Peiko logo
Cases
Blog
About Us
  • Home
  • Blog
  • Web Application Architecture: The Latest Guide 2024
  • Blog
Web Application Architecture: The Latest Guide 2024

Web Application Architecture: The Latest Guide 2024

WEB development
12 min
1885
23.02.2024

Now, we stand on the brink of a new era in digital evolution, so the dynamics of web application architecture are undergoing a transformative shift.

 

In this full guide, we embark on a journey through the cutting-edge landscape of web application architecture, unraveling the latest trends and innovations that define 2024. We will consider the types and layers of web app architecture. You will find helpful recommendations on optimizing architecture, creating it right, and more. 

 

Join us as we explore the intricacies of the ever-evolving web application architecture, unveiling the key elements that pave the way for enhanced performance, scalability, and security in the digital realm. Let's dive into the subject!

Web application architecture: definition

According to Statista, the worldwide web app development market volume will rise to $234,70 billion by 2028. Thus, web application development seems a profitable field for starting a business. But to create a thriving solution, it is essential to start with the understanding of its backbone - web application architecture. So, what is it?

 

A web application architecture is the blueprint that dictates the functionality and structure of web-based apps. This architecture serves as the foundation for developing efficient, scalable, and robust apps that cater to the ever-evolving demands of users in the digital landscape.

Overview of the main components

Typically, the architecture of a modern web application encompasses three fundamental elements:

 

Frontend (client-side)

The web browser, the client-side or frontend, is a component that plays a pivotal role in user interaction. It receives inputs, manages presentation logic, and controls user engagement with the application. Additionally, it validates user inputs when necessary.

 

Backend (server-side)

Being the backend or server-side component, the web server is responsible for executing the business logic and processing user requests. It efficiently routes requests to the appropriate components, overseeing the seamless operation of the entire application. It has the capability to handle requests from a diverse range of clients.

 

Database

It is an integral part that furnishes the necessary data for the application. Tasked with data-related functions, the database server plays a key role in managing stored procedures and, in a multi-tiered architecture, may contribute to handling business logic.

 

There are also additional components such as cloud services (for cloud-native applications), third-party integrations, and APIs (application programming interfaces).

The concept of 3 tier web application architecture

Within the conventional 2-tier architecture, two integral components come into play: the client-side system, responsible for the user interface, and the backend system, typically represented by a database server. In this setup, the business logic finds its place either within the user interface (UI) or the database server. 

 

However, a drawback of this architecture surfaces as performance dwindles with an upsurge in user numbers. Additionally, the direct interaction between the user device and the database creates web application security architecture issues.

 

So, modern web applications adhere to the foundational concept of the 3-tier architecture. This architectural paradigm systematically divides applications into three distinct tiers: 

 

  • The presentation tier (client layer) that is responsible for user interface interactions; 
  • The application tier (business layer), managing core application functionality; 
  • The data tier handles the storage and retrieval of information.

 

Creating a visual representation of 3 tier architecture web application, often in the form of diagrams or charts, helps stakeholders, including developers, architects, and project managers, understand the data flow. The architecture diagram for web application also assists in understanding interactions between components and potential points of optimization or concern within the system. 

 

Below, you can see a web application architecture diagram:

In the 3 tier web application architecture, each layer operates on dedicated infrastructure, enabling parallel development by distinct teams. This configuration facilitates the independent updating and scaling of each tier as required without causing disruptions to the functionality of other tiers.

 

Let’s consider each layer in more detail. 

Presentation tier: client layer

Within the schematic of a web application architecture, the client-side component serves as the gateway for users to engage with both the server and backend services through their browsers. Embedded within the browser, the code manages incoming requests and adeptly delivers the necessary information to users. This realm is where UI/UX design, notifications, configurational settings, dashboards, layout, and interactive elements seamlessly converge.

 

Let's delve into some commonly used frontend technologies for client-side architecture:

HTML (Hypertext Markup Language)

This technology, conceived by Tim Berners-Lee in 1993, stands as a foundational markup language. Developers employ HTML to structure web page contents through a series of elements. Its evolution over the years has positioned HTML as a global standard for web development.

 

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets)

It is a popular style sheet language that enables the separation of site content and layout. With CSS, developers can define styles for elements, facilitating reusability across multiple instances. 

