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Web Application Architecture: Definitions, Types, and Components

DZone 's Guide to

Web Application Architecture: Definitions, Types, and Components

Let's dive into web application architecture.

· Web Dev Zone ·
Free Resource

Any Internet page can be accessed with just one touch or click. Interactions between various app parts, such as databases, servers, and browsers are usually hidden from view and maintained by the architecture of web applications.

So, let’s dive into the topic of web app architecture, its functionality, and its components.

Web App Architecture: Definition

A web application is a program that uses an Internet browser to perform certain functions. It comes with middleware and UIs that connect both the client (what a user sees and utilizes in the browser), server (the backend of operations), and database(s). While backend scripting keeps data, the frontend transfers that data to the consumers supporting data exchange.

In simple terms, web app architecture is how the system works during your everyday browsing — entering a web address, viewing the site, and interacting with it — whereas the browser conveys data to the server.

A well-formed architecture:

  • Maintains visual component.
  • Guarantees prompt UI.
  • Ensures security.
  • Enables stability and self-regulation.
  • Scales and records bugs in the easiest way.

Web App Architecture Components

Web app architecture components

UI/UX Components

It is all of the elements that comprise the interface that work with the browser-side of the app. UI/UX components don’t actually apply to operations that include dashboards, statistics, activity records, and different settings.

Structural Components

The following components are the core of any web app and comprise its functionality:

  • Web browser (or client) facilitates communication between users and applications. This component is developed with HTML and CSS, and JavaScript.
  • Web app server consists of a central node or command center for supporting multi-tier apps. Using Python, Java, Node.js, Ruby, PHP, and .NET for development, it serves domain logic and persistence.
  • Database servers deliver and store the data that includes information about the user and dynamic content that can be changed based on the user’s behavior.

Web Application Architecture Diagram

Cloud apps require browser-supported languages, but some of them should also be processed from the server. The server handles user commands made from the app while the database stores the information.


Web application architecture


Models of Web App Components

App components include three models suitable for different projects.

  • One webserver with one database.

Featuring a single web server with using just one database, this app model becomes the simplest one. Consequently, server breakdown results in web app failure. This model may be a good fit for testing projects or maintaining smaller private practices; it may not be the best option if you expect to grow soon.

  • Two or more web servers with one database.

The idea of this pattern is to write information to the database as it comes from the user, handle it, and "forget" about it. Two web servers prevent the simultaneous malfunction of all of the components. If one server breaks down, the second one assumes control over all the commands. Even though this option is more secure, it still cannot save you from a whole system breakdown.

  • Two or more web servers with two or more databases.

Option 1: The databases keep the same information, thus, you don’t need more than two of them. If one database fails, the other one takes over with no loss.

Option 2: The data is equally allocated between the databases. Since there is no duplicate information, you may find it difficult to access some of the data if one of the multiple databases breaks down.

This model is found to be the most reliable because web servers and databases have no SPOF (single point of failure). Still, if there are more than five servers and databases, it is critical to install load balancers. By analyzing the inbound requests they can distribute them to handle the operational load.

Web Application Architecture Types

All web applications can be grouped into four major categories:

  • Single page applications (SPA) are apps that operate on a single HTML page. They enable more dynamic interactions with the app's users and provide upgraded content inside the boundaries of the current page with no need to refresh it. It prevents download issues hence drastically improves UX.
  • Multiple page application (MPA) is a more traditional web app that usually comes with more than one page and needs to reload the entire page every time the user sends a request to the server. MPAs show better SEO ranking and scalability compared to SPA.
  • Microservices are compact services with independent components that cover particular functions and deliver an extensive set of benefits for web designers to be more productive while implementing custom-made software apps.
  • Serverless, also called serverless computing or function as a service (FaaS), depends on the third-party provider that is responsible for computing and maintaining the server. This allows web designers to focus on the software, not hardware.

Technologies Used for Creating Web App Architecture

Browser and mobile web server architecture complies with inquiries made by the client using a secure HTTPs protocol. As an integral web app element, it ensures storage and memory efficiency, computing performance, and even app layers.

Considering various options of web server architecture, let’s focus on several:

  • Java web application architecture makes it possible to combine different Java tools (continuous integration, version control, etc.) and frameworks (development and testing) to build apps regardless of their complexity.

  • Cloud-based architecture involves storing all data and functions on the cloud or local servers, which forms an environment where systems can interact with each other while not directly connected.

  • RabbitMQ is a widely-used message broker that acts as a middleman between applications, storing queued messages until the receiving app can access them. It can be used in transactional systems, where you want things done in a certain order.

  • .NET web server architecture can handle cross-platform software, Docker, microservices, and execution multiple app versions on the same computer. It doesn’t demand source code for storing information and enables optimizing and improving the feature set and development thanks to ASP.NET Core and .NET Core.

  • PHP. The tools and features offered by PHP frameworks allow for less code and guarantee strong protection, prompt development, simple operation, and enhanced support from the developer community.

  • Angular is a framework that brings a variety of advantages, including UX with lazy loading effect added to minimize code size.

  • Python features compressed, legible, and supported code. Python contributes to the increased web application speed and is exempt from app maintenance. Additionally, it is extremely limber and well-integrated with other languages.

  • Node.js framework creates competition for many other computer languages. Developers use it for coding services and UIs due to its consistency, codesharing and reusing, and hassle-free knowledge exchange. It offers many free tools and enables integrating multiple systems and services via a single UI. Thus, you can expect more efficiency and a quicker design process.

  • Ruby on Rails. Relying on the “Convention over Configuration” principle (where convention means hypotheses), this platform contributes to effective and fast web design. Conventions are used for decision making.

Mobile Application Architecture

It includes tools, methods, languages, and frameworks required for building a software app to run on any mobile device. Flawless mobile app operation requires:

  • A device. Android or iOS, display size, resolution, central processor details, free space, push notifications, and other aspects should be covered.

  • Navigation. Menu, search bar, and scroll.

  • Bandwidth. Intermittent connectivity, packet data, caching, etc.

  • UI. What clients see, use, and communicate with.

As for design, mobile app architecture consists of a Presentation layer (with UI parts), Business layer (with processes and objects that provide functionality), and Data layer (secure app structure and cognitive system).

Topics:
opinion, ui, ux, web app architecture, web dev

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