January 21, 2017 dschlaegel

Grails + AngularJS = Better JavaScript


In addition to being the most popular client-side programming language, JavaScript is also currently being used along with HTML5 and CSS3 for development of responsive websites and web-based mobile apps. But the developers still need to use various JavaScript libraries and frameworks to build quality web applications rapidly. Many programmers prefer combining JavaScript libraries with other web frameworks to enhance the web application's functionality and performance. A number of reports have highlighted that many web developers nowadays prefer using AngularJS and Grails framework together.

Grails Framework

Grails is a web application framework which is designed for the Java platform but uses Groovy programming language. It aims to make programmers more productive by supporting software development paradigms like Convention over Configuration (CoC). At the same time, Grails also comes with features like integrated ORM, support for NoSQL, and dependency injection powered by Spring. The users can further extend the framework by using a number of built-in plug-ins additionally. Grails further allow programmers to work with several popular IDEs and text editors like Sublime, Eclipse and Texmate.


As a structural framework, Angular makes it easier for programmers to create a variety of dynamic web applications. It is used widely by developers for creating single-page websites. While using Angular, the programmers have option to use HTML as a template language. They can simply extend the syntax of HTML to express the application's components in a clear and readable format. As the framework keeps the view and data model of the application synchronized the developers are not required to manipulate the document object model (DOM) manually. Angular can also be integrated with a number of libraries. The users can further customize the framework according to their specific needs by making changes to its features.

How to Combine Grails and AngularJS?

The developers can use a specific plug-in to add AngularJS resources to the Grails application. The plug-in will add services, controllers and other resources of AngularJS to the Grails application. At the same time, it will also generate several AngularJS modules like angular-animate, angular-touch, angular-cookies, angular-messages, angular-sanitize, angular-route, angular-loader, angular-resource, and angular-aria. These modules help developers to add functionality to the Grails application without putting any extra effort.

Alternately, the developers can also combine AngularJS and Grails by converting the AngularJS code into CoffeeScript code. However, this method is recommended only for users who are familiar with CoffeeScript. They can simply use the plug-in provided by Grails to convert JavaScript code into CoffeeScript code. As CoffeeScript aims to make JavaScript code more readable, it will be easier for programmers to manipulate the code from the Grails applications.

Why Combine Grails and AngularJS?

The developers can combine AngularJS and Grails in a number of ways. So they can combine the two frameworks without any hassle. After combining the two web frameworks, they can make each to take care of certain tasks. So they can split the common task between the two frameworks to enhance the applications performance and functionality significantly.

In comparison to Grails, AngularJS is more effective in handling single-page websites. So it can handle the changes made to a single page more efficiently. So the developers can use it for handling single-page changes like DOM manipulation and client-side data binding. Likewise, AngularJS Also can be of used for making calls and organizing the AJAX client-side JavaScript development code. It will further make it easier for developers to perform client-side unit tests through the Jasmine. The developers can also take advantage of the client-side dependency injection (DI) provided by Angular JS.

On the other hand, features and functionality of the Grails can be availed to manage large-scale websites more effectively. It can be used effectively for providing RESTful services, and mapping URL for full-page transition. Grails will further help programmers to manage application concerns like client-side and server-side dependencies, command control centers, overall file layout, and packaging and building. Likewise, Grails will help users to perform unit, integration and functional testing on the server-side. They can even use Spring to manage server-side dependencies more efficiently.

The whole On, the developers can combine AngularJS and Grails in a number of ways. After combing the two frameworks, they can avail their features to effectuate common client-side and server-side activities. However, they still need to divide tasks between the two frameworks based on their individual features and functionality.


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