Software Trends You Should Be Excited About In 2018

2017 was an exciting time to be in the software product development and testing space. We witnessed the rise of DevOps as a solid development methodology, saw Agile become more mature, and the establishment of test automation as an essential to the success of any software development methodology. Iterative software development emerged as the enabler of delivering high-quality software and this resulted in generating greater customer satisfaction. 2018 promises to be no less transformational in the world of software development. Here’s a list of things that we are, and you should also be keeping an eye on in 2018.

Software Trends You Should Be Excited About In 2018

  1. Artificial Intelligence:

    While AI has made its presence felt in our lives in the form of Siri and Cortana, 2018 will witness AI influencing development and testing too. Right from conceptualization to software development and testing, and deployment and maintenance the AI impact is expected to be quite pronounced in 2018. Using AI, developers can create better software by creating richer functionalities that are more user responsive. The use of AI in software testing is also going to be quite tangible. With the use of AI, testing teams will be able to better optimize test automation cases, validate hard to process artifacts, simplify complex tasks, and create intelligent test scripts that are adaptive in nature -amongst other things.

  2. Progressive Web Apps:

    2018 is also looking like the year of Progressive Web Apps. Introduced by Google in 2015, PWA’s got a lukewarm reception in 2016. 2017 saw these apps gradually gain momentum as they presented a potential alternative to designing a native mobile app. Presently there are over 6.5 billion apps for download while the corresponding number for regular app use is on the decline according to Statista. As the number of mobile apps increase but lose their appeal, PWA’s present themselves as the next big hope for the mobile web. PWA’s makes use of the latest technologies to combine the best of web and mobile applications. These are more reliable, load quickly, respond faster, and provide an immersive UX all while being more maintainable.

  3. Single Page Application (SPA):
    Single Page Applications or SPAs continue to climb up the popularity charts. Initially used to build the private dashboard portions of SaaS platforms or Internet services, SPAs based on JavaScript will continue to rise in popularity in 2018. This is driven by the sense that they are high performance, reduce development time, and are device agnostic. While it still might be too early to assess the likely success levels, the growing popularity of SPAs in the development circles is already visible.

  4. Automation and Continuous Testing:
    Continuous testing is all set to become an overarching theme in 2018. This is owing to the accelerating shift towards DevOps, continuous delivery, agile etc. With this, we will see an increase in automation in the software testing space. We are sure to witness test automation become a first-class citizen in the age of digital transformation. As continuous delivery pipelines along with running software and services become an omnichannel business, software development and testing companies will want an even greater convergence of testing tools. In 2018, we can expect to see this convergence of functional test automation tools with mobile front-end test automation tools. These companies will no longer want to use one tool for running functional tests for browsers and other environments and another for mobile environments.
  5.  Motion UI:
    Web design trends in 2018 are all about being more cutting edge. As web design becomes more dynamic, smooth animation becomes a design imperative. In 2017, we saw Motion UI gain rapid popularity. This was because it gave developers the capacity to animate content faster and with greater ease without any in-depth knowledge of jQuery or JavaScript. Motion UI helps in capturing the attention of the user by easily adding movement and drama elements to pages.

Conclusion:

Along with all this, we could also expect to see the further evolution of strategies to engage the users more. An example in 2018 could be chatbots based on artificial intelligence to increase the efficacy of online communication.
2018 promises to be an important year in the software development business as software begins to touch our lives and work in every possible way. Clearly, technology is all set to embed itself in everything we do as almost all businesses become software driven. As the way people and companies use software changes – can the way we develop software afford to stand by the wayside and ignore the change?

There’s a Transformation Underway in Test Automation – Here’s What To Look For

The change in software development methodologies has not only impacted the manner in which software products are developed but have also turned software testing and QA on its head. Today, testing is not a solitary function anymore. Organizations now realize the role of great testing in the development of robust, high quality, and error-free software. This has increased the potential impact area of testing. As applications grow in complexity the test automation market experiences change as well. Here’s a look at the transformation that is underway in test automation:

Transformation in Test-Automation

  1. Increased Focus On Mobile Testing:
    With the number of mobile devices increasing consistently and the consequent ‘appification’ of the economy, the focus on mobile testing is only going to increase. Mobile application testing will continue to focus on performance, functionality, usability, compatibility and security testing. As the market for mobile devices continues to expand, mobile test automation will likely out-run cross-browser test automation. The growth of the open-source frameworks, the emergence of Mobile DevOps, and the app economy will contribute to the expansion of mobile test automation.

  2. Shift-Left Testing: 
    Shift-left testing is on its way to becoming a standard in the testing industry. As development mythologies such as Agile and DevOps mature, as does the complexity of software products and applications, the need to test early and test often become critical. We are increasingly witnessing software organizations lean towards Shift-Left testing where the testing process starts early in the development cycle. The objective of Shift-Left testing is to start testing right from the requirement phase itself to reduce the cost of bug identification. The adoption of Shift-Left testing is also dovetailing into Test Driven Development and Behaviour Driven Development. The aim? To develop error-free products without delays.

  3. The rise of Microservices testing:
    Instead of developing monolithic pieces of software, organizations are developing software that comprised smaller pieces. This independent and decoupled architecture a.k.a Microservices reduces inter-modular dependencies and enables faster releases along with ensuring scalability and manageability. Testing these applications can become quite complex. Hence the demand for enhanced levels of test automation and an increased focus on API testing.

  4. Focus on testing of SOA architectures:
    Testing of the web services and SOA architectures in today’s age of complex application integrations has become extremely important. Test automation initiatives have to focus on checking the end-to-end performance of applications. The aim is to ensure that the interconnected systems and parts communicate efficiently with one another and generate the expected response.

  5. End-to-end lifecycle automation:
    Test automation is ready to move out of the confines of functional test automation. There is a rise of web services, API’s and a growing data reliance. This demands end-to-end lifecycle automation. Automation of everything across the entire software lifecycle is becoming a necessity.

  6. Unification of collaboration tools:
    With collaboration becoming an imperative in the software development lifecycle, the growing need is for speed as well as agility. Developers, QA, operations engineers, and testers are looking at a unification of collaboration tools. Instead of using a separate set of tools according to the roles, to increase the effectiveness of testing initiatives and improve collaboration between teams, these teams will now be able to use the same set of tools and IDE’s.

  7. The DevOps impact on testing:
    Testing is increasingly feeling the DevOps impact. And this is only going to grow over the next year. We can expect to see a greater merging of roles of testing experts with developers and operational engineers. This is due to the rising need for collaboration in developing superior quality products and to accommodate the continuous agile cycles. This will also demand an increase in test automation as the need for continuous updates for quality and continuous integrations, rises in the development lifecycle.

  8. The move from performance testing to performance engineering:
    In order to drive user experiences, performance testing will make a shift towards performance engineering. The focus will be more on ensuring consistent application performance across different platforms, mobile devices, and operating systems. The demand for better user experiences and an increased focus on UX will further drive this shift from performance testing towards performance engineering. This approach will not only confirm that the software meets the performance requirements but will also ensure that the cost of development goes down.

  9. AI meets test automation:
    The adoption of Artificial Intelligence is gaining momentum. Software testing too is expected to become a playing field for AI. The use of AI in test automation will be to make the testing suites more intelligent, validate hard to process artefacts, automatically create test scenarios, and help test automation tools develop a learning approach. AI can do the heavy lifting in test automation and help testing teams generate possibly 100 times more test coverage and improve app performance by increasing testing performance.

Conclusion:

2016 and 2017 witnessed some major defining moments in the software testing landscape. We saw the role of testing become dominant in the development lifecycle. It has now been widely accepted that software testing and development cannot function in isolation if the end objective is to create a reliable and robust software product. In 2018 we can expect testing and test automation to continue with this evolution as new technologies and development methodologies emerge. The question for those of us in the software development game is – will we be ready?

