5 Areas Where eCommerce Sites Can Gain From Artificial Intelligence(AI)

AI (Artificial Intelligence) is the new human-machine that understands customers better than anyone did before! The aim is nothing less than establishing a bridge between technology and its users by being more human-like. AI is being built to make life and businesses easy and convenient, and;eCommerce is one area that’s already feeling the AI magic!

A report by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) shows those retailers who have implemented personalization strategies, gain almost 6 to 10%; a rate that is two to three times faster than other retailers who haven’t adopted the same strategy.

In fact, AI is predicted to boost profitability rates by almost 59% in the wholesale and retail industries by the year 2035!

Personalization is the key to the enormous popularity of AI amid eCommerce.

AI brings with it versatility, convenience, easier transactions and much more! Amazon is an exemplary example of AI revolutionizing eCommerce. With its brilliant AI-driven support; Amazon has created a competitive advantage in the market based on intelligent personalization and uber-relevant customer service.

5 Areas where ecommerce sites can gain from AI

In line with the hype, AI has become the newest sales-magnet. One that redefines marketing goals and strategies and frees up manual time and efforts too. Online businesses are forging ahead with confidence in the power of AI!

Let us see 5 areas where eCommerce can gain from Artificial Intelligence!

  • Increased Personalization:
  • Gone are the days when the sales person had to personally persuade you to make a purchase. In the online world, AI is the new salesperson, much more empathetic and strategic. AI is intuitive enough to read your mind and deliver what you want within the committed time!

    It just takes a robotic human-like chatbot to empathetically enquire about your needs and answer all your questions smartly and elegantly, offering equally interesting and varied solutions! The AI presents the right information at the apt stage of the buyer journey to drive the sale forward.

    AI has enabled eCommerce merchants to know the preferences, likes, and dislikes of customers to serve them exactly with what they need.

  • Smart Purchasing:
  • AI helps customers to find what they need, even if they don’t quite know it yet!Smart assessments of the customer’s needs, the best-bundled offerings, and custom price points power a shopping cart that contains everything the customer could need. This pro-activeness enables the customer to make a quick purchase decision.  AI has created the era of smart purchasing where the technology drives intuitive purchasing options.
    Of course, that’s not the only purchasing where AI can help. Purchase-planning by the business is extremely critical to success in eCommerce. With intelligent systems and machines,they can have enough stocks to dispatch on time, making the necessary goods available to the customers at the right time.AI-enabled demand-forecasting makes purchase-planning for the eCommerce business easier by reliably predicting turnover, seasonal changes, and product trends.

  • Enhanced User Experience:
  • AI enables you to know your customers so well that you can tailor not just the products around their preferences, but also the messaging around their thoughts and sentiments. This sends out a clear message that ‘you care while you sell.’

    Enhanced customer experience is built around effective browsing and searching You should ask the questions, why a customer would prefer my website over others, what it is that can make my customer come back again and again. AI tools can also predict future purchase needs, follow-up and bring them around with the e-mailers and other digital real-time advertising.

  • Customer Relationship Management:
    A neglected customer may never come back to your eCommerce website. Today, it is tougher than everto create loyal followers and customers, or even retain loyal customers for that matter! AI consumes enormous amounts of data, processes it and analyses it to deliver insights around effective engagement alternatives for the customers that need it. This means knowing which customers to target with such strategies as well as creating effective retention strategies.
  • Bigger Sales and Profits:
  • It goes without saying that enhanced customer management, personalized marketing, and better outreach naturally lead to higher sales and profits in the eCommerce business. Convenience and speed matter to most customers. Virtual assistants and chatbots that help customers make the right decisions quickly help deliver exactly that.
    AI delivers profits through quick, action-oriented automated that makes customers want to come back and purchase more. In essence, AI saves time and effort for both, the customer as well as the eCommerce merchant.

Other Benefits of AI Technology:

All the elements that contribute to successful eCommerce business are linked and don’t really work in isolation. Along with a personalized online ambiance that enhances the customer relationship, here are some more advantages of AI in eCommerce.

  1. Inventory Management:
  2. AI’s predictive analytics helps shop-owners to know the present and future demands of the market and the customers. They can now accurately predict the real-time and future inventory needs and plan to make the goods available on time.

  3. Image Classification:
  4. AI is certainly changing the game with its ability to classify, interpret, and understand images. Image classification also gives the advantage of suggesting alternative and similar-looking goods in the form of images to provide customers meaningful options to choose from.

  5. Enhanced Security:
  6. Probably one of the most crucial aspects of online shopping is security. While customers and online users are worried about online fraudsters and fake marketers trying to get information; AI is coming to the rescue. AI solutions that detect patterns and learn from credit card transactions can detect advanced cybercrime techniques and also identify fake and genuine reviews.

Conclusion:

AI has the potential to drive an enormous impact for the eCommerce industry. Right from personalization, to recommending products, easier customer management, and enhanced user experience, the dynamics of online shopping have changed dramatically. Undoubtedly, the eCommerce brands that embrace AI have an advantage over their competitors in getting ahead of the curve to create that ‘wow’ factor for their customers.

React Native Vs Flutter App Development

The past few years ushered us into the era of mobile applications, where mobile apps have become an integral part of our everyday life. Be it Netflix, Facebook, Instagram, Uber, Skype, or more mobile applications are trending excessively in this day and age. However, with this increasing dependency on mobile applications, the need for niche technologies, frameworks, and platforms is also rapidly increasing, giving way to the advent of new frameworks and platforms that allow developers to create cross-platform apps that are suitable for all platforms.

From simplifying the app development process to making them efficient, these frameworks are helping reduce the complexity of mobile application development and are hence trending among developers. Among these, Flutter and React Native are the two most popular Cross-platform Mobile App Development Frameworks that are enabling developers to create cross-platform mobile applications that work seamlessly across various platforms and devices. Moreover, these two frameworks are competing against each other to prove their worth, making Flutter Vs React Native the most trending topics of the year.

Reactnative vs Flutter

So, let’s try to determine, “What is the difference between Flutter and React Native?” and answer the important question, “Will Flutter replace React Native?”. But before we delve deep into this discussion on React Native vs Flutter, it is important that we understand the need for cross-platform development frameworks.  

The Need for Cross-Platform Mobile Development Framework:

Nowadays, Android and iOS are two of the most widely used mobile platforms, with a completely different application development process. Android requires developers with extensive knowledge of Java or Kotlin, whereas iOS needs developers well versed in Swift programming language, making the development process expensive and time-consuming.

Cross-platform app development came into the inception to overcome this drawback and has become the need of the hour. Industries are using frameworks like React Native, Flutter, Xamarin, PhoneGap, and more, to create cross-platform applications, as they enable a single team to create apps with a single code base that works on multiple operating systems (OS), like iOS and Android. Due to this, most of the applications developed today are either cross-platform or hybrid and can run seamlessly on iOS and Android. Other advantages offered by cross-platform mobile application development frameworks are:

  • It offers UX uniformity.
  • Ideal for prototyping.
  • Requires one team to create one product for two or more platforms.
  • The code can be reused across platforms.
  • Quicker Development.
  • Easier Implementation.

Now that we know the reason for the shift from native app development to cross-platform and hybrid app development, let’s compare the two important cross-platform mobile app development technology.

React Native: Understanding the Basics:

Launched by Facebook in 2015, React Native is an open-source JavaScript framework built upon the React library and used to build natively rendering, mobile applications for iOS and Android. One of the most reliable and popular JavaScript frameworks used for developing mobile apps, React Native combines native components with React, the best-in-class JavaScript library for building the User Interface (UI). React Native enables developers to create react native apps for iOS, Android, Windows, and Linux, though the latter two require dependency managers like HomeBrew package manager.

Used by Facebook, Instagram, Airbnb, Skype, Tesla, Walmart, etc. and backed up by a huge developer community, React Native popularity is tremendous due to its ability to build applications efficiently, in less time as well as its use of Node Package Manager (NPM) for installation, excellent UI rendering, GPU oriented application development, seamless integration and quick load time, etc. Additionally, its features like platform-specific code and hot reload make it a common choice for developers for mobile application development.

What is Flutter?

Flutter, one of the biggest React Native competitors, is a free and open-source mobile UI framework created by Google and released in 2017. Though new to the spectrum of mobile application development, it is gaining popularity and momentum among web and mobile developers for creating native applications, with a single codebase. In short, with Flutter, developers can use one programming language and codebase to create two different apps for different platforms.

