Mastering Cloud Application Development

The world has witnessed a surge in demand for cloud-based applications, ultimately boosting the demand for Cloud-application development. Cloud apps and services have entered many industries, such as entertainment, education, banking and finance, services, transportation, etc.

Cloud computing has proven to be a game-changer for businesses across the globe. According to Statista, the global cloud applications market reached a value of 133.6 billion U.S. dollars and is expected to reach 168.6 billion U.S. dollars by 2025. To gauge a better understanding of cloud application development, the different terms associated with it, and the benefits and challenges of cloud-application development, you are at the right place, as this article is for you!

What is a ‘Cloud’?

The ‘Cloud’ refers to cloud computing. It involves the delivery of computing services such as servers, storage, databases, software, analytics over the internet. The whole IT infrastructure is handled by a third party that charges a fee in exchange for computing power and other cloud-based services. Hence, cloud services offer firms the chance to obtain the computing power they require in a flexible manner and eliminate the need to directly own or manage the IT structure themselves.

There are three common cloud types needed for app deployment:

1. Private Cloud

Private Cloud is defined as the service functioning as a private web system. It provides a secure space for data, users, and applications. The service is taken by only one company or organization with no public access.

2. Public Cloud

Data held by the Public Cloud can be accessed online through a gadget. Public Clouds often offer optimal prices for data storage and flexible processing power.

3. Hybrid Cloud

Hybrid Cloud services can be defined as the services which are the amalgamation of both public and private clouds. Such services allow IT companies to distribute or share data amongst the on-device services and third-party apps. Hence, Hybrid Cloud services provide additional variants for optimization and deployment.

What are Cloud-Based Applications?

Cloud-based applications can be defined as the applications that are hosted and provided through the cloud. Rather than being installed on a user’s computer, these applications are accessed via the internet, web browser, mobile or any other internet-powered device.

Cloud-based applications have the following characteristics-

Such applications are highly convenient, flexible and scalable which means that users can easily increase or decrease the amount of resources they use as per their project requirements.

The applications’ data is stored on a cloud computing infrastructure. 

Data can also be stored on the device. It also allows the application to operate offline and will be automatically updated once the gadget is back online. Additionally, as all the data is saved in the cloud, users can keep working wherever needed. 

The three types of Cloud-Based Apps

There are three types of cloud-based apps- 

1. Software as a Service (SaaS)

Software as a Service, or in other terms SaaS, refers to the development of cloud-based applications used through mobile apps and web browsers. SaaS allows customers to apply the app online without installing or configuring it from any device. Additionally, companies such as Google Apps, Zendesk, Salesforce, and AWS provide this service.

SaaS is used for a wide range of purposes, such as.

  • Providing email tools
  • Automating product and service sign-ups
  • Managing documents and files, and 
  • We are enabling collaboration between users. 
  • Additionally, SaaS applications can be used to share calendars throughout an organization, making it easier to plan events and meetings. 
  • SaaS is also commonly used for customer relationship management (CRM), which involves organizing client and prospect data databases.

2. Platform as a Service (PaaS)

Platform as a Service, or PaaS, is another cloud-based app that enables users to rent the necessary tools for developing applications. PaaS vendors provide development tools, infrastructure, operating systems, and other resources to make the application development process smoother and more efficient. 

Examples of prominent PaaS cloud computing platforms include Windows Azure, Heroku, and OpenShift.

Platform as a Service (PaaS) offers the following solutions-

  • Building tools
  • Middleware
  • Operating Systems 
  • Database running infrastructure 

3. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

Infrastructure as a Service, or IaaS, is a cloud-based app that allows businesses to outsource their entire IT infrastructure to a provider, including servers, networks, visualization, and storage. IaaS providers offer their services through either a public or private cloud. 

Additionally, IaaS firms provide a variety of other benefits as well, such as-

  • Resiliency tools (including backup replication and recovery)
  • Security instruments 
  • Log access
  • Tracking 
  • Detailed invoicing 
  • Tracking 
  • Clustering 
  • Load balancing  

What is Cloud Software Development?

