As I mentioned in an earlier post, Single Paged Applications provide several advantages to the user. They provide a smooth and fast user experience.
Having worked in a large scale single paged application development project and co-authoring BoilerplateJS, I’ve realized Single Page Applications are easy to de-couple and modularize. For me, development wise, it is very easy to manage Single Paged Applications.
You may start your desktop application or web application with a clean code base, with a nice modularized architecture with a good separation of concerns. But I have seen many applications where the code starts to get messy as the development progresses. Given you have the right tools and follow good practices, a Single Paged Application is best type of application for a clean and maintainable code base.
Unlike traditional web applications, the presentation logic and the main logic of the application are highly de-coupled.
On a Single Page Application, the server-side will be responsible for:
- Handling CRUD (Create, Read, Update and Delete) operations
- Executing different operations and workflows (these may include changing states of entities, updating database records)
- Authentication and Authorization (this should always be done on the server side to ensure that the requests are legitimate)
- Validation of web requests
- Providing an interface for the client application to perform operations (typically done via a REST API)
With the help of proper frameworks the above tasks can be handled easily on the server side. Entities that are related could be treated as modules. Aspect Oriented Programming techniques can be used for authorization.
The client side will be responsible for:
- Populating and rendering the UI with proper data
- Access the server via AJAX
- Perform client side routing
- Perform client side validation
If a proper REST API is defined, back end developers and front end developers can work simultaneously on the project easily. And since the front end and the back end are de-coupled by the REST API it is easy to change these layers without significant modifications. Scaling up the back end or providing a new interface can be done with minimal impact.