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What is unidirectional data flow in React?

Sheza Munir

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.

Unidirectional data flow describes a one-way data flow where the data can move in only one pathway when being transferred between different parts of the program.

React, a Javascript library, uses unidirectional data flow. The data from the parent is known as props. You can only transfer data from parent to child and not vice versa.

This means that the child components cannot update or modify the data on their own, makeing sure that a clean data flow architecture is followed. This also means that you can control the data flow better.

React allows unidirectional data flow

Effect of state changes

In React, each state is owned by one component. Due to the unidirectional flow, the changes made on the state of the component will only affect the children and not the parents or siblings.

Advantages of unidirectional data flow

There are many advantages of unidirectional data flow, some of which are listed below:

  • Debugging
    One-way data flow makes debugging much easier. When the developer knows where the data is coming from and where it is going, they can dry run (or use tools) to find the problems more efficiently.

  • Better control
    Having data flow in one direction makes the program less prone to errors and gives the developer more control.

  • Efficiency
    As the used libraries are wary of the limitations and specifications of the unidirectional flow, extra resources are not wasted, leading to an efficient process.

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Sheza Munir
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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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