React and Rxjs

React and Rx.js : Best Practices

The software development industry keeps on advancing, thanks to the ever-evolving technologies, tools, libraries, and other resources.

As the industry trends take new twists, developers often find it hard to solve complex logic, manage concurrency events, and deal with asynchronous events. Especially in JavaScript development, the big issue has always been dealing with asynchronicity.

Nowadays, the need for data-driven and highly interactive web apps that can manage complex procedures and multiple asynchronous has become a top priority. Traditional programming models don’t have the capabilities to achieve all these, hence posing significant challenges to developers. This has contributed significantly to the need to use different approaches and technologies to overcome the set challenges and create reliable web apps; that is why this guide explores more about Reactive programming and its relationship with RX.js- reactive extensions for JavaScript library.

Both RX.js and React are significant tools in the JavaScript environment. However, they play different roles in making the processes seamless. While RX.js deals with asynchronous data flows, React deals with rendering and managing UI.

What is RX.js?

RX.js is a JavaScript library extension that uses observable sequences to compose event-based and asynchronous programs.

It offers operators, satellite types, observable, and one core type through Array#extras to execute a collection of asynchronous events.

The key concepts in RX.js that help in solving asynchronous events include the following:

Observable – These include the values that can be observed over a given timeline. They represent the RX.js baseline, and they act like a pipeline used to emit data over a set timeline. They can release different forms of values, such as objects’ primitive data, among other observables. You can choose to subscribe to get the data releases.

Observer – they include components that subscribe to observable to get the released data. They have three optimal methods: next (when a new data or value is released by the observable, letting the observable manage the data, Error (it is initiated when an error that happens during the value emission process), and complete (which is initiated once the observable is done releasing the values).

Operators – these are the building blocks in RX.js, enabling data manipulation, transformation, and control. These operators make it easy to complex asynchronous events in a seamless manner. You can easily filter out irrelevant information, transform the data into the required format, and manage the data processing rate, among many other tasks.

Subjects – These are unique observable types that can work on both observers and observables. You can cast different values simultaneously to varied observers. Again, subjects have the power to release new values in the Next execution method, making it possible for subscribed observers to access the values. Therefore, subjects are crucial, especially when sharing data among different subscribers.

Subscription – Subscription helps in executing an observable. They play a bigger role in execution cancellation.

Schedulers -Schedulers play a major role in controlling concurrency, allowing easy coordination when a computation is triggered.

These are the key concepts of RX.js, and once you leverage them, you can build reactive apps in an organized and seamless manner.

When to use RX.js

Of course, not all scenarios call for RX.js during app development. RX.js is effective in the following scenarios:

  • When using it alongside React to create better communication among the components
  • When handling tough asynchronous events and even reactions. You can always write practical code using RX.js and lodash.
  • When working with a time concept or when you need to trace observable values/events history (not relying on the latest data), RX.js will be more effective in such a scenario.
  • When you want to process user events to update the state of the application.
  • When, as a developer, you need to create and manipulate data streams for effectiveness,

RX.js advantages: why use RX.js?


  • Reliable API

It is easy to manipulate complex data streams, thanks to the high-quality API of RX.js. Besides, the RX.js key concepts (subjects, observables, and operators) play a bigger role in streamlining the processes. This gives developers an easy time to focus on making the app more interactive and reliable.

  • No third-party dependencies

RX.js is a self-reliable library, unlike several other libraries. RX.js does not rely on third-party dependencies; hence, it is perfect for projects of different sizes.

  • Documentation

While it is hard to master RX.js and Reactive programming, the learning curve is often simplified by the reliable documentation available for the RX.js library. You can easily access official documentation along with other community-supported resources that provide extensive guidelines and explanations on RX.js concepts. RX.js’ official website is a big resourceful place where users can gain both theoretical and practical RX.js knowledge and skills.

  • Well-maintained with regular updates

Well RX.js is a well-maintained library with regular updates. This makes it a reliable library for any developer who wants to integrate the latest technologies and tools into any project.

Again, RX.js has proven to maintain consistency when it comes to updates. This improves its overall performance and makes it a powerful and convenient library for different projects.

  • Minimal footprint

RX.js uses a modular architecture, which is known for its better optimization techniques. These features give it a smaller footprint. A minimal footprint means the production bundle will only have components that are used.

  • Enhanced optimization and no memory leakage

Since RX.js has an active community of professional developers, most problems related to the library have been solved, especially those problems relating to memory leakage and optimization. Developers, therefore, can have ultimate confidence when using RX.js in any of their projects.

  • Simplifies React development

A React developer with less experience will have an easy time with the RX.js library. The tools and resources in RX.js help simplify asynchronous data flows and overall workflow. Developers, therefore, can save more time and other resources and focus on other significant tasks.

