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Programming Frameworks

What Is Angular? A Brief Guide to Single Page Applications

Written By Ryan Loftus | July 11, 2023

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In the early 2000s, front-end developers asked a thought provoking question: what if you could build a web-based application that mimics the functionality of desktop apps? And what if you could continue to load new content without ever refreshing the page?

The answer to that question? Single page applications.

Developers have a number of options for building these dynamic and responsible applications. But Angular has emerged as a key SPA framework empowering developers to craft captivating user interfaces.

What is Angular?

Angular is a powerful front-end framework that works with Typescript or JavaScript to render dynamic page content. Developed by Google in 2016, it is a complete rewrite of AngularJS.

Angular is a single-page application framework for building fast web applications that feel and perform like native applications. 

What is a Single Page Application?

A single page application (SPA) is a single page (hence the name) where key information and navigation stays static and only a few pieces need to be updated at a time. With each click, the SPA loads only the content the user needs, eliminating the need to reload the page. This is different from a traditional web page where the server rerenders a full page with every click the user makes and sends it to their browser.

Imagine you’re building an e-commerce website. With Angular, you can create reusable components like product listings, shopping carts, and user authentication. These components can be easily plugged into different pages, making development – and the user experience – faster and more efficient.

Key Features and Advantages of Angular

Angular boasts several key features and advantages that contribute to its popularity and widespread adoption among developers. Let’s explore some of the notable characteristics that make Angular a framework of choice for a diverse range of projects.


Angular is built on the principles of modularity, reusability, and maintainability, making it a top choice for large-scale projects. At its core, Angular provides a structured approach to building applications, utilizing components, services, and modules.


In Angular, components serve as the building blocks of the user interface. A component encapsulates its own HTML template, CSS styles, and data, allowing for modular and reusable code. For example, imagine a weather app where each weather card is a component containing its unique styling and functionality. Each component represents a specific part of the application and can communicate with other components, creating a seamless user experience. Components promote code organization, ease maintenance, and enhance reusability, making development more efficient and enjoyable.

For example, consider a weather application where you have a component to display the current weather, another component for the forecast, and a third component for user settings. These components can interact with each other, allowing the forecast component to update when the user changes the location in the settings component.

Interaction With Other Front-End Languages

One feature that sets Angular apart is its ability to seamlessly combine HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to create interactive user interfaces. With Angular, developers can extend HTML with declarative syntax, effortlessly handle data binding, and build reusable components that bring applications to life.

Leveraging TypeScript

Angular leverages TypeScript, a superset of JavaScript, to enhance the developer experience. TypeScript adds features like static typing, which allows for catching errors during development and improves code quality. Additionally, it provides better tooling and IDE support, simplifying refactoring and code navigation.

Reactive Programming with RxJS

Angular embraces reactive programming through the use of RxJS (Reactive Extensions for JavaScript). RxJS enables developers to handle asynchronous events, such as user input or HTTP requests, in a more declarative and elegant manner. By leveraging observables, developers can easily manage data streams, handle events, and implement powerful data transformation operations. RxJS empowers Angular applications to be responsive, efficient, and highly interactive.

Angular CLI

Angular CLI (Command-Line Interface) is a powerful tool that streamlines the development process. It provides a set of commands to generate components, services, and modules, reducing boilerplate code and automating repetitive tasks. With Angular CLI, developers can create new projects, run tests, and optimize builds effortlessly. This command-line interface acts as a developer’s trusted companion, enabling faster development and smoother workflows.

Templates and Data Binding

Angular’s powerful data binding and templating system enable developers to effortlessly synchronize the application’s data and user interface. Two-way data binding allows changes in the UI to reflect in the data and vice versa, ensuring a real-time and interactive experience.

Say, for example, you have an input field for a username and a corresponding display area. With Angular’s data binding, as the user types in their username, the display area instantly updates to reflect the changes, creating a dynamic and responsive user interface.


Services in Angular handle the application’s business logic, providing a centralized way to share data and functionality across components. They are responsible for fetching data from external sources, performing calculations, and managing state.

For example, in an online banking application, a service could be responsible for fetching the user’s account balance, performing transactions, and updating the account history. Multiple components can utilize this service to display the balance, initiate transfers, and keep the transaction history up to date.


Angular’s powerful routing capabilities allow developers to create single-page applications with multiple views. This enables navigation between different components, giving users a seamless experience without page reloads.

Imagine building a multi-page blog application with Angular. With routing, you can define routes for different sections such as home, articles, and about. Users can then navigate between these sections without the need for full page reloads, resulting in faster and smoother transitions.

Real-World Examples of Angular

If you’ve ever used a web-based application, you experienced the power of Angular without realizing it. With companies like Microsoft, Forbes, and PayPal using Angular, the framework’s usage is widespread and continuing to grow.


Unsurprisingly, Google uses its own framework in its own products, most notably Gmail. A perfect example of a single-page app, Gmail’s fluid user experience is largely powered by Angular. 

When a user opens Gmail, the app loads as a single HTML page, but dynamically updates the user experience with new content or notifications. While the user navigates their inbox, the page never reloads and the app navigation remains untouched.


PayPal uses Angular to architect dynamic web pages that support real-time feeds of PayPal transaction data. In particular, Angular powers PayPal’s integrations with checkout experiences on other websites. This is what enables customers to initiate a transaction on a website and complete it through PayPal without reloading the page.

Deutsche Bank

Deutsche Bank AG, a multinational investment bank, uses Angular to power the front-page of their developer portal. This portal showcases the Deutsche Bank API program, serving as a gateway for companies to incorporate Deutsche Bank transaction systems into their software.

Key Takeaways

Angular has emerged as a dominant force in the realm of web development, empowering developers to create stunning and performant applications. By harnessing the power of components, TypeScript, RxJS, and the Angular CLI, developers can build scalable, modular, and highly interactive web applications. Whether you’re a seasoned developer or a newcomer to the field, Angular opens up a world of possibilities, allowing you to transform your ideas into captivating digital experiences.

This article was written with the help of AI. Can you tell which parts?

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