Scalable mobile applications can handle a growing workload or data set effectively. Mobile app developers often assume that they cannot afford the servers or infrastructure required to develop scalable apps. Some assume that creating apps that can handle data in terabytes is impossible. The truth is that developers may require just a few servers and tools to develop apps that can handle large data. Here are some tips that will help mobile developers create scalable apps easily.
1. Think about Scaling from the Start
One mistake that mobile app developers make is to start thinking about scalability when their apps are already in use. The best approach is to build an app with scalability in mind. Project the number of users that may use your app and the type of data that your app will store.
Try to picture the app 6 months or 12 months in the future. How much data will you need to store on behalf of your customers? Will they all be able to fit on server or will you need to expand. These are all questions you should be asking yourself before you even start the development process so you can tell if you’ll have the means to keep the app on wheels. Also, this will be essential when comes the time to choose a monetization and how much you expect to charge for the app.
Have realistic expectations but plan for a higher number of users. Past patterns can help you estimate the demand for your app. However, you need to plan for unexpected growth as you develop the app.
When planning for data storage, you may be tempted to go for a single database for simplicity. The right approach is to categorize data into different tiers and store it in different databases. An experienced mobile app development company will be able to help with this and may also suggest you create different tiers within one tier. It is easier to scale data in different sets than to scale data in one large set. You can host all tiers together when starting and then spread them to different hardware as you scale.
3. Keep Things Simple
The field of technology is highly competitive. Technology changes all the time and new innovative tools are being introduced on a daily basis. The tools often promise to magically improve scalability or dramatically shorten the time it takes to develop your app. Developers introduce new tools every month and promise developers the highest scaling performance.
However, while these new tools might look nice at first glance and offer real solutions, they often struggle with the basics of app management such as redundancy, failover or replication. The secret is to identify the right tools and keep your building technology simple. If you’re going to use tools, use tools that have been tested and true and stick to what you know. Do not shy away from using the same old technology to develop your apps. It is easy to respond to market changes and scale an app fast when using technology you’re familiar with.
Another issue with new software is that there is no telling whether you’ll be able to get access to customer support in case the company goes belly up. There have been many cases of software being developed only to be abandoned a few months later because of major failures.
4. Use Your Clients’ Caches
One important tip for developers is to make a website as static as possible. Most of the pages should be static but should have the capacity to load data where necessary. Use the cache on the user’s browser to store pages and data where possible. However, you must a create a backup plan because the user can clear the cache or modify the data at any time. The approach works not only for web browsers but also for all client-server systems.
5. Study Your Data
The data from your clients may seem overwhelming when you do not understand it. You may even fail to create an effective scaling plan if you do not study your data. Study how clients are accessing data on your app. You may realize that you only need to scale a small data set.
You may not require new or expensive servers, tools, or infrastructure to build scalable apps. You just need the right information on how to utilize the technology that you have to build better apps. The secret is to start planning to scale from the start and develop an effective scaling strategy.