What Is Vue.js And What Is It Used For?


One of the hottest new frontend frameworks at the moment, Vue.js can be thought of as a middle ground between React and Angular. It has the agility and freedom of a lightweight library like React, but also the power and features of a full-fledged framework like Angular. In fact, the creator of Vue was inspired by AngularJS while he was working at Google.

So, what is Vue.js and what is it used for? Vue.js is an open-source MVVM JavaScript framework used for designing single-page applications and web apps across a multitude of platforms. It is focused on the “View” layer of the MVC/ MVVM architecture, while things like routing and state management are handled by supporting libraries.

Vue can be thought of as a lighter, more streamlined alternative to Angular. Modules can be added or removed from Vue based on the scale and nature of each individual project. Much like React or Angular, Vue uses a component-based design in which HTML and logic are encapsulated together in chunks of reusable code.

What Is Vue.js And What Is It Used For?

According to the official Vue website, their framework is designed to be “approachable, performant, and versatile”. And that’s certainly true if we compare Vue.js with React and Angular. It is more performant than Angular due to its lightweight nature and optimized renderer.

It is also very approachable, as it’s built on top of basic HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Any developer with knowledge of the aforementioned languages will be able to pick up Vue and start creating UIs. Vue is also quite versatile due to its cross-platform nature and support for a wide variety of third-party tools.

Because Vue can be scaled, developers can treat it like a library. You can bolt on additional packages depending on your project. Or you can treat it like a full-fledged framework and use the entire suite of built-in tools to create a feature-rich web app.

Being a progressive framework, Vue allows users to start with exactly the amount of baggage they need. The framework has features like state management, routing (Vue Router), server-side rendering, and static site generation. A build toolchain and testing utilities can also be integrated quite easily into Vue, along with the IDE of your choice.

This level of customizability is unparalleled and makes Vue more approachable than Angular. Vue can be used by hobbyists, amateurs, startups, and even enterprises. Since it uses declarative rendering, Vue allows developers to easily modify the view with templates.

Vue is a reactive framework, performing changes to interactive elements on the page in a declarative manner. It does so by monitoring changes in object properties (read/ write). An earlier version of Vue used the getter and setter functions for this, but now it’s done with the Proxy object.

Since reactivity in Vue is runtime-based, it tracks changes to values right as the code is running within the browser. Vue can be combined with the RxJS library to facilitate the processing of asynchronous data streams.

Because of Vue’s flexibility, it can be used in multiple ways. You can use Vue as a standalone script. There’s even a distribution for this purpose, called petite-Vue.

Vue can be used to create standardized components that are then embedded into other frameworks, legacy web apps, or just about any HTML page. The most common use case for Vue is single-page applications. It can even be used to create desktop apps with the help of frameworks like Electron and Tauri.

Is VueJS Frontend or Backend?

It should be clear that Vue.js is a frontend framework since its core is meant to design user interfaces for interactive web pages. Vue, like any other frontend library/ framework, can communicate with a multitude of backends. Some of the best Vue backends include Firebase, Laravel, Django, and Rails.

Vue’s architecture relies on declarative rendering and a component-based system that encapsulates HTML and JavaScript into individual modules. Currently, Vue is one of the most popular frontend frameworks, based on Github rankings. This is due to its speed and versatility.

What Is The Purpose Of VueJS?

VueJS is a unique tool that can be scaled up or down depending on the project’s needs. At its core, Vue deals with the “View” layer of MVC (Model-View-Controller). By bolting on additional libraries, Vue can be transformed into a framework for creating desktop applications.

Anyone with a decent enough understanding of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript can hop into this framework and start creating right away. It is a lightweight framework with a well-optimized virtual DOM system to boost performance. Vue.js helps developers create code that is reusable, and easy to debug.

Since it is an open-source project that’s used by tons of multinational corporations, Vue.js has a talented community of contributors from across the globe. And it is managed by a core team of developers who release regular updates.

Extensive documentation and widespread community support mean that Vue.js developers can get solutions for any snags that they run into. Plus, Vue supports a huge range of third-party libraries. It can also be used in conjunction with other frameworks.

Because Vue allows developers to pick and choose what they need within the framework, it is extremely flexible. This allows features to be added, removed, or modified at any time during the development process. Making Vue an excellent framework for prototyping or upgrading existing applications.

In addition to creating native desktop applications, Vue can also be used to create native mobile apps. Vue Native is a framework derived from VueJS and is an analog to React Native. It allows web developers to create native mobile apps using their existing skillset and JavaScript.

Some of the biggest companies using Vue include Netflix, Nintendo, Alibaba, BMW, and Upwork. All these companies choose Vue due to its adaptability and ease of use. Any developer who is struggling with JSX syntax in React can instead jump into Vue and start creating right away.

The support for two-way data binding, directives, reactive interfaces, and declarative rendering means that Vue is simultaneously powerful and flexible. Vue also has official TypeScript support. Using Vue’s CLI, developers can code in TypeScript without installing any additional libraries.

Why Use VueJS Instead Of React?

Much like React, VueJS is quite lightweight. It offers the functionality of a full-fledged framework such as Angular. But also the flexibility of a library like React, meaning you can bolt on additional packages as you see fit.

