Attachments management with Angular 2

A common issue that we faced in our applications is implement a component to allow the management of the attachment upload.

We need to insert a file input field in the page, grab the change event of the field, extract the file and send it to a service.

Recently I have needed to implement this functionality with Angular 2, so I’m going to explain what I have done.


First of all I implement two different services, one for the file metadata and one for the blob object.

Based on a recent post, I use a base class WebApi and I define the service url:

import { Injectable } from "@angular/core";
import { Http } from "@angular/http";
import { Attachment } from "./attachment.model";
import { WebApi } from "../shared/webapi";

export class AttachmentService extends WebApi<Attachment> {
constructor(public http: Http) {
super("/api/attachments", http);

The referenced service is a simple Restful service.

The second one is a service for the blob upload:

import { Injectable } from "@angular/core";
import { Http, Headers, RequestOptions, Response } from "@angular/http";
import { Observable } from "rxjs/Observable";
import { FileBlob } from "./fileBlob.model";
import { WebApi } from "../shared/webapi";

export class FileBlobService extends WebApi<FileBlob> {
constructor(public http: Http) {
super("/api/fileBlobs", http);

public DownloadFile(id: string) {"api/fileBlobs/GetFileBlob?id=" + id, '_blank');

public PostFile(entity: File): Observable<File> {
let formData = new FormData();
formData.append(, entity);

return, formData).map(this.extractData).catch(this.handleError);

The PostFile method compose a HTML FormData object with the content of the file and post it to a specific WebApi.

The DownloadFile method is simplier and call a service in a new window that returns the content of the file.

The server-side method is look like this:

public class FileBlobsController : ApiController
private readonly Context _db = new Context();

public async Task<IHttpActionResult> PostFileBlob()
if (!Request.Content.IsMimeMultipartContent())
throw new Exception();

var provider = new MultipartMemoryStreamProvider();
await Request.Content.ReadAsMultipartAsync(provider);

HttpContent content = provider.Contents.First();
var fileName = content.Headers.ContentDisposition.FileName.Trim('\"');
var buffer = await content.ReadAsByteArrayAsync();

var fileBlob = new FileBlob()
Id = Guid.NewGuid(),
Name = fileName,
File = buffer

await _db.SaveChangesAsync();

return Ok(fileBlob.Id);

We have to use the MultiPartMemoryStreamProvider to retrieve the content of the file and store it in a specific table.


We need two methods, the first one to download the existing attachment, the second one to add a new attachment:

import { Component, Input, Output, EventEmitter } from "@angular/core";
import { Constants } from "../shared/commons";
import { Attachment } from "./attachment.model";
import { FileBlobService } from "./fileBlob.service";
import { AlertService } from "../core/alert.service";

selector: "attachment",
templateUrl: "attachment.component.html"

export class AttachmentComponent {
@Input() placeholder: string;
@Input() name: string;
@Input() validationEnabled: boolean;
@Input() attachment: Attachment;
@Output() onSaved = new EventEmitter<Attachment>();
public fileBlob: File;

constructor (private fileBlobService: FileBlobService, private alertService: AlertService) {}

public DownloadAttachment() {

public AddAttachment(event) {
let attachments =;
if (attachments.length > 0) {
let file:File = attachments[0];
(res) => {
let id: string = Constants.guidEmpty;

if (this.attachment != null)
id = this.attachment.Id;

this.attachment = {
Id: id,
IdFileBlob: res.toString(),
Size: file.size

(error) => this.alertService.Error(error));


The AddAttachment method deserves an explanation; it accepts an event parameter, fired by the file input filed of the ui when a new attachment is selected.

The method retrieves the file from the event and pass it as a parameter to the PostFile method that we have seen above.

Once saved, an object with the file metadata is created and passed with the onSaved event to the parent component, that it deal with the object:

export class InvoiceDetailComponent {

public onAttachmentSaved(attachment: Attachment) {
this.attachment = attachment;


We define a feature module like this:

import { NgModule } from "@angular/core";
import { HttpModule } from "@angular/http";

import { SharedModule } from "../shared/shared.module";
import { AttachmentComponent } from "./attachment.component";
import { AttachmentService } from "./attachment.service";
import { FileBlobService } from "./fileBlob.service";

let options: any = {
autoDismiss: true,
positionClass: 'toast-bottom-right',

@NgModule ({
imports: [
exports: [
declarations: [
providers: [

export class AttachmentModule {}

The module exports the component and provides the services discussed above.


We have to implement the view for the attachment module:

<div *ngIf="AttachmentIsNull()">
<label class="btn btn-primary" for="fileBlob">
<i class="fa fa-paperclip"></i> {{ "ATTACHINVOICE" | translate }}
<input id="fileBlob" type="file" [(ngModel)]="fileBlob" (change)="AddAttachment($event)" [required]="validationEnabled" style="display: none;" />
<div *ngIf="!AttachmentIsNull()">
<span *ngIf="attachment" (click)="DownloadAttachment()">{{attachment.Name}}</span>
<input type="button" class="btn btn-primary" value="Upload new" (click)="UploadNewAttachment()" />

In the view we have a file input field that bind the change event with the AddAttachment method.

The additional buttons allow us to clear the current attachment and upload a new one.

The last change is in the parent view:

<form #invoiceForm="ngForm">
<div class="form">
<div class="form-group">
<label for="attachment">{{ "ATTACHMENT" | translate }}</label>
<attachment placeholder="ATTACHMENT" name="attachment" [attachment]="attachment" (onSaved)="onAttachmentSaved($event)" [validationEnabled]="validationEnabled"></attachment>

We have added the attachment component in the view and we have binded the onSaved event, in order to retrieve the file metadata.

You can find the source code here.





Attachments management with Angular 2

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