Definition

client side framework

Contributor(s): Linda Rosencrance

There are two sides to web development – the server side and the client side. A server side framework typically uses a programming language with a compiler and runs on a Web server, such as Node, PHP and ASP.NET.

The client-side framework is usually a JavaScript library and runs in a Web browser, such as React, Angular and Vue.

A number of web developers opt to build their web applications on top of client-side framework libraries. These libraries are frameworks in that they build higher-level APIs for client-side programming on top of the standard and proprietary APIs that web browsers offer.

Once a developer adopts a framework, he needs to rewrite his code to use the APIs defined by that framework. The benefit of using a framework is that it’s a higher-level API that enables a developer to do more with less code. A framework that’s well-written also addresses many compatibility, security and accessibility issues.

Every client-side framework is different from the other in its use and its function. Some of the most popular client-side frameworks, all of which use JavaScript as their coding language, include:

  • Angular – originally developed and referred to as AngularJS, Angular is an open source, front-end, JavaScript framework that can be used with any platform. It was designed by Google to enable developers to create dynamic and interesting web applications. Using this framework, developers can build front-end-based apps without using any other plugins or frameworks. Freelancer.com, Netflix, GoodFilms and many other sites have been built using Angular.
  • React – originally developed and maintained by Facebook, React is an open-source, declarative, front-end, “learn once, write anywhere” JavaScript library aimed at helping web developers build user interfaces specifically for single-page or mobile apps. React is simple to use, scalable and fast.
  • js – this JavaScript framework uses a model-view-presenter design model that enables developers to create single-page web applications. Airbnb, Hulu, Netflix and LinkedIn Mobile all use Backbone.js, a widely used and widely supported framework. Backbone’s main benefit is that it separates business logic and user interface, so developers can easily make changes to the application logic without affecting the user interface and vice versa. Lightweight and flexible, Backbone can be used with any backend language or front-end template.
  • Bootstrap – an HTML, CSS and JavaScript framework that developers can use to build responsive and native mobile websites. Created by Twitter, Bootstrap is the most popular project on Github and is used by such companies as Lyft, Vogue and Newsweek. It is open source and well-supported by Twitter.
  • Cordova – an open source mobile application development framework backed by Apache. Cordova allows standard web languages to be wrapped and presented as native mobile applications. Cordova is widely used by such companies as Oracle, SAP and IBM. Cordova provides web applications with N API that maps standard web languages to native functionality, such as a phone’s GPS, camera, accelerometer, etc. Consequently, developers can build their applications using standard web languages while still being able to access native code-driven functionality. Cordova also lets developers market their apps on native app stores.
  • Vue – a progressive framework developers can use to build user interfaces. The core library is focused on the view layer only, and can be easily picked up and integrated with other libraries or existing projects. When used with modern tooling and supporting libraries, Vue can power sophisticated single-page applications.
This was last updated in July 2019

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