Angular and ASP.NET Core

​ The [Angular CLI](https://cli.angular.io/ "Angular CLI") provides a way to develop front-end applications using angular that hides a lot of details. For example there's no requirement to understand how [Webpack](https://webpack.js.org/ "Webpack") or [SystemJS](https://github.com/systemjs/systemjs "SystemJS") work. ​ In fact, if you don't know a little bit about Webpack, which is what is used to build the latest version of Angular applications, the CLI almost looks like magic. You just need to do a ng new and ng serve --open and you have a working Angular application open in your web browser. ​ The fact that the CLI hides all the plumbing might lead to questions like: "How do I use Angular with ASP.NET Core?". ​ ![](https://res.cloudinary.com/practicaldev/image/fetch/s--dKBafg3O--/c_limit%2Cf_auto%2Cfl_progressive%2Cq_auto%2Cw_880/http://www.blinkingcaret.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/asp_net_core_and_angular_logo.png) ​ I hope that by the end of this blog post it will be clear to you how you can answer that question (and not only with ASP.NET Core, with whichever technology you want to use your Angular app with). ​ You see, an angular app is an app in and of itself, it does need to be "served" somehow by a web server. ​ When you compile an angular application you are producing a set of JavaScript, CSS and one index.html file. That's it. ​ The default folder where those "artifacts" get copied to is yourApplicationFolder/dist. You can check it out by going to your Angular application and doing an ng build. ​ Go on, I'll wait. ​ When you do ng serve --open you are actually using a stand-alone web server ([webpack-dev-server](https://github.com/webpack/webpack-dev-server "webpack-dev-server")) to serve that index.html file in the dist folder. ​ The rest of this blog post will describe several approaches that you can take for using Angular with ASP.NET Core. The first is to have ASP.NET Core serve the Angular files. ​ The second approach is to have Angular and ASP.NET Core as different applications. There's an example of how to achieve this using Nginx where both Angular and ASP.NET Core are served using port 80 and in IIS where each application is served from its own port. ​ The final part of the post describes a setup that I consider ideal where you can use Angular's ng serve during development. ​ This post is quite long but the sections are fairly independent. If your are only interested in the last section and you are using Windows I recommend also reading the section on how to configure Angular in IIS. ## Using ASP.NET Core to serve the Angular application ​ It can be argued that serving an Angular application "within" ASP.NET Core is wasteful in terms of resources. In the end the Angular application is just a set of static files, there's no need to have the request for those files go through the ASP.NET Core middleware pipeline. ​ There might be some good reasons for doing it though, also there's no harm in knowing how to do it and since it seems to be a common approach, being familiar with it might be useful. ​ One important thing to know in order to understand how we can serve an ASP.NET Core and Angular application together is to understand how a request is processed in ASP.NET Core. ​ When you run an ASP.NET Core application your request goes through a "pipeline" of [middlewares](https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/aspnet/core/fundamentals/middleware?tabs=aspnetcore2x "middlewares"). Every time a request comes in it goes through the middlewares in the order they are defined, and then in reverse order. ​ Every middleware has an opportunity to change the request or response two times, once before the other middlewares have been executed, and then after the other middlewares have executed. This allows for a middleware at the top of the pipeline to handle for example, a 401 response set by a middleware further down in the pipeline. ​ An example of this are the authentication middlewares that change a 401 response to a 302 redirect to a login page. The Angular CLI provides a way to develop front-end applications using angular that hides a lot of details. For example there’s no requirement to understand how Webpack or SystemJS work.

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