One of the questions which keep doing the rounds is whether AngularJS is suitable for large-scale enterprise applications which involve multiple pages, require faster loading, have a huge amount of data involved, require faster performance, and need to be secured. Well, looking at the industry, quite a few popular enterprise applications have already leveraged this framework and are seeing some good results. For example – Google’s DoubleClick platform which serves millions of ads per day uses AngularJS framework as a front-end. IBM’s MobileFirst Platform Foundation (earlier known as IBM Worklight) also uses AngularJS front-end interface to ensure that the look-and-feel between the web clients and the mobile is consistent.
Of course, like any other technology framework, you need to use it smartly and appropriately to get the most from it. Here are a few things to keep in mind while developing enterprise applications using AngularJS –
Code Base Structure and Conventions
AngularJS does not follow very strict conventions. In the absence of strict conventions, each developer has the flexibility to adapt and use the framework as per his/ her own style. AngularJS is an MVC framework which is loosely based on the traditional MVC Framework. Since there is not much documentation on the conventions, while building a large-scale enterprise application, it is important that the development team defines and agrees on a set style guide on conventions to follow. The style guide should provide the developers the guidance on all the aspects of development such as splitting of controllers, placement of directives, services reuse, management of libraries, and so on. One of the recommendations to design a maintainable code structure is to follow modular approach. Modules are identified on the basis of functionality and it helps the developers in development as well as during the maintenance phase of a project.
Understating the $scope
$scope is one of the most essential and important aspects of AngularJS. Building a large-scale application with AngularJS requires a detailed understanding of all the intricacies of the $scope life-cycle. AngularJS’s two-way data-binding allows every $scope to have $watch expressions. For enterprise applications, where performance is of paramount importance, it is imperative to keep a close eye on the $watch expressions and their linkages with the $scope. A few tips while working with $scope –
- $scope should always contain necessary information that is required by the view.
- Avoid unnecessary filling up of $scope because it may lead to degradation of performance.
- Remember that $scope follows prototypal inheritance which may lead to confliction of information so do take special care while working with $scope.
Third Party Integrations and Ecosystem
Enterprise applications need to use several third party libraries for a variety of functionalities. If not handled correctly, AngularJS can create a lot of problems during the integration. With its own way of using $digest loop, AngularJS, by default, tends to be ignorant about the changes which are done to the DOM by the third party libraries. In such situations, the developers need to take care of manually kicking off a $digest loop. On the other hand, AngularJS offers a lot of plugins but those plugins or libraries are not easily accessible at a central location and, therefore, developers tend to reinvent the wheel and, either build the plugin on their own or look for some third party library. Creation and documentation of a widget library collection enlisting all the required widgets and libraries helps in easier identification of the right plugins and libraries and makes the development smooth.
Since AngularJS does not have any defined conventions for file naming and storing, it is recommended that while developing an enterprise application the guidelines and conventions for file system organization and management are defined properly and finalized before the development begins. While there are multiple ways of organizing the files, organizing them according to the features is being increasingly preferred by the developers.
With both hype and adoption around AngularJS, the enterprises today have no option but to adapt the fast-moving changes within the modern frameworks like AngularJS and move towards making their Web applications powerful, scalable, usable, and yet, simple.