How to use AngularJS $resource

Using $resource to make api calls


We will see how to use AngularJS $resource to make api calls.

$resource documentation describes it as:

A factory which creates a resource object that lets you interact with RESTful server-side data sources.

$resource is most powerful when it’s configured with a classic RESTful backend.

Backend setup

Let’s assume we are working with a polls application. This application allows people to create poll questions along with associated choices. Poeple can vote on any of the choices.

There are two database entities in our application, namely Question and Choice. A Question can have multiple Choice.

A Question has fields id and question_text. A Choice has fields id, choice_text and question_id.

Let’s assume that the backend exposes the following api endpoints.

  • GET /api/polls/questions/ - This returns a list of questions
  • GET /api/polls/questions/:id/ - This returns details of a question
  • POST /api/polls/questions/ - This creates a question
  • PATCH /api/polls/questions/:id/ - This edits a question
  • DELETE /api/polls/questions/:id/ - This deletes a question
  • GET /api/polls/questions/:id/choices/ - This returns choices for a question

GET /api/polls/questions/

This returns the following structure:

[{'id': 71, 'question_text': 'Is Vue.js better than AngularJS'},
 {'id': 72, 'question_text': 'Is Go faster than Python'}]

It’s a list of objects.

GET /api/polls/questions/:id/

This returns the following structure:

{'id': 71, 'question_text': 'Is Vue.js better than AngularJS'}

Notice it’s an object and not a list.

POST /api/polls/questions/

This needs the following payload to create a question:

{'question_text': 'Is TravisCI cheaper than CircleCI'}

We need to post an object with key question_text.

This should have given you sufficient idea on the backend setup and api structure.

AngularJS setup

Let’s create a module called myApp and mark ngResource as a dependency module.

var myApp = angular.module("myApp", ['ngResource']);

myApp.config(['$resourceProvider', function($resourceProvider){
    $resourceProvider.defaults.stripTrailingSlashes = false;

Ensure that angular-resource script is included in your index.html.

Creating $resource

You would usually create a resource in the controller or a service.

Generally we need to pass a url and a paramDefaults when defining a resource. Let’s create a resource called Questions.

var Questions = $resource('http://localhost:8000/api/polls/questions/:id/',
    {'id': '@id'}

The url we used is http://localhost:8000/api/polls/questions/:id/ and paramDefaults we used is {'id': '@id'}.

We provided a parametrized url to $resource and :id is a parameter in our case.

Questions is a Resource instance with the following methods:

  • query()
  • get()
  • save()
  • delete()

GET /api/polls/questions/ call can be made in the following way:

Questions.query().$promise.then(function (response) {
}, function(error) {

Notice how we skipped the value for parameter id in Questions.query(). Actual network call would have been /api/polls/questions/.

response is a list of Resource. Each Resource will represent a question with fields id and question_text.

GET /api/polls/questions/:id call can be made in the following way:

Questions.get({'id': 71}).$promise.then(function (response) {
}, function (error) {

Notice how we provided a value for parameter id in Questions.get(). Actual network call would have been /api/polls/questions/71/.

response is a Resource having keys id and question_text.

POST /api/polls/questions/ can be made in the following way:{'question_text': 'Tea or Coffee or Milk'}).$promise.then(function (response) {

response is a Resource having keys id and question_text. This assumes that the backend returns the created Question.

DELETE /api/polls/questions/:id/ can be made in the following way:

Questions.delete({'id': '74'}).$promise.then(function (response) {console.log(response);})

AngularJS $resource by default doesn’t provide support for PATCH. We will have to add a custom action for it.

We will need to add a third argument in $resource call and it should be {'patch': {method: 'patch'}}. $resource call would look like:

var Questions = $resource('http://localhost:8000/api/polls/questions/:id/',
    {'id': '@id'},
    {'patch': {method: 'patch'}}

PATCH /api/polls/questions/:id/ can be made in the following way:

Questions.patch({'id': '71', 'question_text': 'Amazon or Flipkart'}).$promise.then(function(response) {
}, function (response) {

This would make a network call to PATCH /api/polls/questions/71/ and send payload as {'question_text': 'Amazon or Flipkart'}.

Hope this post helped in reducing some confusion around $resource.

Thank you for reading the Agiliq blog. This article was written by Akshar on Nov 28, 2019 in AngularJSapi$resource .

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