What is Web Application Architecture? An Ultimate Guide 2023
It has become difficult to imagine a world without the internet, right? Well, due to innovative shifts in the digital world, now the internet has also turned towards active user engagement. It has extended the functionality of visually appealing and robust web applications and software.
The term “architecture” now seems relevant when it comes to describing the state of development that modern software applications and information systems have achieved. Establishing an information system from the start that works effectively and dependably is no easier than building a multistory structure.
Thus, it has become substantial to pick an appropriate web application architecture type and model for a web app’s success. But, do you know what exactly web application architecture is?
In this guide, we have discussed everything essential about web application architecture, including its model, components, types, and useful tips to make the most out of a web application development project.
So, let’s delve deeper to learn in detail!
What Is Application Architecture?
The web application architecture is a “framework” or layout that shows how user interfaces, databases, middleware systems, and application components interact. It works as a line between server and client-side for a better web experience.
The basics of a web architecture
When a user accesses a webpage, the server responds to the user’s request by sending specified data to the browser. To be more precise, a web client (or user agent) may ask a web server for resources or more widely used online documents (such as JSON, HTML, PDF, and so on).
The requested information then materializes after these simple operations, which leads to interaction between the website and a user.
Why is Web App Architecture Important?
Consumer expectations are always evolving with every market trend modification, and corporate growth is becoming unstoppable. Without web app architecture, your business app would be sinking in a huge ball of mud architectural anti-pattern. Who wants this? No one!
The performance of a web app can further be enhanced by a well-designed architecture that can manage a variety of loads and adapt intelligently to changing business requirements.
By breaking a framework up into several separate modules, it may also become easier for you to manage multiple development tasks at once, leading to cutting down on development time. With this, it also gets easier to include new features without changing the general framework.
Moreover, the architecture of web applications can also split an application into numerous blocks, secured separately to lessen security threats like the risk posed by hostile codes. Irrespective of this, applications having future-proof architecture give an opportunity to add new features and keep up low latency, even if the number of users increases.
How does Web App Architecture Work?
The web application architecture works effectively with the help of two key components.
- Server-side, referred to as the backend, manages the business logic and responds to HTTP requests. PHP, Java, Python, Ruby, and more languages are used to write the server-side code.
Furthermore, a server can be used to run any program that can respond to HTTP requests. The server-side code is also responsible for developing the requested page and storing various forms of data, such as user input and user profiles. By no means it can be seen by the user.
Web Application Architecture Diagram
The fundamentals of the web application architecture can be explained by the user-server process scheme:
Web Application Components
The basic web app architecture is significantly divided into two components:
Structural Web Components
This component includes server and client components.
The server component is further divided into a web app server that manages business logic and a database server that maintains data. JAVA, PHP, Node.js, Python, .NET, and Ruby on Rails are some structures used for building server components.
User Interface Components
This section is a part of the visual interface of a web application, however, have no link with the web architecture. They are limited to a web page’s display and include notifications, widgets, dashboards, analytics, and activity logs to improve the user experience.
Layers of Web App Architecture
Modern web app architecture follows a layered structure including business, persistence, presentation, and database layers. Often, small apps have three layers, where the persistence and business layers function as one layer. On the other hand, complex apps have usually five or six layers.
Persistence Layer, also known as the data access layer is in charge of data persistence. It has a database server that collects data from related servers and is intimately tied to the business layer.
Business Layer explains the business rules and logic. It processes browser requests, the business logic linked with the requests, and transfers it to the presentation layer.
Database Layer, sometimes referred to as the data service layer is where all of the data is stored and assures data security by separating the client-side from the business logic.
Each mentioned layer functions independently. One layer’s closed components deal with the logic of the related layer. For instance, components in the business layer handle business logic, while those in the presentation layer handle presentation logic.
Furthermore, it also decreases the future burden, but modifications are required in web applications. Thus, changes can be done in one layer without disturbing the components of other layers.
Models of Web Application Components
Based on the number of databases and servers, used for a web application, the model of a web app is decided. There are three crucial models.
1. One Web Server, One Database
It is the simplest and least trustworthy web app component model. A single server and database are both used in this model. In this model when a web app will crash, the server also crashes. Therefore, it isn’t very trustworthy.
It is mostly used to carry out test projects and to learn and understand the foundations of the web application.
2. Multiple Web Server, Multiple Databases
For this type of model, there are two choices. Either to store the same data in each database used or to spread it equally among them.
For the former instance, normally no more than 2 databases are needed, but for the final case, some data may become unavailable in the event of a database crash. Moreover, DBMS normalization can be utilized in both scenarios.
Installing load balancers is advised when the scale is big, such as when there are more than 5 web servers, databases, or both.
