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Primer on Tech Stack of a Web Application

Posted on 01.22.19 by Ashish Ranjan, Tech Solution Specialist

We are surrounded by a deluge of web applications and all millennial generation are using these applications to perform several day to day tasks. These web applications have now become an integral part of our life and have made the world a more connected place where physical borders have cease to exist. But have you ever wondered how does a web application come into existence? Technology stack is the element that is very vital to a Web App which more or less is the backbone for developing a web application. Technology stack or tech stack is an amalgamation of database, software development frameworks, programming language and operating system which are used to develop a mobile or web application. Two main elements of any web application are:

  • Back end- It is the server side where all the development regarding the application takes place.
  • Front end- What the clients gets to see comes at the front end. It basically involves the interface of the application.

Let us look more closely at these elements of tech stack:

Back-end tech stack

As discussed earlier, back end is the server side where business logics for your application are developed behind the scenes. User doesn’t get to engage directly with the back end. Back end adds mileage to the front end designs. MEAN (MongoDB/Express.js/AngularJS/Node.js)stack is one of the examples of back end stack and a JavaScript driven format that leverages OOPS (Object Oriented Programming Structure). Another popular Tech Stack is MERN (MongoDB/Express.js/ReachJS/Node.js). LAMP (Linux, Apache, Mysql, PHP) was also one of the most popular legacy tech stack . A tech stack comprises of

1. Programming Language - which is used for coding the application
2. Web Development Framework - For faster development
3. Operating System - in which web development is done
4. Database – where data is stored

A programming language is chosen along with a web framework written in that particular language. Popular programming languages are Java, Ruby, Python and PHP. Popular Frameworks are Node.js, Django and Rails are popular Application Development frameworks that provide a standard format for creating responsive applications. Below is a list of some global organizations operating on popular frameworks :

Organization Framework Programming Language
Airbnb Rails Ruby
Instagram Django Python
Uber Node.js JavaScript
Pinterest Django Python

Front end Tech Stack

Front end or client side web development comprises what users get to see at their end and this contact happens through mobile application or web browser. For web, front stack builds upon:

  • Markup language or HTML - Responsible for defining the structure of information
  • CSS (Cascading style sheet language) - Responsible for form factors like Color, Font, Structure and Layout etc
  • JavaScript (Scripting language) - Responsible for driving interactivity of web application

Bootstrap and Foundation are the major framework for HTML/CSS while for JavaScript Angular.js, React.js and Vue.js are major frameworks.

In the next blog we will discuss the approaches for choosing a suitable tech stack.

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