Unlike React Native, Flutter does not use JavaScript, but rather a less known programming language Dart, which was created by Google in 2011. Dart programming language is focused on front-end development and can be used to create applications for both web and mobile. Though most of the systems are implemented in Dart, the factor that differentiates Flutter from other mobile application SDK is that it has a thin layer of C++ or C. Moreover, it is supported on Android Studio, IntelliJ Idea & Visual studio code.

Flutter Vs. React Native: Key Points

From being open-sourced, fast and free to offering excellent UI support and native-like experience, React Native and Flutter, two major competitors offering cross-platform solutions, share various similarities. However, there are certain aspects of these two frameworks that make one framework superior from the other, which will be highlighted in the following comparison:

  1. Programming Languages: Flutter Dart vs React Native JavaScript
  2. A major advantage of using cross-platform mobile app development frameworks is it allows developers to create applications for both iOS and Android using a single programming language.

    • Flutter uses Dart programming language to create a Flutter app. Though new for mobile application developers, Dart is easy-to-use for developers experienced in different OOP languages such as Java and C++.
    • React Native: Uses JavaScript to build cross-platform apps. Extremely popular among developers, this programming language helps web developers build apps with little training and hence is a winner compared to Flutter. 
  3. User Interface:
  4. As React Native is purely focused on UI design, it has a large number of React UI components that are more extensive than that of Flutter. This is because application development with React Native is highly based on native components, whereas Flutter works flawlessly with the owner widget sets. One advantage of these widgets is that they prevent the developer from being dependent on third-party UI libraries. 

  5. Development Time: 
  6. Development time and process are the two most critical aspects that need consideration during mobile application development. Flutter, prominently known for fast and simple development, is lauded for its hot reload feature, which enables developers to instantly view changes and implement modifications. Moreover, it provides a full suite of extensible components that are built from scratch. Whereas, React Native, though popular, relies heavily on third-party libraries, which becomes makes the process comparatively slower. 

  7. React Native Vs. Flutter Performance: 
  8. React Native, though popular for providing high-quality user experience, is considered less suitable for application development because of its architecture, which impacts its performance and makes it slower. Whereas, Flutter’s ability to reuse the same code for creating applications for different platforms as well as its use of widgets and GPU to render it on apps on the screen helps create apps with best-in-class performance and speed.

  9. Documentation & Toolkit: 
  10. Google, like always, provides clear, structured, and in-depth documentation for their products, with Flutter being no exception. From installation to widgets, testing, more Flutter offers proper documentation for all and is backed by the Flutter team. React Native lags behind in this aspect, as it has a poorly maintained and unclear documentation, with not much explained like installation and configuration setup. Moreover, it lacks official documentation for Continuous Integration & Continuous Delivery (CI/CD).

  11. Technical Architecture: 
  12. Another important aspect that needs consideration when comparing React Native and Flutter is technical architecture. 

    • Flux Architecture: 
    • As React Native relies heavily on JS runtime environment architecture known as JavaScript bridge, it uses Facebook’s Flux architecture, which helps it to communicate with native modules. This though beneficial results in poor performance. 

    • Skia:
    • On the other hand, Flutter uses Dart Framework, which has most of the components inbuilt and does not require JavaScript bridge to communicate with the native UI component. Moreover, it further uses the Skia C++ engine which consists of all the protocols, compositions, and channels needed to develop a mobile app. This independency of Flutter makes its architecture more beneficial than React Native.

  13. DevOps and CI/CD Support: 
  14. To ensure an application receives continuous feedback and is not released with bugs, it crucial to adopt Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery practices. This is ensured by Flutter, in its section on Continuous Integration and Testing, where its rich Command Line Interface (CLI) allows easy set up on CI/CD services strong CLI tools, whereas, React Native does not provide any instructions on CI/CD practices.

  15. Installation: 
  16. The installation process with Flutter is more straightforward, with the added advantage of automated checkup of system problems. On the other hand, react-native lacks a streamlining setup and configuration. 

  17. Development Tools: 
  18. Some of the tools used in both React Native and Flutter mobile application development are:

    1. Flutter: 
      • Flutter SDK.
      • DevTools.
      • Hot Reload.
    2. React:
      • Expo.
      • Redux.
      • Flow.
      • Ignite.
      • React Navigation.

    Conclusion:

    React Native is currently ruling the spectrum of cross-platform mobile application development, however, there is no doubt that Flutter is working hard to prove its worth and is slowly taking over the future mobile application development, by making the development more streamlined, introduction of new features and functionalities, as well as by saving the developer time and effort. However, it is still too soon to answer to questions like “Is Flutter better than React Native?”, as Flutter is still climbing the ladder to achieve the popularity and reliability that React Native is currently enjoying. 

Angular vs Reactjs: Our Updated View

Our previous article touched upon the key features of AngularJS and ReactJS. But it’s been a while since then. Technology never stands still. There is now a considerable debate over which of those is better suited for front-end development. And here we are again with an updated account of what differentiates the two technologies, and which could be the better option for specific situations.

Web development is progressing at lightning speed. Something that was hot and relevant in 2017 may be seen as archaic today. Today, users have even more control and power over what they want. Product and app companies are being forced to frantically try and stay on-trend while meeting those growing demands.

In the software and mobile app universe, two technologies are being spoken of far and wide- Angular and ReactJS

While Angular is an MVC framework, React is a JS library that handles only the Views in an MVC framework. Despite, or perhaps because of, some foundational differences between the two technologies, there are several debates about the capabilities and preference of one over another. 

angular vs reactjs

Angular handles many functionalities out of the box and is centered around the concept of an application. React is more lightweight and does not handle quite as many functionalities out of the box. It comes with the concept of components, each with their own properties.

With that snippet of an introduction of both technologies, let’s try to (again) nail down the differences between them to help you pick one best suited to your unique needs.

Angular vs. ReactJS

With several out-of-the-box functions, Angular can help get you started quickly without feeling overwhelmed or intimidated by choices. Usually, developers feel at home quicker and switch between roles more comfortably with Angular.

For the web app-focused folks, while all Javascript frameworks have SEO capabilities, ReactJS does a particularly great job here. Run ReactJS on the server and the virtual DOM will be returned to your browser as a consistent web page.

Earlier, Angular was built to offer ease of software development, particularly through the use of modules. In that light, Angular also provides ease of testing, another advantage of the technology.

ReactJS Native is more focused around UI, unlike Angular. It allows for a more responsive interface with Javascript communications between the Native environment of a device and the framework. Therefore, it impacts the app’s load time and keeps it running seamlessly without interference.

Use cases of Angular vs. ReactJS

Use ReactJS when there is a lot of dynamic content in your software or applications. Top brands such as Facebook, Netflix, Uber, Dropbox, PayPal, Flipkart, and Instagram prefer ReactJS to drive their apps for this dynamic nature.

ReactJS could also be the choice for you when you plan on expanding the functionality of your mobile app in the near future.

On the other hand, choose Angular if you are just starting with app development, and want to be done quickly. Angular may also be the right choice out of the two when you are looking for a robust and well-maintained framework. Angular may work better when you have a team of experienced developers with a good hold on TypeScript.

Performance of Angular vs. ReactJS

React is racing ahead in the popularity charts for its fantastic rendering speed. The technology derives its name from its ability to react to change with minimal delay. In response, Angular 2 has been tried to improve its performance by modifying its ‘change detection’ algorithm.

When it comes to smaller applications, both technologies stand neck to neck. However, when apps get more complex and larger in size, React outperforms Angular. React can also be easily combined with Redux or Flux to build bigger applications.

React developers also have the benefit of a built-in virtual DOM feature that allows a server to save a light DOM tree, leading to less loading time on browsers and high performance.

The Learning Curve of  Angular vs. ReactJS

One of the distinguishing factors of ReactJS is that it is easy for anyone to learn. Since it is purely based on JavaScript, even newbies can familiarize themselves with the technology in no time. The learning curve associated with React is shallower and better suits beginning developers while Angular comes with a steep learning curve. This is essentially because developers are expected to be well-versed with the additional dependency of TypeScript, a statically typed programming language from Microsoft.

Why Choose Angular vs. ReactJS?

Choose Angular for its component structure, where you can utilize its components with several frameworks without having to stretch. Angular binding permits you to build a simple-to-maintain, logical connection between the model and the data view. It also allows for smooth testing and the flexibility of choosing your preferred environment for app development.

Choose ReactJS for its Virtual DOM, which increases the speed of the framework. Also, for its Simple State Machine components that allow you to modify the state of an object and apply all updates with ease. Developers also love the fact that the view is not disparate from the logic in ReactJS. That, and it’s fast to learn.

