The battle of React vs Angular regarding which one is better for front end development is an exciting one. One might ask why should we even bother making such a comparison when React is just a JavaScript library to build user interfaces, and Angular is a full-blown web development platform. Nevertheless, both React, and Angular are used for building single-page applications (SPAs), large business apps and web apps that only fetch HTML documents from the server and reload the content. Both take care of the view layer of your application only. No services or methods to make API calls, no built-in models or ORM.

From my experience working in a bespoke software development company with highly-skilled IT professionals who use React and Angular on a daily basis, I get to learn many exciting things about the latest technologies. However, the most fascinating aspect is that new software technologies open so many new possibilities and business opportunities that help fill in market gaps and satisfy the constantly rising market demands. Hopefully, you’ll find this article helpful for choosing between React vs Angular for your next software development project.

What is ReactJS?

React is an open-source JavaScript library (that’s why it’s also called ReactJS) that provides a framework for rendering user interface components of web applications. Originally developed by Facebook and still supported by the powerful Meta community, React is utilised in Facebook and Instagram. Netflix, Airbnb, Twitter and the online edition of Wall Street Journal are also notable examples of successful React projects. As mentioned above, React is a preferred choice for developing SPA applications, but what exactly are those? SPAs are characterised by the fact that they run entirely on the client (in the browser). All interactions take place and are processed on the client-side, and the display of the page is generated or updated using JavaScript in order to achieve the highest visual fluidity possible. Furthermore, React applications rely on reusable components that encapsulate the logic behind desired functionalities, which eases the whole development process. Also, React uses the so-called unidirectional dataflow architecture model. This means that data only flows in one direction, making even large applications easy to grasp.

  • When to Rely on React?

React can be used in two ways. You can enrich an existing HTML project with React, or you can start a completely new React project. You can dynamically develop new features using React while leaving the application’s legacy functionality as it is. Plus, ReactJS comes in handy whenever interaction takes place on your web application. For any kind of interaction on the web app, you need to build a user interface and state management.

For example, a user presses a button, and a drop-down menu appears. Thus, you need to change the app state from closed to open. React comes into play when you enter data in an input field, and it shows whether it is valid. If not, the status of the input field changes from valid to invalid.

  • Why Use React?

Here are the top three reasons to should consider using React. 1) Simplicity: React’s API is pretty straightforward and thus quick to learn. 2) Integration options: React’s primary focus is on state management of your application and its appearance, allowing you to make easy integrations or migrations. 3) Stability: the latest stable React release 17.0.2 is from March 2021, and a new React 18 version with new features is currently in beta.

What is Angular?

Angular is a TypeScript-based web development platform originally created by Google that enjoys a large community. Although it’s not as simple as React to learn without previous experience, Angular’s capabilities go in many directions. In addition, Angular is a fully-functional web development platform and requires no additional libraries, which isn’t the case with React. Some of the most notable Angular web apps are Gmail, Forbes and Paypal.

In addition to the pure API for app development, Angular includes development tools, generators and architecture concepts and thus represents a ready-to-go solution for developing enterprise applications. It ranks alongside the other two most successful front-end JavaScript frameworks, React and VueJS. Unfortunately, as of January 1, 2022, AngularJS (a previous version of Angular) is no longer updated by Google in terms of security browser compatibility fixes.

  • When to Use Angular?

In general, Angular requires more memory requirements than some comparable front end frameworks. However, experienced Angular developers know how to handle such issues by implementing the necessary optimisations. Angular is perfectly suited for building complex enterprise web applications, SPAs, PWAs and dynamic web applications.

Angular is also famous for its detailed documentation available for developers to dive into whenever they encounter problems. The web development platform, just like React, separates elements into features and creates reusable pieces. Plus, Angular’s credo is to help developers spend less time on actual coding thanks to efficient error identification at an early app development stage than other frameworks.

Why Use Angular?

Angular’s ecosystem is very large, and the core framework forms lay the foundational basis for this. The fundamental concepts that are essential for modern web applications are implemented here: Components, Directives and Dependency Injection. Two other core concepts, which can be used separately, are the Angular CLI (command line interface) and the management of components. Building and integrating additional modules in Angular such as animations, PWA (offline access), i18n (multilingual apps) or routing (for SPAs) is also easy.

React vs Angular

Neither React nor Angular can beat each other up in terms of functionality. Both are managed by large corporations and have been successful in the market for many years. The communities are also established accordingly so that help is never far away. Differences in execution speed and memory usage are now negligible, with slight memory advantages in React.

On the one hand, in case an application needs a heavy frontend focus or requires many interactive elements, React might be the better option. On the other hand, when developing a brand new web app, especially with more sophisticated backend elements, Angular would be the more suitable choice. But after all, choosing between React vs Angular also remains a matter of personal taste, past hands-on experience with JavaScript and TypeScript and your own approach to coding tasks.

Author Biography: Aleksandrina Vasileva 

Aleksandrina is a Content Creator at Dreamix, a custom software development company, and is keen on innovative technological solutions with a positive impact on our world. Her teaching background, mixed with interests in psychology drives her to share knowledge. She is an avid reader and enthusiastic blogger, always looking for the next inspiration.

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