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Such terms as" web app"," front-end architecture designing app
"," Web 2.0", and" HTML5 apps" have actually recently ended up being trendy. Today we'll attempt to discover out more about the types of web application architecture in the light of the most current web patterns and crucial problems that matter to software owners.
It's likewise worth noting that the case, when the number of features/screens of the customer app is increased at the software owner's demand, depends on the structure and implementation rather than the type of web architecture.
Often this architecture is called" Web 1.0", given that it was the very first to appear and currently dominates the web.
Seldom there's an exception (more of exotics): for example, if the server is recognized upon node.js, and there are no big databases; or if one uses third-party web services for data acquisition (nevertheless, it's a more sophisticated variation of architecture).
Such terms as" web app"," front-end architecture"," Web 2.0", and" HTML5 apps" have actually recently ended up being stylish. Regrettably these terms are frequently utilized in a misleading context which does not consider the full specificity of implementation
and usage of web app architecture. Today we'll look for out more about the kinds of web application architecture in the light of the most current web patterns and crucial problems that matter to software application owners.
We'll detail 3 main types of web architecture and discuss their advantages and disadvantages for three points of view: software application owner, software application professional (developer) and end user. There can be other types however they basically boil down to these three as their subtypes.
We'll define a web application: it's a client-server application - there is an internet browser (the customer) and a web server. The reasoning of a web application is dispersed among the server and the customer, there's a channel for information exchange, and the information is saved mainly on the server. Additional details depend on the architecture: various ones distribute the logic in various methods. It can be put on the server as well as on the client side.
It's near to impossible to assess these entirely different architectures impartially. We'll attempt to, using numerous requirements of evaluation:
Responsiveness/Usability. Updates of data on pages, changing between pages (reaction time). Such qualities of user interface as richness and intuitiveness in usage.
Linkability. Capability to conserve bookmarks and links to various areas of the site.
Offline work. Speaks for itself.
Speed of development. Addition of new functional features, refactoring, parallelizing the advancement process in between designers, design designers, and so on
. Efficiency. Maximum speed of action from the server with minimum consumption of computation power.
Scalability. Ability to increase computation power or disc space under boosts in amounts of information and/or variety of users. In case the assigned scalable system is used, one must offer data consistence, availability and partition tolerance (CAP theorem). It's also worth noting that the case, when the variety of features/screens of the customer app is increased at the software application owner's demand, depends on the framework and execution instead of the kind of web architecture.
Testability. Possibility and easiness of automated unit testing.
Practical extendability. Adding performance within very little time and spending plan.
SEO. Users must have the ability to discover the application through any search engine.
Assistance. Expenditures on app infrastructure - hardware, network facilities, upkeep personnel.
Security. The software owner must be sure that both organisation data and details about users are kept protected. As the primary security criterion we'll consider the possibility of modifications in functionality of app habits on the customer side, and all associated risks. Requirement risks are the same for the compared architectures. We do not consider security on the 'server-client' channel, because all these architectures are equally exposed to burglaries - this channel can be the same.
Conversion: site - mobile or desktop application. Possibility to release the application on mobile markets or to make a desktop application out of it with minimal extra costs.
Some of these criteria may seem unreliable, but the purpose of the article is not to reveal what's excellent and what's bad. It's more of a detailed evaluation that reveals the possible alternatives of choice.
Let's lay out three main kinds of web applications according to the roles carried out by the server and the customer internet browser.
Type 1: Server-side HTML
The most prevalent architecture. The server creates HTML-content and sends it to the customer as a full-fledged HTML-page. In some cases this architecture is called" Web 1.0", given that it was the first to appear and currently controls the web.
Responsiveness/Usability: 1/5. The least optimal value among these architectures. It's so because there is a terrific amount of information transferred in between the customer and the server. The user has to wait till the entire page reloads, reacting to insignificant actions, for example, when only a part of the page requires to be refilled. UI templates on the customer depend directly on the structures used on the server. Due to the limitations of mobile internet and substantial quantities of transferred information, this architecture is barely appropriate in the mobile sector. There are no methods of sending immediate data updates or modifications in real time. If we think about the possibility of real-time updates by means of generation of ready portions of content on the server side and updates of the client (through AJAX, WebSockets), plus style with partial changes of a page, we'll exceed this architecture.
Linkability: 5/5. The greatest of the 3, since it's the most convenient implementable. It's due to the reality that by default one URL receives particular HTML-content on the server.
SEO: 5/5. Rather easily executed, similarly to the previous requirement - the material is known beforehand.
Speed of development: 5/5. This is the oldest architecture, so it's possible to choose any server language and structure for particular needs.
Scalability: 4/5. If we take an appearance at the generation of HTML, under the increasing load comes the minute when load balance will be required. There's a far more complicated circumstance with scaling databases, but this job is the same for these 3 architectures.
Performance is fairly low since a big quantity of information must be moved, consisting of HTML, style, and service data. It's necessary to produce information for the entire page (not just for the altered organisation data), and all the accompanying info (such as style).
The application behavior reasoning is on the server side. Data are transferred overtly, so a protected channel might be needed (which is generally a story of any architecture that worries the server).
Conversion: site - mobile or desktop application: 0/5. In the majority of cases it's just difficult. Seldom there's an exception (more of exotics): for instance, if the server is understood upon node.js, and there are no big databases; or if one uses third-party web services for information acquisition (however, it's a more sophisticated variation of architecture). Thus one can wrap the application in analogous or node-webkit methods.
Offline work: 2/5. Carried out with a manifest on the server, which is gotten in to HTML5 requirements. If the web browser supports such a specification, all pages of the application will be cached: in case the connection is off, the user will see a cached page.
Type 2: JS generation widgets (AJAX).
The primary advantage is that updates from the server get here only for the part of the page asked for by the customer. It's likewise great that widgets are apart functionally. A specific widget supervises of a part of the page; modifications in a part will not affect the entire page.
Because a page is a set of widgets, the relevant UI templates in a web application are restricted by the chosen UI structure. The content, which is completely created and cached on the server, can be immediately shown on the client; here time is spent on getting the data for the widget and, as a rule, on templating. At the first see the website will not be that fast to load, but even more it will be much more pleasant in use, if compared to sites based on the architecture of the very first type.
Linkability: 2/5. Here special tools and systems are required. As a rule, Hash-Bang mechanism is applied.
SEO: 2/5. There are unique mechanisms for these tasks. For promotion of sites based on this architecture it's possible to predefine the list of promoted pages and make static URLs for them, without parameters and modificators.