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Deployment

When you are ready to deploy your Angular application to a remote server, you have various options for deployment.

Simple deployment options

Before fully deploying your application, you can test the process, build configuration, and deployed behavior by using one of these interim techniques.

Building and serving from disk

During development, you typically use the ng serve command to build, watch, and serve the application from local memory, using webpack-dev-server. When you are ready to deploy, however, you must use the ng build command to build the app and deploy the build artifacts elsewhere.

Both ng build and ng serve clear the output folder before they build the project, but only the ng build command writes the generated build artifacts to the output folder.

The output folder is dist/project-name/ by default. To output to a different folder, change the outputPath in angular.json.

As you near the end of the development process, serving the contents of your output folder from a local web server can give you a better idea of how your application will behave when it is deployed to a remote server. You will need two terminals to get the live-reload experience.

  • On the first terminal, run the ng build command in watch mode to compile the application to the dist folder.

    ng build --watch

    Like the ng serve command, this regenerates output files when source files change.

  • On the second terminal, install a web server (such as lite-server), and run it against the output folder. For example:

    lite-server --baseDir="dist/project-name"

    The server will automatically reload your browser when new files are output.

This method is for development and testing only, and is not a supported or secure way of deploying an application.

Automatic deployment with the CLI

The Angular CLI command ng deploy (introduced in version 8.3.0) executes the deploy CLI builder associated with your project. A number of third-party builders implement deployment capabilities to different platforms. You can add any of them to your project by running ng add [package name].

When you add a package with deployment capability, it'll automatically update your workspace configuration (angular.json file) with a deploy section for the selected project. You can then use the ng deploy command to deploy that project.

For example, the following command automatically deploys a project to Firebase.

ng add @angular/fire
ng deploy

The command is interactive. In this case, you must have or create a Firebase account, and authenticate using that account. The command prompts you to select a Firebase project for deployment

After the command produces an optimal build of your application (equivalent to ng deploy --prod), it'll upload the production assets to Firebase.

In the table below, you can find a list of packages which implement deployment functionality to different platforms. The deploy command for each package may require different command line options. You can read more by following the links associated with the package names below:

Deployment to Package
Firebase hosting @angular/fire
Azure @azure/ng-deploy
Now @zeit/ng-deploy
Netlify @netlify-builder/deploy
GitHub pages angular-cli-ghpages
NPM ngx-deploy-npm

If you're deploying to a self-managed server or there's no builder for your favorite cloud platform, you can either create a builder that allows you to use the ng deploy command, or read through this guide to learn how to manually deploy your app.

Basic deployment to a remote server

For the simplest deployment, create a production build and copy the output directory to a web server.

  1. Start with the production build:

    ng build --prod
  1. Copy everything within the output folder (dist/ by default) to a folder on the server.

  2. Configure the server to redirect requests for missing files to index.html. Learn more about server-side redirects below.

This is the simplest production-ready deployment of your application.

Deploy to GitHub pages

Another simple way to deploy your Angular app is to use GitHub Pages.

  1. You need to create a GitHub account if you don't have one, and then create a repository for your project. Make a note of the user name and project name in GitHub.

  2. Build your project using Github project name, with the Angular CLI command ng build and the options shown here:

    ng build --prod --output-path docs --base-href /<project_name>/
  3. When the build is complete, make a copy of docs/index.html and name it docs/404.html.

  4. Commit your changes and push.

  5. On the GitHub project page, configure it to publish from the docs folder.

You can see your deployed page at https://<user_name>.github.io/<project_name>/.

Check out angular-cli-ghpages, a full featured package that does all this for you and has extra functionality.

Server configuration

This section covers changes you may have make to the server or to files deployed to the server.

Routed apps must fallback to index.html

Angular apps are perfect candidates for serving with a simple static HTML server. You don't need a server-side engine to dynamically compose application pages because Angular does that on the client-side.

If the app uses the Angular router, you must configure the server to return the application's host page (index.html) when asked for a file that it does not have.

A routed application should support "deep links". A deep link is a URL that specifies a path to a component inside the app. For example, http://www.mysite.com/heroes/42 is a deep link to the hero detail page that displays the hero with id: 42.

There is no issue when the user navigates to that URL from within a running client. The Angular router interprets the URL and routes to that page and hero.

But clicking a link in an email, entering it in the browser address bar, or merely refreshing the browser while on the hero detail page — all of these actions are handled by the browser itself, outside the running application. The browser makes a direct request to the server for that URL, bypassing the router.

A static server routinely returns index.html when it receives a request for http://www.mysite.com/. But it rejects http://www.mysite.com/heroes/42 and returns a 404 - Not Found error unless it is configured to return index.html instead.

