BLOG 5 Frontend Frameworks To Build Your Next Web Application On

5 Frontend Frameworks To Build Your Next Web Application On

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From static websites taking forever to load to single page web applications (SPAs) rivaling native mobile apps, web development has come a long way. While the evolution of open web standards paved the way for modern web development, the web applications we look and interact with today wouldn’t have been possible without modern web frameworks.

Web frameworks add the much-needed approachability to web development at a time when rapidly evolving web standards are adding too many things for an average web developer to keep track and make the most of.

NodeJS is another type of development that can be attributed to the sudden onslaught of web applications in every corner of the web. NodeJS brought JavaScript frameworks from frontend to backend and revived the notion around full-stack development.

Now a single team of JavaScript developers could take care of web development on either side of the stack, making way for even more integrated, interactive web applications. We could track more than 50 JavaScript frameworks in active development while researching for this article.

 

Types of web frameworks

Each web framework has an architecture model to it that dictates how web applications will be developed on it. An architecture model also decides how the application will react when a user interacts with it. Each model has certain advantages and disadvantages over others. Most modern web frameworks follow either of the architectural models below.

Model-View-Controller (MVC)

MVC is an original architectural model and is followed by most legacy frameworks. MVC has three parts to it: model, view, and controller. Model contains the business logic, view contains UI components: HTML, CSS, jQuery, etc. and controller takes care of user interactions acting as the bridge between view and model.

Implementing MVC model in complex web applications is a little tricky because of the controller part. That’s why modern web frameworks tend to shade the controller part in MVC in favor of a MVVM architectural model.

Model-View-ViewModel (MVVM)

As mentioned above, MVVM is MVC minus controller. Model and view continue to carry business model and visual elements. ViewModel transforms model information into values that can be displayed in a view. Web frameworks built on MVVM are easier to develop web applications on.

 

1. Angular

Often considered the grandad of JavaScript frameworks, Angular’s journey started back in 2010 as AngularJS. Developed by a team of developers at Google, Google branched out Angular 2 and later AngularJS as a separate project, making the former backward incompatible with the later. Angular 2, later collectively named Angular, uses Typescript and is based on the MVVM architectural model. On the other hand, legacy Angular (or AngularJS) is deprecated, coded in JavaScript, and follows the MVC model. Angular offers some amazing features that makes it one of the most popular web frameworks to develop modern web applications on. These include:

  • Two-way data binding
  • Modular development structure
  • Ease in maintaining
  • Dependency injection
  • TypeScript-based (superset of JavaScript)
  • High performance for single page hefty apps
  • Offers great flexibility

2. ReactJS

While Angular carries the legacy of JavaScript frameworks, it was ReactJS that was introduced in 2013 by Facebook that brought JavaScript Frameworks into mainstream web development. It was ReactJS that made Google abandon legacy AngularJS in favor of a more modern MVVM-based Angular.

For seasoned developers, ReactJS is a JavaScript library that can be downloaded from the Node Package Manager (npm). However, together with Redux and JSX, React makes for a compelling JS alternative to Angular and an outstanding JavaScript framework for frontend web development.

Since React was developed to address the limitation of legacy Angular, it has various advantages to it. For example, it has unidirectional data binding and uses virtual-DOM rather than an actual DOM for performance reasons unlike Angular. Other benefits include:

  • Unidirectional data binding
  • Flexibility across web & mobile
  • Virtual DOM
  • Ease in learning & expanding
  • Enhanced speed & performance
  • Highly compatible with vast Libraries
  • Stable code

3. Vue.js

Vue.js was developed by Evan You, an engineer at Google. While working on a project, Evan realized that neither Angular nor React had the feature set that he was looking for in his ideal web framework. He wanted to bring the best of both worlds, so he decided to combine the features that he liked in Angular and React into a single web framework and called it Vue (as in View). He wanted a lightweight framework that supported two-way binding. Angular was adding too many performance bottlenecks so he created Vue which contained a virtual-DOM just like React. Other benefits include:

  • Virtual DOM
  • Splendid transitions
  • Simple syntax & integration
  • Small size (compatibility)
  • Easy to understand
  • Offers organized documentation

4. Next.js

React apps render JavaScript on the client-side in a web browser. A web-browser’s ability to render JavaScript to display interactive content depends on the hardware it’s running on. An older piece of hardware may load websites slower than a modern computer resulting in an inconsistent web experience.

Next.js is a React framework that allows server-side rendering and generates static websites for React based web applications.

  • Add server-side rendering to ReactJS
  • Generate static websites for ReactJS applications
  • Create static and dynamic JAMstack websites
  • Recommended Toolchain for React Development

5. Ember.js

Do you know what’s common in the websites of Apple Music, Square, LinkedIn, and Groupon? They were all developed in a JavaScript framework called Ember.js. Apple took Ember one step further and developed Apple Music mobile app’s frontend in Ember.js.

Ember.js lets you develop single page applications just like every other JS framework mentioned above, except it doesn’t bring anything new to the table. The philosophy of development behind Ember.js is to scan the SPA development frameworks in existence and bring their best features to Ember. Ember has seen interest from top brands in a short span of time.

  • Can build desktop as well as web apps
  • Component in Apple Music, Square and LinkedIn website
  • Common idioms, best practices, and patterns from other frameworks

 

Single page web applications are the future of the web. The pace at which new web standards are being added makes the experience of developing web applications more comprehensive; it’s next to impossible to build a convincing web app without relying on one of the web frameworks.

Thanks to these web frameworks, maintaining, organizing, reusing, testing, and pushing the application code is easier than ever.

Angular and React are still the best ways to develop web apps. They may be the best feature-sets for now, but other frameworks are catching up fast or addressing their limitations.

Rare Crew is a leading IT consulting and outsourcing firm that specializes in building web applications in Angular. Get in touch with us regarding your next project.

 

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