AUTHOR
Adservio team
DATE
April 1, 2022
CATEGORY
Digital Delivery
Top Micro Frontend Frameworks

Digital Delivery

10 min

Top Micro Frontend Frameworks

Traditionally, frontend development has relied on HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to structure pages and give users interactive elements. That’s changed over the last few years as more developers adopt micro frontend frameworks that function more like backend development.

The top micro frontend frameworks can bring together multiple microservices to serve a broader range of users.

Micro frontends - the basics

A micro frontend framework introduces microservices to the user interface design. Micro-Frontend.org visualizes this approach as an evolution of earlier web design techniques.

The Monolith paradigm requires a team of experts independently experienced in frontends, backends, and databases. On the other hand, the Front & Back paradigm has frontend designers working independently while backend and database team members collaborate.

Micro frontends allow End-to-End Teams of frontend, backend, and database professionals working toward a common goal, breaking down the backend and frontend monolith paradigm.

For example, an e-commerce website might have three teams:

  • Discover Team – All members of this group would create interactions that encourage shoppers to discover items.
  • Product Team – All Product Team members would work to inform buyers of product details, such as color options and sizes.
  • Checkout Team – All members of this team would work toward getting shoppers to complete their purchases.

Instead of having one group work on the backend and one on the frontend of a website, companies create different teams that use their unique skills to accomplish a common goal.

Designers working with top micro frontend frameworks often rely on code-based design elements. Common resources include open-source JavaScript libraries like:

Benefits of micro frontend frameworks

Some of the benefits of using the top micro frontend frameworks include:

  • Avoiding coding conflicts that can occur when frontend and backend developers don’t collaborate.
  • Relying on smaller codebases that managers can codify and control.
  • Shifting microservices to frontend architecture for faster scalability (pairing with serverless can potentially improve scalability even more).
  • Fewer dependencies, letting you update one page without affecting the entire web application or website.
  • Easier lifecycle management that lets developers update specific parts of pages without changing the entire design.
  • Reusable frontend applications and templates that make build-times shorter, even for small teams.
  • Access to numerous JavaScript frameworks and the option to build custom elements.

Downsides of micro frontend frameworks

Building micro frontends also has potential downsides that different teams should consider when planning their designs. Some of the most common challenges include:

  • Difficulty testing entire web apps because the micro frontend architecture has many independent components.
  • Extra work for DevOps as they try to coordinate efforts across teams (although this work often pays off by saving time in the long run).
  • Onboarding new developers could require extra training when they’re more familiar with different technologies popular in the frontend world.

Top micro frontend frameworks

Now that we’ve covered the basics, pros, and cons, let’s review the top micro frontend frameworks so you can decide which one best fits your existing teams and ecosystem.

Bit

One of the most popular frameworks when it comes to micro frontends is Bit. It is a product-ready solution for building micro frontends.

Besides the ability to create, Bit offers the possibility to manage frontends through independent component.

When it comes to ensuring that each frontend gets its own neutral and fast build process, Bit provides a special CI/CD process that is fully component driven.

This means that different teams can freely incorporate changes without any delay to create a unified project.

The overall workflow process is enhanced by simple decoupled codebases, small defined APIs, independent pipelines for release and, independent teams.

Luigi

Luigi is a modular top micro frontend framework that helps you decompose your monolithic web apps and prepare for leaner rebuilding. It enables a web app to communicate directly with the Micro frontends that is composed with.

In order to make this communication run painlessly and avoid any breakdown or flaws, settings configurations can be done in routing, navigation, user experience elements and authorization.

This JavaScript micro frontend framework allows you to create an administrative user interface driven local and distributed views.

luigi central planner, luigi micro frontend framework

The enterprise-level framework gets used by small businesses and multinational corporations. Its agnostic technology means that you will never get locked into a specific server, provider, or coding language.

Piral

Piral is a great tool for those who look forward to use micro frontends to build portal applications. Decoupled modules are known as Pilets, which allow you to create a modular frontend app.

We should know that a Pilet is developed separately and is shipped with the required property for Micro frontend development.

