How to Build a Scalable Mobile Application

How to Build a Scalable Mobile Application

To make a successful mobile application you need to factor in scalability. It means creating an application that can handle potential growth and give users a positive experience. 

Most start-ups do not succeed due to premature scaling. That’s why, it’s important to think of the future to avoid hitting a dead zone with your app. This article will help you find the best practices to ensure that your app can effectively handle an influx of users. 

What is a scalable application?

A scalable application has a fantastic user experience despite the number of users in a price-friendly manner. 

There are three main sections of mobile app scalability;

  • User Experience (UX):  Applications can scale up to a million users, but you won’t reach that rate if the user experience is not good enough. The main reason for scalability is to ensure that users have the best experience, which makes them satisfied with the product. 
  • Context establishment: The second essential part is to ensure that your backend system works efficiently irrespective of the user number of users.
  • Money: An app cannot be called scalable if the costs are higher than the user base. It is essential to maintain a great user experience with the minimal increase in costs. 

What are the two sides of mobile app scaling?

There are two sides in which a mobile app is scaled, including backend and frontend. 

  • Frontend scalability – A scalable mobile app architecture and user interface create the frontend scalability. Whenever someone is using a mobile app, it should be easy to use and load instantly. Every part of the app should load smoothly and perform well after it’s scaled up. 
  • Backend scalability – The backend is made up of databases, servers, and the app itself. It is essential to note that the app functionality is highly dependent on the backend. 

Benefits of a Scalable App

Here are the key benefits of scaling your mobile app;

  • Positive user experience: You can make your app go viral through marketing, resulting in massive traffic. With a positive user experience, you can advance rapidly with minimal effort.
  • Efficient marketing: You can have an easy time during holidays, special events, or festive occasions with a scaled application. Meanwhile,an increase in usage and traffic will be evident. 
  • Increased flexibility and creativity: When scaling an app, people may look for other developers to improve scalability. Involvement of a creative developer at any stage of app development can be a crucial asset to your app. 
  • Higher growth potential: Scaling allows for growth by finding the small problems in applications before users complain about them. In this way, you can detect bugs before further developing the app. 

Steps in Building A Scalable Application

Developers can get caught up in the excitement of coding and forget about scalability. This results in an app that can’t withstand heavy user experience. After this, you will need to improve the app by adding to the budget and effort to build scalability. 

So before you write the code, you need to think about scalability. Here’s what you need to do while developing a scalable app;

1.  Choosing The Best Technology That Works For Your App

Technology is the most crucial part of this list. Creating a scalable mobile app for iOS and Android needs proper technology. Some of the technologies you can look into and compare in terms of their feasibility are PhoneGap, RhoMobile, Appcelerator, MoSync, and WidgetPad.

2.  Programming Language

Programming language goes hand in hand with the proper technology. Choosing a programming language is fully dependent on your application needs. Some of the best programming languages for mobile app development are Java, Swift, Python, C++, and PHP. However, there are two things that you should consider in your choice;

  • The number of users: If many people use the language, it will be less likely to go outdated.
  • Ease of use: Choose a language that is easy to write and adjust.

3.  Infrastructure Scaling

It is necessary to take care of how you create a scalable infrastructure for your app. You have to look at the future by dividing your project into various vital modules. This type of infrastructure helps the system to become suitable and flexible for further scaling in the future. 

The key methods of scaling an app’s infrastructure include:

  • Scaling out/horizontal scaling: Adding more parts to your infrastructure. Here you balance the load by evenly spreading out the requests for resources in all machines. Horizontal scaling may be hard to implement, but it is significantly cheaper to do.
  • Scaling up/vertical scaling: Using the available components to maximize its ability to handle other loads. Here you can add code optimization and algorithms for software. As for the hardware part, you can add more memory and CPUs. 

4.  Requests Between Servers

There are two methods of distributing requests between servers and balance the load:

  • Client-side balancing: Facebook uses this approach where they obtain user parameters such as location data and IP. It is safe and flexible where the data gained is used to distribute requests between servers automatically. 
  • Balancing unit: Here the client deals directly with the central server, which decides how it will distribute the requests. 

5.  Caching

Caching reduces the impact on the system resources. It means that it saves results that are ready-made to display or send without processing data. 

Hitting the primary database each time a client asks for something is not a scalable design. Databases such as Redis are specialized to perform tasks rapidly. It is essential to store your data in such databases to maintain your scale during a peak season. 

6.  Database

The type of database also determines your scalability. However, the choice of database will be dependent on what you want to achieve. You can even use a different database for other workloads. After choosing the database, you should;

  • Divide the data into multiple sections for many databases to avoid losing it all for failure.
  • Archive old data for space and performance problems. 

7.  Content Delivery Network

You have to take advantage of CDN to scale a digital application. It fastens content to be delivered to the user because the servers are worldwide; hence, the response time is minimal.

This is a profit-making solution when the target audience is located in different countries. 

8.  Pushing Logic To The Clients

The logic, in this case, is the code you use at your backend. However, this approach has one downside because once a client makes a request, it has to work. If clients send requests at the same time, it proves to be an issue.

Another problem is that you cannot trust the client. They can override your logic when compromised. The solution here is to balance out, and if you verify logic, you can port it. 

Final Word

Hopefully, you’ve learned what you needed to know on
how to make scalable applications. Scalability gives users a positive experience, increases growth, and offers better investment returns. If you are targeting many users, it is crucial to plan-ahead from the first process. This way, whenever the demand increases, you will be ready.