Tony Harris - April 3, 2020

You may not know it, but you’ve probably used microapps on your computer or mobile device. They’re single-purpose apps. They don’t seem to do much, but they excel at performing specific tasks.

In this post, we’ll cover:

  1. What is a MicroApp?
  2. The Difference Between Microapps and Microservices
  3. What Can MicroApps Do
  4. What Devices Can MicroApps Be Used On
  5. Related Articles

They Keep Getting More Popular

It’s easy to see why they keep getting more popular. Regular apps come with more features than the average user needs. Some research shows that most users only access 20% of an app’s features.

Why store a data-hungry app on your mobile device when you can get the feature you need most from a handful of lightweight microapps?

Look for the upcoming microapp generator from DreamFactory to start producing microapps that will make life easier for your clients.

Need an API for your Microservice? Did you know you can generate a full-featured, documented, and secure REST API in minutes using DreamFactory? Sign up for our free 14 day hosted trial to learn how! Our guided tour will show you how to create an API using an example MySQL database provided to you as part of the trial!

Build Your Microapp Now

Microapps and Microservices Have Differences and Similarities

Some people confuse microapps with microservices. They have a lot in common, so the confusion is understandable.

You can see the difference between microapps and microservices by thinking of them as nouns and microservices as verbs. The microapp is a thing that performs a microservice.

Also, consider that a microapp can perform more than one microservice. For example, a calculator microapp might perform several functions, such as adding, subtracting, dividing, and multiplying.

If that doesn’t seem clear, read ESB vs Microservices: Understanding Key Differences for a deeper understanding of microservices.

They Perform Unique Tasks

Developers make them according to the single responsibility principle, which basically means that the app should do one thing very well.

Some people say that each microapp should perform one unique task. That’s a bit simplistic, though. While you might not want a robust app designed to do 100 things, you rarely want a microapp that can only do one specific thing. Who wants a calculator that can only subtract?

It’s more important to conceptualize them as applications that perform a unique operation. In the calculator case, the microapp performs basic math. As long as you stay within the world of simple, straightforward mathematics, you probably have a microapp. If the calculator application generates charts and graphs, then you’ve probably ventured into the world of regular apps.

Microapps Don’t Care What Devices You Use

Most of them exist on the internet. You don’t even have to install them on your mobile device or computer. Keeping them online benefits everyone because you don’t need a specific type of device or operating system to use them.

In the computer world, that’s called operating system agnostic.

When they get delivered to users through internet browsers, they can work for everyone. Businesses like the agnosticism because they can reach a wider audience. Users like it because they don’t need to worry about whether their device supports the app.

DreamFactory is putting together a beta group that will get early access to the upcoming microapps generator. Send an email to [email protected] if you’d like to get involved and see how easy making a user interface becomes when you have support from the right technology.

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