Main Tools for Angular Developers

Main Tools for Angular Developers

Angular has evolved over the years, claiming its spot at the second world's most used JS framework. Having a strong team and vibrant dev ecosystem, it had spurred and sprouted many tools and libraries.

Angular has evolved over the years, claiming its spot at the second world’s most used JS framework. Having a strong team and vibrant dev ecosystem, it had spurred and sprouted many tools and libraries.

It had undergone changes and still changing, from v4+ to v8+, it has seen so many deprecations and new features ranging from Internationalization to Incremental DOM brought by its new rendering engine (Ivy).

Being such a huge and sought-after JS framework (owned by Google. Who wouldn’t go for it?), developers are consistently either trying to find the right tools to use in their Angular project/app or trying to keep pace with the nearly daily Angular tool being churned out. I have decided to nail down at least 11 of the most awesome tools (visual, extension or anything smelling Angular) that help Angular developers.

1. Augury

Arguably the best and one developer tool everybody should install in their browsers. I can’t help but keep thanking the guys behind this awesome tool.

Augury is probably the most used and installed Angular extension. It provides so many features ranging from profiling Angular apps to debugging them.

Augury home page

Built by in collaboration with Google. Augury helps us to detect anomalies, test out stuff (like where change detection is being triggered), see the graphic visualization of our component tree, many more.

Augury on Chrome Web Store

Angular Augury


I have it installed in my Chrome, UC Browser (yes, I use it. You know, I think UC Browser is a Chrome browser but with a UC Browser casing) and Firefox.

2. Angular Material

Coming to bring Material Design to Angular, Angular Material is the best. With Angular Material, you hit the ground running with comprehensive, modern UI components that work across web, mobile, and desktop.

It is fast and consistent, versatile, and highly optimized for Angular.

Angular Material

It has over 50+ components covering basic elements and organisms.

Components Page in Angular Material


npm i @angular/material


Angular Material has its components in a standalone Module for each of them, thus allowing code-splitting to be feasible when bundling.

Using mat-button, requires importing the MatButttonModule.

import { MatButtonModule } from "@angular/material/button"
 imports: [ MatButtonModule ]
export class AppModule {}
3. Bit

Bit (Github) is a CLI tool and an online platform that enables you to share reusable components straight from your Angular project to a collection in Each shared component can be viewed in Bit’s live playground, installed using NPM/Yarn or even collaborate on, using ‘bit import’.

Example: Shared Angular circle loaders in

It’s especially useful as an alternative to building a UI component library. Looking for that scalable and maintainable code, with a consistent UI? Bit lets you push reusable UI components to your component collection, whenever you feel the need and without making you lose focus on your main work

Share reusable code components as a team · Bit

Bit is simple to use. It takes no more than a few simple commands to export a component (or components) to a collection on

// install Bit globally
$ npm i bit-bin -g
// initiate a new Bit workspace in your project
$ bit init
// login to your account
$ bit login 
// install an Angular compiler
$ bit import bit.envs/compilers/angular --compiler
// add your component and set an entry point
$ bit add src/app/my-comp  --main src/app/my-comp/my-comp.module.ts
// tag all added components with a new version (only one, in our case)
$ bit tag --all 1.0.0
// export the component to your Bit collection
$ bit export user-name.collection-name

And as mentioned before, it has a great playground so you can examine components before installing them:

Example: a shared component rendered live in Bit’s playground

4. @angular/cli

This is one of the greatest tools in Angular. This saved my life.

At the initial release of Angular, to scaffold an Angular project was pure hell, so many configurations, so many libraries and files to install. Many blog posts did little to whittle down the excessive configuration, I nearly gave up on Angular.

Some people noticed that a huge number of devs were thrown off by the complex way of scaffolding a simple Angular project. They came with boilerplates, an already made Angular project that you just pull from npmjs and you start right away, but it still didn’t solve so issues, you still need to touch many files when adding a new component, module, pipe or module. It was hell, indeed.

Little, did we know that the Angular team was hot with something. Next thing we heard, the bombshell, Angular CLI.

Angular CLI home page

Every single issue you have with scaffolding new Angular project, generating components or pipes or services or modules were all solved by Angular CLI.

Angular CLI

Just install the library globally:

npm i @angular/cli -g

Simply create an Angular project:

// new project
ng new ng-prj

You will have a full configured Angular project, in ng-prj folder.

