givesocialmovement / sbt-webpack

Integrate Webpack with Playframework assets' incremental compilation

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sbt-webpack integrates Webpack 4 with Playframework assets' incremental compilation. This plugin also tracks JS dependencies correctly (e.g. using require or import in a JS file).

You, as a user, are responsible for specifying Webpack's entry points and config files.

sbt-webpack is currently used at We are using it for packaging Vue, Axios, and Vue-i18 into a single JS file, which is later included in our HTML file. Then, we use expose-loader to expose the variables Vue, VueI18n, and axios.

Please see a working example in test-play-project.

Why do we need sbt-webpack?

The problem arises when we want to compile some JS files with Webpack and use the compiled JS within Playframework.

Without the plugin, we would have to run webpack watch separately and specify the output location of the compiled JS file correctly, so Playframework's routing can find the compiled JS file. This would be tricky in practice.

Playframework already has its own "watch" mechanism and offers a good way to store the compiled JS (so it works with Playfraemework's routing). This plugin integrates Webpack's and Playframework's workflows in a clean way.


  • Yarn or NPM
  • Webpack 4
  • Playframework 2.6
  • Scala 2.12.x and SBT 1.x (because the artifact is only published for this setting)


1. Install

Add the below lines to project/plugins.sbt:

resolvers += Resolver.bintrayRepo("givers", "maven")

addSbtPlugin("givers.webpack" % "sbt-webpack" % "LATEST_VERSION")

The artifacts are hosted here:

2. Create webpack.config.js.

Here's a minimal example:

module.exports = {};

Please do not specify entry here. You will configure entry in build.sbt instead.

Please also do not specify output. This plugin automatically set output, so the generated files can be used by Playframework's routing.

3. Configure build.sbt

Configure sbt-webpack and specify Webpack's entry points on build.sbt:

lazy val root = (project in file(".")).enablePlugins(PlayScala, SbtWeb, SbtWebpack) // Enable the plugin

Assets / WebpackKeys.webpack / WebpackKeys.binary := new File(".") / "node_modules" / ".bin" / "webpack"
Assets / WebpackKeys.webpack / WebpackKeys.configFile := new File(".") / "webpack.config.js"
Assets / WebpackKeys.webpack / WebpackKeys.entries := Map(
  "javascripts/compiled.js" -> Seq(

Please see a working example in test-play-project.

4. Use the generated JS file

You can refer to javascripts/compiled.js like it is a normal asset file in Playframework. Here's an example:

<script src='@routes.Assets.versioned("javascripts/compiled.js")'></script>


  • In order to differentiate between development and production, you will have to set an environment variable when running sbt, i.e. NODE_ENV=production sbt. You can then reference that env variable in your webpack config. See test-play-project as an example.