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magento & ecommerce

Backend Framework Development – Nuxt vs. Magento 2

An app’s framework is the skeleton that holds the entire thing together. Frameworks are all about the backend, so regardless of the PWA that you’re aiming to make, you’re going to need a solid framework.

Nuxt and Vue are both popular frameworks used in eCommerce app development, in particular Magento 2. Here’s all you need to know about Vue, Nuxt, Magento 2, and backend framework development.

Backend vs. Frontend

You’ve probably heard about the terms backend and frontend. In fact, you may even know the gist of each. Regardless, if you want to understand the rest of this entry, you should start with the backend and frontend. Here we go.

Frontend

Although frontend development isn’t necessarily the subject matter of this entry, knowing what it is essential to understanding backend development.

In frontend development, the developers are responsible for everything that the user (webpage visitor) sees. They tend to work with CSS, HTML, and JavaScript. Although you could become a successful developer by knowing only one of these languages just a few years ago, you need to know all three today.

The main goal of frontend development is to create a website with great UX (user experience). Ensuring that the layout and the design of the website/web apps remain cohesive through and through.

Backend

The backend of web development, on the other hand, is about the nuts and bolts of web development. In other words, it’s what happens behind the scenes of a webpage or web app. You can’t expect web design to be all visual.

For instance, when you press the Add to Cart button and go through the purchasing process, it’s not the frontend that does the job for you. Every single button is wired to a chain of programming commands that are instructed to do what they do. In the shopping cart instance, it’s these commands that allow the user to add a product to the cart, enter their information, sign in, purchase the product, and do pretty much everything else.

Backenders operate with the framework chosen to develop an app. Often, this coincides with the frontend, which may complicate things.

Full Stack

Are all developers versed in frontend and backend? No, they are not. Some specialize in the frontend, while others are more into the backend. Can a developer learn about both? Sure. Many actually do. These are called full stack developers who are much sought after.

Backend Frameworks

Both Nuxt and Vue are popular framework choices for eCommerce PWAs (Progressive Web Apps). Developers use either of the two when integrating Magento 2. To understand how backend framework development works with Nuxt and Magento 2, you’re going to need to understand more about these tools.

Vue

Vue or Vue.js is a tool that allows you to make modern apps with as little resources as possible. Yes, it’s a framework. A progressive JavaScript framework that’s probably the most popular of all. This is why JavaScript programming skills are prized.

What’s interesting about Vue is that it isn’t backed by a prominent tech conglomerate, unlike React (Facebook) or Angular (Google). Vue is completely open-source. In other words, it’s created, maintained, and operated by the community.

So, Vue is a backend framework, right? Not exactly. Think of Vue as a large umbrella type of a framework that can be used as a backend framework, but not strictly. Although there are various backend choices, the de-facto would be Express.js. It’s a microframework within Vue for Node.

Flexibility

Vue is scalable and flexible, which makes it a popular choice for SPAs (Single Page Apps) and also for constructing smaller, interactive, and integrative parts. Vue can be a small project library, but it can also be tweaked into a full-blown backend framework (Express, for example).

Maintenance

Future-proofing your webpage or web app is something a newbie developer may forget to do. Still, this is an important aspect of web development. Unlike some other frameworks, Vue makes updating very easy and straightforward. Each new release is a significant update with as much backward compatibility as possible (around 90%).

Conventions

Boilerplate coding might seem like a good thing to non-developer types, but it’s actually a time-consuming programming style. Vue makes sure that you avoid such tedious work. With a lot of built-in solutions that help you save time and effort.

These include animations, state management, and composing components. The Vue mentality is as follows: Why reinvent the wheel when you can improve it?

It’s a Developer’s Tool

Although developers use various frameworks, not all frameworks are built particularly for devs. As for Vue, a bunch of developers from various corners of this Earth decided to create a useful, friendly, and growth-inclined environment. This is the birthplace of Vue.

But let’s get a bit more technical. For starters, vue-cli (CLI – Command Line Interface) is a useful tool that allows for an easy start in development.

There’s also Vue GUI (Graphical User Interface), which allows even more ease – you don’t have to start typing cryptic commands from the get-go.

There are also various toolboxes, extensive functionalities, Vue Storefront (which is why Vue is a common choice for eCommerce platforms like Magento 2), and so on.

On top of that, the documentation is comprehensive.

It’s an Overall Market Improvement

Vue was, in part, made out of frustration with older frameworks. This is one of the things that prompted the creation of the Vue Open-Source network. What this also means is that all the annoying mistakes, AngularJS 1.x for example, have been ironed out and done away with.

Nuxt

Nuxt is an improved version of Vue, at least in some instances, which may include eCommerce platforms such as Magento 2. Still, Vue remains the go-to choice of many developers.

In essence, Nuxt is a combination of Vue and four Vue features: Vue Router, Vue Server Renderer, and Vue Meta.

So, is Nuxt a backend framework? Unlike Express, the go-to choice for Vue backend framework, Nuxt doesn’t work like this. It’s even better in these terms. Nuxt works server-side – it comes as with a pre-configured server renderer for Vue. This is called SSR or Server-Side Rendering.

All Vue Benefits

As long as you’re working on eCommerce webpages, web apps, or similar, Nuxt basically borrows every single Vue characteristic that you might find useful for eCommerce integration (for instance, Magento 2). This is why Nuxt is a very popular choice for Magento 2, among other eCommerce platforms.

Magento 2

So, where does Magento 2 fit in all of this? Can you use Magento 2 as a framework? Absolutely not. Magento 2 isn’t a tool used for web development. It’s a tool used in web development.

Here’s an example that will help you understand. Let’s say that you want to build a webstore from scratch. Great. No problem. Hire a developer or learn how to do it yourself. It will take time, it will take a lot of coding, tweaking, and testing. But in the end, you’ll have a store to brag about. This is how it used to be.

But why would you struggle to reinvent the wheel when you can have it already pre-made? Of course, we’re talking about Magento 2. It’s a brilliant eCommerce platform that already comes set up for you to use. No coding, no programming. Well, you’re going to need development expertise to an extent, but nowhere near before.

You Can’t Compare It to Frameworks

Whether we’re talking about frontend frameworks, backend frameworks, full stack frameworks, or any kind of server-side rendering operation, you can’t put Magento 2 in the same basket with Nuxt and Vue.

Magento 2 is often integrated into a PWA or a webpage using Nuxt or Vue, which are frameworks themselves. Both can be used for frontend and backend purposes. But Magento 2 is a tool that gives you a pre-set webstore.

Backend Framework Development, Nuxt, Vue, and Magento 2

People often mistakenly compare Magento 2 to frameworks. Nuxt and Vue, however, are vastly different web development tools. In fact, Nuxt and Vue aren’t really competitors, as Nuxt is essentially Vue but stripped down to its eCommerce-necessary functions.

So, in the game between Nuxt and Magento 2 – there is no winner. But do they work hand in hand in eCommerce backend development? Absolutely.

By interactivated • on November 15, 2020

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