While there is no black and white here, the situation your product or app is in will help you make an educated decision on whether Angular or ReactJS would better suit your needs. For further assistance, reach out to us, and we will help you define the best roadmap for your application development needs.

The Special Role of Regression Testing in Agile Development

Presumably, everyone here who has developed products knows that regression testing is done to validate the existing code after a change in software. Unlike most other testing, it validates that nothing got broken in the already existing functionality of the software product even as changes were made to other parts. In a nutshell, the aim is to confirm that the product isn’t affected by the addition of any new features or bug fixes. Often, older test cases are, re-executed for reassurance that there were no ill-effects of changes.

role of regression in agile development

Regression testing is necessary for all product development where the product is evolving, that is, in effect for all products!

Which Brings is to Agile Software Development?

The Agile method calls for rapid product iterations and frequent releases. Obviously, this includes shorter and more frequent testing cycles. This is to ensure that the quality of the output of the sprints is intact whenever the software is released. These constant churns call for a massive focus on regression testing.

A sound regression testing strategy mainly helps the teams focus on new functionalities and maintain stability as the product increments take place. It makes sure that the earlier release and the new code are both in-sync. This is how the software’s functionality, quality, and performance remain intact even after going through several modifications.

To put things into perspective – the Agile method is all about iterative development and regression testing is all about focusing on the effects that occur due to that iterative new development.

What Makes Regression Testing Special in Agile Development?

  • Helps Identify Issues Early– One of the ways in which Agile teams build their regression testing strategy is to identify the improvements or the error-prone areas and gather all the test cases to execute for those cases. This preparation helps them gear up for the accelerated tests and also, prioritize the test cases. This way they can target the product areas that need more focus on quality. Additionally, by detecting defects early in the development cycle, regression testing can help reduce excessive rework. This helps release the product on time.
  • Facilitates Localized Changes – Regression testing makes it possible for development teams to confidently carry out localized changes to the software or sometimes, even for bigger changes. The teams mainly focus on the functionality that they planned for the sprint secure in the knowledge that the regression tests will highlight the areas that are affected by the most recent changes across the codebase.
  • Business Functionality Continuity – Since regression testing usually takes into consideration various aspects of the business functions, it can cover the entire system. The aim is to run a series of similar tests repeatedly over a period of time in which the results should remain stable. For each sprint, this helps test new functionality and it makes sure that the entire system continues to work in an integrated manner and the business functionality continues in the long run.
  • Errors Are Reduced to a Large Extent – The thing with an Agile development environment is that there is a reduced scope for errors during the accelerated release cycles. The series of regression tests at each level of the release ensures that the product is robust and resistant to bugs. This helps in enhancing the software’s stability and improves its overall quality.
  • Offers Scope to Add Better Functionalities – Introducing new functionalities in any application can be time-consuming because there are several aspects that need to be taken into consideration. This process becomes less cumbersome with Agile development, which can boost gradual changes. Regression tests amp up the power of the methodology by giving the scope of introducing several functionalities in seamlessly.
  • Quicker Turnaround – There are multiple tools for regression testing. It’s also possible to automate significant portions of the regression testing given the repetitive nature of the tests. This offers the Agile development team faster feedback. They can achieve faster turnarounds and can accelerate releases confidently.

To Sum Up:

Regression testing is a staple while developing a well-integrated, robust software as it evolves. In the accelerated Agile environment, it helps ensure that any newly developed sprint has no adverse effect on the existing code or functionality of the business. Furthermore, a carefully considered regression testing strategy helps the Agile teams be confident that every feature in the software is in perfect condition with all the updates and fixes required. It’s the insurance policy that Agile product development teams need.

What you Must know about Low and No-code Software Development?

Back in 2011, Marc Andreesen said, “Software is eating the word”. These words have become even more relevant as digitization becomes an organizational priority for enterprises across sectors. The world is becoming software-driven and for the IT department, this has translated into increased demand for software to address ever-evolving requirements.

Users have high expectations of usability and demand greater flexibility in business operations. Frequent updates and upgrades are our new normal. Version 2.0 of a product is expected to be built almost simultaneously with the first version. Business applications need amendments and scalability according to the changing needs of business users. The task is huge. And the growing shortage of seasoned developers isn’t helping the situation.

low code and no code software development

Organizations are looking at ways to make software development faster, increase automation, and also make development easier to replicate, even by business users. They are looking at doing away with repetitive coding (something that weighs down traditional software development).

And this is how we came to know and love low-code and no-code software development.

The ABC of Low Code Software Development:

Low code software development is an accelerating trend. Research suggests the area growing from USD 4.32 Billion in 2017 to USD 27.23 Billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 44.49% during the forecast period. So, what is low-code development and what makes it so attractive?

Low code development is a methodology where manual processes are automated by employing a visual IDE environment and without hand-coding. The visual IDE environment connects to the backends and also to the application lifestyle management system. Low code provides avenues for developing custom code to deploy features that are not readily available.

Low code development is great for specific business processes especially those that need integrations with other applications, systems, and databases. Apart from giving developers the benefit of developing applications faster, low code development can also be done by the non-developers (mainly the power users) in the development team. These non-developers are usually not proficient developers but have some basic coding and scripting skills.

Low code development platforms such as Salesforce Lightning Platform, The FileMaker Platform, OutSystems, KissFlow, and Zoho Creator etc.  allow developers to arrange application components including the application data and logic using a drag-and-drop interface. It is almost akin to building Lego models using virtual blocks- the developer moves the Lego block with a mouse and snaps it into their model.

But does this mean low code is right for every application? Well, not just yet. However, low code development is great for applications that are built for an express purpose as it not only accelerates the workflow but also focuses it.

What Advantages does Low-Code bring to the table?

If you are thinking of low-code development get ready to experience a slew of benefits.

  • Faster and more democratized application development including greater inputs from power-users
  • Reduced need for software developers in specific functions can lower costs
  • Greater agility for organizations to match market demands
    • Better risk management and application governance as low-code facilitates immediate change
  • Reduced complexity in app development that enables faster transformation in a digital world

The ABC of No-code Development:

Chris Wanstrath, CEO at GitHub says, “The future of coding is no coding at all”. But can this even be possible? Yes, it could with no-code development.

No-code development employs a visual development environment that helps anyone create applications. This platform uses a drag-and-drop method to add application components needed to create an application. The users need absolutely no coding knowledge. In fact,this could be anyone with an idea of building an application.

No-code development gives non-technical business users the ability to build full-fledged, complex applications that are powerful, secure, and, also, enterprise-grade. Surprised?

Such a platform uses a user interface builder, allows visual modeling to process and manage data easily and also allows for easy integrations. Essentially, a true no-code platform can be described as software that writes software. It has easy to use features such as drag and drop modules, picklist selection boxes, spreadsheet imports, etc. Tools such as Nintex, and Quick Base, and even options from Kissflow and Zoho Creator have been successfully giving users more freedom to develop applications with ease.

No code development is usually driven by specific use cases especially those that don’t need connections to third-party systems and are great for reporting analytics or tracking applications. In case such a connection is needed, it can be enabled quite easily as well.

So, What are the Benefits of No-Code?

Much like low-code, no-code development also gives us a host of benefits. It is hardly a surprise to see Forrester predicting that the no-code development market will grow from $3.8 billion in 2017 to $21.2 billion in 2022.

  • Greater agility as development happens visually using pre-built modules. Since the development time is reduced and testing is automated, organizations can build applications faster
  • Reduced overhead costs that come with having a team of highly skilled developers
  • Enabled re-usability as small parts of an application can be used in other applications
  • Enable change easily as all you need is new logic to implement change
  • Allows non-programmers to create applications at speed to fulfill business needs

Of course, the applicability is still limited and in truth platforms like low and no-code are just pushing the heavy lifting to platforms that do the hard work behind the scenes. But, that said, the value is clear.

No code and low code software development could revolutionize software development on getting established.Projects that used to take years and months can now be completed in days. The democratization of the development process also makes this methodology relevant for these times when collaboration has to be at speed to deploy new capabilities. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Do you have a low-code or a no-code strategy in place?

Application Development with Microservices in the DevOps Age

Does anyone even remember when companies developed an entire product, tested it, fixed it, and then shipped it? The entire process would take months, even years, before a functioning product made it to the customer. Before the product hit the market, neither did the potential customers know what it held for them and neither did the product owners know if it would hit or miss the mark.

