Blazor vs Angular Comparison in 2021

Jason Beres [Infragistics] / Thursday, February 4, 2021

Until recently, if you were a C# developer and you wanted to write code for browsers, you pretty much used JavaScript, the most popular programming language today. But, the web development world has been changing quickly, and developers no longer have to depend on JavaScript for high-end web app development. If you have ever thought about running .NET in the browser without add-ons and plugins, Blazor is making that a reality thanks to a technology called WebAssembly.

This blog will take a closer look at the state of Blazor today, its features, its production-level readiness, and then compare it with one of the most popular frameworks, Angular. You'll learn:

What is Blazor?

Blazor is a new Microsoft web framework that allows developers to write code for browsers in C#. Blazor is based on existing web technologies like HTML and CSS but then allows the developer to use C# and Razor syntax instead of JavaScript. Razor is a popular template markup syntax for .NET. Blazor (Browser + Razor) enables developers to build interactive and reusable web UI for client-side applications written in .NET and implemented under WebAssembly. With both client and server code written in C#, it allows you to share code and libraries, providing a platform to enable the development of vibrant, contemporary single-page applications (SPA) while using .NET end-to-end.

The most remarkable thing about this new technology is the fact that it leverages the latest web standards and does not need additional plugins or add-ons to run, which is made possible by WebAssembly.

Understanding WebAssembly

WebAssembly, often abbreviated Wasm, is a new standard that can be run in modern web browsers bringing language diversity to the web platform. Wasm is a low-level assembly-like language featuring a compact binary format that makes it possible to run code written in multiple languages such as C/C++, Java, and Rust on the web with near-native performance.

The goal of WebAssembly is to facilitate high-performance applications on web pages. However, its format is designed for execution and integration in other environments and can also run alongside JavaScript.

Features of Blazor

  • Build Web UIs with C# instead of JavaScript or TypeScript
  • Build progressive web apps (PWAs)
  • Create and use reusable components written in C#
  • Full debugging support on the server-side and debugging with some limitations on the client-side
  • Data binding with the HTML DOM (limited two-way binding)
  • Share code between client and server in C#
  • Server and client-side models
  • Server-side rendering (aka pre-rendering) for higher performance
  • WebSocket connections
  • Works offline (client side WebAssembly only)
  • Works in all modern web browsers including mobile browsers
  • Blazor code has the same security sandbox as JavaScript
  • Use JavaScript interop to call JavaScript frameworks and libraries
  • Open source

What is Angular?

Angular, the successor of AngularJS, was created by Google to allow frontend developers to interact with both frontend and backend at the same time. Because Angular is JavaScript based, there are a lot of resources to work with.

Angular has been around for a long time, unlike Blazor. It is a production-ready framework with full support for MVC/MVVM applications and it is being used by many large companies. Blazor, on the other hand, is continuously being changed and has not yet achieved enough maturity to contend with Angular, despite being very promising.

Angular supports progressive web apps (PWAs), while Blazor server-side categorically cannot work as a PWA. Angular tooling is more mature with full debugging support in IDEs like VS Code.

Angular is also extremely popular. The Github repo lists Angular with 70.2K stars and 18.4K forks compared with Blazor’s 9.3K stars and 689 forks. Stack Overflow counts 243,930 Angular questions while Blazor only has 4,695 questions. There is also much more content in the form of courses, books, blogs, videos, and other materials for Angular. Angular has dedicated tech events held worldwide, a huge community, and it provides a great selection of third-party integrations.

Angular offers faster load time and increased security by using a brilliant concept commonly known as “ahead-of-time compiler (AOT)." AOT converts your Angular HTML and TypeScript code into efficient JavaScript code during the build phase before the browser downloads and runs that code. Compiling your application during the build process provides a faster rendering in the browser.

Angular also allows usage of Scoped styles, in which you can apply a CSS style specifically for a related component.

With Angular elements and modules, this framework is designed to be fully customizable, giving more power to the developer and designer. Angular provides support for features such as lazy loading, the I18n Internationalization standard to support local languages and cultural settings, and Ionic cross platform mobile apps for iOS and Android.

As mentioned briefly, there is a huge repository of open-source packages available for Angular developers, including:

  • Ignite UI for Angular
  • NgBootstrap
  • Angular Google Maps
  • NgRx
  • NgTranslate
  • AngularFire
  • NgxTextEditor
  • Angular Material
  • Ng2 Pdf Viewer
  • ... and many more

Comparing Blazor and Angular

Both Blazor and Angular are open-source web frameworks. Their primary difference is that Angular is based on JavaScript while Blazor leverages C# to develop for the web. Some key differences include:

 

Angular

Blazor

Production Ready

Angular is production-ready today with years of battle-tested deployments.

Blazor is very early in its lifecycle, with significant code-churn. There are potential performance issues you may need to work around.

Learning Curve

Bigger learning curve when compared to Blazor, especially for .NET / C# developers.

Easy on-ramp for C# and Visual Studio developers.

Performance

More tuned for performance as the framework is very mature.

Potential issues with performance, especially Blazor WebAssembly. Microsoft continues to address issues. We expect .NET 6 to include significant performance enhancements.

PWA (Progressive Web App) Support

Yes

Blazor WebAssembly only

     

Requires an active connection per client

No

Yes

Stores the component state server-side for each client

No

Yes (Blazor Server)

Scoped styles for components

Yes

No

Bundle Size

< 50KB (Ivy with gZip)

622kb for .NET Framework

Tooling

CLI plus many 3rd party options. 

CLI, Visual Studio and 3rd party options.

Optimized for SEO / Crawlers

Angular server-side rendering.

Yes

Shipping Cadence

2 major releases per year, which is a lot for enterprises to keep up with.

1 major release per year with .NET, with updates.

Code Style

Very verbose, lots of boilerplate to get started.

Optimized for less boilerplate, easy to get started.

Should You Choose Blazor or Angular?

Both Blazor and Angular are viable options for your next project. It comes down to a few considerations:

  • Are you willing to deal with some bumps in the road with a newer, less mature platform in Blazor?
  • Are you willing to take the dive and spend the time to learn Angular to get the benefit of a battle-tested, 10-year-old framework?
  • Are you a C# developer that wants an easier on-ramp to modern web apps?
  • Are you a hard-core JavaScript developer that would never even consider using .NET for the web!

We believe that no matter which you choose, there are tradeoffs.

At Infragistics, we support both frameworks. Visit our Ignite UI for Angular and Ignite UI for Blazor pages to learn the details of each.