Mobile Application development is a different ball game altogether if we compare it with usual desktop-based applications. With the advent of smartphones and high-speed internet, mobile applications are becoming highly popular among users. Organizations and product manufacturers are using their mobile applications to market their products, engage their customers, and monitor their business as well.
Using a mobile application has been a critical success factor for any organization. It does not matter if the size of the organization is small or big, one must use the mobile application for different aspects and lines of businesses. A mobile application also helps to connect all possible segments of the organization from Customer service, Development, Design, or Sales and Supply. Considering the kind of importance a Mobile application has for a business, it is essential for a Mobile application development company to incorporate applications with advanced features that allow organizations to make use of the greatest technologies such as cloud computing, Machine learning, Internet Of Things to cater the ever-increasing demands of their end-users.
Cloud Computing for Mobile Application Development
It is a technology that uses the Internet to offer computing services, where data could be stored and shared on multiple devices while keeping the environment secured for all online transactions. It offers a protected framework which assured the data backup and recovery in case of any potential loss of damage. Due to its huge benefits, Mobile application developers are integrating cloud technology for their projects, which is in the process of helping them to meet the demands of their customers.
Though still most of the organizations need on-premise technology up to a certain extent, still there is a growing trend of building enterprise and mobile applications and deploying them directly on the Cloud. This allows application development teams to stay focused on product development, rather than thinking about the infrastructure to support the application. By migrating to the Cloud, Organizations enjoy an existing physical infrastructure owned and managed by them.
Cloud computing offers certain valuable benefits which have revolutionized the mobile application development.
This is among the biggest benefit Cloud computing offers to mobile application development, it gives us the freedom to develop a single application which may work on every platform like Android, iOS, Windows and could be run on any mobile device or web browsers without any issues. It also decreases the efforts involved in mobile application development for multiple platforms. Cloud-based mobile applications required enterprise-level management as end-users can access the application and different business processes on any supported platform or device.
Saves Time and Efforts for Developers
In a traditional software development process, developers spend a lot of time while managing the backend servers while developing mobile applications. Cloud helps to reduce those efforts and allows developers to pay attention to other aspects of mobile application development, which enhances the overall productivity of developers.
Data Safety and Recovery
As the mobile applications hosted and manage by a cloud Vendor via their computing resources, hence there are fewer chances of losing the data due to application crash or any other trouble. All the mobile application data is stored on the server and it is readily available and accessible at any time and anywhere.
No need to store data on Mobile devices
As cloud offers dedicated storage resources to store the Mobile application and User’s data on Servers, which can be accessed via the internet from anywhere. It does not require any storage space in mobile devices or other handheld devices to store user’s data. It reduces additional storage and computation overheads for Mobile Devices and increases the efficiency and productivity of mobile devices.
Flexibility for Organizations and End Users
Cloud-based applications can be run on multiple platforms without any issues, this gives an ability to the Organization to allow their employees to use their personal devices for business work. It gives them aa a flexible work environment and it increased their productivity as well. Organizations now offer and promote ‘Bring Your Device’ facility so that employees can use cloud-based mobile applications on their mobile phones, tablets, and other handheld devices to perform their official tasks.
Currently, we have multiple Cloud services vendors who offer their services for Mobile Application development. In this article, we break down and compare two leading cloud platforms — AWS and Azure Cloud. Both Cloud service providers are known for their distinct features and pricing and offer their services for every kind of organization. This article will help you understand the facts and features about both the platforms and choose the best one per your business requirements.
Amazon Web Services (AWS)
It provides a massive range of services and tools to support mobile application development for native and cross-platform applications. It offers an environment to develop mobile applications for multiple platforms like Android, iOS, it allows using a different kind of Application Stacks by the developers. It offers a plethora of tools to design, develop, test, and deploy a mobile application, even if you are new to the AWS or even to the Cloud. It offers seamless reliability and scalability, that an application can scale from a simple prototype to a fully-fledged application that may cater to the requirements of millions of users across the globe.
Amazon Web Services Tools and Features for Mobile Applications development
AWS offers easy access to its computing power, Databases, Mobile applications SDK, Data storage, and other functionality necessary for mobile application development. It also offers Application management tools, developer tools, mobile services, Application Testing, and Deployment services. When these services and tools coupled with Amazon’s fabulous cloud technology, then it becomes a critical component for developing a successful enterprise mobile application.
The following Mobile tools and services are available with AWS
It is a dedicated mobile development portal, that simplifies the mobile application development process while using multiple AWS inbuilt software development services. It helps developers to configure new features to the applications, integrate user authentication, establish data storage and backend logic, enable push notifications, and perform analytics, all from a single and integrated AWS console. which offers all the making it easy to build mobile applications for Android and iOS that utilize backend services in AWS. Mobile Hub guides users through the process of creating new applications and selecting the mobile services they require.
