Building Backend of a Mobile Application

The success of various mobile apps is being driven by digitization. Every smartphone has some popular mobile apps, whether they are business apps like QuickBooks or Expensify or social media apps like Facebook, Instagram, and so on. Did you know that 49% of people use a mobile app 11 times per day? As a result, many developers are looking for the right technology in back-end development to make their app a market hit.

We’ll begin by discussing the key differences between front-end and back-end development, and then we’ll concentrate on back-end development. It is critical to understand the role of backend development, mobile application features, architecture, server operation, tool understanding, popular stacks, their benefits, and so on. Let us begin with front-end and back-end development.

What Is the Difference Between Frontend and Backend Development?

Any application development can be divided into two categories: front-end development and back-end development. The front-end development uses various codes to make the app look appealing, whereas the back-end development is concerned with writing codes that make any app work.

Front-end applications, such as calculators, Instagram, and Facebook, are downloaded from the App Store or Play Store and installed on the device. It enables users to connect directly to the flips, text fields, buttons, and so on.

The back-end development of a mobile app is an additional application. The servers are where the back-end software runs. It enables the mobile app’s primary operation and incorporates various components such as middleware, databases, and so on. All of these components are accessible via the internet via any application programming interface (API).

What is the distinction between a Frontend Developer and a Backend Developer?

The key responsibilities of front-end and back-end developers differ due to the differences between front-end and back-end development.

A front-end developer concentrates on the code required to display the app correctly in the browser. As a result, the developer converts the app’s design to code. With the addition of responsive web design, the coding process becomes more complicated. The front-end developer must ensure that the design looks good in various browser widths, computer resolutions, and so on. The current app must support other mobile platforms and recent browsers, which is a critical component of front-end development.

In the CMS setup, the back-end developer is responsible for the design conversion as well as the entire front-end development conversion. As a result, the role entails connecting the app’s front-end content to the CMS and ensuring the logic required to ensure everything works properly. Back-end developers provide the much-needed intuitive method for clients to manage app content. The back-end developer is solely responsible for developing a balanced mobile app backend architecture. The mobile app backend architecture should not be too simple, removing control, or too complex, leaving the client befuddled by the designs and architecture.

A quick comparison table for the distinctions between front-end and back-end development is as follows:

Front-end developmentBack-end development
Search engine optimizationData backup
Cross-browser issuesData transformation
AccessibilitySecurity
Image editingScalability
Special web editing softwareDatabase administration
Ajax and Asynchronous requestsServer architecture
Markup and web languages like Javascript, CSS, HTML, etc.Programming and scripting languages like Perl, Ruby, Python, etc.

The Function of Back-end App Development

The role of back-end app development is unavoidable in the development of any mobile app. Back-end development is responsible for a variety of critical functions, including:

  • Back-end strategy development is the first step in developing a mobile app. It is critical to conduct extensive research on the competition, market, shortlist the targeted audience, define the objectives, and so on. The next step is to select the appropriate platform for launching the app.
  • Design: The app’s design is not solely based on front-end development. For proper functional and aesthetically correct designs, the app must be synchronised with style guides, workflow, architecture, and so on.
  • Analysis and Planning: Analyzing and planning the app based on the desired results is critical. As a result, it is simple to prioritise app requirements and define the critical needs of the app at any given time. It also contributes to the creation of an app’s MVP.
  • Testing: It is critical to perform security testing, performance testing, user testing, and so on to ensure that the app works consistently across platforms and under various conditions.

Backend Development-Provided Mobile Application Functions

Following a thorough understanding of the role of back-end development, it is simple to incorporate the mobile application functions that come with this dedicated technology. Some of the most important mobile application features are:

SaaS (software-as-a-service)

It is simple to register for and subscribe to back-end features and services that have already been developed by other entities. All of these features are available as software-as-a-service functions and provide numerous benefits such as cost savings, time savings, parts savings, and so on.

MBaaS (Mobile Backend-as-a-Service)

It allows developers to put different resources into the cloud-based server rather than writing additional back-end servers. It is possible to connect to various MBaaS service providers that provide unique functionalities as well as a dedicated analytics framework for app monitoring.

Cloud Server

Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google App Engine, and other popular cloud servers are listed below. All of these cloud servers are kept in a secure location and come in a variety of sizes. Furthermore, cloud servers are highly dependable and can be used by a variety of organisations.

