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What Is Redux and How Is It Used?

what is redux

What Is Redux and How Is It Used?

What is Redux? If you’re new to the world of web development it can be daunting learning all the terms and tools. One thing is for certain, there are plenty of options for managing your web applications. Redux is an invaluable tool, especially for developers leveraging Javascript or React applications for their development needs.

This guide will cover some of the ins and outs of Redux while also giving some insight into how it is effectively used in a development framework. While this guide isn’t going to serve as a how-to on where to implement it, it should hopefully give you a few notions of why this tool is useful for your web development work.

Defining Redux

Unrecognizable database manager touching a crowd of secure cloud container icons. Internet and IT concept for cloud security, scalability, microservices, containerization and orchestration system.
Redux can help simplify container access across your entire application.

So, what is Redux? Simply put, it is a predictable state container for Javascript applications. This has a few different implications. Any developer with a bit of time under their belt will readily understand how vast and sprawling a web application can get. When it comes time to manage the states or recall data, you’re typically using containers as a store of values.

Containers are one of the more useful data structures employed across Javascript applications, but Redux is a little different in its implementation. Utilizing this particular container allows you to enact state changes across all components of your application. Further, it takes those very actions used in state changes and stores them to be reused or applied later down the line if needed.

How Does Redux Work?

So, now that you have a working definition of the technology, it helps to understand how things actually work. As you’ll find through the rest of this guide, this will be more of a general bird’s eye view of the technology rather than an in-depth exploration of how it works.

The Store

Data is stored in something called a global tree. Typically speaking, you’re going to be storing variables first and foremost in the data store for Redux itself. This has some benefits, as you’ve no doubt explored linked containers across your JavaScript development history. Simply put, it functions like a typical container in its default state.

How it is used beyond this simple implementation is what makes the methodology rather compelling to use in your applications.

Actions

An entire application state can be stored in the global container system used by Redux. While this might not seem terribly exciting on the surface, it has far-ranging implications for how you manage an application. A simple action can be stored and recalled at any point in time, giving a predictable and reliable way of implementing state changes. This isn’t a complicated endeavor either, as you’ll see in the next section.

Reducers

The core principle about what makes Redux so immediately usable is its usage of something reducers. Now reducing commands and actions is nothing new in programming. However, when you go to initiate an action like a login button being pressed, you have to write far less code to achieve the same effect.

Now, you could potentially have stored the exact variables and actions needed in a container for this very occasion. You’re still doing the same thing with the containers in Redux. You have far less input needed to achieve the same effect. Reducers retrieve the current state of the application and return a new state. It uses minimal code to affect a change across states.

How Redux Is Used

redux
If you’re a developer by trade, Redux might prove to be an invaluable addition to your toolchain.

There are a few different methods of use for Redux, which you’ll find in its documentation. This will be a very high-level overview of its implementation.

Data Storage

First and foremost, Redux is a store of data. Containers are useful for storing variables and other data points. After all, you might need to recall the various mechanisms of an application. Using it solely as a container is a fairly mundane use of the technology, but a useful one nonetheless.

Applications are complicated affairs, with numerous moving parts to yield the best result. Storing common variables in a container is a great way to call upon that data as needed across an application.

State Management

Arguably the most useful feature of Redux is in how it approaches state management in an application. You’re more than likely going to need to make constant changes to an application as you’re running tests or simply using it. Having a reliable and predictable way to apply universal state changes across all components is extremely useful.

You’re going to be changing states on a fairly regular basis in any application. After all, applications are rarely static. Redux gives a simple and effective means of managing and enacting state changes on an application as a whole.

Why Should You Use Redux?

So, with all this in mind, why should you use Redux in your Javascript or React applications? There are a few readily defined reasons to look into implementing Redux as a whole.

Better Management of Applications

Think about your last application, and think hard about how the various components in use. Did you need to store multiple common variables across each component of the application itself? If you find yourself answering yes, then Redux could very easily benefit you.

It isn’t going to be the ideal solution for every project you work on. However, familiarizing yourself with the toolkit is going to boost productivity. That doesn’t even mention the fact that you have easily manipulated containers that allow you to affect state changes with minimal input. In fact, once you get things configured and learn the process with the toolkit, it should be an absolute breeze to use.

Uniform Changes Across Applications

It cannot be understated how massive it is to create uniform and predictable state changes across an application. Redux takes what can be a relatively complicated, yet necessary process, and takes a lot of the legwork out. The end result is a powerful and flexible way to boost your productivity while developing.

It also serves some great benefits when looking at things like developing bespoke storefronts, sign-up forms, or anything else where there is a fair amount of tedium to get the required results. Simply put, it only serves to benefit developers who have steady workloads.

Is Redux Important for Modern Web Development?

So, is Redux important for modern web development? Yes, to put the answer succinctly. It might not be as revolutionary as the likes of Node or React in terms of popular frameworks. However, there is something to be said about technology that helps take the load off the programmer and simplifies certain processes.

While it might not be as flashy as some JavaScript developments you’ll find in the wild, it has immediate and defined results on any workflow. It’s free to use as well, only costing you some time and effort to learn how to effectively use it. If you’re a developer who spends a fair amount of time roughing out the same processes over and over again, you might as well make the switch to Redux.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which programming languages can use Redux?

You’ll commonly see the deployment of Redux alongside JavaScript and React.

Is Redux a framework?

No, Redux is a container system.

Is Redux in common use right now?

It has proven to be a very invaluable addition to many developers’ toolchains, so you can imagine it has seen a fairly widescale adoption.

Do you need coding experience to use Redux?

Yes, you’ll need familiarity with JavaScript and potentially React.

What makes Redux different compared to use JS reducers and containers?

Effectively, there isn’t much separating Redux from those built-in processes in JavaScript. However, you would have to do a fair amount of legwork to implement the same state changes reliably and predictably across an entire application. Redux takes that legwork out and lets you focus on other tasks with your applications.

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