Micro-Frontends Architecture

Anton Ioffe - October 7th 2023 - 17 minutes read

As the development landscape continues to evolve, more enterprises are turning to Micro-Frontends Architecture to build rich, interactive web applications. This architecture promises better isolation, more reusability, and a myriad of other benefits for your development pipeline. But what exactly makes Micro-Frontends Architecture so powerful, and how can you maximize its potential in your own projects?

This comprehensive guide offers an extensive look into the world of Micro-Frontends Architecture, from its core concepts to the implementation processes, and down to best practices. We will steer into the curves of its benefits and challenges, weave through the roadmap of practical application via real-world code examples, uncover pitfalls and highlight precautions to help sidestep common mistakes.

Advancing further, we will unfold the intricacies of advanced techniques in Micro-Frontends, analyze well-thought design patterns, and shed light on captivating case studies from major organizations, giving you a solid foundation to leverage this architecture in your web development projects. Expect to walk with a wealth of actionable insights that could redefine the way you approach front-end development.

Unraveling Micro-Frontends Architecture: Definition and Core Concepts

Micro-Frontends Architecture, as the name suggests, is an architectural design style that aims at the frontend of a software application. This architecture form adopts the principles of microservices, initially implemented on the server-side, and applies them to the client-side frontend. The goal of this structure is to break down large and complex frontends into smaller, manageable, and more maintainable chunks - basically, microservices for the frontend.

The approach of splitting frontend components into smaller, decoupled blocks makes the overall application architecture versatile and scalable. It allows multiple development teams to work together efficiently, each responsible for their own micro-frontend, yet hopefully collaborating toward the same end product. This not only increases efficiency but also allows for the best use of individual expertise, as teams can be formed based on specific technology needs.

Let's delve into some of the core concepts in Micro-Frontends Architecture:


The process of assembling micro-frontends together at runtime or build time is generally referred to as composition. At runtime, the composition could be performed by a server, which compiles the requested components together before sending them to the client. On build time, this assembly process can be managed by different build tools which pack all components into a single deployable entity.

Here is a basic implementation of composition at runtime:

function composeMicroFrontends(runtimeMicroFrontends){
    runtimeMicroFrontends.forEach(microFrontEnd => {
        compile(microFrontEnd);  // Server compiles and sends each micro-frontend to the client


Isolation in micro-frontends signifies that each part or module should operate independently while also having the ability to be integrated as a part of the whole application. Each micro-frontend should be self-contained: having its own store, events, UI, and independent deployment pipeline. This autonomy allows for easy debugging, testing, and development of individual components/micro-frontends.

Here is an example showcasing encapsulation in a React-component:

class Counter extends React.Component {
    state = { count: 0 } // each component having its own state

    increment = () => {
        this.setState(state => ({ count: state.count + 1})); // State is altered only in the scope of each micro-frontend

                <button onClick={this.increment}>
                    Count: {this.state.count}

Communication between Micro-Frontends

Micro-frontends, like microservices, sometimes need to communicate with each other to function as a complete application. This could be an explicit interaction where one component directly invokes another or an implicit interaction where components respond to a shared state change.

Here is an example using Pub-Sub pattern for communication:

class EventBus {
        this.listeners = {};
    subscribe(eventType, fn) {
            this.listeners[eventType] = [];
        return () => {
            this.listeners[eventType] = this.listeners[eventType].filter(listener => listener !== fn);
    publish(eventType, data) {
        if(this.listeners[eventType]) {
            this.listeners[eventType].forEach(listener => listener(data));

Think about these questions: How would you manage and synchronize the communication between micro-frontends? In which scenarios would the micro-frontends architecture be the best choice?

So, the Micro-Frontend Architecture offers flexibility, versatility, and the ability to distribute development across multiple teams effectively. Its magic lies in its simplicity and adaptability, providing granular control over everything from design, to testing, to deployment. However, it's crucial we understand and address the complexities that come with this modular approach: the need for careful composition, proper isolation, and meticulous inter-micro-frontend communication. As with any architecture, the goal is to find a harmonious balance between the system’s usability, flexibility, and complexity.

The Pros and Cons of Micro-Frontends Architecture

Micro-Frontends Architecture serves as an aid to tackle complexity by dividing larger systems into smaller, more manageable parts. By providing autonomy over smaller parts of the system, it offers flexibility of technology use and ease of deployment. However, these benefits come at the cost of increased complexity and potential performance overhead. Let's look at these factors, providing a balanced view of the pros and cons of this architectural style.

