The popularity of web applications is soaring annually, and the process of choosing a development technology can be hard enough. Project owners are inclined to make a choice based on subjective reasons rather than on real business needs.
The plentiful choice of front-end frameworks can throw doubt into the minds. Many of them are around for years, others are not yet so popular. To choose wisely, it would be better to turn to the provider who will leverage the years of experience in web application development and different software cases to reinforce the choice.
Abstract “Framework” and what to know about it
In case you have dealt with web development, you are likely to know that the development team often comes across the same issues over and over again. They would have to reinvent the wheel each time they start a new project if not for the frameworks. The collection of libraries and development tools requires certain skills to use it but allows smooth access to databases, facilitates creating templates, etc., and encourages developers to concentrate on web application logic. We can define “framework” as a set of tools that make developer’s life easier.
Front-end and back-end frameworks serve to solve the development problems related to the UI running in user’s browser or to the server side, respectively. Developers don’t tend to employ one and the same framework to handle completely different tasks. So, you as a customer shouldn’t decide on the framework, out of context, regardless your business needs and project goals. There are three main questions you should ask to ease the pain of choosing it:
- What does the framework structure look like?
- What are the most popular frameworks?
- What is better to choose?
Imaging the process of creating web application as if it is building a house. You know it is necessary to build the floor, walls, roof, and so on. However, you can use the options, provided by the framework, to accelerate things: you can build your house using out-of-the-box components and customize the construction according to your needs. Sometimes, your business needs can be too specific to find the fitting framework. In this case, your development team will have to code from scratch.
A framework includes support programs, compilers, code libraries, toolsets, and APIs that fuel the work of all the components and serve as the engine of the building process.
Angular, React, Vue.js: first three to hear about
An open source library, it is mainly used for building single-page web applications and user interfaces in whole. It suits mobile development needs as well. React uses the Virtual DOM that allows developers to work in the virtual browser.
A user interface consists of components or simple functions. The components have some input, i.e. “properties” and “state”, and serve to get some output. React allows using and reusing a single component in multiple UIs.
React, as clear from the name itself, “reacts” automatically to changes of component states and enables updates when needed. Perhaps, the only shortcoming of this framework is the fact that it is still a library, not a complete solution; and it may be needed to use more libraries respective to the project goals. Actually, React owes much of its popularity to Facebook, where this framework is heavily used.
Created by Google, this framework is widely supported by the development community. Once, Angular significantly facilitated the development of dynamic content, and it still holds a leading position in the market.
Angular relies on Model-View-Controller architecture – an architecture pattern that divides application logic into three parts and is used to implement a user interface. The framework synchronizes Model and View, thus facilitating data input. It also has directives that enable extending HTML and creating dynamic content. All Angular components are reusable, easy-to-manage, and testable.
As for some cons of choosing this framework, it should be noted that dynamic applications don’t always show great performance. Furthermore, with this framework, be ready to handpick a savvy and skillful development team to work with this versatile solution.
This year, Vue.js is predicted to overtake Angular. So, what contributes to the change of the market trend? Undoubtedly, the active use of Vue.js by Alibaba and Xiaomi, to name a few, has pitched in. But not only that. It is a small-size and flexible framework that weighs only 18KB, the one easy to understand and learn, although it enables developing large-scale templates, etc. It allows developers to add components to the existing apps and can be used, with equal success, for building single-page applications. Vue.js provides comprehensive documentation for the developers, should they face some problems that can be effectively solved with the help of this framework. However, Vue.js doesn’t enjoy the widespread support as compared to the other frameworks.