In this era, the phase of ‘anything is possible’ started to unfold itself. To boost the business value, companies are opting for mobile applications along with other traditional approaches. But to succeed in the mobile-first world, it is important to understand the basics of mobile app architecture.
However, the businesses cannot neglect the heavy competition in the market that prevents them from reaching their goals. Perhaps the prime reason behind this failure is the gaps in the mobile app architecture and development.
Therefore, it is better to know everything about the basics of architecture before setting your foot in the market.
What is Mobile App Architecture?
It can be defined as a set of techniques and patterns that are used to build fully structured mobile applications depending on the industry and vendor-specific standards.
When developing the mobile app architecture, you need to take into consideration the different parts of mobile app development. The mobile app architecture is primarily made up of three layers:
- Presentation layer
The presentation layer consists of the UI components along with the UI process components.
- Business layer
The business layer consists of the business entities, workflows as well as the various business components.
The data layer is made up of data access components, data utilities, and the service agents.
These layers can be visualized in the mobile app architecture diagram provided below:
Different elements of the Mobile App Architecture
While developing mobile app architecture, a developer must consider all the different parts of mobile app development. Some of the different parts of mobile app development include:
- Choosing the devices types
There are different types of smartphone devices available in the market. These devices are primarily categorized on the basis of the operating system installed inside them. For example, the iOS Apple phones function relatively different from Android smartphones or Windows phones. It is therefore a crucial factor to keep in mind while choosing the different parts of mobile app development.
However, along with the OS type, there are certain other factors that have to be considered. They are:
- Size of the screen
- Memory size
- Choice of the framework
- CPU configuration
- Screen resolution
- Storage type and capacity, etc.
The selection of a device is important while picking up different parts of mobile app development due to the software and hardware requisites.
- Picking up the correct navigation type
The app navigation is a crucial factor amongst different parts of mobile app development. It comprises of both the client-side navigation as well as the server-side navigation. Therefore, a developer must keep in the customer needs and preferences while picking up the navigation type.
The application navigation has a huge impact on the user experience and therefore you must go for the optimal. For instance, you can choose a tab control, gesture-based navigation, search-based navigation to enhance user experience.
- The Bandwidth Status
While you are picking up different parts of mobile app development, you must take into consideration the bandwidth status. Keep in mind the local internet network of the geographical area of your target audience. Often, slow internet speed irritates the users causing them to exit the application.
There are certain scenarios when a place has a limited internet connectivity or no internet connectivity at all. Therefore, you must keep in mind the worst-case internet network scenarios while developing your mobile app architecture.
A developer must develop caching, a data access program as well as the state management system when the internet speed is very limited. Besides internet speed, power consumption and speed must be kept in mind while working with the application protocols and hardware.
- Don’t forget to work on the User Interface Design
Amongst the different parts of mobile app development, user interface is the area where you can show you creative skills. This section holds great importance in the mobile app architecture.
However, a developer must never forget the thumb rule while designing the user interface. And the thumb rule is to make the application highly intuitive and interactive.
Now, that we know the different parts of mobile app development, let us move on to the guidelines of the three important layers of mobile app architecture.
Maintaining the process flow of the mobile app architecture
We have already seen in the mobile app architecture diagram that the application architecture consists of 3 layers – data layer, presentation layer and business layer. It is important that we understand each of the layers with the guidelines to build a better architecture.
- Presentation layer guidelines
The prime objective of the presentation layer is to work on how the application will be presented to the client or the end-user. When working on the presentation layer, the developer has to take into consideration the right client type and its infrastructure and deployment constraints. Choosing the right data format with strong data validation techniques is equally important for the developer. Lastly, a developer also has to focus on the decoupling of the business logic from the presentation layer code.
- Data access layer guidelines
The function of the data access layer is to meet the needs of the application and help in secure data transactions efficiently. The developers have to work on maintaining the aspect while ensuring that the data layer is easily modifiable.
