In the world of mobile app development, one word you might probably encounter is the 'Backend' of a mobile app. If you are a novice or an entrepreneur with minimum technical knowledge, then there are chances that you end up in questions like this:
What do you mean by the backend of a mobile app?
Do I need a backend for my mobile app?
What are the different technologies that I can use for building the backend of my mobile app?
Too technical? No need to worry; we have got you covered. Zartek Technologies has been at the forefront in providing custom app development services for both startups and enterprises since 2017. You can find the vital points on backend technologies for mobile app development from our experience and expertise in this article. Read on!
What do you mean by the backend of a mobile app?
A mobile app that you see on your smartphone is the front end of that application. The backend of a mobile app is a chunk of software that runs on remote machines (servers) and is accessed through the internet using API (Application Public Interface). The backend of a mobile app is not to be used by human users. Other applications are the ones that communicate with the backend of a mobile app. The backend of a mobile application can perform tasks that a front end cannot do.
To understand it better, let us first see the difference between the front end and back end of a mobile app. For example, you have seen applications such as Calculator, Camera, Facebook messenger, Instagram, etc. on your smartphones. These are all front-end apps. In other words, those applications that you can download from App Store (if you have an iPhone) or Google Playstore (if you have Android phones) are all front-end apps. They all run on your smartphones using the memory and capability of your phones. So what is a backend, then? Backend is something that cannot be accessed by us humans directly. To be precise, backend applications are accessed by front-end apps through the internet, obeying protocols designed for machine-to-machine communication. Mostly we are not even aware of the existence of this backend software that works behind the scene!!
The backend apps are hosted on remote servers and not on your phones. These servers can be physical machines, cloud servers, or any other platform capable of doing remote tasks. The backend need not be a single machine; it can even be a collection of cooperating apps and machines.
Do you need a backend for your mobile app?
So the next question naturally comes to your mind would be, "Does my mobile app need a backend?". Mostly, the answer is, "Yes". If you are a non-technical person, it is better to consult with a mobile app development company or a developer to get the correct answer.
Some apps need the internet to work. But apps such as Calculator, Calendar, Notes, etc. on your smartphones do not need an internet connection to work. They can work offline. So they are the front-end apps that do not need a backend application. On the other hand, apps such as FB messenger, Instagram, Netflix, etc. on your phones need a stable internet connection for seamless work. These apps need to retrieve data from servers through the internet and make them available on your phones each time you use the app. So these are the front-end apps that need the support of backend applications to perform their tasks. Therefore if your mobile app requires a stable internet connection for its work, it might need a backend application to support it.
Now let us see the best technologies practiced by developers to build powerful backends for various mobile apps.
Best Backend Technologies for Mobile Apps
Some of the reliable backend technologies used in the industry are
Ruby on Rails
Let us analyze each of them to decide which technology suits best your needs.
Python is one of the easiest languages and is used for mid-sized and large projects. It is well known as a quick solution for startup products (for example, Minimum Viable Products). The advantages of using Python for backend development are summarised as follows:
Python is fast with a clean structure
Easy to understand, interact and implement
Highly productive for the developer
Python is simple, easily readable, and reliable
Offers outcome in high quality
Python can be used in a wide array of mobile application areas.
Some good frameworks in Python are Django, Flask &, Falcon.
Compared to PHP, Python needs fewer lines of code to implement the same feature. A mobile app development company has professionals who have experience and expertise in various frameworks. But developers choose Python over other technologies due to its ability in providing the best services at an affordable cost. Some of the applications built on Python are Instagram, YouTube, Reddit, Spotify, Uber, Pinterest, and Dropbox
Node.js is an open-source server environment and has become a trend in recent years. It is used in the implementation of a wide variety of projects including mobile games. They are also optimum for off-the-shelf solutions. Until recently, Node.js was mainly used for the development of mid-sized projects and now it has taken a major step forward to large-sized projects. The platform is highly scalable and offers a good product performance on developer effort.
The main advantages of Node.js are compiled as follows:
Highly scalable (new functionalities are added to the existing ones easily)
Community support (A thriving community and a foundation named OpenJS foundation with support and stable releases.)
Multitasking (An I/O non-blocking model allows for serving multiple simultaneous requests)
Node.js is best suited for streaming apps, chat services, online games, and real-time apps that involve more users and quick responses. Some of the services powered by Node.js are Paypal, Nasa, and eBay.
ASP.NET is a good choice for a backend as there is a good GUI interface to create and scalable backends. The other advantages of ASP.NET in backend development are as follows:
Supports Modular - It supports modular HTTP requests.
Open-Source - It is an open-source and community-focused web framework.
Cross-Platform - ASP.NET Core web application can run on Windows, Mac, Linux development tools.
Enterprise usage and validation
PHP is a good choice for small to mid-sized projects. PHP is based on scripts and requires event-driven architecture. Therefore PHP is not generally used in the implementation of real-time apps. But PHP is still a favorite of developers given its simplicity and strong community support. Some of the influential points of PHP are:
Easy and Simple to Learn (Syntax of the language is logical and well organized)
Extremely flexible (can change to existing codes and functions easily)
Easy integration and compatibility
Resourceful (offers a lot of resources such as commands, functions, and codes that can be easily re-written)
Cost-effective (open source and hence it is free)
More control for developers
Ruby on Rails
Ruby becomes a popular choice among developers when they are supposed to release solutions that plan for early market entry. RoR is one of the fastest solutions for startups. They are best for implementing small and mid-sized projects. The RoR can easily manage projects with longer support cycles and those that undergo frequent logic changes.
A Ruby on Rails app can reach more people with minimum costs. Ruby on Rails framework is a frequent choice for developers because of the following reasons:
Speed (The procedure of the programming is much quicker)
Streamlined tasks (abstracts and streamlines recurring tasks)
Free licensing (Open-source)
Easily maintainable, extensible, and less buggy codes (thanks to the DRY principle).
Several parameters decide the selection of a technology to build the backend of a mobile app. The main objective of a mobile app and the necessary functions to be implemented are the two factors that influence technology selection. The capabilities of a language, easiness in coding, size of the project, domain specifics, security, performance, and even availability of in-house resources for prolonged customer support can decide the backend technology.
Zartek has the best professional team at our disposal to make your dream app a reality. We are well versed in diverse technologies and capable of delivering state-of-the-art solutions to our valuable customers in a very cost-effective way. Let us meet up or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for further queries. We are happy to hear from you.