Business, Development, Fundamentals Friday December 4, 2020

What Is Backend In Mobile App Development And How to choose the Best One For Your Project?

Every efficient app with a smooth user-experience is incomplete without an efficient backend in mobile app architecture. So the question arises, do you need a backend for your mobile app? How to select the most appropriate backend for your application?

No need to panic! This article will guide you to understanding what is Backend development in mobile applications and how to choose the best Backend software for your mobile application. Let’s start with understanding the basic question first…

What is the backend for a mobile app?

Backend Mobile development is also referred to as server-side development.  The backend software usually includes a server, an application, and a database. Backend is the most crucial element of a mobile app that is responsible for data storage, security, business logic, and functionality. The backend applications are all pieces of software.

This backend is accessed through the internet using protocols that are designed for machine to machine communication .i.e. API (Application Public Interface). The backend is used by the other frontend applications. Its main purpose in the backend is to perform remote tasks that can’t be performed by the frontend apps due to its limitations.

Now, if you are confused between frontend and backend then let’s focus on the distinguishing factors of both.

What is the difference between frontend and backend?

Frontend uses codes to design the aesthetics of the app while the backend writes codes for its functionality to make it work smoothly. You must be having a lot of applications installed on your phone like WhatsApp, Instagram, Zomato, Uber, etc. All these apps are the frontend applications.

All the apps that you download from the App Store (iOS) and Google Play (Android) are front-end apps. Everything that you see when you’re navigating around the app, from fonts, colors, dropdown menus, and sliders is a fine combination of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

While, back-end is accountable for the mobile app, it serves to connect the graphics you see to the Content Management System (CMS) and develop the back end logic required to make everything functional.

What are the functions of the backend?

The backend is usually responsible for performing tasks that can not be performed by the frontend of the mobile app.

  • Security – Denying permission to frontend application to access some vulnerable data
  • Store data – Access to user data like contact list through mobile app
  • Communication – It provides a medium for two users want to communicate through chat
  • Server – Connection through internet

Does your mobile app need a backend?

If your application is working online then to be straightforward, yes, you need backend software. You might need a small service or a complex application according to your mobile app. Based on your app functionalities and needs, you should be able to figure out the backend load.

Now that you know when you will need backend software, you should certainly know when you won’t need a backend.

When you won’t need a backend?

As already seen, there are multiple reasons for you to have a backend, but there are also scenarios when you don’t need one. If your apps can work without an internet connection, in a completely offline mode, you won’t need a backend!

You will certainly need the internet to download the App, but if nothing more, then yes, your app can work without the need for a backend. The application can get a backend for additional features but the central system of the Application can work fluently without one.

Which backend software is right for you?

Different types of backends can be classified in multiple ways. They are classified based on the technology, the way they communicate with frontend apps, their architecture, and other numerous factors.

Let’s consider the most straight forward option .i.e. customized backends created from scratch. You can easily do this by hiring a development team, which will build such an app from bottom to top. Customized backends will give you the freedom to create what your mobile app needs.

But building your backend app will cost you time as well as money. There are also some cheaper options available like SaaS or MBaaS solution.

Software as a Service (SaaS)

There is a good possibility that the functionalities which you need are already offered by some existing 3rd party service providers. Saas offers backend solutions that are ready to buy front-end apps.

You can find yourself in a few scenarios as mentioned below, when you can use such services:

  • Weather data: with Saas, your frontend app can easily fetch data from an already existing service of weather data.
  • Manageable content: Frontend apps can fetch the content through Application Programming Interface (API) to display texts, images, movies, or other media for articles, blog posts, news, store products, or restaurant menu.

Mobile Backend as a Service (MbaaS)

Some functionalities of all the backends are common for many apps, such as data storage, push notifications, and security. MBaaS gives you the option to pick a ready backend along with the option to write some custom code if the built-in features do not satisfy your mobile app requirement.

  • MbaaS is more flexible than SaaS but also requires more development work to be customized according to needs.
  • MbaaS can become costly without proper alignment.

Custom backend development

Customization is always the most flexible and satisfactory option. Every feature which cannot be achieved by SaaS or MBaaS can be significantly achieved by a custom backend. Of course, this creative freehand will also invite the drawback of setup and development price.

  • You will need to hire a dedicated backend programmer team.
  • The custom backend can be a simple or complex application system, all depending on your app requirements. 

Most of the mobile application owners go with the custom backend option. However, it is always a better idea to explore all the options in the market. As mentioned before, the selection of backends is not a single correct answer, understand your mobile app needs and make the most relevant choice.

Concluding remarks:

If you are about to get a backend for your mobile app, first you should think about what type of backend is most suitable for your app. The ready-made backend services might be enough to satisfy your needs but be sure before getting into one is the key to get desired results.

This article was designed to help you know details about the backend apps and services for your mobile app. This guide will enable you to choose the best backend app for your backend mobile app development project without hassle.

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