Last modified: September 4, 2017
Angular is a highly opinionated framework for building both client and server side apps. While it competes directly with libraries like React and Vue.js, it's most recent release (Angular 4) makes it preferable for enterprise development. In this article, we'll discuss why Angular is better suited for enterprise environments over React and other front-end libraries.
React and Vue are libraries. Angular is a framework. The difference? A framework is a highly opinionated way of doing things. It enforces a specific implementation (like MVC) and provides supporting modules out of the box. A library is simply a collection of methods and functions that you can call from within your own implementation.
While libraries provide more freedom and flexibility with architecture and design, they rely on developers to choose their own third party libraries to make things work. A good example is with routing. While Angular includes its own routing module out of the box, React relies on the developer to choose how they handle routing themselves. This can make it more difficult to onboard new team members who aren't familiar with your specific implementation of React.
By using Angular, larger teams can more easily conform to the same architectural approach. New team members can more quickly jump into existing projects as things are more standardized in the Angular world.
Angular projects come preconfigured with testing libraries like Karma and Protractor for unit and functional testing. Using the Angular CLI makes creating components and their corresponding test files a breeze. The Angular framework also leverages Node to quickly implement testing environments for your app. Using preconfigured commands, you can easily run test suites and start dev servers with minimal configuration.
Angular Universal allows Angular projects to be rendered both client and server side. This adds to the flexibility of the framework in terms of the different types of apps you can build using Angular. Angular also supports native and mobile app development with the Ionic framework.
With the release of Angular 4, Angular officially announced long term support for the Angular framework. This means development teams don't have to worry about constantly upgrading or approving software updates in order to keep using Angular.
Unlike React, Angular is completely open source. React has a patent clause that can restrict companies from patenting their own products that use React. For these reasons, many enterprise teams stick with Angular to avoid sticky legal situations.
While libraries like React and Vue certainly have their advantages, Angular caters best to the enterprise world. Being a framework, it dictates a specific implementation that results in faster development time and better collaboration. Angular brings familiarity to the enterprise scene with TypeScript and static type checking. It's completely open source, offers long term support, and has a strong community (and Google) backing it. Sticking with the Angular framework for large scale enterprise apps is a good idea, especially for front-end development.