A robust foundation is essential, especially when you are developing or constructing a mobile app. As time passes, the business enterprises are focusing more on building the apps to reach out to the targeted audience. It makes a fierce competition.
According to Statista, 2.1 million apps are available on Google Play Store, and 1.8 million apps are available on the Apple App Store.
Talking about mobile app revenue, the global mobile app revenue is forecasted $189 million by 2020.
It looks like the competition is tough and does not allow each of them to reach the set the target.
To succeed in this battleground, it is imperative to choose a suitable mobile app architecture. Do you know that most of the apps fail due to poor architecture? The primary reason behind this is the lack of understanding in mobile app architecture and mobile app development process.
Stating Mobile App Architecture
In a layman’s language, mobile app architecture is a set of techniques and patterns that are required to be followed in order to build a fully structured mobile application. These patterns and requirements are formulated by keeping the vendor’s requirements and industry standards in mind.
In the most basic form, the mobile app architecture embraces a set of patterns and techniques that developers follow to build a fully structured mobile application. The specific elements of the architecture are chosen based on the app’s features and requirements.
What Makes a Good Mobile App Architecture
A good mobile app architecture ensures that components have multiple responsibility layers. Or, good mobile application architecture is the one that will enforce assumptions and good programming patterns like SOLID or KISS.
Meeting all these conditions allow you to accelerate development and make future maintenance much easier. This way, it saves your time and money.However, a wisely selected architecture together with platform-specific technology like Swift for iOS or Kotlin for Android will be the best for resolving complex business problems in the most effective way for mobile projects.
It will allow you to avoid many problems causing the quirks of hybrid technologies. This will be a time and money-saving approach in the long term.
Good architecture must be so abstract as it can be applied to the platforms such as iOS or Android. One of the most crucial features of a good architecture is - responsibility layer separation.
The Multiple Layers of Mobile App Architecture Design
One of the most popular multilayer architecture is a three-layer architecture. The main three important layers are:
- Presentation Layer
- Business Layer
- Data Access Layer
The presentation layer pays attention to the components of the User Interface and UI process components. The primary focus of this layer is how the application would be presented to the end user. While designing this layer, app developers are supposed to determine the correct client type that is compliant with the infrastructure.
Presentation layer embraces UI components and UI process components. When discussing this layer, the mobile app developer should define how the mobile app will present itself in front of the end user. The important things like themes, fonts, colors, etc. should also be decided at this stage.
It represents the core of the mobile app, which exposes functionalities. The business logic layer can be deployed on the backend server and user remotely by the mobile application to reduce the load. This load is due to the limited resources available on mobile devices.
The layer mainly focuses on the business front. The business logic layer includes workflows, business components, and entities beneath the hood.
Data Access Layer
This layer is created from the combination of data utilities, data access components, and service agents. Data access layer meets with the application requirements and facilitates secure data transactions. It is important to design this layer because it could scale in the future. This is the third stage data as it includes Data access components, data helpers/utilities, and service agents.
The other factor for designing this layer is to select the correct data format and put in place a strong validation technique. This way, your app can be protected from invalid data input.
Mobile app developers should focus on the decoupling of business logic from the presentation layer code.
Example of Mobile App Architecture Usage
A clear and defined architecture can make the developer’s work easier and faster. Developers also have better control over work and data flow in the application. A clear and defined architecture does not only make things easier but it also makes testing more efficient and increase the quality of an application.
In the image of the three-layer model, you can see the implementation of each of the layers will be dependent on its purpose or project scope.
The presentation layer relies on screen designs and their behavior. On the other hand, the Business Layer depends on what kind of data will be provided by the data layer. It also relies on how this data needs to be processed to match the presentation layer’s requirements.
The data layer will be responsible for managing the sources of data, synchronizing them, and providing it to the higher levels. The data layer has the most specified scope and making it the perfect starting point for optimizations.
To start the optimization data layer, it is important to select a programming pattern that will solve common problems and make work easier and faster. The optimal pattern for mobile projects for data layer will be the so-called Repository pattern.
One of the most popular patterns, Repository Pattern, is to create an enterprise level application. It is easy to use and clean pattern, which restricts developers to work directly with the data in the app. It also helps to create new layers for database operations, business logic, and the app’s UI. If the mobile app does not follow the Repository pattern, it may have the following problems:
- It would be hard to implement database caching
- Duplicate database operation codes
By using the Repository Pattern, it embraces the following advantages:
- The database access code can be reused.
- It is easy to implement domain logic.
- Your domain entities or business entities are strongly typed with annotations.
