Angular is a platform and framework for building client applications in HTML and TypeScript. Angular is written in TypeScript. It implements core and optional functionality as a set of TypeScript libraries that you import into your apps.
The basic building blocks of an Angular application are NgModules, which provide a compilation context for components. NgModules collect related code into functional sets; an Angular app is defined by a set of NgModules. An app always has at least a root module that enables bootstrapping, and typically has many more feature modules.
Components define views, which are sets of screen elements that Angular can choose among and modify according to your program logic and data.
Components use services, which provide specific functionality not directly related to views. Service providers can be injected into components as dependencies, making your code modular, reusable, and efficient.
Both components and services are simply classes, with decorators that mark their type and provide metadata that tells Angular how to use them.
The metadata for a component class associates it with a template that defines a view. A template combines ordinary HTML with Angular directives and binding markup that allow Angular to modify the HTML before rendering it for display.
An app's components typically define many views, arranged hierarchically. Angular provides the Router service to help you define navigation paths among views. The router provides sophisticated in-browser navigational capabilities.
Every Angular app has a root module, conventionally named
AppModule, which provides the bootstrap mechanism that launches the application. An app typically contains many functional modules.
Organizing your code into distinct functional modules helps in managing development of complex applications, and in designing for reusability. In addition, this technique lets you take advantage of lazy-loading—that is, loading modules on demand—to minimize the amount of code that needs to be loaded at startup.
Every Angular application has at least one component, the root component that connects a component hierarchy with the page document object model (DOM). Each component defines a class that contains application data and logic, and is associated with an HTML template that defines a view to be displayed in a target environment.
Templates, directives, and data binding
A template combines HTML with Angular markup that can modify HTML elements before they are displayed. Template directives provide program logic, and binding markup connects your application data and the DOM. There are two types of data binding:
- Event binding lets your app respond to user input in the target environment by updating your application data.
- Property binding lets you interpolate values that are computed from your application data into the HTML.
Before a view is displayed, Angular evaluates the directives and resolves the binding syntax in the template to modify the HTML elements and the DOM, according to your program data and logic. Angular supports two-way data binding, meaning that changes in the DOM, such as user choices, are also reflected in your program data.
Your templates can use pipes to improve the user experience by transforming values for display. For example, use pipes to display dates and currency values that are appropriate for a user's locale. Angular provides predefined pipes for common transformations, and you can also define your own pipes.
Services and dependency injection
For data or logic that isn't associated with a specific view, and that you want to share across components, you create a service class. A service class definition is immediately preceded by the
@Injectable() decorator. The decorator provides the metadata that allows other providers to be injected as dependencies into your class.
Dependency injection (DI) lets you keep your component classes lean and efficient. They don't fetch data from the server, validate user input, or log directly to the console; they delegate such tasks to services.
Router NgModule provides a service that lets you define a navigation path among the different application states and view hierarchies in your app. It is modeled on the familiar browser navigation conventions:
Enter a URL in the address bar and the browser navigates to a corresponding page.
Click links on the page and the browser navigates to a new page.
Click the browser's back and forward buttons and the browser navigates backward and forward through the history of pages you've seen.
The router maps URL-like paths to views instead of pages. When a user performs an action, such as clicking a link, that would load a new page in the browser, the router intercepts the browser's behavior, and shows or hides view hierarchies.
The router interprets a link URL according to your app's view navigation rules and data state. You can navigate to new views when the user clicks a button or selects from a drop box, or in response to some other stimulus from any source. The router logs activity in the browser's history, so the back and forward buttons work as well.
To define navigation rules, you associate navigation paths with your components. A path uses a URL-like syntax that integrates your program data, in much the same way that template syntax integrates your views with your program data. You can then apply program logic to choose which views to show or to hide, in response to user input and your own access rules.
You've learned the basics about the main building blocks of an Angular application. The following diagram shows how these basic pieces are related.
- Together, a component and template define an Angular view.
- The dependency injector provides services to a component, such as the router service that lets you define navigation among views.
Note that the code referenced on these pages is available as a live example