Over a million developers have joined DZone.
{{announcement.body}}
{{announcement.title}}

Universal Server Side for Mobile Platforms: Myth or Reality?

DZone's Guide to

Universal Server Side for Mobile Platforms: Myth or Reality?

This mobile development team has a strategy for building a universal mobile server side for all platforms. What do you think of their idea?

· Mobile Zone ·
Free Resource

Haven’t you ever thought about how to make the mobile server-side universal? Our mobile team found out a way to make it effective.

Among the custom projects we work on, mobile application development is one of the most popular options. Quite often, the mobile front-end is accompanied by server-side functionality to share data between different platforms. Needless to say, our mobile team experts seek ways of optimizing their work on this process. In this post, we would like to share our experience on how we apply a more general attitude to creating a universal server side for different platforms.

Here, we should mention cloud solutions like Parse, but in practice, only a few clients are fine with such solutions, and there are a lot of reasons for that. Saying nothing of the project’s specifics that can be quite different, some tasks come up over and over again in some way or another, like

  1. Build the REST API for a mobile platform.
  2. Create user management for both REST and web.
  3. Prepare a platform for the Web UI.

Usually, the REST API is the most wanted architecture when a customer defines his demands to the server side. A dedicated server side is often combined with a Web UI for functionality similar to mobile platforms.

Looking for the best result, finally, we have optimized our approach and learned how to develop a universal server side. Below are the tips gained from the experience of completed projects.

Tip one: Partially get rid of the second task. We do not create user management for the web separately.

Tip two: Delete the third task completely. There is no need to prepare a platform for the Web UI. That's not a mistake — we discarded preparation of the platform for the Web UI, as well as we stopped supporting non-REST authentication.

Tip three: Use a REST API to develop the web part instead.

What is the point? Server-side developers are working only on building the REST API. Further, this API will serve mobile clients and web UI developers, too. It is both focusable and hitting targets, a win-win-win approach. Everybody is satisfied.

The Benefits

Resource Saving

We significantly decrease the load on the developers’ server side. According to a rough estimate, we can save up to 20% of the time when we build the API only, and we can save even more if we're generating APIs or using open-source ready solutions as the base for API creation.

Versatility

We get an adaptable solution for universal use. It can be used not only for a mobile application but also for easy-to-integrate social network applications, for example.

Flexibility

The solution does not depend on the Web UI. A customer can even outsource the creation of the Web UI, restricting the access to the server architecture. Aa another option, a client’s team can develop the Web UI itself, not interfering with server-side logic, which we are responsible for, also.

Extra Security

Either a web UI or a server side can host on different servers, providing additional safety. Hypothetical hackers will not have any idea where your server logic is hosted.

Adaptability

We can use different technologies to create the Web UI and server logic. The project’s server side can be developed on Java/Grails, while the Web UI creation may be performed using PHP/Node.js/PR. The developer should not think of technologies' compatibility anymore.

Focus

In addition, a server-side developer can concentrate on logic, processes, and optimization, having no limitations from the UI.

Dependability

Due to such an approach, the delivered universal server side is completely trustful. The developer can perform any kind of tests covering 100% of the solution without dealing with UI testing at all.

The make-it-universal approach is advantageous from a technical point of view as it is more flexible for managing, especially when the project is divided into stages and outsourced to several companies. The result is secure, independent, and more easily checkable and scalable. Now you know a piece of our secret magic.

Topics:
server side ,mobile app development ,rest api ,mobile

Published at DZone with permission of

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

{{ parent.title || parent.header.title}}

{{ parent.tldr }}

{{ parent.urlSource.name }}