Why use NodeJS? The Transformative Web Development Technology

The rise of NodeJS can be summed up in a single statement- what PHP was in the last decade, NodeJS is today. For a detailed review, we’ll need to dig deeper.

Internet, since its inception, has come a long way both in terms of how users connect and the services they use. If we talk about connectivity, dial-up connections and privately managed servers have been replaced by broadband and cloud while a similar seismic shift can be observed in services. But until recently, one aspect largely remained untouched- how those services worked. The browser sends a request to the server, to which server responds and waits for another request. While this architecture worked well in the early days, it now poses a two-edged problem:

  • Clients have to wait for server response despite their fast connectivity
  • The server is highly underutilized given their huge multi-core processing power

NodeJS is popular and widely adopted primarily because it solves both of these problems. Plus the fact that it doesn’t cause any additional overhead by using an already popular language- JavaScript, makes it an appealing choice for even smaller projects that don’t necessarily face those problems.

How NodeJS works?

Technically speaking, NodeJS works in a non-blocking I/O mode. If that sounds cryptic, consider this- the browser requests the server, the server while processing that request, doesn’t block other connections and keeps listening for any other requests. The first request when processed is sent back to the browser. This not only reduces the latency for many clients but also maximizes server utility.

Now add to this the fact that NodeJS bridges the gap between the server and client-side programming languages, thus drastically reducing the rendering time for the browser, you’ll get the full picture of how NodeJS makes web applications faster and scalable.

NodeJS at its Best

While these capabilities serve basically all categories of web applications, there are some cases where it is instrumental in enabling those services.

Real-time applications

Services that need to work with data in real-time have minimal tolerance for latency and as discussed above, NodeJS excels in this regard. The fact that applications like Uber and PayPal use NodeJS at their backend is a testimony to that claim.

Streaming application

Owing to its non-blocking mode with minimal rending, NodeJS enables applications to offer seamless streaming experience. If you ever used Netflix, you are already familiar with its underlying power and efficiency.

Single-page applications

Single page apps are the new trend in web development due to its better user experience. And because such applications rely heavily on client-side, the minimal rendering ensured by NodeJS makes it a good fit for building such apps.

Dashboard

NodeJS is capable of tracking and visualizing user action on an application and thus makes an excellent option for creating dashboards.

Now if we sum it all up, we are sure you’ll get a definite answer to the question we begun with- why use NodeJS?

  • It’s easy to learn
  • There are tons of third-party tools for JS, that make a highly productive development environment
  • It offers cross-platform support
  • Its use of Google's V8 engine ensures high performance
  • Excellent for modern apps like chatting and streaming
  • Open source tag and corporate backing guarantees consistent improvement
  • Cheap development and hosting solutions

Overall, if you wish to build a robust, scalable web application, just hire a NodeJS developer and you won’t possibly regret your choice. In fact, even the long-standing web development companies who have experience working with all technologies are resorting to NodeJS as their goto technology for new projects.

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5 Great Responsive Design Testing Tools

Consumer-grade computer devices come in many shapes and sizes nowadays. What they all have in common is the ability to access the internet, allowing consumers to browse the web whether they have desktop PC, a tablet, or a smart-watch. Add to that a variety of web browsing software, each with their own suite of add-ons, plug-ins, and extensions, and you get a digital ecosystem where everyone gets to surf the web in way they find most comfortable.

On the other side of the equation, things couldn't be more different. Web developers and designers now have to create websites that render equally well across the myriad of devices in use today. Methods of input, screen sizes, and bandwidth limitations, are only some of the factors that make the professional lives of modern website creators more difficult than they used to be.

To address the issue of designing for an increasing variety of browsing configurations, a set of standards about what constitutes responsive web design were developed. These provide guidelines on how to adapt websites for optimal browsing on different devices and software. There are now various software packages on the market that allow you to test whether your website conforms to these principles. Here is a list of 5 of them that caught our attention recently.

