Ember JS Essentials: A Beginner’s Guide to Installation and Its Features

July 20, 2023

Ember JS Essentials A Beginner's Guide to Installation and Its Features

Research is done by Marielle

Excited to dive into Ember JS? It’s the perfect pick for crafting cutting-edge web applications, delivering blazing-fast performance and limitless scalability. And the best part? The vibrant support community is always there to lend a hand when things don’t go as planned.

In this guide, you’ll learn all the necessary Ember JS installation steps, plus get an introduction to the key features you should know.

Let’s get started!

What is Ember JS?

Ember.js is an open-source JavaScript framework used for developing web applications. It is focused on making the developer as productive as possible by doing all the common, repetitive, yet essential tasks involved in most web application development projects. In Ember.js, the route is used as a model, handlebar template as views, and controllers manipulate the data in the model.

Ember not only enables the creation of client-side JavaScript applications, but it also empowers developers with a comprehensive solution that seamlessly handles data management and application flow. It includes everything you need to build rich UIs that work on any device.

Now that you know the basics, let’s take a look at the installation process.

How to Get Started with Ember?

The process of creating your dream Ember desktop application is easier than ever. To get you started, here are the steps to use Ember:

1. Install Ember CLI

You can install the latest version of Ember Command Line Interface (CLI) by running the following command.

install ember cli

To verify that your installation was successful, run:

ember version

If a version number is shown, you’re ready to go.

2. Create a new Ember app with Ember CLI

We can create a new project using Ember CLI’s new command. It follows the pattern ember new <project-name>. In our case, the project name would be super-rentals. We will also include a –lang en option. This sets our app’s primary language to English and improves the website’s accessibility.

new ember app project

This should have created a new folder for us called super-rentals. We can navigate into it using the cd command. All commands should be run within the super-rentals folder.

This folder has the following structure:

ember folder structure

3. Starting and stopping the development server

Ember CLI comes with a lot of different commands for a variety of development tasks.

It also comes with a development server, which we can launch with the ember server command:

ember server command

The development server is responsible for compiling our app and serving it to the browsers. It may take a while to boot up. Once it’s up and running, open your favorite browser and head to http://localhost:4200. You should see the following welcome page:

ember welcome page

You can exit out of the development server at any time by typing Ctrl + C into the terminal window where Ember server is running.

4. Edit files and live reload

The development server has a feature called live reload, which monitors your app for file changes, automatically re-compiles everything, and refreshes any open browser or web pages too.

5. Get familiar with the application structure

Ember-cli guide has a deep walk-through on each application element. I’ll cover the most important parts:

  • app/: In this folder, we will have all of our application code – templates, routes, components, and more. Each element can be generated with ember-cli.
  • public/: contents of this folder will be put into the root path of your application. Here you can put static files like fonts, images, and alike.
  • node_modules/: folder for development dependencies installed by npm
  • package.json: file that lists all npm dependencies
  • ember-cli-build.js: build instructions for Broccoli. Here we register CSS/JS files from bower_components that we want to use.

config/environment.js: application configuration file.

Core Features of Ember JS

Ember is well-known for its robust architecture and core features that make it ideal for developing powerful web applications.

Here are some of Ember’s most prominent features:

1. Components

At its core, Ember’s UIs are HTML driven – every part of the UI that is shown to the user is defined in an HTML template somewhere in your application. Because of this, templates are central to Ember and one of the most important parts of the framework.

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2. Routing

Ember router is a core feature of EmberJs that translates an URL into a series of templates and represents the state of an application. The Ember uses the router to map the URL to a route handler. The router matches the current URL to other routes which are used for loading data, displaying the templates, and setting up an application state.

Route handler performs some actions such as:

  • It provides the template.
  • It defines the model and it will be accessible to the template.
  • If there is no permission for the user to visit a particular part of an app, then the router will redirect to a new route.

3. Services

Ember object that lives for the duration of the application and can be made available in different parts of your application. Services are useful for features that require shared state or persistent connections. Example uses of services might include:

  • User/session authentication
  • Geolocation
  • WebSockets
  • Server-sent events or notifications
  • Server-backend API calls that may not fit EmberData
  • Third-party APIs
  • Logging

4. EmberData

The essential features of Ember Data are a powerful set of tools for formatting requests, normalizing responses, and efficiently managing a local cache of data.

Ember Software/Addons

Another great feature of Ember is its ability to integrate with hundreds of addons and plugins.

Below are some of our favorite Ember addons:

Ember CLI

Ember-cli aims to bring convention over configuration to build tools. A command line utility based on broccoli.

This provides:

  • A standard file and directory structure
  • Development server with live reload
  • A testing framework
  • Dependencies managed via npm.
  • ES6/ES7+ syntax support (using Babel)
  • Asset management (including combining, minifying, and versioning)

Other features include:

  • Blueprints, which are code generators for creating models, controllers, components, and so on that are needed in an application. Custom blueprints can also be created.
  • Addons which provide the ability to extend the features of Ember CLI. Addons can be installed by typing ember install <addon-name>. Over two thousand addons are currently available including add ons for CoffeeScript, LESS, Sass, Compass and Mocha.

Ember Inspector

The Ember Inspector is an extension currently available for the Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome web browsers for debugging Ember applications. Features include the ability to see which templates, components, and views are currently rendered, see the properties of any Ember object with a UI that computes bindings and computed properties, and access one’s application’s objects from the console. If Ember Data is used, one can also see the records loaded for each model.


Fastboot is an Ember CLI add-on created by the Ember core team that gives Ember developers the ability to run their business apps in Node.js. This feature allows end users to see HTML and CSS right away, with the JavaScript downloading in the background and taking over once it has fully loaded.


Though it is not as widely adopted as other JavaScript frameworks like React, Angular, or Vue, it’s still very much worth the time to learn Ember.js.

Your judgment on choosing the best framework will always depend on how you would like your project or website to be built/developed. Ember.js is a great choice for any developer who wants to create large-scale applications and websites with complex user interfaces.

By taking advantage of the powerful features that Ember provides, developers can quickly build desktop and mobile applications without having to worry about boilerplate code or memory management issues. If you’re looking for an all-in-one framework with everything you need, then Ember is a great choice!

man coding using his laptop

Start Building Your Ember App with Us!

Users enjoy Ember apps for its reliability and scalability. What’s more, its huge library of plugins and add-ons makes it a great choice for those looking to build their dream app.

If you’re ready to take your project to the next level with Ember.js, StarTechUP is here to help. We have the expertise and experience to develop an amazing app with Ember that will delight your users.

We also specialize in product ideation, mobile app development, and UX/UI design. Whatever your needs may be, we are here to help you with every step of the process, especially with QA testing!

Reach out today to get started on your next project! We look forward to hearing from you!

About the author: Andrea Jacinto - Content Writer

A content writer with a strong SEO background, Andrea has been working with digital marketers from different fields to create optimized articles which are informative, digestible, and fun to read. Now, she's writing for StarTechUP to deliver the latest developments in tech to readers around the world. View on Linkedin