Web Application Architecture: Basics and Components
Whenever you are using a very intuitive web app rarely you will stop to think about all the interactions that go on between the components that make up the application. This includes the UI, databases, browser server and many other parts. What ties all of these parts together is the web application architecture. In this article we will provide you with the web architecture basics so you can choose the right architecture for your web app.
What is Web Architecture?
Web architectures are the foundation of our everyday web surfing experience. It incorporates entering in a website address and all interactions with it. A well-built architecture will have the following features:
- Useful for solving business issues
- Allows for split testing and analytics
- Provides a fast user experience
- Secure and sustainable
- Offers significant automation features
Since users are spending more time accessing the internet through mobile devices there is a large demand for app architecture that includes all the features mentioned above and many others. As a result, custom web development is getting more complex which is prompting a lot of developers, who are tasked with creating an app to steer towards a full stack development architecture.
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Web Application Components
The components of web application architecture can be divided into UI/UX and structural components. The UI/UX components include things like dashboards, layouts, activity tracking and anything else that has to do with visuals or the user experience. The latter is the web app server and the database server.
The simplest option would be to have a sole server and database, but this is risky because should anything happen to the server, the app will not work. Therefore, it is always good to have at least two servers running to serve as a backup in case something happens. Also, if you have multiple servers and databases you can handle more amounts of data and not have to suffer any elasticity issues.
Types of Web Applications
There are three types of web applications:
- Legacy HTML Web App — This one is built on very simple logic: the user gets the entire HTML on request. As far as the architecture is concerned, all of the various elements will react to the full reload of the page. This would be a great option for static pages, but it is not suitable for dynamic web apps.
- Widget Web App — This is a more advanced option which lets you load data without reloading a page. The AJAX queries receive and send large quantities of data in HTML and JSON thus making it a better option for mobile apps.
Web Server Architecture
Since the web servers play a key role in the overall functionality of the web app, it would be worthwhile to look at the various web server architectures.
Java — If your architecture is Java-based it gives you the versatility to create both simple and complex architectures. More importantly, it enables you to build reliable apps over the long term.
Cloud-based — There is a growing trend among businesses in all industries to move their operations to the cloud which prompted the need for an architecture that is cloud-based. The biggest advantage of this architecture is data decoupling meaning that the app runs and is stored on the local server and the cloud.
Node.js — This architecture uses model-view patterns which allows you to identify code elements properly so they can be routed and configured.
.NET — This architecture allows you to use stored data without having to apply a specific database code. It includes ASP.NET Core and .NET Core which greatly enhance the user experience.
PHP — This language is very popular among web developers because of its simplicity and functionality. It guarantees high-speed development, increased security and support from a large group of developers.
Azure — This type of architecture is one of the most interesting ones because it serves as a bridge between traditional tools and the cloud.
AngularJS — This architecture works as a platform and framework for HTML and TypeScript. One of its biggest advantages is lazy loading which reduces the size of the code and offers a better user experience.
Since the web is constantly evolving, all the technologies that are associated with web development architecture must also evolve in order to keep up. A lot of old structures have given way to modern methodologies therefore, it is very important that you stay up to date on all the latest developments so that you can choose the architecture that best works for your app. Most important performance indicators will depend on the architecture that you choose. These include the speed of app, security, responsiveness, and many other critical indicators.
Also, it is very important that your business needs to line up with your technical requirements. If you create a great app that will need to be scaled in the future to keep up with demand, you have to make sure that the application architecture you are using in the very beginning can be scaled effortlessly if needed. We hope that the architecture basics that we talked about in this article will help you create the kind of powerful, secure and scalable app that the users will love.
Originally published at skywell.software.