In addition to classical Desktop frontend technologies such as WinForms or WPF even large industrial companies can’t deny that there is an interesting movement towards web frontend technologies. As a UX company that also supports its clients in frontend engineering to a large extent, we are often asked whether web technologies fit their needs and if so which one to choose. Besides many relevant libraries and frameworks, the two predominant players are Angular* and React. The question which one to favor over the other is not a trivial one. It can only be answered through comparing up several criteria according to a set of defined developer requirements. In the following I will outline the answers we found at Centigrade, and that will be most helpful for our clients.
Why choose a web technology?
At first, we must answer, why it could be reasonable to use web technologies for frontend engineering at all. Deciding to do this because of famous buzz words or trends is not a good reason. However, this is often an initial motivation for this topic to arise. Web frontend technologies are a chance to develop systems that are truly cross-platform. This can refer not only to operating systems (like Windows or Unix) but also to mobile devices, and basically every system that runs a browser. Modern client-side web frameworks even go a step further by abstracting from the browser, which makes them able to target native desktop, mobile or even other systems. Focusing on the digital age and Industry 4.0, where several different devices are inter-connected, having this flexibility oftentimes is a strong requirement. Therefore, taking web frontend technologies into account is a valid choice.