5 Technologies That Technology Driven Startups Must Adopt Today.

As the dominance of technology increases, almost every day we are bombarded with the next ‘it’ technology that is designed to be the cure of all ills. In such an environment, technology-driven startups can find themselves lost in a maze of options. After all, making the right technology decision and leveraging the right technology can play a huge role in their success. As startups come under pressure to deliver faster and deliver better and create applications in extremely stringent timelines, here’s a look at five impactful technologies that tech-driven startups can adopt to be successful.

Cloud:

The cloud has evolved to be one of the most disruptive technologies of our times. It can be considered a big contributor to the high-speed growth of technology-driven organizations. Large organizations such as Airbnb, Pinterest, Dropbox etc. have been hugely successful owing to cloud technology. With the cloud, startups can store and manage large volumes of data easily and in a cost-effective manner since the cloud does not make any heavy infrastructure demands. It becomes a great option as seasonal spikes, scaling and hosting woes are laid to rest with it. Cloud has almost become the poster child of the ‘lean development’ movement as it has low fixed and variable costs and the capacity to scale as per business demands.

Software development in the cloud is also becoming quite popular in the development circuit. It enables real-time collaboration even in a distributed environment, assists in putting testing at the heart of software development, increases the speed of development, and aids capacity planning, updates, and releases easily.

JavaScript:

As front-end development gains popularity in the world of application development, JavaScript is one technology that technology-driven startups must look at. JavaScript assists front-end developers build fluid interactions using effectively designed code structures even in applications that have complex code structures. It helps developers manage concurrent operations with ease, enables faster programming using a host of frameworks such as jQuery, AngularJS, Backbone.js, ReactJS, or Bootstrap. This helps in streaming complicated commands by making them simpler. It provides cross-browser support – a must for all applications in today’s digital economy. It also provides a wealth of frameworks with predefined functions that makes adding functionalities easier and less time-consuming. JavaScript frameworks such as ReactJS, Angular.js make responsive design a piece of cake as well. Finally, JavaScript allows rendering of pages both on the client and the server side which helps in application maintainability, greater search engine optimization, and better application performance.

Ruby on Rails:

Ruby on Rails is an object-oriented full-stack web application framework. This framework allows organizations to develop easily maintainable, high-quality products. It can work on multiple platforms and allows organizations to come up with prototypes faster and helps in building ‘cool applications’ in a much shorter time frame. It aids the theory of ‘fail fast’ which can be of great help for startups to chart the future course of their product offering. RoR is a powerful language that has great security features and a flexible syntax debugger. RoR is a good choice for websites that need high scalability, enterprise applications and for software projects that demand faster development.

Angular JS:

An open-source framework, Angular JS has emerged as a great choice for developing responsive mobile web applications. It is an open source, JavaScript MVC framework. It helps developers make feature-rich and responsive applications suitable for both mobile and web applications leveraging the same codebase. Applications built using Angular JS are highly scalable and allow for easy implementation of upgrades, patches, and bug-fixes. Its object-oriented design principles make the case for easy maintainability.

Angular JS provides some great mobile components. Developers get the capability to create rich user interfaces on mobile environments to provide a smooth mobile experience. Since Angular JS uses reusable logic, it allows developers reuse web application logic on multiple devices across multiple platforms without compromising on the UI. Its declarative paradigm for creating patterns, the capability to load pages asynchronously, and use of lightweight code, assists in enhancing application performance. It also helps developers optimize application security features and hence becomes a great choice for enterprise applications. The icing on the cake is that Angular JS has an active community support, has a testing focus, and is easy to get started with.

NodeJS:

Over the past few years, NodeJS has firmly established its credibility as a reliable technology choice. The core functionality of Node JS is written in JavaScript which makes it a great choice for developing real-time applications. Since it uses the same language for both the front-end and back-end it increases the efficiency of the development process. Scaling of Node.js applications is also easier as it uses clusters for ensuring scalability, provides an inbuilt support for package management, is publicly available and also provides dependency and version management.

Node.js applications are also stronger and more resilient since they are made of smaller and reusable components. This also makes adding functionalities easier. Further, Node.js applications are designed to handle large traffic volumes and allow for actual data streaming. Node.js provides real-time collaboration tools and gives organizations the option to use it as a proxy server along with being easy to learn and highly secure.

Conclusion:

Choosing the right technologies can help technology-driven startups create high-value and successful software products. Startups can ensure that budgets are checked, timelines are met, and that work flows smoothly. Leveraging technology that is mature and is built to last makes development faster and efficient. Assessing the maintenance needs of the technology, compatibility, and security levels are a few things to consider for while making a technology choice. At the end of the day, technology-driven startups have to ensure that their technology choices pave the way for their growth story. Are you ready?

Does Front-End Web Development Demand A Different Testing Strategy?

It is becoming increasingly clear that the consumers of everything digital are growing visually and technologically more sophisticated each day. Today’s digital landscape demands smooth interactions, clean designs, logical usability, and seamless interactions. Iterative product development has become more mainstream.

This means that taking feedback from customers to build products and services that they would like to use is becoming an accepted way to build better products.

It is because of this growing need to create products that user’s love and will continue to use, that front-end development is rapidly becoming popular in the world of software development.

What is Front-end Development?

Front-end development works by combining design layouts and programming that powers the visuals and user interactions. The objective of front-end development is to create the visual display so that a user can interact with these displays smoothly. Owing to the large number of devices and device formats that are bombarding the market today, front-end development is becoming even more relevant to ensure great user experiences and accessibility. This also helps ensure that the information display is relevant and readable irrespective of the screen size. The objective of front-end development is also to ensure the website is displayed correctly across different browsers, operating systems, and devices and hence demands careful planning by the developer.
As the focus on usability and design increase incrementally, developers and product design teams can no longer work in silos. Collaboration has become a key in the world of software development and front-end development further cements this development aspect.

Testing in the Front-end World:

Front-end development is in itself quite complex and hence demands a comprehensive testing strategy. When doing front-end development, testing strategies have to cover the Presentation Layer (user interface), while the Business Layer (Application User Interface) and the Database layer will be covered by back-end testing.
Front end testing is performed on the GUI and is done to check the overall functionality of the application. Unlike back-end testing that involves databases and business logic testing, front-end testing does not demand any information storage in the database but needs the testers to be knowledgeable about the business demands and have a comprehensive understanding of automation tools and frameworks. Tests that fall under the purview of front-end testing are:

Here’s a look at a few considerations that front-end testing teams need to factor into a comprehensive and fool-proof testing strategy.

  1. What are you Testing?
    Front-end testers need to be clear about their testing objectives. Understanding functionality requirements and detailed specifications of requirements from all invested stakeholders are essential when creating a front-end testing strategy. Here while the focus in on bug detection, a greater focus is on meeting the functionality requirements and ensuring that all functional elements of a web page are displaying and working as intended.
  2. Who are you Testing for?
    Since front-end development focuses on usability and the user interface, front-end testers need to understand who their target audience is in order to understand customer preferences such as which devices do they prefer using, which OS and browser combinations are popular amongst them, what are the bandwidth and connection speeds they are used to, etc. This helps in creating a simpler testing strategy and helps testers prioritize the test methodology with ease.
  3. What are your Limits?
    Understanding the testing project limits is also essential during front-end testing so that testers do not have to depend on the ‘that’s good enough’ statement. Therefore, it is crucial to identify realistic testing budgets, including the project’s timeline. This helps ensure that testing is not rushed and to identify the main use cases to fulfill exactly what your target user base demands.
  4. What are your device and browser support targets?
    Front-end testing has a lot to do with device and browser support. Thus it becomes essential to define these support levels. However, front-end testing teams have to ensure that all content must be readable, all functionalities must work, navigation must work, and there is a minimal deviation from the approved graphic design.
  5. What is your performance target?
    Determining the performance target of the web application being developed is crucial for front-end testing to ensure satisfied clients and users. They have to agree on an acceptable score on say, Google’s PageSpeed Insights, to ensure that the application is performing optimally. Starting with the known pain points, creating good base-line tests to enable high-level testing, increasing accountability, and constantly revisiting the code base to ensure that the current implementation makes sense helps in achieving the set performance targets.
  6. Selecting the Right Testing Tools:
    The right testing tool is a formidable weapon for the front-end testers. While there are a number of testing tools available, choosing one that is not only cost effective but is also easy to use is key. There are quite a few factors to consider during the testing tool selection for front-end testing. The tool must make adding bugs, issues, tasks in an orderly manner easy, and helps in assigning bugs to the right team members with expected dates of completion. It must allow teams to upload screenshots, documents etc. related to the bugs, assist in detailed reporting, and aid testing to match the speed of development.

