Advanced Angular Micro Frontends with Dynamic Module Federation


This guide has not been updated for Angular 17. We will be updating it shortly.

Dynamic Module Federation is a technique that allows an application to determine the location of its remote applications at runtime. It helps to achieve the use case of “Build once, deploy everywhere”.

“Build once, deploy everywhere” is the concept of being able to create a single build artifact of your application and deploy it to multiple environments such as staging and production.

The difficulty in achieving this with a Micro Frontend Architecture using Static Module Federation is that our Remote applications will have a different location (or URL) in each environment. Previously, to account for this, we would have had to specify the deployed location of the Remote applications and rebuild the application for the target environment.

This guide will walk through how the concept of “Build once, deploy everywhere” can be easily achieved in a Micro Frontend Architecture that uses Dynamic Module Federation.


The aim of this guide is three-fold. We want to be able to:

  • Set up a Micro Frontend with Static Module Federation
  • Transform an existing Static Module Federation setup to use Dynamic Federation
  • Generate a new Micro Frontend application that uses Dynamic Federation

What we’ll build

To achieve the aims, we will do the following:

  • Create a Static Federation Micro Frontend Architecture
  • Change the Dashboard application to use Dynamic Federation
  • Generate a new Employee Dashboard application that will use Dynamic Federation
    • It should use the existing Login application.
    • It should use a new Todo application.

First steps

Create an Nx Workspace

To start with, we need to create a new Nx Workspace. We can do this easily with:

# Npm

npx create-nx-workspace ng-mf

# Yarn

yarn create nx-workspace ng-mf --packageManager=yarn

You'll be prompted for a preset. Select "Integrated Monorepo" then "Angular".

Creating our applications

We need to generate two applications that support Module Federation.

We'll start with the Admin Dashboard application which will act as a host application for the Micro-Frontends (MFEs):

# Npm

npx nx g @nx/angular:host dashboard

Nx 15 and lower use @nrwl/ instead of @nx/

# Yarn

yarn nx g @nx/angular:host dashboard

Nx 15 and lower use @nrwl/ instead of @nx/

The application generator will create and modify the files needed to set up the Angular application.

Now, let's generate the Login application as a remote application.

# Npm

npx nx g @nx/angular:remote login --host=dashboard

Nx 15 and lower use @nrwl/ instead of @nx/

# Yarn

yarn nx g @nx/angular:remote login --host=dashboard

Nx 15 and lower use @nrwl/ instead of @nx/

We provided --host=dashboard as an option. This tells the generator that this remote application will be consumed by the Dashboard application. The generator will automatically link these two applications together in the module-federation.config.js that gets used in the webpack.config.js._

More details

The RemoteEntryModule generated will be imported in app.module.ts file, however, it is not used in the AppModule itself. This is to allow TS to find the Module during compilation, allowing it to be included in the built bundle. This is required for the Module Federation Plugin to expose the Module correctly. You can choose to import the RemoteEntryModule in the AppModule if you wish, however, it is not necessary._

What was generated?

Let's take a closer look after generating each application.

For both applications, the generator did the following:

  • Created the standard Angular application files
  • Added a module-federation.config.js file
  • Added a webpack.config.js and
  • Added a bootstrap.ts file
  • Moved the code that is normally in main.ts to bootstrap.ts
  • Changed main.ts to dynamically import bootstrap.ts (this is required for the Module Federation to correct load versions of shared libraries)
  • Updated the build target in the project.json to use the @nx/angular:webpack-browser executor (this is required as it supports passing a custom Webpack configuration to the Angular compiler)
  • Updated the serve target to use @nx/angular:dev-server (this is required as we first need Webpack to build the application with our custom Webpack configuration)

The key differences reside within the configuration of the Module Federation Plugin within each application's module-federation.config.js.

We see the following within Login's micro frontend configuration:

1module.exports = { 2 name: 'login', 3 exposes: { 4 './Module': 'apps/login/src/app/remote-entry/entry.module.ts', 5 }, 6}; 7

Taking a look at each property of the configuration in turn:

  • name is the name that Webpack assigns to the remote application. It must match the name of the application.
  • exposes is the list of source files that the remote application provides consuming shell applications for their own use.

