Choosing React or Angular is a debating issue raised by many developers. Everybody, from a newcomer and a freelancer to a skilled architect, is trying to understand where to start. Should you need to craft a strategy for your project, you will have to get an experienced opinion. Our experts have conducted a detailed React vs AngularJS (Angular 2+) comparison to save your time.
React vs Angular comparison: Which is better for your project in 2021?
Comparing React vs Angular, you’ll be able to understand which technology is better for your case and environment.
Is React a framework? Advantages of React.JS
React is a user interface library that was developed at Facebook for creating interactive, stateful, and reusable interface components. It is used at Facebook in production. ReactJS is good for rendering complex user interfaces with high performance. The basic fundamental behind React is the concept of virtual DOM (Document Object Model). ReactJS effectively uses virtual DOM which can be rendered either at the client-side or server-side and communicate back and forth. The Virtual DOM renders subtrees of nodes based upon state changes.
React is lighter than Angular. It is filled with less number of conditions and eliminates the need to use extra elements like plugins. React is against two-way binding, it intentionally stays away from it and makes use of explicit updates instead.
Questions to ask yourself if you can’t decide between Angular popularity and React Js advantages
When it comes to selecting the right tool for your case, you should ask yourself: “Does it work for me?”, “Will it be good to complete my tasks?” Here are more specific questions you should care about:
- Is your tool mature enough and who developed it?
- What are the features you will need?
- What do you know about the tool’s ecosystem?
- Which paradigms, patterns, and architecture does your tool employ?
Below are some questions for you and your team members:
- Does a tool fit well with your project requirements?
- Will your team be able to easily master this technology?
- Have your developers had the experience of using it?
Why do you need answering these questions? By giving the answers you will be able to assess the technology of your choosing and in our case, to figure out what is the difference between React and Angular.
Before starting to compare the pros and cons React and Angular have, we should mention that it’s not actually fair to contrast those. And here is why: React is a UI library whereas Angular is a sophisticated framework.
Read our post on Angular developer costs. It explains well what Angular(js) is.
React vs AngularJS: Maturity
A qualified developer will always pay attention to the maturity of the technology he’s about to use. It’s important to establish a balance between assessing time-tested technologies and advanced stacks that appear almost every month. To overcome the risks of using new tech, you should, first off, be aware of the following risks:
- New technology may contain a lot of bugs and be unstable.
- A vendor can abandon it.
- It might not have a large trusted community able to help you in case of some issues.
Both technologies under our comparison have proven to be trusted and reliable in terms of maturity.
New versions of Angular are younger than React but the older JS-version evens the picture out. Angular is supported by Google. It is used in one of the major Google’s projects AdWords that’s why it is considered that the company has made a big bet on it.
React was developed and introduced by Facebook about 4 years ago. It is used in such applications as WhatsApp and Instagram. React is considered to be one of the most trending projects on GitHub, with around 74K stars.
React Vs AngularJS: Features
A lot of developers think that Angular has more divergent features than React. However, we should admit that both stacks have a lot of common features such as data binding, components, cross-platform rendering, etc.
Features of React JS
React offers the following features:
- No dependency injection;
- XSS protection;
- Utilities for unit-testing components.
Here is a visual aid that will help you evaluate all the pros and cons of this stack:
As compared with Angular, React provides not so many features. However, it can be an advantage of this technology as you are able to pick up an additional library if you really need it for your project. Below are the libraries that are used frequently with React:
- React-router for routing;
- Fetch (or Axios) for HTTP requests;
- a bunch of techniques for CSS encapsulation;
- Enzyme for additional unit-testing utilities.
The ability to pick up the library that is required by your project allows tailoring your technology to certain specifications of your project.
Features of Angular JS
Angular offers a bunch of features to build a state-of-the-art product. Below are some of the features Angular can boast about:
- Dependency injection
- Templates, based on an extended version of HTML
- Routing, provided by @angular/router
- Ajax requests by @angular/http
- @angular/forms for building forms
- Component CSS encapsulation
- XSS protection
- Utilities for unit-testing components.
It’s quite convenient to have all the features mentioned above as you are able to save your time and effort in selecting a library yourself. Unfortunately, having these options you could be stuck with them in case you don’t need those. For example, having a DI system for a small project can become rather an overhead than an advantage taking into account that it can be easily replaced by imports.
This infographic will be useful for those considering the advantages of AngularJS for their project:
As you can see from the table, there are only 3 disadvantages of AngularJS.
React vs AngularJS: Paradigms, languages, and patterns
Let’s learn what other concepts are characteristic of both technologies.
When we start talking about React we can’t but mention Redux, Flow, and JSX.
Redux, inspired by Flux, was introduced as a library that clearly manages state changes. The core concept of the library is that the entire apps state is represented by one single object modified by reducers which are pure functions realized separately from the components. This facilitates testability and separation of concerns.
Redux is good for medium and large projects whereas it is not recommended to use it for small projects.
