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The field of web development is a rapidly expanding one, more so, due to the advent of the latest web app development technologies and improvements in the available resources and tools. Web application development becomes one of the critical attributes, through which the target audiences for the business will be enhanced.

Modern web applications are built to support rapid change and exponential growth. Your enterprise application is built through web-based application programming interfaces (APIs), allowing RESTful calls between different parts of your application and its services. In this article, we’ll tell you everything about building modern apps using the right architecture. We’ll explain how web applications work and share the best practices that improve platform performance.

What is web app architecture?

The architecture of a web system serves as a framework defining the relationships between the client-side (frontend) and server-side (backend) components of a web application. In simpler terms, it delineates how various elements within an application collaborate.

Before delving into the significance of web app architecture in development, let's briefly explore fundamental terms. A web application, unlike a static website composed of fixed pages with text, images, audio, and video, is software accessible through a web browser. Web apps enable users to interact with elements and manipulate content seamlessly without the need to reload the page.

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Web application architecture

Here are a few noteworthy examples of web applications grouped by their underlying technologies:

  • Dynamic Web Apps: Hubspot, Netflix, Facebook
  • E-commerce Platforms: eBay, Amazon, Walmart
  • Content Management Systems (CMS): Joomla, Drupal, WordPress
  • Single Page Applications (SPA): Pinterest, Gmail, PayPal
  • Progressive Web Applications (PWA): Forbes, Spotify, Starbucks

To comprehend the importance of web app architecture in development, it's essential to understand the underlying components of a web application.

Components of web application architecture infrastructure

The main components of web portal architecture include a browser, web application server, and database server. Let’s overview each element and see how they impact the system’s performance, scalability, and reliability.

  • User Interface (UI): Facilitates user interaction through HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, enabling dynamic updates.
  • Web Browser: Acts as the primary interface, ensuring compatibility and security for user interactions with web applications.
  • Web Application Server: Processes user requests, ensuring compatibility and security through various server types.
  • Database Server: Centralized server managing data exchange between web and database servers.
  • Application Server: Runs on the server side, managing business logic, enhancing security, and improving scalability.
  • DNS (Domain Name System): Translates domain names into IP addresses, simplifying internet communication.
  • Messaging Middleware: Bridges communication between different software components using synchronous and asynchronous protocols.
  • Load Balancer: Distributes traffic across servers to optimize resources and ensure smooth operation.
  • Caching: Temporarily stores web page data, enhancing loading speed upon repeated requests.
  • Content Delivery Network (CDN): Improves latency by storing and delivering static content through nearby server nodes.
  • Firewall: Monitors and controls traffic, acting as a barrier to prevent unauthorized access and ensure compliance with regulatory standards.
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Components of web application architecture infrastructure

Let's discover how all these components work together when someone interacts with a web app in the next session.

How modern web applications work

Now that you’re familiar with the terms, we can show you what happens when a user enters a URL in the address bar.

  • The client (browser) contacts a DNS server, which provides the IP address.
  • The browser then sends a request for web documents (JSON, HTML, and others) to the web server.
  • The web server forwards the requests to the application logic (business layer of the app), which determines the course of action depending on the user’s access level and type of request.
  • If the request meets the access criteria, the app logic loads data from the database and sends them to the browser.
  • The browser receives a web document with data, parses it, and loads any static files (JavaScript, CSS, images, video, etc.) from the CDN.
  • In modern web applications, the app logic may have the JavaScript layer, which then communicates with the backend and different APIs from the browser.
  • The browser renders the information and displays it as a website page.

Web Application Architecture Types

When developing an app, choosing the right architecture is crucial for aligning with the app's logic and functionality. The architecture defines the overall objective of the product, and there are four main types of web application architectures:

  • Single Page Application (SPA) Architecture

SPA aims to enhance user experience by loading a single web page and dynamically updating its content instead of navigating to new pages. Client-side JavaScript frameworks like AngularJS are commonly used for SPA development. For example, Food Truck Spaces, a tool connecting event organizers, property owners, and food entrepreneurs, was created using AngularJS and ASP.Net API.

  • Microservice Architecture

Microservices replace monolithic architectures by employing multiple services that can operate independently to solve complex problems. Communication between services is facilitated by APIs, creating loosely coupled components. Prominent technology companies like Amazon, Netflix, SoundCloud, Comcast, and eBay leverage microservices to simplify web app deployment and enhance scalability.

  • Serverless Architecture

In serverless architectures, cloud service providers like Amazon and Microsoft manage servers, eliminating the need for manual server intervention. Backend-As-A-Service (BaaS) and Function-As-A-Service (FaaS) are two types. BaaS allows developers to focus on frontend development, while FaaS is an event-driven model handled by providers like Amazon Lambda and Microsoft Azure. Serverless architecture enhances scalability and reliability, and it was utilized in collaboration with the FIH for a web app using headless CMS, React, and integrated APIs.

  • Progressive Web Applications (PWAs)

Created by Google in 2015, PWAs offer rich, native functionality with enhanced capabilities, reliability, and ease of installation. PWAs can function on any browser and device, adjusting seamlessly from tablets to desktops. They are discovered and shared via URLs instead of app stores, and they can be quickly added to a device's home screen. PWAs, exemplified by companies like Uber, Aliexpress, Alibaba, Pinterest, and Starbucks, excel in poor internet conditions and offline modes.

Best Practices for Web Application Architecture

Selecting the right architectural patterns for your web app is crucial, but success hinges on thoughtful design rather than blindly emulating popular apps, as they may not align optimally with your business needs. Follow these guidelines to ensure your web app's architecture:

  • Enhance System Performance: Improve system performance and management by minimizing failures.
  • Prioritize Component Reusability: Embrace the principle of component reusability for a more efficient development process.
  • Ensure Well-Formed Code: Well-thought code contributes to the overall quality of your web app.
  • Optimize for High Scalability: Design applications with scalability in mind to accommodate growth.
  • Prioritize Stability and Reliability: Aim for the highest level of stability and reliability in your web app.
  • Utilize A/B Testing: Detecting and addressing bugs effectively through A/B testing.
  • Adhere to Security Standards: Implement security standards as a best practice for safeguarding your web app.
  • Facilitate User Feedback: Create dedicated sections to collect valuable user feedback.

Tools and Choices for an Enhanced Web App Experience

Productivity Enhancement IDEs: VsCode, Webstorm, NetBeans, and AWS Cloud9

UX Builder Tools for Design: Figma and Sketch for designing and improving user experience.

Popular Frameworks for Development: React, Angular, Python, Vue, Express, Django, etc., for creating high-quality products.

The architecture of a modern web application must evolve with changing demands. Keeping pace with current trends is crucial, as even a minor error can impact the success of your product. The success of a web application is intricately connected to its architecture, emphasizing the importance of rapid and secure web-based communication for users. While an unrefined web architecture may function, a precise architecture ensures the development of the best apps.

Our experienced team at BlueOC - an IT outsourcing company in Vietnam and Japan, can help you with all your web app development needs. From creating a solid architecture for your app to optimizing its performance, we have the expertise to guide you every step of the way. Our developers stay up to date on the latest technologies and trends to ensure that your software is always cutting-edge.

Don't let confusion or uncertainty hold you back from creating the web app of your dreams. Contact BlueOC today and let us help you turn your ideas into reality.