Chapter 5. Connecting to Services

React, unlike frameworks such as Angular, does not include everything you might need for an application. In particular, it does not provide a standard way to get data from network services into your application. That freedom is excellent because it means that React applications can use the latest technology. The downside is that developers just starting with React are left to struggle on their own.

In this chapter, we will look at a few ways to attach network services to your application. We will see some common themes through each of these recipes, and we’ll try to keep the network code separate from the components that use it. That way, when a new web service technology comes along, we can switch to it without changing a lot of code.

5.1 Convert Network Calls to Hooks


One of the advantages of component-based development is that it breaks the code down into small manageable chunks, each of which performs a distinct, identifiable action. In some ways, the best kind of component is one that you can see on a large screen without scrolling. One of the great features of React is that it has, in many ways, gotten simpler over time. React hooks and the move away from class-based components have removed boilerplate and reduced the amount of code.

However, one way to inflate the size of a component is by filling it with networking code. If you aim to create simple code, you should try to strip out networking code from your components. The components ...

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