Performance Evaluation of a Modern Web Architecture

Performance Evaluation of a Modern Web Architecture

Johan Andre Lundar (School of Information Systems, Computing and Mathematics, Brunel University, Uxbridge, UK), Tor-Morten Grønli (Norwegian School of Information Technology, Oslo, Norway) and Gheorghita Ghinea (School of Information Systems, Computing and Mathematics, Brunel University, Uxbridge, UK & Norwegian School of Information Technology, Oslo, Norway)
DOI: 10.4018/jitwe.2013010103
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Abstract

The past decade has marked a shift in Web development as users have become accustomed to Web applications with dynamic content and enhanced user experience. Different languages and technologies have been utilised to make way for such applications, gradually stretching existing standards and protocols to its limits. The field of Web development has been characterized by a lack of coherent architectural concepts, partly due to the absences of standard protocols that support modern communication styles. As a result of this, systems specifically designed for real-time data delivery have been required and realised with proprietary technology in the industry, consequently violating established software engineering principles such as modularity, consistency and simplicity. This paper explores how current Web technologies support the requirements of modern Web applications. A prototype application was developed in the last phase to demonstrate the efficacy of combining the WebSocket protocol and API together with the use of JavaScript as exclusive programming language at the client and server. Based on the findings of the research carried out it appears that the use of protocols and standards such as WebSocket, WebSocket API and Server-Sent Events caters for higher network performance, increased flexibility and standards compliance.
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According to Mikkonen and Taivalsaari (2007) there is a need to define the structure of Web applications more precisely to bring back tried and true principles and methods of software engineering. Moreover, the lacks of standard protocols that facilitate modern communication styles have especially affected architectural properties negatively in Web applications (Mesbah & van Deursen, 2008). To be able to understand these issues it is essential to begin to research the “classical” Web architecture and its influence on the success of the Web. Research presenting derivations of the classical Web architecture will then be visited before the focus is turned to Web engineering areas such as data delivery, programming styles and languages. The final section presents emerging technologies that seek to facilitate the engineering of contemporary Web applications.

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