Front-End Back-End communication iOS app Code Answer

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In web development, there seems to be a clear-cut distinction between Database (mySQL for example), Back-End (Python), and Front-End (HTML, CSS, JS). In app development, it seems to be a little more murky.

If I have a database being hosted on a service like AWS or GAE, that would be my database. And, my views on the mobile app itself would be the front-end.

Where is the back-end code? Is it the view controllers written in objective-C on the app itself? Should there be logic written on the server where the DB is located, and that would be the back-end code?

I guess what I’m really asking is- How does the typical line of communication work with native mobile apps? The only experience I have with apps is the creation of apps that work locally and with BaaS providers (like Parse.com).

Do I want to set up a remote DB on a server like described above, then just make simple requests to it from a view controller on an app? Do I need to go even further and create an entire web app that my mobile app just renders? If possible, I’d like to do as much code in objective-C as possible (it’s where I’m most comfortable), but I’m open to learning new technologies to increase the quality of my work.

Thank you

Answer

iOS apps use MVC (Model-View-Controller pattern), and if you aren’t familiar with it I would recommend that you take some time to learn the basics of it.

To answer your first question: The controller is the App’s ‘back-end’, but it can also call upon other objects and classes to do work for it. So the code to communicate with a web-service does not necessary have to reside in the viewController itself, but it will have to call on the objects that do contain that functionality.

As for your question regarding communication with a web-service, I’d recommend that you look at AFNEtworking. It is one of the easier frameworks to implement for web-service communication in an iOS app, and here is a decent tutorial on implementing it.

However, I’d like to point out that if there is no need for a client-server communication (if the app’s data is only used locally), then it would be much easier to implement a SQLite database or CoreData in the app instead of on a server.

Hope that helps!

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