Just move into the folder:

cd ng-prj

And serve the project:

ng serve

Open to localhost:4200 to see your project.

To build for production, you run this:

ng build

Now, you can do anything:

// new component
ng g c login
// new module
ng g m login
// new pipe
ng g p date
//new service
ng g s login

Recently, @angular/cli has been updated with so many features:

  1. To create and publish Angular library project
  2. To add Service worker capability to your Angular project
  3. To add Web worker to your Angular project.
  4. To enable Server-side rendering
  5. Many more features to come in the future.
5. ng Bootstrap

Just like Angular Material did with Material Design, here ng Bootstrap brings Bootstrap to Angular. Bootstrap, released by Twitter, is the most popular and most used CSS framework in the world

With a huge collection of components in ng Bootstrap. ng Bootstrap enables us to use Bootstrap-styled components in our Angular project.

Angular powered Bootstrap

The installation is simple:

npm i @ng-bootstrap/ng-bootstrap 

Once installed you need to import the main module.

import {NgbModule} from '@ng-bootstrap/ng-bootstrap';
  imports: [NgbModule, ...],
export class YourAppModule {

Alternatively, you could only import modules with components you need, ex. pagination and alert. The resulting bundle will be smaller in this case.

import {NgbPaginationModule, NgbAlertModule} from '@ng-bootstrap/ng-bootstrap';
  imports: [NgbPaginationModule, NgbAlertModule, ...],
export class YourAppModule {


Components in ng-bootstrap

6. Angular Playground

This tool is not much known, but it packs power.

Angular playground provides a base where you can test and play with the components in your Angular project in isolation. You can pass different parameters to the component and you will see them rendered in your browser locally.

According to the author:

Build Angular components, directives, and pipes in isolation.

Playground is a living styleguide for your Angular components, taking the components you already
wrote and providing an environment that makes it easy to visualize changes, document variations, and
fix broken UI.

Angular Playground

7. Stackblitz

This is an online project code editor. The cool thing about Stackblitz is it’s:

  • VS Code editor feel.
  • It’s lighting-fast module installation.
  • Offline usage.

With Stackblitz, you can easily scaffold an Angular project in your browser and run the project all in your browser.

Stackblitz is useful during presentations, in your articles, code demos, when you want to create a quick Angular project. Instead of going to your machine to use ng commands, Stackblitz saves that for you.

The online code editor for web apps. Powered by Visual Studio Code. - StackBlitz

Stackblitz enables you to link the project to your Github account, share the project and download the project to your machine.

8. NgRx

NGRX - Reactive State for Angula

Redux and RxJS came with their flavors and feels.

Redux brought global state management RxJS brought reactive streams to JavaScript.

NgRx combined them to provide an awesome tool for Angular devs.

According to the author(s), NgRx:


NgRx Store provides reactive state management for Angular apps inspired by Redux. Unify the events in your application and derive state using RxJS.


NgRx Effects gives you a framework for isolating side effects from your components by connecting observables of actions to your store.


NgRx Schematics helps you avoid writing common boilerplate and instead focus on building your application

NgRx Docs

With NgRx, we use the Redux-style of data/state management in our Angular powered with RxJS. We use events and streams to connect to the Redux store, retrieve and update the store.


9. Codelyzer

A set of tslint rules for static code analysis of Angular TypeScript projects.


This is an Angular linter tool developed by Minko Gechev. It is installed and configured by default, when we scaffold an Angular project using ng new.


Codelyzer is built on tslint, it added style guides for building Angular applications following

In our Angular project, open "package.json" and look at the "scripts" section, you will see:

"scripts": {
 "lint": "ng lint"

npm run lint command will run codelyzer on our components and files to make sure they follow Angular style guide.

Codelyzer included rules for building Angular apps, few of them are:

  • banana-in-box
  • contextual-life-cycle
  • decorator-not-allowed
  • pipe-impure
  • templates-no-negated-async
  • no-attribute-parameter-decorator
  • no-forward-ref
  • no-input-rename
  • no-output-on-prefix
  • no-output-rename
  • use-life-cycle-interface
  • use-pipe-decorator

With Codelyzer you can run the static code analyzer over web apps, NativeScript, Ionic, etc.

