Angular is perfect for building single-page web apps, mobile apps with compelling animations, progressive web apps that work offline, enterprise apps, e-commerce apps, and more. Here's why Google's Angular is worth considering when looking for a technology to build any digital product.
Angular has gained huge popularity in recent years, and with good reason. Angular app development has been proving to be a trusted option for major corporations, such as for example: Google, YouTube or Microsoft.
What is Angular?
To put it simply - it's a framework for building web applications. To be precise, we are talking about the so-called Angular 2+, which is version 2 and above.
Angular has a defined architecture and ready-to-use libraries that speed up the work of developers by providing a set of generic functionalities. These components may be modified by users. Software engineers can use these generic functionalities to deal with low-level concerns that are common to different apps.
Angular vs. Angular JS
Angular has a long history. AngularJS is already ten years old and is one of the oldest web application frameworks. Over that time, the community around Angular, supported by Google, has solved countless problems and introduced new features and solutions.
However, with time it turned out that the framework doesn't fit modern web application development. All the experience gathered over a decade has been used to create something brand new. Angular 2+ was released in 2016. At first, the community approached Angular 2+ with caution. Critics claimed that the framework had many flaws. However, the Angular Team managed to improve it, and with time the framework won developers' trust.
The new structure took over the Angular name, while the old one is called AngularJS, which will be supported until June 2021.
Why should you use a framework at all?
With frameworks, you can build software much faster.
First, developers don't have to repeat the same coding somebody had done before. Using a framework you get the solutions to tasks such as routing, lazy loading, code splitting, and server-side rendering.
These are difficult and challenging problems. However, they have already been solved by the framework's development team, then tested over time by countless users. The framework allows you to use these generic functionalities in your project. Consequently, your development team can focus on what is the core of your application and adds unique value to your product.
Additionally, frameworks are continually being improved. With each version of Angular, everybody gets a better, more stable product with more features.
Frameworks unify software architecture. Angular, with a clean code structure and well-written documentation, makes it easier for everyone in your team to be on the same page. Using a framework, you get access to a large talent pool of engineers that will quickly understand the code behind your product and will be able to fix or expand it rapidly.
What's critical about open-source frameworks is the community around them. You want the tech that you choose to be popular and be used worldwide by the best engineers, so that the library components are of quality, up to date, and your team can ask questions on sites like Stack Overflow. Here's the section about Angular, with questions being answered every few minutes.
The future perspective for the framework you choose is also essential. Angular is supported by Google, and TypeScript by Microsoft. The recent re-launch of Angular v2 is proof of the framework's bright future. Apart from taking care of the community, the corporations do the things that sometimes are neglected in a purely open-source project, such as focusing on cybersecurity.
Here are the eight most critical strengths of Angular from the business perspective.
- Ecosystem. An active community does wonders for your software development project. Angular's team supports the most important libraries and solutions. You don't have to rely on third-party code, with no guarantee of maintenance in the future. With Angular, you get access to documentation that is constantly being improved.
What's more, Angular delivers all the development tools "out-of-the-box", which makes everything easier. Developers don't waste time searching for some exotic problem solvers or discussing if tool A is better than tool B. It unifies the architecture and the code. Angular lets you reach a global audience with easy internationalization.
- Structure with flexibility. Angular does what a framework is supposed to do. It hands you off-the-shelf solutions to most of the problems. Still, your developers can diverge from the mainstream Angular whenever they feel it's necessary. However, the Angular libraries are of such quality that it doesn't happen often.
- Official libraries. The project's professional team supports the most used libraries. As a result, you get fewer bugs, better security, and a guarantee that the package you decide to use as a core piece of your application will be supported for the foreseeable future. Official components also make it easier to introduce or replace developers in your project, as they probably know the libraries.
- Testing framework. With Angular, you get all the testing tools out-of-the-box. This is huge, as you can develop software faster and refactor it at any time. Developers don't have to focus on re-reading the code again and again, as frequent tests help them reduce the number of errors. It saves a lot of engineers’ time and your money. Additionally, you can easily automate the work of quality assurance specialists.
