Redux is not new and it is quite popular. However, if you don’t know what Redux is and you want to know why you should use it, this article is for you. Even if you know what Redux is but still wonder if you are making a wise choice by using it in your application, this article is also for you.

Viewing: What is Redux

In this article, we will tell you some reasons why you should use Redux by looking at its benefits. First, we’ll learn the basics of Redux and how it works. Then we’ll see how using Redux can help your application using some simple yet practical components.

What is Redux & React NativeRedux?

Redux is a predictable state container for JavaScript apps.

It helps you write applications that behave consistently, run in different environments (client, server, and native), and are easy to test. On top of that, it provides a great developer experience, such as live code editing combined with a time traveling debugger.

You can use Redux together with React, or with any other view library. It is tiny (2kB, including dependencies), but has a large ecosystem of addons available. — https://redux.js.org/

Redux is a predictable state management tool for JavaScript applications. It helps you write applications that work consistently, run in different environments (client, server, and native) and are easy to test.

Simply put, Redux is a state management tool. Although it is mainly used with React, it can be used with any other JavaScript Framework or library. It’s very light at 2KB (including dependencies), so you don’t have to worry about it making your app heavier.

With Redux, the application state is kept in a store and each component can access any state it needs from this store.

Why you need a State management tool

At the beginning of this article, I made it clear that Redux is a state management tool, but now let’s review why you need a state management tool.

Most libraries like React, Angular, etc. built with a way for components to internally manage their state without the need for external libraries or tools. It works well for applications with few components but as the application grows larger, managing shared state between components becomes a chore.

In an application where data is shared between components, it is difficult to know where a state is actually active. Ideally, data in a component should only work in a component. So it becomes difficult to share data between sibling components.

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For example, in React, to share data between siblings, a state must live in the parent component. Any methods to update this state must be provided by the parent component and passed as props to the child components.

Here’s a simple example of a login component in react:

class App extends React.Component { constructor(props) { super(props); // First the Parent creates a state for what will be passed this.state = { userStatus: “NOT LOGGED IN”} this.setStatus = this.setStatus.bind(this); } // A method is provided for the child component to update the state of the // userStatus setStatus(username, password) { const newUsers = users; newUsers.map(user => { if (user.username == username && user.password === password) { this.setState({ userStatus: “LOGGED IN” }) } }); } render() { return (

// the state is passed to the sibling as a props as is updated whenever // the child component changes the input // this method is passed to the child component as a props which it // uses to change the state of the userStatus

); }}); Now imagine what happens when a State has to be shared between components that are far apart in the component tree. State must be passed from component to component until it gets to where it is needed.

Basically, the State will have to be raised to the nearest and next parent component until it reaches a common ancestor for both components that need the State and then it’s passed down. This makes the State difficult to maintain and unpredictable. It also means passing data to components that don’t need that data.

Obviously, State management gets messy as the application gets complex. This is why you need a State management tool like Redux that makes it easier to manage these states. Let’s have a good overview of Redux before considering its benefits.

How Redux works

The way Redux works is very simple. There is a central Store that contains the entire State of the application. Each component can access the stored State without having to send props from one component to another.

Redux has three parts: Actions, Store and reducers. Let’s take a look at what Redux can do. This is very important because it will help you understand the benefits of Redux and how to use it use it. I will do an example similar to the login above but this time in Redux.

Actions in Redux

Simply put, actions are events. They are the only way you can send data from your app to the Redux Store. The data can be from user interactions, API calls, or even form submissions.

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Actions are sent using the store.dispatch() method. Actions are simple JavaScript objects, and they must have a type attribute to indicate the type of action to be performed. It must also have a payload containing the information that needs to be processed. Actions are created through an action creator.

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Here is an example of actions that can be performed during login in the application:

{ type: “LOGIN”, payload: { username: “foo”, password: “bar” }} Here is an example of action creator:

const setLoginStatus = (name, password) => { return { type: “LOGIN”, payload: { username: “foo”, password: “bar” } }}As explained earlier, actions must contain an attribute of type type and then the payload will be stored.

Reducers in Redux

Reducers are pure functions that take the current state of the application, perform an action, and return the new State. These states are stored as object objects, and they define how the state of the application changes in response to an action sent to the Store.

Here is an example of how reducers work in Redux:

const LoginComponent = (state = initialState, action) => { switch (action.type) { // This reducer handles any action with type “LOGIN” case “LOGIN”: return state.map(user => { if (user. username !== action.username) { return user; } if (user.password == action.password) { return { …user, login_status: “LOGGED IN” } } });default: return state; } };Reducers takes the previous State of the application and returns the new State based on the action passed to it.

As pure functions, they do not change the data in the object passed to it in the application. Given the same object, it will always produce the same result.

Store in Redux

Stores holds the state of the application. There is only one store in any Redux application. You can access the stored state, update the state, and register or unregister listeners through helper methods.

To create a store for the login application:

const store = createStore(LoginComponent);Actions performed on the State always return a new State. So State is simple and predictable.

Now that we know a little more about Redux, let’s go back to the logging example implemented earlier and see how Redux can improve.

class App extends React.Component { render() { return (

) }} With Redux, there is a common State in the Store and each component has access to the State. This eliminates the need to constantly pass State from one component to another.

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When using Redux with React, the States will no longer need to be raised, so it makes it easy to track which action caused any changes. As seen above, this component does not need to provide any State or methods for its child components to share data with each other. Everything is handled by Redux. This greatly simplifies applications and makes maintenance easier.

That is the main benefit and why you should use Redux. Here is a summary of other reasons why you should use Redux:

Other benefits of using ReduxRedux make State predictable. In Redux, State is always predictable. If the same State and action are passed to a reducers, the same result is always produced because reducers are pure functions. State is also immutable and never changes. This allows for difficult tasks like infinite undo and redo. It is also possible to do “time travel”, which is the ability to move back and forth between previous States and see the results in real time.Maintenance.Redux is very strict about how to organize code to help users knowledge of Redux is easier to understand the structure of any Redux application. This makes it easier to maintain. Debug for days. Redux makes it easy to debug an application. By logging action and state, it is easy to understand coding errors, network errors and other types of errors that can occur during application completion.Easy to testIt is easy to test Redux applications because of the functionalities function is used to change state of pure functions.You can persist some application state into local storage and restore it after refresh. This can be really handy. Redux can also be used for server-side rendering. With it, you can handle the initial rendering of your application by sending your application’s state to the server along with its response to the server request. The required components are then rendered in HTML and sent to clients.Conclusion

I have shared about the main features of Redux and why Redux is beneficial for your application. In spite of Redux has its benefits, but that doesn’t mean you should add Redux to all your apps. Your application can still work fine without Redux.

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A big benefit of Redux is that it adds a new direction to problem solving. However, you should only implement Redux if you determine your project needs a State management tool.