Most scalable SaaS and cross platform apps use microservice architecture for development. However scaling frontend so that many team members can work simultaneously on a complex application is difficult. Let’s take a look at how we can break up frontend monoliths into many smaller, more manageable pieces, and how this architecture can increase the effectiveness and efficiency for frontend development.
Lately we are seeing more attention being paid to the overall architecture and structures in complex, modern web applications. In particular, we’re seeing patterns emerge for decomposing frontend monoliths into smaller, simpler chunks that can be developed, tested and deployed independently. These applications still appear to customers as a single cohesive product. This technique is called micro frontends.
It can be defined as
“An architectural style where independently deliverable frontend applications are composed into a greater whole”
Pros of micro frontends:
Some of the key benefits if using micro frontends are:
1. Smaller, more cohesive and maintainable codebase.
2. Easy to scale with decoupled, autonomous teams.
3. Provides ability to upgrade, update, or even rewrite parts of the frontend in a more incremental fashion than was previously possible.
Using micro frontend approach teams can make incremental updates to the product after product release. Most of the times design update or rewrite is required when moving from MVP to stable release, or when feature addition is done.
Teams can still maintain the old frontend monolith for exiting code and continue to modify and add new features to it.
Simple decoupled codebases:
The source code for each block of micro frontend will be smaller than traditional monolith. These smaller codebases are easier to work with and maintain.
Just as with microservices, micro frontends enable independent deployability. This reduces the scope of any given deployment, which in turn reduces the associated risk. Regardless of how or where your frontend code is hosted, each micro frontend will ideally have its own continuous delivery pipeline, which builds, tests and deploys it all the way to production. This should enable team to deploy each micro frontend with very little impact on the current state of other codebases or pipelines.
In short, micro frontends is about slicing up big codebase into smaller, more manageable pieces, and then being explicit about the dependencies between them.
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