In today’s highly competitive marketplace, having an amazing idea for a product can only be considered the very basic step toward success. Product development, in actuality, involves elements of strategy, design, development, distribution, marketing, and on the foundation of all of these, the right technology stack so as to support and evolve the idea.
Choosing the right technology stack for your mobile app development can greatly enhance your performance, time to market, as well as overall maintenance. On the other hand, failing to choose the right technology stack could result in additional development time, performance issues, frequent debugging, or a tech stack that could not deliver the product you are looking for!
In this blog, we will outline all the essential elements of a tech stack required to build and support a mobile app in 2022. The blog will traverse through various tech stacks, examples, and guide on how to choose the best tech stack so as to support the agile development process.
A Technology Stack (or Solutions Stack) is the amalgamation of technology services, languages, and frameworks that make up the entire ecosystem of a mobile application. It is referred to as the ‘stack’ because one layer of technology can be considered as layered upon the other. The tech stack, basically, is organized into two parts – The Front-end (how it looks) and the Back-end (how it works).
In every element of the technology stack, you may observe different formatting – front-end / back-end, front-end / back-end, or front-end / back-end.
Now that we understand that the technology stack is composed of two parts, let’s split each part into its components and analyze it.
The back-end tech stack signifies everything that is present on the server ‘behind’ what can be seen, the inside workings or the backbone of an app. Here are the elements of the back-end tech stack:
Server-Side Programming Languages
A framework can be defined as a set of functionalities that can be built upon or assembled so as to assist in development. The choice in the framework will be governed by the chosen programming language for development and also the target platform.
The database, which is also a server, is the repository for your mobile app code. It is also responsible for collecting, storing, processing and managing the collected data. Common databases are MySQL and MongoDB.
The OS (Operating System) in a tech stack is basically the software interface via which the frameworks, servers, and other software elements of the stack access the computing resources. The most common OS are Android, Windows, iOS, Linux, and Mac OS.
The mobile application that you build completely depends upon the technology stack that you choose for it. Thus, it is imperative to check different traits of your app, such as whether or not your app is robust or has the caliber to scale up to different versions of the various OS.
You can choose anything you like, but you must know that the right tech stack greatly enhances the performance of the app and also supports its growth prospects. On the contrary, choosing the wrong one will make you suffer for its development cost as well as the time to market the mobile application. Other than this, you will also face more basic issues in your mobile application.
So, before starting with the development of your mobile app, giving proper time and attention in choosing the best tech stack is extremely important and a must thing to do.
There are a number of important considerations for choosing the best tech stack for your mobile app in 2022. Some of these are discussed below:
1. Product Scope
Clear user and market research helps to define the needs and requirements of the application. The product scope will help to define business assumptions, user assumptions, and then technical assumptions. The business analysts and project manager work together to define the problem that the product is trying to solve, the target users, the competitive solutions, etc. After these business and user assumptions are solved, emerges the technical assumptions about which platforms/devices the product needs to work on, the level of interactivity, and the basic functionality.
2. Existing Infrastructure
Though a specific tech stack might have been successful for an existing product, it might not work for other products. Having said that, leveraging existing infrastructure is an essential consideration. This step will also analyze if the product can leverage the existing assets, either available in external libraries and frameworks that are being used or proprietary to other products.
3. Defining The Platform
This should align with dictating native vs cross-platform, the target users, and the ability to reach those specific requirements. If building for native platforms, then consider side-by-side (tandem) vs sequential development of various platforms. Though this speeds up the time to market, things analyzed during testing must be applied to every platform. In the case of sequential development, the idea can be refined, however, there’s a risk of alienating users of alternate platforms.
On the other side of the scalability, lies the base performance of the application, which is directly dictated by the business needs of the app as well as the choice of the tech stack that influences the size of the app, the number of requests the system can process, and the speed of the system reaction. With performance being the foremost aspect in user acceptance of a new product, it is essential to have this aspect as a part of each decision in terms of the tech stack, for the front-end as well as back-end. When performance becomes the number one priority, often native development outweighs the advantages of cross-platform development.
5. Time to Market
In case the application requires to get to market quickly, or in case of the product being likely to change, concentrate on a simple, well-tested, as well as flexible tech stack supporting agile development.
The potential to scale both horizontally (scaling to more devices) and vertically (adding more data or elements) while also maintaining performance. This will be significant to understand databases and servers, but specific attention needs to be paid to frameworks since there’s a tradeoff between the modular-oriented development and the potential for those modules to be modified or scaled in the future.
While analyzing the budget, the majority of the organizations focus on an MVP app and need to plan an initial budget that is based on the required infrastructure, product plan, open-source vs license fees, in-house/freelance or outsourced skills, and ongoing maintenance. The budget must involve the complete anticipated life cycle of the product – from development to maintenance and its ultimate disposal.
Note the fact that not all technologies are secure on an equal scale. Well-tested, mature technologies provide stability, however, all tech stacks require proper testing.
9. New Trends
Though new technologies can provide a meaningful boost to features, performance, development time, or scalability, there’s a risk of being quite trendy in new technologies. However, keeping on track with the latest UI/UX trends can help to ensure that the tech stack offers the latest as well as the greatest options.
10. Skill Availability
Expert availability, via hiring and in-house skill, often limits the tech stack, especially considering the IT skill gap. Instead of limit choices, rely on the expertise of seasoned development via outsourcing.
Framework: React Native, Xanmarin, Swift, React (front-end)
Framework: Ruby on Rails
Programming Languages: Java, Python, NodeJS, C, C++
Server: Apache Mesos, NGINX
Framework: NodeJS, React
Server: Amazon EC2 and RDS
Programming Languages: Swift, Python, C, Kotlin, Java, Objective-C
Server: Apache, NGINX
Databases: Hadoop, Cassandra
Server: Apache Storm, NGINX
The process of product development is an entire journey in itself that begins with an idea and is followed by careful research and the establishment of the right tech stack in order to ensure success. Of course, it is not an easy journey to build and scale every idea into a successful product… It is indeed worth it!
If you are also looking for an agile mobile app development process to deliver end-to-end full-stack excellence, reach out to learn more.