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Aliaksei Kuncevič
Aliaksei Kuncevič

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Reactive Services with RxJS

This is the first article, aka State Management Level 1 of the series Progressive State Management.

There are a lot of state management solutions that are available for Angular. However, do we always need to bring a fully-featured state management solution into our apps? Let's think about it.

Some main challenges building single-page applications we have to tackle are component communication and data flow. So that problems can be solved just by bringing the state management solution. However, state management solutions may introduce an additional level of complexity. As a result of that applications can become too hard and too expensive to maintain in the long run. So we should consider using state management solutions very carefully, based on the particular use-case scenario and remember about all the costs that come with that.

Being an Angular developer implies to be familiar with the basic concepts of RxJS. Which leads to the question of why don't we just use the powers or RxJS BehaviorSubject to solve the component communication? This way we can manage the data flow in our applications without introducing additional complexity. So, by using RxJS BehaviorSubject we can keep the solution simple, this approach works well on a small to medium scale. Let's see how we can achieve that.

Here is how reactive service might look like:

Can we improve that code? - yes, we can.

What we can do now is to reduce a bit of boilerplate in our reactive service by using an rx-service library

rx-service is a very simple library that wraps BehaviorSubject and provides utility functions on top of that. Methods like setState(), getState(), resetState() are available to manipulate the state of the BehaviorSubject. The local state exposed via the observable state$ variable.

That is how our code now look like using rx-service:

The benefit of using the rx-service library is that it abstracts BehaviorSubject so the code of your services becomes cleaner. Also, it allows you to unify the way you implement reactive services across your applications. So the code you write becomes more maintainable and easier to read.

That is how to consume the reactive service within component class:

You can introduce as many reactive services in your application as you want based on your exact use-case. In the long run, when the size and complexity of your application grow you may decide that you have enough reactive services in your application. Therefore, at this stage you may just replace reactive services with a proper state management solution of your choice.

My name is Aliaksei Kuncevič. I am teaching Angular and Web Technology. Helping dev teams to adopt Angular in the most efficient way. GDE, member of the NGXS Core Team.

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