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Dec. 19th, 2023

Proven, future-proof, composable: Building in the frontend cloud ecosystem

The best place to build apps for current and future states of web development

What is the frontend cloud ecosystem?

A frontend cloud is an open platform providing the developer workflow and global infrastructure required to develop, ship, and scale your composable application. As today's websites shift toward decoupled, composable architectures, businesses are turning to the frontend cloud as the global scaffolding for their applications.

This allows businesses to opt for the frameworks and tools that meet their specific needs and necessitates that there is a thriving ecosystem of complementary tools.

That is to say, a frontend cloud is nothing without the robust ecosystem in which it exists. 

This article will dive into the frontend cloud ecosystem: What it is, who fits into it, and why this ecosystem is the best place to build apps for current and future states of web development.

Who fits into the frontend cloud ecosystem?

The short answer: Everyone.

A flourishing ecosystem is the backbone of any frontend cloud, and we believe will continue to develop as more tools opt for Headless development. But the beauty of a frontend cloud is that, with the right framework, your application can leverage just about any tool your business requires.

While the frontend cloud can be customized entirely to suit your business needs, here are some types of tools we traditionally see leveraged in applications:

  • Frameworks
  • Database
  • CMS
  • Visual builders
  • Composable commerce
  • Experimentation and feature management
  • Observability and monitoring
  • Productivity
  • Auth

Implementation partners driving adoption

Horizontal Digital implemented frontend clouds with tangible results, including a 110% increase in online sales for a customer in the entertainment & tourism industry.
Horizontal Digital implemented frontend clouds with tangible results, including a 110% increase in online sales for a customer in the entertainment & tourism industry.

But it's not just APIs in this ecosystem. Agencies and consultancies are rapidly driving frontend cloud adoption for their biggest customers—due to the tangible benefits witnessed.

Horizontal Digital, a global digital consultancy that's implemented frontend clouds for customers like Blue Cross Blue Shield and American Family Insurance have seen great success with the frontend cloud, and now implement it in 75% of new customers.

Practice lead David San Filippo of Perficient has experienced a similar uptick in frontend cloud implementation, saying "we've been able to target Lighthouse performance scores greater than 90. This was next to impossible in previous architectures and is helping all our current clients that’s leveraging the Vercel platform see huge improvements in SEO."

We're seeing a majority of new projects adopt composable delivered through frontend cloud architectures...and for good reason.

David San FilippoPractice Lead at Perficient

Decoupled environments for development's current state

The frontend cloud embraces a modern, decoupled approach to frontend development, and gives you all the infrastructure required to connect to any headless tool or on-prem backend. This makes it the top approach for frontend development today.

Leveraging a composable tech stack and an API-driven frontend cloud allows you to experience:

  • Enhanced developer productivity and velocity: Your devs can focus on their unique strengths. In this model, frontend specialists can dedicate their efforts to crafting a user-friendly interface, while backend experts can ensure the seamless functionality of the application.
  • Codebase simplification: This division of responsibilities significantly simplifies the codebase, isolating frontend and backend alterations. Developers can work autonomously on their specific tasks without the need to navigate the intricacies of intertwined code.
  • Lower infrastructure and maintenance costs: Choose cost-effective hosting solutions for each component of your tech stack, like opting for serverless frontend hosting. Plus, you can offload server, security, and infrastructure management to your provider, saving IT and operational costs.

Neo Financial saved 50% on infrastructure administration

To curb tech debt and quickly-bleeding resources, the fastest-growing bank in Canada moved to Vercel’s full-service frontend cloud. This resulted in massive cost savings.

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By embracing decoupled frontend development and harnessing the power of an API-driven Frontend Cloud, you can achieve faster development cycles, enhance code organization, and ultimately create better user experiences.

Open source for development's future state

Unlike in many managed infrastructure solutions and monolithic applications, frontend clouds allow you to deploy with any frontend framework. As such, they thrive in an active and flourishing open source community, ensuring a future-proof platform and ecosystem for your business.

With tech progressing exponentially daily, especially as we enter the era of AI, it's essential that your infrastructure is able to easily adapt to changing business needs.

Open source software plays a significant role in the frontend cloud ecosystem in several ways:

  • Collaboration, innovation, and community support: Open-source projects encourage collaboration among developers and communities. Many frontend cloud projects are open source, because the frontend cloud offers the fastest and easiest deployments. This allows developers from around the world to contribute, share knowledge, and collectively improve the ecosystem—pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved in frontend development.
  • Customization, flexibility, and integration: Open-source frontend libraries and components provide developers with the flexibility to customize and adapt them to their specific needs. This flexibility is crucial in the frontend cloud, where tailored user experiences are essential.
  • Cost efficiency: Open-source solutions are often cost-effective, making them accessible to a wide range of developers and organizations. This affordability can lower the barriers to entry for those looking to leverage frontend cloud technologies.
  • Security and transparency: The transparency of open-source projects can enhance security and trust within the frontend cloud ecosystem. Developers can inspect the source code, identify vulnerabilities, and implement security measures.

The proven approach for building—now and in the future

With its customizability, fit with composable architectures, and bias for open source, the frontend cloud is the go-to choice for Web builders across all industries. It provides the tools, collaboration, flexibility, and innovation needed for building modern, user-friendly web applications. It fosters a culture of openness, accessibility, and shared knowledge, contributing to the ongoing growth of the Web.

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