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Anuradha Aggarwal
Anuradha Aggarwal

Posted on • Updated on • Originally published at

A Complete Guide to Redux

Hello coders!! Today we will discuss some concepts you need to know to build real complex applications with React and Redux.

In this article we'll cover the following concepts in detail:

  • Why we need redux?
  • What is Redux?
  • Steps to create a React-redux application
    • Step 1: Create a User Component
    • Step 2: Create a Store
    • Step 3: Create a Reducer
    • Step 4: Share Redux Store with Components
    • Step 5: Add an Async Function Middleware using Redux Thunk
    • Step 6: Build an Action Creator
    • Step 7: Connect redux store to components

Let's get started!! 🚀🚀

Why Redux?

Before we jump to more details of Redux first try to understand why we actually need it?

In a complex application with many components, if you want to share a state among the several components, then one approach you can think of is using props.


But props doesn't solve our problem completely as it only enables you to send data from a parent component to a child component using the top-down approach and not vice-versa. That means any change in the state that occurred in the child component does not impact the parent component's state.

Also, another problem that props failed to solve is to share the state among the components with no parent-child hierarchy.

So, to overcome all the above problems and to synchronize the state across the components Redux comes into the picture. Using this approach we store all the state globally and all other components can access it.

Redux is an open-source JavaScript library for managing the application state.


What is Redux?

  • Redux is basically used for state management.
  • It can be used with all javascript frameworks & libraries like React, angular, etc.

Main Elements of Redux includes:-

  • Store: If you are working on a large application, the state is separated from the React components into its own store. The store is the global component that stores the current state and it is an immutable object.
  • Action: State in the store is not changed directly, but with different actions.
  • Reducer: It is used to define the impact of the action on the state of the application.
  • Subscribe: It is used to create a callback function the store calls when its state is changed.

Redux Principles:

  • The global state of your application is stored as an object inside a single store.
  • The only way to change the state is to dispatch an action.
  • Changes are made with pure reducer functions.


Let's explore each one of them in detail by using a simple example:

We'll follow the following Folder structure:

 ┣ 📂actions
 ┃ ┣ 📜types.js
 ┃ ┗ 📜users.js
 ┣ 📂components
 ┃ ┗ 📂Users
 ┃ ┃ ┣ 📜index.js
 ┃ ┃ ┗ 📜user.css
 ┣ 📂reducers
 ┃ ┣ 📜index.js
 ┃ ┗ 📜users.js
 ┣ 📂store
 ┃ ┗ 📜index.js
 ┣ 📜App.js
 ┗ 📜index.js
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You can find the final code in my github repo

Now we will create an application that fetches user data using REST APIs and display it using Redux.

In the end, our application will look like this:


Create a React application and install redux using npm install react-redux --save.

Step 1: Create a User Component

In src/components/Users/index.js file:

import React, { useEffect, useState } from 'react';
import './user.css';

export default function Users() {

    const [userDetails, setUserDetails] = useState([]);

    const handleButtonClick = () => {
        // make a call to Action Creator

    return (
        <div className="container">

            <button className="btn" value="click me" onClick={handleButtonClick}>
                 Fetch Data

                        userDetails &&, key) => {
                            return (

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In the above code, we'll make an API call to fetch our data using REST API whenever a user clicks on the button and display the data in table format.

But before making an API call let's set up our store first.

Step 2: Create a Store

we'll create a Redux store in src/store/index.js file:

import { createStore } from "redux";
import rootReducer from "../reducers";

const preloadedState = {};

const store = createStore(

export default store;
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  • The Redux core library has a createStore API that will create the store.
  • We'll pass our rootReducer that we'll create in the next step as an argument.
  • createStore can also accept a preloadedState value as its second argument. You could use this to add initial data when the store is created.

Points to remember:

  • The store basically brings together the state, actions, and reducers that make up your app.
  • You can only have a single store in a Redux application.
  • Every Redux store has a single root reducer function.

Step 3: Create a Reducer

  • Reducers basically tell us how to update the state based on the action performed.
  • It must be pure functions & should not produce any side effects.
  • It must be composed of immutable objects. If there is a change in the state, the old object is not changed, but it is replaced with a new, changed object.