 

Despite its simplicity and ease of learning, concerns arise in the realms of browser compatibility and security, and navigating different CSS versions may pose challenges.

 

JavaScript (JS)

JavaScript, designed by Brendan Eich in 1995, reigns as the most widely used client-side programming language. Its simple syntax and interoperability make it a go-to choice for enhancing user interfaces and experiences. However, the client-side execution of JS code necessitates vigilant security practices to thwart potential exploits.

 

React

This open-source JavaScript library, introduced by Jordan Walke in 2013, has gained prominence for creating dynamic web applications with minimal effort. Its ease of learning, reusability, and utilization of a virtual DOM contribute to enhanced efficiency and optimized memory usage. However, the dynamic nature of React's development environment demands proactive monitoring and adaptability.

 

VueJS

It is a JavaScript framework crafted by Evan You in 2014 that empowers developers to build UI interfaces for web, desktop, and mobile applications. With a lightweight toolkit, two-way data binding, and good community support, VueJS is a versatile choice. 

 

However, the predominance of Chinese-language discussions may pose a barrier for English-speaking developers, and its flexibility might introduce challenges in large-scale projects.

 

Angular

This open-source web app framework from Google, introduced in 2016, has emerged as a comprehensive solution for frontend development. Leveraging NGModules, Angular facilitates the rapid development of applications with features like components, modules, templates, and more. 

 

While its two-way data binding and CPU-performance enhancements make it suitable for large-scale apps, the hierarchical structure and learning curve may present debugging challenges.

Application tier: web server

A web server is responsible for hosting website architecture or web applications, utilizing protocols like HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) to handle user requests through a browser. It handles these requests, implements the required business logic, and finally presents the desired content to the end user. 

 

A web server can take the form of either a hardware device or a software program. 

 

  • Hardware web server: This refers to a computer device linked to the internet, furnished with web server software and crucial web app components like images, HTML documents, JS files, and CSS style sheets.
  • Software web server: In contrast, a software web server is a program adept at interpreting URLs and HTTP protocols. Users can access it through domain names to retrieve the content they seek.

 

Distinguishing features include static web servers, which deliver content to the browser as is, and dynamic web servers, which update data before presenting it to the user.

 

Exploring the realm of server-side technologies reveals a diverse array of tools crucial for shaping the backend architecture of web applications. Here's a look at some commonly employed server-side technologies.

NodeJS

This cross-platform, open-source runtime environment crafted by Ryan Dahl in 2009 utilizes the Google Chrome V8 Engine. It enables developers to build network and server-side applications using JavaScript. 

 

With a rich library of modules, NodeJS facilitates swift application creation. Its asynchronous, event-driven, and highly scalable nature on a single thread makes it ideal for data-intensive, data-streaming, I/O-bound, and JSON-API-based applications. Companies like PayPal, Uber, eBay, and GoDaddy leverage NodeJS for its prowess. However, it may not be appropriate for CPU-intensive applications.

 

Java

Introduced by James Gosling in 1995, Java stands as one of the most well-known and effective programming languages. Its object-oriented and class-based nature allows developers to write code once and run it on any platform by applying a Java Virtual Machine (JVM). 

 

Java boasts easy learning, coding, compilation, and debugging, making it cost-effective for building and running programs. Despite its memory space requirements and potential for slower execution due to JVM abstraction, Java's benefits, such as portability and automatic garbage collection, outweigh its drawbacks.

 

Python

Guido Van Rossum's creation of Python in 1991 has risen as a fast-growing and versatile programming language. Its flexibility, simplicity, and extensive feature set make it an excellent alternative to Java for web application architecture. 

 

Python's dynamic typing, coupled with a vast library, supports projects ranging from small to large, spanning various domains like mobile apps, video games, and AI programming. While Python excels in quick prototyping, its slower speed compared to modern languages and threading concerns are factors to consider. Notable users include Google, Spotify, Instagram, and Facebook.

 

PHP Laravel

This is a PHP framework that streamlines the development of custom web applications. As an MVC-based framework, it offers an elegant syntax and expressive capabilities. Developers benefit from built-in functions, streamlined code writing, and enhanced performance. 

