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Implementing Redux in React App

When developing a React frontend with data frequently being fetched from a backend/API, it can sometimes become challenging passing state through props from one component to the next. This practice can be very tedious and can tempt you to fetch data from a less-than-ideal component just to simplify the state issue.

Redux is a state manager that allows you to store and retrieve data from any component on your front-end. I'm going to go through the process of setting up Redux in your app.

First, you will need to install the redux library. Run both of the following commands:

yarn add redux
yarn add react-redux

Next, we will create a reducer. A reducer accepts two arguments: current state & an action (e.g. user logged in/out, data fetched, auth failed). The new updated state will be returned by the reducer, taking into account the action that was passed to it.

Here is an example of a reducer (I would create this reducer in a separate file; let's call this file 'auth-reducer'):

  email: '',
  password: '',
  auth_token: '',
  errorFlag: false,
  spinner: false

export default (state = INITIAL_STATE, action) => {
  switch (action.type) {
    case 'EMAIL_CHANGED':
      return { ...state, email: action.payload };
      return { ...state, password: action.payload };
    case 'LOGIN_FAILED':
      return { ...state, errorFlag: true, password: '', spinner: false };
      return { ...state, ...action.payload, spinner: false };
      return { ...state, ...action.payload, spinner: false };
    case 'LOAD_SPINNER':
      return { ...state, spinner: true };
      return INITIAL_STATE;
      return state;

Next, we'll create a Redux store in our app component. First we need to import several items.

import { createStore } from 'redux'
import { Provider } from 'react-redux'
import AuthReducer from './AuthReducer' -> (this is where we created our reducer in the last step)

Now we are ready to create our Redux store.

const store = createStore(AuthReducer);
 <Provider store={store}>
   <App />

Notice that we created a store using the createStore function and passed it our AuthReducer. I also wrapped the 'App' component in a 'Provider' component which will allow all components inside App to access our store.

To access state inside a component you will create a function that assigns redux's state to the component's props. This is how I implemented my AuthReducer inside a login componenet:

const mapStateToProps = (state) => {
  return {
    password: state.auth.password, 
    error: state.auth.errorFlag,
    spinner: state.auth.spinner,
    auth_token: state.auth.auth_token

At the bottom of my component I also need to specify that I am using this functionality.

export default connect(mapStateToProps)(LoginForm);

Inside that component I could then access the password attribute in redux's state, by calling this.props.password.

To update redux's state you can either use mapDispatchToProps function or create individual actions that modify state. I will explain the process of creating individual actions.

If I wanted to change a user's email and/or password in state I could add the following functions:

export const emailChanged = (email) => {
  return {
    type: 'EMAIL_CHANGED',
    payload: email

export const passwordChanged = (password) => {
  return {
    payload: password

Now, inside my auth component I would import these functions and call them by passing in a new email/password. I would also need to modify my final export statement to the following:

export default connect(mapStateToProps, { emailChanged, passwordChanged })(LoginForm);

This run through should allow you to quickly set up a React App with Redux. There are many powerful ways to utilize Redux to improve performance and organization so I hope you enjoy. Check out the links below for further questions.

1. Redux Docs
2. React-Redux Docs
3. Quick and easy beginner’s guide to implementing Redux in a React app, by Paul Fitzgerald

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