Front-end testing teams need to ensure that they invest their time and energy in building a comprehensive testing strategy and attempt to limit the time spent on fixing regressions. This ensures that more time can be invested in feature development and in making the existing code stronger and more resilient. Given that the end objective of front-end and back-end development are not the same, it is thus inevitable to have a different testing strategy for front-end development.

Why I Believe Giving Our Services Away To Startups Is A Good Idea?

“Pricing is not a math problem. It’s a judgment problem.” – Michael Dearing
Professor Stanford University Design School

Let me first hastily clarify that this piece is not about some going-out-of-business type of scheme to work for free for startups. This is about what we hope is an innovative way for startups to get a sense of whether their idea is workable or not, without having to cough up scarce big bucks. We have rolled out a free pilot (write back to me if you want more details) option for startups and I wanted to take this opportunity to try to explain just what motivated us to do that.

A few years ago, I had read a fascinating article, “Free! Why $0.00 is the future of business.” The article talked about the genesis of the “free” model with Gillette’s “Cheap razor, expensive refills” and then of how the internet had changed business models dramatically with the so-called “Freemium” approach. Much of what has been said applies more to products than services, but in our day and age when enterprises are being transformed digitally, I believe it’s time for services to catch up here.

Over the years Thinksys has worked with a bunch of startups. I also have the personal pleasure of being a part of the Plug and Play TechCenter in the Silicon Valley, probably the world’s largest startup accelerator. Several interactions have convinced me of some startup truths.

  1. Startups are a great segment to target
    The teams may be small to start with but the work is usually cutting-edge and always exciting. That, and the decisions are made quickly and transparently.
  2. They are looking for long term partners
    Assuming everything else works out, chances are the relationship will be a long one with guaranteed mutual benefit.
  3. They seek value
    It’s a bit of a myth that startups don’t have money. It’s true that resources are scarce but they are willing to spend the right amount of money if they believe they can get value
  4. Their timelines are short
    Lean startup, MVP, Agile approach – startups love all of these for the same reason – the accelerated pace of development. 2 weeks is a lifetime and 2 Quarters almost too long a timeframe to worry about.

Knowing this we set out to try and address a major pain point for startups in a manner that would work for them. Many startups, especially at an early stage, desperately seek validation of their idea. They want the opportunity to convert that product idea into a workable prototype that shows them what works and what doesn’t. In our software world, the challenge for them is that they may not have access to the technology skills needed to make that happen fast enough. They may not know what technology to choose, what architecture to put in place to adequately test their assumptions, and they almost certainly will not have the tech resources to put on the job to translate the idea into a working software product. Some startups, especially on the US West Coast, may have the benefit of tech co-founders but turning to them is also not a scalable solution. Hiring people is not easy, carries a lot of risk, and can take time. Under the circumstances, they could turn to an outsourced partner – indeed we have made the case that they should. This does not address one core issue though – that of cost.

It’s to address that worry that we decided that we would offer startups a free pilot. In our mind, this is a quick and dirty 2-week sprint. The idea is to take a reasonably clearly defined product idea and roll out as much prototype as is practically possible. Based on past experience, we believe that it’s possible to cover a fair amount of ground when working in an Agile fashion even over 2 weeks. Well, definitely enough for the startup to get a reasonable sense of what should come next. As an added benefit the startup can get a sense of our capabilities and how to draw maximum benefit out of a relationship with us. That said, I don’t want to position this as a “try before you buy” kind of deal – the idea is for the startup to come out the Pilot having made some definite progress. Something that helps them take the next steps forward – with us if it works for them.

It’s been said that the key to success of a business model with a “Free” element at its heart is to ensure that the customer really values the service you are offering, even if it is free. The other, equally important, facet is to ensure that at the end of the “free” service the customer is super-satisfied. Only then will he (or indeed she) feel the need to either carry on or to tell others about the value they received. We hope to be able to deliver that experience – now it’s over to the startups.

(If you want more information then ping us at [email protected], or head on over to our Contact Page.

The 5 Secrets Of Succeeding at Test Automation.

The report Testing Trends in 2017 – A Survey of Software Professionals” showed that an increasing number of development teams are deploying software faster – 14% doing so hourly, up from 10% last year. Clearly, to enable this pace of deployment the speed of testing has to increase too so that bug fixes can be faster and the feedback loop can be shortened. Perhaps, the prime enabler of faster testing is test automation and hence software development companies are focused on strengthening their test automation initiatives. Reports are that the test automation market is all set to expand at a CAGR of 15.4% from 2017 to 2025 to hit US$ 109.69 billion by 2025.

Having said this, test automation is no magic wand that can be simply waved to cure all testing related ills. Automation initiatives also demand investment, so there is increased pressure on organizations to ensure the ROI of these initiatives. In this blog, we look at the 5 secrets to ensuring test automation success.

  1. Align testing with business goals:
    First, it is essential to align testing with the expected business goals of the software application or service under development. Taking a requirement-driven approach that addresses all functional and non-functional needs of the software, and discussing these needs with the development team is essential to develop a relevant testing suite. Testers must also ensure maximum code coverage through smart test design that not only tests the boundary considerations using multiple test cases but also ensures thorough and detailed test coverage of the codes that implement the requirement.
  2. Optimal utilization of all testing and QA assets:Manual testers, automation engineers, domain experts, and product owners are also key QA assets along with test cases, test data and the testing infrastructure. While many might feel that manual testers are no longer relevant when test automation is implemented, this is not true. There are certain tests such as exploratory testing that can only be done by manual testers. Remember that test automation cannot test for everything. It is essential to rely on manual testers to identify problems at a contextual level since automated scripts are restricted by boundaries. Similarly, automation engineers should be employed to ensure that the right test automation technologies are being used, the scope of automation is well-defined and that the test preparation is such that it hastens the testing process.
    Testing teams should also take into consideration the expertise of domain experts and product owners. They can give a deeper understanding of how the user wants the software to perform and what needs it must fulfill. Test cases and test data are other areas of focus that improve the quality of test automation initiatives by ensuring comprehensive coverage of all testing scenarios. It is essential to pay close attention to the testing infrastructure for better software testing, downtime management, and utilization management.
  3. Focus on ‘what’ to test as much as ‘how’ to test:Some test automation initiatives fail because organizations look at achieving 100% automation. For the success of test automation, testing teams need to first identify the right candidates for automation. As a thumb rule, testing teams should identify those that are repetitive in the development cycle, identify the development environment, and validate the functionalities across this environment. Those tests that are repeatable and have to be done often such as functional testing, regression testing, unit testing, integration testing, smoke testing, and performance testing are more likely automation candidates.
  4. Treat the test suite like a product:To stay in step with today’s dynamic business environment, organizations have to keep product evolution in mind. This suggests that as the software product evolves the test suite has to evolve too – just like a product would. Therefore, testing professionals should analyze their test suite carefully and identify test plans that will stay relevant in the long run and which test plans will become redundant. Changing the entire test suite in the event of a product upgrade is impossible. Instead of having a monolithic test plan it makes greater sense to have more modular test plans. A modular test plan that is built using smaller and independent test cases ensures that if one test fails then the entire test suite does not come tumbling down and that if something breaks in one test then only that one segment can be changed and you don’t have to change all the scripts associated with it. Along with this, testing teams should also focus on the maintenance needs of the test automation suite and chart its lifecycle to determine its maintenance needs. Testing teams should also focus on creating automation suites that are resistant to changes in the UI to ensure that the suite can work with future versions of the product.
  5. Integrate testing with development:The aim of test automation is to speed up development, increase code coverage, and assist in keeping timeline overruns under control. To achieve this, it is essential to place testing at the heart of software development for better testing and faster delivery. As more and more organizations are adopting development methodologies such as DevOps and Agile, it becomes all the more essential to be ready with all the components of your test automation strategy before the development process begins. This will ensure the success of the test automation initiative and that the final product matches the expectations of the user.

