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How To Design And Build Apps More Efficiently

A person whose job is to program apps wants to know how to construct them better. A professional developer strives for perfection. It is the rule if you want to achieve success in your niche. Every app developer should be aware of efficient ways to how to build a web application to solve specific issues of potential users.

How can we design apps better?

As a rule, apps are based on a clear idea of a specific problem or task to solve. In most cases, we refer to an editor and begin to type. It is important to focus on tiny utilities to improve the functionality of web apps. They have to be created by using classes, namespaces, and OOP. Even such tiny projects ask for well-organization.

Below you will find several efficient recommendations you should take into considerations before starting to work on your current app project:

The basics are the keys!

The size of the utility is not of a big importance. You have to master excellent designing as well as programming skills! You have to use the right source of formatting, proper commenting, and naming conventions. You do the job correctly if any other app developer can easily understand the code effortlessly. Avoid writing sloppy code or any other kind of procedural coding.

Define your new project.

Even when your app has only one core function, you have to define it properly before you start coding. Make sure that your new web/mobile app includes all the needed declarations. You must have a clear idea of who is going to use your app, what data you plan to insert, and what the final result you want to reach. Always define all the concerns regarding security issues, various data sources, etc. Think about growing the number of functions for further development. If you succeed to set the detailed definition, it will be easier to find tools while being in the programming phase of your app.

Do you plan to involve other programmers?

Very often, building a new app requires a team of specialists. If this is your case, you have to think about increasing documentation, as well as commenting within your team. We encourage you to use source control. In case you work alone, things are getting easier because other programmers will not have to read your code. You can relax and do not do too much into the details. There is no need to feel overwhelmed!

Focus on source control.

What is the context of the app you work on? For example, if you work on an internal project for a big company, you can host the code in a public repository. In such a case, we recommend you to increase the amount of documentation, then include a “readme.md” file, as well as the DocBlocks. It will help you define the code ownership for other programmers. If you worry about intellectual rights, you will need a license to show who owns the code.

Long-maintenance apps.

Most of the apps are supposed to be maintained for a long period. If you know that there will be other web developers working on your apps, you need source control, improved documentation, and do not forget to attach a license. Devote some time for this not to be taken as an unprofessional programmer.

Consider creating an API interface and a library.

The decision to create a library and an API can change the whole coding methodology. You should think carefully about whether your app will standalone, or you would like to distribute it in the form of a library. Do you plan to let other people have access to the main functions by means of the API interface? If you choose the API solution, you will have to robust handling of inputs/outputs, HTTP routing, data validation/conversion, security, etc. Take encryption/authentication in your consideration as well.

What about CMF, backend, web app configuration?

You have to decide whether your app requires its own management interface. Some apps require an interface which is separate from the front-end context. You should provide access to administrators, who will be responsible for controlling the app. However, you must realize that CMF “content management framework” will surely give you access to additional features which can be useless to run a simple app you don't need just to run an utility. At the same time, the CMF will provide you with an API and additional tools, which can be very useful for you. It is recommended to keep your configuration data in a single file and give access only to admins.

Front-end Framework.

The necessity for a front-end framework can arise if you want to perform a lot of different steps, for example, uploading files, filling out forms, reviewing data, visualizing content, and so on. Consider applying CSS frameworks, such as Bootstrap, JavaScript widgets, and Foundation.

Do you require logging?

Do you have to think if you need any kind of a record about a history of all the performed actions which were taken by the app? Some app developers do a professional audit trail. It helps to see who did what/when/how/how long. Logging is highly recommended if you work in a big corporate environment and the app is used by a lot of people. Logging is the best solution for tracking. We can recommend you to use package management to get good logging libraries which are available in such package managers.

How to handle errors?

You need error handling feature if you deal with creating apps. It is considered to be nonprofessional to program with all mistakes/bugs displayed. Many developers make the mistake to work on a utility until there are no errors in the testing, and only then to turn off showing errors completely. Consider having complex error handling, undo features, pop ups, modal windows, front-end messages, back-button management, autosave versus save button. Are you planning to get these features tied into your logging system? Anyways, auditing, logging, and error handling are the steps of early specifications.

Apply extra security.

You need extra security if your app is going to perform destructive data management or requires user authentication. If you need security, you have to use a framework with security features, which are already built-in. Consider using Laravel, Kohana, Slim, Silex, etc. Alternatively, you can try a framework with an interface such as MODX, ProcessWire, or Bolt. Before making the choice, be sure the framework offers all the features you may require.

Conclusion

Do not hesitate to try our tips while creating utility apps. We would like to know your feedback. Do you have any other frameworks that have efficient features to get an app done faster? Share your experience and impressions with us!

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