It is a challenging task to design an application and decide on the components of the technology stack needed for it to be built. One way to anticipate and create a great tech stack for your project is to approach it like you would a building. You need your blueprints, appropriate materials, and a crew to make sure everything gets done correctly.
This is similar to how you think about buying and building a home. This is a major decision that you want to be happy with for many years. It’s also important to be flexible. Things can change. Recognize that remodelling is an option at some point.
Planning a project can be difficult because you need to understand both what you want and what you need from your tech stack.
These two points can overlap. You might prefer a minimalistic approach in order to save money and time. However, sometimes the minimalist approach isn’t appropriate for certain projects and it might cause long-term issues for your projects. It is not difficult to plan your technology stack. However, it can be dangerous to focus too much on the past and not make sure that your stack can adapt to any changes during development. These two problems can be solved by (1) identifying the essentials and (2) making the architecture modular so that you can swap or remodel key components when needed.
We’ve seen developers make decisions that force them to use a certain technology or rely on a tool that restricts their ability to expand. Building an application database access layer that works only with one database engine can lead to costly and dangerous mistakes.
What if your success requires you to leverage more than one engine? Consider the possibility of exploring the potential benefits of a different engine.
One problem which can steadily arise from using multiple engines however is the increased cost and timeframe of development. This can affect staff morale and could cause your project to lose funding from stakeholders.
Imagine that you are building an app with an API and a website. You need to ensure that you are able to support the stakeholders’ future plans to develop native mobile apps on iOS and Android.
You’ll first need to make high-level architectural decisions. Are you looking to use one of the top cloud service providers such as Rackspace, AWS or Azure? These can be valuable tools to create your project’s initial architecture.
What services will you use for continuous integration, testing and content delivery? Security, monitoring and monitoring? These are choices you’ll also need to make in relation to your tech stack and project.
What tech stack environment is most suitable for your business? This decision will have a ripple effect on the entire project. It’s important to be flexible and modular, but it becomes increasingly difficult to remain open to new technology once you have decided on your tech stack for a project.
Amazon Web Services (AWS), for example, has AWS Lambda. Microsoft Azure, however (as at the time of writing this article), does not have a similar tool. AWS is a great option if you need to use serverless functions in real-time to improve the design and implementation process of your product. Azure is a great option if you have Microsoft Windows or other Microsoft tools in your office.
For brevity’s sake, let us focus on the project you’re creating. We can see the first four main decisions surrounding the hypothetical application as:
This approach and modern application architecture allow you to interchange any of these components later, if you find one that benefits your business more than the original.
Let’s suppose that you decide to use PHP, MySQL and Material Design.
Having made these decisions, the next step is to decide on the frameworks and integrations for those technologies. Will you use AngularJS 1.5, 2.0, or a combination of both? Are you going to use Google’s Material Design or a different approach? Will you use Symfony or Laravel as a PHP framework? Are you going to use Percona, MariaDB or Symfony?
The goal is to remain as open-minded as possible while still using the best technology for your product or application. This means that even though you initially chose MySQL, it is important to ensure your API doesn’t explicitly require MySQL to work. Material UI and AngularJS are the same. AngularJS might be the best solution for you right now. Things change. It can be very difficult to move from AngularJS or Material UI if they change.
It is a difficult task to design an application and decide on the components of the technology stack. This is a known fact. However, crafting the blueprints, building the foundation, selecting your materials and building the structure is no more difficult than choosing items from a menu.
It is important to understand the components of your tech stack and the ecosystem that will best fit your business. We also believe that it is vital to understand how each element impacts the other.
You will need to update your application as it grows. Keep this in mind when you plan for a remodel. Understanding your needs is as important as understanding your desires. We recommend that you invest time and resources to choose the right tech stack for your application.