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What Does a Technology Stack Mean?
From a growth standpoint, a technology stack (tech stack) implies the combination of tools and technologies applied by a development team to create a web or mobile solution. Typically, it consists of programming languages, front-end and back-end frameworks, a database, and applications connected via APIs.
What is Technology Stack for Web Development?
To simplify things, the web development technology stack is formally broken down into front-end and back-end main components. The front-end component is also called the client-side programming while the back-end component server-side programming. Each of these components comes with a set of tools necessary for development. Let’s take a closer look at them below!
|Your Server||User's Browser|
|Server Side||Client Side|
Front-End or Client-Side
It refers to the interface that users interact with. Visuals, graphical layouts, and user-friendliness are essential factors for a successful frontend. Here are the major client-side programming elements:
- HTML (the markup language): used to organize and position content on the page by structuring and placing the data.
- CSS (the stylesheet): used to add style to the content elements (background, font, colors, layouts, etc.)
- Frontend frameworks: refer to the packages with prewritten code and contain commonly-used elements such as the grid, pre-defined typography, and website components like buttons, scroll bars, and side panels that simplify and speed up the development process.
Back-End or Server-Side
It refers to everything that happens on the server and is not visible to users. Nearly all business logic runs on the server-side from rendering dynamic webpages and interacting with databases to verifying the identity of the user. Let’s take a look at the tools used for the server-side programming:
- Programming languages: allow software engineers to give instructions to a computer in a language the computer understands.
- Backend Frameworks: including the basic functionality, they provide structure for future products such as organizing and communicating with your database, handling requests from users, and sending out registration or password reset emails, etc.
Some examples of popular backend frameworks are Django, Flask, Laravel, Spring, Ruby on Rails, .NET, MeteorJS, ExpressJS, etc.
- Server: used to handle HTTP requests from clients’ by sending and receiving them.
Some examples of popular servers are Apache, Nginx, AWS, Google Cloud Platform Services, Microsoft Azure, etc.
- Databases: allow you to store and query all of your real-time and historical data and help you monitor user behavior when they use the web solution.
MySQL, PostgreSQL, Redis, Elasticsearch, MongoDB, Hadoop, HBase are some examples of popular databases.
- API services: provides a connection between the client and the server and sends/receives large quantities of information from other systems.
Some examples of popular API services: Segment, Mulesoft, Zapier, Google Apigee, Tealium, etc.
What Are The Types of Web Development Stacks?
This stack is known for its free and open-source approach to back-end development (server-side programming). The acronym LAMP stands for the following technologies:
- Linux: a free and open-source operating system (OS) that offers more flexibility and configuration options in comparison with other operating systems.
- Apache: an open-source and free web server that delivers web content through the internet. MySQL: is a database management system that allows you to store and manipulate data; it is suitable for running even large and complex sites.
- PHP/Perl/Python: programming languages used for coding web solutions.
This stack is the best option to build a website, media servers, and highly functional web applications.
Here is a LAMP stack alternative:
- LEMP (Linux, NGINX, MySQL/MariaDB, PHP/Perl/Python)
- LLMP (Linux, Lighttpd, MySQL/MariaDB, PHP/Perl/Python)
- LAPP (Linux, Apache, PostgreSQL, PHP)
- LEAP (Linux, Eucalyptus, AppScale, Python)
Also, you can use Microsoft Windows to form a WAMP stack or MAC OS to form the MAMP stack instead of using Linux OS.
- MongoDB: a document-oriented NoSQL database used for storing and retrieving a high volume of the application’s data.
- Express.js: web application server framework that provides requests to the database and returns a response.
- AngularJS: used to accept requests and display results to the end-user.
- Node.js: used to handle client and server requests.
This technology stack is a great choice if you are going to build such solutions as single-page applications (SPAs) with interactive UIs, dynamic websites, and web apps.
Becoming an increasingly popular tech stack among developers, the MERN stack covers the full web development cycle front-end development (client-side programming) and back-end development (server-side programming). Being similar to the MEAN stack, it has a slight difference. React is used instead of Angular. Generally, it is suitable for developing premium dynamic web applications. If you opt for this tech stack, you will be aware that the web development process will run smoothly and efficiently. MERN stack refers to applying MongoDB, Express.js, React, Node.js technologies.
This stack contains MongoDB, Express.js, Vue.js, and Node.js technologies. Backed by JS technology, it allows developers to work on both front-end development and back-end development. If you tend to build interactive, and intuitive websites and web applications, server-side applications, the MEVN stack is a great option for you.
Going serverless is becoming a viable and desirable IT infrastructure. According to Forrester’s report, 49% of companies are using or plan to use serverless architecture in 2020. Serverless computing platforms provide all the services and tools that allows developers to create simple infrastructure and scale up thousands of users. Mentioned above stack includes the following technologies:
- AWS: AWS Lambda
- Microsoft Azure: Azure Functions
- Google Cloud: Cloud Functions
This stack is a perfect solution if you tend to build real-time web apps
How to Choose Technology for Web Development
When it comes to developing a digital product, choosing a suitable technology stack for your project is essential. However, with a plethora of languages, frameworks, and tools available in the IT landscape, it is getting more challenging and complicated to find out a good fit. Having that in mind, we are going to quickly grasp key things to consider while selecting the tech stack for web development. Let’s dive into the details below!
#1: Clearly define the requirements and size of the project
At the very start, it’s imperative to know everything about your future web project. It includes the target audience, the type of project (static, dynamic, real-time, etc.), industry (automotive, e-commerce, fintech, etc), key features, and so on. In addition to that, you should be in the know about the size of the project:
- Small projects: powered with simple functionality, they require 15-20 tasks to be completed; the development team can develop and implement these projects (single web page sites, portfolios, etc.) in less than 3 months.
