How to render dynamic component defined in JSON using React
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With React it is easy to render dynamic components utilizing JSX and
React.createElement, which we can utilize to render content with specific components and layouts by only using their name.
A basic content JSON that should be rendered
The content JSON below contains an array called
body which consists of multiple objects with different fields and one attribute called
component which allows us to determine what component we should use to render its actual content.
Dynamic component rendering with React
To allow us to render a JSON by dynamic components using their name we first have to loop through the array of components itself. Below you can see that we're using the
map function to do exactly that.
Looping through the content array
Creating components dynamically
Now to actually use the React component instead of only outputting their name we will pass the name of the component to a custom function called
To allow the component itself to access the current instance properties we're using the
block object and pass it down to the React component we will create. We use
blok in our tutorials as they are not "components" but instances of them filled with specific values.
Create and include your components
We're using two nested components one is called
foo and the other one is called
bar. We choose to create a
components/ folder to have them at one place.
Once created we need to set-up the custom Components function we were talking about earlier. First we will create a
components.js in our root folder right next to our
index.js. There we will start by importing our components from the components folder itself
Next we will define one object that maps the React components to the name we have given the components in the content JSON itself:
Now all that's left for us to do is to write a function that checks if a component with a specific name exists. Since we're passing down the whole
block in our JSX template we're able to access the
block.component and look for that content in our newly created Components object.
We can also create an anonymous component for the case that we didn't yet create or include a component of a specific name so we tell the user directly to create the missing component rather than throwing an exception.
There are only two differences between
bar as one uses the property
headline and the other
title to showcase that the components can be completely different from their structure. They can even contain a property with another component array to allow you to build a more complex layout driven by your content.
Editing the JSON
You can now add more components of the type
bar with different
title/headline values and they will be rendered as if you would add them statically under each other. The order in the JSON defines the order of them being rendered.
With Storyblok you're able to build such a structure with reusable and nestable components. Using the
blocks field type you are able to add the exact behavior as you would edit the JSON directly, but in an easy to use interface. After adding the content in the interface you're able to consume our Content Delivery API. You can try it yourself and exchange the static content by loading content from our API.
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