Why Angular.js? What Makes It Popular?

What Is Angular.js? Why Is It Popular?
Wondering why we need a framework like Angular.js? These are some reasons that will convince you to use a JavaScript based MVC framework like Angular.

With the recent explosion of Javascript Model View Controller (MVC) frameworks it is getting increasingly difficult to keep track of all of the different frameworks as well as their strengths and weaknesses. One of the more popular javascript frameworks to emerge is Angular.js.

Angular was developed by Google to help developers build rich client side applications. It has quickly grown into one the most popular javascript MVC frameworks.

Why Is Angular Such A Popular Framework?

Angular.js is a gaining popularity due to some of the key reasons below mentioned.

  • A Truly Write Less and Do More Framework

    Angular is a powerful MVC framework that can achieve a lot of things in less code. I am a big fan of jQuery, however Angular.js takes it to the next level in simplicity and relevance. Each layer in Angular.js MVC can do thing independent of other layer. The Framework does provide a lot of feature to do mundane tasks that are required for a rich user interface application. This makes developers life easy and less coding is required to achieve a good quality output.

  • Angular Single Page Application

    Angular single page application is the most popular reason for use of angluar.js framework. The recent trend of creating SPA applications is really gaining popularity in website owners. Angular.js features make it very easy to create a single page application for JavaScript developers.

  • Innovative HTML Attribute Handling

    Angular’s popularity was born out of its innovative take on html attributes. Angular allows developers to easily add html attributes in the form of directives. The angular compiler recognizes these directives upon compilation and allows developers to attach an action to that directive. HTML while great as a markup language falls short in dynamic applications, which is where Angular shines.

  • Two Way Data Binding

    Another reason for Angular’s popularity is the innovative two way data binding. With two way data binding you can pass variables from the Angular controller to the view with {{ variable }}. Two way data binding allowed developers to separate application logic from the Document Object Model. Separating out application logic from the DOM allows for much easier testing by the developer.

  • Faster Development

    After getting familiar with Angular users often find their development speed has dramatically increased. Angular is also one of the easier frameworks to learn and very beginner friendly. Many common uses and applications for jQuery and javascript are actually built into angular. Two way data binding would require numerous lines of code and initiation of your own object and click handlers in javascript, while in Angular it is natively built in.

  • Dependency Injection

    Finally Angular is one the few javascript implementations to allow for dependency injection. Dependency Injection is a software pattern that dictates how dependencies are managed. With dependency injection updating dependencies, testing and code maintainability are considerably easier.
  • Unit Testing Is Easy

    I like to be able to test the code I write. Angular.js makes it easy to do unit testing on the code. This is mainly achieved with the dependency injection feature. You can easily inject mock implementations to test your code. No change is required in real code to make it testing friendly.

  • Uses Simple POJO

    Angular.js uses Plain Old JavaScript Objects (POJO) to share data between different layers of MVC. The controller can store the POJO objects in scope and view can access them. No special communication is required since the objects are simple and plain JavaScript.

  • Separation Of Concerns

    Angular.js framework achieves a good level at separation of concerns between layers. Separation of concern is important for productivity of large teams. To achieve this each layer should have minimal and well defined dependency between various application layers.

    In case of Angular.js, model is mainly POJO objects therefore its very easy to define them and get a quick start on project. Controller and view can be independently developed and tested after model is defined for application.

    Controller and view layers can also be independently unit tested therefore each layer can be integration ready independent of others.

  • Awesome Community Support

    Angular.js has a very enthusiastic community. New developers can easily find good help on Angular.js on various forums. There are many good tutorials and documentation available on angular official website.

Why Learn Angular.js

Angular.js is being used by most leading technology companies and there are plenty of jobs available for angular.js developers. More and more JavaScript developers are able to learn it and use in their applications.

Many Java based applications are being converted to Angular.js based UI. This is a modernization trend that is picking up in all companies and old boring JSP based applications are not being developed anymore.

Enterprises are looking for Angular.js developers to stay up to date with latest technology trends.

