Building An App? What to Know to Get Started

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Building An App? What to Know to Get Started


Efficient development of a mobile app is an exercise in efficiency. Never before in the history of computer programming has it been possible to link together so many powerful components and technologies into a single application, to say nothing of the ability to deploy that application on a system the size of a deck of playing cards.

What many developers miss is the prevalence and variety of components and services available on the web and even as installable libraries directly inside their own binaries. So if you're a developer, where should you start? What exactly can you outsource and can you do it cost-effectively?

Server Space

Some argue the advent of the "cloud" came in the form of whole computers that can be rented on the web. Services like Amazon's "Elastic Compute" and Google Drive have made it possible for even indie developers to leverage world-class technology as the basis for their applications.

Because a remote server is just a general purpose virtual machine, anything can be installed on it, from databases to middleware to libraries of other applications or digital products like ebooks, music or movies. This makes true "cloud" services a powerful option for app developers.


Open source and free software databases have been leading the way in technology for decades. Now, with the easy and well-documented ability to install, develop and manage a reliable and powerful relational database with instantly accessible tools like MySQL and PostgreSQL, app developers can bring standardized multi-tier development practices to bear on their projects without fear of compatibility or scalability issues down the road.

Building An App? What to Know to Get Started

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Payment Processors

The selection of ways to accept payments online has dramatically increased over just the last five years. The advent of Bitcoin brought into specific relief the relative dearth of turn key payment solutions for both application developers and general-purpose e-commerce companies. Now, with new competitors in the business like Stripe, Amazon Payments and Shopify, app developers are finding it much easier to collect and manage payments from their customers, even for niche services like Washington DC insurance coverage and to do so in real time with the full support of banks and credit card companies.

Graphics and Animation

One of the best kept secrets on the Internet is the gargantuan selection of graphics available to the average developer. Most people are well aware stock photography sites make general-purpose photographs available for a wide variety of purposes from book covers to banners for advertising, but many people remain unaware of the fact those same stock sites have thousands, and in some cases, millions of simple vector, raster and stylized designs that can be put to use in user interfaces.

There are also numerous animations, videos and even sound effects that can be licensed on a project-by-project basis and used to make a good application look and sound quite polished. Most independent developers know the better an app looks the more likely it is to generate better sales and better reviews. The skillful use of stock art can help an app take a big step towards professional credibility, to say nothing of the dramatic reduction in cost over a custom solution.

One of the most destructive and false promises of technology is effort amplification: The ability to do the work of many by using technology effectively. While it is possible to get more done in less time through the judicious use of certain tools, one person trying to do everything themselves almost always leads to failure.
Outsourcing in this context is a viable and often necessary option. The good news is there are many alternatives to trying to do the work of so many people alone. The results will be well worth the minimal cost.

By  Lindsey PattersonEmbed

Author Bio - Lindsey is a freelance writer specializing in business and consumer technology.


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