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AngularJS End-of-Life —Threat or Opportunity?

Technology

Dec 10, 2020 - 4 minutes read

1310 Angular End Of Life Blog 416X300
Grzegorz Strzelecki CTO

He has been working for Objectivity since 2010 — first as a Technical Architect and today as the CTO. In the past, he has held positions at Microsoft and a SharePoint Partner company. He’s passionate about technology – web, cloud, DevOps, cognitive services – and readily follows market trends and opportunities. At Objectivity, he is currently focused on embracing the growing relevance of Azure and AWS practices, which he sees as key enablers in client projects. Privately, Father and Ironman. 

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On 1st July 2018, AngularJS, one of the most popular web frameworks, entered a three-year Long Term Support (LTS) period. After this time, the AngularJS team will stop supporting this framework. Recently, AngularJS developers extended this period by another 6 months due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. However, on 31st December 2021, AngularJS will hit it’s EOL!

What if your web application is written in AngularJS? Should you start worrying? Do you need to start migrating as soon as possible? For years, many articles have suggested migrating, for example, to the latest Angular. You can find online tutorials (usually overly simplistic ones) explaining what migration is all about, and there are at least a few scenarios in terms of how it can be carried out and accelerated. However, it is not an easy process and there are a few smaller or bigger pitfalls along the way—depending on the size and complexity of the system.

At Objectivity, we’re well-acquainted with the topic of migration as we’ve had the chance to go through all major types of migration journeys—hence, if you have any questions with regards to this topic, just let us know. We also understand how tempting it can be to follow this path, however we would like to challenge it and encourage you to do the same. Here’s why.

Is Your System Hitting It’s EOL?

Due to the wide variety of software projects, it’s difficult to find adequate statistics regarding their average life span. Various sources report that you should consider implementing a completely new business solution after about 3 to 7 years. If you think about it, about 5 years ago, the Angular framework (a natural successor of AngularJS) was announced and very quickly adopted as the target web framework for new systems. This means that a very large number of AngularJS-based projects (probably yours too) are at least 5 years old. When the official support for this framework ceases to exist, your system will probably hit its EOL as well!

Is Migration the Right Way Forward?

Often, during the migration process, we make the same mistakes as with the original application. Rewriting code with an “as is” approach, attempting to automate and accelerate the process, and trying to reuse as much of the code as possible often results in mediocre quality, high costs, complexity, and low maintainability. And at the end of the day what’s the result of such a strategy?

You end up with a “new” old system that most likely isn’t any better, safer, more efficient, or more usable than the previous one.

In our opinion, you should approach your old systems differently and consider building a new web solution—perhaps one that is completely different than the previous one. You should avoid migrating and rewriting your system “as is”. Even if the work on the new system wouldn’t finish until 2022, the risk of a critical error in the AngularJS framework, one that wouldn’t be fixed by the community (after official support ends) is really low. AngularJS is not the first choice for new web applications, but the number of sites still using this framework is huge—this is something that neither the global community nor your trusted software development partner would neglect.

Figure 1. Angular JS vs Angular Usage Statistics, source: trends.buildwith.com

Think and Act!

Considering all of the above, it seems that focusing solely on technical aspects and migrating your current solution ‘as is’ simply to make it before AngularJS’s EOL is not the best or the most refined approach.

We understand that your urge to migrate might be pretty strong. And we understand why. However, before you make up your mind, consider how the technology landscape has changed—and, in all likelihood, will continue to change as considerably as ever.

Below are a few key questions we’d recommend asking yourself before coming to a final verdict with regards to your AngularJS solution.

The “Do I Need a Brand-New Solution” Checklist

  1. Has your business strategy changed over the years? How has COVID-19 affected your business model
  2. Has your industry evolved in a different direction? Does it pose new requirements, imply certain changes be made?
  3. Is your solution compatible with mobile devices? Does it enable you to add other access channels to your system (e.g. chatbots, APIs, social media, etc.)?
  4. Is your solution’s design and branding still fresh and up-to-date?
  5. Is your competition innovating and exceeding market expectations?
  6. Is your system compliant with the latest market standards and legal requirements?
  7. Does your solution effectively address SEO and other digital best practices?
  8. Does your business need new functionalities when it comes to: CMS, eCommerce, CRM, ERP, etc?
  9. Are you in need of automation of self-service functionalities?

Summary

There are, of course, advantages and disadvantages to both migrating and creating a new solution from scratch. At Objectivity, we could help you realise either goal. Our specialist teams can create entire solutions in an end-to-end manner—from design through development and delivery. And, in case you’d prefer to migrate, we have the in-house capabilities, which enable us to help you move your systems to the cloud efficiently and cost-effectively.

Still not sure how to deal with AngularJS’ End-of-Life and which direction is going to be the best way forward for your organisation? Wondering if your specific software challenges concern areas other than the ones covered above? Get in touch—we’d be happy to discuss your individual needs.

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Grzegorz Strzelecki CTO

He has been working for Objectivity since 2010 — first as a Technical Architect and today as the CTO. In the past, he has held positions at Microsoft and a SharePoint Partner company. He’s passionate about technology – web, cloud, DevOps, cognitive services – and readily follows market trends and opportunities. At Objectivity, he is currently focused on embracing the growing relevance of Azure and AWS practices, which he sees as key enablers in client projects. Privately, Father and Ironman. 

See all Grzegorz's posts

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