Custom server

It is one of the most powerful options available in mobile app functions. It can carry out all of the tasks that SaaS and MBaaS cannot. Depending on the app’s requirements, the custom services can be as simple as a single application or as complex as a distributed system. To make customer server implementation a success for your mobile app, you’ll need a dedicated team of back-end developers.

Working Architecture and Server

With that out of the way, it’s time to learn how the back-end architecture and server work. The back-end development prepares the mobile application for use based on the requirements. Backend development varies even more from application to application. All of these architectural and server differences are based on the use of APIs to replace complex processing, BaaS providers, containerization, cloud-based servers, data warehouses, and so on. Let’s take a look at what’s inside the back-end software stack.

Breaking Down the Software Stack on the Backend

By breaking down the back-end software’s various components, it is simple to understand everything about it. The following are the three main components of the back-end software stack:

Servers

A backend server for the mobile app is required for on-premises or cloud-hosted backends. The server provides much-needed resources to networks in order for them to operate and function as a mobile app hosting platform. Web services, databases, email, file storage, security, encryption, and other resources are all included. Virtualization is used on the servers to host various apps. Containerization refers to the method by which servers contain compartmentalised applications.

Database

The database is the key to making any app dynamic. It accepts user requests, retrieves data, and shares the information with the app user. Furthermore, the database stores previous data, allows for edits to that data, and accepts new data.

Middleware

Middleware is the dedicated software that runs on the server and connects the front-end of the application to the back-end. Middleware is divided into presentation and business layers and provides the best connectivity between the server and the client. It offers a variety of services, such as data integration, error handling, and dedicated interaction between on-premise and cloud apps. It is critical for any back-end development because it improves content management, authentication, user engagement, business process management, and so on.

Few best back-end development tools

Back-end development is responsible for storing large amounts of data, business logic, and security. Databases, web servers, application servers, load balancers, and a few service integrations such as queuing services, push notifications, email notifications, and so on are required for any back-end development. As a result, the complete back-end development tools are determined by the mobile app’s features and functionality. The following are some of the most important development tools for back-end app development:

Web server applications

The web server tools are in charge of storing, processing, and delivering web pages to customers all over the world. HTTPS is used to communicate between the web server and the customer. The webpages are provided in HTML documents and may include scripts, style sheets, images, and other elements in addition to the standard text content. Web servers are included in intranet and internet-related programmes for creating or publishing web pages, downloading FTP file queries, serving emails, and so on. The following are some of the best web servers for dedicated back-end development:

  • HTTP Server Apache
  • Tomcat (Apache Tomcat)
  • NGINX
  • JS
  • Lighttpd

Database applications

It is critical to use databases when developing a dynamic mobile application. When a user requests a mobile app, the database accepts the request, retrieves the data, and returns it to the app user. Furthermore, the database accepts any new data or edits to previous data based on the needs of the user. The following are some of the best database tools:

  • RDBMS Oracle
  • DB2 by IBM
  • Altibase
  • SQL Server from Microsoft
  • Sybase ASE from SAP
  • Teradata
  • ADABAS
  • MySQL
  • FileMaker
  • Access (Microsoft)
  • Informix
  • SQLite
  • PostgreSQL
  • RDS (Amazon Real-Time Delivery)
  • MongoDB

Clients for Git

Back-end developers can easily incorporate cross-functionality into mobile apps. Among the open-source Git clients are:

  • SourceTree
  • Client for GitHub

Platform-tools for microservices

Microservices are a distinct technology that is a variation on the SOA model. The application and structuring distinguish it as a collection of loosely coupled services. As a result, microservices provide higher quality modularity. The following are some of the most popular microservice platform tools:

  • Kubernetes
  • Docker

The environment for local development

Back-end developers are aware of the advantages of working in a local development environment. It is possible for developers to use a website that is only visible to them to experiment with new codes and achieve perfection while doing so. The local development environment ensures that the server environment can be quickly and easily installed on the machine. It does away with the need to use the hosting company’s server. As a result, back-end developers can work on the browser without affecting the live site. Furthermore, no one else has access to the website until it is granted.

