April 22, 2020
Pros and cons of Frameworks in web development
Frameworks are straightforward representations of a programming language, as they are easy to learn and get the job done in no time. However, excessive use of these development tools often eradicates one’s chances of getting the real deal – learning the language with a much more comprehensive overview. Think of it as going to college, only you never really get the thrill of it because you were homeschooled.
The fact that most programmers consider frameworks the quickest means to understanding a programming language is often than not a far-fetched idealism. Because most times, they tend to abandon the task of learning how a language works once the job is done and completed. We all are a victim of this at some point, so there is no denying that.
What are Programming Frameworks?
For advanced software developers, frameworks are your best buddy, saving you a lot of time and effort. But, that is not the case for newbies and rookies since these frameworks would somewhat thwart your chances of better understanding the inner workings of a programming language and the more exceptional programming process. Together, with a well-detailed video tutorial alongside exposure to the right materials, just about anybody (whether a novice or an expert developer) can develop software. But the advantages of frameworks tend to obliterate the many disadvantages it ships in with.
In this article, I have carefully emphasised the advantages of frameworks, along with its numerous setbacks. Feel free to read through and drop a comment anytime.
Advantages of Using a Framework
Since frameworks are predefined guidelines on how to develop an application in a given programming language, it sure has its convenience as it;
· Bootstraps the Development Process
The tools and packages provided by frameworks aid developers to bootstrap the development of custom web applications. With frameworks, programmers do not have to write all scripts from scratch as the framework handles most of the common development procedures right from the get-go. Likewise, they offer newbies more ways to explore specific features and deliver more diverse user experiences, just like an expert developer would. Frameworks significantly reduce coding time. As it bootstraps the basic structure and provides a yardstick for keeping web applications shipshape.
· Eases Debugging and Application Maintenance
A good number of programming languages do not emphasise on code readability and maintainability on the fly. However, frameworks do. While developing a custom web application with a framework is highly recommended, it has a lot to do with the ease of debugging and support. Since there exists a community of developers associated with every framework, there are always quick responses to any problem encountered with the said framework. Many frameworks enable programmers to perform unit tests seamlessly.
· Reduces Code Length
With frameworks, there is no need to write longer lines of code while adding conventional functionalities to a website. Hence, promoting simplicity and conciseness using its code generation feature. This reduces the added time and effort that would have normally been involved with the entire development process. Additionally, frameworks provide functions and tools that empower developers to automate common web development tasks like caching, session management, authentication, and URL-mapping.
· Improves Database Proficiency
Most frameworks are preloaded with rule sets that allow programmers to work with frequently used relational databases. While some frameworks simplify database operations by including an Object Relational Mapper (ORM) mechanism under the radar. Other frameworks utilise this ORM to write object code directly into programming languages. More so, programmers can take advantage of this ORM model to perform database functions without writing lengthy SQL codes.
· Reinforces Security
Programmers do not have to go the extra mile to safeguard the security of their web applications from various cyberattacks like SQL injections, cross-site request forgery, and data tampering. The built-in security features and mechanisms that come with frameworks provide a more natural way for developers to protect the website from both present and future security threats. Developers could also employ the features and tools provisioned by these open source frameworks to build upon a custom security specification for their web application.
Disadvantages of Using a Framework
But just like every other thing in life, frameworks also have their fair share of shortcomings. Below are a few of these drawbacks;
· It Deters Learning the Actual Language
Just as earlier mentioned, frameworks handle the implementation of certain functionalities for developers in the background. Because they can learn and use these frameworks to develop and deploy web applications without an in-depth understanding of the programming language itself. It eliminates the chances of these programmers getting to grasp the programming language in better use. Thereby limiting one’s knowledge to only a few libraries that are conversant with that language.
· Provides an Inflexible Programming Paradigm
Frameworks are customised to use specific tools or adopt predefined procedures for developing web applications. This makes it almost impossible to make changes to a great deal of the core components of these frameworks. Even though frameworks allow for the development of custom web apps, there is still a limit to the level of customisations that can be done. Since developers lack the option to tweak certain functionalities down to the granular level.
· Hampers Website Load-time
Due to the amount of pre-defined codes that come with a given library or framework - the bulk of which are mostly irrelevant while building simple web apps. These frameworks often incorporate large files that adversely impact the speed and performance of the website. Hence a much slower load-time is expected of the resulting application.
Although, developers are presented with the option of choosing between a full-stack and a micro web framework. However, frameworks differ from each other in terms of functionality, usability, and performance. Also, each framework has its pros and cons; thus, web developers and programmers are expected to keep in mind the scope of the kind of website they are about to build while selecting from the various frameworks available.
Nick is our Marketing Owner and works from our UK office, he has a wealth of experience in digital & data marketing and is a Certified Scrum Product Owner.