In closing, here’s a bonus tip! Testing teams should not be lax when designing the testing code as the quality of your testing code will impact the testing process. b, robust, and quality code will ensure that the testing code becomes an asset for future use while ensuring the success of the existing test automation initiative.

Now that you are equipped with 5 secrets to Test Automation success, it’s time to go out and look at your initiatives – and make them work for you!

Why the Cloud will Rule the 2017 eCommerce shopping season?

Online retailers are rolling up their sleeves in preparation for the holiday season that is practically upon us. According to a report by IBM online sales have increased by 21.5%, of which 57.2% are mobile shoppers. Global online sales in this period are projected to touch 8.8% of the total retail spending in 2018, a considerable sum when you consider that the industry is geared to haul in $2 trillion in 2017.

That being said, online retailers have their work cut out for them to avoid becoming that bad headline during the blockbuster season. In the past, we have been witness to many such incidents where established retailers buckled under the pressure of high traffic during Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. In 2016 we saw the Macy’s website succumb to the holiday e-traffic on the second biggest online shopping day of the year, Black Friday. The year before it was Target and Neiman Marcus, and Best Buy in 2014. Clearly, performance is of strategic importance for eTailers as almost 67% of Millennials and 6% of Gen Xers prefer online shopping to in-store shopping. As time and performance become the ultimate currency, here’s a look at why the Cloud is all set to rule the eCommerce shopping season to help the eTailers pass this stress test.

  1. Speed and Performance:
    The cloud is built for speed and performance and the consumers of today look for just these qualities in an online store. Consumers are looking to access the products, assess and compare them and to proceed to complete the check-out in the shortest possible timeframe. Any lags here, whether it is to load pages or to complete the transaction is only going to lead to cart abandonment. The cloud servers and platforms are designed to give eCommerce sites the advantage of speed with optimal performance.
  2. Scalability:
    An eCommerce store has to be ready to handle seasonal spikes in heavy traffic, especially during the special sale days. The cloud gives an eCommerce store the capability to increase their capacity, in terms of the bandwidth, storage, CPU etc. on-demand, when the eTailers need it. This gives eStores the capability to scale up to cope with the increase in traffic and scale back down when the holiday rush is over. Cloud servers bring operational agility to eCommerce stores and allow them to deal with high traffic much faster than in-house applications or servers.
  3. Security:
    Delivering a secure shopping experience is of paramount importance for eTailers. A number of high-profile data breaches and vulnerabilities have impacted consumer confidence. This means that eCommerce vendors have to ensure that they take all the necessary steps to deliver a secure shopping experience to their consumers. Leveraging cloud managed services, eTailers can easily manage vulnerabilities as the software gets updated automatically regularly. This immediately eradicates vulnerabilities from legacy applications.Additionally, now cloud platforms have their own vulnerability scanning and intrusion detection, and prevention measures which increase the security of the eCommerce platform. The cloud also helps in data protection since all the data is stored securely on the cloud servers. Most cloud providers go for ISO 27001 certifications and various types of security audits to make their solutions more secure for their customers. This allows security layers to be implemented at application, facility, and network levels, thus ensuring complete data protection.
  4. Disaster Recovery:
    The cloud gives eCommerce stores great disaster recovery capabilities. If an eCommerce website is hacked or if the server develops a fault, the consequences would be enormous especially during the holiday season. However, with the backup and recovery solutions provided by cloud server, eTailers can rest easy. The disaster recovery solutions are easy to implement, cost-effective and use the expertise of the cloud hosting company, making the cloud even more attractive for eCommerce.
  5. Greater control and reduced burden:
    One of the greatest advantages that eCommerce stores get with the cloud is that of greater business control. They can reduce the hardware burden, the time and money spent on making software upgrades and their dependence on IT. The cloud gives retailers the flexibility to seamlessly integrate with third-party solutions (ERP, CRM etc.) that often go hand in hand with robust API-driven integration. Product upgrades and changes to the eCommerce sites can be done easily across devices. This helps eTailers improve conversion rates. By leveraging Cloud testing, eTailers can determine how their site will respond under a load based on a set of defined parameters, and from a variety of virtual device types, including smartphones, tablets, and desktops. Along with this the cloud also helps eCommerce sites respond to issues and bugs faster and also provide a connected digital experience across all devices and channels.

Along with getting their marketing plans ready for the holiday season, eCommerce sites have to make sure that this time around they are ready to face the holiday rush. In the growing eCommerce landscape, hope is not a strategy. So, instead of hoping for a good holiday run, prepare for one by leveraging a robust cloud solution to ensure great site performance. Do this to set the cash registers ringing this holiday shopping season!

Why You Should Consider ReactJS for Your Web Application?

It’s a JavaScript library by Facebook. It helps in building very attractive and interactive user interfaces. It offers great performance and is extremely easy to use for programmers. Today, New York Times, Slack, Pixnet and other 100,000+ such well-known sites with heavy traffic use this library.

Yes, we are talking about ReactJS – the JavaScript library which is the hot favorite of developers and is climbing the popularity charts every day. According to the 2016 StackOverflow developer survey, React.Js’s popularity had recently increased by over 300%.

What is making ReactJS so popular? Let’s take a look

  1. Quick Implementation:
    The very fact that ReactJS is a library and not a full-fledged framework makes it extremely easy to implement into any project. It is just a view layer and that’s what makes it so attractive in terms of quick adoption.
  2. Fast Rendering:
    This is one of the best features of ReactJS. The smart methods in ReactJS mitigate the amount of DOM operations and optimize and accelerate the updates process – all these things make the overall rendering very fast.
  3. Code Stability:
    ReactJS uses downward data binding. Through one directional data flow and by making ReactJS just a view system, Facebook has ensured that any changes to the child elements don’t affect their parent elements and parent data. While allowing for direct work with components, it ensures that the code remains stable. Changing an object is also very easy – the developers simply need to modify its state and apply updates. With this, only the allowed components are upgraded maintaining the overall code stability.
  4. Ease of Use:
    ReactJS uses JSX which is a HTML-like syntax. It allows the creation of JavaScript objects using HTML syntax and simplifies the creation of React tree nodes with attributes. Anybody familiar with HTML can very easily use JSX and build a ReactJS application. The code built using JSX is machine-readable. It allows the creation of compound components in one compile-time verified file.
  5. Code Reusability:
    Another big advantage of ReactJS is its ability to reuse code components. The reusability of components saves a lot of time and efforts for developers. Managing system updates is very easy with ReactJS because every change does not necessarily affect each component in the system. The React components are isolated and a change in one does not affect the others. This allows the developers to reuse the components and makes coding more precise and comfortable for the developers.
  6. Easier Debugging:
    One of the things which developers love about ReactJS is the descriptive warnings. New developers working with ReactJS find it very useful to know what exactly went wrong, where is the error in the code and what is the best way to fix it. Debugging becomes very easy and less time consuming with React.
  7. Constantly Developing Library:
    Facebook released ReactJS as the first JavaScript-connected open source project. Developers using ReactJS have free access to a variety of useful applications and tools from the community at large. There are over 1000 open-source contributors who are working with ReactJS library and enhancing it every day. Apart from this, there is an excellent community support extended through groups, conferences, and documentation.

