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A Guide to Mobile App Backend Development

As mobile applications continue to gain immense popularity, the focus has shifted towards building exceptional apps rather than common ones. An efficient mobile app backend is crucial to providing a seamless user experience.

In this article, we will see the importance of backend development, explore the software stacks commonly used in backend architecture, and uncover the tools that help develop a strong backend process.

What is Frontend vs. backend development?

If you ask a developer how frontend and backend development are different, the answer that you will get is that the frontend focuses on codes to make an app look pretty and the backend writes codes to make it work.

However, there are several fundamental aspects on which both app development processes rely.

Basically, applications installed from the Play Store or App Store on your smartphone fall into the category of front-end applications. Whether it’s Instagram, Facebook, or even a simple calculator app, each resides within your smartphone as a front-end mobile application. How does this work? Frontend applications enable direct interaction through buttons, text fields, swipes, and more. Since they operate on mobile devices, they are, by definition, mobile applications.

A frontend developer’s responsibility lies in translating the app’s design into code that ensures it displays correctly in web browsers. With the advent of responsive web design, this task has become more intricate. Developers must ensure that the design is compatible with various browsers, mobile platforms, computer resolutions, and browser widths.

Now that you have understood frontend development, let’s explore backend development.

In simple terms, you can assume the backend is an extra application for your mobile application. It’s a software component that runs on servers, providing the essential functionality of the application. This encompasses elements like servers, databases, middleware, and more, accessible via the internet through an Application Programming Interface (API).

A backend developer’s role is to establish the connection between the mobile app, the server, and the content one sees on the app. They create the logic necessary to ensure everything functions as intended. On the design front, they convert designs and frontend development processes into a Content Management System (CMS) setup, providing clients with an intuitive method to manage their app’s content. Striking the right balance is critical. If they make the mobile app backend architecture simple, chances are that the clients will not have control. And if they make it complex, the possibility that clients get lost in the design becomes high.

Mobile Application Functions That Are Provided with Backend Development

Before integrating a mobile backend for app development, several crucial considerations should be addressed. The fundamental functions to utilize while creating mobile applications are:

  1. Cloud Server: Nowadays, cloud servers are within reach of virtually everyone. They come in various sizes and are stored in a protected location. Prominent cloud servers like Google App Engine, Microsoft Azure, and Amazon AWS are favored by large organizations for their reliability.

  2. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) or Third-Party Services: Often, the functionalities required for your app may already be provided by existing services. These services offer readily available backend solutions tailored for front-end apps. All you need to do is register and subscribe to a monthly fee, and you’ll have a fully functional backend at your fingertips in a matter of clicks or seconds.

  3. Mobile Backend as a Service (MBaaS): If you prefer not to write your own backend servers or put resources into a cloud-based server, MBaaS is an alternative worth considering. Today, there are numerous independent MBaaS providers offering robust functionality and an analytics framework to monitor your applications.

  4. Custom Server: The most flexible and powerful option is a custom server. Anything that can’t be achieved with SaaS or MBaaS can be accomplished with a custom backend. Naturally, this option comes with the drawback of setup and implementation costs. It necessitates either a dedicated backend programmer or an entire team. The custom backend can range from a simple application to a complex distributed system, depending on the specific requirements of your app.

Backend software stack components

The backend software stack consists of three major components.

1. Server

When considering the backend of a mobile app, it becomes evident that the server, specifically a backend server, must play a critical role. A backend server is a group of interconnected servers working together to provide resources and storage for the mobile app and its various functionalities. These resources include security, email services, databases, and web services.

Servers come in various forms, each with its own unique advantages. Whether you choose a physical server, a virtual server, or a containerized server, there are compelling reasons for adopting one. Essentially, a server acts as a central computer, housing multiple interconnected computers within it. This configuration enables companies to establish centralized locations for storing all their data securely in one centralized repository.

2.  Database

A database stands as a fundamental component of any robust application; it is the engine of a vehicle. The engine, like the database, gives you instant access to all your stored data and keeps you informed about the maintenance parts when they fail.

Designed to be the heart of your application, a database stores all your data and enhances the user experience through secondary tools. While there are various types of database schemas and configurations, they all fundamentally share the same objective: the storage and retrieval of data.

3. Middleware

Middleware is a type of software that serves as a bridge between the presentation layer of your application and the server. It consists of a collection of libraries that operate on the server, establishing a connection between your business layer and the backend code. This allows you to create your UI without worrying about the production or how it’s going to be designed on the screen.

However, middleware serves as a vital link connecting on-premises applications with cloud-based apps. It establishes a connection between native resources and cloud services. This helps accelerate business process management and gives a unified experience to users across platforms.

List of Top Backend Development Tools

1.Web Server Tools

The backend server of a mobile app serves the purpose of storing, processing, and delivering data to the apps installed on end users’ phones. The communication between the server and the clients is secured for data protection.

