Web Application Frameworks

June Huang's picture

Due to the growing use of the Web and web services, web sites in the Web 2.0 era no longer support only static content. Site content has become dynamic so that users can perform real-time tasks such as checking and sending mail. The scale of our web projects becomes vast and it becomes complex to maintain as new features are continually added.

Web application frameworks provide a software architectural model that aid us to organize and manage the different components of our web application. They also provide some useful libraries for example: accessing the database, rendering templates and managing sessions.

Many web application frameworks use a Model-View-Controller (MVC) architecture that defines the logical components of the web application. The following are the explanations of each model, view and controller:

The application model is used to handle the data of the system. In other words, it includes the data and functions that are used to manipulate the data. Controllers and views obtain and change data with the model.

The view is the rendered component of the application that is seen by the user, in other words, the user interface. The user uses the user interface to interact with the application.

Controllers are used to handle requests from the user and returns the response to the user. It obtains the required data from the model, prepares it into a suitable format, inserts the data in the view and renders the view for the user.

A typical request to the server happens as follows: The user interacts with user interface and a request is sent to the server. The main controller handles the request by determining the appropriate delegate controller and passes the control to that controller. The delegate controller interacts with the model to gather or update data for the view, renders the view and returns the control to the main controller. The main controller responds with the rendered view. The cycle repeats when the user interacts with the user interface and sends a new request.

[1] Web application framework. (2011, May 28). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 15:23, May 30, 2011, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Web_application_framework&oldid=431373642
[2] Model–view–controller. (2011, May 26). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 17:12, May 30, 2011, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Model%E2%80%93view%E2%80%93controller&oldid=430946706