Simple gruntfile helper to define build workflows

Usage no npm install needed!

<script type="module">
  import buildWorkflow from '';



If I have to start again, I will probably not choose any build tool but directly embrace the npm as build tool* trend. Grunt has indeed helped me a lot, there are lot of plugins available, it is easy to configure, but it can get really messy for a fairly complex build workflow. And that's the same with gulp or all the other build tools out there.

I still have some fairly complex web projects that use grunt and this module is still great to help me organize them.

For more info on how to use npm as a build tool check:

Build Workflow

A module that helps to break a gigantic Gruntfile into smaller modules that are easy to manage and reason about. It also provide some tasks, helpers and utilities for common tasks


This module aims to simplify the creation of workflows based on grunt, I know gulp is better :) or webpack or (insert better tool here) Since some of the projects I'm working right now are still using grunt, I wanted to have a better way to manage the build workflows.

This module is inspired by this blog post supercharging your gruntfile

The main differences are:

  • config files always export a function that return an object. All the config exported functions receive the grunt object, the pkg, package.json parsed object
  • Custom grunt tasks can be placed inside the grunt-deps/tasks folder they will be loaded automatically.
  • It does not use yaml, so the aliases for tasks are defined in javascript. This is to keep it simple and avoid leaving the javascript realm.


Create the following folder structure

|  |--configs/             # this will be directory where configs should live
|  |  |--task-name.js      # should correspond to the name of the task and should return an object.
|  |                       # The object will be set in the cfg as cfg[task-name].
|  |
|  |--tasks/               # place here custom tasks. These can be either multitasks or single tasks
|  |  |--custom-task.js    # that for whatever reason are only needed in the current project
|  |
|  |--workflows/
|     |--aliases.js        # use this file to define the sequence of your tasks.
|--Gruntfile.js            # the grunt
|--package.json            # your package.json


This is all the code required for your grunt file, because all the configuration sections have been moved to the their own file.

module.exports = function ( grunt ) {
  'use strict';
  require( 'build-workflow' )( grunt );

One of the benefits of this, is that navigating to a given task is super simple. Since each file has the name of the task, navigating to it, using sublime or other IDE is super simple. In Sublime Text you only need to type the name of the task to navigate directly to the file.

Example: Using grunt babel with build-workflow

  1. Create the following folder structure:

    |  |--configs
    |  |  |--babel.js // this will have your configuration for babel
    |  |--workflows
    |     |--aliases.js // this will have your alias definitions
  2. install build-workflow as a dev dependency

    npm i -D build-workflow
  3. the content of your Gruntfile.js

    module.exports = function ( grunt ) {
      'use strict';
      require( 'build-workflow' )( grunt );
  4. the content of your aliases.js

    module.exports = function ( grunt ) {
      grunt.task.registerTask('default', ['babel']);
  5. The content of your babel.js file

    module.exports = function ( grunt ) {
      return {
        'target': {
          options: {
            sourceMap: true
          files: [{
            src: 'src/**/*.js', // your files to transform
            expand: true,
            dest: 'dest/'       // the destination to move the tanspiled code
  6. Now just run

    grunt babel

    If everythig went ok you should be able to see an output similar to this:


Read it here