Today, product users expect to be a part of the development process. They want to contribute their insights to develop a product that matches their ongoing needs. The need is for continuous innovation and improvements. The need is for DevOps!

DevOps combines technology and cultural philosophies to deliver products and services quickly. It is a continuous process of developing, testing, deploying, failing, and fixing applications to achieve market-fit. Jez Humble, one of the leading voices of DevOps sums it up “DevOps is not a goal, but a never-ending process of continual improvement.”

microservices Application development in Devops age

Today, DevOps is not just for a handful of large enterprises. According to Statista, the number of companies adopting DevOps went up by 17% in 2018

A quick look at what has made DevOps popular?

Apart from the continuous innovations and improvements, DevOps also helps in:

  • Improving customer satisfaction: With a DevOps mindset, companies use advanced methods to identify issues and fix them real-time before the customer is impacted. There is also scope to improve the product on-the-go driven by frequent suggestions and feedback from customers. Continuous improvement in quality leads to customer delight. Take Rabobank of Netherlands, for example. This large financial institution has over 60,000 employees and hundreds of customer-facing applications. As the deployments were manual, the failure rate was over 20%, and they received many complaints about delays. When they moved to DevOps, they were able to deploy applications 30x more frequently with a lead time that was 8,000 times faster than their peers.
  • Change in organizational culture: DevOps has played a significant role in breaking silos and boosting the collaborative culture in companies. In an agile environment, working in silos can slow down the process of developing, testing, and releasing the product. A DevOps team will be able to collaborate better and ramp up the process of developing, testing, and troubleshooting the product. 
  • A decrease in failure rates: According to the State of DevOps report, high-performing DevOps organizations have seen a reduction of failure rates of 3x, thanks to their ability to find and fix errors early in the cycle.
  • Higher productivity: DevOps organizations can deploy products 200x more frequently than a non-DevOps organization, leading to happier and highly motivated teams. Take Microsoft’s Bing, for example. It has moved developers to a DevOps environment with the idea of continuous delivery and innovation deeply ingrained within their processes. The result? Bing deploys thousands of services 20 times a week and pushes out 4000 individual changes every week. The continuous effort by the team to deliver has made Bing the second largest search engine in the world.

While adopting a DevOps culture is essential for a company to thrive, it is also crucial that they have the right architecture and systems in place to complement their principle of continuous delivery and innovation. That’s where microservices is now playing a massive role.

Micro-services and Their Role in DevOps Organization:

For a long time, companies relied on a monolithic architecture to build their application. As monolithic applications are built as a single unit, even a small change in a single element made it necessary to build a completely new version of the application. 

With more and more companies moving towards DevOps, such a monolithic architecture makes it difficult to implement changes rapidly. The need for greater agility gave rise to a new type of architecture -enter microservices. 

With Microservices, an application is built on small, independent components that are independently deployable. Although independent, these components communicate with each other via RESTful APIs. So, even if a single piece of code has to be changed in a single element, the developer does not have to build a new version of the whole product. They can simply make the changes to the individual components without affecting the entire application, making the deployment efficient and faster. 

For companies that have adopted the DevOps culture, developing applications with microservices has several benefits that include:

  • Easy rectification of errors: When a component fails the test or requires changes, it is easy to isolate and fix. This makes it easier for companies to fix errors quickly without affecting the users of other services.
  • Better collaboration: Unlike a monolithic architecture where the different teams focus only on specific functions such as UX, UI, server, etc, a microservices architecture encourages a cross-functional way of working. 
  • Decentralized governance: Monolithic architecture uses a centralized database, while microservices use a decentralized method of governance, wherein each service manages its database. This makes it easier for developers to produce tools that also can be used by others to solve specific issues.

A key trend accelerating the adoption of Microservices in such scenarios is Containerization. Containerization allows code for specific elements to be carved out, packaged with all the relevant dependencies, and then run on any infrastructure. These applications can be deployed faster and can be made secure. The applications are extremely portable and adaptable to run on different environments. 

Companies like Amazon and Netflix have shifted to microservices to scale their business and improve customer satisfaction. 

Product companies aiming to become customer-centric and delight with continuous improvement in the product may find it essential to adopt a DevOps mindset married to a transition to the microservices architecture

Of course, it will take some time to transition product development. Teething problems are bound to arise, including duplication of efforts due to the distributed deployment system. However, given the larger picture and the potential benefits, it’s a wise move for product companies to make. 

AngularJS – Making Mobile App Development Better

Google introduced AngularJS as an open-source framework specifically to address the challenges faced by the mobile app developer in creating and testing code. So, how does it do that?

AngularJS integrates HTML code along with the application modules.This forms an innovative framework that is now widely used to restructure JavaScript code. AngularJS is designed to help accumulate data by adding and eliminating extra source code to maintain the overall code integrity.

What is AngularJS?

In 2009, Google launched AngularJS, and it turned out to be a great framework for building iPhone and Android mobile apps. It doesn’t offer many add-ons but there are an array of features which makes it a perfect fit for the mobile app developer’s toolbox.

Its interactive abilities with backend, web servers and external data sources help mobile app developers build a feature-rich mobile app easily, quickly, and flawlessly.

angularjs mobile app development

A key value is that AngularJS helps to manipulate jQuery Document Object Model libraries. Another great feature of AngularJS is that it enables developers to expand the functionality of HTML by adding constructs through its two-way data binding. With its directives, mobile app developers can accumulate data into HMTL and can abstract DOM modifications.

A Summary of AngularJS:

AngularJS can be easily added to an HTML page through a simple coding script. The modular approach helps the mobile app developers segment codes, simplify testing, and update maintenance activities on different types of mobile apps. It has a few manipulations of JS and HTML, which adhere to the fundamentals, thus helping to deliver better stability.

It extends HTML templates, enabling an advanced approach in managing and editing the components. Mobile app development with AngularJS is extremely efficient, bug-free, and scalable.

Now that we are familiar with the basics of AngularJS; let’s explore how AngularJS can be very helpful in creating the best mobile apps with rich functionalities.

Build Mobile Apps with Advanced Development Practices:

Nowadays, every app is data-driven, and it makes obvious sense to use a tool that is built to address just this scenario. Simplifying the following three advanced software practices has made AngularJS the ideal choice here.

  1. Three-way Data Binding:

Data binding has become a crucial aspect of mobile app development. When the data model updates, the UI (User Interface) must also change and update. And when app UIs updates, the mobile app developer updates the mobile to match with application’s UI. This is called two-way data binding. AngularJS takes that a step further.

Three-way data binding is an idea that the developers can not only keep the UI but can also sync the data with the backend services. This means the developers can take inputs from an app, process it, save it on the webserver, and keep the UI in sync. With jQuery iOS and Android Background, the developers find AngularJS’s three-way data binding a considerable time-saver for app development.

  1. Reusable Codes:

It helps developers keep the UI, data, and code logic discrete. That means that AngularJS enables them to reuse older code on different devices and also on different platforms. It also allows the developers to customize their UI for each platform to provide a better user experience. In the past, application development was only limited to the PC and desktop.

But now, there are mobile devices with different operating systems, different functions, and different UIs. Thus, developers now have to create code for all the platforms separately. They cannot reuse that code. AngularJS addresses this issue by enabling the developers to reuse code which has been previously created.

  1. Testability:

When it comes to end-to-end unit testing, AngularJS provide advanced support. It offers flexibility to the developers so that they can conduct testing more efficiently. It has impressive testing compatibilities like the dependency injection concept to reuse, maintain, and test the code. In dependency injection, the components are given specific dependencies.
This helps to locate the code and makes it configurable. Thus, the quality analyst can quickly check the code and its dependencies and find bugs easily.

More Reasons to Use AngularJS:

Apart from three-way data binding, code reusability, and easy testing, there are other benefits that developers can experience while working with AngularJS.

  • Easy to understand: The code written in AngularJS is not only easy to understand but also easy to maintain and test.
  • Customization: While writing code, the mobile app developers do not require to add all the libraries at the same time while adding other modifications.
  • Wider Community: The Google community supports AngularJS which means the developers will get wider support to fix any issue.
  • Pre-defined Solutions: AngularJS comes with a pre-defined and versatile solution which can be used within the app. Developers can get pre-defined UI routing approaches and module practices to help them get their app created sooner.

Most Successful AngularJS Domains:

Businesses are looking to stand apart from the competition by creating impressive AngularJS mobile apps. Many tech-giants have significantly invested in AngularJS to provide a high-quality user interface and user experience. YouTube, Netflix, Upwork, and PayPal are some of the examples of mobile apps working on AngularJS. Developers looking to create mobile apps with great user experience are using AngularJS in domains like.

