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Intro to React State Management with React-Redux

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React is a library for creating front end views. It has a big ecosystem of libraries that work with it. Also, we can use it to enhance existing apps.

To store data in a central place for easy accessibility by components, we have to use some state management solutions. React-Redux is a popular choice.

In this article, we’ll look at how to add it to our React app and simple use cases.

Installation

To install the react-redux package, we have install react-redux and its dependency redux .

We can install both by running:

npm install react-redux redux

with NPM or if we use Yarn:

yarn add react-redux redux

Set Up a Redux Store

After installing both packages, we have to set up our Redux store to hold our data.

To do this we write:

import { createStore } from "redux";

function counterReducer(state = 0, action) {  
  switch (action.type) {  
    case "INCREMENT":  
      return state + 1;  
    default:  
      return state;  
  }  
}

const store = createStore(counterReducer);

The code above creates a Redux store by creating the counterReducer reducer function.

The reducer specifies how the app’s state changes in response to actions sent to the store.

Our counterReducer only accepts one action, which is 'INCREMENT' . We respond to the action by returning the state and adding 1 to it.

There’s also a default case to just return the state value as is.

Then we create a store by calling Redux’s createStore function and passing in our reducer.

It returns the store , which we can pass into our React app.

Connecting the Store to our React App

This is where we need the functions of React-Redux.

We can connect the store to our app so we can store our app’s state in the store by using React-Redux’s connect function.

connect takes 2 functions, which are mapStateToProps and mapDispatchToProps . They’re the first and second argument respectively.

First, we can put the whole app together by connecting our store with the React app as follows:

import React from "react";  
import { Provider, connect } from "react-redux";  
import { createStore } from "redux";  
import ReactDOM from "react-dom";

function counterReducer(state = 0, action) {  
  switch (action.type) {  
    case "INCREMENT":  
      return state + 1;  
    default:  
      return state;  
  }  
}

const store = createStore(counterReducer);

class App extends React.Component {  
  onClick() {  
    this.props.increment();  
  }  
  render() {  
    const { count } = this.props;  
    return (  
      <>  
        <button onClick={this.onClick.bind(this)}>Increment</button>  
        <p>{count}</p>  
      </>  
    );  
  }  
}

const mapDispatchToProps = dispatch => {  
  return {  
    increment: () => dispatch({ type: "INCREMENT" })  
  };  
};  
const mapStateToProps = state => ({  
  count: state  
});App = connect(  
  mapStateToProps,  
  mapDispatchToProps  
)(App);  
const rootElement = document.getElementById("root");  
ReactDOM.render(  
  <Provider store={store}>  
    <App />  
  </Provider>,  
  rootElement  
);

In the code, we have an app that shows a number going up as we click the Increment button.

The first step to connect the store to our React app is to wrap the Provider component around our whole app.

To do this we, wrote the following:

<Provider store={store}>  
  <App />  
</Provider>

Then we define the mapStateToProps and mapDispatchToProps functions as follows:

const mapDispatchToProps = dispatch => {  
  return {  
    increment: () => dispatch({ type: "INCREMENT" })  
  };  
};  
const mapStateToProps = state => ({  
  count: state  
});

In mapStateToProps we return a object to map the state object to a React component prop name as indicated in the property name. The state is the state stored in the Redux store.

So we mapped state to the prop count .

In mapDispatchToProps , we get the dispatch parameter, which is a function used to dispatch our action to the store, and return an object with the name for the function we can access from the props to call and dispatch the action.

So in mapDispatchToProps , increment is our function name. We can call it by running this.props.increment in our App component.

increment is a function that runs dispatch({ type: “INCREMENT” }) .

Then in our App component, we define the onClick method to call this.props.increment to dispatch the ‘INCREMENT’ action to our counterReducer via our Redux store and increase the state by 1.

Then since we have mapStateToProps , the latest value is being observed by App and the latest value is available via this.state.count as indicated in mapStateToProps .

Then when we click the Increment button, we’ll get the number going up by 1.

This will happen with every click.

Conclusion

We can use Redux in our React app by creating a store.

Next, we use the React-Redux Provider component and wrap it around our App entry-point component. We pass our Redux store to the store prop so that we can map the state and dispatch actions to props.

Then connecting it to our store via React Redux’s connect function. We pass in the mapStateToProps and mapDispatchToProps to map the store’s state to our component’s props and map our dispatch function call to our props respectively.

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