- Medium-sized projects: generally take 3-6 months to complete the project; require to apply a combination of languages to be developed; may need the integration with existing systems. Here are some examples: fintech apps, online stores, or enterprise applications.
- Large projects: when working on the project, developers use a complex combination of tools to create and implement required functionality; typically, the development process lasts 6-24 months. Here are some examples: social networks and marketplaces.
#2: Take into account time-to-market
If you tend to get to market quickly with an innovative web solution, you should opt for MVP development. Not only does it help you deliver the bare functionality that will meet the essential users’ needs, but it allows you to significantly speed up the release of the web product. At the same time, you can use ready-made solutions to minimize the time spent on development. If you consider an extension of your products in the future by integrating third-party solutions, sticking to the right tech stack at the very start is a plus.
#3: Focus on scalability
If you plan to expand the web product in the future, taking care of the scaling in advance is a must. Only by choosing the right technology stack can you handle an increased workload when dealing with a larger amount of data. Moreover, it will help you reduce request delays and time to update code, add new features with ease, etc.
#4: Safeguard your web solution
Whether you launch a real-time web app or dynamic website, the security of your web solution is a central component. With that in mind, you should protect your web solutions from being hacked by selecting the right types of web development stacks and implementing security measures throughout the software development life cycle. Not only does it help you create and implement a web solution in a secure way, but it also prevents you from the breach of sensitive or confidential information and saves your business in the long run.
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Pitfalls of Choosing a Technology Stack
Choosing the right technology stack isn’t an easy task. Making a mistake in this case, can hinder all your operations. Moreover, it could be a great waste of time and resources. That’s why it’s always better to think twice before choosing the right tech stack and avoid making a mistake before it’s too late. There are many small details to take into account before making a final decision regarding tech stack, and it can be quite a lengthy process of brainstorming and considerations of all the pros and cons of each tech stack. At times, one can fall into potential problems when choosing the right tech stack, - yet, if you are aware about such pitfalls, you can easily avoid them. Now let’s look into possible pitfalls of choosing a proper tech stack for your project.
Your earlier solutions
To choose a tech stack for your project effectively, you should, first of all, take into account the problem you would like to solve and what things you would like to improve. The technology is developing very quickly, and it’s important to implement the innovative tech stack for better project performance. But before making a final decision, talk to the CTO and lead engineers in helping you to determine if your earlier tech solutions should or shouldn’t be taken into account. It’s better to base your decision on the project’s future vision, and, thus, your earlier tech solutions shouldn’t influence your decision. But, of course, you shouldn’t completely ignore your earlier solutions. You might find a perfect tech stack that can be based on your existing code and software architecture.
Your rivals’ projects
Doing competitive analysis is always a good practice. Before choosing the tech stack for your project, you can study and see what and how your competitors have done. Yet, making your decision on the right tech stack for your project based on your rivals’ projects is not going to be helpful. Your project is different from your competitors’, and, thus, it’s better to figure out which tech stack would be particularly beneficial for you. Think about the scope of your project, its scalability. Ask yourself if you need such a tech stack that would allow for scalability or, maybe, you won’t need it. Your rivals might give general information about their project and the tech stack they’ve used, and even though, at first, it might look similar to what you would like to achieve, it isn’t exactly the same. Besides, it’s very unlikely that the competitors will reveal all the details about their project. Not to say that it’s important to think strategically and futuristically.
Your personal likes and dislikes
For one reason or another, you might have your own preferences regarding tech stack. Maybe, you’ve worked with some tech stack and determined for yourself which one is your favorite. We all tend to have our own likes and dislikes regarding different things. But it’s all very subjective. In case of choosing a proper tech stack for your project, try to get away from subjectivity, - stay rational and objective. If you are inclined to make an emotional decision and choose your favorite tech stack, try to restrain from finalizing such a decision. If you feel you can’t get over subjectivity, ask for professional advice. Think about what is best for your projects taking into account the main project requirements, its scope and scalability, security, and future vision. Try to avoid short-term thinking and personal preferences, think long-term instead and what’s best for the project, not for you, personally.
Information found online
Searching for new and relevant information online has become a norm. If we don’t know about something or are not entirely sure about certain things, more often than not we go online to find the answer or some pieces of advice. Of course, you can indeed find a lot of useful information online. But it’s also worth taking that information with the grain of salt. When you are selecting a tech stack specifically for your project, it might be better to consult a qualified specialist or the company that would review your project and offer the best possible solution tailored to your specific needs.
Ready to Reveal Which Tech Stack Will Help in The Growth of Your Business?
There is a wide range of types of web development stacks available. That’s why opting for the right technology stack for web development is key to making it work for your business. However, while some of the tech stacks may appear to be a great fit for creating real-time web apps, ultimately, they may not be the best option for building dynamic websites.
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- What is a technology stack?
A technology stack is basically a technology infrastructure. It is a complex mixture of software, frameworks, programming languages, and data storage technologies with the help of which developers can create and run a single application.
- Why is a technology stack an important step in web development?
Technology stack is an important step in web development because a tech stack can quickly summarize frameworks, programming languages, and tools, which is helpful in terms of managing the applications, improving systems and, thus, launching products on time.
- How to select a technology stack for web development?
To choose a technology stack for web development, you should take into account the following things: the product functionality, speed, and performance, the sixe and complexity of the project, its timeline, system load necessities, flexibility of tech stack and its ecosystem.
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