Web Application Architecture: A Complete Guide
The web application market is a dynamic environment, constantly evolving with new technologies and safety standards. This is why it is important to pay attention to the foundational design for a web application in order to maintain the software’s robustness, responsiveness, and security. This is the responsibility of a solid web application architecture.
Web app architecture can be defined in many ways, depending on how you build web applications.
An architecture for a web application is a diagram of the interaction between components. The type of architecture for a web application depends entirely on how the application logic will be distributed between the client and server sides.
It is the web app’s skeleton. This includes all elements, databases, servers, interfaces, and communication between them. More abstractly, It indicates the logic behind server and client requests.
Web application architecture has many business benefits. It involves creating web applications and planning to meet their requirements in terms of security, speed, scalability, and scale.
This article will give you an overview of modern web application architecture. It includes its key components, types, and models so you can confidently invest in this type of architecture. Let’s get started!
Importance of the Web App Architecture
- Improved customer satisfaction: It’s important to invest in web application software architecture or a solid blueprint for its functioning from the perspective of user experience.
- It is an essential part of any web app development. It ensures that your design is efficient, scalable, and will work under different conditions. This helps to avoid downtime. A business app that has many bugs will frustrate users and discourage them from working with it.
- Better business results: A web application architecture that is well-designed can help your company save time and money in the long term. It will ensure your website runs at its best and functions smoothly.
- Web application system architecture is a way for web developers to build websites that scale as traffic increases. It also offers features like offline access (e.g. Google Docs), which are becoming increasingly important for today’s customers.
- Improved app performance: Web app architectures that are solid offer a great degree of flexibility. This allows for greater adaptability to market changes and customer needs.
- Developers can see the whole structure and work in multiple modules. This makes it easy to add new features without interrupting work on the app.
- Enhanced app security: Modern web app architecture protects each structural element separately by imagining it as a series of blocks.
This increases overall security, making it more resistant to malicious attacks and other threats. The security level achieved will not be affected by adding new elements due to its solid structure.
Also read: Top 10 Testing Tools for Web Applications
How does Web Application Architecture Work?
Each project is unique in how it operates web application architecture. Many aspects of this architecture are determined by the needs of your business and not technology. Web app elements can be modified or removed without affecting the overall success of your web app.
Using web app architecture for communication is also a common process.
- As a client, you will enter the URL in the appropriate browser field.
- To recognize the IP address, the browser sends a request to the Domain Name Server.
- If the request is successful, the browser will send a request to the server for a response.
- The server directs the request to the data storage to locate the page.
- If the request is successful, you will see the initial data in your browser.
Web Application Architecture Diagram
What is a web app architecture diagram? What is a web architecture diagram? It’s simply a framework. This is to simplify the interaction of components. It is a client-server application that contains many user interfaces, insights, and databases.
DNS is the abbreviation for domain name systems. It is a key element in the search for IP addresses and domain names. This is how a certain server receives a request sent by an end user.
It sends an answer to the end user by directing incoming requests to one or more servers. Web app services are generally made up of multiple copies that mirror one another, allowing all servers to process the same requests. The load balancer is another element. This distributes tasks to avoid them overcharging.
3. Web app servers
This component is essentially an app deployment descriptor. What does this mean? It is responsible for processing the user’s requests and sending JSON//XML docs back from an initial browser. It refers to the backend infrastructure, including the job queue, cache server, and database.
This component’s meaning is simple. You can use it to perform, delete or organize computations and also update them. Web app servers communicate directly with job servers.
5. Caching service
This component allows for quick and easy data storage and search. Search results will be saved when the server sends the information to the user. This will make future requests much easier.
These are the situations where caching can be efficient.
- Repetitive or slow computation
- If a user receives the same results for a particular request
6. Job queue (optional)
This one contains two components that are job queues and servers that process these jobs. Many web servers manage a large number of jobs that are of little importance. The job that is urgently needed goes into the queue. It will then be performed according to the schedule.
7. Full-text search service (optional)
Many web apps support the search by text feature. The application will then send the results to the end user. This is known as full-text searching. It can search through all documents in a system for the desired data and find it using a keyword.
Once the web app reaches a certain level, services will be created in separate applications. These services won’t be visible in the web app, but they will interact with other web apps and services.
9. Data warehouse
This element allows you to store and exchange data online via the Internet. This element can be used to store different file types, such as images and videos. After the data has been processed, it is sent to a firehouse. Then, additional data is sent to cloud storage and finally, it goes to a data warehouse.
Web Application Architecture Components
Applications vary in their functionality and complexity, so the number of layers and components can change accordingly. Sometimes, an app may be so simple that it functions as a monolith that stores all of the web application design architecture in one location.
A typical web app will have multiple components or tiers that interact with one another. The two main groups of web application architecture for web applications are the user interface and the structural web components.
User Interface Components
The visual interface consists of a group of components that are not tied to the architecture. The set of UI components is part of the interface layout design and includes activity logs as well as dashboards with analytics and notifications.
Structural Web Components
- Server components – Backend of web application architecture built with Java and Python. Net, NodeJS, PHP, and Ruby on Rails to create app logic. Also, Server components make up the database. This is a control center for data storage.
A 3-Tier Architecture Overview
Most web apps are built by separating their primary function into layers/tiers. This allows you to easily and quickly replace or upgrade each layer. It’s also known as a multi-tier or three-tier architecture.
