In this example we will look at how to use Angular with a serverless API to create a simple click counter app. We’ll be using the Serverless Stack Framework (SST) and the SST StaticSite construct to deploy our app to AWS.

Requirements

Create an SST app

Let’s start by creating an SST app.

$ npm init sst typescript-starter angular-app
$ cd angular-app
$ npm install

By default, our app will be deployed to an environment (or stage) called dev and the us-east-1 AWS region. This can be changed in the sst.json in your project root.

{
  "name": "angular-app",
  "region": "us-east-1",
  "main": "stacks/index.ts"
}

Project layout

An SST app is made up of a couple of parts.

  1. stacks/ — App Infrastructure

    The code that describes the infrastructure of your serverless app is placed in the stacks/ directory of your project. SST uses AWS CDK, to create the infrastructure.

  2. backend/ — App Code

    The code that’s run when your API is invoked is placed in the backend/ directory of your project.

  3. frontend/ — Angular app

    The code for our frontend Angular app.

Create our infrastructure

Our app is made up of a simple API and an Angular app. The API will be talking to a database to store the number of clicks. We’ll start by creating the database.

Adding the table

We’ll be using Amazon DynamoDB; a reliable and highly-performant NoSQL database that can be configured as a true serverless database. Meaning that it’ll scale up and down automatically. And you won’t get charged if you are not using it.

Replace the stacks/MyStack.ts with the following.

import {
  Api,
  StaticSite,
  StackContext,
  Table,
  StaticSiteErrorOptions,
} from "@serverless-stack/resources";

export function MyStack({ stack }: StackContext) {
  // Create the table
  const table = new Table(stack, "Counter", {
    fields: {
      counter: "string",
    },
    primaryIndex: { partitionKey: "counter" },
  });
}

This creates a serverless DynamoDB table using the SST Table construct. It has a primary key called counter. Our table is going to look something like this:

counter tally
clicks 123

Creating our API

Now let’s add the API.

Add this below the Table definition in stacks/MyStack.ts.

// Create the HTTP API
const api = new Api(stack, "Api", {
  defaults: {
    function: {
      // Allow the API to access the table
      permissions: [table],
      // Pass in the table name to our API
      environment: {
        tableName: table.tableName,
      },
    },
  },
  routes: {
    "POST /": "functions/lambda.handler",
  },
});

// Show the URLs in the output
stack.addOutputs({
  ApiEndpoint: api.url,
});

We are using the SST Api construct to create our API. It simply has one endpoint (the root). When we make a POST request to this endpoint the Lambda function called handler in backend/functions/lambda.ts will get invoked.

We also pass in the name of our DynamoDB table to our API as an environment variable called tableName. And we allow our API to access (read and write) the table instance we just created.

Setting up our Angular app

To deploy an Angular app to AWS, we’ll be using the SST StaticSite construct.

Replace the following in stacks/MyStack.ts:

// Show the API endpoint in the output
stack.addOutputs({
  ApiEndpoint: api.url,
});

With:

const site = new StaticSite(stack, "AngularSite", {
  path: "frontend",
  buildOutput: "dist",
  buildCommand: "ng build --output-path dist",
  errorPage: StaticSiteErrorOptions.REDIRECT_TO_INDEX_PAGE,
  // To load the API URL from the environment in development mode (environment.ts)
  environment: {
    DEV_API_URL: api.url,
  },
});

// Show the URLs in the output
stack.addOutputs({
  SiteUrl: site.url,
  ApiEndpoint: api.url,
});

The construct is pointing to where our Angular app is located. We haven’t created our app yet but for now we’ll point to the frontend directory.

We are also setting up an Angular environment variable DEV_API_URL with the endpoint of our API. The StaticSite allows us to set environment variables automatically from our backend, without having to hard code them in our frontend.

You can also optionally configure a custom domain.

// Deploy our Angular app
const site = new StaticSite(stack, "AngularSite", {
  path: "frontend",
  buildOutput: "dist",
  buildCommand: "ng build --output-path dist",
  errorPage: StaticSiteErrorOptions.REDIRECT_TO_INDEX_PAGE,
  // To load the API URL from the environment in development mode
  environment: {
    DEV_API_URL: api.url,
  },
  customDomain: "www.my-angular-app.com",
});

But we’ll skip this for now.

Reading from our table

Our API is powered by a Lambda function. In the function we’ll read from our DynamoDB table.

