How to choose PWA framework?
By Sharanya R.C., Community Contributor - November 1, 2022
Progressive Web Apps(PWA) have been making the rounds for quite some time. Let us understand what it is.
Responsive UI opened the window to a wide range of possibilities in the web application space. While the world was busy developing Hybrid and Native Apps, it was an eventuality that everybody accepted which was that Web applications needed to be improved. It was time for the browsers to evolve and accommodate new technology and components.
That is when the future of Progressive Web Applications (PWA) came into the picture.
What are Progressive Web Apps (PWA)?
Progressive Web Apps are applications that run on browsers built using conventional website development technologies but also combine the features of a native application. It combines all the standout features of a web application and the native application without the complexities of having a native app.
Some well-known brands aligned with the PWA framework are Uber, Twitter, Spotify, and Pinterest, among others.
Features of Progressive Web Apps (PWA)
- Push Notifications
- Offline mode
- Installation of a shortcut app on the Home screen
- Updating the App in the background
- PWA can also access the device’s hardware, like geolocation, camera, microphone, and storage.
Benefits of Progressive Web Apps
- PWAs combine the best features of native and web applications.
- No need to worry about the app occupying storage space on your device.
- It is cross-browser compatible and works across all devices
- The developer does not need to learn an additional programming language to develop native apps for every platform.
- PWA is updated in the background, and there is no need to update them manually.
Also Read: Guide to Web Application Testing
How to choose a PWA framework?
Choosing a PWA framework to develop a high-quality application and enjoy the full benefits of a Progressive Web application is imperative. The following factors must be considered when choosing a Progressive Web App Framework.
One of the critical factors in selecting a PWA framework is to evaluate which application delivers a high-performing app. Server-side rendering is an essential component in determining the effectiveness of the application. If the PWA framework is bulky, the appl will take a long time to load.
Size of the App to be developed
Depending on the application’s size, you must choose the development framework. An extensive framework or library with many components is required if the app is large. For smaller applications with minimal features, the PWA framework can be light-in-weight.
Adaptability to Third-party Tools
Frameworks used for PWA development are still in the process of perfection. There are times you need to use third-party tools for certain services. The chosen framework should be compatible with external libraries or tools.
Some PWA frameworks require you to learn a new programming language. It works if your team has the bandwidth to learn the language. If not, you may have to find a language that is easy to learn and uses conventional programming language familiar to many.
Well-documented Progressive Web App Frameworks will be an excellent support for the developers. Also, online support communities are beneficial and prompt in responding to or resolving issues. It is prudent to choose a framework depending on the support offered.
The framework should handle seamless feature updates and the introduction of new features. As the scale of the App grows, the PWA frameworks should make your life easier. The frameworks should support integration with third-party tools and increasing application size.
Maintenance of code is vital for every project. The PWA framework should be able to make code maintenance easy. Frameworks should support the development of reusable components. Any newcomer to the project team should be able to start working on the code with minimum training. Grouping and maintenance of code should be fine for the developer.
Follow-Up Read: Why is Maintainability Testing important?
Choosing a suitable PWA Framework
The following in-depth comparison of three widely used PWA frameworks – Angular, React, and Vue, will help your team choose from the best.
|It is a full-fledged framework with complex infrastructure and a lot of elements. Suitable for larger projects.||It is more of a library and easily compatible with other frameworks. Development flexibility is more.||It is based on HTML and CSS and can easily integrate with TypeScript and JSX. So development is easy with a large section of developers already familiar with HTML and CSS.|
|There is no need for third-party app support as everything is included in this framework.||Third-party tools are required for end-to-end development||Vue covers most of the requirements. However, certain features require third-party tools.|
|It is an entire framework in itself. So, integration and scaling up with other technologies or frameworks becomes complicated.||The apps created using React are more scalable and flexible as there is good support for integrating third-party tools.||It is the most flexible of all three in terms of scalability.|
|Angular has a huge Support Community.||It is a relatively small community, and resolving issues takes time.|
|Google backs it.||Facebook backs it.||A single entity owns it.|
|It is well documented.||Poor documentation.||Poor documentation.|
|It is SEO friendly when used along with Angular Universal.||It is SEO friendly when used along with Next.js.||It is SEO friendly when used along with Nuxt.js.|
|It is a library and easy to implement. JSX programming is to be discovered.|
The frameworks used may differ from project to project depending on the requirements and the type of Progressive Web App. For effective testing of PWA across browsers and various platforms, BrowserStack’s cross-browser testing is the one-stop solution for all your testing needs, with over 3000+ real devices and browsers to test your native, hybrid, and PWA applications.
Needless to say, PWAs need to be tested on real mobile devices to verify functionality across devices. Different device architectures will cause a PWA to function differently, which is why real device testing is a mandate.