Mobile backend technologies

Most useful mobile apps rely on some amount of logic and data that comes from somewhere other than on the mobile device itself. These mobile “backend” technologies include server-side runtimes that host custom developed business logic and transactions; data sources (both structured and unstructured data); and a very large collection of pre-built virtualized application components.

Extend app capabilities with cloud

You can extend app capabilities with cloud based mobile services. Cloud based mobile backend services can be custom developed or pre-built components. Custom built mobile services can be hosted in a variety of cloud based runtimes. Node.js is a very popular runtime for JavaScript code and packages. There are hundreds of JavaScript packages that the package manager for Node.js (npm) can help developers keep up-to-date and assure that the correct versions of all packages are used by the service.

More traditional application server and web server runtimes are available in the cloud also, and this provides an easy way to reuse previously developed application code but in an environment that automatically scales to mobile metrics and allows you to pay-as-you-go for only the capacity that your mobile app uses.

If the implementation language of choice for your mobile app is Swift, then there are cloud-based Swift runtimes available that support the same language “on both sides” of the mobile client and cloud server divide.

You can choose to develop custom mobile backend services that run in any of these runtimes, as illustrated by the figure.

Mobile backend services

Or you can choose to leverage the hundreds of pre-built mobile backend services available in cloud environments in order to assemble the application functions needed to support your mobile app. These pre-built mobile app component services typically are available via subscription and offer client “kits” (SDKs) for multiple different client implementation languages.

Let’s take a closer look at just a few of the mobile app component services available in the cloud.