Angular 4 vs React

Angular 4 vs React
Angular 4 vs React

When you start working on a new web application you will probably need to analyze different tools to deal with the different functionalities that you have to work on. As soon as you start searching for alternatives you are going to run across Angular and React, they are without any doubt two of the major options to consider, at least till today.

When you start comparing React and Angular, at some point of this process, you are going to realize that they are two different things and that’s is going to bring the question:

“How can I compare them?”

Well let’s give a try:

You have to understand first that React is a library while Angular 4 (Angular from this point on) is a framework. When we use React we will surely need to use other tools to accomplish many of the tasks we need.

  • React allows us to select the set of tools from which to work with from several options while Angular already comes with all that we are going to need, integrated into the framework. This difference plays in favor of React if this freedom is seen as something positive. But it can also play in favor of angular because that freedom that React bring us can make it very difficult to make decisions about what to use, what not to use and why.
  • Angular has an HTML-center design, while React has a javascript-center design, this makes Angular a bit more complex to understand.
  • Angular has learned a lot from Angular 1 and from React; this has made them adopt some of the best features of both technologies.
  • Although Angular has greatly improved its performance with respect to Angular 1, React is still higher-performing, faster, makes better use of memory, and is easier to use.

The final consideration is based on a whether or not we need a mature framework, the product of one of the best web frameworks so far – Angular 1 – which solves or gives us the tools to solve in a relatively simple way virtually everything we are going to need in our application. Or do we need a fast library with better performance than Angular? Understanding our needs gives us the freedom to decide which tool we will use to solve the different needs of our app.

Angular 4: Low decision fatigue

As we saw earlier Angular is a framework that provides solutions for most things that we will face when developing an app. This means spending less time thinking in how to resolve things. If we go the way of React we have to decide, surely after a research process, which tools we will use to resolve the different needs of our app; a time-consuming effort because you have many options out there.

Online Documentation

The angular documentation is consistent because it has defined TypeScript as a development language, which means that practically all the info we are going to find about Angular is consistent.
Instead, React has examples implemented with ECMA 5 and examples implemented with ECMA 6 which creates a bit of confusion and makes it a little more difficult to make queries on the web about React.
Since we mentioned this we have to also say that TypeScript is not globally acclaimed in the developer community nor used by everyone, which can be seen as a downside to picking Angular since you have to know TypeScript.


So, after going through all the points mentioned above the final decision depends on some factors;

  • My team is a skilled front end group with great knowledge of the tools out there, with strong ECMA 6 and JavaScript fundamentals.
    In this case, the best option for you is probably React. Your team will not lose time in choosing technologies because they know the options. The fact that the documentation is not consistent is not going to impact hard on the team because they know they way around most of the issues they may face. A team with this characteristics will, certainly, fill more comfortable with React and the flexibility and freedom of selecting and using different tools.
  • In my team, most of the developers are back-end developers with a certain level of understating of front end technologies.
    In this case, the best option for you is probably Angular. Your team will feel comfortable using typescript instead of ECMAScript since is a language more similar to the language they use on daily basis. They are not going to lose time choosing what tools to use since angular is giving them most things resolved. Since the documentation is consistent they are not going to lose time trying to find to correct information.

Santiago Garcia Da Rosa