Getting started with iTwin.js

Welcome to the documentation site for the iTwin Platform's digital twin open-source JavaScript library, iTwin.js. iTwin.js offers a versatile and comprehensive set of APIs that can be utilized across various platforms, including web frontends and backends, web services, and desktop, in any context an iModel is used. As a large library, your starting point will depend on the specific development project you have in mind. If you are interested in extending the user interface of an iTwin viewer by adding a new tool or widget, we recommend consulting the frontend guide. For higher-level React components, AppUI may be of interest to you. If you're working on a service or on the server and want to query an iModel's data, you'll want to head over to our backend documentation. While we're on the subject of querying data, we have a great tutorial to get you up to speed on ECSQL.

There's quite a bit to explore. The sections to the left and the helpful articles at the bottom of this page can help guide your iTwin.js application development.

In addition, iTwin.js is open source. We love suggestions and feedback on the library, but we love contributions to our codebase even more. If you think you have something to offer, submit a pull request and let's get it merged.

iTwin.js software architecture

With the iTwin.js Software architecture, from the same JavaScript codebase, it is possible to create:

Documentation Overview

This website is organized into sections by tabs at the top of each page.

  • The BIS section explains the Base Infrastructure Schemas. Understanding BIS is essential to making sense of the iTwin.js APIs. Depending on your familiarity with database design, this is often the best starting point for understanding iModels and iTwin.js.
  • The Learning tab (this page) introduces the building blocks of iTwin.js and provides step-by-step instructions for creating applications.
  • The API Reference tab explains the API in more detail with package/class/function level documentation.

iTwin.js vs. iModelHub

It is important to understand that iTwin.js applications do not run on iModelHub. Instead, they can run anywhere else. iTwin.js applications always work on a copy of an iModel, either a briefcase or checkpoint obtained from iModelHub, or a snapshot iModel created by an iTwin.js application, and process it locally. This makes them infinitely scalable.

iTwin.js applications can be:

  • hosted on any cloud service
  • deployed using any cloud deployment model
  • packaged with any container tool (e.g. Docker)
  • managed with any orchestration system (e.g. Kubernetes)
  • installed on desktops and mobile devices

JavaScript vs. TypeScript

iTwin.js is written in TypeScript. Even though it can be consumed in a JavaScript application, it is highly recommended that iTwin.js application developers use TypeScript too when possible. Throughout the iTwin.js library, the arguments and return values of functions are decorated with their expected types in TypeScript. The TypeScript compiler will verify the types of callers. Runtime checks to enforce correct types are not encouraged inside iTwin.js, given they add overhead and are not necessary for TypeScript callers. Therefore, pure JavaScript consumers of iTwin.js must be careful to not pass incorrect types.

JavaScript version requirements

The iTwin.js library requires a JavaScript engine with es2017 support.

Helpful articles

Step by step instructions to:


See also:

Last Updated: 28 June, 2024