It's been over a decade since the first version of Angular, "AngularJS", launched. Since then, the framework has improved exponentially. Today, 13 versions of Angular are available in the market with the integration of all the necessary tools, features, and technologies.
Nowadays, more and more businesses are developing web applications using Angular. As a result, 300,000-plus websites use Angular as a web development framework. Big brands like Gmail, Forbes, Microsoft Office, PayPal, and many more are also getting the benefits of Angular development.
As you are reading this blog, I am sure you must have many questions regarding Angular and AngularJS, about their versions and tools. Also, you might be wondering why big brands are using Angular and not other frameworks.
Well! We have all the answers covered in this blog.
Reading this blog, you will learn about Angular and its past and present. Also, you will learn about the tools and technologies that integrate with Angular. Moreover, by determining the pros and cons, you can decide whether to choose Angular for your next project or not.
What is Angular?
The Angular framework enables you to create scalable web applications. It has a collection of integrated libraries that cover numerous features such as routing, forms management, client-server communication, etc. Moreover, Angular carries many front-end development tools to help build, update, and test the code.
TypeScript is a primary language for developing Angular web applications. It helps you with a seamless experience while creating applications. Also, one of the most significant advantages of Angular is that it is developed, maintained, and supported by Google.
The story behind its origin
Back in 2009, Misko Hevery and Adam Abrons, two software engineers from Google, were working on a project called Google Feedback. Along with that, they were working on a side project named GetAngular. The purpose of developing GetAngular was to allow developers to interact with both front-end and back-end technology.
The main project they were working on, Google Feedback, took six months to complete. Plus, the overall codebase consisted of 17000 lines of code. As the project took so much time to develop and code, Hevery and the team got frustrated. At that time, they realized how difficult it was to test and modify the code they had written.
Once, Hervey was discussing project details with his manager. During the discussion, he made a bet with the manager to complete the same project with GetAngular within two weeks with fewer lines of code.
Eventually, Harvey and the team lost the bet. Instead of two, Harvey and his team took three weeks to complete the project. However, they succeeded in reducing the overall lines of code to 15,000.
Looking at the progress, the manager was impressed with their work and the new framework. He decided to accelerate the remaining project. Later, after completing the project, they changed the name to AngularJS.
A journey from Angular to AngularJS
In 2010, AngularJS launched into the market. And in a short period, it took the developer’s community by storm because of its remarkable features and technology. Developers started using AngularJS, leaving behind other technologies like Dojo, Backbone, and Knockout.
As time passed, new technologies got introduced with better tools, features, and functions. As a result, AngularJS hits the wall, and its downfall starts. The demand for the framework began to decrease as the team reached their limit of further improvement.
After a while, the core team at Google decided to deliver a completely new version of AngularJS. They wanted the new framework to solve complex problems when building large and cross-platform applications. As a result, in the year 2014, they announced Angular 2.
Working on an entirely new framework was challenging for the developers, as it was getting developed from scratch.
After identifying and overcoming all the challenges related to the framework and considering TypeScript as a primary language, they rewrote the AngularJS. And in 2016, they launched the final version of the framework in the market.
At first, the team decided to name the framework Angular 2, but later, they changed the name to Angular to avoid confusion.
Angular vs AngularJS
|Language||It is a full-fledged MVC(Model View Controller) that guides an application to structure.||The architecture is based on Angular components. Which works as building blocks for applications.|
|Mobile Support||It is not supported by any mobile browsers.||It is supported by almost all popular browsers.|
|Syntax||It uses ng-bind to bind data from view to model and model to view.||It uses () and  to bine properties between view and model.|
|Dependency Injection||It is the software design pattern that defines the way of software components.||It is wired into Angular allowing classes with Angular decorators to configure the dependencies that they need.|
|Performance||Easy to maintain and test client side technology.||Exales in single page apps and complex round trip apps.|
|Structure||The structure is less manageable in comparison to Angular.||It provides you with a better structure to easily create and maintain large apps.|
|CLI(Command line program)||It does not come with CLI tools.||It comes with a CLI tool. Which accepts text input to execute operating system functions.|
|Examples||iStock, Netflix||Upwork, Gmail|
Total versions of Angular (1 to the latest)
Over the period, we have seen many changes in Angular. All the significant changes are coming out as a new version of Angular. By constantly updating the technology, Angular is providing us with additional features, better performance, and improvements to developer productivity.
For your better understanding of its updating technology, we have mentioned all the versions of Angular. By reading below, you will learn about the changes and updates made in every version of it.
(AngularJS) Version 1
In version 1 launched with:
- Dynamic binding features
- Dependency injection
- MVC Architecture
- Unit Testing assures Quality Code
Angular 2 uses HTML and TypeScript to develop single-page (SPA) client-side applications. It was launched in September 2016.
In version 2:
- Introduction of TypeScript to improve productivity, and maintainability.
