In the digital era, the demand for mobile applications is constantly growing. Currently, 3.5 billion people are using smartphones worldwide with 1 million new internet users adding up to the current user base per day. This is a result of the shifting demand of mobile users and high-speed internet connectivity.
Organizations have started adopting mobile apps to boost their business values. It is considered the most impacting marketing strategy than just a medium to reach millions of customers.
Business owners think of mobile apps as a gateway to multiple opportunities. But, do you think it's enough to just create and launch a mobile app in a market where 6 out of 10 businesses already have their apps launched. That means every app can't reach its business goal in the highly competitive market.
To beat such competition, app developers are now focusing on the critical aspects of mobile app development such as app architecture and the technology stack.
This guide comprises everything you need to decide on how to choose the right app architecture for developing a successful business app.
Mobile app architecture is a set of patterns, rules, processes, and techniques that are required to be followed to build a fully structural mobile application. The app architecture is designed by considering app requirements, industry standards, and all the business procedures that work on the mobile platform.
The mobile app architecture defines everything in the app such as what data is collected, how it is transferred, and how the app will look like. Choosing the right architecture for your mobile app eliminates the following risks,
The mobile app architecture is represented mainly in three layers as shown below,
The presentation layer contains the user interface and UX components that deliver the app to the users. While building the presentation layer developers can decide the look and feel of the app frontend.
The business layer is concerned with how the app will present its business to the end-user. It contains business processes, workflows, and rules. It deals with caching and logging, security challenges, exception management, and data validation.
The layer is further divided into two parts to reduce its complexity, which includes the service layer and the domain model. The service layer contains the set of common application functions. However, the domain model deals with specific problems.
The business layer may exist on the user device or on the server depending on the underlying app operations and the resources it requires to perform those operations.
The data access layer enables secure data access and transactions. It combines data utilities, access components, and service agents to support data transactions. The layer can be divided into the persistence layer which deals with the data sourcing via API and the network layer which deals with the network communication, error reporting, and routing.
Let’s look at the most popular mobile application architectures and when to use them.
The Model View View Model(MVVM) architecture separates UI logic from the business logic which helps developers to implement complex functions and enables users to better interact with the UI. Also with the MVVM implementation developers can run autotest since the business logic is separated from the UI implementation.
The architectural pattern is universal and can be implemented for complex applications that start from the small MVP and expand gradually with the addition of new functionalities. The architecture is best suitable for Android applications.
Also, read the article on how MVVM architecture outperforms MVC.
The Model View Controller(MVC) architecture provides high cohesion for the group-specific models and enables developers to provide multiple views.
The architecture allows faster development while building simple cross-platform applications and has plain navigation logic. It helps to easily implement the new views, supports the development of SEO-friendly web pages, and delivers a better user experience.
The Model View Presenter (MVP) pattern is vastly used by iOS developers due to its similarity with the MVC pattern. Though the architecture looks similar to MVC it moves much of the view logic to the controller, which we call the presenter.
VIPER (View, Interactor, Presenter, Entity, and Router Model) architecture is mostly used for implementing long-term projects that have explicit technical requirements. The pattern provides better test coverage and separation of functionality.
The right architecture determines the success of your application. Therefore it's essential to keep the following factors in mind while choosing a mobile app architecture.
The first thing you need to consider before choosing an app architecture is the device type ( Android, iOS, iPad, Windows, or cross-platform). It is important to evaluate the ideal dimension of the platform for mobile app development.
Here are certain things you need to keep in mind:
The goal behind the evaluation of different platforms is to deliver a consistent user experience across devices of various sizes and shapes.
In the real world app accessibility is hampered by internet connectivity. Users living in remote areas and those who are traveling can not remain connected to the internet all the time. So if your business is targeting users that may experience internet connectivity issues, then it will be inappropriate to have a graphics-heavy app.
In such a condition, it is a must to consider the software protocols, cache mechanism, data access, and state management aspect to make your app functional, even in the low internet connectivity area.
UI and UX design play an important role in how the user interacts with your mobile application. To make UI and UX highly interactive and efficient it is essential to follow best design practices so that it can balance UI against UX.
Good architecture helps you explore and implement the creative user interface while balancing the user experience design.
While evaluating the mobile app architecture one should consider the ease of navigation, customer preferences, and what can be the best fit for app users.
Here are some popular navigation methods,
To ensure your mobile application is meeting the user's expectations, you can get feedback from the user and analyze it. This will help you to build an efficient mobile app that works best in different scenarios.
Besides the above factors, you also need to consider the development time, available skill set, and future demand. Keeping all these factors in mind you can get a clear idea about which architecture can fulfill your product needs while running all the app processes and functionalities in synchronization.
Last but not least, while building an enterprise-level application it's critical to stay on demand and for that developers should keep a track of user requirements and ensure to add them gradually in the future. To bring it into action, the architecture you are choosing for such an application must support scalability, ease of testing, extensibility, and flexibility in app development.
If you are about to start your mobile app development process, this guide will provide you with everything to select the right architecture for your app. With all of these, you can stay away from the incorrect architectural assumption that ultimately results in the app's failure.
So, now start evaluating your app requirements according to the target audience, market requirements, platforms, features, and other constraints. Build a well-written application that is easier to understand, test, expand and maintain.
Wait there is more!
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Explore more about DhiWise, its features, supported tech stack, and most importantly how it helps you to choose and implement your preferred app architecture.
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