Real-World Examples of ReactJS Usage:

Asana:
This web and mobile application which helps teams improve collaboration and communication moved to ReactJS in 2016 to create a more maintainable, readable, testable, and performant application.

Atlassian:
The creator of products like JIRA, Confluence, HipChat, etc. moved to React for its simplicity, component-based structure, testability, and maintainability.

Netflix:
This leader in the internet delivery of TV shows and movies, transformed its desktop and mobile user interface in 2015 using React. React was selected for its ease of use and runtime performance.

Yahoo Mail:
Yahoo Mail, which has been around since 1999, decided to use ReactJS + Flux when it wanted to build its next-generation Mail product. ReactJS was chosen for its independent deployment of components, easy debugging, and shorter learning curve.

Apart from these, there are numerous other examples such as Uber, Salesforce, KISSmetrics, Tesla, Scribd, Reddit, Periscope and many more which have leveraged the power of ReactJS to build world-class interactive web applications.

With ReactJS, organizations can quickly and easily build UI rich applications with good performance. With its component re-usability feature, it offers code re-usability and saves a lot of time and effort for developers. It is extremely easy to edit, test, and debug the code which makes the web applications very maintainable.

If you are looking to develop SEO-friendly, interactive web applications with great UI and expect your application to handle heavy traffic, it’s time to migrate to ReactJS.

The Top 10 Performance Testing Considerations

Today’s digital consumer has no time for slow, error-prone apps or applications that crash when the load is high. Sadly, there are abundant examples of websites and portals crashing under the weight of heavy traffic. Target, Amazon and other such giants have been subject to crashes that have resulted in the loss of millions on their big sale days. The banking industry too has been subject to these crashes. In recent times, customers of banks such as Barclays, RBS, couldn’t access their banking mobile app since their sites were experiencing major traffic on payday. However, such events can dent the confidence of customers and ultimately have a negative impact on the bottom line. This is why thorough performance testing is essential.

What is Performance Testing?

Performance testing measures validates and verifies the quality attributes of the system such as responsiveness, scalability, stability, and speed under a variety of load conditions and varying workloads. The types of performance testing are:

Load Testing –
Testing to check the system with incrementally increasing load in the form of concurrent users and increasing transactions. Done to assess the behavior of the application under test, till the load reaches its threshold value.

Stress Testing –
Testing to check the stability of the software when hardware resources are not sufficient.

Spike Testing –
Testing to validate performance characteristics when the system under test is subjected to varying workloads and load volumes that are increased repeatedly beyond anticipated production operations for short time periods.

Endurance Testing –
This is a non-functional testing and involves the testing of a system with expected load amounts over long time periods to assess system behavior.

Scalability Testing –
Testing to determine at what peak level the system will stop scaling.

Volume Testing –
This tests the application with a large volume of data to check its efficiency and monitors the application performance under varying database volumes.

While undertaking performance testing, these top 10 considerations need to be kept in mind:

  1. Test Early And Test Often:
    Leaving performance testing as an afterthought is a recipe for testing disaster. Instead of conducting Performance testing late in the development cycle, it should take the agile approach and be iterative throughout the development cycle. This way the performance gaps can be identified faster and earlier in the development cycle.
  2. Focus On Users Not Just Servers:
    Since it is real people that use software applications, it is essential to focus on the users while conducting performance testing along with focusing on the results of servers and clusters running the software. Along with measuring the performance metrics of clustered servers, testing teams should also focus on user interface timings and per-user experience of performance.
  3. Create Realistic Tests:
    Assessing how a software application will respond in a real-world scenario is essential to ensure the success of performance testing. Thus, creating realistic tests that keep variability in mind and taking into consideration the variety of devices and client environments to access the system is essential. Also important is mixing up device and client environment load, varying the environment and data, and ensuring that load simulations do not start from zero.
  4. Performance is Relative:
    Performance might mean something to you and something else to the user. Users are not sitting with a stopwatch to measure load time. What the users want is to get useful data fast and for this, it is essential to include the client processing time when measuring load times.
  5. Correlating Testing Strategy With Performance Bottlenecks:
    In order to be effective in performance testing creating a robust testing environment and gaining an understanding of the users perspective of performance is essential. It is also essential to correlate performance bottlenecks with the code that is creating these problems. Unless this is done problem remediation is difficult.
  6. Quantifying Performance Metrics:
    In order to assess the efficacy of the performance tests, testing teams need to define the right metrics to measure. While performance testing, teams should thus clearly identify:

    • The expected response time – Total time taken to send a request and get a response.
    • The average latency time.
    • The average load time.
    • The longest time taken to fulfill a request.
    • Estimated error rates.
    • The measure of active users at a single given point in time.
    • Estimated number of requests that should be handled per second.
    • CPU and memory utilization required to process a request.
  7. Test individual units separately and together :
    Considering that applications involve multiple systems such as servers, databases, and services, it is essential to test these units individually and together with varying loads. This will ensure that performance of the application remains unaffected with varying volumes. This also exposes weak links and helps testing teams identify which systems adversely affect the others and into which systems should be further isolated for performance testing.
  8. Define the Testing Environment:
    Doing a comprehensive requirement study, analyzing testing goals and defining the test objectives play a big role in defining the test environment. Along with this, testing teams should also take into consideration logical and physical production architecture, must identify the software, hardware, and network considerations, and compare the test and production environment when defining the testing environment needed.
  9. Focus on Test Reports:
    Test design and test execution are essential components of good performance testing but to understand which tests have been effective, which need to be reprioritized and which ones need to be executed again testing teams must focus on test reports. These reports should be systematically consolidated and analyzed and the test results should be shared, to communicate the results of the application behavior to all the invested stakeholders.
  10. Monitoring and Alerts:
    To ensure continuous peak performance, testing teams have to set up alert notifications that can intimate the right stakeholders if load times fall below normal or in the event of any other issue. This ensures proactive resolution of performance bottlenecks and guarantees good end user experience.

Along with these points, in order to be successful with performance testing, testing teams should utilize the right set of automation tools. These will help in fast-tracking testing initiatives with the least amount of effort, identify the right candidates for automation and create robust and reusable tests to further testing efforts. They should also have a defined troubleshooting plan that includes responses to known performance issues. Finally, testing teams should think outside the box and take into account a broad definition of performance that takes into account factors that users care about, the infrastructure needed to execute realistic tests and look at ways of collaborating with developers to create performance-driven software products. In a performance-driven world – shouldn’t your app have the strength to keep up?

5 Reasons Python continues to Rule the Popularity Charts

Web development is hardly an easy task. Using a complicated programming language to that mix can often be a recipe for disaster. In order to make robust and user-friendly applications that the consumer loves to use, developers thus need to use a language that is highly functional without the complexity, is easy to implement and puts emphasis on code readability. Python, an open-source and object-oriented programming language, has continued to rank highly as one of the world’s most popular programming languages. According to Stack Overflow, Python has been the fastest growing programming language of 2017 and has overtaken Java and JavaScript for the first time this year. So what makes Python a developer’s favorite? Let’s take a look at some compelling reasons.

