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What is monorepo?

Monorepo are hot these days. But what are they and why would you use monorepo for your project? Let’s dive into it!

With monorepo it is possible to create multiple (little) projects in one repository. Following the website means monorepo the following:

A monorepo is a single repository containing multiple distinct projects, with well-defined relationships.

But when do you speak of a monorepo? If it’s a big project with multiple directories is it then a monorepo? No. See a menorepo as a repository with serveral projects in it. These projects had a relationship with each other, otherwise you also don’t want them in the same repository.

But why would you use a monorepo? With a monorepo you don’t have to use different CLI session. You can use one CLI session with a special monorepo CLI that can fire commands to all the projects in the monorepo. Also everything is one place. So for example you host your code on Github. Now you have all your projects/files that makes it one big project on one place.

Advantages of using a monorepo

  1. Simplified Dependency Management: In a monorepo, managing dependencies across multiple projects becomes more straightforward. When you update a shared library, all projects that depend on it are immediately aware of the change, facilitating easier updates and ensuring consistency.

  2. Unified Versioning and Release Process: With a monorepo, you can synchronize releases across different projects. This unified approach to versioning ensures that compatible versions of different projects are released together, reducing the risk of compatibility issues.

  3. Collaboration and Code Sharing: Developers working on different projects within the same monorepo can easily share code and collaborate. This encourages a more integrated team culture and reduces duplication of efforts.

  4. Streamlined Development Workflow: By having all projects in one place, developers can work across different projects without needing to switch contexts. This can lead to a more efficient development workflow and faster turnaround times for new features or bug fixes.

Challenges of a monorepo

  1. Scalability: As the monorepo grows in size and complexity, it may become more challenging to manage. Performance issues, like slower build times and more resource-intensive testing processes, can arise.

  2. Learning Curve: For teams new to monorepos, there's a learning curve in understanding how to manage and navigate a large, integrated codebase effectively.

  3. Tooling and Infrastructure: Monorepos require specialized tooling for version control, continuous integration, and other development processes. Ensuring these tools work efficiently with a large codebase can be complex and resource-intensive.