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PulsePlay Digital

PulsePlay Digital

PulsePlay Digital

Ranjeet Sharma

PulsePlay Digital

Pankaj Verma

November 16, 202217 min read450

ANGULAR VS. REACT: The Definitive Comparison Guide

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ANGULAR VS. REACT

Author: PulsePlay Digital Technology Architecture Team

1. PREDOMINANT APPROACH WHILE COMPARING ANGULAR VS. REACT

  • When comparing Angular and React, many say that it’s like comparing apples to oranges.
  • While Angular is a full-fledged framework. React is a library that deals with views.
  • While the React Developer community may continue to add more libraries to React and it may turn into a complete framework.
  • But again, the resulting workflow of this stack is still very different from Angular, hence a direct comparison is still limited.
  • Below is a snapshot of how TypeScript (Angular) is getting popularity
Source: State of the Octoverse 2021 (GitHub)

Source: State of the Octoverse 2021 (GitHub)

2. WHAT IS ANGULAR?

  • Angular is an open-source framework created by Google for building web applications.
  • Angular is based on TypeScript (a superscript for JavaScript).
  • And unlike React, Angular is a full-fledged MVC framework so once you learn it well, you won’t need other solutions.
  • The framework helps to create single-page applications using TypeScript and HTML.
  • Angular is a result of rewriting AngularJS, which was the first version of Angular. Angular and AngularJS is not same.
  • Important note: Google stopped supporting AngularJS on the 31st of December 2021.
  • As it’s highly effective in cross-platform app development, businesses prefer Angular for building cross-platform apps to reduce expenses. But at the same time, Angular is a very complex platform. Therefore, it requires elevated effort and experience to master it. 
  • So, when you opt to build your project with Angular, veterans will surely reach for it. The framework also offers several advantages that result in faster and more efficient web apps.
  • With “differential loading” in Angular, a browser can load less code and polyfills to speed things up. The newest version of the framework lets you create two types of code bundles — one for modern browsers and another for older ones.
  • React provides a built-in advanced Dependency Injection service, which is excellent for resolving productivity factors and speeding up the development process. As a result, users enjoy a more streamlined experience with improved software design functionality.
  • When you create a large app, code maintainability becomes an important issue. In Angular, it’s a lot hassle-free. When upgrading from one version to another, developers don’t need to worry about compatibility because Angular automatically updates all the related packages, including HTTP, Angular material, and Routing.
  • Angular’s AOT compiler converts Typescript and HTML code into JavaScript at the time of build. Thus, it’s already compiled before the browser loads the code, resulting in a faster render.
  • IVY rendering in Angular translates the components and templates to JavaScript code. Its renderer’s tree-shaking technique is unique — it eliminates unused code, so the browser loads a page quicker.

2.1 ANGULAR FEATURES

(a) Built on TypeScript:

Angular is built on top of TypeScript, and Typescript is a superset of JavaScript.

  • To catch errors during developing a mega application and identifying bugs, TypeScript portrays a beneficial purpose.
  • More interestingly, you can directly debug typescript codes in a web browser. 

(b) Ajax Support:

  • Angular has built-in support for Ajax and HTTP, allowing users to connect and communicate with the backend services and boosting performance.  
  • In addition, Ajax reduces the response time for both ends’ requests.

(c) Component-based architecture:

  • Angular initially started with MVC Model View Controller (MVC) architecture but later shifted to component-based architecture.
  • As a result, you can now divide all applications into completely independent logical and functional components while still testing and running all the application pieces individually.

(d) Angular CLI

  • The Angular Command Line Interface (CLI) is one of the most notable Angular features that developers praise.
  • It automates the whole development process utilising app initialisation and app configuration. 
  • It also lets you preview your application with LiveReload support.

(e) Readability 

  • Another aspect of the Angular framework is improved readability. 
  • Most new developers easily adapt to reading code in Angular. 
  • Moreover, its accessibility makes it much easier for the developers to interact with the framework.

(f) Maintenance

  • Last but not least, Angular offers superior ease of maintenance. 
  • It helps to replace decoupled components with improved ones, which generates clean, easy-to-maintain code and updates.

