What is Front-End-as-a-Service (FeaaS): Overview 2024

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Have you ever heard anything about software-as-a-service? SaaS, short for software-as-a-service, in a word, is a way of using software over the Internet by paying a subscription fee, often monthly or yearly. Such software, deployed through the Internet, can be accessed directly in a web browser without the need to install this software on a user’s computer. This approach to the software means applications are always updated and can be used on most devices with Internet access. However, SaaS is no longer a novelty, and now, the whole development process, as well as separate parts of it, can also be deployed and reached through the Internet, or in other words, “as-a-service.” As a professional front-end development services provider dedicated to web development, today, ELITEX will take a closer look at front-end-as-a-service (FEaaS).

What is front-end-as-a-service?

Front-end-as-a-service isn’t a well-established service in a traditional sense. It’s rather a modern web development concept where the front-end part of a web application – the part users interact with – is provided as a separate service mainly based on ready-to-use solutions that can be deployed really quickly. In some instances, it also means cloud-based API-first infrastructure, which allows you to create your own frontend solution using customizable components.

For a better understanding, look at an example. In traditional web development, a team of technical specialists creates both the front end (client-side: layout, design, and interactivity you see on a webpage) and the back end (server-side: the server itself, database, application logic, etc) from scratch, or using certain components from the development framework (such as React, Angular, Next.js, etc) at best. But we won’t focus that much on back-end vs. front-end comparison, as we have previously written an article about that.

However, with FEaaS, development teams can use pre-built front-end components and services, significantly speeding up the development process. The main advantage of such a concept is that it allows developers to focus more on the unique aspects of their application rather than coding common front-end features from scratch.

What is FEaaS?

For a better understanding, let’s see what does front-end service mean in comparison with a more common concept of SaaS. Both offer services over the Internet on a subscription basis, but they target different needs. While SaaS provides complete software solutions ready for end-users – imagine tools like off-the-shelf email services, CRM systems, or office applications – FEaaS is more about offering developers ready-to-use front-end components in the development process. Such components help devs build web applications faster and more efficiently. 

Front-end-as-a-service: A rising phenomenon

FEaaS has emerged relatively recently in the tech world, gaining traction at the beginning of the 20ies. You would hardly find any notion about a separate FEaaS phenomenon or something like this before Gartner’s call to composable e-commerce, which was published in the middle of 2020. In this research, an author called to create a reusable front-end solution in order to bridge the gap between the growing demand for web, and particularly front-end development and the actual proposition. Here, during the Pandemic-associated e-commerce splash, we can trace the origins of the phenomenon. Back at that time, early SaaS and the very first concepts of front-end-as-a-service solutions answered this call by providing the first sets of pre-built components and tools.

The popularity of FEaaS has been rising rapidly, especially among small-size companies looking to launch products quickly and efficiently. This demand for faster time-to-market without the excessive development costs traditionally associated with the process is typical for a few main categories of companies: startups, companies looking for reliable CMS solutions, and e-commerce projects. When it comes to CMSs and e-commerce platforms, the demand for FEaaS is quite obvious: these products need great effort in front-end development, while at the same time,  they have a lot of similar repetitive components. That’s why ready-made solutions became so popular in these two fields. And as for startups, the answer is quite easy. For a really small company, any optimization is of utmost importance, and FEaaS solutions definitely have much to offer.

Several market trends significantly impacted the front-end-as-a-service sector in various ways:

Market trends of FEaaS

Rise of Single-Page Applications (SPAs)

As SPAs become more and more popular, the demand for pre-made solutions also grows. Front-end-as-a-service solutions make it easier for project teams to create and manage the dynamic content and interactive elements (that SPAs actually require).

Adoption of headless architecture

With the rise of headless architecture, for instance, in CMS development, there’s a gap in front-end development. Front-end-as-a-service solutions fill this gap effectively. This trend definitely impacts the 

Increasing use of microservices architecture

In addition to headless front-end architecture, you can see the shift towards microservices that necessitate more flexible yet adaptable front-end solutions. FEaaS platforms that can seamlessly integrate with various microservices are becoming more popular, pushing the market towards a more modular frontend structure.

