Building a Mobile App with Drupal as a Backend

24 Nov 2023

Do you know that almost 90% of developers who use Drupal as a backend for their mobile apps have their stash, lucky coding socks? This is interesting because developers believe it allows them to work more efficiently.
We may have exaggerated about 90 percent, but building a mobile app development with Drupal as a backend is perfect. There are many reasons for this because Drupal as a tool has all the necessary features and capabilities to unleash the potential of the application fully and, of course, emphasize the skill of its creator. But how does it work?
This article will look at the details of building a mobile app with Drupal. We will also discuss the advantages of Drupal for the backend and, of course, not forget about the difficulties that a developer may face. At the end of the article, we will look at effective and popular applications running on Drupal, allowing you to get acquainted with this magical system to the fullest. So let's get started!

Why would you need a Mobile App for your business?

Before we understand how Drupal helps developers create incredible mobile apps, it's worth remembering why your business needs an app. Like any business tool, a mobile application is extremely effective because most customers use smartphones daily. Thus, a Drupal mobile app can become the connection every business wants to build with its customers. Speaking more specifically about why your business needs a mobile app, the following aspects are worth mentioning:

  • Direct interaction - a mobile app allows you to "reach out" to your customers, notify them of all product updates and, of course, inform them about promotions.
  • Access at any time - the mobile app allows your customers to choose products or order services anytime. This way, you reach both those users who are used to thinking through their purchases thoroughly and those who are ready to order a new set of shoes or clothes right in the middle of the night. In addition, the app positively affects your brand awareness and allows you to create a certain company image.
  • Improving the level of loyalty - a high-quality mobile application for a client that reflects how you and your team treat your work. A high-quality app allows you to create a positive impression and gain a potential customer's trust.
  • Control and motivation - a mobile app gives you the tools to interact with and motivate customers. For example, with the help of promotions and discounts, you can stimulate customer interest in placing an order. In contrast, notifications about assortment updates will interest customers and motivate them to open the app.
  • Information and analytics - to build a successful business and attract new customers, you will need a lot of information, and a mobile app can offer it. Learn more about how much time users spend on a particular screen, understand what products they like, and offer a discount.

Having a mobile app allows you and your business to communicate with customers and clients without words. Given that a Drupal mobile app has literally unlimited potential, you can use it to achieve various goals, from increasing the number of sales to integrating a subscription system for your company's services. Such diversity is guaranteed to attract business interest. However, what role does Drupal play in all these advantages? This is what we will talk about next.

Drupal as a Backend for Mobile Apps

Can we use Drupal as the backend for mobile applications? Well, Drupal is a popular tool used in many niches. One of the main features of Drupal is its flexibility because hundreds of specialists and thousands of volunteers work on the system around the world. By involving volunteers in the development of the system, Drupal creators have found the golden fleece because every year, the joint efforts of volunteers and full-time developers provide users with new versions of Drupal and, with them, new opportunities.
In mobile applications, Drupal is implemented as a backend and serves as a tool that manages user data and the system as a whole. In addition to Drupal, you can use frameworks like React Native to develop mobile applications. React Native forms the application interface, while Drupal deals with data distribution and analysis. Due to its flexibility, Drupal is considered an ideal solution for mobile applications because it offers security in addition to a huge number of features.

Why is Drupal a suitable choice for mobile app backend development?

It is important for the user that the application they launch works not just correctly but as quickly and conveniently as possible. Due to its flexibility and range of features, Drupal is ideal for this role. Thanks to a wide range of constantly updated modules, developers can create literally any mobile application using Drupal. 
In addition, Drupal uses an API-first approach, providing reliable RESTful APIs that avoid complexities and problems between the mobile communication interface and its backend implemented in Drupal.
This feature positively impacts the speed and correctness of data management, and speed is everything regarding mobile applications. Thus, Drupa has become one of the favorites in the market of backend solutions for mobile applications, but is it enough to become a leader? In our opinion, no. That's why Drupal developers have integrated many advantages into the system, which we will discuss further.

