How to Overcome Challenges with Mobile App-Server Communication Process

Mobile applications (apps) have changed the way consumers act, interact, purchase, sell and search.  According to a five-year report on the mobile Industry by Flurry*, “Apps have commanded 86% of the average US mobile consumer’s time, or 2 hours and 19 minutes per day in 2014.” One reason for this popularity is the instant gratification that consumers derive from mobile apps. However, mobile app performance is determined by networks & servers, putting much pressure on app developers. Is there a method to circumvent server and network performance issues?

I suggest that, app developers, to mitigate server performance issues, should ensure that the communication process remains asynchronous, during the following three stages:

  1. The facilitation within the application to communicate
  2. The communication itself, and,
  3. The post- processing of the result.

 

We normally assume that server communication code resides inside the Server Communicator (block) and cannot be reused for other server communication.

However, that need not be the case.  For example, one of the components of the server communication process is the Action Class.  Action Class, is an independent component which knows the vital points about a particular network action. It knows the process to create a request, parameters to be used, headers to be created, etc.  It assimilates responses and post process, extracts information to be consumed by the application.  It brings up custom error responses and shows the method to handle the same. The `Action’ does not send out a request to the server but acts as a bridge between the two.  Any new communication to the server will result in a new action class, keeping the existing ones untouched and unaffected.

Thus, every step in the server communication process can be treated independently.  It is possible to fit new server engines to support new servers, without disturbing the ecosystem, and it is possible to run parallel server communication processes without any of them affecting the application’s performance.

To summarize, by following this method, it should be possible to ensure that every communication block is independent and yet works in tandem.

To know more, read the whitepaper “Ensuring Effective Server Communication in Mobile Applications” by Deepak Mariyappa and Ravi Peravali.

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