A sample module pattern for AngularJS

Module License: MIT

Added by: Sam Deering





Stars: 0

Watchers: 0

Forks: 1


John Hann
John Hann

Module Description


A sample module pattern for AngularJS.

Despite having an angular.module function, AngularJS doesn't actually provide or promote any concept of JavaScript modules. The angular.module function is actually just a way to create a scope container. Sure, it has a second parameter that allows the developer to specify some related angular-module instances, but it's very different. angular.module does not help with depedency management, url resolution, or bundling.

A simple solution is to wrap the AngularJS code bits in de facto JavaScript modules such as AMD or CommonJS/node (or ES6 modules in the future). Once you have picked a module type, you then need to pick a module architectural pattern.

A sample module architectural pattern

There are, of course, several possible patterns. This project shows a pattern I might choose if I were to create an AngularJS project. I took one of the sample projects on the home page and "converted" it to node variant of the CommonJS module format.

Here are the details of my pattern:

1. Components

The module hierarchy (aka folder structure) is based on the identification of components. In this small project, I identified only two components: app and projects. The app component is concerned with application-level things while the projects component is concerned with the display, manipulation, and handling of the Projects data entities.

This component-based hierarchy is in contrast with organization-by-file-type folder strategies where all controllers can be found in the controllers folder and all templates can be found in a templates folder and all css files can be found in a css folder and ... (you get the point, I hope).

A component-based hierarchy is superior to organization-by-file-type for several reasons:

  1. easier folder refactoring
  2. easier reuse across projects
  3. easier isolation for testing

If there were css stylsheets or language localization bundles included in the AngularJS sample, I'd have put them into the app and projects folders, too.

2. Composition

Thanks to AngularJS's dependency injection pattern, it lends itself well to compositional patterns. AngularJS "modules" are well suited to acting as a composition plan, of sorts. Unfortunately, part of the composition is delegated to the $router and I wasn't sure how to deal with this. In the current pattern, I just punted. Thus, part of the composition happens in the module that creates the angular-module ("app/main"), and part of it happens in the module that sets up the routes ("app/routes"). Ideally, all of the composition for a component would happen in a single file for better maintenance and understandability.


boot.js is a yet-to-be-released JavaScript analog to Spring Boot. It auto- configures itself according to the bower and npm packages it discovers and can be further configured via boot.js extensions. The included bower.json shows some possible boot.js extensions for AngularJS that could automatically install required packages, automatically preload required scripts (without blocking!), and automatically bundle these scripts at build time.

You could achieve a very similar pattern with curl.js and cram.js, as well. However, you would need to create a run.js and manually maintain a CommonJS-based curl.js config. Any text templates would also need to use the "text!" plugin prefix. The rest of the pattern would be essentially identical.

Module stats last updated: 2015-06-04 11:31:39

Disclaimer: Some data on this page may have been gathered from the authors GitHub respository. If you see any mistakes or outdated information please let us know. Thanks!