Getting Started with Marionette.js for Backbone.js Applications

In this tutorial, we will explore Marionette.js, an extension for Backbone.js that simplifies the process of building complex Backbone applications. Marionette.js offers a range of features and tools to enhance your development experience, making it an excellent choice for managing Backbone.js projects. We will create a simple user tracking application to demonstrate Marionette.js in action.

Before getting started, ensure you have the following prerequisites:

  1. A basic understanding of JavaScript and Backbone.js.
  2. Node.js and npm (Node Package Manager) installed on your computer.

Let’s dive into the tutorial!

Step 1: Setup

1.1. Create a new directory for your project and initialize a Node.js project. Run the following commands in your terminal:

mkdir marionette-tutorial
cd marionette-tutorial
npm init -y

1.2. Install the required dependencies (Backbone.js and Marionette.js) by running:

npm install backbone marionette

Step 2: Set Up HTML and Templates

2.1. Create an index.jade file for your server-side template. This file will render your application’s HTML page. Here’s an example of the HTML structure:

    title Marionette.js Tutorial
    script(type="text/template", id="userViewTemplate")
      <!-- Your user view template here -->
    script(type="text/template", id="noUsersViewTemplate")
      <!-- Your no users view template here -->

Replace the template content with your HTML as needed.

Step 3: Create Models and Collections

3.1. In your JavaScript project folder, create a new file, e.g., app.js, and include the necessary dependencies:

const Backbone = require('backbone');
const Marionette = require('marionette');

3.2. Define your Backbone model and collection for the user:

const UserModel = Backbone.Model.extend({
  // Define model attributes and methods

const UsersCollection = Backbone.Collection.extend({
  model: UserModel,
  // Define collection attributes and methods

Step 4: Create Views

4.1. Define an item view for rendering a single user. We’ll use the Marionette ItemView for this purpose:

const UserView = Marionette.ItemView.extend({
  template: "#userViewTemplate",
  // Define view-related attributes and methods

4.2. Create an empty view to display when there are no users in the collection:

const NoUsersView = Marionette.ItemView.extend({
  template: "#noUsersViewTemplate",
  // Define view-related attributes and methods

4.3. Create a form view to allow users to add new entries to the collection:

const FormView = Marionette.ItemView.extend({
  template: "#formViewTemplate",
  events: {
    "click button": "createNewUser"
  ui: {
    name: "#name",
    age: "#age"
  createNewUser: function() {
    const name =;
    const age = this.ui.age.val();
    this.collection.add({ name, age });"");

Step 5: Initialize Marionette Application

5.1. Create a Marionette application instance and add regions for rendering views:

const UserTrackerApp = new Marionette.Application();

  form: "#form",
  list: "#list"

Step 6: Set Up Application Initialization

6.1. Add an initializer function to execute when the application starts:

UserTrackerApp.addInitializer(function() {
  const users = new UsersCollection(); FormView({ collection: users }));
    new UsersView({ collection: users, emptyView: NoUsersView })

// Start the application

Step 7: Running Your Application

7.1. To run your application, make sure your server is running, and then open a web browser and navigate to the specified URL (e.g., http://localhost:3000).

You should now have a basic user tracking application up and running, utilizing Marionette.js to simplify your Backbone.js project structure.

Marionette.js is a powerful extension for Backbone.js that streamlines the development of complex applications. In this tutorial, we’ve covered the setup, creation of models, collections, and views, and initialization of a Marionette application. You can now explore Marionette.js further to build robust Backbone.js applications with ease.

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