Replace backend/functions/lambda.ts with the following.

import { DynamoDB } from "aws-sdk";

const dynamoDb = new DynamoDB.DocumentClient();

export async function handler() {
  const getParams = {
    // Get the table name from the environment variable
    TableName: process.env.tableName,
    // Get the row where the counter is called "clicks"
    Key: {
      counter: "clicks",
    },
  };
  const results = await dynamoDb.get(getParams).promise();

  // If there is a row, then get the value of the
  // column called "tally"
  let count = results.Item ? results.Item.tally : 0;

  return {
    statusCode: 200,
    body: count,
  };
}

We make a get call to our DynamoDB table and get the value of a row where the counter column has the value clicks. Since we haven’t written to this column yet, we are going to just return 0.

Let’s install the aws-sdk package in the backend/ folder.

$ npm install aws-sdk

And let’s test what we have so far.

Starting your dev environment

SST features a Live Lambda Development environment that allows you to work on your serverless apps live.

$ npm start

The first time you run this command it’ll take a couple of minutes to deploy your app and a debug stack to power the Live Lambda Development environment.

===============
 Deploying app
===============

Preparing your SST app
Transpiling source
Linting source
Deploying stacks
manitej-angular-app-my-stack: deploying...

 ✅  manitej-angular-app-my-stack


Stack manitej-angular-app-my-stack
  Status: deployed
  Outputs:
    ApiEndpoint: https://sez1p3dsia.execute-api.ap-south-1.amazonaws.com
    SiteUrl: https://d2uyljrh4twuwq.cloudfront.net

The ApiEndpoint is the API we just created. While the SiteUrl is where our Angular app will be hosted. For now it’s just a placeholder website.

Let’s test our endpoint with the SST Console. The SST Console is a web based dashboard to manage your SST apps. Learn more about it in our docs.

Go to the API tab and click Send button to send a POST request.

Note, The API explorer lets you make HTTP requests to any of the routes in your Api construct. Set the headers, query params, request body, and view the function logs with the response.

API explorer invocation response

You should see a 0 in the response body.

Setting up our Angular app

We are now ready to use the API we just created. Let’s use the Angular CLI to setup our Angular app.

Run the following in the project root.

$ npm install -g @angular/cli
$ ng new frontend
$ cd frontend

This sets up our Angular app in the frontend/ directory. Recall that, earlier in the guide we were pointing the StaticSite construct to this path.

We also need to load the environment variables from our SST app. To do this, we’ll be using the @serverless-stack/static-site-env (or sst-env) package.

Install the sst-env package by running the following in the frontend/ directory.

$ npm install @serverless-stack/static-site-env --save-dev

In Angular, we have our environment.ts and environment.prod.ts files defined in the src/environments folder. The environment.ts file is where we usually keep our environment variables by convention, as the Angular compiler looks for these files before the build process. But we don’t want to hard code these. We want them automatically set from our backend. To do this we’ll use a script that generates env variables at build time.

Create a setenv.ts file inside frontend/scripts folder and add the below code

/* eslint-disable @typescript-eslint/no-var-requires */
const { writeFile } = require("fs");

const targetPath = `./src/environments/environment.ts`;

const environmentFileContent = `
export const environment = {
  production: ${false},
  API_URL:  "${process.env["DEV_API_URL"]}",
};
`;
// write the content to the respective file
writeFile(targetPath, environmentFileContent, function (err: unknown) {
  if (err) {
    console.log(err);
  }
  console.log(`Wrote variables to ${targetPath}`);
});

The above script creates the environment file, environment.ts for dev and populates it with the variables from your .env file (available in process.env) with our API_URL.

We need to update our scripts to use this and the @serverless-stack/static-site-env (or sst-env) package.

Update the package.json in the frontend/ directory.

{
  // ...
  "scripts": {
    // ...
    "config": "ts-node ./scripts/setenv.ts",
    "start": "sst-env -- npm run config && ng serve",
    // ...
  },
  // ...
}

Install ts-node.

$ npm install ts-node --save-dev

Let’s start our Angular development environment.

In the frontend/ directory run.

$ npm run start

Open up your browser and go to http://localhost:4200.

Add the click button

We are now ready to add the UI for our app and connect it to our serverless API.

Replace frontend/src/app/app.component.html with.

