Abstract An approach for increasing the flexibility and reusability of finite element applications for scientific computing is investigated by utilizing the ViennaX framework. Implementations are decoupled into components, allowing for extensible application setups as well as convenient changes in the simulation flow. The feasibility of our approach is shown by decoupling finite element implementations, provided by the ViennaFEM and the deal.II library, respectively. A ViennaFEM elasticity problem is highly decoupled into separate components, whereas an adaptive mesh refinement example provided by the deal.II library is used to show ViennaX’s support for execution loops. Finally, we underline the high level of flexibility and reusability by outlining the transformation from the depicted applications into a finite volume-based solution of the Poisson equation.