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How to Make API Calls in Angular Applications

Last updated:
25th May, 2023
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How to Make API Calls in Angular Applications

Introduction: Why API Calls are Important in Angular Applications

On the modern web, finding an application that operates in isolation is rare. Most applications communicate with servers to fetch, store, or manipulate data, which is where API calls come into play. 

Let’s take a few real-world examples to illustrate this.

For instance, consider a travel booking app. Here, Angular API calls are used to retrieve flight information, hotel availability, or weather forecasts from different APIs. The data fetched from these APIs is then dynamically displayed to the user, providing a seamless browsing experience.

Another example could be an e-commerce application where API calls are made to fetch product details, user information and also to manage the shopping cart. The application makes API calls to a server-side API, which might interact with a database to fetch and store information.

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In Angular applications, making API calls is crucial for connecting the application with server-side resources, enabling the app to interact with the back-end services. Understanding how to call an API in Angular is thus a fundamental skill for any Angular developer. 

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Setting Up the Angular Environment for API Calls

Before we delve into the Angular API call process, let’s first set up our Angular environment. 

Ensure you have Node.js and npm (Node Package Manager) installed in your system. Then, install Angular CLI (Command Line Interface) globally using npm. This CLI will help us create and manage our Angular projects effortlessly.

npm install -g @angular/cli

Now, create a new Angular project:ng new my-api-project

ng new my-api-project

Navigate to the project directory:cd my-api-project

cd my-api-project

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Understanding HTTP in Angular: The HttpClient Module

To make an API call in Angular, we primarily use the HttpClient module. This module simplifies API integration in Angular applications by offering a streamlined API for HTTP requests. Start by importing the HttpClientModule in your app.module.ts:

import { HttpClientModule } from ‘@angular/common/http’;

@NgModule({

  imports: [

    // other imports here

    HttpClientModule

  ],

})

Making Simple GET Requests: Retrieving Data from APIs

The most common type of API call in Angular is the GET request, which is used to retrieve data from the server. Import HttpClient in your component and inject it through the constructor. Then, use the get() method to fetch data from an API:

import { HttpClient } from ‘@angular/common/http’;

export class AppComponent {

  constructor(private http: HttpClient) { }

  fetchData() {

    this.http.get(‘https://api.example.com/data’).subscribe(data => {

      console.log(data);

    });

  }

}

Handling Errors and Exceptions in API Calls

You should always anticipate errors and exceptions when working with API calls in Angular. The HttpClient module returns an Observable. You can use the catchError operator from RxJS to handle errors gracefully:

import { catchError } from ‘rxjs/operators’;

import { throwError } from ‘rxjs’;

fetchData() {

  this.http.get(‘https://api.example.com/data’).pipe(

    catchError(error => {

      console.error(‘Error occurred:’, error);

      return throwError(error);

    })

  ).subscribe(data => {

    console.log(data);

  });

}

Making POST Requests: Sending Data to APIs

Just as we can retrieve data using a GET request, we can also send data to an API using a POST request. This type of Angular API call is crucial when we need to send data from our Angular application to the server:

postData() {

  const body = { title: ‘Angular Post’, content: ‘Sending data to API’ };

  this.http.post(‘https://api.example.com/posts’, body).subscribe(response => {

    console.log(response);

  });

}

Uploading Files with API Calls: Using the FormData Object

To upload files in an API call in Angular, we can use the FormData object, which allows us to send key-value pairs as form data:

uploadFile(file: File) {

  const formData = new FormData();

  formData.append(‘file’, file);

  this.http.post(‘https://api.example.com/upload’, formData).subscribe(response => {

    console.log(response);

  });

}

Working with Query Parameters in API Calls

Query parameters are an essential part of API calls in Angular, often used for filtering or sorting data. The HttpClient module provides an easy way to add query parameters to your requests:

fetchData() {

  this.http.get(‘https://api.example.com/data’, {

    params: {

      sort: ‘ascending’,

      limit: ’10’

    }

  }).subscribe(data => {

    console.log(data);

  });

}

Caching Data for Better Performance: Using HTTP Interceptors

Caching data can significantly enhance the performance of an Angular application. This is where HTTP Interceptors come into play. They allow you to intercept HTTP requests and responses, a perfect place for implementing a caching strategy. You could use Angular LocalStorage or IndexedDB inside a Web Worker in Angular for storing the cache.

@Injectable()

export class CacheInterceptor implements HttpInterceptor {

  constructor(private cache: CacheService) {} //Assuming you have a caching service

  intercept(req: HttpRequest<any>, next: HttpHandler): Observable<HttpEvent<any>> {

    const cachedResponse = this.cache.get(req);

    if (cachedResponse) {

      return of(cachedResponse);

    }

    return next.handle(req).pipe(

      tap(event => {

        if (event instanceof HttpResponse) {

          this.cache.put(req, event); // Update the cache.

