5 Important Aspects to consider when choosing a Micro Frontend framework

July 10, 2021

iauro Team

Contributing immensely to the global software solutions ecosystem. DevOps | Microservices | Microfrontend | DesignThinking LinkedIn
The Micro Frontend concept is now relevant in the developing atmosphere and for reasonable grounds! This is a great solution to a lot of front-end development problems. Then it’s only natural that you might want to include it in your development processes. However, if implemented incorrectly, this can be cumbersome, leading to more obstacles than solutions.

So, before you start making shortlists of frameworks for your Micro Frontend, you need to consider five factors:

Team size : Some of the key benefits of Micro Frontends, such as independent team operations, can become overkill if you have one small team developing web applications. The overhead introduced by the Micro Frontend architecture can make it difficult for one team to effectively manage different components. As one developer switches between coding and deployment processes for different component layers, the purpose of deploying Micro Frontends is lost.

Communication between components : In Micro Frontend, all codes associated with a component must be contained within a Custom Element. The architecture uses the DOM (Document Object Model) to communicate information between different components, and it is imperative to use element attributes to facilitate communication between these various components. In the absence of this declarative approach, object references may be lost on navigation. This is one of the key considerations to keep in mind when choosing the Micro Frontend frameworks you want to deploy.
Component division strategy : Micro Frontends allows teams to update, scale, or transform components without any significant upfront investment by isolating component codes. To do this, it is important to keep in mind that there are different ways to separate your web components. One approach might be to assign one command for each child component and another for the shared components.

Alternatively, you can also achieve this without being a purist in your Micro Frontend approach – this means that you will need to know which elements need to be sliced ​​into components and which ones can be dispensed with. This way you can still break the monolithic interface without cutting it too thin.

Usability : When it comes to choosing a framework for your Micro Frontend architecture, you need to keep usability criteria in mind. Each framework has its pros and cons. This is why one structure that is perfect for one situation may not be used in another. Make sure you choose frameworks that fit the ultimate goal of your web application development process, rather than designing your web application with the strengths and weaknesses of your chosen frameworks in mind.
SSR or CSR approach : Server-Side Rendering (SSR) and progressive enhancement for a front-end application are appropriate when improving SEO are also one of the goals. However, for applications where search engine optimization is not an issue, client-side rendering (CSR) is a more efficient choice.

Defining your goals before you start implementing Micro Frontend is imperative so that you can select the processes and frameworks that are most appropriate to achieve your goals.

10 Best frameworks for Micro Frontend

Now that you understand what Micro Frontend is and how to lay the foundation for their implementation, here’s a rundown of the 10 best frameworks you can use to build your Micro Frontend architecture:

BIT

Bit is a turnkey solution for building Micro Frontend, which also makes it one of the most popular frameworks around. It allows you to create and manage external interfaces using independent components. Bit’s homepage is itself an homage to how independent components need to be seamlessly integrated to create a consistent product.

Using Bit, you can both create and integrate components. It leans towards a build-time approach for creating interfaces, providing developers with the double benefits of the reliability and security of monoliths, and the scalability and scalability of Micro Frontend.

Bit uses an open-source library to make the components truly independent from each other. At the same time, their cloud platform facilitates collaboration between teams for the final integration of these components.

Bit’s own homepage is the best example of how this framework can be used with Micro Frontend technology. The page was built using two different GitHub codebases – base-ui and evangelist – to develop the individual components. The piece, developed by the external infrastructure development team, uses base-ui, which is Bit’s most basic system for designing components. The individual components in this part were developed in a split codebase and then published on Bit.dev. This approach makes components easily discoverable for integration with components developed by other teams.

Another part of the home page consists of components that are also developed in an isolated codebase using Evangelist, a marketing-oriented system owned by the marketing team. Anybody utilizing the Bit structure approaches a comparable workflow where groups can construct, form, test, and distribute every free segment. These parts would then be able to be introduced to groups for joint effort and integration.

Luigi

Luigi is another JavaScript framework for Micro Frontend that assists you in the process of creating an administrative user interface driven by distributed and local views. This structure allows the web application to interact with the Micro Frontend of which it is composed. You can tweak various parameters such as authorization, navigation, routing, and UX elements to customize the communication flow according to your requirements to avoid crashes or disruptions.

The Luigi client libraries and main applications that are part of this platform play a key role in establishing secure communication using the postMessage API.
 

SystemJS

While SystemJS is not a Micro Frontend framework, its role as a cross-browser module management solution is key to a successful Micro Frontend implementation. It can be thought of as a helper for JavaScript modules. SystemJS underpins the use of features such as map imports and dynamic imports, without the need for built-in browser support. In addition, accessing its “module registry” helps you find out which modules are currently in the browser.

