All you need to know about the AngularJS – ReactJS choice

With a variety of frameworks available in the market, deciding which web application framework to use can become overwhelming. There are a host of factors to consider including the libraries they offer, the database access options, templates, and code reuse. JavaScript frameworks are developing fast, and frameworks like AngularJS and ReactJS have become extremely popular. With over 318,754 unique AngularJS domains and 214,467 ReactJS domains, the choice is not easy. Let’s look at both these frameworks to see what may best suit your needs.
reactjs-vs-angularjs-framework

AngularJS

AngularJS, an open-source JavaScript-based front-end web application framework primarily maintained by Google. It provides a structure for building an application end-to-end: from writing the code and designing the UI to testing. It addresses many of the challenges encountered in developing single-page applications. It simplifies the development and the testing phases and allows for automatic synchronization of models and views for improved testability and performance. Like similar frameworks, AngularJS offers multiple solutions and designs and is used by several organizations such as AWS, YouTube, Google, Nike, PayPal, Upwork etc.
Key Features:

  • AngularJS offers an out-of-the-box MVC framework that automatically combines all the elements, making it easier to build client-side applications.
  • It uses HTML to build the user interface. This is easy to understand and simple to organize and maintain.
  • Being an end-to-end, full-fledged framework, it requires minimal coding and can run on any browser or platform.
  • AngularJS drives context-aware communications. This ensures the right messages are sent to the right nodes at the right time.
  • The dependency injection feature enables one object to supply dependencies to another object. This allows greater flexibility and cleaner code.
  • Custom directives enable assignment of the right attribute to the appropriate elements.

Advantages:

  • The MVVM (Model-view-view-model) allows different developers to work simultaneously on the same sections using the same set of data.
  • Since AngularJS relies on TypeScript, it offers more consistency and enables faster compilation.
  • Detailed documentation enables developers to easily get the information they need.
  • The two-way data binding reduces the impact of minor changes, minimizing the possibility of errors and eliminating the need for additional effort for data sync.
  • Being open-source, AngularJS is constantly updated and improved through contributions from developers everywhere.
  • AngularJS developers and designers constantly collaborate and contribute to the community. The global community support is excellent. This enables quick familiarization with concepts.

Disadvantages:

  • The earlier versions of AngularJS bring with them complex Angular-specific syntax that drives a steep learning curve.
  • The physical DOM is hard to manage and update.
  • Migration issues make it tough to move from an older AngularJS version to a newer one.

What is ReactJS?

ReactJS, an open-source JavaScript-based library primarily maintained by Facebook, offers a robust base for developing single-page web or mobile applications. Being declarative in nature, ReactJS makes the process of creating rich UIs seamless. It ensures the code is predictable and easier to debug. Since it is component-based, it ensures seamless integration of different components written by different people without causing major ripples through the codebase. The ReactJS ecosystem comprises many building blocks and online tools and is used by several organizations such as Instagram, Netflix, WhatsApp, Airbnb, Microsoft, Facebook etc.

Key Features:

  • The Virtual DOM enables developers to focus on writing the JavaScript code without worrying about updating React components or the DOM; when any data changes, the virtual DOM automatically updates the user interface.
  • The component-based architecture makes components easily reusable, enhancing their testability and maintainability.
  • By using JSX to write views, ReactJS enables JavaScript and HTML to operate in a single file.
  • External plugins enable developers to interface ReactJS with other libraries and frameworks.
  • In order to design an app interface, developers can either use nested elements (by including a reference to the child class within the render method of the parent class) or loops (by combining numerous HTML elements into an array).
  • Server-side scripting can be enabled with Node.js. Developers can create dynamic web page content before the page goes to the web browser.

Advantages:

  • The simplicity of syntax makes ReactJS easy to learn.
  • Since ReactJS is universally flexible, the libraries can be paired with all kinds of packages.
  • ReactJS gives developers more control to size an application by selecting only those things that are really necessary offering extreme flexibility and responsiveness.
  • The Virtual DOM makes arranging documents in HTML or XML formats much easier while developing different elements of the web app.
  • Since data flows only in one direction, the result is better data overview and easier debugging.
  • Downward data binding ensures child elements do not affect parent data.
  • Being open-source, ReactJS is constantly updated and improved by contributions from developers everywhere.
  • The presence of codemods ensures a seamless migration from earlier versions to newer versions.

Disadvantages:

  • The absence of systematic documentation and limited guidance makes development tricky and, sometimes, risky.
  • Since ReactJS is not a full-fledged framework, developers require deeper programming knowledge for integrating the UI library into the MVC framework.
  • Developers may take more time to get familiar with ReactJS as each project architecture varies.

Choose the Right Framework:

Clearly, choosing the right framework for your web application has to be a top priority. Since the framework you choose can have a direct bearing on your ability to meet your current requirements and as well as future needs, choosing between AngularJS or ReactJS is an important decision. While AngularJS offers more consistency, is easier to develop and compile, the complex Syntax and physical DOM make development a little tricky. On the other hand, ReactJS offers a shorter learning curve, is flexible, and easier to debug, but, the absence of documentation and the requirement of deeper programming knowledge make it more suited for professional developers. For the experienced developer, there is no substantial difference in the frameworks; but your choice will have to be driven by your business requirement, your web application goals, and your system constraints.

Check back with us if you need any help in picking what’s right!

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