Demand for mobile-first responsive design

The need for mobile-responsive design as more and more users shift to mobile devices is another driver of web development. This requirement broadens the market for advanced pre-made solutions as businesses seek platforms that can guarantee native-like performance on both desktop and mobile interfaces.

The change in perception of UX

The ubiquitous focus on UX drives the evolution of front-end-as-a-service solutions to be more friendly and efficient. The typical service providers are forced to continuously improve their offerings to help developers create applications that provide superior user experience.

Integration with AI and ML

As AI and ML become integral parts of any web application, ready-to-use front-end solutions are adapting to support these technologies. This trend creates a demand for more advanced frontend technology capable of incorporating intelligent features, which, in turn, makes them more attractive to businesses looking to leverage AI.

Key components of front-end-as-a-service

Alright, now that FaaS’s meaning is already clear, let’s take a closer look at its key elements. First, we have reusable components for UI. In this way, UI development can resemble building interfaces with Lego bricks. Modern front-end-as-a-service solutions offer customizable components that can be slightly changed for each particular situation. They offer buttons, menus, text fields, and other visual elements, which are not only visually appealing but also highly effective (in terms of reducing the development time). 

Next up, there is the integration capability. This aspect focuses on the seamless interaction between the FEaaS and various services and APIs. In the modern web ecosystem, applications are required to integrate with a multitude of third-party services, such as databases, authentication systems, and third-party utilities. Front-end-as-a-service simplifies these integrations, often offering a simple way to create connections between disparate technical elements. 

Benefits of adopting front-end-as-a-service

Benefits of adopting FEaaS

Rapid development

Adopting FEaaS significantly speeds up the frontend development process. Templates, as well as pre-built individual components provided by such solutions, allow developers to assemble web interfaces faster. Same with the deployment process. 

Consistent user experience

Pre-made front-end solutions ensure a consistent and high-quality UX across various platforms. By using standardized components, businesses can maintain a uniform look and feel, enhancing brand consistency and user trust.

Cost savings

Since we are talking about pre-made frontend components, the time and resources needed for the development can be significantly cut down. This reduction in development effort translated directly into cost savings, making it a budget-friendly option for startups and e-commerce platforms.

Focus on core business functions

With FEaaS, frontend developers don’t have to spend as much time on routine tasks, freeing resources up to focus on strategy, planning, and architecture. This allows businesses to allocate their resources more efficiently.

Easy maintenance and updates

Maintaining and updating the front end becomes simpler with FEaaS. Since the service providers manage the components, they ensure that everything is up-to-date with the latest web standards and technologies, reducing the maintenance burden on the development team.


Most of the ready-made solutions are designed to be scalable, meaning they can handle increased loads and user growth without a hitch. This scalability ensures that as a business grows, its web applications can also easily grow without the need for extensive reengineering. 

Resolving challenges in front-end-as-a-service

Although “as-a-service” solutions offer a streamlined way to build software, several concerns arise during the development process. The major concern is integrating pre-made elements with the existing systems. Actually, integrating FEaaS into existing systems may also pose significant challenges compared to the traditional development approaches. Compatibility between the FaaS components and the underlying architecture of the project often requires additional effort and a good understanding of APIs, SDKs, and the specific configurations that enable these components to communicate effectively with backend services. Developers must also handle the complexities of integrating third-party services, which can vary widely in terms of documentation quality and support for customization.

However, strategic approaches that include thorough planning and testing can help overcome these challenges. For instance, even easy actions such as mapping out the integration points between FEaaS components and the existing system architecture can help to identify potential compatibility issues early in the development process. Effective use of version control systems and continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD) pipelines can also facilitate smoother integration by enabling incremental changes and automated testing. And, of course, you need clear communication between front-end and back-end teams. 

Another challenge arises from the performance overhead that can accompany the use of multiple ready-made front-end components, potentially slowing down the application. A straightforward solution is to implement performance monitoring tools from the outset, allowing developers to pinpoint and optimize resource-intensive operations. Additionally, managing the state across different components in architecture with FEaaS-based elements can be complex. However, utilizing specialized state management libraries designed to work seamlessly with as-a-service solutions can simplify state synchronization and improve the user experience. 

