An example universal JS application written with the 3REE stack, React + Redux + RethinkDB + Express. A stack for building apps, front and back end, with just Javascript.

This project was initially conceived to experiment with using these technologies in conjunction with one-another. I have written a blog that relates to this codebase.


This project is useful for:

  • seeing how to build a Universal Javascript application
  • understanding how to handle asyncronousity in Redux action creators
  • seeing how you can use Socket.io with Redux
  • building your own Redux powered application
  • seeing how you can use System.import() with React Router + Webpack2 to acheive code splitting for different routes of your application
  • forking so that you can build your own 3REE stack app!

Main Features

  • Universal (Isomorphic) Javascript Application
  • Use of Webpack 2's Code Splitting and Tree Shaking features
  • Asyncronous Redux actions example
  • Use of RethinkDB Changefeeds for realtime updates reflected in the UI


There is a demo app hosted at 3ree-demo.workshape.io. Check it out. If it is down, please email [email protected]


You will need to install RethinkDB. You can find instruction on how to do so here. Make sure you have the latest version installed.

  • Clone the repo git clone [email protected]:GordyD/3ree.git
  • Make sure you are using Node v6.0.0 (I recommend using n for Node version management)
  • Run npm install
  • If your local environment is not reflected by config/default.json, then add a file at config/local.json to provide local customisation.
  • Run npm run db-setup to set up DB

Running Dev Server

On Linux/OSX: npm start

On Windows: npm run start:win

This will start the Webpack dev server - for serving the client, as well as the server-side API.

Go to http://localhost:3001 in two separate tabs - see changes propagate in real time (Hot Module Replacement works too).

Running Production Server

You will need to roll out your own deployment script for a server, but before you can ship you will need to:

  • Build the client with npm run build:prod
  • Ensure all production npm modules are installed on the server. e.g. npm install --prod
  • Rsync your application to your server
  • Set up nginx or your web server of choice to map HTTP requests for your URL to http://localhost:3000
  • Run npm run start:prod to run on your server
  • Go to your URL

NOTE: Production has not been tested on Windows.

Tech Used

Tech Description
React View layer
React Router Universal routing
Redux State management
RethinkDB Persistance layer
Express Node.js server framework
Socket.io Used for realtime communication between clients and server
Webpack Module bundling + build for client
Superagent Universal http requests
Stylus Expressive, dynamic, robust CSS