Quick tip: Loading ArcGIS JavaScript API with Require.js

In my previous post on Getting Modular with the ArcGIS JavaScript API, I discussed using a loader.js method to load your JavaScript files with Require.js. Mr. Dave Thomas pointed out in the comments about just wrapping third-party libraries using a tool like volo. See his examples at Backbone Boilerplate for more details.

If you have to wrap a library, use the amdify tool in volo or do it manually, it’s not difficult. I tried wrapping the ArcGIS JavaScript API by using curl to download it, but it didn’t work quite as expected, so now what I do is just load it once, and allow it to add its global variables.

[cce lang="javascript"]
(function() {
// Note, you must use lowercase jquery, as the ADMify’d version of backbone uses
// lowercase jquery in it’s define method.
// If you just use lowercase for all aliases the way I do,
// you’ll be fine.
paths: {
jquery: ‘libs/jquery/jquery-1.7.2.min’,
jqueryui: ‘libs/jqueryui/jquery-ui-1.8.20.custom.min’,
underscore: ‘libs/underscore/underscore-min’,
backbone: ‘libs/backbone/backbone-min’,
order: ‘libs/require/order’,
text: ‘libs/require/text’,
templates: ‘../templates’
// Load the ArcGIS JavaScript API in this initial require to get your
// app started and allow variables to go global.
require([‘app’, ‘http://serverapi.arcgisonline.com/jsapi/arcgis/?v=2.8compact‘], function(App) {
console.log(‘init app’);
return App.initialize();


You can see this example in a project here.

I don’t know what changes will come when the ArcGIS JS API is converted to use Dojo 1.7. It would be nice to grab just the modules needed as they are required using the AMD method, but this method of loading the API as been working fine for me lately.

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