Angular 2 — Component Lifecycle Hooks

Carlos Menezes
May 5, 2016 · 3 min read

Each Angular application goes through a lifecycle. In fact, Angular 2 is built on three components, so each component goes through its own lifecycle as well.

This is quite advanced stuff and I go through this it a high level here, so any questions please ask!

As you already know, all the components have their own constructor; it is important however, to remember that the way to access the inputs of a component is not via its constructor.

If you want to access the value of an input - to load additional data from the server for example - you have to use a lifecycle phase.

Constructor:

The constructor of the component class is called before any other component lifecycle hook. If our component is based on any dependencies, the constructor is the best place to inject those dependencies.

Example:

import {Component} from 'angular2/core';
import {CarService} from './carService';
@Component({
selector: ‘list-cars’,
template: `
<ul>
<li *ngFor="#car of cars">{{car.name}}</li>
</ul>
`
})
class AppComponent {
cars:Array<any>;
constructor(private _carService: CarService) {
this.cars = _carService.getCars();
}
}

ngOnInit:

The ngOnInit method of a component is called directly after the constructor and after the ngOnChange is triggered for the first time. It is the perfect place for initialisation work.

ngOnChanges:

The ngOnChanges will be called first when the value of a bound property changes. It executes, every time the value of an input property changes. It will receive a changes map, containing the current and previous values of the binding, wrapped in a SimpleChange.

{"brand":{"previousValue":"","currentValue":"BMW"}}

In the case above, one change to the input property brand is reported. The value of this property has been changed from an empty string to the string “BMW”.

ngOnDestroy:

The ngDestroy is called in a component’s lifecycle just before the instance of the component is finally destroyed. It is the perfect place to clean the component — for example, to cancel background tasks.

Quick example:

@Directive({
selector: '[destroyDirective]'
})
export class OnDestroyDirective implements OnDestroy {
sayHello: number;
constructor() {
this.sayHiya = window.setInterval(() => console.log('hello'), 1000);
}
ngOnDestroy() {
window.clearInterval(this.sayHiya);
}
}

If we do not use the ngOnDestroy method we will have the thread logging “hello” until the end or it crashes….

More advanced phases are:

ngDoCheck:

ngDoCheck is triggered every time the input properties of a component or a directive are checked. We can use this lifecycle hook to extend the check with our own custom check logic. It can also be useful if we want to accelerate the change detection by checking the bare minimum and not using the default algorithm (although we usually do not use this).

ngAfterContentInit:

The ngAfterContentInit lifecycle hook is called after ngOnInit when the component or directive’s content has been initialised; basically when all the bindings of the component have been checked for the first time.

ngAfterContentChecked:

Called after every check of the component or directive’s content, effectively when all the bindings of the components have been checked; even if they haven’t changed.

ngAfterViewInit:

Called after ngAfterContentInit when the component’s view has been initialised. Applies to components only.

ngAfterViewChecked:

Called after every check of the component’s view. Applies to components only. When all the bindings of the children directives have been checked; even if they haven’t changed. It can be useful if the component is waiting for something coming from its child components.

References:

Frontend Weekly

It's really hard to keep up with all the front-end development news out there. Let us help you. We hand-pick interesting articles related to front-end development. You can also subscribe to our weekly newsletter at http://frontendweekly.co

Carlos Menezes

Written by

Full-stack & Software Engineer, Javascript, Angular, MVC, C# and all other web things ✌ ☃ London ☂ ☁ 🇸🇹 > 🇵🇹 > 🇪🇸 > 🇬🇧

Frontend Weekly

It's really hard to keep up with all the front-end development news out there. Let us help you. We hand-pick interesting articles related to front-end development. You can also subscribe to our weekly newsletter at http://frontendweekly.co