As Angular developers creating modern software solutions, you’ve probably seen the need to implement a file uploader in a web app.
Whether for work documents, social media, document processing, or blog/CMS posts, file uploaders are a massive part of state-of-the-art applications.
To perform their regular tasks or share their life stories, users of all kinds and across different industries interact with file uploading platforms daily.
Whenever you upload media on apps, attach files to your emails, use OCR (Optical Character Recognition) for data capturing, or verify your identity using a camera, you use a file uploader.
What Is A File Uploader?
File handling solutions (sometimes called file uploaders) are software tools that let users share files across the internet. They are used for uploading files of different types and sizes for various purposes.
File uploaders can be manually programmed into an app or integrated through a third-party API.
Both are viable options, but in the modern digital world, it’s highly recommended to use a third-party file handling solution for your needs because:
- Making your modern file uploader will consume months of development time, taking your focus away from the core features of your app.
- Third-party file uploaders are already reliable, feature-filled, mature, and secure.
- It’s easy to integrate third-party uploaders into projects (usually just one or two lines of code)
- They’re easier to maintain.
- They reduce the chances of failed file uploads.
- They’re very customizable and intuitive.
Undoubtedly, developers and businesses should use third-party file uploaders to handle their files. Doing so will help them deploy their projects faster yet safer, reducing long-term costs.
And because of the practicality and importance of third-party file handling solutions, we will be focusing on some of the best of them. But before we go deeper into that, we should look at how they help in the Angular context.
File Handling Solutions And Angular
Web application frameworks like Angular help developers create a seamless SPA (Single Page Application) experience. They allow for the creation of faster and well-structured web apps with rich features. They’re composed of libraries and plugins for different requirements.
You must build one from scratch to implement an Angular file upload without using third-party tools. This means creating an input element with the “file” type, which is a hassle because of its lack of customization options (e.g., it will always display “Choose File”).
Typically, you’d have to hide the file input, create a visually appealing element that triggers it, and upload the file to a server via HTTP requests.
And that’s just for basic file handling. So if you want progress bars, multiple uploads, image/video previews and editing, OCR, secure file handling, and other advanced and essential features, you’ll lose a lot of time developing them.
Thankfully, third-party file handling solutions exist to help Angular developers focus on critical coding tasks by taking care of the heavy and complicated file handling requirements.
Instead of writing tons of code for a feature, developers will only have to install the file handling tool (or call it through CDN) and write one or two lines of code.
Now that you know the basics of file handling implementation in Angular, it’s time to move to our next topic, choosing the best file handling solution for you. We’ll be exploring some of the leading tools: Filestack, Uppy, Cloudinary, and Uploadcare.
The first file handling solution on our list is powerful and popular. Trusted by big names like SlideShare, Filestack is the “#1 Developer Service for File Uploads”, possessing plenty of unique features while still being fast and straightforward.
It has everything a modern file handling solution should have and can be used for various software.
Its unique features are better reliability (99.999% upload success), accelerated uploads, and a single API forever (all services and features under one stable API). It also offers the following core features:
- Dramatic improvement in your file uploader’s looks and performance
- Access files through drag and drop, copy and paste, a file picker, online accounts, or in real-time (photos, videos, audio)
- Fully customizable uploader UI
- Responsive and modern UI
- File preview and editing
- Progress bars
- Multi-file uploads
- Unlimited uploading
- Secure cloud storage uploads
- No maintenance required
- Reliable support and documentation
- Support for OCR
- Object recognition
- Video tagging
- Support for WebP and JPEG XR next-gen formats
- Copyright detection
- Document viewing
- URL-based file conversion
Filestack also has file stack-angular, an Angular library that allows for easy integration of Filestack into your Angular project. This can be installed via npm or accessed through CDN.
After installation, you only need to include the FilestackModule in your app.module.ts file and use it in your HTML file by declaring an ng-picker-overlay tag that contains your Filestack API key.
With plenty of smart and advanced features, lightning-fast upload speed, and eye-catching UI, Filestack will make your development easier and your users happy.
Filestack can be downloaded for free upon signup and subscribed to for as low as $59/month for its Starter plan.
Uppy is a lightweight, modular, open-source file handling solution that focuses on seamless integration, reliability, and ease of use. Despite having enough features of an ideal modern file uploader, it’s pretty lightweight.
Its modular architecture also means that plugins can just be added or removed as needed. Useful for small file handling needs, Uppy has the following primary features:
- Resumable file uploads
- Access files through a webcam, Dropbox, Google Drive, and Instagram
- File recovery in case of browser crash or unintentional navigation
- Support for accessibility and internationalization
- Has sufficient documentation despite being open source
Uppy can provide Angular components, which may be installed from npm. In addition, there are wrappers for a dashboard, drag and drop area, and progress/status bars, and Uppy can be integrated in the same way as Filestack.
It lets startups and freelancers catch up on basic modern file handling technology with good features for small projects.
Uppy is free and has the optional Bronze (starts at $49/month) and Silver (starts at $1499/month) support membership.
A popular media file-centric file uploading solution, Cloudinary promises to “Unleash the full potential of your digital media.”
It helps developers create apps that allow for faster media loading without sacrificing visual quality, and it helps keep apps looking modern and responsive.
Cloudinary is an excellent developer tool because of its digital assets management, media optimizer, and powerful image and video APIs. In addition to those features, it also has the following:
- URL-based API for manipulating images
- Real-time video customization
- Support for media resizing, effects, overlays, colors, etc.
- Support for AI-based cropping
- Support for thumbnails, playlists, and subtitles
- Supports any rich media format
- Plenty of documentation
Cloudinary also has support for Angular, and much like the two previous solutions, it can be installed from npm and implemented efficiently.
This also helps Cloudinary remain popular. However, it has two disadvantages compared to the other solutions on this list. First is that it’s specialized for media files, meaning that you’ll have to use another solution for PDFs, document and spreadsheet files, OCRs, and the like.
The other disadvantage is that it has plenty of APIs, perhaps too many. This makes integrations less simple compared to the rest. Nevertheless, Cloudinary offers one of the best media-centric APIs in the market.
Cloudinary has a Free plan for one user/one account max, and its paid plans start from $89 per month for three users/two accounts.
An intelligent, clean, and lightweight file uploading infrastructure, Uploadcare combines most features of modern file uploading solutions into a single solution. It allows users to upload from 12 external sources and easily edit images.
Furthermore, it’s designed for developers, having easy integration, mobile SDKs for native mobile libraries, and flexible API. Below are the other features of Uploadcare:
- Responsive UI
- Deep customization with CSS
- Support for accessibility
- Security and authorization
- Upload any file of any type or size
- Multiple uploads
- AI-based image compression
- Face detection
- Object tagging
- File conversion
Like the others on the list, Uploadcare can easily be integrated into an Angular project by following the same steps as the other solutions.
Being rich and intuitive, Uploadcare is a solid choice, trailing only Filestack in features and having way more to offer than Uppy and Cloudinary.
Uploadcare has a Hobby plan which costs $0/month, as well as paid plans starting from $57 per month.
This article reviewed four of the best file handling solutions and reviewed their features and strengths.
You must thoroughly review your requirements to pick the best file handling solution for you and your Angular project.
Do you need an image uploader or general? Do you need OCR, facial recognition, image/video editing, and advanced features? Do you have a set budget or prefer open-source solutions?
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