the npm scripts to work with this repository
  • core/bentley/package.json
    • Controls the version number and package dependencies for @bentley/bentleyjs-core
  • core/geometry/package.json
    • Controls the version number and package dependencies for @bentley/geometry-core
  • core/common/package.json
    • Controls the version number for @bentley/imodeljs-common
    • Controls the package dependencies for the source code in common with both the backend and frontend
  • core/backend/package.json
    • Controls the version number and package dependencies for @bentley/imodeljs-backend
  • core/clients/package.json
    • Controls the version number and package dependencies for @bentley/imodeljs-clients
  • core/frontend/package.json
    • Controls the version number and package dependencies for @bentley/imodeljs-frontend
  • core/i18n/package.json
    • Controls the version number and package dependencies for @bentley/imodeljs-i18n
  • core/ecschema-metadata
    • Comprehensive ECSchema library
  • example-code
    • Example code snippets are extracted from these packages
  • test-apps/display-test-app/package.json
    • Private, not published
    • Test application for graphics visualization
  • integration-tests/core/package.json
    • Private, not published
    • Integration tests for frontend/backend interaction using standard RPC interfaces

Each package will have its own node_modules directory which will contain symbolic links to common dependencies managed by Rush.


  • Git
  • Node: an installation of the latest security patch of Node 10. The Node installation also includes the npm package manager.
  • Rush: to install npm install -g @microsoft/rush
  • TypeScript: this is listed as a devDependency, so if you're building it from source, you will get it with rush install.
  • Visual Studio Code: an optional dependency, but the repository structure is optimized for its use


You must install the following on a Linux computer before attempting to run imodeljs-backend:

  • libc++abi1

Build Instructions

  1. Clone repository (first time) with git clone or pull updates to the repository (subsequent times) with git pull
  2. Install dependencies: rush install
  3. Clean: rush clean
  4. Rebuild source: rush rebuild
  5. Run tests:
    • All tests: rush test
    • Core tests: npm test -s
    • UI tests: npm run test:ui -s
    • Presentation tests: npm run test:presentation -s

The -s option for npm is short for --silent which results in a less verbose command. That part of the command is optional depending on the desired verbosity level.

Note that all build instructions are designed to run from the imodeljs-core root directory. The above commands iterate and perform their action against each package in the monorepo.

For incremental builds, the rush build command can be used to only build packages that have changes versus rush rebuild which always rebuilds all packages.

Note that it is a good idea to rush install after each git pull as dependencies may have changed.

Source Code Edit Workflow

  1. Make source code changes on a new Git branch
  2. Ensure unit tests pass when run locally: rush test
  3. Locally commit changes: git commit (or use the Visual Studio Code user interface)
  4. Repeat steps 1-3 until ready to push changes
  5. Add changelog entry (which could potentially cover several commits): rush change
  6. Follow prompts to enter a change description or press ENTER if the change does not warrant a changelog entry. If multiple packages have changed, multiple sets of prompts will be presented. If the changes are only to non-published packages (like display-test-app), then rush change will indicate that a changelog entry is not needed.
  7. Completing the rush change prompts will cause new changelog entry JSON files to be created.
  8. Check for API signature changes: rush extract-api. This will update the signature files, located in common/api.
  9. Review any diffs to the API signature files in the common/api directory to ensure they are compatible with the intended release of the package
  10. Commit the changelog JSON files and any API signature updates.
  11. Publish changes on the branch and open a pull request.

If using the command line, steps 5 through 7 above can be completed in one step by running rushchange.bat from the imodeljs-core root directory.

Note: The CI build will break if changes are pushed without running rush change and rush extract-api (if the API was changed). The fix will be to complete steps 5 through 10.

Here is a sample changelog to demonstrate the level of detail expected.

Updating dependencies/devDependencies on packages within the monorepo

The version numbers of internal dependencies should not be manually edited. These will be automatically updated by the overall version bump workflow. Note that the packages are published by CI builds only.

Updating dependencies/devDependencies on packages external to monorepo

Use these instructions to update dependencies and devDependencies on external packages (ones that live outside of this monorepo).

  1. Edit the appropriate package.json file to update the semantic version range
  2. Run rush check to make sure that you are specifying consistent versions across the repository
  3. Run rush update to make sure the newer version of the module specified in #1 is installed

Other NPM Scripts

  1. Build TypeDoc documentation for all packages: rush docs
  2. Build TypeDoc documentation for a single package: cd core\backend and then npm run docs

The full list of npm scripts can be found in the root package.json file.

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