Why Use Angular For Web Development in 2021: Top Features & Benefits

Krunal Shah

Jun 16, 2020 | 11 min read

Use of Angular for Web Development

Angular, launched in 2010, is a massively popular instrument for software development today. It keeps asserting its dominance as the most established name in the world of front-end JavaScript frameworks. What makes Angular so likable to so many web developers? Third Rock Techkno explores the top features of Angular for web development in this blog.

Angular maintains its position as the most loved framework by professional developers after jQuery from the last two years, in 2021 too. Although, it lost its position to Express, when it comes to its popularity amongst all the respondents. It came as no less than a revolution in the web development industry. It quickly gained traction as a full-fledged front end framework soon after its launch. Over the years, it went through a lot of new releases and stable versions.

Let’s get down to the business as we contemplate when Angular for web development is a smart choice.

Angular For Web Development: History and Overview

Angular is an open-source JavaScript framework for front end development of web applications. Two Google engineers, Misko Hevery and Adam Abrons, had developed the first version of Angular in 2009. It was known as AngularJS, and it was primarily meant for the company’s internal uses. Soon, Google officially launched AngularJS as an open-source framework in 2010.

AngularJS

The major advantage of AngularJS was that it let developers translate static HTML documents into dynamic content. With robust tools and MVC architecture, AngularJS became a top choice for web apps, especially single-page applications. Many top companies like PayPal, Upwork, The Guardian chose the AngularJS framework for building their websites. Moreover, many others also use AngularJS as a part of their MEAN Stack. It’s a combination of MongoDB, Express, AngularJS, and NodeJS.

AngularJS questions graph of stack overflow

Source: Stack Overflow

However, the framework could not meet the evolving demands that surfaced with changing web development trends. So, the team decided to improve the original framework and launch a completely new version called Angular.

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Angular (2+)

The Angular team rewrote the entire code and filled up the revised framework with modern features. They dropped the suffix JS and launched Angular 2. With this release, they provided the framework with a component-based architecture and an efficient command-line interface. We will learn more about Angular in the next section.

Google has consistently enhanced the performance of Angular by implementing period improvements. All major releases are under support from Angular for 18 months. The support is split between active support and Long-term support. After the release of the latest version Angular 12, versions 4 - 8 are no longer under support. For others, here is the breakdown of support timeline:

From Angular 2 to Angular 12, here is a brief timeline of the release of Angular versions:

Angular versions of web development

Companies like Forbes and Xbox have built their websites using different versions of Angular.

What’s Different in the Latest Version - Angular 12?

On May 12, Angular released its latest TypeScript-based web framework, Version 12. With this version, Angular aims to cover more distance to its vision of ‘Ivy Everywhere.’ Ivy is an AOT (ahead of time) compilation platform developed by the Angular team. It is a next-generation compilation and rendering pipeline.

With this version, Angular possesses the advantage of fixing bugs quickly. For a faster, lighter, and smarter framework for all web apps, the 12th version offers some new improvements. One of the biggest changes is that Ivy deprecates View Engines and the inheritance assemblage.

The Angular development team noticed that the future release, 13th version, will remove the View Engine. Current libraries that use it will still work with Ivy applications. However, Angular encourages the library creators to start transitioning to Ivy. The improvements in the 12th version are very similar to the current version, Angular 11. These include the ability to write regular lines more easily and bug fixes.

Moreover, similar to the 11th version, the 12th version also consists of improvements across other stages in its structure, components, and CLI. Besides all these, the latest version comprises a lot of other major features which we’ll discuss in a separate post.

The next section focuses on how the 12th version of Angular for web development in 2021 can create significant changes.

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How Angular 12 Will Impact the Web Development Process

Choosing the right technology stack for web development requires you to consider building a custom stack or pick one from the commonly used stacks. Angular has remained a part of popular web development stacks like MEAN for the ease of development it brings to the front end developers.

As a leading web app development company, we specialize in building robust apps using the Angular framework. Our Angular developers have worked with it long enough to understand it inside out. Here is a detailed look at the top features of Angular and how it benefits the web development process and performance.

1. Modular structure

The angular framework has a modular structure, wherein it organizes the application code into different buckets (modules). So all the components, pipes, directives, and services are neatly organized into separate buckets as and when you build them.

