Tuesday 14 November 2023

Which Framework Is Better: Angular, React, or Blazor?

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Popular JavaScript frameworks for developing single-page applications (SPAs) include Angular, React, and Blazor. They each have their own set of advantages and disadvantages, and the ideal option for you will be determined by your specific requirements and tastes.

 If you are starting a new project and must choose one of them, it is entirely up to you and your team. The good news is that none of these frameworks are inherently good or negative. They are all capable of the same thing. It's similar to purchasing a new car. Which vehicle did you purchase? It all relies on your budget, your tastes, and your preferences. Every car does the same thing.

History of Angular, React, and Blazor

Angular is a TypeScript-based framework with a big and mature community, extensive tooling, and a strong emphasis on structure and organization. Angular is an excellent solution for huge, complex projects that necessitate a great deal of structure and guidance. However, Angular can also be more verbose and opinionated than other frameworks, which can make it more difficult to learn and use.

React is a JavaScript library used to create user interfaces. React is well-known for its ease of use and versatility, as well as its component-based architecture and huge and active community. React is an excellent solution for smaller, more focused applications requiring a high degree of flexibility. React, on the other hand, can be more difficult to learn and use than other frameworks, and it may necessitate more boilerplate code.

Blazor is a WebAssembly-based C# web framework. Blazor is an excellent solution for.NET developers looking to create SPAs with their existing skills and tools. However, Blazor is still a young framework, and it lacks the maturity and community support that Angular and React do. Microsoft created Blazor to give.NET and C# developers the option of building SPAs with a little bit of JavaScript and largely C# language, so there is no significant learning curve for existing.NET developers.

While React and Angular are both client-side frameworks, Blazor supports both client-side and server-side development. If you are an ASP.NET developer and want to build Blazor apps the ASP.NET way, you can use Blazor Server; however, if you are a JS developer and want to accomplish the majority of your work on the client side, you can use Blazor WebAssembly.

What is the difference between Angular, React, and Blazor?
The following table outlines the main differences between Angular, React, and Blazor:

How to choose between Angular, React, and Blazor

As I mentioned, the choice between these three frameworks starts with you, your team, your project requirements, and your company.

Here are some factors to consider when choosing a UI framework:

1. Your team's skills and experience

If your team is already familiar with one of the frameworks, it may be easier to use that one. Remember, the purpose of building new software is to help businesses run better, cheaper, and faster. Your goal should not be stuck on a tech stack but to solve a business problem. The faster and cheaper, the better. For example, if your team is experienced in .NET and C#, Blazor is probably a better choice for you. But if your team doesn’t know C# and .NET but is good in JavaScript and TypeScript, Angular is a better fit. What if you are just starting and have some young developers on your team? React may be the easiest way to learn to get started.

2. Your project's requirements

If you need a framework with a lot of structure and guidance, Angular may be a good choice. If you need a framework that is flexible and easy to learn, React may be a good choice. If you are a .NET developer, Blazor may be a good choice. Some companies and projects already have a tech stack decided by the leadership. They may have guidelines that all of our front-end UI will be developed in React.

3. Your company’s preference

Existing tech stack and expertise also matter. If you have a team of Angular developers that are working on other projects, you may want to stick with Angular because in long run, you will need a support and maintenance team for the project. 

As a company, if you have multiple projects being developed in multiple languages and frameworks, it will get costly over time because now the company has to employ teams with different skill sets. 

In my experience, most large and medium-sized companies have tech stack decided by the leadership, so they have fewer people to maintain and support the deployed applications.

4. Performance

When it comes to performance, Angular and React are generally considered to be the most performant of the three frameworks. Blazor is still under development, and its performance is not yet as well-optimized. However, Blazor is still a promising framework, and its performance is likely to improve over time.

Of course, the performance of any web application will also depend on a number of other factors, such as the specific code that is written, the hosting environment, and the user's browser. If you have a bad coder, your React app can be the slowest. 

Here are some additional factors to consider when choosing between Angular, React, and Blazor for performance:

  • Application size: Angular is generally considered to be a better choice for large, complex applications.
  • Developer experience: React is generally considered to be a better choice for developers who are new to JavaScript frameworks.
  • Ecosystem: Angular has a larger ecosystem of libraries and tools than Blazor.

5. Existing libraries and components

As I said earlier, the goal of building new software is to solve a business need and go to market faster than slower. If you can use existing components and libraries and already have experience with them, you may want to choose that path. For example, if you’ve worked with a set of third-party components, such as a calendar and scheduling in Blazor, and want to build an app for scheduling, you may want to pick Blazor. But if you are building a highly scalable app for real-time updates that you have built in React, you may want to use React for the project.

6. Jobs and learning

Some people like to learn new skills and also try to get new jobs. If you are targeting a specific company and you know they use a specific tech stack, you may want to learn that. For example, a large corporation in my area mostly builds their software focused around Microsoft stack, and their new apps are developed using React as front end and .NET/C# as backend. In this case, you may want to learn React for the front end and C# for the back end.

7. Your community preferences

If you prefer to work with a large and active community, Angular or React may be a good choice. If you prefer to work with a smaller but growing community, Blazor may be a good choice.

8. Build POCs

Once you decide which framework you want to go with, make sure to build smaller POCs and do some research on open-source projects to learn and see if the functionality you’re going to build is possible in that framework. For example, if you want to build a new Chat app and you find a React component off the shelf as an open-source project, this could be the fastest way to go live.

Enterprise vs Startups

The way React and Angular were started, Angular is more popular among enterprises, and React is more popular among startups. The reason is that Angular uses the MVC architecture and can easily manage different layers of an application. React, on the other hand, requires some kind of backend support.

Blazor, being the new kid in town, is more popular among enterprises that are heavily vested in the Microsoft tech stack. The biggest benefit of Blazor is .NET and C#. If a company is Microsoft stack-based and already has a team of C# and .NET developers, there is no learning curve. The same team can get to work within a few days.

Scalable startups such as Facebook and Instagram are for billions of people and often require a faster and more responsive front-end with real-time updates. Enterprise applications such as a Financial Analysts dashboard require charts, graphs, and reports. 

Startups are more likely to adopt React due its easy to its easy-to-learn and adaptability. While enterprises have a structured approach to designing new software. An enterprise is more likely to use Angular or Blazor because of the completeness of the UI framework.

From my personal experience, I've seen a rise in a combination of React and C# among enterprises where the front-end is developed using React, JS and CSS while the backend and API is developed in C#.

Number of apps developed using Angular, React, and Blazor

According to a recent survey by Statista, React is the most popular JavaScript framework for web development, with 40.14% of developers using it. Angular is the second most popular framework, with 22.45% of developers using it. Blazor is a relatively new framework, but it is growing in popularity, with 10.49% of developers using it.

Framework    Number of applications
React              40.14%
Angular           22.45%
Blazor             10.49%

Conclusion: Choosing between Angular, React, and Blazor

When it comes to choosing between Angular, React, and Blazor as your front-end framework, there is no easy way to answer that. It all depends on your experience, interest, project needs, and your company. All these frameworks are great and can do almost anything. However, Blazor being a new framework, you want to test drive it first before you go and invest fully in it.

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