Web application is still a pioneer of digital software products and when it comes to developing a successful product, picking the right tech stack is a crucial step. A rightly-selected tech stack can either breathe life into your web application or slow down and delay its development process and further maintenance. Because a product is not just about a nice UI and convenient UX, it takes a lot more to win customers over – product stability, security and maintenance are extremely important and this is where tech stack comes in. A good tech stack will allow you to save time and money, avoid programming errors, scale up your product and keep the data secure.
When determining the right stack, various factors have to be taken into account as its components will directly translate into the quality and performance of your web application. The choice also depends on different types of business i.e., start-ups or large companies. And even though business owners usually depend on their developers or development partners to decide on the technologies, which is common, as they focus on other operations. However, if you do rely on them, it’s important that your developing partners fully understand your business needs, important features requirements that you’d be implementing for selecting a tech stack!
The question is, how to choose a technology stack for web application development and how to start the procedure? There’s a lot to consider so let’s explore how you can go about it and choose a powerful tech stack to build a solid product!
Top 3 Frontend Web Application Development Frameworks
Frontend frameworks are the pioneering building blocks of software development projects. They are responsible for what your users see and to win them over, their user experience has to be smooth and seamless, no matter how complex functions and operations happen in the backend. This makes choosing the right frontend framework essential as user experience is the number one priority in the market today. However, there are many framework options to choose from, which can be overwhelming. To help you out, we have listed the top 3 frameworks – Angular, Vue and React – which are the most popular among developers.
Let’s discuss each frontend framework in detail
Angular is one of the most used frontend frameworks globally and is considered the best to develop large-scale projects. It is an open-source, TypeScript-based framework developed by Google to bridge the gap between the increasing demand of tech and conventional concepts which showed results. The two-way data binding feature of Angular makes it unique, with which the model and the view can be synchronized in real-time and any change in the model is reflected instantly on the view and vice versa.
Angular is an ideal choice if you’re looking forward to developing a multi-page or a progressive Web application. It powers millions of apps and sites, including some of the biggest names in the industry such as BMW, Xbox, Blender, Forbes etc. While it is not easy to learn and get accustomed to Angular, the documentation makes it easier for beginners to onboard.
Changes made in the view to the model and vice versa can be updated with its in-built functionality.
Amount of code is reduced by default with its two-way data binding feature.
Components are decoupled from the dependencies and defined external elements.
Components can be reused and are easily manageable with dependency injection.
Steep learning curve.
Has limited SEO options.
Underperforms if used to build complex SPAs
CLI documentation lacks details
Vue rising star in front-end frameworks at the moment. A simple and straightforward framework which started as an individual project but grew into becoming one of the most progressive and popular frameworks. Which means, if you have an existing project, you can easily adopt Vue for a portion of the project and everything else would fall into line. It removes the complexities that angular developers face and brings along major advantages like Visual DOM and component architecture.
With Vue, you can build complete frontend apps – be it Web application, mobile apps or progressive Web application – Vue can easily handle both simple and dynamic processes. Some of the major Vue users are – Alibaba, 9gag, Xiaomi, Reuters.
Extensive & detailed documentation
Easy to learn and user friendly
Highly scalable, versatile and flexible
Lack of plugins & stability in components
A relatively small community of developers
Limited support for large scale projects
Moreover, react dev tools (an extension) are used for the open-source React JS library, which allows for inspection of the React component hierarchies in the Chrome DevTools.
Reusable components, code
Consistent performance with virtual DOM
High performance, easy to learn and use
Allows you to write components without classes
Poor or incomplete documentation due to constant updates
Only view part support, frontend solutions
Complex JSX, hard to understand for beginners
Why do we use React, Angular, Vue?
React has a unique approach to frontend development, it encourages you to use a functional programming paradigm and a reactive approach. React-based apps are divided into multiple components and to communicate between them, you can use Flux or a similar JS library. There are also state and props which can pass data from components to layouts or from a parent component to child component. There is an extensive range of additional tools which you need to learn to get high flexibility. Though choosing from a plethora of libraries can put a person in a dilemma of what exactly to use with react. With React, you get a lot of built-in ready tools and you have to build your own workflow.
React library and React DOM for DOM manipulation
React-router for implementing routes
JSX, a markup language that mixes HTML into JS
Command-line interface – React Create App – to set up a React project quickly
React developer tools for Firefox and Chrome browsers
React Native for the development of native mobile apps (iOS & Android)
React is used for it is simpler to grasp, easy to learn, has the native approach, uses data binding and offers fast treatability!
