A Complete Guide To Web Application Architecture

Over time, the internet has shifted towards active user engagement and comprehensive functionality through visually attractive and robust web applications. As per Statista, the number of active Internet users in January 2021 was 4.66 billion worldwide, which is 59.5% of the total population. Furthermore, 92.6% (4.32 billion) of people use mobile devices to browse the internet. As a result, the popularity of Progressive Web Applications (PWAs) and similar web solutions continues to grow.

However, before venturing into a web application or website development project, choosing the best web application architecture and the best web application component model is crucial. Many companies have already benefited from using the best architecture practices of the web application for their business.

When you start a new web project, the first question is how to implement the best Web application architecture design and which technologies to utilize. The web application system architecture determines the further logic of app development, functionality, and the interaction of its elements. Therefore, selecting the right components for web application development is vital for its success.

So, let’s look at how the web application architecture and its components, layers, and models work. We have already discussed the difference between Mobile Apps Vs. Web Apps. But first, let’s start with the importance of web application architecture.

What is Web Application Architecture?

The web application architecture refers to the interactions between applications, databases, and middleware systems on the web. It ensures that multiple applications are running at the same time. For example, when the user hits the enter after typing a URL in the address bar, it requests a specific web address. The server sends files to the browser to respond to the request. The browser then executes those files to display the requested page.

Finally, the user can interact with the website. The most significant thing to note here is the code parsed by the web browser. A web app works similarly. This code might have specific instructions that tell the browser to respond to the different user inputs.

Web application architecture is crucial in the modern world because a significant amount of the global network traffic and apps use web-based communication. Therefore, a web application architecture must manage efficiency, reliability, security, scalability, and robustness.

How Does Web Application Architecture Work?

Two different codes are running side-by-side with any typical web application. These are:

    • Client-side Code – This code is in the browser and responds to some user input 
    • Server-side Code This code is on the server and responds to the HTTP requests

A web developer developing the web application decides what the code on the server will do concerning the code in the browser. C#, Java, PHP, JavaScript, Python, Ruby, etc., are used for writing server-side code. Any code that can respond to HTTP requests can run on a server. The server-side code is accountable for creating the page the user requested and storing different data types, including user profiles and user input.

A combination of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript is used for writing the client-side code. The web browser parses this code. However, unlike the server’s secondary code, the user can see and customize the client-side code. This is because it reacts to user input. The client-side code communicates only through HTTP requests and cannot directly read files off a server.

Basic Components of Web Application Architecture

User Interface Components

The web application components represent all interface elements such as activity logs, settings, notifications, dashboards, etc.

Structural Components

Web application structure involves components consisting of client and server sides:

    • The client component is created with JavaScript, HTML, or CSS. Web browsers perform the code and convert it to the interface. Therefore adjusting the operating system is not necessary.
    • As for the server component, it’s built with Java, NodeJS, Python, and ASP.NET For Web Application Development. The server consists of two parts – app logic and Database. 

The app logic is the complete web app operation center, and the Database includes information such as your login credentials.

Layers of Web App Architecture

There are four common layers of web applications:

    • Presentation layer (PL)
    • Business logic layer (BLL)
    • Data service layer (DSL)
    • Data access layer (DAL)

Presentation Layer

The presentation layer shows the user interface and makes user interaction more up-front. This standard web application architecture layer has user interface components that process and display data to users. There are also components of the user process that establish user interactions. Finally, the presentation layer provides all the necessary data to the client-side.

The primary purpose of the presentation layer is to get input data, process user requests, send them to the data service, and deliver the results. The purpose of the HTML script is to define your website’s subject; CSS is responsible for its exterior. In addition, the web solution interacts and responds to the entry of customers using JavaScript and its tools for the web image architecture. The most prominent are Angular and React, which help create motion content.

Business Logic Layer

The business logic layer is responsible for the proper data exchange. This layer describes the business logic and rules of business operations. Two more names for this layer are Domain Logic or Application Layer, which finalizes the processing of customers’ queries from the browser and directs access to this data. So directions by which the web application backend architecture acquires the data and client queries are determined in a business layer. 

Data Service Layer

The data service layer of web application architecture transfers data processed by the Business logic layer to the presentation layer. By sharing the data operated with the business logic layer to the presentation layer, The data service layer protects the information of web application architecture by isolating business logic from the client-side.

Data Access Layer

The data service layer of the web application architecture transfers the processed data from the business logic layer to the presentation layer. The data access layer also handles CRUD operations such as create, read, update, delete. It is also called the persistence layer or storage, united with the business layer. This way, the logic knows which Database to utilize to optimize the data obtained.

Models of Web Application Components

The web app’s model is decided depending on the total number of servers and databases used for a web application architecture. 

One Web Server, One Database

It is the simplest and the least reliable web app component model. Such a model uses a single server as well as a single database. A web app that builds on such a model will go down once the server goes down. Therefore, it isn’t very reliable. One web server, one database web application component model is not usually used for actual web applications. It is mainly used for running test projects and to learn and understand the fundamentals of the web application.

Multiple Web Servers, One Database

In this web application component model, the webserver doesn’t store any data. Instead, when the web server gets data from a client, it processes it and then writes it to the Database, which is managed outside of the server. This is sometimes also denoted as stateless architecture.

At least two web servers are required for this web application component model. This is all for avoiding failure. Even when one of the web servers goes down, the other will take charge.

All requests will be redirected automatically to the new server, and the web application will continue execution. Hence, reliability is better than the single server with an integral database model. However, if the Database crashes, the web application will follow to do the same.

Multiple Web Server, Multiple Databases

It is the most effective web application component model because neither the web servers nor the databases have a single point of failure. Therefore, no more than two databases are typically needed for the former case, while for the latter case, some data might become inaccessible in the scenario of a database crash. 

Types of Web Application Architecture

A web application architecture is a model of interaction between the different components of a web application. The type of web application architecture depends on how the application logic is distributed between the client and server sides. There are three major types of web application architecture. Let’s discuss each one of them:

Single-Page Applications (SPAs) 

Rather than loading new pages from the server each time for a user action, single-page web applications allow for a dynamic interaction by delivering updated content to the current page. Asynchronous JavaScript and XML are the basis for empowering page communications and making SPAs a reality. 

Because single-page applications prevent interruptions in user experience, they, in a way, look like traditional desktop applications. However,  SPAs are designed to request important content and information elements. This results in the procurement of an intuitive and interactive user experience.

Microservices

These are small and lightweight services that execute a single functionality. The microservices architecture framework has several advantages that allow developers to improve efficiency and speed up the entire deployment process.

The components making up an application build using the Microservices Architecture aren’t dependent on each other. They don’t require to be built using the same programming language. Hence, web developers working with Microservices Architecture can opt for a technology stack of choice. Moreover, it makes developing the application more straightforward and quicker.

Serverless Architectures

In this web application architecture, an app developer refers to third-party cloud infrastructure services providers for outsourcing services and infrastructure management. The benefit of this method is that it permits applications to execute the code logic without bothering with the infrastructure-related tasks.

Conclusion

As the web evolves, the associated technologies and frameworks also progress. As a result, modern web application development has replaced the older legacy structures and essential components. Therefore, it is vital to choose the right web app architecture that will determine the web application’s performance.

Important parameters hinge on the choice of web application architecture – web app speed, the robust and secure nature, web application development time, and how it is responsive. The exemplary web application architecture covers the future plans of growth and scalability with what can be called an intelligent blueprint. 

A modern web application architecture requires a professional and qualified web development company that can understand the limitations and challenges that come along with it. And also help you in deciding which framework and what architecture can empower your business purpose.

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