Lesson Wednesday

One of React's many advantages is its ability to reuse components. Whenever we are in a situation where we might need to reuse code, we should think carefully about whether that code can be extracted into another component and then used where needed.

We are almost ready to add update functionality to our Help Queue application, but before we do, we have an opportunity to think about code reusability. Currently, our NewTicketForm component uses a form. We will need to build an EditTicketForm that will use a form with the exact same fields. In fact, we can potentially use almost the exact same form for both components. Instead of copying the code into both components (which isn't DRY), let's extract some of that code into a component called ReusableForm.

Making a Reusable Form Component

We will keep this component simple. All it needs to do is render the form. Here's the code:

import React from "react";
import PropTypes from "prop-types";

function ReusableForm(props) {
  return (
      <form onSubmit={props.formSubmissionHandler}>
          placeholder='Pair Names' />
          placeholder='Location' />
          placeholder='Describe your issue.' />
        <button type='submit'>{props.buttonText}</button>

ReusableForm.propTypes = {
  formSubmissionHandler: PropTypes.func,
  buttonText: PropTypes.string

export default ReusableForm;

The JSX here is almost exactly the same as the form we've already built. There are just two small differences:

  • Our onSubmit function is now set to a prop called formSubmissionHandler. This is because the form for editing will trigger a different method than the form for creating a new ticket.

  • We will also pass in a prop for buttonText. We will want the button for each form to have different text.

If we wanted to, we could pass in props for all of the inputs in our form fields. That would be useful if our application had different forms with different fields. However, our forms will look exactly the same so we won't do that here.

Finally, we also need to pass in propTypes for both of our props.

Incorporating Our Reusable Form Component

Now let's refactor our NewTicketForm to use this reusable component. We only need to import our Reusable Form and then update our return():

import ReusableForm from "./ReusableForm";

  return (
        buttonText="Help!" />


We pass in two props: the method for handling new tickets (handleNewTicketFormSubmission) and the button text.

There's not much advantage to this reusable component yet. However, in the next lesson, we will be able to use this component again for our edit form.

When to Make Reusable Components

When should we try to make reusable components? In general, we should aim to reuse code whenever we are using it across multiple components. Forms are a common example but there are others, too, such as different kinds of welcome content, more complex headers, and so on. If there are small variations in the code like in the example above, we can use props to handle those differences.

As always, we should look for opportunities to DRY up our code. Building reusable components is a great way to refactor and improve our React applications.