This config is then used in the webpack.config.js file:

1const { withModuleFederation } = require('@nx/angular/module-federation'); 2const config = require('./module-federation.config'); 3module.exports = withModuleFederation(config); 4
Nx 15 and lower use @nrwl/ instead of @nx/

We can see the following in Dashboard's micro frontend configuration:

1module.exports = { 2 name: 'dashboard', 3 remotes: ['login'], 4}; 5

The key difference to note with the Dashboard's configuration is the remotes array. This is where you list the remote applications you want to consume in your host application.

You give it a name that you can reference in your code, in this case login. Nx will find where it is served.

Now that we have our applications generated, let's move on to building out some functionality for each.

Adding Functionality

We'll start by building the Login application, which will consist of a login form and some very basic and insecure authorization logic.

User Library

Let's create a user data-access library that will be shared between the host application and the remote application. This will be used to determine if there is an authenticated user as well as providing logic for authenticating the user.

nx g @nx/angular:lib shared/data-access-user

Nx 15 and lower use @nrwl/ instead of @nx/

This will scaffold a new library for us to use.

We need an Angular Service that we will use to hold state:

nx g @nx/angular:service user --project=shared-data-access-user

Nx 15 and lower use @nrwl/ instead of @nx/

This will create a file user.service.ts under the shared/data-access-user library. Change its contents to match:

1import { Injectable } from '@angular/core'; 2import { BehaviorSubject } from 'rxjs'; 3@Injectable({ 4 providedIn: 'root', 5}) 6export class UserService { 7 private isUserLoggedIn = new BehaviorSubject(false); 8 isUserLoggedIn$ = this.isUserLoggedIn.asObservable(); 9 checkCredentials(username: string, password: string) { 10 if (username === 'demo' && password === 'demo') { 11; 12 } 13 } 14 logout() { 15; 16 } 17} 18

Add a new export to the shared/data-access-user's index.ts file:
export * from './lib/user.service';

Login Application

First, add FormsModule to the imports array in your remote-entry/entry.module.ts file:

1import { NgModule } from '@angular/core'; 2import { CommonModule } from '@angular/common'; 3import { RouterModule } from '@angular/router'; 4 5import { RemoteEntryComponent } from './entry.component'; 6import { NxWelcomeComponent } from './nx-welcome.component'; 7import { remoteRoutes } from './entry.routes'; 8import { FormsModule } from '@angular/forms'; 9 10@NgModule({ 11 declarations: [RemoteEntryComponent, NxWelcomeComponent], 12 imports: [CommonModule, FormsModule, RouterModule.forChild(remoteRoutes)], 13 providers: [], 14}) 15export class RemoteEntryModule {} 16

Next we want to set up our entry.component.ts file so that it renders a login and has injected our UserService to allow us to sign the user in:

1import { Component } from '@angular/core'; 2import { UserService } from '@ng-mf/shared/data-access-user'; 3@Component({ 4 selector: 'ng-mf-login-entry', 5 template: ` 6 <div class="login-app"> 7 <form class="login-form" (ngSubmit)="login()"> 8 <label> 9 Username: 10 <input type="text" name="username" [(ngModel)]="username" /> 11 </label> 12 <label> 13 Password: 14 <input type="password" name="password" [(ngModel)]="password" /> 15 </label> 16 <button type="submit">Login</button> 17 </form> 18 <div *ngIf="isLoggedIn$ | async">User is logged in!</div> 19 </div> 20 `, 21 styles: [ 22 ` 23 .login-app { 24 width: 30vw; 25 border: 2px dashed black; 26 padding: 8px; 27 margin: 0 auto; 28 } 29 .login-form { 30 display: flex; 31 align-items: center; 32 flex-direction: column; 33 margin: 0 auto; 34 padding: 8px; 35 } 36 label { 37 display: block; 38 } 39 `, 40 ], 41}) 42export class RemoteEntryComponent { 43 username = ''; 44 password = ''; 45 isLoggedIn$ = this.userService.isUserLoggedIn$; 46 constructor(private userService: UserService) {} 47 login() { 48 this.userService.checkCredentials(this.username, this.password); 49 } 50} 51
More details

This could be improved with error handling etc. but for the purposes of this tutorial, we'll keep it simple.