Angular has become highly advanced and modular to use for frontend development. The change from Model-View-Whatever architecture to component-based architecture is notable. Where you could insert a link to the Angular JS library in the main HTML file earlier, it now allows you to do the same by installing separate components. It’s commendably flexible and developers currently rely on Angular 2+ due to its MVC architecture. Angular2 is a complete JS framework with all the modern frontend development tools that you need and you it is an ideal choice if you do not like working with additional libraries as with React.
The command-line interface is helpful for quick project setup.
Developers will get a set of modules for Angular projects: @angular/common, @angular/core, @angular/compiler, @angular/http, @angular/forms, @angular/platform-browser-dynamic, @angular/platform-browser, @angular/router, and @angular/upgrade.
TypeScript & CoffeeScript supersets of JS, both can be used with Angular
For asynchronous communication with server-side apps, Angular uses RxJS and the Observable pattern.
Angular Augury, a Chrome extension, for debugging Angular apps.
Angular Universal is used for creating server-side apps with Angular.
Vue may be a borrowed concept from Angular and React but is better than the two in many ways. It allows you to store component logic and layouts along with stylesheets in one file, which is similar to how react works but without stylesheets. Vue used props and state objects for communications between components. And just like Angular, Vue wants developers to mix HTML layouts with JS. The reason why developers pick Vue over React is because of the Redux library which slows down the development process. As for Angular, Vue is much simpler and has fewer restrictions than Angular.
Vue comes with Vuex, a dedicated library for application management. It’s a similar concept of Flux.
You get Vue-loader for components and vue.js devtools for Firefox and Chrome browsers.
Vue uses Vue-resource and Axios tools for communication between Vue and the backend source.
js supports Nuxt.js for creating server-side applications with Vue and Nuxt.js is basically a competitor to Angular Universal.
There are numerous backend frameworks used by different developers across the world but only a handful of them remain formidable and have the ability to deploy large and scalable applications. Let’s see the top 3 backend frameworks –
Good routing systems
Easy setup process. Only requires installing the library via an NPM command.
Express js offers a plethora of predefined plugins and libraries
Easy to customize as per needs
Laravel is a Model-View-Controller framework which uses PHP, one of the most popular languages. It comes with API support and also offers a good number of packages that help extend its reach. Laravel’s authorization feature only permits people who have been granted access. The object-oriented libraries of Laravel help speed up the development process. MVC makes developing easier to implement and understand each aspect of the application. Data security is another prominent feature of Laravel, which uses SQL injection attacks to keep the data safe and secure.
Simple and straightforward routing system which eases the development process.
Dependency injection allows plugging in any Service, Class and Module.
Multiple, easy-to-navigate Session and Cache engines.
Eloquent database ORM reduces manual database handling.
Database schema migration
CakePHP is an open-source PHP framework which makes building Web application simpler, faster while minimizing the coding. It’s a modern framework that offers a flexible database access layer and a powerful scaffolding system which lets you build both small and complex systems simpler and easier. It uses commonly known design patterns such as Active Record, Association Data Mapping, MVC and Front Controller, enabling developers to build robust projects without any loss to flexibility.
Moreover, it reduces development costs and reduces development time, using code generation and scaffolding features. Popular organizations using CakePHP – BMW, Hyundai.
Maintainable, modular, rapid and parallel development with MVC.
Convention i.e., Arbitrary decisions, allowing developers to save time.
In-built ORM converts data between incompatible type systems.
Flexibility between domain and database. Data mapping.
Things to consider when selecting a backend framework
While selecting a backend framework, there are a few important factors that you should keep in mind. Below is a list of some things that you should consider.
Learning curve: Every framework is different in terms of naming conventions, directory structures, etc. If you are already familiar with a particular language, you should stick to a framework which supports that language to save time. However, the learning curve becomes inevitable if you have never used a framework before.
Documentation or Community: If you don’t have any previous experience with a backend framework, you should opt for a framework which has extensive documentation or/and a large community. So, if you ever get stuck, you can get help using the documentation or by asking someone in the community.
Libraries: Some frameworks provide an extensive choice of libraries, which help developers in implementing or configuring a library to perform a certain task that would otherwise consume more time or be not possible.
Security: You may require certain security features depending on the type of app you’re building. Therefore, choose a framework, making sure it is regularly updated to ensure protection against common or new attacks.
Scalability: If you’re building an app for masses, you need a framework which provides the ability to scale along with you because its catching capabilities will determine how easy it is to scale the application.
Different applications require different development tools and when you’re choosing a technology stack, you need to keep in mind the specifics of your application. There are many frameworks to choose from, each of which has its own set of pros and cons. Determining which framework is the best can be subjective as it depends on the type of product or app you’re building, what you are trying to achieve, the learning curve, and more. Hopefully, this list of top tech frameworks for your web application gives you some kind of direction and help you make a decision.
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