NOTE: these docs are for the
next branch, which is in public pre-release, and active development. For the docs related to FAB v0, (e.g. standalone tools like
@fab/compile) which are now in maintenance mode, see fab-docs--production--v0.branch.linc-preview.sh.
💎 FABs are a compile target for frontend applications.
👉 Read more about the FAB Structure.
Want to try building a FAB from your project? Head to https://fab.dev/guides/getting-started.
The term Frontend Application encompasses a wide range of modern web projects, from purely static sites with no client-side JS, to entirely client-rendered apps hitting an API, or those with a significant server-side-rendering component. But they are defined in opposition to a more traditional "backend" application, which may emit HTML across the wire as well, but usually has a persistent server, with direct connections to databases and a local filesystem.
This is synonymous with some of the more common web app development methodologies in the React/Angular/Vue/Ember ecosystems—a self-contained single-page-app, potentially pre-rendered or server-rendered, talking to a separate backend app or collection of services via HTTP.
The Frontend Application Bundle is designed to fill a gap between existing options for frontend application deployment and hosting environments. Usually, you have a choice between a static site host, which prevents you from having any active server-side components, or a more traditional web app host designed for hosting backends.
And while deploying frontend apps to backend-centric hosts works reasonably well, it misses a crucial aspect of frontend web development—iteration speed. UI development benefits greatly from rapid prototyping and feedback, and since frontend apps, having no direct dependencies on databases or filesystems, can be cloned & deployed freely, backend-centric workflows can feel overly constrained.
As such, static site hosting has grown in popularity among the frontend application community, and static site generators along with them. But there are many reasons why it's preferable or even essential to include a server-side component in your application, which these projects can't take advantage of without fundamentally changing how they build & deliver their app.
Frontend Application Bundles are the container format that work equally well for fully-static through to full server-rendered frontend apps, making your choice of technology independent from your choice of hosting.