What is React js? Put simply, it’s a JavaScript web library created by Facebook for rendering large data sets efficiently. It’s a collection of fast-evolving open-source libraries that provide superior speed rendering of large and complex user interfaces for web applications.

React is a template language (.JSX syntax) that provides functional hooks to render HTML. If you know JavaScript then you know React. Unlike Angularjs or Emberjs (complete frameworks), React is only concerned with data representation or ‘View’ in Model View Control (MVC) architecture. Developers that use React need to install other libraries concerned with the Model and Control components such as data management, ReST and routing to build a complete and functioning application.

Using React gives developers flexibility to select modern best-of-breed libraries which they are familiar, are more specific to the bespoke nature of the custom app and most importantly solve the problem. This means you can swap out small outdated elements of the application as JavaScript continues to evolve and innovate.


Many application frameworks like Ember, Angular and Backbone provide a lot of features and functionality out-of-the-box. Many apps don’t need the extra features and the increase in the size of the app can be 100’s of kilobytes of unwanted and unnecessary code hampering the app performance. Productivity and speed is one of React’s greatest attributes as it leverages a virtual DOM. This technology enables partial updates to the app instead of having to render the entire application on every functional or input change by the user.

React empowers the developer to right size the applications from the start, building a modular and lean codebase which will future-proof the application with better flexibility to adapt to change and easier and more cost-effective to maintain. Proof of concepts are also easy to get off the ground and scale if the app project shows early promise.

When to use React js:

  • Apps requiring the modification and display of large dynamic data sets
  • When the development team want the freedom to assemble the most applicable libraries
  • When you require migration from Backbone/jQuery applications
  • If the target user is restricted to IE8 operating system
  • In large teams where workflow patterns and enforcing UI is critical
  • If your looking for a easily readable, reusable and maintainable application
  • If you intend to roll out native apps in the future for iOS & Android

Apps built with React js include; Netflix, Uber, AirBnB, & Codecademy

As mentioned above React is a smart choice when thinking about future-proofing your application project. The JavaScript-centric fundamentals allows new developers to come onboard down the line, it won’t restrict you from new innovations born from the open-source community and now with the launch of React Native you can translate your React code into a fully fledged native mobile app.

Start a conversation with us today about the benefits of using React for your next application idea or project.



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