December 4, 2018 9:00:00 AM EST

Questions to Ask When Choosing a JavaScript Library

What’s the best JavaScript library/framework for your company? There are a lot of options and it’s important to consider which one would work best for your organization.

Why is a Good JavaScript Library Important?

One of the first things to consider is if your customers or users even care what library you’re using. In case you’re wondering, that answer is probably no. The only people who might be interested in that are other tech people.

What people do care about is whether the application works and solves their problem quickly and easily. Don’t be too quick to pick something you know you like. You’re making this for your customer. If the library you’ve chosen can build a successful application and meets these customer-focused goals, you’ve picked the right one as far as the users are concerned.

Are JavaScript Libraries High-Maintenance?

While it’s easy to get caught up in building new applications, you have to consider continual maintenance. Whether you or your customer will be the one performing it, everyone wants something that’s simple and easy to maintain.

Included in this thought process is the ability hire. You want a framework wherein new hires can come in and hit the ground running with. This can mean it’s popular and well known, or that it’s easy to learn.

How do your people like to code? Do they like to use a compiler, lending towards a TypeScript? Do they write unit tests, end-to-end tests, etc? Make sure you get a library that will support what you do. Does the library have an easy deployment process? How about organization for code? Is information regarding this framework readily available and widely accepted? These are just a few of the maintenance items you’ll need to consider.

Will Your JavaScript Library Stand the Test of Time?

Technology is constantly changing, updating and getting better. Your JavaScript library should be too. However, you might not want to jump on something that is brand new. You want stability with at least a short history of performance to look at.

Look at the source code repository. When was the last time it was updated? Do they release updates in versions that make sense and meld with the way your team functions? Does it have a good open source community? How many contributors does the library have? Also, is it supported by a dedicated full-time team or an open-source community? Neither support system is bad, but they are different and something you should consider.

How is the library support for unresolved issues? Take some time to look into how often issues are resolved and how quickly. Take that information with a grain of salt though. Many people will post something as an “issue” that is really just a suggestion or question. However with a little research you should get a pretty good idea of the health of the framework.

What Libraries are Others Using?

Check with your colleagues and associates around the industry, what JavaScript libraries are they using? Even trusted technical people from other industries are good to consult with. Ask for advice and for specific questions about their library. You shouldn’t let someone make the decision for you, but it can be helpful to get their input.

Look online for reviews or browse blogs, top ten lists and other places that provide good information. Consider everything from the point of view of your organization. At the end of the day you want to pick something that’s right for your company, not someone else’s.

Explore more help with JavaScript questions and other technology solutions at Aspirant.

New call-to-action

Phil Kossler
Phil Kossler

Phil is Aspirant's Technology Director with a focus on providing enterprise-grade solutions. His 30 years of experience have given him the opportunity to work across many markets, industries, and applications. Phil is leading a team of skilled web and mobile developers building strategic solutions for our customers.