 

Features like automated testing, object-relational mapping support, and cross-site request forgery tokens contribute to Laravel's appeal. However, occasional issues with product upgrades and community support limitations, especially for larger projects, are aspects to bear in mind.

 

.NET

Introduced by Microsoft in 2001, .NET serves as a robust software development framework for desktop and web applications. .NET comes in various flavors, including .NET Framework, .NET Core, and Xamarin, catering to different platforms. 

 

Utilizing an Object-Oriented Programming (OOP) model and featuring a modular structure, .NET enables developers to build and manage software products efficiently. Its advantages include a caching system, automatic monitoring in ASP.NET, and platform-agnostic deployment. However, concerns like limited object-relational support and potential memory leaks require careful attention.

 

Ruby

Developed by Yukihiro Matsumoto in 1995, Ruby offers time efficiency and rapid application development when combined with the Rails framework. With built-in security features to mitigate risks, Ruby is a popular choice for projects that prioritize quick deployment. 

 

Despite speed concerns, particularly for large-scale applications, Ruby finds favor in small to medium-sized organizations. However, its popularity may not match that of Java or Python, posing challenges in finding quality professionals. Companies like Airbnb, GitHub, Bloomberg, and Etsy have successfully employed Ruby.

Data tier: database

At the core of a web app lies a pivotal component known as a database. It is responsible for the storage and management of information essential to the application's functionality. Through tailored functions, a database facilitates the seamless search, filtering, and sorting of information, aligning with user requests to present the requisite data to end-users. Additionally, databases play a crucial role in upholding data integrity by implementing role-based access.

 

When faced with the decision of selecting a database for your web application architecture, careful consideration of four critical aspects - size, speed, scalability, and structure - is imperative. In scenarios where structured data holds prominence, SQL-based databases emerge as a favorable choice. This preference is particularly evident in apps such as financial platforms, where data integrity stands as a paramount requirement. 

Types of web application architectures

The structure in which a web application is designed influences its performance, scalability, and overall user experience significantly. Here are the general types of web app architecture: 

Monolithic architecture

The conventional monolithic architecture embodies a consolidated model in which every element of a web application, encompassing the user interface, business logic, and database, coexists within a singular codebase. Although straightforward and uncomplicated during development, the scalability and maintenance of monolithic applications pose challenges as they expand in complexity.

Microservices architecture

This type of architecture, in contrast, is a paradigm that decomposes an application into small, independently deployable services. Each service focuses on a specific business capability, enabling teams to develop, deploy, and scale components independently. This approach enhances flexibility and promotes easier maintenance, making it a popular choice for modern, dynamic applications.

Serverless architecture

This architecture, despite its name, involves servers but abstracts the infrastructure management away from the developer. In this model, developers focus on writing code in the form of functions that execute in response to specific events. Serverless architectures offer exceptional scalability and cost-effectiveness, enabling developers to focus on code creation instead of server management.

Single-page application (SPA) architecture

In the realm of single-page application (SPA) architecture, this type ensures a seamless user experience by loading a single HTML page and dynamically updating content as users interact with the application. SPAs harness client-side rendering, diminishing the necessity for page reloads. Popular frameworks like React and Angular embrace SPA architecture, providing a smooth and responsive user interface.

Multi-page application (MPA) architecture

This conventional design strategy is specifically crafted for applications featuring multiple workflows and varied functions. In essence, a multi-page app (MPA) is structured as a collection of dynamic web pages, each dedicated to performing a distinct function and reloading when prompted by a user's new request. Picture an eCommerce web application exemplifying this approach with separate pages for distinct services such as shopping, loyalty program management, account details, a blog, and more.

 

What sets MPA apart is its ability to accomplish what a single-page application (SPA) might find challenging – facilitating diverse workflows with rich content and features without compromising user experience. This versatility allows for the seamless development of intricate functionalities within an MPA framework, providing users with an engaging and well-balanced web experience.

 

Design a web app architecture scalable and enhanced

In the ever-evolving landscape of software development, adapting to market changes and evolving customer preferences is imperative. Designing an advanced and scalable enterprise web application architecture demands vigilance to the latest trends. Below are key trends shaping web app architecture and their mainstream applications:

Caching system

In traditional architectures, constant database interactions for user requests posed challenges. The advent of caching mitigates this issue by creating a local data storage area, enabling swift data access for application servers. Options include Application Server Cache, Distributed Cache, Global Cache, and Content Delivery Network (CDN).