Let's create our reducer in src/reducers/user.js:

import { USER_DETAILS } from '../actions/types';

const initialState = {
  userDetails: {}

export default function (state = initialState, action) {

  console.log("Step 4: Inside User Reducer after action creator dispatches an action");
  switch (action.type) {
    case USER_DETAILS:
      return {
        userDetails: action.payload,
      return state;
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It is a function that is given the current state and an action as a parameter it returns a new state.

Now we have created one reducer but as our application becomes more complex we may need to introduce more reducers.

So in this case, we'll create the main root Reducer which will combine all other reducers used in our application.

In src/reducers/index.js file:

import { combineReducers } from "redux";
import userReducer from "./users";

export default combineReducers({
    userReducer: userReducer,
   //other reducers

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we can create the actual reducer for our application by combining the two or many existing reducers with the combineReducers function.

The combineReducer works in such a way that every action gets handled in every part of the combined reducer. Typically only one reducer is interested in any given action, but there are situations where multiple reducers change their respective parts of the state based on the same action.

Step 4: Share Redux Store with Components

As we have initially created our store, the next step is to make it available to all the components present in our application.

In src/App.js file:

import React from 'react';
import store from './store';
import { Provider } from 'react-redux';
import Users from './components/Users';

function App() {
  return (
    <Provider store={store}>

export default App;

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By using this way. all the components can access the store.

Step 5: Add an Async Function Middleware using Redux Thunk

After setting up the store, now we need to make an API call to fetch our data but before this, we will add middleware to our store which enables us to create an asynchronous action.

Redux Thunk

This library is a so-called redux-middleware, which must be initialized along with the initialization of the store.

Because of this, it is possible to define action-creators so that they return a function having the dispatch method of redux-store as its parameter.

As a result of this, one can make asynchronous action-creators, which first wait for some operations to finish, after which they then dispatch the real action.

To introduce redux-thunk into our application first install it using npm install --save redux-thunk.

Now in src/store/index.js file:

import { createStore, applyMiddleware, compose } from "redux";
import thunk from "redux-thunk";
import rootReducer from "../reducers";

const preloadedState = {};

const middleware = [thunk];
const composeEnhancers = window.__REDUX_DEVTOOLS_EXTENSION_COMPOSE__ || compose;

const store = createStore(

export default store;
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As you noticed we introduce many new terms in the above code. Let's try to explore each one of them one by one.


compose is an example of higher-order functions. It takes bunch of functions as arguments and returns a new function that is the composition of all these functions.

  • It is used when you want to pass multiple store-enhancers to the store.
  • It composes single-argument functions from right to left. The rightmost function can take multiple arguments as it provides the signature for the resulting composite function. for example: compose(f, g, h) is identical to doing (...args) => f(g(h(...args))).

store enhancers

  • They are higher-order functions that add some extra functionality to the store. The only store enhancer which is supplied with redux by default is applyMiddleware.


  • Creates a store enhancer that applies middleware to the dispatch method of the Redux store. This is handy for a variety of tasks, such as expressing asynchronous actions in a concise manner or logging every action payload.
  • Because middleware is potentially asynchronous, this should be the first store enhancer in the composition chain.

We'll see the use of dispatch in the next step.

Step 6: Build an Action Creator

Now it's time to make an action creator which fetches data using REST APIs.

Action creators are a pure function which creates action.

Actions are plain JS objects that have a type field and can contain additional data. It creates an event that describes something that happened in the application.

We'll declare all the type field in a separate file src/actions/types.js:

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To build an Action creator:-

In src/actions/user.js file:

import axios from "axios";
import { USER_DETAILS } from './types';

export const getUserDetails = () => async (dispatch) => {

    console.log("Step 2: Inside Action Creator to make an API call");
    const res = await axios.get('');

    console.log("Step 3: Dispatch an Action to update the state");
        type: USER_DETAILS,
        payload: res
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In the above code snippet, we make an API call, and as soon as we get our response we dispatch the action so we can change the state.

