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AngularJS (commonly referred to as " Angular.js " or " AngularJS 1.X ") is a JavaScript-based open-source front-end web application framework mainly maintained by Google and by a community of individuals and corporations to address many of the challenges encountered in developing single-page applications. The JavaScript components complement Apache Cordova, the framework used for developing cross-platform mobile apps. It aims to simplify both the development and the testing of such applications by providing a framework for client-side model–view–controller (MVC) and model–view–viewmodel (MVVM) architectures, along with components commonly used in rich Internet applications. In 2014, the original AngularJS team began working on Angular (Application Platform).

The AngularJS framework works by first reading the HTML page, which has additional custom tag attributes embedded into it. Angular interprets those attributes as directives to bind input or output parts of the page to a model that is represented by standard JavaScript variables. The values of those JavaScript variables can be manually set within the code, or retrieved from static or dynamic JSON resources.

According to JavaScript analytics service Libscore, AngularJS is used on the websites of Wolfram Alpha, NBC, Walgreens, Intel, Sprint, ABC News, and about 12,000 other sites out of 1 million tested in October 2016. [9] AngularJS is currently in the top 100 of the most starred projects on GitHub. [10]

AngularJS is the frontend part of the MEAN stack, consisting of MongoDB database, Express.js web application server framework, A ngular.js itself, and Node.js server runtime environment.


AngularJS is built on the belief that declarative programming should be used to create user interfaces and connect software components, while imperative programming is better suited to defining an application's business logic. [11] The framework adapts and extends traditional HTML to present dynamic content through two-way data-binding that allows for the automatic synchronization of models and views. As a result, AngularJS de-emphasizes explicit DOM manipulation with the goal of improving testability and performance.

AngularJS's design goals include:

  • to decouple DOM manipulation from application logic. The difficulty of this is dramatically affected by the way the code is structured.
  • to decouple the client side of an application from the server side. This allows development work to progress in parallel, and allows for reuse of both sides.
  • to provide structure for the journey of building an application: from designing the UI, through writing the business logic, to testing.

Angular implements the MVC pattern to separate presentation, data, and logic components. [12] Using dependency injection, Angular brings traditionally server-side services, such as view-dependent controllers, to client-side web applications. Consequently, much of the burden on the server can be reduced.


AngularJS uses the term "scope" in a manner akin to the fundamentals of computer science.

Scope in computer science describes when in the program a particular binding is valid. The ECMA-262 specification defines scope as: a lexical environment in which a Function object is executed in client-side web scripts; [13] akin to how scope is defined in lambda calculus. [14]

As a part of the "MVC" architecture, the scope forms the "Model", and all variables defined in the scope can be accessed by the "View" as well as the "Controller". The scope behaves as a glue and binds the "View" and the "Controller".

In AngularJS, "scope" is a certain kind of object [15] that itself can be in scope or out of scope in any given part of the program, following the usual rules of variable scope in JavaScript like any other object. [16] When the term "scope" is used below, it refers to the Angular scope object and not the scope of a name binding.


The task performed by the AngularJS bootstrapper occur in three phases [17] after the DOM has been loaded:

  1. Creation of a new Injector
  2. Compilation of the directives that decorate the DOM
  3. Linking of all directives to scope

AngularJS directives allow the developer to specify custom and reusable HTML-like elements and attributes that define data bindings and the behavior of presentation components. Some of the most commonly used directives are:

A module provides support for JavaScript, CSS3 transition and CSS3 keyframe animation hooks within existing core and custom directives.

Since ng-* attributes are not valid in HTML specifications, data-ng-* can also be used as a prefix. For example, both ng-app and data-ng-app are valid in AngularJS.

Declares the root element of an AngularJS application, under which directives can be used to declare bindings and define behavior.
A module for accessibility support of common ARIA attributes.
Sets the text of a DOM element to the value of an expression. For example, <span ng-bind="name"></span> displays the value of ‘name’ inside the span element. Any change to the variable ‘name’ in the application's scope reflect instantly in the DOM.
Conditionally apply a class, depending on the value of a boolean expression.
Specifies a JavaScript controller class that evaluates HTML expressions.
Basic if statement directive that instantiates the following element if the conditions are true. When the condition is false, the element is removed from the DOM. When true, a clone of the compiled element is re-inserted.
Called once when the element is initialized.
Similar to ng-bind , but establishes a two-way data binding between the view and the scope.
Provides tuning for how model updates are done.
Instantiate an element once per item from a collection.
ng-show & ng-hide
Conditionally show or hide an element, depending on the value of a boolean expression. Show and hide is achieved by setting the CSS display style.
Conditionally instantiate one template from a set of choices, depending on the value of a selection expression.
The base directive responsible for handling routes [7] that resolve JSON before rendering templates driven by specified controllers.