Cloud storage (Amazon S3)

Modern web application architecture necessitates cloud storage. Amazon S3 by AWS is a popular choice, providing flexibility, cost-effectiveness, and durability. Furthermore, the comprehensive security features embedded in Amazon S3 meet the stringent demands of contemporary digital ecosystems.

CDN (CloudFront)

Content delivery networks (CDNs) enhance web performance by sharing content through a network of servers. Amazon CloudFront, a distributed cache system, leads in delivering speed, lower latency, and improved user experience. It integrates seamlessly with AWS web application architecture services, ensuring scalability and advanced web security.

 

Load balancer

This software distributes site traffic across servers based on availability, enhancing scalability and availability. Load balancing can occur at the TCP/IP level or the app level, optimizing server usage and preventing a single point of failure.

Multiple servers

Traditional architectures may falter with increased user volume. A multi-server architecture addresses this by connecting multiple OS deployment servers to a single or multiple databases. This stateless architecture, with server replicas, ensures fault tolerance.

Message queues

In the era of microservices, message queues play a crucial role in facilitating communication between independent building blocks. Amazon SQS, a messaging queue by Amazon, enhances scalability, decouples processes, and improves reliability and performance. Other options include IBM MQ, Apache Kafka, Azure Scheduler, RabbitMQ, and others.

 

By staying at the forefront of industry advancements, we ensure that our web applications meet the evolving needs and expectations of users.

Best practices for web application architecture development

Crafting a web application architecture is a fluid and intricate journey that requires a steadfast commitment to industry best practices, ensuring a foundation of strength, scalability, and security. Let's delve into the essential guidelines that shape a successful development process:

Optimize a web server

Scalability is pivotal in handling the dynamic demands of user traffic. Optimizing a web server involves meticulous configuration adjustments, implementing load balancing mechanisms, and deploying effective caching strategies. This ensures that the web server can gracefully handle varying workloads and deliver optimal performance during periods of heightened user activity.

 

Adapt the cloud with elastic infrastructure

Embracing cloud services with elastic infrastructure unlocks the potential for dynamic resource scaling based on demand. Cloud platforms provide unparalleled flexibility, cost-effectiveness, and the capability to seamlessly adapt to fluctuating workloads. This approach ensures that your web application can effortlessly scale its resources to meet evolving user requirements.

Use immutable infrastructure

The concept of immutable infrastructure treats infrastructure components as unchangeable entities, reducing configuration drift and promoting consistency across different environments. Adopting an immutable infrastructure approach enhances deployment efficiency, minimizes errors, and fosters a more reliable system.

Apply microservice and serverless approach

Breaking down applications into microservices or embracing serverless architectures introduces agility, scalability, and simplified maintenance. This modular approach facilitates independent development and deployment of services, providing flexibility and fault isolation that are crucial in today's rapidly changing technological landscape.

Implement multi-tenant architecture

This architecture accommodates multiple users or businesses sharing the same application infrastructure. Balancing resource efficiency with data isolation and security measures, this approach is particularly advantageous for software as a service (SaaS) applications, promoting efficient resource utilization and streamlined maintenance.

Secure the architecture with PCI, HIPAA, and SOC2 guidelines

Prioritizing security is a non-negotiable aspect of modern web application architecture development. These are some of the most popular security protocols:

 

  • PCI DSS: The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard establishes a comprehensive framework of policies and procedures tailored for financial enterprises entrusted with customers' sensitive financial data. Compliance with this security protocol mandates organizations to deploy and uphold a reliable web application firewall architecture, accompanied by meticulous adherence to stringent firewall regulations. In general, adhering to PCI DSS guidelines ensures robust security measures are in place to safeguard sensitive financial information. 
  • HIPAA: Enforcing compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a crucial mandate for healthcare organizations. This legislation plays a pivotal role in mitigating healthcare fraud while safeguarding the confidentiality of private health information, reinforcing trust and security within the healthcare sector.
  • SOC 2: The auditing procedures outlined in SOC 2 (Service Organization Control Type 2) are essential for verifying that cloud service providers effectively and securely manage data. While not mandatory, adhering to SOC 2 guidelines is a prudent choice for enterprises committed to securing customer data.

