An Angular PWA From Front-End to Backend: Sign In and Add Contacts

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An Angular PWA From Front-End to Backend: Sign In and Add Contacts

A tutorial on how to develop sign-in and add users funcationalites to a PWA using Angular on the front-end and Spring Boot on the backend.

· Web Dev Zone ·
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The goal of the project was to make a chat system that runs on the client, that can work offline, and has a server that stores pending messages and users. To have no barrier of entry, the client is built as a PWA so that, to use it, you just need a bookmark. The client stores the messages, contacts, and user data in the indexed DB to enable offline use. The server stores the global contacts and pending messages. The text of the messages and the passwords are encrypted on client-side and server-side.

For this project, I used Angular's PWA support on the client and Spring Boot's reactive MongoDB support on the server.

This is the first of three articles. The second will be about the online/offline login. The third will be about writing messages offline and sending and receiving messages when online.

I won't be going over the encryption of the messages in the articles because it adds optional complexity.

Sign In

To make the sign in work, the server and the client have to store user data. Then the client can restore its user data from the server and the server can provide a list of possible contacts. That requires that the client is online during the sign in.


The full class for the sign in can be found in the login.component.ts file shown below:

  onSigninClick(): void {
    let myUser = new MyUser();
    myUser.username = this.signinForm.get( 'username' ).value;
    myUser.password = this.signinForm.get( 'password' ).value;
    myUser.email = this.signinForm.get( 'email' ).value;
    crypto stuff
        this.authenticationService.postSignin( myUser ).subscribe( us => this.signin( us ), err => console.log( err ) );
      } );

  signin( us: MyUser ): void {
    this.data.myUser = null;
    if ( us.username !== null ) {
      this.createLocalUser( us, this.signinForm.get( 'password' ).value ).then( value => {
        this.signinFailed = false;
      } );
    } else {
      this.signinFailed = true;

  private createLocalUser( us: MyUser, passwd: string): PromiseLike<LocalUser> {
    let localUser: LocalUser = null;
    return this.cryptoService.generateKey( passwd, us.salt ? us.salt : null )
      .then( ( result ) => {
        localUser = {
          base64Avatar: us.base64Avatar,
          createdAt: us.createdAt,
          email: us.email,
          hash: result.a,
          salt: result.b,
          username: us.username,
          publicKey: us.publicKey,
          privateKey: us.privateKey,
          userId: us.userId
        return localUser;
      } ).then( myLocalUser => this.localdbService.storeUser( myLocalUser ) )
      .then( value => Promise.resolve( value ) ).then( () => localUser );

In lines 2-5 the MyUser Dto is filled with the values of signinForm.

In line 9 the postSignin of the AuthenticationService is called to send MyUser to the server and wait for the response. If the response of the server is ok, the sign in mechanism is called.

In lines 13-15 it is checked if the username was returned by the server. That means the sign in was successful.

In lines 17-18 the flag for the successful sign in is set and the sign in dialog is closed.

In line 22 the the createUser method is called.

In lines 26-40 the LocalUser interface is set.

In lines 41-42 the LocalUser interface is stored by the LocaldbService in the indexed DB of the browser and after it is stored it is return to the caller.

The full LocaldbService class can be found in the localdb.service.ts file shown below:

@Injectable( {
  providedIn: 'root'
} )
export class LocaldbService extends Dexie {
  contacts: Dexie.Table<LocalContact, number>;
  messages: Dexie.Table<Message, number>;
  users:    Dexie.Table<LocalUser, number>;

  constructor() {
    super( "LocaldbService" );
    this.version( 1 ).stores({
      contacts: '++id, name, base64Avatar, base64PublicKey, userId, ownerId',
      messages: '++id, fromId, toId, timestamp, text, send, received',
      users: '++id, createdAt, username, password, email, base64Avatar, userId'

  more methods to handle contacts and messages
    storeUser(user: LocalUser): Promise<number> {
    return this.transaction('rw', this.users, () => this.users.add(user));

The LocaldbService class uses the Dexie lib to create and access the browser's indexed DB. Dexie offers a good API and typing to help development. Dexie's TypeScript support enables code completion and that really helps a lot.

In Line 4 the class extends Dexie to have all the methods available in this class.

In Lines 5-7 the three tables of the application are declared.

In Lines 10-14 Dexie declares the tables. The IDs are the indexes and are created/incremented automatically.

In Lines 21-22 the LocalUser is stored in a transaction in the indexed DB. The first parameter is 'rw' for read/write access, the second is the table that is used, and the third is the function that adds the LocalUser to the table.

This was the local sign in. The indexed DB now has a record for the User and a local login is possible.


The full class for signin can be found in the AuthenticationController.java file shown below:

public Mono<MsgUser> postUserSignin(@RequestBody MsgUser myUser) {
  Query query = new Query();
  MsgUser user = this.operations.findOne(query, MsgUser.class).switchIfEmpty(Mono.just(new MsgUser())).block();
  if (user.getUsername() == null) {
    String encryptedPassword = this.passwordEncoder.encode(myUser.getPassword()); 
    return Mono.just(myUser);
  return Mono.just(new MsgUser());

In lines 1-2, we provide the mapping of the REST endpoint for the method and the mapping of the request body in the MsgUser dto.

In lines 3-4 a query for MongoDB is created to check if the username is already taken.

In line 5 the query is executed and an empty MsgUser is returned if nothing is found.

In lines 6-8 it is checked if the username is free and the password hashed.

In lines 9-11 the new user is saved and the UserId is set to be able to find the record in MongoDB again. After that the record is returned to the sender.

Then the record is in MongoDB to make the remote login possible.

