Techno Fattie

Josh Carroll

I Have Two Angular Applications... One For Each of You!

AngularJS is amazingly flexible, so it usually comes as a surprise to people when they find out that you can't use ng-app twice on the same page. Granted, this isn't something you really need too much, but most of us have thought of a reason or two that it might be handy.

Now, it's not like this is impossible, but it does require manually bootstrapping the application using angular.bootstrap.

var myTargetElement = document.getElementById('my-target');

angular.bootstrap(myTargetElement, ['some-module']);

That's not terrible, but on my previous blog post about a simple loading indicator, I really needed an easy way to automatically make this happen. Ideally it would work just like ng-app did, so I threw together some code to do this for me.

Turns out, it was ridiculously simple:

//Find all elements with an attribute of 'multi-app'
var allMultiElements = document.querySelectorAll('*[multi-app]');

//Bootstrap each element using the value of the attribute
// as the module name
angular.forEach(allMultiElements, function(elem){
    var appName = angular.element(elem).attr('multi-app');

    angular.bootstrap(elem, [appName]);


I use the native querySelectorAll to grab all elements that have an attribute of multi-app. Then, since I already know I am using AngularJS, I can simply lean on it's built in utility function forEach to loop over those elements and bootstrap each one using the attribute value as the module name.

In order to put a bow on this, and make the whole thing automatic, I wrap the above code into a function, and then call it whenever the document is ready.

(function () {
    'use strict';


    function bootstrapAllModules(){
        var allMultiElements = document.querySelectorAll('*[multi-app]');

        angular.forEach(allMultiElements, function(elem){
            var appName = angular.element(elem).attr('multi-app');

            angular.bootstrap(elem, [appName]);

Now you can automatically bootstrap multiple applications into the DOM like this:

<div multi-app="app-one"></div>
<div multi-app="app-two"></div>
<div multi-app="app-three"></div>

And... the entire thing is only 12 lines of code!

For those of you who are too lazy to CTRL + C, CTRL + V I put the whole thing up on GitHub.

There is even a bower package, which is hilariously comical to me, but nonetheless you are free to:

bower install angular-multi-app

Have fun, and don't shoot yourself in the eye with this thing!

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