 

Adhering to industry-specific guidelines such as HIPAA for healthcare, PCI DSS for payment card industry compliance, and SOC2 for service organizations establishes a robust framework to safeguard sensitive data, ensuring regulatory compliance and user trust.

Automate code deployments in a DevOps CI/CD environment

Embracing a DevOps culture with CI/CD (continuous integration and continuous deployment) automates the code deployment process. This streamlined approach accelerates development cycles, minimizes errors, and ensures a reliable and efficient release pipeline. Developers can confidently deliver updates and improvements to the application with greater speed and efficiency.

Create your web architecture with IaC tools

Infrastructure as code (IaC) tools such as CloudFormation or Terraform empower developers to manage and provision infrastructure through code. This approach enhances repeatability, consistency, and version control for infrastructure configurations, fostering an environment where changes are traceable, reversible, and collaborative.

Our expertise in web application development

Peiko is a trusted firm that specializes in providing custom software development services. We offer professional web, mobile, blockchain development services, and many more. 

 

Our expertise in web application development is prominently showcased through the successful realization of the TopUp Balance project - a cutting-edge online service designed for the seamless replenishment of mobile operator accounts globally. It is a great web application architecture example. 

 

Whether it's topping up mobile balances or acquiring digital products such as TV and Internet services, with TopUp Balance, users can effortlessly complete transactions in just a few clicks.

 

A cornerstone of our solution lies in the seamless integration of various payment systems and crypto-wallets. This strategic move empowers users to swiftly and securely pay for their chosen services, establishing a reliable and efficient financial ecosystem.

 

Indeed, in addition to delivering a user-friendly financial platform, our expertise extends to crafting a robust web application architecture that ensures the seamless operation and scalability of TopUp Balance. This modern and reliable finance solution has garnered positive feedback from end-users, highlighting our commitment to excellence in web application development.

Results of our work:

Diverse payment methods

We've successfully implemented 19 payment methods, offering users a broad spectrum of options for transactions.

 

Multilingual accessibility

The platform caters to a global audience with 11 supported languages, fostering inclusivity and user-friendly interactions.

 

Innovative bonus program

A thoughtfully devised bonus program adds value for users, incentivizing their engagement with the platform.

 

Testimonial integration

Building trust is paramount. We've incorporated a testimonials section, allowing users to share their experiences and insights.

 

SEO optimization

Our team has implemented robust SEO (search engine optimization) strategies to enhance the platform's visibility and reach.

 

User verification mechanism

To ensure security and authenticity, a user verification system has been seamlessly integrated.

 

Global reach

TopUp Balance spans 196 countries, providing a geolocation coverage that addresses a diverse global audience.

 

Extensive product catalog

The platform boasts over 466 active goods and services, with an additional 7695 offerings in reserve, showcasing its comprehensive and ever-expanding portfolio.

 

Our expertise in web application development has been instrumental in transforming the TopUp Balance concept into a fully functional and globally accessible platform. From intricate payment integrations to user-centric design, we've crafted a great web application architecture example that not only caters but exceeds the expectations of a manifold and dynamic user base. 

 

You can also see more of our projects in our portfolio.

Conclusion

A robust, high-performance, scalable, and secure web application architecture stands as an indispensable requirement for any digital product operating on a web platform, for example, a crypto currency exchange development

 

Consequently, the design and implementation of such architecture demand the expertise of seasoned software engineering professionals with a track record of crafting tailored solutions within your industry. 

 

Should you seek insights into the customized web application architecture example we can devise for your business, feel free to contact us and tell us about your requirements. Our experienced specialists are committed to ensuring your product receives a meticulously tailored and cutting-edge web application architecture.

 

FAQ
How to design web application architecture?
How do you draw a system architecture diagram for web application?
What is web application architecture?
Got a question? Drop us an email at [email protected]
Rate this article
5.0 / 5.0
Comments 0
Dima Lebed
Co-founder & CTO at Peiko
Let's build something great together
Upload a file
Peiko logo