Cloud-software development definition and types

Cloud application development can be defined as the process of creating software applications that function on cloud computing software. Through cloud computing, developers can develop and deploy applications using remote servers and services instead of relying on local hardware and software. 

The approach has proven beneficial in various terms, such as scalability, flexibility, cost-effectiveness, and enabling applications to be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection.

Additionally, cloud application development includes different programming languages, tools, and frameworks and may use various cloud computing services such as storage, databases, and analytics. 

Cloud has gained mass popularity nowadays. The global cloud computing market is expected to reach 519 billion US dollars by 2027, per the PR Newswire report (internal link). 

Several well-known cloud service providers include Amazon web services, AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, etc. Such cloud providers are supporting and helping businesses in taking public and private cloud computing initiatives.

Apart from this, there are three terms linked to cloud development. These are-

1. Cloud-native development 

Cloud-native development refers to the way of building applications that is optimized for the cloud computing environment. Developers’ work involves extensively developing the architecture of cloud-native apps or refactoring existing code to work on a cloud using cloud-based technologies.

Cloud-native development includes continuous integration or ongoing action, containers, microservices, etc. Hence, developers can provide new software services continuously and efficiently.

Additionally, this part of cloud application development is concerned with dividing software applications into more minor services that can be used wherever needed. It ensures accessibility, scalability, and flexibility in cloud-native applications.

2. Cloud-enabled development 

Cloud-enabled development is developing software applications that can be deployed and function on cloud computing software. Still, they are also designed to run on other kinds of software, such as on-premises hardware or virtualized environments. 

As a part of cloud-enabled development, applications are designed to be portable across various infrastructure environments, allowing them to be deployed in different settings. Additionally, it includes developing applications with a modular, microservices-based architecture that enables individual components to be easily modified to suit various deployment scenarios.

3. Cloud-based development

Cloud-based software development tries to acquire a balance between cloud-native and cloud-enabled applications. They provide the availability and scalability of cloud services while not needing the complete redesign of applications. 

The method allows businesses to use cloud benefits in some of their services without changing the whole software application code. 

For example, if a company moves its web app to an Amazon web server, it will have a cloud-based application as it will run on a cloud server.

Cloud-based applications free developers and IT people from the hassle of maintaining resources such as servers, software development programs, backup disaster recovery schedules, etc.

Additionally, cloud service providers are responsible for hosting and managing your applications, hardware, data, and everything else you use the cloud platform for. 

How has Cloud-hosted Application Development evolved over the years?

Over the past ten years, cloud services have enlarged broadly. In 2010, several multinational giants such as Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and OpenStack released cloud divisions. With this, cloud services were made available to a majority of people. From then till now, such services have dominated a large part of the tech industry.

Ultimately, organizations’ adoption of cloud services increased, and the idea of utilizing public and private clouds emerged. Thus, the ‘hybrid clouds’ allowed organizations to customize their implementations better and combine cloud services wholesomely. With this, Apple launched iCloud in 2011, allowing customers to use cloud storage in their everyday lives.

In the past ten years, several businesses and organizations have made cloud services a part of their everyday work environment to improve their services and do long-term cost savings. 

Software-as-a-service (SaaS) used by organizations doubled between 2015 and 2017 due to the adoption of cloud services. In addition to this, many startups made their entry into the market.

Although, infrastructure-as-a-service (Iaas) has witnessed immense growth. In 2018, the Iaas market saw the presence of five significant dominators- Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Alibaba, and IBM. According to estimates, the industry started at around $12 billion in 2010 and is expected to surpass $623 billion in revenues by 2025.  

How is Cloud platform development different from Traditional app development?

Traditionally, software developers built software applications on local machines and then deployed them to the production environment. By taking this approach, software programs face different issues, such as not running as planned and other compatibility issues. Hence, the process of coding and deploying again is time-consuming and expensive. 

