Products
May 6, 2024

AngularJS - Solutions for Security, Compliance and Compatibility

AngularJS Migration: Secure and Seamless Transition Strategies with HeroDevs
AngularJS - Solutions for Security, Compliance and Compatibility

Aaron Frost’s experience with Google, AngularJS, and Never-Ending Support (NES) has taught HeroDevs more about migrating away from AngularJS than any other team on Earth. Through his expertise, HeroDevs has assisted over 100 companies still dependent on AngularJS in maintaining end-of-life open source software without the immediate need for costly upgrades or complete system overhauls.

On December 31, 2021, Google officially ended long-term support for AngularJS. Now while the team named its next framework Angular, making it sound like AngularJS’ successor, the two are about as similar as “star” and “starfish.”

Unfortunately, this means that migrating from AngularJS to Angular is not as simple as a quick update, as they’re completely different. In fact, migrating from AngularJS to Angular will require about the same effort as migrating from AngularJS to React, Vue, Svelte, or Flutter.

Even in 2024, almost three years after Google stopped supporting AngularJS, it still holds a significant market share. If you’ve found this blog, chances are you’re one of the AngularJS holdouts. Whether you’ve held out because you love the framework, you don’t have the budget to migrate away from AngularJS, or for other reasons, we have some advice for you on your options about migrating.Your Options for AngularJS Migration

The following is a Bottom Line Up Front (BLUF) explanation of your options for ongoing maintenance of your AngularJS project:

  1. Keep using unsupported versions of AngularJS
  2. Purchase extended support for AngularJS
  3. Migrate

Keep Using Unsupported Versions of AngularJS

Any version of AngularJS is considered “unsupported” at this point. Whether you're on the latest release of v1.8.3, your proper old school on v0.9.0, or any version in between, you’re using an unsupported version of AngularJS. 

AngularJS is still well documented and available to download from Google. However, the repository has been archived on Github – meaning you cannot file new issues or submit security concerns regarding AngularJS. 

If you choose to use unsupported versions of AngularJS, there are some things you should consider.

Pros

  • Free - Keeping your existing codebase as-is has no immediate costs associated with it. 
  • Relatively Stable - AngularJS has been around since 2009 and was designed to be compatible with all major browsers at the time. It’s unlikely that the browser vendors will release an update tomorrow that would materially destabilize your project’s functionality. 
  • Familiar - Your team is already familiar with the current codebase. Training teams to use modern frameworks takes time and effort.

Cons

  • Tooling - If your project requires things like Selenium, Node, Grunt, Gulp, or a series of other utilities, those utilities will slowly stop working with the latest versions of Node, meaning that your entire toolchain may be compromised in the future. So while you can continue to use your AngularJS app, you may become unable to release the project to production without some serious development. 
  • Hiring - As time passes, it is increasingly difficult to find engineers who have experience with AngularJS and/or are willing to spend time working on a framework that doesn’t contribute to a marketable skill set for them. 
  • Security - Since AngularJS’ end of life, there have been six CVEs reported against AngularJS, one of which was a high-severity CVE. If you are required to have security fixes promptly, you are already in breach of that requirement. 
  • Compliance - Many teams have to be compliant with audits like FedRAMP, PCI, or HIPAA. External auditors look for risks like using unsupported code. Incompliance can mean shutting down your projects until you mitigate your dependency on AngularJS. Additionally, many customer SLAs promise users only to use supported software. If this is you, you may currently be in violation of your own SLA to your own customers. 
  • Acquisition - If someone were to acquire your company, or if your organization were to take an investment from a third party, the investors or acquiring company may perform a tech review with your team. That tech review may reveal that your organization depends on unsupported software, which can negatively affect your selling price. 

Purchase Extended Support for AngularJS

What if you could keep using AngularJS and still be secure, compliant, and compatible?

What if that solution could be installed in minutes, for a fraction of migration cost, and was created by some of the original AngularJS team members to bring you that support?

AngularJS Never-Ending Support (NES) from HeroDevs provides extended long-term support for AngularJS and provides even more than what Google provided with their long-term support. 

AngularJS NES is a drop-in replacement for AngularJS that only takes a few minutes to set up and deploy. If your project is already on AngularJS v1.8.3, it could literally take you only a few minutes to get going with AngularJS NES. 

