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Essential Angular Cheat Sheet: Commands, CLI References, More

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27th Sep, 2023
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    Essential Angular Cheat Sheet: Commands, CLI References, More

    Angular is a front-end web-development framework and platform that is used to build Single-page web Applications (or SPAs) using TypeScript as the primary programming language. Angular is itself written in TypeScript. Angular is an opinionated framework which means that it specifies a certain style and establishes certain rules that developers need to, learn, follow and adhere to while developing apps with Angular. Therefore you need to learn Angular and the various modules, components, tools that are used and that make up an Angular app. This article is the perfect Angular cheat sheet for developers at all proficiency levels.

    Angular was the JavaScript-based web development framework that was first released in 2010 and is maintained by Google. Since modern browsers do not understand TypeScript, a TypeScript compiler or transpiler is required to convert the TypeScript code to regular JavaScript code. In this article, we will talk about everything about Angular that you can use as a quick reference guide. We will go through the core concepts, commands, utilities, etc. 

    The Angular CLI 

    Angular CLI or the command-line interface is a very powerful and sophisticated tool that allows you to perform a lot of actions in an Angular project by using simple commands. From scaffolding a brand-new Angular project to building the project for production, the CLI takes care of everything.  

    CLI also allows you to debug the application during development locally using a development server that monitors the source files for changes and when you change any of the files, it automatically recompiles the source code files and refreshes the app in the browser. Pretty neat! 

    You can use the CLI tool directly in a command shell, or indirectly through an interactive UI such as Angular Console. 

    Let’s have a look at some of the most common ways we use the Angular CLI. 

    ng helpGives you options to get help about any command ot utility.
    ng versionPrints the version info of the currently installed CLI.
    ng new <name>  Generates a new Angular project with the provided name.
    ng serveSpins up the local development server and launches the web app locally in the browser. The command takes more parameters like port and open. The server automatically rebuilds the app and reloads the page when you change any of the source files.
    ng buildComplies and builds the Angular app into a directory that can be deployed on the web server.
    ng generateUsed to generate modules, services, components, classes, providers, pipes, etc.

    Get to know more about Angular CLI.

    Angular Component Lifecycle 

    An Angular app is composed of components. Each component can contain more components which essentially makes an Angular app a tree of components. A component is made up of an HTML template, a typescript class and a stylesheet file. These three pieces together form an Angular component. Each component in Angular has a lifecycle which is managed by Angular itself.  

    Angular creates it, renders it, creates and renders it’s children, checks it when it’s data-bound properties change, and destroys it before removing it from the DOM. Angular allows you to hook into significant lifecycle events using hooks. Here are these hooks and their brief significance

    ngOnChangesThis hook is executed before the content is processed or child views are loaded. It is also executed when the input properties of the component change.
    ngOnInitThis hook is used to initialize data in a component. It is called after input values are set and the component is initialized and it is executed only once.
    ngDoCheckThis hook is called when any change detection runs are made.
    ngAfterContentInitThis hook is called after ngOnInit when the component's or directive's content has been initialized.
    ngAfterContentCheckedThis hook is called every time the ngDoCheck is called.
    ngAfterViewInitThis hook is called after Angular initializes component’s and child components’ content.
    ngAfterViewCheckedThis hook is after every check of the component's views and child views.
    ngOnDestroyThis hook is called once right before the component is destroyed. This can be used to clean up memory and release allotted resources and subscriptions.

    Interpolation 

    Interpolation is a way to use the properties in the component’s TypeScript class within the HTML template. Interpolation has a very simple syntax. Here is an example. 

    Consider the following property of string type in the component’s TS class. 

    company_name: string = "KnowledgeHut" 

    The same value can be used in the HTML template using the following interpolation syntax. 

    {{ company_name }} 

    The text between the braces is often the name of a component property. Angular replaces that name with the string value of the corresponding component property. Interpolation can also be used to concatenate strings, or perform simple mathematical operations right within the template. The evaluated result is rendered on the page. 

    An example - 

    name: string = "KnowledgeHut"; 
    age: number = 25; 
    {{ name + " is " + age + " years old today!" }} 

    Another example -  

    number1: number = 22; 
    number2: number = 23; 
    {{ "Sum of "  + number1 + " and " + number2 + " is " + (number1 + number2) }} 

    The same technique can also be used while specifying the values of properties. Here is an example. 

    <div title="Hello {{company_name}}"> 

    Clearly, using property binding is much readable and recommended syntax if you intend to use the values of component properties in the template. 

    Bindings in Angular 

    Binding in Angular is used to define values of HTML properties and events using class members.  

    Here are a few examples of property binding in Angular

    <div [title]="company_name"> 

    In the above snippet, the title property is bound to a variable called company_name in the template. The same property needs to exist in the component’s typescript class, otherwise you will get an error. Similarly, you can bind to any properties exposed by HTML. 

