One of the most crucial step in building a future-proof and successful app is choosing the right technology stack. Modern mobile and web application development requires a intuitive user interface, needs to be cloud ready to offer good scalability, a robust database to support high volume data exchange and microservices for fast performance and easy of maintenance. These are the basic layers that form a technology stack for a web or SaaS application.
In this article, we will explore some of the popular frameworks, libraries, tools and the basic criteria that can help you build a better app.
What is a technology stack?
A technology stack can be referred to as any combination of components that form the basic layers or components of a web or mobile application. To put it simply, it consists of two major layers: server-side i.e. backend – this is where you app churns the data; and the client-side i.e. frontend – this is what the users see and interact with.
Frontend frameworks and libraries:
- Bootstrap – The most popular framework for any basic web and SaaS application. It allows you to build responsive and mobile friendly applications / views quickly without breaking a sweat. It is customizable and supports lot of third party plugins and add-ons for theming your application or adding view for charts, reports, media files and more. It helps in quick prototyping and website development since it is easy to use and offers helpful components.
- Tailwind CSS – Tailwind CSS is a design system implementation in pure CSS. It’s easily configurable, making it a piece of cake to build complex responsive interfaces. Best suited for developing single-page web applications and cross-platform SaaS apps, as well as common websites.
- React – A JS library for creating user interfaces (UI). It has an active community and numerous ready-made components, which save time on development. It is great for creating any kind of web applications or platforms that require a very responsive UI.
- JQuery – A JS library used for code optimization, e.g., using one line of code instead of a dozen to describe a method.
- Django – It is a fast, clean, secure and scalable framework for rapid development. It is well documented and comes with its own lightweight server. Django is great for high-loaded websites, but also for medium-sized projects and startups.
- Node.js – Allows optimizing code on high-performance, complex and data-intensive real-time SaaS apps. It is fast, simple and expressive. It is most suitable for SaaS apps that involve real-time messaging, collaboration tools and more.
- Express.js – A minimalist, resource-efficient and flexible framework that uses templates and requires the least effort. It is better for simple web and mobile services, and APIs.
- Flask – A well-documented framework suitable for building lightweight web applications in python. It is a great option if you need to build a service on a resource-constrained system. Good for mid-scale websites and RESTful APIs.
- MySql – One of the most widely used relational databases, that is highly scalable, easy to set up, cloud-ready and platform independent. It is less flexible than some other databases.
- MongoDB – A NoSQL, document-based database for storing large volumes of unstructured data. It can be used in a cloud-based environment.
- PostgreSQL – An object-relational database with NoSQL features, used for enormous volumes of data (up to 32 TB per table). It supports custom data types and has multi-version control.
- Redis – Used for web applications that rely on and require caching system.
There is a great advantage to using a popular web stacks. They have a solid core and can be easily customized to the project’s needs. Some of the most popular ready-made technology stack examples are MERN (MongoDB-Express.js-React-Node.js), LEAN (Linux-Apache-MySql-PHP), and .NET.
The long-term success of your project heavily relies on the application technology stack that you choose. There are many new web and cloud application technologies out there, but it is impossible to say which one is the right fit for your software without inspecting your project needs. You can opt for the ready-made options (MERN, LEAN etc) or compile your own stack, so long as the technology inside it fits your goals.