If you are planning to create an app, a structured and functional back-office infrastructure is essential to make sure that your app functions properly.
This back-office infrastructure is made up of a multitude of different tools and systems including; servers, databases, ERPs, CMSs, financial and accountancy software, websites, and a plethora of other in-house legacy systems.
Put simply, if you cannot get data to flow between your app and your back-office infrastructure, the app will not function well, if at all.
It’s unusual for a company to expand and keep every one of its back-office systems in peak condition. As a business evolves, it may find itself acquiring other companies, or being the focus of another company’s acquisition plans. The likelihood is that as businesses grow and merge, organising systems and solutions to enable business to continue as usual becomes less of “it needs to be perfect”, to “it needs to work – we’ll sort the rest out later”.
The problem is, many companies don’t sort it out later. Systems are left in a ‘maintenance-only’ state, or worse, neglected altogether. Systems are rebuilt, added to, or even have elements taken away from them to cut what’s seen as unnecessary costs.
The varying degrees of back-office maintenance seen in all businesses is a complex minefield to negotiate. It would therefore seem prudent to consider this hazardous ecosystem of IT tools before investing in an app which will most likely be one of the key interactions your customers and internal stakeholders will have with your brand.
The key to making sure your app can talk to your existing back-office solutions sits within a combination of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and middleware.
These APIs and middleware solutions will allow your app to easily send and retrieve data from any back-office systems without impacting functionality or performance. If the correct middleware solution isn’t available, a good developer will build one for you. A beautifully functioning app should not be compromised because you’re having difficulty getting the right data into and out of it.
An app also needs to consider the importance of a well-functioning server. Without an optimised server for your app to run on, your well designed app will appear sluggish, unresponsive and will struggle to scale and grow with your business as you update and add to your app over time.
Once you have your ‘back-office’ in check, you’ll need to administer the app. How will you do this? Do you need a purpose built web app, portal or website to do this? If so, this all falls under your back-office infrastructure and will need to be integrated with your wider app development plan during the consultancy and design stage of your app build.
All apps need a server. How complex this server build is, depends on the scope of the app. Where does the data in the app sit: solely on the device, or will data be moving between the app owner (you), the app user (your customers), or even between users?
Integrating your app to your existing back-office is essential. We use ASP.Net to create rich REST-ful web services that respond in web-supported content such as JSON, XML and others, using an ASP.Net web API.
The Apadmi team has a wealth of experience creating back-office solutions that are optimised for iOS, Android and responsive web apps.
We have a group of server consultants who work side-by-side our project managers and technical leads to ensure that your existing back-office will be able to support your new app. If you don’t have the infrastructure in place to support your app idea, we’ll build it for you.
All of the services we offer are managed in-house, from consultancy to development and ongoing maintenance. This means that you see the benefit of our 18 years of app development experience and why we have partnered with some of the best companies in the UK.