The intention of this article is to explain the difference between frameworks and libraries, the requirement of frameworks, the varied functionality of the frameworks, and guide you regarding which would suit your business the best.
What is a framework?
A software framework is a piece of code that performs a certain job, irrespective of the program it is implemented in. By using the framework, the programmer need not write the code for the functionality from scratch and can add a few extra lines to customize it according to the application he is working on. The use of frameworks helps in code reusability, ensures quick development of an application, and makes it easier to debug a program.
What is a library?
A library is a set of code written previously by another programmer that others can make use of legally in building their programs. This code reusability greatly improves the structure of code and makes the whole process quicker.
Take the real-world example of a car.
A car is built using different parts. The parts are manufactured previously according to the function they are supposed to perform. When building a car, the parts are assembled and the job is done. The parts are not built from scratch while building the car.
Frameworks and libraries are used by programmers in the same way. Whenever an application is to be built, programmers assemble the required frameworks and libraries to design the application, adding a few more lines here and there to mold it according to the specific application.
What is the difference between a framework and a library?
The main difference between frameworks and libraries is regarding control of the application. In the case of a library, you are in full control. You implement the library when and where required. The situation is quite the opposite in the case of a framework – the framework allows you to add a little code here and there for customization but it will decide whether or not to use all of your code.
Our discussion today will deal with two frameworks and a library:
- Angular JS, a framework created by Google in 2010
- React JS, a library created by Facebook in 2013
- Vue JS, a framework created by Google employee Evan You (the reason why Vue has all the robust features of Angular baked into it)
All frameworks and libraries have their functionality and the use case of each is different, but in this article, we attempt to make their specific pros, cons, and functionalities clearer from a business point of view.
The best thing about Angular is its constant updates. Angular launches an update every 6 months and the new versions build upon the older ones. Take Angular 11 update, for example, which has gotten rid of all bugs the previous version had. Of course, you need to keep a watch on the updates, as the code may be affected in case of a major update. But Google makes sure to wait another 6 months after an update before pulling the previous tools, giving you a full year to change code if the need arises. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are several more reasons why Angular is a favorite for large scale apps with complex functionalities, which wish to scale further.
1. High performance and functionality at minimal cost
Angular is a robust framework that has all the needed functionalities packed into its official library. And since it is from Google, you can be assured of the quality of code and high-end security features. Web development with Angular JS requires fewer imports of third-party libraries, significantly reducing app development costs.
Besides that, Angular imports dependencies (external repositories of code) to help with testing, making the whole process of testing the app a smooth ride.
As a decision-maker, you must be worried about the development cost and the time-to-market. A major factor in Angular development that contributes to a reduction in both is the clean, consistent code. You can use it multiple times and it won’t cause a hint of confusion.
4. Declarative UI
5. Simple architecture
The simple architecture makes it easier to build the app quickly without cumbersome code, thus making the website light. This makes it easier for users to navigate through websites made with Angular JS.
There are primarily three reasons which have made the React library a developer darling –
Code Reusability- it allows developers to reuse blocks of code for a simple function
Ease-of-use – React, though tougher than Vue, has a less steep learning curve than Angular JS.
Customizable – The crucial difference between the library and framework is about control. This is where React is ahead of Angular- it is highly customizable. You are in control and you incorporate the parts of the library you need, unlike Angular, which does not allow much modification.
As per reports, 42% of developers prefer React Native for building cross-platform applications. Click To Tweet
Here are a few more reasons why you can bank on React Js:
1. SEO Friendly
To make it big on the Internet, you need to mark a solid online presence and the best way to go about it is a strong SEO game. The clean and simple code of React makes the page load time of a website almost negligible. And page load time is a critical factor as the bounce rate shoots right up to 38% if the load time is more than 5 seconds!
2. React Developer Tools
React Developer Tools is a Chrome and Firefox extension that can come in very handy for quick edits to UI and observing the current state of the application.
3. Migration to React Native
Whether you’re starting a business or expanding the one you already have, in 2021, you will always be looking to launch a mobile application if you haven’t already. React Native is already one of the most popular cross platform mobile app development frameworks due to the high performance of cross-platform apps developed with it and on top of that, easy migration of components from React JS to React Native reduces the time-to-market as well. All the developers would have to do is simply check UI on mobiles and then just make the required changes to make it more mobile-friendly.
4. Stability due to one-way data binding
React JS apps are created as a series of components, with functionalities being passed from parent component to child component in the form of arguments. This is called one-way data binding or the unidirectional flow of data. Because of this one characteristic, it is very convenient to make changes in React apps. Whatever change you make in the child components does not reflect in the parent components and thus, even after changes and updates, the code is consistent.
5. Easy migration of technology
Nobody envisioned the digital world to be as it is now even 10 years back and considering the rate at which it is moving, the web may seem an entirely different entity 10 years down the line. Thus, businesses must make use of tools and technologies that assist in easy migration to better infrastructures. Since React JS is essentially a library, you can just plug the React code wherever you need it, irrespective of infrastructure. This will have absolutely no effect on performance.
Since Vue is the new kid on the block, not many businesses have ventured into Vue JS development yet, and thus, real-time assessment of the pros and cons of Vue is not very well-documented. However, what we do know is that Vue has the best of both worlds- two-way data binding like Angular and flexibility in code like React. Because of this, Vue is rising steadily through the ranks and has a massive market in Asia- Alibaba and Xiaomi are the big names using Vue JS.
Vue is best utilized in cases of lightweight yet high performance, intuitive apps as the applications are quickly ready for the market without compromising on the performance or functionalities. Let us take a quick look at what makes Vue JS a lucrative choice for businesses.
1. Size and Simplicity
It is a tiny framework of only 21KB, so download and startup take next to no time! Even the code in Vue is short and simple – what may run into tens of lines on jQuery will be a line or two in Vue. This allows time-efficient development of applications and templates. Even the mighty GitLab is in awe of Vue, saying – “Vue JS comes with the perfect balance of what it can do for you and what you need to do yourself.”
2. Boosts performance
ISimulations run by third parties have shown that Vue performs better than Angular and as well as React in manipulating rows and columns in tables. This is because unlike Angular, it has a virtual DOM, and the Vue DOM is lighter than the one React uses.
3. Error Reporting
Debugging in Vue runs parallel to the coding process. You can visualize the UI your code takes the form of while you write it, thus helping developers, even juniors to debug their code easily.
Below, we have encapsulated all our thoughts and information about Angular, React and Vue in a short table with cons, use cases and the situation of the job market explained briefly.
All three have their perks- Angular is robust and time-tested, React is flexible and quick, Vue is simple and high-performing. But the kind of framework or library you need for your business depends solely on your business demands and the vision you have for your web app. The best way to go about this would be to bring a front end development services firm on board and explain in detail what you want out of the app.