  • On-demand video streaming apps.
  • Travel and destination finder apps.
  • Weather updates apps.
  • User-generated and content portals.
  • Apps for user reviews.
  • Interactive social apps.

Clearly, AngularJS provides many benefits when it comes to creating seamless mobile apps. It is a futuristic framework which will continue to redefine the way mobile apps are developed. Does your mobile app strategy include AngularJS?

What the Coming of 5G Means for Mobile App Development?

Can you imagine the possibilities of downloading HD movies on your phone in seconds rather than hours or minutes? What about immersive games that blur the lines between reality and alternate reality? Both the scenarios may become commonplace in the future with the coming of the next-gen cellular technology – 5G.

As is apparent, 5G is generating a lot of interest in the mobile industry. With consumer interest high, many firms are thinking of making apps that can leverage the latest tech. The relatively new tech remains a concept for the wider world, but it clearly has the potential to deliver a massive impact. The technology could also drive big changes in mobile app development.

What the Coming of 5G Means for Mobile App Development?

In no particular order, the considerations we will have to factor into the new 5G-capable apps we develop will include:

  • Exponentially High Data Speeds – 5G networks can achieve significantly faster data speeds of up to 10 Gbps. This is a stark contrast to the 1 Gbps speed offered by its predecessor 4G. That will allow for the transfer of much much higher volumes of data.
  • Low to Zero Latency – Latency is the time taken by a device to send a packet of data to a different device. On current mobile networks, this is about 50 milliseconds. With 5G, this will be reduced to about 1 millisecond. Surely, this will pave the way for several AR and VR based apps in particular.
  • Better Connection Density – IoT is going to grow over the next few years. To accommodate billions of devices that are a part of IoT, there is a need for a network that offers better connection density. 5G will be able to support the connectivity of up to 1 million devices in a span of several miles. Watch out for the new IoT-everywhere world. And for the mobile apps that will inevitably follow.
  • Precision – 5G has better precision capabilities and it will be useful for creating high-precision mobile apps, such as the ones that are GPS-enabled. Looks like location-based services may become much more common.
  • Lower Battery Consumption – Features such as reduced latency and increased speed translates to lower battery consumption. In fact, 5G will be able to extend the battery life of both IoT and mobile devices up to 10 times! This is great news for both app users and developers!
  • Opens Up New Avenues – HD content, 360-degree videos, holographic videos, multi-person video calls will all become a breeze on 5G networks. This will help developers create a variety of apps that cater to the users’ interests.

How 5G Will Change Mobile App Development?

We have seen a picture of the future of 5G and how it is going to shape mobile app development. Here is what is 5G mobile app developers need to think about:

  1. They Can Develop Apps with Rapid File Transfers – Several apps, especially productivity apps require the users to exchange files, data, and other forms of information. 5G with low latency and high speed will be a boon for such apps and offer the users speedy transfer. Think how smoothly your apps will run without any lag! This also means that users will be highly satisfied with the overall experience and won’t abandon the app/uninstall it from their device.
  2. Media-Rich UX – 5G will be able to provide rich UX like never before. From watching movies to listening to music, or playing a high-quality game, the user experience will be uber-intense on the new network. This means that developers can give free rein to their imagination when it comes to the UI and take it to the next level.
  3. Better Capacities and Features – For IoT, AR/VR, and other apps that use new technologies, developers will be able to build feature-rich apps that have exceptional user experiences. Powerful apps with outstanding user experiences will drive new monetization possibilities and increase app revenues as well.
  4. More Navigational Apps – 5G will be useful for creating GPS-enabled apps, which means that there will be more navigational apps in the future. The network will offer high-quality and uninterrupted communication, which is going to be a boon for such apps that are useful for the travel and tourism genre of apps as well as for utility apps or apps for wearables.
  5. Swift Feedback – Chatbots and voice bots powered by 5G networks will be able to provide instant feedback and offer better, real-time experiences to the users. No more wait times mean better conversations. This promises many use-cases like specialized apps for the customer care sector.
  6. Low Dependence on Hardware – The enhanced communication speed and delivery speed of 5G network also mean that the mobile apps of the future will be less dependent on device hardware. Therefore, it may well pave the way for device-agnostic apps.

The Road Ahead

While the coming of the 5G network will bring forth a plethora of opportunity for mobile apps, the path forward will be challenging. 5G, like any technology, will come with its own set of challenges. Evolving standards, security loopholes, setup of new business models, and the creation of the necessary infrastructure are some of the core issues at the nascent stage of adoption. This is why, even though the technology will be a game-changer, mobile-app developers need to tread carefully.

That said, there are opportunities aplenty to leverage 5G’s capabilities to design and deliver cutting-edge apps even in the early days of 5G implementation. It’s time to break out of the rut of slow, high-latency, low-capacity networks and embrace the promise of 5G!

What is Rapid Application Development and why you should care?

Even before the Agile methodology became commonplace in software development, the Rapid Application Development model brought flexibility to the entire development process. Rapid Application Development quickly swept the Waterfall model out of its place. And it continues to deliver value.

Rapid Application Development helps to quickly develop prototypes to test functions and features without having to worry too much about their impact on the end product. With RAD, you can add or remove functionalities, change the design of a software product and clean it up by eliminating extra fluff – all without harming the end product.

Rapid Application Development

Markets and Markets have predicted the Rapid Application Development market will grow from USD 7.8 bn in 2018 to USD 46.2 bn by 2023. This growth is driven by the ever-rising demand for faster software programming with low-code, and customizable and scalable solutions.

But how did the RAD model come to light? Is it the right model for your software development process? When should you choose to work with Rapid Application Development?

 

Let’s find out.

Rapid Application Development in a Nutshell

The Rapid Application Development model prioritizes quick prototyping instead of long, drawn-out development and testing cycles. With Rapid Application Development, developers can make multiple iterations to their software without having to start from scratch each time.

Rapid Application Development has been around since the 1980s. So it’s not new but has always found value in projects where the continuous evaluation of development is at the core.

Steps Involved in RAD

Although RAD has massively evolved over the years, these four basic steps remain at its heart.

  • Define the Requirements– The Rapid Application Development model does not need you to start with a detailed list of specifications. Instead, it encourages developers to ask for requirements at the time. As the project advances deeper into the development cycle, the specifics of the requirement can be further ironed out. This step sets the stage for the ultimate success of the project. This is where the developers, users, stakeholders, and other members sit down to discuss the goals and expectations of the project. They also address the current and potential challenges that may hinder their path during development. The key to successful RAD is for all the stakeholders and users to be involved right from the beginning to define the goals and expectations.
  • Build the Prototype – Once the scope of the project is clearly chalked out, it’s time for the developers to dive in. In this step, the basic user design is built through prototype iterations. During this phase, users or clients collaborate with developers to make sure their requirements are met at every step in the design process. The developer designs a prototype, the user tests it and provides feedback on how it can be improved. Ultimately, through this collaboration, there is less chance that something will slip through the cracks.
  • Rapid Construction – The prototypes and beta systems developed in the previous stage are now converted into working models. Since a large number of glitches and gaps would have been addressed during the prototyping process, the developers can now move at full speed in constructing the product. It is fascinating that even during this phase, the end users provide inputs, and suggest modifications which are subsequently accommodated.

The last two steps repeat iteratively until the client’s objectives and expectations are met.

  • Finalizing and deployment – In this step, the features, user experience, and interface of the software are finalized with the product owner or client. Before delivering or deploying the product at the client side, developers test the software for stability usability and maintainability.

RAD- When And Why You Stand to Gain

Does it make sense to use the Rapid Application Development model for each type of software development? Perhaps not. Here’s when you can use Rapid Application Development-

When you have access to a pool of users

If you have got users who can give consistent and reliable feedback on your prototypes, the Rapid Application Development is a great model. Since the RAD model has its roots in the feedback developers receive throughout the cycle, is not the best model without access to dependable sources who will use and review your product in an unbiased manner.

When you Need Quick Delivery:

If you are on a tight deadline, RAD could help. You can cut down on the requirement planning and design phases which individually consume time, and begin prototyping rapidly to deliver something that works sooner. Rapid Application Development is an on-the-fly approach that leads to quick development. Some estimates are that the RAD approach can slash the traditional technology lifecycle by 80 percent.

