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It has been three years since the release of Vue 3. Meanwhile, the Vue.js Team announced that Vue 2 will reach End of Life on December 31st, 2023.

So, how to welcome 2024 with Vue 3 and why should businesses hurry up and upgrade ASAP?

In this blog post, we will share with you:

  • key reasons to migrate 
  • brand new features in Vue 3 and differences between Vue versions 
  • our migration story
  • tips on how to migrate even complex projects smoothly 

Reasons to migrate and Its Challenges

Designed as a minimalist alternative to Angular, Vue.js is one of today's most preferred JS frameworks. The latest version centers on performance and introduces features like Composition API and greater code modularity.

When the question 'Should we migrate to Vue3?' arises, the answer is yes. While migrating may require efforts and resources, the benefits of performance, maintainability, and future-proofing make it worthwhile.

As your product continues to evolve, the codebase must be upgraded from Vue2 to Vue3. If you are starting a new project today, Vue.js 3 is recommended.

As of 2023, Zoom, Apple, Nintendo, and GitLab used Vue.js in 2023. The last one can serve as a trusted illustration of why migrating from Vue2 to Vue3 is a non-skippable step and how to handle this process. Here, you can check GitLab’s ongoing codebase migration flow and track its current state.

upgrade vue2 to vue3

<medium>The later you start the migration, the more complicated this process will be. <medium>It is more likely that the next feature for your app will take three times longer to implement because it will be available only on Vue3. Hence, it would require more time and effort and, as a result, would be highly cost-intensive.

And we come to the new question: what more challenges could a delayed migration to Vue3 bring?

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Challenge #1: Breaking changes and complex process

Migrating to Vue 3 can be challenging, depending on your project's size and complexity. It involves updating large amounts of code and rechecking that everything works as expected. Migration of the existing project becomes even more tricky when it involves upgrading the under-the-hood technology that the whole system runs on. 

Adapting existing code and APIs may require a number of modifications that can affect the app’s behavior. Over time, the required changes and scope of work will increase in direct proportion to the Vue 3 development and old features’ obsolescence.

At Freshcode, we recently migrated an app (~150K lines of code) from Vue 2.6 to Vue 3.3 in about four weeks. In the last section of the article, we talk about our experience. 

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Challenge #2: Performance and optimization

Vue.js 3 offers optimized app performance, but you may face several performance issues if not handled carefully during the migration process. Vue 2 to Vue 3 migration is not always straightforward, and businesses should be aware of potential issues and rely on an experienced engineering team.

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Challenge #3: Time and resource allocation

As is known, one of the biggest challenges in software development is not creating new functionality but supporting existing ones. With increasing dependencies and complexity, you may face hurdles in keeping everything updated. That’s why app migration requires time, costs, and human resources. However, as a result, it will help you keep your application up-to-date and meet user expectations.

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After considering the mentioned challenges, the third and final question arises: is the game worth the candles? Once again, the answer is yes.

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While migrating large systems is usually a daunting task, it will be helpful to understand <medium>the reasons behind it.<medium> In the next section, we will discuss why migrating to Vue3 is a profitable and essential step for your business.

6 key benefits of migration

vue 3 benefits

Timely migration to Vue3 brings several valuable benefits. Reliability and cost-effectiveness are at the top of the list, but the benefits are not limited to these factors. 

So, what does your product gain from Vue 3?

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Vue 2 vs Vue 3: what are the differences

Let's explore key features from Vue.js 2 that have either been deprecated or updated in Vue.js 3. That’s not a complete list of Vue 3 breaking changes; all the details you can find in the official Vue documentation.

Deprecated Vue 2 features

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Updated Vue 2 features

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How Freshcode migrates from Vue 2 to Vue 3

In this chapter, we prepare a brief overview of our case study on how we migrated an app (~150K lines of code) from Vue 2.6 to Vue 3.3 in about four weeks.

We prepared this migration following the official Vue Migration Tutorial, but also discovered different drawbacks and caveats while migrating our project. Here, we share steps were involved so other businesses can benefit from our experience.

Project description

The Vue.js framework’s first large pre-beta release happened in late 2016, and the platform we are about to introduce began development on top of Vue in 2015. This turned out to be a good decision — Vue remains the underlying technology of this product to this day.

It is a TeleHealth platform that provides autism therapy services. The application is used every day by thousands of active users all around the world.

As the app evolved together with the Vue community over the years, it expanded to become a fully-fledged product. This is where our migration story begins.

Strategy for the migration

A well-defined strategy is a guiding framework that ensures alignment, efficiency, and effectiveness in the development process. When preparing for migration planning, it's essential to consider these six factors:

Migration plan

It's also important to have a clear plan to guide the migration process efficiently and ensure a smooth transition.

At Freshcode, we have achieved a complete migration following these eight steps:

Vue order graphics

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<medium>Extrastep: Update your unit tests<medium>
Vue 3 migration brings changes to the testing library, which can affect the behavior of your components and how they interact with the Vue ecosystem. Therefore, you may need to update your unit tests to ensure that your app continues to work correctly with the new version.

<medium>Extrastep: Fix TypeScript support<medium>

This option can involve different steps regarding the project tech stack: 

If <medium>TS is already used<medium> in the project:
1. Fix TypeScript support

If <medium>TS is not used<medium> in the project:
1. Integrate TS into the project
2. Just skip this stage and continue migration without using TS

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Results

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<medium>The main drawbacks were:<medium>

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To sum up

Migrating from Vue 2 to Vue 3 may sound challenging, but it is an achievable task with proper planning. We hope that our experience will help you upgrade Vue2 to Vue 3 and  start the process smoothly.

If you are looking for a software development team to guide you through the migration, please contact us. We will provide recommendations for your project and ensure together that Freshcode can meet your business needs.

With updated features and improved performance, Vue 3 will make your product faster and more enjoyable for users. 

Don't be afraid to take the leap. Safely upgrade your product to Vue 3 and start 2024 with a competitive edge.

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