Scalability, Architecture and Infrastructure

Did you know that in 2019, consumers downloaded over 200 billion apps?

Building a new app could mean massive success or catastrophic failure. That’s why understanding mobile app architecture and scalability is so important.

If your app idea is amazing but your execution is poor, you’re never going to bring in the revenue that you deserve. Rushing the architecture phase of app design is going to cause problems down the line.

And if your app isn’t scalable, how will it cope with increased usage?

There are many important things to consider when choosing an app architecture. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know.

Building a Mobile App in 2021
Mobile apps are programs that users download to their mobile devices. They are generally lightweight and offer users unique functionalities. Mobile UIs are also optimized for viewability on smaller screen sizes.

Are you thinking of building an app in 2021? There’s a lot to consider when it comes to mobile app development.

In fact, there are several different kinds of mobile apps that you should be aware of.

Native Apps
The term ‘native app’ refers to any application that users install onto their device. Native apps also run on specific operating systems. For example, if you build an IOS app, Android users will not be able to install it because it is specific to the Apple platform.

Native apps are also hosted on an App store like Google Play. Native apps store information locally on the user’s device.

Web Apps
Web applications are different from native mobile apps. In fact, they’re not really apps at all. Rather, they are websites that look and behave like mobile apps.

Users don’t need to download or install web applications. Rather, they can access them directly from their phone’s internet browser.

The advantage of web apps is that they work on any device with an internet connection. The disadvantage is that they cannot work offline like many native apps.

Progressive Web Apps (PWAs)
The term ‘progressive web app’ refers to a new and exciting mobile app technology. PWAs are hybrid apps, somewhere between native apps and web apps.

Progressive web applications run through the browser but they behave like native apps. Users can alsoinstall’ them to their phone’s home screen and launch them offline.

PWAs run on web technologies such as HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript. There is a container of sorts that ‘wraps’ the app to allow it to access device features like the camera. In this way, they retain the functionality of native apps.

Building a Successful App
The truth is that most apps fail. But those that succeed are often used by millions of people all over the world.

Remember, all apps began life as mere ideas. Having a good idea for an app is the first step to success. Brainstorming and market research can help you decide if your idea is worth pursuing.

Also, make sure your app isn’t too complicated. You should be able to describe it in a single sentence.

Above all, sold mobile app development is the best way to make your app a success. Developing an app requires knowledge of app architecture, infrastructure, and scalability.

What Is Mobile App Architecture?
Mobile app architecture refers to the combination of individual components within the mobile app system. Software architecture is an important principle in all software design.

When it comes to building a mobile app, there are techniques that developers follow. These techniques help to simplify the process and create a robust product.

The architecture of a mobile app is like the foundation of a building. Without a solid architecture, your app is doomed to fail.

Mobile app architecture takes into account all the elements that define a mobile app. This includes the UI, tech stack, databases, etc.

There are different architecture patterns that developers can choose. In fact, different operating systems also call for different designs. So if you’re building an app for Android, your architecture will be different than if you were building an app for iPhone.

Importance of Well-Designed App Infrastructure
Not much can be done without first deciding on an architecture pattern. This forms the skeleton of your app going forward.

If you ignore the architecture of your application, the following difficulties may arise:

Difficulty testing source code
Frequent errors inside your app
Difficulty maintaining your app
Difficulty updating your app
Poor code readability
These issues not only affect the development process but also affect the customer experience. If users don’t enjoy interacting with your app, then they won’t use it. And if nobody uses it, your app is a failure.

Considerations for Application Architecture
When designing the architecture of your mobile app, there are several things to consider. Here are some of the most important aspects of a good mobile app design.

Always think about the various device types that customers use. Phones and tablets have different screen sizes, resolutions, and performance specs. All of this is important when building your architecture.

Apps, in large part, are dependant on the software and hardware of mobile devices. That’s why it’s important to take this into account when deciding on the right architecture.

Your application architecture should be able to deal with drops in connectivity and bandwidth. A robust architecture design can cope with all kinds of network conditions.

Data access, caching and state-management should all be implemented according to good design practice.

One of the most important front-end aspects of app design is navigation. App navigation is directly tied to user experience. Creating a killer user experience is necessary for your app to be successful.

Before designing your navigation, think about your target customers. How will they use your app and what layout would benefit them most?

UX refers to user experience and it’s another crucial consideration. Your app’s interface should keep users engaged while displaying important navigation controls.

UX design is a specialty area in itself. You may wish to consult a UX expert when architecting this part of your app.

App Architecture Layers
Mobile application architectures are made up of different layers. It’s important to understand these layers and how they fit into the overall design of your mobile app.

The most popular app architecture is a 3-layer architecture. These different layers are referred to as the data layer, the business logic layer, and the presentation layer.

Data Layer
The data layer of the application should provide efficient data flow to the other layers. This layer manages the data sources and synchronizes them.

The data layer needs to be flexible enough so that it can change with changing business logic requirements. The different components of the data layer include utilities, helpers, and service agents.

Business Logic Layer
The business logic layer receives data from the data layer. It then processes it and sends it to the presentation layer for presentation to the user.

