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The purpose of this article is to explain how to adapt to using angular.js for those who have a background in PHP; since angular is MVC, uses controllers, and outputs $scope variables in the HTML using {{variableName}} much like a template engine like Smarty, Twig and Blade.

If you have at least a basic understanding of object oriented PHP that is good. If you have familiarity with PHP Frameworks like Laravel or Symfony, that will likely help even more; especially for those with more experience.

Now that I brought some basics to the table, I will point you to a basic angular.js example.  This explains the bare bones basics of an angular.js app using $scope, a controller and variable output in HTML.

However, another step forward in your progression is the usage of the factory() and service() methods. Here are two good examples of using these two methods.

Service Methods

Factory and Service Method

If you look into the factory and service methods, you will see that everything starts from the controller. Within the controller, a service or factory method can be called using the name that was given to the method. This is very much like using a class with PHP and calling another function within the class. In addition, you could come across a situation(such as the latter link above) for which the controller calls a service which in turn calls a factory method.

Naming Conventions

Here is a quick lesson in naming the controller, factory and service methods.


The controller is accessed in your HTML file via the ‘ng-controller’ directive, or as you would normally here in HTML, the attribute. The ‘ng-controller’ takes place between the beginning and ending tag for which it is used; such as a div. The name of the controller is important because a name like ng-controller=”myController” means that it will reference the Javascript code where the first parameter in the method is the name of the controller.

After you look over the examples from above, this link about controllers  may help clear up details regarding how a controller works. As you can see, you can add the $scope and dependencies into an array between the [] brackets and call an anonymous function. That anonymous function will allow you to run methods from a factory or service method. Alternatively, you can run a service method that can run an anonymous function using a factory method.

Ending Statements

So, to wrap things up, I hope you could absorb some of the methods to use angular.js based in the fact that you have a background in PHP. This should make the usage of angular more friendly because it takes the knowledge and essentially, many of the features of angular.js that you already know.

So, here is what you have learned. You should now know how to setup a controller in the Javascript and initiate its usage from within the HTML using the ng-controller directive.

Although the tutorial links above showed some good examples, remember that you can run a function within a controller very easily with the on-click directive. If that is not totally clear, the code below shows a simple example that calls a function within a controller.

Here is what is happening. The input box has ng-model=”myInput”. That value will be $scope.myInput in the Javsacript. When myFunc() is initiated, the function in the controller runs and a new $scope variable called $scope.outputMessage is created.

Call the Function In HTML

<input ng-model=”myInput”>
<button ng-click=”myFunc();”>Submit</button>


The Actual Function in the Javascript

controller(‘Controller1’, [‘$scope’, function ($scope) {
$scope.myFunc = function() {
$scope.outputMesssage = “Hi ” + $scope.myInput;

Angular.js is a Javascript Framework that can be used quite effectively with single page web applications, ajax and PHP. This article will not show various methods to use angular.js. It will focus on using modules, controllers and output.

When you use Angular.js, there are three parts in the file for which you need to know about. The first and second parts take place in the head of the file. In the head, you need to include angular.js from a local or external source and you need a custom script for which you will build the custom application.

The other part takes place in the HTML code and will include the required angularjs attributes. In each application the attributes will vary; depending on what you are trying to achieve. A good place to check out what angular.js is capable of is to read the documentation at



The two methods to use controllers are shown below. Although both work, the latter method allows you to have as many controllers as you want in your HTML and they all can have corresponding code in the Javascript.


Global Controller

var myController = function ($scope) {
$ = ‘Rufus’;


Using Angular Namespace, module function and controller function

angular.module(‘myAppName’, [])
.controller(‘myController’, function($scope){
$ = ‘Rufus’;


Before we move on to the HTML, I am reminding you that the code block above is the Javascript that is going to be used to work with the HTML. In order for Angular.js to work, you will see that the HTML code has the attributes ng-app=”myAppName” and the attribute ng-controller=”myController”.

Those two pieces of the puzzle are very important for everything to work. If you look at the Javascript, you can see the module uses the app name and the controller uses the value from ng-controller, which is “myController”.

Finally, look at how {{name}} takes its value from $



<body ng-app=”myAppName” ng-controller=”myController”>

<h1>Hello, {{name}}!</h1>



After that, you could add more HTML and more Javscript to accommodate another controller. The code below shows how you would make that second controller in the Javascript.

angular.module(‘myAppName’).controller(‘secondController’, function($scope, $http) {
// add ajax code here


Keep in mind that when you use multiple controllers in your HTML, you can use them with closing and opening tags; such as <div></div>tags.  Thus, html could resemble the code below if you added a second controller.

<body ng-app=”myAppName” >

<div ng-controller=”myController”>

<h1>Hello, {{name}}!</h1>


<div ng-controller=”secondController”>

Add custom stuff here




Those examples were quite simple. If you move on to forms, loops and other data, more, new coding is required. For example, this form to email example on a web page explains how to use Angular.js to use a function within a controller using the ng-click directive which is a lot like like onclick() with vanilla Javascript or onclick() with Jquery.