Custom Engine

Sources on GitHub jsreport-ejs

This tutorial shows how you can add a custom templating engine into jsreport. Adding a custom engine is not such common as adding a custom recipe but still can become handy if you prefer to use a specific engine or have some special requirements that already supported engines doesn't fulfill.

One of the templating engines you may like to add as a custom engine is EJS. With EJS you can assemble html or xml in a quite convenient way using special tags inlining javascript.

<% for(var i=0; i<supplies.length; i++) {%>
   <li> <%= supplies[i] %> </li>
<% } %>

This tutorial shows you how to add support for EJS into jsreport as a custom extension. Before you continue it is recommended to read general information for writing jsreport custom extensions.

Get started

The first thing to do is downloading and installing extension starter kit. As the second step, you can rename the extension in jsreport.config.js.

module.exports = {
  "name": "ejs",

Register engine

Extension's main server javascript file has to export function which is then called by jsreport during initialization. In the function's body, you should add the new EJS engine into the engine's collection.

module.exports = function (reporter, definition) {
    name: 'ejs'

The worker part, the part that for security reasons runs in a separate thread, is more complex. At first, you need to do two things at the worker entry point. Allow require for ejs module from the sandbox and register new engine's compilation and execution function.

const createEngine = require('./ejsEngine')

module.exports = (reporter, definition) => {
  const { compile, execute } = createEngine()

  // allow require('ejs') in the sandbox
    alias: 'ejs',
    path: require.resolve('ejs')

  // register templating engine compilation and execution
    name: 'ejs',

EJS rendering

Now it's time to finally implement the EJS compilation and execution function, but first, you need to install two packages the function will require.

npm install ejs --save
npm install node.extend --save

The compile function is using ejs.compile to compile the input html. The important thing is to use require from the options parameter to prevent polluting the sandbox with an outside instance. The execute function mixes helpers and data into the single context which accepts the ejs and lets it execute.

const extend = require('node.extend')
module.exports = (opts = {}) => {
  return {
    compile: (html, { require }) => {
      const ejs = require('ejs')
      return ejs.compile(html)
    execute: (templateSpec, helpers, data) => {
      const ejsMix = extend(true, helpers, data)
      delete ejsMix.filename
      return templateSpec(ejsMix)


Now you can hit npm start and you should be able to reach the jsreport studio on http://localhost:5488 and test the engine.


The best way to distribute the new engine into the public audience is through the npm. To prepare the package for publishing you should change the package name, author, and other attributes in package.json file. Afterward you can simply type

npm publish

and the package will be publicly available in npm.

Syntax highlighting in studio

jsreport studio uses monaco editor for code editing. This is the same editor component you can find in the VS Code. This editor is very extensible and you can also add custom code highlighting for your new engine. jsreport studio includes hooks that are designed just for that. This topic is a bit more complex, please check the ejs studio code for the inspiration.

jsreport version