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November 18, 2021
AngularJS to Angular

or the last few years, there has been a lively debate about the future of AngularJS. With the release of Angular 2 in 2016 and Google's follow-up announcement about AngularJS going to the long-term support stage, this topic could have been closed forever. The outcome of the technology seemed obvious. However, even several years after the previously mentioned things, people still don't have an answer. Everyone is interested in whether is AngularJS dead and what to do with AngularJS-based projects.

Last month, our Managing Partner Viktoria  got 3 emails about migration from AngularJS to Angular. It made us think that this issue is relevant for our customers and readers. That is why we need to explain is AngularJS dead or not, how companies should act and what technology should be chosen for the project migration.

UPD: In mid-January, there was news on the Angular blog that the Long Term Support (LTS) period for Angular.js was ending. The Frontend Company team expected this outcome while writing this article to check for yourself. The following will tell you what caused AngularJS to be dead and what businesses that run projects based on this framework should do.
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A brief look at the history of this JS framework

First, we need to talk about AngularJS and the reasons for the popularity of this front-end technology. It helps us clarify the situation a bit. Long story short, in the late 2000s, there was a need for a new tool for web development. Why so?

The world of web technologies was rapidly developing, and specialists needed a solution to create and test web projects quickly. In 2008-2009 began the work on the first AngularJS prototypes. By 2010, Google presented Angular 1 (Angular.js), an open-source JavaScript framework known until now. At that time, no one would have imagined that in 10+ years, the question «Is AngularJS dead?» would be asked by thousands of people.

The new framework was (and still is) based on the MVC (Model-View-Controller) pattern for the client-side and the MVVM (Model-View-Viewmodel) pattern for the server-side. This architecture made it possible to create SPAs (Single Page Apps), web applications, and PWAs (Progressive Web Apps). 

The clear architecture and strict structure helped devs build web projects with fewer bugs at an early stage. At the same time, testing of finished products was greatly simplified, and the amount of code written was much reduced. It is reasonable that in the 2010s, this solution became revolutionary and was used everywhere. What went wrong?

Time passed, and Google decided to update the framework. Unfortunately, during the work on a new version of AngularJS, it became clear that this tool has a different architecture. Also, the TypeScript programming language was utterly incompatible with JavaScript. It was the beginning of the end and initiated the question «Is AngularJS dead?».

Is AngularJS dead? Gmail screenshot
Is AngularJS dead? Our Managing Partner's Gmail screenshot

Reasons for fear of some business owners

Over 6+ years, thousands of projects globally have been developed on this JS-based framework. Many of them have become incredibly successful, working well and bringing profits to companies. Lots of developers and firms know Google's love of burying their brainchildren.  Google's famous cemetery did not give optimism to business people; many understood no further progress for this front-end framework.

The leading causes for that:

  1. Angular 2 is faster.
  2. The second version of the technology fixed some flaws of Angular 1.
  3. It makes no sense for Google to develop two projects at once.

Even though 5 years ago, there were no loud announcements from AngularJS creators, everyone realized the core of the problem. However, not all companies started migrating to Angular or other front-end technologies immediately. Even after the news about LTS status, some firms were in no hurry. It was a big mistake.

Is AngularJS dead? This time, for sure?

It was first planned that the framework would have no updates after 2018, and the summer of 2021 would be the end of the long-term support period. Well, it didn't happen, and some people breathed a sigh of relief for a while. It seemed that the end of this JS-based framework was just hearsay and some companies' vain fears.

The buzz began after the Google team announced only a rescheduling but did not drop the original plan. The COVID-19 pandemic messed up the corporation's plans, but it failed to turn back the inevitable.

In October 2020, the development team presented the update v.1.8.2, and the deadline for LTS was shifted to the end of 2021. After that, it became crystal clear to everyone that projects should still be transferred to the new technology. Otherwise, business owners risk losing customers and facing a variety of other difficulties.

  1. Unsupported tools have more security issues.
  2. Outdated instruments do not adapt to changes in browser specifications.
  3. Abandoned technologies look poorer, are slower, and degrade the user experience.

The above points are seriously worrying about business owners, especially successful ones. After all, if the website or web application is not moved to a new platform, the product will not be profitable. That's a significant loss for the business, which can lead to collapse. 

So, is AngularJS dead? This time yes. Google will leave some time for projects moving, but it won't go long.

Case in point: At the end of 2020, we were contacted by a firm from the e-learning industry. One of their customers, a big top 10 company, complained about the poor performance of their application. The software was running on AngularJS and wasn't working well. Without switching to Angular 2+, the firm could lose a loyal customer. We helped this company migrate to the updated system and are still supporting the project. We think this is the best example of what is AngularJS dead.

Migration is a solution to the problem

Now is a good time to think about migrating to a new platform before the technology is obsolete. That's why we recommend you think of a migration strategy for the new platform now before other companies take all the available AngularJS developers.

Not for sure, but there will likely be a boom around this topic in a few months. When this happens, projects cannot choose qualified developers but will have to pick from available ones.

You have two popular options for migration:

  • Migrate your project to Angular 2+. This way, you can smoothly switch your code to a reliable platform, and there will be fewer problems with finding developers. Now, this is the most popular solution among TFC clients. However, you need to understand that you are not creating a product from scratch; instead, you are building a hybrid web app on AngularJS and Angular.
  • Build two applications that are entirely separate from each other. This way, you get a clean source code and migrate all its parts to the new platform. The difficulty with this solution is that it can take a lot of time. Companies cannot always develop projects for months in parallel.

Our team has done both of these paths more than once. We have already completed migrations for many projects. Thanks to this, the firms were able to keep working smoothly and didn't waste any time. They no longer care whether is AngularJS dead or not.

What technology to choose for migration besides Angular?

Some firms decide to start a project from scratch. Not all companies choose Angular 2+ for this purpose. Products evolve; get new features and updates. In such situations, new versions of Angular do not always meet product needs. Then it becomes necessary to find an alternative front-end technology for the future.

The most popular alternatives for Angular 2+:

We have written about the pros and cons of each technology in more detail in a recent blog post. In this article, you'll find more information about each technology and can better decide the perfect solution for your business. Even though is AngularJS dead, you don't have to worry too much with such a huge variety of other technologies.

You should only build a web application from scratch on a new framework if the new technology better fits your product's goals. It's the most expensive way of migration, which will need more budget and two development teams. The first one must support the AngularJS project, and the second will develop the new version of the web application. That's going to cost a pretty penny.

Let's summarize

We hope no one questions now whether is AngularJS dead or not. It has already become evident that your project cannot do without migrating from the JS-based framework. The industry of web development is evolving so fast that technologies change each other in a second. For this reason, it is crucial to keep up with the trends. 

We recommend not waiting until your web application or website is no longer functioning. Consider a migration plan today. We'll be happy to help you find the best solution and think through the best migration scenario from AngularJS. Contact us by or book a call with our Managing Partner.


Does my project die without migration?

Of course, without updates, your AngularJS-based product will die. Now, this framework is in the long-term support (LTS) stage. It means that Google will continue to interact with the front-end technology for a while. Soon it will lead to not-so-good consequences. Your project may have problems with security, SEO, performance, and browsers support will gradually be gone. So, your product can die without migration.

Does anyone still use AngularJS?

Even though the question «Is AngularJS dead?» arises here and there, many websites and web projects still use the framework. According to 2020 data, almost 370,000 websites around the world use this technology. In the U.S. alone, nearly 70,000 sites are using AngularJS. The process of migration from this framework to other platforms will be ongoing in the next few years.

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