The technology stack you choose is one of the factors that determine the success or failure of a potential web application. Development may be a hard and risky process because designing a software product is not only about having a convenient UI with an appealing UX but also ensuring that the product is stable, secure, and easy to maintain.
The technology stack you choose is one of the factors that determine the success or failure of a potential web application. Development may be a hard and risky process because designing a software product is not only about having a convenient UI with an appealing UX but also ensuring that the product is stable, secure, and easy to maintain. As a result, not only should your web product be accepted by the customers, but it should also allow you to scale and otherwise adjust it according to your business needs.
Simply put, a technology stack is a combination programming languages, frameworks, libraries, and other technologies that bring your product, in this particular case – your web application, to life. Regardless of the target platform, applications have two main sides: the frontend, which is the side your clients see, and the back end, which is the server side of an application which is hidden from users.
Frontend and Backend Development
In plain terms, the back end refers to all the logical components that ensure the work of the application, excluding the “visible” part that a user can interact with. According to the most common classification, the back end is made up of a web server, a back-end application deployed on that server, and a database.
Depending on your needs and available resources, you can write server apps in Python, Java, Ruby, C , Go, Erlang, or several other languages if they suit your needs better. Instead of developing the server app from scratch, you can choose from a number of web development frameworks and libraries, which makes development a cinch.
Databases store and organize information for easy access by the app users with the help of various APIs. Popular databases include MySQL, PostgreSQL, MongoDB, and Redis, among others.
With so many tools, programming languages, app development frameworks, and databases, it might be challenging to pick the right technology stack for web application development. Below are the factors you should consider:
The App You Are Developing
The app you need to develop will influence the technology you use. For instance, a medical app will need increased security, file sharing features, and video/audio streaming functionalities. As such, you will need to pick a heavy-duty programming language – one that easily handles high load.
Start by deciding upon the technology stack components based on the requirements of the app you are going to develop. Note that you can use a combination of different technologies, but you can choose web development frameworks, libraries, and modules only after selecting a programming language.
Small projects are easy to plan and complete. As a project gets bigger, its complexity and need for a broader stack also increases. Before you start, classify your project as small, medium, or large. Small projects include portfolios, single-page apps, presentations, magazines, and other web solutions that you can implement with simple design tools such as Webflow or Readymag.
Medium-sized projects include online stores and online financial enterprises. These projects have more features and therefore require a larger combination of technologies to develop. In most cases, you will need specialized frameworks or libraries to complete these projects. You should also consider using third-party cloud services, for instance, Amazon Web Services, to aid the development process and your app’s functionality.
Large projects such as social networks and marketplaces require speed, scalability, and serviceability. A project this big will require a sophisticated assortment of tools, programming languages, and different technologies to build a multifunctional and convenient app with high performance, security and responsiveness. When choosing a technology stack for a complex project, consider the whole set of its requirements and find a balance between the number of included features and the app’s performance. Keep in mind that the customers won’t use your app if it takes forever to load or process a simple user query.
Do you need to launch your software as soon as possible? If so, consider a minimum viable product. Choose the proven solutions that cut the time it takes to develop an MVP of an app. For instance, you can pick Ruby on Rails framework that grants you access to multiple libraries in order to save you time. Another great tool is the RubyGems repository which allows you access to a collection of ready-made features you might need for your app. If RubyGems doesn’t have the feature you need, you can always get one created by an expert on Ruby Community.
If all you need is adding functionality to your app, consider integration with third-party software. These ready-made solutions may be paid, so they raise the development costs but save you the time (and, as a consequence, some money) you’d otherwise spend creating the required functionality. Another method to reduce the development time and improve your app’s functionality and performance is the use of additional frameworks, libraries, and modules. These tools are specifically made to fit particular development purposes, and they extend the capabilities of the programming language you have chosen for the technology stack. This way, the well-selected addition of ad-hoc technologies is one of the key parts of planning a stack for web app development.
Even when you do not plan to grow your business rapidly, it is advisable to pick a tech stack that allows you to scale efficiently. Scaling can be vertical, where you add extra functionality enabling your software to handle new tasks, or horizontal, where you add processing units so that your app may handle a larger number of users simultaneously. Some tools with excellent scalability include Ruby on Rails, React, Node.js, and Golang.
All apps require high security, especially if they deal with personal data including lists of email addresses, passwords, real names and postal addresses of users. The security requirement gets much higher and becomes a primary concern if your software processes and stores such confidential data as personal health records, payment information including card numbers, or other data that may be used with malicious intent. Whether you are developing a health app, an online store, or a simple social app, your customers or any users of your app will need to know their data is protected. A tool such as Ruby on Rails provides Digital Subscriber Line, DSL, which helps you configure your app’s content security policy.
# When developing an app, ensure that:
# app interactions are carried out using an API;
# access to the API is limited by tokens;
# each access to the app has to be authorized;
# any access from the Internet should be handled by the API;
# backup is performed regularly;
# if developing a medical app, it is HIPAA compliant.
Save on Expenses
Some of the tools you use when developing an app might be expensive. To save on expenses, ensure that your technology stack specification is clear and easy to understand. If you choose to outsource the project, offer clear project specs to allow the developer to make precise estimates.
Again, whether you are developing your app or outsourcing it, create an MVP, and test it. Note all the errors that occur when testing the product and correct them during the development phase. Where possible, only choose ready-made solutions and frameworks. This will not only save you money but also reduce development time. During the web app development, consider cloud hosting, which is more convenient and less costly. You need to think the entire web app development process in advance, from idea to launching and running the app.
Despite the fact that the capabilities of hardware and software are rapidly evolving and, thus, providing better functionality and performance for the needs of program developers, there is still no single fit-for-all technology stack. Some of the stacks are already well-established, tested and have proven their effectiveness for specific purposes, while others are experimental, risky, or unbalanced, for example, providing high performance at the cost of reliability.
Different web app development projects require different technology stacks; that’s why the specifics of your future product should determine the choice and number of components in the respective tech stack. If you are not sure which technology stack best fits your intended application, the best possible