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Full-Stack vs Micro Framework In Web Development

Frameworks are powerful tools that can make a developer’s job easier. It is a collection of code that provides a generic set of design and development conventions that can be modified as per business requirements for the website.

Basically, by using Frameworks you do not have to reinvent the wheel for every website. Instead of the extra coding time and management required to keep the development conventions standard for every project, the developers can directly use frameworks and be done with them.

Frameworks handle tasks like default browser settings, file structures, and layout templates for your website. This automation generates a uniform design for page elements like text, tables, forms, buttons etc. Even complex navigation menus become standardized with frameworks as they can be consistently applied across your website with ease.

Essentially, the USP of frameworks is:

  • Standardization of design conventions
  • Saving time and effort to standardize
  • Less time is required for initial setup, so project release is expedited

There are frameworks for Frontend and Backend development. In this article, we will primarily discuss Full-Stack vs Micro frameworks for web development.

Full-stack frameworks assist programmers with the entire development stack from interfacing with the user to the data store. Some of the features provided by Full-stack frameworks are:

  • Web templating engine
  • Input validation
  • Database abstraction
  • Roles, accounts, and authentication

Anything outside of a full-stack framework is technically a “non-full-stack framework.” Of that group, if the framework and libraries are smaller than 5000 lines of code, it is known as a micro-framework.

Full-stack vs Micro: How to choose?

For a small project with a business need for specific features fast, micro-frameworks are recommended. For medium-large software projects with more business demands, a full-stack framework will be much more useful.

Full-stack frameworks are one-stop shops and have everything you need. However, the project structure is rigid and modification can be done only while adhering to the baseline structure. 

Micro-frameworks have a lot more flexibility vis a vis the project structure, layout etc. and allow the developer more freedom. However, this creates a consistency issue as each developer uses flexibility as per their own perspective. Hence there is a need for some supervision to tie it all into one consistent unit.

One of the misconceptions about micro-frameworks is that they are only for small projects. However, microframeworks provide tools that are subsets of a full-stack environment. Micro-frameworks do not have all of the helpers, libraries and structures of the full-stack frameworks, but they cater to a niche of business requirements in a fast and lightweight manner.

Although, the disadvantage of micro-frameworks is that when the project scales up, extra coding is required to accommodate that growth. 

A hybrid solution might be to create the project out of one micro-framework in the beginning. Then you can split that framework and add additional ones as the project evolves.

Some popular Full-stack Frameworks

  • Laravel

Laravel is one of the top PHP-based frameworks that follows the MVC (model–view–controller) architectural pattern while building web apps. Laravel eases and expedites development of powerful functionalities such as authentication, API integrations, handling common vulnerabilities, enabling automation web testing, and caching.

Laravel has the capability to simplify real-time event broadcasting and create a robust background and job processing. Recommended by many for building online communities, eCommerce apps, social networking apps, CRM, and CMS systems.

  • Django 

Django is a Python-based framework used for the fast development of APIs and suave design of web applications? Django apps are fast, secure, and scalable.

Django is favorable for web apps that are strong in handling backends. Also, when you have a lot of traffic/transactions taking place, Django is a good choice. You can choose Django when building inventory management, CRM systems, and social networking sites.

  • Ruby on Rails

Ruby On Rails is a server-side framework for building web applications written in the Ruby programming language. 

It expedites software development by simplifying repetitive tasks. Hence, this framework is beneficial for startups who regularly need some Minimum Viable Product  (MVP) quickly at regular intervals.

Some popular microframeworks

  • Flask

Flask is Web Server Gateway Interface (WSGI) lightweight microservices framework in Python.

  • Spring boot

Spring Boot is a popular Microservice framework in the Java framework. Build small as well as large-scale applications. Spring boot is easy to integrate with another popular framework as well by using Inversion of Control.

Also Read: Building Decentralized Full Stack App in Ethereum


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