2.3 WHY ANGULAR?

  • Angular offers an ecosystem that allows you to create your application effortlessly Provides features like templating, two-way binding, RESTful API modularisation, Ajax handling, dependency injection.  
  • Google has long-term support for Angular
  • Angular provides detailed documentation to guide developers
  • TypeScript helps Angular efficiently identify errors and eliminate them in an earlier phase of the development cycle then many other frameworks.
  • Supports web and mobile apps.
  • Angular frees you from worrying about whether something’s a component, service, or any other code type, as it organises them into neat, separate boxes. It then introduces them as modules. These modules make it easy to structure your application’s functionality, separating elements into features and reusable pieces.

2.4 COMPANIES USING ANGULAR

Companies using Angular
  • Google
  • Google Analytics 
  • Google Firebase 
  • Google Cloud Platform 
  • Microsoft 
  • IBM 
  • PayPal 
  • Upwork 
  • Deutsche Bank 
  • Samsung
  • Forbes
  • The Guardian
  • Rockstar Games

3. WHAT IS REACT?

  • React.JS is an open-source JavaScript library for building performant and visually attractive user interfaces.
  • Developed by a team from Facebook.
  • React is based on JavaScript.
  • It combines development simplicity (thanks to small pieces of code called “components”) and a strong focus on user experience.
  • React is the View layer of the MVC model, which gives you almost total freedom in choosing Model and Controller libraries.
  • React is simple. You can start learning and creating a project within a much shorter time than other platforms. Because you’ll be using raw JavaScript, you’ll have access to the wealth of JavaScript knowledge already compiled on the web. 
  • What’s more, the JSX allows combining HTML and JavaScript in your code. That makes life trouble-free for developers.
  • As we know, React has server-side rendering. That’s why it’s SEO-friendly — it can deal with most search engines with ease.
  • Generally, client-side rendering only sends empty HTML code to a browser, while server-side rendering sends the HTML codes and contents to the browser. After that, a browser can easily index it and rank it higher in search results.
  • React code is stable because it has a downward data flow. Any change in the child components never affects its mother components. This helps the developers to debug with ease.

3.1 REACT FEATURES

(a) Easy to maintain

  • The React engine uses HTML to compose the application UI. HTML is lighter and less complicated than Java.

(b) Manoeuvrability

  • React offers a simple UI design and provides numerous extensions to provide total support for the application architecture.
  • Likewise, the React native, an inherited framework from React, is commonly known for building cross-platform mobile applications.

(c) Clean abstraction

  • React doesn’t bother the user with its complex internal functions.
  • Internal processes like Digest cycles are not mandatory for the users to learn and understand.
  • As a result, React delivers clear architecture as Flux instead of architectures like MVC/MVVM.

(d) Virtual DOMs

  • React provides a virtual DOM that copies the existing DOM and maintains the cache memory, saving you the effort of re-rendering the DOM trees, again and again, each time you update the HTML code.
  • In other words, if you change any state of a component, the Virtual DOM only changes that particular object in the real DOM.

(e) Reusable components

  • React provides an independent component-based structure.
  • All your React components can also be recycled in other parts of the application because of this reusability.

(f) Cross-platform functionalities

  • Another surprising outcome of React is the spin-off framework called React Native, created for cross-platform mobile application development.
  • In addition, it uses React.JS for dedicated mobile application development.

3.2 WHY REACT.JS? 

  • React is exceedingly lightweight, and it’s faster to learn and get things started with.
  • Allows 3rd party libraries for use during the development process.
  • Easier to learn.
  • SEO-friendly and focuses on rendering speed, making it attractive to crawlers, users and developers alike.
  • You can have similar code for both the client-side and server-side of an application.
  • Facebook provides active support to the React ecosystem.

3.3 COMPANIES USING REACT 

Companies using REACT
  • Facebook
  • Instagram 
  • WhatsApp 
  • Airbnb 
  • Netflix 
  • Salesforce 
  • Pinterest 
  • Yahoo 
  • New York Times 
  • Discord 
  • Dropbox

4. ANGULAR VS. REACT COMPARISON 

#

BASIS OF DISTINCTION

ANGULAR

REACT

1

Founded by

Misko Hevery

Jordan Walke

2

Supported by

Google

Facebook

3

Release Year

2009

2013

4

Price

Open source

Open source

5

Model

MVC model

Virtual DOM

6

Purpose

- Full-featured Framework

- The library is only concerned with UI components.

Provides a strong opinion on how your application should be designed

MVC design requires Flux to implement, but it provides you more flexibility in how you wish to organise your code.

