Angular Crash Course - Part 6

Service in software engineering

Self-contained building blocks of application functionality.

Angular services

Angular application building blocks wired together using dependency injection (DI) provided by $injector service.

  • Build-in services start with $, eg: $https
  • Used to organise code
  • Lazily instantiated
  • Singletons
  • Can be injected (DI)

$injector service

The injector service instantiate only two types of objects, custom services and specialized objects.

Specialized objects are part of Angular API.
Services are objects with API designed by developer.


Helper methods for registering components with $injector

Specialized object recipes

  • controllers
  • directives
  • filters
  • animations

Service recipes (providers)

  • value
  • constant
  • factory
  • service
  • provider

Provider recipe is the most verbose and the most comprehensive one. All other recipes (Value, Factory, Service and Constant) are syntactic sugar created on top of a provider recipe.

Angular service example

  .module('myServiceModule', [])
  .factory('queue', queueFactory)
  .controller('MyController', MyController)

function() queueFactory {
  return {
    add: function (obj) { /* ... */ }

function MyController($scope, queue) {

Dependency Injection (DI)

When service is requested, $injector service finds correct service provider, instantiate it and calls its $get() service factory function to get the instance of the service.


$injector service is used to retrieve object instances as defined by provider, instantiate types, invoke methods, and load modules.

Service providers are constructor functions. When instantiated they must contain a property called $get, which holds the service factory function.

Service factories are functions created by a service provider and used to create service objects.

Service is a singleton object created by a service factory.

DI Diagram


Service recipes

Value recipe

  • Value service does what it says on the box
  • Returns primitive type value ( string, number, boolean)
  • Returns composite type value ( object, array )
  • Makes value available for dependency injection
  .module("meanApp", [])
  .value("user", {
    token: "SUPER-SECRET-TOKEN",
    name: "MEAN User"

Constant recipe

  • Available in run phase ( same as value recipe )
  • Available in configuration phase ( same as provider recipe)
myApp.constant('uriPrefix', ‘user-')

meanApp.config(function(userProvider, uriPrefix) {

Factory recipe

  • Most common, and used in majority of situations
  • If you like modular pattern
  • Explicit object construction allows “private” properties
  • Returns object with public API methods
angular.module("meanApp", [])
  .factory("user", function() {
    var userName = "Mean User"
    return {
      token: "SUPER-SECRET-TOKEN",
      name: userName

Can be used to instantiate external libraries.

function User(userId) {
 this.token = userId = "Mean User"

angular.module("meanApp", [])
 .value("userId", 123)
 .factory("user", function(userId) {
   return new User(userId)

Service recipe

  • Instantiating external libraries
  • When you like using keyword this over modular pattern
  • Better for object constructor methods
function User(userId) {
  this.token = userId; = "Mean User";

angular.module("meanApp", [])
  .value("userId", 123)
  .service("user", ["userId", User])

Provider recipe

  • Available in configuration phase
  • Configurable reusability
  • Great for instantiating external configurable libraries
var meanApp = angular.module("meanApp", [])

meanApp.provider('user', function UserProvider() {
  var uriPrefix = ""

  this.setUriPrefix = function(uri) {
    uriPrefix = uri

  this.$get = ["userId", function userFactory(userId) {
    return new User(userId, uriPrefix);

meanApp.config(function(userProvider) {

Service comparison

Source: angularjs/guide/providers

Features / Recipe type Factory Service Value Constant Provider
can have dependencies yes yes no no yes
uses type friendly injection no yes yes* yes* no
object available in config phase no no no yes yes**
can create functions yes yes yes yes yes
can create primitives yes no yes yes yes

* at the cost of eager initialization by using new operator directly
** the service object is not available during the config phase, but the provider instance is

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