Web app development: These are the trends in 2022

Serverless, chatbots, voice - next year will be exciting. These trends around web development and web apps will shape the coming year.

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Web-Apps

Increasingly large parts of everyday business life are taking place in the digital space. Web applications play the leading role in this. With the pandemic as a catalyst, more and more companies are turning to web applications to expand their own business model, open up new communication channels, or create points of contact with customers. It is hard to imagine life without web apps.

Social media platforms, customer portals or field service apps - there are as many possible applications as there are business models. What seemed impossible to implement yesterday may already be common practice tomorrow. From intelligent chatbots to web apps without servers - these seven trends will shape web development in 2022.

Progressive Web Apps

All the functions of an app without having to install them - that's what Progressive Web Apps (PWA) promise. Instead of developing special, dedicated apps for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, etc., the PWA can be called up via the browser, regardless of the device. Well-known examples of Progressive Web Apps are Netflix, Facebook or the media libraries of ARD and ZDF. The limits of PWAs are set by the browsers in which they run. Google in particular is now pushing these boundaries significantly. The two biggest everyday hurdles for web apps can be solved with Chrome: Progressive Web Apps can be managed with their own app icon on the mobile screen. Until now, direct app invocation was only possible via a detour from a website link. In addition, the offline functionality of PWAs is constantly being expanded. This gives developers and users a whole new way of dealing with web apps on mobile devices.

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs)

Google's Accelerated Mobile Pages deliver what the name promises: they are fast, mobile websites. Behind this is a variant of HTML stripped down to the essentials, which reduces the loading time of a website. Initially, AMPs were intended as competition to Facebook's Instant Articles and relevant for search engine optimization. Thanks to their small size and fast loading time, Accelerated Mobile Pages now have a wide range of applications, even beyond mobile devices. In emails, Accelerated Mobile Pages allow users to interact directly with a website - right in their inbox. Users of Gmail, for example, are familiar with the new, interactive appointment invitations. The advertising industry also benefits as with AMP4Ads ("AMP for Ads"), advertising placements can be loaded with unrivaled speed and data-saving.

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Serverless Architecture

With Infrastructure-as-a-Service and Platform-as-a-Service, the company's own server has become obsolete. The next step in this development is Serverless Architecture. "Serverless" in this case means that data processing does not take place on specially rented, stationary servers, but that server capacity is provided on demand. When computing demand is high, additional contingents are added dynamically. Conversely, in times of low utilization, there is no need to pay for inactive servers.

Voice Navigation

With the spread of voice assistants, navigation with voice commands, voice navigation, is also becoming increasingly important for websites and web apps. Alexa or Siri are constant companions in everyday life; as voice-controlled speakers, via the smartphone or the remote control of the smart TV. For voice UI, UX designers deal with the challenge of making information available quickly and easily via voice output. Instead of pictures, graphics and diagrams, every piece of information is translated - literally - into a spoken text. By 2022, it will be hard to imagine households and everyday life without voice assistants. High time to make websites and apps "voice-ready”.

AI-based chatbots

Many chatbots are based on a deterministic set of rules. In response to the user's query, queries and answer options branch out until the desired decision is reached. However, the decision tree required for this quickly becomes complex and confusing beyond simple queries. AI-based chatbots are more adaptable than their rule-based counterparts. Linguistic data processing (also known as natural language processing or NLP) turns speech or text into data that can be analyzed algorithmically. The AI obtains required information from a knowledge database, into which recurring search queries are also fed. This enables clear management and maintenance of content, is more resistant to linguistic and grammatical errors, and can now be implemented with little programming effort.

Full stack development with TypeScript

JavaScript is firmly part of the web development keyboard. Meanwhile, the language is widely used throughout the stack. The ROQ Suite also uses "JS" in the frontend as well as in the backend. However, JavaScript lacks some useful features such as the ability to type, which are elementary for larger projects. To close this functional gap, Microsoft developed TypeScript several years ago. TypeScript extends the functional range of JavaScript, with, among other things, the typing that gives it its name - and is still compiled to JavaScript. The complexity of the code and especially runtime errors are reduced while ensuring compatibility with JS. The more extensive the project, the more developers benefit from TypeScript.

Micro frontends

Micro frontends translate the microservice approach to the frontend. Instead of a single software monolith that becomes more confusing with each extension, the frontend is divided into several, independent services, as is the case with microservices. The individual components of the micro frontend work independently of each other. Code can be added more easily, services can be exchanged more smoothly and scaled better. Sometimes smaller is better.

Practical, stable, scalable - this is how 2022 will be

Like every year, not all trends will stick to the calendar in 2022. Some, like micro front-ends, have been on the horizon for a few years. Others are waiting for the decisive technological breakthrough, such as Progressive Web Apps with Google Chrome. Still others are experiencing their second spring, for example the already written-off Accelerated Mobile Pages.

The functional boundaries of web applications have been broadened at breathtaking speed. Team meetings, image editing, field service apps - what was once the domain of stand-alone software solutions just a few years ago has now moved to the browser as a matter of course.

The web applications of the next few years, on the other hand, will be all about practicality, stability and scalability. Information and services will be made available to users in an uncomplicated manner. Resilient and error-resistant software will gradually replace clunky monoliths. Flexible hosting and modular, autonomous services will make it even easier and more flexible to scale. Web app development promises to be more exciting than ever in 2022.

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