Posted in:

How Low-Code Tools are Changing the Game for React UI Libraries

© by Getty images

React UI libraries have become a popular choice for building user interfaces in the world of web development. However, as organizations increasingly rely on these libraries to create internal tools for their teams, they often face several common challenges. These include a steep learning curve, maintenance concerns, performance issues, accessibility compliance, consistency across tools, and licensing restrictions. In this blog, we’ll explore how these challenges are prevalent and how low-code tools can offer solutions to simplify the development process.What Are Internal Tools?

Internal tools are software applications created to enhance and streamline the workflow of a specific organization or team. These tools are tailored to meet the unique needs and requirements of a company, helping teams work more efficiently and effectively.

Understanding React UI Libraries

React UI libraries are treasure troves of pre-designed, reusable user interface components specially tailored for React applications. They offer developers an array of UI building blocks, ranging from buttons, and forms, to navigation menus, and beyond. These libraries have earned immense popularity due to their adaptability and effortless integration into React projects.

Here’s a quick rundown of some well-known React UI libraries:

Material-UI: This library stands as a crowd favorite, expertly translating Google’s Material Design principles into React components.

Ant Design: Known for its comprehensive suite of top-notch components, Ant Design draws inspiration from the Ant Financial ecosystem’s design language.

Semantic UI React: These are a collection of React components faithfully implementing Semantic UI’s design philosophy.

Chakra UI: An accessibility-focused library that champions customization and composability in crafting user interfaces.

Evergreen: A minimalist design system with a singular focus on delivering swift, clean, and accessible UI experiences.

Grommet: A component library built for crafting responsive and accessible user interfaces.

Base Web: Uber’s design system offers a collection of highly customizable UI components, providing a solid foundation for building unique interfaces.

Reactstrap: A lifesaver for those seeking to integrate Bootstrap styles and functionality seamlessly into React applications.

React Virtualized: A toolbox of React components specially designed for efficiently rendering extensive lists and tabular data.

React DnD (Drag and Drop): This library steps in when you need to introduce intuitive drag-and-drop interactions into your React components.

Challenges with React UI libraries 

Some challenges related to using React UI libraries for building tools used by teams, 

Learning Curve: Developers may need time to learn the specific React UI library’s API and best practices, potentially slowing down initial development.

Maintenance Challenges: React UI libraries require ongoing maintenance. Updates may introduce breaking changes or necessitate code adjustments in your internal tools.

Performance Considerations: Careful consideration is needed to ensure that the React UI library doesn’t introduce performance bottlenecks in your internal tools.

Accessibility Compliance: While many React UI libraries prioritize accessibility, you must ensure that components meet your organization’s accessibility requirements, which may require additional testing and adjustments.

Consistency Across Tools: Maintaining a consistent design and functionality across multiple internal tools can be challenging when relying on a React UI library. Custom themes or components may be needed for consistency.

License and Usage Restrictions: Some React UI libraries may have licensing restrictions, especially within corporate environments. Understanding and complying with library licensing terms is important.

Building Internal Tools with React UI Libraries

Many organizations leverage React UI libraries to develop internal tools for their teams. React UI libraries provide a foundation for creating user interfaces, offering a set of pre-designed components and functionalities. Developers use these libraries to build customized internal tools that cater to their team’s specific needs.

In recent years, low-code development platforms have emerged as a game-changer in this process. These platforms simplify the development of internal tools by providing a visual interface and making it easier to create consistent, user-friendly applications.

Low-code development platforms like DronaHQ are driving a profound transformation in the way organizations build applications, particularly internal tools. These platforms are streamlining the development process, enabling developers to create powerful, customized internal tools quickly and efficiently. Low-code tools are proving to be the preferred choice for creating internal tools, outshining the traditional approach of relying solely on React UI libraries.

The Emergence of Low-Code Development Tools:

Low-code development platforms have emerged as a direct response to the growing demand for easier application development cycles, cost reduction, and fostering collaboration between tech-savvy and non-technical stakeholders. These platforms provide a welcoming environment where developers and business users alike can visually design and piece together applications with minimal FrontEnd coding.

Key attributes of low-code tools include:

Visual Development: These platforms pamper you with drag-and-drop interfaces and visual builders, making it a breeze to create user interfaces and workflows without the need to work on making the frontend yourself.

Component Libraries: Low-code platforms usually come equipped with pre-built UI components, significantly reducing the dependency on external UI libraries.

Integration Ability: Mastering of database connections, APIs, and third-party services is simplified through ready connectors.

Workflow Automation: These tools provide nifty features for defining business logic and workflows, thus reducing the necessity for crafting custom code.

Ease of use: Low code tools are much easier to learn and use than React UI libraries. This makes them a good choice for non-technical users or for teams that need to build applications quickly.

Rapid development: Low code tools can help you to develop applications much faster than if you were using React UI libraries. This is because the tools take care of a lot of the underlying code for you.

