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redux toolkit

How to use Redux Toolkit with React Native

Noble Okafor

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Overview

Developing robust web or mobile applications(apps) to handle state internally, as is the norm with React Native components, isn't always ideal. If done improperly, it can quickly become very messy. In situations like these, a library tool like Redux is commonly recommended. In this answer, we'll go through the various steps to manage the state flow in a simple React Native app using the Redux Toolkit.

What are Redux and Redux Toolkits?

Redux is a Javascript global state management library designed to act as a central store for managing application states. Redux helps build apps that behave consistently across all environments by providing a system to track all changes made to the state.

State flow in a Redux-managed React application

Redux Toolkit is Redux's official toolset for developing efficient React-Redux apps. It was designed to simplify the writing of common Redux logic and resolve the usual difficulties of using the core Redux library, such as:

  • To set up the Redux store.
  • To create reducer state slices.
  • To write immutable state updating code.

The way these are implemented changes when using Redux Toolkit in place of core Redux.

Redux glossary

Action

An action is a simple object that indicates a desire to modify a state in the Redux store. It is required that actions specify a payload and a type attribute that describes what kind of change is to be made to the state. Actions require reducers to be successfully carried out.

Reducer

A reducer is a pure function that takes two arguments; the current state and an action to return a new state result. Reducers don't modify the original state directly; rather, they make a copy of the state and modify that.

Dispatch

A function that accepts either a synchronous or asynchronous action object and sends it to a reducer for execution.

Slice

A collection of reducers and actions that work together to implement a single app feature.

Store

A store is an object that holds the app's entire state tree. Redux can only have a single store in an app.

When to use Redux?

Obviously, the app we just built is too basic to use a global state manager like Redux. This tutorial was just to introduce Redux Toolkit in the most basic way possible. So we should use Redux as follows:

  • When there's a considerable amount of data changing over time.
  • When we need to track state changes.
  • When dealing with deeply nested components, passing state and props becomes problematic.
  • When multiple components require access to the same piece of state.

Note: This answer is not on React Native and will not focus on React Native concepts.

Application

Following is an application to generate random colors.

{
  "expo": {
    "name": "ReduxTutorial",
    "slug": "ReduxTutorial",
    "version": "1.0.0",
    "orientation": "portrait",
    "icon": "./assets/icon.png",
    "userInterfaceStyle": "light",
    "splash": {
      "image": "./assets/splash.png",
      "resizeMode": "contain",
      "backgroundColor": "#ffffff"
    },
    "updates": {
      "fallbackToCacheTimeout": 0
    },
    "assetBundlePatterns": [
      "**/*"
    ],
    "ios": {
      "supportsTablet": true
    },
    "android": {
      "adaptiveIcon": {
        "foregroundImage": "./assets/adaptive-icon.png",
        "backgroundColor": "#FFFFFF"
      }
    },
    "web": {
      "favicon": "./assets/favicon.png"
    }
  }
}

Explanation

  • Inside the HomeScreen.js, we build a simple React-Native application.
  • We used Redux Toolkit which shortens the length of Redux code logic we have to write in our app. It uses the configureStore API in place of the createStore API from core Redux to build a store. The configureStore also automatically sets up the Redux DevTools Extension and some middleware. The store holds a single root reducer object for all the state slices in the app.
  • Next, we'll create a state slice to handle all action and reducer functions relevant to generating a random color in our app. Importing and calling createSlice in the colorSlice.js file, we define inside it;
    • A name to identify the slice.
    • An initialState value (just like when using the React useState hook).
    • A reducer function to determine how the state is to be updated. In the code block, we take the result of the randomRgb function and add it to the original array of colors.

Note: We can only write mutating code inside the createSlice or createReducer API.

When writing core Redux logic, it is essential to avoid directly mutating the state value. But, with createSlice available through Redux Toolkit, we can write mutating code in reducers and have it converted into immutable copies.

Notice that we didn't define any action objects in our code. This is because Redux Toolkit allows us to create actions on the fly. Here, we set the case functions defined in our reducer to colorSlice.actions. Then an action creator is automatically generated using the name of the reducer as the action type. Afterwards, we can import and add the slice to the root reducer of the store.

  • We have successfully set up a Redux system for our app. Now, all we need is to be able to read the current state in homeScreen.js and dispatch an action to our reducer. For this, we'll use the useSelector hook, which will give us access to our redux state. The useDispatch hook allows us to dispatch actions. We import useDispatch and useSelector from React-Redux.
  • We also import the setColor reducer. Grabbing our current state with state.color.value, we set it as the data entry in our Flatlist element. Then, by calling useDispatch as dispatch and passing setColor in our onPress callback, we can send an action to the appropriate reducer case.
  • Our React Native app can now generate random colours.

RELATED TAGS

react native
redux toolkit

Grokking Modern System Design Interview for Engineers & Managers

Ace your System Design Interview and take your career to the next level. Learn to handle the design of applications like Netflix, Quora, Facebook, Uber, and many more in a 45-min interview. Learn the RESHADED framework for architecting web-scale applications by determining requirements, constraints, and assumptions before diving into a step-by-step design process.

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