Six stars of AngularJS - Part 3

In part 1 and 2 of this series, we have seen five different ways to create a service in angular.

The last one we are going to look at in this series is 'decorate' function of $provide service.


The decorate function is NOT used to create a service, instead, this is used to decorate or replace an existing service. Let's look at this function with an example

// sample 1
app.factory('movieService', movieService);

    function movieService() {
        return {
            getAllMovies: getAllMovies

        function getAllMovies() {
            return ['engMovie1', 'engMovie2', 'engMovie3'];

In this example, we have movieService which exposes a function to get all the movies. Now, Let's create a decorator for this service to change the behavior of getAllMovies to return only the first 2 items.

The following is a decorator created for movieService

// sample 2
 app.config(function($provide) {
        $provide.decorator('movieService', movieServiceDecorator);

        function movieServiceDecorator($delegate) {
            var originalGetAllMovies = $delegate.getAllMovies;
            $delegate.getAllMovies = function() {
                var result = originalGetAllMovies();
                return result.slice(0,2);

            return $delegate;


Note: decorate function is not available to invoke from module.

The first parameter of the decorate function is the name of the service we want to decorate with and second parameter is the decorator function.

The decorator is invoked using $injector so, we can annotate dependencies as we do with any other services. The $delegate is one of the special dependencies we can use with decorator. It provides the original instance of a service so that we can decorate or replace it in whole or parts of it.

If you look at the code, all we have done is replaced getAllMovies with a new function and the new function makes use of the original function to get full result and slices it with two results. Finally, we are returning the modified service.

Under the hood, when $injector creates an instance of a service, it calls any decorators in the order they were defined and stores the decorated instance in the instance cache.

We can use decorator to override any service which is not in our control.

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