How to Select the Right iOS Architecture for Your iPhone App?
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By: Sagar Sharma

How to Select the Right iOS Architecture for Your iPhone App?

If you tend to judge the book by its cover (here, the post by its title ;)), then you might feel it is for iPhone app developers. Am I right?

Well, most of the iPhone developers have more or less understanding about different iOS architectures as per their experience level.

Undoubtedly, the selection of suitable software architecture is the job of iPhone app developers. But, your involvement is highly important in all decisions whether they are strategic and technical.

Of course, technology is not your forte so you can not make the right choice. But a basic understanding of different technical aspects helps you to get better insights about the decisions taken by your technology partner.

This post is written to serve this purpose. It enables entrepreneurs with an overview of the best iOS architecture patterns so that they can end up with having a quality and cost-effective iPhone app.

Why It Is Important to Choose The Right iOS Architecture?

Election of the right iOS architecture is essential to build a highly functional iPhone app. The software architecture focuses on how major elements and components within an iPhone app are used and interact with other key components and elements. It also helps in managing the algorithm and implementation detail of each component.

Selection of architecture depends on the complexity of your app. And, app complexity depends on a number of features and functions integrated into the app. Each feature contains a set of components, class, entity, and elements.

Without an appropriate software architecture, it is quite difficult to manage and update the application code on the go. Especially when the iPhone app developers need to fix any bug or address feature enhancement requirements.

Characteristics of A Good Architecture

  • Distribution: It’s about a balanced distribution of responsibilities across different entities with strict roles.
  • Testability: A good architecture simplifies the code testing by allowing developers to find and resolve the issue in the app run time, before the end-user encounters with it.
  • Ease of Use: The less the code, the fewer the bugs. It allows iPhone app developers to resolve the issues quickly. It directly reduces app maintenance cost.

Different Types of iOS Architecture

MVC

Model-View-Controler the oldest and highly popular design architecture for iPhone app development. Most of the iPhone app developers prefer this code as iOS SDK is developed based on this architecture. It separates the application code into three layers Model-View-Controller.

iPhone app developers prefer this architecture for small size and simple iPhone app development.

  • Model: In this layer, the data resides. It takes responsibility for modeling objects, parsing, and persistence.
  • View: This layer manages the UI elements where the user interacts. It takes the input from the users and provides the relevant output.
  • Controller: It plays the role of mediator between the model and the view.

Diagram

Apple's MVC Architecture

Features

  • Distribution – There is the least distribution of responsibility as View and Model are separated while View and Controller are tightly coupled.
  • Testability – Bed distribution means bad testability. iOS developers can only test the Model layer of the architecture.
  • Ease of Use – Least amount of code so quite easy to use and also least cost of code maintenance.

MVVM

The acronym of this architecture is Model-View-ViewModel. This architecture provides more separation of concerns. It is an augmented version of MVC architecture so that we can keep View and Controller smaller and easily manageable. We can incorporate MVVM into an existing MVC architecture as Model, View, and Controller of both the architecture patterns is similar.

iPhone developers prefer this architecture for medium size and complex iPhone app development.

  • Model: This layer manages the data logic
  • View: It takes responsibility for anything that users interact with. It could be anything that we see on the screen such as text fields, labels, etc.
  • ViewModel: The layer is responsible for exposing the data objects from the model to the view in the defined form.

MVVM considers ViewController as the View. So it doesn’t add a new layer. In this architecture, the code goes into the ViewModel instead of ViewController. The ViewModel passes the data to ViewController in a defined format to be presented on the screen to the end-users.

In this pattern, the ViewController provides passive view, it has no responsibility and no power to make decisions.

Diagram

Apple's MVVM Architecture

 

Features

  • Distribution – More distribution compare to MVC
  • Testability – Testability is easy as ViewModel has no binding with the View.
  • Ease of Use – Easier to use as responsibilities are divided and code management is easy. But the code maintenance cost is high.

 

 

VIPER

It is an adoption of Clean Architecture for iPhone apps. The architecture is specifically designed to build components for different user cases. It is the only architecture pattern of iOS that does not contain MV(X).

VIPER is an acronym of View, Interactor, Presenter, Entity and Routing. With these five layers, VIPER provides a lot more separation of concerns. The architecture can be considered when you have many different components.

iPhone app developers prefer this architecture for large size and extremely complex iPhone app development.

View: It sends the user actions to the presenter and displays the output provided by the presenter.

Interactor: It contains business logic and other data related entities. This layer fetches the data from the Model layer.

Presenter: The presenter layer contains the UI logic. It changes the view of data as per the format required by the UI. It mainly engages in the transformation of data.

Entity: This layer contains only data objects and does not include the method of data processing.

Router: It takes care interaction between different modules in order to control which view will be displayed and what will be the next view.

Diagram

Apple's VIPER Architecture

 

Features

  • Distribution – A great level of distribution of responsibility. It has the most separation of power.
  • Testability – Better distribution comes with easier testability.
  • Ease of Use – Extremely easy to use. But, there is a considerable cost of maintenance as developers need to write a huge amount of code for each component with very small responsibilities.

Conclusion

Having a decade long experience in developing the robust iPhone applications, Credences iOS team has implemented all the three architectures as per the complexity level of the project. Leverage hands-on experience of our iPhone app developers who ensure the quality and stability of your iPhone app.

Our experienced software engineers can understand your requirements and suggest the most suitable and cost-effective iOS architecture for your iPhone apps. Connect with our iPhone experts to explore our expertise and get the best suggestion for the effective execution of your project.

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