Responsinator

Responsinator's main selling point is its ease-of-use. Simply type in a web-page URL, and Responsinator will give you a preview of how the page renders on a variety of common screen shapes and sizes. The page previews are fully functional as well, allowing you conduct rudimentary tests by clicking on links, filling out search fields, etc. Responsinator also has a handy feature in the form of a button for toggling between HTTPS and HTTP modes of previewing a site. This will give you an additional perspective for analyzing web pages. Responsinator is available for free online, and is used through a browser interface.

Google Resizer, DevTools Device Mode, and Mobile-Friendly Test

Google offers a variety of tools for helping web developers and designers create websites that display perfectly on a range of popular devices, with a focus on mobile browsing. Google Resizer offers the ability to test a web-page across multiple screen sizes. Google DevTools Device Mode provides software simulations of various common devices, thus providing an opportunity to see how a given website works in practice. Google Mobile-Friendly Test is not a design tool per se, but it nonetheless presents a handy tool for analyzing whether a web site is mobile friendly. All of Google's tools are available for free online.

XRespond

The XRespond app markets itself as a “virtual device lab”. The app offers the standard preview features for this kind of software, giving users the ability to see how a website looks on a variety of devices. The app interface is based around scrolling sideways to see how a site displays on a variety of screens, side by side. At the top of the screen is a toolbar that displays relevant information, such as the exact screen size, pixel density, etc. Supported devices include popular smartphones, tablets, and laptops. There is the option to manually specify screen sizes as well, for conducting tests for specific devices. XRespond is available for free online as a browser app.

Ghostlab

Ghostlab is something of an industry standard when it comes to testing for responsive design. It offers the ability to test a site for multiple devices at the same time, side by side, giving you a clear overview on how well it renders on a variety of configurations. Actions in one browser sub-window, such as following links, clicking on buttons, or filling out forms, will get replicated on all others, giving you an unparalleled productivity boost. Sydney based web design agency recommend Ghostlab as the definitive tool to use when creating responsive websites. Ghostlab is a paid app, with a 7-day trial being offered as well. It is a mid-point between free online apps, and expensive corporate solutions.

Am I Responsive?

If you need a quick and dirty way to check how responsive your website is, look no further than the Am I Responsive? browser app. It is not intended for serious design analysis, but it works really well for what it is intended for. You can choose between a generic desktop, laptop, tablet and smartphone display, which are good enough for giving you a rough estimate on a website runs on such devices. It has a handy screenshot feature that puts the various display modes all into the same frame, which is great for creating promotional screenshots. You are not limited to testing remote websites either – just type in a localhost address into the search field, and get a preview of how a website in progress from your hard drive is panning out.

 

 

 

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The Future of Payments Hinges on IoT and Machine to Machine Interface

The Future of Payments Hinges on IoT and Machine to Machine InterfaceEarlier this year, Amazon made quite a stir when it opened a new brick-and-mortar store. It doesn’t sell anything unusual but there is something special about the store itself. There are no cashiers or checkout counters! Customers have to just walk in, grab anything they want and leave, that’s it.  No, the products aren’t free, they will be later billed to their Amazon account. More than anything, what this futuristic store strongly reaffirms is that “the new age of IoT” isn’t coming anymore, it’s already here.

Then there is also the much talked about M2M that has quietly attained the pole position in virtually all areas of our lives. When was the last time you manually paid the toll on an expressway? Or remember that PoS you used for card payment? Hope you got the picture. And while these technologies have varying applications ranging from smart homes to smart cities, we will be here focusing on one key aspect- digital payments. In fact, it’s much more than that but will come back to it later.

Before we dive into specific applications, there is a shred of doubt that needs to be clarified- M2M and IoT are not the same but still are often used interchangeably. The reason they are different because they use different methods to communicate with their server- M2M uses standard cellular or wired connection while IoT is based on IP connections. Plus, data collected and shared by M2M modules are limited to the point-to-point interface while those collected by IoT are often shared with multiple enterprise applications and are subjected to a whole scrutiny under data science including Big Data, data mining, predictive analysis, and much more.

