Microservices enable a full-stack microservices architecture

August 15, 2021

iauro Team

Contributing immensely to the global software solutions ecosystem. DevOps | Microservices | Microfrontend | DesignThinking LinkedIn
In today’s world, it is possible to develop applications with ninety percent of the front-end code, and it is no exaggeration to say that most web applications are built using this approach. This brings us to a highly debated topic in the development world – Micro Frontends.

There is an ongoing debate about whether this is worth the hype and whether the application should be broken down into smaller chunks – often fueled by myths about the effectiveness of this approach. Even so, one cannot simply deny the fact that micro-interfaces are becoming more popular and widely used every day.

The main reason for this is the dynamic nature of web applications. Frameworks and software development practices need to keep pace with these changes. This can only be achieved by facilitating the coexistence of different front-end frameworks. This is where micro-interfaces come into play.

If you’re still unsure about the need to incorporate them into your development processes, let’s take a closer look at micro-interfaces and what embedding micro-services in front-end development can mean for your web applications:

Understanding Micro frontends :

The main reason for this is the dynamic nature of web applications. Software development platforms and practices must keep pace with these changes. This can only be achieved by facilitating the coexistence of different front-end frameworks. This is where micro interfaces come into play.

If you’re still unsure about the need to incorporate them into your development processes, let’s take a closer look at micro-interfaces and what embedding micro-services in front-end development can mean for your web applications:

Micro Frontend was conceived to solve this problem. His approach is based on the concept that a web application is a collection of independent functions that can be developed by different teams and then combined to create a uniform interface.

The Micro Frontend architecture facilitates a cross-functional approach in which different teams with different specializations develop end-to-end functionality ranging from the database to the user interface. As a result, the application is less cumbersome and more user-friendly.

The application is divided into business domains in a stack. This allows front-end developers to leverage the same speed and flexibility as backend teams when working with a microservice architecture.
 

Configuring Micro frontend :

Since Micro Frontend is designed to divide a web application into different segments, it is important to understand what those segments make up. They can usually be broken down into three different types of compositions:

Client-side compositing uses techniques such as the application wrapper and client-side scripting. This is most useful for loading single-page applications through a library or using frameworks such as Luigi.

Border-side composition leverages the power of a CDN or edge-to-edge computing to implement the Micro Frontend approach.

In the case of server-side composition, a combination of frameworks such as Ara Framework, Piral, Open Components, and Tailor.js is used to develop various components of a web application.

When the Micro Frontend is treated as separate parts of a larger whole, you have the opportunity to choose from these different compositions.
 

Central Approach of Micro frontend

Building resilient applications

Resilient applications rely on useful features that can remain themselves even if JavaScript has not yet been executed or has failed. Progressive enhancement and generic rendering are two key ways to achieve this.

Individual elements

When using custom APIs instead of built-in browser functions, it is imperative to keep things as simple as possible. This helps to make things easier when creating a cross-group API.

Isolating Command Codes

The key to creating independent applications is to keep them self-contained. To do this, you must isolate your team code without sharing runtime, even if all your teams use the same development platform.

Technical agnostic approach

This is the hallmark of a truly independent development process. Each team working on different frontend components of an application should have the right to select and update their stack without consulting or consulting others. Using custom elements is an effective way to accomplish this because they allow your teams to hide implementation details while sharing a neutral interface with each other.

How did the Micro Frontend idea gain traction?

Until recently, web application development followed the same monolithic approach from twenty years ago. But today, components are the new norm in the process of building applications. These reusable modular elements are gradually unlocking their true potential as the building blocks of web applications.

Such a paradigm shift would not have been possible with a shared infrastructure that is designed to support a component-driven modular design. Many promising tools play a key role in the adoption of the Micro Frontend development approach at both organizational and architectural levels.

 

Some of these toolkits are the driving force behind the development, release, and reuse of independent components:

Bit: This is one of the most popular production-ready solutions that allows you to create and manage interfaces using independent components.

Merging Modules: A JavaScript architecture that allows you to dynamically import code for other applications at runtime.
Unified SPA: Another JavaScript framework that adds a lifecycle to applications. This way every application can react to URL routing and knows how to detach, mount, and load from the DOM.
SystemJS: This is the solution you need to manage independent modules in browsers. A key factor for the successful implementation of Micro Frontend.

Piral: This allows you to leverage the Micro Frontend architecture with modular front-end applications that extend at runtime with split modules known as Pilets.

