AngularJS + sails.js

I am developing an app that can utilize sails.js for back-end and AngularJS for Front-end. I thought that I'll create an Angular App using Yeoman-angular generator, and once I am done with the front-end logic I'll create a sails app using,

  1. npm install -g sails
  2. sails new app

And then I'll transfer all my AngularJS files to the Sails folder.

But the thing is that AngularJS creates creates a folder hierarchy like this and on running "grunt server" a "dist" folder is created which contains the final production version.

On the other hand, after "sails new app" folder hierarchy for sails app is like.

  • api
    • adapters/
    • controllers/
    • models/
    • policies/
    • services/
  • assets
    • images/
    • js/
    • styles/
    • favicon.ico
    • robots.txt
  • config/
  • node_modules/
  • views
    • home/
    • 403.ejs
    • 404.ejs
    • 500.ejs
    • layout.ejs
  • Gruntfile.js
  • app.js
  • package.JSON

So, My questions are:

  1. Now, how do I transfer my Angular Files to this sails directory and how should I structure it?
  2. Since sails uses "sails lift" to start a server and angular uses "grunt server", which one of those should I use to start the server for my sailsJs + AngularJs app and what about the "dist" folder which is created after AngularJS?
  3. What changes will I have to make in the Gruntfile.js, since it should now contain the code from both Angular and Sails?
  4. Where should I keep my different views and style files and how should I access those form Angular or from Sails?

I think lot of people are facing this similar problem since AngularJS and SailsJs are all the rage currently. There should be a robust boilerplate to create an AngularJS + SailsJS app, which sadly is missing right now.



Since Sails is a purely back-end framework and Angular is purely front-end, they can work together nicely. It can get a little confusing when you bring the Angular generator into it, but here are the basic steps if you were to start with the Angular Seed app and Sails v0.10:

  1. Create a new Sails app with sails new myApp
  2. Wipe out the contents of the myApp/assets folder
  3. Copy the contents of the Angular Seed app folder into myApp/assets
  4. Replace the contents of myapp/views/layout.ejs with those of the Angular Seed app/index.html file
  5. Cut all of the non-script tag content from the layout.ejs file (everything after the <body> tag and before the first <script> tag and use it to replace the contents of myApp/views/homepage.ejs
  6. Place <%-body%> after the <body> tag in layout.ejs

You can then start the server with sails lift and you'll see the Angular app at http://localhost:1337.

I've put this on Github for reference.

Using this method, you don't need to do anything to the Gruntfile, and you'll never call grunt server--that's solely for testing Angular apps with their test server, which you're replacing with Sails. You'll still get the benefit of the Sails grunt-sync task which watches and syncs-up your front-end assets as they are changed.

If you really want to use the Yeoman Angular generator, you can try generating an app directly into the assets folder of your Sails app and using the generator commands from within that folder. I haven't used it before, so I don't know what the dist folder is for, but it seems like all of the node modules it installs are there to support the test web server (which again you don't need, since you have Sails) and the test suite (which is always nice). The only issue I can see is if you need some of the tasks in that Gruntfile that Yeoman generates. Sails handles Less compilation and CSS minification (in production mode), but it doesn't do anything with Jade or Stylus, so you'd have to add those tasks to the Sails Gruntfile if you really needed them.


your questions are exactly why I created Sailng: It is an example/boilerplate application that uses the latest Sails 0.10.0-rc5.

It also demonstrates how to use within Sails to provide realtime updates to the client with no ajax polling.

Clone it and follow the instructions to get a better idea of how to use Sails and Angular together.


I have also done sample "boilerplate/example" app for Sails.js + Angular. In my solution those are separated to back- and frontend sides (two servers).

My solution demonstrates also socket communication + live updates within the data between users.

Feel free to try it out.


I have got similar use case as yours. I used Yeoman to generate the project structure for angularjs. In this situation, my solution is:

  1. Use 'grunt serve' to generate the angularjs single page app into minified version and everything should under 'dist' folder.
  2. In the routes.js in sails.js project, remove the configuration code for views:

    '/': { view: 'homepage' }

  3. Remove all the files under sails.js views and assets folder. But please just make sure you don't need any file in assets folder before you remove everything.

  4. Copy and paste the minified angularjs website to assets folder.

  5. Start sails.js (sails lift) and you can browse your angular website at localhost:1337

Sails.js now also have briefly mentioned this method


You must configure the default task to copy angular dist folder into .tmp

See the task configuration in this Sails Angular project


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