Add Contacts

To send messages to each othe, the users have to be able to find each other. To do that, the users can search on the server for contacts and then store them in on the indexed DB in their browser.


The full class to add contacts can be found in the add-contacts.component.ts file:

@@Component( {
    selector: 'app-add-contacts',
    templateUrl: './add-contacts.component.html',
    styleUrls: ['./add-contacts.component.scss']
} )
export class AddContactsComponent implements OnInit, OnDestroy {

    @Output() addNewContact = new EventEmitter<Contact>();
    @Input() userId: string;
    @Input() myContacts: Contact[];
    myControl = new FormControl();
    filteredOptions: Contact[] = [];
    contactsLoading = false;
    myControlSub: Subscription = null;

            private contactService: ContactService,
            private localdbService: LocaldbService) { }

    ngOnInit() {             
        this.myControlSub = this.myControl.valueChanges
                debounceTime( 400 ),
                tap( () => this.contactsLoading = true ),
                switchMap( name => this.contactService.findContacts( name ) ),
                map(contacts => contacts.filter(con => con.userId !== this.userId)),
                map(contacts => this.filterContacts(contacts)),
                tap( () => this.contactsLoading = false )
            ).subscribe(contacts => this.filteredOptions = contacts);

    ngOnDestroy(): void {

    private filterContacts(contacts: Contact[]): Contact[] {
        return contacts.filter(con => 
          this.myContacts.filter(myCon => 
            myCon.userId === con.userId).length === 0);

    addContact() {
        if(this.filteredOptions.length === 1) {
            if(!this.filteredOptions[0].base64Avatar) {
                this.filteredOptions[0].base64Avatar = 'assets/icons/smiley-640.jpg';
            const localContact: LocalContact = {
                base64Avatar: this.filteredOptions[0].base64Avatar,                
                name: this.filteredOptions[0].name,
                ownerId: this.userId, 
                publicKey: this.filteredOptions[0].publicKey,
                userId: this.filteredOptions[0].userId
                .then(() => {
                    this.filteredOptions = [];

In lines 1-6 the AddContactsComponent is defined. It implements OnInit for the setup and OnDestroy to clean up subscriptions.

In line 8 the addContact EventEmitter is created to send the contact to add to the main component.

In lines 9-10 the input parameters are defined. The userId is the id of the logged in users; the list of myContacts is the list of already imported contacts.

In line 11 myFormControl is created to hold the name of the Contact to add.

In lines 16-18 the LocaldbService and ContactService are injected in the constructor.

In lines 21 the subscripton myControlSub is set and the valueChanges of myFormControl are subscribed to. The values are the names of the contacts and the subscription is needed to unsubscribe later.

In lines 23-25 the minimum time between changes is set, only changed values are sent, and the spinner flag is set to true.

In line 26 the ContactService is called to get the contacts for the name string from the server. switchMap cancels pending server calls and sends a new one.

In line 27 the current user's contact gets filtered out of the contacts from the server.

In line 28 the existing contacts get filtered out of the contacts from the server.

In lines 29-30 the flag for the spinner is set to false and the filtered contacts are stored in fliteredOptions.

In lines 33-35 the myControlSub subscription is unsubscribed before the compoment is destroyed, because non-HTTP subscriptions are not unsubscribed automatically and cause memory leaks.

The template for the autocomplete can be found in add-contacts.component.html file. It is made with Angular Material and has the Add button that that calls addContact.

In lines 44-47 it is checked that the user has selected one of the options/contacts of the filtered contacts.

In lines 48-54 the LocalContact object is created.

In lines 55-56 the LocalContact is stored in the indexed db of the browser.

In lines 57-59 the new contact is emitted to the main component to be shown in the contacts list and the componetent is cleared.

That is the client-side of adding a contact. Now the contact can be used to send and receive messages. The contacts are only stored in the browser so that a cleared browser db means the contacts are lost.


The full ContactController class can be found in ContactController.java:

public class ContactController {
  private ReactiveMongoOperations operations;
  private JwtTokenProvider jwtTokenProvider;

  public Flux<Contact> getFindContacts(@RequestBody Contact contact,  @RequestHeader Map<String, String> header) {
    Tuple<String, String> tokenTuple = WebUtils.getTokenUserRoles(header, jwtTokenProvider);
    if (tokenTuple.getB().contains(Role.USERS.name()) && !tokenTuple.getB().contains(Role.GUEST.name())) {
    return operations.find(new Query()
      .regex(String.format(".*%s.*", contact.getName()))), MsgUser.class)
      .map(myUser -> new Contact(myUser.getUsername(), myUser.getBase64Avatar(), myUser.getPublicKey(), myUser.get_id().toString()));
  return Flux.empty();

In lines 1-3 the Rest Controller and the mapping is defined.

In lines 9-10 the post mapping is defined and the request body is mapped in the contact dto. The header is stored in the token tuple to have the jwt token.

In line 11-12 the Jwt token is checked if it is valid and the user has the users role.

In line 13-17 the MongoDb is queried for a username that matches the substring that was provided in the posted contact. The first 50 matches are taken and mapped in a Contact dto and returned.


The support of Angular makes the creation of a Pwa much easier. With the typescript support and the api of Dexie have made the use of the indexed DB become easy. Angular Material provides well documented components for the UI. With that toolbox the development of a Pwa  becomes nice and  typesystem guides the developer during coding. With the help of Spring Boot creating the backend becomes the smaller task. The interesting part of the development is creating the datastructures for the frontend and the backend because they have to interact with each other. The Login will cover the login dto in the indexed db and in MongoDb.

angular tutorial, java, mongo db, spring boot, typescript, web dev

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