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RED Interactive Agency - Ad Technology

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Webpack - Creative Server

Configurable interface designed to simplify the process of building properly packaged, highly optimized, technically respectable banner campaigns.

Getting Started


Technical Overview


CS Frontend Development

Getting Started

We recommend you start with a working template. Once you have a feel for the eco-system, adapt CS as needed to your process.

Webpack 4 Migration

We migrated our build process to Webpack 4 on July 18, 2018. You can read more about it here.



Utilize Webpack in a browser interface for ES6 banner development:

Creative Server

  • many sizes, many indexes
  • non-redundant, modular builds
  • watch states per size/index, optionally concurrent
  • debug & production bundles


Deploy Profiles

Manage deploy-profiles, Webpack settings, and any other collection data:

Deploy Profile Settings


Enable navigation of assets/outputs:


  • Open files in associated editor app
  • Open directories in system file manager


Provide a localhost for quickly testing builds:


  • Run compiled units in browser
  • Easily refresh
  • Open units in a stand-alone tab for measuring k-weight


Plugin architecture for running additional, custom processes.

Technical Overview

The Webpack scripts are independent of Creative Server. They run as their own process & communicate with Creative Server's REST API via https://github.com/ff0000-ad-tech/wp-process-manager.

Otherwise, Creative Server data is a proxy of the file-system, the only source of truth.

Persistant state is maintained by profile.json, plugins.json, and the like. Said state is then acquired by the Express/NodeJS runtime and is made available to the React/Redux view via RPC, on-demand, providing low-latency indication of:

  1. available sizes/indexes
  2. deploy profiles
  3. busy-state
  4. error-state
  5. last conpile time
  6. a view of the project file-system

Default Hierarchy

Creative Server can be installed in your banner project. CS expects the following hierarchy:

. Project Context
├── 1-build
| ├── 300x250
| | ├── index.html
| | └── ...
| ├── 320x50
| | ├── index.html
| | └── ...
| └── ...
├── 2-debug
| └── ...
├── 3-traffic
| └── ...
├── package.json
├── plugins.json
├── webpack.config.js
└── ...

npm install --save-dev @ff0000-ad-tech/wp-creative-server.git

Installing adds the following to your project:

├── node_modules
| └── @ff0000-ad-tech
|  └── wp-creative-server
|   ├── index.js
|   └── ...

Size Targets

Sizes will be discovered in ./[context]/['1-build']/... on folder-names that match /[0-9]+x[0-9]+/.

Index Targets

Indexes will be discovered in ./[context]/['1-build']/[size]/... on file-names that match /index/.


Declaring a Plugin

Add a ./plugins.json at your --context location. It will contain an object with NPM-style dependencies, like:

    "ad-es6-particles": "git+ssh://git@stash.ff0000.com:7999/at/ad-es6-particles.git",
    "@ff0000-ad-tech/cs-plugin-bulk-compile": "git+ssh://git@github.com:ff0000-ad-tech/cs-plugin-bulk-compile.git",
    "@ff0000-ad-tech/cs-plugin-vendor-indexes": "git+ssh://git@github.com:ff0000-ad-tech/cs-plugin-vendor-indexes.git"

Writing a Plugin

A plugin can be a frontend tool that runs in the browser ("app" style plugin) and makes calls to a system-level backend. Or it can simply hook into various UI elements in the app and spawn system-level operations ("api" style plugin).

To make your plugin compatible, the following object must be added to your plugin's package.json:

    "name": "ad-es6-particles", // standard NPM name
    "wp-creative-server": {
        "routes": {
            "app": "/dist", // route to the directory in your plugin that will be served as the app root
            "api": "/lib/api.js" // route to the Node script in your plugin that will be used as the API endpoint
        "hooks": {
            "size-control": {
                "Particle Simulator": "/app/index.html" // the query to either "/app/" or "api", plus whatever static paths & params are needed

Plugin Routes

Once a plugin is installed in your --context's node_modules, Creative Server will create several routes, based on the plugin's package.json. These will be available on the server like:

All plugin routes are sent the following:

  • api - Creative Server endpoint URL
  • folders.build - name of the build folder
  • folders.debug - name of the debug folder
  • folders.traffic - name of the traffic folder

Plugin Hooks

Hooks are various UI-elements in Creative Server to which plugins can be attributed. Depending on the hook, additional data is passed.

Currently available hooks are:

  1. size-control - your command will appear in a menu next to each ad-size. It will be passed:

    • size - the requested size-folder name.
  2. bulk-control - your command will appear in a drop-down that will execute when the 🔥 is clicked. It will be passed:

    • profile - name of the currently selected deploy profile (also the folder to which traffic-compiled ads are output)
    • targets - an object with keys specifying paths to traffic-compiled output folders

CS Frontend Development

To build the React/Redux/ES6 frontend:

  1. Install all of the dev-dependencies.
  2. Run npm run build

If you find any bugs or have a feature request, please open an issue on github!

The npm package download data comes from npm's download counts api and package details come from npms.io.