cross platform architecture

Cross-Platform Architecture, How to Design it

Creating a software solution that can be accessible by different users using different devices with different operating systems is the real deal. Business people are able to target a large user base while end users don’t have to worry about how to access the software solution, thanks to cross-platform architecture. This guide explores all insights about cross-platform architecture, including benefits, challenges, and tips to create a successful software solution using cross-platform architecture.

What is cross-platform architecture?

Also known as multiplatform architecture, cross-platform architecture is a software development program or solution that can work on different devices or different operating systems, better known as platforms.

A platform is simply an operating system, which can be iOS, Android, Mac OS, or Windows. An application developed through cross-platform architecture can run on more than two platforms without experiencing technical issues. This means that a user can use the software solution on different devices and still enjoy the same experience.

Advantages of cross-platform architecture

So, why would a company opt for cross-platform architecture? Below are the benefits of cross-platform architecture over other software development architecture:

  • Cost savings

It takes a shorter development timeline and reduced resources to create cross-platform applications than to build separate software solutions for different operating systems.

Again, one team can work seamlessly to produce cross-platform apps, thus cutting down on labor costs. What’s more, the reduced development timeline means reduced working hours, thus less expenses.

So, for a company whose objective is to develop solutions that will attract a large user base with a reduced budget, cross-platform architecture is the way to go.

  • Code reusability

Writing quality code is one vital phase of the development process. A well-written code will save the development teams from spending more in the later development stages. Since writing high-quality code takes time, the cross-platform architecture allows developers to reuse code on several development projects, thus saving time, resources and accelerating the development process.

However, sharing code depends on the number of native elements in an app. Apart from speeding up the development process and cutting down on resource utilization, code reusability enhances transparency, allowing developers to manage applications seamlessly.

  • Wide audience coverage

One significant advantage of cross-platform architecture is its ability to cover and reach a wider user base. During the app development process, the application is not limited to a single operating system.

A cross-platform app can work on devices using different operating systems, such as Android OS and iOS devices. This means that both platforms both users get to use the app at the same time without any delays.

Besides, it is easy and faster to gather valuable feedback after releasing an app prototype or MVP. These feedbacks are significant in polishing, tailoring, and improving the final product to meet all user requirements.

  • Accelerated development process and time to market

Native applications are complex and time-consuming to build. This is contrary to cross-platform applications, whose processes are simplified and streamlined in a professional manner.

Since cross-platform architecture allows developers to reuse the code, it eliminates double work, thus giving the development teams an easy time managing and developing applications and software solutions.

All these reasons make it easy to release an app to the market faster without delaying any of the platforms. Accelerated time to market means the product will penetrate the market faster, thus reaching the target audience at the appropriate time and gaining a competitive advantage.

  • Brand consistency across different platforms

One thing every user wants is consistency of products or software solutions despite the platform they are using.

Especially if you anticipate the target audience will use the product via different devices, using cross-platform architecture ensures consistency across devices, thus enhancing overall user experience.

What’s more, cross-platform architecture promotes your brand identity to users with devices using different operating systems. This makes it a win-win situation where users enjoy an engaging and improved experience while the product owner benefits from a large user base.

How to design a cross-platform architecture system

how to design a cross platform architecture system

Building software solutions using cross-platform architecture is a complex process. However, with the following processes and steps, the process will be streamlined and made easy.

  • Define the requirements

Start by analyzing and understanding the core requirements of the product in relation to user preferences.

Highlight the main features and functionalities of the product, determine the security measures you should apply, and determine the performance and reliability of the product.

Above all, establish the devices and platforms you want the app to support and the testing processes to ensure all the processes are successful. With these requirements, you will be able to establish the possible challenges and how to overcome them in the early stages of development.

  • Select the appropriate architectural style

With all the basic features and functionalities defined, along with the possible risks and viable solutions, you can now establish the appropriate architectural style. The architectural style includes principles and patterns to follow while building the system professionally.

We have microservices, layered, event-driven, monolith, and serverless architectures, among many others. Every architectural style has a set of pros and cons. Therefore, before you choose one, think of your product’s scalability, ease of testing, complexity, and modularity. These elements will guide you, ensuring you choose the best architectural style according to your project requirements, user needs, and your business objectives.

  • Create the components and interfaces

With the appropriate style, it is now time to design and create components and interfaces for the overall product.

Components are simply the must-have units that enable the system to execute specific actions and tasks.

Interfaces, on the other hand, define how the components interact and community with each other while exchanging data.

Make sure you design low coupling with high cohesion components and interfaces. This makes it easy for the system to be loosely connected, independent, and self-contained. As a result, you can reuse or modify the system to fit different requirements. Don’t forget to figure out maters such as code security, maintainability, and readability by applying encapsulation, abstraction, and separation of concerns principles.

