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ere is an era when AngularJS to Angular migration is a necessary procedure, not a fad. With the successful development of the second version of the technology from Google (Angular 2+), more and more businesses are thinking about switching to the new framework. There are at least 7 reasons for Angular.js to Angular update pushing companies to make an immediate change.

In this guide, The Frontend Company team explains why you should migrate from Angular 1 now, the preparation process, the choice of tools, and direct migration to the new platform. Before you decide to take such a step, we strongly advise you first to study the ins and outs.

Is AngularJS dead? The most asked question of recent times

Initially, firms dropped the JavaScript-based framework solely because it was becoming outdated. Business owners liked the features that Angular 2+ provided for web applications and services. For example, TypeScript-based technology had no SEO (Search Engine Optimization) issues, improved structure, and excellent tooling support. Now it still has all these pros.

In mid-January 2022, the Angular team officially announced that AngularJS was dead. It didn't happen overnight. First, in 2018, Google and the Angular Development Team put Angular.js into LTS (Long Term Support) mode for three years. After the LTS period for Angular 1 was announced, brand advocates shared details with programmers on how best to migrate AngularJS to Angular.

In 2022, the LTS phase for Angular 1 ended, so companies had nothing else to do but upgrade the platform. The Angular 2+ ecosystem, on the other hand, is still going strong and evolving. Contrary to some fears, Angular is not dead. So far, no technology has been able to influence the framework's disappearance.

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AngularJS vs Angular performance comparison

Besides questions about the lifetime viability of AngularJS, our team specialists are often asked to tell you about the performance of Angular technology. Especially for this aim, the team leader of our Angular crew Denys V. made a detailed comparison of different framework versions. The performance comparison clarifies which of the technologies shows the best results.

One of our prominent experts did the following:

  1. Prepared for the process, which consisted of creating a test app and collecting metrics.
  2. Did a performance overview, which consisted of first visual change, speed index, total page transfer size, JavaScript content size, visual readiness, etc.

This performance comparison shows that the new versions of Angular show excellent results. They have a high speed index, one of the most critical indicators for UX.

Choosing ways to upgrade from AngularJS to Angular and AngularJS alternatives

One of the first vital steps on the road to business success is choosing a migration path. Even before companies start switching from one technology to another, it is essential to choose the best way to upgrade along with the programming team.

Now there are the following popular options for AngularJS migration to Angular:

  1. using the ngUpgrde library;
  2. parallel migration;
  3. utilizing the package Angular Elements;
  4. vertical and horizontal slicing;
  5. source code compilers.

Selecting the best way is based on the structure of the web project, the business logic, and the company's ultimate goals.

It is also worth mentioning that when migrating to a new platform, business owners most often choose AngularJS to Angular migration. First, in most cases, it is faster and cheaper. Secondly, you can always be guided by Angular's official recommendations. If a company wants to do some experiments, it is possible to find a suitable option for the technology among AngularJS alternatives.

What technologies can be used to upgrade a web app?

Note: We do not recommend changing the platform without an urgent need. It makes sense to switch to a new technology only when Angular 2+ fails to close the needs of your business. It also makes sense to switch to something new if AngularJS is no longer relevant and the company wants to test new frameworks.

How to prepare for the migration AngularJS to Angular properly?

For those who have decided to upgrade their web apps to a newer version of Angular, it is vital to prepare for the process correctly. The number of preparation steps is different for the hybrid migration and parallel switch option.

How to plan for a hybrid migration scenario:

  • use compilers to make it easier to prepare JavaScript code to combine with TypeScript code;
  • remove all unnecessary components and elements in the source code, considering the latest innovations in the JavaScript programming language;
  • get rid of the $scope object in the AngularJS-based part of the code;
  • use the API component where it is possible;
  • make a list of tools and libraries to be used in the migration from AngularJS to Angular.

The preparation steps can vary based on the specifics of your company work and the structure of your web product. It is more of a case-by-case approach than a general one.

How to plan for a parallel migration scenario:

  • find an experienced development team to help think through the business logic and architecture of the web app;
  • select toolkits, libraries, and other helpful tools for writing code;
  • round-up a team of experts for beta testing, QA specialists, and a focus group to help achieve the best results.

There are fewer preparation steps in the parallel migration process, but they are more lengthy and critical. These steps take more time, effort, and budget.

AngularJS to Angular migration plan. Pros tips on development

An elaborate AngularJS to Angular migration plan will allow you to assign stages of teamwork better, distribute tasks for each team member, and choose the best option for moving the code to the new platform. You should not skip this stage. It's better to hold a brainstorming session with everyone involved to identify possible bottlenecks, issues, and challenges.

If you make a plan early on, map out the possible difficulties beforehand, and select suitable toolkits, it will save you time and effort. The migration process may seem straightforward in a word-of-mouth discussion, but a closer look at each step reveals roadblocks. The goal of the upgrade plan is to decrease the problems and the ability to pre-solve puzzles when migrating or merging source code.