  • Apache HTTP Server

This widely adopted web server is specifically designed to handle static and dynamic web pages and host web services. With over 67% of global web servers relying on it, this server is renowned for its remarkable speed, unwavering reliability, and robust security measures.


This open-source software serves a multitude of purposes, including web serving, caching, reverse proxying, media streaming, and load balancing, among other functions. Additionally, it serves as a proxy server for email (POP3, IMAP, and SMTP) and operates as both a load balancer and reverse proxy for TCP, UDP, and HTTP servers.

2. Databases tool

In today’s landscape, the adaptability of an app holds immense significance, and database tools play a crucial role in achieving this. They are tasked with delivering data and information to users while also accepting and storing previously shared data.

  • MySQL

MySQL is an open-source platform, and it is a relational database that stands out for its straightforward setup, rapid scalability, and cost-free accessibility. For these reasons, we have chosen to rely on MySQL for all our database needs.

  • MongoDB

MongoDB is a source-available, cross-platform document-oriented database program. It is employed in the construction of highly available and scalable internet applications. Thanks to its adaptable schema approach, it finds popularity among development teams utilizing agile methodologies.

3. Git clients

Git clients enable developers to interact with a visual version control and project collaboration system, eliminating the need for manual code writing for version control. This streamlines their work, allowing for faster and more convenient task execution.

  • SourceTree

SourceTree serves as a free graphical user interface (GUI) Git client. It simplifies developers’ interactions with Git repositories and allows them to focus on coding. Its intuitive GUI simplifies the visualization and management of your repositories, making the process hassle-free.

  • GitHub client

GitHub is a platform for code hosting, version control, and collaborative development. It is a fully open-source tool that is used to write cross-platform desktop applications using CSS, HTML, and JavaScript.

4. Microservice platform-tools

Microservices encompass a set of tools and technologies that provide diverse functionalities via the Internet. These tools are equipped with predefined functions and algorithms, simplifying the application development process for developers.

  • Kubernetes

Kubernetes, an open-source platform dedicated to container cluster management, prioritizes the automation of deployment, scaling, and the efficient operation of application containers across a diverse host cluster.

  • Docker

Docker uses OS-level virtualization to deliver software within containerized packages. It introduces microservices by offering developers straightforward and speedy packaging, deployment, and distribution methods. Docker enjoys popularity among developers for constructing compartmentalized applications, offering essential tools like registration services, native clustering, and cloud services.

5. Local development environment

It provides a way to configure services on a workstation to run a website or mobile application.

  • WampServer

WampServer is the solution stack tailored for the Microsoft Windows operating system and consists of components such as the Apache Web Server, OpenSSL, MySQL database, and PHP programming language runtime. This open-source development environment finds utility among mobile app development companies for crafting web applications and effectively managing databases.


XAMPP is a cross-platform web server solution stack that is both free and open-source. It offers support for development utilizing Perl and PHP language scripts and can also serve web pages on the World Wide Web.

6. Collaboration service tools

Collaboration service tools streamline professional project collaboration, making it more efficient and faster. They reduce bottlenecks in feedback and workflow approval processes, facilitating real-time communication. These tools primarily encompass three core features:

  1. Communication
  2. Project and task management
  3. File sharing and management
  • Slack

Organizations use this cloud-based collaboration and messaging application for effective communication. It serves as a bridge connecting individuals to the information they require. Its key features encompass:

  1. Pinning messages and referencing links within channels
  2. Document management and tracking.
  3. Advanced search capabilities with modifiers
  • Jira

Jira is a software application used for the tracking of issues and project management. It leverages Scrum and Kanban methodologies for the effective management of its web-based product development.

7. App performance test tool

To assess the efficiency, speed, scalability, reliability, and interoperability of your applications, a proficient performance testing tool is essential.

  • Apache JMeter

JMeter, a test tool created by Apache, is utilized for assessing and evaluating the performance of applications and various web services. Written in Java, JMeter is capable of testing mobile, web, and FTP applications if the system supports the Java Virtual Machine (JVM).

  • AppLoader

During application testing, this tool replicates a consistent user experience across all access points. It also enables developers to evaluate the entire business workflow without necessitating the addition of plugins or the need for coding.

Advantages of Backend Development

Below are a few key benefits of backend development, so let’s look:

  • Quick development speed
  • Cost-efficient
  • Focus on your core business.
  • Better output in less time
  • Reduced time to market
  • An expanded app feature set
  • Outsourcing of cloud infrastructure
  • Continuous delivery and integration
  • Performance and security
  • Privacy requirements like GDPR


Mobile app backend development is a critical aspect of creating a successful app. A well-designed and scalable backend ensures your app can handle user demands and provides a secure and responsive experience.

By understanding the key components, making informed technology choices, prioritizing security, and leveraging cloud services, you can build a robust backend that supports your app’s growth and success.

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