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Tips to use for microservices in mobile app development

With mobile apps dominating enterprise customer interactions, developers must dig into microservices architectures, brush up on programming skills and decipher business requirements.

Flexible code creation and integration suit rapidly changing, customer-facing apps, which pushes enterprises to evaluate microservices for mobile apps. Microservices in mobile app development encourage modularization -- breaking the architecture apart into independent services and groups of services. With services aligned around business function and still isolated from each other, developers can deliver the rapid updates and new feature releases that mobile users expect.

Because microservices communicate via APIs, mobile app developers can choose the most appropriate language and technology stack for each service or business flow, rather than limit the entire project to one. But microservices aren't the only path to enterprise mobile app development. Low-code platforms also tout an easy process to build mobile apps.

In the mobile app development tips below, IT consultants and technology analysts explain microservices communication, data persistence and the scope of low-code tools. Additionally, an experienced developer explores native and hybrid mobile app choices. Lastly, for those interested in a career developing enterprise mobile apps, check out an overview of the most common programming languages for mobile apps, and even prep for a job interview with a breakdown of the key skills employers seek.

Architect microservices for mobile apps

Developers should focus on how microservices communicate along with data persistence to make mobile app projects successful.

While they resolve the dependency issues and sometimes excruciating downtime for updates that plague monolithic applications, microservices in mobile app development must rely on gateways, service registries and other API communication patterns in the app's overall design to scale correctly, stay available in outages, and send requests and responses without lag. IT consultant Matt Heusser explains a handful of practical microservices architecture design patterns that enable modular functionality without sacrificing performance.

Another major consideration for mobile app development is data persistence. If developers choose technologies for a service, the design ends up with multiple data formats in multiple storage scenarios. Technology analyst Twain Taylor calls this polyglot persistence, which he describes as not simply a side effect of microservices, but a beneficial feature. Learn how diverse data options with microservices can reduce costs, increase reliability and make management easier, then walk through how it works in the real world of application development.

Evaluate the low-code option for mobile apps

Mobile app development is a primary target of low-code tools. These tools promise intuitive, graphical user interfaces and premade templates and workflows in order to move apps from an idea to launch with minimal programming. Where microservices offer flexibility in development, low-code platforms offer simplicity.

Mobile applications will have the most influence on business success by 2020, according to a report from research firm Gartner. Many enterprises would benefit from lower-cost, faster and less-skilled app development to create these mobile offerings. Learn which vendors lead the pack, who should use low-code tools, what apps work best with low-code tools, and how projects have played out in other enterprises in this low-code industry assessment by veteran technology journalist Darryl Taft.

Build the right app for mobile users

Developers asked to build a mobile application can pursue a native application architecture, based on the mobile device's hardware, languages and tools, or a hybrid architecture. Hybrid frameworks can be easier for teams to use than working concurrently on multiple projects to reach Android and iOS user bases. Read UX/UI analyst Jason Grant's mobile app development tips and save his handy comparison chart to determine whether native or hybrid is the best approach.

Hint: While developer programming skills are a critical component, other factors, such as whether users want to access the app on smart watches, might drive the project.

Learn mobile application languages

Most enterprise app developers are familiar with Java and Python, and might know Swift, too. Meanwhile, other mobile-friendly programming languages, such as Kotlin, could be foreign but provide a better fit for the needs of a new project. Despite the relatively short timeline of mobile development, there are even legacy languages -- like Objective-C -- that come into play for app updates and fixes.

Whether you're embarking on a new development project, searching for a language to suit specific design needs, or wondering where to build skills for the mobile app-dev job market, use this roundup of programming languages to understand the top choices.

Get a job

Whether you have a background in microservices or monolithic architectures, you know enterprise mobile app development is a growing sector. To advance your career, heed these tips from Vasiliy Zukanov, an Android development consultant, on the mobile app developer skills in demand and the communication capabilities that elevate developers from just another interviewee to a sought-after new hire. Programming knowledge is just one component of building a great app, so make sure to understand the company and business drivers as well.

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