Site reliability engineering for native mobile apps

The reliability of mobile applications in the user’s smartphone is an essential quality of any application in the modern world. With all these hundreds of thousands of apps that cater to different user needs, in the end, a person will choose the one that is most secure and solves their problems.

Today, many companies are engaged in the development of mobile applications. And often choose this path, believing that the development of mobile applications is a simple affair. Building sufficiently reliable applications at scale is associated with several issues. For example, you need to consider device variations, different display sizes, battery capacity, device memory, compatibility with certain operating systems, etc.

According to the Statista website, 25% of apps downloaded by mobile app users worldwide only open once after being downloaded.

This article explains how not to replenish these statistics and create reliable applications.

Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) is a principle, practice, and dynamic organizational approach to ensuring the reliability of ongoing application development. World-renowned industry leaders use this approach to improve feature speed and reliability.

SRE started with the goal of achieving reliability in large-scale distributed systems. You can use SRE principles to improve the reliability of mobile applications.

SRE Principles for Mobile Applications

Creating a 100% reliable system is a rather tricky goal, at least because of its cost. However, if the software development company focuses on designing a dedicated site, it will balance the risk that this system will no longer be available in the future. The end goal here should be to make both the business and the end users happy.

Measure application risk

When you can accurately measure an application’s risk tolerance, it serves as a safeguard against unexpected risks and helps us take the right action at the right time through alerts.

The SRE has service level indicators (SLI), objectives (SLO) and agreements (SLA) to describe the essential properties of the essential metrics. Choosing the right metrics helps you take the right action at the right time, increasing the reliability of your application development.

Service Level Agreements (SLAs) are contracts between a team developing a service and its users to define a set of objectives (SLOs) regarding availability, responsiveness, etc. Service level objectives (SLOs) are agreements within the SLA for a specific metric, such as responsiveness.

Application Availability

Application availability is one of the most critical metrics for measuring reliability. Two broad categories in which an application becomes unavailable are outages and application versioning.


Failures, if they occur frequently, will render any application unusable. Unhandled exceptions are issues that should be resolved immediately with high priority.

Monitoring and alert

Monitoring and alerting to problems and abnormal behaviors at the right time allows them to be resolved more quickly. And it’s equally essential to have issue alerts when a feature is in development. Sometimes this is even more important than getting the final error notification.

How could we learn from failure?

We have to analyze every posthumous production failure. The best way to create an analysis is to follow these steps:

  • Formulation of the problem
  • Business Impact Assessment
  • Time to recognize a problem
  • Short-term solutions to get the business up and running and
  • Sets with training


Gathering discovery errors accumulate over time, and as they are discovered, the count per DevOps team gets. At this point, companies can better understand the trade-offs they have to make to launch products, instead of haphazardly accumulating that technical debt over time.

Delivering robust mobile apps at scale is no easy task. Adopting the SRE approach can be lifesaving and create a new socio-technical approach to application development.

Authors biography : Anastasiia Lastovetska is a technology writer at MLSDev, a software development company that builds web and mobile application solutions from the ground up. She researches the tech field to create great content on app development, UX/UI design, technology, and business consulting.

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto:

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Casey J. Nelson