KEY STEPS TO FOLLOW WHILE BUILDING AN INTERNET SCALE APP

If Dreams come true…. what would you rather be doing?

Scene 1: Catch a break to let the happiness and relief sink in, and go on to chase bigger goals with renewed enthusiasm.

Alternatively,

Scene 2: You are caught unprepared! You struggle to avoid the infrastructure crashing from excessive user load. You have to put everything else on hold and divert your entire team to fire-fighting. You obviously find no time to sit back and savor the moment.

Being prepared is definitely preferable to being caught unawares. For this, app owners must think about scale early on, well before they might actually need it.

HOW TO AVOID A SCARE? BUILD APPS THAT SCALE!

Before we set out to build an infinitely scalable application, let’s see what the problem looks like:

Your app currently serves about 10000 users and is running smoothly. But then a key influencer happens to blog/tweet about your app and you start getting a lot more traffic. With so many users accessing the app all at once, it starts to stall and becomes un-responsive. The application is running out of memory, computing power and network bandwidth. So, why can’t you just throw more resources it now? Let’s hear what Mike has to say about it:

Scaling an app is like replacing all the components of a car while driving it at 100mph. And you don’t get to choose when scaling challenges come up — Mike Krieger, Instagram

But adding resources on the go is easier if the app is built to scale from the beginning.

SCALING MOBILE APPS: MAIN CONCERNS

Mobile app development is more complicated when compared to web app development. In web app space, there are only two major Operating Systems (OSes), i.e., Windows and Mac (Linux is where majority of web app are deployed). But, the mobile app space has multiple OSes and device types each with different native hardware and software capabilities. App owners prefer native apps as they deliver a better user experience (UX). The first version of a mobile app is typically build using native development SDK. But this imposes restrictions and additional burdens as the code must be re-written for every new device type and OS (And there are so many of them! — Android, iOS, Blackberry and the list goes on).

Mobile apps also have additional requirements like coding for minimal network usage to optimize app performance. Graphics tend to slow down the app and should be minimized or removed for better performance. Also the amount of data that needs to move back and forth on a page needs to be minimized. Designing to reduce network requirements and lower number of roundtrips between server and device will optimize app performance and help in easy scalability.

HOW TO SCALE TO MOBILE REQUIREMENTS: TWO APPROACHES

Company 1: Follows a phased development model. For example, retailers usually develop for Android first to tap into a much larger customer pool. Likewise, publishing companies may opt only for iPad or android tablet apps as a larger screen lends a better UX. As the app gains popularity it may be extended across other device classes.

Company 2: Uses cross-platform mobile app development frameworks like Titanium and PhoneGap to speed up development. Take Titanium, it is an open-source framework which allows creation of apps for multiple platforms from a single Javascript codebase. The hybrid apps developed using cross-platform tools provide native-like experience to the end user though they are not pure native apps. Developers build apps quickly using a single development environment. The overall code is a collection of reusable units. Such modular development allows easy portability of the app to other OS and device types. Using scalable mobile app frameworks lets companies optimize code reuse, integration of cloud features, and management of native, hybrid, and web apps from a single code base.

The first step towards a scalable mobile app is to define your scaling requirements correctly. The volume of information to be handled, concurrent access and session lengths need to be considered. For instance, displaying static information is vastly different from connecting a million people to exchange information in real-time. Read more at mobile agency new york