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What makes product development so extremely challenging in an organizational context? Synchronization and collaboration are the most important aspects of successful product development. As per recent Gartner research, the IT industry is going to see a 50% increase in collaboration tools and architectures by the end of 2022 vis-à-vis pre pandemic standards.

To facilitate streamlined collaboration for resources in the relevant domains, the product development architecture and processes must provide ways in which it is possible for resources to work together, or separately without issues from one software development team cascading into the other. When it comes to many teams working together to develop and support a large and complex product, a centralized architecture with co-dependent features can slow down a lot of processes – especially those of resolving time-critical issues. This is exactly the challenge that the Micro front-end architecture solves.

You can think of micro frontends as an extension to the microservices architecture to the front end, wherein the application interfaces are separate from each other, managed by different teams, and can be built on different technologies.

What makes Micro Front Ends Different?

If you have services in the back end, and even separate teams that take care of each service, connecting them together in the form of a SPA means that one team cannot work independently from the other. It would mean each team having to be mindful of the other teams’ development activities.

For example, if we have an e-commerce platform with services such as add/remove cart items, listing cart contents, and recommendation system and all are connected to the SPA, it would mean changes to any one of these services means checking the interaction of the other services with it – (Has it caused any errors? Has the user interaction changed?). However, if these three features were to be connected to separate micro front ends, all of them would be separate and independent of each other. Each team involved could handle their microservice separately along with the micro front end. This provides for a much more streamlined and independent framework.

What can Micro Front Ends do for Your Business?

Scale Your Product: Scaling products, especially when it comes to integrating new features or expanding existing features is now incredibly easy with micro frontends. Whenever you need to add something new, you can work exclusively on that service along with its micro frontend, without disturbing anything else in your architecture, Moreover, integrating new services is also much simpler.

Reduced Turnaround Time: With co-dependencies significantly reduced, the scaling of the product we talked about earlier can be done at a much faster rate.

Deploy Independently: Each feature/service that you intend to add/expand on, can now be deployed independently. This could offer a wide array of benefits – separate testing, easy deployment and retraction of pilot features (experimentation), focusing more on the business side of things when it comes to user interaction with features, etc.

Greater Stability: You can provide an optimal performance guarantee to your stakeholders for your application, even when tweaking features and parameters for a particular service or adding new services.

Managing Codebases and Repositories: With the capability of each team handling different features, you can handle documentation, codebases, repositories, etc. for all of your services in neat and accessible storage. This makes technical referencing, code-cleanups, code refactoring, etc. a lot easier for future technical resources.

Easy Hiring of Developers/SMEs: It becomes a lot easier to hire resources and save on their training time. They can be directly integrated into the team working on the technologies and services they are experts at, without having to train them for inter-dependent considerations.

What are the challenges/considerations involved with the Micro Front end?

Complex Architecture: Micro Front Ends are fairly complex to implement. The application will now be loading the content dynamically. It will be more complex to get a bird’s eye view of your application. Make sure that there is a business need for you to be making the cost and time involved in this architecture worth it.

Uniformity in Quality: When you have separate teams working on different services from the back as well as the front end, it might be difficult as a technology leader to ensure that all of the services are reaching at least the same threshold of quality.

Deployment Processes Differ: Additional efforts will be required by technology leaders to streamline the deployment standards and processes for each service and its micro-front end.

With the highlighted challenges above, it must be pointed out that these complexities outweigh the benefits for a certain set of organizations. These organizations are those that have a limited scope of work and offerings, where a more centralized architecture would make sense. For growing and complex organizations, however, a micro front-end architecture would be very beneficial for their ecosystem of touchpoints. This would help streamline processes, maintain autonomy for each development and deployment team, and reduce turnaround time for many deliverables significantly. When it comes to the subject matter expertise required to implement this architecture, a technology partner like us can help you by consulting and crafting a roadmap for the implementation of the same.

Once you have identified whether micro frontend architecture is suitable for your organization, there are a number of parameters that you would want to consider in order to be able to build and leverage micro frontends.

How to integrate Micro Front End Architecture?

Streamline Processes: Define your teams, and define how they will work with each other when all the microservices and micro front ends have been developed / will be developed.

QA Automation: Once you have identified how teams will work with each other, you need to ensure a solid framework of test cases and automate use case testing on the basis of them.

Maintain Appropriate Levels of Decompositions: If something doesn’t need to be micro-composed on the service and front-end level, don’t forcefully integrate it as a separate unit. You can have some operations integrated within a single micro front without having to decompose it into several separate ones.

To identify the composable units in your organization that can be leveraged in a micro frontend architecture, reach out to Pratiti Technologies today. With expertise in cloud solutions, full-stack development and software architecture, we are well equipped to assist your organization in choosing the right architecture and development practices.

Nitin Tappe

After successful stint in a corporate role, Nitin is back to what he enjoys most – conceptualizing new software solutions to solve business problems. Nitin is a postgraduate from IIT, Mumbai, India and in his 24 years of career, has played key roles in building a desktop as well as enterprise solutions right from idealization to launch which are adopted by many Fortune 500 companies. As a Founder member of Pratiti Technologies, he is committed to applying his management learning as well as the passion for building new solutions to realize your innovation with certainty.

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