App Development

Selecting the Right Technology Stack for Mobile/Web App Development

December 03, 2019

Every enterprise has its own set of key processes that must be well-structured and organized. They need specialized computers and software to accomplish this. This eventually helps them reach new market segments, automate various business processes and provide high-quality services to customers.

Selecting the right combination of underlying development tools is quintessential at every stage of SDLC. These are the frameworks, platform, front-end, back-end, database, cloud hosting, Server, etc.

Why is Technology Stack important?

Selecting a technology platform can be a daunting task for developers before starting with a particular project. Non-technical counterparts might have similar queries as to which programming language is preferable – Kotlin, Python, Java, PHP, Objective C, swift, etc.? Which framework will fare better – React.JS, Node.js or Flask? Which option will be better for front-end – React, Angular or Vue.JS? What database will be suitable for a particular programming language – SQL Server, MySQL, or MongoDB? Should we self-host or hire a cloud hosting partner like Microsoft Azure, Amazon AWS or Google Cloud, etc.? This guide is helpful for the founders with a non-technical background in selecting right technology stack for their startup:

Backend (Server Side) – It powers the front-end of the application. Popular back-end stacks include LAMP, WAMP, MEAN stacks in case of PHP based frameworks like Laravel, CakePHP, Zend, Symfony, Codeigniter, Yii2, Aura, Slim, Fatfree, etc.

Front-End (Client-side) includes everything a user sees on the screen of a website, web app or a mobile app. HTML, JS, CSS are the three basic and widely popular front-end technologies.

Choosing the Right Tech Stack

There are a few things that even experienced developers need to think about while selecting technology stack for their:

  • Is there a requirement to scale the application in the future?
  • Is there a requirement to make something as quickly as possible?
  • The choice for the best stack might depend upon the highest priority of the requirement.
  • Is there a need to use client-side programs that are familiar to the majority of people like HTML or WordPress or is the audience/target market more technology adept?
  • Price or cost of development of particular technology, availability of developers with particular skillsets, demographics, daylight savings, or the tradeoff to have an app that requires more upkeep

In such cases, there is always a need to think about what is important, make a list and keep a process handy. If that process is insufficient, it is always a better idea to keep a backup process ready.

Structure of a Technology Stack

A specific technology stack constitutes of three major components: Front-end, back-end, and middleware

  1. The frontend is where all the user interactions happen
  2. Backend is where the underlying database interacts with the user interface. It is used for creating logic for the application
  3. The middleware layer consists of web servers, content management system and other similar tools that support web application development. As an example when a user submits a registration form it goes via middleware. 

How should a possible tech stack for iOS applications look like?

Following mobile app technology stack can be considered while creating a native application:

  • Programming languages/Front-End – Objective-C, Swift
  • Toolkit – Apple XCode
  • SDK: iOS SDK
  • Database: MongoDB
  • Server: Ubuntu 16.0

How should a possible tech stack for Android applications look like?

Following mobile app technology stack can be considered while creating a native application:

  • Programming languages: Java, Kotlin
  • Toolkit: Android Studio & Android Developer Tools
  • SDK: Android SDK

How should a possible Technology Stack for Cross-Platform Apps look like?

Developers can choose to select from React Native, ReactJS, JavaScript/TypeScript and xamarin + C# in frameworks. Rest everything can be the same as native applications.

How should a possible Technology stack for hybrid apps look like?

Such applications work as websites somewhere in between a mobile app and a web browser. They make use of standard web technologies and tools like CSS, HTML5, and JavaScript. The shared code is then wrapped in a native container, which can be done using various tools, and shipped as a regular app.

Framework: Cordova/PhoneGap (an open-source framework to run HTML/JS-based applications). PhoneGap supports numerous frameworks and libraries including jQuery, AngularJS, and Knockout.js, Flutter, CoronaSDK, JQuery Mobile, Intel XDK, Native Scripts

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Technology Stack

Some prominent points that must be considered while selecting a technology stack that could be just right for your app development project are:

  • The Type Of Project – Web or mobile, with varying complexity, platform-specific UI requirements
  • Validating The Idea – involving users in finalizing the idea – checking the feasibility of the application is important to stay ahead of the competition.
  • Time To Market – The aped to launch the product or software into the market is crucial for sustaining a competitive advantage.

Pros of Choosing Right Technology Stack

  • To strengthen the base performance of the application.
  • To enhance the performance of the developers
  • It eases maintainability of software codebase
  • A well-documented technology stack makes it easier to fix the bugs and any pending performance issues.

Cons of Using a Wrong Technology Stack

An incorrect technology stack can prove to be expensive as it might lead to failure of the project at later stages of the lifecycle. The selection of a technology stack is an essential part of the feasibility analysis of any project. Adopting a new technology stack in the middle of project development would require double the time and effort of the development team. A new tech stack might have frequent update cycles that will require frequent changes to keep the app running with the latest codebase. There are chances that this tech stack might become unsustainable.

Quick Roll-Up

The technology used in web application development can have a big effect on how your app works and how it will behave in the future. The tech stack can also influence the scalability of your product. Certain stacks will better serve different projects. Because so many different combinations are possible for your tech stack, it’s difficult (if not impossible) to generalize. But it is always a better option to get familiar with the strengths and weaknesses of your tech stack before starting with development. It helps you take advantage of the strengths and mitigate the weaknesses. Developers need to revise their tech stacks before major production work begins as changes at later stages of development might take time and money.

The right technology stack always plays an important role in mobile and web application development. The choice of technology stack depends upon the complexity of the application, availability of skilled developers and client requirements. Top web development companies always consider the pros and cons of available technologies before starting with their projects. Indian Web Developers consider a combination of tools and technologies, programming language and operating system details, required for web or mobile application which forms the basis of development.

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