Make sure your app has a stable backend server

Make sure your app has a stable backend server Image

When building apps there is in many cases a backend server that does things like hold user account information. The server also often coordinates with other systems to for example show a user’s account balance. The backend server you use can be very important. Since if the server ever goes down or fails it also means the app isn’t working for your users. We have seen over the years projects that have failed commercially in the marketplace due to a poor backend server leading to reliability problems with the app. You don’t want your server to go down due to a power outage but we have seen exactly this where servers are just hosted on someone’s local machine. Even larger entities which use a warehouse to house several computer servers these are better but still susceptible to for example a network outage in that local area where the warehouse is located. This can lead to your app being down at critical times leading to lost users and lost revenue. As well as damage to the reputation of your company and app.

To avoid this we recommend going with something more robust like a cloud provider for your hosting. This is most instances will be the most stable server possible for your project and they are also often very cost effective. There are many large cloud providers such as Amazon, Google, Microsoft and others you can choose for your project. We use and recommend Google Cloud/Google App Engine for our clients and is what we use to build all of our backends unless there is special requirements for a project that makes us choose something else. Google automatically mirrors content across their many warehouses of servers located all over the world. So even if one or two of their warehouses of servers goes down your users will likely not even notice it. Google Cloud/Google App Engine is what Google uses to host their own website when you connect to Google to do a Google search.

The service is also very fast for users as you have probably experienced while doing Google searches. How it works for example let’s say a user is in Ohio using your app and there is no server running your app nearby Ohio for the user to use. Google will spin up a new instance of your backend likely right near where the user is located and then the app will start talking directly to that local server near them. Because the user and the server are nearby each other the time going back and forth is quick. Similarly when a different user opens up your app in California for example Google will spin up a new instance in California. Google will also scale servers as you need so if you suddenly have a spike in users one day Google will handle it without a problem. So you don’t need to worry about increasing server capacity it is done automatically. Of course Google is just one cloud provider but we often recommend clients use a cloud providers for server backends because of both their speed, scalability and reliability. Now it is often more challenging to program for a cloud provider backend, but this is why were are here to help you deal with this.

Having an app fail due to a server going down is something that you always want to avoid. Which is why we recommend cloud providers.

Chad Jones Photo
Chad Jones Photo
About the Author

Chad Jones

Chad is the Founder and CEO at Push and was a former Apple Engineer before returning to Saskatchewan to revolutionize the mobile development world. Chad is passionate about creating efficient, well-designed software.