- What makes frameworks different from libraries?
- Which JS framework should you choose for your project?
- How to choose a JS framework?
JS is commonly used in the development of professional web pages, both on front-end and back-end.
Over the years, it’s become so pervasive that it is literally everywhere now: web applications, server applications, server side, mobile apps and even games.
FRWKs are easily adaptable too and as a result, a lot of developers prefer to use these when they create websites.
You definitely can. However, the development will not be as easy and as problem-free as with FWs. Auto-completion and quality control of your code make the coding process a lot easier, even for experienced programmers.
What makes frameworks different from libraries?
Inversion of control
When you use a library, you are in control. You can call for the library wherever you feel like. When you use a FWK though, it sets the basement. The Frwk clearly mentions where all codes are needed.
No wonder that top tech brands like Google, Netflix, and IBM on the web still use jQuery.
jQuery contains the following elements.
- CSS manipulation
- HTML / DOM manipulation
- HTML event methods
- Effects and animation
jQuery supports a lot of common browsers including Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer, Android, and iOS.
There are two functionalities commonly performed by jQuery:
- Static utility functions
- Object methods
Which JS framework should you choose for your project?
- Choose the one that your team knows and is comfortable with
This is the prime consideration when you choose JS F/M. It might be absolutely stunning, but if your team has no idea how to work on it, it will not be of any use.
Three of the most common FRWKs that most developers are familiar with are Angular, Vue, and React. These can be tweaked to match most requirements.
If most of your team members have not used a particular FWK, it makes sense to avoid it, as it is going to take time to learn the nuances of the same.
- Choose the one that’s most compatible with your backend
What is your back-end team working with? If the backend team works on Java, then make sure you pick a FW that closely matches and is compatible with Java. In this case, Angular framework matches closely to Java.
If the back-end and the front-end developers work on completely different languages, then coordinating is going to be a major challenge.
- Choose one with the right size and performance
Make sure you develop a balance between performance and FM size to get the best efficiency.
- Choose one with the right level of complexity
Some developers work on really complex apps and websites that come with hundreds of sub-pages, functionalities, and features. In such a case, pick up F/Ms like Angular that can handle complexities like a pro.
Picking up a lighter F/M and trying to build a complex app is going to cause multiple problems in the future.
If your team doesn’t know a framework, how long will it take to learn it?
This is not a simple question to answer. There are many features that influence it. To start with, a senior developer can learn a new FRWK much faster than a beginner or a junior developer.
Similarly, lighter and simpler FMs can be learned faster than advanced and more complex ones. Complex ones like Angular may need more than a month of learning to get familiar with. Simpler ones like Vue can be learned in less than a week.
During the initial stages of building an app or a website, changing from one to another may be easy. However, if you are halfway through and have spent weeks developing in a particular one, then changing from one to another one is going to be tiresome and time-consuming. You may have to rewrite everything from the beginning.
The best way to do this is to run two applications in two different FWKsside by side and slowly convert one to another. This is possible but is definitely time-consuming.
It is hence better to do your research and pick a FWK before you start developing.
It is one of the most powerful and best Frwks. Here are the top features of Angular.
- Ability to offer high-performance, progressive web-pages
- Can work across multiple operating systems
- Offers an intuitive and advanced API
- Ability to get intelligent code completion
- Offers instant error detection and feedback options
- Perfect synchronization between model and view
- Changes are instantly displayed in the view
- Ability to separate data and view
- More complex F/M to learn
- It is important for the developer to learn MVC
#2. Vue JS
Vue JS is another popular JS Frwk that is very commonly used in developing cross-platform apps and websites. It also helps create powerful Single Page Applications (SPAs)
- Cost-effective virtual DOM view option
- Comes with a built-in component that helps with CSS transitions and animations
- Two-way data binding options
- Easy to understand and learn
- Simple to integrate
- Small in size
- Offers two-way communication
- Flexible Frwk
- Lack of essential plugins
- Not suitable for extensive scaling
- Has language barriers
- Too flexible for good
#3. Next JS
- Automatic routing
- Server rendering
- It reacts well with other ecosystems including React framework and Angular
- Automatically prefetches pages
- Adaptable and responsive JS
- Helps meet sales and traffic goals
- Offers unique user experience
- Has built-in CSS support
- Needs minimal or no initial configuration
- It becomes expensive to customize
- Minimal number of plugins only
- It takes time to create and maintain the FWK
4#. React JS
React JS is an open-source Frwk that is commonly used in building responsive and active user interfaces (UI). It is known to be SEO-friendly and hence is preferred by developers who create e-commerce websites.
- Virtual Document Object Model (DOM)
- One-way data-binding only
- Made up of multiple components that can be reused
- Cross-platform performance
- very simple to learn and use
- Comes with a set of very practical tools
- Helps with performance enhancement
- Smaller in size
- Ability to test and debug quickly
- Constant upgrades require developers to keep learning recent changes
- Is not a comprehensive technology. Needs to be used with other F/Ms
5#. Ember JS
Ember JS is another open-source front-end Frwk that helps create scalable SPAs (Single Page Applications). Ember can be used to create Frwks for the web, mobile, and desktop versions.
- Can be easily used by large teams
- Comes with computed properties
- It has more than 1500 add-ons that only keep increasing with time
- Reusable and easy to maintain too
- Seamless URL support
- Offers client-rendering services
- Well-integrated data layer
- Minimizes DOM
- Slightly more complicated to learn
- Very opinionated
- Not very fast and efficient
6#. Svelte JS
- No virtual DOM
- Very reactive
- Lightweight and easy to implement
- Lesser boilerplate
- Very easy to learn
- Comes with a built-in reactive store
- Not a very established F/M
- Constant need to learn and upgrade information
- Not many Svelte tools in the industry right now
- Smaller ecosystem
7#. Gatsby JS
Gatsby JS is an open-source front end framework that is perfect to create dynamic and very precise websites that function seamlessly.
