Posted on 3rd January, 2024

Micro Frontends: Breaking Down Monolithic Web Apps

Web app development services continuously evolving the landscape of web development. You must know that the architecture of applications plays a pivotal role in determining the scalability, maintainability, and agility of any web app. Traditional monolithic web applications, effective in their own right, often face challenges as projects grow in complexity and size.  Enter Micro Frontends, an architectural approach that aims to address these challenges by breaking down monolithic structures into smaller, more manageable, and independent components.

Let’s understand it in detail. 

Understanding Monolithic Architecture

Monolithic architecture has been a popular choice for web applications for a long time. In this model, the entire application is built as a single, tightly integrated unit. All functionalities, user interfaces, and server-side processes are tightly coupled, making the application easier to develop initially but challenging to scale and maintain over time.

Some of the challenges are written below. 


In a monolithic architecture, scalability can become a bottleneck, particularly when aiming to handle increased loads or accommodate growing user bases. Scaling horizontally, i.e., adding more servers or instances is a common strategy to distribute the workload. 

However, the challenge arises because scaling one component often necessitates scaling the entire monolith. This lack of granularity in scaling can lead to inefficiencies, as not all components may require the same level of resources. Consequently, this approach can be resource-intensive and may not optimize the utilization of available infrastructure.

Additionally, the need for synchronized updates and deployments across the entire monolith can introduce complexities, making it harder to implement timely and efficient scaling strategies.


As a monolithic codebase expands, maintaining and updating the application becomes increasingly challenging. The codebase’s sheer size and complexity can make it difficult for development teams to understand the entirety of the system, leading to longer development cycles, increased debugging times, and a higher likelihood of introducing errors.

Moreover, a lack of clear boundaries between different functionalities within the monolith can result in intertwined dependencies. This interconnectedness makes it risky to make changes to one part of the code without unintentionally affecting other seemingly unrelated components. 

Consequently, maintaining code quality, implementing updates, and addressing bugs can become time-consuming and error-prone, diminishing overall development efficiency.

Team Collaboration

Large development teams face collaboration challenges within the context of monolithic applications. The codebase’s size and complexity contribute to difficulties in coordinating efforts among team members. Changes made by one team may inadvertently impact the work of another, leading to conflicts and coordination overhead.

Additionally, a lack of well-defined boundaries between components can hinder parallel development efforts. Teams may find themselves waiting for others to complete their work before proceeding, leading to delays and inefficiencies. This lack of autonomy and independence in development can impede the overall productivity and agility of the entire team.

Technology Stack Lock-in

Monolithic applications often adopt a single, standardized technology stack. While this can simplify initial development and deployment, it also imposes limitations on the ability to adopt new technologies or frameworks for specific functionalities. This “lock-in” effect can be particularly problematic as technology evolves, and newer, more efficient tools and frameworks emerge.

The inability to leverage the latest technologies for specific components of the application can hinder innovation and may lead to outdated features and suboptimal performance. Breaking away from the established technology stack becomes a significant challenge, as it requires restructuring and potentially rewriting substantial portions of the monolithic codebase, incurring additional time and resource costs. 

This limitation can impede the application’s ability to adapt to changing technological landscapes and industry best practices.

What is Micro Frontends

Micro Frontends takes inspiration from the microservices architecture, applying the same principles to the frontend of web applications. Instead of having a single monolithic frontend, the application is broken down into smaller, independent, and loosely coupled components, each responsible for a specific feature or functionality.

Key Concepts of Micro Frontends

Micro Frontends introduces a novel approach to structuring web applications, emphasizing modularity, autonomy, and flexibility. These key concepts distinguish the Micro Frontends architecture from traditional monolithic approaches, allowing development teams to work independently on specific functionalities. Here are the key concepts that define Micro Frontends:

Independent Deployment

Micro Frontends prioritize the ability to deploy individual components independently of the rest of the application. This concept enables development teams to release updates, new features, or bug fixes for their specific micro frontend without affecting other parts of the application. Independent deployment enhances agility, reduces coordination overhead, and allows for faster time-to-market for new functionalities.

Technology Agnosticism

Unlike monolithic applications that often enforce a single technology stack, Micro Frontends embrace technology agnosticism. Each micro frontend can be developed using the most suitable tools, frameworks, or programming languages for its specific requirements. 

This flexibility not only accommodates the diverse skill sets of development teams but also allows for the incorporation of the latest technologies without impacting the entire application.


Micro Frontends promote the isolation of functionality, ensuring that each component operates independently of others. This isolation is crucial for minimizing the impact of changes or updates to one micro frontend on the rest of the application. It also enhances fault tolerance, as issues in one component are less likely to cascade and affect the overall user experience.

Loose Coupling

The concept of loose coupling is fundamental to Micro Frontends. Each micro frontend operates as a self-contained unit with well-defined interfaces for communication with other components. This loose coupling enables development teams to work autonomously on their assigned features without being tightly bound to the internal workings of other micro frontends. Changes in one component have minimal impact on others, fostering independence and reducing dependencies.

Team Autonomy

Micro Frontends empower development teams with autonomy by assigning each team responsibility for a specific micro frontend. This autonomy allows teams to make decisions independently, choose their preferred technologies, and set their own development pace. As a result, parallel development efforts can take place without teams waiting on each other, leading to faster iteration cycles and improved overall productivity.

Dynamic Composition

Micro Frontends adopt a dynamic composition approach where smaller components are assembled at runtime to create the complete user interface. This dynamic composition can be achieved using various techniques. It enables the loading of code from different micro frontends on demand. This approach facilitates the evolution of individual micro frontends without requiring changes to the entire application.

