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Murat Can Yüksel
Murat Can Yüksel

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Global state management in React.js with redux-toolkit (a practical guide)

In this article, I'll try to help others starting with global state management in React.js with Redux Toolkit. In redux.js.org it says "Redux Toolkit is our official, opinionated, batteries-included toolset for efficient Redux development. It is intended to be the standard way to write Redux logic, and we strongly recommend that you use it." so we'll be good using it.

Note: As far as I know, Redux Toolkit doesn't work with applications create with vite, I use create-react-app and I expect you have the same opportunities create-react-app provides.

We will build a very simple react application that'll store the data in our "store", and display it at whichever component we wish to. The application will comprise of three components. The folder structure will be as follows:

-src
--components (folder)
---FirstComp.js
---SecondComp.js
--------ThirdComp.js
--features(folder)
--------myStore.js
--App.js
--index.js
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This is how our app will look like:
Alt Text

Buidling the store

I will try my best to refrain from the terminology, as I don't think I understand it well enough. The important thing is, whatever I'm going to show now works like a charm, and it is easy.

We'll start by installing the dependencies in our project folder as it's shown in the official redux toolkit guide,

npm install @reduxjs/toolkit react-redux

If the packages are installed. It is time to build the store. For that, we'll need to modify our index.js and myStore.js in our features folder. Note that these names are totally random and up to you.

myStore.js

In myStore.js in the features folder, let's write the following code:

import { createSlice } from "@reduxjs/toolkit";

export const initialStateValue = "";

export const theStore = createSlice({
  name: "theStore",
  initialState: { value: initialStateValue },
  reducers: {
    getData: (state, action) => {
      state.value = action.payload;
    },
  },
});

export const { getData } = theStore.actions;

export default theStore.reducer;
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What's happening here?

  • We import createSlice from Redux Toolkit
  • Create an initialStateValue variable (which we don't necessarily have to, as you can see, I use it to make the code cleaner)
  • Create and export a slice named theStore (name can be anything you want)

Inside of our slice,

  • We give it a name
  • initiate a state and give it a value, which is pretty much like the state in useState hook
  • Define reducers. Here, "getData" can be named anything you want. It takes two parameter: state and action. State is our initial state, and action (that takes a payload) is basically the data we'll get from our components.

  • And we export things as shown.

As I mentioned, I don't think we need to know what every single thing is doing here to get started with Redux Toolkit. I don't even remember what each thing was doing, and cannot care less at this point.

Now, let's go to our index.js and make sure our app can use this store.

index.js

In index.js, let's paste this code:

import React from "react";
import ReactDOM from "react-dom";
import "./index.css";
import App from "./App";
import reportWebVitals from "./reportWebVitals";
//add the following to use Redux
import { configureStore } from "@reduxjs/toolkit";
import { Provider } from "react-redux";
import dataReducer from "./features/myStore";

const store = configureStore({
  reducer: {
    theStore: dataReducer,
  },
});

ReactDOM.render(
  <React.StrictMode>
    <Provider store={store}>
      <App />
    </Provider>
  </React.StrictMode>,
  document.getElementById("root")
);

// If you want to start measuring performance in your app, pass a function
// to log results (for example: reportWebVitals(console.log))
// or send to an analytics endpoint. Learn more: https://bit.ly/CRA-vitals
reportWebVitals();
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As you can see, the difference from a usual index.js file is that we imported the following:

import { configureStore } from "@reduxjs/toolkit";
import { Provider } from "react-redux";
import dataReducer from "./features/myStore";
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Configured our store with the dataReducer we've imported from myStore.js,

const store = configureStore({
  reducer: {
    theStore: dataReducer,
  },
});
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(Note that this "dataReducer" could have been named anything. Its naming totally up to you.)

And lastly, wrapped our app with the store provider,

ReactDOM.render(
  <React.StrictMode>
    <Provider store={store}>
      <App />
    </Provider>
  </React.StrictMode>,
  document.getElementById("root")
);
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With these changes, our store should be ready, and we can start setting or getting data from it. Let's start working on our components then.

Components: FirstComp.js

In our FirstComp.js, we paste the following lines:

import React from "react";
import { useSelector, useDispatch } from "react-redux";
import { getData } from "../features/myStore";

const FirstComp = () => {
  const dispatch = useDispatch();
  //we're not using data in this component
  //const data = useSelector((state) => state.theStore.value);

  const sendData = () => {
    dispatch(getData("Hello from the first component"));
  };

  return (
    <div>
      <button onClick={sendData}>Send data</button>
    </div>
  );
};

export default FirstComp;
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What's happening here is, as you can see, we're importing useSelector and useDispatch from react-redux, and our getData function from myStore.js. Inside the function, we create a dispatch variable. This dispatch variable is responsible of sending desired data to the store. And we create a data variable, which, by using useSelector, grabs the state from our store.

In the terms of useState hook what we've done is quite similar to the following: const [state, setState]= useState("") => Here, state being the data variable, setState working similar to the dispatch variable, and the data managed in our myStore.js being the value in useState hook.

In the sendData function, we use dispatch on the getData function to change it with our message ("Hello from the first component"). The button activates the sendData function on click.

Now, the moment we click on the button displayed, our global store will take the value invoked by "dispatch".

You see we're not making use of the data variable, i.e. the data in our global store. I just put it there so that we can be sure that if we wanted to display the data, even in this same component that the data was given, we could do that very easily just by returning it, and that's how we'll get the global store's data anyway.

Components: SecondComp.js

Our second component is almost the same as the first one. The only difference being in the message it sends. Check it out:

import React from "react";
import { useSelector, useDispatch } from "react-redux";
import { getData } from "../features/myStore";

const SecondComp = () => {
  const dispatch = useDispatch();
  //we're not using data in this component
  //const data = useSelector((state) => state.theStore.value);

  const sendData = () => {
    dispatch(getData("Hello from the SECOND component"));
  };

  return (
    <div>
      <button onClick={sendData}>Send data</button>
    </div>
  );
};

export default SecondComp;
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So, now, whenever I click this or that button, the global store's value will reflect the componant that the button was clicked on. Now we'd probably like to display the data we stored globally somewhere.

Components: ThirdComp.js

In our ThirdComp.js file, let's write these lines:

import React from "react";
import { useSelector } from "react-redux";

const ThirdComp = () => {
  const data = useSelector((state) => state.theStore.value);

  return <div>{data}</div>;
};

export default ThirdComp;

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Note that we neither imported nor used dispatch. Because we don't need it. We're not going to change the state from this component, we're just going to display it. So we have our useSelector from react-redux, and use it on a data variable (again, the name can be anything we wanted)

Now let's add our components in our App.js file.

App.js

import FirstComp from "./components/FirstComp";
import SecondComp from "./components/SecondComp";
import ThirdComp from "./components/ThirdComp";

function App() {
  return (
    <div className="App">
      <div style={{ border: "2px solid black" }}>
        <FirstComp />
      </div>
      <div style={{ border: "2px solid red" }}>
        <SecondComp />
      </div>
      <ThirdComp />
    </div>
  );
}

export default App;

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Now, if we did everything according to the book, we should see two buttons and whenever we click one of them, we should see their respective messages on our screen. Now, here I used a very basic structure and you might be wondering why the hell would you need Redux Toolkit to do something so basic, and I'd say you never know how complicated things can get, and it's better to know how to handle the complexity than not.

That's all for today folks!

Happy coding!

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