Let's add a route to our Login application so that we can render the RemoteEntryComponent.
Open app.module.ts and add the following route to the RouterMoodule.forRoot(...) declaration.

1RouterModule.forRoot( 2 [ 3 { 4 path: '', 5 loadChildren: () => 6 import('./remote-entry/entry.module').then((m) => m.RemoteEntryModule), 7 }, 8 ], 9 { initialNavigation: 'enabledBlocking' } 10); 11

Now let's serve the application and view it in a browser to check that the form renders correctly.

nx run login:serve

We can see if we navigate a browser to http://localhost:4201 that we see the login form rendered.

If we type in the correct username and password (demo, demo), then we can also see the user gets authenticated!

Perfect! Our login application is complete.

Dashboard Application

Now let's create the Dashboard application where we'll hide some content if the user is not authenticated. If the user is not authenticated, we will present them with the Login application where they can log in.

For this to work, the state within UserService must be shared across both applications. Usually, with Module Federation in Webpack, you have to specify the packages to share between all the applications in your Micro Frontend solution.
However, by taking advantage of Nx's project graph, Nx will automatically find and share the dependencies of your applications.

More details

This helps to enforce a single version policy and reduces the risk of Micro Frontend Anarchy_

Now, let's delete the app.component.html and app.component.css files in the Dashboard application. They will not be needed for this tutorial.

Finally, let's add our logic to app.component.ts. Change it to match the following:

1import { Component, OnInit } from '@angular/core'; 2import { Router } from '@angular/router'; 3import { distinctUntilChanged } from 'rxjs/operators'; 4import { UserService } from '@ng-mf/shared/data-access-user'; 5@Component({ 6 selector: 'ng-mf-root', 7 template: ` 8 <div class="dashboard-nav">Admin Dashboard</div> 9 <div *ngIf="isLoggedIn$ | async; else signIn"> 10 You are authenticated so you can see this content. 11 </div> 12 <ng-template #signIn><router-outlet></router-outlet></ng-template> 13 `, 14}) 15export class AppComponent implements OnInit { 16 isLoggedIn$ = this.userService.isUserLoggedIn$; 17 constructor(private userService: UserService, private router: Router) {} 18 ngOnInit() { 19 this.isLoggedIn$ 20 .pipe(distinctUntilChanged()) 21 .subscribe(async (loggedIn) => { 22 // Queue the navigation after initialNavigation blocking is completed 23 setTimeout(() => { 24 if (!loggedIn) { 25 this.router.navigateByUrl('login'); 26 } else { 27 this.router.navigateByUrl(''); 28 } 29 }); 30 }); 31 } 32} 33

We can run both the dashboard application and the login application and you can try it out using:

nx serve dashboard --devRemotes=login

This concludes the setup required for a Micro Frontend approach using Static Module Federation.

When serving module federation apps in dev mode locally, there'll be an error output to the console, import.meta cannot be used outside of a module, and the script that is coming from is styles.js. It's a known error output, but it doesn't actually cause any breakages from as far as our testing has shown. It's because Angular compiler attaches the styles.js file to the index.html in a script tag with defer.

It needs to be attached with type=module, but Angular can't make that change because it breaks HMR. They also provide no way of hooking into that process for us to patch it ourselves.

The good news is that the error doesn't propagate to production, because styles are compiled to a CSS file , so there's no erroneous JS to log an error.

It's worth stressing that there's been no actual errors or breakages noted from our tests.

Converting the Dashboard application

The Dashboard application is a Host application that loads the Remote applications at runtime based on their deployed locations when the application was built using Static Module Federation.

We want to change this so that the Dashboard application can make a network request at runtime to find out the deployed locations of the Remote applications.

There are 3 steps involved with this:

  • Make a network request to fetch the locations of the Remote applications (the Remote Definitions).
  • Set the Remote Definitions so that webpack is aware of how to find the Remote applications when requested.
  • Change how we load the Remote applications so that webpack can fetch any required files correctly.

Fetch and Set the Remote Definitions

Perhaps one of the easiest methods of fetching the Remote Definitions at runtime is to store them in a JSON file that can be present in each environment. The Host application then only has to make a GET request to the JSON file.