- Modular development structure. This is a must-have feature for modern software technologies. Modularity makes it so much easier to scale your application. The components can be reused or replaced. You can use generic components and write your modules quickly. Angular's lazy loading feature downloads a module only when a user needs it (for example, navigates to a page where the module is used). First, the app loads and runs much faster. It also requires fewer resources. However, since the loading is repetitively deferred to later, the user may need more time to reach the modules omitted in the initial load.
- Angular Material UI component library. It can be a superpower if your app follows Material Design. This is the official Google library of interface components for web applications for both mobile and desktop. Using it will speed up development drastically. The official team supports Angular Material. The components are based on the best practices, well-tested, constantly improved by the community, well-documented, and their performance cost is minimized. You can build your app much faster if you decide to use this library.
- Experience and trust. Angular has already stood the test of time. The community consists of experienced developers from all over the world. Google keeps on investing money in one of its flagship technology projects. The job market for Angular developers is sound. Countless enterprise use cases ensure that the highest security standards are maintained.
Apps you can (and should) build with Angular
Angular may be a tool for you to build your next project. It speeds up the process of development, opens new opportunities, providers off-shelf solutions and scalability. As always, such a choice always depends on the project and the client’s needs. Here's our choice of products that can be created with Angular.
Single-Page Applications (SPA)
This is one of the most popular solutions for websites. The user interacts with the application on a single page, where the information appears dynamically. SPAs are so popular because they provide an improved user experience (UX) in comparison to traditional multi-page applications. Angular's routing and data management make building SPAs easier and deliver top performance.
Enterprise Web Apps
Big organizations, such as corporations or government institutions, often need sophisticated software. Angular has been a go-to framework for big teams. First, it is scalable. Second, the components can be reused in other projects. Third, the architecture is unified, which helps to keep the development process in order. Fourth, it delivers high security standards.
Angular is an excellent tool for building any kind of mobile app. Naturally, you can use this framework to build a web application that runs on any device. However, you can combine Angular with NativeScript, another open-source framework that allows building iOS and Android.
On the other hand, you can use Ionic to create a hybrid app that provides almost native-like experience but shares the majority of code between the iOS and Android platforms.
Progressive Web Applications (PWA)
PWA needs to adapt to the user's screen, load quickly, and be available offline. This is an important step forward for web applications, as in the past, they were often worthless when the mobile user lost connectivity.
To build a PWA with Angular, you can use the command "ng add @angular/pwa", which speeds up the setup process. Of course, additional work of the developers is required to ensure that all PWA rules are met and the application will work properly.
Server-side rendered (SSR) apps
Web applications can be rendered either in the browser or on the server. In the second case, the server is responsible for preparing (pre-populating) custom user data, which vastly improves the load time of the site.
It also improves the site's visibility in search engine result pages (SERPs), which will do wonders for promoting your product and reaching the right audience. Angular Universal is a useful pre-rendering solution that makes SSR development much more straightforward.
Interfaces with beautiful animations
Awesome UI animations are increasingly often the source of web apps' competitive advantage. They may be compelling, but if done wrong, they may make people hate using your app. Angular's team knows it perfectly well and they created a module as a part of the official library that makes designing and implementing animations a delight for your team.
Angular may be the best choice for any kind of web app, including Content Management Systems (CMS), e-commerce applications, static websites, design systems, banking websites, and more. However, it all depends on your project's specifications, the size of your team and organization, and your product scope.
To sum it up, Angular is an excellent choice for web applications of any kind. It offers all the most sought-after features but, most importantly, it's supported by Google and has a vibrant community around the framework.
Your team can use official tools and components which cut development costs, introduce better structure, and make scaling your project easier. Additionally, choosing Angular gives you access to a vast pool of talent that will not only know the technology but understand the code behind your product.