How quickly can a company find technical support for its applications and servers? How much will it cost to maintain a business information system? In this article, Gearheart.io will analyze the factors that will help you answer the question of how much does app maintenance cost as soon as possible.
Length and complexity of programming
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We use a lot of open-source libraries in our daily software work. This makes it easy to think that developing an application is quick because there is a lot of open and freely exploitable code available. However, open-source code can rarely be directly used in the software. Ready-made code snippets often have to be modified and integrated into the application being built. The finished application is also more than the sum of its parts. The integration of different features into a functional whole requires planning and effort.
Programming is a creative design, just like the work of an architect, for example. Creating the right structures or achieving the desired visual appearance requires careful planning before programming. What does this mean in practice? Even when a carefully designed model is ready, the visual appearance typically needs to be modified and tweaked to improve usability. For example, moving a menu to a different location requires rebuilding the visual appearance. From the outside, this step typically looks like nothing is actually happening. The application does not seem to evolve. There is no finished visual appearance. In reality, the code may have been changed and improved hundreds, even thousands of times, but the application is still not finished. However strong the desire, there is no point in rushing. No one wants to download an unfinished application, and often fixing bugs after the fact is considerably expensive.
Why is it difficult to give a direct price for developing an application? In practice, an application is just a set of different features, but these can be linked in an infinite number of ways. The cheapest and simplest applications to code are those that require computation and reading. For example, an application that keeps track of products in stock and deducts them from the balance each time a purchase is made. Creating an application immediately becomes many times more difficult when more complex functions are desired, even though they typically seem easy from the outside. For example, Facebook’s Messenger and Snapchat apps already allow you to edit your photo in the camera viewfinder, and the app lets you add a hat and sunglasses to your head, for example. In reality, however, this requires the creation of a working AI. The app needs to be able to distinguish between what is a human face and where the extreme limits of a face are. While for humans, the distinction is straightforward, writing it into software is extremely demanding.
Certain features do not always require extremely skilled and time-consuming coding, but time is spent on other aspects of the design. For example, do you want to create a sales application and use it to market your products to users? How do you know what to advertise to the user? The app allows you to track which of your products they are looking at. But it’s not just about code, it’s about creating a buying behavior algorithm. It’s complex and in practice requires long-term development to work effectively.
Testing helps us to ensure that the application is functional and user-friendly. It can even help us to better meet the needs of our users. Prototype testing is therefore an important part of the development of any product. This can be done, for example, by releasing a preliminary version to the desired target audience or, in smaller cases, by having family and friends test the application. The feedback from these tests helps enormously to improve the usability of the application, but it also takes time and man-hours. However, there is no point in being afraid to rebuild the prototype as often as necessary. In practice, it makes no sense to pre-code something that is half-functional and half-designed if it doesn’t really appeal to users.
Servers and BackEnd
The simplest applications run directly on the mobile phone and do not require anything extra. But just logging into an application, for example, requires a lot more. In practice, nothing works without creating a database and transferring and processing data online. This requires a server to store and process the data. In professional jargon, this is called a back end. It is more natural to talk about the backend software that manages the database on the server.
Backend software allows data stored on a server or in the cloud to be integrated into an application. For example, the application can be made to store subscription data on the server, from where it is transferred to the user each time it is updated. This allows the customer to track the progress of their order in real-time. In general, the creation of databases and backend software and the maintenance of servers are part of the price list, but the price varies widely depending on the requirements. If necessary, the customer’s own servers can be used if they are available.
More than just software
As we mentioned earlier, developing an application is much more than just writing code. Similarly, an application is much more than just software. All successful applications are not only functional but also attractive and user-friendly. They offer something that users want. Such an application can rarely be created by just one person. That’s why you often need a team of experts from different disciplines. Some coders specialize in creating databases, others in software development, and others in analytics. Designing a visual identity also requires much more than a thousand lines of code. In practice, you want to combine a visual designer’s stunning vision with what is user-friendly and what is feasible.
What difficulties might you face?
- Tools can be hard to find
- Manual work becomes expensive
- Manual work increases the likelihood of errors
- It is difficult to find experts
- Unclear goals
- Achieving management approval
What can be overcome and gained from app maintenance by Gearheart.io?
- Visualized structure of the program
- Up-to-date documentation
- Continuous development on the best platform
- Tools for finding the right problem areas on other sites
- Skills for authors and expertise for the company