React is a popular front-end development tool that was originally created for Facebook, somewhere around 2010 (depending on the source you are looking at), and was open sourced in 2013 by Jordan Walke on JS ConfUS. From there on out React skyrocketed, and currently based on Stackdiary ranking it takes first place in front-end frameworks popularity.

From React documentation direct explanation what is React is as follows:

React is a declarative, efficient, and flexible JavaScript library for building user interfaces. It lets you compose complex UIs from small and isolated pieces of code called “components”.

React provides an easy way for developers to organize their front-end code in a small, easily maintainable, reactive chunks (called “components“), making HTML / JavaScript programming combination much easier and cleaner. It uses JSX (form of XML) as a HTML replacement, which can be directly used inside JavaScript code, making it very similar to the actual HTML code, but with native-like support for integrating actual JavaScript functions and variables with it.

Simple React Component Example

Beside React’s simplicity there is an efficiency as well, hidden under the Concept of Virtual DOM. Basically what this means is that a representation of a UI is kept in JavaScript memory and is synced up with browser DOM in controlled manner (this process is called reconciliation). This means that only things which actually change get updated on the DOM, instead of naively updating whole page all the time. As you can imagine this can drastically improve application performance (and it usually does).

React application is at the end bundled into plain JavaScript, which can be easily integrated with any given deployment method. There are multiple tools that can be used to bundle React code, but the most popular is Webpack. Although React is mainly designed for building single page applications (SPA) there are tools built around bundling processes for React, which allow developers to easily combine SPA and statically rendered pages and to get best of both worlds. The most popular tool is probably Next.js.

Some of the companies that are using React are Netflix, Airbnb Discord, Walmart, Uber Technologies Inc, Atlassian, The New York Times, Asana, Dropbox, Amazon, and many more…

At ExN we are working with React on a daily basis on many of our projects basically from the day we started. We have couple of React experts on board, who help our new team members to easily grasp even the most complex parts of React. We are constantly monitoring community for any new changes and tools due to our constant engagement with the technology, and we stay up to date with newest changes.

If you think that React would be a good match for your project, or you are wondering whether that is the case, schedule a free call with our experts, and we can help you understand anything around this piece of technology.