Today, the web is a far different place than it was just a decade ago. As more and more users are using contemporary apps like Twitter and Facebook, it is becoming a necessity for enterprises to build applications offering an interactive experience that no longer looks obsolete or sluggish.
As the demand for interactive, complex, and state-of-the-art applications rises, enterprises are also turning to Single Page Applications (SPAs) as a possible solution. We have written on the benefits of SPAs previously.
Needless to say, a powerful and robust single page application framework makes the job of building an intuitive application relatively easier. Fortunately, there are numerous SPA frameworks to choose from. Unfortunately, it is not easy for enterprises to decide between them.
Selecting the Right Single Page Application Framework
Technically, a single page web application is the one that gets delivered as a one-page site to the browser and does not require the page to be reloaded once the user navigates to different sections of the application. That results in faster navigation, efficient network transfers, and better overall performance for the end-user.
Popular SPA frameworks we include:
While the choice of a single page application framework is a rather subjective decision, we have listed some key factors that play a crucial role in choosing the ideal framework for building a Single Page Application for your business.
1. Scalability and Flexibility: ReactJS
In today’s dynamic digitized era, where the world is fiercely moving towards digital transformation, enterprises have Scalability & Flexibility ingrained into their core focus areas right from the beginning, which was once just an afterthought.
Thus, building an efficient single page application comes hand in hand with this crucial factor in mind.
If scalability and flexibility of a SPA is the topmost priority for your business, then ReactJS is a good choice of framework to go ahead with.
- Owning to its component-based architecture, maintenance of the application is quite easy.
- A page based on ReactJS includes a Virtual DOM. We have also mentioned, in one of our prior blogs that Virtual DOM enables the development team to track and update the changes without affecting the other parts of the tree, thereby enhancing the flexibility of the application.
- ReactJS is more flexible compared to other frameworks because of its stand-alone libraries, which enable a good response time.
- The framework enables the distribution of the load from the server to the client as both sides utilize ReactJS.
In a nutshell, ReactJS is one of the most preferred frameworks to build a single page application if scalability and flexibility are the top priority for your business.
2. Performance: Angular JS
In a pursuit to push the web to do more, enterprises are facing a common problem: the ‘Performance’ of applications. Today, sites are having features more than ever before, making it hard for the applications to achieve a high level of performance across varied devices.
Performance issues can lead to small delays and at worst, they can make your SPA unresponsive, thereby turning away your potential customers. Even a study by Google indicates that sites loading within 5 seconds had 70% longer sessions, 35% lower bounce rates, and 25% higher ad viewability than sites taking nearly four times longer.
Thus, good performance is a key factor when you are choosing a single page application framework. There is no better framework than AngularJS when it comes to the performance of a SPA.
- AngularJS data binding feature eliminates much of the code a developer would otherwise have to write.
- Applications built with AngularJS tend to load quickly. The component router feature of AngularJS makes this possible by delivering automatic splitting of codes. This enables the users to load only the requester code for the view.
- An AngularJS framework allows a SPA to work on every platform.
In brief, AngularJS is one of the most used JS frameworks for single page applications development and this framework is used by many big names including Microsoft, Google, and PayPal.
3. User-Interface: EmberJS
The user-interface (UI) is an important part of an application that in no-time differentiates you from your competitors. A single page application is considered to be the most efficient if it is able to transmit the entire UI to the client. It, thereby, improves the overall performance of the network.
If the user-interface is one of the top priorities for your app, then you should plan to choose EmberJS as a framework for your application.
- Just like AngularJS, EmberJS also features two-way data binding, keeping both view and model in sync. Apply the Ember FastbootJS module, it becomes possible to prompt server-side rendering of DOM, thereby improving the performance of complex UIs.
- EmberJS, as is based upon two-way binding, automatically updates the UI with a change in data. Thus, it allows to easily describe UI that knows when to update.
EmberJS is a highly opinionated, open-source framework that promotes greater flexibility. Thus, it is a good choice to build complex feature-rich single page web applications. The big names that incorporate this framework are Nordstrom, Kickstarter, LinkedIn, Netflix and many others.
4. Application Testing: Selenium and Cucumber
We have mentioned the importance of security testing and a security-first approach in our various blogs. Thus, it is important to mention here that unit testing is a vital part of single page application development. Application testing ensures that the features of an application continue to run in a perfect manner, also ensuring the safety of the personal information of your valuable user.
Without unit tests, it will become extremely difficult to anticipate when something can fail in an application, due to just a minor code change. Along with end-to-end integration testing, it can be a powerful tool, when making architectural changes.
And when it comes to single page application testing, it is preferred to perform integration tests in your app, using Selenium and Cucumber. We have also mentioned in one of our prior blogs- Top 10 Automation Testing Tools in 2019 & Beyond– that Cucumber is built with the philosophy of delivering enhanced end user experience.
- Selenium is the base for most of the other software testing tools.
- Selenium Supports parallel test execution, thus reduces test execution time.
- With Cucumber, code can be executed on different frameworks like Selenium.
- With Cucumber, the Test code is written in simple English called Gherkin.
No doubt, optimization is one of the important factors that come into play when you are about to choose the right single page application framework for your project. But you should not discard a tech taking with just this fact in mind.
Thus, selecting the perfect single page application framework for your development project requires a thorough understanding of each and every framework that exists in the market along with your business goals.
Choose a Digital Experience Agency that thoroughly analyzes and reviews your business goals, requirements, and strategies, and estimates the risks and benefits of every framework before getting down to business.