It is an authentication service that enables user sign-up, sign-in, and User access control to mobile applications. It is so dynamic that it can scale and manage millions of users. It also supports integrated sign-in with social identity providers, such as Google, Facebook, and Amazon.
CloudFront and S3
It is a Content delivery solution that provides faster delivery and better scalability. It gives us the facility to plan and allocate any amount of storage space because S3 buckets can scale automatically. As S3 is a serverless service, developers do not need to think about managing the servers, they can simply go ahead and upload their content. Even if we need a dedicated server for the application, the server can be smaller, or we need to consume less computing resources as the server will not be handling requests for static content.
It offers an ability to send and manage the push notification messages directly to mobile applications on mobile and handheld devices. These notification messages can appear in the mobile application as a message alert, sound alerts or badge updates.
Mobile Analytics (Pinpoint)
It is a tool that is used to measure application usage and revenue, track monitor mobile usage, and monitor end-user engagement and fetch reports in form of easy to understand visualizations and metrics. It supports a set of built-in event types as well as custom events raised by the app. It helps us understand the patterns of user behavior. We can analyze the user behavior and can define the target user, define the message delivery schedules, and then track the results of User-based campaigns. It can help grow the application user base which could be scaled globally to billions of messages per day across all communication channels.
AWS Mobile SDK
Amazon’s mobile software development kit helps us to build high-quality mobile applications easily and quickly. It has an unmatched Mobile service, which offers seamless integration with AWS data and storage services and several other AWS services. Amazon’s Mobile SDK contains a massive array of libraries, documentation, and code samples for several platforms like Android, FireOS, iOS, Unity and Xamarin, which enables developers to develop platform-independent enterprise levels of mobile applications.
AWS Device Farm
It is an application testing platform, that can be used to perform mobile application testing on a wide variety of Mobile devices and operating systems. It works with real devices instead of emulators. It supports both manual and automated kind of tests for mobile applications. Device Farm enjoys support for a wide range of Android, iOS, and Fire OS devices. The service enables developers to run you’re their tests concurrently on multiple Mobile devices or browsers on a real-time basis, which speeds up the execution of your test cases and it also generates appropriate logs so that any issue could be identified at any later stage.
It is a set of services and tools which enables mobile application developers to build scalable and secured full-stack applications. It offers an easy interface to create onboarding flows, voice-enabled interface and Artificial Intelligence-powered real-time feeds, which can help developers to launch and manage targeted campaigns.
It helps us create a flexible Application Programming Interface to access and combine data from multiple data sources. It uses GraphQL to feed only the required data to the mobile application, hence reduces unnecessary overheads and makes the entire process efficient.
Amazon API Gateway
This service enables developers to develop, publish and manage secured APIs. It works as an interface for applications to access data, functions, and business logic from backend services. Using AWS API Gateway, developers can create WebSocket and RESTful APIs that enable two-way communication for applications in a real-time fashion.
It is an integrated marketplace for third-party integrations and additional services.
AWS offers a one-time free trial, after that pricing is based on either pay-as-you-go or a monthly fee. The Pay-as-you-go model is quite popular as it offers to charge per device per-minute basis. It measures the time a device has used the resources. On the other hand, the Unlimited plans have a specific monthly charge per device, where each device slot has a usage type, which could be remote access or automated access. AWS offers extremely competitive pricing if we compare it with other cloud service vendors.
It also provides free tier services for Technology enthusiasts and startups, where they can experience the services before they can migrate to cloud infrastructure. In recent times, AWS has started offering per-second billing as well, which allows customers to pay for Compute services and other resources used by the second instead of by the hour. We can say that AWS offers a highly flexible and competitive pricing model for every kind of organization and it’s a fact that over a period of time, the cost of AWS Cloud services has reasonably lower than the cost operating an on-premise infrastructure.
Azure is a cloud computing service developed by market leader Microsoft. It offers application building, testing, deployment, and Management services through Microsoft managed data centers across the globe. It offers SaaS (software as a service) and supports a wide range of programming languages, frameworks, and tools to develop high-end mobile applications. It also provides PaaS(platform as a service) and IaaS (infrastructure as a service) as well.
Microsoft Azure Services Tools and Features for Mobile Applications development
Taking a queue from AWS, Microsoft Azure also a full-fledged suite of cloud computing services for mobile application development. It offers the ability to deploy virtual machines at a larger scale and provides adequate tools to manage them as well. The scalability is a big advantage, where Azure enables us to allocate compute resources at whatever capacity we need in real-time. It allows large scale parallel batch processing for custom software. Azure’s product and services offerings easily integrate with any existing system, platform, and processes.
