An Introduction to Angular: The Remarkable JS Framework




An Introduction to Angular: The Remarkable JS Framework

Javascript frameworks have nowadays become the most popular and most-used web app development solution. Because there are a plethora of app development frameworks available, it becomes challenging to choose the best one.

In case you too are planning to develop an application but unable to decide which framework to use, try using Angular.

Angular is one of the most exciting technologies for web app development. Angular is a structural framework used to develop dynamic web apps. It was introduced by Google corporation in 2012 and is built keeping in mind the Model-View-Controller concept. It is a framework adopted by fast-growing startups as well as large enterprises more often. Not only the framework is awesome, but it also has a very steep learning curve!

The best part of using Angular is that it lets you use HTML as the template language whose syntax can be extended to express your application components clearly.

Several versions of Angular have been released till now starting from Angular 1.x to Angular 8.0.

Angular 1.x was initially introduced as a basic framework without keeping in mind the mobile support. Introduction of Angular 2 was a blessing for developers because of its amazing features and functionalities. Most people think it is an upgrade of Angular 1 but it is not, it is completely rewritten. It is mobile-oriented and provides more choice of languages that Angular 1.x. In fact, multiple languages can be used to write Angular 2 code such as ES5, ES6, Dart, and TypeScript.

After so many versions and upgrades being introduced such as Angular 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, Angular 8 version is going to get released soon this year and is expected to bring a lot of modifications which will make the app development process much easier and convenient for the developers. 

1. Why Angular is so Popular for Web App Development?

The wide range of functionalities, features, and benefits makes Angular one of the most preferred frameworks for application development. The best thing about using Angular is that it is capable of developing single-page applications using a set of ready-to-use modules.

Despite of having countless plugins and frameworks available on the marketplace, most of the website owners pick AngularJS for web or mobile app development.

Why?

Because of its simplicity, reusable code, and amazing features. Moreover, AngularJS has been ranked one of the top-most frameworks by GitHub.

 

 

However, to make the best use of the Angular Framework, it is recommended to hire Angular app development companies as they have full-fledged knowledge of the framework as well as the tools associated with it.

2. What are the Building Blocks of Angular?

The building blocks of Angular includes NgModules, Components, and Services and Dependency injection.

  • An angular app is entirely defined by NgModule that are responsible for collecting related code into functional sets.
  • A root module enables bootstrapping and consists of several featured modules.
  • Components, on the other hand, are the sets of screen elements for Angular to modify your program logic and data. These components use services to provide specific functionality and can be injected as dependencies into components making the code more reusable, modular, and efficient.

Let’s understand in detail about the building blocks of the Angular framework.

2.1 Modules

Unlike JavaScript mod ule, Angular NgModule is a set of components dedicated to application workflow, domain or a set of capabilities. The components of NgModule have the capability to get associated with related code to form functional units. 

NgModules are capable of importing and exporting the functionalities. For instance, in order to use a router service, you need to import the Router NgModule.

Complex applications can easily be organized and their code can be reused by segregating your application’s code into different functional modules. This process also gives you an advantage of lazy-loading which means you can load the modules on demand.

Moreover, a root module is responsible for proving a bootstrap mechanism used to launch the application.

2.2 Components

Components are used to build a hierarchy with the DOM (Document Object Model). Every Angular application has at least one component and each of them defines a class that consists of application data and logic. The root component is also associated with an HTML template used to define a view.

Decorators are functions used to transform JavaScript classes. There are a number of decorators whose job is to attach specific metadata to classes to keep a track of how they work.

The major role of the decorator is to identify the class immediately and provide the template as well as component-specific metadata.

2.2.1 Templates, Directives, and Data Binding

The role of the template is to combine Angular markup and HTML elements before display.

Directives help to provide program logic whereas binding markup connects with DOM or data.

Data binding can be split into two categories:

  • Data binding helps to update your application data
  • Property binding allows your app to respond to user input and updates your app data.

Angular supports two-way data binding which helps in making user choices and also reflects in your program data.

2.3 Services and Dependency Injection

Any data that you would want to share across components, you need to build a service class. The Injectable()decorator immediately receives the request and provides metadata. This metadata can be used by other providers to inject dependencies into your class.

Dependency injection helps you to keep your component classes cleaner, effective and efficient.

2.3.1 Routing

The router is used to define the navigation path of different applications. It is designed keeping in mind the convention navigation models in which you need to:

  • Simply enter a URL in the address bar and the browser will help you navigate to the respective page.
  • Click the links given on the page to go to the new page
  • Click on the back and forward buttons that are given on browser to navigate through the history pages

The router acts like an intercept in between the user’s action and the browser whose job is to observe the browser’s behavior and display or hide the hierarchies accordingly.