Flexibility: Low-code tools are still flexible enough to let you create complex applications. However, they provide several templates and pre-built components that can help you to get started quickly.

Low-code platforms such as DronaHQ, OutSystems, Mendix, and Appsmith have gained popularity for their ability to accelerate development while still allowing for customization. But what does this mean for React UI libraries?

Now, let’s delve into the captivating world of how low-code tools can either take the reins from or complement your cherished React UI libraries:

Replacing React UI Libraries with Low-Code Tools


Material UI is a popular React UI library that is based on Google’s Material Design guidelines. It is also known for being complex to learn and use. Material-UI, with its impeccable implementation of Material Design, often meets its match in low-code platforms that offer pre-designed Material Design components. Low code tools such as DronaHQ and Retool provide a more visual and drag-and-drop approach to building Material UI applications. This grants you the power to swiftly create visually captivating interfaces using the pre-packaged Material Design elements provided by low-code solutions.

Ant Design:

Ant Design is another popular React UI library that provides a wide range of components and themes. However, it can be complex to learn and use. Low code tools such as Refine and UI Bakery provide a more visual approach to building Ant Design applications.

This becomes a time-saving alternative for projects where Ant Design’s unique features aren’t imperative.

Semantic UI React:

Semantic UI React is a React UI library that is based on the Semantic UI design system. It can be replaced with a low-code tool like Zoho Creator or Outsystems, which offer features for building custom enterprise applications. Low-code tools typically boast semantic and customizable UI components, overlapping with the offerings of Semantic UI React for a wide array of use cases. Achieving similar visual outcomes becomes a breeze with the built-in components, saving you valuable time and effort.


Reactstrap is a React library that provides a set of Bootstrap components. For projects that demand Bootstrap integration, low-code platforms often come to the rescue with Bootstrap-based components, rendering Reactstrap obsolete. It can be replaced with a low-code tool like Tilda or Weblium, which offers features for building responsive and mobile-friendly websites. This streamlines development and ensures uniform design elements across your application.

Chakra UI:

Chakra UI is a newer React UI library that is designed to be simple and easy to use. It is still under development, but it is gaining popularity due to its ease of use. However, Low-code tools such as Budibase and AppGyver provide a more visual and drag-and-drop approach to building Chakra UI applications. These low-code platforms support similar component libraries and theming options that can help you create accessible and visually delightful interfaces without diving deep into manual coding.


Evergreen is a lightweight and flexible React UI library that can be used to create a wide variety of user interfaces. It can be replaced with a low-code tool like Adobe XD or Figma, which offers a drag-and-drop interface for designing and prototyping UIs. These platforms empower you to craft clean and agile user interfaces that resonate with Evergreen’s principles.


Grommet is a React UI library that is designed to be accessible and inclusive. It can be replaced with a low-code tool like Framer or InVision Studio, which offers features for ensuring that UIs are accessible to all users.

Base Web:

Base Web is a React UI library that is designed to be simple and easy to use. Basic UI components provided by low-code platforms can adeptly replace Base Web for standard design elements. It can be replaced with a low-code tool like Retool or Webflow, which offers a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor for creating UIs.

While Base Web offers extensive customization, low-code platforms strike a balance between customization and ease of use, making your development journey smoother.

React Virtualized:

React Virtualized is a React library that is used to render large lists and grids of data efficiently. 

In scenarios demanding virtualization to tackle extensive lists or tabular data

It can be replaced with a low code tool like DronaHQ or Appsmith, which offers features for building data-driven applications. This simplifies the development process, particularly when dealing with data-rich applications.

React DnD (Drag and Drop):

React DnD (Drag and Drop) is a React library that is used to implement drag and drop functionality. It can be replaced with a low-code tool like Avocode or ProtoPie, which offers features for creating interactive prototypes. Mostly low-code tools typically include built-in drag-and-drop functionality, catering to the creation of user-friendly interfaces. This renders React DnD redundant in projects where drag-and-drop interactions are paramount.

In Conclusion

The transition from conventional React UI libraries to the embrace of low-code development tools signifies a paradigm shift in our approach to application development. While low-code platforms can seamlessly replace or partially supplement various aspects of React UI libraries, it is crucial to meticulously consider your project’s specific requirements.

For straightforward to moderately complex applications, low-code platforms offer a faster, more accessible development path. However, for highly specialized or deeply customized projects, React UI libraries may still be indispensable to achieve precision in design and functionality.

In the end, the choice between React UI libraries and low-code tools hinges on your project’s complexity, customization demands, and the delicate balance between development speed and control. It’s advisable to explore both options to discern which approach aligns best with your development goals and available resources. As the low-code landscape continues to evolve, the boundaries between traditional UI libraries and low-code tools may blur further, providing developers and businesses with an even broader spectrum of efficient application development choices.