Migrate to React Query/Context API/Hooks from Redux




Currently, HospitalRun Frontend uses redux to manage async data fetching through redux thunk. It also uses redux for handling the business logic. Redux's main use case is for handling and managing shared application state. HospitalRun Frontend has almost no shared state across components since it always goes back to PouchDB/CouchDB for the most recent data. Redux code is often verbose and contains a lot of boilerplate. Although, HospitalRun Frontend uses redux toolkit, the application still has a lot of boilerplate. Due to the limited amount of global application state, the desire to reduce boilerplate redux code, and new/other libraries available, Redux is no longer the correct tool.

Redux also makes testing more complicated. Since components that display data (i.e. patient data) are connected to the redux store, a mock redux store must be provided during tests. This makes it difficult to isolate testing just to the specific component. For components that save data, it is difficult to mock the actions that are dispatched.

react-query is a library for "handling fetching, caching, and updating asynchronous data in React". This library has become a popular replacement for the redux pattern of dispatching an action and storing the result of the data fetch in the redux store.

For the few uses cases that require global application state (i.e. session information), the React Context API is an alternative from the React library. The context API is designed for the use case of sharing state across components.


HospitalRun has chosen to use React Query to manage asynchronous requests for fetching data, the context api to manage shared application state such as user information, and hooks for sharing code and business logic.


Since HospitalRun v2.0 is still in a development state, there is little risk to refactoring to use react query, context api, and hooks.

There is a significant amount of refactor work to manage, however the outcome will be an application that is easier to maintain and contribute to.

Since hooks are just functions, it will be significantly easier to test due to being able to mock the function and use spies.

At the end of this refactor, no redux related code should exist in the application. All code should be migrated to a combination of react query hooks and context api for application state.

Although data fetches can be done through regular function calls to the PouchDB library, react-query is able to help provide a consistent interface for returning errors and help with loading states during async data fetching. React Query also will serve as a common interface for all async data fetches regardless of the target.