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Sencha packages web UI widgets for enterprise React devs

Forthcoming ExtReact promises support for a price

By Thomas Claburn, 16 May 2017

Enterprise web app biz Sencha plans to make its ExtJS JavaScript interface components available to React developers through an offering called ExtReact.

React, a Facebook-created open source JavaScript library, has become one of the most popular toolkits for building modern web apps, alongside frameworks like Angular and Vue.

The library helps developers build web app interfaces with components that can be reused in various user interface views. Code reuse saves developers time and labor by preventing them from having to reinvent the wheel every time an app needs a scroll wheel or date picker.

Many of these interface components are available as open source code, which can be altered as needed, given developers of sufficient skill. But businesses are often reluctant to integrate third-party components into their apps without the assurance that the code will be maintained and supported by its creator, Kristin Brennan, VP of marketing told The Register in a phone interview.

ExtReact, said Brennan, "will reduce time to market, remove upgrade barriers, and let developers build apps faster."

Mark Brocato, senior engineering manager at Sencha, said React is the fastest growing JavaScript framework at the moment, though he's not sure if it's the most widespread.

He said ongoing advances in web app technology, like Progressive Web Apps, have encouraged developers to build for the web instead of writing native code for specific devices, particularly for internal and business-to-business uses.

Sencha is offering ExtReact – or will at some point in Q2 – based on the assumption that businesses would rather pay than gamble on unsupported code. For an annual fee of $695 for the standard edition or $1,195 for the premium edition, corporate developers can avail themselves of 115 tested and supported React components and tools.

Among these many components, some of the most useful include blocks of code for presenting data in a grid, for exporting it in common formats, and for building charts and D3 data visualizations.

ExtReact also includes tools for connecting with backend data sources and consuming data in a variety of formats, for handling no-code theming, and for streamlining data input and app navigation. ®

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