In today’s fast-paced world, online applications are becoming increasingly popular for data management. One such application is IndexDB, a client-side storage mechanism for web browsers that allows you to store data in the user’s browser. However, managing IndexDB can be a challenging task, especially when working with large amounts of data. That’s where Dexie comes in.

In this blog post, we’ll explore how you can use Dexie with React to efficiently manage IndexDB and improve your web application’s performance. Here is the step-by-step guide to using the Dexie wrapper library. Learn how to efficiently store, retrieve, and manipulate data with features like bulkAdd() and key range queries.

Key Takeaways

  1. IndexedDB is a powerful client-side storage system for structured data that allows you to store significant amounts of data on the browser itself, making your application faster without having to call APIs to the backend every time.
  2. Compared to other storage systems like localStorage, IndexedDB is much more powerful and can store much bigger volumes of data, supports key range queries and indexes, and can store almost any kind of value by keys, and multiple key types.
  3. Dexie is a wrapper library for IndexedDB that provides a neat database API with a well-thought-through API design, robust error handling, extendability, change tracking awareness, and extended KeyRange support.
  4. Using Dexie, you can easily store and manipulate data in IndexedDB in your React application.
  5. When using IndexedDB in React, you can create components to display the data and use methods like bulkAdd(), count(), offset(), limit(), and toArray() to store, retrieve, and manipulate the data in IndexedDB.

What is IndexDB?

Before we get into using IndexDB in React, it’s important to understand what IndexDB is. In simple terms, IndexDB is a powerful client-side storage system for structured data that allows you to store significant amounts of data on the browser itself. 

It uses indexes to enable high-performance searches of the data and supports key range queries and indexes. Compared to other storage systems like localStorage, IndexDB is much more powerful and can store much bigger volumes of data. With a basic understanding of what IndexDB is, we can now delve into how to use it in React.

According to MDN, “IndexedDB is a low-level API for client-side storage of significant amounts of structured data, including files/blobs. This API uses indexes to enable high-performance searches of this data. While DOM Storage is useful for storing smaller amounts of data, it is less useful for storing larger amounts of structured data. IndexedDB provides a solution.”

Compared to localStorage, IndexedDB is much more powerful, as it allows you to store almost any kind of value by keys, and multiple key types, and supports key range queries and indexes. Additionally, IndexedDB can store much bigger volumes of data than localStorage.

Typical Event flow:

Implementing IndexDB in React

To use IndexDB in React, you can use the DEXIE library, which is a wrapper library for IndexedDB. According to Dexie, it solves three main issues with the native IndexedDB API: 

  • Ambiguous error handling
  • Poor queries
  • Code complexity

Dexie provides a neat database API with a well-thought-through API design, robust error handling, extendability, change tracking awareness, and extended KeyRange support (case-insensitive search, set matches, and OR operations).

To use Dexie, you can create a book store where you display thousands of data on the table with the pagination implemented. You can store the books data on IndexDB on the first render of the page and play with that data later. 

Here is a step-by-step guide to implementing IndexDB in a React project using Dexie:

  • Install Dexie in your project using the following command:
dexie library installation
  • In your App.js file, create two components: AppBar and BookTable to display the header and books data in table format, respectively.

AppBar to display the header 

BookTable to display the books data in table format. 

  • You can then create an instance of Dexie and define the store and its version. In the store, you can add the ID, which is auto-incremented, and also contains the JSON keys. 
Creating database using dexie
  • In setAllData, you can get the whole data from the API and store it in the IndexDB using the bulkAdd() method.
populating database with bulk data
  • In getTotalCount, you can get the total count of the data in the DB by using the count() method. 
getting total number of records from the database
  • In getData, you can get the paginated data from the IndexDB using the offset() (start reading data), limit() (total number of data), and toArray() (format of data) methods.
Getting the paginated data from the database

I hope this provides a better understanding of IndexDB. 

You can access the Github repository for this example here.

IndexedDB is one of the important topics in the world of web development, and if you’re looking for a library to work with in React, Dexie is a great choice. At Veltris, we recognize the benefits of using Dexie, and it’s a library that we often recommend to our clients.  We can help you integrate this library into your next project, and show you how it can make a difference in the functionality and efficiency of your website or application.

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