Alan Alan - 5 months ago 79
AngularJS Question

How can I add some small utility functions to my AngularJS application?

I would like to add some utility functions to my AngularJS application. For example:

$scope.isNotString = function (str) {
return (typeof str !== "string");
}


Is the best way to do this to add them as a service? From what I have read I can do
this but then I would like to use these in my HTML pages so is it still possible if
they are in a service? For example can I use the following:

<button data-ng-click="doSomething()"
data-ng-disabled="isNotString(abc)">Do Something
</button>


Can someone give me an example of how I could add these. Should I create a service
or is there some other way of doing it. Most important I would like these utility
functions in a file and not combined with another part of the main set up.

I understand there's a few solutions but none of them are so clear.

Solution 1 - Proposed by Urban

$scope.doSomething = ServiceName.functionName;


The problem here is I have 20 functions and ten controllers. If I did this it would mean adding a lot of code to each controller.

Solution 2 - Proposed by me

var factory = {

Setup: function ($scope) {

$scope.isNotString = function (str) {
return (typeof str !== "string");
}


The disadvantage of this is that at the start of every controller I would have one or more of these Setup calls to each service which passed the $scope.

Solution 3 - Proposed by Urban

The solution proposed by urban of creating a generic service looks good. Here's my main set up:

var app = angular
.module('app', ['ngAnimate', 'ui.router', 'admin', 'home', 'questions', 'ngResource', 'LocalStorageModule'])
.config(['$locationProvider', '$sceProvider', '$stateProvider',
function ($locationProvider, $sceProvider, $stateProvider) {

$sceProvider.enabled(false);
$locationProvider.html5Mode(true);


Should I add the generic service to this and how could I do it ?

Answer

EDIT 7/1/15:

I wrote this answer a pretty long time ago and haven't been keeping up a lot with angular for a while, but it seems as though this answer is still relatively popular, so I wanted to point out that a couple of the point @nicolas makes below are good. For one, injecting $rootScope and attaching the helpers there will keep you from having to add them for every controller. Also - I agree that if what you're adding should be thought of as Angular services OR filters, they should be adopted into the code in that manner.

Also, as of the current version 1.4.2, Angular exposes a "Provider" API, which is allowed to be injected into config blocks. See these resources for more:

https://docs.angularjs.org/guide/module#module-loading-dependencies

AngularJS dependency injection of value inside of module.config

I don't think I'm going to update the actual code blocks below, because I'm not really actively using Angular these days and I don't really want to hazard a new answer without feeling comfortable that it's actually conforming to new best practices. If someone else feels up to it, by all means go for it.

EDIT 2/3/14:

After thinking about this and reading some of the other answers, I actually think I prefer a variation of the method brought up by @Brent Washburne and @Amogh Talpallikar. Especially if you're looking for utilities like isNotString() or similar. One of the clear advantages here is that you can re-use them outside of your angular code and you can use them inside of your config function (which you can't do with services).

That being said, if you're looking for a generic way to re-use what should properly be services, the old answer I think is still a good one.

What I would do now is:

app.js:

var MyNamespace = MyNamespace || {};

 MyNamespace.helpers = {
   isNotString: function(str) {
     return (typeof str !== "string");
   }
 };

 angular.module('app', ['app.controllers', 'app.services']).                             
   config(['$routeProvider', function($routeProvider) {
     // Routing stuff here...
   }]);

controller.js:

angular.module('app.controllers', []).                                                                                                                                                                                  
  controller('firstCtrl', ['$scope', function($scope) {
    $scope.helpers = MyNamespace.helpers;
  });

Then in your partial you can use:

<button data-ng-click="console.log(helpers.isNotString('this is a string'))">Log String Test</button>

Old answer below:

It might be best to include them as a service. If you're going to re-use them across multiple controllers, including them as a service will keep you from having to repeat code.

If you'd like to use the service functions in your html partial, then you should add them to that controller's scope:

$scope.doSomething = ServiceName.functionName;

Then in your partial you can use:

<button data-ng-click="doSomething()">Do Something</button>

Here's a way you might keep this all organized and free from too much hassle:

Separate your controller, service and routing code/config into three files: controllers.js, services.js, and app.js. The top layer module is "app", which has app.controllers and app.services as dependencies. Then app.controllers and app.services can be declared as modules in their own files. This organizational structure is just taken from Angular Seed:

app.js:

 angular.module('app', ['app.controllers', 'app.services']).                             
   config(['$routeProvider', function($routeProvider) {
     // Routing stuff here...
   }]);  

services.js:

 /* Generic Services */                                                                                                                                                                                                    
 angular.module('app.services', [])                                                                                                                                                                        
   .factory("genericServices", function() {                                                                                                                                                   
     return {                                                                                                                                                                                                              
       doSomething: function() {   
         //Do something here
       },
       doSomethingElse: function() {
         //Do something else here
       }
    });

controller.js:

angular.module('app.controllers', []).                                                                                                                                                                                  
  controller('firstCtrl', ['$scope', 'genericServices', function($scope, genericServices) {
    $scope.genericServices = genericServices;
  });

Then in your partial you can use:

<button data-ng-click="genericServices.doSomething()">Do Something</button>
<button data-ng-click="genericServices.doSomethingElse()">Do Something Else</button>

That way you only add one line of code to each controller and are able to access any of the services functions wherever that scope is accessible.