Picking up the right data access technology is equally important. The gateway has to be designed in such a way that it manages the well-known inputs and outputs easily. A good example is to use the table-based identities because it offers a simplified structure for storing the data.
This layer is responsible for creating and managing the data connections to the sources required by the app. Along with that, it must handle all the exceptions associated with CRUD (Create, Read, Update, and Delete) operations.
Say you are building a decentralized exchange, you have to manage so much data. A robust data access layer guidelines will be necessary for you to succeed.
The least privilege approach can be opted by the developers as it allows access to certain entities that are required to perform operations in the app. In addition to that, it will also prevent any attempt made to made steal or corrupt data.
- Business layer guidelines
The business layer in the mobile app architecture diagram is responsible for maintaining the different aspects like logging, validation, caching, security, exception handling, etc. The developer has to work on reducing the complexing of the business layer by segregating the tasks into multiple categories of concern.
An appropriate approach to design the business layer is to use a separate business layer wherever possible. A developer can create business layer for various tasks such as processing complex business rules, applying the policies, transforming data, validating, etc. A developer must try to reuse the business layer for certain common business logic functions.
What happens when Mobile App Architecture is not given proper attention?
Businesses sometimes neglect the importance of choosing the right architecture. Perhaps, it has to be the first step in the planning and designing phase of a project. Lack of attention to the Mobile App Architecture leads to the failure of mobile applications.
Some of the major issues that pop-up in the software due to lack of an enterprise application architecture are as follows:
- Your software become more prone to errors
- The Development and maintenance process becomes difficult
- Code readability decreases
- Agile becomes cumbersome
- Testing the source code becomes difficult
Such issues associated with the lack of a mobile app architecture pose major problems to the developers as well as businesses. Proper attention should be given to a mobile app architecture that accounts to all the necessary considerations.
How can you choose the right architecture for your mobile application?
While choosing an architecture for your mobile application, you need to keep in mind certain tips. Here are some of the things you need to consider:
- If you don’t have any budget constraints, you must go for the development of native applications. Native apps provide you with better performances and intuitive features.
- You have to keep in mind your target audience while choosing your mobile application architecture. If your target audience includes both Android and iOS, you must opt for the native app development.
- In case your target audience consists of other OS users like Blackberry or Windows, you can choose cross-platform development. It will be a cost-effective option for you but it might compromise on the usability.
- Going for the web as well as native development can be another good option for the developers. Both of them will complement each other while helping you in a better engagement of both customers as well as employees.
To sum up, we can say that native mobile applications can provide an optimal user experience. On the other hand, web application will help enhance the visibility of your brand because it reaches out to the target audience with all the devices.
Example of mobile app architecture usage
When the app architecture is properly designed, it makes the work easier and smoother. This provides the developers with a better command over their work as well as the data flow in the mobile app. 9o0
A great example of mobile app architecture is the Clean Architecture that is most suitable for the large-scale projects that have no budget constraints.
Such example of mobile app architecture is universal, which lets the developers install various plug-ins and quick debugging. However, the developers must not use frameworks to create them. The program code should be written from scratch for better functionality.
The following mobile app architecture diagram will clearly depict a perfect example of mobile app architecture:
In the above example of mobile app architecture, each layer is independent of the other programs and components. All layers in the above mobile app architecture diagram are connected using the Dependency rule, which means the dependencies can only be specified internally in the source code.
Let us understand this through an example. We cannot mention anything from the outer circle by a code from the inner circle. This condition is applicable to everything ranging from functions, classes, variables.
Developing the mobile application architecture needs a strategical plan that must be completed before the start of the development process. This architecture is needed to provide a map of how the different components of the mobile app should be arranged and connected to one another.
In addition to that, it provides the guidelines that need to be followed during the development process. It mentions some sacrifices (of certain classes and templates) that will help develop a well-written application that is easier to test, expand, and maintain.