This glossary contains some concepts that we use along this documentation.
Observables provide support for passing messages between publishers and subscribers in your application. Observables offer significant benefits over other techniques for event handling, asynchronous programming, and handling multiple values.
Observables are declarative—that is, you define a function for publishing values, but it is not executed until a consumer subscribes to it. The subscribed consumer then receives notifications until the function completes, or until they unsubscribe.
An observable can deliver multiple values of any type—literals, messages, or events, depending on the context. The API for receiving values is the same whether the values are delivered synchronously or asynchronously. Because setup and teardown logic are both handled by the observable, your application code only needs to worry about subscribing to consume values, and when done, unsubscribing. Whether the stream was keystrokes, an HTTP response, or an interval timer, the interface for listening to values and stopping listening is the same.
Because of these advantages, observables are used extensively within Angular, and are recommended for app development as well.