When To Use Micro Frontends
Micro frontends have become a very popular topic of conversation and are changing the way that enterprises think about frontend development.
Micro frontends are an extension of the idea of microservices, which decouple functionalities organized around business processes in order to create better flexibility in independently developing, maintaining, and updating them. Micro frontends take this idea and extend it all the way up to the frontend code, enabling a feature to be independently developed from the database all the way up to the user experience.
A micro frontend architecture is certainly innovative, but you and others in your organization may be asking if and when you should begin adopting this methodology. This type of architecture is more complex than a frontend monolith, and so you may be wondering how micro frontends will help you. And if that’s the case, it’s important to know what objectives micro frontends enable you to perform.
Here are 4 goals that micro frontends help you accomplish with your applications and in your organization. If these are goals you are currently pursuing, then you may want to begin using micro frontends.
You want to empower cross-functional teams.
Cultivating an organizational DevOps culture that breaks down silos to work more collaboratively requires a change in mindset. But it also requires new tools. When you want to empower smaller teams with high ownership over a given feature, you will need to decouple a smaller section of code from your frontend monolith.
Micro frontends are a technology that enables you to empower cross-functional teams that are able to approach the development of new features holistically. A team can be given ownership over developing, maintaining, and updating their service or feature, from the database all the way up to the user experience.
One key to developing effective cross-functional teams is keeping them small. Jeff Bezos, the President and CEO of Amazon, famously calls this the “Two Pizza Rule.” According to Bezos, if you are unable to adequately feed the people in the meeting with two pizzas, there are too many people there.
Keeping teams small increases the level of personal ownership, enables quicker decisionmaking and shorter meetings, and ultimately leads to better results. You can leverage micro frontends to help you create this kind of company culture.
You want to increase the agility of your development processes.
Since micro frontends enable you to empower cross-functional teams that operate independently, your organization is able to release new features when they’re ready, rather than waiting on a monolithic frontend that’s only updated on a set schedule or when other teams are ready with updates of their own. This is particularly true for large organizations with large apps.
In fact, your organization and application needs may grow to the point where it’s difficult for any given member on a monolithic frontend team to have a deep knowledge of every aspect of the frontend.
So instead of having one team with a superficial knowledge of many things, it’s better to empower teams that have deep knowledge of one or a few. This kind of focus cultivates faster innovation, as each team is not only thoroughly acquainted with the challenges and opportunities within their feature or area but also empowered to continue improving it at the pace of their ideas.
A micro frontend architecture supports continuous integration-continuous delivery and greatly decreases organizational friction. This allows your teams to spend less time jumping through organizational hoops and more time working to improve your application’s usability. Their efforts are more focused on anticipating and responding to market changes rather than on organizational dynamics.
You want to scale your applications and your teams quickly.
Scaling issues are the kinds of problems every organization wants to have, because it means that you’re growing. But scaling is still a difficult challenge nonetheless. Micro frontends are helpful in alleviating some pain points for a company that’s seeking to scale.
When you utilize a micro frontend architecture, you’re able to scale your teams organically to meet current business needs as your company expands to offering new products, services, and features. When you need to add a new functionality to your user experience, spin up a new cross-functional team to own the process. That’s something you should be able to do relatively quickly.
Scaling in this fashion will minimize any effect on the code, as well as your organization. Codebases will remain manageable in terms of their size and complexity, and you will add to your organization by adding new teams rather than integrating new hires into existing team structures.
You want to increase reusability and standardize UX across multiple applications.
Seeking to create a consistent brand experience is a difficult task for any organization, particularly when your brand is represented across multiple applications and channels. But micro frontends can help here in a couple of key ways. Since they’re reusable across multiple projects within your organization, you can leverage them to serve a similar function across more than one application.
This enables you to not only create a consistent brand experience but also to decrease your organization’s overall effort in successive projects. This will save you both time and money, allowing you to put more resources toward your next innovation.
Develop using micro frontends with Entando.
Here at Entando, we’re passionate about transforming the way that enterprises build applications. If you are currently using a frontend monolith and are curious about how to transition to a micro frontend architecture, we write about how to make the transition here.
We’d also love for you to consider using our platform. Entando is the leading open source micro frontend platform for enterprises to build modern web applications on Kubernetes. With Entando, developers can quickly generate micro frontends and easily assemble them onto a single page. Our platform empowers fast innovation of features and serves as a composition layer for your application components.
Entando also promotes reusability of UX components across an organization’s apps with our Digital Exchange, a shared component library that can serve as a repository of common content, including images, JSON data, and CSS--enabling you to decrease development effort across projects while maintaining a living style guide. You can even update a feature once to update it everywhere.
Learn more about what you can do with Entando’s modern development stack here.