Two techniques for structuring codebases in software development, including front-end and web development, are mono repo and poly repo. Every strategy offers benefits and things to think about.
A mono repo, also known as a monolithic repository, is a single repository that holds several different apps, services, or projects. It could contain different front-end apps, shared libraries, tools, and configurations in the context of front-end development.
- Code Sharing and Reusability: Developers can easily share code across different projects within the monorepo, facilitating code reuse and consistency.
- Centralized Management: All projects share the same version control, making it simpler to manage dependencies, updates, and releases across the entire codebase.
- Simplified Collaboration: Teams can work collaboratively within a single repository, enabling easier code review, sharing of utilities, and unified documentation.
- Consistent Tooling: Uniform tooling and configurations (linters, testing frameworks, build tools) can be applied consistently across all projects.
- Complexity: As the codebase grows, managing a monorepo might become more complex, especially concerning build times, scalability, and repository size.
- Deployment: Coordinating deployments for multiple projects within a monorepo can be challenging, especially if they have different release cycles.
- Potential Risk: A single repository might introduce risks, such as accidental code changes affecting multiple projects or services.
A polyrepo (short for multiple repositories) approach involves having separate repositories for each project, service, or application. Each frontend project would have its own dedicated repository.
- Isolation and Independence: Each project has its own version control and repository, reducing the risk of interdependencies between projects.
- Simplified Deployment: Individual projects can have separate deployment pipelines and release cycles, offering more flexibility in managing releases.
- Scalability: Managing multiple smaller repositories might be more scalable in terms of development, especially as projects grow in complexity.
- Code Duplication: Without careful management, code duplication can occur across repositories, leading to inconsistencies and reduced code reuse.
- Dependency Management: Sharing code and dependencies across projects might require additional effort and tooling to maintain consistency.
- Collaboration Challenges: Coordinating changes that span multiple repositories might be more challenging compared to working within a single monorepo.
Which to Choose?
Factors such as team size, project complexity, development procedures, and scalability requirements are generally taken into consideration while deciding between a mono repo and polyrepo. For better isolation and autonomy, larger teams may prefer polyrepos, while small to medium-sized teams may find a monorepo useful for code sharing and consistency.
It is also feasible to employ hybrid techniques, which combine aspects of both methodologies. A polyrepo structure is used by certain organizations for separate applications and a monorepo structure for shared libraries.
The final decision should take into account the needs of your team, development procedures, and project types. It is imperative to periodically evaluate and modify your repository approach in light of changing requirements.