  1. More Features With Lesser Code:
    Python has the benefit of having a clear syntax and its simplicity. Since Python is easy to learn and is a relatively shorter language when compared to other programming languages it is easier to develop and debug. The features in this language are simple to graph because developers do not need to emphasize greatly on the syntax. Since the syntax of the language resembles pseudo code, developers can easily build more functions and features using fewer lines of code. This helps developers maximize code writing and helps them roll out software products to meet the demanding timelines of the present day. Further, the simplicity of the language also reduces programmer efforts and the time taken to develop large and complex applications.
  2. Extensive Support Libraries:
    Python gives programmers access to extensive support libraries. These libraries include areas such as Internet protocols, web service tools, string operations, and operating system interfaces. A lot of the popular programming tasks have already been scripted into these standard libraries which helps in significantly reducing the volume of code to be written. This also helps developers build functioning prototypes faster and reduces the time and resource wastage. This also helps in the ideation process, an often overlooked part of web development.
  3. Flexibility:
    Python is a high-level programming language but is far more flexible than most programming languages. There are many robust Python implementations that are integrated with other programming languages such as Jython, or Python integrated with Java, PyObjc, or Python written with ObjectiveC toolkits, CPython, a version with C, IronPython, that is designed for compatibility with .NET and C# and RubyPython which is Python combined with Ruby. This helps developers run Python in different programming scenarios. The source code written in Python can be run directly without any compilation, making it easier for developers to make changes to the code and assess the impact change almost immediately. Since it does not demand code compilation it further reduces the coding time significantly.
    According to Gartner, almost 90% of enterprises are using open-source software to build business-critical applications. Since Python was not created to address any one specific programming need, it is not driven by templates of API’s. This also makes the language more flexible and makes it well-suited for rapid and advanced application development for all kinds of applications. This enables faster time-to-market for enterprise applications.
  4. Robust Nature:
    Python is a solid, powerful and robust programming language. This is one of the reasons why some of the leading organizations across the globe such as Bank of America, Reddit, Quora, Google, YouTube, DropBox, for example, have chosen it to power some of their most critical systems. Since Python has fewer lines of code, it becomes more maintainable and is prone to fewer issues than any other language. Python also has the capability to scale easily to solve complex problems making it a programming favorite.
  5. Wide Range of Development Tools:
    Depending on the requirement, Python gives developers the advantage of a wide range of frameworks, libraries and development tools. Developers can leverage a number of robust frameworks such as Flask, Django, Cherrypy, Bottle, and Pyramid to build applications in Python easily. With increasing demand for custom big data solutions that demand features to collect, store, analyze and distribute a large amount of structured and unstructured data, Python gives developers the tools for data analysis and visualization as well. Developers can also use specific Python frameworks to add desired functionalities to statistical applications without writing additional code. Python libraries such as NumPy, Pandas, SciPy and Matplotlib further help in simplifying development of big data and statistical applications.Python also has a number of GUI toolkits and frameworks such as Camelot, PyGTK, WxPython, CEF Python etc. that helps developers write standalone GUI applications in Python rapidly.

Python presents itself as a comprehensive programming language that has basic tenets and simple instructions. This increases the level of accuracy and makes it easy to identify mistakes in development. Its simplicity allows developers to create system administrative programs to direct all processes correctly and efficiently as well. Additionally, Python has search-engine-friendly URL’s, making it SEO friendly. Given that it is a free programming language it also reduces upfront project costs. It has a rich web asset bank to support developers and gives developers the capability to combine it with other programming languages and technologies using specific implementations. Given the breadth of its capabilities, it is hardly a surprise that Python today is continuing to rule the development popularity charts. Has your application development turned to Python yet?

Will Software Testing Prove Digital Transformation’s Achilles Heel?

“MarketsandMarkets research estimates the global digital transformation market is expected to grow from $150.70 Billion in 2015 to $369.22 Billion by 2020

Digital Transformation is on everyone’s lips today. Companies across the globe are looking at opportunities to use technology to transform business processes, improve enterprise performance, and consequently achieve better business outcomes. We have seen the adoption of analytics, embedded devices, business process digitization, rise of RPA (Robotic Process Automation) etc. as some elements of the digitization drive. Improved business models and operational processes and enhanced customer experience are the three key areas of focus. Enterprises are leveraging technology heavily to remain relevant and ahead of the curve in today’s digital enterprise. According to Forrester Research, the top three drivers of digital transformation are improved customer experience, improved time to market and increased the speed of innovation. Thus, the fact that almost two-thirds of CEO’s of the top Global 2000 companies plan to put digital transformation at the heart of their corporate strategy by the end of 2017 hardly comes as a surprise.

Our contention is that given that the heavy lifting for pretty much all transformation initiatives is done by software-driven technology, these initiatives can only be successful if software testing gets its due place in the transformation cycle.

While a lot of importance is placed on increasing the level of automation within the enterprise and streamlining processes when embarking on the digital drive, far too many organizations ignore the role of testing in making these initiatives successful. Since digital transformation initiatives demand heavy investments organizations can justifiably claim the rewards of the transformation initiatives only when software testing ensures software that works exactly as intended.

One of the key elements of digital transformation is Business Process Automation. Using technology enabled automation, organizations are looking at simplifying and improving business workflows and increasing efficiencies. Business Process Automation reduces human error and helps businesses adapt to dynamic market demands faster. During BPA, organizations have to focus on infrastructural upgrades and identify redundant processes and replace them with newer, efficient processes. In this transition period, the role of QA and testing becomes indispensable. In order to ensure that the new processes deliver on the promise of greater productivity, efficiency, and reduced errors, and to guarantee the quality and stability of the process, it becomes imperative to test early and test often. By testing the new business processes, its components and application area thoroughly, organizations can confirm that all business rules and business logic are working correctly. Any defects or deviations in the same are recorded and suitably amended before the process is launched.

Along with improving business processes and workflows, organizations are embarking on digital transformation initiatives to improve customer experiences. Driving good customer experiences has always been an enabler of business success. The customer of today is more technologically informed, digitally savvy, and on the lookout for differentiated experiences. Organizations thus, have to ensure that the quality of their customer experience lives up to these expectations. In order to deliver experiences of the future, organizations have to ensure the flawless quality of their products, as well as of every interface the customer has with the organization in buying or using the product or service. Whether it is an application created for customer experience or improving processes to deliver high-quality products, organizations have to focus on testing to deliver on these metrics.

The role of testing becomes even more pronounced in digitization initiatives when it comes to security. While digital transformation initiatives do benefit the enterprise, inadequate testing and QA strategies can leave the applications exposed to hacks, bugs, and vulnerabilities. Business critical applications that contain customer sensitive data must have the highest level of security and cannot be subject to vulnerabilities and risks. Security breaches can cost organizations heavily and lead to loss of customer trust and consequently the loss of market share.

Organizations are embarking on digital transformation initiatives to create value both within the organization and for their customer. With a plethora of technologies at their disposal, organizations are spoilt for choice to build the right experiences and services. The main aim of digital transformation is to drive quality transformation. In their digital transformation journey, organizations will witness the need to adopt new age technologies and will witness many challenges in the process of implementing digital change. Integration of new technologies with existing platforms, the efficiency of new business applications, the implementation of new technologies within the new work culture etc. are just some of the challenges. There is also the growing dependence on the digital backbone that gets created – in a sense, there is no going back but this creates a single point of failure too. These challenges become inherently easier to manage if the organization focuses on building quality assessment models and metrics to measure the efficiency of the digital processes.

With the rise of the digital enterprise, software testing cannot remain confined to the realm of the development lifecycle alone. To enable seamless integration and working of software systems and processes as demanded by digital transformation, it is imperative that organizations ensure that strong QA and testing processes become a part of the transformation initiatives. Otherwise, software testing will prove to be the Achilles’ heel in digital transformation journeys.