The following image describes how these building blocks are related to each other:

3. What are the Key Features of Angular?

AngularJS is known to be the best framework for developing user-friendly and platform-independent web or mobile applications because of the flexibility and resources it offers. The entire development process can be completed quickly using the key features of the Angular such as:

3.1 Assistance form Dependency Injection (DI)

AngularJS provides build-in dependency injection subsystems that can be used by developers to build the application in a simple and hassle-free way. Also, using these DI’s, you can test and run your application quickly.

DI is there to assist you in case you need dependencies. Angular will detect on its own that you require a service and suggest you the dependencies.

3.2 Dealing with MVC

Model View Control architecture is perfect when it comes to developing dynamic applications. You must be aware until now that every application is developed by combining various modules together. And, these modules need logics as per the requirement. However, components need to be built separately that are further combined with code.

MVC with AngularJS saves a lot of your time while building client-side applications. All the crucial elements required to build an application are developed separately and are combined automatically which is not only convenient but also time-saving.  

3.3 Use of Directives

Directives (described in section 1.2.1), is an amazing feature of AngularJS used to build custom HTML tags. They can also be used to manipulate DOM attributes as well as in “decorator” components (described in section 1.2).

When you use HTML language using directive, Angular gives you an additional element which can be stimulated without the help of DOM. Therefore, manipulation of DOM isn’t required through controllers as directives are capable of doing it. Directives provide element-rich HTML that is helpful in strengthening the online presence of your application.

3.4 Two Way Data-Binding

Every application is almost comprised of 80% codebase, out-and-out traversing, manipulating, and listening to the accessible DOM. use of Data binding, on the other hand, save a lot of your time by letting you use less code. This way you can concentrate more on your application rather than focusing on coding.

The best thing is Angular makes use of two-way data binding that helps in projecting your model to the application view. However, this projection does not require any extra efforts from the developers’ side and is extremely flawless. 

Conventionally, developers need to manually manipulate the DOM components and the entire process was extremely hectic and time-consuming as the developer needs to interpret the interactions, merge in the model, and renew the view.

Using AngularJS two-way data-binding it becomes easier to manage the synchronization in between the model and the DOM.

3.5 Empowers with Better User Interface

Unlike JavaScript interfaces that are often complicated to develop and organize, Angular interfaces are quick to develop and easy to use. Angular make use of HTML declarative language to build simple and beautiful Angular user interfaces. The language creates very short tags to build simple and organized UI’s. 

Due to the completely structured Angular user interfaces, it becomes extremely easier to interpret and manipulate the key components.

3.6 Access to the POJO Model

You might be knowing about the POJO model which is a traditional method of developing the highly-efficient and self-sufficient application. POJO is defined as Plain Old JavaScript Objects which is used to provide ready-to-use logics and objects. Therefore, developers only need to build codes around it with the right properties to develop user-friendly applications.

3.7 Filtering

Filters, as the name suggests are used to filter the unnecessary data before it reaches the view. After several rounds of paginations and filtrations of data arrays with respect to available parameters, the functions are modified. However, using ideal parameters only transformations can be done. The idea behind the filtration of data is to provide end-user with the right amount of information.

3.8 Unit Testing Facilities

Testing is one of the most important processes while the development of web application using Angular. The performance and reliability of the application majorly depend on the unit or beta testing of the application.

Testing of the applications conventionally was a hectic and tiring task. You need to create test pages and use them to test the behavior of each component. However, after the implementation of Angular, the unit testing of components became a lot easier. All you need to do is use the dependency injection to bind the application. This will let the application function as it should be.

As the controllers are entirely dependent on DI, you can tweak certain aspects to find out the preferred configuration required for an application to run smoothly.

4. What are the Advantages of using Angular?

You must be wondering why people are more interested in developing applications using AngularJS?

It might be offering some kind of advantages which are making people fall for this framework?

Now that you know almost everything about Angular such as its building blocks and key features, it is time to know about the amazing advantages it offers for the app development process.

4.1 High Performance

Natural features, robustness, and simplicity make Angular the finest choice among several other frameworks.  It comes with power-driven features such as  Form Validation, API Client, Content Sanitization, Routing, Filters, and Animations which makes the framework apt for web and mobile app development.  It not just saves a lot of developers time and efforts but is also capable of doing minor enhancements with greater ease such as:

Simple Code Generation  

  • Angular turns your templates into highly optimized codes apt for modern JavaScript virtual machines. These codes give you similar or even enhanced benefits of hand-written codes.
  • Universally Accepted
  • The first view of the application is served on Node.JS, PHP, and .NET. it also makes the application SEO-friendly.
  • Code Splitting Capabilities
  • One of the biggest advantages of using Angular is that it loads quickly along with the new Component Router which automatically splits the code. This code can further be used to render the view they’ve requested.

4.2 Swift and Straightforward

Angular is a rapid and extremely undemanding framework used for front-end development of the applications. To make the most out of it all you need to do is add some attributes to the HTML language to get along. Angular uses HTML in a way that all the difficult tasks become easy to manage. It helps to create dependency, pull out the controller function, and collects all the data to showcase on the screen.