3. Multiple Web Servers, One Database (At a Machine Instead of a Web Server)
In this type of web application component model, no data can be kept on the web server. The web server receives data from a client, processes it, and then inputs it into a database that is run independently of the server. The term “stateless architecture” is also sometimes used to describe this.
For the web application component model, at least two web servers are needed. This can be done to prevent failure.
In addition, the web app will continue to run while all requests are automatically forwarded to the new server. In light of this, dependability is improved over the single server with an inherent database model. However, the web application will also break if the database does.
Web Application Architecture Types
It is always great to pick the most relevant architecture for web apps, considering several factors including features, logic, business requirements, functionalities, and more. The right web development architecture depicts the aim of a product as a whole.
Web apps are widely divided into two categories and five types.
Progressive Web Applications
In 2015, Google introduced Progressive Web Applications (PWAs) to build apps offering native and vast functionality with improved reliability, capabilities, and simple installation.
PWAs are considered compatible apps with any browser and can run on any device. The functionality of an app can be simply changed for a tablet and a desktop as well. Instead of using the app store, it is simple to find and share these apps via URL. These apps can be easily installed and immediately put on a device’s home screen. Both in offline mode and with weak internet connectivity, these apps function effectively.
Developers have used modern tech stacks in the most famous companies’ products such as Ali Express, Pinterest, Starbucks, and Uber to build them in the form of PWAs.
Single-Page Application (SPAs)
SPAs, or single-page applications, are designed to make programming easier. A user does not need to load brand-new pages each time they want to perform an action on a website. Instead, they can engage with it to interact and receive fresh material for the current page.
Server-Side Rendered Application (SSR)
Microservice Architecture has become one of the best alternatives for monolithic architecture and Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA). The services are closely tied for application development, testing, maintenance, and deployment independently. Such services can also be utilized with other services with the help of APIs to resolve complicated business issues.
Due to its intricately entangled components, the monolithic architecture makes it difficult to deploy web programs. This problem has been handled by microservices by breaking the application up into various separate service components. It makes connecting service components even simpler and eradicates the requirement for service orchestration.
Amazon, SoundCloud, Netflix, Comcast, and eBay are a few of the tech giants that are well known for adopting microservices.
It is a type in which the cloud service providers take care of the entire execution of code. Thus, there is no need for manual deployment. Serverless is a web architecture design pattern in which apps are developed and function without any manual intervention, usually managed by third-party cloud services providers such as Microsoft and Amazon.
It allows developers to put more concentration on the product’s quality and complexity to make them incredibly reliable and scalable.
Furthermore, it is also further categorized into two types, Function-as-a-Service (FaaS), is an event-driven model allowing developers to break apps into different small functions to focus on the event triggers and code. and Backend-as-a-Service (BaaS), which allows developers to work on frontend development tasks, eliminating the functions done on the backend.
Web Application Architecture Best Practices and Trends
Architecture designing is an initial step toward web application development. However, its success entirely depends on the architectural patterns you opt to use. Remember, repeating approaches of popular web applications can sometimes cause damage and don’t complement the business requirements.
Thus, to prevent such situations, some of the best practices for web app architecture that can be followed are:
- Component reusability
- High scalability
- System efficiency and flexibility
- Easy bug detection via A/B testing
- Sections to collect user feedback
- Well-thought structure of code
- Utilization of security standards
Moreover, you can also use some other tools and options that can help in providing an excellent web application experience:
UX Builder tools: Figma, Invision, Sketch, etc., are commonly used nowadays to design and enhance user experience.
IDE tools: Github’s Atom, Webstorm, AWS Cloud9 and NetBeans, are some IDEs for productivity augmentation.
Frameworks & Libraries: Angular, React, Veu, Python, Django, Express, and more, are the most famous frameworks to deliver top-notch end-products.
Integration tools: Cleo, MuliSoft, Automate.io and JitterBit, provides a seamless, winning, and unified experience.
Web App Development Tips
No application can easily be labelled as “the best” since it requires a lot of work that makes it worthy to be called excellent.
Thus, to make sure an application can provide maximum performance, it is crucial to remember some points while its development. Such as a web app should:
- Be simple to use
- Not have log errors
- Avoid frequent crashes
- Have a fast response time
- Solve query consistently and uniformly
- Have no point of failure
- Automated deployments
- Increased security measures should be used to reduce the likelihood of harmful intrusions
- Support trendy technologies and standards
In a Nutshell
The web enterprise application architecture is becoming mandatory to stay ahead in the competition of the tech world. A minor mistake can cost a fortune. Therefore, it is important to hire a professional yet qualified developer for your web application architecture, who can understand the challenges and limitations that come along the way.
Wondering who can help you develop an excellent web app that can empower your business purpose? The experts at the Codment help businesses build and design the most engaging and top-notch applications. We stay on our toes to meet your business needs and provide the best tech services. So, what are you waiting for now? Connect with us right away for leading solutions!