As well as number of tiny libraries that aid in the development of complex applications

7

Ideal For

Creating highly active and interactive web applications

Large web applications with frequently variable data

8

App Size

Relatively small

Relatively small

9

Performance

High

High

10

Dynamic UI Binding

UI binding at plain object or property level 

Direct linking of states of the UI

11

Data Binding

Two-way

One-way

Supports both one way and two way data binding

One-way data binding means that a UI element can’t affect a component’s state.

12

Opinionation

Considerably less opinionated

Flexible opnionation

13

UI Rendering

Client/Server side

Client/Server side

14

Language

TypeScript is a statically typed language that is a superset of JavaScript

TypeScript can write JavaScript XML (JSX), although it isn’t included by default

15

UI Components

Material Design Components – Angular includes a number of material design components that make UI configuration a breeze

Material-UI Library & Dependencies – Community- developed UI tools provide a wide range of UI components

16

Dependency Injection

Dependency injection is supported, allowing for separate life cycles for different stores

React does not fully enable dependency injection because each component has its own global state

17

Document Object Model Type (DOM)

- Real DOM

- Virtual DOM

- Incremental DOM – when a new DOM is created, it compares it to the previous one and applies the differences to the “actual” DOM, only allocating memory if necessary.

Virtual DOM – anytime the DOM changes, a new virtual DOM is created, compared to the previous one, and only the differences are modified in the “real” DOM.

Angular is using real DOM, which means it goes through the entire structure of HTML to find what is to be changed and “mutate” the tree to apply changes.

React JS is using a virtual DOM implementation, which means it doesn’t have to update all the HTML. It is just looking for the differences between the current and the old HTML and updating it accordingly. That means that React apps load much faster than Angular apps.

18

Why should I choose?

TypeScript

Flexibility

Huge community support

Big ecosystems

Your app is really large in size?

If you have capabilities in JavaScript

Clean HTML

Small team

Object Orient Programming (OOP)

Good at choosing among best options

19

Framework

Full-fledged framework

JavaScript Library. React has to be paired with a framework to build.

Some of React-based frameworks used by developers:

o Material UI

o Ant Design

o Redux

o React Bootstrap

o Atomize

20

State Management

In Angular, NGRX is a state management library, which permits the use of reactive state management.

In React, every individual React component can have a state, so it’s necessary to manage the states of these components separately. Otherwise, in large-scale applications, a developer may face more bugs and errors than they would otherwise.

NGRX tends to follow FLUX/REDUX. The advantage NGRX provides is that it stores all the states in a single tree, allowing you to access all the forms from anywhere in an application.

Generally, REDUX works as a state management library for React. Another one is Recoil, which is the simplest, most lightweight option. But if you have a good understanding of React, you can use Hooks as the essential state management tool, even without an additional library.

21

Server Rendering

Angular facilitates the web crawlers by generating static versions of the application that are likeable and searchable easily.

To make your application SEO strong, you would need to render the application to the server. ReactJS does it with ease with the help of some specific functions. You can do it by calling the RenderToString function instead of calling Render. Unlike other JavaScript frameworks, ReactJS is not that rigid library that would go on restricting you from getting benefits.

With the use of server-side rendering, Angular renders the application by creating a static view before it gets fully interactive.

Alternatively, you can also use rendeToStaticMarkup if you want to avoid creating DOM attributes such as data-react- id, which is useful for creating a simple static page generator.

It is up to you how cleverly you use the combination of JSON and client-side caching to increase server- side performance.

Nothing beats Angular when it comes to reducing the traffic between client and server.

Angular is designed in a pattern that has in-built testing requirements such as dependency injection and mocking the objects.

Since Angular has got Google as a backup, we can not doubt its upcoming improvements.

And it is capable of reducing the amount of code by eliminating the need to recompiling and quickly reflecting the changes in the frontend.

22

Mobile App Solutions

Angular framework, uses Ionic which is also a platform that allows developers to build high- performance cross-platform mobile applications using a single codebase

Choosing React JS allows you to use React Native to build native and cross-platform mobile applications.

Applications created via Ionic can be also used on the web or any other device

While React Native uses a bit different syntax than React does, it’s relatively easy to learn it if you are already familiar with React.

This open-source framework provides friendly tools to the developers along with powered services.

With React Native, you can create components and bind them in Objective-C, Java or Swift code.

It also incorporates a rich library and building blocks which make things way easier for the developer.

23

Essential Tools 

Angular’s tools include:

React’s tools include: 

Code editing: Angular is compatible with a variety of code editors. Such as VS Code, Sublime Text, Aptana, etc.

