Micro frontend architecture is an upcoming pattern for web development that aims to solve some of the problems with monolithic applications. As the era of monolithic architecture begins to fade, modern software engineering paradigms have shifted to focus on more modular and manageable designs. That's where the concept of Micro Frontends comes in. This powerful design pattern allows developers to think about a website or a web app as a composition of features owned by different teams, with each having the freedom of choice over their build process, frameworks, and libraries.
In this post, we'll take a look at what micro frontends are, some of the best practices for using them, the benefits of using micro frontends, and how they can help you build better websites and applications.
A Micro Frontend is a Single Page Application (SPA) that uses multiple components with their independent lifecycle. These components are usually integrated into the main application via an API gateway. Each component is developed by a different team and is deployed independently of the others.
This approach enables each team to work independently and iterate quickly without affecting the other teams. Additionally, it allows for a more granular scaling of the application as a whole. The main downside of this approach is that it can be more challenging to manage, as each team needs to be aware of the other teams' changes to avoid conflicts.
However, overall, micro frontends can provide a more flexible and scalable solution than traditional monolithic frontends.
Suggested Read, Monolith vs Microservices Architecture: A Detailed Comparison
One of the benefits of using a micro frontend architecture is that it allows for greater flexibility in terms of how individual features are implemented. This can be particularly beneficial for large applications where different teams are responsible for different areas of the codebase.
Each team can develop and deploy their part of the application independently, reducing bottlenecks and dependencies on other teams. This encourages faster development and more frequent deployments.
Different teams have the freedom to choose their technology stack according to their needs and expertise. This means you can use Angular, React, Vue, or any other technology in different parts of the same application.
Micro Frontend Architecture promotes scalability. As the application grows, new teams can be created to handle new features, without impacting the work of existing teams.
Ease of Updates and Maintenance: Since the application is divided into smaller parts, it is easier to update, maintain, and fix bugs in a specific part of the application without disrupting the entire system.
Teams can create a library of components and use them across different parts of the application, promoting reusability and consistency in the UI.
Individual parts of the application can be tested independently, leading to more thorough and efficient testing processes.
With the application divided into smaller parts, multiple teams can work on different features concurrently, reducing the overall development time.
In case of a failure in one micro frontend, the entire application doesn't need to go down. The rest of the application can still function while the problematic section is addressed.
Also, Read: Implementing Micro-frontend with React and Next.js
A micro frontend architecture is a way of structuring a web application as a collection of small, self-contained units called micro frontends. Each micro frontend is developed independently and has its set of technologies, frameworks, and libraries.
Micro frontends can be integrated into a larger application using various techniques, such as iframes, web components, or server-side includes. The benefits of a micro frontend architecture include improved modularity, separation of concerns, and increased flexibility. However, it can also be more difficult to manage and debug a large application composed of many small parts.
Implementing a Micro Frontend Architecture requires careful planning, coordination, and a deep understanding of the architecture's principles. Here are the general steps you might follow:
Start by dividing your development team into smaller, cross-functional teams. Each team should be responsible for a distinct part of the user interface, often corresponding to a specific business domain.
One of the main benefits of Micro Frontends is the ability for each team to select their preferred technology stack (React, Vue, Angular, etc.) based on their expertise or the requirements of their specific part of the application. This should be done early to allow for proper planning.
Clear interfaces need to be defined for communication between the different micro frontends. This can be done via custom events, APIs, or any other form of contract.
If there are UI elements or functionalities common across multiple micro frontends, consider creating shared libraries that can be used by all teams. This promotes consistency and reusability.
This is a crucial part of the micro frontend architecture that's responsible for bringing all the micro frontends together into a single cohesive application. This could be a server-side or client-side composition, depending on your requirements.
Each team should be able to deploy their piece of the application independently. This typically involves setting up separate deployment pipelines for each micro frontend.
State management can become complex in a micro frontend architecture. Decisions need to be made about what state is shared and what is local to each micro frontend.
Implement a thorough testing strategy to catch any issues early. Monitoring each micro frontend in production will help to ensure the overall health of the application.
Micro frontends are a hot topic in the world of web development. By breaking down a monolithic frontend into smaller, independent modules, micro frontends offer several benefits, including reduced complexity, improved team collaboration, and faster delivery cycles. However, micro frontends can also be challenging to implement effectively.
To help you get started, here are ten best practices for micro frontend architecture:
By following these micro frontend architecture best practices, organizations can reap the benefits of micro frontend architecture without running into any major roadblocks.
There are many benefits of using a micro frontend architecture diagram, but one of the challenges is routing. In a traditional monolithic application, all routes are defined in a single file, and only one HTTP server exists. Contrary to this, each micro frontend is its HTTP server in a micro frontend architecture. This means that there are potentially many different places where routes are defined.
One approach to managing this is by using reverse proxy. The reverse proxy can be configured to send traffic to the appropriate micro frontend based on the URL path. This approach can work well if there are only a few micro frontends and the URL paths are well-defined. However, it can become difficult to manage as the number of micro frontends grows and the URL paths become more complex.
Another approach is to use a central router. The central router defines all routes and forwards traffic to the appropriate micro frontend. This approach can be easier to manage as the number of micro frontends grows. However, it can add significant overhead if there are many routes. Ultimately, the best approach will vary depending on the specific needs of the application.
One of the most common pitfalls with micro frontend architecture is the potential for increased complexity. With so many different applications and components, it cannot be easy to keep track of all the moving parts. In addition, micro frontends can often lead to tightly coupled dependencies between applications, making it difficult to make changes or update one application without affecting the others.
Another potential issue is that micro frontends can introduce latency as each application must communicate with others to function correctly. This can be a problem in high-traffic environments where even a slight delay can significantly impact performance.
Finally, micro frontends can sometimes be difficult to test and debug due to their increased complexity. Despite these potential challenges, micro frontend architecture can offer numerous benefits and should be carefully evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Each team is responsible for designing, building, and maintaining its UI component in a micro frontends architecture. This can lead to communication and data dependencies between teams, as each team needs to be able to access the data and components they need to do their job.
One way to manage these dependencies is to use a shared component library. All teams use this library to access the data and components they need. Each team can also contribute their components to the library, which other teams can use. Another way to manage communication and data dependencies is to use a shared messaging platform.
All teams can use this platform to exchange information and updates. They can also use it to coordinate work between teams and provide visibility into what each team is working on. By using a shared component library or a shared messaging platform, you can help ensure that all teams have the information and resources they need to collaborate effectively.
Micro frontends are a relatively new concept in web development, and there are still many unanswered questions about the best way to implement them. In addition to the technical challenges posed by micro frontends, several organizational considerations also need to be taken into account.
Looking at a Micro Frontend Architecture example, one can say that it can make it more difficult for developers to share code and knowledge between teams. It can also lead to increased complexity, making it more difficult for new team members to onboard and get up to speed.
As Micro Frontends become more popular, these and other concerns will likely be addressed by the community. In the meantime, developers who are considering using micro frontends need to carefully weigh the pros and cons before making a decision.
Also, Read: Microservices in NestJS: How to build it? A Guide
In wrapping up, Micro Frontend Architecture serves as a powerful tool in developing large-scale, intricate web applications by breaking them down into smaller, self-contained, and independently deployable parts. While its benefits are many, from boosting team productivity to easing maintenance, it's essential to be mindful of its challenges. Careful planning, clear inter-team communication, and adherence to best practices are vital to successfully implementing this architecture.
While it can take a little effort to get started, we believe the benefits are worth it. If you want to use micro frontends in your project or need help getting started, reach out to us to know more.