How Can a Mobile App Development Agency Accelerate and Scale App Dev Without Managing Infrastructure

January 8, 2021

A mobile app development agency normally needs a backend server to create an app. The server is where content, such as media (videos and images) as well as user profiles are kept. A server uses REST API to communicate with an application. Developers use different programming languages for backend servers. The most popular ones include Python, PHP, Java, and Go. Some developers, however, prefer the simpler way and choose to go serverless when creating a mobile app.

The Advantages of Going Serverless

Going serverless means developers can develop and scale their apps without managing any infrastructure. Backend server maintenance can be challenging and complicated (and time-consuming). Aside from building servers, you have to regularly update them, ensure proper backup, and protect them from data loss. Mobile app development agency developers also need to assign IP addresses and hostnames to their servers.

Choosing to go serverless does not diminish one’s capacity to build world-class applications. It only means that you are free from the time-consuming tasks of managing the underlying infrastructure. The rest of your work stays the same – you write your code and deploy it. Scaling is also not a problem as serverless app development allows performance efficiency, reliability, and high-availability even when the number of users multiplies and the app demand is high. In fact, serverless mobile apps (or FaaS – Function-as-a-Service apps) are known for their easy and quick scaling.

Another advantage a mobile app development agency enjoys when it decides to go serverless is the micro-billing method. This system bills you only when your code is already running or executed.

Serverless or FaaS mobile apps are event-driven. Meaning, you need to create an event and a trigger (or response) before the serverless app is executed. Likewise, serverless applications are stateless. They are created at the start of the execution and then destroyed when the execution is completed and successful.

Google Cloud offers serverless mobile apps. Other providers include Amazon Web Services (AWS Lambda), Oracle (Fn Project), Apache/IBM (OpenWhisk), and Microsoft (Azure Functions).

How to Accelerate and Scale Apps Without Managing Infrastructure

For serverless mobile apps, the entire computing process is done not on the device but in the cloud. The mobile app development agency does not handle backend management; the vendor performs this task.

Each application is broken into different functions, which aren’t connected to or on any server. These functions run and react to specific events and triggers. The vendor’s infrastructure then creates new functions when necessary. Basically, it’s like a chain reaction involving the app, vendor’s backend, and the user.

For example, when a user clicks the subscribe button on a serverless app, this “event” will send “triggers” to the backend functions. It starts and records the transaction, and delivers whatever the user has subscribed to.

So, as you can see, the developer does not handle anything connected to the server or infrastructure. It’s only the vendor who does the complex tasks.

Each serverless app development vendors has its own set of offerings guaranteed to help a mobile app development agency efficiently deliver even without managing infrastructure. Google Cloud, for example, has Firebase, which it acquired when it was still a mobile messenger. It gives developers access to the cloud in the most secure manner. Firebase serves web and mobile front-end developers a venue for creating serverless apps. One of the most  popular apps that use this kind of technology is Spotify.

Here are some features offered by serverless vendors:

  • Cloud storage platform for your content (including videos, music, and photos)
  • Mobile connectivity
  • Machine learning capabilities for apps
  • App customization
  • A/B testing
  • User-based security
  • Simplified testing and troubleshooting process
  • App testing (physical or virtual)

Some serverless vendors also offer SDKs or software development kits and pre-packaged solutions that are simple and easy to configure.

A serverless system does not necessarily mean that there are no servers used during the development process. What it indicates is that infrastructure and server issues are all managed by vendors so that developers can write codes and perform their primary tasks without having to worry about servers.

Benefits of Going Serverless or Developing Apps Without Managing Infrastructure

A mobile app development agency that handles serverless app development enjoys several benefits.

  • Your developers can focus on managing apps, not infrastructure or servers. For example, instead of spending your time setting up, updating, and managing servers, you can work on improving your app’s core features according to user/customer feedback.
  • Your developers can focus on managing apps, not infrastructure or servers. For example, instead of spending your time setting up, updating, and managing servers, you can work on improving your app’s core features according to user/customer feedback.
  • Your developers can focus on managing apps, not infrastructure or servers. For example, instead of spending your time setting up, updating, and managing servers, you can work on improving your app’s core features according to user/customer feedback.
  • Your developers can focus on managing apps, not infrastructure or servers. For example, instead of spending your time setting up, updating, and managing servers, you can work on improving your app’s core features according to user/customer feedback.
  • Your developers can focus on managing apps, not infrastructure or servers. For example, instead of spending your time setting up, updating, and managing servers, you can work on improving your app’s core features according to user/customer feedback.

Disadvantages of Serverless Mobile App Development

It is important to also know the disadvantages of choosing to develop apps without managing infrastructure. There are only a few, though.

  • Third-party control. Since the serverless vendor manages the servers, you and your mobile app development agency do not have complete control of the infrastructure. With a limited hold on the system, you may encounter debugging problems. Moreover, understanding how the entire infrastructure works can be difficult.
  • Complicated testing. With a serverless or FaaS architecture, thorough application testing can be quite challenging, especially if it is done using a local testing environment.

Conclusion

Developing and scaling application development without managing infrastructure is becoming more and more popular nowadays. A mobile app development agency with limited backend resources and manpower no longer has to worry about servers and similar stuff when building an app, or when they want to accelerate and scale their applications. If you want this system to work for your company, the first thing you need to do is find a reliable and experienced serverless vendor.

About the author: Baptiste Leroux - CEO

After several years in the corporate world, I create my first Web startup as a social enterprise. Working with talented people, excellent software development skills, good communication, and a competitive pricing, we shifted our focus to web & mobile outsourcing projects. View on Linkedin

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