What Is Angular?
In 2016, however, the Angular team totally rewrote AngularJS and released the Angular version 2.0 (or just Angular). The framework is also open-source, but its basis is TypeScript. With all the refinements, the goal of Angular is to develop dynamic and scalable web applications, which means more business opportunities for small companies and large enterprises.
Since the beginning of 2022, Google provides no support for AngularJS in terms of security or compatibility issues. At the same time, November 2021 saw the release of the Angular 13 version, and the development team promises to deliver upgrades twice a year. Therefore, Angular remains a development platform that can be taken into consideration for new projects.
What Is React?
All the ReactJS technologies are released and supported by Meta (formerly Facebook). Since they are open-source, a worldwide community of enthusiasts contributes to their advancement. Frontend development with React.js results in fast, interactive and scalable apps compatible with all platforms.
Features of React and Angular
The two frontend frameworks, React.js and Angular (though React is a library, it is often referred to as a framework), are highly popular among developers and business owners. Let’s take a look at the features of both technologies that make them so efficient and appealing.
Components — the basic building blocks of applications. An Angular-based app is a tree of components. Angular components are TypeScript classes with decorators above them. They help you define what metadata Angular calls, including the template, styles, selectors, etc.
MVVM architecture — the Model-View-View-Model design pattern in Angular is used to divide the application into three functional parts. This separation streamlines development and ensures software maintainability because one component can easily be changed without affecting the code of another component.
Two-way data binding — the mechanism of data synchronization between the model and the view. This means that if the model is changed, the change is automatically and instantly reflected in the view and vice versa. This approach guarantees that the model and the view are always updated.
Dependency injection — a composition of structural design patterns in which one object (service) is responsible for each application function. An object (service) may need to use other objects (dependencies). Dependencies are injected into the service at the time of its creation.
Angular Command Line Interface (CLI) — an official tool for initializing and working with Angular-based projects. With simple commands, it saves you the trouble of complicated configurations and build tools such as Webpack. CLI also enables end-to-end application testing.
Virtual DOM — a virtual representation of objects from the real DOM that makes the code updates faster and memory-efficient. The essence of this virtualization is that any changes in the code are first reflected in this virtual copy, and the real DOM updates only pieces of code where modifications took place, instead of updating the entire UI project.
Components — ready-made code units with their own controls and logic. They serve as building elements of ReactJS apps and can be reused within a project, making the development highly convenient and quick. This is an especially useful feature for large-scale projects.
Declarative paradigm — you just need to describe the desired result, i.e., how parts of the application interface look in different states. React will update them in a timely manner when the data changes. Thus, you declare various components: a functional component is declared with a certain function; a class-based component is declared with a certain class. Declarative views make the code more predictable and easier to debug.
One-way data binding — the feature for synchronizing data between the app state and the view. With one-way data binding, the data flows in one direction, from parent to child components. Properties are encapsulated and are not available to other components. This feature ensures the improved control of code quality because developers can’t modify component properties directly.
React Native — a framework with native mobile components, allowing you to make the React code compatible with mobile platforms (Android and iOS) and develop native mobile apps.
Advantages of React and Angular
Each tool has strengths and weaknesses that you need to consider when choosing a tech stack for your project. Let’s discuss the key benefits of React.js and Angular.
- Cross-platform development — Angular allows you to build solutions for web, desktop and native mobile platforms (with NativeScript or Ionic).
- Built-in testing — Jasmine and Karma testing frameworks come by default with Angular CLI. When a component is created, they automatically generate basic unit tests and show results on a web page.
- Productivity — Angular offers tools such as templates and CLI that streamline the development process and allow developers to quickly create user interfaces with rich functionality.
- Active community — since Angular is supported by Google, it has a vast community, and you can always count on the help of experts and other enthusiasts.
- Performance — React-based applications demonstrate high performance due to the usage of a virtual DOM and the JSX syntax. App performance is a crucial factor for many businesses, so ReactJS can outperform its competitors in this regard.
- Code reusability — React.js components can be reused within a project, which saves much time and improves software quality.
- Cross-platform development — due to React Native, you can write code for web solutions and reuse it for mobile apps. What is more, React code can run in various desktop and mobile browsers.
- SEO — React.js provides server-side rendering, which allows the search engine bots to get content in HTML files and index pages properly. For businesses, this means more traffic and more potential clients.
- Strong community — millions of developers comprise the React community. You can ask for their help on specialized forums and groups in messengers, so no coding issue will be left unsolved.
Disadvantages of Angular and React
You should also be aware of the difficulties you may face when using Angular or React.js for frontend development.
- Complexity — despite the component-based architecture, Angular remains a verbose framework with a complicated network of dependencies, so developers may spend a lot of time dealing with all the needed files.
- Limited SEO — web crawlers have trouble indexing Angular pages because they have little HTML content. To optimize them for search engines, you need third-party rendering tools, which means additional work and costs.
- UI layers only — React.js is responsible only for the view part of your app, and you need to integrate other technologies for the complete project development. This adds complexity to the process.
- Frequency of updates — React’s fast development pace may seem like a downside because programmers always need to keep abreast of updates.
Angular vs. React Comparison
|Released and supported by||Meta (Facebook)|
|Testing||built-in||third-party tools required|
|Rendering||client- and server-side||client- and server-side|
|Native mobile apps||developed with NativeScript||developed with React Native|
|Management of dependencies||automatic||third-party tools required|
|App size||relatively small||relatively small|
|Ideal for||large-scale solutions of various complexity||small and large web apps with variable data and high user interaction|
When to Choose React or Angular?
Summing up, we can say that React and Angular have both similarities and differences. For one project, React.js can be a good fit, but Angular may not meet all the requirements, and vice versa. Every project is unique in terms of technical, business and financial requirements. Therefore, you should make a choice depending on your specific needs.
We can only figure out some common situations when you may consider React or Angular.
ReactJS is a better choice if:
- your app is supposed to handle multiple events
- you need to write custom components
- your app requires high user interaction
- you need a mobile cross-platform solution.
Angular is a better choice if:
- your team is experienced in Angular versions, or you have time for them to master the framework
- your team has experience with Java and C#
- you need to build dynamic web apps
- you need a holistic frontend framework for your project, not a library
- you have enough resources.
Still, if you can’t decide by yourself which frontend development tool you need, you’d better consult a trusted software development company.
Angular and React Use Cases
|Popular Angular use cases||Popular React use cases|
Conclusion: Which Is Better?
The question is wrong. There is no way we can say that Angular is better than React.js or vice versa. These are two popular and reliable frontend development tools that are good in different situations. Hence, the choice should always be based on the needs of a specific project.
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