All About Micro Frontend Architecture

All About Micro Frontend Architecture

Micro-frontend architecture is a lucrative approach to grow organizations as most of the time they face multiple issues at the frontend. This is understandable as it doesn’t make more sense to meddle with the codebase for frequent feature updations. Modular approach reduces the impact of upgrades and changes for one element on the rest of the codebase. Here we will discuss the micro frontend architecture and its implementation. So, let’s get started with what Micro frontend architecture is.

What Is Micro Frontend Architecture?

It is a strategy in which the traditionally monolithic frontend codebase is divided into smaller apps, ideally addressing the various business domains. These small elements creates a seamless frontend interface that delivers great user experience and is easy to scale and modify. Prior to micro-frontend architecture went mainstream, most common web app development strategy includes a frontend monolith on the top of a microservices backend. With time, data that come from various microservices made things complicated. Consider that one of the microservices went through an upgrade at the backend.

The frontend would require extensive changes, but we know developers would ignore such tasks. Convincingly, the situation would get so out of hand that a revamp would seem like just a logical solution. Micro frontend framework enables cross-functional teams to take care of end-to-end development and deployment of micro apps. Lets see the reasons to use micro frontend architecture.

Reasons To Use Micro Frontend Architecture-

1. Development Flexibility-

Micro frontend framework allows the team to select the tech stack for their microservice. This ownership improves decision making, fast track development cycles and enhances features.

2. Prefers Native Browser Over Custom APIs-

In case of web applications, there are lots of things to do to deliver great user experience. Micro-frontend principles use simple browser events for communication that are more manageable and easy to administer compared to APIs. Also it helps to attain faster rendering regardless of slow internet connections and sluggish browsers.

3. Decoupled Codebases-

Micro-frontend framework eases the management and modification of codebase. The principle of isolated team codes ensures seamless development, testing and deployment cycles.  Also it strengthens the team autonomy and tech agnostic nature of micro apps.

4. Reusability-

Chatbots, payment processing are some of the common features of enterprise sites. With micro-frontend architecture, one can easily adapt existing workflow for new website. It prevents reinvention of the wheel and  saves valuable resources at various instances.

5. Scalability-

Decoupled micro frontends and modular architecture  allows you to easily upscale and downscale, also they lend an interactive approach to entire process. With the knowledge that new micro frontend element or change to a current one will not influence the rest of the frontend and other teams’ work, you can generally focus on continuous growth.

6. Fast Build Time-

Independent development and release cycles of different micro frontends allow parallel development, reducing the effort to manage changes and downtime. Also, a micro frontend architecture allows to do upgrades at a blistering pace and updated with the current trends.

7. Easy Maintenance-

Maintenance is an important task when frontend monoliths grow to a mammoth size. Generally developers fear making changes in the codebase because they don’t know how a small change might ripple through the system. Also, overload of dependencies may cause trouble. Micro-frontend architecture divides the complete codebase into smaller and more manageable bits with clearly defined dependencies. This becomes easy for new team members to understand and maintain the system.

How To Implement Micro Frontend Architecture?

Various strategies are used for a micro-frontend architecture approach dependent on how and where the distinctive micro frontend components are created. Let’s see the various implementation strategies.

1. Server Side Composition-

In server side composition approach, various micro rontends are composed at server level before replaying it to the browser. Sever includes the view, calls micro frontends and organizes the page before it serves. Also, you can load core content on server, preventing unnecessary loading time or blank screens for users. And they get a view of core offering, the rest of the micro apps can load in the background. For instance, Facebook divides its typical page into multiple components called ‘pagelets’, it could process and serve one pagelet at a time while the others processed in the background.

2. Build Time Integration-

This strategy is used to organize the various micro-frontend codebases as independent code repositories. For this you don’t need to spend more efforts to organize teams and overall UI consistency also remains intact. And when optimized, the general data transfer to browser reduces during build phase. But one major disadvantage is -increased dependency between various frontend elements makes it difficult to keep the release pipelines independent of each other. This risks you experiencing similar bottlenecks as the frontend monolith. This technique has some use case like, DAZN an OTT streaming service, prefers predictability and performance over other parameters. While deploying frontend, it has been found that build-time integration to be the best way forward because it verified  the app’s performance by running all the end-to-end tests before serving it.

3. Run-Time Via JavaScript-

Javascript addresses the integration challenges presented by iframes. With run-time compositions, one can easily determine which micro frontend should be added and when and where it should render itself.

4. Run-Time Via Web Components-

This integration technique is a run time integration via web components. The prior method referred to bundles, and here web components are micro frontends. These web components can respond to URL routing and preserve all above benefits. You can choose the one that fulfills your needs.  

5. Runtime Via iframes-

We have client-side integration or run-time integration techniques. It follows fundamental principle, where all required micro-frontends are delivered to browser. This approach limits the UX experience you can deliver because the micro frontend content cannot exceed the iframe boundaries. Also, integrating various apps parts adds lots of complexities while building a responsive page.

You can also know- Top 10 Front End Development Tools In 2021

Final Words-

The above basics will surely help you to understand the new approach to build scalable frontend which is micro frontend architecture. If you’re thinking to build web solution with micro frontend architecture, consult with Solace experts. We are here to help you through consultation and development. You can hire dedicated developers of the Solace team for effective web solution development. Connect with Solace and get a free quote for customized web solution development. We will be happy to help you. 

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