A front-end framework is an essential issue you should decide on when it comes to software development. Nowadays, the range of technologies for the client side of web solutions is rather wide. Yet, there are several market leaders that developers and businesses choose most frequently. Angular is on this list, occupying a top-3 position among technologies used for high-traffic websites.
This article outlines the key advantages and disadvantages of Angular comparing to other front-end frameworks. But before we dive into details, let’s review some basics and figure out what Angular is.
What is Angular?
Angular is a Google-made open-source framework for building highly dynamic web app interfaces. It was originally released in September 2016, but the framework has an ‘elder brother’ called AngularJS. Although the former is considered a predecessor of Angular, these technologies have many differences. Angular isn’t just a more modern version of AngularJS, it is a complete rewrite from it. That’s why the Angular pros and cons that we’ll mention in this article cannot be automatically applied to AngularJS. But let’s look closer at both platforms.
The topic of Angular advantages and disadvantages has always caused hot discussions among front-end programmers. We’ll try to put our personal preferences aside and describe the main benefits of using Angular based on the plain facts.
Component-based architecture is one of the most important pros of Angular if compared to its successor. In layman’s terms, it means that each piece of the app’s UI along with an underlying feature forms a separate component. For instance, Facebook’s user interface includes such components as a newsfeed, friendliest, chat, stories, and so on. All of them are self-sufficient, even though they belong to the same web solution. Their methods, APIs, and structures may vary, but they can easily ‘communicate’ with each other.
For programmers, component-based architecture is a real help. It allows them to update the independent parts of the app’s functionality without the fear that other features will crush due to the changes. In addition, components are reusable. A development team can write a component once and then use it in numerous similar elements across an application. Finally, this form of architecture improves the code readability, making it much easier to understand for new developers.
A mobile-first approach is another crucial benefit of Angular. Modern people use their smartphones a lot. Statistics show that we open our mobile devices from 30 to 58 times a day. And the general amount of time an average person spends on his or her cell phone daily exceeds three hours. It means that websites must be optimized for mobile usage; otherwise, they risk losing a significant portion of the traffic.
With Angular, programmers can create lightweight web solutions that load fast, which is ideal for smartphones. A special technique called lazy loading improves the performance of a web application by loading components in a browser only when the relevant route is hit. As a result, users don’t have to wait for ages even when they open a feature-rich web app on a cell phone.
Two-way data binding
The main advantages of using Angular include two-way data binding syntax. It means that the data is connected to the view, so any data-related changes in a model are immediately reflected in a view and vise versa. For instance, when a user interacts with the app’s UI (the view), the underlying model is updated automatically. It allows programmers to work faster since synchronization doesn’t require additional coding. Besides reduced web development time, two-way data binding results in cleaner code and better app performance.
Asynchronous programming is crucial for modern web applications because it improves the speed of operations and prevents the system from getting stuck. This model enables the execution of multiple commands at the same time. So when a user calls a function, the app keeps running and can perform other actions. To compare, the synchronous programming model lets apps execute commands only line by line. If a system utilizes this approach, it can start the next action only after the previous one is finished. To implement asynchronous programming, Angular uses the RxJS library.
Using Angular isn’t just about using the platform itself. This framework is supplemented with a long list of resources for Angular developers: tools, add-ons, plugins, etc. They help developers to build complex web solutions in a shorter period, resolve the issues more effectively, automatically generate documentation, and perform many other tasks.
There is also the Angular Material that aims to streamline the designing process. It’s a UI library that provides a variety of prebuilt elements that can be easily integrated into a web app. As a result, a web development team spends less time on building a product which can save a lot of money for a client.
Now, it’s time to cover the key drawbacks of Angular. Since it’s a state-of-the-art technology that is regularly updated, there are only a few disadvantages that we want to pay your attention to. However, neither of them can significantly affect the software development process or the app’s performance.
Migration from AngularJS
As mentioned, Angular and AngularJS have a lot of differences. A web solution that is based on AngularJS cannot be simply updated to Angular, so migration is the only path possible. The good news is that Angular offers detailed Upgrading Recommendations and provides many migration tools. So, the process shouldn’t be too painful. Still, it will take some time and resources.
But, note, this disadvantage is only relevant if you have a legacy system that needs to be updated. In case you want to build a new web app, it’ll have no impact on the project.
Steep learning curve
Frequent version releases
The Google team tries to keep the Angular framework relevant, so it releases new versions two times a year. Unfortunately, the benefit of having up-to-date technology goes hand in hand with the necessity to update Angular-based solutions very often. In most cases, it causes no problem, but sometimes the abundance of Angular versions can become a real pain in the neck for DevOps engineers.
Types of applications for which Angular is the best fit
Angular is a versatile platform that can be used for all web applications. But while some types of solutions can also be built with other frameworks like React or Vue.js, there are projects for which Angular is just indispensable. They include:
- Enterprise-scale applications
- Complex web solutions with rich functionality
- Long-term projects with numerous requirements
- Products that are planned to be scaled up
Angular also offers a high level of maintainability which makes the applications based on this technology quite stable. That’s why Angular is always a good choice for business systems that are expected to bring continuous benefits to a company.
Like any other technology, Angular has its pros and cons. But it’s hard to argue that the advantages of this framework outweigh its drawbacks many times. One of the greatest things about Angular is that you practically cannot go wrong with it since it suits most web solutions just perfectly. So, if you have tough times choosing a front-end framework for software development, Angular is probably exactly what you’re looking for.
Get in Touch
Send us a message and we’ll get back to you shortly