10. ngx-loadable


We can lazy-load Module routes in Angular, but there is no way to lazy-load non-routable components. Let’s say we have a Modal component, and we want to load when it is needed(maybe when the user presses the “Login” button), we don’t want it to be bundled to the user when the app is loaded. It should be loaded on demand. Angular has no configuration for this.

This is where ngx-loadable comes in. This tool enables us to configure and lazy-load components, modules in our Angular project.

Angular Loadable

Though, not very popular in the Angular dev ecosystem, this library is awesome and does a very good job at lazy-loading any modules, and components. This cuts down the size of the bundle delivered to the browser on the initial load.

List of articles to help you get started on ngx-loadable:

Announcing Angular Loadable (ngx-loadable ~ 2.2kB)

11. ngx-quicklink

Built by Minko Gechev, ngx-quicklink enables prefetching of resources in our Angular app.

Prefetching is the loading or fetching of resources (pages, assets, font files, images, video files) beforehand so that the usage of the resource becomes instantaneous. This brings a huge performance boost to our Angular apps.

ngx-quicklink utilizes:

Intersection Observer: This it uses to capture events when routerLink elements are within a specified viewport or within the visible browser viewport of a webpage. The Intersection Observer fires the event, ngx-quicklink subscribing to it, picks it up and preloads the module of the link. When the link is clicked the page will load instantly.

navigator.effectiveType property to save user data and check if the user is on slow-connection.

requestIdleCallback: To run the prefetching logic when the browser is idle.


Article by the author to help you get started on ngx-quicklink:

Angular quicklink Preloading Strategy

Honorable Mentions







That’s it. There go the 11 tools you should use in your Angular project.

Note: None is greater than the other, all are strong on their capacity. Having a strong knowledge of each of them will help you work out the might in each of them.

Do you have any addition to the list, or why some shouldn’t be there, or you have a problem with one, or just wanna talk? Feel free to drop in your comments, or just can just mail or DM me.

Now, code that next-billion-user app!!

Angular 9 Tutorial: Learn to Build a CRUD Angular App Quickly

What's new in Bootstrap 5 and when Bootstrap 5 release date?

What’s new in HTML6

How to Build Progressive Web Apps (PWA) using Angular 9

What is new features in Javascript ES2020 ECMAScript 2020

Migrating from AngularJS to Angular

Migrating from AngularJS to Angular

Migrating from AngularJS to Angular a hybrid system architecture running both AngularJS and Angular


Dealing with legacy code/technologies is never fun and the path to migration isn’t always as straight forward as you want. If you are a small startup, trying to balance business requirements, scarce resources and aggressive deadlines, it becomes even more complicated.

This is the situation one of the startups I was advising was facing.

A bit of background

The startup was developing a SaaS for the last 2 years and (at the time) had around 15 clients worldwide. In these 2 years their code base grew pretty fast and lead to quite a lot of fast/reckless written code. There was nobody to be blame, this is pretty common in the startup world when business needs move way faster than you expect and you start sacrificing code qualify for quantity.

The system architecture was pretty simple. 
• a frontend application written in AngularJS (split into multiple modules that were selected at build time depending on the clients’ configuration)
• a backend application written in Python 2.7 and Django 1.9 using a Mysql database
• Celery for running async tasks

Each client would get their own isolated environment deployed on AWS:
• Apache in front of the Django application (deployed on multiple EC2 instances behind an ELB)
• AngularJS build deployed on individual S3 buckets with CloudFront in front of them

Path to migration

A few months before starting the migration, development was getting very slow, features were not coming out as fast, deadlines were missed and clients were reporting more issues with every update that we were rolling out. It was at this time that we started thinking more seriously about some kind of refactoring or major improvement.

We didn’t know exactly what we were going to “refactor/improve” so we started off by answering three questions (I recommend that anyone who is thinking about a migration/refactoring think really hard about the how to answer them):

1st question: Why is refactoring necessary now ?

This is a very important questions to answer because it helps you understand the value of the migration and also it helps to keep the team focused on the desired outcome. For example because i don’t like the way the code is written isn’t good enough reason. The reason has to have a clear value proposition that somehow directly or indirectly benefits the customers.

