Framework:

Frameworks

Storybook is architected to support diverse web frameworks including React, Vue, Angular, Web Components, Svelte and over a dozen others. This guide helps you get started on adding new framework support for Storybook.

Scaffolding a new framework

The first thing to do is scaffold your framework support in its own repo.

We recommend adopting the same project structure as the Storybook monorepo. That structure contains the framework package (app/<framework>) and an example app (examples/<framework>-kitchen-sink) as well as other associated documentation and configuration as needed.

This may seem like a little more hierarchy than what’s necessary. But because the structure mirrors the way Storybook’s own monorepo is structured, you can reuse Storybook’s tooling and it also makes it easier to move the framework into the Storybook into the monorepo at a later point if that is desirable.

We recommend using @storybook/html as a starter framework since it’s the simplest one and doesn’t contain any framework-specific oddities. There is a boilerplate to get you started here.

Framework architecture

Supporting a new framework in Storybook typically consists of two main aspects:

  1. Configuring the server. In Storybook, the server is the node process that runs when you start-storybook or build-storybook. Configuring the server typically means configuring babel and webpack in framework-specific ways.

  2. Configuring the client. The client is the code that runs in the browser. Configuring the client means providing a framework-specific story rendering function.

Configuring the server

Storybook has the concept of presets, which are typically babel/webpack configurations for file loading. If your framework has its own file format, e.g. “.vue,” you might need to transform these files into JS files at load time. If you expect every user of your framework to need this, you should add it to the framework. So far every framework added to Storybook has done this, because Storybook’s core configuration is very minimal.

Package structure

To add a framework preset, it’s useful to understand the package structure. Each framework typically exposes two executables in its package.json:

These scripts pass an options object to @storybook/core/server, a library that abstracts all of Storybook’s framework-independent code.

For example, here’s the boilerplate to start the dev server in start-storybook:

Thus the meat of adding framework presets is filling in that options object.

Server options

As described above, the server options object does the heavy lifting of configuring the server.

Let’s look at the @storybook/vue’s options definition:

The value of the framework option (in this case ‘vue’) is something that gets passed to addons and allows them to do special case things for your framework.

The real meat of this file is the framework presets, and these are standard Storybook presets -- you can look at framework packages in the Storybook monorepo (e.g. React, Vue, Web Components) to see examples of framework-specific customizations.

When developing your own framework that is not published by storybook, you can pass the path to the framework location with the frameworkPath key:

Passing a relative path to frameworkPath is also possible, just keep in mind that these are resolved from the storybook config directory (.storybook by default).

Make sure the frameworkPath ends up at the dist/client/index.js file within your framework app.

Configuring the client

To configure the client, you must provide a framework specific render function. Before diving into the details, it’s important to understand how user-written stories relate to what is finally rendered on the screen.

Renderable objects

Storybook stories are ES6 functions that return a “renderable object.”

Consider the following React story:

In this case, the renderable object is the React element, <Button .../>.

In most other frameworks, the renderable object is actually a plain javascript object.

Consider the following hypothetical example:

The design of this “renderable object” is framework-specific, and should ideally match the idioms of that framework.

Render function

The frameworks render function is the thing responsible for converting the renderable object into DOM nodes. This is typically of the form:

Package structure

On the client side, the key file is src/client/preview.js:

The globals file typically sets up a single global variable that client-side code (such as addon-provided decorators) can refer to if needed to understand which framework its running in:

The start function abstracts all of Storybook’s framework-independent client-side (browser) code, and it takes the render function we defined above. For examples of render functions, see React, Vue, Angular, and Web Components in the Storybook monorepo.