Loading an AngularJS controller dynamically

I have an existing page into which I need to drop an angular app with controllers that can be loaded dynamically.

Here's a snippet which implements my best guess as to how it should be done based on the API and some related questions I've found:

// Make module Foo
angular.module('Foo', []);
// Bootstrap Foo
var injector = angular.bootstrap($('body'), ['Foo']);
// Make controller Ctrl in module Foo
angular.module('Foo').controller('Ctrl', function() { });
// Load an element that uses controller Ctrl
var ctrl = $('<div ng-controller="Ctrl">').appendTo('body');
// compile the new element
injector.invoke(function($compile, $rootScope) {
    // the linker here throws the exception
    $compile(ctrl)($rootScope);
});

JSFiddle. Note that this is a simplification of the actual chain of events, there are various async calls and user inputs between the lines above.

When I try to run the above code, the linker which is returned by $compile throws: Argument 'Ctrl' is not a function, got undefined. If I understood bootstrap correctly, the injector it returns should know about the Foo module, right?

If instead I make a new injector using angular.injector(['ng', 'Foo']), it seems to work but it creates a new $rootScope which is no longer the same scope as the element where the Foo module was bootstrapped.

Am I using the right functionality to do this or is there something I've missed? I know this isn't doing it the Angular way, but I need to add new components that use Angular to old pages that don't, and I don't know all the components that might be needed when I bootstrap the module.

UPDATE:

I've updated the fiddle to show that I need to be able to add multiple controllers to the page at undetermined points in time.

Answers:

Answer

I've found a possible solution where I don't need to know about the controller before bootstrapping:

// Make module Foo and store $controllerProvider in a global
var controllerProvider = null;
angular.module('Foo', [], function($controllerProvider) {
    controllerProvider = $controllerProvider;
});
// Bootstrap Foo
angular.bootstrap($('body'), ['Foo']);

// .. time passes ..

// Load javascript file with Ctrl controller
angular.module('Foo').controller('Ctrl', function($scope, $rootScope) {
    $scope.msg = "It works! rootScope is " + $rootScope.$id +
        ", should be " + $('body').scope().$id;
});
// Load html file with content that uses Ctrl controller
$('<div id="ctrl" ng-controller="Ctrl" ng-bind="msg">').appendTo('body');

// Register Ctrl controller manually
// If you can reference the controller function directly, just run:
// $controllerProvider.register(controllerName, controllerFunction);
// Note: I haven't found a way to get $controllerProvider at this stage
//    so I keep a reference from when I ran my module config
function registerController(moduleName, controllerName) {
    // Here I cannot get the controller function directly so I
    // need to loop through the module's _invokeQueue to get it
    var queue = angular.module(moduleName)._invokeQueue;
    for(var i=0;i<queue.length;i++) {
        var call = queue[i];
        if(call[0] == "$controllerProvider" &&
           call[1] == "register" &&
           call[2][0] == controllerName) {
            controllerProvider.register(controllerName, call[2][1]);
        }
    }
}
registerController("Foo", "Ctrl");
// compile the new element
$('body').injector().invoke(function($compile, $rootScope) {
    $compile($('#ctrl'))($rootScope);
    $rootScope.$apply();
});

Fiddle. Only problem is that you need to store the $controllerProvider and use it in a place where it really shouldn't be used (after the bootstrap). Also there doesn't seem to be an easy way to get at a function used to define a controller until it is registered, so I need to loop through the module's _invokeQueue, which is undocumented.

UPDATE: To register directives and services, instead of $controllerProvider.register simply use $compileProvider.directive and $provide.factory respectively. Again, you'll need to save references to these in your initial module config.

UDPATE 2: Here's a fiddle which automatically registers all controllers/directives/services loaded without having to specify them individually.

Answer

bootstrap() will call the AngularJS compiler for you, just like ng-app.

// Make module Foo
angular.module('Foo', []);
// Make controller Ctrl in module Foo
angular.module('Foo').controller('Ctrl', function($scope) { 
    $scope.name = 'DeathCarrot' });
// Load an element that uses controller Ctrl
$('<div ng-controller="Ctrl">{{name}}</div>').appendTo('body');
// Bootstrap with Foo
angular.bootstrap($('body'), ['Foo']);

Fiddle.

Answer

I would suggest to take a look at ocLazyLoad library, which registers modules (or controllers, services etc on existing module) at run time and also loads them using requireJs or other such library.

Answer

I also needed to add multiple views and bind them to controllers at runtime from a javascript function outside the angularJs context, so here's what I came up with :

<div id="mController" ng-controller="mainController">
</div>

<div id="ee">
  2nd controller's view should be rendred here
</div>

now calling setCnt() function will inject and compile the html, and it will be linked to the 2nd controller:

var app = angular.module('app', []);

function setCnt() {
  // Injecting the view's html
  var e1 = angular.element(document.getElementById("ee"));
  e1.html('<div ng-controller="ctl2">my name: {{name}}</div>');

  // Compile controller 2 html
  var mController = angular.element(document.getElementById("mController"));
  mController.scope().activateView(e1);
}

app.controller("mainController", function($scope, $compile) {
  $scope.name = "this is name 1";

  $scope.activateView = function(ele) {
    $compile(ele.contents())($scope);
    $scope.$apply();
  };
});

app.controller("ctl2", function($scope) {
  $scope.name = "this is name 2";
});

here's an example to test this : http://refork.com/x4bc

hope this helps.

