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A Useful Flow to Using Redux

Brad Beggs
Curious and Persistent.
Updated on ・3 min read

Assumptions:

  • you've installed Redux and have the store.js file setup
  • you want a suggestion as to a ‘logical’ flow for when to write actions, reducers, component integration

  • Note: You don’t need to do any of these steps in order but you do need to do each step. Try this method and make up your own method as you go forward.*

Step 1 - Create Stateless Components and the GUI

Start with hard-coded data for the time being.

I’ve found making components this way forces me to think more about their relationships, what the state looks like, and what components could get reused.

Step 2 - Add Boilerplate

In the component(s) needing state or props, add the redux boiler plate code and don't worry if they're empty now:

// SomeCoolComponent.js file 
import {connect} from 'react-redux'   // every component using mapState or mapDispatch needs this

const SomeCoolComponent = ( { destructuredPropsHere} ) = {


    // component code…...

  }

// add the 3 boiler plate lines below at end of file 
const mapStateToProps = state => ({    } )
const mapDispatchToProps = dispatch => ( {   })

export default connect(mapStateToProps, mapDispatchToProps)(TheParentComponentNameHere);
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Step 3 - Create a Redux Folder Structure

  • Add ./src/redux/ folder to group your store.js, reducers.js, and actions.js together. This makes it easier to find items and keep focused.

  • If you have a lot of actions or reducers, create a sub-folder and divide the actions and reducers into related files. For example, fetchActions.js, addToCartActions.js, or a loginReducer.js.

Step 4 - Create Your Action(s) and Actions Creator(s)

For example:

// actions
export const ISCOMPLETED_TODO = "ISCOMPLETED_TODO"  
export const ADDSINGLEITEM = "ADD_SINGLE_ITEM_TO_STATE"

// action creators
export const setSingleItem = (item) => ({
  type: ADDSINGLEITEM,
  payload: item
})

export const markToDoAsComplete = (text) => ({      
  type: ISCOMPLETED_TODO,   
  payload: {text}
})
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While very optional, action creators let you easily reuse the object they create. If it seems redundant, it is, on a small scale; but in a larger code base, just type in the action creator name and you get the object.

Step 5 - Create or Update Reducer(s) with Action(s)

  • Import your ‘actions’ if you are using them (‘actions’ differ from ‘action creators’ )
  • Create your a switch statement or update a switch with a new case statement
  • Every case needs a return with the new state *Remember to include a default: return state for your switch

For example:

import {
  CREATE_TODO,
  REMOVE_TODO,
  ISCOMPLETED_TODO,
} from "./actions";

export const toDos = (state = [], action) => {
  const { 
    type, 
    payload, 
  } = action;

  switch (type) {
    // other cases removed for space

    case ISCOMPLETED_TODO: {
      const { text } = payload

      return state.map(toDo => {
        if (toDo.text === text) {
          return {...toDo, isCompleted: true}
        }

        return toDo
      })
    }

    default:
      return state;
  }
};
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Step 5 - Back in Your Component - Import & Props

  • Import the appropriate action creator(s)
  • Add the appropriate props as destructured arguments
  • Add the state data into mapStateToProps in object form
  • Add the action creator to mapDispatchToProps in object shorthand form <-recommended method by Redux
  • Add the state and the callback function into the appropriate spot.
// ToDoList.js for a to do tracking app
// other imports omitted for clarity 
import { connect } from 'react-redux'
import {
  removeToDo,
  markToDoAsComplete,
} from './redux/actions' // action creators, used in mapDispatch

const ToDoList = ({
  toDos = [],   
  onRemovePressed, 
  markComplete
}) => {

  return (
    <div className="list-wrapper">
    // ...some code here 

      {toDos.map((toDo, i) => {
        return (
        <ToDoListItem 
          toDo={toDo}
          key={i}
          onRemovePressed={ onRemovePressed }   // callback function
          markComplete={ markComplete }         // callback function    
        />
        )}
      )}
    </div>
  );
}


const mapStateToProps = state => ({
  toDos: state.toDos,
})

const mapDispatchToProps = dispatch => (
  {
    onRemovePressed: text => dispatch(removeToDo(text)),
    markComplete: text => dispatch(markToDoAsComplete(text))
  }
)

export default connect(mapStateToProps, mapDispatchToProps)(ToDoList);

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Now Finished

At this point, you should have everything correctly wired for your casual react app. While a few tutorials (see the to-do code above) help, my understanding improved when I used it for my own project app (outdoor adventure rentals).

Also, if you haven’t installed the React Developer Chrome extension (link below), install it. It gives a nice visual of your store.

Just The Steps

Step 1 - Create Stateless Components
Step 2 - Add Boilerplate
Step 3 - Create a Redux Folder Structure
Step 4 - Create Your Action(s) and Actions Creator(s)
Step 5 - Back in Your Component - Import & Props

References & Resources

A Deeper Redux CheatSheet - Less Flow, More How

Official React-Redux Tutorial

React Developer Chrome Extension

Discussion (1)

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afteralec profile image
Alec DuBois

My favorite way to use redux is npm uninstall redux

Forem Open with the Forem app