Over the years, AngularJS has become a staple of web development, whether for web apps or pages. A big community has grown alongside it, providing a lot of code snippets and other equally useful tools to help other developers with common problems.
Let’s take a look at some of the best AngularJS development tools!
A good tool to code in is essential when developing a project. It can help developers write and debug code more efficiently. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular AngularJS development tools.
Aptana Studio was built from the ground up to be a web development IDE, and it shows. It features lots of tools to help build web apps and pages, but by far the most useful are its code assistant, which tells developers at a glance which browsers support a certain element, and a deployment wizard to quickly get the latest version of your project up and running in a live environment.
Angular IDE is an extension for the MyEclipse Java IDE that allows developers to develop Angular projects natively. It features wizards to ease the creation and set up of projects, but also of components, services and modules, which speeds up development significantly. It also has a handy feature in the form of CodeLive, a tool to inspect which elements and Angular Components are being loaded on the web page.
Visual Studio Code
Visual Studio Code is Microsoft’s most recent and free IDE. Streamlined but still powerful, it provides a solid working environment for programming in most languages and has several extensions that help set up other tools and modules for a given language or development environment. Angular is no exception, and Visual Studio Code features dozens of extensions specifically for Angular, including AngularJS tools, UI elements, and other snippets.
When building a project, it’s important to have a strong foundation that makes expansion easier. Frameworks provide a good starting point to create and evolve your Angular projects.
A framework geared toward developing Single Page Applications (SPA), Angular Kickstart uses a combination of AngularJS, Gulpjs, and Bower to help you develop your page. It also has a modular structure out of the box that helps your code stay reusable and comes with a special task to run your unit tests.
Built to develop web apps, Angular Seed is an application skeleton for developers to build upon. It provides a robust project structure, including a configuration to run both unit tests and end-to-end tests.
If you want to use Django in conjunction with AngularJS, you’ll want to give Djangular a look. It features a lot of quality of life features that help the integration and communication between AngularJS and Django, using a similar project structure to Angular Seed.
If you have a Firebase app and you want to use AngularJS alongside it, Angular Fire simplifies that process by providing developers with many features that ease the transition between the two technologies, including the dynamic importing of Firebase to reduce the loading time of your app.
Libraries and Components
Libraries and components are core Angular developer tools. They provide easy to use features that are invaluable to developers to save on development time.
angular-gettext is an indispensable tool if you’re developing an international AngularJS app. It allows developers to annotate their text with attributes, and the library works behind the scenes to provide translations depending on parameters such as a number of elements (singular and plurals).
If you want a lightweight solution to implement grids in our project, Angular Deckgrid is here to help. By using a template and some CSS, developers can quickly build a custom grid that fits your project’s needs, including responsive grids.
Videogular is the answer to all those web apps or pages that need video playing. It provides many helpful functions such as moving to specific time points within the video or even changing the video within the player.
AngularUI provides a list of varied AngularJS modules to add different components and functionality to an app or page, such as calendars, maps, and sliders. Using these modules provides standard compliant elements and can speed up development considerably.
Ngx-restangular helps an app or page’s client-side communication by providing a way to get data through a RESTful API. With this library in your project, you can alias your URLs for ease of use and decrease your project’s memory footprint by reusing the same object for several requests.
Testing & Debugging
Testing is an important step of development and should be performed regularly. Catching bugs early makes your app look all the more professional to your end-users. Let’s look at some Angular dev tools to help with this.
Jasmine is a test framework that is easy to write tests in while being highly customizable. One of its advantages is that it is standalone and can function by itself out of the box, and does not require a DOM to work. It can be configured to run with Node.js or in a browser.
Mocha is a test framework running on Node.js that runs tests serially and makes accurate reports with the time the tests took. It has several quality of life features for developers, such as string diff, test retry, highlight slow tests (with configurable thresholds) and global variable leak detection.
Protractor is a test framework for AngularJS applications that simulates real user interaction in a real browser. It has a handy feature of running the steps in the tests automatically after the page finishes its pending tasks, easing the work of the developer by not needing to code in waits and sleeps that can potentially bloat the tests’ code and induce errors.
Karma is a testing environment that can run tests in multiple real browsers simultaneously, and do so at regular intervals during development, including on every save. It includes plugins to interface with testing frameworks such as Jasmine and Mocha.
NG-inspector is a particularly useful AngularJS dev tool in the form of a browser extension that helps with the development and debugging of AngularJS applications. By being a browser extension, it provides developers with powerful tools that allow them to see the rendered app while also inspecting the DOM nodes in real-time.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which IDE is best for AngularJS?
That will heavily depend on the use case for your project. We’ve given you ample choices above, but if we had to choose:
- Webstorm: If you want an expensive but powerful web development IDE.
- Aptana Studio: If you want a free web development IDE.
- Sublime Text: If you want a paid but fast and light generalist IDE.
- Visual Studio Code: If you want a free generalist IDE.
What are the tools used for AngularJS?
AngularJS, as we’ve seen, has plenty of external tools available created by the community. However Angular also provides an official tool in the form of Angular Commando Line Interface (CLI), which gives access to several mini tools:
- add: Adds support for an external library to your project.
- analytics: Configures the gathering of Angular CLI usage metrics.
- build: Compiles an Angular app.
- config: Retrieves or sets Angular configuration values.
- deploy: Invokes the deploy builder for a project.
- doc: Opens the official Angular documentation in a browser, searching for a given keyword.
- e2e: Builds and serves an Angular app, then runs end-to-end tests.
- generate: Generates and/or modifies files based on a schematic.
- help: Lists the tools and offers helpful short descriptions.
- lint: Runs linting tools on Angular app code.
- new: Creates and initializes a new Angular app.
- run: Runs an Architect target with an optional custom builder configuration. Architect is the tool that the CLI uses for complex tasks, such as compilation.
- serve: Builds and serves the app.
- test: Runs the project’s unit tests.
- update: Updates the application and its dependencies.
- version: Outputs the current version of the Angular CLI.
- xi18n: Extracts i18n messages from the source code.
What is an AngularJS developer?
An AngularJS developer is a web developer that knows about or specializes in Angular as a web application/page platform.
What is the build tool for Angular?
To build Angular Projects you’ll need the Angular CLI, which gives you access to its build tool in the form of ng build.
Using AngularJS is a good choice for your projects in part because of the wide community available and the tools it has developed over time. We hope you’ve found an AngularJS dev tool that fits your project or one that you didn’t know about and are eager to try out!
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