Using the Shadow Root in Server-side Elements

The Element API supports adding a shadow root to element types that support this. This allows you to create server-side Web Components.

You can use the element.attachShadow() method to add a shadow root.

Example: Using the element.attachShadow method to add a shadow root node.

Element element = new Element("custom-element");
ShadowRoot shadowRoot = element.attachShadow();


  • A ShadowRoot is not an actual element. Its purpose is to support handling of child elements and getting the host element that contains the shadow root.

  • Elements added to a ShadowRoot parent are only visible if the ShadowRoot contains a <slot></slot> element. See Server-side components in templates for more.

To ensure that new elements are encapsulated in the shadow tree of the hosting element, you should add all new elements to the ShadowRoot element.

Example: Adding an element to the ShadowRoot.

public class MyLabel extends Component {

    public MyLabel() {
        ShadowRoot shadowRoot = getElement()
        Label textLabel = new Label("In the shadow");

Elements That Do Not Support a Shadow Root

The DOM specification defines a list of elements that can’t host a shadow tree. Typical reasons for this include:

  • The browser already hosts its own internal shadow DOM for the element, for example. <textarea> and <input>.

  • It doesn’t make sense for the element to host a shadow DOM, for example <img>.