What are ReactJS and React Native and why are they important for app development?
6 min read
Today, we'll take a look at these two very similar frontend web technologies and the support that you will need to create a robust app with either. Should you choose ReactJS or React Native? Can you use either of them to develop .NET Core web applications?
What is ReactJS?
The Differences Between ReactJS and React Native
The History of ReactJS
Instagram, Facebook, and Airbnb are all examples of apps that were developed using ReactJS. These are fast React applications, but they aren't exactly lightweight, especially when it comes to Facebook.
What is ReactJS Used For?
ReactJS is used for building user interfaces. It makes it easy to create reusable functional components, which further makes it easy to build complex user interfaces. Think of ReactJS sort of like an object-oriented or class-oriented approach to developing visual elements, rather than programming processes.
What is React Native?
React Native is a mobile app development framework that allows developers to use ReactJS to create native mobile apps. React Native apps are faster and smoother than traditional native apps in terms of their GUI and user experience.
React Native is fast and lightweight, which makes it a good choice for developing mobile apps. However, React Native does not support all the platforms that traditional native apps do.
The History of React Native
React Native was created by Facebook in 2015. It was inspired by ReactJS, but it was designed specifically for mobile app development. Consequently, React Native is really more useful for mobile application development or progressive web apps than web development.
What is React Native Used For?
React Native is used for building native mobile apps. It makes it possible to use ReactJS to create native mobile apps that are simple, beautiful, and fast. It makes it much easier to create complex user interfaces without having to dig too deeply into the code syntax.
Is React better or Angular?
There is no clear winner when it comes to React vs Angular. Both technologies have their pros and cons. ReactJS is easy to use, and it makes creating complex user interfaces simpler. Angular is a full-fledged framework, so you can do more with it... but it's heavier weight. Ultimately, the decision of which technology to use depends on the specific needs of your project.
The advantages of Angular include:
- Angular is a framework rather than a library, making deployment faster.
- Angular has a large community and many resources available.
- Angular is well suited for developing large-scale applications.
What are the advantages of React?
But there are also disadvantages. React is primarily designed for the visual aspects of programming and development rather than backend development, frequently necessitating that ReactJS or React Native be paired with backend infrastructure.
Web App Development vs. Mobile Development
The main difference between web app development and mobile development is that web apps are designed to be used via a browser, while mobile apps are designed to be used natively on a mobile device. Since most people view the web through their phones now, the distinction has been largely blurred for the end-user.
ReactJS and React Native are both used for web and mobile app development. However, ReactJS is more commonly used for web development, while React Native is more commonly used for mobile app development. Both of these can be considered application development and are generally used for different purposes.
When Would You Use ReactJS vs. React Native?
ReactJS is a good choice for developing web applications that require complex user interfaces. React Native is a good choice for developing mobile apps that need to be fast and lightweight.
So, while there is a lot of crossover between ReactJS and React Native, it should be clear which product you want to use. For web application development, choose ReactJS; for mobile apps, choose React Native.
Should You Learn ReactJS or React Native?
It depends on your goals. If you're looking for a fast, easy library to learn, use ReactJS. If you want something more complex, like a complete framework, use React Native.
Is React Only for Frontend Development?
React is primarily used for frontend development, but it can also be used for backend development with the help of frameworks like Node.js. React is not limited to frontend development, but it is most commonly used for that purpose. So, React may be paired with ASP.NET Core or PHP for backend development.
Notable Features of React
- React is a declarative, component-based library with class components and child components, which means that it is easy to use and understand.
- A React app is fast and lightweight, which makes it a good choice for developing mobile apps and web applications.
- React has a large ecosystem and many resources available. For most projects, code will already be available.
Can You Use ReactJS with ASP.NET Core?
Yes, ReactJS can be used with ASP.NET Core. In fact, ReactJS is a popular choice for developing Single Page Applications (SPAs) using ASP.NET Core. Like ASP.NET, React is free to use.
If you want to build ASP.NET Core web applications with robust user experience and elegant, optimized user interfaces, then matching ASP.NET Core with React makes sense. ReactJS can be used directly with .NET Core web applications by using Microsoft’s Visual Studio IDE which also gives you debugging capability. You can create react apps with ease in Visual Studio. This approach also gives you the full capability of .NET Core to do things such as access SQL Server databases and APIs.
Of course, to use both an organization will need a ReactJS or React Native development partner who is also knowledgeable about ASP.NET web development that can handle the entire software development lifecycle.
Alternatives for ReactJS or React Native for App Development
If you want to develop a mobile app but don't want to use ReactJS or React Native, there are other options available. Ionic is one such option. It's a complete framework that allows you to create cross-platform apps using web technologies.
Xamarin is another option for developing mobile apps. It's a Microsoft product that allows you to create cross-platform apps using C#.
Both of these options have their pros and cons, so it's important to choose the one that makes sense to you. Consider trying out both, writing a small demo project, and seeing which seems to help you the most.
Conclusion: ReactJS or React Native?
If you're a dedicated app developer, you may want to use both. As long as you have a foundation in programming, you shouldn't find either ReactJS or React Native difficult to learn. ReactJS makes it easier to create web apps; React Native makes it easier to create mobile apps.
Understanding both will give you the tools that you need to work on a wider variety of programming projects and problems.
But do note that primarily, ReactJS and React Native are designed for user experience. This is why ReactJS will frequently be paired with another solution, such as ASP.NET. To get the most out of your web development budget, consider hiring a software application development company that has experience in both React and ASP.NET Core especially if you don’t have that time to learn React. A seasoned React developer can make the difference between success and failure in your web development project.
To find out more information about our software development outsourcing capabilities, or if you’d like to discuss your needs with Keene Systems CEO, Lance Keene click here to book a call with him. You can also download our great new eBook - Why ASP.NET Development Services Fuels Business Growth - to learn more about this essential topic.