- Your database access code is centrally managed. So that it is easy to implement any database access policies like caching.
The Repository pattern is one of many examples of patterns for data layers. For large mobile projects, Repository pattern is a perfect solution because it resolves the problem of managing multiple data sources and mapping data entities used by business logic components.
Important Factors to Consider Whilst Developing Mobile App Architecture
1. Determining The Device Type
Smartphones come in different categories and this is what you need to keep in mind whilst developing mobile app architecture. The type of the smartphone is generally decided by its operating systems on which they run on. As you have already known that the Android smartphones are completely different from iPhones and these two are totally different categories. It is also a pivotal deciding factors before selecting the mobile app architecture. The other important device characteristics, which you should consider, are:
- Screen Size & Resolution
- CPU Characteristics
- Storage Capacity
- Availability of Development Tool Framework
Thus, all you need to keep in mind is to determine the type of device before choosing the mobile application architecture.
2. Considering Bandwidth Scenarios
There may be times when internet connectivity is zero or very limited. In such case, all you should take into account the bandwidth scenario or think about the local internet network of the demographic region. Plus, the region where your targeted audience is. Sometimes, the very low speed of internet frustrates the user and user would abandon the app eventually. It also leads to poor user experience. Hence you should consider the worst possible internet network while developing the mobile app architecture.
3. Selecting the Optimal Navigation Method
The salient factor is the app navigation method. However, the needs and priorities of customers can be fulfilled by choosing the optimal navigation method.
The mobile app navigation has a large influence on user experience. It is important to go with an optimal navigation method for the app. To get an optimal one, you can choose from a list of navigation methods:
- Single view
- Stacked navigation bar
- Scroll view
- Modular controller
- Gesture-based navigation
- Search-driven navigation
- Tab controller
Follow guidelines to understand the requirements of the user considering different scenarios.
4. Stating User Interface (UI)
A confusing UI leads to the failure of an app. Users should be able to seamlessly interact with the app. It is important to keep things simple. Make sure you would not pour out all your creativity into the user interface. Do not forget the thumb rule, which is simply the best medicine for designing highly interactive and intuitive UI.
5. Real-time Updates vs Push Notifications
When deciding the correct app architecture for your app, ask yourself whether your users need real-time updates or push notifications. Real-time updates can be a compelling feature, but it might be an expensive feature. Plus, this feature also consumes the phone’s battery and data.
Problems Occur When Ignoring Mobile App Architecture
Selecting the right mobile app architecture is a mandatory step. And, it is one of the primary elements in the design and planning phase of software development. Due to developer’s negligence, rush, lack of experience and knowledge, the concept of architecture is generally overlooked.
The lack of architecture in apps causes a few major problems like:
- It will be difficult to develop and maintain.
- It will be more error-prone.
- Code is less readable
- Without architecture or design patterns, the source code is hard to test. And, it results in missing unit tests of key functionalities. Also, lack of tests causes difficulties with maintaining the software, for example, no regression control, much harder refactoring or bug fixing, etc.
Developing an app or software without architecture or design patterns is like a building without foundation. In the starting, inexperienced developers generally experience speed in the process without architecture. However, it may seem faster at first, but it soon turns out to be a dead end. Regardless of the size and complexity of the project, it is mandatory to consider mobile application architecture to get the best results.
Important Tips on Choosing the Best App Architecture
By choosing the best mobile app architecture can wonder for your project. To know how we’ve rounded up a few important tips on how to choose the suitable app architecture:
- If you don’t want to stretch your budget, go with the native apps to get interactive features and excellent performance.
- The native app is also a perfect choice for cross-platform app development users (both Android and iOS).
- We suggest you follow the approach “develop once and run anywhere”. It means trying out various options mobile web app, hybrid app or a cross-platform app.
- If you want more customers and engage them, choosing a combination of a native app with web app is a good idea. The native app considers optimal user experience and ensures the visibility of your business by reaching out to customers.
The mobile app architecture is regarded as the backbone of any mobile app, which offers features, functionalities and user experience. It is safe to say that designing mobile app architecture is the foremost and crucial step as it will take your app into the path of success and help you to flourish your business.
Apart from this, if you still have one of the queries like —
- How much does it cost to hire mobile app developers in Toronto?
- Which pattern is best suited for my project?
- How much does it cost to develop an iOS/Android app from scratch?
- What is the significance of creating an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) of an app?
- The cost breakdown to hire one of the top mobile app development companies in Canada
- What would be best to go with Native app or Hybrid app?
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