Angular State Management is something any software developer must have heard of. However, even among those who utilize it, there is a fair amount of confusion regarding when and why particular libraries should be applied. This refers to Redux Angular, NGXS, and NGRX state management, to name but a few.
The need for switching between a variety of components makes software development using Angular quite demanding although the export class makes using the content across modules possible. Applying the right approach is crucial because going the wrong way makes things even more complicated, increasing the risk for things like cargo cult programming to appear. It’s about too elaborate or redundant solutions that serve no real purpose or are, in fact, improper and applied „without understanding the reasons behind that design principle”.
It’s crucial to choose the appropriate library package, especially that the number of libraries for state management is very impressive, and picking up the right one may save the day or even longer a period on cleaning up the mess, or debugging. They all have their specific features and appropriate use cases, and it’s simply crucial to know them before making a decision regarding using any of these in your own projects.
In this article, we’ll shed a light on Angular State Management in general, as well as on some of the most popular or useful libraries that go with it, namely NGRX, NGXS, and angular-redux.
We'll go through the following topics:
1. Angular State Management in brief
2. NGRX, NGXS, and angular-redux boiled down
3. State Management & Angular wrapped up
Angular State Management in brief
Angular State Management is a user interface programming technique, that is in fact, state management in Angular. It may also be referred to as Angular app state management, state management architecture of the Angular application, or even, in short, state Angular.
As for state management in general, it concerns graphical user interface and managing different user interface controls such as text fields or buttons. And the state represents, obviously, all data within an application.
What’s especially important is that particular UI controls influence or interfere with each other, and this can cause the application’s overwhelming complexity at some point, decreasing performance and usability of the site, as one of side effects. There are state management libraries serving particular frameworks that can either make it or break it. As for Angular, its built-in library is called RxJS and it applies the observer pattern.
Some software developers say this library is not sufficient, but, luckily, there are many other packages for Angular to choose from. Those programming in Angular, one of the top frontend frameworks, often face many problems but picking the right library may certainly limit their number. Let’s see what distinguishes the most common or often discussed libraries, what are their pros and cons.
NGRX, NGXS, and angular-redux boiled down
As for state management in Angular, it may be performed with the help of NGRX, NGXS, and angular-redux.
The most popular one is NGRX. Its name is an abbreviation built from two words: aNGular and RxJS, the latter being „a library for reactive programming using Observables, to make it easier to compose asynchronous or callback-based code”. In other words, we may say that NGRX store supercharges the redux pattern with RxJS.
NGRX is sometimes praised for features that help to reduce the complexity not only of an application (including its architecture), but also the learning curve. Compared to the two competitors, it’s best in the field of meta reducers. Due to its popularity, it offers vast community support. But it doesn’t only have avid supporters. Its opponents claim that it’s too complicated and requires too much effort (a lot of lines of source code need to be written compared to the other two), and it’s simply not worth going the extra mile.
Angular-redux seems to be on the other side of the spectrum being way more simple but versatile and efficient enough to serve the majority of purposes. It’s also easy to learn and comprehend, and the Redux community can help in case of any doubts a beginner might have.
NGRX vs redux (angular-redux) opposition is certainly an interesting one but there’s also an NGXS technology that is worth mentioning. Out of the three compared libraries, we may place NGXS in the middle in terms of its complexity, as default solutions make it quite time-efficient. Some handy TypeScript features also make utilizing NGXS more complete.
State Management & Angular wrapped up
Angular state managing can be made simple or even more difficult, depending on which set of libraries we choose to use for this framework. As for state management angular redux, NGRX, and NGXS can all be successfully applied on various occasions.
The differences between particular libraries may be significant, though. However, if they are properly suited for given conditions, needs, and circumstances, they can make the work more smooth and pleasant although JS development with Angular may still be demanding, indeed. As for users, what can help them navigate their applications better, is a URL route matcher.
And what are your experiences with utilizing Angular State Management and particular libraries? To you, what are their most useful features? What kind of projects would you recommend them for? Can you spot any significant limitations of using them?