Three layers/tiers are required for a 3-tiered architecture:
- Presentation (client layer)
- Application (business layer)
- Data access layer
This architecture can be described as the most secure and safest. This is due to the fact that clients don’t have direct access to the data. Multiple machine providers can host application servers, which allows for greater scalability, higher performance, and better efficiency.
This architecture can be scaled horizontally as each tier can be scaled separately. It also greatly improves data integrity because data will pass through the app server, which decides how and by whom data is accessed. This perk is a cost-effective and easy solution for new business management.
Layers of Modern Web Application Architecture
Let’s now take a closer look at each layer of the web application architecture.
The data accessibility layer is the final layer. As it receives the required information from the servers, the data access layer is closely connected to the business layer. The data service layer, on the other hand, separates the business logic from the client side during processing requests.
It’s an app backend component that includes databases and DBM (database management systems), which collect, manage and store data. The environment may be the same as that of the application layer. We can list MySQL, PostgreSQL, and MongoDB as Database management systems.
Each layer works independently and is connected to each other by the appropriate components.
Models of Web Applications
Two factors determine the differences in enterprise web application architecture models: the number and type of servers, and the number and types of databases. To choose the best, You should review your goals and constraints carefully. Find the best one for your current stage of business development.
One Web Server, One Database Model
- This is the simplest: You only need one server and one database for all requests and responses.
- Relatively unstable: Your app will be shut down immediately if the server is down.
- Test: A web server and a database model are too old to support real apps these days. It’s a great way for you to test your app idea and review the basic design of your app as an MVP.
Multiple Web Servers, Multiple Databases Model
- The most efficient: There is no single point of failure because there are many web servers and databases.
- Flexibility: There are at least two options when it comes to database storage. You can either keep the same data in all of them, or you can distribute the information.
- You can lose some information: Your entire web application will not be lost in the event of a crash. However, data may be lost. Load balancers are a good idea to prevent this from happening.
Types of Web Application Architecture
The web application architecture is the way components interact with one another. It is simply a way that app logic allows the client and server sides to communicate.
It is important to consider your business requirements and technical details about features, functionalities, and desired app logic in order to make the best choice.
Single Page Application Architecture
This web application architecture displays only relevant content. It loads the relevant page first, then updates dynamically the content representation with the requested information.
It doesn’t refer directly to the server that loads new pages, but rather sends requests only for the required parts of the webpage.
Single-page applications provide a smoother user experience and better performance.
Pros of single-page architecture in apps:
- Performance is faster
- UX flexibility improved
Cons of single-page architecture for apps:
- Test time increased
- Possibility of losing unsaved progress
- Slower first-load speed
Microservices are a common alternative to a monolithic, unreliable web application architecture. They allow you to provide small, lightweight services independently.
They are especially loosely connected and can use APIs to communicate with each other if there is a complex business problem. This unique feature makes it easier for developers to work with individual service components in different programming languages.
Microservice architecture is becoming increasingly popular because of its stability and flexibility. This has led to many businesses such as Amazon and Netflix adopting microservice architecture for their complex requirements.
Pros of microservice architecture
- Easier scaling up
- Greater fault tolerance
- Easy-to-understand base code
- Independent module deployment
Cons of microservice architecture
- Testing and debugging can be difficult
- Complex deployment
This architecture type is web app development. It allows you to outsource server and infrastructure management to third-party cloud service providers. The web app logic execution will not interfere with the infrastructure’s running.
Serverless architecture is a good choice for companies who want to outsource server and hardware management to a trusted tech partner, and instead focus on front-end development tasks.
This web application architecture allows for small functions to be implemented in apps. Amazon and Microsoft are two of the service providers that help with server management.
Pros of serverless architecture
- Server management is not essential
- Highly scalable
- Minimized latency
- Flexibility and speed
Cons of serverless architecture
- Security concerns
Progressive Web Apps
Progressive web apps are one of the most promising trends in web app development since 2019. They offer an easy-to-use and efficient user experience that is accessible from any browser or device via a shared URL.
Progressive web apps are widely used in many industries, including finance, entertainment, and eCommerce. They offer many key advantages, including lightweight, cost-effectiveness, and cross-device compatibility, as well as the ability to attract traffic and an app that works.
Pros and progressive web application architecture
- Browser availability
- Mobile-first approach
- Traffic increases
- Online performance that is effective
Cons of progressive web application architecture:
- Support for restricted browsers
- Native APIs are not used in a narrow way
Web Application Architecture: Tips and Best Practices
We’ve collected the top 5 suggestions for business owners when working on web app architecture and building collaboration with tech partners.
1. Consider a web application architecture in its earliest stages.
If you don’t have a clear structure for your application, it will become a maze of confusing elements and parts that is too difficult to manage.
2. Don’t copy somebody’s success
It is a mistake to simply copy a web application architecture from a successful company. A successful architecture should be compatible with your business goals and ideas.
3. Pay attention to your technical limitations
It is not always possible to have the most effective elements in your web app architecture. You can get the most out of every component you have if you pay attention to quality and your business expectations.
4. Stop the problems immediately
Do not wait for the release of the web app to address the architecture problems. It will be more reliable if you fix the problems sooner than later.
5. Make a checklist of successful web app features
It’s a good idea to discuss your expectations with your tech partner at the beginning of your web app in order to ensure it achieves its goals.
These features could be part of the possible checklist:
- Overall system flexibility
- Reuse components
- Well-written code
- Stability of the system
- Easy bug detection
- Respect security standards
- Use user feedback to improve the fields
- There are no crashes
- Fast responses
- Can be used automatically