Table of Contents
Origin of Angular
For developers, building great and scalable applications quickly is a key challenge. Enterprises are looking for a robust framework to simplify the development and testing process. To provide a complete enterprise solution, Google developed an open-source front-end web application framework known as Angular. With Angular, developers can build dynamic and modern web applications quickly.
Here are some of the many versions of Angular:
- AngularJS is the first version of the Angular framework, developed in 2009. It has gained huge admiration over the years for ensuring reliable and fast apps.
- In 2016, Google developed a successor to AngularJS, known as Angular 2. It was a complete rewrite of the AngularJS framework.
- In March 2017, Angular 4 was released. It is backward compatible with Angular 2. It came with an improved view-engine and code-generation reductions. The Angular 4.3 upgrade was released in July 2017. It featured HttpClient to provide a smaller and easier-to-use library for making HTTP requests.
- Angular 5 was released in November 2017. It includes support for-
- Progressive Web Apps (PWA)- It is an improvement to existing technology.
- Build optimizer- It is a command-line tool that eliminates unnecessary coding and makes the application faster.
- Improved Material Design- Material Design for Angular is modern UI components for web, mobile, and desktop applications.
- In May 2018, Angular 6 was released. It focused on a toolchain that makes it easier to migrate your applications to Angular.
- Angular 7.0 was released in October 2018. It focused on improving application performance. There is also visual improvements in Angular Material Design and CDK (Component Dev Kit) such as: Virtual Scrolling, Improved Accessibility of Selects, etc. Angular 7.1 mainly focused on bug fixes and router capabilities. And the current version- Angular 7.2 -released in January 2019. It improved the core framework by enhancing router capabilities and integrating Bazel (a tool used to build and test software) support.
From AngularJS in 2009 to Angular 7.2 in 2019, this front-end framework has evolved rapidly. Today, Angular is used by more than 70% of software engineers for creating modern web-based applications.
HTML is great if you are declaring static documents, but it gets clumsy when you are using it for declaring dynamic web applications. To address this issue, AngularJs extends HTML with additional attributes to make the applications more responsive to the users. AngularJS also speeds up your front-end development.
Main features of AngularJS
1. Based on MVC
AngularJS is built on the concept of the Model-View-Controller (MVC) framework. MVC is a software design pattern used in the development of web applications, in which:
- The Model maintains the data related to the application and represents the business logic.
- The View is a user interface that displays data to the users. It also enables users to modify the data.
- The Controller is a code that controls the interaction between Model and View. A URL request is raised when the user interacts with View. This request is handled by the Controller.
After receiving the user’s request for applications, the Controller collaborates with the Model to prepare data needed by the View. After this, the View uses that data to display a presentable response to the users.
2. Two-way data binding
This provides synchronization between the Model and the View. The View reflects the change as soon as data in the Model changes; similarly, the Model reflects the change as soon as the data in View changes. This enables the Model and View to be updated in real-time.
With this feature of AngularJS, you can bind the data to the HTML controls by just adding a few snippets of code, eliminating the need to write lots of code.
3. Dependency Injection
Dependency Injection (DI) is a feature of AngularJS that deals with how components get hold of their dependencies. With the dependency injection, you can describe (in a declarative manner) how your application is wired. Including main() method in coding sometimes becomes difficult to maintain, but with DI, your applications don’t need main() method. DI is a core feature of AngularJS that can replace any components that don’t fit the user’s needs.
AngularJS comes up with built-in testability features. It takes full advantage of DI and eliminates test flakiness.
4. Ready to use templates
AngularJS provides ready-to-use templates to ease your front-end development process. Even people with little computing skills can design top-quality applications.
Additional features in Angular 2:
- It offers a cleaner structural component model that focuses on interoperation with technologies.
Difference between AngularJS and Angular 2
- AngularJS uses the concept of scope and controller. Scoping a variable enables you to add many variables that will be visible in View and Controller. But Angular 2 doesn’t have a concept of scope and controller.
- Unlike AngularJS, Angular 2 supports Angular Universal (a technology that uses the server to run an Angular application).
- Unlike AngularJS, Angular 2 has its own modern UI components, called Angular Material. Together these components work across the web, mobile, and desktop.
- In AngularJS, you have to remember the right ng directive to bind an event, but Angular 2 uses “()” for event binding and “[ ]” for property binding.
- AngularJS uses rootScope, which allows the variables to be available throughout the application. On the other hand, Angular 2 uses the concept of components and directives as its main architectural approach, where the component is a directive with a template.
Current version: Updates of Angular 7.2
Angular 7.2 was released in January 2019. With Bazel support, it is helping developers and testers in the development process. It has also enhanced routing capabilities. Here are the updates of Angular 7.2:
1. Bazel support
To help developers and testers in automating the development process and testing of software, the Angular team has integrated the tool Bazel into Angular. Bazel is a free software tool that you can use to build and test software quickly.
How to use Bazel in your project:
- Install Bazel schematics by using @angular/bazel. After this, the build will be managed by Bazel.
- Execute the command ng new, like this-
ng new bzl-app–[email protected]/bazel
2. Enhanced Router capabilities
Let’s understand the enhanced core router capabilities in technical parameters:
- Incorporation of Navigation type during router navigation has targeted URLs, Navigation and NavigationExtras data.
- Allow for passing of state to routerLink directives, as well as passing of state to NavigationExtras.
- When navigating the previous page, the restoration of the whole process is managed by Angular router.
- Introducing pathParamsOrQueryParamsChange mode for runGuardsAndResolvers which updates the UI and syncs the URL with local changes. This offers the following:
- Guard and resolver ignore changes to matrix parameters.
- Whenever there is any change in the path, guards and resolver will be rerun.
If you are not familiar with Angular guards and resolver, then have a look at this:
- Guards in Angular: Implementing the guard types ( CanActivate, CanDeactivate and CanLoad) is used to protect routes. It decides if a user is allowed to activate a certain route, leaving a certain route, or even asynchronously loading a route.
- Angular resolver: enables you to provide the data required for a route before the route becomes active.
Why developers are choosing Angular?
It is opinionated- Angular offers developers defaults for things like: language choice, state management, network connectivity, build toolchain, etc. The angular team continuously tests and validates these defaults to ensure a reliable and steady Angular platform.
It is trustworthy- Being a Google product, Angular can take advantage of all the testing infrastructure offered by Google. Google validates every change made to the Angular framework. There are no possibilities of breaking changes or regressions in Angular because the framework is already being tested in hundreds of projects before its public release.
It has a strong ecosystem- Angular owns numerous reusable tools, code samples, and libraries. These tools are continually updated. Companies such as VMWare, NativeScript, and Teradata have full support for Angular.
The Angular ecosystem includes many tech-giants, such as Oasis Digital, Thinkster and Galvanize. Many companies such as Range, Nrwl, etc., have a majority of their businesses in Angular only.