Rapid Application Development-

  • Is a flexible model that can adapt to changes.
  • Minimizes the overall project risk.
  • Is easy to transfer deliverables in the form of high-level abstractions scripts and intermediate codes.
  • Allows Iterative prototyping that reduces the possibility of bugs and defects.

Clearly, with RAD, an organization can build a software product faster, eliminating the need for long development lifecycles and hassle-filled development journeys. Does that sound like something you would consider for your next software development project?

Mistakes to Avoid While Building a MVP

We all know the history of the MVP. The concept of MVP, an offshoot of the Lean Startups movement, was popularized by Eric Ries-a consultant and writer on startups. The minimum viable product (MVP) is a development method in which a new product is developed with just enough features to satisfy the initial adopters. The final, comprehensive set of features is only planned and developed after analyzing feedback from the product’s early users. This feedback is gathered often, and product versions are released often.

In its essence, a minimum viable product is the most trimmed down version of a product that is still suitable for release. In simple words, the MVP has sufficient value for people to adopt or buy it initially. A key characteristic is that it displays promising future benefits to retain initial adopters. A vital component of the plan is that it renders a feedback loop to support future development.

An obvious drawback or rather difficulty with this development methodology is that it assumes that the initial adopters can visualize the outlook of the final product and give the required feedback to help developers progress.

Mistakes to Avoid While Building a MVP

Have you wondered, why the concept of an MVP was introduced in the first place? Well, because in a startup environment, mistakes are the norm. In fact, studies show that nine out of ten startups fail. To get around this failure rate, many startups began to build a Minimum Viable Product. The aim was to embrace the fact that they would fail but to fail fast and fail often so that they still had resources to recover.

However, Several Startups are facing failure despite going the MVP route. Why?

This happens because when companies expose an MVP to a test audience, they often get distracted. They lose sight of the end objective. Sometimes, the immediacy of the task of making the next release successful draws them away from the larger objective of pursuing a more significant market segment. The big picture may call for them to change direction or to design an unusual feature. This could lead to cost-intensive rework, loss of focus, and, in turn, a failed product.

To Avoid Failure and Make the Most of Your Minimum Viable Product, Here are a Few Mistakes to Avoid While Building an MVP.

  1. Targeting the Masses:
  2. You cannot begin your development with the mindset that your product is something that everyone needs. You must design your product in a way that it focuses on a narrow market segment that will benefit the most from using your product immediately. If you try to create a one-size-fits-all type of product, you will not be able to do anything competently.

    Facebook is a perfect example of an organization avoiding this trap. While yes, today, Facebook is a platform that everyone uses; they didn’t start this way. Their initial focus was on college students. By customizing their product for a narrow segment, Facebook managed to build a better and more focused platform. This enabled them to expand later.

  3. Overtaxing the Initial Users:
  4. While seeking feedback, too often, companies make the mistake of asking too many questions and over-taxing the users. However, on the flipside, even a deficit of information from the users is a drawback. Companies are often stuck in the limbo of asking too few questions to ensure maximum participation but end up getting the feedback they can’t use because it is not specific or actionable enough. Therefore, it is essential to make the testing process as user-friendly as possible and create user surveys that ask detailed yet relevant questions.

  5. Choosing the Wrong Features:
  6. The primary purpose of an MVP is to test the idea before proceeding to complete development. An ideal MVP has only a few core functionalities that offer the end-users an understanding of the product and the issues it resolves. The selection of features is a crucial process in the development of an MVP. Too many companies spend a significant amount of time and budget in polishing the design and adding more and more features to impress the audience.

    The downside of this is that after spending the most vital part of a project budget on building an over-designed MVP the product idea may be rejected by the audience. On the other end of the spectrum, some companies adopt the ultra-minimalist approach and ignore the viability aspect of the product. Since their focus is on reducing a set of features, they overlook the elements that make their product unique and useful for users. The product fails to find favor with the users because it will not deliver sufficient meaningful value.

Lastly, it is important to keep in mind that MVPs tend to get enormous amounts of data and ideas from customers.  Much of that data may suggest changes that may not be suitable. While yes, these ideas and suggestions are great to broaden your horizon, it may be wiser to avoid making significant adjustments immediately. If you expand too quickly you may not be able to gauge which features are creating a positive impact and which are stirring a negative response.

Do remember, there will be plenty of time to progress into new directions once you are confident that your product is well-designed and that it meets the needs of your core clientele.

Agile, DevOps or Others – Which software development methodology is right for you?

The uber-significance of software in the business world has given rise to an extraordinary windfall of software development methodologies. It’s also true that the software methodology you choose can make or break your business. The wrong choice can result in miscommunication, schedule and cost slippage, wasted time, and resource burnout. So, how to choose?

software development : agile or devops

Factors to Consider while Choosing the Right Software Development Methodology

Choosing the right software development methodology among many alternatives could be challenging. Yet, this choice is crucial for it will decide the fate of your project. For teams having a hard time choosing, here are the top factors to consider:

  • Size of project: The size of the project is one of the first aspects to keep in mind while choosing a development methodology. While small projects with limited requirements will only need a handful of resources for successful delivery, large projects that span software generations would require many architects, developers, and testers spread across locations.The size and scale of the project determine the project management plan and the number of developers needed to handle it. You must choose a methodology that allows for constant collaboration and feedback between the teams so the end product meets the intended requirements, and is delivered within time and budget.
  • Fluctuations in requirement: With customer demands and market dynamics constantly changing, changes must be made to the software to drive better experiences. Dynamic requirements also determine the methodology you choose.
    If stability and predictability are the norm and ongoing changes minimal, traditional methodologies work well. However, if you need to constantly incorporate new features and enhancements in your code, you need to choose a more modern methodology that allows for such changes to be embedded – without impacting cost or schedule.
  • Cost of delays: Staying on schedule is important for any software development project. Yet, with requirements constantly changing, software projects invariably overshoot deadlines. Obviously, this substantially impacts costs too.
    The larger the scale the more the pressure to deliver on time. If not, the project risks massive cost of delays. For smaller projects,the impact of a schedule overrun is not so drastic. Make sure to choose a methodology factoring in how delays impact the project and your organization.
  • Team locations: The software methodology you choose must also depend on how dispersed your team is.
    If your developers, engineers, and testers are located across different geographies, miscommunication, confusion, and missteps may become more common in the development process. That suggests a greater need for coordination, coherence, and accountability. A transparent and collaborative project management regimen is needed. Then teams can stay updated about the progress of the project, and work together towards common goals.
  • Feedback frequency: In a customer-driven world, there is a constant clamour for new features. Some projects require customer feedback to be constantly incorporated. While some projects may require more such feedback elements to be baked in due to the complexity and the size of the project, some require far less. The software development methodology you choose will depend on how frequently you have to incorporate customer feedback.

The Options at Hand:

A variety of factors come together to have a considerable bearing on the project. No matter the type of software you are building –choosing the right software development methodology is critical to ensure happy teams, on-time delivery, and easily-met business and end-user needs.

Here are the options you have at hand:

  • Even today, if your requirements are clear and fixed, the best-suited development methodology is Waterfall. Offering a well-defined phased approach to software development, the waterfall methodology allows you to design the solution as visualized. Since there will be no surprises or changes in the requirements along the course of development, you can seamlessly proceed with development, integration, and testing based on the design, and deliver the product on time.
  • If your requirements are fairly straightforward, but you do not have a clear picture of how the solution should be built, you will need to choose a methodology that enables constant feedback. Kanban allows you to constantly monitor the product, check on tasks in progress, prioritize them if needed, and receive feedback on a continuous basis. Such feedback ensures the software you are developing is in line with the intended need and as visualized at the beginning.
  • If your requirements change frequently, the Agile methodology will allow you to meet your goals better than others. Using Agile, you can build projects in sprints and accommodate a fair number of changes and enhancements – with less cost of delay. Since each sprint needs to be completed in a given time frame, you can ensure you stick to the commitment and complete all tasks within the sprint – in time and within budget.
  • If your requirements change frequently, your teams are dispersed across the globe, and the cost of delay is high, DevOps can help you drive rapid software delivery. This is especially beneficial in case of products that live on the Cloud -like SaaS products. By fueling better communication and collaboration between the development and operations teams, DevOps helps to condense development cycles, increase deployment frequency, and meet software needs quickly and efficiently. It helps reduce development complexity, detect and resolve issues faster, and allows you to deliver high-quality, innovative software.

Always look at the Bigger Picture:

It is crucial to make the right decisions about tools, resources, schedule, and budget in software development. Do consider aspects such as the size of the project, fluctuations in the requirement, cost of delays, team location as well as the feedback frequency and then make the choice of development approach.

