I was working on a rating dialog recently so thought it would be interesting to see how dialogs work in Aurelia. The contents of a dialog are a view and view-model pair, the same as any other view in Aurelia, clean and simple.

Here is a working example…

Install and Configure

First install the aurelia-dialog plugin. See the readme for full details.

jspm install aurelia-dialog

Add the plugin in main.js. This is where plugins are defined allowing them to be available throughout the application…

export function configure(aurelia) {

  aurelia.start().then(() => aurelia.setRoot());

Creating the Dialog

As mentioned above, the contents of the dialog can be a view and view-model pair, in this case rating-dialog.html and rating-dialog.js respectively.


Note that DialogController is imported and injected into the view model. It is then assigned to this.controller so that we have a reference to it in the corresponding view, which we will see below. This allows events in the view to invoke methods on the dialog.

Data is passed into the dialog via the activate method if required. This allows the view that is displayed within the dialog to be pre-populated with values. For example, address details may be passed in to be displayed in a form for editing. In this case a simple rating value is set to 1 if no value is provided.

import {inject} from 'aurelia-framework';
import {DialogController} from 'aurelia-dialog';

export class RatingDialog {

  heading = 'Rate me...';
  maxRating = 5;

  constructor(controller) {
    this.controller = controller;

  activate(rating = 1) {
    this.rating = rating;

  rate(event) {
    if(event.target.dataset.rate) {
      this.rating = event.target.dataset.rate;


Notice how the buttons are configured to call cancel and ok methods on the controller when actioned. Also note how controller.ok(rating) accepts the rating value. This provides the ability to pass data back to the view model that invoked the dialog.

    <ai-dialog-body click.delegate="rate($event)">
      <div repeat.for="i of maxRating"
            data-rate="${i + 1}"
            class="rate ${i + 1 <= rating ? 'selected' : ''} ${i + 1 == rating ? 'active' : ''}">${i + 1}</div>
      <button click.delegate="controller.cancel()">Cancel</button>
      <button click.delegate="controller.ok(rating)">Ok</button>

Using the Dialog


Note that DialogService is imported and injected into the view model. We also import the RatingDialog outlined above. When the rate method is invoked (via a button in the corresponding view) the open method on this.dialogService is called with a configuration object specifying viewModel and model.

this.dialogService.open({viewModel: RatingDialog, model: this.rating})
  • viewModel is where we instruct the DialogService to use the RatingDialog as the view and view-model pair that will be displayed
  • model is the data that we want to pass to the RatingDialog view-model

import {inject} from 'aurelia-framework';
import {DialogService} from 'aurelia-dialog';
import {RatingDialog} from './rating-dialog';

export class App {

  rating = 3;

  constructor(dialogService) {
    this.dialogService = dialogService;

  rate() {
    this.dialogService.open({viewModel: RatingDialog, model: this.rating})
      .then(response => {
        if(!response.wasCancelled) {
          this.rating = response.output;
        } else {

The DialogService returns a promise when it is actioned (ok/cancel) with a wasCancelled property on the response object. Data is available via response.output.


The view displays the current rating. When the button is invoked it calls the rate() method on the view model and the dialog is displayed.

  <button class="rating-button" click.delegate="rate()">Rate <span>${rating}</span></button>


The DialogController and DialogService are easy to use and barely make an appearance in code. This seems to be typical of the Aurelia approach, things stay out of your way - testament to great design.

Given that the DialogService is just a ‘wrapper’ around a view and view-model pair then all manner of dialogs can easily be conceived. More investigation required.