Mobile application development is the process of creating software applications that run on a mobile device, and a typical mobile application utilizes a network connection to work with remote computing resources. Hence, the mobile development process involves creating installable software bundles (code, binaries, assets, etc.) , implementing backend services such as data access with an API, and testing the application on target devices.
How Mobile Aps Integrate with the Backend?
Regardless of the size of the team, a critical element of the development effort is building the app logic that is responsible for making network calls to the back-end services, retrieve data and update the data in the back-end systems with new information generated from the app.
These back-end services are typically accessed through a variety of application programming interfaces, most commonly known as APIs. There are different types of APIs, such as REST and GraphQL, and there are also a wide variety of means and styles of accessing them. While some back-end service APIs are available directly to the application through calls in the platform itself, many of the specialized services have to be integrated into the app via a software development kit, commonly known as an SDK. Once the SDK has been added to the app via the development environment, then the application can make use of the APIs defined in the SDK.
How to Interact with the Backend Data?
An example of a back-end service for a mobile front-end could be a database that contains information used in the app. To access the database directly, the mobile developer would have to know the network location of the database, the protocol for accessing the database, the credentials for authenticating and authorizing the data access, and the specific database commands needed to extract the needed data.
Alternatively, the developer can utilize a specialized API when interacting with the database; the developer may only have to know the parameters needed in a method call to get or updated the needed information. In some cases, the mobile developer may develop these APIs themselves or use the API definition provided to them by the owner/operator of the back-end resource.
Typically, a REST API is used to interact with data sources on the cloud, such as a cloud database. A GraphQL API is also another option for developers, as it makes easy to work with backend data in a mobile application. GraphQL provides querying support through a single API endpoint, and a data schema that can be used to build and easily extend data models that are used in the app.
There are hundreds of cloud and 3rd party services that mobile application developers can leverage to speed up the development and delivery of their applications. However, it’s unlikely that a developer is going to be able to become an expert in each of these individual services.
Instead, the mobile developers should look for a development environment that makes it easier for them to integrate, use, and consume the most commonly required capabilities into their application quickly and easily, while still preserving the freedom to take advantage of the many individual services available.
- User Sign-up/Sign-in and Management
- Social login (Facebook sign-in, Twitter sign-in, etc.)
- Analytics and User Engagement
- Push Notifications
- Real Device Testing
- Cloud Storage
- Real-time and Offline Data
- Application Logic/Cloud Functions
- Conversational Bots
- Image and Video Recognition
- Speech Recognition