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here is a scary tale among developers that devs wrote code on their own in the dark ages of JavaScript. And that task was so complicated that only a few of the strongest coders could survive. Fortunately, the Renaissance came in the 2010s, and JavaScript-based frameworks were introduced to the world. At that point, a battle royale began between the tools, where only the best withstand. Today it's time for the ExtJS vs Angular fight. At the end of it, we will find out which one of the instruments is the coolest and why.

Off-topic: Usually, such battles are solely between JS-based solutions. But since AngularJS is almost dead, The Frontend Company team decided to compare ExtJS with Angular 2. It will be fairer given the circumstances.

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The history of these front-end technologies

First, let's take a brief overview of the history of each of the technologies and their evolution. What is ExtJS framework? ExtJS is a JavaScript-based framework for creating cross-platform web applications. Sometimes this tool is called a library, but Sencha's ExtJS is a front-end framework by all signs.

It supports HTML, AJAX, and DOM. This is one of the main features of the technology, which lights up the interest of coders. The principle of the tool is component-based so that programmers can use it as a component framework. However, with all that said, ExtJS quite often acts as a full-fledged framework for developing SPAs (Single Page Applications).

One of our team members knows a front-end developer with 20+ years of experience. When he found out the topic of our new article (ExtJS vs Angular), he got very excited. It turned out that he was one of the first to use Sencha's tool in his work. According to him, this solution blew the minds of many coders with its simplicity and improved interaction with JavaScript (JS). Before such frameworks came along, it was exceedingly difficult for newcomers to interact with JS.

Another reason why ExtJS is considered sometimes a library is its history. Jack Slocum created the tool as an extension to the YUI Library in 2007. But with time, ExtJS creators made the instrument stand-alone and removed all the possible dependencies on other libraries. 

By now, the seventh version of this front-end framework has been released. The last update to the tool was in May 2021. And the team is quite active in sharing the details of the updates and publishing understandable instructions for users Another feature of this technology is an active community, which connects closely through different channels. Many enthusiasts start blogs for newcomers, share their experiences, answer questions, and help solve open issues.

Angular today, unfortunately, will not be honored by us with such a detailed description. Why such an unfairness? In the articles about Angular 2+ and React alternatives, our team already mentioned more details about the history of this front-end framework.

In the context of the ExtJS vs Angular topic, we will just say that this technology is written with the TypeScript (TS) programming language and has been thriving since 2016. The creator of this tool is a team of developers from Google. During the history of this solution, 13 versions of the framework have already been released.

Fun fact: While we were writing the previous articles for our blog, the official version of Angular 13 was not yet available for use. Programmers could only download the beta version. The Google team is fantastic and very productive. If we keep in mind the soon coming end of long-term AngularJS support, the creators must not have even a minute of spare time at all.

Is it fair to do the Angular vs ExtJS battle?

Actually, for the most unbiased comparison of the effectiveness of frameworks, it is better to compare tools of the same category. What do we mean by that? If you took one JS-based technology, its counterpart should be a tool with JS core. 

Presently, AngularJS can no longer be considered a full-fledged opponent for other JavaScript frameworks. It is all because of the end of the LTS period of the instrument. As such, we have to witness the battle of ExtJS vs Angular. If it is critical for your project to use a JS-based tool, then you can browse our list of AngularJS alternatives with an excellent rating among programmers.

For which industries and projects these tools are typically used

Even though ExtJS is well known among many coders, the technology is not globally spread. Nevertheless, this framework is most often used by big companies. They use the tool to develop production software and create other complex applications. The ExtJS vs Angular question is a strike in favor of a JS-based solution.

The reason for choosing this particular tool is that it is incredibly easy to use, and programmers do not have to spend extra time on software development. Quite often, this technology is implemented in order management systems (OMSs), content management system (CMSs), and enterprise resource planning systems (ERPs). It is also quite common in customer relationship management (CRM) systems.

For which fields Ext.js is suitable:

  • media;
  • IT;
  • retail;
  • hospital and healthcare;
  • higher education;
  • financial services;
  • telecommunications.

That's why this parameter will make it difficult to determine the unqualified leader in the ExtJS vs Angular fight. Due to its architecture, Angular is great for creating SaaS, websites, and web applications.

For which fields Angular 2+ is suitable:

  • automotive;
  • fintech;
  • IT;
  • media;
  • financial services;
  • traveling;
  • consulting and audit;
  • freelance marketplaces.

It's not a complete list of industries in which the TS-based framework is used. In addition to these fields, it is also typically used to create training platforms, entertainment, etc.

The fight ExtJS vs Angular: Advantages of each solution

Now it's time to evaluate the strengths of each of these tools. Next, our team has compiled a list of pros and cons for both technologies to ease the torture of deciding on ExtJS vs Angular.