Ease of integration is another key advantage of VueJS. As long as any web app is built with JavaScript, it can integrate with VueJS. Hence, it becomes very easy to roll out incremental upgrades for legacy applications using a modern framework like Vue.

Freedom of language is also a key factor. In Vue, you can use any of the following languages to write your templates- JSX, TypeScript, JavaScript, and HTML. So if you’ve used either React or Angular, transitioning to Vue is a seamless process.

Since Vue is a proper framework, it comes with testing and debugging utilities, a CLI, project management tools, etc. Vue also contains built-in solutions for routing and state management. Comparatively, React requires the use of external libraries (dependencies).

Vue also comes with component libraries for UI design. These contain high-quality buttons, forms, lists, charts, bars, etc. The official Vue libraries can be complemented with third-party libraries through npm. 

5 Examples Of What You Can Build With VueJS

Checkout Form

This is one of the most basic, yet informative projects you can do as a beginner with VueJS. A checkout form is something that is implemented in pretty much every ecommerce site. Or any site that accepts payments for services.

Users can pay via debit/ credit card, PayPal, Google Pay, Apple Pay, and more. If you want, you can even implement a crypto payment system into the checkout page so your customers can pay with Bitcoin/ Eth. A basic checkout form will have boxes where users can type their name, address, and card details.

You can also implement a payment history system so users can track previous payments with the amount, name of goods/ services, and date. Eventually, you can incorporate the checkout page into a larger project. Like a shopping/ ecommerce site.

For inspiration and resources, check out this credit card form on Github. The tailwind-vue checkout form is another variation of the same concept, made by a different team.

Weather App

Everyone likes a decent weather app, especially if you do a lot of traveling. The default widgets on your device might not be right for your style, so why not create your very own weather app using VueJS? Not only will a weather app teach you to collect and display data as it constantly updates, but it will also teach you how to design UI.

On a basic level, every weather app should have things like time of day, local weather status, and temperature. While developing the app, you can put in garbage values and fake data until all the bits are working how you want them to. Here’s a VueJS weather app that uses OpenWeatherMap.

Copilot

An admin dashboard that uses Bootstrap for UI. The usage of Bootstrap means that Copilot can work consistently on every screen resolution and size, ranging from mobile to desktop. You can find the project on Github, here.

Beep

A security app that checks your login data and compared it with a database of leaks to see if your info has been hacked. For encryption, Beep uses SHA-1 (it doesn’t store any of your data). While not ideal, it is still enough for a beginner project that teaches you how to work with data in VueJS.

You can find the documentation for Beep on Github. Some of the libraries used include Ionic, Capacitor, and Webpack. By using the Github link, you can find instructions on how to build and test the application.

Minimal Notes

For those of us who spend most of our time online, browsing webpages, Minimal Notes is a handy little tool. It can act as a reminder for tasks, or a little personal notepad. And the app works right within your browser, so it’s very convenient.

The Minimal Notes app has an official site, and a GitHub page. All the notes are stored in your browser’s local data storage. The Mac version uses Cordova. Performance is quite good due to the tiny file size.

VueJS For UI

Using VueJS for UI gives you access to several high-quality component libraries. Although, you can combine it with React and Bootstrap to get the best of both worlds. If you’re working on mobile apps, you can use Weex which is an Alibaba-sponsored mobile UI framework.

Vue at its core is designed around the “view” layer of MVC. And IBM used Vue as a fronted solution for their Hybrid Cloud service. This is due to its simplistic nature, focusing on the three core frontend elements- HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

If you use Vue for designing your app’s UI, you will gain certain advantages compared to other frameworks. Like speed, and a compact size. Integration with existing apps is also simple since Vue will work with anything that uses JavaScript.

On top of that, there are some excellent component libraries and UI frameworks available for Vue. Like Quasar, VUX, Element Plus, BootstrapVue, and Vuetify. 

What Type Of Framework Is Vue?

Technically, Vue is an MVC (Model-View-Controller) framework. This allows for the abstraction of the View layer (UI) from the Model (logic). Vue is also component-based, which means you can put HTML and JavaScript into reusable modules with well-defined functionality.

Truth be told, Vue is many things at the same time. It is often described as progressive, reactive, and scalable. This shows that above all else, Vue is flexible.

And that’s its biggest strength. Because it is so flexible, everybody from startups to giant enterprises can use it for all sorts of projects. Making changes, modifying features, and integrating Vue into existing apps is really easy.

In fact, some people think that Vue is too flexible. The freedom to modify and add/ remove features at any time has the potential to turn the project into a volatile mess if mismanaged. 

Conclusion

Vue.js is a wonderful frontend framework that combines the best aspects of Angular and ReactJS, into one flexible package. And that’s exactly how its creator, Evan You, wanted it to be. I hope this article provided you with the information you need to make a choice on which framework you should pick up.

Honestly, the best way to get started as a web developer is to just pick a framework and work with it. Whether it’s Vue, React, or Angular- doesn’t matter. If you already know HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, you can pick up Vue and start creating web apps in no time.

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