Angular For Web Development: History and Overview
AngularJS was 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.
The major advantage of AngularJS was that it let developers translate static HTML documents into dynamic content. With robust tools and MVC architecture, AngualrJS 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.
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.
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 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. From Angular 2 to Angular 9, here is a brief timeline of the release of Angular versions:
Companies like Forbes and Xbox have built their websites using different versions of Angular.
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Why Use Angular For Web Development
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. 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.
2. Component-based architecture
While using Angular for web development, you get the ease of development that comes with its component-based architecture.
The Angular framework divides the user interface of the application into independent logical components. These components are organized like a tree and follow 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, the components in Angular are loosely coupled. So you can easily decouple the components you don’t want and easily replace them with other components. This also makes Angular app maintenance very easy and less time-consuming.
Lastly, because of the independence of all the components, you can test even the smallest parts of the application in a more organized and easy manner.
In essence, the component-based architecture of Angular facilitates easy code reusability, app maintenance, and unit testing. Also, the new developers joining the project won’t find it hard to navigate and understand the application code.
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.
With the release of Angular 6. the Angular CLI has come up with the NG update <package> command. This facilitates a quick upgrade from one major version of Angular to another.
Considering how the ecosystem loved this command, the Angular team released unified location services with the release of Angular 8. This has made the migration from AngularJS to Angular super simple and quick.
4. Dependency Injection
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 that 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
Launched in Angular 6, Ivy renderer is the third revised renderer that Angular has released after compiler and renderer 2.
The distinguishing advantage of ivy renderer is its tree shacking 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 it bundle size smaller.
Lastly, Ivy renderer facilitates backward compatibility. After an update, you can render your existing Angular application with Ivy without any extra efforts.
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.
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.
While the majority of the development community prefers Angular because of TypeScript, many developers avoid using it for the same. TypeScript has a steep learning curve and it adds to the burden of learning one more language.
7. Declarative UI
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
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
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 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
Should you use Angular for your next web development project?.
Because of the component-based architecture, Angular is a great choice for building enterprise-scale applications. Its dependency injection 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.