Advantages of using Drupal as a backend for mobile apps

  1. The main advantage of Drupal that everyone knows about is, of course, flexibility. The system can work quickly with large amounts of data and has many module integration opportunities. Thus, Drupal is a universal constructor that allows you to create an application with any functionality.
  2. Drupal uses an API-oriented approach, offering reliable RESTful APIs out of the box. This fact ensures no problems when exchanging data between Drupal itself and the application interface.
  3. As a backend for a mobile application, Drupal also boasts a wide range of modules. You can easily and quickly add the necessary modules to the system to expand the application's functionality. This feature makes Drupal a universal backend solution.
  4. To justify the investment in a mobile application, it must be able to scale. The multifunctionality and unlimited possibilities offered by Drupal and its modules are invaluable for developers.
  5. Security is an extremely important aspect of any mobile application, as most applications work with sensitive user data. Drupal can offer reliable protection that is constantly being improved. Thus, by using Drupal for your mobile application, you reduce the likelihood of customer data leakage to zero and gain their trust and loyalty.

Scalability and the availability of modules with which you can customize the backend of your application - Drupal offers all this. Suppose you add to this list the exceptional level of data security and clarity of the system. In that case, Drupal is a clear favorite for the backend of mobile applications.

5 Real-life examples of successful mobile apps built with Drupal as a backend

Even though specialists created all the previously described information - all these are just words. Is there evidence of Drupal's exclusivity? Of course, there is! In order for you to personally make sure that using Drupal for the backend is a reliable solution, we are going to show you the top 5 Drupal applications that have succeeded thanks to the system's capabilities

1. The Olympics Official App

Unique Features: Thanks to the fast communication between the elements of the application, this mobile application is able to provide up-to-date information on the current situation at the Olympic Games in real time without delay or errors.
Challenges: The main challenge of implementing this application's functions was to simultaneously connect several data sources, integrate video broadcasting, and ensure that users do not experience any problems while using the application.
Drupal as a Backend: Due to the flexibility of Drupal, the developers managed not only to integrate all information sources but also to provide users with a positive experience of using the application.

2. Weather Underground App

Unique features: The Weather Underground app offers users localized weather forecasts on the subway. This allows them to successfully plan their stops and reach their destinations without encountering rain or other uncomfortable weather conditions.
Challenges: In order to provide reliable information, the application had to collect data from several resources simultaneously while implementing it in real-time.
Drupal as a backend: Thanks to its multitasking and data exchange speed, Drupal proved to be a great backend. The system easily handles the gigabytes of data constantly coming into the application, enabling users to track changes in the weather online exactly where they are and in real-time.

3. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center App

Unique features: MSKCC's app offers personalized information about cancer treatment, enables convenient communication with healthcare providers, and generally enables smartphone owners to learn more about the disease.
Challenges: The application developers' main challenge was implementing the highest level of personal data protection. However, thanks to Drupal, such protection became possible.
Drupal as a backend: Thanks to the advanced protection system that Drupal boasts, the application developers managed to implement an application with a degree of personal data protection that is not susceptible to any fraudster.

4. NBC News Mobile App

Unique features: With this application, users have the opportunity to view news that is algorithmically selected according to their interests and tastes. In addition, the app has a streaming feature so users can check out the latest news at any time.
Challenges: The application had to implement personalization by interests and functionality that would allow users to quickly absorb hundreds of articles and form a feed from them. A separate issue was the integration of video broadcasts with news.
Drupal as a backend: The availability of a large selection of modules for Drupal allowed the application developers to integrate the ability to view video broadcasts and create algorithms within the application responsible for personalizing the news feed.

5. The Weather Channel App

Unique features: The application is able to track information from all available weather stations and transmit information to the user in real-time without delay.
Challenges: The challenge of this application was the large amount of data and the large number of sources. However, thanks to Drupal multitasking, the functionality originally built into the system was fully realized.
Drupal as a backend: Thanks to the functionality of Drupal, the developers were able to achieve these indicators in terms of data transfer speed and data absorption, which ultimately allowed them to create an application with up-to-date weather that is updated in real-time.

Build a mobile app development with Drupal and the Golems team!

In order to tell you more about Drupal as a backend, we have not only gone through its features but also introduced you to real examples of applications where Drupal was able to unleash the site's full potential. However, even this is not all. It should be borne in mind that the Drupal system, as is its community, is constantly evolving. This means that there will be more and more opportunities in the future.
So, if you plan to create your own mobile application for customers, you need a backend that can quickly process a lot of data in real-time and not cause any discomfort for users - pay attention to Drupal. Start building your own mobile app with Drupal with the Golems web development agency and see the benefits of your own experience!