For us it was mainly three things:
 1. feature development was becoming painfully slow;
 2. code was unpredictable. we would work in one part of the application and break 3 other parts without realizing;
 3. single point of failure: only 1 engineer knew the FE code base completely and only he could develop new features on the codebase (this is out of a team of only 5 engineers)

So our goal was simple:

improve FE development velocity and remove the simple point of failure by empowering other engineers to develop FE features

2nd question: Who is going to do the migration ?

You can answer this question either now or after the 3rd question. Depending on the size of the company and on the available resources it can be one person, several people, an entire team, etc…

We were in a difficult situation. The only developer who could work on this couldn’t because he was busy building critical features for our customers. Luckily we had one senior backend engineer who wanted to get some FE exposure so he volunteered to take on the task. We also decided to time-box a proof of concept at 2 weeks. We did this because we didn’t know how long it would take to figure out a solution or whether the engineer could actually do this task since he hadn’t worked on FE before.

3rd question: What are we actually going to do ? The answer here usually involves some discovery time, a few tech proposals and a general overview of the options with the entire team while weighing the pros and cons of each.

For us one thing was clear from the start: we didn’t want to invest any resources into learning/on-boarding engineers on AngularJS. AngularJS had already entered Long Term Support and we didn’t want to have our engineers invest time in something that might not benefit them long term. This meant that refactoring the existing AngularJS code was not an option. So we started looking at Angular6 …

The migration

There a multiple approaches on how to have a hybrid app running different frameworks. After reviewing some options we decided that — for us — the best way to move forward was to simply have 2 separate FE applications deployed: the legacy AngularJS one and the new Angular one. This meant that any state on one app could not be transferred to the other application, which wasn’t such a big deal for us since only new modules were going to be developed using Angular and our modules didn’t share state with each other.

From the client’s perspective everything would look like one application, except for a page reload when they would move between the applications.

Pros to this approach

  • speed: get something up and running without untangling legacy code
  • safety: no risk of breaking the current live app since it would be a new code based deployed next to the old one (especially since a developer with no previous exposure to the project was working on it)
  • stop legacy development: we stop adding more code the an already unmanageable codebase

Cons to this approach:

  • maintaining legacy code: it didn’t address feature improvements on existing modules; old modules would still be in AngularJS for an undefined period of time
  • duplicating parts of the code: since the new app had to look and feel like the old one any themes, custom components would have to be written in both places. Also some parts of the layout would have to be duplicated in new app (like header, menu, etc.. ) and any changes to those components would have to be done in both apps

We already knew of a new module that we wanted to build so we started form scratch with a new Angular 6 project and we used this new module for our 2 weeks proof of concept.

Step 1— same domain

Have both apps running on the same domain so that they have access to the same cookies and local data. This was extremely important since only the AngularJS app would continue handing authentication & authorization.

Step 2— look and feel

Both apps The goal was to make the new app look the same as the original application. So we: 
 • copied over all the stylesheets
 • implemented the base layout of the application (header & menu drawer)

Step 3 — authentication & authorization

We had to duplicate the authorization logic in the Angular6 app and make sure the correct session tokens were available to allow access to the module

Step 4— routing between apps

Since our main navigation links would take you to either app, we decided do move all that logic to a backend service called menu-service. This would eliminate the need to write any navigation changes in both apps and also would allow for greater runtime control over what navigation buttons we show.


HEADER: Authorization: Bearer xxxxx
GET menu-service/v1/menu/?type=0|1 (0: legacy, 1: new)
  "slug": "refresh",
  "name" : "Refresh",
  "icon" : "fa-refresh",
  "type" : 1  
 }, {
  "slug": "module1",
  "name" : "Module1",
  "icon" : "fa-module1",
  "type" : 1
}, {
  "slug": "module2",
  "name" : "Module2",
  "icon" : "fa-module2",
  "type" : 0
}, {
  "slug": "logout",
  "name" : "Logout",
  "icon" : "fa-logout",
  "type" : 0

In the above example based on the type value we identify that the module1 and refresh are links towards the new application while module2 and logout are links in the old application.
This information allows each application to decide whether to use the internal routing mechanism or do a window.location redirect

Example of routing in the Angular app (AngularJS does something similar):

export class MenuService {
  constructor(private router: Router) {  }
  onMenuItemClicked(menuItem): void {
    if (menuItem.type === 1) {
    } else {   
      const url = `${legacy_endpoint}/${menuItem.slug}`;
      window.location.href = url      

Step 5— building/deployment on a real environment

Like i mentioned in the beginning the AngularJS application was deployed to an AWS S3 bucket and exposed through Cloudfront to take advantage of the massively scaled and globally distributed infrastructure offered by AWS.