Some of its most notable features are the ability to make it easier to import modules by mapping names to paths, Polyfill for older browsers, and configuring multiple modules in a single file format using its API to make separate network requests for multiple JS modules. Most often it is used in tandem with the Single SPA framework, which relies heavily on import maps and modules in the browser.

In the Single SPA micro-interface, at least one application is hosted remotely. It also consists of a root configuration that helps to load the application on the web and display it. To avoid rendering errors, you need an index.ejs import map to import React and ReactDOM.

Federation module

Modular federation is a JavaScript architecture that allows you to develop multiple separate assemblies without any code dependency. They are developed and deployed independently. They come together to form a single application, like pieces of a puzzle.

This tool takes a runtime approach and allows JavaScript to dynamically import code from other applications. This creates a JavaScript record file that is available for loading into other applications using Webpack configuration.

It is one of the most effective tools for solving code dependency problems and therefore allows you to increase the package size by sharing dependencies.
 

Single SPA

The Single SPA developers describe it as “a JavaScript framework for front-end microservices.” In other words, it is the tool you need to apply the lifecycle to every application you develop with Micro Frontends.

Individual applications can respond to URL routing events and must be able to boot, mount, and unmount from the DOM. What separates Single SPA from traditional SPA is that applications must be equipped to coexist with others. Not all of them get their HTML page.

Anyone who wants to explore the possibility of placing different components or frontend frameworks in the same DOM to be able to integrate them at runtime should seriously consider a single SPA.

Several popular applications – Google Maps, Gmail, and Grammarly, among many others – are deploying the Single SPA platform. When using Single SPA, the template, as well as the sub-application, must know the location in the target namespace of the platform lifecycle functions. This is called the contract between the container and the sub-application.

Webpack can be used to force the target location. This requires adding two new entries to module.exports.output in the Webpack configuration of each sub-application. At this point, you are ready to set up the main application. You render it and afterward add DOM placeholders for every sub-application. The Single SPA library is then added to the package.json file.

This prepares the add-on application to register with the Single SPA library. The runScript function then creates an external JS script file, which is run by adding a new script to the document.
 

Mosaic 9

It is a set of libraries and services that come with specific specifications that define how different components will interact with each other and be combined into a microservice architecture as part of a larger application. It relies on fragments that are provided by various services and are combined at runtime based on assigned template definitions.
The services and libraries that makeup Mosaic 9 single-handedly address many issues such as layout, routing, UI demo, and template storage.

Piral

Piral is an indispensable tool for anyone looking to use Micro Frontends to build portal applications. With split modules known as Pilets, it allows you to create a modular front-end application that is extensible at runtime. The pilot is independently developed and comes with all the required assets for Micro Frontend development, including code.

It is additionally perhaps the most easy-to-understand workflows you can work with. All you need to get started is a terminal, an internet connection, an editor of your choice, and Node.js.

Piral can handle the full development lifecycle by dividing it into two halves. You usually start with a wrapper for your application, starting with a template and ending with debugging, building, and publishing. Then move on to the individual modules (Pilets), taking care of the framework before debugging, building, and publishing. Updates from the Pilets for app skins are released only when necessary to support new features or layout changes. 

The Piral CLI makes it easy to create a new Pilet. Additional hooks can be used to increase the flexibility of these modules. The main function of these modules is to associate individual components with the application shell. This is why any robust Micro Frontend architecture uses the Pilet API only against the index.tsx file.

Podium

Podium is a “Micro Frontend Server Composition” tool. This helps teams develop and maintain various web application components in isolation, treating each piece as a separate application. These isolated pieces, known as sublets, can be developed using the Podium node.js library or any technology stack of the developer’s choice.

This structure simplifies the process of developing different parts of the entire application in isolation, providing more flexibility to your development teams.
 

Qiankun

It is a Micro Frontend implementation tool based on a Single SPA but ready to go. It aims to address some of the main problems that developers face when building an application using small, independent applications. Addressing the issues of integrating components and publishing static resources ensures that these sub-applications remain independent throughout the entire process from development to deployment to runtime. This isolation turns out to be vital in solving public dependency and performance problems.
 

Open components

The goal of open source components is to be “serverless in the outside world.” Simply put, Open Components aims to be a one-stop solution for all your Micro Frontend requirements. It is a complex but rich system that includes many tools that can handle various options, proper command line management of components, and a template registry.

Open components are made up of two parts – components and consumers. Components are isomorphic blocks of code that include HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Consumers link to microsites or websites that run on these components.

Key findings

Micro Frontends offers a cost-effective solution for sharing the workload across teams by isolating code and facilitating independent development. These existing solutions and frameworks serve as the foundation for this transformative approach to front-end development and are therefore widely used.

If you would like to create a superior Micro Frontend architecture for your software product contact us for more information.

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