How to migrate AngularJS to Angular? The six crucial steps

We have mentioned there is no single scenario for migrating to a more up-to-date platform. However, there are six key phases to migrate AngularJS to Angular properly. These are the steps you need to follow in order to achieve the best results.

  1. Building a web application – to get started with this step, programmers can use Angular CLI or third-party solutions. The Angular CLI is suitable for most projects because it already has many commands built-in for a seamless platform upgrade. However, no one forbids the developers to use Webpack or Gulp. These tools also have many advantages, which will suit some categories of apps.
  2. Configuring template loading for smooth migration – our specialists occasionally argue about this part. On the one hand, some programmers have successfully implemented this stage for small web projects. On the other hand, this approach will not work for more complex apps. If you are lucky and the theory is easily applied in practice, it is an incredible time-saver. In other ways, however, you are likely to have to do without templates and rewrite parts of the source code manually.
  3. Setting up the S2S compiler – if you successfully set up template loading, you can proceed with AngularJS to Angular upgrade with compilers. Otherwise, if you are unlucky, you can ignore this step.
  4. Customizing polyfills for browsers – even if you don't have a warm relationship with the second and third steps of migrating from Angular 1 to Angular 2+, there is no way around this one anyway. In order to set it up correctly, your team will have to follow the recommendations for each specific browser. You should use the official guidelines from the creators of browsers for this, customizing polyfills to fit certain features of your web project.
  5. Setting up bootstrap – if you decide to make a hybrid application, then you will have to implement bootstrap manually. But if programmers decide to go the traditional way and listen to the recommendations directly from Angular Team, then they can go the other way. In that case, devs first load the Angular code, then load the AngularJS code and use UpgradeModule.
  6. Adjusting routing – developers should define two frameworks at once at the finish line. Creating a specific class and then giving it a name is essential. Here ends the secret to successful migration routing.

It is the easiest and most straightforward algorithm to follow. There are situations where such a template does not work. These are not widespread situations where the specialist team needs to navigate on the spot.

What AngularJS to Angular migration tools will devs need?

The list of migration tools for switching from the outdated AngularJS to Angular can be compiled ad infinitum. There is no single set of solutions capable of coping with all the tasks. Still, there are several categories of instruments that no one can do without.

What tools will come in handy when migrating Angular 1 to Angular 2+?

It is worth noting some of the tools from AngularJS to Angular are free. Third-parties software and instruments, however, are sometimes available on a pay basis.

Why are companies worried about the migration from AngularJS to Angular?

While there are at least seven reasons for an AngularJS upgrade to Angular, not all companies are in a hurry to get started. The apparent benefits of migration and improved user experience may not convince some firms to begin making the switch. Business owners have different reasons for procrastinating. The Frontend Company team highlighted five main company fears before migrating to Angular 2+.

  1. Issues with the current AngularJS source code – some web projects based on Angular 1 have a somewhat chaotic architecture. As a result, the source code will be difficult to migrate to the new platform. It is particularly true for web apps with numerous features. Do not be worried about the messy AngularJS-based source code; you can find an advisor in the field to remedy the situation. They will help you find the best way to migrate.
  2. Lack of experienced developers – due to the high demand for programmers qualified to migrate applications; it can be challenging to find a talented team in-house. Therefore, you can try outsourcing and hire Angular devs overseas. Even though there is a shortage of experts in your country, you can always find them in another one.
  3. The unknown and possible crutches – possible complications in the switching process stop businesses from making decisions. Because of their fears, companies do not migrate at all or seek third-parties help to resolve the issue. Leaving a web product on an outdated platform is not an option. The most advantageous for firms will be to find a consultant and make a detailed migration roadmap before the upgrade begins.
  4. Difficulties with team management and control – if a company has never dealt with this kind of task before, there is a high chance of chaos. It is not a hopeless situation. Typical project management methodologies like Scrum or Agile are capable of a smooth workflow.
  5. Dislike of changing and shifting technologies – the unwillingness to change the habitual way of working is a frequent fear of business. Some people feel it would be better not to switch from Angular 1 to Angular 2+ because they want to avoid saying goodbye to the standard technology. You don't have to do that; there are many similarities between the two platforms. Only Angular 2+, in addition to convenience, also guarantees web apps more security support for mobile devices and has no problems with SEO.

AngularJS to Angular upgrade: The most common migration pitfalls

AngularJS to Angular migration can cause programmers to encounter several common pitfalls. Next, the will share the 7 most common pitfalls encountered during the upgrade process. Of course, there could be more. But these are more like exceptional cases rather than frequent pitfalls.

7 AngularJS to Angular migration pitfalls:

  1. Failure to create a hybrid app;
  2. Careful handling of downgradeModule;
  3. No autocoding tools could be used;
  4. Problematic implementation of complex functionality;
  5. Not all tool kits are equally effective;
  6. Lack of preparation and $scope;
  7. No customization and no consideration of the multitenancy.

The challenges listed are not the only ones. Depending on the size and structure of the web project, there are other issues on the developers' way. However, they should be approached considering the company's specifics, its business logic, and goals.

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April 19, 2022
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