client-side framework

What is a client-side framework?

A client-side framework is a software development framework that focuses on executing application processes on end user devices rather than the application's own server. Among others, a primary benefit of client-side frameworks is their ability to help developers circumvent the challenges of writing native application code for multiple device and OS types.

As opposed to a server-side framework, which typically uses a compiler and runs on a web server, a client-side framework is usually built using a JavaScript library and runs in a Web browser, such as React, Angular or Vue. Many web developers choose to build their web applications on top of client-side framework libraries that offer access to many standard and proprietary APIs associated with different web browsers. Every client-side framework is different from the other in its use and its function.

Here is a list of some of the most popular client-side frameworks:


Originally developed and referred to as AngularJS, Angular is an open source, front-end, JavaScript framework that can be used with any platform. It was designed by Google to allow developers to create dynamic and interesting web applications.

With Angular, developers can build front-end-based apps without using any other plugins or frameworks. Websites such as Netflix have been built using Angular.


Originally developed and maintained by Facebook, React is an declarative front-end JavaScript library aimed at helping web developers build user interfaces through a "learn once, write anywhere" approach. This framework is best used with single-page or mobile apps as it is simple to use, scalable and fast.


This JavaScript framework uses a model-view-presenter design model that allows developers to create single-page web applications. Airbnb, Hulu, Netflix and LinkedIn Mobile all use Backbone.js, a widely used and supported framework.

Backbone's main benefit is that it separates business logic and user interface. This means developers can easily make changes to the application logic without affecting the user interface and vice versa. Since Backbone is lightweight and flexible, it can be used with any back-end language or front-end template.


Created by Twitter, Bootstrap is a HTML, CSS and JavaScript open source framework that developers can use to build responsive and native mobile websites. Bootstrap is used by companies like Lyft, Vogue and Newsweek.


Cordova is an open source mobile application development framework backed by Apache. It allows standard web languages to be wrapped and presented as native mobile applications. Cordova is widely used by companies like Oracle, SAP and IBM. it provides web applications with Node-API that maps standard web languages to native functionality, such as a phone's GPS, camera and accelerometer.

Cordova allows developers to build their applications using standard web languages while still being able to access functionality using native code, as well as market their apps on native app stores.


Vue is a progressive framework developers can use to build user interfaces. The core library is focused on the view layer only and can be easily picked up and integrated with other libraries or existing projects. When used with modern tooling and supporting libraries, Vue can power sophisticated single-page applications.

This was last updated in March 2023

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