Since its launch, Swift has taken off to become one of the most popular programming languages across the world. Being developed by Apple, the users and mobile app development companies have complete belief on it. Soon after its foundation in the market, it has become a preferred language for mobile app development for several enterprises.

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With Swift open source, many mobile app developers dedicated time to building frameworks for server-side development. In the present time, this Server-Side Swift is also planning to build a product, which is completely driven by Swift for mobile back-end development, website and API development. This move is quite amazing for developers! There are currently various frameworks available but there are three frameworks, which are more popular against others, such as

  • Vapor
  • Kitura
  • Perfect

When it comes to picking the best framework, this is a tough task. As Swift becomes more demanding on the web, here I have decided to find out which framework is the most used and why. Since I have not used any of these frameworks in production, therefore I have decided to do a proper research and find out which one is the best for you. I have prepared a comparative study, which may surely help you!

1. Vapor

Vapor is currently the most popular Server Side Swift framework at the moment. It has solved the problem of many iOS app developers and backend developers across the globe. It is open source server- side framework, helps you write web apps and services using Swift 3. Developed by the team of Qutheory, you may consider it a Happiness or productivity vs. Efficiency or Performance graph for backend developers. Swift and Vapor both make the best pair in this scenario. The popularity of Vapor can be seen on GitHub, in which Vapor holds 14k stars.

One of the best parts about Vapor is that it is also the only framework to focus on being written purely in Swift. Where other frameworks may prefer to implement things like Node.js’s HTTP parser, Vapor has its personal Swift parser. According to Tanner Nelson, who is one of the creators of Vapor, the framework increases the efficiency and productivity of Swift developers and reduces the trade-offs they may face. Some of the features that Vapor framework have-

  • The database support in this framework is very thorough. They not only have native connectors for SQL languages like MySQL, Sqlite, and PostgreSQL, but also it includes native support for Redis and MongoDB.
  • Developers can get an independent environment, which is quite readable because of its easy syntax.
  • Also, their documentation is well organized and easy to use.

So, if you are looking for a platform, which is easier to understand, and a bigger community then Vapor is your friend. Also, these days Vapor is well suited to beginners and veterans who prefer a simple syntax or a pure-Swift library with a vast feature set.

2. Perfect

Another popular server-side framework I am going to discuss here is Perfect. It is a complete and powerful toolbox, framework, and application server for Linux, iOS, and macOS (OS X). It offers everything that a developer requires for creating efficient and scalable apps. It is important to note that its primary focus is on developing mobile apps, which require backend server connections, allowing you to use Swift for both client-facing and server-side development. Due to this, several top mobile app development companies are implementing Perfect into their project.

It is developed by a Canadian startup, PerfectlySoft, which is capitalized by seed funding and supported by an established agency. It has also a history with Apple. The decision to move towards server-side swift development plays a major role in its existence. Perfect is the story of Lasso, i.e. a server-side programming language intended and designed in the mid-90s to support Apple Computer’s software efforts.

Perfect is full of features. Some of the prime features of Perfect you should know include-

  • Perfect offers a variety of database support. They have native connectors for SQL languages like PostgreSQL, MySQL, SQLite, and MariaDB. They also support CouchDB, MongoDB, Redis, and even FileMaker.
  • It integrates with Xcode 9, so you do not have to worry about selective code transfers between IDEs or services.
  • It supports Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption, and it features a set of tools frequently required by internet servers such as WebSockets and iOS push notifications
  • This framework allows you to explore the server-side of Swift with third-party integrations.

At present, the framework is perfect to instantly set up logins to Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Slack and GitHub. Considering these features, I am sure that you would love to try it for your project, whether complex or simple.

3. Kitura

If you have made your final choice, then wait for some time and learn about Kitura. Perfect is not alone in developers to server-side Swift. IBM’s Kitura project is doing the same thing. Since its launch, It’s being used for Web and cloud applications. As being a part of IBM organization, it gives you a native macOS App that integrates directly into their Bluemix platform. This differs it from the previous frameworks.

Apart from that, some of the key features of Kitura framework include-

  • It allows “Codable Routing“. This takes full advantage of the new Codable capabilities provided in Swift 4.0, in order to provide a new way to create web APIs.
  • Just like Perfect, it allows authentication by way of third-party plugins of Google, Facebook and Github.
  • It also has SSL/TLS support.
  • Yeoman generators to create and organize your app in few minutes.
  • Kitura framework includes a FastCGI 1.0 compliant server that allows you to easily integrate your application into a standard web server environment.
  • For SQL databases Kuery is used. It also supports ScyllaDB, MySQL, SQLite, PostgreSQL, Redis, CouchDB, and Apache Cassandra.

Wrapping Up

Considering the wide popularity of Swift, several top companies outside of Apple are also investing in the development of Swift, web frameworks and packages. Each framework offers some exclusive functionality that makes it unique. Choosing the best totally depends on your requirements. It would be not wrong to say that there will be no offense on selecting any of these frameworks for your project. There are multiple mobile app development companies using these frameworks for amazing web and mobile apps.

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