The Ultimate Comparison: Angular vs React vs Vue

Every day, JavaScript is becoming more and more widely used.

If previously it was suitable only to create the client part of the web application, today it also has great capabilities for backend development.

Modern JS is also adapted for applications designed for processing large amounts of data because of its wide variety of tools and ability to write a clear and concise code. Are you still not convinced?

In fact, JavaScript offers a lot of instruments for searching, reading, creating, editing, deleting and filtering various types of data rapidly:

  • built-in CRUD operations
  • memory management operations
  • Map, Filter and Reduce in functional JS.

On the other hand, it is understandable that “pure” JavaScript does not allow for a lot of flexibility. In order to create something usable with its help (especially when it comes to processing large amounts of data), you will need a framework.

We chose three most popular JS-frameworks (or rather, two frameworks and one library) to compare: Angular.js, Vue.js, and React.js.

This trio gained the most number of stars on the Github last year, as demonstrated in the statistics by RisingStars.

The most surprising in this case is that the leader in the top was the very young Vue.js, which by the middle of 2016, was only available  in the creator’s native Chinese language. Its rapid expansion is an indicator of its success.

Angular vs React vs VueAngular vs React vs Vue

Now, let us try to understand which of these software solutions is worth paying attention to when creating data processing software.

React vs Angular vs Vue: 5 Representative Rounds

In order to get the most objective assessment of these three products, we decided to analyze each of them according to five criteria that are fundamental for creating data processing software.

These are the following:

Round 1: Principles of Interaction with DOM

The main tool for performing dynamic changes within a hypertext document (XML/HTML) is the DOM (Document Object Model) manipulation.

On modern web resources, such models may have hundreds of nodes, which unfortunately can negatively affect the speed of the created web applications. Let us find out which methods of working with DOM are chosen by each of the reviewed solutions.

We shall start with the React analysis. The operation of React.js is based on a virtual DOM – a “lightweight copy” of a real one. In order to check the nodes that must be “redrawn,” React-based applications compare two DOM trees (one of which is virtual) and the rendering itself starts only on those nodes that require changing.

This approach improves the performance of the software on the client side. In some cases. React will not be so easy to apply, such as when an animation with complex time synchronization is created since all operations with DOM have to be manually codified.

virtual dom vs real domvirtual dom vs real dom

As for Vue, here all the data is “bound” to events and updated synchronously. In fact, Vue also uses Virtual DOM like React but does it with a little more filigree, operating the references to each node of the tree.

This is why many developers choose this framework for applications that are capacitive (in terms of animation and interactivity) applications.

And, finally, a few words about Angular 5 (the latest version). This framework, although it works with Real DOM, does so indirectly, through abstractions – Renderer2, TemplateRef, ElementRef, and ViewContainerRef, as well as directives that simplify the creation of dynamic content: ngTemplateOutlet and ngComponentOutlet.

Novice developers need a lot of time to master the principles of operating the DOM. Therefore, our view is that the most successful ratio of time and efficiency belongs to Vue.

Round 2: Performance

Now let us analyze the performance – one of the most requested but at the same time controversial criteria for comparing JS-frameworks.

As you can judge by the analytical indicators, React and Vue create efficient software solutions.

Moreover, React developers currently are testing React Fiber – a new core algorithm, which would make the visuals notably more responsive.

In this round, Angular 5 clearly loses, based on the same data from the above test.

Therefore, we conclude that applications with complex business logic built on this framework are unlikely to have a speedy, user-friendly system.

Round 3: Adaptability to the Teamwork

What can we say about convenience?

Let us talk about how much our competitors are suitable for group work.

We are going to start with React.js. The main problem of this library is the fact that there is no division into the MVC (Model-View-Controller), MVW (Model-View-Whatever), or MVVM (Model-View-ViewModel) structures.

Without the division of application’s logic and presentation, several developers or even teams cannot be implemented simultaneously, which in turn can significantly complicate the development process and make it time-consuming.

