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Tech, Development
07 Dec 2020
0 min read

Common Architecture for Mobile Application

There is a passionate ongoing debate in the IT world about the choice between MVC, MVP, MVVM, and Viper mobile app development.

There is a passionate ongoing debate in the IT world about the choice between MVC, MVP, MVVM, and Viper mobile app development. When it comes to mobile application architecture, developers often have different views depending on their personal experience. So how do you navigate this complex topic and choose what is best for your case?

We’ll take a pragmatic approach and structure your knowledge about architectural patterns. In this article, you will find their brief technical comparison, peculiarities, and recommendations on when to use each. We’ll explain why you need architecture at all, what are the features of good architecture, and what can influence your choice. Hopefully, by the end, you will know what to go for!

Factors that may influence your choice of architecture

Developing software is like building a house. The first and fundamental thing to do is to lay a foundation. Longevity and reliability, among many other things, rely on this foundation heavily. In mobile app development services, architecture plays key role and will influence the size, structure, scalability, and maintainability of the project.

Naturally, there is no universal rule for mobile apps development, just as there is no universal foundation. Earlier, we have covered the characteristics of test-driven development (TDD). But each project has its own set of requirements and needs a unique approach. The four major best mobile app development types are MVC, MVP, MVVM, and Viper. Each of them has a subtree of usage variations. It’s best to compare what they have to offer before choosing one (or a mix).

These factors apply both for Android and iOS phone app development:

  • Type of project
  • Operating system
  • Stack of technologies
  • Toolset and SDKs
  • Server infrastructure and databases
  • Cloud technologies
  • Third-party services (for payment, etc.)
  • UI/UX, content and navigation complexity
  • Data formatting
  • Plans for scaling
  • Skill level of a team
  • Time and budget limits

Features of a good app architecture

Why you need it and should choose carefully:

Separation of concerns. This principle means that different entities should be separated in the code. It helps with reusing those entities, systematizing development, easy debugging, and isolating frequently changing parts so they don’t affect others.
Testability. With appropriate architecture, it is way easier. QAs will find it helpful to write test cases and be able to test functionalities separately. You will avoid finding issues in runtime, which usually means a week-long fix.
Reliability. A well-chosen architecture is crucial to creating stable apps without major inconsistencies because it defines how parts of code interact with each other.
Scalability. Your app should have a solid basis for the buildup of new features and changes according to business needs. It also should be suitable for future renovations (e. g., new libraries, operating systems) in programming technologies.
Maintainability and ease of use. A good architecture simplifies code for both writing and reading. It can also result in a low maintenance cost.

What is the difference between MVC, MVVM, MVP, and VIPER?

Let’s take a look at each and determine for which cases they fit.

MVC

MVC (model-view-controller) is considered one of the most popular in the mobile web app development.

What are the peculiarities?
The MVC pattern allows creating simple crossplatform app development and have plain navigation logic, uncomplicated content, mostly standardized UI app design, and a fairly straightforward user experience. It can easily and quickly implement tasks of the “loaded -> displayed” type.

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In what cases is this pattern worth using?

  • When you need a faster development process.
  • If you want to provide a straightforward flow.
  • When you want to create a simple client/server application.
  • When you want to work with simple data.
  • If you need unformatted data results.
  • When you want to create an SEO friendly platform.
  • When there is a unidirectional flow of instructions on a screen.
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MVVM

The second most frequently used pattern is MVVM (model-view-view-model).

What are the peculiarities?
Unlike the previous pattern, this one allows you to separate UI logic from business logic. That makes it possible to implement more complex functional tasks and give the user a wider choice of actions and interactions with the mobile application. One advantage is the convenience of implementing autotests since the tested business logic is separated from the UI implementation. 

MVVM

When to use? This pattern is more universal and suitable for writing more complex applications. MVVM is a good choice when developing small projects with the prospect of a slight expansion of functionality.

MVP

MVP (model-view-presenter) pattern is parallel in use to the MVC pattern.

What are the peculiarities?
The choice of use between these two patterns depends on the load on user interaction with the application UI and the difference in data display. The testability of data in MVP is limited to models and views.

In what cases to use? This pattern should be used if you have a limited set of UI components and a simple flow of navigation in the application.

VIPER

VIPER (View, Interactor, Presenter, Entity, and Router Model) is a pattern used to implement long-term projects. It is monolithic; developing applications on this architecture requires a long launch.

What are the peculiarities?
VIPER supports clean code ideas. It requires deep knowledge and understanding of the field of programming. This architecture pattern provides good test coverage, isolation of the new functionality implementation, and dependency of areas of responsibility. A project with this architecture requires 2 or more developers to build cross platform mobile apps.

When to use? This architecture should be used for long-term projects that have explicit technical requirements.

Conclusion

We have discussed 4 main architecture types used in the web application development. They have different things to offer.

If you need a simple application with plain navigation, content, and UI, then MVC is probably the right choice. If the project is small but more complex, with prospects of slight expansion, you should think of MVVM or MVC . The choice between those two depends on the load on UI and data display. VIPER is best for large, long-term projects and custom app development. 

Remember: there is no 100% solution. You choose or mix architecture patterns so that they best fit your needs to build mobile apps.

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