Micro Frontends – A Must-Read Guide for You

May 17, 2024
Micro Frontends A Must Read Guide for You

Building entire frontend applications as one big unit can quickly become a headache in web development. As they grow larger and more complex, these monolithic applications can become inflexible and hard to manage. That’s where micro frontends step in and change the game. They offer a revolutionary approach to creating user interfaces. Today’s post will take a deep dive into the world of micro frontends. It explains what they are, the advantages they bring, real-world examples of how they’re used, and presents the best practices to implement them effectively. So, let’s get started!

What are Micro Frontends?

Imagine a mosaic artwork where every tiny tile contributes to the creation of a magnificent masterpiece. Micro frontends work similarly. They break down a frontend application into smaller, self-contained units that operate independently. Each of these units handles a specific functionality or feature area within the application. Then, just like puzzle pieces, these micro frontends are carefully pieced together to form the final user interface that people interact with.

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Micro Frontend vs. Microservices

Micro frontends and microservices are architectural patterns for developing scalable and flexible applications. When it comes to micro frontend vs. microservices, the former is an architectural component used for the front end, while the latter is for the back end.

Microservices divide the server side into independent services, and micro frontends do the same for the client side, breaking it down into modular components. They handle distinct issues and are appropriate for different contexts.

Micro frontends are employed in complicated web applications when many teams must work independently on distinct sections of the user interface. By splitting down the front end into smaller, self-contained modules, each team can build and deploy its features independently, resulting in faster development cycles and easier maintenance. This strategy is especially beneficial in large organizations with several frontend teams or when dealing with old codebases that must be gradually upgraded.

In contrast, microservices are used to construct an application’s backend architecture. Microservices divide the backend into small, autonomous services, each of which is responsible for a certain business capability. This improves scalability, isolation, and independent service deployment. Microservices are better suited to applications with sophisticated business logic that require flexibility in technology options as well as the capacity to grow individual components independently.

What Benefits Does the Micro Frontend Architecture Offer?

Micro frontend architecture offers a bunch of benefits compared to traditional monolithic architectures:

Efficiency: With micro frontends, development teams can work independently and simultaneously on different features, which speeds up the development process. Bug fixes and new features are isolated within their respective micro frontends so they don’t disrupt other functionalities.

Maintainability: Understanding, maintaining, and updating the codebase is much easier when the application is divided into smaller, clearly defined pieces. Large apps with several teams focusing on distinct features will find this particularly helpful.

Scalability: Micro frontends allow specific functionalities to be scaled independently based on usage patterns. Let’s say there’s a sudden surge in traffic on a product listing page in an e-commerce app. With micro frontends, you can easily allocate more resources to that particular micro frontend to handle the increased load.

Real-World Use Cases

Micro frontends work great for many setups where keeping things simple and easy to fix is important:

E-commerce platforms: Different small frontends can manage items for sale, shopping carts, and the payment process. This lets each part update and add new stuff on its own, making things better for users.

Multi-tenant platforms: Micro frontends can be an ideal choice. Every user can have their frontend, which means they can change things without messing up the main features everyone uses.

Small services setups: Micro frontends can bring together a smooth user side that fits nicely with small services designs. Each small service in charge of a certain backend job can match with a micro frontend. This makes the whole user side feel connected.

How to Implement Micro Frontend Architecture?

Micro frontends are great but not always the best pick for every job. Here’s how to tell if they’re right for your work:

Project Size: For small apps with just a few features, handling many micro frontends and the tricky talk between them might be challenging. A simple, big-block design is better.

Team Work: To make micro frontends work well, teams need to talk and work together smoothly. If your team is split up or doesn’t talk well, trying micro frontends might make things tough.

Several frameworks can make micro frontend development easier by providing tools and functionalities to streamline the process. Let’s take a look at a few of them:

  1. Single SPA: This is a popular framework that allows you to implement route-based composition of micro frontends. It’s great for efficiently managing the lifecycles of micro frontends, including loading, unloading, and communication between them.
  2. NX: It offers a comprehensive set of tools and utilities specifically designed for building modern frontend applications, including support for micro frontend architectures. With NX, you can easily manage project dependencies, streamline development workflows, and ensure consistency across your micro frontends.
  3. Vue.js: Unlike Single SPA and NX, which work with any UI library, Vue.js is a framework specifically built for creating micro frontends using the Vue.js library. It comes with features that are tailored for Vue.js development, making it easier to create and integrate micro frontends within Vue.js ecosystems.

So, depending on your needs and the UI library you’re using, you can choose the framework that suits you best.

See more: Popular React UI Frameworks To Build Applications In 2024

Challenges and Best Practices

Micro frontends have their advantages, but they also come with some challenges that need careful consideration:

  1. Increased Complexity: When you’re dealing with multiple micro frontends, effective communication and collaboration across teams become crucial. It’s important to establish clear ownership boundaries, define APIs, and use standardized tooling.
  2. State Management: Coordinating data flow and avoiding conflicts between micro frontends require well-defined strategies for state management. It’s important to use shared state management solutions like Redux or MobX to maintain data consistency across the application.

To tackle these challenges and ensure successful micro frontend development, here are some best practices:

  1. Clear Ownership and Communication: Clearly define ownership boundaries for each micro frontend. Make it clear which team is responsible for development, maintenance, and updates. Establish effective communication channels to facilitate collaboration and information exchange between teams.
  2. Standardized APIs: Implement well-defined APIs for interaction between micro frontends. These APIs should specify how micro frontends can exchange data and interact with each other. This helps prevent conflicts and ensures smooth integration.
  3. Shared State Management Solutions: Utilize shared state management solutions like Redux or MobX to manage application state across micro frontends. These solutions provide a centralized mechanism for storing and updating application state, ensuring consistency and preventing data conflicts.


Understanding the concepts, benefits, implementation methodologies, and best practices presented in this comprehensive guide will prepare you to use micro frontends effectively. Keep in mind that a thorough analysis of your project’s specific objectives and resources is required to assess whether micro frontends are the appropriate architectural solution. Micro frontends can be an effective tool for creating complex, scalable, and maintainable web applications; however, their deployment necessitates careful design, teamwork, and the use of best practices.

Read more: Top 10 Front-end Design Principles for Developers

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