At present, developers utilize agile and DevOps software development methodologies that allow increased cooperation between development team members, allowing them to develop products efficiently and as per the user’s market expectations.

Additionally, cloud-based services software development IDEs like Google app engine, code repositories like GitHub, etc., allow developers to test, refactor, and improve codebase in a collaborative environment and then deploy to the production environment directly.

Thus, the approach is defined as continuous integration or continuous development (CI/CD) where the software development team launches a minimum viable product to the user market and persistently improves the outcome by implementing user feedback. 

The approach can be advantageous to your business processes, like decreasing time to market, quick identification and fixation of security threats and errors, an instant release of user-required features, etc.

How does Cloud Development work?

Cloud development architecture is based on several interconnected APIs, which communicate with each other and other elements of cloud architecture. 

Data arrangement is another integral component to consider in cloud app design. You can place different parts of cloud computing solutions on other cloud servers. The cloud app architecture should define this segregation and placement of data on the cloud computing sources. 

The speed and availability of your cloud-based apps are affected by their closeness to the cloud servers. Hence the arrangement of data should be planned accordingly to improve business performance, etc.

Benefits of Cloud- application development

What are the benefits of cloud-application development?

Cloud application development has proven to be profitable for every enterprise and business since most of the data storage and processing issues are managed by remote servers. Apart from that, cloud software development or cloud application development has a large number of undeniable benefits mentioned below-

1. Cost-saving

Different cloud services only charge for the cloud and feature sets needed for your application development model. Hence, the pay-as-you-go system applies to every cloud deployment service, resulting in lower costs and higher results. 

2. Security

A cloud host’s full-time job is to watch, which is significantly more efficient than a conventional in-house system. In addition, cloud software development makes it easier to follow government security standards. The cloud also provides an automated response to updates and data recoveries.

3. Flexibility 

Building cloud applications offers more flexibility to developers overall as compared to hosting on a local server. In addition, cloud services are skilled enough to meet that demand if you require extra bandwidth instead of going on a lengthy update to enhance infrastructure.

4. Competitive edge and flexibility

Cloud services combined with AI technology, such as chatbots and assistants, also offer a better customer experience to the audience. 

5. Mobility and insight 

Cloud application platforms allow you to access information to remain updated across any device, gadget, team, company, etc. Moreover, organizations that invest in cloud-sharing services witness better employee engagement and satisfaction than local hosting companies.

Cloud-native application development also helps with personalized customer data insights to boost data access speed and experience. 

6. A varied range of solutions

Cloud-based solutions offer various services and resources for the business model. From CRM to ERP solutions, the cloud computing platform supervises everything. 

Apart from all the benefits mentioned above, cloud application development controls data quality and helps with disaster recovery and data loss. 

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Challenges faced during Cloud Application Development

Obstacles faced during cloud software development

1. Interoperability and Portability 

Interoperability is defined as the ability to write code while working within the cloud framework that can efficiently work with multiple cloud providers simultaneously, despite the differences between them. Interoperability and Portability are the essential features of any cloud environment.

Although, the ability of systems to communicate with one another is also one of the most challenging issues in cloud migration. The ability to operate components or systems written for one cloud environment in another cloud environment is crucial for Portability. 

Solution- You can adopt the necessary standards in cloud computing to ensure interoperability. The more accessible the data is, the more interoperable software and platforms. The more standardized the operating protocols are, the easier they are to use, implement, operate, and maintain.

2. Performance Issues

If you are unaware of where your data centers are, you may also need to know how long it will take to render the data, UI, style sheets, and other critical components. Even if it is a matter of a few seconds, it can easily make you lose users.

Solution– Be fully aware of your cloud service provider’s infrastructure and pose detailed questions to gain knowledge and ensure that your apps’ performance does not suffer in the long run. In addition, determine which applications can be moved to the cloud safely and observe them regularly to ensure optimal performance. 

