Mobile app architecture is a defined set of rules, processes, techniques, and patterns that assists you in developing a mobile application. These rules help you create an app that meets business requirements, user expectations, and industry standards.
In this blog, MarsDevs introduces you to the Mobile App Architecture, its importance, and its utility.
You can often use Mobile app architecture interchangeably, although incorrectly, with the mobile tech stack. The mobile technology stack is the set of technologies and technical frameworks that help a developer make up the front and back end of a mobile or web app.
It is less concerned with the business or customer requirements, which comprises the why of the app or the development process, i.e., the how of creating the app.
The mobile app architecture comprises all the parts of the app – all the questions about why, what, and how. It also includes what data is collected, how the information moves, what the app might look like, for what platform, and the tech stack.
Many apps developed today lack architecture or reference to standards.
You can spot a lack of architectural results in an app through:
An excellent mobile application architecture will enforce good software development principles in the appropriate stages of development. This helps you accelerate development, providing a clear path for the data flow to make work easier and supports clarity over how to scale or expand the app in the future.
A clearly defined mobile app architecture supports flexibility and Agile development methods, makes testing more efficient, and makes future maintenance more accessible and less prone to bugs. A robust mobile app architecture will save time and money in the short and long term.
A good architecture will not be platform specific but rather apply to native and cross-platform choices. This approach results in a unified approach to development. If a mobile app architecture is a skeleton for how we create a mobile application, we can then define layers for how we build out the vital components of the app.
The most famous representation of mobile app architecture has three layers: presentation, business logic, and data.
When designing the presentation layer, you should be able to decide on the right platform and device type so you can make it consistent with each standard.
2. Business Layer
The business layer concerns itself with the logic and rules that are responsible for data exchange, operations, or workflow regulation. This layer is accountable for the following:
The business layer can exist on the server or the user device. It depends on the app's operations and the resources that each procedure might take.
3. Data Layer
The data layer includes all the data utilities, service agents, and access components that support data transactions. This layer can be thought of in two parts:
The design of the data layer must include thoughts about the validation and maintenance of the data.
If you consider the common architectural principles, each application should have at least two layers:
You can add another domain layer that simplifies and reuses the interactions between each of the UI and data layers.
The UI layer, also known as the presentation layer, helps you display the application data on your screen. So, whenever you see the data change, it changes either due to the user interaction, i.e., pressing a button, or due to some external input, i.e., a network response. The UI should update and reflect the changes every time you change something.
The UI layer comprises two things:
The data layer in an application contains the business logic. The business logic can give value to your app. But you need to know its rules, which can determine how your app can help you create, store, and change data.
The data layer is made with repositories. Each of them can contain zero to as many data sources as you need. You need to create a repository class for each type of data you handle in your app.
You can create a MoviesRepository class for data that are related to movies or a PaymentsRepository class for data that you can relate to payments.
Repository classes are responsible for different tasks:
You should let each data source class be responsible for working with only one data source, a network source, a file, or a local database. Data source classes can thus bridge the gap between the application and the system that we use for data operations.
The domain layer is often treated as an optional layer that can sit between the UI and the data layers.
The domain layers are often responsible for encapsulating complex business logic or even the simple ones that are reused by multiple ViewModels. The domain layer is optional, as not all apps have these requirements. It would be best if you used it only as you need, for example, in situations that require you to handle complexity or favor reusability.
You often know the classes in this layer as use cases or interactors. Each of these use cases further takes responsibility for a single functionality. Consider your app. Now, it has a GetTimeZoneUseCase class. In this case, multiple ViewModels rely on time zones in order to display the proper messages on the screen.
While it does not seem like one, programming is a creative field. Also, building Android apps is not an exception. There can be several ways to solve a particular problem. And you might need to communicate data between multiple activities to retrieve that remote data and persist it locally to enable the offline mode or handle any other common scenarios that a nontrivial app might encounter.
Following recommendations can always be optional. Prescriptions are not recommended either. But knowing about them can often help you make your code base more robust, testable, and easily maintainable in the long run.
Having a good Architecture executed in your application can introduce a lot of benefits to your project and development teams:
Investing in Mobile App Architecture can also directly impact your users.
The mobile application development process is complicated. It would be best if you had a team of developers for the job. Again, we understand how tiring it is to balance business and hiring. You even have to hire and fire to decide on a perfect team. But it is the age of digitization, and every problem has a quick and easy solution. MarsDevs makes it affordable too.
Why invest time in hiring when we can chip in anytime you want? MarsDevs takes care of all your development needs while you focus on business. Your applications stand out with excellent UIs; this is just the start.