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Basically, a framework is a collection of code designed to help build faster applications, but these days there are also significant add-ons such as enhanced security, prepackaged modules for customization, theming options and much more.
It is also possible for the frameworks to help their users with software version control, meaning that you no longer have to update the new files manually, and overwriting the wrong files is no longer a serious issue, since the frameworks and IDE’s control everything automatically, often taking backups before any change.
Furthermore, utilizing frameworks for web and app development speeds up the process in most cases, since installing new packages, modules and projects can be done with a few simple clicks, keeping all passwords, users, databases and other credentials neatly wrapped up in a single file, allowing for easy access.
We have asked Mark Pedersen from Nodes App Development Agency to give his input in regards to choosing the best framework for a project.
Decide on important functions first
Make sure that the framework you choose supports all the platforms you wish to cater to, for instance Windows, MacOS, Linux and so forth. You wouldn’t be the first, or last, to develop half an application in a particular framework, only to find out down the road that you need another framework since you also need support for old platforms or for brand new ones for that matter.
Therefore it is important to make a list before starting any project containing the following data:
- Type of use (Web, App, Desktop)
- Platforms (Windows, Linux, iOS, Android, MacOS etc.)
- Devices (Mobile, Computers, Tablets etc.)
- Programming Language (PHP, HTML, C#, Java etc.)
- Open-Source or Not
Decide on the use
Next thing to choose is what sort of framework you are looking for. There are several ways of going about this, but one of the easiest ways is to visit AllFrameworks.net, a website which lists the most popular frameworks for all categories, and allows the user to filter through all options, such as what platform, operating system or device the code should work on or with.
Decide on programming languages
When choosing a framework, it can be a good idea to find one that doesn’t have too much bloat in terms of features and functions, meaning that if you just want to develop a PHP/HTML website, don’t use Apache Cordova, since it has tons of code for App Development also, meaning that your application will be heavier and feel more sluggish, compared to using something like jQT which is meant as a lightweight web development framework, without unnecessary features.
Open-Source or Commercial?
One of the more common questions has to be whether to go free or paid. There are many reasons why one would choose a free open-source framework apart from the obvious that there are 0 costs associated with it, a few being;
- Open-Source frameworks usually have 100’s of contributors all adding new modules, safety features and regular updates.
- Free frameworks are easy for anyone to learn, and therefore it is easy to find information and help as well
- Paid frameworks are guaranteed support and further updates / active development, and you often get one tech supporter assigned to your project, so that they always know exactly who you are, and what you are developing.
Commercial frameworks often have solid code, and an entire team of dedicated in-house developers all working long hours every day to ensure the best features.