Test early and frequently when your enterprise begins to communicate with other applications in the cloud as you have entered a new integration scenario and hence ensuring end-to-end performance is essential. 

3. False promises of scalability 

An efficient way to enlarge budget efficiency and performance goals is to ensure the scalability of your apps in the cloud. Even though all cloud service providers promise scalable services, not all can deliver. If your application usage increases, you must ensure that your back end can manage the data load. 

Solution- You can use a hybrid cloud strategy and enjoy the required scalability and flexibility, as a hybrid cloud can scale up and down per your changing needs. 

4. Reliability and Availability 

The ability to maintain critical operations even in the event of a catastrophic disaster is one of the most integral features of cloud apps. Although, at times, cloud providers do not have 24/7 service, resulting in frequent outages. Hence, it is necessary to monitor the services being provided using internal or third-party tools.

Solutions- Make sure to verify the level of protection you are getting from your cloud storage provider and ensure that it complies with your business requirements.

5. Loosely coupled service design

Cloud apps must be independent of the underlying service they use. It is integral because customer needs are forever changing, and if an application is too tightly linked to a specific service, it may need help to adapt to those changes quickly.

Solution- There is a requirement for more education, training, and examples of excellent and consistent service design. Loosely coupled services by cloud apps allow applications to be more flexible and adaptable to changing customer needs. 

6. Query-Oriented VS Programming 

MapReduce, streaming, and complex event processing are different types of computer programming techniques used to analyze large data sets. Such methods require the developers to utilize a more functional-query-oriented approach rather than object-oriented programming. It means that rather than utilizing different programming interfaces; these systems use SQL or XQuery-like operations. 

The system requires access to data from different sources to analyze it, known as a federated data set. The client can make use of specific functions designed especially for their particular application to analyze and manipulate the data.

The problem arises when even sure developers are aware of the essential SQL. Some might need to be more familiar with more complex queries or integrate different functions together. 

The solution: Rigorous training and practice are required in curating query programs and are the roadmap to the cloud app’s success. 

7. Application Security

Another major challenge in cloud application development is your application’s exposure to various malicious attacks. Even though authorization is helpful, more is needed to prevent attacks. 

Besides, client-side security can be defined as the security measures implemented on the user’s device, such as their computer or mobile phone. Although, the state of web browsers can make it tough to keep the client side fully secure. 

The solution: The solution to this is all the data needs to be encrypted via reliable encryption methods. You can utilize a reverse proxy to acknowledge security concerns or use SSL and other such practices to fulfill the security demands of various firms. 

Top Tools and technologies used for Cloud Application Development

Tech Stack for Cloud Computing

Developers use different kinds of tools and technologies to ensure efficient cloud development. Let’s take a close look at each of them-

1. Microsoft Azure 

Microsoft Azure is a cloud computing platform that comprises a wide range of services such as computing sources, networking, storage, analytics, etc. Cloud developers can utilize these services to develop, manage, and scale new or existing applications in the cloud. 

Microsoft Azure pursues a pay-as-you-go model where users are charged based on the monthly use of selected cloud sources.

Additionally, the platform supports several open-source technologies and third-party tools, and with these tools, organizations can achieve their set goals flexibly. 

2. Kubernetes

Kubernetes, or in other terms, K8, is a cloud orchestration platform with which cloud developers can deploy, maintain, and scale containerized applications. 

The tool can be utilized on all three setups- public, private, and hybrid- and is appropriate for effectively establishing and managing cloud-native applications needing real-time data streaming, etc. 

3. Node.js

Node.js is open-source and cross-platform that helps developers in building fast and scalable applications as it carries the potential to manage a large number of simultaneous connections with high throughput. 

Developers can utilize node.js to create dynamic web pages, open, create, delete, and close server files, add and modify data on databases, etc.