- Improved speed and performance
- Mobile optimized to run hybrid apps faster and smoother
- TDD (Test Driven Development) and BDD (Behavior Driven Development) support.
Note: Developers skipped version 3 as the router is already on that version.
Angular four came out in March 2017 with some essential changes and features in the framework.
In version 4
- Extended version of TypeScript-1.8 to 2.1
- The introduction of Angular CLI as a core component of Angular projects.
- Released Angular Universal so that the applications can render outside of the browser.
- Changed the previous compiler with the improved one to reduce the size of the codes generated by Angular’s HTML and TypeScript.
- Pulled out the animations from the production bundle and added them in separate packages to remove extra coding.
- Version 2 only supports "if" conditions, but after an update to version 4, you can also use the "if else" condition.
The angular team released version 5 in November 2017, after seven months of version 4. The new version consists of fewer changes.
In version 5:
- Added build optimizer feature to simplify building progressive apps.
- Added Angular forms to update a profile, enter sensitive information, and perform many other data-entry tasks.
- Pipes for a date, number, and currency internationalization.
In May 2018, the new version of Angular came out. Version 6.0.0 came with Angular CLI 6 and Material 6. After this version, the Angular team started synchronising framework packages, Angular CLIs, and Angular materials.
In version 6:
- New Angular CLI commands added: ng update and ng add
- Introduction of A compound development kit (CDK).
- Include CLI workspace to handle multiple projects.
- Improvement in Animation Performance.
Angular team launched the upgraded version of Angular 7 in October 2018, including some essential add-ons.
In version 7:
- Added CLI prompts have to enrich
- CLI now has bundled budgets.
- Angular Material and CDK support for virtual scrolling and drag-and-drop features.
- Included the content projection support in Angular elements.
The team released version 8 in May 2019. Again, they added some vital elements, like Ivy Renderer and Bazel.
In version 8:
- Ivy replaced the old compiler to make the app run faster and reduce the bundle size.
- Introduction of Builder APIs in CLI to use customized Angular CLI commands such as ng build, ng test, and ng run.
- Another major improvement was differential loading to upload browser-specific bundles to support legacy browsers and upload content faster.
- Added web work support.
With some significant features and updates, version 9 hit the floor in February 2020.
In version 9:
- In the new version, the compliance of apps with Ivy becomes the default.
- TypeScript 3.7 is required to work on Angular 9.
- Angular material now includes a Youtube player component and a Google Maps component.
- From version 9, the TSLib, or the TypeScript runtime library, becomes dependent.
In June 2020, the team launched version 10 with fewer features and updates than the last version. The new version 10 focused on the improvement of quality and performance.
In version 10:
- Feature for warning on CommonJS imports. With the help of this feature, developers get warnings regarding using dependencies packed with CommonJS.
- Version 10 has a stricter project set up to make a new work ng new.
- Enhanced community engagements.
- TSLib updated to v2.0
- TypeScript updated to 3.9
Developers launched the new version of Angular 11 in Nov 2020. With that, they added some new features to it.
In version 11:
- Updates the HMR(hot module replacement) support to allow CLI to enable HMR when operating applications using the ng server.
- The automatic font inlining feature helps you convert google font and icons to inline in index.html to make an application run faster.
- Language service preview updated based on Ivy.
- Removed the support of IE9-10 and IE mobile.
With all-new features and updates, the new version of Angular launched in May 2021.
In version 12:
- Updated Ivy to make Angular more efficient.
- Feature added to pass the metadata to HTTP interceptors.
- Support added for tailwind CSS.
In Nov 2021, team Angular launched the new version with some important changes and features.
In version 13:
- With the help of new APIs, developing dynamic components becomes easy.
- Removed the support from IE11.
- With the default use and support of persistent build-cache, the speed of developing apps increased.
- Angular 13 supports TypeScript 4.4.
- RxJS is the default for new applications.
Tools add unique features to the framework. Different tools are used for distinct objectives to make the development process easier and smoother. Tools help you create, edit, manage, support, and debug other applications, frameworks, and programs.
Below, we have mentioned some important tools that developers use. Reading them will help you understand the purpose of using different tools in the development process.
Karma is one of the most popular open-source test runner tools used by Angular developers. It performs the tests on the different web browsers and shows results via CLI(command line interface). Also, it provides consistent feedback on every test that you have done.
Karma allows you to automatically run your application code in your preferred browser without adding any references. Features of the Karma tool help you readily integrate with open-source servers such as Travis, Jenkins, and Semaphore.
Using the Karma tool, you can test codes on various platforms like desktops, laptops, phones, and tablets. Also, you can use it for direct tests such as E2E(End to End) testing, halfway testing, unit testing, and more.
- High testing capabilities on different browsers.
- It uses a command line interface or an IDE to boost performance.
- Used for creating simple plugins.
