Mobile Applications Architecture

Mobile Application Structure

A typical mobile application is organized into multiple layers: user experience, business, and data. When creating a mobile app, you can opt for a slim web-based client or a feature-rich client.

In the case of a rich client, the business and data service layers are usually situated within the device. In contrast, for a thin client, the business and data layers reside on a server.

Presentation Layer

The presentation layer encompasses two key types of components: User Interface (UI) components and User Process components.

User Interface (UI) components:

These components serve as the bridge between users and the application, enabling interactions. By rendering and formatting data for users, they ensure seamless communication between users and the application. They also play a crucial role in validating and acquiring user inputs. For instance, in an e-commerce application, UI components would handle displaying product listings, managing shopping carts, and collecting user information during the checkout process.

User Process components:

These components undertake the orchestration and synchronization of user interactions. In scenarios where the user interface becomes intricate, separate user process components can be employed. This modular approach allows the reuse of standardized user interaction patterns across multiple user interfaces. An example would be an email client, where a user process component handles the orchestration of tasks such as composing, sending, and organizing emails.

Business Layer

Understanding how the business layer integrates into the broader application architecture is foundational.

Key Business Components

The core elements within the business layer play distinct roles that collectively ensure seamless operations:

Application Facade

Serving as a bridge between various business operations and the presentation layer, the application facade streamlines processes into cohesive, message-based interactions. Through diverse communication technologies, the presentation layer interfaces with the application facade.

Business Components:

This cornerstone encompasses a variety of components that furnish critical business services. These components manage business rules and interactions with data access entities. For instance, a transaction script pattern can be encapsulated within a business component, streamlining multiple operations under a unified transaction management unit. Additionally, another business component might process incoming requests and enforce pertinent business rules.

Business Entities:

Within the intricate framework of the business layer, business entities emerge as indispensable conduits for data exchange. These entities facilitate the smooth flow of information between various components, bridging the gap between real-world business constructs and the digital realm. Data, whether mirroring tangible entities like products and orders or reflecting database constructs like tables and views, finds its seamless passage through these entities. It’s worth considering the utilization of scalar values as business entities, where simplicity and efficiency align. Alternatively, data structures like Datasets or Extensible Markup Language (XML) documents can be harnessed to embody these entities, further enhancing flexibility and adaptability.

Business Workflows:

In the realm of business operations, intricate processes often involve a sequence of meticulously orchestrated steps. These steps, when performed in the correct order, culminate in the successful execution of a business task. This is where business workflows take center stage. These workflows embody the definition and coordination of these multi-step, long-running business processes. Acting as the architectural choreographer, business workflows ensure that processes unfold seamlessly and efficiently. The orchestration of tasks within these workflows can be facilitated using dedicated tools for business process management. These tools empower developers to construct, manage, and optimize intricate business processes, delivering enhanced operational efficiency and agility.

Data Layer

At the heart of the data layer lie the data access logic components—a strategic abstraction layer that navigates the complexities of interacting with underlying data stores. By encapsulating the intricacies of data access, these components channel the essence of centralization. This centralization culminates in an application that’s not only easier to configure and maintain but also remarkably efficient in data handling. Imagine a retail application—these components seamlessly retrieve product information from the database, creating a streamlined shopping experience for users.

Data Helpers / Utilities: Empowering Data Manipulation

In the data layer, the role of helper functions and utilities is to empower data manipulation and transformation. These specialized tools are the unsung heroes that optimize data access, streamline transformations, and enhance data integrity. Their presence alleviates the burden on logic components and service agents, contributing to smoother and more focused data processing. Consider an analytics dashboard—these utilities could facilitate real-time data aggregation and conversion, presenting insights to users in an easily digestible format.

Service Agents: Bridging the Gap to External Services

When a business component necessitates interaction with external services, service agents become indispensable mediators. These agents proficiently manage the intricate choreography of communication with diverse services. By providing a unified interface, they shield your application from the nuances of interacting with varied services, ensuring consistent and reliable data exchange. Moreover, they offer the invaluable service of data format mapping, translating between service-exposed data formats and application-required formats. Picture a travel app—service agents navigate the complexities of booking flights, seamlessly translating between the app’s data structure and the airline’s API.

Service Layer

Service Interfaces:

At the heart of the service layer, service interfaces emerge as gateways that usher inbound messages into the world of business logic. These interfaces, resembling the architectural façades of grand edifices, offer a portal through which the entire service layer is accessed. Every interaction, every transaction, revolves around the service interfaces. To visualize their significance, consider a booking platform—service interfaces expose methods for reserving flights, hotels, and cars, all while encapsulating the intricate business logic that orchestrates these operations.

Message Types:

In the choreography of the service layer, data exchange requires a well-orchestrated symphony of message types. These messages wrap data structures, creating a robust mechanism for data interchange. The various types—Command messages, Document messages, and their ilk—confer distinct attributes to the conveyed data, enabling a versatile array of operations. These message types constitute the very contracts that dictate the form and content of communication between service providers and consumers. For instance, envision an e-commerce platform—Command messages might trigger actions such as adding items to a cart, while Document messages encapsulate purchase orders.

Communication Guidelines:

Understand how to create effective communication strategies for both mobile device infrastructure and the devices.
Grasp the methods through which different components establish communication.
Gain insight into factors like interoperability, performance, and security when selecting communication approaches.
Familiarize yourself with various communication technology options.

Deployment Patterns Objectives:

Grasp the crucial factors impacting deployment decisions.
Comprehend the suggested criteria for selecting deployment patterns.
Recognize how deployment strategies impact performance, security, and other quality aspects.
Gain insight into deployment scenarios for various application types discussed in this guide.
Familiarize yourself with prevalent deployment patterns.

Davinder Dhiman
Head Of Development