4. Amazon Web Services (AWS)

The Amazon web services platform offers several cloud computing products and services, such as remote computing, networking, mobile development, security, etc. 

The three main AWS products consist of EC2- a virtual machine service; Glacier- a low-cost cloud storage service; and S3- a storage service. 

Cloud developers utilize such services to develop scalable and adaptable applications while ensuring their reliability and security by using the latest technologies, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning.

5. Google Cloud Platform

Google Cloud Platform is another efficient cloud application development tool that allows developers to build, test and deploy applications in different programming languages and on various development platforms such as Kubernetes, firebase, etc.

Other tools in the platform, such as Google App Engine and Cloud Monitoring, help manage code between software development teams.

6. Jenkins

Jenkins is an open-source continuous integration and delivery software. It helps cloud developers with CI/CD pipelines and automates cloud apps’ delivery and deployment procedures. 

A server-based application, Jenkin runs on a web server like Apache Tomcat. It also automates the repeated tasks that frequently arise in software development.

Top Companies That Have Successfully Built Cloud Applications

Several companies have succeeded in developing cloud applications. Here are a few examples of a few of them, along with the challenges they faced and how they overcame them-

1. Netflix

Netflix, Inc, the globally famous American media company based in California in the United States, built its application on the cloud. One of the most significant issues the popular streaming platform tackled was scaling its infrastructure to accommodate its growing user base. 

To overcome the challenge, Netflix deployed a microservices architecture that enabled it to break its application into smaller and more manageable components that could seamlessly be scaled independently.

The Amazon web services (AWS) allowed Netflix to rapidly deploy thousands of servers and terabytes of storage within a matter of minutes allowing users to stream Netflix shows and movies from any corner of the world on the web, on tablets and mobile devices. 

2. Airbnb

Airbnb is a San Francisco-based company that operates as an online marketplace for short-term homestays and experiences. The platform grappled with managing its infrastructure costs. To overcome it, the company deployed a hybrid cloud approach that allowed it to use both public and private clouds to reduce prices and increase scalability.

3. Dropbox

Dropbox is a prominent file hosting service. The company is headquartered in San Francisco, California, and wanted to ensure its user data was protected. 

Thus, Dropbox implemented advanced encryption and security protocols to shield its users’ data. 

4. Slack 

Slack is an instant messaging platform that Slack Technologies designed. Slack was challenged with managing its infrastructure cost as its user base expanded. 

To solve this, Slack effectively used cloud sources by optimizing the usage of its servers and implemented auto-scaling, which gave it a chance to scale its infrastructure based on demand. 

5. Zillow

Zillow is an American-tech real-estate marketplace company that was founded in 2006. The company built its application on the cloud and faced the challenge of managing a vast amount of data it collected and stored. To solve the lingering problem, Zillow deployed a cloud-based data warehousing solution that enabled it to share and analyze its data more effectively. 

Thus, the process of developing cloud applications comes with its very own challenges, such as infrastructure scalability, cost management, security, data management, etc. 

How to develop a cloud-based application?

A step-by-step guide on cloud computing

1. Market and Requirements Analysis 

The first step towards developing your cloud application is to analyze the market requirements in terms of application in-depth. It will help you understand which apps can be transferred to the cloud and pick or select the most appropriate and efficient cloud deployment model for your business. 

Conducting market research to understand your target audience’s needs and requirements is also equally important. You can also do extensive research on your competitor domains, feature sets, and business models to understand the product requirements better and create a novel and effective product for your target audience.

2. Get the right development team on board. 

The next step toward the app development procedure is to hire experienced and potential cloud developers. There are three ways in which you can look for them.

2.1 Freelance developers

Hiring freelance developers for different tech projects is becoming prevalent day by day. There are various platforms, such as Upwork, Freelancer, Toptal, Guru, PeoplePerHour, etc., from which you can hire cloud developers per your project needs.

