AngularJs Validation Make A Reusable Component

September 08, 2013

The problem is the code required for bootstrapping an angular form is quite a lot

The normal angular way of writing a form with validation messages

<form name="myForm">
    ng-class="{'error' : myForm.userId.$invalid && myForm.userId.$dirty}"
    <label class="control-label">User Id</label>
      ng-show="myForm.userId.$dirty && myForm.userId.$invalid"
      <span ng-show="myForm.userId.$error.required">User id is required.</span>
      <span ng-show="myForm.userId.$error.pattern"
        >User id doesn't respect the pattern.</span
  • To reference the field status (valid, dirty) you access it by {formname}.{field name}
  • $dirty means the field has been changed, the idea of checking on it is that we don’t want to show the validation messages when the form first loads

The problem with this  is that there is too much duplicate checking on every validation message on every element

The new way after using custom directives for writing a form

<form submit-valid="submiForm()" name="customer-form" novalidate>
  <field ng-model="customer.FirstName" type="text" label="First Name:" required>
    <validator key="required">First name is required</validator>
  <input type="submit" value="submit" />

The field directive

The beauty of this is a couple of things

  • The code required for bootstrapping a form is much much less and is CLEAN
  • The field directive is easy to extend, you can easily put other directives on it and they will be applied to the input directly (custom date-picker for example or custom validation directive or even a class attribute)

The submit-valid Directive

Normally in angular the validation message for a field will only appear after the field is changed dirty & is invalid

What we want is that the validation message appears when the field is invalid and dirty OR when the form has been attempted to be submitted & is invalid

submit-valid takes a function and it will fire on* form submit* but only if the form is valid In short its exactly like ng-submit but with two extra features

  • Like i said it will fire the callback function only if the form is valid
  • It will also track a value on a form, attempt and when the form has been tried to be submitted it will set it to true

The field directive respects the value of the attempt variable on the form if its there , so now if you put submit-valid on a form when trying to submit it, the validation messages for the invalid fields will appear

Use Textarea or Select

The field directives works on Input, textarea & select

To use textarea or select you specify a template property on the field directive with value of textarea or select and pass the same extra parameters that you would pass to either of them (ng-options for select for example)


The field directive was made by Pete Bacon Darwin and its original example is here, I just modified it to work with the submit-valid directive

The plnkr for the code

Written by Nadeem Khedr citizen of the world, you can find me on Twitter & Github