Experts believe that cloud-based solutions or applications are an emerging and dominating trends of the digital world. Generally cloud based approach is extremely popular in e-commerce and other specific business areas. This is mainly due to their:
- enhanced productivity
- traffic cost reduction
- significantly lower equipment cost
In fact over 47% of businesses stated potential budget savings as the main reason for their cloud migration.
Besides, a cloud-based software solution makes digital operations more streamlined and provides businesses of any size with greater flexibility.
So what is a cloud-based app and how to create one. This article will walk you through the basics and give you a step-wise guide on cloud-based app development.
What Is A Cloud-Based App?
Cloud-based app is basically an internet-run program with components that are stored in an online drive. All processes of this app are executed on the cloud. In cloud-based applications, a user interacts through a web or mobile browser.
Data processing in a cloud based application takes place on the remote server base while an API handles its management.
The user’s device serves only as an input device with no interference with major processes.
Cloud-Based App Characteristics
Cloud-based applications are quite different from a web-based applications. To understand this, it is important to understand the cloud based app characteristics:
- Cloud infrastructure stores all application data so there are minimal device requirements to run cloud applications.
- You can store data locally so an application can work offline. As soon as the device is back online, the app will automatically sync with the cloud.
- Customers can use a cloud-based app from any internet-connected device such as a smartphone, tablet, or laptop.
- Users can pick up where they left off on any device owing to the information storage in the cloud.
Different Types of Cloud-Based Applications
Cloud app development can’t proceed without deciding what type of application to build. Therefore, partner up with a firm that provides cloud-based app development services like Digitrends.
Partnering up with a cloud application development services provider helps in efficient and swift development.
We can categorize cloud-based apps in different ways. However, the most popular classification is about differences in app architecture:
- Software as a Service (SaaS)
- Platform as a Service (PaaS)
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
Software as a Service (SaaS)
SaaS simply means providing software and further applications as an online service via subscriptions, rather than installing and maintaining the software on individual computers. It is the most widespread type of cloud app.
Subsequently, these apps run on third-party hardware and not the users’ devices. The benefit of using a SaaS platform is that they require no expense of hardware or licenses for an update.
Platform as a Service (PaaS)
PaaS is the type of cloud-based application development that typically requires only the application code from the customer’s side. PaaS providers allow customers to use their hardware and basic development software.
This software requires constant update, so developers can use only the latest version of it. However, PaaS-based cloud-based application are cost-efficient and flexible base on customer’s instruction.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
This is a type of product that requires middleware and app support from the client’s side. IaaS owner provides their customer with a complex infrastructure and further support.
The customer has to create a custom programming bridge between the application and its operating system. This approach helps companies to build a customized product without developing their basic components from scratch.
Step By Step Guide to Cloud-Based Application Development
It is favorable to choose the most appropriate approach beforehand. This is because cloud app development ranges from mobile development services to web development services. It is also important to have an investing mindset when working with cloud development.
Understand that the resources people invest in are going to commit and scale a business in the long run.
Step 1- Market Research
When developing a cloud-based mobile app, the first thing required is the target audience. Moreover, understanding users’ needs helps in easy development and leads to a better final product. Find information regarding potential users by researching:
- Demographics: average age, where they live, what devices they use, etc.
- Behavioral trends: what decreases user’s desire to download an app, users’ security expectations etc.
For efficient app development create a user persona or a detailed portrait of your ideal user.
Step 2- Hire a Cloud Development Team
Find a development team that businesses are comfortable working with. A reliable cloud app development company can get you:
- quick business model analysis
- app development cost estimation
- project planning report
Initially choose the main features for the app, and design an app concept. Next, the development team should create project milestones and start working on the MVP.
Step 3- Architecture and Features
Carefully consider the architecture and service model. These decisions affect the application’s performance, so it’s best to consult with cloud-based app development specialists like Digitrends.
A cloud app operates as a collection of interconnected services or APIs. Ensure the services provided are well integrated.
- Architecture: create an advanced data architecture. Even though classic solutions are always reliable, micro services architecture is commonly used.
- Service model: Decide the platform on which the application will be developed. SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS are examples of service models.
Step 4- Defining the Tech Stack
Analyze requirements, features, and designs that fit the app. Keep in mind the scalability factor while choosing the tech stack. Here’s a possible tech stack for a cloud-based application:
- Application and data
- Google Analytics
- New Relic
- Puppet Labs
- Cloud9 IDE
- Sauce Labs
- Business tools
- G Suite
- Salesforce Sales Cloud
Consult with experts like Digitrends when choosing tools for developing cloud applications.
Step 5- Monetization Model
The next step is choosing the right monetization model for the application. Once we know users’ needs, we can predict what users will pay for. Select from these three monetization models:
- Paid: straightforward, users pay once to access app.
- In-app purchase: pay for different items, features, or content in the app.
- Freemium: upgrade their accounts or use premium features after downloading free app.
- Advertising: Cost per click, Cost per mille, cost per action.
STEP 6- Create an MVP
Creating a cloud-based app is a complex and elaborate project. For this reason, launch a minimum viable product (MVP) first and test its technical and business performance.
By using an MVP approach, find out what users like and don’t like in the app. This approach will help in improving the app after consider user feedback.
STEP 7- Development and Testing
Cloud-based app development should include a testing stage. Testing the product using various quality assurance processes is mandatory before releasing it.
Cloud-native applications development is extremely important when building such solutions since they offer higher customization with hassle-free processes. At this point, verify that the application is working and provides a satisfying user experience.
For this purpose, it’s best to cooperate with a full-cycle development company like Digitrends. They offer development, design, testing, and management services altogether.
STEP 8- Launching and Maintenance
Release the app on App Store (iOS) and Google Play (Android).
Google Play uses automated testing to speed up the app store approval process. However, if an application is rejected by Google, it can be difficult to find out why.
App Store delegates app validation to real people. If the validators unapprove the app, they require performance of specific changes for approval. App Store launch also requires $299 a year to join Apple Developer Enterprise Program.
Cloud-based apps are the future and they will experience penetration deeper than before with time. Things are better than ever with cloud apps as it’s cost-effective, easy, and quick.
At the same time, cloud-based application development is a bit more complicated than web or desktop development. It involves more aspects to handle, such as various API integrations, data architecture planning, and data decoupling.
For this reason, choose a provider carefully and rely on companies with a good reputation.