  • WampServer
  • XAMPP
  • Laragon

Tools for collaboration and service

Collaboration service tools are required to strike a balance between front-end and back-end development. Among the best collaboration service tools are:

  • Slack
  • Jira

App performance testing software

It is critical to test the app’s performance because the attention span of the app interface or website has been reduced to only 8 seconds. App performance testing tools provide insights into the app’s speed and recommend multiple edits or tweaks to ensure that the page loads quickly. Some of the most important app performance testing tools are:

  • JMeter by Apache
  • AppLoader

The Benefits of Backend Development

  • Back-end development is not only an important part of overall app development, but it also has a number of advantages, including but not limited to the following:
  • Quick Development Time: Backend development makes it simple and quick to create an app.
  • Cost-effective: The use of technology and platforms in back-end development saves money.
  • Focus on core business: It provides companies with the benefit of focusing on their core business.
  • Better output in less time: If you’re looking for app development technology that produces more in less time, back-end development is the way to go.
  • Reduced time to market: It reduces the time to market for various business apps and thus provides them with appropriate guidance.
  • A broader app feature set: Back-end development provides a broader app feature set.
  • Outsourcing cloud infrastructure: It is possible to outsource cloud infrastructure in back-end development, which provides users with multi-dimensional benefits.
  • Continuous delivery and integration: All of the apps can be powered by continuous delivery and integration.
  • Performance and security: It provides high performance while adhering to industry-standard security standards.
  • Privacy requirements such as GDPR: All of the apps’ privacy concerns, such as GDPR requirements, are easily met in the back-end development.

Backend Development’s Drawbacks

Before beginning the process, it is critical to review the areas of concern in back-end development:

  • Delayed notifications: The back-end development has the issue of providing delayed notifications about ongoing or expected updates.
  • Security concerns: The back-end development may not be able to address the app’s security concerns; the custom back-end cloud can help here. As a result, it is critical to design security strategies for your apps based on their business models.
  • Less control: Due to the reduced network power, users have only the tiniest amount of control over the back-end development.
  • Count operations are limited: Count operations in back-end development vary but cannot exceed 60.
  • There is a lack of personalised automated operations, making it impossible to solve specific market problems due to a lack of specific atomic services.

Back-end App Development Technology Stacks

The following are the top programming languages for back-end app development:

  • Java
  • Python
  • PHP
  • Dart
  • Java Scripting
  • Materialize

The following are the top technology stacks for back-end app development:

  • Serverless stack: This stack provides a serverless computing service that allows engineers to develop, run, and manage various applications. The serverless stack eliminates the complexities of developing and maintaining infrastructure for app development and deployment.
  • The elimination of hosting runtime, cost-effectiveness as payment is based on application consumption, application scalability, and so on are some of the key benefits of the serverless stack. The service provider is in charge of all security, easy integrations, and software updates. Furthermore, on the serverless stack, application changes and deployment are quick. One of the serverless platforms is AWS Lambda.
  • The Xampp stack is an acronym that stands for X, Apache, MySQL or MariaDB, PHP, and Perl. It aids in the installation of any useful software as well as the installation of MySQL, PHP, and Apache on the system. It is the dedicated technology stack that allows for quick software installation.
  • Windows Internet Naming Services is the name given to the Wins stack. This technology stack includes internet information services, Windows Server, Microsoft SQL Server,.Net, and other components. It is a dedicated stack used to identify the IP address associated with a particular network computer. The OTRO app, for example, is one of the most popular apps built on the Wins stack.

Conclusion

With a revenue generation billions expected by the end of 2023, now is the time to develop a powerful mobile app. It is simple to learn everything there is to know about mobile app backend development, beginning with the distinction between front-end development and back-end development. Based on strategy, design, analysis, planning, and testing, the role of back-end development becomes clear. Some of the most common examples of mobile applications provided with back-end development make it simple to understand the architecture and server’s operation.

Servers, databases, and middleware are all components of any back-end development stack. Furthermore, the various categories of the top back-end development tools, such as web server tools, database tools, Git clients, microservice platform tools, local development environment, collaboration service tools, app performance test tools, and so on, are simple to understand. Before embarking on a prestigious project, make a quick list of the top benefits and drawbacks of mobile app back-end development.

Arman Mathur Digital Marketer

About the author

An expert digital marketer and content strategist working in this industry since 2012.

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