Two-way data binding

AngularJS two-way data binding is its most notable feature, largely relieving the server backend of templating responsibilities. Instead, templates are rendered in plain HTML according to data contained in a scope defined in the model. The $scope service in Angular detects changes to the model section and modifies HTML expressions in the view via a controller. Likewise, any alterations to the view are reflected in the model. This circumvents the need to actively manipulate the DOM and encourages bootstrapping and rapid prototyping of web applications. [7] AngularJS detects changes in models by comparing the current values with values stored earlier in a process of dirty-checking, unlike Ember.js and Backbone.js that trigger listeners when the model values are changed. [20]


$watch is angular method, for dirty checking. Any variable or expression assigned in $scope automatically sets up a $watchExpression in angular. So assigning a variable to $scope or using directives like ng-if, ng-show, ng-repeat etc all create watches in angular scope automatically. Angular maintains a simple array of $$watchers in the $scope objects

Different ways of defining a watcher in AngularJS.

  • explicitly $watch an attribute on $scope.
$scope.$watch('person.username', validateUnique);
  • place a {{}} interpolation in your template (a watcher will be created for you on the current $scope).
  • ask a directive such as ng-model to define the watcher for you.
<input ng-model="person.username" />

$digest() is angular method, which is invoked internally by angularjs in frequent intervals. In $digest method, angular iterates overall $watches in its scope/child scoples.


$apply() is a angular method, internally invokes $digest. This method is used when you want to tell angular manually start dirty checking (execute all $watches)


$destroy is both a method and event in angularjs. $destroy() method, removes a scope and all its children from dirty checking. $destroy event is called by angular whenever a $scope or $controller is destroyed.

Development history

AngularJS was originally developed in 2009 by Miško Hevery [21] at Brat Tech LLC [23] as the software behind an online JSON storage service, that would have been priced by the megabyte, for easy-to-make applications for the enterprise. This venture was located at the web domain "", [23] and had a few subscribers, before the two decided to abandon the business idea and release Angular as an open-source library.


Angular is an incompatible rewrite of AngularJS. Both AngularJS and Angular are currently supported. [7]


This release added many of the concepts of Angular to AngularJS, including the concept of a component-based application architecture. [25] This release among others removed the Sandbox, which many developers believed provided additional security, despite numerous vulnerabilities that had been discovered that bypassed the sandbox. [26]

The current stable release of AngularJS is 1.6.6. [8]

Legacy browser support

Versions 1.2 and later of AngularJS do not support Internet Explorer versions 6 or 7. [27] Versions 1.3 and later of AngularJS dropped support for Internet Explorer 8. [28]

Angular and AngularDart

Angular 2+ versions are simply called Angular. It is a TypeScript -based open-source front-end web application platform. Angular 4 was announced on 13 December 2016, skipping 3 to avoid a confusion due to the misalignment of the router package's version which was already distributed as v3.3.0. [8]

AngularDart works on Dart, which is an object-oriented, class defined, single inheritance using C# style syntax, that is different from Angular JS (which uses Javascript) and Angular 2/ Angular 4 (which uses Typescript). Angular 4 released in March 2017, with the framework's version aligned with the version number of the router it used. Angular 5 was released on November 1, 2017 [8]. Key improvements in Angular 5 include support for progressive Web apps, a build optimizer and improvements related to Material Design. [8] Angular 6 release will be pushed back to March or April 2018, with Angular 7 showing up in September/October 2018. Each version is expected to be backward-compatible with the prior release. Google pledged to do twice-a-year upgrades.

Chrome extension

In July 2012, the Angular team built an extension for the Google Chrome browser called Batarang, [32] that improves the debugging experience for web applications built with Angular. The extension aims to allow for easy detection of performance bottlenecks and offers a GUI for debugging applications. [33] For a time during late 2014 and early 2015, the extension was not compatible with recent releases (after v1.2.x) of Angular. [8] It currently, as of late 2016, still works with all versions of Angular (although there have been no updates to the source code since March 2016 [8] ).


AngularJS sets out the paradigm of a digest cycle. This cycle can be considered a loop, during which Angular checks if there is any change to all the variables watched by all the $scopes . So, if $scope.myVar is defined in a controller and this variable was marked for watching, Angular will monitor the changes on myVar in each loop iteration.

This approach potentially leads to slow rendering when AngularJS checks on too many variables in the $scope every cycle. Hevery suggests keeping fewer than 2000 watchers on any page. [20]

See also

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Other wiki pages related to AngularJS.