Thursday, October 27, 2016

Get a headstart when building ASP.NET Core+Angular 2 applications

If you already tried to create your first Angular 2 application, you probably had the same experience as I had. It takes a lot of time before all building blocks, configuration settings, npm packages, webpack, system.js,… is finally configured in a way that works. Once you’ve passed this initial roadblock, you are good to go, but it will take some time to get there…

Luckily Mads Kristensen, the guy who brought us the great Web Essentials extensions for Visual Studio, created the ASP.NET Core Template Pack. It is a collection of project templates that makes it easy to learn how to use ASP.NET Core.

Among the templates you can find one specific for ASP.NET Core and Angular 2.

Let’s try it!

  • Download and install the ASP.NET Core Template Pack either from the Visual Studio Gallery or through the Extensions and Updates… inside Visual Studio.
  • Open Visual Studio. Go to File –> New Project.

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  • Go to the Web section inside the Templates. Choose ASP.NET Core Angular 2 Starter Application from the list of templates. Click OK.

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  • 10 seconds later, we have our preconfigured Angular 2 application ready to roll! No time lost, trying to understand which packages are required or to how to configure webpack.

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  • And if we run it we see that we get some extra goodies:
    • Server-side prerendering. For faster initial loading and improved SEO, your Angular 2 app is prerendered on the server. The resulting HTML is then transferred to the browser where a client-side copy of the app takes over.
    • Webpack dev middleware. In development mode, there's no need to run the webpack build tool. Your client-side resources are dynamically built on demand. Updates are available as soon as you modify any file.
    • Hot module replacement. In development mode, you don't even need to reload the page after making most changes. Within seconds of saving changes to files, your Angular 2 app will be rebuilt and a new instance injected is into the page.
    • Efficient production builds. In production mode, development-time features are disabled, and the webpack build tool produces minified static CSS and JavaScript files.

Nice!

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