It seems like the Wolfram Cloud now provides all the functionality needed to implement complex server-side web applications. It can handle HTTP requests (via
APIFunction) and function calls directly from, say, a Mathematica notebook on a client computer; it can use a network of Wolfram Language functions to implement server-side logic and decision-making; and it can store persistent data natively (via, e.g.,
CloudExpression), or interface with a RDBMS. So, the Wolfram Cloud can, in principle, do anything that Apache plus PHP plus MySQL (or any other server app stack) can do.
BUT: Very few people code nontrivial web apps by cobbling together HTML files, PHP scripts, and hand-crafted SQL queries. Instead, we use carefully architected frameworks to manage all the complexity: Django, or Ruby on Rails, or WordPress, or Zope, or etc. (Does anyone remember UserLand Frontier?)
I haven't been able to find any advice about or support for developing complex web apps with the Wolfram Cloud. So, my question: What relevant "best practices" or other advice can this community recommend for developing a web app back-end entirely in Wolfram Cloud? (I'm imagining using a Mathematica notebook for the front end, but could also see using a web browser.) How should one organize and keep track of the pieces, and avoid losing or confusing those ugly UUIDs? Store persistent data efficiently without concurrency problems? Authenticate users and avoid security holes? Prototype and test locally, and then deploy? Etc…
And a subsidiary question: How might one organize a WC-based "web application framework"?