<div class="App">
  <div>
    <p>You clicked me  times.</p>
    <button (click)="onClick()">Click Me!</button>
  </div>
</div>

Replace frontend/src/app/app.component.ts with.

import { environment } from "./../environments/environment";
import { Component } from "@Angular/core";
import { HttpClient } from "@Angular/common/http";

@Component({
  selector: "app-root",
  templateUrl: "./app.component.html",
  styleUrls: ["./app.component.css"],
})
export class AppComponent {
  response = "0";
  constructor(private http: HttpClient) {}

  onClick() {
    this.http.post(environment.API_URL, {}).subscribe((data: any) => {
      this.response = data;
    });
  }
}

Here we are adding a simple button that when clicked, makes a request to our API. We are getting the API endpoint from the environment.

The response from our API is then stored in our app’s state. We use that to display the count of the number of times the button has been clicked.

We need HttpClientModule to make API calls with our API, To make HttpClientModule available everywhere in the app, replace code in app.module.ts with below.

Replace frontend/src/app/app.module.ts with.

import { HttpClientModule } from "@Angular/common/http";
import { NgModule } from "@Angular/core";
import { BrowserModule } from "@Angular/platform-browser";

import { AppComponent } from "./app.component";

@NgModule({
  declarations: [AppComponent],
  imports: [BrowserModule, HttpClientModule],
  providers: [],
  bootstrap: [AppComponent],
})
export class AppModule {}

Let’s add some styles.

Replace frontend/src/app/app.component.css with.

.App {
  display: grid;
  height: 100vh;
  place-content: center;
}
p {
  margin-top: 0;
  font-size: 20px;
}
button {
  font-size: 48px;
}

Now if you head over to your browser, your Angular app should look something like this.

Click counter UI in Angular app

Of course if you click on the button multiple times, the count doesn’t change. That’s because we are not updating the count in our API. We’ll do that next.

Making changes

Let’s update our table with the clicks.

Add this above the return statement in backend/functions/lambda.ts.

const putParams = {
  TableName: process.env.tableName,
  Key: {
    counter: "clicks",
  },
  // Update the "tally" column
  UpdateExpression: "SET tally = :count",
  ExpressionAttributeValues: {
    // Increase the count
    ":count": ++count,
  },
};
await dynamoDb.update(putParams).promise();

Here we are updating the clicks row’s tally column with the increased count.

And if you head over to your browser and click the button again, you should see the count increase!

Click counter updating in Angular app

Also let’s go to the DynamoDB tab in the SST Console and check that the value has been updated in the table.

Note, The DynamoDB explorer allows you to query the DynamoDB tables in the Table constructs in your app. You can scan the table, query specific keys, create and edit items.

DynamoDB table view of counter table

Deploying to prod

To wrap things up we’ll deploy our app to prod.

However the current way of loading environment variables only works in dev, as we can’t use sst-env in prod. To load the environment variables from process.env in production we need to make a couple of changes.

We’ll replace placeholder env values in environment.prod.ts in our app with the deployed values.

Replace frontend/src/environments/environment.prod.ts with.

export const environment = {
  production: true,
  API_URL: "",
};

In stacks/MyStack.ts add the following, right below the environment key.

// To load the API URL from the environment in production mode (environment.prod.ts)
replaceValues: [
  {
    files: "**/*.js",
    search: "",
    replace: api.url,
  },
],

This replaces {{ PROD_API_URL }} with the deployed API endpoint in all the .js files in your compiled Angular app.

That’s it, now run the deploy command.

$ npx sst deploy --stage prod

The --stage option allows us to separate our environments, so when we are working in locally, it doesn’t break the app for our users.

Once deployed, you should see something like this.

 ✅  prod-angular-app-my-stack


Stack prod-angular-app-my-stack
  Status: deployed
  Outputs:
    ApiEndpoint: https://k40qchmtvf.execute-api.ap-south-1.amazonaws.com
    SiteUrl: https://d1wuzrecqjflrh.cloudfront.net

Run the below command to open the SST Console in prod stage to test the production endpoint.

npx sst console --stage prod

Go to the API tab and click Send button to send a POST request.

API explorer prod invocation response

If you head over to the SiteUrl in your browser, you should see your new Angular app in action!

Cleaning up

Finally, you can remove the resources created in this example using the following commands.

$ npx sst remove
$ npx sst remove --stage prod

Conclusion

And that’s it! We’ve got a completely serverless click counter app built with Angular. A local development environment, to test and make changes. A web based dashboard to manage your app. And it’s deployed to production as well, so you can share it with your users. Check out the repo below for the code we used in this example. And leave a comment if you have any questions!