As a result, you can segregate the overall functionality of the application into exclusive features and reusable chunks of code. This, in turn, also makes it incredibly easy for you to divide the labor amongst Angular developers. Secondly, this modular structure of Angular enables web applications to perform lazy loading.

How does lazy loading change the modular structure in Angular 12?

With lazy loading, the browser loads different features of the application in the background. Due to this, users can instantly see and use those features as soon as they reach the viewpoint. Web applications with lazy loading are more likely to be liked by users compared to the ones without lazy loading.

In Angular 12, Webpack 5 generates different files for lazy-loaded JavaScript in development configurations. This change might affect some applications or build processes for those who have assumptions about the file names. But if adjustments are made, the impact should be minimal.

2. Component-based architecture

Component Based Architecture in Angular

Angular for web development eases the process that comes with its component-based architecture. The Angular framework divides the user interface of the application into independent logical components. Then, it organizes them like a tree and follows a strict hierarchy. You can compress elements with similar functionalities into well-defined components. Since these components are independent, you can reuse the same components for every part of the UI that needs similar functionality.

Moreover, Angular has loosely coupled components. So you can easily decouple the components you don’t want and replace them with others. This also makes Angular app maintenance very easy and less time-consuming. Lastly, the independence of components enables you to test even the smallest parts of the application.

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What differences does Angular 12 bring to this architecture?

Here's one of the coolest changes in Angular v12: Inline Sass support, which means that you will be able to write CSS in the styles field of your @Component decorator. This is great because it will allow you to style your components correctly without any troubles. The eliminated DOM components when the root view is removed also got improvements. The team has also added harnesses for all the components, so now they can be tested.

3. Angular CLI

Angular’s efficient CLI (Command Line Interface) is one of the major advantages of Angular for web development. With simple, quick commands, Angular CLI automates processes like app initialization and configuration. This automation simplifies the whole Angular web development process and enhances the code quality as well.

Using Angular CLI, you can create new projects and add or remove functionalities just by running a couple of simple commands. Additionally, it also enables you to run unit tests as well as end-to-end tests for the application quickly.

What’s different in Angular 12 with CLI?

With the release of Angular 12, the Angular CLI now has strict mode as a default. Strict mode can help with maintainability and catch bugs early on. Webpack 5 is a vital piece of the Angular CLI puzzle. It also plays a major part in bundle size and controlling execution. Angular 12 also has better CLI readability along with improved logging and reporting.

4. Dependency Injection

Dependency Injection in Angular

Dependency injection refers to a design pattern in which one object supplies dependency on another.  

When you use Angular for web development, it runs the dependencies parallelly to their components. So, the classes derive dependency from an external source instead of possessing them within. This creates a tree of dependency injectors that you can alter without reconfiguring its components. Isn’t that a boon, particularly while building enterprise-scale applications with Angular?

This hierarchical structure of dependency injection also defines specific connections between all the elements and organizes them into different classes. As a result, there is a clear relationship defining how changes in one element impact the functionality of the others. This enhances the quality of the application code, makes it more readable and easily maintainable.

The dependency injection in Angular is a major boost to application performance and also makes the development process faster.

5. Ivy Renderer

A renderer is an engine that translates the code written in TypeScript and HTML into standard JavaScript instructions that a browser can interpret. In short, a renderer makes the components and templates of your web application understandable to browsers so that they can display them.

Launched in Angular 6, Ivy renderer is the third revised renderer that Angular has released after compiler and renderer 2. In Angular 12, as mentioned earlier, the team takes a step forward for Ivy Everywhere.

The distinguishing advantage of ivy renderer is its tree shaking technique. When the components are at the rendering stage, ivy renderer identifies and removes the unused chunks of code. This makes web applications smaller and much faster to load.

Also, Ivy renderer is complemented by an ahead of time compiler which renders your app in the right way during the actual build time. So Ivy renderer not only reduces the size of the Angular framework but also makes its bundle size smaller.

Lastly, Ivy renderer facilitates backward compatibility. After an update, you can render your existing Angular application with Ivy without any extra effort.

6. TypeScript

TypeScript

The code in Angular web development is written using TypeScript, a superscript for JavaScript. The main advantage of using TypeScript is you can spot and correct errors in code while actually writing it. It also supports types like primitives and interfaces, which ensures higher security of the application.

