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React & Rx.js – 5 Things You Should Know About It

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16/12/2021 |

5 min read

Magdalena Kwiecień,

Dominika Reszke

React & Rx.js are some of the most trending technologies within the IT world today. 

As far as React is concerned, this JavaScript library was dubbed the most wanted web framework, the one that the highest percentage of software developers (25.1%) expressed developing with it in the future – the recent StackOverflow 2021 Developer Survey showed. According to the survey, as many as 40.1% of respondents use it already, making React.js also the most commonly used web framework. 

Within only a few years since its initial release by Facebook in 2013, React – with its famous React hooks, React Router DOM, and the idea of a React component – has also managed to become one of the most loved web frameworks.

Rx.js (more correctly spelled RxJS, abbreviated from Reactive Extensions for JavaScript), which enables efficient management of sequences of events, is among the top libraries in web development right now as well. With its useful features including those that enable writing simple code for complex asynchronous queries, the React-RxJS combo is something that makes React reactive, enabling „handling the domain-level state of a React app using RxJS streams”.

If you’re interested in making use of RxJS itself but still unconvinced, here’s the list of the most important features and use cases of Rx.js to consider before switching to this technology. What are the key facts you should know about it? When can it be used to the highest advantage? Read on to find out.


Table of contents:

  1. Rx.js in short + major use cases
  2. Rx.js – 5 things you need to know about it
  3. React & Rx.js condensed

Rx.js in short + major use cases

Rx.js, meant for efficiently managing sequences of events, is one of the hottest libraries in web development, being a head-turner for quite some time. It is a compact yet powerful library for Reactive Programming – a declarative programming paradigm that makes use of observable sequences to create programs that are asynchronous and event-based.

There are many reasons why using it is worth considering, with features and advantages such as: 

  • supporting or even enhancing the front-end development process,
  • writing clean code within complex, asynchronous queries.


When can you use RxJS?

Reactions to events, and dealing with data streaming (operations such as mapping, processing, etc.) are two instances where Rx.js may come in very handy. It is also perfect when a lot of asynchronous task handling is involved.

RxJS in React, coming with an elegant API, can be treated as a supporting technology for boosting and refining the process of developing single-page applications and other front-end solutions. It goes with JavaScript frameworks or libraries such as Angular or ReactJS.


RxJS advantages

What sets RxJS apart from its competitors is that it gives the opportunity to implement complicated or composite features with ease. It’s made possible thanks to RxJS observables, which are functions that return a stream of values that observe events, as well as Operators that perform operations.

Rx.js, which solves async event management, can be a smart and powerful way to handle user events as well as data fetching or processing. While it might be too complex for simple use cases, it can actually simplify debouncing or throttling calls and other actions of that kind.

Rx.js – 5 things you need to know about it

Out of many interesting facts about Rx.js, or React-RxJS, we’ve selected five hallmarks that can help you decide on the use of this reactive extensions library for JavaScript.

1. Bridging the push-based / pull-based behaviors gap

React-RxJS is known for bridging the gap between the push-based approach and pull-based behavior. This way, a push-based application state that operates smoothly with pull-based React can be declared.

2. Purity of the state

Producing values with the use of pure functions is what makes RxJS so powerful. It results in code that is less susceptible to errors and state that is free from harmful interference with other pieces of code. (On the other hand, if something goes wrong with the code, it may be difficult to debug.)

3. Canceling asynchronous actions

Handling asynchronous events as collections is what Rx.js normally enables. But what sets Rx.js apart from its competitors is that it has the power to cancel asynchronous actions – promises, timeouts, and requests.

4. A possible overkill

Despite all its advantages, Rx.js should be applied carefully as it’s not proper for every use case. Certainly, it can be overkill for some projects and too overwhelming for some teams and team members. A steep learning curve may be one of the pitfalls or drawbacks that a software developer may encounter here.

5. A potential replacement

Of course, there are other interesting solutions available at hand. For instance, if you want to bring in some reactivity patterns to your React project, but they don’t need to be as advanced or hard to comprehend as RxJS is, you might consider using MobX instead.

React & Rx.js condensed

Utilizing Rx.js and Observable React streams lets software developers create „architectures that push data changes to all interested subscribers”, using passive view components – marking a distinct, sharp shift from traditional pull-based architectures.

Rx.js can be used for a variety of cases, including boosting state management side effects (redux-observable). JavaScript developers may utilize it with components' state and hooks such as: rxjs-hooks, observable-hooks, a custom hook, or a RxJS state object.

And if you want to make React reactive, you should opt for React-RxJS – a state management solution that is scalable and highly-performant. RxJS with React certainly is a great, powerful combo for creating communication between React components, asynchronous sentences, asynchronous tasks, and asynchronous programming in general.

And you, do you find Rx.js or React-RxJS useful? What kind of projects would you recommend them for? What are their most beneficial features? And can you spot any significant drawbacks of utilizing them?

Rated: 5.0 / 1 opinions
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Magdalena Kwiecień

Maker, thinker, pragmatic perfectionist && JavaScript developer with 10+ years of professional experience. Big fan of React, TypeScript and clean code.

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Dominika Reszke

IT Content Writer with 12 years of professional writing experience. Prefers facts and figures to any kind of fiction.

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