NodeJS with React: The Perfect Combo or Not?

In this highly competitive technical world, every business is seeking trending ways to engage customers to gain an edge over the competition. Speaking of trending, Javascript is rapidly progressing, which is why many developers prefer to use JS runtimes to create high-performance products. Here, we will be talking about NodeJS with React, which has been at the peak of popularity in recent years. 

In a node survey, 85% of the businesses hire NodeJS developers for the purpose of web development, and 43% use for enterprise development. But what happens when NodeJS and React are used altogether? Is it right to use them together? Does it make sense to combine powerful NodeJS tools with React to make your application seamless? All of these questions will be answered here in this article. 

Here, we will discuss :

  1. Is React a front end or a backend library? 
  2. Is NodeJS ideal for frontend or backend?
  3. Can we see NodeJS with React?
  4. Do we need NodeJS in the backend to run React? 

Is React a Frontend or a Backend library?

React is a front-end library that is created and maintained by Facebook. Like many other libraries, React too runs on browsers and web servers like Apache or with backends such as Rails or PHP. 

The initial objective of React was to work with web browsers; thus, it contains a ReactDOM library specifically to work along with the browser’s DOM. However, over the years, technology has upgraded itself to a cross-platform framework known as React Native, which is widely used by iOS and Android developers all over the world. 

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With React, it has become possible to create a web application that caters explicitly to challenges such as low [performance due to DOM manipulation and slow user interactions. All these problems can be solved by using VirtualDOM, where the changes are automatically saved, and an analyzed algorithm is used to differentiate between two UI states. 

This is why React is the primary choice among developers who are looking to develop dynamic and highly robust, native and hybrid applications. 

Is NodeJS ideal for Frontend and Backend? 

Looking at the growth chart of NodeJS, the mobile app development industry has admitted that it is an ideal choice for making modern solutions based on microservices, event queues and web sockets. Moreover, it is also an excellent choice in the vase of the backend due to its event-driven nature and asynchronous and non-blocking I/O. 

It is interesting to see that NodeJS can also be used as a single programming language. By this, we mean that it can be used in writing both frontend and backend code for server-side applications in Javascript using the runtime environment. Tech giants like NASA, Walmart and Twitter rely on NodeJS for their backend development. Not only this, but NodeJS is also a popular choice because of its highly scalable community support. 

Can we see NodeJS with React?

Until now, NodeJS is considered the most convenient platform for running a web server for a React application and hosting. It is mainly because of two reasons:

  1. With the help of NPM (Node Package Manager), Node works along with NPM for an easy install of any package through the NPM CLI. 
  2. Node bundles a React application into a single file for easy compilation using webpack and multiple other modules. 
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Furthermore, there are a lot of other benefits to using NoeJS to host and run your web server. Some of them are mentioned below. 

  • NodeJS has a speed optimized V8 engine to address bulk requests that are managed through call back functions to maintain quality and quantity. 
  • Both ReactJS and NodeJS are Javascript languages that are well executed to client-side and server-side. 
  • Developers can also execute ReactJS code directly in the NodeJS environment
  • The React DOM contains components that are specifically designed to work with NodeJS that automatically reduces lines of code, making your server-side rendering effortless. 

Sometimes, the decision to completely change your backend might not work out well for you. Let us assume you have Ruby on Rails (RoR) as a backend. You still have the option to use NodeJS to run your web server, hosting your react application. 

The next question will be, How do you possibly need NodeJS for a web server when you already have RoR?

NodeJS offers efficient and highly reliable tools that can be utilized without the need for a Node web server. You can use assets of Node to build your RoR asset pipeline and Voila! The commonJS will make your work comparatively easier. 

Do we need NodeJS in the backend to run React? 

ReactJS is a library that comes only in need to render the user interfaces of your mobile and web apps. On the other hand, NodeJS is a runtime environment that manages data communication on the server-side. It is highly used in network applications in order to provide real-time data management across systems. 

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Both Node and React exist in the developer’s ecosystem for different reasons. Therefore, it is essential to analyze their user cases before making an approach toward the development system. 

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Take a picture of this scenario. While ReactJS can only be used to develop UI components at the frontend, NodeJS can take care of the data stored at the backend. ReactJS can offer tools such as Redux and React-Router that also provide direct communication for server-side management. 

This way, when a user interacts with the user interface (ReactJS) and a server request is made, the browser responds suitably by sending data as the mentioned URL path from the backend (NodeJS). 

Moreover, using NodeJS with React can do wonders and save you a lot of development time. 

Conclusion 

NodeJS has many more features than just making servers; it can do all kinds of scripting and CLI tools. You can hire a NodeJS developer to gain several insights on technology and achieve drastic improvements and tremendous results. 

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