The store now uses the reducer to handle actions, which are dispatched or 'sent' to the store with its dispatch method.

Step 7: Connect redux store to components

We have finally done with the store setup. We are one step away so just follow up 🤓🤓.

In src/components/Users/index.js file:

import React, { useEffect, useState } from 'react';
import { getUserDetails } from '../../actions/users';
import { connect } from "react-redux";
import './user.css';

function Users({ getUserDetails, userReducer }) {

    const [userDetails, setUserDetails] = useState([]);

    const handleButtonClick = () => {

        //make a call to the Action creator
        console.log("Step 1: Make a call to Action-creator from Users Component");

    useEffect(() => {

        // Update the UI as soon as we get our response through API call
        console.log("Step 5: Inside UseEffect of User Component to update the UI")
    }, [userReducer.userDetails])

    return (
        <div className="container">

const mapStateToProps = (state) => ({
    userReducer: state.userReducer

const mapDispatchToProps = {

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

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In the above code snippet, we share the redux store with components with the help of connect.

Higher-order components are a function that accepts a "regular" component as its parameter and returns a new "regular" component as its return value.


  • connect method provided by react-redux is an example of Higher-order components.

  • connect method is used for transforming the "regular" React component so that the state of the Redux store can be "mapped" into the component's props.

  • It accepts two parameters: mapStateToProps and mapDispatchToProps.


It is a function that can be used for defining the props of the connected component that are based on the state of the Redux store.


  • It is a JS object of action-creators functions passed to the connected components as props.
  • The functions passed in mapDispatchToProps must be action creators, i.e. functions that returns Redux actions.

As you noticed how we can pass our action creators and redux state as a parameter to the Users component.

On button click, we invoke action-creator which makes an API call and update the redux state.
In useEffect we will monitor the change in redux state and update the UI with response data.

Finally, our React application with Redux is ready!!! 😎😎


We can use the Redux Devtools to test and debug how Redux states are changing.


You can find the final code in my github repo

Wrap Up!!

Thank you for your time!! Let's connect to learn and grow together.

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Top comments (9)

domiii profile image

Hey, great introduction for beginners.
Since you are calling this a complete guide (not a "first look"), you might want to consider the following naggy points (not sure if appreciated or not):

  1. In React hook land, mapXToProps is superceded by useSelector and useDispatch hooks
  2. Don't use useState, unless you have a very good reason to. You want to keep your state management cleanly separated from your components. That is why people (claim to) use Redux in the first place. (Although this inconsistency is prevailant in many production code bases.)
  3. Gif nor article feature "Redux Dev Tools". It's definitely one of the first things you want to use to visualize and analyze your state-action diagram.
  4. A complete guide should contain intermediate and advanced topics, not just the basics; else I'd consider it clickbait. But of course, all of this is just opinion. Maybe you might want to add "Part 1" to the title?
  5. Intermediate and advanced topics should probably largely focus on how to avoid the anti patterns that redux was developed to help you avoid, including keeping things separate, modular and in "flux". Here is some possible inspiration:

Good luck! Keep on hacking!

strap8 profile image
Nathan Foster • Edited

I agree with all your points expect the first. The useSelector hook does not give you memoization out of the box like the connect API does. The useSelector uses strict equality while the connect API checks for reference changes between the previous and next props. To achieve the same functionality with the useSelector hook, you can wrap your component with the React.memo HOC.

anuradha9712 profile image
Anuradha Aggarwal

@domiii Thank you for your feedback. I'll surely look into it!!

sefrem profile image

Nowadays Redux rarely if ever used without Redux Toolkit or Saga, so i'd say one would not call a guide complete without at least touching those subject.
Apart from that, great job.

it718 profile image
IT Solutionist, Specialist

Awesome, thank you for your posting.

anuradha9712 profile image
Anuradha Aggarwal

I'm glad you find it useful!!

dev_emmy profile image

this is awesome, keep it up...

anuradha9712 profile image
Anuradha Aggarwal

Thank you!!

ganeshshetty195 profile image
Ganesh Shetty

Nice one Anuradha, Would have been better if you could explain why exactly middleware we need
Thank You