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12 February 2018

Shelf Life - are React and Angular frameworks here to stay?

Your choice of development framework will have long term repercussions for IT and corporate strategy for years to come. When migrating and upgrading legacy web applications – or building new ones from scratch – the option of using React and Angular frameworks will inevitably become a consideration.

For legacy developers, these technologies contain an element of the unknown – even for those with JavaScript programming training. With a long track record of retired technologies (Coldfusion, VBScript, ASP, CGI etc), it makes sense to question the longevity of Angular and React when planning future web development projects.

AngularJS and Angular 2+

Created to assist with developing single-page applications, Angular plays an important role in delivering services to Google’s customers. The framework is also used by other global brands to deliver web services including JetBlue and Netflix.

Worryingly, Google has a habit of cancelling successful, popular products. So is there a risk that any business committing their future to Angular could run into problems?

Yes and no. Google could stop developing Angular if they wanted to. Now 11 years old, Angular is into its second iteration however, giving every indication that Google are committed to the framework.

Having been released under an MIT license, there is every possibility that the mature, enthusiastic Angular developer community would create a fork to ensure its continued existence.

Google does have a clear development path in place however – Angular 6 is due for release in March or April this year, with version 7 following in September/October.


React is the brainchild of social networking giant Facebook, designed to present data to users without requiring a page refresh. High profile users of the JavaScript framework include Instagram, the New York Times and Airbnb.

React is noticeably “younger” than Angular; the framework was only made available to developers in 2013. The number of high-profile React users suggests that many companies can see a long term future with the framework.

Newer developments designed to increase the functionality of the core React framework include React Native for mobile app development, and Reactive Extensions (Rx) for handling push sequences in .NET applications.

Importantly, React is officially Open Source software, allowing anyone to modify and extend core code as required. There is nothing to stop any business, individual or developer community from creating their own fork should Facebook withdraw support for the framework.

Choose either. Or both.

The developer bodies behind React and Angular clearly have long term plans for both frameworks. Both also boast growing developer communities, making them good choices for building your own web-based applications.

Importantly, React and Angular can be used together too. So there’s no reason to make an either/or decision for your web applications – you can use both if required.

“Speed, flexibility and low resource demands are crucial to building successful web applications. Clearly Angular and React are two of the most popular JavaScript frameworks currently in use because they can deliver on these requirements, “ said JBI’s web development lead James Clarke, “With healthy developer communities and documented development road maps, both are good choice for your own projects.”

To learn more about React training and Angular courses for your developers, please get in touch.

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