2.2 In-house developers

An in-house developers team would help you manage the whole process efficiently. In-house developers are software developers who work directly for a company, organization, or organization instead of as independent contractors. Although, keep in mind that having an in-house developers team can prove to be a costly choice, and expenses such as rent, hardware, software, taxes, etc., must be paid along with the in-house staff salaries. 

2.3 Outsourced Team

An outsourced team can be defined as a group of software developers, designers, and other IT professionals who work for a third-party service provider instead of being directly employed by a firm or company. Outsourcing has become low on cost and high in quality, so it is on the rise.

3. Architecture and Features

The next step is to use your thinking capabilities to plan out your app’s infrastructure- app architecture, service model, and cloud migration. These areas impact your product’s performance, make the whole cloud computing process efficient, and help optimize its work.

3.1 Architecture

Nowadays, professionals have focused on advanced architecture based on microservices as classic solutions tend to be monolithic, and all the changes require a system rearrangement. Hence, as it is a complex process that is also heavy on the pocket, the advantages of microservices architecture for cloud-based apps are more commonly utilized.

3.2 Service model

All the common cloud types mentioned above are SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS. The key is to select a model that goes well with your organization’s business needs and can quickly adapt to the changing requirements of your target audience as well.

3.3 Cloud Migration

Cloud migration is used when you have a business that is already operational. Cloud migration helps move a company’s data to a remote cloud server, and the data would then function on it. Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS) are prominent companies providing cloud migration services.

4. Designing the App

The next step is to design a user-friendly and easy-to-navigate UI/UX design. 

5. Developing and Testing the product

Your development team would start building the product per your requirements and distribute the workload accordingly. 

Before launching your product, it must go through multiple test runs to avoid any operational issues. Ensure that your application runs smoothly and offers the desired user experience. 

6. App Placement 

The last step is the app’s deployment. It would be best if you worked with the App Store (for iOS) and Google Play (for Android apps) for the app placement in the app stores. 

Google will make your application go through automated testing, whereas the App Store assigns the app review to the audience, and if any bugs are found, they will require fixing. 

The deployment process includes the following procedure-

  • To ensure that your application meets the App Store or Google Play guidelines standards, it is essential to review and adhere to all requirements carefully. 
  • Once your app is ready, please submit it to the relevant store’s team for review.
  • During the review process, the team will thoroughly test your app against the guidelines to ensure it functions smoothly and is free of potential issues or violations.
  • Following the review, your app will either be approved or rejected within 2-3 days. 


The world has been revolutionized with the advent of cloud computing. The technology is expected to witness immense growth in the coming years as well. Cloud application development is accompanied by its own set of benefits and challenges. Whether you are opting for a cloud-based, cloud-native or cloud-enabled development, you need to get the right developers onboard who can follow the correct practices of cloud migration and integration. 

This is where partnering with a reputable software development company becomes crucial, and Idea Usher is the ideal choice to look for if you wish to harness the full potential of cloud computing for your business. With a team of skilled and experienced developers, we provide customized cloud software development solutions that cater to your specific project requirements. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our offerings and how we can help your business leverage the power of cloud computing.

Contact Idea Usher today!

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Email: [email protected] 

Phone: (+1)732 962 4560, (+91)859 140 7140 


Q. What is cloud application development?

ANS: Cloud application development can be defined as the process of creating software applications that function on cloud computing software. Through cloud computing, developers can develop and deploy applications using remote servers and services instead of relying on local hardware and software. 

Q. How does cloud development work?

ANS: Cloud development architecture is based on several interconnected APIs, which communicate with each other and other elements of cloud architecture. 

Q. Where to look for skillful cloud computing services?

ANS: If you wish to harness the full potential of cloud computing for your business, then Idea Usher is the right place to go. With a team of skilled and experienced developers, we provide customized cloud software development solutions that cater to your specific project requirements.

Q. What are the benefits of cloud computing?

ANS: Cloud computing provides businesses with a wide array of benefits, such as cost-saving, flexibility, security, mobility, insight, etc.

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