Fallback configuration examples

There is no single configuration that works for every server. The following sections describe configurations for some of the most popular servers. The list is by no means exhaustive, but should provide you with a good starting point.

  • Golang: create a Golang server using (gorilla/mux) with a basic Golang file that configures the server main.go:

    package main
    
    import (
    	"net/http"
    	"os"
    	"github.com/gorilla/mux"
    )
    var httpPort = "80"
    var folderDist = "./dist" // ng build output folder
    
    func serverHandler(w http.ResponseWriter, r *http.Request) {
    	if _, err := os.Stat(folderDist + r.URL.Path); err != nil {
    		http.ServeFile(w, r, folderDist+"/index.html")
    		return
    	}
    	http.ServeFile(w, r, folderDist+r.URL.Path)
    }
    
    func main() {
    	r := mux.NewRouter()
    	r.NotFoundHandler = r.NewRoute().HandlerFunc(serverHandler).GetHandler()
    	http.Handle("/", r)
    	http.ListenAndServe(":"+httpPort, nil)
    }
  • IIS: add a rewrite rule to web.config, similar to the one shown here:

    <system.webServer>
          <rewrite>
            <rules>
              <rule name="Angular Routes" stopProcessing="true">
                <match url=".*" />
                <conditions logicalGrouping="MatchAll">
                  <add input="{REQUEST_FILENAME}" matchType="IsFile" negate="true" />
                  <add input="{REQUEST_FILENAME}" matchType="IsDirectory" negate="true" />
                </conditions>
                <action type="Rewrite" url="/index.html" />
              </rule>
            </rules>
          </rewrite>
        </system.webServer>

Requesting services from a different server (CORS)

Angular developers may encounter a cross-origin resource sharing error when making a service request (typically a data service request) to a server other than the application's own host server. Browsers forbid such requests unless the server permits them explicitly.

There isn't anything the client application can do about these errors. The server must be configured to accept the application's requests. Read about how to enable CORS for specific servers at enable-cors.org.

Production optimizations

The --prod meta-flag engages the following build optimization features.

  • Ahead-of-Time (AOT) Compilation: pre-compiles Angular component templates.
  • Production mode: deploys the production environment which enables production mode.
  • Bundling: concatenates your many application and library files into a few bundles.
  • Minification: removes excess whitespace, comments, and optional tokens.
  • Uglification: rewrites code to use short, cryptic variable and function names.
  • Dead code elimination: removes unreferenced modules and much unused code.

See ng build for more about CLI build options and what they do.

Enable runtime production mode

In addition to build optimizations, Angular also has a runtime production mode. Angular apps run in development mode by default, as you can see by the following message on the browser console:

Angular is running in the development mode. Call enableProdMode() to enable the production mode.

Switching to production mode makes it run faster by disabling development specific checks such as the dual change detection cycles.

When you enable production builds via --prod command line flag, the runtime production mode is enabled as well.

Lazy loading

You can dramatically reduce launch time by only loading the application modules that absolutely must be present when the app starts.

Configure the Angular Router to defer loading of all other modules (and their associated code), either by waiting until the app has launched or by lazy loading them on demand.

Don't eagerly import something from a lazy-loaded module

If you mean to lazy-load a module, be careful not import it in a file that's eagerly loaded when the app starts (such as the root AppModule). If you do that, the module will be loaded immediately.

The bundling configuration must take lazy loading into consideration. Because lazy-loaded modules aren't imported in JavaScript, bundlers exclude them by default. Bundlers don't know about the router configuration and can't create separate bundles for lazy-loaded modules. You would have to create these bundles manually.

The CLI runs the Angular Ahead-of-Time Webpack Plugin which automatically recognizes lazy-loaded NgModules and creates separate bundles for them.

Measure performance

You can make better decisions about what to optimize and how when you have a clear and accurate understanding of what's making the application slow. The cause may not be what you think it is. You can waste a lot of time and money optimizing something that has no tangible benefit or even makes the app slower. You should measure the app's actual behavior when running in the environments that are important to you.

The Chrome DevTools Network Performance page is a good place to start learning about measuring performance.

The WebPageTest tool is another good choice that can also help verify that your deployment was successful.

Inspect the bundles

The source-map-explorer tool is a great way to inspect the generated JavaScript bundles after a production build.

Install source-map-explorer:

npm install source-map-explorer --save-dev

Build your app for production including the source maps

ng build --prod --source-map

List the generated bundles in the dist/ folder.

ls dist/*.bundle.js

Run the explorer to generate a graphical representation of one of the bundles. The following example displays the graph for the main bundle.

node_modules/.bin/source-map-explorer dist/main.*.bundle.js

The source-map-explorer analyzes the source map generated with the bundle and draws a map of all dependencies, showing exactly which classes are included in the bundle.