Should Beta testers be Professional Testers?

Handing over the newly developed software application or system to its intended user or group of users to evaluate its functional and non-functional quality is a good move as the system’s functionalities would be executed by the end users from the user’s perspective in the real world environment and condition. This process of evaluating the quality of software quality by hands of its targeted users is generally termed as beta testing in software quality assurance process.

Beta testing phase marks the absence of professional testers and involves the participation of intended users. The primary advantage of performing beta testing both from technical and business perspective is that before the release of the software application, it is actually tested by the real users at a much lower cost compare to cost to be incurred on professional testers. Game testing is a live example of beta testing, where passionate and ardent gamers are invited to test the features and qualities of the beta version of the gaming application. Although, involvement of non-professional testers(end users) for testing the gaming application could be acceptable at some extent due to absence of multiple & larger functionalities, features and complexities, but may lacks quality testing for other types of software applications.

So, Should beta testers be professional testers?

It would be irrelevant to give judgement in favour or against the involvement of professional testers in beta testing as beta testers. Here, we are stating some advantage/pros of employing users and professional tester as beta tester in beta testing.

When beta tester is an user.

  • Evaluation and assessment of software application from user’s perspective.
  • Consistent focus and inquisitiveness to improve or correct the defects or issues imparting the need to improve quality from user’s perspective.
  • Most of the time, beta testers are the loyal users where they are affectionate by the organization or company’s brand, value or products. Therefore, they will be interested and sincere in their task of testing.
  • Less cost of testing the system.
  • Ultimately, it’s the customer who validates the system.

When beta tester is a professional tester

  • Involvement of professionalism, skills and experience.
  • Professional testers are well aware of the techniques, methods and tools to dig, explore and test each and every, minute and major features and functionalities.
  • User will find difficult to distinguish between a feature and a defect but not the professional testers.
  • Professional testers will be able to explain defects precisely and perfectly compared to user, to fix or correct the explored defect.
  • Professional testers can effectively write & describe the steps to reproduce defects, which may seems to be impossible for the users.
  • Sometimes, the user may not be available due to its commitment towards any other home or official work. However, Professional testers are bound to their roles and responsibilities with fixed hour of their duty.
  • Professional testers can make and know the usage of tools and devices to effectively and qualitatively test the system, which may seems to be infeasible from user side.
  • Professional tester helps in defining and stating the severity and priority of each identified bug, whereas a user will find difficult to relate bugs with the terms severity and priority.

Based on the above stated facts and points, you can yourself decide the answer to the question- “Should beta testers be professional testers?”

How the Microservices Landscape Has Changed In The Last Year & a Bit?

2016 proved to be the year of Cloud, DevOps, and Microservices. While organizations across the globe realized that Microservices was a great way to leverage the potential of the cloud, it was made evident that DevOps and Microservices worked better together to provide business agility and increase efficiencies. It became evidently clear that traditional, large and monolithic application models and architectures did not have any place in the organization of the future. Technologies such as the cloud demanded application architectures that enabled greater scalability with workload changes and greater flexibility to accommodate the evolving needs of the digital enterprise. 2016 proved that monolithic application architectures running on the cloud did not deliver the promised benefits of the cloud and that a Microservices architecture was best suited to leverage the benefit of this technology.

  1. The Bump on the Road
    In one of our blogs published last year, we had spoken of Microservices and the testing needs of applications built using the microservices architecture. One of the greatest challenges of microservices testing is testing each and every component individually as well as a part of an interconnected system. Each component or service is expected to be a part of an interconnected structure and yet is independent of it. However, as Microservices adoption increased, a number of organizations also realized that despite the promise, latency issues when accessing these applications continued. Along with this, Microservices brokered by API management tools further escalated the latency problem since that introduced an additional layer between the user and the microservice. Also, Microservices used up a large amount of virtual machine resources when they were deployed on virtual machines.
  2. Microservices and Containers – A Match Made In Heaven
    In 2016, the value of using Microservices and the Cloud became evident. 2017 promises to show the value of Microservices with Containers to break the barriers that impede cloud usage. One of the key problems plaguing Microservices in 2017 is that of resource efficiency and Containers can be used to solve this problem. Organizations are leaning in to use Containers with Microservices. Containers increase the performance of these applications and aid portability and also decrease hardware overhead costs.Containers, unlike virtual machines, allows the break down of the application into modular parts. This allows different development teams to work on different parts of the application simultaneously without impacting the other parts. This aids the speed of development, testing, application upgrades and deployment. Since there is a reduced duplication of large software elements, multiple microservices can easily run on a single server. As compared to VMs, Microservices would deploy faster on Containers. This helps during horizontal scaling of applications or services with load or if a microservice has to be redeployed.Along with increasing resource and deployment efficiency, Container adoption in Microservices has been increasing owing to the level of application optimization Containers offer. Container clouds also are networked on a much larger scale and allow the service discovery pattern to locate new services in the microservices architecture. While this level of optimization can be achieved by VM’s, it becomes more complex since these demand explicit management policies.
  3. Rise of Microservices In DevOps:
    The past year also saw an increased use of Microservices in DevOps. Since Microservices offers the benefits of scalability, modifiability, and management owing to its independent structure, it fits in comfortably with the DevOps concept. Microservices offer the benefit of increased agility owing to shorter build, test and deployment cycles, making it perfect to complement a DevOps environment. With the increasing adoption of Containers in Microservices, organizations are now able to use the DevOps environment better to deliver new services by streamlining the DevOps workflow. Fault isolation also becomes inherently easier by using Microservices in DevOps. Each service can be deployed independently and identifying a problematic component becomes easier.
  4. Automation Focus Increases:
    Organizations leveraging Microservices and DevOps are also increasing the levels of automation in the testing initiatives. Owing to the DevOps methodology, test automation has found a firm footing in the microservices landscape with testing in production, proactive monitoring and alerts becoming a part of the overall quality plan.A year is a long time in the field of software development. When it comes to Microservices we are seeing organizations leveraging development methodologies like DevOps and technologies such as Containers in a symbiotic manner to propel growth, increases efficiencies and improve business outcomes for all. How has your Microservices journey been?

Top Trends Of The Future That Will Drive Mobile Apps

In the past few years, there has been an explosive growth in the number of mobile apps with over 2.1 billion users reportedly having access to smartphones around the world. As per reports from Touchpoint- adults over 25 years use their smartphones almost 264 times a day, which includes both text and calling. The number is even greater among people in the age group between 15-24 at 387 times a day.

The biggest names in all areas of business such as Amazon, Bank of America, and Walmart have been actively using mobile applications for boosting their customer and brand engagement strategies. Even small and mid-sized firms are seen following this trend and mobile application development continues to grow at a rapid pace. In this post let us look at some options available in mobile app development and some future trends for mobile app technologies:

Refresher (Feel free to skip ahead if you know the types of Mobile Apps)

  1. Native Mobile Apps:
    The first thing that comes to the mind while creating mobile apps is a native mobile app which is coded in a specific programming language such as Java for Android or Objective C for IOS. These apps are designed specifically for a particular platform and guarantee high performance with greater reliability to deliver a better user experience.
  2. Hybrid Mobile Apps:
    Hybrid mobile apps can be developed using a combination of technologies such as HTML, CSS, Javascript etc. They can be installed on a device like a native app but they mainly run on a web browser. In 2015, HTML 5 seemed to attract a lot of attention from many leading companies such as Facebook, Xero, and LinkedIn. However, the trend seems to be declining from last year and companies still continue to rely on native apps.
  3. Web Apps:
    Web apps are mainly of three types-traditional, responsive and adaptive. Traditional web apps comprise websites, whereas responsive web apps display a different design when viewed on the mobile devices. The biggest advantage of using web apps is they are developed using some of the most popular languages and to a great extent are cross-platform.So, you with us so far? Now onto the future.
    Trends that will shape the future of mobile apps.
    According to some recent predictions, an estimated 268 million mobile apps are likely to be downloaded this year, generating a revenue of $77 Billion for companies that use them as tools for their businesses. Mobile application development driven by advancements in technology is increasingly becoming a critical part of business success. This makes it critical for businesses to develop a solid vision for the future.