The result we wanted was the following: anything that has the url [https://hostname/v2](https://hostname/v2)/ is routed to the Angular application and everything else is routed to the legacy AngularJS app.

We used base-href and to make sure our Angular6 application builds accordingly

ng build --base-href /v2/ --deploy-url /v2/

Unfortunately we didn’t manage to achieve the desired routing behavior with AWS Cloudfront. This was a big disappointment since we had to pivot to a less optimal solution. (if anyone has any suggestion on how to do this in Cloudfront i’d love to hear it)

We ended up with the following structure:
• each app deployed in a NGINX Docker container

# AngularJS — Dockerfile:
FROM nginx:alpine
COPY dist /usr/share/nginx/html
# Angular6 — Dockerfile:
FROM nginx:alpine
COPY dist /usr/share/nginx/html/v2

• AWS ALB with path routing

Step 6: Local development

Local development for the AngularJS application didn’t have to change. However in order to develop on the Angular6 app you had to also run the AngularJS application to be able to authenticate and get the appropriate session tokens.

We were already using Docker for deploying our application as containers. So we added a Makefile target to run the latest from our Docker repository

# Angular6 — Makefile:
JS_APP_NAME = angular-js
  docker run -p 8080:80 $(AWS_REPOSITORY)/$(JS_APP_NAME):latest


This might not be the cleanest or optimal solution, however it was the fastest way towards our goals. And this was the most important thing to us.

The goal of this post isn’t to teach you how to do a AngularJS to Angular6 migration but instead is to showcase our path when dealing with such a task.

Further reading:

An in-depth look at Angular’s ng template

Angular 8 Data (Event & Property) Binding Tutorial: Build your First Angular App

Angular 8 Forms Tutorial - Reactive Forms Validation Example

What is the difference between JavaScript and AngularJS?

JavaScript is a client-side programming language used for creating dynamic websites and apps to run in the client's browser whereas AngularJS is a fully featured web app framework established on JavaScript and managed by Google.

JavaScript is a client-side programming language used for creating dynamic websites and apps to run in the client's browser whereas AngularJS is a fully featured web app framework established on JavaScript and managed by Google.

What’s the difference between AngularJS and Angular?

What’s the difference between AngularJS and Angular?

Angular vs Angularjs - key differences, performance, and popularity

AngularJS was released in 2009 and quickly became popular for it's two-way data binding, MVC architecture, and code reusability.

When alternatives like React and Vue delivered the same advantages of AngularJS with better performance, the Angular team decided to completely rewrite the framework.

Each subsequent release of Angular (4,5,6,7,8) has been mostly non-breaking incremental changes. For these reasons, "Angular" now refers to Angular 2+ and "AngularJS" the original.

Key Differences

Here are the key differences between Angular 2+ and AngularJS:


Angular was rewritten using TypeScript. TypeScript is a superset of JavaScript. It compiles to regular vanilla JavaScript but provides syntax for type checking, annotations, and ES6 based extensions.

Since TypeScript is a superset of JavaScript, it needs to be compiled or "transpiled" into ES5 JavaScript so your code still runs in the browser. This requires the use of NodeJS and other build tools for preprocessing TypeScript files.

While using Angular 2+ without TypeScript is possible, the industry standard is to adopt TypeScript as it plays much better with the Angular ecosystem.

MVC vs Component Architecture

AngularJS adheres to the model, view, controller (MVC) software design pattern. Controllers are defined with $scope variables representing an underlying data model. This data model can be updated in both the view and the controller. The view is an HTML file which both displays and dynamically updates $scope variables.

Angular 2+ utilizes more of a component based architecture. Isolated pieces of functionality are defined in components. These components reference their own templates and stylesheets and exist in a hierarchy of other components.

Dependency Injection (DI)

Both AngularJS and Angular use dependency injection. DI allows you to share commonly used functionality across different controllers or components.

In AngularJS, dependencies are injected in controller functions, link functions, and directive definitions.