Presentation Layer
The presentation layer focuses on presenting the app to the user. It depends on screen sizes and device behavior. The presentation layer must use robust data validation to protect against attack.

App Architecture Principles
Good mobile app architecture is one that uses solid programming practices and patterns.

Following best practices is important for ensuring your app is easy to maintain. This is crucial to the future viability of your app.

Good application design also centers around reusability. This refers to the Components and protocols within the architecture of the app. Code reusability is an important principle in software development.

Another key part of app architecture is security. Your app’s design needs to secure and encrypt important data. Insecure apps won’t make it onto the app store, and those that do won’t be there for very long.

Performance is the final consideration when it comes to architecture design. Users expect apps to load fast without any lag or errors. If your app is too slow, you risk losing customers.

The next thing to consider is the scalability of your app.

What Is Mobile App Scalability?
App scalability refers to an app’s ability to manage increased traffic. If your app isn’t scalable, it may struggle to cope with an increasing number of users.

Scalability also refers to the maintainability of an app. If developers cannot add new features to an app, then its scalability is poor. Being able to extend an app’s existing features means it’s scalable.

Benefits of a Scalable App
There are several advantages when it comes to designing a scalable app. Here are some of the main ones.

Positive User Experience
Having more and more users on your app is a good thing. But what if your app cannot cope with the increased usage?

This is likely to cause poor performance and slow load times. Your app may even crash due to the influx of new traffic.

This can all affect the user experience and you might lose a lot of potential customers. A scalable app will be able to handle this increased traffic, without a decrease in performance.

A scalable app means a flexible app. Flexibility refers to the ability to add new features and make upgrades to your app. Staying competitive in the app market means constantly improving your app’s functionality.

If your app is too rigid and doesn’t allow for easy upgrades, then you’re going to fall behind the competition.

Potential For Growth
Your app might be small now, but what happens if it takes off in the future? Creating a scalable app means there’s lots of space for growth without limitation.

Tips For Building a Scalable App
When it comes to building a scalable app, there are several important factors to keep in mind.

Tech Stack
You should spend time choosing the right technology stack for your app. Your tech stack refers to the combination of technologies, APIs, and software that you use to build your application.

Using outdated technologies is a sure way to fail. You should choose modern programming languages and technologies that are fast, and well-supported.

Programming Language
The programming language you choose can impact the scalability of your app. Some programming languages offer advantages that others don’t. When deciding which language to use, consider the needs of your app.

Your chosen language should be easy to use and well-supported by a strong community of developers.

Caching refers to saving a copy of important files so that they load instantly, without making requests to the server. Caching helps scalability by reducing the load on your server and improving performance.

Using a CDN
CDN stands for content Delivery Network’. CDNs speed up the delivery of your app’s content to the end-user. This helps to improve performance and decrease load times.

Mobile App Infrastructure
This is where application architecture comes is. Having a well-designed architecture ensures that your app remains scalable and maintainable.

Application infrastructure should be designed based on a forward-looking model.

Database Consideration
Database type and design is an important consideration when it comes to app scalability. For example, you can divide data between multiple servers for improved performance.

Scalable App Example: NodeJS and MongoDB
Thanks to evolving technology, building and deploying apps have never been easier.

Most applications require a data storage system. The NodeJS JavaScript framework can work with MongoDB, one of the most popular database technologies.

MongoDB Atlas is a cloud-based data storage system that provides mobility and workload optimization. It’s the best way to run MongoDB in the cloud and it’s free to get started.

NodeJS is an open-source server environment that runs on JavaScript. NodeJS can generate dynamic content, collect data and modify data in the database.

You can then deploy your app on AWS Cloud using Docker, a containerization service that helps you run distributed applications. To make the process easier, you can use cold brew, a CLI tool that automates the process of deploying AWS Docker containers.

You’ll need to create an EC2 instance, which is Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud service. This allows you to rent virtual machines on which to run your app. EC2 lets you run as many virtual servers as you want and you can scale up or down as needed.

Choosing a Serverless Provider
Part of ensuring your app is scalable and robust is choosing the right hosting provider. These days, most apps are hosted on cloud computing models called serverless providers.

In the serverless model, cloud providers allocate machine resources to your application on demand and manage servers on your behalf.

Some of the most popular serverless providers are Amazon’s AWS Lambda, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure. Choosing the right provider depends on performance, functionality, and cost.

When evaluating different serverless providers, you should think about the long-term success of your project.

Having said that, it’s difficult to go wrong with any of the three platforms as each offers several tools for error tracking and monitoring as well as fast execution times.

Mobile App Development Solutions For Your Business
You should now understand the basics of mobile application architecture and scalability. These important principles can decide the success (or failure) of your application.

Building a solid app architecture is not just a matter of understanding how each component fits together. Solid architecture design requires real-world development experience. That’s where a professional team comes in.

Eb Pearls offers mobile app development services for small businesses and startups. We have an international team of software developers, UX designers, and solutions architects ready to help you with your next project. Get in touch with us today.

Akash Shakya

Coming from distributed computing background, Akash manages the Sydney operations. He is highly technical yet very business focused and is always driven to create successful business products for our clients.

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