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Angular vs. React: What to Choose for Your Web App?

Comparing the leading apps on both sides

Let’s start by having a look at the most reputed apps built by Angular and React.
React is the framework used by Facebook, Whatsapp, Netflix, Airbnb, Uber, Dropbox and several others.
Angular is the framework used by Google, General Motors, Forbes, PayPal, Nike, Telegram and several others.
So, both are equally applauded and popular across all industry niches and have been used in too many leading web apps.

Virtual DOM vs Real DOM

One of the major differences between Angular and React is the type of Document Object Model (DOM) used by two frameworks. While React.js uses virtual DOM allows getting access and making changes to the document structure, layout and contents, without needing to rewrite the entire HTML doc, Angular using Real DOM for even changing a little bit of information need to rewrite and update the entire HTML doc.
Thanks to the virtual DOM, bringing changes gets quicker and releasing updates becomes easier. Thus is one area where React has an edge over the Angular. The use of Real DOM also makes Angular apps relatively smaller than React apps powered by Virtual DOM.

Component based architecture

When it comes to component based architecture, these two frameworks again gave several significant differences.

  • Angular
  • Angular is basically a MVC framework comprising 3 layers such as Model, View, and Controller. While building a single-page web app Model part creates the Object facilitated by the Controller and it is transformed into HTML View for the end user. Apart from this Angular offers a rich repository of controllers, directives, components, standard web services and factories that can be utilised by the developers.

    Angular by breaking the web app into different files of reusable components accompanied by directive, controller, and template coming through separate files. With such a modular way of development, Angular developers can reuse the templates and components for several parts of the same project.

  • React
  • React has been designed to offer greater flexibility in respect of choosing structure and hence you don’t get the MVC framework attributes. React actually comes as a robust library by using which developers can build the frontend view of the app.

    Since React completely lacks controller layers, there is Flux layer and its diverse variants allowing optimum control for the app workflow. Coming with a functional programming capability it allows developers to build an app by composing function based reusable components.

    While with Angular, developers need to spend less time in designing the app structure, it has constraints in terms of developer freedom. On the other hand, React requires giving effort in creating the app structure but allows greater freedom to the developers.

Data Binding

Data binding refers to the data synchronisation between user interface and the business logic. There are significant differences between these two frameworks concerning data binding.
Latest Angular 2 uses both two-way and one way data binding ensuring impact of the change in data in view and vice versa.
React uses only one-way data binding allowing less fluidity in making changes both in data and view. But this helps in ensuring more stability and easier debugging.

Resolving Dependencies

There are significant differences in respect of handling dependencies. Angular uses an Object Oriented Programming (OOP) pattern referred to as dependency injection. The dependencies coming in a separate file makes it difficult to incorporate them within the object.
In complete contrast, React doesn’t come with a separate file for dependency injection. Moreover, it allows using a variety of instruments for injecting dependencies easily in a React application. Some of these instruments are Browserify, RequireJS, and a few others.

Size and footprint

size of a library or framework impacts the loading time and the web app performance and corresponding search engine ranks.
Angular keeps the bundle size smaller by not incorporating the whole bundle of Angular framework within an app project. Without the development utilities and unused modules, the bundle size gets leaner. Additionally, developers can carry out minification and compression to optimise performance further.
ReactJS on the other hand offers a webpack in which small split out code parts are accommodated. On top of that, two measures such as tree shaking or elimination of dead code as well as dynamic imports allowing loading of required code, further helps in minimising the bundle size.

Scalability

In terms of scalability also these two frameworks have some crucial differences.
While React depends a lot on third-party tools to scale up your app capacity, Angular offers an array of inbuilt features to scale up capacity and add new app functions. In spite of relying on third party tools React maintains easily maintainable architecture along with server-side rendering.

Conclusion

Both Angular and React are equally robust and high performance technologies for modern web app projects across the niches. While React in terms of flexibility has an edge, Angular is still a leading framework with powerful features and scalability.

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