In this post, we will explain what Redux is. In addition, we will also explore the advantages and disadvantages of using Redux in web development so your organization can get the complete picture when it comes to this development tool.
What Is State? Understanding the Value of a State Management Tool
In the context of an application, state refers to the data or variables that determine the behavior of the application and the information shown to the user. Users often expect an application to be in the same state as when they left it.
For example, if you are using an eCommerce website and add three items to your cart but decide to close the web page before making a purchase, you expect your cart to be there, unchanged, when you return to the application.
The shopping cart in this example and its associated data are just one component of the web application. Most websites and web applications have many components that comprise the entire application state.
This is why a state management solution like Redux is valuable to developers. As web applications and websites grow in size and complexity, managing the state becomes difficult. Libraries like Redux make this task much simpler.
The Three Main Concepts that Drive Redux
Three main concepts make Redux an effective, predictable state container. Understanding each of these concepts is vital to understanding how Redux works. Let’s take a closer look at the concepts that drive Redux.
The Redux store is a central data source that acts as a single source of truth for your application’s state. The current state of your website or application resides in the store. In addition, the store is the central location where all application state changes occur.
In Redux, actions are objects that signify the intention to change the application’s state. An action object is sent to the store. Once the store receives the action, it determines how to update the application’s state.
Reducers are pure functions that take the store’s current state and an action and return a new state. This pure function is responsible for changing the state of the store. Actions are responsible for providing the information reducers need to make these changes.
It is inadvisable to try and modify the Redux state manually.
The Advantages of Using Redux
Now that we know a bit more about what Redux is and how it works, it is important to discuss the advantages of using Redux in your web product. The overwhelming advantage of Redux is that it provides a predictable way to manage the state of your application.
A web application’s component tree can get complicated fast with a single parent component having several children components. In addition, a connected component that is data-dependent on a few components, such as the status component and login component, can cause state management complications.
Since the store acts as a single source of truth for the application, debugging issues, testing functionality, and resetting the store to a previous state are easy when using Redux. In addition, when using React Redux, you can also manage React components.
As a result, developers can use React to build more complex and interactive applications. Plus, using React with Redux makes it easy for developers to access and change the state of an application’s components.
The Disadvantages of Using Redux
While Redux offers developers many advantages and simplifies state management, disadvantages are also associated with using Redux. The biggest drawback of Redux is the amount of boilerplate code that gets added to an application.
Redux’s reducers are responsible for the great influx of boilerplate code. The additional code can cause coding errors and lead to greater application complexity. Plus, more code means developers must spend more time performing maintenance and setting up components.
The other primary disadvantage of Redux is data inflexibility. This is a tradeoff between predictable state management and data flexibility. Since Redux is so predictable, it does not offer much flexibility in data handling.
This inflexibility is a plus because it makes debugging an application easier, but depending on the specific needs of your application, this inflexibility can work against your application.
Redux is a great development tool for web developers, especially those using React. State management is a tricky aspect for developers to manage. However, Redux makes state management far simpler than most other options.