Framework Vs. Library: Concept, Example and Differences

Framework Vs. Library: Concept, Example and Differences

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Updated on Jun 2, 2023 18:45 IST

In this article we will explore Framework Vs. Library with different examples and will also check why we need framework and library.

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Software frameworks are collections of pre-integrated and predesigned code modules that facilitate software development. Frameworks make developing software fast, efficient, and error-free. On the other hand, a software library is a collection of software that is accessible to all users. Frameworks can be used to develop different types of applications or systems. Some frameworks focus on specific programming languages such as Java, C++, or Python. Frameworks are an innovative concept that has revolutionized the field of programming. With framework, you only need to code specific parts of a framework once- it’s ready for use and remains updated over time. Developers use frameworks whenever possible because they save time and energy. In this article we will see Framework Vs. Library.

Table of contents

Differences between Framework and Library

Parameter Framework Library
Control Flow Controls the overall flow of the application Developer retains control over the flow
Extensiveness More comprehensive, providing a broad set of tools Focuses on specific functionality or problem-solving
Flexibility More rigid with strict conventions and guidelines More flexible, allowing selective usage
Architectural May enforce its own architectural patterns Does not dictate the overall application structure
Examples Ruby on Rails, Django, React, Flutter jQuery, NumPy, Gson, Boost, OpenCV
Inversion of Control Framework manages the flow and calls developer’s code Developer decides when and how to use the library

What is the Framework?

A framework is like a foundation for developers to build applications for a particular platform. It contains reusable code written to perform common tasks, with code provided by the custom function developer. Frameworks can contain defined and undefined objects and functions that developers can use to build their applications. This allows you to add significant functionality to your system using existing code around your structure.

Frameworks provide a standard set of tools and conventions that developers can use to build and manage the various components of an application, such as data storage, user interface, and business logic. 

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Examples of Framework

Popular web frameworks include:

Django – An open-source Python framework, Django is known for being fast, secure and maintainable. Django uses a “batteries included” approach where it provides many features out of the box.

Ruby on Rails – A Ruby-based framework, Rails provides default structures for a database, web pages, and web applications. It emphasizes convention over configuration, making common development tasks easier.
Laravel – A PHP framework, Laravel aims to make development simple and enjoyable. It provides tools and conventions to make coding PHP fun and productive. Laravel focuses on elegant, expressive syntax.
React – A JavaScript framework, React makes it easier to create interactive UIs. It uses a component-based approach where you break the UI into independent, reusable pieces. React focuses on view layer functionality.

Why do we use Frameworks?

  • This framework allows developers to work efficiently on any project (using the framework is not mandatory, it’s just a simple add-on feature) and helps developers achieve their goals smoothly.
  • This allows developers to easily work with any (complex) programming language
  • Flexible and scalable
  • Frameworks make it easy to integrate almost anything using built-in APIs
  • Frameworks provide higher security and help reduce costs
  • Developers can call libraries to use components, classes, and methods to perform specific tasks. However, the framework already provides code to perform common tasks and uses code provided by the custom function developer.

What is a Library?

A library is a collection of pre-written code that can be used to perform common tasks or add specific functionality to a program. Libraries are often written in a specific programming language and are designed to be easily reusable and modular. So developers don’t have to write code to perform a specific function because the library already contains the code for the specific function. Standard libraries are available for most programming languages, but programmers can also create their own custom libraries.

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Examples of Library

  • For natural language processing
  1. NLTK (Python)
  2. spaCy (Python)
  3. CoreNLP (Java)
  • For data manipulation and analysis
  1. NumPy (Python)
  2. Pandas (Python)
  3. Scikit-learn (Python)
  • For machine learning
  1. scikit-learn (Python)
  2. Keras (Python)
  3. TensorFlow (Python)
  • For web development
  1. jQuery (JavaScript)
  2. Bootstrap (HTML, CSS, JavaScript)
  3. React (JavaScript)
  • For image processing
  1. OpenCV (C++, Python)
  2. Pillow (Python)
  3. Magick++ (C++)

Why do we use Libraries?

  1. Reusability: Libraries provide pre-written, tested, and debugged code that can be reused across multiple projects, saving developers time and effort.
  2. Consistency: Libraries provide a consistent and well-documented interface, making it easier for developers to integrate them into their projects and for other developers to understand and maintain the code.
  3. Community support: Popular libraries are often maintained and updated by a community of developers, ensuring that they are up-to-date with the latest technologies and standards.
  4. Compatibility: Libraries often have built-in compatibility with other popular libraries or frameworks, making it easy for developers to add new features or functionality to their projects.
  5. Specialized functionality: Libraries often provide specialized functionality that can be difficult or time-consuming to implement from scratch, such as complex data structures, mathematical algorithms, or graphical user interface element

Key Differences between Framework and Library

  • The framework will tell you where to put your code, but will call your code as needed. Simply put, your code calls the code in the library, but in the framework it is the code in the framework that calls the code
  • A framework is a set of pre-written code that provides a structure for developing software applications. A library, on the other hand, is a collection of pre-written code that can be used to perform specific tasks.  
  • Framework defines the overall architecture of the application and provides a common set of conventions for building and maintaining the code. Library is typically smaller in scope than a framework and is intended to be used as a tool to help developers accomplish specific tasks. 
  • A framework as a collection of libraries, but completely different. Use libraries to control program flow. Access your library anytime, anywhere. On the other hand, with a framework, the flow is controlled by the framework. 
  • Frameworks tend to be more tightly coupled to the application, meaning that the framework’s code is closely interwoven with the application’s code. Libraries are typically more loosely coupled, meaning that the library’s code can be used independently of the application’s code.
  • Frameworks provide a more comprehensive set of functionality and often include a wide variety of pre-built components. Libraries tend to be more specialized and provide a specific set of functions or tools.
  • Frameworks can be more rigid and may limit the developer’s ability to customize certain aspects of the application. Libraries are generally more flexible and can be easily replaced or swapped out if necessary.
  • Frameworks often require a significant amount of code to be written by the developer to work with the framework, whereas libraries are typically easier to integrate and depend on the use case.You just have to install it.
  • Frameworks are usually larger in size and may include many more files and classes than libraries, which are usually smaller and more focused.

Conclusion

Code written in both libraries and frameworks was written by someone else (or another developer) to allow users to perform many standard tasks in different ways. Nor does it mean that users cannot create their own libraries.

 When a user uses the library programmatically, the user has full control, but when talking about the user using the framework, the framework itself has full control, not the user. Or you could say that program control is reversed when the user uses the framework instead of the library.

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FAQs

What is the concept of a library?

A library is a collection of precompiled code modules or functions that developers can use to add specific functionality to their applications. Unlike frameworks, libraries do not dictate the overall structure or design of an application. Instead, they offer a set of tools and utilities that developers can selectively utilize in their code to perform specific tasks or access certain features.

What are some examples of frameworks?

There are several popular frameworks used in software development across different domains. Some examples include: Web development: Ruby on Rails, Django, Laravel JavaScript: React, Angular, Vue.js Mobile app development: React Native, Flutter, Xamarin Data science: TensorFlow, PyTorch, Scikit-learn

What are some examples of libraries?

Libraries exist for various programming languages and serve different purposes. Here are a few examples: JavaScript: jQuery, Lodash, Moment.js Python: NumPy, Pandas, Requests Java: Apache Commons, Gson, Jackson C++: Boost, OpenCV, Qt

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