API Communication

Communication between Micro Frontends occurs via precisely defined APIs. This structured communication ensures that components can exchange data and functionalities without creating tight dependencies. The use of APIs also allows for the seamless integration of micro frontends, providing a standardized way for components to interact.


Micro Frontends offer scalability benefits by allowing teams to scale specific components independently based on demand. This contrasts with monolithic applications where scaling often involves replicating the entire application, regardless of which features require additional resources. Micro Frontends provide a more fine-grained approach to scalability, optimizing resource utilization and improving overall system efficiency.

Implementing Micro Frontends

Micro Frontends leverage various techniques and frameworks to implement the architectural principles of modularity, independence, and loose coupling. Here are three key approaches to implementing Micro Frontends:

Module Federation

Module Federation is a technique that employs module bundlers, with Webpack being a popular choice, to load and run code from different parts of the application dynamically. In a Micro Frontends context, this technique allows for the independent development and deployment of individual frontend modules.

Dynamic Loading

With Module Federation, each micro frontend is packaged as a standalone module. These modules can be dynamically loaded at runtime based on user interactions or specific conditions. This dynamic loading ensures that only the necessary code is fetched when needed, optimizing performance and reducing initial loading times.

Shared Dependencies

Module Federation facilitates the sharing of dependencies between micro frontends. Common libraries or components can be shared, reducing duplication and ensuring consistency across different parts of the application.


Despite the sharing of dependencies, Module Federation enforces a level of isolation between micro frontends. Each module retains its independence, allowing teams to make updates or changes without affecting other parts of the application.

API Composition

Micro Frontends communicate with each other through well-defined APIs, enabling seamless data exchange and functionality sharing. This approach is crucial for maintaining loose coupling between different components of the application.

Standardized Interfaces

API Composition relies on well-documented and standardized interfaces between micro frontends. These interfaces define how components can interact, ensuring a consistent and predictable communication pattern.

Data Exchange

Micro Frontends exchange data through APIs, allowing them to share information without direct dependencies. This decoupled communication enables teams to modify or enhance their micro frontend’s functionality without impacting the rest of the application.


The use of APIs provides flexibility in implementing and evolving functionalities. Teams can update their micro frontends independently, as long as they adhere to the agreed-upon API contracts, fostering autonomy and agility.

Single-SPA Framework

Single-SPA is a JavaScript framework designed explicitly for building micro frontend architecture. It allows different parts of the application to be written in different frameworks while ensuring seamless integration and collaboration.

Framework Agnosticism

Single-SPA supports the coexistence of multiple frameworks within the same application. This means that different teams can choose the framework that best suits their needs for their specific micro frontend, promoting technology agnosticism.

Lifecycle Management

Single-SPA manages the lifecycle of each micro frontend independently. It handles the initialization, mounting, and unmounting of individual modules, ensuring that they work harmoniously together.

Cross-Framework Communication

Single-SPA provides mechanisms for communication between micro frontends developed using different frameworks. This facilitates collaboration and data sharing while avoiding tight coupling between frontend components.

Micro Frontends Composition

Single-SPA excels at dynamically composing the complete user interface by combining different micro frontends at runtime. This composition occurs seamlessly, providing a unified user experience despite the modular and independently developed nature of the application.

Benefits of Micro Frontends

Implementing Micro Frontends in your web application can bring a multitude of benefits, enhancing various aspects of development, scalability, and maintenance. Here are some key advantages:


Micro Frontends enable you to scale specific components independently, optimizing resource allocation based on demand. This granular approach to scaling enhances the overall scalability of your application, ensuring efficient use of resources and improved performance.


Teams can choose the most suitable technology stack for their micro frontends, fostering innovation and adaptability. This flexibility allows you to leverage the strengths of different technologies, frameworks, or languages within the same application, supporting diverse development needs.

Faster Development

Micro Frontends allow for independent development and deployment cycles, leading to faster time-to-market for new features and updates. Teams can work autonomously, reducing dependencies and streamlining the development process, resulting in quicker iterations and responsiveness to user needs.

Enhanced Maintenance

The modular nature of Micro Frontends facilitates easier maintenance, debugging, and updates. Isolated components mean that changes to one micro frontend are less likely to impact others, simplifying the debugging process and making it easier to maintain and update specific features without affecting the entire application. Also, it helps to improve your web app security.

Improved Collaboration

Micro Frontends enables development teams to work autonomously on their assigned components, reducing dependencies and improving collaboration. This autonomy enhances team productivity, minimizes conflicts, and allows teams to make decisions based on the specific requirements of their micro frontend, contributing to a more efficient development workflow.


The flexibility of Micro Frontends allows your application to adapt to evolving technological landscapes. You can easily integrate new technologies or frameworks for specific functionalities without overhauling the entire application. This adaptability ensures that your web application stays current with industry trends.

Isolation for Fault Tolerance

Micro Frontends provide isolation between components, reducing the risk of faults cascading across the entire application. If an issue arises in one micro frontend, it is contained within that module, minimizing the impact on the overall user experience and making it easier to identify and address.

Improved User Experience

Micro Frontends allow for dynamic composition of the user interface, combining different components at runtime. This ensures a seamless and consistent user experience while still benefiting from the modularity and independence of each micro frontend.

Summing Up

Micro Frontends offers a compelling solution to the challenges posed by monolithic web applications. By breaking down the frontend into smaller, independent components, developers of any web app development agency can achieve enhanced scalability, flexibility, and agility. 

While adopting micro frontend architecture requires careful planning and consideration, the benefits in terms of faster development cycles, improved maintainability, and team autonomy make it a promising approach for modern web development. As the technology landscape continues to evolve, Micro Frontends provides a scalable and adaptable solution for building robust and maintainable web applications.

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