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@ngdoc overview
@name Developer Guide: Modules
# What is a Module?
Most applications have a main method which instantiates, wires, and bootstraps the application.
Angular apps don't have a main method. Instead modules declaratively specify how an application
should be bootstrapped. There are several advantages to this approach:
* The process is more declarative which is easier to understand
* In unit-testing there is no need to load all modules, which may aid in writing unit-tests.
* Additional modules can be loaded in scenario tests, which can override some of the
configuration and help end-to-end test the application
* Third party code can be packaged as reusable modules.
* The modules can be loaded in any/parallel order (due to delayed nature of module execution).
# The Basics
Ok, I'm in a hurry. How do I get a Hello World module working?
Important things to notice:
* {@link api/angular.Module Module} API
* Notice the reference to the `myApp` module in the `<html ng-app="myApp">`, it is what
bootstraps the app using your module.
<doc:example module='myApp'>
// declare a module
var myAppModule = angular.module('myApp', []);
// configure the module.
// in this example we will create a greeting filter
myAppModule.filter('greet', function() {
return function(name) {
return 'Hello, ' + name + '!';
{{ 'World' | greet }}
# Recommended Setup
While the example above is simple, it will not scale to large applications. Instead we recommend
that you break your application to multiple modules like this:
* A service module, for service declaration
* A directive module, for directive declaration
* A filter module, for filter declaration
* And an application level module which depends on the above modules, and which has
initialization code.
The reason for this breakup is that in your tests, it is often necessary to ignore the
initialization code, which tends to be difficult to test. By putting it into a separate module it
can be easily ignored in tests. The tests can also be more focused by only loading the modules
that are relevant to tests.
The above is only a suggestion, so feel free to tailor it to your needs.
<doc:example module='xmpl'>
angular.module('xmpl.service', []).
value('greeter', {
salutation: 'Hello',
localize: function(localization) {
this.salutation = localization.salutation;
greet: function(name) {
return this.salutation + ' ' + name + '!';
value('user', {
load: function(name) { = name;
angular.module('xmpl.directive', []);
angular.module('xmpl.filter', []);
angular.module('xmpl', ['xmpl.service', 'xmpl.directive', 'xmpl.filter']).
run(function(greeter, user) {
// This is effectively part of the main method initialization code
salutation: 'Bonjour'
// A Controller for your app
var XmplController = function($scope, greeter, user) {
$scope.greeting = greeter.greet(;
<div ng-controller="XmplController">
{{ greeting }}!
# Module Loading & Dependencies
A module is a collection of configuration and run blocks which get applied to the application
during the bootstrap process. In its simplest form the module consist of collection of two kinds
of blocks:
1. **Configuration blocks** - get executed during the provider registrations and configuration
phase. Only providers and constants can be injected into configuration blocks. This is to
prevent accidental instantiation of services before they have been fully configured.
2. **Run blocks** - get executed after the injector is created and are used to kickstart the
application. Only instances and constants can be injected into run blocks. This is to prevent
further system configuration during application run time.
angular.module('myModule', []).
config(function(injectables) { // provider-injector
// This is an example of config block.
// You can have as many of these as you want.
// You can only inject Providers (not instances)
// into the config blocks.
run(function(injectables) { // instance-injector
// This is an example of a run block.
// You can have as many of these as you want.
// You can only inject instances (not Providers)
// into the run blocks
## Configuration Blocks
There are some convenience methods on the module which are equivalent to the config block. For
angular.module('myModule', []).
value('a', 123).
factory('a', function() { return 123; }).
directive('directiveName', ...).
filter('filterName', ...);
// is same as
angular.module('myModule', []).
config(function($provide, $compileProvider, $filterProvider) {
$provide.value('a', 123);
$provide.factory('a', function() { return 123; });
$compileProvider.directive('directiveName', ...);
$filterProvider.register('filterName', ...);
The configuration blocks get applied in the order in which they are registered. The only exception
to it are constant definitions, which are placed at the beginning of all configuration blocks.
## Run Blocks
Run blocks are the closest thing in Angular to the main method. A run block is the code which
needs to run to kickstart the application. It is executed after all of the service have been
configured and the injector has been created. Run blocks typically contain code which is hard
to unit-test, and for this reason should be declared in isolated modules, so that they can be
ignored in the unit-tests.
## Dependencies
Modules can list other modules as their dependencies. Depending on a module implies that required
module needs to be loaded before the requiring module is loaded. In other words the configuration
blocks of the required modules execute before the configuration blocks of the requiring module.
The same is true for the run blocks. Each module can only be loaded once, even if multiple other
modules require it.
## Asynchronous Loading
Modules are a way of managing $injector configuration, and have nothing to do with loading of
scripts into a VM. There are existing projects which deal with script loading, which may be used
with Angular. Because modules do nothing at load time they can be loaded into the VM in any order
and thus script loaders can take advantage of this property and parallelize the loading process.
## Creation versus Retrieval
Beware that using `angular.module('myModule', [])` will create the module `myModule` and overwrite any
existing module named `myModule`. Use `angular.module('myModule')` to retrieve an existing module.
var myModule = angular.module('myModule', []);
// add some directives and services
myModule.service('myService', ...);
myModule.directive('myDirective', ...);
// overwrites both myService and myDirective by creating a new module
var myModule = angular.module('myModule', []);
// throws an error because myOtherModule has yet to be defined
var myModule = angular.module('myOtherModule');
# Unit Testing
In its simplest form a unit test is a way of instantiating a subset of the application in test and
then applying a stimulus to it. It is important to realize that each module can only be loaded
once per injector. Typically an app has only one injector. But in tests, each test has its own
injector, which means that the modules are loaded multiple times per VM. Properly structured
modules can help with unit testing, as in this example:
In all of these examples we are going to assume this module definition:
angular.module('greetMod', []).
factory('alert', function($window) {
return function(text) {
value('salutation', 'Hello').
factory('greet', function(alert, salutation) {
return function(name) {
alert(salutation + ' ' + name + '!');
Let's write some tests:
describe('myApp', function() {
// load the relevant application modules then load a special
// test module which overrides the $window with a mock version,
// so that calling window.alert() will not block the test
// runner with a real alert box. This is an example of overriding
// configuration information in tests.
beforeEach(module('greetMod', function($provide) {
$provide.value('$window', {
alert: jasmine.createSpy('alert')
// The inject() will create the injector and inject the greet and
// $window into the tests. The test need not concern itself with
// wiring of the application, only with testing it.
it('should alert on $window', inject(function(greet, $window) {
expect($window.alert).toHaveBeenCalledWith('Hello World!');
// this is another way of overriding configuration in the
// tests using an inline module and inject methods.
it('should alert using the alert service', function() {
var alertSpy = jasmine.createSpy('alert');
module(function($provide) {
$provide.value('alert', alertSpy);
inject(function(greet) {
expect(alertSpy).toHaveBeenCalledWith('Hello World!');
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