Software Framework | What is Software Framework | Software Development Tools | Software Framework Examples | Software Quality Assurance
In computer programming, a software framework is an abstraction in which software providing generic functionality can be selectively changed by additional user-written code, thus providing application-specific software. A software framework provides a standard way to build and deploy applications. A software framework is a universal, reusable software environment that provides particular functionality as part of a larger software platform to facilitate the development of software applications, products, and solutions. Software frameworks may include support programs, compilers, code libraries, tool sets, and application programming interfaces (APIs) that bring together all the different components to enable development of a project or system.
Frameworks have key distinguishing features that separate them from normal libraries:
inversion of control: In a framework, unlike in libraries or in standard user applications, the overall program’s flow of control is not dictated by the caller, but by the framework.
extensibility: A user can extend the framework – usually by selective overriding, or programmers can add specialized user code to provide specific functionality.
non-modifiable framework code: The framework code, in general, is not supposed to be modified while accepting user-implemented extensions. In other words, users can extend the framework, but should not modify its code.
Rational of Software Framework
The designers of software frameworks aim to facilitate software development by allowing designers and programmers to devote their time to meeting software requirements rather than dealing with the more standard low-level details of providing a working system, thereby reducing overall development time. For example, a team using a web framework to develop a banking website can focus on writing code particular to banking rather than the mechanics of request handling and state management.
Frameworks often add to the size of programs, a phenomenon termed “code bloat”. Due to customer-demand driven applications needs, both competing and complementary frameworks sometimes end up in a product. Further, due to the complexity of their APIs, the intended reduction in overall development time may not be achieved due to the need to spend additional time learning to use the framework; this criticism is clearly valid when a special or new framework is first encountered by development staff. If such a framework is not used in subsequent job taskings, the time invested in learning the framework can cost more than purpose-written code familiar to the project’s staff; many programmers keep copies of useful boilerplate for common needs.
Examples of Software framework
Software frameworks typically contain considerable housekeeping and utility code in order to help bootstrap user applications, but generally focus on specific problem domains, such as:
- Artistic drawing, music composition, and mechanical CAD]
- Financial modeling application
- Earth system modeling applications
- Decision support systems
- Media playback and authoring
- Web framework
- Cactus Framework – High-performance scientific computing
- Application framework – General GUI applications
- Enterprise Architecture framework
- Oracle Application Development Framework
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