Every application is based on a particular tech stack that powers its functionality. Think of it as a house frame consisting of technologies and tools that keeps the application running. However, just like types of wood, all tech stacks are created different and it’s important to learn more about this versatile tech material.
With that being said, this article will shed light on how to choose the ideal mix for your project. We will also take you on a whirlwind tour of the most popular tech stacks in 2021.
Anyway, what is a tech stack?
A technical stack is a combination of coding languages, frameworks, and software used to build a solution.
The choice of technology stack underpins the app’s performance, hardware requirements, and software reliability. Also, it determines the financial viability of complex processes and high-loaded systems.
If you select the right tech stack, you’ll be able to reduce the development time, drive down the costs, as well as ensure application quality and scalability.
All tech stacks can be divided into two groups, including the client-side and the server-side.
Is there any difference between web and mobile application tech stacks?
Web applications are similar to mobile apps. However, they are delivered over the Internet and through a browser, instead of directly from a device and through an app store. Thus, users don’t have to download them to access their functionality. To build such solutions, you will need a mix of server-side and client-side technologies.
A mobile application is a software specifically designed for a particular mobile platform (iOS, Android, Windows Phone, etc.). It is intended for use on smartphones, phablets, tablets, smartwatches, and other mobile devices. Mobile applications are written in high-level programming languages and then compiled into operating system machine code for maximum performance.
Let’s take a closer look at the tech stack for both web and mobile app development processes.
Tech stack for web applications
The back-end or server part of the application is not visible to the end-user. Technically, it is a set of hardware and software that fuels the logic of the site and provides the data for the client part. When mulling over the technology stack for the server-side, you should consider the winning combo of:
- A backend programming language such as Java or C #,
- Frameworks such as Spring or .NET,
- Database like PostgreSQL or MongoDB,
- Servers like Apache or Nginx, or choose a serverless architecture.
The front-end or client-side is everything that users can see on the screen. The most important elements of the client-side technology stack are:
- HTML, which is responsible for displaying content in the browser,
- CSS that styles the content,
These technologies can join forces with useful frameworks such as Bootstrap or React.js.
How to find the best tech stack for mobile applications
Mobile app development is no mean feat. But if you have a detailed understanding of the shaping traits of the product, you can lead the dance and architect a powerful and future-proof app.
The most important factor that narrows down the choice of tech stacks is the mobile platform. Thus, you can base your functionality on:
- iOS platform
- Android platform
- Cross-platform software
The tech stack for an iOS application
When we’re talking about Apple products, Objective C and Swift are the leading coding languages for this platform. Alongside these coding languages, app developers also use integrated development environments or IDEs like AppCode and Apple’s Xcode. Now let’s zoom in on the main technologies for iOS development.
Objective-C, also known as Objective C, ObjC, or Obj-C, is Apple’s compiled object-oriented programming language based on the C language and Smalltalk paradigms. Being an approved and well-tested language, Objective C is the most stable language for iOS development and is easy to connect with private APIs.
Being released less than decade ago, Swift is a relatively new kid on the block. Among its major differentiators are easy-to-code readability, speedy app development, and improved performance. Overall, Swift boasts the efficiency and performance of compiled languages with the added simplicity and interactivity.
Also Read: Top Best Expense Tracker Apps
Xcode is a free IDE designed primarily for developing applications based on the Apple ecosystem. This IDE contains all the necessary tools for developing applications of the most diverse scale. Its capabilities vary from syntax highlighting and test management to debugging and compiling.
AppCode is another IDE for iOS/macOS development. This integrated development environment has several advantages, such as automating routine tasks, locating and fixing errors, improved file navigation, editor customization, and others.
The tech stack for an Android application
Java is the top programming language used for Android development. Essentially, it is an object-oriented architecture-neutral language with improved security and simplicity. Since Java API and Android API look similar, it is easy to edit, configure, as well as use high memory and high performance for Android development.
Kotlin is a programming language built by JetBrains. Since its launch, it has grown to become an essential tool for Android developers. The main benefits of Kotlin include its full compatibility with Java, less code, and no runtime overhead.
- Android Studio
Android Studio is the official IDE for Android app development, based on IntelliJ IDEA. Backed up by Google Cloud Platform and Google app integration, Android Studio offers developers a comprehensive toolkit for creating Android apps or other projects.
A few words on technology stack in 2021
Scalability refers to the ability to adapt, under the conditions of constant growth and rising demand. Prioritizing this feature from the beginning lets you ramp down maintenance costs, as well as provide a better user experience and higher agility. Therefore, make sure that your tech stack allows you to add more elements and data to an application and is able to run on more devices.
In this competitive landscape, failure to realize the impact of performance towards attracting customers will spell disaster for any tech project. Many software systems cannot be used as they are initially prone to performance problems. These may include slow response times or the inability to handle the number of transactions that occur during peak load conditions. Thus, it is essential to pick the most reliable option if you want the system to provide a lightning-fast reaction.
Cost analysis is what typically incites panic during the software development process. Here’s a list of questions that will alleviate the budgeting headaches. Thus, you need to add up:
- Hosting costs for storing the product data
- Employees’ remuneration
- Technology education and licensing fees
- Maintenance costs
Make sure to distribute the budget equally among these expenditure items and avoid overspending wherever possible.
Examples of stacks and programming languages in 2021
You cannot hit the top ten applications by simply copying someone’s functionality. However, sometimes it might be useful to discover the trending technologies and pick the stack that suits your business needs the most. To save your time and efforts, we’ve carefully curated several technology stack lists of leading services.
This ride-hailing platform is fueled by a whole host of technologies:
- Apache, and others.
As the years go by, this social networking application manages to retain a stronghold of the market. This is also thanks to versatile technologies implemented into this solution:
- Memcached, etc.
Micro-entertainment and short bursts of distraction are some of the main appeals of TikTok. Technically-wise, its charm stems from the following tech stack:
- Amazon Web Services
- Azure Stream Analytics for real-time analytics
- Google Cloud Messaging
- Apple Push Notifications, and others.
Also Read: The Top 5 Free Cloud-Based Business Apps
Boasting more than 180 mln users, Netflix surely knows the recipe for success. Its tech stack and services include:
- Amazon S3
- Hadoop, and others.
Amazon is the leading and most successful retailer in the western world. Its success is also underpinned by a well-packed tech stack:
- Amazon S3
- Amazon SQS
- Amazon Redshift
- Amazon EMR, and others.
The Final Word
Selecting the right technology stack is a task of utmost importance since it hints at the overall application’s strengths and weaknesses. Therefore, even before a single line of code gets written, you need to choose the one that works the best for your project. Your deciding factors should include performance, scalability, and costs as well as the type of application it serves.