Improving User Experience using The Cloud

In part one of this series of blog posts, we discussed the importance of the user experience within the mobile industry, and how your API has a significant role in this. We followed up with part two, which demonstrates how to make API responses smaller and therefore use less network and fewer battery resources for mobile consumers.

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Improving User Experience using The Cloud – Reducing Response Sizes

In part one of this series of blog posts, we discussed the importance of user experience within the mobile industry, and how your API has a significant effect on this. In the this article, we’ll outline a number of techniques that you can leverage on an MBaaS solution such as Red Hat Mobile Application Platform to reduce the data downloaded by mobile devices when they make requests to your RESTful API.

Reducing the size of a response is conceptually simple; the fewer bits you’re pushing through a connection, the less time a user spends waiting for said bits to download. To minimize the size of the payload we’re sending back, we will:

  • Add gzip compression to our responses
  • Strip data that the client doesn’t utilise from responses
  • Avoid sending any data to the device by using the ETag header

We’ve prepared a sample application that will be updated as we progress through this series of blog posts. You can find the starting point code here with a README.

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Improving user experience for mobile APIs using the cloud

For your end users, one of the most important aspects of your API is the perceived response time — if your mobile application takes an excessive amount of time to load data, users will get frustrated.  

In this series of blog posts, we’ll cover three ways to approach building a RESTful API that leads to better user experience by minimizing perceived response time. These strategies include: processing requests quickly, reducing payload sizes, and eliminating requests entirely, or only downloading data that has changed. And, we’ll show you how to do each by providing sample node.js code that can be deployed ‘as is’ on Red Hat Mobile Application Platform to build a better mobile API.  

But, before getting into each strategy, why are these important? The user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) are extremely important to the success of mobile applications.

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Continuous Integration and Deployment for Red Hat Mobile Cloud Applications using Circle CI

In today’s fast paced world of business, delivering quickly is a top priority. Doing so is difficult, however, if you lack confidence in your codebase or rely on error prone deployment processes. Continuous integration enables development teams to automatically run test cases prior to merging code into a stable branch, while continuous deployment leverages automation to provide more reliable, faster deployments of that code.

Red Hat Mobile Application Platform supports an agile approach to developing, integrating, and deploying enterprise mobile applications—whether native, hybrid, or on the web. The platform supports collaborative development across multiple teams and projects, and a wide variety of leading tool kits and frameworks. You gain central control over security and policy management, the ease of Mobile Backend-as-a-Service (MBaaS) integration with enterprise systems, and a variety of cloud deployment options.

In this article we’ll demonstrate how a Red Hat Mobile Application Cloud Application or mBaaS Service can be configured for continuous integration (CI) via CircleCI, and for continuous deployment (CD) to the Red Hat Mobile Application Platform.

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