5 Important Architecture Decisions for Your Angular Application
Improve your Angular application
Making your angular application more robust
This guide will explore some of the architectural decisions that will help make your angular application more robust and easy to maintain as the code base grows.
When starting out on a new project it is easy to get caught up in the excitement and get straight into the action, but before you start adding functionality to your Angular application, it is important to sit down and reflect on a few architectural decisions things.
1. State Management
Component communication is very important in Angular applications. There are many ways in which Angular components communicate or exchange information.
Some of the most common methods include Parent-to-Child communication with input binding, Child-to-Parent via an event, Communication via a local variable, or using a dedicated communication service, etc.
As the size of your application grows, however, it may not be easy to keep up with exchanging data between components via a service or Parent-to-Child communication, this is where state management comes in.
With a state management library such as Akita, you store specific related data in a data store, and your components query this store for information. The components also use the same store to update or sync data via a service.
Some of the advantages of using a state management pattern include:
- You have a single data source for your application data.
- Eases syncing of data across the application as components use the same data.
- Your application response time improves because you do not need to query the API if the same data is already available in the store.
2. Modularity or Lazy-Loading
By default, Angular applications are eagerly loaded, this means that all modules are loaded as the application starts, not an ideal situation for large applications. Instead, your modules should be loaded when they are needed, via lazy-loading.
Ideally, every unique feature or functionality in your application should be separated into a module. Then in your RoutingModule use loadChildren when configuring routes.
There are several advantages to having separate modules in your application.
- Application load time improves as only the required modules are loaded when your application starts.
- Developers can work on their own git feature branches which improves source control workflow.
- It is easy to debug an application if something goes wrong because you know which module is affected.
3. Visual Design
When it comes to how you style your application, you have several options at your disposal.
- CSS: If you or your team is competent in CSS then you can choose to use plain CSS to style your application.
- Sass: Is similar to CSS but gives you more power and flexibility because you can declare variables etc. And it is fully compatible with CSS.
Bootstrap: A mobile-first styling library. With Bootstrap, you still can use CSS or Sass but most of the styling is taken care of by the library for example mobile or iPad views come built-in with bootstrap. Bootstrap also provides you with a lot of styles elements such as buttons, menus, icons, etc which you can easily use in your application.
Angular Material: This is a design system developed by Google for developing high-quality and visually appealing websites. Angular Material is fully equipped with most web elements or components that you might need in your application.
Ng prime: A library that contains a wide range of components that can be easily integrated in your Angular application.
Data visualization is a big part of most front-end apps that work with data.
If your application will be displaying charts, graphs, and such other material then you should be using a library instead of developing the components from scratch. You can use free options such as Chart.js or D3, echarts.
For more advanced visualization charts and to enjoy support then you should consider paying for the visualization library, examples in this category include Ignite UI for Angular, Syncfusion, etc.
5. Unit testing
Unit testing is very important for your application, it shows confidence in your functionality and encourages developers to make changes to the code base without fear because the unit tests are there to protect you.
The earlier you start unit testing your application functionality the better because it is usually hard to add unit tests when your application grows big.
These are some of the most important tips I had to share in this guide.
PS: Also consider having a build pipeline for your application early in your development, so that your application is deployment ready at any point in time.
Mwiza develops software by profession and writes extensively on Linux and front-end programming. Some of his interests include history, economics, politics & enterprise-architecture.