Because React development can be quite tricky. Building large apps is complicated whereas tracking the state of apps in real-time is also a tough job especially when tests and debugging are conducted.
To resolve such issues and boost the capabilities of React software development, React developers community contributed a wide range of ReactJS tools and libraries. It not only standardizes all the development processes but also acts as a guide to front-end app development. You must use the best tools to implement React development practices. Here is a small list of top ReactJS tools.
Top 5 React Developer tools
Create React App tool
The Create React App tool, just like its name, helps developers build a React application. This tool offers everything a developer needs to weave code lines to build an app infrastructure rather than wasting your time searching for suitable libraries and then configuring them manually.
For all the app files, the Create React App tool offers a clean folder structure, whereas to run and deploy the code, it provides React Scripts. Moreover, you can easily incorporate the testing process into the development process very early on using this React tool.
The creators of this tool and the framework on which it is based, are the same; i.e. Facebook. What’s interesting is that Create React App does most of the data-heavy calculations and rendering on the front end which is originally how React works.
- Apps built using this tool can handle data-heavy calculations
- The development process is very testing friendly
React developer toolsReac
t developers tool is an extension for browsers like Firefox and Chrome. The tool has an inbuilt DevTools inspector that would display additional profiler tabs and components while used with Chrome.
It has a components tab that will show the component tree of the application. This allows the developers to inspect the data and object at any given time. Similarly, its profiler tab will allow the developers to log every interaction between the state of the app and user actions.
If you have any complex React application then it can be easily tested using React developer tools. Normally, tracking the thread of execution through the piles of code is very difficult when an error occurs in a large React app. But if you are using the React developer tool, you can easily dive into the data as it records every single action which makes debugging the application more robust.
- Allows viewing source code like a pro
- Highly comparable with browsers such as Firefox and Chrome
- Debug performance with the profiler
- Data review
- Options to interact in the console
- Can easily test complex react applications
- Interaction tracking
React Testing Library
Balancing the need for automated tests that might not break even as more codes are written continuously with the need of having a detailed test of their code is a tough job for developers. If the tests are tightly knit with the details of the code then even a little change in the code can make those tests completely useless. But on the other hand, if the tests aren’t detailed enough then developers might risk leaving their important features filled with bugs.
These very issues can be resolved with the help of React testing library that instead of going through all the React components, queries the page structure for data. Although it will be convenient for the developers to replace Enzyme with the React testing library, you would still need a test runner tool like Jest.
- Balanced flexibility and thoroughness
- Can query the page structure for data
Reactide is a cross-platform IDE. It is highly compatible with various operating systems like Mac, Linux, and Windows. Created with a single purpose of React development in mind, this open-source tool comes with a variety of tools such as visualization of React component’s trees.
Interestingly, you can run the app within the IDE as it has an in-built browser simulator. Additionally, you can also run your backend and frontend code in this IDE as it comes with a node server too as well.
- Compatible terminal for commands and workflows
- Component tree visualization
- Streamlined configuration
- Hot module reloading
CodeSandbox is one of the most popular online editors. It is capable of automating various tasks like dependency management, transpiling, bundling, and more. It also allows you to create a new project with a single click. It also enables you to show your projects to others simply by sharing its URL.
And while you are coding, you can use CodeSandbox’s feature called live preview that shows you the result of that code. This keeps you from making any errors as well as saves your time. Moreover, you can use any kind of NPM dependency you want as this React tool supports them all.
- Static file hosting
- NPM support
- Live collaboration
- Search & Discovery
Bonus – Storybook
To fulfil the developers’ need of testing UI components and rapid iterations, Storybook is considered one of the best options. Visualizing various states of every app component is easy with this tool. The testing of UI interactions can also be improved using Storybook.
Moreover, when you are tweaking your components you do not have to worry about breaking something because Storybook allows visualization and testing under isolated environments. However, the primary concept of Storybook is to build stories that display the behaviour of every component.
For example, you can use this React tool to create the story for a current state of a button, it may be active or a default button. Storybook is also easily integrable with your testing workflows and testing tools such as Jest and Enzyme. Conducting interaction tests and snapshots of the components is effortless with this tool.
- Add-ons for rapid UI building
- Faster setup & configuration
- Build components in isolation
- Deliver robust UIs
All the React tools we discussed in this blog are created specifically to solve certain issues that developers face during React development projects. Apart from these popular and widely used tools, there are many more options available in the market. Some of them can help you with coding, some can help with testing and debugging whereas others can help with visualizing.
Sometimes, you have to use more than one tool to build a stack that can complement each other and matches your project needs. Whatever the case, one thing is certain: using the right tools will grant you speed and enhancements that can help you overcome barriers to React development as well as create a top-quality React application. So, which tool do you think is amazing, and which one would fulfil your project requirements?