Pros of Micro-Frontends Architecture

Scalability: Micro-Frontends afford enhanced scalability by enabling independent scaling of different parts of a webpage in response to varying load demands.

Speed of Deployment: As teams can work in parallel on different micro-frontends, the speed of deployment is invariably improved. This independence shortens the development-deployment cycle, leading to faster time to market.

Technology Freedom: This aspect is crucial for development teams. With Micro-Frontends, different teams can choose the technologies and frameworks that best fit their expertise and requirements, promoting the use of best tools for the job.

Ease of Testing: Testing is simplified as each component can be tested independently, both in isolation and integrated, keeping the scope focused and manageable.

  it('changes value when clicked', () => {
    const wrapper = shallow(<MyComponent />);

Cons of Micro-Frontends Architecture

Increased Complexity: While dividing the system into smaller, manageable chunks reduces complexity at a micro level, it adds macro complexity. There could be difficulties in maintaining consistency across micro-frontends and handling interaction complexities.

Performance Overhead: As each micro-frontend can utilize a different technology stack, there can be increased payload size due to multiple libraries or stylesheets. Careful planning and monitoring are required to avoid a performance bottleneck.

Potential for Team Silos: The independence of teams could potentially lead to insufficient communication and alignment, building silos and causing integrational issues.

Risk of Duplication: Without centralized control over the implementation, there's a risk of duplicated efforts, which can increase maintenance efforts and costs.

 // This code is repeated and can be refactored to a shared location
 const getCustomerData = (customerId) => {
    return fetch(`/api/customer/data/${customerId}`)
     .then(response => response.json())

In conclusion, like any architectural decision, the suitability of Micro-Frontends Architecture is context-specific. If your teams are geographically distributed, have varying technical expertise, and the application is large enough to break into stand-alone parts, Micro-Frontends could provide the necessary boost to productivity. However, if your team is small or the application is not extensive, the added complexity and overhead could outweigh the potential benefits.

Ask yourself:

  1. Is the application complex and large enough to warrant division into smaller parts?
  2. Is the team's technological expertise varied and strong enough to handle different technology stacks?
  3. Is the team ready to manage the operational complexities that may arise from adopting Micro-Frontends?

The answers to these questions will significantly orient your decision to adopt or shy away from Micro-Frontends Architecture.

Micro-Frontends Architecture Implementation: A Practical Guide

To implement the Micro-Frontends Architecture, there are steps that developers need to take. This guide provides an exhaustive and practical walk-through of the implementation process, pinpointing essential aspects correlated with the performance, memory, complexity, readability, modularity, and reusability of your code.

Setting up the Micro-Frontend Framework

Firstly, distinct applications need a framework to co-exist in a similar runtime environment. You might use single-spa.js framework that makes the co-ordination easy among child apps. Install the required dependencies:

npm install single-spa import-map-overrides start-server-and-test

Then, configure development-time import maps. The import-map-overrides are used to aid local development by allowing the developer to redirect specific tools to a local service.

Constructing Micro-Frontend Applications

Your parent repo doesn't contain application logic but manages the child apps. A ChildApp repo is built like a regular Single Page Application (SPA), albeit its entry file exports lifecycle functions used by the single-spa library.

export const bootstrap = [

export const mount = [

export const unmount = [

These lifecycle functions instruct the single-spa library on how to start, load or unload the application.

Integration of Micro-Frontends

After constructing your micro-frontend apps with their respective lifecycle methods, they need to be registered with the main single-spa application.

import { registerApplication, start } from 'single-spa';

  () => System.import('appName'),
  () => true,


In registerApplication, the first argument is the name of the micro-frontend, the second argument is a function that loads the micro-frontend, and the third argument, a function defines when the micro-frontend should be activated.

Routes Setup

To navigate between different micro-frontend apps, we need to set up routes. The 'single-spa' provides us with a function to create activity functions, which determine when an application should be loaded.

import { registerApplication, start } from 'single-spa';

  () => System.import('appName'),
  location => location.pathname.startsWith('/app')


In this code snippet, the third argument of the registerApplication method is an activity function that checks the current pathname. If the pathname starts with '/app', it loads the application.

It is worth mentioning that the hope here is to lay down the foundation for an in-depth understanding of Micro-Frontends Architecture Implementation. The complexities that come with development mean that there will always be room for fine-tuning the architecture and process.

