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Component libraries—sometimes referred to as UI components or UI libraries—provide developers with prebuilt sets of functions or components that can be added to, and modified in, mobile and web applications. These components facilitate a more efficient and effective development process, as developers can focus on the finer details of application creation and optimization instead of spending time building functionalities already designed by others.
Component libraries can cover a wide array of UI pieces, including buttons, charts, slides, and more. They can also be either open source or proprietary, with strong representation in both types. Typically, component libraries will focus on one specific language—e.g., Reach, Angular, HTML, or .NET—but may branch out to multiple.
To qualify for inclusion in the Component Libraries category, a product must:
Syncfusion’s Essential Studio Enterprise Edition is a suite of 1,600+ software components and frameworks for developing web, mobile, and desktop applications. Its UI controls are designed to be flexible, optimized for high performance, and relied on by more than half the Fortune 500. With Syncfusion in your toolkit you can speed the creation of modern user interfaces and read and write common file formats. Having supplied components to 1 million+ developers across more than 22,000 organizations
Selenium is an umbrella project encapsulating a variety of tools and libraries enabling web browser automation. Selenium specifically provides infrastructure for the W3C WebDriver specification - a platform an
Hit the ground running with comprehensive, modern UI components that work across the web, mobile and desktop. Finely tuned performance, because every millisecond counts. Fully tested across modern browsers. Themable, for when you need to stay on brand or just have a favorite color. Accessible and internationalized so that all users are welcome. Built by the Angular team to integrate seamlessly with Angular.
Ionic is a mobile development platform for web developers, powering roughly 10% of the world’s apps. Our open source and premium tools and services help you build, connect, and deliver enterprise-grade mobile apps in less time.
DevExpress ships feature-complete UI controls, enterprise-ready reporting systems, automated web testing tools and business application frameworks. Our technologies help you build your best, see complex software with greater clarity, increase your productivity and create stunning touch-enabled applications for Windows, Web and next generation Mobile platforms - without limits or compromise.
Bokeh is an interactive visualization library for Python that enables beautiful and meaningful visual presentation of data in modern web browsers. With Bokeh, you can quickly and easily create interactive plots, dashboards, and data applications.
SQL Server Data Access Components (SDAC) is a library of components that provides native connectivity to SQL Server from Delphi and C++Builder including Community Edition, as well as Lazarus (and Free Pascal) for Windows, Linux, macOS, iOS, and Android for both 32-bit and 64-bit platforms. SDAC-based applications connect to SQL Server directly through OLE DB, which is a native SQL Server interface. SDAC is designed to help programmers develop faster and cleaner SQL Server database applications.
Bunifu Framework helps software developers and companies globally create modern, stunning software interfaces and user experience. The product features are carefully crafted with the developer in mind to provide speed and simplicity. All these at an affordable cost.
MySQL Data Access Components (MyDAC) is a library of components that provides direct access to MySQL and MariaDB from Delphi and C++Builder including Community Edition, as well as Lazarus (and Free Pascal) on Windows, Linux, macOS, iOS, and Android for both 32-bit and 64-bit platforms. Applications based on MyDAC can connect directly to MySQL server or work through the MySQL client library. MyDAC is designed to help programmers develop faster and cleaner MySQL database applications. MyDAC is a
Oracle Data Access Components (ODAC) is a library of components that provides native connectivity to Oracle from Delphi and C++Builder including Community Edition, as well as Lazarus (and Free Pascal) on Windows, Linux, macOS, iOS, and Android for both 32-bit and 64-bit platforms. The ODAC library is designed to help programmers develop faster and more native Oracle database applications. ODAC, a high-performance and feature-rich Oracle connectivity solution, is an efficient native alternative
Component libraries grant developers access to sets of prewritten functions or components that serve as building blocks to aid software development. At their core, component libraries are supplemental to a full development process. Using components from the same library helps teams keep design philosophies consistent while empowering themselves to build software without being bogged down by smaller coding tasks. These components enable more efficient development, as developers are able to focus on the bulk of application creation and optimization instead of spending time building out smaller functionalities already designed by others. For example, if a developer wants to add buttons to their website, they use a component library to access and integrate prewritten code to implement those buttons rather than code them from scratch. Developers then customize those components with their own code to best suit their needs.
User interface (UI) component libraries specifically give teams access to prebuilt user interface elements, such as buttons and charts, which may be used when developing a website or an application. While this type of component library is perhaps most widely used, component libraries take many forms. They are composed of numerous components to handle a wide variety of functions or only a few components to handle a core feature set. Some libraries aid developers in specific development environments and contain components for database development, for example. Component libraries tend to focus on one language or framework, such as React or HTML, but many support multiple. All component libraries provide supporting documentation to describe each component and aid developers in navigating the library.