    Here is another example. 

    <input type="text" [placeholder]="placeholder_text"> 

    The placeholder_text property needs to exist in the component’s class. 

    You can also bind events to methods in Angular. Most HTML elements have events that they emit when certain conditions are met. Binding methods to these events allow you to perform an action in your code. For example, executing a method on the click of a button is the most common use-case of event binding. Here is a code snippet for the same. 

    <button type="submit" (click)="sendFormData()"> 

    In the above code snippet, you can see that the click event is bound to a method called sendFOrmData(). Whenever the user clicks on the button, the function will be executed. Keep in mind that the sendFormData() method needs to be a member function inside the TypeScript class of the component otherwise you will run into errors. 

    The most popular and powerful feature of Angular is two-way binding. With the help of two-way binding, when data changes in the component, it’s immediately reflected in the template. You need to use the ngModel directive with the special binding syntax to use two-way binding. 

    Here is an example. 

    <input type="text" [(ngModel)]="username"> 
    The name you entered is {{ username }}! 

    Using the above code snippet, if you type in some text in the input field, the value of the username property will change as you type, which in turn will update the value in the HTML template as well. All of this happens in real-time. 

    Structural Directives

    There are two structural directives in Angular - NgFor and NgIf. 

    The ngIf directive is used to add or remove an HTML element from the DOM completely based on a certain condition. The value passed to ngIf should either be a boolean value or should be an expression that evaluates to a boolean value. Here is an example. 

    <button type="submit" (click)="sendFormData()" *ngIf="showButton"> 

    In the above snippet, the showButton property is used to decide if the button will be displayed on the page or not. Do not confuse ngIf with the hidden HTML property. The hidden property only hides the HTML element, which ngIf completely removed it from the DOM. 

    Another structural directive is used to render HTML elements on the page based on an array or iterable. Here is an example. 

    users: any[] = [{ 
    "name": "Bob" 
    }, { 
    "name": "Alice" 
    }, { 
    "name": "Tabor" 
    }, { 
    "name": "Mock" 
    }]; 
    <li *ngFor="let user of users">  
    {{ user.name }} 
    </li> 

    If you execute the above code snippet, you will see a list rendered out on the page with the data based on the array. If you make changes to the array, the list will be updated automatically. 

    Pipes and Services

    Pipes and services are also TypeScript classes just like the component classes. The only difference is the functionality that they offer. They are marked differently by using the decorators. 

    @Component({...}) 
    class AppComponent() { } 

    This declares that the class is a component and also provides metadata about the component. 

    @Pipe({...}) 
    class MyPipe() { } 

    This declares that the class is a pipe and provides metadata about the pipe. Angular comes with a stock of pipes such as DatePipe, UpperCasePipe, LowerCasePipe, CurrencyPipe, and PercentPipe. They are all available for use in any template. Here is how you would use a pipe in Angular 

    number1: number = 12.927; 
    {{ number1 | number:"1.2-2"}} // prints 12.93 
    @Injectable() 
    class MyService() { } 

    This declares that the class contains dependency injectors, this means the data provided by the injector should be injected into the constructor when creating an instance of this class. Basically, this marks the class as a service to be used by other classes. 

    To create a pipe, you need to use the following CLI command. 

    ng generate pipe <pipe name> 

    Similarly, to create a service, you need to execute the following CLI command. 

    ng generate service <service name> 

    Component Inputs and Output 

    Angular is all about components that have to interact with one another. Inputs and Outputs are used to allow interaction between two components. Inputs allow a component to receive some data from the parent component and outputs allows the component to send some data outside the component back to the parent component. So inputs and outputs are used to implement parent-child interaction within components.  

    Let’s have a look at how we can allow a component to receive an input. The key here is using the @Input decorator. 

    @Input() username: string; 

    The above code snippet is added to the component’s TypeScript class. Now, the component can accept an input called “username” as shown below. 

    <my-component username="KnowledgeHut"></ my-component> 

    The value “KnowledgeHut” can now be accessed within the component using the username property. 

    The other direction of communication is from child to parent. In this case, the child emits some data using an event. The parent subscribes to this event using event binding and receives the data. Here is an example. 

    Inside the child component - 

    @Output(onUsernameChange = new EventEmitter<string>(); 

    To emit the event, 

    this.onUsernameChange.emit("KnowledgeHut"); 

    That’s all in the child component. 

    Here is how the parent used the child component with outputs. 

    <app-child (onUsernameChange)="getChangedUsername($event)"></app-child> 

    Reactive Forms in Angular 

    The Reactive approach of form building uses the classes like FormBuilderFormGroupFormControl, Validators, etc. We define the structure of the form using a form builder and then bind each form element to a form control. This approach is different from template-driven forms where we use ngModel directive to bind input fields to corresponding model properties. 

