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README.md

angularfire-seed — the seed for Angular+Firebase apps

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This derivative of angular-seed is an application skeleton for a typical AngularFire web app. You can use it to quickly bootstrap your Angular + Firebase projects.

The seed is preconfigured to install the Angular framework, Firebase, AngularFire, and a bundle of development and testing tools.

The seed app doesn't do much, but does demonstrate the basics of Angular + Firebase development, including:

  • binding synchronized objects
  • binding synchronized arrays
  • authentication
  • route security
  • basic account management

How to use angularfire-seed

Other than one additional configuration step (specifying your Firebase database URL), this setup is nearly identical to angular-seed.

Prerequisites

You need git to clone the angularfire-seed repository. You can get it from http://git-scm.com/.

We also use a number of node.js tools to initialize and test angularfire-seed. You must have node.js and its package manager (npm) installed. You can get them from http://nodejs.org/.

Clone angularfire-seed

Clone the angularfire-seed repository using git:

git clone https://github.com/firebase/angularfire-seed.git
cd angularfire-seed

Install Dependencies

We have two kinds of dependencies in this project: tools and angular framework code. The tools help us manage and test the application.

We have preconfigured npm to automatically run bower so we can simply do:

npm install

Behind the scenes this will also call bower install. You should find that you have two new folders in your project.

  • node_modules - contains the npm packages for the tools we need
  • app/bower_components - contains the angular framework files

Note that the bower_components folder would normally be installed in the root folder but angularfire-seed changes this location through the .bowerrc file. Putting it in the app folder makes it easier to serve the files by a webserver.

Configure the Application

  1. Open app/config.js and set the value of FBURL constant to your Firebase database URL
  2. Go to your Firebase dashboard and enable email/password authentication under the Auth tab
  3. Copy/paste the contents of security-rules.json into your Security tab, which is also under your Firebase dashboard.

Run the Application

We have preconfigured the project with a simple development web server. The simplest way to start this server is:

npm start

Now browse to the app at http://localhost:8000/app/index.html.

Directory Layout

app/                  --> all of the files to be used in production
  app.js              --> application
  config.js           --> where you configure Firebase and auth options
  app.css             --> default stylesheet
  index.html          --> app layout file (the main html template file of the app)
  index-async.html    --> just like index.html, but loads js files asynchronously
  components/         --> javascript files
    appversion/       --> The app-version directive
    auth/             --> A wrapper on the `$firebaseAuth` service
    firebase.utils/   --> Some convenience methods for dealing with Firebase event callbacks and refs
    ngcloak/          --> A decorator on the ngCloak directive so that it works with auth
    reverse/          --> A filter to reverse order of arrays
    security/         --> route-based security tools (adds the $routeProvider.whenAuthenticated() method and redirects)
  account/            --> the account view
  chat/               --> the chat view
  home/               --> the default view
  login/              --> login screen
e2e-tests/            --> protractor end-to-end tests
test/lib/             --> utilities and mocks for test units

Testing

There are two kinds of tests in the angularfire-seed application: Unit tests and End to End tests.

Running Unit Tests

The angularfire-seed app comes preconfigured with unit tests. These are written in Jasmine, which we run with the Karma Test Runner. We provide a Karma configuration file to run them.

  • the configuration is found at test/karma.conf.js
  • the unit tests are found in test/unit/

The easiest way to run the unit tests is to use the supplied npm script:

npm test

This script will start the Karma test runner to execute the unit tests. Moreover, Karma will sit and watch the source and test files for changes and then re-run the tests whenever any of them change. This is the recommended strategy; if your unit tests are being run every time you save a file then you receive instant feedback on any changes that break the expected code functionality.

You can also ask Karma to do a single run of the tests and then exit. This is useful if you want to check that a particular version of the code is operating as expected. The project contains a predefined script to do this:

npm run test-single-run

End to end testing

The angularfire-seed app comes with end-to-end tests, again written in Jasmine. These tests are run with the Protractor End-to-End test runner. It uses native events and has special features for Angular applications.

  • the configuration is found at e2e-tests/protractor-conf.js
  • the end-to-end tests are found in e2e-tests/scenarios.js

Protractor simulates interaction with our web app and verifies that the application responds correctly. Therefore, our web server needs to be serving up the application, so that Protractor can interact with it.

npm start

In addition, since Protractor is built upon WebDriver we need to install this. The angularfire-seed project comes with a predefined script to do this:

npm run update-webdriver

This will download and install the latest version of the stand-alone WebDriver tool.

Once you have ensured that the development web server hosting our application is up and running and WebDriver is updated, you can run the end-to-end tests using the supplied npm script:

npm run protractor

This script will execute the end-to-end tests against the application being hosted on the development server.

Updating Dependencies

Previously we recommended that you merge in changes to angularfire-seed into your own fork of the project. Now that the angular framework library code and tools are acquired through package managers (npm and bower) you can use these tools instead to update the dependencies.

You can update the tool dependencies by running:

npm update

This will find the latest versions that match the version ranges specified in the package.json file.

You can update the Angular, Firebase, and AngularFire dependencies by running:

bower update

This will find the latest versions that match the version ranges specified in the bower.json file.

Loading AngularFire Asynchronously

The angularfire-seed project supports loading the framework and application scripts asynchronously. The special index-async.html is designed to support this style of loading. For it to work you must inject a piece of Angular JavaScript into the HTML page. The project has a predefined script to help do this.

npm run update-index-async

This will copy the contents of the angular-loader.js library file into the index-async.html page. You can run this every time you update the version of Angular that you are using.

Serving the Application Files

While Angular is client-side-only technology and it's possible to create Angular webapps that don't require a backend server at all, we recommend serving the project files using a local webserver during development to avoid issues with security restrictions (sandbox) in browsers. The sandbox implementation varies between browsers, but quite often prevents things like cookies, xhr, etc to function properly when an html page is opened via file:// scheme instead of http://.

Running the App during Development

The angularfire-seed project comes preconfigured with a local development webserver. It is a node.js tool called http-server. You can start this webserver with npm start but you may choose to install the tool globally:

sudo npm install -g http-server

Then you can start your own development web server to serve static files from a folder by running:

http-server

Alternatively, you can choose to configure your own webserver, such as apache or nginx. Just configure your server to serve the files under the app/ directory.

Running the App in Production

This really depends on how complex your app is and the overall infrastructure of your system, but the general rule is that all you need in production are all the files under the app/ directory. Everything else should be omitted.

Angular/Firebase apps are really just a bunch of static html, css and js files that just need to be hosted somewhere they can be accessed by browsers.

Continuous Integration

Travis CI

Travis CI is a continuous integration service, which can monitor GitHub for new commits to your repository and execute scripts such as building the app or running tests. The angularfire-seed project contains a Travis configuration file, .travis.yml, which will cause Travis to run your tests when you push to GitHub.

You will need to enable the integration between Travis and GitHub. See the Travis website for more instruction on how to do this.

CloudBees

CloudBees have provided a CI/deployment setup:

If you run this, you will get a cloned version of this repo to start working on in a private git repo, along with a CI service (in Jenkins) hosted that will run unit and end to end tests in both Firefox and Chrome.

Contact

For more information on Firebase and AngularFire, check out https://firebase.com/docs/web/bindings/angular

For more information on AngularJS please check out http://angularjs.org/

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