While this guide provides the basics of getting started, keep in mind how you can adapt the above strategies to improve the quality of your code. Consider the following questions: How will diving my application into distinct parts affect the performance of my application? How am I handling the complexities that arise due to sharing dependencies? With this, continue to explore ways that micro-frontend architecture can boost modularity, reusability, and maintainability for your application.

Advanced Techniques in Micro Frontends

Inter-Micro-Frontend Communication

One of the advanced concepts encountered when dealing with Micro-Frontends is inter-micro-frontend communication. Each micro-frontend should be designed to be self-sufficient, but there may be cases where they need to share information or interact with each other.

For an effective communication, there are a couple of techniques at your disposal. One such technique involves the Global Event system in which a micro-frontend publishes an event that other micro-frontends can listen to. Here is an example of how this might work:

// Micro-frontend A publishes an event
window.dispatchEvent(new CustomEvent('userLogIn', { detail: 'User123' }));

// Micro-frontend B listens for the event
window.addEventListener('userLogIn', (event) => {
    console.log(`User ${event.detail} has logged in.`);

The above example demonstrates the use of Custom Events, which is another effective way of achieving inter-micro-frontend communication. Many modern browsers natively support Custom Events, making it a reliable choice for communication.

In all cases, ensure you avoid unnecessary coupling between your micro-frontends. The objective is to maintain their independence.

Security Considerations

Security should be a priority in any application, and micro-frontends are no exception. Each micro-frontend should handle its own security, including data validation and sanitization, error handling, and securing APIs.

One key concern revolves around the ability of each team to uphold the security of their respective micro-frontend, especially when using different frontend frameworks. Each framework has its own set of best-security practices, which must be strictly followed.

Implementing a Content Security Policy (CSP) can provide an additional layer of security. Here's how you can enable it via HTML meta tags:

<meta http-equiv="Content-Security-Policy" content="default-src 'self'; img-src https://*; child-src 'none';">

CSP helps to detect and mitigate certain types of attacks, like Cross Site Scripting (XSS) and other code injection attacks - particularly crucial when multiple teams write code ending up on the same domain.

Debugging Procedures

With multiple teams working independently, debugging micro-frontends can pose a considerable challenge. One approach is to standardize debugging processes across all the teams.

For instance, requiring all teams to use the same platform for error tracking (like Sentry or LogRocket) can significantly simplify the debugging process. Here's an example of how you can integrate Sentry, a popular error tracking tool:

import * as Sentry from '@sentry/browser';

Sentry.init({dsn: 'https://your-sentry-dsn@osometeam.ingest.sentry.io/someprojectid'});

try {
} catch (err) {

Remember, it's essential to maintain your teams' independence. Avoid solutions that necessitate a tightly coupled debugging process, and allow each team to debug their micro-frontend effectively.

Mastery of Frontend Frameworks

In the micro-frontend world, the need to understand and navigate multiple frontend frameworks is a compelling issue. Your team should have the skills to handle different frameworks, such as React, Vue, Angular, or even vanilla JavaScript.

Practical advice for managing multiple frameworks involves ensuring your developers are experienced with at least couple of them, promoting internal cross-training, and maintaining a catalog of resources for each framework:

const frameworkResources = {
    'React': ['https://reactjs.org/docs/getting-started.html'],
    'Vue': ['https://vuejs.org/v2/guide/'],
    'Angular': ['https://angular.io/guide/quickstart'],
    // Add more as required

Crucially, your teams must remain adaptable. Ask yourself: can they quickly learn a new framework if required? What happens when a new version of a framework is released? These considerations are part and parcel of embracing the micro-frontend architecture.

In conclusion, mastering advanced techniques in micro-frontend requires careful planning and robust execution. Inter-micro-frontend communication, security, debugging, and proficiency in different frontend frameworks are paramount aspects. Each team or app may require a different approach. Stay flexible and utilize the best tools and techniques specific to your needs.

Pitfalls and Precautions in Micro-Frontends Architecture

Micro-frontends are gaining popularity in web development as a way to break a large application into smaller, more manageable companies. However, like any architectural decision, they come with their own set of challenges. Below, I will discuss some of the common pitfalls in micro-frontends architecture and how to approach them.

Handling Routing

The first thing that may come to mind when considering micro-frontends is how they will interact with your app's routing. For example, how can each micro-frontend know when it should initialize and render its respective UI component?