By breaking the development lifecycle into two halves, Piral is capable of tackling the entire process.

piral micro fronted framework

You typically start with the application shell, beginning with the template and progressing through debugging, building, and publishing. Then, before debugging, creating, and publishing, work on the individual modules (Pilets), taking care of infrastructure.

Like many top micro frontend frameworks, Piral is open-source and community-driven. Unlike with a lot of open-source tools, though, you can pay for Piral support that will improve your web development workflow.

You get a robust framework, but you also get professional help when you need it.

Single-Spa

Single-spa promotes itself as a JavaScript router for frontend microservices. One of the best things about single-spa’s routing is that you don’t have to commit to a specific JavaScript library or framework. Instead, you can use it to run Angular, React, Vue, and other frameworks on the same page.

This tool is what you need to apply in every application lifecycle when you developed using Micro frontand.

single-spa micro frontend framework

Every application must be able to respond to URL routing events and must be able to bootstrap, mount, and unmount from the DOM.

Single SPA differs from typical SPA in that applications must be able to coexist with one another. They don't each get their own HTML page. The Single SPA framework is used by a number of major services, including Google Maps, Gmail, and Grammarly, to mention a few.

Single-spa has always been a leader in the push for choosing micro frontends over monoliths, so you will find plenty of tutorials, videos, and support.

If you’re willing to spend a little money ($109 to $149, depending on the course), you can even take official workshops covering micro frontend fundamentals and micro frontend architecture.

Qiankun

Qiankun builds on single-spa to offer more functionality and out-of-the-box APIs. It works with any JavaScript framework, and, like single-spa, will let you mix-and-match frameworks on the same page.

Choosing this option makes sense when you have a development team with diverse skills and want to keep projects simple.

Style isolation helps prevent conflicts between multiple JS frameworks. However, since mixing JavaScript frameworks could potentially lead to conflicts, Qiankun gives you a JS sandbox that lets you test sub-applications before releasing them to users.

Then, when you update your product, you know that the features will work as intended.

Module Federation

Module Federation focuses on micro frontends but doesn’t limit itself to those frameworks, thereby giving developers a lot of flexibility.

This is one of the most effective tools for dealing with the code dependency issue, and it allows for bundle size expansion through dependency sharing.

For example, you can use Module Federation to load remote modules through a chunk loading operation. This process lets everything load in parallel from a single round-trip to the server.

Other critical concepts that make Module Federation useful include:

  • Environment-independent features that can function on the Web and Node.js.
  • Control that prevents sibling containers from overriding their modules.
  • Support for all module types used by WebPack.

Contributors can vote to influence the features the Module Federation team prioritizes, making it a community-oriented project that moves in the direction most experts find beneficial.

SystemJS

SystemJS can transpile production workflow code to operate at near-native speeds. Runtime tests show that uncached native modules loaded in 1668ms compared to SystemJS’s 2334ms.

Cached native modules loaded in 49ms while SystemJS loaded in 81ms. At these speeds, human users will not recognize the difference.

Despite the speed, SystemJS gives you plenty of features for performing tasks such as reloading workflows, loading global scripts, and importing maps.

SystemJS lets us use different JS module-related features such as import maps and dynamic imports without the need for native browser support.

systemJS micro frontend framework

Few of SystemJS prominent capabilities include the ability to facilitate module imports by mapping names to paths, the ability to Polyfill for older browsers, and the ability to set up multiple modules in a single file format utilizing its API to execute single network queries for multiple JS modules.

Open Components

Like many top micro frontend frameworks, Open Components works with JavaScript to add client-side functionality to digital products.

You can also use it for HTML and CSS. However, its option to contain logic as a server-side Node.js application sets the framework apart.

When necessary, you can use it to inject highly interactive HTML into a page.

Open Components doesn’t restrict you to JavaScript. You can also use libraries built on Ruby and PHP, giving you more flexibility to work within existing environments instead of rethinking the foundation of every project.

How we can help

Our team of professionals have the right experience with the top micro frontend frameworks, hence, feel free to reach out and let us help you choose an option that matches your needs.

Our software engineers can also provide software applications and sub-applications that fuel your product’s success.

Contact us and let's start discussing about finding solutions to any of your web app issues.

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