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Posted 31 Aug 2016


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AngularJS 2.0 Migration Guide

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31 Aug 2016CPOL4 min read
The Angular 2.0 migration guide is to help developers and technical leads migrating Angular 1.0 framework to Angular 2.0


As of today, Angular is the most widely used web development framework. It's MV-whatever framework caught the eye of many web developers in recent years. It's a framework developed to support the end to end operations.

Angular 2.0 team has introduced new change detection system for faster rendering, promises to support isomorphic (server-side) rendering, and sets out to give tough competition to UI specific libraries such as ReactJS.

Having said that, it's a good time to learn about Angular 2.0 but it's more important to learn migration of Angular 1 applications to Angular 2.0.

Topics to be Covered

  1. Migration phases and Levels
  2. Migration Levels
  3. Phase 1
    • Level 1 : Building the base
    • Level 2 : Angular 2.0 armory
  4. Phase 2 : Upgrade to Angular 2.0
  5. Learning Resources & References

Migration Process Phases

Image 1

Migration Phases

The release of Angular 2.0 is quite possible by 2016. It’s a good time to learn about the migration process. There are two phases:

  1. Preparation
  2. Upgrade

This guide provides in-depth preparation steps for the migration. Actual upgrade and adding Angular 2.0 into the project build will be included with the release.

Migration Steps – Level 1

  1. Follow the John Papa’s Styleguide for Angular 1 development
  2. Update to the latest version of Angular 1
  3. All new development using components
  4. Switch controllers to components (component directives)
  5. Remove incompatible features (specific to Angular 2) from directives
  6. Implement manual bootstrapping (No more ng-app)

Migration Steps – Level 2

  1. Add TypeScript transpilation and build
  2. Start using ES6 or Javascript 2015
  3. Switch controllers and services to ES6 Classes
  4. Add Angular 2.0 to your project - (Not covered in this article)
  5. Migrate one piece at a time - (Not covered in this article)

Level 1: Building the Base

Step 1: Follow the Angular recommended 1.0 styleguide by John Papa

Step 2: Update to the latest Angular 1 via dependency manager

  • Bower
  • Node packages

Step 3: All new development using Angular 1.5 components

Angular has three types of directives:

  1. Component
    • Isolate scope
    • Contains template or view
    • Developed to divide the actual view into number of sub-sections
    • Can be referred as Web-components or Reusable views
  2. Decorator
    • Derivation of JavaScript’s decorator pattern
    • Enhances containing component’s properties
    • In general, restricted as ‘A’ attribute directives
  3. Structural
    • Manipulates DOM
    • Takes control of deleting DOM elements from the view
    • It is not recommended to develop custom structural directives

Angular 1.5 components are introduced to replace the component or element type directives in the application. This is a big step towards component driven application design because new components can be configured in the router to provide navigation.

New components can replace your views, sub-views and sub-sub-views which were written as states and element-directive respectively.

To learn more about the Angular 1.5 components, please refer to the documentation:

Step 4: Convert old controllers into Angular 1.5 components. Here's an example:


var FirstModule = angular.module('FirstModule');
  // View and route configuration
function FirstModuleCtrl(DataService) {


var app = angular.module('app')
var config = {
templateUrl : 'FirstComponent/FirstComponent.hmtl',
bindings: {
someAttribute: '='
controller: FirstComponentCtrl
app.component('FirstComponent', config)
function FirstComponentCtrl () { = 'This value should reflect in the HTML'

Step 5: Remove Incompatible features from Directives

  1. Compile
  2. Terminal
  3. Priority
  4. Replace

Note: We don’t have to modify attribute directives, since they are not upgradable to Angular 2.0 and we will end up re-writing them.

Step 6: Manual Bootstrapping

Angular 2.0 uses manual bootstrapping. To perform manual bootstrapping in Angular 1, please add this to your App.js (bootstrapping logic) and remove directive bootstrapping (ng-app).

New ES6 syntax
angular.element(document).ready( () => {
    angular.bootstrap(document.body, ['app'])
Old ES5 syntax
angular.element(document).ready( function () {
     angular.bootstrap(document.body, ['app'])

Note: Most important step, since we cannot migrate to 2.0 without it.

Level 2: Angular 2.0 Armory

Step 1: Add TypeScript to the project build

Add TypeScript and typings node modules to your dev-dependencies

npm install typescript typings - - save-dev

Add typescript compiler and typings command to the npm scripts (package.json).

"scripts": {
    "start": "node ./server/server.js",
    "dev": "nodemon ./server/server.js -w ./server",
    "test": "karma start",
    "tsc": "tsc -p . -w --outDir build",
    "typings": "typings"

Step 2: Add TypeScript Configuration

Create a tsconfig.json file in your project root. This config file will be used for adding TypeScript build path and including typings.

  "compilerOptions": {
    "target": "ES5",
    "module": "system",
    "sourceMap": true,
    "emitDecoratorMetadata": true,
    "experimentalDecorators": true,
    "removeComments": false
  "exclude": [
Where to store compiled source files?
  1. Same directory as .ts file:
    • Advantage of using relative path
    • No configuration needed for removing build files
  2. Within a separate build directory:
    • Directory looks clean, only contains .ts files
    • Need to watch scripts via build tool for development server

Step 3: Switch controllers to ES6 Classes

Here, we are re-writing the controller defined in the Step 2 - New Component.

class FirstComponentCtrl {
  $location: any;
  auth: any;
  data: string;

  constructor ($location, auth) {
    this.$location = $location;
    this.auth = auth;

  someFunc () { = 'should reflect in the view';

Step 4: Switch services to ES6 Classes

var App = angular.module('app')

App.service('MyService', MyService)

class MyService {
  $q: any;
  auth: any;
  data: string;

  constructor ($q, auth) {
    this.$q = $q;
    this.auth = auth;

  someFunc () {
    // Do some AJAX Call
    // Returns promise

Migration Phase 2 – Upgrade to Angular 2.0

Step 5: Adding Angular 2.0

The recommendation is to wait for the stable release of Angular 2.0. After adding Angular 2.0 to the project, we will upgrade or re-write one module at a time.

This guide will be extended once the Angular 2.0 is released.

Angular 2.0 - Official Resources


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author

Anurag Sharma
Software Developer (Senior)
India India
Innovative IT professional offering experience in leveraging software engineering to deliver highly effective and creative solutions to business and technology challenges. Consistently drives high standards of service through effective project management, communication, and strategic planning to develop and manage strong client relationships. Highly organized with strong capacity to prioritize workload, delegate deliverables, and steer project completion within established deadlines.

Core Competencies -

Software Development / Engineering
Mobile application development
Team Building / Leadership
Training & Mentoring
Agile process - Scrum & Kanban
Project Management

Comments and Discussions

GeneralA bit of help Pin
Member 1204592424-Jan-17 22:30
MemberMember 1204592424-Jan-17 22:30 

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