Reasons to Choose Swift as a Backend Language in 2021

The iOS market is the second-largest in the world after Android. But countries like the US, France, Norway, and others have more iOS market shares.

Businesses looking to make a prominent space in the online world must invest in iOS and Android app development. It is because both platforms offer a large user base. It can help enterprises to remain at the edge in this highly competitive world. However, in the post, we will talk about iOS app development using Swift.

Today, we will learn the benefits of choosing Swift for backend development in 2021, especially when we have numerous powerful server-side programming languages. Before we list the reasons to hire a Swift developer, you need to have a basic knowledge of Swift. 

  • What is Swift?

Developed by Apple Inc, Swift is a programming language that allows developers to build modern, type-safe, and interactive mobile apps. The primary purpose of designing this language was to ensure high performance. For this reason, it is gaining momentum quickly in the app development industry. 

Given the exciting features and benefits of Swift, businesses are relying on Swift iOS app development companies more than ever. Of course, some people may not be impressed with this dynamic coding language. But according to experts, Swift is here to stay longer due to its incredible capabilities. 

For example, you can use Swift as a scripting language with ease, and you do not have to compromise on the performance. It means you can enjoy C-like performance with Swift, which is enough for the smooth running of your mobile app. 

  • The inception of Swift 

Initially, after the release of Swift, people thought that it would replace Objective-C for iOS app development. But it was a programming language with different abilities, features, and functionalities. It is known as a generic-purpose programming language, which allows you to build anything. 

Due to its embedded systems, the applications of Swift are not limited to creating iOS apps and desktop-class applications. Developers use this programming language to build server-side, write complex Machine Learning algorithms, create experimental operating systems, and many more. For this reason, it is also known as a multi-paradigm programming language.  

Over the years, Swift has undergone a lot of improvements. Thus, it is considered a mature language. But Apple is constantly working on this language to overcome the challenges Swift mobile app development companies face. 

  • Backend development using Swift 

While you can use Swift for full-stack development, it is one of the best options for backend programming. Since Apple devices are quite sophisticated, you need a robust backend when creating an agile Swift application. Let us look at some features of Swift that make backend development more convenient and faster. 

  • Swift Server Work GroupSwift Server Work Group or SSWG is a steering team of talented people from various companies, like Apple, MongoDB, Amazon, or the Vapor community. While initially, the group was working at a slow pace, now they are working together to make Swift an efficient programming language. 

Since the team is on the right track, they have various responsibilities. For example, they are the ones that prioritize things to be taken care of for the server community. They are also responsible for running an incubation process in backend packages. Did we mention that SSWG sends feedback to the Swift Team? It will help them quickly make an investigation and find solutions for the issues related to the language.  

  • Ultimate stability Over the years, Swift has evolved and improved remarkably. As a result, the language offers more valuable features than before. Well, these new implementations have fueled the development of backend projects using Swift. It was released as an open-source language and was available for Linux. Due to this, there were many bugs in the standard library, Foundation. Also, features that we enjoy today weren’t available in Swift.

But things have changed a lot in these many years. Swift 5 is the first stable version of the language that allows Swift mobile app development companies to build robust backend servers. 

  • Swift Package Manager Swift Package Manager library is here for a while now. But it was not available for Apple platforms. Thanks to XCode 11, it comes with a complete integration, which makes third-party dependencies integration possible. Thus, developers have started to use Swift Package Manager to install 3rd party dependencies on iOS platforms. It is a successful approach that ensures to improve Swift tools, packages, and libraries to the backend. 

However, Swift Package Manager has some limitations as well. Firstly, it is not possible to refresh a single package in XCode, which means you have to refresh the entire dependency tree. Unfortunately, it takes a lot of time to work on this tree because you have to build and distribute libraries again. The time depends on the size of your dependency tree.

Swift Packages for server-side development

Thanks to technological advancements, we have several Swift packages for backend developers that make the development process more convenient. Some of these packages are SwiftNIO, AWS SDK Swift, AsyncHTTPClient, the Swift Service Lifecycle, Swift AWS Lambda Runtime. With these packages, Swift mobile app companies can create backend apps with ease. Now, we will look at each Swift package in detail. 

  • Swift packages for server-side development
    Most of these Swift package libraries are supported by Apple. Thus, they will not go anywhere soon. Additionally, you expect them to get updated by the organization regularly. 
    • SwiftNIO – When it comes to SwiftNIO, it is an asynchronous, event-driven network application framework. It enables backend developers to build high-performance client-side and server-side protocols faster. Also, these protocols are cross-platform compatible. In simple words, SwiftNIO is an exceptionally performant low-level network framework that uses a non-blocking approach to build backend and frontend. 
      There are numerous tutorials and documentation available online about how to use it. But if you are new to network programming, we urge you to try your hands on other frameworks because SwiftNIO is a very low-level framework. 
    • Swift AWS Lambda Runtime – Introduced in 2020, the Swift AWS Lambda Runtime package allows you to build serverless functions using Swift coding language. It is an effort of a group, including engineers from the Swift community, Amazon, and Apple. It is an open-source package library, which means anyone can contribute to it better. Fabian Fett, the co-author of the library, has explained in detail how to use Swift AWS Lambda Runtime package. 
    • AsyncHTTPClient – Are you searching for an HTTP client library? If yes, the AsyncHTTPClient package is your best bet. For request methods, it uses a non-blocking asynchronous model. Apart from this, the HTTP client library follows redirects and supports TLS, streaming body download, and cookie parsing. 
    • Swift Service Lifecycle – Swift Service Lifecycle is another open-source package for the Swift backend ecosystem. The primary purpose of designing this package library was to ensure easy management of start-up and shut down sequences. Swift Service Lifecycle has a mechanism that helps in the clean start-up and shut down of backend apps. It further ensures that you free resources before exiting the app. It also comes with a signal-based shutdown hook to help you listen to particular events. 
    • AWS SDK Swift – With the AWS SDK Swift library, you can get access to AWS services. The 5th version of this library has more features and functionalities. After the latest changes in the library, working with AWS SDK Swift is smooth and hassle-free. However, it has a share of downside as well. Due to its huge size, Swift Package Manager takes a lot of time to fetch the library as a dependency.
    • Swift Cluster Membership – Swift Cluster Membership is a library that intends to help Swift programming language to grow in backend applications. It helps in building clustered multi-node distributed systems for Swift. It comes with reusable runtime-agnostic membership, which can find adoption in several use-cases. 

Besides this, there are numerous libraries that you can use when developing the backend apps with Swift. These include Metrics, Backtrace, Crypto, log, and many more. Each one has specific functionality that makes backend development with Swift faster and easy. For example, if your backend app fails, Backtrace helps you print a crash. On the other hand, if you want to measure some code on your backend or cross-platform app, the Swift Metrics API package is the right candidate. 

Are you still skeptical about choosing Swift as a Backend language in 2021? If so, keep in mind that it is fast, safe, and modern, which is the primary thing everyone looks for when building server-side and client-side apps. Given the above packages, Swift seems to have a bright future in backend app development. 

If you are searching for a reliable Swift iOS app development company to build your server-side app, get in touch with SoftProdigy. We house a team of experts with the right experience, expertise, and in-depth knowledge in building dynamic mobile apps with Swift.