So, I am sure you would have come across the term reactive programming and all the hype in the developer community for it. Reactive programming has begun its journey from pure web applications to Java Enterprise applications and now even to UI also. It does make you think why everyone is going for this modern programming paradigm quickly.
In this article, we’ll discuss how you can get started with reactive programming along with its key concepts and main advantages and limitations. We’ll look through the benefits it presents to the developers and to the business needs as well. We’ll then look at the challenges it presents to developers in implementation.
What is Reactive Programming?
Reactive programming is a new and modern programming paradigm in which we use declarative code in a manner that is similar to functional programming in order to build asynchronous message-driven systems.
Reactive programming is mainly concerned with data streams and the propagation of change. It means that it becomes possible to express static data streams like arrays or dynamic data streams like event-emitters with ease.
Reactive programming is often used to support the construction of reactive systems. It is used to break problems into small and discrete steps. Reactive programming steps are executed in an asynchronous and non-blocking fashion, via a callback mechanism. Some of the examples of reactive programming concepts are Futures, Promises, Streams, RxJava, RxScala, etc.
Why are Companies using Reactive Programming?
Many businesses are this modern trend of reactive programming and with good reason. Reactive programming builds the website or application in such a way that it offers a better user experience.
It leads to smoother and faster results which make user interactions much better. The motivation behind the reactive programming paradigm is that it helps to understand the challenges that are faced by developers and companies today as compared to the challenges faced only a decade ago.
What are the Benefits of Reactive Programming?
Some of the main benefits of reactive programming can be listed as:
1. Reactive programming improves user experience when used to build apps or websites. The asynchronous nature of reactive programming means that it will always offer a smoother and more responsive product for users to interact with.
2. One big bonus with reactive programming is that it is easy to manage as a developer. We can add or remove any blocks of code from individual data streams which means you can easily make any amendments needed via the stream concerned.
3. Reactive programming is less hassle than regular threading due to the way it allows users to work on the data streams. Not only this is true for basic threading in an application but also for more complex threading operations you may need to undertake.
4. Reactive programming allows us to write cleaner code which leads to more concise code.
5. Once you get the hang of reactive programming, it’ll be the easiest and convenient programming paradigm.
6. We can easily scale up and scale down any application built using reactive programming.
7. Reactive programming paradigm helps in better error handling
What are the Challenges of Reactive Programming?
While reactive programming is a great tool for developers to use, it does have some challenges to overcome when you get started with reactive programming.
As compared to previous ways of working, reactive programming is quite different. It leads to a steep learning curve due to which it might feel unconventional to start.
When working in reactive programming, it can be easy to handle subscriptions within an app or site incorrectly. This can lead to memory leakage which could end up slowing things down for users.
In reactive programming, most complexities need to be dealt with at the time of declaration of new services.
The scratches the surface of developing applications today and leads to why reactive programming isn’t just another trend but rather the paradigm for modern software developers to learn. Regardless of the language or toolkit chosen, putting scalability and resilience first to achieve responsiveness is the only way to meet the expectations of users. Reactive programming follows every possible aspect of responsiveness due to which it will only get more important with each passing year.