It has been said that a great software program connects to the cloud in a way that you barely even notice. In fact, the very concept of ‘Cloud Computing’ is designed to communicate something that’s quiet, ubiquitous, and barely noticed. So it’s easy to take the data at our fingertips for granted – it seems like it’s just ‘there’, right? Well – no, not really.
Just about any App you can visualize needs to exchange information. A restaurant App needs to pull menus or coupons quickly, so you can figure out what to eat tonight. A video game App needs to let you log your high scores, or challenge your friends. A weather App needs to figure out where you are, and then collect weather information to show you, so you can plan your outdoor day. A news App is grabbing news off the internet to condense and display to you quickly. And so on and so forth.
What do they all have in common? Somewhere – in the Cloud – there’s a server that is sending and receiving data. And that server component was developed by someone, and is being managed by someone. And is going to need to be updated periodically. Odds are, if you want to offer a truly dynamic and exciting App, you’re going to need to be able to push content to, and receive information from, that App.
Take a look at your mobile device. Sure, you might have a few apps that are ‘static’ – but you’ll have a hard time finding them if you do. That’s because even an App that you might THINK of as static – say, a Dictionary App, or a Foreign Language App – is actually storing very little data on your device, and instead, pulling it from a server somewhere.
A compelling App is going to need to a server component. And you’re going to need to make sure whoever you partner with to develop that App is well-versed in server-side projects.