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What is a software framework?

ACHONWA ALVAN

Overview

Developing a software application by writing every single line of code can be time-consuming. This can also lead to the presence of bugs in application development. Frameworks are generic systems that have the primary pieces of code in place depending on the application to be built. They form a foundation for the complete application.

Software framework

Software frameworks are software models or platforms that have primary or fundamental standards in place for application development. A framework contains libraries, image files and reference documents that can be modified to be suited for an application project. Frameworks are models that aid the software development process.

Illustration of types of framework

Types of frameworks

Let's take a look at different types of software frameworks:

Front-end web framework

Front-end web frameworks are the models responsible for dynamic and responsive web pages. They are executed on a web browser. They make the styling of website components and file structures possible. They also allow responsive interface design and reduce development time. Some front-end frameworks include:

  • React: A front-end framework written in JavaScript that makes possible the rendering of high-load applications. React is a JavaScript library.
  • AngularJS: A front-end framework written in JavaScript which is popular for reducing development time in front-end development.
  • Vue.js: A simple framework written in JavaScript quite suitable for complex projects.

Back-end web framework

Back-end web frameworks are models for making dynamic web pages. They make possible database access, session management, and reduce build time for a back-end web process. Back-end frameworks are loaded on web servers and make the back-end development processes more time efficient. Some back-end frameworks include:

  • Rails: An open-source framework written in the Ruby programming language. It was used in the development of GitHub and Airbnb.
  • Django: An open-source framework written in Python. It is popular for its security and speed capacity.
  • Laravel: An open-source framework written in PHP.
  • ExpressJS: An open-source framework written in Node.js. It was used in the development of Myspace and Geeklist.

Mobile application framework

Mobile application frameworks are models for developing dynamic applications for mobile phones. They are either native application frameworks or cross-platform frameworks. Native implies that they are used for either Apple or Android mobile applications. Cross-platform means that they can be used for both Apple and Android mobile applications. Some mobile frameworks include:

  • React Native: A cross-platform framework developed with JavaScript and ReactJS.
  • Corona: A cross-platform open-source framework used for desktop and mobile development.
  • Xamarin: A cross-platform open-source framework that is written in .NET.

Desktop application framework

Desktop application frameworks are models for developing dynamic desktop applications. They can be used to develop standalone business applications, client-server applications, utilities and plugins, and so on. Some desktop frameworks include:

  • Electron: A cross-platform framework developed by GitHub written in Node.js. It is used in some applications on Facebook and Microsoft.
  • Swing: A cross-platform framework written in Java used to develop desktop applications. It makes for good GUI in applications.
  • Cocoa: A native framework for macOS development.

Benefits of software frameworks

Here are a few benefits of software frameworks:

  1. The development process for most applications becomes easy and streamlined.
  2. Debugging and application maintenance is easy.
  3. It helps code length as well as saves time.
  4. Database management is easier in applications.
  5. It helps in building reusable software components.

Conclusion

One shortfall of frameworks is that no one framework can be used for every task, and frameworks consist of many components and may be unsuitable for small projects. It is important to note that frameworks are a primary part of software development because they make the process a lot easier.

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