Build profiles

Project owner:(docs) Scott Jenkins

The build profile is a simple JavaScript file containing an object which provides the parameters driving the build.


The builder reads its parameters from a profile, which is a JavaScript file named something.profile.js, typically containing a dependencies object matching the structure described in this article.

The builder automatically appends .profile.js to the name of the profile specified on the build command line, so this naming convention is mandatory.

Note: throughout the various options described below, file system paths are often specified. Even on Windows based hosts, use forward slashes (akin to Unix) as directory separators, instead of the Windows native backslash.

Empty Profiles

If you specify an empty profile containing no dependencies object (such as the base.profile.js file shipped with the Dojo distribution), all defaults will be applied to the build. In this case, the builder will create a single layer, dojo.js, which contains only Dojo Base. All other resources will be loaded from the distribution on demand via dojo.require.

Dependencies Object

The top level object in the profile should be of the general format:

dependencies: {
   layers: [
      // Individual layer objects...
   prefixes: [
      // Individual prefix objects...
Optional. An object, possibly containing layers and prefixes members. By convention, the layers member comes first in source.
Optional. An array of individual layer objects, one per layer which the build should generate. The sequence is significant–layers are built in the order in which they are specified within the layers array.
Optional. An array of individual prefix objects, describing where relative to the source directory tree, a particular top-level module’s source is found.


Each member of the top level layers array is an object similar to (in many builds, only a few of these options will be used):

  name: "string.discard",
  resourceName: "string.discard",
  discard: false,
  copyrightFile: "myCopyright.txt",
  dependencies: [
      // List of resources this layer depends on

The build system will build one layer file for each member object within the top level layers array. It interprets the members of each individual layer object as follows:


The path to and file name of the file that will be built for the layer.

This path is actually relative to /util. Therefore, to specify a layer file that will be created in the dijit directory, you would specify ../dijit/layerfilename.js.


Optional, String. The name of the resource module to be provided by the layer. If this is specified, the layer file will contain a dojo.provide statement specifying the resourceName.

If you are using localization, your resourceName must have an entry in the dependencies.prefixes list, in order for the localization system to find your resources.
Optional. Normally, this property is omitted. If set to true, the layer file will be discarded after it is assembled. You would use this in order to exclude the same resources from being built into another, subsequent layer (via the layerDependencies list for the subsequent layer) without actually creating an additional layer file in your as-built directory.
Optional. Filename of a simple text file that will be prepended to build layer files. If omitted, the default Dojo copyright notice will be used instead.

Optional, array of string. A list of Dojo resources that this layer relies on. Normally, they are to be included in the layer. The builder will locate and include each of the resources listed in the dependencies array, then locate and include each resource referenced within those resources with a dojo.require statement, and so on recursively until all modules required to actually implement all of the layer dependencies are built into the layer.

No module will be included in the layer more than once, even if it is referenced at multiple locations within the web of resources the layer uses.

It is not a documentation error that this property has the same name as the top level object.
It may be more effective to create a dummy JavaScript file with multiple dojo.require statements in the source tree, and simply list the dummy file as a dependency rather than try to maintain a detailed dependency list within the profile.
Advanced notes
  • When the builder parses for dependencies in your source files, it is looking for the standard dojo.require(‘module-name’) syntax via regular expression. If you use the syntax dojo[‘require’] (or any other legal JavaScript construct), the builder will not recognize the dependency and will not include that resource.
  • The advanced keepRequires option changes the behavior of the dependency list, by causing specified dojo.require statements found within the dependent modules to not be included in the layer build.

Specifies other layers which are prerequisites for this layer; resources in the prerequisite layers are not duplicated in the current layer being built. That is, if the builder locates a dojo.require statement in a source file, but that resource has already been placed in one of the layers specified as one of the layer dependencies, that resource will not be included in the current layer.


All layers have an implicit dependency on dojo.js, but additional layerDependencies may be specified.

Layer dependency should be specified based on the prerequisite layer’s name property in the profile. this is typically something like '../app/layer.js'


Optional. Changes the behavior of the layer dependency list, by causing specified dojo.require statements found within the dependent modules to not be included in the layer build.

See the keepRequires detailed description.


Optional. Used to build exceptionally small dojo.js layer, not including all of the standard Dojo Base.

See the customBase detailed description.


An array of prefix descriptors, where each prefix descriptor is a length == 2 array of strings, similar to this:

prefixes: [
        [ "dijit", "../dijit" ],
        [ "dojox", "../dojox" ]

Each prefix describes where to find a top level namespace relative to the /util directory of the source tree. As the builder finds modules which are required for a layer, it uses the prefix list to determine where to locate the module’s files within the source tree.

Within each prefix descriptor, the members are:

first member (module name)
String. The name of a top-level module.
second member (path)
String. The path to that module’s directory relative to the source /util directory.

Note: If you have a custom module namespace outside of the Dojo source distribution tree, you will need to specify it in the prefix list as similarly to:

Note: It is entirely incorrect to include a ‘dojo’ prefix (i.e. “dojo”, ”../dojo”) in the prefixes. This will prevent anything being copied to the releaseDir and break the build.

prefixes: [
        [ "dijit", "../dijit" ],
        [ "dojox", "../dojox" ],
        // Unix style, in the user's home directory, for example
        [ "myNamespace", "~/src/myNamespace" ]
        // For Windows OS, this might be something like [ "myNamespace", "M:/myNamespace" ]

This permits you to build into your distribution private namespace resources which are not within the Dojo distribution directory tree.

See also

  • TODO: links to other related articles
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