Advantages of adopting Micro frontends :

To understand what Micro Frontend offers, it should be considered more than just an implementation or a technical approach to building web applications. Its real impact can only be gauged by focusing on the attributes it brings to the application interface and their benefits, such as:

1
Design versatility

Since different teams work independently to develop different frontend components of the application, the final design is much more versatile. Access to countless frameworks and libraries ensures that each team can reach its full potential in creating an interface that engages users with its architecture, design, and functionality.

2
Additional Updates

Micro Frontend is a natural extension of the microservices approach, designed to evolve from a monolithic architecture and provide more flexibility for upgrades and upgrades. The ability to develop an application as separate parts, rather than as a whole, allows developers to gradually move to user-centered workflows, which is faster and more efficient.
Because large workflows can be broken down into smaller components using the Micro Frontend architecture, creating, updating, and implementing changes becomes much more streamlined and faster. This allows companies to update the UX in specific parts or in the entire front-end, without the end-user feeling the impact of the changes even when they have already begun.

3
Cleaner codebase

The source code for each Micro Frontend component is naturally much smaller than that of the monolithic interface. These small codebases are cleaner, simpler, and easier to work with. By clearly defining the context of the various components of an application, different teams can also reduce the risk of inadvertent but problematic linking of components.
Of course, this does not mean that developers are exempt from the responsibility of creating clean code the old-fashioned way just because they are working with the Micro Frontend architecture. However, this greatly simplifies the process.
In addition, Micro Frontends encourages you to pay attention and think about how events and data flows are passed between different parts of the application. This can help remove several functional limitations as they arise.

4
Standalone deployment

Offline deployment is a key advantage of Micro Frontend. By reducing the size of each individual deployment, it helps reduce the risks associated with the process. Each Micro Frontend typically has its own continuous delivery pipeline that supports building, testing, and deploying it all the way.
The independent nature of this architecture allows each Micro Frontend to execute this path autonomously, regardless of the status of other codes and pipelines.

5
Operational independence

Full autonomy and independence in the Micro Frontend architecture are ensured not only by the codebases. The same benefits apply to teams building, testing, and deploying these codes. By separating codebases and release cycles, you can truly create a work environment in which your teams can work completely independently of each other in the true sense of the word.
Teams have full ownership of the component they are responsible for delivering and can focus on designing it in a way that optimizes end-user value. The independence of operations also makes the workflow more efficient and faster. This can be further optimized by building teams based on component functionality for UX rather than technical capabilities.

Micro Frontend Deployment Guidelines

The adoption and implementation of the Micro Frontend architecture require you to adhere to certain criteria in order to get the most out of it. Here are five best practices to keep in mind

Browser Integration
Browser integration for various web components is required to create frontend snippets that can be imported into an application. This allows different pieces to be combined together with internal components. This practice helps to smoothly integrate the construction process and its visual presentation. In turn, this allows reliable decisions to be made about which components should be displayed and how, thus, to organize the flow of events between the various components.

Creating custom items
Web Components contain item lifecycle callbacks that are responsible for defining the behavior of the components. Creating custom elements for these lifecycle callbacks – an attached callback, a modified attribute callback, a generated callback, and a separate callback – using custom HTML tags, CSS styles, and scripts is necessary to be able to categorically define their behavior.

Shadow DOM’s creation
DOM is an API for Micro Frontend applications. It is good practice to create a shadow DOM by combining HTML, JavaScript, and CSS into a web component that is decoupled from the main document’s DOM. Events in the shadow and regular DOM behave differently. As they move from one to the other, this leads to various benefits, such as stronger iframe-style isolation. This helps prevent the risk of global styles infiltrating Micro Frontend, especially when working on transforming legacy applications.

Correct frontend structure
Micro Frontends’ structure is critical to its performance. It relies on elements such as wireframe, isolation techniques, communication between modules, and others. The Single-SPA MetaFrame is ideal for combining different frameworks without having to refresh the page multiple times. Likewise, the use of Bower and NPM components helps in developing applications with common functions that are hosted at different URLs. Facilitating communication across a common event bus is also vital when each component is built on an independent platform.

Slow build-up
Given the versatility and advanced functionality of Micro Frontends, it is natural to want to migrate legacy monolithic architecture applications to this new environment. However, you should consider the risks of dependencies and technical issues in the process. So that you can pay attention to detail and solve problems quickly, it is best to build up slowly, piece by piece.

Micro Frontends is a great component model for transforming the way software is built, incremental and frequent. For large organizations, this can be a game-changer for continuous delivery. And for fast-growing startups, it is a profitable choice in the form of a scalable and flexible architecture.
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