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Angular custom validator example template driven forms

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In this video, we will discuss creating a custom validator in angular with an example. We will make this validator reusable and configurable. Along the way, we will also learn how to create a custom directive in angular.


Example : When you have a default option like "Select Department" in a SELECT list, the REQUIRED validation does not work, if the default option value is anything else other than NULL. So if the default option value is not null, then that default option is also treated as a valid selection, and we do not get to see the required validation error. If "Select Department" is selected, we want the validation to fail, and display "Department is required" validation error message. To make this work the way we want, we implement a custom validator. 

angular select custom validation


Create a custom Directive 
To use a custom validator in template driven forms, we have to create the validator as a directive. Once we have the directive created, we can then use that directive as an attribute on the select element that we want to validate. This is going to be a configurable and reusable validator. We can use it with any SELECT list in an angular application. So create a "shared" folder in the "app" folder. In the "shared" folder create a file with name "select-required-validator.directive.ts". Copy and paste the folllowing code. 

import { Validator, AbstractControl, NG_VALIDATORS } from '@angular/forms';
import { Directive } from '@angular/core';

@Directive({
    selector: '[appSelectValidator]',
    providers: [
        {
            provide: NG_VALIDATORS,
            useExisting: SelectRequiredValidatorDirective,
            multi: true
        }]
})
export class SelectRequiredValidatorDirective implements Validator {
    validate(control: AbstractControl): { [key: string]: any } | null {
        return control.value === '-1' ? { 'defaultSelected': true } : null;
    }
}

Code Exaplanation : 
Since we are creating a directive, we decorate the class with @Directive decorator

NG_VALIDATORS is a collection of validators. It already contains all the built-in validators like required, pattern etc. Before we can use our custom validator we have to add it to the list of validators by adding it to NG_VALIDATORS token. To specify that we want to add our validator to the list of validators, we set multi property to true

providers: [
    {
        provide: NG_VALIDATORS,
        useExisting: SelectRequiredValidatorDirective,
        multi: true
    }]

Implement Validator interface as we are creating a custom validator
export class SelectRequiredValidatorDirective implements Validator

Since we are implementing validator interface, we have to provide implementation for the interface validate() method. This method has one input parameter and it's type is AbstractControl. AbstractControl extends both FormControl and FormGroup. In some cases you may want to validate a Formgroup instead of a single FormControl. So to cater for both scenarios, the parent type - AbstractControl is specified. This function returns an object if the validation fails or null if the validation succeeds. The object that is returned when the validation fails contains a key/value pair. The key is a string and the value can be anything.
validate(control: AbstractControl): { [key: string]: any } | null

If the selected value in the SELECT list is the default value (-1), then we return an object with key 'defaultSelected' and value of true to indicate that the validation has failed. Otherwise we return NULL to indicate validation succeeded. In the HTML we can use the "defaultSelected" key to display the validation error specific to this custom validator.
return control.value === '-1' ? { 'defaultSelected': true } : null;

Import the custom directive in a module where you want to use it. 

At the moment we only have one module - Root module. So in app.module.ts file include the following import statement
import { SelectRequiredValidatorDirective } from './shared/select-required-validator.directive';

Also include SelectRequiredValidatorDirective in the declarations array of the NgModule() decorator

Using the custom required validator on the SELECT element

Modify the "Department" SELECT element in create-employee.component.html file as shown below.

<div class="form-group"
     [class.has-error]="department.touched && department.errors?.defaultSelected">
  <label for="department" class="control-label">Department</label>
  <select id="department" #department="ngModel" name="department"
          [(ngModel)]="employee.department" appSelectValidator
          class="form-control">
    <option value="-1">Select Department</option>
    <option *ngFor="let dept of departments" [value]="dept.id">
      {{dept.name}}
    </option>
  </select>
  <span class="help-block"
        *ngIf="department.touched && department.errors?.defaultSelected">
    Department is required
  </span>
</div>

Code Explanation : 
  • [class.has-error]="department.touched && department.errors?.defaultSelected". Notice, in this conditional class binding we are using the key "defaultSelected" to style the Department SELECT element and it's label when there is a validation error. This key is set by the required custom validator when the validation fails.
  • *ngIf="department.touched && department.errors?.defaultSelected". Notice here also we are using the key "defaultSelected" to display the validation error message.
  • appSelectValidator is the selector we gave for our custom validation directive and we are using it as an attribute on the SELECT list that we want to validate.
At the moment, we can only use this custom validator with a SELECT list whose default option value is -1. We will discuss how to make this custom validator configurable and reusable in our next video.

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