There are millions of mobile app available on app stores across various platforms. Lack of quality user experience and poor performance are key reasons why apps become unsuccessful. However, there are quite a few considerations that make an app better than the rest.
In this post, we would try to look at few best practices and technical considerations that can help you make the right decisions to create flexible and efficient apps.
11 App Development Best Practices
- Build application using standard protocols. Standard protocols are agreed to handshaking mechanisms that define how the application processes client and server communication and exchange messages. Apps developed based on standard protocols are more flexible and configurable. The standard protocols include HTTP(s), SSL, SFTP, RESTful, etc. Non-standard/vendor-specific protocols can bring in more challenges with implementation and may require extra configuration and efforts for resiliency and smooth operations.
- Never build a solution on the assumption that the services used by the app are always consistent and use allocated particular IP addresses or hostnames. The recommended best practice is to use an external service registry that will resolve service endpoints. Try to use a load balancer with a valid virtual name and leverage the service bus for handling the routing mechanism.
- Leverage compatibility libraries or use services provided by middleware infrastructure/service providers instead of operating system-specific features.
- Focus on Scalability. To address scalability changes, the recommendation here is to build generic and stateless app as much as possible.
- Implement standard security principles, define clear strategy on authentication and authorization. For example, the OAuth2 authorization framework can be leveraged along with other security mechanisms.
- Don’t rely on local file systems. Go with a clear assumption that the local file system is not permanent. Instead of using a local file system, the recommendation is to store information in a service, such as SQL or NoSQL database. On a need basis, this will help in retrieving application logs too.
- Minimize the use of session state from the app. The extensibility of any app is limited by its Stateful-ness. The recommendation here is to try to minimize the impact of the session state. This can be achieved by the possible use of any external database or in-memory data storage systems that can help in managing session state.
- Consider Multi-Region architecture to build more robust and efficient apps. Always plan to avoid downtime in a single region, hence it is recommended to run more than one instance.
- Choose wisely between synchronous and asynchronous integration types. As the system integration tends to take a longer time to return a response, the service integration should be designed to support reasonable usability.
- Avoid using infrastructure APIs while developing app. Try to use infrastructure-independent existing open-source or commercial licensed products which will be helpful in keeping app source code independent and loosely coupled.
- Application monitoring and health check is very important and helps in taking proactive and corrective measures. When you are using the cloud, app monitoring can be easily done using multiple third-party services. This will help in analyzing, troubleshooting, and optimizing the entire application stack.
Try to apply due diligence and put together all experience while designing and developing apps. No step is perfect, it all depends on how things are collectively working together as an end-to-end system and how best we have anticipated challenges and acted wisely.