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Part Two: Using Typescript with React Redux

Last time we went through using Typescript with React, and setup a small counter application. A lot of applications out there use Redux. A common pain-point for me was how to setup Typescript with Redux–it’s a common hurdle with my team also. Though Redux is a totally different library, it holds a big share of the state management market in React applications. In part two we’ll take a detour from base React, and look at converting our counter to using Redux!

Note: Same with part one, I’m going to assume Typescript, and now Redux, is setup and compiles. This is a write-up on integrating types, and less on how to setup a project.

Actions

We’ll start out creating a few actions for our counter.

// Action Types
export const INCREMENT = "INCREMENT";
export const DECREMENT = "DECREMENT";

export type ActionTypes = typeof INCREMENT | typeof DECREMENT;

export interface IAction {
  type: ActionTypes;
  payload: IPayload;
}

export interface IPayload {
  amount: number;
}

// Action Creators
export function increment(amount: number): IAction {
  return {
    type: INCREMENT,
    payload: {
      amount
    }
  };
}

export function decrement(amount: number): IAction {
  return {
    type: DECREMENT,
    payload: {
      amount
    }
  };
}

Going from top to bottom. We start out creating a few action types: INCREMENT and DECREMENT. This will allow us to reuse these strings as types, and get rid of any ‘magic strings’. Creating action types improves our code so we only have one place to update this value if our type should change. Additionally, reduces bugs that can occur due to human error (eg. we accidently put ‘inCREMENT’ or ‘increment’ instead of ‘INCREMENT’).

Moving on, we hit a Typescript type and a few interfaces. In ActionTypes we use a union type to say, “we can use any of these types”. This will come in handy later. Next, we define a general interface for our action creators. We provide the required Redux type property that reuses ActionTypes. To keep different actions similar, we’ll use payload to deliver a ‘value’ we want our reducer to work on. For the counter, we’ll use IPayload which has one property amount which is a number. We’ll use this to set the amount we’ll either increment or decrement the count.

Finally, we’ll create an action creator for both increment and decrementing our counter. These functions are pretty straightforward. They are both functions that take a number, amount, and returns an IAction.

Reducer

export const defaultState = {
  count: 0
};

export function rootReducer(state = defaultState, action: IAction) {
  switch (action.type) {
    case INCREMENT:
      return {
        count: state.count + action.payload.amount
      };

    case DECREMENT:
      return {
        count: state.count - action.payload.amount
      };

    default:
      return state;
  }
}

I won’t spend too much time on the reducer as Typescript doesn’t play much role here (in this example). We’ll export our defaultState to use later!

Component

interface IStateToProps {
  count: number;
}

interface IDispatchToProps {
  increment: typeof increment;
  decrement: typeof decrement;
}

type AllProps = IStateToProps & IDispatchToProps;

class App extends React.Component<AllProps> {
  private handleClick = (event: React.MouseEvent<HTMLButtonElement>) => {
    const type: string = event.currentTarget.title;

    if (type === "decrement") {
      this.props.decrement(1);
    } else {
      this.props.increment(2);
    }
  };

  public render() {
    return (
      <div>
        <button title="decrement" onClick={this.handleClick}>
          -
        </button>
        {this.props.count}
        <button title="increment" onClick={this.handleClick}>
          +
        </button>
      </div>
    );
  }
}

export const ConnectedApp = connect<IStateToProps, IDispatchToProps>(
  (state: typeof defaultState) => ({
    count: state.count
  }),
  {
    increment,
    decrement
  }
)(App);

In this example we’re using a library react-redux–making it easier to connect React components to Redux. Starting out, we create two interfaces that we’ll use both as App’s props and in the connect() function at the bottom of the code.

IStateToProps we tell Typescript what the mapped state will be named. In our case we’ll keep the name count. IDispatchToProps we define what actions our component will get. Using typeof we can easily tell Typescript to reuse the implied type definition of increment and decrement (our actions).

Next, we create a new type that combines both IStateToProps and IDispatchToProps. This is more for convenience as we see in App’s prop definition. We could of also used class App extends React.Component<IStateToProps & IDispatchToProps> and avoided the need for AllProps. Combining all the props to a type becomes valuable when using multiple lifecycle hooks (shouldComponentUpdate(nextProps: AllProps)), or multiple functions that work off the props!

The App component is pretty similar to our part one example, so we’ll skip this and look at the connect() function.

connect() is a generic type that can take three types connect<IStateToProps, IDispatchToProps, IProps>(). Going from left to right–first is the type definition for stateToProps. This is the connecting component’s props we’re mapping the Redux state to. Second, the type definition for dispatchToProps. This is the connecting component’s props we’re mapping Redux actions to. Lastly, we’re not using it in this example, but we can provide the props of our component we’re connecting.

We’ve successfully converted our counter to Redux, and provided useful types also!