Accessing Kendo UI widgets in AngularJS

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If you’re already using Kendo UI in your AngularJS project then I don’t need to sing praises for how easy Telerik made integration. They’ve made the developer experience simple and I’m happy to for the Pro version. I’ve recently become an independent consultant and it’s amazing what I will pay for to get my work done better and faster. That’s another post for another day, though.;

Using any of the Kendo UI widgets is as simple as using a directive.

<input kendo-date-picker name="dob" id="dobPicker" />

In real life though you often want to call on the widget APIs to programmatically do something. If you were in a plain ole’ jQuery app you could open the above date picker like so


But how do you do this in AngularJS without using jQuery? In one of my applications I use an accordion but the specs changed to say the first two sections have to always expand on page load. I needed a way to access the Panel Bar’s APIs to do this.

<ul kendo-panel-bar="accountAccordion" k-expand-mode="'multiple'" init-expanded="[1,2]" id="accountFormAccordion">
        Personal Information
        <div>Some personal info inputs</div>
        Business Information
        <div>Some business information inputs</div>
        <div>ome permission inputs</div>

Of course I don’t want to rely on using $('#accountFormAccordion').data('kendoPanelBar') because this is an Angular application. Instead I created a directive that can be reused with the kendo-panel-bar directive.

    .directive('initExpanded', initExpanded);

function initExpanded() {
    return {
        restrict: 'A',
        link: function (scope, el, attrs) {
            var sectionIndexes = scope.$eval(attrs.initExpanded);

            scope.$watch('accountAccordion', function (accordion) {
                if (angular.isDefined(accordion)) {
                    sectionIndexes.forEach((idx) => {
                        accordion.expand('li:nth-child(' + idx + ')');

You can access your Kendo widget inside your Angular directives and controllers by giving it name when you declare your Kendo widget in your template. In my example I name it ‘accountAccordion’ and Kendo puts it on the scope for me to use.

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