Motivations, benefits, and issues for adopting Micro-Frontends: A Multivocal Literature Review

Severi Peltonen, Luca Mezzalira, Davide Taibi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
7 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Context: Micro-Frontends are increasing in popularity, being adopted by several large companies, such as DAZN, Ikea, Starbucks and may others. Micro-Frontends enable splitting of monolithic frontends into independent and smaller micro applications. However, many companies are still hesitant to adopt Micro-Frontends, due to the lack of knowledge concerning their benefits. Additionally, provided online documentation is often times perplexed and contradictory. Objective: The goal of this work is to map the existing knowledge on Micro-Frontends, by understanding the motivations of companies when adopting such applications as well as possible benefits and issues. Method: For this purpose, we surveyed the academic and grey literature by means of the Multivocal Literature Review process, analysing 173 sources, of which 43 reported motivations, benefits and issues. Results: The results show that existing architectural options to build web applications are cumbersome if the application and development team grows, and if multiple teams need to develop the same frontend application. In such cases, companies adopted Micro-Frontends to increase team independence and to reduce the overall complexity of the frontend. The application of the Micro-Frontend, confirmed the expected benefits, and Micro-Frontends resulted to provide the same benefits as microservices on the back end side, combining the development team into a fully cross-functional development team that can scale processes when needed. However, Micro-Frontends also showed some issues, such as the increased payload size of the application, increased code duplication and coupling between teams, and monitoring complexity. Conclusions: Micro-Frontends allow companies to scale development according to business needs in the same way microservices do with the back end side. In addition, Micro-Frontends have a lot of overhead and require careful planning if an advantage is achieved by using Micro-Frontends. Further research is needed to carefully investigate this new hype, by helping practitioners to understand how to use Micro-Frontends as well as understand in which contexts they are the most beneficial.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106571
Number of pages18
JournalInformation and Software Technology
Volume136
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Micro-Frontends
  • Microservices
  • Multivocal Literature Review
  • Software architectures
  • Web front-end development

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 3

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Information Systems
  • Computer Science Applications

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