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Angular 2 UI Prototype

This project represents the "extended prototype" featuring Angular 2 from the DSpace UI Prototype Challenge. This prototype is a collaboration by @mire, Cineca, DuraSpace and Texas A&M.

The goal of this extended prototype is to evaluate the Angular 2 framework as a plausible DSpace UI platform. This includes evaluating whether it meets the SEO needs of Google Scholar.

Project Board (

Implementation Phases

Phase 1 : Initial Google Scholar Proof-of-Concept (COMPLETE)

In Phase 1 of this UI Prototype, we will be rapidly developing a basic Angular 2 UI using Angular Universal (isomorphic Javascript for Angular 2). The purpose of the initial prototype is to simply prove (or disprove) that Angular Universal's server-side rendering capabilities will meet the SEO needs of Google Scholar.

In Phase 1, all development will occur using Node / NPM (these are akin to Maven or Gradle for Java). This will allow us to rapidly build a simple Angular 2 UI against an existing REST API (e.g. That simple Angular 2 UI can then be tested by Google Scholar to see if it will meet their SEO needs.

After this phase is complete, we'd simply have a prototype Angular 2 UI that can be installed via Node and pointed at an existing DSpace installation's REST API.

Phase 2 : Demonstration for OR16 Conference

In Phase 2 we will be building an enhanced prototype for demonstration at the OR16 Conference in Dublin. This enhanced prototype will include (but is not limited to):

  • Basic Authentication
  • Editing / Creating of Communities, Collections, Items
  • Improved theme (likely similar to Mirage 2)

Phase 3 : Migrate UI into Spring Boot / DSpace

After OR16, we will work to bring the Angular 2 UI into/alongside Spring Boot (alongside the DSpace Java API, REST API, etc). This will involve migrating the existing Angular2 Node / NPM build process into either Maven (or Gradle), using an available Node plugin for those build tools.

After this phase is complete, we'd have an Angular 2 UI that is provided as part of the normal DSpace installation process.


  • Node.js, preferrably 4.4.x (may not work for earlier versions)
  • (Optional) An external DSpace 5.x site. At this time, the prototype simply points at the REST API for
    • REST API location can be changed in config.ts in the root directory.
    • In the future, we will be updating this to work with the DSpace 6.x REST API.

Getting Started

Here's how you can install/run the current prototype:

  1. npm install Installs local and global dependencies.
    • Global dependencies are installed first (allowing them to be used from command line)
    • Then local dependencies are installed into ./node_modules subdirectory
  2. (Optional) If desired, change the location of the REST API you wish to use in config.ts. By default, this prototype currently uses the REST API for
    • NOTE: Currently, this prototype has ONLY been tested with DSpace 5.x REST APIs. It may not yet work with other versions of DSpace.
  3. npm run watch Builds the project, then starts up the node server and watches for any changes to files (if detected, automatically rebuilds the project to see changes immediately). Visit http://localhost:3000/
    • Alternatively, you can separate this out into two steps:
      • npm run build Builds the project. Required to be re-run whenever typescript files are changed.
      • npm run test Runs node server and a (temporary) proxy to work around CORS and security issues of DSpace REST API. Visit http://localhost:3000/

Other available commands:

  • npm run docs Generates the TypeDoc documentation (i.e. Typescript docs) in the docs directory. Should be run and update to gh-pages when typescript is changed.
  • npm run clean Removes all local dependencies by deleting ./node_modules. Only useful for testing a fresh install process.

Implementation Details

Overview of all the parts of the UI prototype:

Here's where various parts of the codebase are located:

  • src/app/ is the client-side typescript that drives application
  • src/server/ is the server-side typescript components
  • resources/ is where all static resources (CSS, images, etc) are kept
  • Bootstrap is pulled in dynamically via NPM

Learning Resources

We've begun to gather a list of useful resources for learning more about these technologies on our Wiki. In particular, take a look at Developer Resources


Project Board (

Other "best practices" to note:

  • Style guide: Currently, we are loosely following the style guide at
  • All code changes via PRs please (anyone can submit them). Please write a detailed description of the changes.
  • Have someone else approve/accept your PR (no self-approval unless it's a completely obvious bug fix).
  • Code comments are highly recommended. We are all learning Angular 2, and it may not be obvious what your code changes are actually doing. So, please add code comments.
  • Hints / tips / resources. We are gathering information on developer hints/tips/resources on our GitHub project Wiki
  • If you have a question or topic of discussion, consider adding it as a GitHub issue. That way we can track the final answer / decision (which will make it easier to document later on)

Known Issues

  • Not currently a full implementation of DSpace. Currently this project is simply an Angular 2 UI against an existing DSpace REST API.
    • Currently expects DSpace 5.x REST API (not updated for 6.x)
    • Eventually needs to be packaged via Spring Boot alongside REST API and other server-side interfaces (OAI, SWORD, ect)
  • Requires proxy to work around security issues: invalid certificates and absent CORS headers.
  • CORS are not being provided from the DSpace REST API in the response.
  • Angular2, Angular Universal, and rxjs are in Beta.
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