Web Application Framework: What it is, how it works, and why you need it

Technology is playing a major role in the revolution of the world. For over decades our lifestyle is evolving from smart/subtle changes in technologies. Today, we can perform multiple tasks standing at one place through innovative web apps and mobile apps. Without any doubt, we are getting dependent on web applications and other relevant technologies.

Web applications are software programs that improve the better connection between businesses and consumers. Web applications change the entire way of doing business because it provides instant solutions. The Web application is a two side program, client-side and server-side. Types of web applications are instant messaging services (Yahoo and Gmail), file conversion, and media portals. Web apps like Netflix, Amazon, and Google chrome have very dynamic content on their platforms that attracts massive traffic on the internet.

Living in a most advanced era, we are getting amazing experiences through stunning mobile apps with more user-engaging UI than web apps. Then why web apps? The main reason behind this is that applications of the web directly connect to any web browser. It does not cover larger space like mobile apps, all you need is to search a web app on any web browser and be able to perform the same task that you can perform through a mobile app.

A feature pack modern web app is built from advanced development methods. The process of development passes through different steps with the help of advanced tools like Web app frameworks that replace old development methods and makes web app development easier.

The productivity and interactivity of modern web applications are giving a tough time to native applications. This technology will further move to build custom-made solutions that will reach the edge of ability.

What is a web app framework?

Before we discuss modern web applications and their features, we need to address the question of what is a web application framework and how a framework builds an amazing web application. Web app framework is a piece of software that is designed to support the development process of a web application, web app resources, web app services, and web API’s. Web app frameworks offer a full package of web application development, full support of third-party plugins, and how to run a web application on a server.

When web app development was introduced in the digital world, web app development through frameworks was considered as a resource of hand-coding of applications. However, this process was used a long time ago. Today, this technology has provided web-specific languages, and such application framework resolves the issues with changing the structure of an application. A development framework can be considered as a pre-built architecture of an app that manages the more repetitive methods and functionality involved with developing a web application. While developing an app, a web developer will spend more time interacting with different components of the web frameworks through the use of code.

Features like Web caching, web authentication, authorized procedures, configurations, database mapping, and URL mapping are associated with web app frameworks.

The arrival of advanced tools like web app frameworks and other relevant technologies offers general performance and other solutions for web app structure.

Picking the right web app framework is not a tough task. First, define your idea and type of web application, then select the right framework that fulfills the development's requirements. Further, we will talk about some examples of frameworks.

Types of Web Application Frameworks

In the era of web 1.0, the modern web apps we experience today, are mainly developed with the help of server frameworks. The reason behind developing web apps on a server is that these apps are highly secure and their entire app logic is saved on the backend. However, web standards are evolving, app logic began to move towards the client. This approach builds a healthy interaction between a web app and its user. Having logic on a client-side, a client can immediately react to user inputs. Furthermore, client-side logic makes web apps responsive and user-friendly, so the app can easily navigate on any device. From this approach, now we have two different types of web application frameworks:

The first type of web app works for app logic on the client side and the second one helps out the server. In terms of developing a potential web app, both types can be used simultaneously.

Server-side Web Application Framework

Server-side frameworks are also called backend frameworks. A server-side framework is a software that helps in easily writing, scaling, and maintaining a web application. They offer advanced tools and a set of libraries that simplify the task of common development. These include interaction with databases, mapping URLs to correct handlers, formatting outputs like JSON, XML, HTML, supporting sessions and user authentication, and enhancing security against any cyber-attacks.

Among so many frameworks the most used server-side web frameworks based on MVC are:

1. Django (Python)

Django is an open-source web framework based on Python. Django follows the model, template, and views structural pattern. It covers a huge part of web app development, so you do not lose concentration on writing code for an app without needing to reinvent the structure. This framework has a productive and active community. Django has many options, some are free to use while others are paid-for support.

2. Symfony (PHP)

Symfony is a set of reusable PHP libraries, Symfony is an open-source PHP web application framework.

3. Express (Node.js/JavaScript)

Express is a flexible back-end Node.js web application framework. Node.js is an open-source framework designed to develop web applications and APIs. Express rapidly build web applications based on Node.js.

This framework is very feasible to use and respond to the HTTP request and map table.

4. ASP.NET (C#)

Experienced developers recommend ASP.net to build dynamic websites, applications, and other relevant services. ASP.net is an open-source web application framework and it enables a developer to use programing language like C#.

5. Ruby on rails (Ruby)

Ruby on Rails is one of the most advanced and productive web app frameworks. It enhances your speed 10 times faster than a typical java framework to build a web application. Ruby on rails provides everything you need, it follows the Model-view-controller pattern to develop a database-driven web application.

How Does Frameworks Works

The structure of a framework describes interconnectivity between the various elements of the framework. It is necessary to use a well-design infrastructure as it defines how layers will interact with each other. The features of web applications depend on how much the structure is well-organized.

There are many different architectures that are used in the development of web apps. However, the most popular strategy is Model-View-Controller because this architecture is considered famous. After all, it rationally divides the app logic from the interface.

- Model View Controller (MVC)

The score of web applications develop through Model View Controller (MVC) architecture is very high. Model View Controller architecture is referred to separate data models with business standards from the user interface. This approach is very productive, as it easily adopts reusing the codes, permits various interfaces, and modularizes code. In this architecture, the Model identifies all structures of an app; however, in View analysis the user inputs with Controller. View also can reassemble the user inputs according to Model’s instructions.

- Model-View-ViewModel (MVVM)

In this architecture, the View layer discards the controller and updates the user input data itself, received from the Model layer into wieldy components. From this approach, the data binding becomes more straightforward. After all, the View layer manages all user requests directly.

- Push-based vs Pull-based

Usually, Model View Controller perceives a push-based architecture which is also known as action-based. This architecture accepts those actions, that are necessary to process and then depending on Push, the data received from View Layer provide the results. Frameworks such as Ruby on Rails and Django use this approach.

Pull-based model is also known as Component-based. This framework initiates with the View Layers. The best examples of Pull-based architecture are Tapestry, Lift, Wicket, JavaServer face, JBoss, and Micro.

Why Web App Frameworks not CMS

It is very hard to differ the web app framework from CMS (content management system) for aspiring developers. The framework provides a bunch of features that help you to build a custom web application. Whereas, CMS pulls you out from the programming languages. However, web application frameworks and CMS design a path to future web applications. PHP gives leverage to Symfony - a web application framework and Joomla which is CMS. Even the capabilities of a Web application framework and CMS are very similar.

A skilled web app developer can build similarly powerful web applications using either of the two. You can differentiate between web app framework and CMS from their approaches; for instance, image navigating in your system via command line (framework) and an explorer (CMS). With a framework, you have to build everything from a base which is quite tough. However, this gives you leverage to build innovative functions. Frameworks are flexible and highly customizable. Whereas, on the other hand, you see some typical restrictions in CMS. The main advantage of a framework is, they are generally a bunch of libraries and advanced tools that help in creating web applications.

Wrapping up

Developing a stunning web application from Framework is always highly recommended. Ruby on rails is one of the best example of framework. Such frameworks are powerhouse of the development and they boost the process. Web app frameworks simplify the development and enables you to integrate endless third-party plugins. So you can do customization in the web app according to your preference.

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25, Nov 2021

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