Scala application development

React.js meets Scala – backend for React Native

Scala application development

The React library has been building its recognition and functionality already for eight years. We know that it is very beneficial for frontend developers, but ​​what role does the Scala programming language play in this? Can Scala be a backend for React Native?

React debuted over eight years ago on March 1, 2013. The latest version was released a few months ago, on March 22, 2021, React.js 17.0.2.

React is a JavaScript library for creating user interfaces (UIs). Jordan Walke, the creator of the library, is a Facebook software developer. The primary purpose of creating this library was to improve the platform quality, make it dynamic and innovative.

Innovation could help maintain an even pace with the update and a higher level of user interaction with Facebook. Also, React was implemented on Instagram in 2012, which was a year later than on Facebook.

The interest in React is constantly growing; in 2018, in the StackOverflow survey, the library took third place in the context of “Framework, Libraries, and Tools.

React Native is compatible with Android or IOS and allows for more creative improvement of mobile applications.

But how can you exactly use React?

React library is one of the more straightforward functional solutions. Because of this, it has gained popularity and many programmers’ followers.

You can choose between two React components:

  • Functional component – returning JSX
  • Class-based components: Declared via the ES6 class.

React benefits! What should you pay the most attention to?

backend for react native
  1. The simplicity of updating and administration: The React library is easy to update and manage your applications. Components can be used multiple times and updated or edited simultaneously.
  2. Virtual House – Equipping React with a virtual vDom implementation allowed for more efficient monitoring of user-facebook interactions and regular data updates. vDom is equipped with an algorithm that provides information about changing the target Virtual House.
  3. Helpful in Debugging –  React as a browser extension (React Developer Tools) allows an overview of the Home components, including the status, component and property hierarchies.
  4. React community – The popularity of the library gathered many supporters. This means a large number of tutorials and information available on the web. React enables quick and easy learning for beginners and seasoned developers.
  5. Transforming React into applications from the website. – For starters, using React greatly simplifies the overall component scripting process. By using JSX, a free syntax extension, HTML quoting and subcomponent rendering becomes a lot easier. Also, thanks to the writing shortcuts, source codes become much cleaner and simpler when you’re writing a React createElement.
  1. JSX and React – JSX allows you to write JavaScript in the React library from HTML. At the same time it’s providing more specific information about errors and protection against injection attacks.

React is a library that helps you manage your applications properly and modernly, maintaining their innovation, functionality, and simplicity.

In the list of companies that use React, we can find:

More about apps built with React Native: here

Forms of Scala and React

This non-obvious way is Scala.js, which implements Scala and can compile its code into JaVaScript. Thus, it is two-sided operational and allows web applications to develop using both of these language tools.

It means that you would be able to use Scala directly in React, but David Barri decided to combine these things into one, creating Scalajs-react. This library provides the complete set of wrappers that React needs to ensure security and functionality in Scala.js. It also provides Callback – repeatable calculations, possible to compose, which work in cooperation with React.

What can we find in a backend based on Scala Stack?

• Monix Task to manage side effects

http4s + tapir for HTTP API disclosure

access to the database

pure config for configuration

circe for JSON encoding

The most important advantage of the above libraries is their independence. It is possible to change them quickly, avoiding massive errors. What is more, the cat-effect provides cooperation between them, which is responsible for defining type-classes.

Bootzook’s backend has assumed its maximum purpose functionality during the implementation and use of the available components.

What are other compatible tools with React and Scala?

If we look more clearly, we can see a tool like Hook, which is a mechanism that allows the application to intercept things such as computer mouse and keyboard movements or messages. Such action operates with a specific name, which is a procedure hook.

What other functions does Hooks bring us?

  • Message monitoring (debugging aid)
  • Support for the F1 key – the help key
  • Efficient support for macro recording and playback
  • Mouse and keyboard simulation
  • Possibility to implement the application to CBT

How can we use Hooks and React?

During a discussion about the cooperation between React and Hooks, you should also pay attention to the Slinky 0.6.0 framework. Slinky is used to write applications in React and React Native in Scala with an API. The advantage of this framework is support for React Hooks, which allows you to improve type-safety while creating components with the help of the new Tag API.

React Hooks allows you to write applications more clearly and shortly. But why? It’s because the approach to writing components is entirely different. The Slinky 0.6.0 framework provides a range of Hooks APIs and a few functional features that allow you to build applications with React Hooks.

What are your benefits from Slinky?

Strictly speaking, Slinky ensures that the use of your time is kept simple and optimized by allowing developers to write type-safely with the smallest schema. Slinky is equipped with the ECMaScript6 (Es5) API. It enables you to define component classes in Scala, which can later be transformed into JavaScript and linked to React.

Creating a new component and building a simple interface can be a challenging task. But this is where the Slinky framework comes into play, which includes the @reactinterface macro annotation API.

While using the Scala language, we acquire the option of including compile phases and adding custom behavior, for example, AST or generating custom files.

The library based on the Scala language – Scala.meta, is a solution that could be chosen to create a high-level and innovative API for code transformation without using templates. To do this, it is enough to generate classes in Slinky, which transform into annotations needed for the @react component code. 

A more minor and more balanced component compared to JavaScript code! 

What’s the best backend for React Native?

Is it worth choosing the Scala language when developing web applications?

backend for react native

At first glance, JavaScript seems to be the ideal language to connect to React or React Native. However, after a deeper analysis, it turns out that the Scala language may also be a satisfactory solution. 

The resulting libraries, such as Scala.js or Scala.meta, ensure compatibility between React and the Scala language, thanks to an innovative feature. Scala’s language is unclouded and straightforward, which can be helpful when building a user API.

It is also a language that combines functional and object-oriented features, expanding the range of possibilities. Backend using Scala language, when properly used, shows maximum functionality during implementation or use of components.

See also:

Download e-book:

Scalac Case Study Book

Download now


Agata Nowak
Agata Nowak

Marketing Specialist at Scalac. At work I value creativity, willngness to learn and good teamwork. Besides, I love to travel, I am piano player and #catlover.

Latest Blogposts

08.05.2024 / By  Scalac Team

Figma to React: Design to Code Conversion

From Figma to React

From Figma to React: Introduction Recently, within our team, a discussion emerged about converting designs made in Figma into React code. This conversation was sparked due to the constant evolution of tools available for developers. While the possibility of converting design to code has existed for some time, its implementation has been, frankly speaking, suboptimal. […]

29.04.2024 / By  Matylda Kamińska

Scalendar May 2024

scalendar may 2024

Event-driven Newsletter Welcome to our May 2024 edition of Scalendar! As we move into a bustling spring, this issue brings you a compilation of the most anticipated frontend and software architecture events around the globe. With a particular focus on Scala conferences in May 2024, our newsletter serves as your guide to keep you updated […]

23.04.2024 / By  Bartosz Budnik

Kalix tutorial: Building invoice application

Kalix app building.

Scala is well-known for its great functional scala libraries which enable the building of complex applications designed for streaming data or providing reliable solutions with effect systems. However, there are not that many solutions which we could call frameworks to provide every necessary tool and out-of-the box integrations with databases, message brokers, etc. In 2022, Kalix was […]

software product development

Need a successful project?

Estimate project