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Managing Dependencies

As you're developing your Ember app, you'll likely run into common scenarios that aren't addressed by Ember itself, such as authentication or using SASS for your stylesheets. Ember CLI provides a common format called Ember Addons for distributing reusable libraries to solve these problems. Additionally, you may want to make use of front-end dependencies like a CSS framework or a JavaScript datepicker that aren't specific to Ember apps.


Ember Addons can be installed using Ember CLI (e.g. ember install ember-cli-sass). Addons may bring in other dependencies by modifying your project's package.json file automatically.

You can find listings of addons on Ember Observer.

Other assets

Third-party JavaScript not available as an addon or npm package should be placed in the vendor/ folder in your project.

Your own assets (such as robots.txt, favicon, custom fonts, etc) should be placed in the public/ folder in your project.

Compiling Assets

When you're using dependencies that are not included in an addon, you will have to instruct Ember CLI to include your assets in the build. This is done using the asset manifest file ember-cli-build.js. You should only try to import assets located in the node_modules and vendor folders. bower_components also still works, but is recommended against, unless you have no other choice. Even bower recommends not to use itself anymore.

Globals provided by JavaScript assets

The globals provided by some assets (like moment in the below example) can be used in your application without the need to import them. Provide the asset path as the first and only argument.


You will need to add "moment" to the globals section in .eslintrc.js to prevent ESLint errors about using an undefined variable.

Anonymous AMD JavaScript modules

You can transform an anonymous AMD module to a named one by using the amd transformation.

app.import('node_modules/moment/moment.js', {
  using: [
    { transformation: 'amd', as: 'moment' }

This transformation allows you to import moment in your app. (e.g. import moment from 'moment';)

CommonJS JavaScript modules

ember-cli-cjs-transform allows us to import CommonJS modules into our Ember app. It also does auto-rollup and some nice caching, so it should pull in all the deps that are pulled in with require for you automatically. It is not yet included with Ember CLI by default, so you will need to install it.

ember install ember-cli-cjs-transform
app.import('node_modules/showdown/dist/showdown.js', {
  using: [
    { transformation: 'cjs', as: 'showdown' }

You can now import them in your app. (e.g. import showdown from 'showdown';)

Environment-Specific Assets

If you need to use different assets in different environments, specify an object as the first parameter. That object's key should be the environment name, and the value should be the asset to use in that environment.

  development: 'node_modules/moment/moment.js',
  production:  'node_modules/moment/min/moment.min.js'

If you need to import an asset in only one environment you can wrap app.import in an if statement. For assets needed during testing, you should also use the {type: 'test'} option to make sure they are available in test mode.

if (app.env === 'development') {
  // Only import when in development mode
if (app.env === 'test') {
  // Only import in test mode and place in test-support.js
  app.import('node_modules/sinonjs/sinon.js', { type: 'test' });
  app.import('node_modules/sinon-qunit/lib/sinon-qunit.js', { type: 'test' });


Provide the asset path as the first argument:


All style assets added this way will be concatenated and output as /assets/vendor-c5cdfdb224e40208d070a18942b32fd3-c5cdfdb224e40208d070a18942b32fd3.css.

Other Assets

All assets located in the public/ folder will be copied as is to the final output directory, dist/.

For example, a favicon located at public/images/favicon.ico will be copied to dist/images/favicon.ico.

All third-party assets, included either manually in vendor/ or via a package manager like npm, must be added via import().

Third-party assets that are not added via import() will not be present in the final build.

By default, imported assets will be copied to dist/ as they are, with the existing directory structure maintained.


This example would create the font file in dist/font-awesome/fonts/fontawesome-webfont.ttf.

You can also optionally tell import() to place the file at a different path. The following example will copy the file to dist/assets/fontawesome-webfont.ttf.

app.import('node_modules/font-awesome/fonts/fontawesome-webfont.ttf', {
  destDir: 'assets'

If you need to load certain dependencies before others, you can set the prepend property equal to true on the second argument of import(). This will prepend the dependency to the vendor file instead of appending it, which is the default behavior.

app.import('node_modules/es5-shim/es5-shim.js', {
  type: 'vendor',
  prepend: true