Angular Forms: Reactive or Template-driven

Angular Forms: Reactive or Template-driven

Forms are an integral part of almost any web application and in the world of angular we are given two options: reactive forms and template-driven forms. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.

Here are the advantages and disadvantages:

Setup (form model)Created in component classCreated by directives
Data modelStructuredUnstructured
Form validationFunctionsDirectives
ScalabilityLow-level API accessAbstraction on top of APIs

Reactive forms give us explicit control of our forms in a FormGroup. But with explicit control comes more responsbility on our side compared to template-driven forms where angular directives handle the work for us. We get a lot more custom control which is great if you want a real nice looking website with all the cool workings.

If you want something quick and dirty, then template-driven forms will be right up your alley. You don't have to worry about the inner workings on how your component is getting it done. Just create the components and use the directives in the HTML and your form will work just fine.

An important thing to note is how the FormModel instance is synced to what is on the rendered UI. In a reactive form, all the running parts are synchronized. So when you are accessing the information in the DOM or in the component logic itself, you will get the same information.

With a template driven form, there is a short moment where the directive is communicating with the FormModel instance and the rendered UI via Observables. So results may vary when accessing data from the DOM or in the component logic itself.