Using this framework you can easily build cross-platform applications such as:

  • Progressive Web Apps
  • Makes use of modern web platforms to deliver high-performing app-like experiences.
  • Native
  • Using Angular one can easily build a native application with strategies such as Ionic, NativeScript, and Cordova.
  • Desktop
  • Angular lets you develop desktop-installed applications for Linux, Windows, Mac. 

4.3 An All-inclusive Solution

Angular is a comprehensive solution for unfailing front-end development. It allows easy development of data-driven web applications using Javascript.

You can now also interact with your customers easily through server and can get the required information by simply using REST activities.  While working with Angular, the source code can effortlessly be structured simply following the MVVM design.

4.4 Code Reusability

Code reusability not just saves time and efforts of the developer but also makes them extremely productive. With Angular, you can reuse an existing chunk of code to build an entire application. Unlike other frameworks where you need to invest hours to write code, Angular, on the other hand, saves a lot of effort and time due to its reusable code.

This feature makes the AngularJS an exclusive framework for the developers. This even empowers to build similar web application quickly. The code reusability makes Angular an exclusive framework for the development of web application quickly.

How does it enhance productivity? Apart from code reusability it provides:

?Templates

Template syntax allows you to create UI views quickly

  • Angular CLI

Use command-line tools to start building an application, add components, and test to instantly deploy.

  • IDEs

IDE provides automation tools, intelligent code, feedback, and instant error recognition capabilities.

5. How Angular can be used to Develop Web Applications?

Although developing an application should be done with expert help to get the best results, you can try doing it by placing certain attributes to your HTML scripts such as:

Step 1:

The first step is to make sure that you’ve installed Angular & successfully on your machine. Now in your terminal or command line, just type:

ng version

In case the Angular 7 version isn’t installed you need to run the following command:

npm i -g @angular/cli@latest

Step 2:

The second step is to type the following command in your  terminal or command line:

ng new

The CLI will ask you about the project name that would like to enter.

Step 3:

In this step, you need to make a choice whether you would like to add routing to your app or not. In case you select yes, the router will be installed that you can create later on as well.

Step 4

Lastly, you need to choose the style of format you would like to see. Once you hit enter after the selection of format the CLI will generate your project which can be operated in your IDE.

On using ng-controller, I have defined a namespace where Angular can be placed to control the entire application’s data and evaluation of its expressions in your HTML. As the ng-repeat directive is an Angular repeater object, it will ask Angular to create a list of elements as long as you have tasks to display.

Almost every tool available today for web app development is a bundle of existing tools, however, due to some amazing and compelling features, AngularJS is considered to be the next generation framework. To make the most utilization of the technology, it is advisable to take help of Angular development companies which can help you get along in a professional way.

6. What are the Angular’s Complexities?

Despite of having enormous advantages and benefits, Angular is, unfortunately, a big and complex framework which can be challenging for beginners to understand and get used to it.

Learning the concepts of the framework is not the only task you have to do to become an Angular specialist, you must have a handful knowledge of other technologies as well. 

  • To develop best-in-class Angular apps, it is advisable to code in TypeScript, a superset of Javascript to compile plain JavaScript. Therefore, you should have knowledge of Typescript.
  • You should have knowledge of Node’s package manager (npm) to install Angular and other related components.
  • Learn Angular CLI to speed up the application development process.
  • Learn using bundlers like Webpack and minifiers (like UglifyJS)
  • Before the application deployment process, there are certain tasks that need to be done using the task runner like Gulp or Grunt.
  • Having knowledge of debugging tools like Augury is of extreme importance.
  • Testing is yet another important process which can be extremely complex. Therefore, you should be aware of testing tools such as Protractor and Jasmine.

Hire Experts!

As you can see there are a lot of things to learn in order to start creating your own high-performing application, it is advisable to hire offshore experts or a team of Angular development company who can assist you with the entire application process.

However, if you need to learn Angular, you can get several resources, tools, and technologies on the Internet.  Although you might need some time to grasp the information, sooner you’ll be able to create complex apps with confidence.

Being able to make quick and appropriate decisions is one of the best skills you need to have for developing outstanding applications whether you’re using Angular or any other technology.

Therefore, you should be able to judge as a developer which type of applications will require Angular. For instance, there might be small or medium-sized projects without complex UIs which might not require Angular coding, instead, simple Javascript would work.

Therefore, it is crucial to assess all the requirements and features of the application and make sure to meet the deadlines.



Author Biography.

Puneet Singh Raghav
Puneet Singh Raghav

An Experienced Digital Marketing Analyst (Sr. Executive) with a demonstrated history of working in the information technology and services industry. Skilled in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Landing Page Optimization, Website Analysis, Competitor Analysis, Google Analytics & Reporting.

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