  • Cross-platform technologies Integration

At this point, you can now implement cross-platform technologies that will enable you to create an app that supports different devices and platforms; the technologies are frameworks and tools that will speed up the coding process and allow you to run the code on different environments without making many changes.

Examples of cross-platform technologies are JavaScript, CSS, and HTML for web technologies, Ionic, Flutter, and React Native for hybrid technologies, and Kotlin Multiplatform, Unity, and Xamarin for cross-compile technologies.

Before choosing reliable cross-platform technologies, make sure you analyze the pros & cons of each to select a suitable one for your project.

  • Performance and usability optimization

The fifth step is all about optimizing the system architecture to work seamlessly on different devices and platforms; usability is all about users accessing and interacting with the product smoothly, while performance is all about the responsiveness of the product.

While performing usability and performance optimization, integrate different strategies like localization. Accessibility, responsive design, lazy loading, minification, compression, and caching, among others.

Once you finish optimizing the usability and performance of the system, you should measure the viability of the processes using different metrics and tools like feedback, analytics, benchmarking, profiling, and load testing, among many others.

  • Update and evolve your system architecture

This is the last step of building a system using cross-platform architecture. It is all about updating and modifying the system to meet the changes that happen over time.

Here, you will need to employ an agile and iterative strategy when developing and deploying the system architecture. You can implement cross-platform development best practices such as continuous feedback, continuous testing, continuous delivery, and continuous integration.

As a way of improving the product’s quality over time, use documentation, modularization, and refactoring principles to enhance the code quality. Above all, integrate the trending technologies and practices in cross-platform architecture for scalable and high-performing applications.

Challenges of developing cross-platform architecture

While there are tools and technologies that help developers speed up cross-platform app development, the process can be complex, thus leading to the following set of challenges:

  • Platform Diversity

This is one of the significant challenges of developing cross-platform solutions. Remember, the products target platforms and devices with different functionalities and features. Developers must consider factors such as different hardware functionalities, different operating systems, input styles, and different screen sizes.

With each platform having unique guidelines, principles, and best practices, it becomes a complex process for developers to design user interfaces and functionalities that follow all these guidelines.

Developers must have a deeper understanding of different programming languages, tools, and frameworks to develop cross-platform systems successfully.

  • Compatibility Issues

It can be hard to deploy applications to match different platforms. Therefore, for cross-platform architecture, an app must align with different devices, browsers, and operating systems requirements. While the different platforms and devices have different features, input methods, screen sizes, and APIs, it becomes hard for developers to create systems that meet all these features and functionalities.

To overcome this challenge, developers must test the app across all supported platforms to ensure it performs and functions well before deployment.

  • Performance Optimization

The app’s performance is one of the main reasons why users will embrace the app or leave it. Cross-platform applications must run seamlessly across different platforms and devices despite their differences to enhance user experience.

To overcome this challenge, developers must optimize the code, ensuring it runs seamlessly on every device or platform. This, however, requires developers to have in-depth knowledge and skills in software and hardware specifications.

  • User Experience

It is hard to create a seamless user experience across different platforms and devices. Users want a product that has the same design, performs, and functions the same way across different platforms or devices.

To overcome this challenge, developers must create a consistent user experience & user interface across different platforms. This, therefore, requires proper planning and design, which, of course, can be expensive and exhausting.

  • Maintenance and Updates

For a product or a system to perform and function seamlessly, there is a need to keep updating and maintaining it with the changing technologies and practices in the same field.

When there are changes to be implemented, there must be testing and deployment to different platforms. The process can be long, thus taking more time to actualize the updates, thus delaying updates and the latest releases.

To overcome this challenge, developers must maintain a well-organized and modular code and m for smooth updates and maintenance processes.

Tips to help you develop cross-platform architecture successfully

The following tips will help developers design and develop cross-platform applications and systems in a seamless and organized manner:

  • Using the right technology

In cross-platform architecture, the right technology will not only help you achieve your target, but accelerate the development speed too. We have different cross-platform frameworks with different features and capabilities. Therefore, as a developer, always understand the nature of your project, analyze the tools and technologies to help you throughout the process, and choose the best technology and strategies to use.

  • Create a plan and design for each platform

Depending on the platforms or devices you want your cross-platform system to support, make sure you evaluate their respective guidelines and principles as you note the differences in features, input methods, and screen sizes. These details will hep you plan to design a system that will enhance user experience across different platforms.

  • Optimize performance

How will you ensure you develop an app that works seamlessly across different devices and different platforms? It is all about optimizing performance by ensuring the code is optimized for every platform.

