The average internet user gets to see a specific page on his/her system, through a series of interaction between various components of applications, user interfaces, middleware systems, databases, server and the browser.
The framework which ties up this relation and interaction together is Web Application Architecture. In a nutshell, the flow of processes typically include the user browsing for an URL, following which the browser triggers a search.
Consequent to the search, the network sends data to the browser from the server, and the browser displays the page that has been requested.
To put it quite simply, Web Application Architecture, includes various components and external applications.
The transition to progressively better applications has resulted in transformed capabilities in frontend and backend processes.
With mobile becoming the preferred device for search, the need is for Web app development and architecture that meets requirements across all platforms.
Additionally, applications are becoming more complex and developers who are tasked to build an app are increasingly veering towards full stack development architecture.
The workings of web application architecture
Web Applications include two different sets of programs that run separately yet simultaneously with the shared goal of working harmoniously for delivering solutions.
Typically, the two sets of programs include the code in the browser which works as per the inputs of the user and the code in the server which works as per the requests of protocols, the HTTPS.
In other words, web developers need to be able to decide on the functions of the code on the server and the functions of the code on the browser and how these two will function in relation to each other.
The three types of web application architecture include
Single page applications (SPA)
It is the era of minimalism, where a single-page web app is more popular. The most sought after applications include only the required elements of content.
This offers a greater interactive user experience, permitting the Single-page web app and the user to have a more dynamic interaction.
The execution of a single and specific functionality through Microservices Architecture framework permits developers to rollout applications faster and with greater efficiency.
As various components are developed in different coding languages, there is greater flexibility in choosing a technology of choice.
This permits applications to execute without a correlation to infrastructure related tasks, where the developers do not have to manage the backend servers, working on third party infrastructure.
Web application architecture: components
Web Application Architectures comprises various components that are segregated into two categories of components – user interface app components and structural components.
User interface app components
This is a reference to the web pages that have a role that is related to the display, settings and configurations.
It is related the interface/experience, rather than the development, and consequently it deals with display dashboards, configuration settings, notifications, and logs etc.
The structural components of a web application basically refer to the functionality of the web application with which a user interacts, the control and the database storage.
In other words, it has got more to do with the structural aspects of the architecture, as the name suggests. This basically comprises (1) The web browser or client, (2) The web application server and (3) The database server.
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The web application server handles the central hub that supports business logic and multi-layer applications, and is generally developed using Python, PHP, Java, .NET, Ruby, and Node.js.
The database server offers business logic and relevant information/data that is stored and managed by the web application server. It stores, retrieves and provides the information.
Web server architecture
By all definitions this refers to the ideal layout of a web server, which will facilitate the design, development and deployment of the web server.
The role is to accede to the requests of clients, including browsers and mobile apps via secure protocols. The requests could pertain to page resources or could also be related to a REST API.
Web servers are intrinsic to the working of web apps, mandating the need for increased emphasis on web server architecture, including the server’s physical capacity – storage, memory, computing power, and performance, apart from the app tiers.
This could be anywhere – either inside the server, across the network or the operating systems. The different types of web server architecture include:
Java web application architecture
By virtue of being a versatile programming language, this is popular in the enterprise development environment.
The requirements of a solution determine the extent/the complex nature of web application architectures – for instance, the solutions could be either simple or multi-tiered applications.
Regardless of the complexity or the nature of the application, Java Web Application Architecture is the preferred platform for developers to build solutions and deliver as per expectations.
One of the distinct advantages of this architecture is the ability to combine and rely on the Java native tools, and frameworks for creating applications straddling the entire spectrum – from simple to the most complex of applications.
Cloud based web application architecture
The migration to the cloud is more of an imperative than a choice, primarily as a result of the benefits across all parameters.
Consequently, cloud based web application architecture have been developed, this has resulted in the creation of a corollary – the decoupling of data. In other words, cloud based apps function and store information on local servers and the cloud.
Node.js web application architecture
At the core of Node.js web application architecture, lies the pattern of model-view; for instance, the model-view-controller, the model-view-view model and the model-view-presenter.
Node.js permits the creation of patterns for the purpose of identifying code elements, and also to configure the elements, apart from routing.
This relies on an entity-relationship which helps to ensure that the application runs seamlessly, through data systematization, breaking logic into modules, processing valuable insights from logs and dividing the code.
Another important advantage is the fact that Node.js web application architecture helps build scalable web apps.
.NET web application architecture
This handles requirements including cross-platform support, Docker containers, microservices, and side-by-side versioning.
The highlight of this framework is ability to store data without the need for applying database code.
Known as Data Access Layer, it helps improve functionality and development, as the architecture relies on ASP.NET Core and .NET Core for optimization.
PHP web application architecture
By virtue of being the least complex and highly functional development languages, PHP is one of the most popular among the community.
The architecture permits robust security, swift development, a dedicated framework, simple maintenance, and extended support from a community of developers.
AngularJS web application architecture
This architecture works in dual mode for HTML and TypeScript as a platform and also as a framework.
The use of NgModules for building offers manifold benefits through Angular development, including user experience with lazy loading, apart from reducing the code size.
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Laravel web development
Laravel, another PHP web framework adopts the model view controller architectural pattern, and has at its core syntax that is expressive, creative and elegant.
It offers a simplified web development process through better routing, sessions, authentication, and caching; as a result it takes lesser time for completing projects.
It helps to increase traffic, and incorporates flexible features including modular packaging systems.
One of the highlights, is the fact that different routes can be creates with an existing route name, by creating unique URLs. The auto loading facility dispenses with the need for special inclusion paths.
Python web frameworks
Python facilitates the development of web applications with code that is short/concise, easily readable and maintainable. This is one of the reasons why developers take a fancy to Python for use as a server side scripting language.
It speeds up the web application in addition to dispensing with the need for web application maintenance.
Custom web application through Python development is achieved by using multiple Python Web Frameworks, including full stack.
Not only is it dynamic, it does not require lengthy coding, typically reducing coding length by as much as 1/5th of other programming languages.
Perhaps the biggest advantage of Python is that the language is considered as the most suited one for prototyping.
In addition to this, it is highly flexible and integrates well with other languages, apart from the extensive library at its disposal.
As the web evolves, the associated technologies and frameworks evolve alongside. Modern web app development has replaced the older legacy structures and basic components.
It is therefore imperative when you build an app to choose the right architecture which will determine the performance of the web application.
Important parameters hinge on the choice of architecture – the speed of the web app, the robust and secure nature, and the manner in which it is responsive.
The business needs of a solution needs to be viewed in the context of technical needs and vice versa. The right web application architecture paves the way for future plans of expansion and scalability with what can be called as an intelligent blueprint.
Expansion in the future is not just increased demand, but will inevitably include requirements such as interoperability and the need for increased reliability.