Code editing: VS Code, Sublime Text, and Atom are popular options for React coding.

Project setup: Setting up a project is very easy with Angular CLI (command line interface). 

Project setup: Create React apps (CLI) is used to set up a project in React.

Server-side rendering: Angular Universal does the server-side rendering in Angular.

Server-side rendering: React uses the Next.js framework for server-side rendering.

Testing: Jasmine, Protractor, and Karma are widely used for testing an Angular project.

Testing: Jest is well known for testing React apps. Enzyme is another testing utility designed to help React developers check their code.

24

Templates

HTML + TypeScript

JSX + J% (ES5/ES6)

25

Abstraction

Medium

Strong

26

JavaScript Library Inclusion

Not possible

Doable

27

Testing & debugging

Complete solutions within a single tool

Needs an additional set of tools

28

Freedom

Limited

Allows a choice of libraries, architecture and tools

29

Learning Curve

Steep

Moderate

Angular is not a library – it’s a fully-fledged MVC framework. Because of that, a list of things to learn is much longer than in the case of React.js: 

Since React is a lightweight UI library, the learning curve is much simpler than in Angular.

o TypeScript

A list of things you have to absorb is quite short: JSX, a router library and a state management library. 

o Components

Essential to have knowledge of writing components, managing internal state and using props.

o Decorators

o Dependency Injection

o Modules

o Pipes

o Services

o Templates

30

Companies Using

Google

Facebook

Google Analytics

Instagram

Google Firebase

WhatsApp

Google Cloud Platform

Airbnb

Microsoft

Netflix

IBM

Salesforce

PayPal

Pinterest

Upwork

Yahoo

Deutsche Bank

New York Times

Samsung

Discord

Forbes

Dropbox

HBO

Uber

The Guardian

Uber Eats

Rockstar Games

Skype

Upwork

31

GitHub Stars

76.5K

175K

5. ANGULAR VS. REACT COMPARISON 

5.1 ANGULAR

PROS

CONS

Better error handling

Huge size

Cleaner code

Limited SEO options

Custom directives

Steep learning curve

Performance

Material design like infrastructure

Seamless updates thanks to Angular CLI

5.2 REACT

PROS

CONS

Cost effective

High pace of development requiring more time/resources to focus on quality, testing

Great UX

View part only

Popularity

Performance

SEO friendliness

Shortened time to market

6. ANGULAR VS. REACT – PERFORMANCE

(a) REACT CONCURRENT MODE

According to official React’s website, “Concurrent Mode is a set of new features in React 18, released on the 29th of March 2022, concurrency was released as a built-in mechanism that enables React to prepare multiple versions of the UI at the same time.

Concurrency was available in earlier React versions, but only as an experimental element.

A key feature of Concurrent React is interruptible rendering, which guarantees that the UI will appear consistent even if a render is interrupted. Thanks to that, React can prepare new screens in the background, without blocking the main thread, and creating a fluid user experience.

(b) REACT FIBER

A while ago (with v16 version) React changed its engine, elevating the speed from “just fast” to “blazingly fast”.

More than that, React Fiber enables the priority-based update system, so you can fine-tune your renderings to make sure the most critical updates are done first. Also, you can pause and start your work at will.

(c) ANGULAR IVY

Ivy was created as a complete rewrite of the compiler, as some kind of response to React Fiber. It allows Angular developers to:

  • Achieve faster build times
  • Get smaller build sizes 
  • Unlock new features like lazy loading of components instead of modules

(d) PERFORMANCE SUMMARY ANGULAR VS. REACT (Indicative)

No.

ACTION

ANGULAR

REACT

1

Loading

10 ms

7 ms

2

Scripting

173 ms

102 ms

3

Rendering

3 ms

6 ms

4

Painting

2 ms

4 ms

5

System

73

129

6

Idol

3034

3042

TOTAL

3295

3289

*Average metrics. It may change varying on conditional factors.

7. OTHER FEATURES

Certain Angular features that stand out but are not in React by default are:

NO.

FEATURE

ANGULAR PACKAGE

REACT LIBRARY

1

Data binding, dependency injection (DI)

@angular/core

MobX

2

Computed properties

rxjs

MobX

3

Component-based routing

@angular/router

React Router v4

4

Material design components

@angular/material

React Toolbox

5

CSS scoped to components

@angular/core

CSS modules

6

Form validations

@angular/forms

FormState

7

Project generator

@angular/cli

React Scripts TS

8. SIMILARITIES

(a) ARCHITECTURE

  • Angular and React both have component-based architecture.
  • These components are reusable within other components, making them endlessly recyclable.
  • Notably, a component is a piece of a UI.
  • For instance, the components could be a login dialog box with text, a password field, or a login button.

