Client-Side Routing with Hashbang URLs


You wish the browser address bar to reflect your applications page flow consistently.


Use the $routeProvider and $locationProvider services to define your routes and the ng-view directive as the placeholder for the partials, which should be shown for a particular route definition.

The main template uses the ng-view directive:

  <h1>Routing Example</h1>

The route configuration is implemented in app.js using the config method:

var app = angular.module("MyApp", []).
  config(function($routeProvider, $locationProvider) {
      when("/persons", { templateUrl: "partials/person_list.html" }).
        { templateUrl: "partials/person_details.html",
          controller: "ShowCtrl" }).
      otherwise( { redirectTo: "/persons" });

It is set up to render either the person_list.html or the person_details.html partial depending on the URL. The partial person_list.html renders a list of persons:

<h3>Person List</h3>
<div ng-controller="IndexCtrl">
      <tr ng-repeat="person in persons">
        <td><a href="#!persons/{{}}">Details</a></td>

And the partial person_details.html shows more detailed information for a specific person:

<h3>{{}} Details</h3>
<p>Name: {{}}</p>
<p>Age: {{person.age}}</p>

<a href="#!persons">Go back</a>

This example is based on the Angular Seed Bootstrap again and will not work without starting the development server.

You can find the complete example on github.


Let’s give our app a try and open the index.html. The otherwise defined route redirects us from index.html to index.html#!/persons. This is the default behavior in case other when conditions don’t apply.

Take a closer look at the index.html#!/persons URL and note how the hashbang (#!) separates the index.html from the dynamic client-side part /persons. By default, Angular would use the hash (#) character but we configured it to use the hashbang instead, following Google’s Making AJAX applications crawlable guide.

The /persons route loads the person_list.html partial via HTTP Request (that is also the reason why it won’t work without a development server). It shows a list of persons and therefore defines a ng-controller directive inside the template. Let us assume for now that the controller implementation defines a $scope.persons somewhere. Now for each person we also render a link to show the details via #!persons/.

The route definition for the person’s details uses a placeholder /persons/:id which resolves to a specific person’s details, for example /persons/1. The person_details.html partial and additionally a controller are defined for this URL. The controller will be scoped to the partial, which basically resembles our index.html template where we defined our own ng-controller directive to achieve the same effect.

The person_details.html has a back link to #!persons which leads back to the person_list.html page.

Let us come back to the ng-view directive. It is automatically bound to the router definition. Therefore you can currently use only a single ng-view on your page. For example, you cannot use nested ng-views to achieve user interaction patterns with a first and second level navigation.

And finally the HTTP request for the partials happens only once and is then cached via $templateCache service.

Finally, the hashbang-based routing is client-side only and doesn’t require server-side configuration. Let us look into the HTML5-based approach next.