Unlike other newer languages like DART, TypeScript is not a standalone language. It is backward compatible, so you can add functionalities to the code using ES5 or any latest ECMA script.

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What’s different with TypeScript in Angular 12?

The Angular 12 introduced the support to TypeScript 4.2. It also introduced a major feature of bringing the force of Nullish Coalescing to its templates. The tuple types in TypeScript 4.2 consist of components that are both optional and discretionary. Combination of these components along with the rest of the components increases readability significantly. Additionally, version 4.2 also has major improvements in abstraction, operator, type alias, compile processing, and Webpack 5.37 support.

TypeScript comes with auto-injection libraries built-in, so it makes the code more predictable and maintainable. It has many more advanced tools that equip Angular applications with seamless navigation and easy refactoring.

7. Declarative UI

One of the main advantages of using Angular for web development is its declarative UI. In Angular, you don’t have to use JavaScript to define the UI of your web application. Instead, you can do it using HTML, which is far less complex than JavaScript.

HTML also brings in declarative and intuitive properties to the UI components of Angular applications. This means you don’t have to create program flows manually. Just define the page layout and where the data goes, Angular’s declarative UI will automatically load components as per the layout. This way, Angular saves you a huge chunk of front end development effort and time.

8. Angular Universal

Angular Universal

With the Angular Universal service, Angular enables you to render your web application on the server-side instead of the client-side. This is very beneficial to web applications, especially in terms of improving its SEO performance.

Angular Universal provides your app with web crawlers that contribute to your application’s search engine rankings. It also has a significant role to play in decreasing the load time of your web app pages while also enhancing its mobile performance.

Overall, Angular Universal is great for making your web application more appealing and easy to use for the users.

9. Angular Material

Angular Material

You must be aware of how useful the design guidelines of Google are while designing the UI of applications. Angular recognized the usefulness of these guidelines too and updated the framework using Material Design components.  

Angular Material is one of the most widely used UI frameworks for Angular. It is an exhaustive library of aesthetically pleasing and easy to navigate reusable UI components. Angular Material boasts of an efficient flex grid layout and numerous theming options along with a comprehensive collection of buttons, form controls, data tables, and more.

Angular Material in the latest version along with Angular CDK internally adopted Sass's new model framework. Also, all the components of Angular Material now have harnesses.

Angular Material is a complete UI solution that you can use to create a fully functional, consistent, and beautiful UI.

10. Detailed documentation and support from Google

Google officially declared long term support for Angular in the ng conference 2017. For most developers, Google’s support towards Angular for web development is proof enough of the stability of the framework.

In addition to that, Google equips the Angular community with detailed documentation of how to use various tools of Angular to build functionalities and resolve issues. Whenever you face any issue, there will always be an answer available either in the documentation or in the online community forums.

This gives Angular an advantage over other newer front end frameworks like Vue.js.

11. Huge ecosystem

Since Angular has been around for so many years, there is a huge ecosystem of third-party integrations for Angular. You can take a look at Angular resources for a variety of tools, plugins, packages, and add-ons that are very useful for the easy development of advanced features. These include IDEs, analytics tools, data libraries, and cross-platform development tools.

This pool of tools and integration options go a long way in lifting some burden off the development team

TRT

We are a team of expert developers, testers and business consultants who strive to deliver nothing but the best. Planning to build a completely secure and efficient Angular app? 'Hire Angular Developers'.

Should you use Angular 12 for your next web development project?

Because of the component-based architecture, Angular is a great choice for building enterprise-scale applications. Additionally, the CLI components, TypeScript 4.2 support, and View Engine assemblage makes it an ideal framework for dynamic single-page applications, too. However, if you are planning to build lightweight or static apps, avoid using Angular as it will only add to the unnecessary technical debt.

We specialize in building robust, modern applications with Angular and AngularJS. If you have an app idea in mind, our experts would love to take you through each technical aspect. Schedule a free consultation call with our team here.

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Krunal Shah

Krunal Shah is the CTO and Co-founder at Third Rock Techkno. With extensive experience gained over a decade, Krunal helps his clients build software solutions that stand out in the industry and are lighter on the pocket.

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