(b) OPEN SOURCE

  • Both are open source. 
  • As a result, React and Angular have large developer communities that regularly enrich the resources.

(c) POPULARITY

  • Developers mostly use both of these technologies to build Single Page Applications. 
  • That asserts that you can make single-page applications for faster and better digital solutions. 

(d) DEVELOPMENT ENVIRONMENT

  • Angular and React are used to develop the frontend of a mobile or web application.

(e) RENDERING

  • Angular and React provide efficient client-side and server-side rendering. 

(f) PERFORMANCE

  • Angular and React offer similar performance. 
  • The difference mostly depends on the user’s perspective. 

(g) EASY TO UPDATE

  • Angular and React both offer easy updating. 
  • While Angular uses CLI, React depends on external libraries. 

9. NPM TRENDS

NPM is a short form of Node Package Manager, which is the world's largest software registry. The open-source web project developers use it from the entire world to share and borrow packages. The NPM also acts as a command-line utility for the Node.

10. GLOSSARY

(a)   DATA BINDING

Data binding is the process of making a connection between the UI and the displayed data.

(b)  OPINIONATED FRAMEWORK

An opinionated framework is one which is designed in such a way that it's users will experience the least friction with that framework when the framework is used in a way that does not violate the assumptions made by the framework designer.

(c)   DEPENDENCY INJECTION (DI) 

Dependency injection is a pattern of design in which a class will ask for permission externally rather than creating itself. For instance, a computer class may need a “processor” class. The processor class, in that case, is the “dependency.” 

(d)  DATA ABSTRACTION

Data abstraction is the process of hiding certain details and showing only essential information to the user.

(e)  DOCUMENT OBJECT MODEL (DOM)

The HTML DOM (Document Object Model).

When a web page is loaded, the browser creates a Document Object Model of the page.

The HTML DOM model is constructed as a tree of Objects:

With the object model, JavaScript gets all the power it needs to create dynamic HTML:

  • JavaScript can change all the HTML elements in the page
  • JavaScript can change all the HTML attributes in the page
  • JavaScript can change all the CSS styles in the page
  • JavaScript can remove existing HTML elements and attributes
  • JavaScript can add new HTML elements and attributes
  • JavaScript can react to all existing HTML events in the page
  • JavaScript can create new HTML events in the page

What is the DOM?

The DOM is a W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) standard.

The DOM defines a standard for accessing documents:

"The W3C Document Object Model (DOM) is a platform and language-neutral interface that allows programs and scripts to dynamically access and update the content, structure, and style of a document."

The W3C DOM standard is separated into 3 different parts:

  • Core DOM - standard model for all document types
  • XML DOM - standard model for XML documents
  • HTML DOM - standard model for HTML documents

What is the HTML DOM?

The HTML DOM is a standard object model and programming interface for HTML. It defines:

  • The HTML elements as objects
  • The properties of all HTML elements
  • The methods to access all HTML elements
  • The events for all HTML elements
  • In other words:The HTML DOM is a standard for how to get, change, add, or delete HTML elements.

(f) NPM

NPM is a short form of Node Package Manager, which is the world's largest software registry. The open-source web project developers use it from the entire world to share and borrow packages. The npm also acts as a command-line utility for the Node.

The name npm (Node Package Manager) stems from when npm first was created as a package manager for Node.js. All npm packages are defined in files called package.

NPM is the package manager for the Node JavaScript platform. It puts modules in place so that node can find them, and manages dependency conflicts intelligently. It is extremely configurable to support a wide variety of use cases. Most commonly, it is used to publish, discover, install, and develop node programs.

11. REFERENCES

(a)   Angular Official website

(b)  React Official website

(c)   Angular vs. React comparison

(d)  Angular vs. React comparison 

(e)  Angular vs. React Usage comparison

(f)    Angular Project Ivy

(g)   What is Concurrent React v18.0 

(h)  The relevance of TypeScript in 2022

(i)    NPM Trends

(j)    Google’s discontinuation of Angular JS support

  • Deepak Rai9 months ago
  • This is a great in-depth article specially for technology aspirants and interns that want to apply for internships for Angular or React.