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5 Relevant Enterprise Web Development Trends

Introduction

Watching the current tech trends are crucial, especially for large web projects owners who wish to outrun the competition. Deploying a simplified technology stack using new web development frameworks can lead to shorter development times and improved outcomes. Here are some ideas.

Trend 1: Optimize Processes

Developers want easy access to tools and a consistent style as well as accessibility recommendations, but each member of the team has different needs, resulting in a complex and dynamic development scenario. However, design systems are a simple and effective approach to the development process. The system caters to each team member’s needs, allowing them to focus on their task by providing access to component libraries and design patterns. Similar to older corporate design strategies but updated to include code-written guidance under version control, design systems ensure consistent digital products while creating an easy-to-maintain and unambiguous collection.

Back-end enterprise web developers face challenges brought on by a surge in microservices, cloud services, Kubernetes, and AI projects, which has resulted in the need for a DevOps approach, which is now the standard in high-performing web development.

Trend 2: Say Serverless, Mean JAMstack

A recent serverless trend in web development has been a response to the need for high development speed without introducing complex infrastructure and sacrificing security.  

JAMstack, a coordinated effort between Javascript, APIs, and markup provides an efficient developer experience. The main factor contributing to JAMstack’s efficiency is its reliance on third-party APIs to communicate between components while retaining client-side functionality as needed.

JAMstack can use GraphQL, React, React-router, and Webpack with a variety of front-end tools, which makes it an elegant solution to the challenges web developers routinely face.

The trend toward JAMstack is evident. Companies like Nike, Smashing Magazine, and Mozilla use JAMstack. A Netlify survey found that JAMstack users deploy the tool at 35% for enterprise software projects. If you are using a high-traffic site then you are likely interacting with a JAMstack developed site.

Trend 3: Use Static and Headless

JAMstack’s lead has inspired other developers to push tasks to APIs. Static site generators and headless CMS are two examples of functional trends in an increasingly server-less environment. SSG-based websites rest on simplified infrastructure that serves not only swiftly render websites but also limit malicious attacks due to fewer vectors of attack.

As mentioned, SSG-based sites rest on simplified infrastructure. They do this by generating page views in advance of requests. Traditional web application stacks rely on a page request before generating pages on-demand. SSG bypasses this reliance on server speed by generating views in advance for every site page. A ready-to-serve strategy is much faster and less reliant on server infrastructure than on-demand web pages.

In headless content management frameworks, the back end, where content is housed, is decoupled from the front end, where content is viewed. The front-end presentation layer is known as the “head.” Without the need for a server-based “head,” headless CMS have greater scalability and flexibility thanks to JAMstack strategies in which APIs deliver content across different devices. 

Headless CMS like Ghost (powering Tinder, Buffer, DuckDuckGo, Duolingo, and Mozilla blogs), Strapi (used by IBM, Walmart, NASA, and Societe Generale), and Netlify CMS originated from JAMstack. And remarkably, Netlify was included in The Enterprise Tech 30 for 2020. 

Headless CMS could not exist without web frameworks like Gatsby, Nuxr, Gridsome, and Next. CMS platforms like Figma and Digital Ocean were developed using GatsbyJS, one of the more popular web development technologies of 2020. Web development technologies like GatsbyJS are in high demand due to the growing value of CMS software. A Research and Markets study reports that the CMS software market is estimated to grow to $1,628.6 million (US) in 2027, with its CAGR rate of growth to increase 22.6% from 2020 to 2027.

Trend 4: Update Legacy Code

It may be hard to believe that legacy systems are in place when so many new technologies have been proven to be better. Yet, many organizations hold on to their outdated systems because they are uneasy about adjusting to new ways of conducting day-to-day tasks. Other organizations believe that updates are expensive and would prefer to keep using their old systems as a way to save money. These organizations fail to consider two things. First, using outdated systems increases expenses and secondly, new systems don’t require an abrupt change.

The anxiety over increased costs can be eased by considering that the US government invests 80% of more than $100 billion on the maintenance of legacy systems. Systems that are 50 years and older suck up the majority of funds that could be used to deploy new and efficient systems. The impacts are felt not only in terms of money but also in application.

For example, on Tax Day 2018, the US government’s Internal Revenue Service could not process e-file tax returns because their entire IT system crashed in mere seconds. The cost of such a catastrophe could have been avoided had the legacy system been reimagined.

We say “reimagined” instead of replaced because web app modernization strategies can renew technologies with minimal disruption. For instance, Ruby on Rails applications can be updated without disturbing existing legacy code.

Trend 5: Try New Opportunities

The trend toward simplifying the development environment continues to reach into new territories and create new opportunities for organizations that do not have the engineering culture to support complex development environments. Single environment solutions continue to be created and explored.

For instance, .NET 5 promises to be a single platform consisting of .NET Core and .NET Framework. This solution allows organizations to move a myriad of frameworks into a single platform. It is recommended that organizations working within fragmented developer environments migrate to .NET 5 or .NET 6 as soon as possible. Such an approach will offer a common platform for developers to create products for Windows, Linux, and cross-platform mobile devices and browsers, using Xamarin and Blazor respectively.

An example of how this might look can be seen in the front-end development challenge of form creation. If developers use React Hook Form rather than Formik, they can leverage the benefits of React since React Hooks was created prior to React Hook Form. The existing framework can register and track form elements in an uncontrolled environment using a hook. The result is a low need for re-rendering and lightweight boilerplate code. Using this tool, developers can easily create a user-friendly enterprise web project.

React isn’t alone. Google Flutter 2.0 release has rewarded web developers with a tool that was previously used for mobile app development. Flutter’s long-term goal is to “enable developers to create beautiful, fast, and portable apps for any platform.” Flutter for Web provides developers with an identical codebase suited for iOS and Android which will speed development.

Progressive Web Application (PWA) is not the latest web development trend, but it’s worth mentioning along with the new technologies. Back in 2020, Google Play, App Store, and Microsoft Store started accepting PWAs. 

Despite some roadblocks on the way to PWA adoption in 2021, more and more companies are making it their choice for enterprise processes automation and speed up. 

Enterprise Web Development Future Forecast

Enterprise web development took a hit in 2020 due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The worldwide lockdown disrupted the growth trend, but only temporarily. Statista’s 2021 report reveals that enterprise software demand is growing with a 13.2% increase from 2020. This amounts to approximately $599 billion US dollars.

From 2009 through 2019, market revenues doubled. Post-2021 is forecasted to continue this trend, making it necessary for businesses to update and adapt their web application technologies now in order to outpace their competition.

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