You can use platform-specific APIs and code optimization for every platform’s software and hardware features and functionalities.

  • Test across platforms

Always perform testing of the functionality of the app across the platforms to verify compatibility and overall functionality of the app.

You can use automated testing tools here to get accurate analysis and results while saving time and other resources.

  • Keep modular code

Keeping modular code in cross-platform architecture is the best way to keep the system updated. With modular code, developers can seamlessly make changes and update the system’s functionality and features for all platforms.

When to use cross-platform architecture

Cross-platform architecture continues to thrive and gain momentum in the software and app development field. Below are some common areas where cross-platform architecture is crucial.

Broad Platform Compatibility – If your goal is to reach as many users as possible, then using cross-platform architecture will help you increase the user base by attracting users using different platforms and devices.

Accelerated Development & Cost-Effectiveness — If you want to speed up the app development process while cutting down on costs and expenses, then cross-platform architecture is the ideal solution. You will use a single code base for all platforms, thus releasing the product faster without spending more.

Branding and UI consistency – When you want to create apps with the same outlook or uniform, then cross-platform architecture is the solution. UI and brand consistency enhance user experience and the overall functionality of the app.

Top cross-platform development frameworks

We have different cross-platform frameworks that play vital roles in cross-platform development processes. Apart from helping developers execute the processes, these cross-platform frameworks speed up the app development processes. Below are some of the top frameworks for cross-platform architecture.

  • Flutter

Developed by Googe, Flutter is a cross-platform framework that user Dart programming language. With Flutter, developers can develop high-performing apps that support desktop, web, Android, and iOS, among many others with the same codebase.

Flutter’s unique feature, the rendering engine, enables developers to customize the UI experience.

  • React Native

Developed by Facebook, React Native is a cross-platform framework that users React and JavaScript to build mobile applications. With React native, developers can build native-like applications for Android and iOS devices with one codebase.

  • Xamarin

Xamarin is Microsoft’s multiplatform tool that enables developers to create cross-platform applications using .NET and C# frameworks. It has a sharable codebase for Windows, Android, and iOS platforms. With Xamarin, developers can access and explore native APIs.

  • Native Script

Native Script offers direct access to native APIs and UI components, allowing developers to create Android and iOS apps using Angular, Type Script, or JavaScript.

  • Ionic

Ionic uses JavaScript, CSS, and HTML technologies to build cross-platform mobile applications. Being an open-source framework, Ionic uses web technologies to offer native-like experiences.

The framework you select depends on the nature and dynamics of the system or application you want to build. Whatever the case, always weigh the pros and cons of each framework before using it for a specific project.

Factors to consider when choosing the right cross-platform framework

So, how do you ensure you choose a reliable and efficient cross-platform framework for a project? Below are some top considerations to make.

Performance – Analyze the overall performance of a framework in relation to resource utilization, responsiveness, and speed. Of course, speed and performance across different devices a key elements every developer shouldn’t overlook.

Programming Language Familiarity – Depending on the programming language your development team is familiar with, choose a framework that is compatible with the same programming language.

UI/UX Capabilities – How well can a framework enable you to customize UI/UX design? The framework you pick should help you design and create an intuitive UI and visually appealing design.

Community Support – Think of the framework’s developer community support and activities. What if you need immediate solutions? Will you get instant help from the framework’s community? Choose a framework with active, vast, and reliable community support.

Platform Coverage – Think of the platforms a specific framework supports. The common platforms are desktop, web, Android, and iOS. A framework with a wider platform compatibility is much better.

Documentation and Support – Are you able to get comprehensive and detailed documentation of a framework? Can you access support resources for a smooth understanding of the framework? A framework with reliable support and detailed documentation will help you troubleshoot and solve some problems during the development process.

Development Tools – Development tools such as testing frameworks, debugging support, and IDE integrations help speed up and streamline the development process. Get a framework with readily available development tools for a streamlined development process.


Many businesses are now opting for cross-platform architecture thanks to its wide range of benefits. Developers, too, are using cross-platform architecture technology to transform the development processes.

While cross-platform development offers many benefits, it comes with a set of challenges that require developers to plan, use the right tools, and follow specific processes to deliver a successfully developed project.

Any queries? Get in touch with our mobile app development company – Aalpha information systems!


Written by:

Stuti Dhruv

Stuti Dhruv is a Senior Consultant at Aalpha Information Systems, specializing in pre-sales and advising clients on the latest technology trends. With years of experience in the IT industry, she helps businesses harness the power of technology for growth and success.

Stuti Dhruv is a Senior Consultant at Aalpha Information Systems, specializing in pre-sales and advising clients on the latest technology trends. With years of experience in the IT industry, she helps businesses harness the power of technology for growth and success.