Development Thursday February 17, 2022

Web application architecture: Everything you need to know about

“Web application architecture” – The term sounds complex enough but the concept is very simple. 

We see plenty of static web pages on the internet with slow loading time. Over time, this trend of static web pages has grown its network that uses attractive and dynamic web applications to offer active web user interaction.

So, if you’re planning to develop and launch a web application, you must come across the concept of web application architecture. 

This detailed guide will cover web application architecture, fundamentals, layers, types, models and best practices. 

Table of contents 

Introduction
What is web application architecture?
How does it work?
Web application architecture diagram
Layers of web application architecture
Web application architecture: Components 
Types of web application architecture
Models of web application architecture 
Web application architecture: Best practices 

Let’s dive deeper to know more about web application architecture!

What is web application architecture?

So, what exactly is web application architecture?

“Web application architecture defines interaction between the components of a web application (For example: elements, user interface, databases, servers and systems).”

The processes connected with applications running in a browser are described by web app architecture, which is a type of software architecture. It provides a set of components as well as an explanation of how they interact logically.

It denotes the logic that supports responses to client and server requests in a more abstract sense.

In a nutshell, web app architecture relates to the structure of web apps and how they’re deployed on a server. An Internet-based service, unlike most desktop applications that customers download and install, must work effortlessly across HTTP.

How does it work?

Let’s look at how scalable web architecture works. 

There are two main components in any application:

  • Client-side, also known as the frontend. It’s where users engage with each other.
  • Server-side, also known as Backend. Developers are the only ones who work on this section.

The front-end is written in HTML, CSS, and Javascript. When you launch a web application, everything users see and interact with comes under the front-end.

The back-end, on the other hand, is hosted on the server and is inaccessible to users. The data is saved on the server side and may be readily accessed and changed.

The data received by users in the form of images, text, and files is used by the back-HTTP end’s requests. Backends may be readily created with JS, Java, Python, PHP, and other programming languages.

Web application architecture diagram

The below diagram of web application architecture shows how the interaction takes place between the client and the server. 

Here’s how to create a web application architecture diagram by outlining the steps involved:

  • The user uses the browser or the web app interface to deliver a command to the server.
  • The command is forwarded to the requesting server by the web application server. Through data processing or querying, the server obtains results for the given command. 
  • The web application then sends the server the processed data (such as the website URL or search results).
  • The user receives the requested information from the server in the end.

Here is a simple example how an architecture works:

You type a URL into the browser, such as ‘amazon.com,’ and push enter. The browser will submit a request to the Domain Name Server, which will detect the IP address and route your request to Amazon’s server. The server then intercepts the request and sends it to the data storage to locate the page and make data requests for display on the browser. The page containing the requested information is then displayed on your screen.

Layers of web application architecture

Web applications follow a layered architecture that consists of four layers – Presentation, Business, Data access, and Database layers. 

Presentation layer: Presentation layers represent the front-end of the app. It is the user-centric layer that the user sees and interacts with. The presentation layer, often known as the client-side, contains the specific user interface (UI) required for the display as well as the logic responsible for browser communication and any code required to enable user interaction. Built with HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and its frameworks, the interface and browser communicate to make user interaction easier. 

Business layer: The business logic and rules are defined in the business layer. It takes browser requests, runs the business logic associated with them, and then transmits everything to the presentation layer. The backend of a web app is where business logic and replies to browser queries submitted to the display layer are determined. Java, Python, PHP, JavaScript, and Ruby are among the programming languages available, and the environment includes servers, IaaS, PaaS, and serverless cloud platforms. 

Data Access layer: The Data Access Layer is also known as the Persistence Layer and is responsible for data persistence. This layer is linked with the business layer since it obtains data from servers. It has a database server that retrieves data from matching servers and is tightly coupled to the business layer. However, this one is just concerned with accessing, writing, or changing the database.

Database layer: Database layer, also known as Data Service Layer, retains all of the data and provides data security by isolating the business logic from the client-side. This layer transmits data to the Presentation Layer that has been prepared by the Business Logic Layer. It separates the business logic from the customer’s data, ensuring data security. The database layer, such as SQL Server or MongoDB, is where all the data is stored in the database.

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Web application architecture: Components 

Components are the building blocks of web application architecture. It influences your application’s functions as well as the quality of the user experience provided to users. There are two components of web application architecture:

  1. UI/UX components (Client-side)
  2. Structural components (Server-side)

UI/UX components (Client-side)

Statistical data, desktop notification elements, activity logs, dashboards, input controls, navigational components, admin panel, activity tracking, tools, design layouts and account settings are among the app’s user interface components. They are in charge of developing the visuals for a web page and laying the groundwork for the user experience.

Structural components (Server-side)

It involves database storage as well as server administration. It focuses on the structural aspect of the web app, as the name implies. It mostly consists of:

  • Web (client) browser

The client or web browser allows users to interact with the web app by using the features. It was created using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. There is no requirement for a device or operating system-related changes because it resides within the web browser.

