Why we’re using ReactJS for our Interact platform

Richard Jenkins outlines the benefits of using ReactJS for the Interact digital banking engagement platform.

Why we're using ReactJS for our Interact platform. Photo by Fatos Bytyqi on Unsplash.

You may think that Facebook hasn’t exactly been a benchmark of the good and the great lately, nor a benchmark of anything in particular outside of social media circles. And you may have an argument. However, when it comes to ReactJS – a JavaScript library for building user interfaces – Facebook is inspiring a wave of innovation that takes advantage of serverless computing.

ReactJS has been around since 2013, so it’s not exactly new. In five years, it has broken out of the confines of Facebook and is reportedly integrated into web applications such as Twitter, WordPress, Airbnb, Netflix and Uber. Here at ieDigital, we’re implementing the ReactJS framework into our products, so that we can work more efficiently and pass on the benefits to our clients. We currently use ASP.Net MVC, which requires us to host a web server to access our Web APIs. ReactJS is allowing us to remove a whole layer of hosting, as it has moved and simplified the processing to the browser itself. The web server is no longer needed to render the HTML with the data from our APIs, as the browser now takes on this responsibility, collecting the data rendering pages through JavaScript. 

To us, this is another step in moving forwards and making use of the most efficient tools and frameworks at our disposal. To our clients, it’s about being fast and cost-effective. Let’s look at some of the benefits of ReactJS without getting into the technical weeds.

The benefits of ReactJS

You can create rich web applications with awesome rendering performance.What does this mean to you? Perhaps you’re a financial services organisation with a lot going on on your web page. It loads slowly, is chock full of data, and the user journey is laborious. ReactJS makes it so the page doesn’t have to reload, which means the user journey is lightning fast. Did we mention that it will also help SEO by search engines being able to crawl? Your site editor and marketing team will do cartwheels.

The development and maintenance of your products and services is quick and agile.We try not to overuse the word agile at ieDigital, but in this case it’s spot-on. ReactJS can deliver a better user experience because it’s fast, and your development teams will love being able to adapt quickly to changes in product design and implementation. These gains in the development cycle carry over to the size of deployment. Yes, it’s small. The browser does all the UI work, making the a fully serverless stack scenario a reality when coupled with the likes of AWS Lambda, Google Cloud Functions, or Azure Functions, and so on.

You’re going to save time and money.The ReactJS framework is so efficient, so small and so agile that you can’t help but save time and money. It’s a no-brainer, actually. By being able to unleash your developers on a highly supported, low footprint, stable framework that delivers a better customer experience and improves engagement in the process, you can’t help but realise the business benefits and advantages over your competitors. 

Adapting Interact

And so to our own product, Interact, and in particular Interact Connect and Interact Collect. We are making changes to these solutions that capitalise on the full power and potential of the ReactJS framework. We are in the midst of developing new ReactJS customer web applications in a fraction of the time and resources it took to write them in ASP.Net MVC. Not only that, but we are leveraging modularisation through npm (node package manager) and the code compatibility of ReactJS and React Native to kick-start our cross-platform mobile development projects!

In the process, we’re enhancing Interact so that the platform can make gains in consistency, quality and cost efficiency right across the board. It’s an exciting time to be working in software development, with innovation in fintech moving so quickly that regulation can barely keep up.

On the development side of things, the next few years will be a blur, and innovation in technology and software development will be an exciting and productive landscape that will change how we interact with web apps for the benefit of everyone. And we’ll be there.

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