Docs / Language Manual / Bind to JS Object

Bind to JS Object

JavaScript objects are a combination of several use-cases:

  • As a "record" or "struct" in other languages (like ReScript and C).

  • As a hash map.

  • As a class.

  • As a module to import/export.

ReScript cleanly separates the binding methods for JS object based on these 4 use-cases. This page documents the first three. Binding to JS module objects is described in the Import from/Export to JS section.

Bind to Record-like JS Objects

Bind Using ReScript Record

If your JavaScript object has fixed fields, then it's conceptually like a ReScript record. Since a ReScript record compiles to a clean JavaScript object, you can definitely type a JS object as a ReScript record!

ReScriptJS Output
type person = {
  name: string,
  friends: array<string>,
  age: int,

@module("MySchool") external john: person = "john"

let johnName =

External is documented here. @module is documented here.

If you want or need to use different field names on the ReScript and the JavaScript side, you can use the @as decorator:

ReScriptJS Output
type action = {
  @as("type") type_: string

let action = {type_: "ADD_USER"}

This is useful to map to JavaScript attribute names that cannot be expressed in ReScript (such as keywords).

It is also possible to map a ReScript record to a JavaScript array by passing indices to the @as decorator:

ReScriptJS Output
type t = {
  @as("0") foo: int,
  @as("1") bar: string,

let value = {foo: 7, bar: "baz"}

Bind Using ReScript Object

Alternatively, you can use ReScript object to model a JS object too:

ReScriptJS Output
type person = {
  "name": string,
  "friends": array<string>,
  "age": int,

@module("MySchool") external john: person = "john"

let johnName = john["name"]

Bind Using Special Getter and Setter Attributes

Alternatively, you can use get and set to bind to individual fields of a JS object:

ReScriptJS Output
type textarea
@set external setName: (textarea, string) => unit = "name"
@get external getName: textarea => string = "name"

You can also use get_index and set_index to access a dynamic property or an index:

ReScriptJS Output
type t
@new external create: int => t = "Int32Array"
@get_index external get: (t, int) => int = ""
@set_index external set: (t, int, int) => unit = ""

let i32arr = create(3)
i32arr->set(0, 42)

Bind to Hash Map-like JS Object

If your JavaScript object:

  • might or might not add/remove keys

  • contains only values that are of the same type

Then it's not really an object, it's a hash map. Use Dict, which contains operations like get, set, etc. and cleanly compiles to a JavaScript object still.

Bind to a JS Object That's a Class

Use new to emulate e.g. new Date():

ReScriptJS Output
type t
@new external createDate: unit => t = "Date"

let date = createDate()

You can chain new and module if the JS module you're importing is itself a class:

ReScriptJS Output
type t
@new @module external book: unit => t = "Book"
let myBook = book()