    Here is how you would define a simple form with two input fields, one for the email and another one for the password. 

    this.myGroup = new FormGroup({ 
    email: new FormControl('john@doe.com'), 
    password: new FormControl('') 
    }); 

    Next, we need to bind the form and the input fields as shown below. 

    <form [formGroup]="myGroup"> 
      Email: <input type="email" formControlName="email"> 
      Password: <input type="password" formControlName="password"> 
    </form> 

    This approach allows you to define Validators on individual form controls and on the form as well.  

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    The Angular Router

    Angular router is one of the most powerful modules in Angular which allows navigation within an Angular application. It takes care of lazy-loading components as and when required.  

    Here is an example of how you would define routes for an Angular app using the RouterModule

    const routes: Routes = [{ 
    path: '', redirectTo: 'home', pathMatch: 'full' 
    }, { 
    path: 'home',  component: HomeComponent 
    }, { 
    path: 'login', component: LoginComponent 
    }, { 
    path: 'myblogs', component: MyblogsComponent 
    }, { 
    path: 'profile/:id', component: ProfileComponent 
    }, { 
    path: '**', redirectTo: 'home' 
    }]; 
    const routing = RouterModule.forRoot(routes); 

    In the template, you need to use the RouterOutlet directive to load the component in a placeholder based on the URL. The Angular Router takes care of loading and unloading components in the placeholder RouterOutlet

    <router-outlet></ router-outlet>  

    The routerLink directive can be used to navigate to a desired router. It creates a link to a different view based on a route instruction consisting of a route path, required and optional parameters, query parameters, and a fragment.  

    <arouterLink='/login'> 
    <a [routerLink]="['/profile', { id: '23u4h2834y' } ]"> 

    To navigate to a root route, use the / prefix; for a child route, use the ./prefix; for a sibling or parent, use the ../ prefix. 

    Auth Guards 

    Auth Guards in Angular are the way to prevent unauthorized access to your routes. They work very well in combination with the Angular Router. It secures your routes. Let’s have a look at an example. Consider the following route definition. 

    const routes: Routes = [{ 
    path: '', redirectTo: 'home', pathMatch: 'full' 
    }, { 
    path: 'home',  component: HomeComponent 
    }, { 
    path: 'login', component: LoginComponent 
    }, { 
    path: 'myblogs', component: MyblogsComponentcanActivate: [AuthGuard] 
    }, { 
    path: 'profile/:id', component: ProfileComponent 
    }, { 
    path: '**', redirectTo: 'home' 
    }]; 

    As you can see, we have defined a canActivate property on a route and set its values as an array with the AuthGuard as the only element. Basically, you can have multiple auth guards for your routes but for now, we only have one. Here is how you can create the guard. 

    ng generate guard AuthGurard 

    This generates a new guard typescript file and it has a function defined inside of it. All you need to do is implement the function and return true or false based on the user’s state. If the guard returns true for the user, the route access if grant, else not. 

    Here is an example implementation of the function, canActivate

    canActivate(next: ActivatedRouteSnapshot, state: RouterStateSnapshot): Observable<boolean> | Promise<boolean> | boolean { 
          return new Promise((resolve, reject) => { 
    // return or resolve with true or false 
          } 
    } 

    Build the App 

    The Angular CLI allows you to build the app.  

    ng build 

    The above command compiles the project and generates the final build inside the dist folder. You can however customize the build environment using the --prod flag. You can also change the build destination folder using the --outputPath flag. The following command is another simple example. 

    ng build --prod --outputPath=myBuildFolder 

    There are a few more flags available. 

    • prod 
    • outputPath 
    • localize 
    • aot 
    • baseHref 
    • buildOptimizer 
    • index 
    • verbose 
    • optimization

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    Conclusion

    Angular may seem daunting at first but with steady learning and practicing, it becomes easy to understand and implementation of complex concepts seems simple. It offers a lot of tools, utilities and external packages to build amazing applications. 

    Some of the most common external packages for Angular are -  

    Use this cheat sheet to quickly look for help or use it as a reference. Check Angular docs for more info

    Profile

    Bala Krishna Ragala

    Blog Author

    Bala Krishna Ragala, Head of Engineering at upGrad, is a seasoned writer and captivating storyteller. With a background in EdTech, E-commerce, and LXP, he excels in building B2C and B2B products at scale. With over 15 years of experience in the industry, Bala has held key roles as CTO/Co-Founder at O2Labs and Head of Business (Web Technologies) at Zeolearn LLC. His passion for learning, sharing, and teaching is evident through his extensive training and mentoring endeavors, where he has delivered over 80 online and 50+ onsite trainings. Bala's strengths as a trainer lie in his extensive knowledge of software applications, excellent communication skills, and engaging presentation style.

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