Redux Revisited

posted 4 years ago

I wrote Typed Redux after using TypeScript with Redux for the first time. It was a mistake writing the article so soon after learning both technologies. Here is my updated approach.

Store Module

It's nice to keep your store code in one directory tree. The structure I use:

store
├── actions.ts
├── index.ts
├── reducers.ts
└── users
    ├── actions.ts
    ├── events.ts
    ├── index.ts
    ├── reducers.ts
    └── selectors.ts

In the directory tree above, users is a resource directory.

Connected Containers

Before diving into designing the store, it's helpful to see how the store is used. For example, to wire up the UserIndex page of an imaginary website.

// route/UserIndex/index.tsx


// Step 1: define connected props

import { User } from "models/user"

interface StoreProps {
    users: User[];
}

// Step 2: use selectors to map the needed props

import { ReduxState } from "store"
import { getRoute } from "store/route"
import { getUsersByAccount } from "store/users"

function mapState(state: ReduxState): StoreProps {
    const route = getRoute(state)
    const accountId = route.params["account"]
    const usersByAccount = getUsersByAccount(state)
    return {
        users: usersByAccount[accountId],
    }
}

// Step 3: connect the props and needed actions

import { connect } from "react-redux"
import { inviteUser } from "store/users"

const enhance = connect(mapState, {
    inviteUser,
})

// Step 4: export the new connected component

import UserIndex from "./UserIndex"

export default enhance(UserIndex)

You can see each resource directory needs to export selectors that start with get and action verbs. The main store module needs to export an interface defining the complete app state.

Domain Model

You need to define what goes in the store. The business goals of the project should define the domain models. For example a financial app could have Trade and Quote while a communication platform may include Person and Discussion.

// models/user.ts

export interface User {
    id: string;
    name: string;
}

I always need a lookup collection as well.

// models/lookup.ts

export type Lookup<T> = Record<string, T>

Reducer Shape

The first step is to define your reducers and selectors.

// store/users/reducers.ts

import { User } from "models/user"
import { Lookup } from "models/lookup"

export type Users = Lookup<User>

// To be continued ...

Include the new reducer state in the main app state.

// store/reducers.ts

import { Users } from "store/users/reducers"

export interface ReduxState {
    users: Users;
}

Import back into the users resource directory to have type-safe selection.

// store/users/selectors.ts

import { ReduxState } from "store/reducers"
import { Users } from "store/users/reducers"

export function getUsers(state: ReduxState): Users {
    return state.users
}

Test the TypeScript compiler by changing the keys or introducing a typo. You should be confident the reducer shape is reflected in the app state.

Action Events

Instead of action type constants, TypeScript offers discriminated unions. By providing different type string constants in interface definitions, we can use type-safe guard conditions.

// store/users/events.ts

import { User } from "models/user"

export interface UserSnapshot {
    type: "UserSnapshot";
    payload: {
        user: User;
    };
}

Combine every action event into one combined union type.

// store/events.ts

import { UserSnapshot } from "store/users/events"

export type ReduxAction = UserSnapshot | ...

Import the action union type into the reducer and access the payload properties safely.

// store/users/reducers.ts

...

// To be continued ...

import { ReduxAction } from "store/events"

export function users(state = {}, action: ReduxAction): Users {
    if (action.type == "UserSnapshot") {
        const { user } = action.payload
        return {
            ...state,
            [user.id]: user,
        }
    }
    return state
}

Test the TypeScript compiler by removing UserSnapshot from the union type. Add it back and try accessing a property on the action payload that doesn't exist, or exists for a different action.

Action Thunks

You can dispatch synchronous actions by returning a ReduxAction.

// store/users/actions.ts

import { User } from "models/user"

export function setUserSnapshot(user: User): ReduxAction {
    return {
        type: "UserSnapshot",
        payload: {
            user,
        },
    }
}

Most apps use async action creators. I use the redux-thunk middleware, it's simple and works.

// store/events.ts

export interface ReduxDispatch {
    (action: ReduxAction): void;
}

export interface ReduxThunk {
    (dispatch: ReduxDispatch): void;
}
// store/users/actions.ts

import { ReduxThunk, ReduxDispatch } from "store/events"

export function searchUserByName(name: string): ReduxThunk {
    return function(dispatch: ReduxDispatch): void {
        fetch(`/api/users/${name}`)
        .then(response => response.json())
        .then(data => {
            const user: User = {
                id: data.id,
                name: data.name,
            }
            return user
        })
        .then(user => {
            dispatch(setUserSnapshot(user))
        })
        .catch(err => {
            console.error(err)
        })
    }
}

Redux Resource

Each resource gets its own directory within the store.

store
├── users
│   ├── actions.ts
│   ├── events.ts
│   ├── index.ts
│   ├── reducers.ts
│   └── selectors.ts

You should export the actions and selectors in the index.

// store/users/index.ts

export {
    searchUserByName,
} from "./actions"

export {
    getUsers,
} from "./selectors"

Refer back to the Connected Containers section. We have gone full circle.

Store Instance

The final step is to combine each resource reducer into the app reducer.

import { combineReducers } from "redux"
import { users } from "store/users/reducers"

const reducer = combineReducers({
    users,
})

import { createStore, applyMiddleware } from "redux"
import thunk from "redux-thunk"

export const store = createStore(reducer, applyMiddleware(thunk))

export { ReduxState } from "store/reducers"

In the main entry point, wrap your root component or router in the redux store provider component.

// main.tsx

import { Provider } from "react-redux"
import { store } from "store"
import { checkAuthState } from "store/session"

function main() {
    store.dispatch(checkAuthState())

    const app = <Provider store={store}>
        <Router />
    </Provider>

    ReactDOM.render(app, document.getElementById("view"))
}

Final Remarks

It's a tedious but effective way to make sure your app data is always in the right place and up-to-date. Some final tips:

  • Add a new resource whenever you need data. If you need to track requests in flight or router params, add a new resource.
  • Shape your reducers to make selectors fast. If you need to select by multiple parameters, add a new reducer for each one, such as usersById and usersByName.
  • Manage complexity in your action creators, not in your reducers. It's better to dispatch more actions than to reduce more action types. For example dispatch collections one-by-one.
  • Don't use arrays in reducers. Use reselect to sort and memoize in your container state mapping function.

If you have comments, tweet them. Thanks for reading.