We’ll start by creating this file. Add a module-federation.manifest.json file to the src/assets/ folder in our Dashboard application with the following content:

1{ 2 "login": "http://localhost:4201" 3} 4

Next, open main.ts under the src/folder and replace it with the following:

1import { setRemoteDefinitions } from '@nx/angular/mf'; 2 3fetch('/assets/module-federation.manifest.json') 4 .then((res) => res.json()) 5 .then((definitions) => setRemoteDefinitions(definitions)) 6 .then(() => import('./bootstrap').catch((err) => console.error(err))); 7
Nx 15 and lower use @nrwl/ instead of @nx/

You’ll notice that we:

  • Fetch the JSON file
  • Call setRemoteDefinitions with the contents of the JSON file
    • This tells webpack where each of our Remote applications has been deployed to!

Change how Remotes are loaded

At the moment, webpack is statically building our application, telling it at build time where our Remotes are. That is because they are specified in the module-federation.config.js file.

Open the module-federation.config.js file at the root of our apps/dashboard/ folder and set the remotes property to be an empty array. It should look like this:

1module.exports = { 2 name: 'dashboard', 3 remotes: [], 4}; 5

Next, we need to change how our application attempts to load the Remote when it is routed to. Open app.module.ts under the src/app/folder.

You should see the following line in the RouterModule.forRoot():

1{ 2 path: 'login', 3 loadChildren: () => 4 import('login/Module').then((m) => m.RemoteEntryModule), 5} 6

Replace it with the following:

1{ 2 path: 'login', 3 loadChildren: () => 4 loadRemoteModule('login', './Module').then( 5 (m) => m.RemoteEntryModule 6 ), 7} 8

You will also need to add the following import to the top of the file:

1import { loadRemoteModule } from '@nx/angular/mf'; 2
Nx 15 and lower use @nrwl/ instead of @nx/

The loadRemoteModule helper method simply hides some logic that will check if the Remote application has been loaded, and if not, load it, and then requests the correct exposed module from it.


That’s all the changes required to replace Static Module Federation with Dynamic Module Federation.


nx serve dashboard --devRemotes=login

Should result in the same behaviour as before, except that our Dashboard application is waiting until runtime to find out the deployed location of our Login application.

Example repository/Coly010/nx-ng-dyn-fed

In the next section, we will see how Nx’s generators can be used to automate a lot of this process for us!

Creating a new Dynamic Host application

Nx provides generators that aim to streamline the process of setting up a Dynamic Micro Frontend architecture.

To showcase this, let’s create a new Host application that will use our previous Login application as well as a new Todo Remote application.

Generate the Employee Host application

Run the following command to generate a new Host application that is preconfigured for Dynamic Federation and add specify the Login Remote application we want to add:

nx g @nx/angular:host employee --remotes=login --dynamic

Nx 15 and lower use @nrwl/ instead of @nx/

This will generate:

  • Angular application
  • Webpack Configuration (webpack.config.js)
  • Module Federation Configuration (module-federation.config.js)
  • Micro Frontend Manifest File (module-federation.manifest.json)
  • Changes to the bootstrap of application to fetch the Micro Frontend Manifest, set the Remote Definitions and load the Login application correctly

You should take a look at the files generated and see how the Login Remote application was added to the module-federation.manifest.json file and the slight changes to main.ts and app.module.ts to load the Remotes dynamically.

Generate the Todo Remote application

We’re going to demonstrate how when specifying a dynamic Host when adding a new Remote application, the Remote application will be added to the Host’s Micro Frontend Manifest file correctly.

nx g @nx/angular:remote todo --host=employee

Nx 15 and lower use @nrwl/ instead of @nx/

You’ll note that this will generate the same output as the Login Remote application in the previous guide. There’s one difference.

Because the Host application is using Dynamic Federation, the new Remote will be added to the Host’s module-federation.manifest.json.


Dynamic Federation is the perfect way to solve the problem of “Build once, deploy everywhere”. It can be used in tandem with CD solutions that involve spinning up environments for different stages of the release process without having to rebuild the application at all. The CD pipeline only ever needs to replace a JSON file on that environment with one that contains the correct values for the deployed locations of the remote applications.