Here are some of the key trends that will change the future of mobile apps:

  • Augmented Reality set to be a game changer:
    In 2016, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality created a revolution in the gaming industry with games such as Pokemon Go, Sky Siege, IOnRoad, and myNav that grew immensely popular. According to statistics from Goldman Sachs Global Investment, the market size of different AR/VR software for various use cases in 2025 would be as follows: Healthcare-$5.1 billion, Engineering-$4.7 billion, Real estate-$2.6 billion, Retail-$1.6 billion. Over the upcoming months get set as AR and VR experiences start appearing more frequently in traditional mobile apps too.
  • IOT and Wearable devices will be in vogue:
    Analysts have predicted that Internet Of Things will continue to grow from $157.05 billion to about $661.74 billion in 2021. As per Gartner’s predictions, there will be over 26 billion connected devices as we approach 2020 which will comprise of hundreds of smart objects including domestic appliances, LED, toys, sports equipment along with electronic devices. Most of these domestic smart objects will be an integral part of IOT and their communication will take place via an app or through smartphone devices.Smartphones could well be the center of a personal area network comprising wearable devices such as sensors, smart watches, display devices such as Google Glass, medical sensors etc.
  • M-commerce trend to remain strong:
    The growing popularity of mobile-based payments like Apple Pay and Google Wallet will push the demand for mobile purchases further. A time may come when people will prefer using mobile phones for payment over credit cards or debit cards. Mobile commerce will continue to grow popular in the coming years with wearable devices also playing a crucial role in the growth and future of m-commerce.
  • Cloud-driven mobile apps to grow popular:
    According to reports by Cisco, cloud driven apps will be able to attract 90% of the entire mobile data traffic as we approach 2019. This will result in a compound growth of 60% of mobile cloud traffic over a year. In the coming future, it may not be surprising to see high powered mobile apps able to retrieve data from the cloud and occupy less space in the internal memory of smartphone devices.
  • Micro and enterprise apps to gain wide acceptance:
    The main purpose of enterprise mobile apps is to help businesses manage their processes better. For example, work organizer and planner Evernote. Then there are a plethora of enterprise apps for everything from CRM, to Logistics, and Supply Chain Management, On the other hand, micro apps are focused on a single task to achieve the end results such as Facebook messenger. According to a research by Adobe, 77% of business owners feel that enterprise apps are beneficial to them and over 66% of them are planning to increase their investment in them. As far as micro apps are concerned, they are set to become more popular with some of their excellent features which are targeted, nimble, ad hoc and HTML based. Look for these worlds to come together in the months ahead as Enterprise apps look to recreate a more consumer-like app experience and features.
  • Location-based service to become popular:
    iBeacon from Apple and Beacon from Google are some of the widely-used location-based services now. These are at the vanguard of device data capturing apps. This trend is driving the integration of a growing number of external devices with mobile apps for business benefit. In a recent example, Google acquired Senosis, a company that helps make the phone a device for medical diagnoses.

Conclusion:

The revolution in technology is set to change the future of mobile apps. It will become critical for businesses to embrace these new trends to stay ahead and competitive in their business. Is your mobile app leveraging any of these trends?

Have you considered JavaScript for your web application?

Application development has been in a constant state of evolution over the last couple of years and continues to evolve. The race is to deliver high-quality applications in the shortest possible time. The focus now is on a complete user experience. This drive is blurring the lines between development and design, paving the way for a sustained focus on front-end development.

Front end development is essentially a method of developing a website that allows the users to interact with it directly and gain access to information that is relevant to them. The goal is to combine programming and the design layout in a manner that powers the interactions of the user. If front end development was to be a car, then all the things you can directly touch and see to run the car such as the accelerator, the brake pedal, the steering wheel and the things that make it a cool drive such as the slick interiors, and the cool car design fall into its purview.

Why is front-end development gathering steam?

Today while it has become infinitely easier to develop great products, it has become that much harder to create products that the users will love and continue to use. In order to create software products that can capture the love of the users, it is now imperative to acquire a deep understanding of the users. This will help to develop a product that can be helpful to address their needs while delivering delightful experiences. With iterative product development becoming more mainstream, product design teams that were usually relegated to their own silo are being compelled to work more collaboratively in the software development ecosystem.

As front end development is picking up speed in software development so are the technologies, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript that enable it. In front end development, much of the front end work that defines the look of the web page is done in HTML and CSS. JavaScript is used as the programming language that runs directly within the web browser. Using JavaScript, developers can effectively design code structures that help them build fluid interactions, especially in applications that have complex user interactions.

  1. Manage concurrent operations with ease
    JavaScript helps software developers immensely in developing web applications that need concurrency. Using the event loop programming model, developers can execute multiple instruction sequences at the same time and also handle concurrent operations on a single thread. This saves developer time and effort.
  2. Faster Programming:
    In front end development you can develop the front end interfaces using HTML and CSS. Then in order to build user interaction, developers need to use JavaScript or one of the many JavaScript frameworks such as jQuery, AngularJS, Backbone.js, ReactJS, or Bootstrap. They can streamline complicated commands and make the programming process faster and easier. Given that these frameworks are widely used and easy to learn, finding the right talent is never a problem.
  3. Cross-browser Support:
    Good front end development is not just related to the code but also how the code interacts with the customers. JavaScript has a host of libraries such as jQuery that provide cross-browser support. This ensures that a dynamic web application can be run on any browser without any glitches. These libraries also help in simplifying and standardizing interactions between the JavaScript code and HTML elements. This helps in making web applications that are more dynamic and interactive. Further, JavaScript has several popular engines such as JavaScript V8, Chakra, JavaScriptCore and SpiderMonkey that help server-side development. They compile the JavaScript code to native machine code with ease and gives the language the capabilities of an interpreter, a compiler, and a runtime environment to run in a browser with ease.
  4. Frameworks that provide ease of adding functionalities:
    Adding functionalities to web applications using JavaScript also becomes much easier since the wide range of frameworks have predefined functions. This makes the task of adding functionalities easier and less time-consuming. This also further simplifies the coding process and reduces development time and costs significantly while helping developers develop complex applications easily. For example, using Angular.js, developers can extend HTML vocabulary for custom applications with ease. Developers can also wire up the backend with form validation, deep linking, and server communication as well as create and reuse components.
  5. Responsive Design:
    Since responsive design has become a critical component for web application success, developers need to ensure that the web applications that they design are device agnostic and can respond correctly to all form factors. Here too, JavaScript frameworks such as ReactJS, Angular.js come to the rescue and provide a host of options that make responsive application development convenient and efficient.
  6. Universal/Isomorphic JavaScript:
    Universal/Isomorphic JavaScript is gaining prominence today as it allows rendering of pages both on the client and the server side. This isomorphism helps in better application maintainability, better application performance, and better Search Engine Optimization. Using JavaScript framework Node.js, it is also possible to write code that renders both on the browser and the server. Having this one set of code makes application maintenance much easier and allows developers reuse same libraries and utilities on both the server and the browser using libraries such as Underscore.js, Request etc.

In the fast evolving web application development landscape, JavaScript provides developers a comprehensive ecosystem to develop web applications that are smarter and create an impact. With JavaScript, developers get access to the right set of tools that help them create functionalities and UI’s. They can craft experiences that help in turning innovative ideas into successfully executed web applications that can capably capture the interest of the users – even amidst all the noise that surrounds them.