Protractor is an Angular tool, which is the wrapper around the Selenium Webdriver. It is an open-source automation framework used for end-to-end testing of Angular and AngularJS applications. The tool allows you to do unit testing for individual modules of the apps.
Protractor works on different web browsers to conduct a test in a real-time scenario and capture the interests of a user as they would. It uses various technologies to provide a powerful automation test that can carry cross-browser testing for web applications.
Protractor allows you to do automatic synchronization of various web pages and testing.
- It's simple to set up and use for Angular and AngularJS applications.
- It removes extra rest and pushes time for fast testing.
- Conduct testing in real browsers.
The Webstorm framework is the smart editor that comes with a pre-installed Dart module. It provides you with great features for navigation, testing, and debugging the application.
- For more coherent work.
- In-build features help you prevent errors.
Visual Studio is an open-source IDE(integrated development environment) developed by Microsoft to create applications for various platforms such as Windows, macOS and Linux. It is a code editor that supports Angular IntelliSense and code navigation out of the box.
The IntelliSense feature helps you with import modules, variable types and function declarations. It has an inbuilt GUI that allows you to see the changes made to the project.
Visual Studio contains different facilities such as tools, features and compilers for the software development process.
- Beneficial for personal and professional purposes.
- Support of required plugins.
- Codes can be downloaded and updated.
Sublime Text is one of the most preferred text editors for local files and code bases. It allows you to keep track of changes and save time by jumping into lines, words, or symbols.
The tool enables you with many text customization options, and by using it, you can add, change, extend, replace, or remove text efficiently. Also, it provides different packages that make working with Angular easy.
- Different sets of plugins for a variety of apps.
- It allows you to do simple file swapping.
Pros of Angular
Maintained by google
Google's ongoing support is the main factor motivating millions of developers to select and put their faith in Angular. Google maintains Angular by continuously updating and resolving the problems of the framework and its users.
Two-way data binding
Angular uses MVC(model view controller) architecture, which helps you not only attach value to the framework but also create a foundation for features like data binding and scopes.
The two-way data binding feature allows you to exchange data from view to component and vice versa. The ng-model directive in Angular keeps the model and view in sync without extra effort. It helps you reduce development time and increase the performance of the application.
DI is the process of obtaining the necessary resources for a piece of code using outside sources. By using DI(Dependency injection), you can make coding more flexible and efficient.
Angular uses its own dependency injection framework. By changing the parameters of the code, you can change its class and manipulate it as you require. It allows classes to remain intact even after changing the dependencies. Also, you can delegate a single responsibility to each class.
Dependency injection helps you decrease the coupling between classes and their dependencies.
Large community support
Angular and its community is actively maintaining the platform and supporting its members. It is one of the major reasons behind the success and popularity of Angular.
The angular community resolves all the development issues so that you can take full advantage of the framework. Also, Angular provides you with materials, libraries, tools, and tutorials that help you solve your problems.
Today Angular has more than 84K stars on GitHub providing support to the developers. Other than that, the community is providing support through different platforms such as GitHub, MeetUp, Discord, Instagram, Twitter, etc.
Cons of Angular
Steep learning curve
Developers must learn and understand the framework's various components, modules, dependency injection, templates, and other parts, in order to master it.
If you are a beginner, you might face difficulties learning Angular, but with patience and support, it will benefit you in developing applications.
It is always difficult to rank a single-page web application using SEO. The primary reason behind it is that it renders on the client side. Because of that, sometimes crawlers of search engines can’t see the structure and content of web pages.
However, using the Angular universal tool, you can render and rank your Angular single-page applications.
Verbose and complex
From the beginning, the major problem with Angular is the verbosity of the framework. Sometimes managing the components in Angular becomes complex, even though its components are the immense benefit of using Angular.
Why use Angular?
There are many reasons why you should use Angular for your next project. Some of them are mentioned below.
- It creates SPAs, allowing users to load the new page without requesting the server.
- It is a cross-platform framework that helps you create native apps from strategies like Cordova, Ionic, or NativeScript. It also helps in - creating desktop applications across all the platforms, such as Mac, Windows, and Linux.
- It uses automated code splitting, which helps you with breaking app bundles into small chunks.
- It uses the MVC (Model-View-Controller) architecture, which makes it easy to implement user interfaces, data, and control logic into the app.
Through the journey from "AngularJS" to "Angular" and "Angular" to "Angular 13", the framework has helped many developers create stunning web applications. And now, it has become one of the most popular and used frameworks.
In summary, Angular is a comprehensive framework that provides a well-defined structure for building dynamic web applications. With its rich set of tools, powerful CLI, and the ability to handle large and complex projects, Angular is a great choice for developers looking for a reliable and efficient framework for their web development needs. Hire Angular developers from us for your next project and you will be able to communicate with the hired resources on a regular basis.