Our support includes:

  1. Security fixes for any new security issues found in AngularJS
  2. Browser compatibility fixes
  3. jQuery compatibility fixes for newer versions of jQuery (NOTE: jQuery 4 will break all AngularJS apps)

We currently have over 600 of the world’s largest enterprises and governments who depend on our Never-Ending Support products, and many of them expect to need AngularJS NES beyond 2030.

Pros

  • Secure - Keep your AngularJS projects supported without compromising security, all at a cost-effective rate.
  • Stable - Benefit from unparalleled stability, provided by a team whose members originally developed AngularJS at Google.
  • Affordable - Continue using your existing AngularJS systems with NES at a fraction of the cost of migrating to a new framework.
  • Compliance - AngularJS NES supports your compliance needs across various audits, whether they're conducted by external auditors, customers, potential buyers, or investors. This support helps ensure that you pass these assessments smoothly, potentially saving you substantial amounts in compliance costs.

Cons

  • Tooling - Tools like Selenium, Node, Grunt, and Gulp may eventually cease to support the latest Node versions, risking your toolchain. However, HeroDevs offers NES-compatible versions of these essential tools.
  • Hiring - As AngularJS ages, finding engineers willing and able to work on this framework becomes challenging, as it may not enhance their marketable skill set.
  • Delaying The Inevitable - While NES is crucial and sometimes legally required, it ultimately postpones the potentially inevitable migration your organization will need to address.

Migrate to another framework

Many developers will fight over these two strategies: Complete Rewrite vs Hybrid App.

One of the best arguments for Hybrid Apps is that they reduce the risks and sacrifices that come with a Complete Rewrite. 

For example, if your app will take 12 months to rewrite, imagine not shipping a single new feature to production for a year. Is your business going to accept that? 

A Complete Rewrite means that your customers aren’t going to see the new app until all of the functionality from the AngularJS app has been moved over to the new app. This means that you're going to be working for months (maybe years) before your customers or users see the new app. This is a big problem for most companies. 

Hybrid App Approach

HeroDevs experts have set up hybrid applications for dozens of companies migrating away from AngularJS. We almost always recommend using this strategy when migrating to a new framework because it allows your company to immediately begin writing code in a new framework while migrating.

A Hybrid App allows AngularJS to work side by side with another framework. Then from that day forward, all new features could be written in the new framework, while all the existing features can be maintained and extended in AngularJS. Because your business gets to immediately begin writing code in a new framework, while also continuing to monetize the existing project/codebase, this is the most business-friendly option when it comes to migrating your AngularJS app. 

Hybrid Apps also give you the flexibility to stop accruing technical debt before the entire application is migrated. 

Once you start the migration, you can pivot at any moment. You can actively migrate your features to the newer framework if you’d like. Or you can completely pause the migration process and focus the entire team on new features and other business initiatives. 

Hybrid apps allow you to release constantly as you migrate. If you add new features to the new framework, you can release them immediately. If you migrate features from AngularJS to the new framework, you can release them immediately to your users. The inherently long delays from Complete Rewrites are not an obstacle with Hybrid Apps. 

Pros

  • Flexible - Because Hybrid Apps have both the new codebase and the AngularJS codebase together in one place, you can prioritize/deprioritize the migration at any time. You can add new features, or not. You can migrate AngularJS features to the new framework, or not. 
  • Stop Technical Debt - This approach gives you the ability to write new features in the modern framework while your existing application continues to function. 
  • Immediate Validation - Since you’re working on the same AngularJS project, you will continue to release features on your existing cadence. Your users will get their hands on your new features immediately, as opposed to waiting until the migration has been entirely completed.
  • Reuse Designs - Many people considering a migration do not wish to redesign the project, but simply replace AngularJS with a newer framework. Hybrid Apps are great for this approach because they allow you to reuse some of your existing styling and patterns where desired. 
  • Keep AngularJS Features - Your AngularJS code has historically played an uber-critical role in your organization's success. A Hybrid App affords you the option of including AngularJS code for as long as you need it, and doesn’t have inherent requirements to eliminate all AngularJS features. 

Cons

  • Complex To Set Up - Once a Hybrid App is set up, it’s very easy to use and develop. But setting it up is quite complex. Frameworks like AngularJS, Angular, React, and Vue expect to be the only framework on the page. They’re selfish and don’t play well with other frameworks on the same page. It takes an experienced developer to teach two frameworks to play nicely together. This is an art. And you need an artist. HeroDevs is expert at setting up hybrid applications.
  • Training - Because experience with AngularJS hybrids is not commonplace, it may be hard to find team members with skill sets to help you with this strategy. 

