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0.1.1 • Public • Published


A HOC that let’s you render your components elsewhere (in another iframe, browser, wherever over the wire).

It’s like a Portal, but more powerful. A Portal can only render your component within the same browser window, or within the visibility scope of your running application.



code in stories/ folder


With yarn:

yarn add react-remote-render

Or with npm:

npm install --save react-remote-render


It’s not common, that’s true. And probably 90% of the times, you only need a portal. But there are some situations where you might need it.

The original use case for it, was to render in another iframe, sibling of the app iframe. Why such a strange configuration? Imagine your application is to be embebbed in other pages with partial ownershipt of the page real estate; and imagine you want to open a modal, but modals occupy the whole viewport dimension, not just the part your iframe/app lives in. So, in order to solve this, you have another iframe controlled from outside that only renders modals and occupy the whole viewport. To communicate both iframes is why react-remote-render was born. The master iframe (the app), wants to render a component (the modal) in the slave iframe (the modal's iframe). Thanks to the react-remote-render abstraction, the app doesn't really need to know that it's rendering the modal outside.

I guess, any other master-slave configuration can benefit from this component. You could control what another screen renders from the master application in the main screen.

Still, I wouldn’t recommend this solution from a master-master configuration, that is, where both “nodes” are independent. If you need both app to communicate there, probably sending redux-action it’s a better way to handle it.


There are 3 parts:

  1. withRemoteRender() higher order component to mark a component to be remotely rendered. So, it won’t render in place, it will only render on the remote space.
  2. RemoteRenderProvider it provides a context for withRemoteRender() decorated components with the remote configuration.
  3. Renderer responsible of actually rendering the remote components.

Let’s see an example

First, we decorate components that we want to be render outside:

const ShareModal = ({ text, onShare }) => (...);
const RRShareModal = withRemoteRender({ name: 'ShareModal'})(ShareModal);
const QuestionModal = ({ onAnswer, question }) => (...);
const RRQuestionModal = withRemoteRender({ name: 'QuestionModal'})(QuestionModal);

Second, we wrap our app with the RemoteRenderProvider

// The transport is the one that sends & recieves messages between the remote components (Renderer) and the local components (RRQuestionModal & RRShareModal in our case).
const iframeTransport = new IframeTransport();
  <RemoteRenderProvider transport={iframeTransport}>

Finally, in another app, another iframe, another place, you set the renderer.

const iframeTransport = new IframeTransport();

So, whenever you render a RRShareModal or RRQuestionModal within your app, it will be rendered as a child of Renderer wherever it might live. Lifecycle events as mount, unmount & update will be sent using the transport.

Also, when within ShareModal & QuestionModal the function onShare & onAnswer are called. The call will actually happen in the origin (the main app), not in the slave (where the renderer lives). The only constraint there, is that parameters MUST be serializable.

Implementing a Transport

Useful transports are not included in the library. The reason is that the transport primarely depends on the use case, and might me something custom for each app. But any suggestions on transports that can be reused is welcome, and we can implement them.

A transport is just a class that implements:

export type ClientMessageHandler = (msg: ClientMessage=> void;
export type ServerMessageHandler = (msg: ServerMessage=> void;
export interface Transport {

where CientMessage & ServerMessage are:

export enum ClientMessageKind {
  Mount = 'Mount',
  Update = 'Update',
  Unmount = 'Unmount'
export type ClientMessage = MountMessage | UpdateMessage | UnmountMessage;
export type ServerMessage = FunctionCallMessage;
export interface FunctionCallMessage {
export type PropsForTransport = {
  simpleProps: { [keystring]: any };
  functionProps: string[];
export interface MountMessage {
export interface UpdateMessage {
export interface UnmountMessage {

But you don't really have to know the details on the message to implement a transport, probably the implementation just need to serialize the messages (JSON.stringifiy will suffice) and send them over the wire.

For example, the DummyTransport is use for the examples is:

class DummyTransport implements Transport {
  clientMessageHandlers: ClientMessageHandler[] = [];
  serverMessageHandlers: ServerMessageHandler[] = [];
  sendClientMessage(msg: ClientMessage) {
    const receievedMsg = this.mimicTransport(msg);
    this.clientMessageHandlers.forEach(handler => {
  sendServerMessage(msg: ServerMessage) {
    const receievedMsg = this.mimicTransport(msg);
    this.serverMessageHandlers.forEach(handler => {
  onClientMessage(msgHandler: (msg: ClientMessage) => void) {
  onServerMessage(msgHandler: (msg: ServerMessage) => void) {
  private mimicTransport<A>(value: A): A {
    const asString = JSON.stringify(value);
    return JSON.parse(asString);

In a real app, mimicTransport would be replaced by an HTTP request or a window.postMessage() call.


Common tasks:

  • Building: yarn build
  • Run tests: yarn test or yarn test:watch for watch mode
  • Run linter: yarn lint
  • Run test & lint w/coverage: yarn test:prod
  • Run storybook (examples here) yarn storybook




npm i react-remote-render

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