Angular – Our go to JavaScript Framework

Angular is a TypeScript-based open-source web application framework. We’ve been using it as part of our tech stack to build complex, scalable web apps and have really enjoyed working with this framework and its many benefits.

Angular is a re-written version of the previously named AngularJS (version 1 developed in 2010), which is led by the Angular team at Google and the community which consists of both companies and individuals.

So what is a front-end framework?

A front-end framework is meant to make your life easier to develop web applications in general. Instead of using vanilla JavaScript or the JQuery Library, Angular does the heavy lifting for you. This makes the code more maintainable and works based on their component based approach.

Angular is component based, meaning that almost every element on a page, for example, a navigation bar, sidebar, etc. are each treated as a component, and can be developed as an isolated component. Each component has the logic and data that is related to itself. These components are decoupled, meaning that they operate independently and don’t depend on each other.

This makes it easier to build large, complex applications that pass lots of data around, as things are broken down into smaller code segments relevant to these components.

There are numerous benefits and great features to using Angular and why we love this JavaScript framework for our front-end development.

Client side vs server side routing

What’s great about Angular (and other front-end JavaScript frameworks) is that it will provide client side routing instead of server side routing. To illustrate this in a simple example, say we had a few pages of a website. The old approach would use server side rendering, meaning that when a new page needed to be loaded, each request to do this, would go to the server and get the page to be rendered with its JavaScript and other elements.

With client side routing, we would consider that the web browser is your client, therefore when a user clicks to go to another page, Angular won’t need to go to the server to get that page (unless you’re needing to get data from the server), therefore you don’t need to make tons of requests to your server.

View layer and model layer separation

We also love Angular, as it separates the view layer from the model layer. The view layer being the visual aspect which is only concerned about displaying the data, in other words the HTML and CSS, which makes the component look great. We tell the view what the data is and where it’s coming from.

The component makes use of the model layer to ensure that the data is formatted in the correct way and available to be sent and used by the view layer.

By separating these two models it simplifies the entire structure and makes custom development easier and also better and faster to maintain going forward.

Google led and supported

Angular has been developed by the Angular team at Google as well as other individuals and corporations. Being backed by this tech powerhouse gives us great comfort that Angular is here to stay and evolve as a powerful framework.

Google themselves use Angular as a framework for some of their largest applications.

Strong resources and community support

Being backed by Google also ensures that this JavaScript framework is used and loved by a huge community. This community provides help and solutions to issues that are raised. The documentation is great and there is loads of educational material available online to assist developers to increase their knowledge and skills when it comes to adopting and using Angular.

Version upgrades and releases

Google recognises that stability is paramount to the framework. Stability ensures that reusable components and libraries, tutorials, tools, and learned practices don’t become obsolete unexpectedly. Major releases are performed approximately every 6 months.

Upgrading to a newer major version of Angular is done through clear and concise instructions where testing and validation is done at each step.

Migration tools are also provided to make this process hassle free and without problems, which goes a long way to streamline a major upgrade.

Speed – great for the end user!

Angular is fast, meaning that for people using a website or web application their experience will be great due to the speed at which pages and elements within these pages load. Creating high-performance and complex animations are also possible through Angular, allowing you to “WOW” your website audience, with slick movements, choreographies and animations.

Multiple backend integrations

As Angular is a front-end client side framework, it is able to work with many other backend technologies and headless CMSs (Content Management Systems). Typically these backend technologies and CMSs are responsible for managing data and content, which is then shared to the Angular framework. This sending and receiving of data is done via APIs (Application Programming Interfaces).

Angular is free, YAY!

That’s right folks, this super cool and powerful JavaScript framework that continues to evolve and improve; making your web applications better and better is FREE. There are no licencing costs or setup costs, you just use it and enjoy it for nada.

So now that you WANT to use Angular, what’s next?

We’ve highlighted many features and benefits to using Angular in the development of complex, bespoke web apps and websites. This is clearly a great framework which has already been adopted by loads of web development companies as their front-end framework of choice. The framework continues to evolve and improve making development more efficient and providing users with slick user experiences.

If you’re wanting to use Angular for your web application and need a competent and experienced web development agency to assist you, we’d love to hear more about your project and how we can turn your vision into reality.

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Having been established in 2005, in Cape Town, South Africa, Elemental is primarily focused on providing web development services and digital marketing campaigns.