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What is the difference between angular-route and angular-ui-router?

Posted by: admin November 2, 2017 Leave a comment


I’m planning to use AngularJS in my big applications. So I’m in the process to find out the right modules to use.

What is the difference between ngRoute (angular-route.js) and ui-router (angular-ui-router.js) modules?

In many articles when ngRoute is used, route is configured with $routeProvider. However, when used with ui-router, route is configured with $stateProvider and $urlRouterProvider.

Which module should I use for better manageability and extensibility?


ui-router is a 3rd-party module and is very powerful. It supports everything the normal ngRoute can do as well as many extra functions.

Here are some common reason ui-router is chosen over ngRoute:

  • ui-router allows for nested views and multiple named views. This is very useful with larger app where you may have pages that inherit from other sections.

  • ui-router allows for you to have strong-type linking between states based on state names. Change the url in one place will update every link to that state when you build your links with ui-sref. Very useful for larger projects where URLs might change.

  • There is also the concept of the decorator which could be used to allow your routes to be dynamically created based on the URL that is trying to be accessed. This could mean that you will not need to specify all of your routes before hand.

  • states allow you to map and access different information about different states and you can easily pass information between states via $stateParams.

  • You can easily determine if you are in a state or parent of a state to adjust UI element (highlighting the navigation of the current state) within your templates via $state provided by ui-router which you can expose via setting it in $rootScope on run.

In essence, ui-router is ngRouter with more features, under the sheets it is quite different. These additional features are very useful for larger applications.

More Information:


ngRoute is a module developed by the AngularJS team which was earlier part of the AngularJS core.

ui-router is a framework which was made outside the AngularJS project to improve and enhance routing capabilities.

From the ui-router documentation:

AngularUI Router is a routing framework for AngularJS, which allows
you to organize the parts of your interface into a state machine.
Unlike the $route service in Angular core, which is organized around
URL routes, UI-Router is organized around states, which may optionally
have routes, as well as other behavior, attached.

States are bound to named, nested and parallel views, allowing you to
powerfully manage your application’s interface.

Neither of them is better, you will have to chose the most appropriate for your project.

However, if you plan to have complex views in your application and you would like to deal with the “$state” notion. I recommend you to chose ui-router.


ngRoute is a angular core module which is good for basic scenarios. I believe that they will add more powerful features in upcoming releases.

URL: https://docs.angularjs.org/api/ngRoute

Ui-router is a contributed module which is overcome the problems of ngRoute. Mainly Nested/Complex views.

URL: https://github.com/angular-ui/ui-router

Some of the difference between ui-router and ngRoute


enter image description here


Why you should use UI-Router

Multiple views:

Most applications can be broken up into regions. At a minimum, applications usually have a header, a main content area, and a footer.

Commonly, applications may have an additional sidebar on the left or right side of the page as shown below.

Enter image description here

In most use cases, all of these regions (views) are shown on the page at the same time. With the built-in AngularJS router, ngRoute, only one view (ng-view) is allowed per page. This limitation causes people to use includes (ng-include) or other workarounds to create a layout or master page for their application. UI-Router supports multiple views and each can have its own corresponding Controller so that each of these regions can be encapsulated and reused throughout the application if needed.

Nested views:

The common example of a nested view in applications is a master/detail or, more specifically, a list/detail page. Many applications show a list of items then when you click on an item you see the detail for that item. Taking this example further, you might then click an edit link when viewing the item’s details that takes you to an editable form for the item (see the diagram below to visualize).

Enter image description here

This scenario is easily achieved with the built-in AngularJS router, ngRoute, if the list and detail are on separate pages (or views as they are called in AngularJS). However, if you want the list to remain on the page while you show the detail to the right or below the list this becomes more challenging.

To be clear, this requirement can be achieved with ngRoute by sharing a single view with two controllers: one for the list and one for the detail and hiding and showing the detail as needed.

The result is not ideal, because we would like the list and detail to each have their own controller and view with only one responsibility (showing a list or showing item details). By encapsulating these user interface areas in their own view we can have a more composable UI that allows us to bring the pieces together or break them apart as needed to meet requirements.

