An architecture for software is as necessary as a foundation for a home. It’s the base upon which any software is built and every app has its unique structure. The types of architectures used to build them may vary but they all can be covered under four major app structures widely used by the IT industry. They are MVC, MVP, MVVM, and Viper. But which one is ideal for your needs?
There are various debates in the IT world regarding the comparison of these four i.e. MVC vs MVVM vs MVP vs VIPER. By the end of this article, we will try to find out which one is better amongst all of them by taking a look at the advantages and disadvantages offered by each model and will try to compare them with each other. But before we move ahead, it’s necessary for us to understand how an API communicates with its data models.
How an API communicates with its data models?
Application Programming Interface or API is a software liaison that facilitates two application programs to communicate with each other. In simpler words, it’s like a messenger which delivers the information to the one who’s providing it after receives it from the user and then delivers the response back to the user, collected from the provider. APIs play a major role in modern organizations by introducing new potentials for better functionality and enhance product partnership strategies.
MVC: Model View Controller
It’s a software design pattern used for creating user interfaces to divide the program logic into 3 elements that are interconnected. It helps in separating the internal representations of information from the ways in which it’s presented to or accepted by the user.
Advantages of the MVC Model
- It offers simultaneous development and allows multiple users to work on the model, controller, and views.
- It provides high cohesion and enables the grouping of related actions on a single controller and that too logically, also grouping the views of a specific model.
- This model has loose coupling helping in low coupling among models, views or controllers.
- It has ease of modification as all the responsibilities are separate, simplifying the future development or modification.
- It allows a model to have multiple views.
Disadvantages of MVC Model
- The introduction of new layers of abstraction makes the navigation of the framework complex and it becomes necessary for users to adopt the decomposition criteria of MVC.
- While decomposing a feature into 3 artifacts, developers face the problem of scattering and inconsistency in representing multiple artifacts.
- The interaction between what the user uses and what he sees is quite heavy which increases the chances of clustering.
- The clustering state de-generates other parts into boilerplate shims or the code it’s based upon.
- It requires extensive knowledge of multiple technologies making it necessary for the developers to be experts at various technologies.
- UI components are generally factored into components that leave no scope for incremental benefits.
When we can use the MVC Model?
- When you need a faster development process.
- When you want to provide multiple views.
- When you want to build a support system for asynchronous techniques.
- When you don’t want the modification to disturb the entire model.
- When you want data results without formatting.
- When you want to build an SEO friendly platform.
- When our screen has a one-directional flow of instructions.
MVVM: Model View- View Model
This model helps in the separation of the GUI from the business development logic or back-end logic. It’s a value converter and it’s responsible for converting the data objects into a better presentable format.
Why it has been developed?
- To provide the XAML platforms with a natural pattern with its key enablers that are data binding.
- To keep all the concerns separated and avoid clustering.
- To establish a workflow between the developers and designers.
- To enhance the testability of the application.
Advantages of MVVM Model
- It facilitates users to swap components.
- It allows modifications in internal implementation without affecting others.
- Independent components are available for work.
- It offers the feature of isolated testing of the units.
Disadvantages of MVVM Model
- The communication between various MVVM components is complex.
- The process of binding the data is crucial.
- It doesn’t easily allow codes to be reused.
- It’s quite difficult for beginners to learn and start working with.
Under what conditions are the use of MVVM appropriate?
- When you want to build a code that is easy to understand and troubleshoot.
- When you want to avoid the cost of UI testing.
- To build a test-driven development platform.
- When you need to decouple the view from ViewModel.
- When our screen holds many views.
MVP: Model View Presenter Model
This model is a derivation of the architectural pattern of the Model View Controller Model (MVC). It’s vastly used for building user interfaces. The functionality of this model relies on the “middle-men” and all of the logical presentations are delivered to the user.
Advantages of MVP Model
- This model is easier to understand as it has a separate application model.
- There is no conceptual relationship between application components.
- The isolated testing of components is easier.
Disadvantages of MVP Model
- It has a one to one mapping between the presenter and the view.
- It uses controllers for manipulating the data models which causes cluttering in the backend.
- It’s necessary to have its own controllers for a model. Hence, an application with increased models can’t withstand MVP if the number of controllers is not increased as well.
When we can use the MVP Model?
- When our screen has a bi-directional flow of actions.
- When the result of the instruction given by the user affects the UI.
- When we have limited UI elements.
VIPER: View, Interactor, Presenter, Entity, and Router Model
As the name suggests, VIPER architecture has 5 parts and it’s based on the Single Responsibility Principle which provides it with smooth and clean functionality. The integral parts of a VIPER architecture are mentioned below:
View: It sends the actions taken by the user to the presenter and it’s responsible for displaying things as directed by the presenter.
Interactor: It contains business logic and acts as the backbone of an application.
Presenter: It gets the data from the interactor on user demand and sends it to the view so that it can be displayed. It’s also responsible for getting navigation details from the router or wireframe.
Entity: It consists of basic model objects used by the Interactor.
Router: It stores the navigation logic used for describing which screens need to be displayed and it’s generally written as a wireframe.
Advantages of VIPER Model
- It simplifies complex projects hence making it an ideal choice large teams.
- It makes the process scalable and enables developers to work simultaneously on a project.
- It allows the reusability of codes by decoupling it.
- It segments various applications based on their roles and distributes the responsibilities.
- The new features can be added easily such as writing automated tests.
Disadvantages of VIPER Model
- Lack of availability of resources to learn the VIPER design.
- It’s still not common in iOS developers and requires a certain level of knowledge and expertise to use it.
- It has a lot of files and a steep learning curve.
When can we use the VIPER Model?
- When you want to keep all the modules isolated.
- When you need a good testing environment.
- When you want to maintain low coupling.
- When the application requirements are well-formed.
- Should be used only when the developers completely understand the project.
The Bottom Lines
Every design pattern has its own relevance and areas of implementation. They all are often considered as one of the best architectures for iOS app development. For instance, the design models MVC, MVP, and MVVM suffer from a tight connection issue which makes the process of updating the software and testing it afterward, complex.
On the other hand, VIPER vs MVC, MVVM or MVP, puts the odds in favor of VIPER as it has high flexibility and testability as compared to other models which have poor testability. VIPER allows pattern distribution and helps in testing all the available functions which makes it an ideal choice for iOS development.