ASP.NET Core Web API and Angular CLI

Getting the .Net Core Web API and the Angular CLI to work together can be a daunting task. Here is a step by step guide.

Being a Microsoft fan-boy in the early 2000s was not advantageous nor fun. During the dark days of Com+, Dcom and “classic” asp I seriously considered going to law school. Everything was closed to extension and nearly impossible to modify or integrate.

Today Angular 4, a framework written by Google, was written using Microsoft’s TypeScript (Microsoft being our protagonist and principal enemy of Google). Let that roll around in your noodle for a bit. Now add the fact that Microsoft’s flagship development platform seems to be going opensource on top of embracing 3rd party packages and frameworks.

“Dogs and cats living together” ~ Dr. Peter Venkman

With that said why the hell is ASP.NET Core Web API so damn annoying to work side by side with AngularJS 2 errrrr ahhhh I mean AngularJS 4 CLI?

Why in the hell won’t my Mother Trucking TypeScript transpile? ~Said every Angular Developer Using Visual Studio Ever…

I will try to distill this down to a few steps. By the way I am using Visual Studio 2017

Before we Begin

Is Angular 4 CLI installed? 
npm install -g @angular/cli

  • Open PowerShell or a basic command line.
  • Create a folder for your project. md testProj 

Step 1: Create a new WebApi project from the command line. dotnet new webapi

Step 2: Open the .csproj file in notepad. notepad.exe testProj.webapi'

Step 3: Add the below TypeScriptCompilerBlocked to the PropertyGroup section and save. This will let the Angular CLI compile your typescript and not Visual Studio.<TypeScriptCompilerBlocked>true</TypeScriptCompilerBlocked> <PostBuildEvent>ng build --aot</PostBuildEvent> 

Step 4: Open the webAPi project via the environment or open it from the CLI. devenv testproj.csproj

Step 5: Open the NuGet Package manager console using the shortcut/cord alt T N O. As a side note, you need to memorize this shortcut as it will save you a ton of time.

Step 6: Now let’s install the StaticFile Package so we can serve up our Angular App. install-package Microsoft.AspNetCore.StaticFiles 

Step 7: Open Startup.cs and add the below code to the Configure method.

app.UseDefaultFiles(); app.UseStaticFiles();

Step 8: Let’s redirect to the root of the file when a 404 is encountered. This annoyance must be experienced to be appreciated. Add the below code.

app.Use(async (context, next) => { await next(); if (context.Response.StatusCode == 404 && !Path.HasExtension(context.Request.Path.Value) && !context.Request.Path.Value.StartsWith("/api")) { context.Request.Path = "/index.html"; context.Response.StatusCode = 200; await next(); } });

Right in-between app.UseMvc() and app.UseDefualtFiles() on the configure method in Startup.cs.

Step 9: Open launchSettings.json and add the below settings. "launchBrowser": true, "launchUrl": "api/values", "environmentVariables": { "ASPNETCORE_ENVIRONMENT": "Development" }, "applicationUrl": "http://localhost:61278"

Note: Notice the comma after “Project”. 

Okay so let’s get Angular CLI Setup

Note: Keep in mind we are installing Angular on-top of WebApi.

Step 10: From the command line drill one level above where ever your webAPI.csproj file is located and execute the below. This is the CLI Angular app generation command.

note: Make sure you match the name of your Angular App to your webAPI folder. In my case, I am using testproj. Also, notice the red arrows. I am one level above my project folder.

ng new testproj

Step 11: Rename the src folder to client-src.

Step 12: Open the file angular-cli.json and do the below edits. The outDir will make sure to copy the assets into the wwwroot directory.

"root": "client-src", "outDir": "wwwroot",

Okay, let build the Angular App and run this puppy!

Step 13: Lets compile the angular app by running ng build

Step 14: Go back to Visual Studio and hit F5 and you should see the below page.

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