Nested views enable us to not only to bring these views together at the same time, but also to nest a view inside another view.


ngRoute is part of the core AngularJS framework.

ui-router is a community library that has been created to attempt to improve upon the default routing capabilities.

Here is a good article about configuring/setting up ui-router:



If you want to make use of nested views functionality implemented within ngRoute paradigm, try angular-route-segment – it aims to extend ngRoute rather than to replace it.


Generally ui-router works on a state mechanism… It can be understood with an easy example:

Let’s say we have a big application of a music library (like ..gaana or saavan or any other). And at the bottom of the page, you have a music player which is shared across all the state of the page.

Now let’s say you just click on some songs to play. In this case, only that music player state should change instead of reloading the full page. That can be easily handled by ui-router.

While in ngRoute we just attach the view and the controller.


ngRoute is a module built by the Angular team that provides basic client-side routing functionality. This module provides a fairly powerful base for routing, and can be built upon pretty easily to give solid routing functionality, as exemplified in this blog post (be sure to read the comment trail between Ward Bell and Ben Nadel, the author – they are a couple of Angular pros)

ui-router shifts the focus from url-centric routes to application “states”, which may or may not be reflected in the url.

The primary features added by ui-router are nested states and named views.

Nested states allow you to separate controller logic for the various pieces of the application. A very simple example of this would be an app with primary navigation across the top, a secondary navigation list along the left, and content on the right. Without nested states, a single controller would typically have to handle the display logic for the secondary navigation as well as the content. Nested routing allows you to separate these concerns.

Named views are another additional feature of ui-router. With ngRoute, you can only have a single ngView directive on a page, whereas with named views in ui-router you can specify multiple ui-view directives, and then each state is able to affect the template and controller of the names views. A super simple example of this would be to have the main content of your app be the primary view, and then to also have a footer bar that would be a separate ui-view. In this scenario, the footer’s controller no longer has to listen for state/route changes.

A good comparison of ngRoute and ui-router can be found on this podcast episode.

Just to make things more confusing, keep an eye on the new “official” routing module that the Angular team is expecting to release for versions 1.5 and 2.0 of Angular. This will be replacing the ngRoute module. Here is the current documentation for the new Router module – it is fairly sparse as of this posting since the implementation has not yet been finalized. Watch here for more news on when this module will actually be released.


Angular 1.x


ng-route is developed by the angularJS Team for routing.

ng-route: url (Location) based routing.


    .when("/home", {
        templateUrl : "home.html"


ui-router is develoepd by 3rd party module.

ui-router : state based routing


        .state('home', {
            url: '/home',
            templateUrl: 'home.html'

–> ui-router allows for nested views

–> ui-router more powerful than ng-route



ngRoute is a basic routing library, where you can specify just one view and controller for any route.

With ui-router, you can specify multiple views, both parallel and nested. So if your application requires (or may require in future) any kind of complex routing/views, then go ahead with ui-router.

This is best getting started guide for AngularUI Router.


Basic thing you have to know: ng-router uses $location.path() and ui-router uses $state.go

Rest us all features.


ui router make your life easier! You can add it to you AngularJS application via injecting it into your applications…

ng-route comes as part of the core AngularJS, so it’s simpler and gives you fewer options…

Look at here to understand ng-route better: https://docs.angularjs.org/api/ngRoute

Also when using it, don’t forget to use: ngView ..

ng-ui-router is different but:

https://github.com/angular-ui/ui-router but gives you more options….


AngularUI Router is a routing framework for AngularJS, which allows you to organize the parts of your interface into a state machine. Unlike the $route service in the Angular ngRoute module, which is organized around URL routes, UI-Router is organized around states, which may optionally have routes, as well as other behavior, attached.



ngRoute is a module developed by the Angular.js team which was earlier part of the Angular core.

ui-router is a framework which was made outside the Angular.js project to improve and enhance routing capabalities.


1- ngRoute is developed by angular team whereas ui-router is a 3rd party module. 2- ngRoute implements routing based on the route URL whereas ui-router implements routing based on the state of the application. 3- ui-router provides everything that the ng-route provides plus some additional features like nested states and multiple named views.


ng-View (developed by the AngularJS team) can be used only once per page, whereas ui-View (3rd party module) can be used multiple times per page.

ui-View is therefore the best option.