Comparative analysis: traditional front end vs. FEaaS

AspectTraditional frontend developmentFEaaS
Development cycleLonger development process, custom-made elementsRapid development time with pre-built components.
Resource allocationRequires a dedicated, skilled team.Reduces the need for an extensive in-house team.
CostHigher due to development and resources.Cost-effective in the short term; however, additional customization may require additional costs.
Maintenance Continuous effort for updates.Streamlined by service prover.
FlexibilityComplete control over customization.Some limitations in customization, depending on business models.
ScalabilityDepends on the particular case, but it may be challenging and resource-intensive.Typically easily adaptable to growth and load.
SecurityFull control but requires constant updates.Managed by a service provider, usually high standard.
Cross-platform compatibilityNeeds extra work for uniform experience.Better-out-of-the-box compatibility
Innovation potentialCustom solutions offer unique features.Limited by available components.
Long-term viabilityDepends on ongoing tech investment.Relies on the provider’s updates and stability.

In many aspects, this comparison repeats many theses from our custom software development market review. In this review, we compared custom development with off-the-shelf solutions. Although we compared a particular element of the development here, most of the arguments are still valid. By asking what is front-end service type that will fit my project best, you should primarily answer for yourself what your business goals are. If you seek a headless CMS, e-commerce platform, or any other kind of solution that is widely presented in the market yet doesn’t require significant customization — front-end-as-a-service can be an ideal choice. Looking for highly customized enterprise software with unique digital experiences? Probably no. The limitations in customization and developer autonomy make custom development more desirable for such solutions.

FEaaS are still too young as a phenomenon to draw any conclusion about it from a long-term perspective. Until we haven’t defined front-end-as-a-service meaning well and this development concept is still in its infancy, its full potential and direction remain somewhat speculative. For sure, front-end-as-a-service will largely depend on the general front-end development trends, such as the adoption of micro-frontends or greater integration of AI in the development cycles, but it’s also important to consider the broader technological and market dynamics that will shape its evolution. In this sense, we would suggest that we will see:

  • Bigger standardization in terms of components and practices of integration;
  • Integration with existing development workflows;
  • A wide range of tools provided by bigger community support;
  • Further alignment with emergent technologies;
  • A wide spectrum of tech stacks and industries where using FEaaS would be a good idea (adaptation to market demands).

Choosing the right FEaaS provider

Choosing the right development provider is a critical decision for any business looking for a decent online presence. Whether you are looking for a development team to enhance your existing project or a trusted advisor regarding development tools, market trends, or available solutions, don’t hesitate to contact ELITEX. As a software development company with a decade of experience in the market, we offer a comprehensive range of custom development services and pre-made solutions tailored to meet your business rules and goals, ensuring results beyond your expectations.


FAQs on front-end-as-a-service

What does front-end service mean?

First of all, we should divide the question into front-end service meaning and front-end-as-a-service meaning. Front-end service typically refers to the development and delivery of web interfaces, while FEaaS is a development approach that provides developers with development tools and infrastructure to build web applications using pre-made front-end components.

What are the main benefits of using frontend-as-a-service for web development?

Their main benefits include accelerated development time, scalability, and enhanced customer experience. FEaaS allows developers to focus on designing and improving UI/UX without worrying about backend integration, hosting, and infrastructure management, as well as without writing code from scratch. Also, these solutions offer built-in scalability and performance optimization, ensuring applications can handle varying loads with ease.

Which kind of businesses benefit most from front-end-as-a-services?

Startups, SMEs, and marketing teams with limited IT resources, as well as those looking to launch digital products quickly, stand to gain the most. In a word, we are speaking about a cost-effective, scalable solution that can adapt to changing business needs and varying business models, making it ideal for projects requiring rapid development and deployment.

How does FEaaS integrate with existing backend business logic?

FEaaS solutions typically integrate with the backend services through APIs, webhooks, and microservices. This allows the frontend to communicate and exchange data with the backend seamlessly, ensuring that the application’s user interface is dynamic, responsive, and up-to-date with the latest business logic and data.

Can FEaaS be customized for unique project requirements?

Yes, FEaaS platforms offer some customization options; however, not all elements can be fully customized. 

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