Case Studies

Waiting for AngularJS 2.0. Features detected

29 Dec 2015
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8 min

Recently, the developers of Google presented a new version of AngularJS (referred to as 'Angular') Angular 1.4.8 ice manipulation, and Angular 2 Beta. Thereon, a completely new Angular 2 was introduced, release of which is expected soon. According to its developers, it has a fundamentally new format of code creation. Therefore, it is possible to consider this version as a whole new framework, rather than an update for the previous one. We propose to sort out what Angular is, and also what new has been prepared in both versions of the framework by Google developers.

What is AngularJS?

AngularJS is an open source JavaScript (JS) framework. Single page web applications are created with the help of this framework. It is designed to expand the browser-based applications and also to simplify and speed up the processes of development and testing. Angular uses MVC (Model-View-Controller) design pattern. Using MVC, Angular separates logic, presentation and data of an application that allows to create AngularJS single page application.

Angular JS web application development

Also, with the use of the AngularJS, the load on the servers is reduced. It is achieved by means of transferring some server services to the client side. Thus, Angular is perfect for creating large applications, such as:

  • admin section; 
  • document flow; 
  • online store.

The main hallmark of the AngularJS open source framework is there is no need to write the whole code manually when you create AngularJS single page application because you have a given set of tools and standards. Among these tools are:

  • directives; 
  • filters; 
  • two-way data binding;

Angular development tools
Angular JS app development
  • localization;
  • controllers; 
  • validation of forms; 
  • unit testing; etc.

Advantages and disadvantages of using Angular

Advantages:

  • the high speed of AngularJS web application development;
  • Angular front end is faster and more convenient; 
  • the ability to create applications with a variety of structures, and also mobile applications; 
  • the declarative approach instead of imperative that allows you not to describe every step to the final result, but just determine the binding and the framework does the work for you; 
  • the simplicity of maintainability of the project; the simplicity of testing; 
  • facility of filtering and sorting; 
  • two-way data binding; 
  • the usage of directives (ng-app, ng-class, ng-bind, ng-view etc.), for example, with the directive ng-app AngularJS defines its applications; 
  • the system can withstand a heavier load; the simplicity of scaling projects and their modernization; 
  • possibility to perform the application of the different modules, and they can be both independent or interdependent; 
  • AngularJS has a big community that can be very useful when you have some problems to solve.

So working with Angular, JS development takes significantly less time because a lot of processes are automatized and don't require manual changes. But there are also some negatives.

Disadvantages:

  • the necessity of the implementation of many individual functions;
  • difficulty in learning; 
  • the high dependence on the framework; 
  • the framework dictates the rules of construction at every stage of development, so sometimes it can be a real problem to deal with restrictions implemented to the framework; 
  •  defects in debugging; 
  • difficulties in the server templating.

What's new in the latest version of Angular 1 and some Angular development tools

It has been known for a long time about preparing to release the new version of Angular 2. This fact has given rise to many questions like:

  • what will happen to the version 1.x? 
  • is it possible to go from version 1 to version 2? 
  • why did the developers decide to skip directly to the 2.0 version? 
  • how to use Angular 2?
  • in general, how to continue working with both versions, etc.

Later it has been transpired that Google developers plan to continue supporting the version 1.x until most developers change to the new one. Therefore, they have presented Angular version 1.4.8 ice manipulation. Let's consider the main changes compared to the previous releases and how the basic functions are implemented to the new version.

Here are some main points:

  • First of all, bugs of a previous version have been fixed and the processing time has been reduced.
  • Into the Angular 1.4.8, such components as ngUpgrade and ngForward have been added. 
  • Developers assure that due to these components it is possible to develop applications on the Angular 1 with the possibility of transferring them to the Angular 2. But, in fact, taking into account the fundamental differences with Angular 2, it is likely that the application will need to be entirely rewritten. 
  • New Component Router that includes features for complex desktop apps like sibling and sub routes, modal and popup window routes, lifecycle handlers, and more efficient serialization. And you can use all of them with an easy, declarative syntax similar to the current router. 
  • The animation has been improved. Now, applications, developed with the usage of this framework, will have a richer animation that has to be described with just a few lines of code.