How To Learn Angular.js

You can find some great tutorials and resources on angular.js absolutely free. There are many discussion forums and message boards that will make it easy to find help on angular.

Online tutorials and documentation may not be sufficient for everyone therefore you can use Angular Books to learn it from scratch.

Popular Angular Libraries

Angular.js community has contributed many useful libraries that makes it even more powerful framework. Below listed are few libraries that are very popular in community.

  • Angular File Upload

    Angular file upload gives developers an easy way to accept file uploads in angular. It allows for both HTML5 and non HTML5 file uploads. Angular File Upload creates a directive which users can easily attach to one of their HTML elements. The directive allows for both drag and drop uploads as well as file selection uploads.

  • Bootstrap Angular Module

    The bootstrap angular module allows users to easily integrate Twitter bootstrap into their angular deployment. The module works by creating directives for bootstraps markup. All of the directives have their markup exported to templates, which means you can easily edit the directives to meet your needs. With the bootstrap module implementing Twitter bootstrap into your project has never been easier.

  • CosmoCMS

    CosmoCMS is a content management system built on Angular and php. Cosmo differentiates itself in the crowded cms vertical through its unique single page application structure. Cosmo boasts a live editing system that eliminates the need for previewing pages. It also includes a Git like version control system for all of its file editing. Developers can even create directives which can then be implemented by users through short codes. Finally Cosmo uses a mobile first approach to design. It will automatically resize images into one of four sizes and associate the correct size with the correct device.

  • Ui-router

    Ui-router was built by the angular team to allow for nested routing. The prepackaged angular $route service uses routing based on URL routes. The UI-router differs by basing routes on states instead of URLs. By basing routes on states instead of URL’s developers are able to add multiple ui-views per template. The ui-router’s ability to pair nesting views with nested states gives developers an easier way to manage the user interface of their application

  • Angular Translate

    Angular translate simplifies the task of getting your app ready for a global market. Angular Translate is extremely easy to get started with and all that is needed to get started is a few files containing the language translations. Angular Translate is actively maintained and has a fast acting support team ready to help with issues your run into.

  • RestAngular

    Restangular allows users to easily create apps which use data from a restful api. It allows for all the common restful verbs such as Post, Get, Update and delete. This removes some of the tediousness associated with writing application urls in your views. It utilizes promises to fill objects, which allows users to organize functions for multiple outcomes.

Popular Angular IDE’s and Tools

Some other tools and IDEs for Angular.js developers to be productive.

  • Webstorm

    Webstorm is a Javascript IDE developed by jetbrains. The IDE comes prepacked with angular.js modules and only the Angular source needs to be added. Webstorm has the ability to autocomplete directives, html attributes, navigation URL’s and javascript. Webstorm is also backed by Jetbrains which boasts an impressive list of well developed IDE’s across multiple languages.

  • Sublime

    Sublime is famous for its adaptability to many different programming languages. Getting started with angular in sublime is as easy as downloading the necessary package. Similar to JetBrains it has great autocompletion support built in and easily searchable docs for angular directives. If you are already familiar with sublime, it still provides the same look and feel you have become accustomed to.

  • Protractor

    Protractor is a powerful testing suite for angular. It emulates an actual browser and can simulate a host of different user interactions. Since it was built for angular the setup is minimal and gives you the ability to test angular specific elements without any angular specific configuration. It also removes the tedious sleep and wait functions normally needed to ensure your test and website are synced.

  • Ng-inspector

    ng-inspector is a browser extension allowing for angular specific debugging and coding help. ng-inspector allows for users to see scope right from the browser. Alongside the scope you can see the associated models and which controllers and directives triggered that scope. It even allows for real time editing directly from the browser.

Hopefully you’ve came away with a better overall understanding of angular and which tools and packages to use with your first angular project. Angular was a pioneer in MVC javascript frameworks and has grown into a mature and very widely used web framework. For anyone looking to streamline their front end development and simultaneously learn a new framework, I highly recommend Angular.


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