Visual Studio App Center
It is a mobile backend solution and Software Development Kit, which allows developers to develop feature-rich high-end mobile applications. It helps developers to create high-quality apps for iOS, Android, macOS, and Windows and automate build, test, and distribution pipelines. It also offers services to monitor the real-time performance of applications continuously. All in one place It also offers backend mobile services for mobile application development along with Data synchronization, identity management, Storage, and notifications capability.
elopement services using bindings and triggers.
Active Directory B2C
It provides an end to end cloud identity solution for end-users facing mobile applications. It offers local user accounts or integrated third party social media identity providers like Google, Facebook, and Twitter.
Azure offers Push notifications for a wide range of mobile and other handheld devices. It comes with the support of offline data sync from backed mobile applications service with Mobile Client.
it is used to set up and perform synchronization of the SQL Database without writing any code at the server’s end.
It is an open-source mobile application platform for developing native iOS and Android applications using .NET and C#. It offers rapid application development by using various services from storage, authentication to Azure Cognitive Services. It offers an immersive experience created for the Application’s end users. Microsoft acquired Xamarin in 2016 to extend its reach of cross-platform mobile development.
Mobile Apps SDK
Azure offers a Software development kit for iOS, Android, and Windows as well as Cordova and Xamarin.
It is an integrated analytics solution which helps developer and Application owners to track the usage of mobile application and to run the targeted campaigns for user retention. It also offers features to create immersive and informative dashboards, that can help us measure and track the KPIs.
It provides DevOps services for Mobile application development. Developers can use HockeyApp to distribute applications to perform internal testing and can integrate applications with Visual Studio Team Service, which allows them to automate the build and deployment workflows. It also provides operational metrics and reporting for support and troubleshooting.
Xamarin Test Cloud
It is a cloud-based software testing service, which runs and tests mobile applications across a wide variety of mobile devices. It enjoys enormous support for more than 2000 Android and iOS devices. It can be easily integrated with Azure’s Visual Studio Team Services.
Microsoft is known for the introduction of some of the most advanced security technologies. Microsoft has ensured adequate security for its Azure cloud environment. It offers top-notch security with the help of tools like Azure Information Protection, Advanced Threat Analytics, Threat Intelligence, and Multi-Factor Authorization. All these tools and services help an organization to identify and analyze the threats in real-time, react to malicious attacks and suspicious user and device activity.
It is an integrated marketplace for third-party integrations and additional services.
Pricing is one of the strongest advantages of Azure. It offers a free plan as well as the Premium Service which provides high powered dedicated VM based services to its clients. . It also inherited Pricing based on the number of concurrent devices operating and the number of hours they have used the Azure mobile application development services. The prices are almost at par with AWS if we factor in the price per GB of RAM. We must keep in mind that costs depend on the type of cloud products and services we may be used for mobile application development.
Azure vs AWS Advantages Disadvantages
|Azure vs AWS||Advantages||Disadvantages|
As we have described, both the Cloud platforms offer a wide range of services and tools and have their own advantages and disadvantages. However, we can make decisions based on our business and Client’s requirements.
Microsoft Azure is the default choice if any organization is using windows-based enterprises. It offers a full set of features and customized pricing tiers. It is unarguably the fastest solutions available in the market and if one is looking for a solution that offers speed of deployment, scalability, and operation, then Azure is the best choice. Azure is famously known as the “Masters in Speed” when it comes to deploy and manage enterprise-level cloud computing solutions. Azure offers AI-first computing; hence it is a great choice to deploy Windows-based Machine learning and Big Data software solutions.
On the other hand, the AWS cloud offers reliability because of its 15 years of extensive enterprise infrastructure experience. AWS has a dedicated team that keeps working on enhancing the platform and they work with several developer communities across the World to make AWS a platform for every possible solution. End users can take the benefit of this massive collective and collaborative experience of AWS Teams.
AWS wins hands down when it comes to management capabilities and tools it offers. AWS is the best choice for small and mid-sized startups and Enterprise level organizations, which works on cloud-native applications. If you are working on Linux-based Operating systems, wants to take advantages of open source tools and application along with AI/ML and Big Data, then go for AWS.
Rahul Mathur is the founder and managing director of ARKA Softwares, a company renowned for its outstanding mobile app development and web development solutions as well as specialized in Android and iOS app development. Delivering high-end modern solutions to all over the globe, Rahul takes pleasure in sharing his experiences and views on latest technological trends.