In Angular, constructor functions, providers, and declarations are used to manage these dependencies.

Angular CLI

Angular 2+ features the Angular CLI: a command line interface for quickly generating Angular components, services, directives, etc. It comes with convenient commands for building your Angular project (compiling TypeScript files and other assets into vanilla js files that run in the browser). It also makes building your project for different environments easier and allows for things like linting, type checking, etc.

AngularJS doesn't have it's own CLI.


Angular is much faster than AngularJS. In fact, it's said that Angular can be more than 5X faster based on the design of your application.


Before the advent of React and Vue, AngularJS was very popular. It offered an elegant solution to the JavaScript SPA with two-way data binding and MVC architecture.

Being able to dynamically update a JavaScript POJO from an HTML template caused a lot of buzz. As a result, alternatives like React and Vue emerged with superior diffing algorithms that left AngularJS in the dust.

Angular fought back with the release of Angular 2 (2016). Today, Angular remains one of the most popular frameworks for UI development.

While AngularJS is still used today, it's popularity has died in favor of more current options like Angular 2+, React, and Vue.


The problem with AngularJS

Performance is one of the biggest problems with the original AngularJS. This is due to the underlying "magic" behind what originally made AngularJS so popular.

To achieve two-way data binding, AngularJS relies on a digest cycle to keep views in sync with their underlying data models. It works by augmenting all event handlers (clicks, ajax, timeouts) with a process called "dirty checking". Each scoped variable is compared to it's previous value.

If something has changed, the watchers and templates are updated with the new value and the process runs again to see if anything else has changed. In this way, the view is constantly in sync with the data model.

The problem with the AngularJS digest cycle is it's unpredictable. As applications grow, the "checking" process becomes more intensive and can run infinitely with two way data flow.

Angular 2+ to the rescue

To address these issues, the Angular team rewrote the framework with flux architecture in mind. Specifically unidirectional data flow was fundamental to reengineering change detection in Angular.

Now the Angular framework is just as fast as alternatives. When compared to AngularJS, Angular can be more than 5X faster.

The Angular CLI also makes minifying production bundle sizes a breeze, keeping Angular light weight for production.

Advantages of Angular

Angular offers many advantages over the original AngularJS:


Angular is up to 5X faster than AngularJS. This is because of a superior diffing algorithm featuring unidirectional data flow and component based architecture.

Server side rendering

Angular offers extensions for rendering your application server side. This is huge for SEO as certain web crawlers can't always scrape async content.

Mobile development

As a framework, Angular makes it possible to develop applications that work on both browsers and native devices like iOS and Android.

Lazy loading

Lazy loading allows you to asynchronously load JavaScript components based on route. This can offer additional performance advantages as code is only imported when it's being used.


The tooling provided by TypeScript and the NodeJS ecosystem can't be underestimated. Using the Angular CLI, you can quickly generate Angular components, services, directives etc. without having to manually copy / paste a bunch of boilerplate code.

Additionally, you can more easily build and deploy your project using the CLI.

Should I use Angular or AngularJS?

With the performance advantages, Angular may seem like the best bet moving forward. There is a substantial learning curve to understanding the NodeJS / TypeScript ecosystem and one of the few advantages of AngularJS is that it just runs in the browser.

Using AngularJS makes sense if you have a small application and don't want to bother with learning the ins and outs of NodeJS and TypeScript.

There are also many existing projects out there that already use AngularJS and migrating to newer versions may not justify the cost of learning and rewriting code.

Outside of these cases, adopting "Angular" over the original "AngularJS" is preferred moving forward.

Thanks for reading

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Further reading about Angular

Angular 8 (formerly Angular 2) - The Complete Guide

Angular & NodeJS - The MEAN Stack Guide

The Complete Node.js Developer Course (3rd Edition)

The Web Developer Bootcamp

Best 50 Angular Interview Questions for Frontend Developers in 2019

How to build a CRUD Web App with Angular 8.0

React vs Angular: An In-depth Comparison

React vs Angular vs Vue.js by Example

Microfrontends — Connecting JavaScript frameworks together (React, Angular, Vue etc)

Building CRUD Mobile App using Ionic 4, Angular 8

How to Build Mobile Apps with Angular, Ionic 4, and Spring Boot

Ionic 4 & Angular Tutorial For Beginners - Crash Course