The right software development methodology will allow you to deliver quality outcomes in the time and budget allotted. When looking for the best software development methodology, ensure you consider the bigger picture. This choice will give you the best results for the effort, money, and time invested. How did you zero in on your product development approach?

Talk to our Expert Regarding Software Methodlogy

Trends Impacting Software Development in 2019

Technology has created our software-defined world of today. As technologies change and evolve, we see the rise of new software development trends to further augment this growth. 2018 was no exception. We saw some exciting developments in the world of software development. We witnessed the rise of cloud-based software development, the cementing of DevOps, and the ever-growing importance of testing. But what about the year ahead? Here’s a look at some of the trends that will impact software development in 2019.

Trends impacting software development 2019

  1. Artificial Intelligence (AI):

    Gartner estimates that the revenue from the AI industry will touch $1.2 trillion by the end of 2019. By 2022 the business value derived from AI is expected to reach $3.9 trillion. With the digital transformation wave taking over almost all organizations, it is clear that AI will continue to trend in the software universe for the next couple of years.

    In 2019 we will see the use of AI to speed up and improve the accuracy of software development- be it in automatic debugging, for creating intelligent assistants to speed up development processes, to automate code generation, or to create and train an automated system to produce accurate estimates to develop MVPs faster…the AI impact will be all around and hard to ignore.

  2. Blockchain:

    Blockchain, the meta-technology, holds the promise of completely reshaping software development. Blockchain consists of a single ledger of transactions and enables smart contracts. It has a distributed database that is accessible to a peer-to-peer network but is protected against unauthorized access. The technology is secured by cryptographic technique making the applications developed using this tech more secure.

    Blockchain has already made its presence felt in several different sectors be it retail, banking, financial services, healthcare, and public administration. It is only a matter of time before Blockchain becomes a prime focus for organizations involved in software development. As security becomes top of the mind, the need for blockchain-based applications will increase. 2019 looks like a good year to jump on this technology trend.

  3. Progressive Web Apps:

    Progressive Web Apps leaped to our attention when Gartner announced it as a software trend in 2017. In 2019 however, with a more mature app ecosystem in place, we expect to see Progressive Web apps become more dominant and gain that promised place. As the app economy gets stronger and the mobile environment evolves, progressive web apps are gradually going to become the new normal in this changing environment.
    Research shows that progressive web apps show a 68% increase in mobile traffic and are 15 times faster to load and install as compared to native apps. Progressive web apps also require 25 times less device storage space in comparison to native apps. These applications are also less complex to develop, are easy to maintain and provide the benefits of mobile experience with the features of browser technology. What’s not to love?

  4. Security Rules:

    Security has been on everyone’s mind in the software development space. The increased focus of security during software development is only going to increase in this year. Research from Alert Logic showed that data loss and leakage is one of the biggest concerns for cybersecurity professionals (67%). Threats to data privacy were the concern for 61% while 53% were concerned with breach of confidentiality.

    Owing to the huge impact security issues can have on a software product and its users, organizations are conscious of baking security into the process of software development. Software development companies also have to keep a close eye on regulatory considerations for specific industries.

    They must also follow security best practices and ensure that all security guidelines and protocols are met consistently. To make security more robust, organizations are also looking at Managed Security Providers or MSP’s for robust application security without compromising on development timelines.

  5. Automated Testing:

    While test automation has been around for a while, automated testing will continue to be a trend in 2019. This will continue for as long as there is a need to release better-tested products into the market faster -that means, forever! As testing gets deeply ingrained into every software development methodology, test automation will get even more pervasive with testing teams striving for greater levels of automated test coverage.

    In 2019 we will witness test automation leveraging AI for better test accuracy. Tests will become more comprehensive, more intelligent, and more dependable. Even with that, that they will become faster and less taxing. The products will become better tested and more robust as a result.

    Borrowing from, and evolving the technologies that help to automate testing, Robotic Process Automation or RPA will also become a dominating trend in 2019. RPA will drive to automate high-volume repeatable tasks, thus making them faster, more accurate, and less effort-intensive.

Conclusion:

2019 promises to be an exciting year in the world of software development. It will be interesting to see how these trends develop over the course of the year. Check back with us at the end of the year for a review of our predictions. And, do feel free to add more about the trends you think will dominate software development and testing in 2019.

 

5 Most In-Demand Technology Skills

This is now a software-defined world. Almost every company today is a technology company. Every product, in some way, is a technology product. As businesses lean more heavily on technology and software, the software development and technology landscape become even more dynamic. Technology is in a constant state of flux, with one shiny new object outshining the one from yesterday. The stakeholders of software development, the testers, developers, designers etc. thus need to constantly re-evaluate their skills. In this environment of constant change, here are, in my opinion, the five most in-demand technology skills to possess today, and why?

demanding technology skills

  1. R: Owing to the advances in machine learning, the R programming language is having its coming of age moment now. This open source language has been a workhorse for sorting and manipulating large data sets and has shown its versatility in model building, statistical operations, and visualizations.

    R, over the years, has become a foundational tool in expanding AI to unlock large data blocks. As data became more dominant, R has made itself quite comfortable in the data science arena.

    In fact, this language is predicted to surpass the use of Python in data science as R, in contrast to Python, allows robust statistical models to be written in just a few lines. As the world falls more in love with data science it will also find itself getting closer to R.
  2. React: Amongst client-side technologies, React has been growing in popularity rapidly. While the number of frameworks based on JavaScript continues to increase, React still dominates this space. Open Sourced by Facebook in 2013, React has been climbing up the technology charts owing to its ease of use, high level of flexibility and responsiveness, its virtual DOM (document object model) capabilities, its downward data binding capabilities, the ease of enabling migrations, and light-weightiness.

    React is also winning in the NPM download race and has won the crown of the Best JavaScript framework of 2018. In the age of automation, React gives developers a framework that allows them to break down complex components and reuse codes to complete projects faster.

    Its unique syntax that allows HTML quotes, as well as HTML tag syntax, help in promoting construction of machine-readable codes. React also gives developers the flexibility to break down complex UI/UX development into simpler components and allows them to make every component intuitive. It also has excellent runtime performance.
  3. Swift: In 2017 we heard reports of the declining popularity of Swift. One of the main reasons for the same was a perceived preference among developers’ to use multiplatform tools. Swift, that is merely four years old, ranked 16 on the TIOBE index despite having a good start. The reason was mainly the changing methodologies in the mobile development ecosystem.

    However, in 2018 we seem to be witnessing the rise of Swift once again. According to a study conducted by analyst firm RedMonk, Swift tied with Object C at rank 10 in their January 2018 report. It fell one place in the June report, but that could be attributed to the lack of a server-side presence, something IBM has been working to rectify in keeping with its enterprise push.

    Once Swift became open source it has grown in popularity and has also matured as a language. With iOS apps proving to be more profitable than Android apps, we can expect more developers to switch to Swift. Swift is also finding its way into business discussions as enterprises look at robust iOS apps that offer performance as well as security.
  4. Test Automation: Organizations are racing to achieve business agility. This drive has promoted the rise of new development methodologies and the move towards continuous integration and continuous delivery. In this need for speed Test automation will continue to rise in prominence as it enables faster feedback. The push towards digital transformation in enterprises is also putting the focus on testing and quality assurance.

    I expect Shift-left testing to grow to hasten software development. Test automation is rapidly emerging as the enabler of software confidence. With the rising interest in new technologies like IoT and blockchain, test automation is expected to get a further push.

    The possible role of AI in testing is also something to look out for as AI could bring in more intelligence, validation, efficiency, and automation to testing. These could be exciting times for those in the testing and test automation space.
  5. UX: Statistics reveal that 90% of users stop using an application with a bad UX. 86% of users uninstall an app if they encounter problems with its functionality in design. UX or User Experience will continue to rise in prominence as it is the UX that earns users interest and ultimately their loyalty. The business value of UX will rise even further as we delve deeper into the app economy.

    The role of UX designers is becoming even more compelling as we witness the rise of AR, chatbots and virtual assistants. With the software products and services market becoming increasingly competitive, businesses have to focus heavily on UX design to deliver intuitive and coherent experiences to their users that drive usage and foster adoption.

It is an exciting time for us in the technology game. Innovation, flexibility, simplicity, reliability, and speed have become important contributors to software success. The key differentiator in these dynamic times may be the technology skills that you as an individual or as a technology-focused organization possess. To my mind, the skills that will help you stay ahead are those I’ve identified here.

