Full-stack development made easy with Project IDX

CEO Khai Intela
By Kaushik Sathupadi, Prakhar Srivastav, and Kristin Bi - Software Engineers; Alex Geboff - Technical Writer We're excited to introduce Project IDX, a groundbreaking browser-based development experience that simplifies the process of building full-stack apps....

Moving image showing the IDX terminal and panel

By Kaushik Sathupadi, Prakhar Srivastav, and Kristin Bi - Software Engineers; Alex Geboff - Technical Writer

We're excited to introduce Project IDX, a groundbreaking browser-based development experience that simplifies the process of building full-stack apps. Say goodbye to the chaos and inefficiencies of developing both the frontend and backend layers separately. With Project IDX, you can streamline your development process and enjoy a seamless end-to-end experience.

Streamlined app previews

One of the key features of Project IDX is the effortless preview of your full-stack application in the browser. We have streamlined the process of enabling frontend communication with backend services in the VM, making it incredibly easy to preview your app. With unique service accounts for each workspace, IDX supports seamless and authenticated preview environments for your frontend.

Generate access token in Project IDX

Additionally, if you need to access the backend API outside of the browser preview, we have mechanisms in place to provide temporary access to the ports hosting these APIs.

Simple front-to-backend communication

If your backend server and UI server run on the same port, Project IDX handles the setup seamlessly. You can pass the $PORT flag to use a custom PORT environment variable in your workspace configuration file. No special configurations are required.

However, if your backend server runs on a different port from your UI server, there are alternative strategies you can implement. One method is to have the frontend proxy the backend using Vite's custom server options. Another approach is to establish communication between ports using AJAX requests.

Let's take a look at some sample code that includes both a backend and a frontend:

// Backend server written in Express.js
app.use(cors()); // sets up the CORS headers

The key is to ensure that your backend returns the necessary headers, such as CORS headers, to enable communication between your frontend and backend. IDX automatically maps every port your server runs on to a URL that can be called.

Image of Firebase emulators

Server-side testing without a login

In certain scenarios, you may need to access your application on Project IDX without logging into your Google account or from an environment where logging in isn't possible. For such cases, Project IDX provides a solution in the form of temporary access tokens.

These access tokens allow you to access your workstation for testing purposes. It's important to note that these tokens grant access to your entire IDX workspace, so be cautious and only use them for testing.

Web-based, fully hermetic testing

Testing your application's frontend and backend has never been easier. With Project IDX, you can run fully self-contained, authenticated, and secure tests. You can even run local emulators within your web-based development environment.

For example, you can run the Firebase Local Emulator Suite directly from your IDX workspace. The installation process is simple, and once set up, you can configure and use the emulators just like you would in a local development environment.

Next Steps

Project IDX can revolutionize your full-stack development process. From frontend to backend and everything in between, IDX has you covered. If you're already using Project IDX, we'd love to hear how it has helped you with your full-stack development. Share your experiences on social media with #projectidx. To sign up for the waitlist, visit idx.dev.

Now you have the tools to simplify your full-stack development journey. Happy coding with Project IDX!

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