People, specifically the ones who develop a mobile app for their business, often get confused between the frontend and backend development. Your mobile app builds your brand reputation and competes with thousands of rivals over worldwide platforms. Besides, you invest time & money in app development. Therefore, you must pay attention to every ounce of app development. Your attention should be at the apex when it gets to the mobile app backend architecture.
Some intellectual entrepreneurs raise questions, such as; when users cannot interact with the backend app, why is it necessary for a user-friendly app? What is the backend mobile app development process, and how is it discrete from the frontend?
Hence, the Guide on Backend Mobile App Development for App Owners is created. From its definition, we’ll walk through the Frontend vs. Backend, backend alternatives, and how to pick the right backend service. I think this much is enough for a post; what say?
Anyway, let’s start with the definition first.
What is the mobile app development backend?
To perceive the concept of a backend, it is necessary first to clarify the frontend. Given that, the frontend and backend are like two sides of a coin for mobile applications. So, what is the frontend?
In a nutshell, applications you install from the Play Store or App Store on your smartphone are frontend applications. Instagram, Facebook, or Calculator every app on your smartphone is a frontend mobile app. How? Frontend applications allow you to interact directly through buttons, text fields, toggles, etcetera graphical interfaces. Since they operate on mobile devices (that’s what your smartphone is), they are mobile applications, too.
In a layman language, applications that humans directly interact with and are designed to render intuitive user experience are frontend apps—now coming to the main topic, Backend.
Likewise, frontend apps are meant for humans; backend applications are developed to be used by frontend apps. Frontend apps communicate with backend apps using a set of internet protocols designed for machine to machine communication.
In most cases, frontend app users could barely know about this ongoing communication on their mobile devices behind the app. Does your device show this communication?
Okay, now, let’s have a quick sight of disparities of frontend and backend development.
Frontend vs. backend for mobile app development: Showdown
|On this side of the app, you can visually see, interact, and indulge.||On this side of the app, you cannot see or interact with.|
|It is the tip of the ice-berg.||It is the bottom part of the ice-berg.|
|It is designed to communicate and convey services to the end-users.||It is designed to let frontend apps communicate with its server to exchange the data.|
|It refers to the client-side and responsible for the look and feel of a mobile or web application.||It refers to the server-side and responsible for data storage, business logic, and security.|
|It should be creative, appealing, empathetic, and visionary.||It should be logical, analytical, systematic, and detail-oriented.|
|It encompasses everything that attributes to the visual elements of the app.||It encompasses mainly three parts; a database, server, and APIs.|
|An app user searches and sees the list of restaurants on the UberEats is the frontend mobile app.||When a user searches, the frontend app communicates backend, passes the user’s location; in return, it manifests the list and data of nearby restaurants to the user.|
|Frontend mobile apps are deployed on platforms like Google Play and Apple Store.||Backend mobile apps are hosted on a cloud or on-site server.|
Do all mobile apps need a backend?
After the whole discussion on backend vs. frontend, you must know, the frontend is inevitable, but is the backend too? Well, it’s a guide on backend mobile app development for owners, so we had to answer this query. And the answer is “No.” Yes, not each and every mobile app needs the backend app.
As already mentioned, frontend apps communicate with backend software through the internet. Therefore, if an application works utterly offline after installation, then for sure, it can operate without a backend. Let us give you a couple of examples of apps without a backend before any doubt arises.
- Voice recorder
The above-mentioned mobile apps come pre-installed in most of the smartphones and don’t require any backend. They can perform their sole purpose without an internet connection. As for the storage of clicked pictures, recording files, and notes, they use your mobile device’s local storage. However, current camera versions need a backend to store backups of photos.
So, if your app is fully workable offline, congratulations, you can proceed without a backend development. But wait, when you scale up and add more functionality, it may require a backend. Check out here the list of functionality for which a mobile app has to connect with the backend.
Like Zalando, Netflix, your app requires the ability to add, remove, and manage the content.
Like a Weather app, your app displays the data that updates frequently.
Like Google photos and calendar, your app synchronizes the data for a user on different devices.
Like File by Google app, you want to be confident the user data won’t be lost.
Like Uber, Instacart, Amazon, your app collects online payment for services.
Like Facebook and What’s App, your app let users communicate with each other.
Like every other mobile app, your app users are going to receive notifications about updates, news, or promotions; it needs a backend.
Are there options for the backend?
It’s a human instinct to look for alternatives to a thing, isn’t it? Fortunately, you’re not unfortunate, and there are ready-to-use backend services available. However, custom backend development from scratch is the most straightforward option.
It offers flexibility and the possibility to a great extent to create anything your app needs or will need. But it is also going to cost significant time and money. You want to hire mobile app developers or a mobile app development company. That being said, the backend development follows the same as the mobile app development process. Hence, sometimes it appears reasonable to go with a cheaper solution.
Some existing services offer the functionality that your app may require a backend for. So, you just register, pay for a monthly subscription, that’s it, you can connect your app to a working backend. Such ready-made backend services include;
Service as a Service (Saas)
Mobile Backend as a Service (MBaaS)
Now, when you make a choice for the backend service, you need to consider the below factors to opt for the right one;
Ease of use- it should be accessible quickly;
Mobile support- it should support iOS and Android;
Custom Cloud Code- that lets you run custom business logic;
Import/Export capabilities- as you want to transform, back up, import, or export data one to another environment;
On the whole;
As mentioned earlier, we walked through backend app definition, frontend vs. backend, its alternatives, and what to consider to pick the right one. Now, the time is to wrap up the blog.
Now, if you want to acquire a ready-made backend as a service, you know how to choose. And for custom backend development, our company is always there for you. We’ll just let you off the hook on the choice. Good luck!