Answer

I have just improved the function written by Jussi-Kosunen so that all stuff can be done with one single call.

function registerController(moduleName, controllerName, template, container) {
    // Load html file with content that uses Ctrl controller
    $(template).appendTo(container);
    // Here I cannot get the controller function directly so I
    // need to loop through the module's _invokeQueue to get it
    var queue = angular.module(moduleName)._invokeQueue;
    for(var i=0;i<queue.length;i++) {
        var call = queue[i];
        if(call[0] == "$controllerProvider" &&
            call[1] == "register" &&
            call[2][0] == controllerName) {
                controllerProvider.register(controllerName, call[2][1]);
            }
        }

        angular.injector(['ng', 'Foo']).invoke(function($compile, $rootScope) {
            $compile($('#ctrl'+controllerName))($rootScope);
            $rootScope.$apply();
        });
}

This way you could load your template from anywhere and instanciate controllers programmatically, even nested.

Here is a working example loading a controller inside another one: http://plnkr.co/edit/x3G38bi7iqtXKSDE09pN

Answer

why not use config and ui-router?

it is loaded at runtime and you have no need to show your controllers in html code

for example something like the following

var config = {

   config: function(){
        mainApp.config(function ($stateProvider, $urlRouterProvider){
            $urlRouterProvider.otherwise("/");
            $stateProvider

            .state('index',{
                views:{
                    'main':{
                        controller: 'PublicController',
                        templateUrl: 'templates/public-index.html'
                    }
                }
            })
            .state('public',{
                url: '/',
                parent: 'index',
                views: {
                    'logo' : {templateUrl:'modules/header/views/logo.html'},
                    'title':{
                        controller: 'HeaderController',
                        templateUrl: 'modules/header/views/title.html'
                    },
                    'topmenu': {
                        controller: 'TopMenuController',
                        templateUrl: 'modules/header/views/topmenu.html'
                    },
                    'apartments': {
                        controller: 'FreeAptController',
                        templateUrl:'modules/free_apt/views/apartments.html'
                    },
                    'appointments': {
                        controller: 'AppointmentsController',
              templateUrl:'modules/appointments/views/frm_appointments.html'
                    },
                }
            })
            .state('inside',{
                views:{
                    'main':{
                        controller: 'InsideController',
                        templateUrl: 'templates/inside-index.html'
                    },
                },
                resolve: {
                    factory:checkRouting
                }
            })
            .state('logged', {
                url:'/inside',
                parent: 'inside',
                views:{        
                    'logo': {templateUrl: 'modules/inside/views/logo.html'},
                    'title':{templateUrl:'modules/inside/views/title.html'},
                    'topmenu': {
                       // controller: 'InsideTopMenuController',
                        templateUrl: 'modules/inside/views/topmenu.html'
                    },
                    'messages': {
                        controller: 'MessagesController',
                        templateUrl: 'modules/inside/modules/messages/views/initial-view-messages.html'
                    },
                    'requests': {
                        //controller: 'RequestsController',
                        //templateUrl: 'modules/inside/modules/requests/views/initial-view-requests.html'
                    },

                }

            })

    });
},

};
Answer

This is what I did, 2 parts really, using ng-controller with its scope defined function and then $controller service to create the dynamic controller :-

First, the HTML - we need a Static Controller which will instantiate a dynamic controller ..

<div ng-controller='staticCtrl'>
  <div ng-controller='dynamicCtrl'>
    {{ dynamicStuff }}
  </div>
</div>

The static controller 'staticCtrl' defines a scope member called 'dynamicCtrl' which is called to create the dynamic controller. ng-controller will take either a predefined controller by name or looks at current scope for function of same name ..

.controller('staticCtrl', ['$scope', '$controller', function($scope, $controller) {
  $scope.dynamicCtrl = function() {
    var fn = eval('(function ($scope, $rootScope) { alert("I am dynamic, my $scope.$id = " + $scope.$id + ", $rootScope.$id = " + $rootScope.$id); })');
    return $controller(fn, { $scope: $scope.$new() }).constructor;
  }
}])

We use eval() to take a string (our dynamic code which can come from anywhere) and then the $controller service which will take either a predefined controller name (normal case) or a function constructor followed by constructor parameters (we pass in a new scope) - Angular will inject (like any controller) into the function, we are requesting just $scope and $rootScope above.

Answer
'use strict';

var mainApp = angular.module('mainApp', [
    'ui.router', 
    'ui.bootstrap', 
    'ui.grid',
    'ui.grid.edit',
    'ngAnimate',
    'headerModule', 
    'galleryModule', 
    'appointmentsModule', 
 ]);


(function(){

    var App = {
        setControllers:   mainApp.controller(controllers),
        config:   config.config(),
        factories: {
            authFactory: factories.auth(),
            signupFactory: factories.signup(),
            someRequestFactory: factories.saveSomeRequest(),
        },
        controllers: {
            LoginController: controllers.userLogin(),
            SignupController: controllers.signup(),
            WhateverController: controllers.doWhatever(),
        },
        directives: {
            signup: directives.signup(), // add new user
            openLogin: directives.openLogin(), // opens login window
            closeModal: directives.modalClose(), // close modal window
            ngFileSelect: directives.fileSelect(),
            ngFileDropAvailable: directives.fileDropAvailable(),
            ngFileDrop: directives.fileDrop()
        },
        services: {
           $upload: services.uploadFiles(),
        }
    };
})();

The above code is only an example.

This way you don't need to put ng-controller="someController" anywhere on a page — you only declare <body ng-app="mainApp">

Same structure can be used for each module or modules inside modules

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