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Move advances Cloudflare’s plans to expand in the web application market.

Cloudflare has announced hat it has acquired Bitgenics Pty, an Australian startup better known as Linc. The acquisition rounds out Cloudflares offering with technology for simplifying the development of web applications. 

Developing a frontend for an online service, with its intricate and multilayered UI. is a daunting project. It usually takes multiple teams working on discrete areas to bring the entire undertaking together. Linc has built a platform that makes it easier for those teams to collaborate.

The acquisition was detailed in a Cloudflare blog post this week. Aly Cabral, Cloudflare’s Director of Product, and Glenn Maddern, Linc’s CTO, wrote a joint post about the deal.

Making frontends easier to develop and deploy

“Linc has done amazing work with Frontend Application Bundles (FABs), making dynamic backends more accessible to frontend developers,” writes Cabral. “Their approach offers a straightforward path to building end-to-end applications on Pages,” he adds. This is because they combine frontend logic with backend logic in one bundle. With the addition of Linc, we will accelerate Pages to enable richer and more powerful full-stack applications.”

Static vs Dynamic frontends

“Linc and the Frontend Application Bundle (FAB) specification were designed with a single goal in mind,” writes Glenn Maddern. This gives frontend developers the best possible tools to build, review, refine, and deploy their applications.

One of the biggest problems in frontend web development today is moving from generating static sites to dynamic ones, says Maddern.

Linc’s FABs offer a deployment artefact to support the full range of server-side needs, he says. This goes from entirely static sites all the way to full server-side streaming rendering. Linc has also made FABs compatible with all major cloud hosting providers. This means that deploying becomes as easy as uploading a ZIP file.

Buying Linc allow Cloudflare to offer developers an easy way to host applications on the company’s new Cloudflare Pages service. It also provides an easier way to build and deploy those applications. The deal rounds out the company’s strategy to provide an end-to-end set of products to help customers deliver web services.