Every web service is bound to become a real nightmare as it grows. The codebase gets lengthier, the development team expands and the time spent on new feature deployment increases. While modern microservices architecture helps web applications become scalable, it still doesn’t seem to solve the issues entirely. And the reason is – the large frontend monolith hanging above all the microservices.
Luckily, you can unlock microservices’ full potential by applying this pattern on both the backend and frontend of your application.
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Read further to find out how it works and what benefits micro frontends can bring you.
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Micro frontends come from the combination of microservices and frontend. In short, it means applying the microservices pattern to the application’s UI, aka breaking the frontend monolith into several units. A micro frontend usually corresponds to a certain business subdomain of the app and is customer-focused, for instance, Customer Checkout or User Profile.
By breaking the frontend into small pieces, micro frontends ensure the application’s scalability. Each micro frontend is autonomous which means you can maintain and deploy them independently. It also means you can develop micro frontends in parallel by different teams. And when the application grows, you can easily scale your development alongside it.
Your service is bound to reach the point where it needs scaling. The question is – will you do it seamlessly or have many losses along the way. For some applications, such as SPA (single page applications), scaling is beyond challenging.
In a monolithic app, you cannot change a small part of the app independently – the entire system has to be scaled altogether. So if you need to handle a traffic increase, you must modify the whole monolithic service. What’s the result? Wasting gobs of time and resources on system updates.
You can make your app more scalable by applying microservices architecture to the back of your app. But the result will still be far from perfect because of the frontend side. The monolithic frontend will cause delays and never let you deploy your app with a click of a button. On top of that, with a single frontend codebase, scaling your team will be difficult. The reason is, every new team member will find it tough to work with a large codebase.
With micro frontends architecture, you slice your application vertically. You create autonomous elements that are in essence micro applications inside one big web app. This gives you teams that are responsible for certain units and their end-to-end development, instead of frontend and backend being separate. You can scale the needed parts of the system only and deploy them independently. With this type of on-demand scaling in place, you’ll get fast updates, system stability, and a great user experience.
Let’s take a look at the key principles behind micro frontends.
Let’s glance at a simple micro frontends application. The image below is a food delivery website where customers can choose various meals.
You can notice several vital elements here – a landing page with search options, restaurant pages with menus, discounts, and meal deals, as well as a profile page that displays information related to the customer’s account, like order history.
In this case, we can build micro frontends in a single container app. A micro frontend will correspond to one website’s page, while the container application will address cross-cutting concerns (such as authentication), render common elements and bring micro frontends together on the page.
Why should anyone consider building a micro frontends application? The reason is simple – they offer many fundamental benefits.
Let’s discuss the main perks of using micro frontends:
Unfortunately, like any other approach, micro frontends have a few tradeoffs:
There are several strategies for implementing micro frontends, so you can choose the one that matches your needs the best.
If you already have a web app, you’ll start by figuring out how to divide your monolith into separate micro frontends. But different apps require different approaches.
At Relevant, we understand the importance of creating a scalable web application. For more than seven years, we’ve been helping businesses across the globe build flexible and up-to-date solutions. Our experienced engineers can assist you in scaling your application by applying micro frontends.
We provide product development services that cover website development, end-to-end. Before building your micro frontends solution, we will gather your requirements, conduct research, and make estimates. We will plan our product development carefully, design a scalable solution with your brand’s identity in mind, and build a micro frontends application using the most suitable technologies. Moreover, our full-cycle product development covers testing, deployment, and maintenance.
Alternatively, if you need to break an existing app into micro frontends, you can hire a dedicated team of professionals. We can assemble a team with the skills and level of expertise that match your requirements. And if you need to find a team responsible for a micro frontend or multiple cross-functional teams to scale your app, we’ve got you covered there as well. In fact, we can help you find a React or Angular engineer in just two weeks. Our software developers are ready to help you boost your in-house development and deliver the expertise you need.
Everyone knows that microservice architecture offers numerous benefits. But the truth is, microservices UI is still the main bottleneck. To overcome this issue, you should consider applying the same microservices’ principles to your app’s frontend. The result will be a micro frontends application composed of small independent applications.
Today, in the micro frontends vs. SPA battle, micro frontends apps take the lead. Why? Because they have proven to be scalable, flexible, and cost-effective. They accelerate development significantly and establish an excellent development culture. What more could you want?
If you are ready to reap the benefits of micro frontends, contact Relevant. We’ll help you make the most out of this innovative approach.