A web framework (WF) or web application framework (WAF) is a software framework that is designed to support the development of web applications including web services, web resources, and web APIs. Web frameworks provide a standard way to build and deploy web applications on the World Wide Web. Web frameworks aim to automate the overhead associated with common activities performed in web development. For example, many web frameworks provide libraries for database access, templating frameworks, and session management, and they often promote code reuse. Although they often target development of dynamic web sites, they are also applicable to static websites.
As the design of the
Original implementations of the CGI interface typically had adverse effects on the server load however, because each request started a separate process. More recent implementations utilize persistent processes amongst other techniques to reduce the footprint in the server's resources and offer a general performance boost.
In 1995, fully integrated server/language development environments first emerged and new web-specific languages were introduced, such as
Although the vast majority of languages for creating dynamic web pages have libraries to help with common tasks, web applications often require specific libraries for particular tasks, such as creating HTML (for example, Jakarta Server Faces).
In the late 1990s, mature, "full stack" frameworks began to appear, that often gathered multiple libraries useful for
Types of framework architectures
Many frameworks follow the MVC
Push-based vs. pull-based
Most MVC frameworks follow a push-based architecture also called "action-based". These frameworks use actions that do the required processing, and then "push" the data to the view layer to render the results. An alternative to this is pull-based architecture, sometimes also called "component-based". These frameworks start with the view layer, which can then "pull" results from multiple controllers as needed. In this architecture, multiple controllers can be involved with a single view.
Frameworks are built to support the construction of internet applications based on a single programming language, ranging in focus from general purpose tools such as Zend Framework and Ruby on Rails, which augment the capabilities of a specific language, to native-language programmable packages built around a specific user application, such as content management systems (CMS), some mobile development tools and some portal tools.
General-purpose website frameworks
Web frameworks must function according to the architectural rules of browsers and
Discussion forums, wikis and weblogs
Frameworks typically set the control flow of a program and allow the user of the framework to "hook into" that flow by exposing various events. This "inversion of control" design pattern is considered to be a defining principle of a framework, and benefits the code by enforcing a common flow for a team which everyone can customize in similar ways. For example, some popular "microframeworks" such as Ruby's Sinatra (which inspired Express.js) allow for "middleware" hooks prior to and after HTTP requests. These middleware functions can be anything, and allow the user to define logging, authentication and session management, and redirecting.
Web template system
Web caching is the caching of web documents in order to reduce bandwidth usage, server load, and perceived "lag". A web cache stores copies of documents passing through it; subsequent requests may be satisfied from the cache if certain conditions are met. Some application frameworks provide mechanisms for caching documents and bypassing various stages of the page's preparation, such as database access or template interpretation.
Some web frameworks come with authentication and authorization frameworks, that enable the web server to identify the users of the application, and restrict access to functions based on some defined criteria. Drupal is one example that provides role-based access to pages, and provides a web-based interface for creating users and assigning them roles.
Database access, mapping and configuration
Many web frameworks create a unified
Some frameworks minimize web application configuration through the use of
A URL mapping system that uses pattern matching or rewriting to route and handle requests allows for
With the increased interest in developing "
Some frameworks provide tools for creating and providing web services. These utilities may offer similar tools as the rest of the web application.
A number of newer
- Comparison of server-side web frameworks
- Application server
- Application framework
- Application security
- Convention over configuration
- Don't repeat yourself (DRY)
- List of web service frameworks
- Rich web application(obsolete)
- Solution stack
- Mobile development framework
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