a What are the main features of React that make it so popular?
a So what are the main features of Angular that excite people to use it in their projects?
Front-end technology is growing extremely fast. There is a running joke that a new JS framework appears almost daily.
React and its features
It introduced and enhanced component-based architecture with key benefits like reusability and ease of maintenance. Both will eventually contribute to faster development time, which is essential nowadays.
It’s also used in web app engineering, as the logical section of the application can be reused with simply different views.
In my opinion, the appearance of React and its huge success made Google think about the next version of its framework, Angular2.
What are the main features of React that make it so popular?
- The usage of components.
- Ability to use third-party libraries.
- Fast development (if you’re not using REDUX).
- Support from Facebook (they are still improving React).
- One-directional data binding means that the Ul elements can’t be changed without updating the corresponding model state.
- It’s easy to learn.
- The HTML-like syntax makes it much easier to make templates or documentation.
- It’s pretty easy to migrate between versions.
- It can be used easily with other programming libraries (as React is a library, not a framework).
So what things are considered disadvantages of React?
- Community support (which is way smaller than Angular).
- Integrating React into a traditional MVC framework may require more time.
Angular and its features
Angular is a framework older than React (published around 2010, while React was introduced in 2013). It was initially developed by Google and released as an open-source (with its full name AngularJS).
It gained huge popularity at that time but was slowed down by React.js, which probably encouraged the creators to redesign it entirely and publish Angular (Angular 2.0) in 2016.
So what are the main features of Angular that excite people to use it in their projects?
- It’s a full-blown framework.
- Built-in support for HTTP, Ajax, and observables.
- Pretty big community.
- Improved error handling in comparison to the previous version.
- The Angular Command Line Interface (CLI) is one of the best-known features. It automates the whole development process, app initialization, and app configuration. It also lets you preview your application with LiveReload.
- Validations and forms built-in.
- The separation of business logic and user interface.
- Local CSS.
- It uses the two-way data binding method. It helps you to ensure that the model state automatically changes when any change is made.
And the key disadvantages are often described as
- It’s somewhat hard for beginners with a pretty steep learning curve.
- The documentation is not that great.
- Routing is limited, which makes debugging a bit more difficult.
- It can be slow when a lot of interactive components are in place.
- 3rd party integrations are difficult to achieve.
Main differences between ReactJS and Angular
So now that we briefly went through the main characteristics, as well as the history of both technologies, let's take a look at the main differences between them.
Angular is based on MVC (Model-View Controllers) and incremental DOM (when a new DOM is created, it compares it to the previous one and applies the differences to the current DOM). At the same time, React uses Virtual DOM.
Angular makes it easy to run tests, as there is a simple tool for that, while in React, we need to use a whole bunch of them, depending on the tests.
Angular supports two-way data binding (if we modify the UI input, the model state will change, and vice versa), while React uses one-way data binding.
Angular offers dependency injection, while React does not fully enable it. However, after the introduction of React Hooks, writing functional components has become the standard way of writing React components in modern applications.
What to choose?
After reading this, you probably may ask yourself - so what should I choose? Naturally, as always, the answer is simple - “IT DEPENDS”.
In my opinion, you should consider React when:
- If the rest of your team has good experience in HTML/CSS and JS.
- You need to create a very personalized application that meets unique demands.
- If you will benefit from creating components that will be shared across the application.
- You want to create hybrid/native/ web applications.
Angular, on the other hand, might be a better choice when:
- You want to benefit from a solution that is ready to use out of the box. This may speed up the development time in many cases.
- The application complexity (when it comes to business logic) is not huge.
- It’s better for SPAs (Single Page Applications).
In every case, I would strongly recommend consulting experienced engineers to make a good choice. At Sunscrapers, we would be happy to hear about your business requirements, experience, and expectations to support you in making the right choice and also doing the engineering work for you.