- Ability to combine data from multiple sources
- Works seamlessly with different Content Delivery Networks (CDN)
- Easy and cost-effective scalability
- non-existent attack surface
- Very accessible
- The constant need to update content
- Can be expensive to implement and maintain
8#. Nuxt JS
Nuxt is a front-end FM that is built using Vue JS. Though new, a lot of websites and brands are proactively choosing this to build their website application.
- Offers exceptional SEO improvements
- Created using a powerful modular architecture. There are more than 50 modules to choose from
- Server side rendered
- Supports static website generation
- Ability to make customized social sharing windows for users
- Can create universal apps
- Automatic code splitting
- Most common plugins are not available
- Cannot effectively handle high traffic
- Does not work particularly well with other custom libraries
Bootstrap is a front-end CSS open-source FWK that helps create responsive templates and interface components.
- Includes CSS and HTML design templates
- Creates very responsive designs
- Offers a mobile-first approach
- Compatible with most browsers
- Offers additional user interface elements
- Helps create uniform elements across different browsers
- Creates lots of unwanted content in HTML output
- Includes a lot of plugins that are of no use
Our list on how to choose a JS Frwks continues with a focus on back-end.
- Very quick to integrate and use
- Ability to scale-up extensively
- Asynchronous and non-blocking thread execution
- Can handle large volumes of simultaneous connections
- Can be quickly implemented
- Very easy to learn
- A rich ecosystem with multiple free tools
- Improves developer productivity
- Improves conversion growth
- Difficulty in processing CPU-based tasks
- The constant need for call back affects the quality of the codes
11#. Spring boot
Spring boot is an open-source software created by Pivotal that is used for creating microservices. Microservices are architectures that allow developers to run different services independently.
- Easily scalable
- Does not need a lot of complex configurations
- Can be used with containers
- Helps improve productivity
- Brings down development time
- Helps start applications independently and with minimal deployment time
- Lack of control
- Very opinionated style
- Ineffective deployment may increase file size
12#. Express JS
Express JS is an application framework that is used for Node JS. It is a ready-to-use solution for building web apps and pages very quickly.
- Works as a middleware
- Helps reduce web app building time by half
- Can be used by even beginners
- Very easy to learn and implement
- Cannot handle heavy computational tasks
- Has an unstable API
- Creates the need for multiple code changes
- Comes with a modular packaging system that helps you add additional functionalities without having to create or write them from the beginning.
- Offers Object-relational mapping feature. This makes it easy to access and manipulate data
- Can perform automated testing
- Quicker deployment time. This means a web app can be sent out to the market quickly.
- Offers better authentication processes
- Have multiple safety layers
- Has a short learning curve and can be learned and implements in a matter of weeks
- Cannot be learned easily if you are not familiar with PHP
- Is a new F/M and will be updated/upgraded often
- Upgrades have the history of turning problematic in the past
Micronaut is a JVM framework that is developed by the brand called OCI. On the outside, this may look similar to Spring. However, there are unique features added that make it different.
- Compile-time dependency injection mechanism
- Reactive programming support
- Supports different discovery tools
- Light-speed startup time
- Problem-free API visibility
- Enhanced productivity
- Takes time to learn and implement
15#. Mocha JS
Mocha JS can be used for both front-end and back-end testing and operates on node.js. This runs serially and hence can be used for accurate reporting.
- Simple asynchronous support
- Asynchronous test timeout support
- Variable leak detection
- Arbitrary transpiler support
- Very flexible
- Supports a lot of side-tools
- Backed by a very active support community
- Offers multiple browser support
- Needs extensive configuration
- May offer more flexibility than needed
Jasmine is an open source Behaviour-Driven Development (BDD) testing fwk for JS.
- Can perform asynchronous testing
- Can test front-end codes too using an extension called Jasmine jQuery
- Comes with an inbuilt test runner
- This is a language-independent Fwrk
- Supports Test-Driven Development (TDD) too
- Low overhead
- Very fast
- Influenced by many other testing FMs
- Runs isolated tests to ensure there are no performance drops
- The API is well-thought-out and maintained
- Can automatically collect code coverage information
- Easy to mock objects that are outside the test scope
- Very simple to implement and use
- Works perfectly with Node, Angular, Typescript, Vue, React, and more
- Needs zero configuration
Like we mentioned above, there is no one ‘do-it-all’ Frwk in the market. You need to analyze your team’s abilities and requirements and then pick the perfect one to work with.
If you are a team that is constantly bound by stringent deadlines and back-to-back work, then working with Frwks will definitely bring down the intensity of work and make website and web app development fun and exciting.
These five were chosen by our expert team as they are easy to learn, very flexible in their functionalities, and provide developers solid experience and growth opportunities.
Working in these five FMs will make it easy for you to learn new programming languages and other ones too in the future.
These days, both back-end and front-end developers need to know at least a handful of these FMs.
While you can still create web apps without F/Ms, it is going to take more time and effort to do so. The chances of coding problems are also high this way.
They are predictable and easy to use. They quicken the development process.
How to choose a JS framework?
It is very important that you choose the right one before you and your team start the development processes. If you use a random FWK, chances are you are going to get stuck halfway through and may need to start from scratch.
Begin by having a brainstorming session and identifying the needs of your team. What kind of features will you require and how scalable should the work be?
Analyse the pros and cons and the features of each of the above-mentioned FMs and then choose one of them.
Apart from saving time in the development process, these also bring down the risk of errors and bugs and encourage other developers to work on the project.