javascript update - What's the AngularJS “way” of handling a CRUD resource

operations delete (5)

Simply implement something that is RESTful, that is the angularJS way. If you have no idea what RESTful is or, know a little and want to know a lot more, then I would recommend that you read this article.

Basically, REST is what is understood to be, an intuitive implementation of WEB URIs, it also makes use of all HTTP verbs, their correct use actually. REST is an approach, and architecture to building web apps.

I am interested in moving a lot of my client's "logic" away from Rails routing to AngularJS. I have slight confusion in one topic and that is linking. Now, I do understand there's more than one way to handle this, but what is the common practice in the AngularJS community for handling URLs on handling CRUD for resources. Imagine in the case of an athlete we have a URL such as the following to list all athletes:

To view an individual athlete:

To edit an individual athlete:

To create a new athlete:

In AngularJS, is it common practice to reroute to similar URLs to create/edit/update? Would you just have one URL handle all of the CRUD type actions in one interface and never change the URL? If you were to change the URL, does that get handled via ng-click and in the click event would you use the $location object to change URLs? I'd love to be able to read up on common practices such as these, but having a difficult time in finding more recent literature on it in an AngularJS context.

** NOTE **

I totally get that you can still use RESTful routes to the backend in order to interact with server-side resources. My question is, what is the style that is recommended to use when updating URLs on the client-side. Are you using AngularJS to do that for each of the CRUD operations?

I would definitely recommend separate URLs for each operation (to enable direct linking). The ones you suggest look fine.

In AngularJS you can use the $route service in combination with the ngView directive to load the appropriate template for each operation and handle the browser location and history mechanics for you.

Step 7 of the AngularJS tutorial gives an example of using Views, Routing and Templates the way I describe here. The following is a simplified version for your example:

Define the routes

In your main application script (e.g. app.js):

angular.module('AthletesApp', []).
  config(['$routeProvider', function($routeProvider, $locationProvider) {
  // Configure routes
      when('/athletes', {templateUrl: 'partials/athletes-list.html',   controller: AthleteListCtrl}).
      when('/athletes/:athleteId', {templateUrl: 'partials/athlete-detail.html', controller: AthleteDetailCtrl}).
      when('/athletes/:athleteId/edit', {templateUrl: 'partials/athlete-edit.html', controller: AthleteEditCtrl}).
      when('/athletes/:athleteId/new', {templateUrl: 'partials/athlete-new.html', controller: AthleteNewCtrl}).
      otherwise({redirectTo: '/athletes'});
  // Enable 'HTML5 History API' mode for URLs.
  // Note this requires URL Rewriting on the server-side. Leave this
  // out to just use hash URLs `/#/athletes/1/edit`

We also enable 'HTML Mode' for URLs, see note below.

2. Add an ngView directive to your HTML

In your main index.html you specify where the selected partial template will go in the overall layout:

<!doctype html>
<html ng-app="AthletesApp">
   <!-- Somewhere within the <body> tag: -->
   <div ng-view></div>

3. Create templates and controllers

Then you create the partial view templates and matching controllers for each of the operations. E.g. for the athlete detail view:


    ... Athete detail view here


    function($scope, $routeParams) {
        $scope.athleteId = $routeParams.athleteId;
        // Load the athlete (e.g. using $resource) and add it
        // to the scope.

You get access to the route parameter (defined using :athleteId in the route config) via the $routeParams service.

4. Add links

The final step is to actually have links and buttons in your HTML to get to the different views. Just use standard HTML and specify the URL such as:

<a href="/athletes/{{athleteId}}/edit">Edit</a>

Note: Standard vs Hash URLs

In older browsers that don't support the HTML5 History API your URLs would look more like and

The $location service (used automatically by $route) can handle this for you, so you get nice clean URLs in modern browsers and fallback to hash URLs in older browsers. You still specify your links as above and $location will handle rewriting them for older clients. The only additional requirement is that you configure URL Rewriting on the server side so that all URLs are rewritten to your app's main index.html. See the AngularJS $location Guide for more details.

The angular way is the restful way:

GET all
GET one
POST new
PUT edit
DELETE remove

Note that $resource also expects a few other things, like resource URLs not ending with a slash, PUT requests returning the updated resource, etc.

If your API doesn't meet these criteria, or you simply need more flexibility, you can build your own $resource-like CRUD service based on the lower-level $http service. One way of doing the latter is explained here

In AngularJS you can definitely use RESTful server side data sources, there is build in service called $resource.

Alternatively you can also use restangular which has additional features over $resource.

If you want to have full control you can always use $http service which is low level angular component for interacting with http.

As a JavaScript MV* beginner and purely focusing on the application architecture (not the server/client-side matters), I would certainly recommend the following resource (which I am surprised wasn't mentioned yet): JavaScript Design Patterns, by Addy Osmani, as an introduction to different JavaScript Design Patterns. The terms used in this answer are taken from the linked document above. I'm not going to repeat what was worded really well in the accepted answer. Instead, this answer links back to the theoretical backgrounds which power AngularJS (and other libraries).

Like me, you will quickly realize that AngularJS (or Ember.js, Durandal, & other MV* frameworks for that matter) is one complex framework assembling many of the different JavaScript design patterns.

I found it easier also, to test (1) native JavaScript code and (2) smaller libraries for each one of these patterns separately before diving into one global framework. This allowed me to better understand which crucial issues a framework adresses (because you are personally faced with the problem).

For example:

  • JavaScript Object-oriented Programming (this is a Google search link). It is not a library, but certainly a prerequisite to any application programming. It taught me the native implementations of the prototype, constructor, singleton & decorator patterns
  • jQuery/ Underscore for the facade pattern (like WYSIWYG's for manipulating the DOM)
  • Prototype.js for the prototype/ constructor/ mixin pattern
  • RequireJS/ Curl.js for the module pattern/ AMD
  • KnockoutJS for the observable, publish/subscribe pattern

NB: This list is not complete, nor 'the best libraries'; they just happen to be the libraries I used. These libraries also include more patterns, the ones mentioned are just their main focuses or original intents. If you feel something is missing from this list, please do mention it in the comments, and I will be glad to add it.

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