Business software stacks: How do I choose the best for my business?

Business software stacks: How do I choose the best for my business?

Not all software companies offer innovative solutions when it comes to platforms. Nowadays, choosing the right technologies and tools, such as the right software stack, is an important part of the architectural challenges. A software stack, or solutions stack, is a set of software components that comprise a platform; it generally includes operating systems and/or runtime environments, a database, a web server, and a web framework. If these components work in perfect synergy, then you know that your software stack is efficient and a good choice for your organization.

The components of a stack can range from the general such as operating systems to the very specific like a certain PHP framework. Everything from the OS and web servers to APIs (application programming interfaces) and programming frameworks will comprise your site’s back end. The components on the front end or the client side should enable the user to interact with the application. In the context of web apps, such interaction happens in the browser and is possible because of the following components:

  • HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) – defines the structure of the information presented in the browser
  • CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) – determines the style of the application content such as colors, fonts, and layouts
  • JavaScript – enables the interactivity of the web page on which the app is running

With tens of thousands of different business software applications out there for the picking, deciding which one to include in your own software stack can be overwhelming. In fact, choosing a technology is a project within a project and requires effort, but your choice will determine how your application is going to be developed, ran, and maintained. The following considerations could help you choose a software stack that’s right for you:

Project type and size

The size and complexity of your project will determine the stack you’ll develop. If you’re running a small project, you can opt for a simpler, ready-made solution such as WordPress. For larger projects, there will be higher requirements for scalability, speed, and maintainability. Embarking on your projects will entail a complex combination of tools, languages, and technologies.

Time

The choices you make for your software stack will affect your time to market (TTM), or your target date to finish the product and launch it into the market. If you use innovative solutions, choose third-party solutions that allow seamless integration, and partner with a developer who’s an expert with the tools that form the stack then the more likely you’ll be able to meet your TTM.

Scalability

Providing scalability is important during the development stage. You can do this in two directions: scale up vertically or scale out horizontally. Scaling up will allow you to add other software for new tasks, while scaling horizontally allows you to handle increased volumes of requests. Remember though that the tools you choose may have different scalability potentials.

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Development cost

There are many free open-source web development tools and frameworks. What’s great about them is that their licenses allow free and unrestricted use and modification, which creates better possibilities for their development and maintenance.

One often overlooked factor that can affect the cost of development is the availability of developers and their salaries. A developer’s salary is directly related to the technology they work with and the total number of professionals in the same field.

Popular stacks you can choose from

There are three top trending technology stacks for your startup or ongoing business: full stack, MEAN stack, and MERN stack.

Full stack delivers numerous benefits like unique code for multiple technologies to create a great user experience. It’s a complete solution that suits small- and medium- sized businesses (SMBs), as the requirements can be segmented to save time.

MEAN stack, which refers to MongoDB, Express, Angular, Node.JS, is one of the fastest growing open source stack development framework. It allows for quicker deployment of web apps, websites, and APIs to focus on the complex development process of your project.

MERN stack refers to MongoDB, Express, React, Node.JS. It is very similar to MEAN stack but the difference is that the MEAN stack uses Angular framework MERN stack uses React library. For developers, Angular is less flexible and requires a steeper learning curve, while React provides more freedom and is less complex to learn. What is important is that your developers are comfortable working on the stack you choose.

There are various reasons you may choose one stack over another and newer isn’t necessarily better. If you’re considering the future of your site, you may see the need for vertical scalability, or your development team might be sufficiently adept with a programming language; let both considerations guide your choice of stack.

No technology stack can be called “the best,” and the technology stack of your project should be based on your requirements. Our tech experts at Charles IT can definitely help you with that. Simply give us a call today to get started.

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