List of pros for Ext.js

  1. Faster development process: Since this front-end framework has many ready-made components, the coder does not have to build them from scratch. It seriously saves the time and effort of specialists, especially when working on software for enterprises.
  2. Support for Model-View-Controller (MVC) and Model-View-ViewModel (MVVM) patterns: This solution suits projects where managers want to separate the programmers' and designers' work. As for the MVVM pattern, devs can work on the web-application logic, while UI/UX designers will work on their part of the task. At the same time, with the MVC pattern, the process can be structured in a more typical way for developers.
  3. Quick prototyping: This advantage comes from the first point of this list. Since the technology is based on components and numerous additional plugins are implemented here, it takes less time to develop a prototype.
  4. Good toolkit support: Sencha builds additional tools and plugins into ExtJS on purpose to allow coders to get rid of third-party toolkits. This solution lets coders not have to test new tools from other developers. It eliminates bugs related to plugin incompatibilities and possible errors.
  5. No browser compatibility issues: Developers often run into these problems when interacting with DOM manipulation methods. Here and there, devs can run into difficulties related to some browser compatibility. In this instrument, Sencha has succeeded in avoiding such issues. How did they do that? They've embedded out-of-the-box UI components directly into Ext.js to remove browser issues.
  6. Mobile device and cross-browser support: Users can use the web project seamlessly on PCs or laptops as well as on smartphones or tablets. 
  7. Sencha Touch (ST) library: It's a built-in tool that lets coders develop cross-platform native mobile applications with little effort. Sencha Touch has been integrated into this front-end framework for some time, making it even easier to create. ST also lets programmers build hybrid apps, which is also quite handy.

Continuing the ExtJS vs Angular confrontation, let's move on to the instrument by Google. The Sencha technology has an impressive list of features, but the Angular 2 front-end framework has just as many advantages.

List of pros for Angular 2+

  1. Free technology: Developers can use the functionality offered by Google for no charge. Unlike the technology described above, you don't have to increase your project development budget. Companies can use the finances not to pay for the tech solution but to spend it on further business growth. For example, hiring one more coder, upgrading the team's skills, marketing, advertising, or promoting the web project on the internet. 
  2. Components-based development (CBD): This tool has a component-based architecture, which allows you to create separate and complete units. You can also break modules into multiple files to combine them. 
  3. Solid support from Google: The corporation gives full support to the project, regularly makes releases, and shares details of updates. It makes it sound like the project won't hit the Google cemetery anytime soon.
  4. Stricter structure than some other frameworks: Our team considers this framework feature to be an advantage rather than a disadvantage. Because it maintains a specific structure of elements, coders cannot make a catastrophic mistake in the early stages of development. Due to its structure, the tool will not allow them to do so. Although beginners sometimes complain about the excessive strictness of the technology, it is generally suitable for the architecture of applications and reduces the number of unnecessary fixes.
  5. Huge developer community: thousands of developers have used this tool successfully since 2016. So far, 13 versions of the instrument have been released, and the number of unresolved bugs in Angular 2+ is noticeably lower than in some other technologies. A large and friendly community of programmers not least helps this fact. In this sense, Google technology wins the ExtJS vs Angular battle.
  6. Support for mobile devices: Unlike AngularJS, the second version of the framework runs well in different browsers. Thanks to this, users can view and utilize the web projects of smartphones; the service satisfaction of many companies remains high. If you need to develop a stand-alone web application, you can use Ionic for this purpose.
  7. A vast range of additional tools and libraries: A massive community of coders globally has contributed to this technology's many proper instruments from third parties. Some of them may be underdeveloped or popular, but there are dozens of really great solutions in any case.
  8. Reactive programming capability with RxJS: With this library, programmers can get asynchronous data protocols. It is because of the compatibility with RxJS that many coders respect this tool from Google.
  9. Understandable documentation: The team is very detailed in its documentation for the framework. You can find tons of valuable guides and advice on the official technology site, from AngularJS to Angular migration to other issues.

With the advantages, we have dealt with, it's time to learn about the weaknesses of each technology.

The confrontation of ExtJS vs Angular: Disadvantages of each technology

Let's start this block by answering the question «Why Ext JS is bad?», and why the framework has not yet become a breakthrough in the world of front-end frameworks.

Cons of Ext.js technology

  1. High cost of the full version of the tool: This is a paid JS-based solution, which not all companies can afford. At the same time, the free version has too little functionality. And this fact imposes a lot of responsibility on project managers. It does not mean that there will be no problems debugging the free version, and the company will not have to invest extra money into their product.
  2. Lack of built-in tools for testing: Coders will have to spend time to find a suitable testing tool for this purpose.
  3. Issues with downloading large-scale applications: Coders complain about some versions of the technology because they exhibit relatively low performance.

Fortunately, there are not many disadvantages to this framework. If they are not critical to your product, then you should consider using Sencha technology to develop your web project.

Cons of Angular 2+ technology

  1. No native-like mobile apps: Programmers will have to use additional frameworks to develop a native mobile app.
  2. Difficult tool for beginners: Developers need to have plenty of knowledge in related technologies to interact with this technology smoothly. It won't be easy to find a qualified person for all projects.

We don't even think a brief conclusion is needed here. By comparing the number of pros and cons, you can easily see who won the ExtJS vs Angular battle. Ext.js has numerous strengths, but the tool's paid subscription makes it not a good solution for very many web projects. Plus, some weaknesses of Sencha technology can be critical to the product. To be fair, though, support for MVVM and MVC patterns is extremely exciting from a development perspective. Nevertheless, this is not enough to win an uncontested victory.

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December 22, 2021
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