        }

      })

    );

  }

}

Testing API Calls in Angular: Mocking HTTP Requests with HttpClientTestingModule

Testing is a critical aspect of Angular API integration. To test our API calls, Angular provides the HttpClientTestingModule. This module allows us to mock HTTP requests, enabling us to test our components and services in isolation without actual API calls:

import { HttpClientTestingModule, HttpTestingController } from ‘@angular/common/http/testing’;

beforeEach(() => {

  TestBed.configureTestingModule({

    imports: [HttpClientTestingModule],

  });

  httpMock = TestBed.inject(HttpTestingController);

});

it(‘should make a GET request’, () => {

  service.fetchData().subscribe();

  const req = httpMock.expectOne(‘https://api.example.com/data’);

  expect(req.request.method).toEqual(‘GET’);

  req.flush({ data: ‘Test data’ });

});

Tips to Keep in Mind While Making API Calls in Angular Applications

Making an API call in Angular might seem straightforward, but nuances can significantly impact your application’s performance and reliability. Here are some important tips to keep in mind:

  1. Use HttpClient: The HttpClient module is a powerful tool for Angular API calls. It provides a simplified API for HTTP requests and abstracts away the underlying complexities of making requests.
  2. Handle Errors Gracefully: Always anticipate that something could go wrong with your API calls in Angular. Use the catchError operator from RxJS to handle any potential errors during the API call.
  3. Optimise API Calls: Avoid making unnecessary API calls. Leverage Angular LocalStorage or caching to store data you might need to reuse. This reduces the load on the server and improves application performance.
  4. Use Web Worker in Angular for Heavy Tasks: Consider using a Web Worker in Angular if you’re dealing with heavy computational tasks or high-volume data. This will ensure your UI remains smooth and responsive, as the tasks will be offloaded to a separate background thread.
  5. Secure Your API Calls: Security is paramount. Ensure you use secure protocols (like HTTPS) for your Angular API call. Also, don’t expose sensitive data like API keys in your client-side code.
  6. Test Your API Calls: Testing is vital to Angular API integration. Use HttpClientTestingModule to mock HTTP requests and ensure your API calls work as expected.
  7. Stay Updated: Angular is a continually evolving framework. Always stay up-to-date with the latest versions and updates to make the most efficient and secure API calls.

Remember, integrating API calls effectively can make your Angular applications more dynamic and responsive, enhancing user experience and overall functionality.

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Expanding Your Skillset with upGrad Courses

As you progress in your journey of mastering API calls in Angular, you might be considering how you can further elevate your skills. To help in this endeavour, several comprehensive online programs provide a deep dive into Angular and cover other critical facets of software development. One such platform is upGrad, known for its high-quality and industry-relevant programs. 

Let’s look at some of the courses that can help you take your knowledge to the next level.

Full Stack Developer Course (PGD – IIITB)

The Executive PG Programme in Full Stack Development from IIITB, offered by upGrad, is a comprehensive program that takes you through a journey from the basics to the advanced aspects of Full Stack Development. The course covers Angular in-depth, along with other front-end and back-end technologies. This course could be your next big step if you aspire to become a proficient full-stack developer.

Software Engineering (MCS – LJMU)

Another course that might pique your interest is the Master of Science in Computer Science from LJMU. This course will not only enhance your coding skills but will also equip you with the knowledge to manage software projects effectively.

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Full Stack Development Bootcamp

For those of you looking for a fast-paced, intensive learning journey, upGrad offers a Full Stack Software Development Bootcamp. This bootcamp will empower you with the knowledge and skills you need to build comprehensive web applications, focusing extensively on front-end technologies like Angular.

Conclusion

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By now, you should have a firm grasp of how to call API in Angular. From setting up the environment to making GET and POST requests, handling errors, working with query parameters, caching responses for better performance, and even testing, you are now equipped to effectively handle API integration in Angular.

As we wrap up, it’s worth noting that continuous learning and skill development are key to staying relevant in the fast-evolving tech industry. This is where platforms like UpGrad come in. 

UpGrad offers a wide array of courses tailored to equip you with the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in your tech career. So, don’t stop at this article. Keep exploring and consider enrolling in one of UpGrad’s comprehensive courses to open up a world of opportunities.

Remember, making API calls in Angular is not just about fetching data; it’s about creating a smooth user experience and building efficient applications. Keep honing your skills and stay ahead of the curve. Happy learning!

Profile

Pavan Vadapalli

Blog Author
Director of Engineering @ upGrad. Motivated to leverage technology to solve problems. Seasoned leader for startups and fast moving orgs. Working on solving problems of scale and long term technology strategy.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1How can I handle errors in Angular API calls?

Use the catchError operator from RxJS to catch and handle any errors that may occur during API calls.

2What is the use of Angular LocalStorage and Web Worker in Angular?

Angular LocalStorage allows you to store data in the user's browser, while a Web Worker in Angular helps to run scripts in the background without blocking the UI.

3How can I test API calls in Angular?

Angular provides the HttpClientTestingModule, allowing you to mock HTTP requests and test your components and services without making actual API calls.