The Role of Big Data in Mobile App Development

With 4.57 billion mobile phone users in the world right now, the mobile app development industry is also at its pinnacle. With every company building mobile apps to address external as well as internal customers, there is a pressing need to keep pace with rapidly changing market trends, technology advances, and customer needs. One sure-shot way of out-performing the competition and achieving success is by letting data drive your decisions. Big data can enable you to unearth hidden patterns and customer preferences and you can lean on these to develop state-of-the-art mobile apps. Here’s how big data can play a major role in mobile app development.

Role of big data in mobile app development

  1. Understand Customer Needs: A great mobile app is not one which looks stunning but one which meets the needs of users. Using big data, you can analyze the overwhelming volume of data that users generate on a regular basis and convert it into relevant insights. By understanding how users from different backgrounds, age groups, lifestyles, and geographies relate, react, and interact with mobile apps, you can formulate ideas for new and innovative apps and boost the capabilities of existing ones. Uber uses big data in a big way to improve its customer service; when a customer requests for a cab, Uber analyzes real-time traffic conditions, availability of a driver nearby, estimated time for the journey, etc. and provides a time and cost estimate for improved engagement.
  2. Drive User Experience Analysis: In addition to understanding customer needs, mobile app development also requires you to understand how users use your app. Using big data, you can conduct detailed user experience analysis, get a comprehensive 360-degree view of usage and the user experience, evaluate the engagement for each feature or page, and determine the most sought-after features as well as pain points. You can understand which elements of your mobile app make users spend more time and which cause them to leave. You can then use this information to create a list of the very features that users demand, plan for changes or modifications in the design, improve user experience, and maximize engagement.
  3. Get Access to Real-time Data: Businesses today have to remain in touch with changing trends to stay ahead of the race. Big data helps a great deal in keeping up with the times. By examining real-time data, you can take real-time, data-driven decisions to improve customer satisfaction and bring in higher profit. Using big data, Fitbit tracks real-time health data including sleep, eating, and activity habits to enable better lifestyle choices. The data gathered by Fitbit not only helps individuals become healthier, but it also provides doctors and healthcare practitioners with a clear picture of overall health and habits across a wider population.
  4. Build the Right Marketing Strategies: With a pool of data about user behavior including their likes, dislikes, needs, expectations, and more, you can build the right marketing strategies around how, when and where to target your audience. You can make better decisions of all types, from what type of push notifications to send and what strategy to use in increasing engagement. Using big data, you can analyze users’ demographic data, purchase patterns, and social behavior to modify your marketing messages according to their current interests. By building the right strategies, you can drive adoption, fuel engagement, increase satisfaction and ultimately, grow app revenue.
  5. Enable Personalization: Big data also enables you to optimize search and make it more intuitive and less cumbersome for users. By analyzing data from customer queries, you can prioritize results, deliver better and more contextual experience that matter the most to a particular user. You can also group data and features to provide smarter self-service for immediate answers. Amazon uses big data to enable predictive analysis and offers product suggestions based on a user’s previous purchase history, products they have viewed or liked as well as trending products. By integrating recommendations across the buying cycle – from product discovery until checkout, Amazon delivers the most relevant products and delivers a personalized shopping experience to each shopper.

Drive Revenue:

In a highly mobile world today, the mobile app has become the centerpiece of all communication strategies for every business. It is estimated that the mobile app market will reach $189 billion by 2020. Although thousands of companies across the world are building mobile apps every single day, it is through technologies like big data that you can really boost app-performance and fuel user engagement. Big data puts real-time data to work to offer personalized experiences that cater to the needs of the users in the most effective manner. If the mobile is central to your go-to-market strategy, its time you made the most of big data to build better mobile apps that drive value and revenue.

Google has a New Cloud Platform – What Does it Mean for Application Development?

Google’s foray into the cloud computing space is the talk of the town. By offering a suite of public cloud computing services such as compute, storage, networking, big data, IoT, machine learning, and application development, Google has now joined the likes of Amazon and Microsoft and hopes to take over the cloud computing market. Since the platform is a public cloud offering, services can be accessed by application developers, cloud administrators, and other IT professionals over the internet or by using a dedicated network connection.

google cloud platform for application development

What Google New Cloud Platform Means For Application Development?

According to Gartner, by 2021, the PaaS market is expected to attain a total market size of $27.3 billion. In addition to the core cloud computing products such as Google Compute Engine, Google Cloud Storage, and Google Container Engine, what’s particularly exciting for the application development world is the Google App Engine – a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offering that enables developers to build scalable web applications as well as mobile and IoT backends. It offers access to Google’s scalable hosting, software development kit (SDK), and a host of built-in services and APIs. Here’s a list of features application developers can leverage:

  • Access to familiar languages and tools: Since developers are most comfortable developing apps using languages that they are familiar with, the Google Cloud Platform allows them to choose the language of their choice – from Java, PHP, Node.js, Python, C#,.Net, Ruby or any other language you prefer. Access to a collection of tools and libraries that include Google Cloud SDK, Cloud Shell, Cloud Tools for Android Studio, IntelliJ, PowerShell, Visual Studio etc. make application development all the more efficient. And with custom runtimes, you can bring any library and framework to the App Engine by supplying a Docker container.
  • Hassle-free Coding: Despite being proficient in coding, developers often end up managing several other aspects of the application development life-cycle beyond the purview of their role. The Google Cloud Platform offers a range of infrastructure capabilities such as patch and server management, as well as security features like firewall, Identity and Access Management, and SSL/ TLS certificates. With all these other facets of development taken care of, developers can enjoy hassle-free coding, without worrying about managing the underlying infrastructure.
  • Scalable Mobile Backends: Depending on the type of mobile application that is required to be built, the Google Cloud Platform automatically scales the hosting environment. With Cloud Tools for IntelliJ, one can easily deploy Java backends for cloud apps to the Google App Engine flexible environment. Integration with Firebase mobile platform provides an easy-to-use front-end with a scalable and reliable backend, and access to functionalities such as databases, analytics, crash reporting and more.
  • Quick Deployment: Quick deployment is a top priority for any developer; if one can’t deploy apps quickly, someone else will and might eat into your market share and customer base. Being a fully-managed platform, Google Cloud Platform allows developers to quickly build and deploy applications and scale as required, and not worry about managing servers or configurations. What’s more, Google’s Cloud Deployment Manager allows you to specify all the resources needed for the application and to perform repeatable deployments quickly and efficiently.
  • High Availability: Making applications available anytime, anywhere, and on any device has become a requisite. The Google App Engine allows developers to build highly scalable applications on a fully managed serverless platform. All they have to do is simply upload their code and allow Google to manage the app’s availability — without having to provision or maintain a single server. Since the engine scales applications automatically in response to the amount of traffic they receive, you can ensure high availability and only pay for the resources used.
  • Easy Testing: The impact of an app failure is extremely profound. Not only does it cost a lot but it also impacts customer trustworthiness. Do you know? In 2017, software failures resulted in losses of over $1.7 trillion. The Google Cloud Platform integrates with the Firebase Test Lab that provides cloud-based infrastructure for testing mobile apps. With Firebase Test Lab, app developers can initiate the testing of apps across a wide variety of devices and configurations and view test results directly on their console. And if there are problems in the app, they can debug the cloud backend using Stackdriver Debugger without affecting end-user experience.
  • Seamless Versioning: Users need updated information about the version of the app installed on their devices. This means that versioning is a critical component of the application upgrade and maintenance strategy. When developing apps in the App Engine, one can easily create development, test, staging, and production environments and host different versions of the app. Each version then runs within one or more instances, depending on how much traffic it has been configured to handle.
  • Health Monitoring: Providing users with high-quality app experiences requires app developers to carry out timely performance monitoring. As applications get more complex and distributed, Google Stackdriver offers powerful application diagnostics to debug and monitor the health and performance of these apps. By aggregating metrics, logs, and events, it offers deep insight into multiple issues. This helps speed up root-cause analysis and reduce mean time to resolution.

Streamline Application Development:

The Google Cloud Platform – with its application development and integration services – could change the face of application development. With access to popular languages and tools and an open and flexible framework that is fully managed, it enables app developers to improve productivity and become more agile. Developers can focus on simply writing code and run all applications in a serverless environment. Since the App Engine automatically scales depending on application traffic and consumes resources only when the code is running, developers do not have to worry about over or under-provisioning. Now developers can efficiently manage resources from the command line, debug source code in their production environment, easily run API backends using industry-leading tools, and streamline the application development process.

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