Accessing mobile backend data is the ‘biggest challenge’ faced by developers

Andy Boxall

In App Development, news

December 16, 2015


The biggest challenge faced by developers who want to build a great app is getting access to mobile-optimized backend data, according to a new report from Appcelerator and IDC. The research shows 72.4% of the nearly 6,000 developers surveyed called it. “The most challenging aspect in building great app experiences, quickly.”

Mobile backend data access is the biggest challenge in app development, according to Appcelerator’s report

appcelerator chart 1

For 40.5% of the developers, a quarter to half their development time is spent integrating apps to backend data systems, and for 34% it represents more than half their time. Additionally, just over 46% find building and deploying APIs the most difficult aspect of getting access to data.

Elsewhere in the report, two distinct factions of app developers are noted, named Leaders and Laggards. These are differentiated by the amount of apps released over a period of time. Looking at the monthly release data, provided by the developers who also put themselves into either the Leader or Laggard group, 33% of Leaders released an app each month, while only 15% of Laggards did the same. 52% of Laggards have a yearly release schedule, but only 7% of Leaders release a single app per year.

Appcelerator’s report highlights the difference in app publishing schedules between Leaders and Laggards

appcelerator velocity

The majority — 60% — of those developers, regardless of their group, said they wrote apps to make money, and 43% identified in-app purchases were the best method to do so. Just 19% put a price on the app.

Looking towards the future, 60% of developers said they are interested in building apps for the Apple Watch, and see the Internet of Things and home automation as the “hottest emerging market,” at the moment. Again, 60% said they were very interested in working on apps related to IoT.

Appcelerator’s 2015 Mobile Trends Report covers the state of app development, and examines how companies are responding to mobile demands. The complete report is available for download here, and more information about Appcelerator can be found by visiting its company profile here.