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IEEE Press Editorial Board
Tariq Samad, Editor in Chief

George W. Arnold Xiaoou Li Ray Perez
Giancarlo Fortino Vladimir Lumelsky Linda Shafer
Dmitry Goldgof Pui-In Mak Zidong Wang
Ekram Hossain Jeffrey Nanzer MengChu Zhou

Kenneth Moore, Director of IEEE Book and Information Services (BIS)



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Thank you to all my friends who finally convinced me to write a book. Most of all, thank you to my wife Stefanie, and my two beautiful girls Elyssia and Keiralli for not only pushing me to finish, but putting up with all the time I spent doing it. I love you all very much. Look Dad, I did it!


I WAS WONDERING how to start this preface, and it occurred to me that writing one is backwards. After all, this is the text before the book, but you write it after the book is finished. I suppose that is analogous to how we have written software for a long time. We figure out what it is we are trying to do usually though creating systems that do what we think we want them to do; then we go back and write the documentation about what the system actually does.

This book, in large part, is aimed at helping to make that a more harmonious effort. Technology is moving so fast now that often we find ourselves trying to create mobile apps and services in a very reactionary manner. We tend to be on the back foot and playing catch up most of the time. If we could just take the time to sharpen the proverbial axe, we'd be able to get more accomplished, faster, with a lot less hair pulling.

I suppose over the past couple decades of doing this, I've seen that pattern time and time again. But there are also some good habits and patterns that I've seen along the way that in some respect were ahead of their time. Service-oriented architecture, for example, was a great idea for connecting the myriad of systems we've had inside organizations with simple, easy-to-use interfaces. In fact, this tried-and-true pattern, or collection of patterns if you will, is more relevant today in our commodity cloud computing, mobile app world than ever before.

This book is designed to provide some high level architectural guidance on how to design modern mobile apps and services so that they can adapt as technology inevitably changes. Of course, we start off with a brief history of our mobile computing explosion, and take a look at attempts to create cross platform apps and technology stacks.

Then I want to introduce what hopefully has become an obvious application stack. While we have been fairly fixated on a N-tier stack, where N usually equaled three, to truly futureproof our architectures, we really need two more clearly defined layers to provide us an abstraction boundary which insulates our code from changes in external client technology, as well as the rapidly changing data storage technologies we use today.

Once we have our layers sorted out, we'll have a look at various patterns of application development and how they apply to this layering system to create performant and resilient services for making powerful mobile applications.

I hope that you find this guidance useful. Perhaps it will make you think of things in ways you hadn't before, or validate thinking you've already implemented. In any case, I hope it prevents you from having to operate in a reactionary manner to the rapid changes of our modern computing world and lets you get on the front foot so you can focus on creating great apps and services instead of retooling everything because a new phone hit the market.

Target Audience

This book is for anyone who is responsible for the design, architecture, and development of modern mobile apps and the services that support them. I've written this book with futureproofing in mind. Ideally, the architectures and patterns in this book will provide you with an approach that will futureproof your designs.

By following this guidance, you should be able to create mobile app services that you can adapt, modify, update, change, or integrate without disrupting your mobile apps, or your teams. You should be able to deploy new services, change existing services, and add new client apps all without disturbing any of the running systems.

Most of all, you should be able to adapt services and apps based on this guidance to any new mobile platform that comes along. This will greatly increase your code reuse, make your teams much more efficient, and make your organization adaptable to the ever-changing mobile app landscape.


These kinds of things don't happen without a lot of people in the background pushing, pulling, helping, and sometimes simply nodding and smiling. I would like to thank Chris Bright for encouraging me and allowing me the time to put this together. I'd also like to thank Andrew Coates and Dave Glover for letting me harass them with ideas, and “what if” questions all the time.

Most important of all, I need to thank my wife Stefanie Heckman, and my two girls Elyssia and Keiralli. They not only encouraged me to finish, but were patient with me, and gave me the time to keep typing away. I think, in the end, their love and enthusiasm are what really got this book over the line. So if you like it, don't forget to thank them too.