By the end of this chapter, you should be able to:
The most traditional system architecture pattern is the monolith, which means that the full stack of the app lives together. This pattern also lives on with MVC/templating engines (such as Flask or Rails), PHP apps with the LAMP stack, and other legacy apps still in use across the internet.
A variation of the Monolith is having the entire codebase travel in the same repository, but having isolated folders (
server for the backend API). In this setup, the server might even be in a different language (Python for instance) than the JS/HTML/CSS frontend folders. While developing, you might start your backend dev server on one port (e.g.
localhost:5000), and your Frontend dev server on another port(e.g.
localhost:8080), and then the Frontend makes requests to the backend all over localhost.
The advantages of monoliths include:
The disadvantages include:
In recent years, service oriented architecture (SOA) and microservices have become more popular. In a service oriented architecture, there exist many backend services (APIs, scripts, databases, etc.) that are decoupled from each other. Microservices can be thought of as a subset of SOA which involves services being as decoupled as possible and also as small as possible (trying to have each service do one main thing).
Developing against microservices usually involves the frontend making network requests over the internet to a development or QA environment. Often, microservices live behind an API Gateway which is a centralized point of access for the services. However, depending on how many services there are, sometimes you can run a handful of containers locally and have the frontend connect over localhost as above.
The advantages of SOA/microservices include:
The disadvantages include:
As always, it depends. You will find many startups using monoliths (largely due to the popularity of Rails) because it's fast to get an MVP out there, while most mature companies / corporate conglomerates have SOAs due to the vast complexity of their enterprise systems. However, there is no clear best practice and exceptions exist for both.
Frontend apps with React/Redux will need to have different configurations of which services to connect to and keys to use. You should store this information in environment variables. For instance, webpack is set up to pass environment variables via the
.env files (if you're using
create-react-app, more about that here).
Your API endpoint requests should dynamically change based on environment. For example, if you're developing and want to connect to backend development services (instead of backend production services) you might query against
api-dev.mygateway.com instead of
When developing locally, you most likely use webpack's development server to serve your content on
localhost. However, when ready for deployment there are two main options:
This is the most common method of deployment. You do
When you're ready, move on to Adding Authentication to a React/Redux App