The number of mobile internet and app users are increasing in Canada due to high-speed internet connections and reducing smartphone costs. In 2018 alone, statistics have recorded 25.74 million Canadian mobile internet users. These numbers are expected to grow up to 26.86 million in 2019. Looking at such an immense potential of mobile platforms, online businesses have started investing in mobile app development. Currently, mobile apps are a necessity for several businesses such as retailers, restaurants, hospitals, and many more. Therefore, mobile app development firms are building consumer-centric apps and enterprise apps for various organizations. However, to deploy profitable and practical mobile apps, business owners need to be aware of mobile app integration and how they implement it for their business.
Mobile app integration is the process of interconnecting one app to other apps for optimizing and exchanging data and workflows, often using a middleware. Such an approach enables flexibility of various business processes and offers convenience to end-users. For example, food delivery services usually have user-friendly apps that allow ordering food from multiple restaurants along with storing personal information and credit and debit card detail for easy purchases.
In point-to-point mobile app integration, business apps are connected to each other via a single link. Mobile app development using this approach is simple and inexpensive. However, these apps have limited scalability and security. Therefore, point-to-point mobile app integration is not suitable for large organizations.
For a multipoint approach, applications and databases communicate using a separate engine such as middleware. The middleware receives and manages alerts from various channels. With this architecture, different applications can identify changes in the system and make updates accordingly.
With an enterprise service bus system, businesses can implement a multilayered approach. Enterprise service bus system interacts with multiple complex business apps to streamline data processing tasks across several parts of the network. Mobile app development using enterprise service bus system can simplify multiple tasks in the organization. For example, a mobile app for employees that enables location-based check-in after they enter the workplace. Such apps utilize GPS sensors to record employee attendance and leaves in the internal attendance system.
Business owners that wish to implement mobile app integration can follow these steps:
For successful utilization of mobile app integration, business leaders have to collaborate with mobile app development firms for identifying mobile app use cases that can benefit the organization. To define such use cases, business owners can ask themselves crucial questions like
After deciding the end-users and purpose of the app, business owners can plan out which type of mobile app integration will be required with the help of app developers. Also, developers can suggest an approach for developing mobile apps that ensures compatibility with various operating systems.
Every app developer knows that APIs are the building blocks that help them assemble, deconstruct, and re-arrange various mobile apps. For this purpose, developers implement external APIs that are accessed by users and internal APIs that are accessed by different business apps and systems.
External APIs are also known as ‘Experience’ APIs as they are essential for delivering convenient user experience. For instance, an employee can use a ‘tasks’ app that is integrated with the other business apps to track the progress of ongoing tasks and projects. Such external APIs also enable the development of SaaS applications.
Internal or ‘System’ APIs generally access legacy systems and apps. Such APIs are sensitive and cannot be exposed to end-users. For securing internal APIs, businesses need to incorporate security mechanisms that control access privileges of crucial data.
Well-established businesses require a cloud mediation layer to implement hassle-free data exchange across various business software and apps. A cloud mediation layer allows developers to build apps for different platforms that run online as well as offline. Mobile app integration can also minimize network latency by caching and queuing crucial data. Additionally, a cloud mediation layer effectively integrates with different tools that are used for developing and testing mobile apps.
Security is a major concern for every organization. Exposed security loopholes and advanced cyber attacks have given rise to an epidemic of data breaches globally and Canada is no exception. According to reports, Canada ranks third in the number of cyber breaches. Hence, business leaders must maintain effective security standards to protect critical data from cyber threats. For this purpose, mobile app development firms can incorporate data encryption to protect app data in transit. Furthermore, implementing authentication mechanisms to restrict data access is crucial for keeping data away from unauthorized users.
App developers can leverage microservices architecture to deconstruct large apps into small services that are scaled horizontally. For instance, a retailer in Edmonton can offer an app for buying products online. The app will contain several services that handle users, products, transactions, and reviews.
Each microservice is isolated from other microservices and require separate databases and load balancers. Every microservice will handle a different volume of data and service requests. Hence, CPU resources will be allotted to different microservices based on their memory requirement.
Business owners can draw informative insights by analyzing data aggregated by mobile apps. For instance, e-commerce apps can collect customer data that can be analyzed to understand purchase patterns of various customers to create personalized marketing strategies for targeting specific customer demographic. Using such critical data, business leaders can make informed decisions while launching new products and developing business strategies. Additionally, organizations can incorporate big data analytics for predicting upcoming business trends.
Even after adopting mobile app integration, various other technicalities such as maintenance and software updates are involved in developing a robust mobile app. Therefore, outsourcing mobile app development to experienced developers is always a feasible solution. Business owners can reach out to Digital Fractal, Edmonton for developing end-to-end custom mobile apps.