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The rapid digitization of business is underway. Never before have more innovative web technologies debuted at such a breakneck pace. Staying ahead of the game means fully understanding the technologies that promise to alter the way we all do business. From progressive web apps (PWAs) to serverless architecture, here are some of the groundbreaking tech trends your company can adopt to stay ahead of the competition.

Progressive Web Apps (PWAs)

Over the past few years, web apps have quickly crept up to being native applications with overall capabilities, reaching near feature parity. Despite being a recent innovation, progressive web apps (PWAs) feature progressive design paradigms that give them functionality similar to that of native applications. Moreover, they do so without drawing upon functionality from platform-specific software development kits.

One of the main benefits of progressive web applications is that the application will work on Android, iOS, and the web from a single codebase. This saves engineers a lot of hours because they don’t have to reshuffle the entire source code to access end-device features.

Strengths

PWAs are the ideal web application development solution for technology companies looking to get a highly functional app to market without spending a ton of extra money on production costs. Although the relatively quick and affordable nature of minting a PWA makes them popular with smaller companies, heavy hitters like Twitter have also used PWAs at the production level. For example, that platform uses them in the incredibly popular Twitter Lite.

Cached resources, predictive prefetching, notifications, and offline browsing are key features in PWAs. These features help keep users engaged with your app. They reduce bounce rates while improving conversions and retaining customers with quality-of-life improvements. In short, PWAs are one of those web technologies that will benefit your business in remarkable ways.

Limitations

Despite all the benefits of a PWA, you should know that it’s not a one-stop solution. PWAs have limited support on iOS. This can be a big problem if you plan to cover as much of the mobile market as possible. PWA development has its own features that your development team should consider. For example, some browsers such as Safari or Microsoft Edge still don’t support manifest.json, which is a file that tells the browser how your PWA should behave. Therefore, you’ll need to use meta tags to specify theme or tile colors.

No-Code/Low-Code Platforms

No- and low-code technology takes a highly modular approach to creating web apps. This technology welds together different microservices like Lego bricks to produce dynamic applications. The low-code and no-code paradigms promise to be highly disruptive in the app development market. In fact, industry watchers expect them to reach a market valuation of $65 billion by 2027. This is up from $13 billion in 2020, according to Statista.

No-code and low-code developers aren’t writing code in the traditional sense. However, the same logical skills used in traditional programming are required. One needs to understand how different components fit together to create a working system. However, this system is much more abstract.

This makes it a lot easier for in-house professionals to alter and transpose the flow of logic and events, as they can integrate new microservices and needed features as they become available.

Strengths

No- and low-code technologies are a good solution for startups on the web in their early stages. You can quickly build an MVP or PoC, bring it to market, and start acquiring your first followers at no huge cost. For example, a small tech startup won’t need to hire highly skilled engineers to validate their idea or add a new feature.

In many cases, it is a drag-and-drop affair. All of the complex code is generated in real time with simple pen-and-paper logic. Rather than tooling around on the backend, professionals can imagine features quite simply. They can implement them seamlessly, removed from the nitty-gritty by many layers of abstraction.

Limitations

Like any other off-the-shelf solution, no- and low-code platforms lack flexibility. Therefore, such platforms have limitations in customization. This becomes a problem once your business starts to grow and scale.

Moreover, customization of web technologies such as these can be a really difficult and costly task. There may also be questions about the security of the system. This is because you don’t have full control over the source code. And this makes the data more vulnerable to security breaches.

Headless CMS

A monolithic content management system (CMS) is built for websites. It features all the website’s content, interface, editor, and custom code in a discrete environment. The most familiar example is WordPress, a CMS that accounts for more than 43% of the total website market share.

Traditional CMS has frontend web content in mind. But the sheer diversity of consumer devices in the modern era necessitates headless CMS. This is a content management system which uses one backend to manage and distribute content across all available platforms and devices. Headless CMS provides content through an application programming interface (API), delivering content in any format required by the end device, whether that’s a VR headset, a smartwatch, or any other device.

Strengths

Because there isn’t any added weight on the front, headless CMS delivers content in a speedy, efficient way through an API. The API-based content paradigm also makes it easier for a headless CMS to integrate with third-party systems.

One of the best use cases for headless CMS includes situations where you don’t need to be tied to specific technologies, architectures or templates. This is because a headless CMS enables your content to move a lot more quickly out to all devices.

Some other perfect use cases for headless CMS are configuration interfaces for home automation and intranet content management. It is also quite useful for web apps with Javascript frameworks, native mobile apps, and performant eCommerce stacks. For proof-of-concept or minimum viable product testing it’s possible to use ready-made templates. This can significantly speed up the development process.

Limitations

Headless CMS is one of those innovative web technologies that can show all its benefits on small projects. However, it will cause additional challenges for sites with a large number of pages. For example, it is not suitable for e-commerce portals or blogs. Moreover, a platform may lack the functionality you would like it to have. And customizing a headless CMS requires a lot of effort on the part of developers.

Serverless Architecture

Tally up the number of hours your business has lost to managing infrastructure, and you’ll understand why many companies look for alternatives to traditional server infrastructure. If your team would rather spend time and resources on product and application development over backend architecture, serverless architecture may be the perfect solution.

Strengths

Instead of devoting additional time and resources to managing servers, serverless architecture breaks down apps into small pieces in a process known as decomposition, increasing observability across your application. Serverless is a web technology that removes the architecture responsibilities from your company in favor of a third-party solution. In other words, it off-loads those responsibilities onto the vendor. This is undoubtedly what makes it one of the top web development trends.

As of 2022, more than 40% of organizations had adopted serverless architecture, primarily through Amazon Web Services (AWS) and its competitors. The key advantages of serverless include reduced cost of operation, scalability, lower development costs, reduced engineering lead time, and no fees or reservations for fixed amounts of bandwidth.

Because in-house web developers no longer need to focus on server management, operation, and monitoring, teams can devote their resources to product development. Serverless architecture, taking an event-based approach over a stream-based system, minimizes failures across the system, eschewing active service connections for chains of events.

Limitations

In some cases, however, switching over to serverless architecture might not be the best fit. Some legacy applications with long-running inefficiencies are less costly when hosted on a dedicated server. Adapting them to modern event-based systems isn’t realistic.

Companies that would prefer to avoid depending on vendors also might need to retain a traditional server architecture, either for security or functionality. It all depends on the specific business case, since serverless architecture can’t fulfill all business needs.

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Innovative Web Technologies Will Keep You Ahead of the Competition

Staying ahead of the game means moving into new paradigms and adopting web technologies that improve your team’s capabilities at every stage in the business development process. Current paradigms will always be overtaken by new approaches. If your business can identify which areas of the workflow you need to optimize, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to stay ahead of your competition no matter what disruptive technologies come to shake up the market.

If you don’t have time to follow all the market trends, that is okay. With a reliable technology partner by your side, you can stay up-to-date and grow your business in a progressive direction. At MobiDev, we keep abreast of the latest updates in the world of technology. We combine innovation and proven solutions to create digital-first software products that meet market needs. Whether you want to create a PWA or headless CMS, we will be happy to share our expertise with you.

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About the Author

Yuriy Luchaninov is JavaScript Group Leader at MobiDev.

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