With the new version of AngularJS, app development can become more efficient and fast which is a good foundation for moving to the version 2.0.

Key features of the new Angular 2

We have come to the main question: What will be the new Angular 2 like and how to develop AngularJS applications using the version 2.0? Currently, version 2 Beta is available, and it continues to be upgraded. In expectation of that highly anticipated event, it's weighty to be ahead of the game. So we offer to puzzle out the main features of the version 2, and also how it differs from the previous version and if we should move to 2 Beta in the nearest time. To do this, we have tried to analyze the main characteristics of Angular 2 and important differences from the Angular 1. So here are the most important points to take into consideration before starting the AngularJS application development.

  • Angular 2 will actively use ES6 classes with all annotations and other things. Also, the $scope has been removed. The language that Angular developers use was called AtScript. Its syntax is similar to TypeScript. Thus, there is no longer the need to implement additional syntax, unlike in Angular 1. However, using it is not the only way to create your applications - you will still be able to use ES5, TypeScript, Dart language or whatever you choose instead of AtScript.
Angular JS open source
  • Angular developers plan to make the version 2 able to perceive the different languages, templates, etc. It was done to ensure that the new Angular is able to support the cross-platform development and is a most convenient platform for developers.
  • One of the major drawbacks of Angular 1 was that when over 2000 watchers work simultaneously, the download speed significantly drops. In version 2, the developers have tried to solve this problem by speeding up the change detection, especially on devices with low memory, like phones. With this object in mind, Angular developers make all codes generated by change detection can be inlined by JavaScript VMs (Virtual Machines) and that it uses very little memory to avoid garbage collection.
  • Services have become classes and it is now possible to inject them by the type.
  • Angular 2 uses a simpler syntax and a more structured system, in consequence of which the complexity of the learning and further development is reduced.
  • You have a possibility of smooth transition from Angular 1 to Angular 2, due to a set of tools and you can mix both versions.
  • The new version presents improved animation capabilities, which allows to create more engaging applications. Application developers have the opportunity to use different APIs, such as CSS, JavaScript, and Web Animation API to handle changes.
  • Dependency injection has been significantly improved. The main changes at that point are annotations and child injectors.
  • Also, the developers work on expansion in the number of browsers that are able to support applications, written in Angular 2.
Angular JS single page application
  • The size of the libraries in Angular 2 is reduced, compared to the previous version, which allows to increase its efficiency several times.
  • In the new version, we are waiting for improved command line Angular CLI, which allows to use a smaller number of outside tools that was required for the start of the project, its development and future scalability in the previous version.
  • For a quick start, AngularJS developers have implemented more docs for ES6/ES5, AtScript, and some guides also.
  • Another Angular feature useful for development is diary.js. It is a log of actions made by the developer. It is very useful to identify problems and solve them faster.

Angular developers are still working at all of these features, which allows us to glimpse into the future of the framework, meanwhile, you can use Angular 2 Beta that is available. If the change between the first and the second version is so dramatic and whether to start using the latter it's for you to decide. But we would advise you not to start big projects with the usage of Angular 2 Beta, as they still have been made some adjustments to the framework and it is uncertain if it will be easy to move the project from version 1 to version 2, despite Google developers promise to ease that process. All the more so, as Google plans to continue supporting and upgrading Angular 1 for a long time, according to the official information. Therefore, we advise you to keep your eye on the ball and update your applications in accordance with the new releases of the Angular team. And thus, the transition from 1.x to 2.0 will be more smooth and convenient.

The official release of Angular 2.0 promises to be a great event, and until that we can be gradually prepared for this by testing and tasting Angular 2 Beta.

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