In today’s fast-running world, mobile applications are providing the most stunning features to their users. Users download the most rated and attractive mobile apps, and the developers try to build that kind of app experience.
The mobile applications users see only the visible part of the application, but it is just a part of a mobile app iceberg. The intelligence part of every mobile application is its back-end. The back-end control and process all the user interactions. The mobile application back-end provides almost all basic functionalities like push notifications, app management, user management, back-end integration, and more.
This is a very time-consuming task for developers to develop these basic feature integration to every mobile application. And also building the front-end user experience, which is the most important part of mobile application adoption. The front-end application consuming the back-end capabilities provided by the back-end service providers via APIs and SDKs. The mobile app developers focus on writing bug-free code to build the best user experience.
Decomposing the mobile backend
While decomposing the mobile application back-end, it typically offers different kinds of features that are based on the application’s needs. They are,
- Push notifications to increase user engagement.
- Protection from mobile-specific security threads.
- Mobile app lifecycle and feature management.
- Offline app availability by using offline datastore and sync.
- Mobile analytics for the app, user, and device insights.
- User authentication and authorization.
- Backend integration.
- Throughput optimization and network usage.
Push notifications to increase user engagement
Push notifications serve a significant role to boost user engagement in mobile applications. A push notification is a message that popup on the mobile device. The mobile app publishers can push them at any time. Push notifications serve the convenience and add value to every app user.
The mobile app backend cannot directly send push notifications to the mobile apps. Different third-party applications are available to send push notifications. Firebase Cloud Messaging(FCM) and Apple Push Notification Service(APNS) are the main mediators that help to send push notification messages to mobile devices.
Protection from mobile-specific security threads
Mobile security is an important factor considered by developers while developing mobile applications. And they are responsible for securing mobile users’ data. For protecting data from attackers typically backed provide data encryption and protection on the device and also protection against malicious applications connecting to server.
Many of the backend providers offer additional protection against man-in-the-middle attacks, network spoofing, spyware, setup authentication support, and more.
Mobile app lifecycle and feature management.
When the mobile app lifecycle is executed right, applications can provide end-user with a simple and seamless experience. These are the best practice for mobile app lifecycle management.
- On-boarding – To identify the stakeholders(business unit leaders and employee groups) and make a better business case for their acquisition and deployment is a useful first step.
- Inspection – It can inspect the app for risk behavior and vulnerabilities.
- Development – Front-end and back-end coding segments.
- Quality Assurance – It is usually performed after each agile sprint is completed.
- Deployment – Publishes in the App Store, updates releases, infrastructure, and full app maintenance.
Offline application availability with an offline data store and sync
Offline app availability is a key aspect of many mobile applications. Applications cache data for offline browsing is a very common use case. The mobile back-end provides a different way to securely cache data(structured, unstructured, or binary data).
To use such kinds of features we should install an SDK in our app code, that is provided by cloud providers. For data synchronization, data should be formatted in a SQL or NoSQL format.
Mobile analytics for the app, user, and device insights
After the application is deployed to the app store or play store, the application will be installed on many mobile devices, and the app developer or owner of the application can analyze the insights on the number of downloads and application crash reports, etc.
User authentication and authorization
Users are the most valuable aspect of every application. So most mobile applications need a way to register and identify users before start using the app features. The application provides many kinds of authentication methods such as social login or custom user authentication with user name and password. Some applications also need their own device biometric authentication and not just type the username and password. Most cloud service providers give out user registration, authentication, and authorization provisions.
It means that backend service integration could be RESTful or other APIs which we can integrate to using standard HTTP or JSON libraries or even from the cloud providers like firebase, parse, etc have their own SDK for integration.
Throughput optimization and network usage
The mobile backend is responsible for optimizing the throughput and will provide the required data capabilities. It will provide the network resource for transferring the required amount of data and most processes are performed on the server-side. JSON and XML formats are mainly used for data transfer.
Cloud-based mobile backends
Major cloud providers such as Amazon, Google, and Microsoft provide their own specific frameworks that are used to serve mobile app backend. Any of these cloud providers are providing their core features are payable. They also offer free services but that is very limited. But it’s an advantage to small-scale applications because they get almost all features free. And they can upgrade their free plan to paid plan at any time when they need more features.
Full-stack mobile development (Frontend and Backend)
Full-stack mobile developers have the skill and knowledge to build an entire mobile application, from backend to frontend. As a full-stack developer, you should be very aware of front-end technology and backend technologies. The mobile backend providers provide many SDKs for many frontend technologies like iOS, Android, React Native and etc. These SDKs also offer RESTful APIs that can be leveraged from the frontend application. By using modern technologies and resources any skilled individual can be capable of building effective mobile apps.
Now we can understand the need for mobile backend technologies and the backend capabilities provided by the mobile backend providers. now you are well aware of the need for backend technologies in mobile app development and the role of backend providers in app development. To provide a better user experience, use the backend technologies provided by backend providers and front-end technologies effectively.