Looking back, looking forward

Year in review: Angular in 2017

JAXenter Editorial Team
Angular Java Docker
© Shutterstock / marekuliasz

As 2017 draws to a close, it’s good to stop and take a look at how things have gone over the past twelve months. Today, we’re looking at Angular: what happened this year and what’s next for our favorite framework.

This past year was certainly a year of contrasts. From exciting new launches to terrifying security threats, 2017 had it all. As the year draws to a close, we’re taking the time to stop and reflect on some of our favorite technologies from this year. First up, Angular.

Angular has had a very big year, with not one but two major releases. It’s hasn’t all been grand but things have been fairly positive for this framework. We’re definitely excited to see what 2018 has in store.


Perhaps everyone was still recovering from their New Year’s celebrations and making good on their resolutions, considering how little news came out of Angular this month. While it did make a couple of 2017 tech trend lists, all was quiet on the Angular front in January.


Things picked up in February, as the latest release for JHipster 4 finally supported AngularJS and Angular 2. Additionally, although Angular CLI was still in beta, that didn’t stop Yakov Fain from creating a useful tutorial on how to create, bundle, and deploy a simple project with it.


Big news this month with the long-awaited release of Angular 4. After quite some time, Angular 4 debuted with a number skip (no Angular 3!) and a revolutionary new framework that was also backwards compatible. Changes under the hood meant that Angular applications were now smaller and faster.

In other news, Karsten Sitterberg explained how you can create Angular CLI apps inside Docker containers, Tim Webb explained why the Angular IDE plug-in is a great balance between Eclipse and modern web development, and we explored why your favorite libraries might be at risk due to poor maintenance.

SEE MORE: 4 experts predict what’s coming in 2018: DevOps, AI, and more


We celebrated April Fool’s Day with all of the feels for the new Angular 4. In general, April was spent oohing and ahhing over all of the shiny new features from Angular 4. The big story this month was from Karsten Sitterberg and Thomas Kruse, who did a deep dive into the release. Thanks to their work, we got a great look at all the innovations, got some useful tips on migrating and listened to their predictions at what Angular 5 will look like.

Also, thanks to Stack Overflow, we found out most of you do your Angular coding in the evening. Very industrious of you.


May saw the release of our JAX Magazine dedicated to frameworks. In “Does this frame work?”, we went over frameworks of all kinds, including an article on Angular by Wassim Chegham, Uri Shaked, and Christoffer Noring. Relatedly, we went over the explosive growth of TypeScript, which could definitely be partially attributed to Angular.

We also went over the latest release of AngularDart. AngularDart 3.0 have to offered developers better performance, smaller generated code and the promise to make them more productive.


What went on in June? Well, we found out that Angular users were some of the most likely developers to get lost in Vim. We also learned that Angular was one of the top tools for developers learn for 2017 according to Packt’s third annual Skill Up survey. And finally, we explored what makes the sum of Angular greater than its parts.

SEE MORE: Putting Angular and progressive web apps to work in 2018


No summer slowdown here! July saw the release of NgRx 4 to match the newest version of Angular. This update brought exciting features like lazy loading, simplified testing, and even a redesigned router integration. And the release of IntelliJ IDEA 2017.2 saw greater support for Angular as well.

Not to be outdone, Angular Material released a beta version with loads of new features. (If you weren’t aware, Angular Material’s mission is “to build a set of high-quality UI components built with Angular and TypeScript, following the Material Design spec. These components will serve as an example of how to write Angular code following best practices.” The more you know.)

More framework fun ensued as Nikola Kolev went over pros and cons of using frameworks like Angular and Alexsandro Souza guided us on a walk-through on how to create a ToDo system with Angular.


August was something of a slow news month. Maybe everyone was on vacation? In any case, we did get to explore why some open source projects succeed and others fail. Turns out, it has a lot to do with initial corporate backing. In Angular’s case, that would be Google.

Julia Kravchenko explained the advantages and disadvantages of three different frameworks – Angular, Ember.js, and Vue.js – and why choosing one is a matter of personal preference.


September saw the release of AngularDart 4 after months of beta testing. Big news from this release include package name changes, preliminary support for component inheritance, and more.

Some Angular-related libraries placed second on the Top 10 Java libraries for saving time, so that’s nice.

However, most of the month was full of various release candidates for the upcoming Angular 5 release.

SEE MORE: Trending 2018: What does the future hold for AI & IoT?


GitHub’s State of the Octoverse celebrated another year with 24 million developers working in 67 million repositories. Proving that it really does take a village, roughly 7,400 of those developers helped contribute to Angular. Good job, team!

More features for the Angular 5 release started trickling out, including the internationalization and localization of apps. Lolita Rogers and Olga Nasonova went over the basics of going global and shared some tips and tricks on how to bring your app to the wider world.

We also talked to Dr. Marius Hofmeister and Stephan Rauh about the advantages of Angular and React compared to other frameworks and when to use them.


November was a big news month for Angular! Slightly late, but version 5.0.0 of Angular, pentagonal-donut showed up this month. This major release contains an abundance of new features and bugfixes; its aim is to continue the Angular team’s focus on making it smaller, faster, and easier to use. This was the first release to stick to Angular’s new six month update schedule.

We celebrated the new release with a very emotional look at how happy were are to see Angular 5 as well as a new edition of our programming pub quiz series. Karsten Sitterberg took a closer look at some of the new features and even gave us a sneak peek at what might be in store for Angular 6.

Other Angular news included topping Stack Overflow’s most dramatic technology increases, which Radoslav Karaivanov explored. Kevin Gardner explained six reasons why this popular framework is absolutely not to be missed. Infragistics went over how Angular and progressive web apps will be used in 2018 and why Ignite UI for Angular is a better UI for a better UX. Lolita Rogers went over NgRx and why you should be using the extension for Angular.

Sadly, Angular dropped off the latest Upwork Skills Index for top 10 fastest-growing freelance skills. However, it’s still a major perk for freelancers and one of the most desirable skills to have, especially for teams with a strong Java background.


As the year comes to a close, we begin to turn our eyes towards the next version of Angular. Our roadmap to Angular 6 has the scoop on all the details. 5.1.0 is here and although it only brings three bugfixes, the Angular 6 machinery is now in motion.

Angular 5.1 is not the only good news though — Stephen Fluin, developer advocate at Google announced in a blog post that the team also released v1.6 of the Angular CLI, and the first stable release of Angular Material.

2018 and beyond

What’s in store for Angular in the coming year? Well, as far as we can tell, Angular 6 is going to be released in March or April of 2018. According to Karsten Sittenberg, “the Angular team already has announced that the latest version’s focus applications should be even faster at runtime and more compact in delivery. Until then, it’s likely that experiments from the Angular-Labs will be stable and adopted into the framework or AngularCLI.”

There you go. So, if you’re really interested in getting a sneak peek at the future of Angular, head on over to the Angular-Labs.

Thanks for a great year, Angular! We’re excited to see what’s in store for 2018!


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