A common approach is to establish a set of rules or contracts for your routing. These contracts can determine what URL each micro-frontend will respond to, ensuring that traffic is routed correctly. For instance:

function homeCodeRoute() {
    return location.pathname.startsWith('/home');
function settingsRoute() {
    return location.pathname.startsWith('/settings');

Precaution: The drawback to this approach is complexity. You may need to manage and synchronize multiple router instances across multiple codebases. This can make it tricky to debug and maintain your app. It may be beneficial to use a library or framework that offers robust routing capabilities out of the box, such as Vue.js or React Router.

Managing Data Dependencies

Another potential pitfall in micro-frontends architecture is managing data dependencies. If each micro-frontend is truly independent, they may each have their own data fetching and state management logic.

This duplication can lead to issues such as inconsistencies and race conditions and it may also hinder performance. Hence it's essential to decide how to organize data fetching and state management between your micro-frontends.

Precaution: To address this, you can establish shared data services or stores that your micro-frontends can subscribe to for updates. Libraries like Redux or MobX can be useful for this.

const SharedStore = createStore(reducer);

Ensuring Technology Compatibility

Finally, when each micro-frontend can be developed independently, there is the risk of technology incompatibility. For example, one team may build their micro-frontend with Vue.js while another team uses React.

This could cause compatibility issues and require additional work to ensure each micro-frontend can coexist within the same app. Knowing and understanding the technical stack of each team can help alleviate this problem.

Precaution: A popular way to ensure technology compatibility is using web components, which provide a useful level of abstraction over the UI part and are framework-agnostic. However, beware - web components have their own set of trade-offs, including being verbose and some performance considerations.

Keeping the Bigger Picture in Mind

The above are not the only challenges with micro-frontends; they are merely examples of what you could face. In conclusion, remember that while there are real benefits to using micro-frontends, they are not a silver bullet solution for all projects. There will always be pros and cons to weigh in any architectural decision. It's essential to understand these considerations and make informed decisions based on your own needs and context.

Best Practices and Design Patterns in Micro-Frontends Architecture

As we delve deeper into the future of web development, we inevitably reach the topic of Micro-Frontends Architecture. With the shift towards having self-contained, reusable components both in terms of UI as well as underlying code, the micro-frontend pattern presents many opportunities.

In the process, best practices and design patterns emerge. These guiding philosophies can shape our code to be more readable, maintainable and adaptable. Let's explore some of these.

Define Clear Boundaries

Clear boundaries aid in defining team responsibilities and facilitate parallel working, where each team can focus on their specific micro-frontend without overlapping or interfering with others.

// This is an example of a micro-frontend boundary
class MyMicroFrontend {
    constructor(boundaryElement) {
        this.boundaryElement = boundaryElement;
    render() {
        // Render this micro-frontend inside the boundary
        this.boundaryElement.innerHTML = '<p>This is my micro-frontend!</p>';

This practice improves modularity and readability by grouping related features together. It also facilitates reusability since each micro frontend operates independently.

Minimize dependencies

Micro-frontends should stand alone, have minimal dependencies, and not rely on a shared state. This independent nature makes your applications more resilient and fosters a better separation of concerns.

For example:

// Bad Practice - MicroFrontendA relies on a function defined in MicroFrontendB
import { myFunction } from 'MicroFrontendB';

// Good Practice - MicroFrontendA does not have any external dependencies
import { myFunction } from './myOwnFunctions';

This practice not only promotes modularity, reusability and performance, but also reduces the complexity of our codebase, making things easier to manage, debug and test.

Issue Tracking

Micro-frontends components are typically managed by different teams that may be using different technologies or architectures. These teams need to leverage some standard process for bug tracking and issue reporting.

A common recommendation is to use a centralized issue tracker, such as Jira, Trello, or Github Issues. Having a streamlined way to manage issues will make communication easier across different teams and decrease the chances of issues slipping through the cracks.

However, care should be taken to avoid becoming overly dependent on such a tool. Each micro-frontend should still be able to function well on its own, without requiring the presence of the overall issue tracking system.

Adopting a Uniform Routing Strategy

Routes are a crucial part of any web app, and micro-frontends are no exception. It is advisable to adopt a uniform routing strategy across all micro-frontends.

// Route setup for a micro-frontend
import { Router } from 'my-routing-library';

const router = new Router({
    '/': function() { console.log('Home route'); },
    '/about': function() { console.log('About route'); }

Having a common strategy will make your application more predictable, enhancing its readability and maintainability.

