If you ever developed deployable software or a website or an application from scratch, you know it is pretty complex. It is so because you need to take care of many things to make your software fully functional and loved by everyone, like designing, coding, testing, security, maintenance, and many more. For only the coding part, a programmer needs to take care of syntax, exceptions, memory usage, time complexity, and more. To make things easier, developers use a framework that speeds up and makes the application feasible, scalable, and maintainable.
The framework is a platform for developing applications. It provides a boilerplate or base wireframe to develop applications. It may include predefined classes and functions that can handle different functions, including processing inputs, managing connected devices, and interacting with the system and other software. This streamlines the development process since developers don’t need to reinvent the wheel each time they develop a new application.
Frameworks are versatile, robust, and efficient because they are developed, tested, managed, and optimized by experienced software engineers and developers. It lets the developer focus on the high-level functionality of the application. This is because the framework itself takes the low-level functionality care.
II. Why use Framework?
Framework, in short, is a collection of libraries and modules that perform low-level functionalities and offer a wide range of pre-written components and code snippets or templates. Framework help to develop applications faster and wiser. Many frameworks provide to create a customized application or own framework by altering the existing components. We can say that they facilitate a starting point with a bundle of supportive features, saving a lot of development time for a developer.
Advantages of using a framework:
- Provide ease to develop software with outstanding functionalities.
- It reduces redundancy and duplicate codes.
- Make the code more secure and maintainable.
- One could create their new framework with the help of the existing one.
- Make the testing and debugging a lot easier.
- Help in continuous integration and improvement in the functionality of the software.
- There is a significant reduction in software development time.
- Easy to learn and use as each framework usually comes with detailed documentation and a community of experienced developers to help.
III. A Framework is not a Library
Many developers assume that Framework is a collection of various libraries and library collections of predefined classes and functions. But that’s not entirely true; the difference lies in “Who is calling whom”, i.e. the caller/callee relationship as both reusable codes written to solve problems in more accessible ways.
First, let’s discuss,
i. What is Library?
A library is a collection of reusable components that can be used to perform a specific function. Programming languages have their own standard libraries. They include implementing frequently used algorithms, data structures, and system interaction mechanisms like input/output.
Now, let’s took an example of how Framework and library differ by taking house as a metaphor.
A library is like building a house from scratch. Now, you have the choice to make your house as you wish, with any material, the architecture you like, you can design your rooms and interior in the way you want.
While a framework is like buying a new house, you don’t have to deal with the material used, building architecture, and even you can’t design the rooms as everything is provided. But you can arrange the interiors of the room as you wish.
Now, I think you got a rough idea of how they differ. With a library, you can design your own security protocols, how each component will interact, while with a Framework, you use them as per your requirements.
IV. The Technical Difference
Now, let’s understand the technical difference between a framework and a library which lies in a term called inversion of control, commonly called IoC. When the library is used, you control the flow of an application. While when a framework is used, the control is inverted, i.e. Framework controls the flow. It provides you to plug your code in few places.
Meanwhile, let’s see some of the trending frameworks in specific development fields in our next blog.