Key Benefits of Component Libraries Software
Component libraries are useful for solving smaller development problems while saving time. Both solo developers and development teams use component libraries in instances when coding a solution from scratch would take up unnecessary effort and resources. Rather than write a myriad of UI elements for a website, a developer simply accesses and customizes those elements via a component library. Using such libraries also helps ensure that design philosophies remain consistent.
Solve problems — Developers use component libraries to solve a host of smaller coding problems. When time is of the essence, component libraries provide prewritten functions which save developers from the brainstorming and problem-solving processes required to write such functions themselves.
Save time — Teams using component libraries to supplement development save time and effort. By leaning on prebuilt components for numerous small functions, developers can use more of their time and energy to focus on aspects of the development process with a larger scope, such as backend infrastructure.
Consistent design — Developers building websites or other external-facing applications must ensure that the design philosophy of each visual element is consistent. Component libraries help to maintain design consistency by providing a resource pool of like components.
Virtually every kind of developer or development team makes use of component libraries to ease workloads. Many self-taught solo developers lean heavily on component libraries to fill in knowledge gaps or save effort. Teams of multiple developers also benefit from the use of component libraries’ prewritten functions to save time and maintain design consistency. Developers working on anything from web applications to database development make use of component libraries. Some key examples are listed below:
Solo developers — Developers working on their own often use component libraries to supplement their development projects. Component libraries come in handy for such developers because they are unable to lean on teammates for shared knowledge and task distribution. Solo developers using this software can implement prebuilt components that they might not have otherwise been able to craft themselves.
Development teams — While development teams inherently benefit from a shared knowledge pool and the ability to distribute tasks evenly, component libraries make workloads lighter by eliminating tedium. Teams rely on component libraries to provide a variety of prewritten functions, saving time and effort.
Web developers — Web developers use UI component libraries, which specifically provide prebuilt user interface elements that may be added to web and application development projects. Prewritten code for buttons, charts, slides, and more can be integrated with applications and customized rather than built from scratch.
Database developers — Database developers use database component libraries to make their jobs easier. Database component libraries give these developers prebuilt functions for accessing and manipulating data more easily, and for managing databases effectively.
Component libraries take many forms. UI component libraries are perhaps the most common, but any prewritten function for use by developers is considered a component. This means that one component library might provide access to a few components for data analysis, while another might provide a full suite of components useful throughout the application development process. From component libraries containing components for imaging to libraries with components for performing scientific computing with a specific programming language like Python, there are hundreds of kinds of component libraries available in the market.
Component libraries’ features depend on the components available within them. For example, a UI component library’s features might include drag and drop integration for UI elements. Below are some of the common features across libraries.
Unlocked components — The components provided by component libraries are fully customizable by developers. Developers and development teams enjoy the time-saving benefits of using prebuilt components without sacrificing flexibility when needed. This functionality helps UI developers craft consistent user-facing screens and pages that also maintain branding.
Framework integration — Many component libraries connect or integrate with existing development frameworks to make access and use easier for developers. By minimizing the amount of navigation required to use components, component libraries help developers save effort and maintain a smooth workflow.
Repository management — Most component libraries offer features by which developers sort and group components within a repository. Organization can be achieved via predefined or custom rules (e.g., sorting by function or complexity).
Documentation — Component libraries provide documentation describing the functions contained within them and how developers use them effectively. Good documentation serves as an index of sorts by which developers easily browse and grasp the functionality of each component. This documentation is crucial for making components clear to developers.
Support — Some component libraries go beyond documentation to offer support when developers need further help integrating components with their applications. This support takes the form of live chat or forums by which developers pose clarifying questions to better understand the tools they are accessing.
Codeless interface — Some UI component libraries allow teams to assemble UI elements without coding via a codeless interface. This interface typically takes the form of drag and drop interaction and makes UI assembly smooth in situations where code-level customization are not necessary.
Poor documentation — Good documentation is crucial for developers accessing and interacting with component libraries. Parsing through lines of code to grasp functionality is daunting, and a component library with good documentation makes understanding component functions accessible and easy. If a component library has poor or missing documentation, the effort required to understand the components within negates the potential benefits of using them.
Component effectiveness — A component library with the right set of components makes developers’ lives far easier by providing prebuilt building blocks for applications, saving time and effort that would go into coding such elements from scratch. However, if the components within a component library are too basic, the developers’ efforts to customize and build upon them ultimately results in a workload comparable to writing everything from scratch.