We already know what Flutter is and how it is the best framework for cross-platform mobile app development for all businesses, especially start-ups. Having established itself as the most sought-after framework for mobile app development, Flutter is also emerging as the most dependable framework to develop scalable apps.
At a time when enterprises strive to develop scalable apps using Flutter, it is imperative to know what it means to have a scalable app and how Flutter can make a real difference in developing the one.
At a time when the world is almost operating digitally, scalable apps are not luxury but rather should be a way of life for businesses. The most common characteristics of a scalable app are:
When it comes to developing a mobile app, consideration of scalable architecture is a wise business and technological strategy. Some experts also call it an “insurance policy” for the app’s code.
One of the basic reasons why businesses need to consider deploying scalable architecture is its accessibility and availability. There is hardly any enterprise in the industry that has not encountered a breakdown of its app infrastructure with the exit of just one engineer who had it all in her head!
Scalable architecture solves this issue of centralized knowledge and its accessibility and availability. In scalable architecture, everything is so well-documented and easily understood by all the stakeholders that every team member knows how to build a new app feature without disrupting the present infrastructure. Scalable architecture for developing mobile apps thus also helps all the teams scale their knowledge of developing mobile apps.
Scalable code developed using scalable architecture is also a great alternative to spaghetti code. There are a lot of instances when the legacy codebase may have got totally broken while deploying a new code.
Scalable architecture solves this issue like a champ as it provides enough room to the developers to add new features to the application without breaking or disrupting the entire application.
In scalable code, opening pull requests and their merging becomes smooth as scalable architecture is powerful enough to let the engineers scale new features without any disruption to the whole.
In the recent past, demand to develop scalable apps has increased dramatically. In our previous post, we discussed why choose Flutter for app development and how it has revolutionized cross-platform app development! In our previous post, we discussed Xianyu- a Chinese multinational technology company specializing in eCommerce, retail, Internet, & Technology is using Flutter.
Let’s understand why you should too choose Flutter to build a scalable app in detail.
Let us have a look at some of the global companies that have successfully developed scalable apps using Flutter.
A Brazil-based Nubank is a Neobank and the largest fintech company in Latin America. When Nubank became the largest independent digital bank outside Asia, it focused on developing other new products apart from its signature product of credit cards.
At the beginning of the year 2019, its business accounts and the lending department had to choose to develop these products. At that time, the world of mobile Technology was inundated with many technologies and Flutter was still considered a new arrival. Hence, it was a tough call to choose from the jungle of so many technologies.
After a lot of contemplation and contention until the last moment, Nubank decided to make Flutter as its primary Technology for mobile development. Since then, Nubank has been writing all of its features in Flutter. Nubank indeed calls itself a company that has a 100% culture of Flutter!
Following are some of the significant changes that this fintech company experienced for better after adopting Flutter:
In the year of 2018, BMW realized that they needed a platform that solves the difficult issue of discrepancies between their iOS and Android offerings.
It was important for them to develop the apps that offer the same experience and functionality to their consumers irrespective of the mobile operating system they must be using. It was equally important to do it without much increase in the costs or slow down in feature development velocity.
It is against this business challenge that they decided to use a cross-platform framework. They undertook a rigorous evaluation process and designed many “proofs-of-concept” with all the frameworks. Interestingly, Flutter did emerge as the winner, and in October 2019, a selected group of BMW engineers prepared the strategy to move ahead with Flutter.
The strategy included adopting a more flexible, domain-based organizational structure that was no longer restricted by a certain platform. They created a team that would focus on the connection status and communication abstraction; another that would focus on the app’s cross platform aspect, and others were devoted to creating new and innovative features for the end-users.
This way, BMW’s developer team started rewriting all the app variants with a single code base for their end users that were spread across 45 countries in the world.
It was in July 2020 that the company launched My BMW App. The app is a universal interface for consumers spread across 47 countries in five continents. It provides them a seamless experience between mobile phones, vehicles, and the digital world. It is also a direct interface between the drivers and their vehicles along with being a direct communication channel with the company dealers and the brand itself.
In the words of Dr. Nicolai Kraemer, Vice President Offboard Platform BMW Group: “The new app platform is built on three pillars: user-friendliness, safety and reliability. It provides a consistently designed set of functions spanning all brands based on feedback and our customers’ usage behavior.”
Following are some of the major business goals BMW achieved after developing a scalable app using Flutter:
ByteDance is also one of the companies that got benefited immensely from using Flutter. In the year 2019, the company realized its need to create a large number of cross-platform apps. The existing framework was not serving this purpose as it involved a lot of time and money.
Having evaluated the functionality of the Flutter framework, ByteDance came to know that with Flutter, they would need to develop each app only once. It eliminated the need to create different apps for each of the Android, iOS, and web operating systems.
Also, Flutter’s own rendering engine would enable their apps to perform consistently across all the platforms. Also, with Flutter, it was possible to keep the app’s Android, iOS, and web versions in sync. This, in turn, reduced the number of necessary updates for the app.
All of these features of Flutter inspired ByteDance to launch their first Flutter-based education app with an aim to help children learn to write Chinese characters with a stroke-tracking feature. The company exploited SVG formats to create these strokes.
Now, this Flutter-built feature supports over 9,000 characters, including most common characters. It has been running quite successfully across a variety of platforms.
Following are some of the benefits that ByteDance experienced after developing a scalable app using Flutter:
While we have explored the journey of only three companies here, giants like Alibaba, Google Pay, eBay, and many others like them have successfully adopted Flutter and made it their main Technology. All of these companies have reaped tremendous benefits to developing scalable apps using Flutter framework.
These benefits can be summarized thus:
Adopting anything new always comes with its own sets of challenges, even if it is for the highest good. It is, therefore, important to make an informed decision based on specific requirements and the inherent risks involved in the process.
Choosing Flutter in 2022 is indeed calling the shots and will continue to do so even. Nubank is a good case study on how to migrate to Flutter or any other new framework for that matter. It is interesting to note how Nubank had mostly used its in-house solutions to adapt its build, testing, and continuous deployment pipelines to its newly built tools for the application development process. These tools were like the CLI and were written in Dart language.
The most important takeaway is to have a platform team that is totally focused on supporting the product teams while the enterprise is migrating to Flutter. It is also important to impart extensive training to all the stakeholders involved in developing scalable app using Flutter.
All these measures help prevent bugs and other complex performance issues when the existing app undergoes framework change. An informed decision makes the journey to build scalable app using Flutter smooth and helps simplify the entire product ecosystem.
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