If you’re a web developer, chances are that names like Django, Ruby on Rails, Node.JS or CakePHP all ring a bell. Or perhaps you’re just starting out and looking to code your first website or web application. Either way its important for all developers to understand exactly what web frameworks are, and how they’re used to call upon the code written for a web application.
What Exactly are Web Frameworks?
A framework is essentially the piece of software that rests between your web application and the internet. Because of this, they are designed to provide support for the development of dynamic websites and applications. In other words, a website or app that is constantly changing and requesting new data every time it loads.
What this essentially means is that you’re not having to go above and beyond, or reinvent the wheel within the development process. This ultimately ends up saving loads of time, as well as minimizing the cost of getting to market. Web Frameworks include many of the important tools needed for the core of web development, making the process that much more seamless.
4 Essential Functions of Web Frameworks
1. Database Manipulation
Web frameworks allow for the manipulation of databases. For example, in order to store data in a SQL database, you must first decide how to structure the data by writing a pre-defined schema (The way in which your database will read and store the incoming data). Web frameworks provide the ability to perform reads, writes and schema structuring.
2. Security and Scalability
You can never be too safe with modern computing, especially over the internet. Frameworks provide basic security measures to help keep your data protected. They also contain the ability to quickly scale when necessary so you can run applications and websites on a global basis with no setbacks in performance.
3. URL Routing
URL routing is when a user clicks a link within a website, but instead of being brought (or routed) to another URL, new content is simply loaded into the existing page. The user specifies these routes which the frameworks then call upon. Most of the time these routes also include specific data ID’s from the database when the site is more dynamic. Web frameworks simplify this vital function by handling all means of routing and calling upon specific code for that URL. URL Routing is a common functionality which is found in every website and/or web application.
Customization is more than just updating the themes and overall look of a website or application, it can also mean the capability to organize the format in which data is received (json, xml, etc). Web Frameworks provide this functionality out of the box making for an even more rapid development process. You can try one of the framework templates for yourself that SkySilk offers by following the link below
Web Frameworks Seem Great, Are there any Drawbacks as a Web Developer?
Like everything in this world, something that’s great can also come with a downside – so what are the cons to using a framework?
Its just the Learning Curve
Another aspect that some developers may consider a drawback is the inability to change core functionality within the framework. This means that what a framework provides is what you get, which can resonate poorly with some programmers. Though drawbacks aside, web frameworks provide a set of tools that any web developer should keep within their arsenal.