Here's the output for the main bundle of an example app called cli-quickstart.

The base tag

The HTML <base href="..."/> specifies a base path for resolving relative URLs to assets such as images, scripts, and style sheets. For example, given the <base href="/my/app/">, the browser resolves a URL such as some/place/foo.jpg into a server request for my/app/some/place/foo.jpg. During navigation, the Angular router uses the base href as the base path to component, template, and module files.

See also the APP_BASE_HREF alternative.

In development, you typically start the server in the folder that holds index.html. That's the root folder and you'd add <base href="/"> near the top of index.html because / is the root of the app.

But on the shared or production server, you might serve the app from a subfolder. For example, when the URL to load the app is something like http://www.mysite.com/my/app/, the subfolder is my/app/ and you should add <base href="/my/app/"> to the server version of the index.html.

When the base tag is mis-configured, the app fails to load and the browser console displays 404 - Not Found errors for the missing files. Look at where it tried to find those files and adjust the base tag appropriately.

Differential Loading

When building web applications, making sure your application is compatible with the majority of browsers is a goal. Even as JavaScript continues to evolve, with new features being introduced, not all browsers are updated with support for these new features at the same pace.

The code you write in development using TypeScript is compiled and bundled into ES2015, the JavaScript syntax that is compatible with most browsers. All modern browsers support ES2015 and beyond, but in most cases, you still have to account for users accessing your application from a browser that doesn't. When targeting older browsers, polyfills can bridge the gap by providing functionality that doesn't exist in the older versions of JavaScript supported by those browsers.

To maximize compatibility, you could ship a single bundle that includes all your compiled code, plus any polyfills that may be needed. Users with modern browsers, however, shouldn't have to pay the price of increased bundle size that comes with polyfills they don't need. Differential loading, which is supported by default in Angular CLI version 8 and higher, solves this problem.

Differential loading is a strategy where the CLI builds two separate bundles as part of your deployed application.

  • The first bundle contains modern ES2015 syntax, takes advantage of built-in support in modern browsers, ships less polyfills, and results in a smaller bundle size.

  • The second bundle contains code in the old ES5 syntax, along with all necessary polyfills. This results in a larger bundle size, but supports older browsers.

This strategy allows you to continue to build your web application to support multiple browsers, but only load the necessary code that the browser needs.

Differential builds

The Angular CLI handles differential loading for you as part of the build process for deployment. The ng build command produces the necessary bundles used for differential loading, based on your browser support requirements and compilation target.

The Angular CLI uses two configurations for differential loading:

  • Browsers list The browserslist configuration file is included in your application project structure and provides the minimum browsers your application supports. See the Browserslist spec for complete configuration options.

  • TypeScript configuration In the TypeScript configuration file, tsconfig.json, the target in the compilerOptions section determines the ECMAScript target version that the code is compiled to. Modern browsers support ES2015 natively, while ES5 is more commonly used to support legacy browsers.

Differential loading is currently only supported when using es2015 as a compilation target. When used with targets higher than es2015, a warning is emitted during build time.

The CLI queries the Browserslist configuration, and checks the target to determine if support for legacy browsers is required. The combination of these two configurations determines whether multiple bundles are produced when you create a build. When you create a development build using ng build and differential loading is enabled, the output produced is simpler and easier to debug, allowing you to rely less on sourcemaps of compiled code. When you create a production build using ng build --prod, the CLI uses the defined configurations above to determine the bundles to build for deployment of your application.

The index.html file is also modified during the build process to include script tags that enable differential loading. See the sample output below from the index.html file produced during a build using ng build.

<body>
  <app-root></app-root>
  <script src="runtime-es2015.js" type="module"></script>
  <script src="runtime-es5.js" nomodule></script>
  <script src="polyfills-es2015.js" type="module"></script>
  <script src="polyfills-es5.js" nomodule></script>
  <script src="styles-es2015.js" type="module"></script>
  <script src="styles-es5.js" nomodule></script>
  <script src="vendor-es2015.js" type="module"></script>
  <script src="vendor-es5.js" nomodule></script>
  <script src="main-es2015.js" type="module"></script>
  <script src="main-es5.js" nomodule></script>
</body>

Each script tag has a type="module" or nomodule attribute. Browsers with native support for ES modules only load the scripts with the module type attribute and ignore scripts with the nomodule attribute. Legacy browsers only load the scripts with the nomodule attribute, and ignore the script tags with the module type that load ES modules.

Some legacy browsers still download both bundles, but only execute the appropriate scripts based on the attributes mentioned above. You can read more on the issue here.

See the configuration table below for the configurations for enabling differential loading.