It's noteworthy to underline that, while these best practices provide a good starting point, they are not definitive. Micro-frontends architecture is a flexible concept and can be adapted to meet the specific requirements of each project. In fact, one of the main beauties of micro-frontends lies in its power to create and incorporate new best practices as development progresses.

As you implement your micro-frontends, continually ask yourself: are the boundaries clear and well-defined? Are dependencies minimal and self-contained? Is issue tracking efficient? Is routing uniform and predictable? The answers will present invaluable insights to tailor your approach and refine your practices over time.

Breaking Down the Micro-Frontends Landscape: Case Studies

Micro-Frontends Architecture adds a new twist to the evolving landscape of web development, enabling monolithic frontend applications to be segmented into smaller, manageable units. Let's explore a couple of distinguished organizations that nailed this method, unearthing practical challenges, ingenious solutions, and game-changing results.

IKEA's Journey with Micro-Frontend Architecture

IKEA employed Micro-Frontends Architecture to evolve their platform without necessitating a comprehensive overhaul periodically. Integrating new features into their vast code base posed a challenge. Their creative solution involved the creation of ‘elements’, micro-frontend segments encapsulated within custom HTML tags. Different teams handled these elements, with each focusing on a unique aspect.

IKEA's strategy resulted in drastically simplified complexity. The isolation of components ensured one element's alterations wouldn’t influence others, paving the way for smooth scalability.

In IKEA's Micro-Frontends scheme, encapsulated components are the foundation. Their clever approach reinforces the importance of choosing the right framework for component construction.

// iPod illustrating code snippet of how a micro-frontend 'element' may look in IKEA's architecture.
    // Code dedicated to product details and ordering provisions

Spotify: Harmonizing Multiple Frontends

The music-streaming giant, Spotify, adopted a slightly different tune with Micro-Frontend Architecture. Given their diverse user base and feature list, their frontend was an intricate puzzle to resolve. Spotify's brilliant counter was in the formation of 'squads', dedicated teams focusing on a single feature evident in the form of a micro-frontend. This allowed simultaneous progression across multiple frontend facets. Their architecture has gracefully withstood the ebb and flow of evolving web conditions.

Spotify's case study underscored the versatility that Micro-Frontend Architecture can instigate, empowering teams with complete autonomy over their assigned features which in turn boosted transparency and communication.

// Visualizing how a squad's micro-frontend may look in Spotify's complex frontend ecosystem.
    // Dedicated code for displaying track information

Drawing conclusions from these live instances, we can see that Micro-Frontend Architecture is potentially a worthwhile choice, but the decision is contingent on project-specific aspects like scale, complexity, and maintenance obligations. While this architecture might simplify the development process and render long-term application management more straightforward, remember it's not a one-size-fits-all. Make sure you dive deep into its fundamentals before deciding if it's the right fit for your project.


In this comprehensive guide to Micro-Frontends Architecture, the article explores the core concepts, benefits, challenges, implementation process, best practices, and real-world case studies of this architectural style. The guide emphasizes the need for clear boundaries, minimal dependencies, and a uniform routing strategy in micro-frontends. It also highlights the importance of communication between micro-frontends, security considerations, debugging procedures, and proficiency in multiple frontend frameworks.

Key takeaways from the article include the scalability and speed of deployment offered by micro-frontends, the flexibility of technology choice, and the ease of testing and maintenance. However, the article also cautions about the increased complexity and potential performance overhead associated with micro-frontends, as well as the risk of team silos and duplication of efforts. The article concludes by emphasizing the need for careful consideration of the application's complexity, team expertise, and readiness for operational complexities before adopting micro-frontends.

A challenging technical task related to micro-frontends would be to design and implement a communication mechanism between two micro-frontends using a different pattern than the one mentioned in the article. For example, instead of using the Pub-Sub pattern, the task could involve exploring and implementing a different pattern such as Request-Response or Shared State. The reader would need to research different patterns, understand their benefits and drawbacks, design the communication mechanism, and implement it in a practical example. This task would deepen the reader's understanding of inter-micro-frontend communication and provide hands-on experience in designing and implementing a key aspect of micro-frontends architecture.

Don't Get Left Behind:
The Top 5 Career-Ending Mistakes Software Developers Make
FREE Cheat Sheet for Software Developers