Uncovering the business case for React development 

React is the widely used Javascript library that has taken off in developer popularity for building User Interfaces over the last 3 years. Some refer to React as a framework like Ember and Angular, but it’s actually a library. React was built by engineers at Facebook to solve real life challenges. With other products such as Instagram, Facebook have dedicated engineering resources to refining and innovating in this space. 

React utilises an agile micro-library that requires other specific parts to create web applications. React gives you the option to pick and choose parts rather than opting for a monolithic framework. This means developers can react quickly as customer’s requirements evolve and technology changes. Developers using the React codebase can adapt efficiently and swap to new technologies, while ensuring applications stay relevant and adaptive. Apart from using best-of-breed tech, what is the business case for react when building web applications?

 

React reduces risk

Building your web application using React is a smart business choice. There is superior support within the growing React community. Instead of keeping React an in-house software secret Facebook wisely released it as an open-source library to attract more support and contributors. Through 755 contributors on GitHub, React has become one of the most popular and widely used JavaScript libraries in the world. We’ve even seen multi-billion dollar ‘sharing economy’ companies like Uber & AirBNB develop their must-have applications using React. When you choose React as your development tool of choice, you’ve selected a JavaScript language that is not only well supported, but easy to work with for new developers coming on board.

React development is a truly agile approach. Development is simplified by the inclusion of unidirectional data flow and discrete reusable components (i.e slider or sidebar) combined to represent a single view. Making changes to an isolated section of the application is simple because of this componentisation. In complex applications, tracking down bugs with many interconnecting dependencies is troublesome as the single direction data flow makes it easier to understand the application views. It is declarative by nature, has modular components and a lean and efficient API, so shifting gears with technologies is easier to manage by the development team.

So what if the demands of your customer force you to roll out a native mobile application on iOS or Android, or both? Native mobile apps leverage platform specific UI components such as the camera, maps, calendar etc.  Using React native, you can port your web app code into native code, saving you time, resources, money and the stress of starting from scratch. You can create rich mobile user-interfaces with React as it uses the same fundamental building blocks as more the common native languages Java and Objective-C. An added benefit is that you can also code in these native specific languages to your foundation code base to make further optimisations.

 business case for react

React has customer benefits

Faster internet connections, servers and devices all play a role in delivering fast connections to the user, but React has brought performance enhancing technology to the browser. The UI performance of web application can be significantly increased using React. Customers expect snappy interactions and React delivers. Reacts performance can simulate a similar experience to playing a downloaded game. It reduces the effects of perceived load times and it is responsible for the lightning fast interactions users experience using the web application.

React has implemented a virtual DOM. The DOM is a tree like structure that connects web pages to scripts and languages. The virtual DOM is basically, a carbon copy of the state of the application and the React code listens in on any changes requested on the interface by the user. It then compares the changes of the virtual DOM to that of the actual DOM, then only makes the required changes to the component of the application that it needs to change in the user interaction. Bingo! There is no need to re-render an element of the interface that doesn’t need to change, resulting in a hyper-responsive app user experience. 

In combination with a stable and fast sever-side JavaScript runtime, like Node.js, the application logic can run isomorphically on the client-side and the sever. User clicks feel instantaneous on client-side JavaScript web apps. The server loads the initial payload of logic and templates behind the scenes, then the browser delivers immediate and responsive user interactions. Running the same code on the server and the client assists with SEO as the Google Bots only scan server code. By using React Router you can also assign app views unique URLs so your web application is always discoverable.

Next time you are streaming Netflix take note of the smooth and instant transitions between your interface interactions. React is responsible for this superior user experience! Whether you are prioritising client satisfaction or minimising business risk, building a web application in React is a wise choice. Simply take a few React built apps for a test drive and you’ll experience some of the features and experiences we’ve been raving about.

If you’re interested in finding out more about the benefits of React, open up a discussion with one of our friendly customer engagement team members today. We can’t wait to talk to you about using the React stack to build a truly modern and future-proof web application.

 

Is React for me?

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