  • Highly flexible

It is easy to use RX.js along with other JavaScript frameworks and libraries. For instance, Node.js, Vue.js, and React.js are all compatible with the RX.js library.

RX.js disadvantages: Does RX.js have any weak points?

Yes, just like any other JavaScript library, RX.js poses some notable challenges you should know. They include the following:

  • Difficulty in debugging and testing

It is quite hard to debug a code with observables. Therefore, a developer using RX.js must have extensive knowledge, techniques, tools, and skills to apply to the RX.js code.

  • Issues with strict typing

Tslib is the only RX.js dependency, and it offers Typescript support. While Typescript offers a set of benefits such as autocomplete and strong typing, it also offers the wrong usage of access modifiers. As a result, internal methods can be accessed from the outside.

  • Operator name conflict issues

One thing about RX.js is that it is highly compact, which makes it beneficial in many other ways. However, the same feature brings conflicts when executing other function names. For instance, short operator names may conflict with other function names from other components, thus affecting the process in one way or the other.

  • Testing complexity issues

In reactive programming, developers must learn and master some RX.js tools and techniques to execute the RX.js test code effectively.

Now, RX.js deals with asynchronous code, making the testing process hard without exploring other tools. The good news is that developers can use marble diagrams to overcome this challenge. However, integrating other tools makes the whole process complex and time-consuming. Again, mastering Marble diagrams is a tricky concept, making developers invest more time and resources in learning and mastering this concept.

Best practices when using RX.js

As you start on your journey toward enhancing your app development journey in a JavaScript environment, you can always use the RX.js library to simplify most of the processes. However, learning RX.js basics isn’t all. You need to write reliable & quality code and follow RX.js best practices to avoid common mistakes and errors. These best practices include the following:

  • Use Unsubscribe to prevent memory leaks

During the process, there might be memory leaks since observables may fail to be completed on their own. Therefore, always unsubscribe from observable when no longer needed.

  • Multicast with subjects

In RX.js, subjects are unique observables with the ability to multicast to other observers. Therefore, you can use subjects to broadcast data to different subscribers, making them useful in different ways.

  • Don’t forget to leverage operators

As mentioned before, RX.js has different operators that developers can use to manipulate and control data streams. Map, filter, first, and last are among the common operators. Always learn and master how to use these operators for effectiveness.

  • Effective error handling is key.

Retry and catch are among the RX.js operators used to handle errors in observables. Therefore, it is essential to master how to use these operators to ensure safe error recovery from the app and allow the app to continue functioning effectively.

  • Observables are effective for asynchronous data

RX.js is meant to work with asynchronous data streams. Therefore, it is an effective option for dealing with promises, API calls, and events.

Using React and RX.js

When using RX.js with React, follow the steps below:

  • Install the required dependencies on the root project directory

Make sure you have an observable creator (a subject) to create a reactive input in the core component.

Note: remember to unsubscribe from an observable to avoid memory leaks and outside access.

  • API call

Next, execute FromFetch, a prompt that will convert a basic fetch call to an observable, followed by a response. You can also use FromPromise for deprecated works.

The pipe operator will then enable data stream manipulation before emission by observable with RX operators. switchMap will handle the response from the server and cancel previous observables. The map operator will then enable observable transformation.

  • RX.js plan execution

To manipulate the data stream structure, you can achieve through the following:

forkJoin – Working more like promise.all, it connects and waits for inner observables to release values and return new observables with data from inner observables. This method is best with several http prompts.

flatMap helps flatten observables created with forkJoin, allowing continuous streaming.

The next operators are:

Tap – for creating side effects. This operator doesn’t change the observable.

catchError – for catching errors and transforming the error in the right manner.

  • Testing

It is quite easy to execute testing in a React.js app. You only need to remove the pipe from the component and keep it in a different file with other operators. At this point, you can then test each stream independently and seamlessly.


RX.js is a resourceful tool in the field of app development. Developers can easily integrate it in a reactive environment and enjoy a seamless process. However, a person who has never used RX.js will have a hard time executing all the processes.

However, with the resources available, one can easily learn and master using RX.js in a reactive environment.

Any queries? Get in touch with our front-end development company : Aalpha Information Systems!


Written by:

Stuti Dhruv

Stuti Dhruv is a Senior Consultant at Aalpha Information Systems, specializing in pre-sales and advising clients on the latest technology trends. With years of experience in the IT industry, she helps businesses harness the power of technology for growth and success.

Stuti Dhruv is a Senior Consultant at Aalpha Information Systems, specializing in pre-sales and advising clients on the latest technology trends. With years of experience in the IT industry, she helps businesses harness the power of technology for growth and success.