JAMstack done right

by | Dec 17, 2020


Jay lives in the mountains outside of Boulder with his wife and three kids. He loves to cook and chase bears with his dog Ginger. When not chasing bears, Jay works with a talented group of friends building Webscale.

Increasingly, ecommerce market leaders are focusing on enriching user experiences across a wide variety of buyer endpoints such as voice-enabled shopping assistants, smartwatches, smart TVs, as well as, the usual suspects – smartphones, tablets, and computers. Progressive Web Applications (PWAs) enable merchants in ecommerce to address these demands while also enabling a separation of the frontend presentation layer from the backend application layer. If you have an increasing number of critical transactions occurring over mobile devices, or if you’re considering developing a mobile app for your storefront, then a PWA-based solution might be a good fit for you.

PWA architecture enables fast-moving frontend engineering efforts to be separated from the inherently more measured deployment pace of backend infrastructure. By separating these two functions, frontend and backend, ecommerce engineering teams can run at their own natural pace, creating synergy and higher levels of efficiency. In this way, PWAs allow ecommerce owners to meet the requirements of a fast changing presentation layer, responsive to ever changing customer demands, while not destabilizing the complex backend application.

While browser capabilities have increased, so have expectations around speed – both in page viewing and application development. With this confluence of enabling headless ecommerce use cases, increased focus on performance and security, and a standardized DevOps CI/CD workflow, it comes as no surprise that Jamstack architectures, as they are called, have become increasingly popular. The core tenets of these architectures are decoupling the frontend from the backend, and delivering a fast user experience by using predominantly static prebuilt assets. With more capabilities being available at the cloud edge, applications can present a rich custom tailored user experience that is both fast and secure.

Decoupling frontend and backend

Jamstack applications rely heavily on static assets such as javascript, often rendering user specific content from within the browser. This means that application clients built in this way are highly cacheable at the cloud edge. However, reliance on static assets does not mean diluting the personalized experience to which shoppers have grown accustomed. On the contrary, these applications are often far more personalized, relying heavily on API-based interactions for customization. These applications move the dynamic aspect of ecommerce sites from the server into the browser affording faster page loads. Webscale capabilities such as Site Splicing can help easily “route” traffic across different third-party backends, microservices and Webscale-managed scalable API clusters to aggregate a response in a fast and efficient manner.

Simpler scalable architectures

Jamstack sites are often much more scalable than traditional monolithic ecommerce sites, because the dynamism of the site is achieved through client-side javascript execution and not from server-side HTML rendering. Essentially, these applications enable ecommerce owners to leverage the compute power of their customers’ web browsers to make their sites faster to render – with a healthy side effect of lowering infrastructure costs and increasing overall scalability.

Richer faster experiences

With powerful caching functions like Webscale Dynamic Site Cache and CDN, assets can be cached more efficiently than ever before. In the Jamstack world, applications can be rendered in the browser, meaning that your ready-to-render application downloads faster, with a more personalized user interaction, while also being delivered from the cloud edge closer to the user. This improves your customer user experience, and lowers the total cost of infrastructure needed to support the ecommerce application.

Stronger security

Unlike pure CDNs, the Webscale SaaS platform directly integrates the edge to the core data plane, providing better and more complete protection for the application. Further, by simplifying the architecture, using cloud services and microservices, the attack surface of Jamstack applications is reduced. Security can be further enhanced by ensuring a read-only backend, and application changes published through atomic deploys. Webscale’s simple DIY security policy engine, Web Controls and its Cloud Security Suite, help protect the application by taking security decisions like blocking, redirecting, rate limiting or challenging bots, closer to the end user.

By separating the engineering efforts of the frontend application from those of the backend, ecommerce owners are free to address the fast paced needs of an ever changing presentation layer, responsive to constantly evolving customer demands, while not destabilizing the complex backend application that naturally operates at a slower pace of change.

If you’d like to learn more about why Webscale is the best hosting and infrastructure partner for your upcoming Jamstack project, reach out to us at info@webscale.com

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