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7 minutes read

Scalable Applications: Curious Why Scalability Matters?

By Robert Kazmi
By Robert Kazmi
7 minutes read

Are you curious why scalable applications are so popular? You’ve probably heard the word scalability but are not really familiar with it. That’s why in this post we explain what application scalability is and why it matters in order to guarantee the successful growth of your business.

What Is Application Scalability?

Scalability is the ability of an application to handle a growing number of customers, clients, or users. It is directly related to the ability of your current or future developer to maintain the app and its data consistency. 

Application scalability guarantees that, in time, your app will be capable of efficiently sustaining a high growth of its user base. To do this, an app needs to be correctly configured. This means the right software protocols and hardware are aligned to meet a high number of requests per minute (RPM). 

Each user interaction when using your app generates a request, and making sure that each request is attended is a must. To do this, you can always increase your computer processing capacity, or even better, hire a flexible web service provider. This allows you to hire only the capacity you need without the risk of running short of request processing capacity, leaving your app’s performance unaffected, and your users happy.

Why Scalability Matters

Building a mobile or web application is an extensive process. From a fresh app idea to a marketable product, the journey is filled with ups and downs. So, when you (hopefully) build that successful app, the last thing you want is for it to hit a saturation point. In other words, you want your app to be able to deliver a great experience to users, no matter how many they are.

Unfortunately, when an app’s user base grows too fast, problems might arise and downtime might occur. You might think that accelerated growth is totally positive, as users are downloading your app at a record rate. Nonetheless, an app whose web architecture isn’t designed and developed to seamlessly handle explosive growth will eventually end up being a failure. Growth, when managed incorrectly, may collapse your app’s hardware infrastructure.

What Are the Benefits of  Building Scalable Applications?

You need to start your whole app development process with scalability as one of the many priorities. After all, you want to be able to assume rapid success when your app hits the market, and you certainly don’t want your hot product going belly up at the worst possible time. 

Here are some benefits of guaranteeing application scalability:

Maintain a Good User Experience for Your App over Thousands of Users

Marketing efforts can result in your app’s instant success, and this means a huge influx of traffic. However, this is usually unpredictable; you never know when the moment to grow might come. If your app is scalable, then you can accommodate rapid growth with zero downtime and without sacrificing the User Experience. If not, be prepared for a nightmare.

Take Advantage of Holidays and Other Events When App Performance Usage Increases

Events like the Olympics, Christmas, and Black Friday, to mention a few, can demand a lot of your app depending on its purpose. If your app is prepared to scale, you can offer special deals for your business requirements without fearing any operational problems.  

Scaling for a “Christmas” type moment can be frightening. This forces your app to confront the design decisions you made in the early stages of development. If your app has hidden weaknesses, a massive new group of users will reveal them.

You Won’t Be Tied to the Original Developer

If your app’s code is excessively complicated and without the right documentation, it will most likely end up being maintained by the developer team who created it. If you focus on app scalability you will be able to hand off the project to other developers if necessary.

More Potential for Growth, a Higher ROI, and More Positive User Feedback

Strategic app development allows for rapid growth. With comprehensive scalability testing and quality assurance, you will be able to identify bugs and glitches before your users do. This may save you lots of headaches and hundreds of bad reviews.

How to Determine If Your App Is Scalable

Ask yourself this question: is your app’s code structure and associated hardware, as it stands today, able to scale up to exponential growth? If you have any doubts, you need to seriously consider your app’s scalability issue.

Your app needs to be scalable from the start, way before it’s launched to the public. And the only way to truly know if the app can handle rapid scaling is by extensive testing. The reason scalability testing is necessary is that you need to know if your app can handle the enormous workload ahead while avoiding costly glitches and constant updates.

Imagine taking a car to market without testing its durability, performance, brakes, and its ability to take tight turns. What if the safety features weren’t good enough to protect people in accidents? What if the engine doesn’t start on the showroom floor? Your brand would be tarnished.

Applications work the same way. Even if your customers want all the benefits of using your app, they’ll be turned away by simple scalability and performance issues.

Guaranteeing Application Scalability: Load, Performance & Scalability Testing

Load testing is the process of intentionally putting demand on an app through multiple requests in order to measure its response. No matter how many tests you run, load testing is really the only way to determine if your software can handle the actual demands your thousands (or millions!) of end-users will place on it. Load tests are specifically designed to assess response times and resource usage, while clearly pinpointing your app’s breaking point.

Performance testing refers to testing done to analyze and improve your app’s performance. This sort of test is conducted to determine the status of your app’s active performance by carefully examining data mined from the testing process, and making your resource consumption optimal.

Scalability testing refers to performance testing centered around understanding the scalability of an application. The goal is to determine the breaking point when the application stops scaling any further. This test helps developers implement reverse engineering methods and find the reason an app cannot scale anymore.

Preventing Scalability Issues: Plan from the Beginning

Before you start the development phase of your app, be prepared to answer these important questions:

  • How many users are you expecting to use your app within a year?
  • Do you have a flexible data storage plan?
  • How long can all your customers fit on one server?
  • What can you do when you have more customers or data than that?

By assuring that your app is fully scalable from the beginning you will be able to absorb exponential growth with a minimum of downtime, all while optimizing User Experience.

Final Thoughts on Application Scalability

Scalability is crucial for your app’s success. When your mobile or web app is scalable, it can accommodate growth, provide a good User Experience for new users, and give you a better ROI. If you want to serve thousands or even millions with your app, you need to plan for it from the beginning.

The ultimate purpose of scalability testing is to push the current app beyond its saturation point. Your team can then pinpoint that crucial moment, reverse engineer the problem, and make the app scalable and functional.

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