  • Web application server

Web application servers act as a central hub for business logic and different web application layers. Python, Ruby,.NET, Node.JS web, and Java are used to create it.

  • Database server

A database server that retrieves, saves, and serves information to users.

Types of web application architecture

In this part, we’ll go through the many types of web app architecture, which are divided into front-end and back-end aspects.

Front-end

Single page architecture

The SPA architecture is designed in such a manner that when a user navigates to a new page, just a portion of the page content is updated, eliminating the need to reload the same components.

Developers employ SPA design to create a unique and dynamic user experience by allowing single-page apps using popular JavaScript frameworks such as Angular and React.

In other words, it does not contact the server to load new pages, but instead makes requests for only the sections of the webpage that are required. Single Page Apps help to improve speed and provide a more intuitive user experience.

Single Page Applications include Gmail, Google Maps, and Facebook, to name a few.

Server-side rendered applications 

On the server side, SSR is used to convert the client-side Javascript framework to HTML and CSS. Because of SSR, the most critical assets are delivered rapidly, allowing the page to be rendered as soon as feasible.

The server compiles the information and provides a new HTML page to the client-side with each request. When the CSS is received, the UI is developed without the need to wait for the JS to load.

Back-end

Microservices

Microservices design focuses on particular capabilities and single-page apps for rapid deployment and efficacy. It may be simply advanced with codes that provide the highest quality to the application and is versatile. Microservices are modules or little activities that are constructed and then integrated for faster application.

Microservices architecture has been used by some of the most inventive and successful firms in the world, including Amazon, Uber, Etsy, and Netflix.

Serverless architecture

These web application architectures allow app code logic to be executed without having to worry about infrastructure-related activities.

Developers do not maintain the backend server in this situation; instead, they delegate server and infrastructure administration to a third-party cloud infrastructure services provider.

With this type of modern web application architecture, developers are no longer reliant on server management tools to configure or maintain servers. This function, however, does not imply total server independence.

Amazon and Microsoft, for example, are two service providers that help with server administration.

Models of web application architecture 

The number of servers and databases are two factors that distinguish web application architecture models.

There are three models of a web application architecture:

One database, one web server model

One database, Multiple web server model

Multiple databases, Multiple Web Servers

Let’s discuss each model in detail: 

One database, One Web Server

The most basic and simple web application architecture model is one database and one web server. The application is developed using only a single database and web server. There is only one database and one web server.

This is one of the most popular mobile app architectural types. However, it has one drawback: if the server goes down, the entire application goes down with it. As a result of its limitations, the model is not recommended for web applications. It is, however, commonly used for test practices and is a decent alternative if you are a startup with a limited budget.

One database, Multiple Web Servers

This architecture is stateless and consists of at least two web servers. It is used to prevent failures due to unforeseen situations. When one server, for example, fails for whatever reason, the second server steps in and performs the requests.

For applications that do not use web servers, a single database with multiple web servers is the ideal option. Instead, the web server processes the information and stores it in a database.

Multiple databases, Multiple Web Servers

The model of multiple databases and web servers is the most efficient, since it assures that neither the web servers nor the databases have a single point of failure. Two types of database models are included in the models, both of which hold identical data and are dispersed equitably.

Because there are two possibilities for database storage, the multiple web servers, multiple databases model decreases the app’s performance risk. You have the option of storing identical data across all databases or evenly distributing it across all servers.

Web application architecture: Best practices 

You should go beyond having a working web application to give consumers a pleasant web experience. Following are some excellent practices to bear in mind:

Consistency: The architecture you choose should give a consistent approach to tackling all of your development difficulties, and you should examine the application requirements to find a solution that addresses the majority of your development objectives.

Fast performance: It’s preferable to maintain the architecture as light as feasible and responsive. Analyze some of the industry’s greatest online apps, measuring their page speed and responsiveness to establish benchmarks for your own product.

Simplicity: If you have the chance to develop your app with a minimalistic architecture, go for it. While it’s important to think about scalability alternatives, there’s no need to overcomplicate things ahead of time.

Self-maintenance: The application architecture should be capable of detecting and correcting problems on its own.

However, there are few parameters you must keep in mind while analyzing an app’s structure:

  • Flexibility of components
  • System adaptability
  • Bug detection 
  • level of performance
  • Scalability
  • Security
  • Reliability
  • Stability
  • a well-structured code
  • Reusability
  • Response time

Wrapping Up

Given the importance of a solid web application architecture in gaining access to web applications, it’s evident that this topic can’t be overlooked!

As a result, please make sure that when you construct an app, you select the appropriate architecture, which will allow you to further improve the web app’s speed and increase the likelihood of a quick and secure web-based connection with users.

If you’re having trouble building a contemporary web application architecture and need top-notch software development services in India, we can assist. Get in contact with us and let’s work together to create a fantastic app!

We have a team of highly skilled professionals that work effortlessly to deliver the best digital crafted solutions to our clients. During the development of the application, we consider factors such as the web app’s robustness and security, as well as its speed and responsiveness. The web app should bring new sorts and ways of correct web app architecture to satisfy growing company requirements and client requests. 

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