Sensible seed project for angular apps.
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angular-sensible-seed — the sensible seed for AngularJS apps

Opinionated angular starter project with per feature directory structure, static content, gulp build system, integrated logo/search/ui-router/ui-bootstrap/less.


Why another angular seed project? Because this one is different from many other forks:

  • include common libraries/elements expected in today's webapps:
    • brand logo -- fits in navbar
    • search bar -- ditto
    • support routes with tabs
    • angular-boostrap -- angular version of Twitter Bootstrap
    • angular-ui-router -- angular's state based router
    • angular-loading-bar -- loading bar for improved user experience / feedback
    • defined production build
  • index.html
    • static application works as you expect, no build requires just open in browser and go
    • include *.less files directly in your content
    • directly edit index.html, partials, any js/less code -- refresh and go (livereload is nice when it works, but much more complex/fragile)
    • edit from Developer Tools, IDE, Sublime or any other editor
  • code organization
    • application wide code separated from feature code
    • individual feature code grouped together
  • build automation
    • gulp build system (ex. to update index.htm with new bower dependencies)
    • separate build for the final distribution files
  • no index-async.html -- there are other ways to do that, without requiring a separate main file

This project is an application skeleton for a typical AngularJS web app. You can use it to quickly bootstrap your angular webapp projects and dev environment for these projects.

The seed contains a sample AngularJS application and is preconfigured to install the Angular framework and a bunch of development and testing tools for instant web development gratification.

The seed app doesn't do much, just shows how to wire two controllers and views together.

Alt text

Getting Started

To get you started you can simply clone the angular-sensible-seed repository and install the dependencies:


Clone angular-sensible-seed

Clone the angular-sensible-seed repository using git:

git clone
cd angular-sensible-seed
npm install

Install Dependencies

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

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 source files for the application
│   ├── bower_components        --> all external dependencies 
│   ├── features                --> all high level features 
│   │   ├── feature1
│   │   └── feature2
│   ├── images                  --> application wide images
│   ├── css                     --> application css (main.css produced from less, see below)
│   ├── js                      --> application wide js code
│   │   └── components
│   └── partials                --> application wide partials (header, footer, nav, etc)
├── doc                         --> documentation
│   └── images
├── less                        --> styles in less
└── test                        --> js unit test bootstrap and e2e test bootstrap


There are two kinds of tests in the angular-sensible-seed application:

  • Unit tests and
  • End to End tests.

Running Unit Tests

The angular-sensible-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 next to the code they are testing and are named as ..._test.js.

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 angular-sensible-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 test/protractor-conf.js
  • the end-to-end tests are found in test/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 angular-sensible-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 Angular

Just run:

npm update
bower update

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

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 angular-sensible-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 -a localhost -p 8000

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 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.

If your Angular app is talking to the backend server via xhr or other means, you need to figure out what is the best way to host the static files to comply with the same origin policy if applicable. Usually this is done by hosting the files by the backend server or through reverse-proxying the backend server(s) and webserver(s).

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 angular-sensible-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 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.


For more information on AngularJS please check out