HeroDevs is expert at setting up hybrid applications. 

Given our history with AngularJS and the Angular team, we’ve had a front-row seat to oversee more AngularJS migrations than any other team of consultants in the world. Throughout that process, we have developed best-in-class processes for completing Hybrid App migrations.

Our team has performed these migrations for organizations like Microsoft, GE, CapitalOne, Experian, T-Mobile, Corteva, and others. We could help you get started with the Hybrid App setup, allowing your team to complete the migration at your own pace, or we could do the entire migration for you

Complete Rewrite Approach

Wouldn’t it be nice to start from scratch? Doesn’t it sound nice to get rid of the existing AngularJS app, and get rid of the existing backend architecture and just start over? It’s no secret that most developers like to start new projects from scratch, and what better time to start over than with your migration away from AngularJS? 

Many organizations have a prescribed tech stack that they’re required to use. And chances are that the tech stack from 2015 (when you may have started using AngularJS) looks very different from the currently prescribed tech stack. 

A rewrite means considering pros and cons like these.

Pros

  • No Legacy Dependencies - Legacy dependencies can introduce security concerns and lack features that may make implementing business functionality easier.
  • Engineer Enthusiasm - Developers working on products that have been around for a while can get frustrated working on older technologies as they read articles about new features available in modern libraries. Giving developers the opportunity to flourish in a completely modern tech stack will likely provide an endorphin-like effect by rewarding their desire to learn.
  • Clean Slate - Providing an application solution that has no constraints on previous decisions whether they be technology-based or architecturally based helps to ensure an application built to last well into the future.

Cons

  • More Expensive - Redesigning an application from scratch involves significant costs. This encompasses everything from establishing new architecture and UI patterns to setting up best practices, build procedures, and release tools. 
  • Extended Timeframe - Building a new application foundation demands considerable time and effort, which extends the project timeline and escalates costs. The prolonged development period may also affect operational efficiency as resources are split between maintaining the existing application and developing the new one. This could lead to delays in user access to the updated application, potentially stretching into months or years.
  • Parity Concerns - Will features be added to the old application while the new application is being developed? The management of two applications simultaneously can create potential gaps in functionality. For example, fixing a bug in the legacy application can often lead to adding new functionality that could be missed during the rewrite. 
  • Team Impact - Maintaining multiple applications at the same time adds an additional burden to the development team. 
  • Delayed User Access - Your users will have wait until the rewrite is complete until they can take advantage of the updated application, which could take months or even years. 

HeroDevs usually does not recommend this solution due to the high costs, quality risks, and challenges of achieving feature parity with a completely rewritten application. The risks associated with transitioning entirely to a new solution upon completion tend to be substantial.

Conclusion

Navigating the complexities of AngularJS migrations presents various options, each with its unique advantages and challenges. Whether you opt for to continue using unsupported versions of AngularJS, purchasing Never-Ending Support, or migrating to a modern framework through a hybrid or complete rewrite approach, it is crucial to weigh the costs, timelines, and technical debts involved. 

HeroDevs remains a pivotal partner in this journey, providing tailored solutions that prioritize security, compliance, and compatibility. With careful consideration and expert guidance, organizations can make informed decisions that best align with their long-term technological and business objectives.

HeroDevs has helped over 100 companies that still depend on AngularJS move forward with security, compliance, and compatibility. If you have any questions, please contact our team.

. . .
About HeroDevs

HeroDevs partners with open-source authors to offer comprehensive solutions for sunsetted open-source software. Our Never-Ending Support products ensure businesses remain secure and compliant, even as their depended-upon open-source packages reach end-of-life. Alongside this, our elite team of software engineers and architects provides expert consulting and engineering services, assisting clients in migrating from deprecated packages and modernizing their technology stacks.

Article Summary
Explore HeroDevs' expert AngularJS migration strategies, from extended support to modern framework transitions, tailored to your business needs.
Author
Aaron Frost
CEO
Related Articles
Introducing Drupal 7 Never-Ending Support with HeroDevs
Life Beyond End of Life: Ensuring Security, Compliance, and Compatibility for Drupal 7 with HeroDevs
HeroDevs Champions Cybersecurity by Joining CISA’s Secure by Design Pledge
HeroDevs Signs CISA's Secure by Design Pledge to Join the Effort for a More Secure Web
HeroDevs Joins OpenJS Foundation’s Ecosystem Sustainability Program as First Partner
HeroDevs Partners with OpenJS Foundation to Ensure Open Source Sustainability and Security