Configuring differential loading

Differential loading is supported by default with version 8 and later of the Angular CLI. For each application project in your workspace, you can configure how builds are produced based on the browserslist and tsconfig.json files in your application project.

For a newly created Angular application, the default browserslist looks like this:

> 0.5%
last 2 versions
Firefox ESR
not dead
not IE 9-11 # For IE 9-11 support, remove 'not'.

The tsconfig.json looks like this:

{
  "compileOnSave": false,
  "compilerOptions": {
    "baseUrl": "./",
    "outDir": "./dist/out-tsc",
    "sourceMap": true,
    "declaration": false,
    "module": "esnext",
    "moduleResolution": "node",
    "emitDecoratorMetadata": true,
    "experimentalDecorators": true,
    "importHelpers": true,
    "target": "es2015",
    "typeRoots": [
      "node_modules/@types"
    ],
    "lib": [
      "es2018",
      "dom"
    ]
  }
}

By default, legacy browsers such as IE 9-11 are ignored, and the compilation target is ES2015. As a result, this produces two builds, and differential loading is enabled. If you ignore browsers without ES2015 support, a single build is produced. To see the build result for differential loading based on different configurations, refer to the table below.

To see which browsers are supported with the above configuration, see which settings meet to your browser support requirements, see the Browserslist compatibility page.

ES5 Browserslist Result ES Target Build Result
disabled es5 Single build
enabled es5 Single build w/Conditional Polyfills
disabled es2015 Single build
enabled es2015 Differential Loading (Two builds w/Conditional Polyfills

When the ES5 Browserslist result is disabled, then ES5 browser support is not required. Otherwise, ES5 browser support is required.

Opting out of differential loading

Differential loading can be explicitly disabled if it causes unexpected issues or you need to target ES5 specifically for legacy browser support.

To explicitly disable differential loading:

  • Enable the dead or IE browsers in the browserslist config file by removing the not keyword in front of them.
  • Set the target in the compilerOptions to es5.

Local development in older browsers

In Angular CLI version 8 and higher, differential loading is enabled by default for the ng build command. The ng serve, ng test, and ng e2e commands, however, generate a single ES2015 build which cannot run in older browsers that don't support the modules, such as IE 11.

If you want to run ES5 code during development, you could disable differential loading completely. To maintain the benefits of differential loading, however, a better option is to define multiple configurations for ng serve, ng e2e, and ng test.

Configuring serve for ES5

To do this for ng serve, create a new file, tsconfig-es5.app.json next to tsconfig.app.json with the following content.

{
 "extends": "./tsconfig.app.json",
 "compilerOptions": {
     "target": "es5"
  }
}

In angular.json add two new configuration sections under the build and serve targets to point to the new TypeScript configuration.

"build": {
  "builder": "@angular-devkit/build-angular:browser",
  "options": {
      ...
  },
  "configurations": {
    "production": {
        ...
    },
    "es5": {
      "tsConfig": "./tsconfig-es5.app.json"
    }
  }
},
"serve": {
  "builder": "@angular-devkit/build-angular:dev-server",
  "options": {
      ...
  },
  "configurations": {
    "production": {
     ...
    },
    "es5": {
      "browserTarget": ":build:es5"
    }
  }
},

You can then run the ng serve command with this configuration. Make sure to replace <app-name> (in "<app-name>:build:es5") with the actual name of the app, as it appears under projects in angular.json. For example, if your app name is myAngularApp the config will become "browserTarget": "myAngularApp:build:es5".

ng serve --configuration es5

Configuring the test command

Create a new file, tsconfig-es5.spec.json next to tsconfig.spec.json with the following content.

{
 "extends": "./tsconfig.spec.json",
 "compilerOptions": {
     "target": "es5"
  }
}
"test": {
  "builder": "@angular-devkit/build-angular:karma",
  "options": {
      ...
  },
  "configurations": {
    "es5": {
      "tsConfig": "./tsconfig-es5.spec.json"
    }
  }
},

You can then run the tests with this configuration

ng test --configuration es5

Configuring the e2e command

Create an ES5 serve configuration as explained above, and configuration an ES5 configuration for the E2E target.

"e2e": {
  "builder": "@angular-devkit/build-angular:protractor",
  "options": {
      ...
  },
  "configurations": {
	  "production": {
		  ...
	  },
    "es5": {
      "devServerTarget": ":serve:es5"
    }
  }
},

You can then run the ng e2e command with this configuration. Make sure to replace <app-name> (in "<app-name>:serve:es5") with the actual name of the app, as it appears under projects in angular.json. For example, if your app name is myAngularApp the config will become "devServerTarget": "myAngularApp:serve:es5".

ng e2e --configuration es5

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https://angular.io/guide/deployment