12-factor approach and app methodology in mobile app development

With the passing era, the potency of developing web applications has changed colossally. The journey of transition is not easy. Earlier developers were comfortable with deploying on one server but with advancement and workload, they have to tackle multiple servers and distribution of load. The combination of different files with each other or originating from different servers is also taken into consideration. 

Adam Wiggins, the co-founder of Heroku proposed a methodology called “the twelve-factor app approach/methodology” in the year 2011 to resolve the developer’s confusion.

Now ensure productivity and scalability through this approach.

What is a twelve-factor app methodology?

This methodology is used for building software development services or building software as a service app. These services help to build an app with portability and resilience while deploying on the web. To develop complex web application this methodology help in providing best practices with an organized approach. Though the principles suggested are not forced to any particular database or programming language.


Before discussing an actual 12-factor approach lets understand the goal on which the guidelines are set and to be focused.

  • What is a specific goal behind the twelve-factor methodology and what it is trying to achieve? 

  • And how this methodology will try to achieve it?


Let’s see what the official website gives factor to build software-as-a-app 12-factor methodology. And how it is applied in the following cases 


twelve factor app methodology guidelines gkmit

  • “Use declarative formats for setup automation, to minimize time and cost for new developers joining the project” 

Developers involved in the ecosystem and working on new projects use this approach to reduce time and cost. When services provided start to increase in time this methodology comes in action.

  • “Have a clean contract with the underlying operating system, offering maximum portability between execution environments”

By dissociating the software elements maximum portability is offered among various execution environments that are laying under the operating system. A great amount of power is generated as software become platform-independent.

  • “Are suitable for deployment on modern cloud platforms, obviating the need for servers and systems administration”

If anybody wants to set up its own infrastructure off the cloud, it offers flexibility and ease of deployment. Along with this, the methodology suggests removing the need to configure your own server, and easy deployment of software on modern cloud platforms like AWS, Azure, GCP and many more.

  • “Minimize divergence between development and production, enabling continuous deployment for maximum agility”

Continuous deployment concept help in minimizing the difference between production and development environments. And, thus the process of debugging is made easier in the developer’s world.

  • “And can scale up without significant changes to tooling, architecture, or development practices”

Without any hassle, now through this methodology scale software perpendicular. In today’s software world, this feature is prime.






There should be exactly one codebase for a deployed service with the codebase being used for many deployments.


All dependencies should be declared, with no implicit reliance on system tools or libraries.


The configuration that varies between deployments should be stored in the environment.

Backing services

All backing services are treated as attached resources and attached and detached by the execution environment.

Build, release, run

The delivery pipeline should strictly consist of build, release, run.


Applications should be deployed as one or more stateless processes with persisted data stored on a backing service.

Port binding

Self-contained services should make themselves available to other services by specified ports.


Concurrency is advocated by scaling individual processes.


Fast startup and shutdown are advocated for a more robust and resilient system.

Dev/Prod parity

All environments should be as similar as possible.


Applications should produce logs as event streams and leave the execution environment to aggregate.

Admin Processes

Any needed admin tasks should be kept in source control and packaged with the application.


Advantages of the Twelve-factor approach in mobile application development

As we can see clearly how twelve-factor methodology has made the life of developers hassle-free and boost productivity. Now save a huge amount of time and cost by understanding and implementing these guidelines. Do consider these factors if you are planning to design a microservice architecture. When you are running 10+ services across different environments, yes it makes a lot of sense and is of great importance. It will help you solve problems that you were not able to note and check factors in case if you are already running microservices.

Now scale and maintain the app smoothly through the Twelve-factor methodology and lay a great foundation for building web apps and microservices.

YAY… Happy Designing and Good Luck!