In turn, Vue is an MVC framework. Additionally, it provides developers with a template, which is presented in the form of directives and filters. This creates a more readable code and, as a result, decreases the probability of bugs.

What about Angular? This framework was designed for developer convenience since the start. Based on the MVW architecture, it separates the application logic from its representation to the UI. As a result, we get a modular solution, which several development teams can use simultaneously and with the same data.

Therefore, if you are focused on extremely productive team interaction, React may be out of the question. So is Vue or Angular your best choice?

Round 4: Entry Threshold

Now let us define the input threshold of each of the three frameworks discussed in this article.

Although React is considered much easier to learn compared to Angular, it is, in turn, more difficult than Vue. In particular, to create applications on React you will need experience with JSX and ECMAScript2015 (and later versions).

For Vue, you will only need JS, with a slant to classical web programming. Moreover, behind the scenes, Vue is considered an easier version of Angular. It is just as well structured, but does not require as much training. In fact, Vue.js is both simple in the HTML-centric approach and in writing the JavaScript code. In this respect, it is many times better than React.

Now about Angular. This framework, thanks to its time-tested features, offers an incredible amount of functionality “straight out of the box”. Here, you will not encounter the problems inherent to React and Vue.

For example, in 99 out of 100 cases, you will not need any third-party libraries. Despite the fact that Vue is also a fully fledged framework, it is still young enough and it might not have the right tools, or have the right tools but in Chinese.

Also note that due to the implementation of TypeScript in Angular, you can easily upgrade old projects by refactoring old code. In TS it is very convenient and takes minimal time.

As we can see, in the battle between Angular 5, Vue, and React – Vue wins the fourth round unequivocally.

Round 5: Major Disadvantages

And now – the most unusual round.

Some of the shortcomings inherent to this or that framework can practically nullify all of its advantages.

Therefore, for the sake of objectivity, we decided to highlight a number of shortcomings particular to reviewed frameworks – React, Angular and Vue.

Let us start with React. In fact, it has only one substantial disadvantage.

React is not a complete framework but a library. Therefore, if you are trying to meet the shortest possible terms when creating the project, React may not be the best choice to create any advanced functionality, as you will need the aid of third-party tools.

And if you want to update the created software, then any of these tools may already be outdated or deprecated at the time of updating. You have to find a replacement, which takes resources.

Now a few words about Vue.js. First of all, Vue’s largest community is Chinese.

Therefore, be prepared to look for solutions to your problems when coding in Vue yourself.

Secondly, this framework has vexing runtime errors in the templates – an offset to the convenience of usage (the same was true for Angular 1). Finally, the infrastructure of the framework is quite new and there’s few community-created components.

Nevertheless, we must note that in most cases developers rarely need to use any third-party tools thanks to extensive built-in capabilities.

And, to conclude, a little bit about Angular. Among its shortcomings is a rather high threshold of entry with the need to learn the TypeScript and some difficulties that can arise during server-based templating due to the separation of the JS code and HTML rendering.

Which of the above shortcomings is the most significant is up to you.

After all, perhaps you may find mastering the same TypeScript difficult but believe little to no English-speaking support when working with Vue is an even more considerable flaw.

Read also: React vs Vue Comparison

Angular vs React vs Vue: How to Choose the Right Framework

As you can see, each of the above contestants is good at something.

Angular is the best choice for large-scale projects, React is ideal for those who do not want to limit themselves to any frames, and Vue is a kind of “compromise” between these two solutions and is often chosen for work in small teams. In our opinion, there is no winner here.

Therefore, the decision should be made upon personal preferences and requirements of a particular project.

If you have an idea for an application that processes large amounts of heterogeneous data but you cannot figure out the tools to create it, we recommend consulting with professionals.

We shall gladly take up your project and produce a result with efficient software, fully adapted for later scaling and complementing it with the new functionality.

Posted by Contributor