When speaking about JSX, some programmers enjoy it and the others consider it to be a big step back. The key advantage of JSX is its static analysis. For example, if some error in markup, the compiler is able to distinguish it. This allows defining typos and other minor errors.
These features of React enhance developers’ experience: Flow and JSX help developers detect errors whereas Redux helps create a logic of your product.
Angular offers some stacks which might be of your interest: TypeScript and RxJS.
RxJS is a library that allows performing divergent operations like filtering, mapping, merging, splitting, etc. It facilitates a continuous stream of values. This library is rather complicated so it will take some time to master it. You will need to know various types of Subjects and Observables to make HTTP requests with RxJS.
Where is RxJS convenient? It can be used for processing a bunch of streams like web sockets
To sum it up, TypeScript is good for enhancing the project’s maintainability particularly those with huge code volume or complicated logic. RxJS should be used carefully as it can bring undesired complexity to your work.
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React Vs AngularJS: Ecosystem
Open-source technologies offer a bunch of helpful tools and libraries. Let’s take a closer look at some of them.
A great thing about most modern stacks is the availability of a CLI instrument that allows generating and running a project with a few commands. Angular CLI is also used to create a new code with minimum efforts.
Ionic 2 is a perfect fit for those who prefer building hybrid apps to native ones. Ionic has a Cordova container that is used to create mobile applications.
@ngrx/store is a library that manages state for Angular inspired by Redux, being based on state modified by pure reducers. Its integration with RxJS allows using the push change detection strategy for better performance.
Next.js is a stack providing a flexible way to reproduce your apps on the server, show the result to the customer and proceed to the browser.
Storybook is a React environment that allows setting up a separate app to demonstrate your components. It offers a lot of add-ons to document, build, test and design your components.
React Native is a platform created by Facebook to build native mobile apps with React. It offers a collection of standard components that are connected with their native counterparts. You can also build your own components and bind them to native code written in Java, Objective-C, Swift.
Create React App
Create React App is a CLI tool to build new products, start a server, and build a bundle that supports flexible apps profiling using backend proxies for local development, environment variables, Flow, etc.
MobX is a library for managing the apps state which provides a collection of decorators to define observables and observers and give reactive logic to your state.
Planning a project? Here is a good read for you: “SaaS Startup Ideas and Metrics”.
React Vs AngularJS: Adoption, experience, learning curve
One of the first things developers pay attention to when choosing a framework is how easy it is to master. Certainly, you would take into consideration a lot of factors such as your expertise and experience. You might also ask yourself how familiar you are with the related concepts. In any case, take a closer look at some new stacks you will need to learn to start developing with a certain framework.
A perfect place to start mastering any new technology is the official guideline. Once you finished watching and reading the guidelines, get familiar with the router. It might seem complicated. Using Redux will require a paradigm shift to learn how to accomplish already familiar tasks in a manner suggested by the library. With free video courses, you can quickly master the major concepts. You will also have to master additional libraries as well. Some developers are surprised at how easy it is to get started learning React. This technology can be easily learned by people having no experience in the frontend.
Mastering Angular will give you an understanding of more things than React. The first thing to study here is TypeScript. This will be easier for the programmers that have had an experience with Java or .NET. The most difficult topic to master is probably RX.js.
AngularJS vs ReactJS: So, what will you choose?
To sum it up, each of the frameworks has its own unique collection of features with its pros and cons. It’s quite difficult to answer when to use AngularJS if you hardly know the details of your project. And you will definitely need to find out what is react js used for if you gonna use it for your project. Conduct in-depth research on the required technologies depending on your project’s specifications. Below is a comprehensive list of questions that might help you:
- What is the scope of your project? How large is it?
- Are you planning to maintain your project? For how long?
- Is an SRS documentation clear? Are there any flexible functionalities?
- What functionalities, options, features do you require most of all?
- Are the business logic and domain model sophisticated?
- For what platforms (web, desktop, mobile) are you going to develop your product?
- Will you require SEO for promoting your product? Does your project server-side rendering?
- Do you need to control real-time event streams?
- How large is your team?
- How qualified are your employees and what expertise do they have?
- Will you be provided with ready-made component libraries?
When you’re handling a huge project and you actually want to overcome the risks of selecting a wrong framework, think of building a pilot product and get the evidence it could be successful. Select some of the core functionalities and try to realize them in a simplistic manner using one of the frameworks.
What about one framework for all?
Once you chose a stack for developing your future product, you will be able to use the same technology for the next projects. Surely, it sounds like a good idea but don’t do this. When it comes to a new project, take your time to respond to the same questions once again. Your responses may differ from the previous ones. Any experiments will give you extremely useful experience for accomplishing new projects and challenges.
Should you doubt what framework to choose, contact our AngularJS and React professionals to get a free recommendation depending on your project goals and SRS. We are providing both React and Angular (JS) development services for small, medium, and large organizations operating in divergent industries and economies. Follow our blog articles to get the latest news in the field of the ICT sector to build superstar projects.