Then why do we use them interchangeably? 

There are two reasons- 1. It’s all the same for consumers; 2. They are gradually converging. Let’s try an example- a traffic light that sends data to a central control-room is an M2M but when that data is processed to get various metrics of traffic, it becomes an IoT. Now if you are the consumer, it’s all the same to you and as IoT application development progresses to incorporate new domains, that barrier between the two is only going to de-escalate.

Now coming back to payments, deploying IoT and M2M solutions do not only make them digital but when fused with AI and ML, can also make them autonomous- just like Amazon Store did. It is a proof of concept that can easily be applied to all offline transactions- when you make your purchases, merely you presence will authenticate the payments.

But what about security? If merely possessing your phone or your smart watch gives access to your bank account, isn’t that a security nightmare? Plus, there is also the skepticism regarding how do you know you are billed correctly if the payments are happening without even you knowing about them? While both of these are genuine concerns, of which there is no airtight solution, there are still enough safeguards in place to push the transformation further.

As the Bible would say for these problems, the technology giveth and the technology taketh away. If you know anything about digital transactions, you must be aware that there are billion such cases every day amounting to trillions of dollars and we have created intelligent systems that detect fraudulent activities to near perfection. That is, if you walk into a store one day, you have never been before to buy something you generally don’t buy or are spending out of your general habit, the system would automatically flag such payments and ask for additional authentication.

On the closing note, it won’t be an overstatement we say that we are currently underway a seismic transformation in terms of payments, primarily fueled by IoT and M2M. And as mentioned before, the more IoT app developers converge these technologies with those related to artificial intelligence, these systems would only become more practical, robust, ubiquitous, and after a while, a new normal.

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reasons to choose joomla cms for startup business

Reasons Why Joomla CMS is Best for a Startup Business

The choice of technology is one of the most crucial decisions upon which hinges the future prospects of any startup. Because not only what they choose will end up determining the quality of their application, but is also a decision that can’t be unmade, at least not without incurring considerable time and resources. Also, since startups generally evolve rapidly, their requirements in the future may become much different from what they were at the initial stage.

Keeping that in mind, taking a generalized approach at this stage is the smartest decision to make. That is, pick a technology that can serve all the purpose and is flexible to evolve, support and scale to your changing needs. Exactly something Joomla development services are renowned for.

Cost-effective

Joomla is free to use. This means startups, who are generally low on the budget, do not have to spend anything on technological end and can save it for other more important tasks. Apart from the Joomla itself, there is a host of other free plugins and templates that they can use for additional functionalities and interface. Or if they prefer, there are also many affordable templates that they can deploy to get a feel for a premium application.

Simplicity

Most of the startups in the initial stage do not have ample technical expertise and hiring professionals isn’t feasible for them. With Joomla, they do not have to. Its interactive interface is exceptionally easy to use and even a non-technical person can easily manage the application once it is developed by a Joomla developer. This also drastically improves the efficiency because they do not have to consult developers every time they have to make changes.

Quick deployment

For every startup, the time-to-market holds the key to beat their competitors because the more time the application takes in the development stage, more is the cost, and more is the market they concede to others. With Joomla’s wide range of ready to use modules and templates, web applications can be developed in the minimum possible time.

Quality product

Joomla being cost-effective and simple doesn’t mean that it offers those benefits at the expense of quality. It is the second most widely used CMS in the world after WordPress and supports millions of websites of all scales and businesses. If you aren’t convinced yet, we must tell you that it is well-known for its stability and high security.

Community support

For startups with little experience in the domain, it is almost certain that they will get stuck at one point or another. For that, Joomla has a very large and vibrant community of seasoned developers who are more than willing to help anytime you need.

Easy portability

As mentioned in the beginning, the choice of technology is crucial for any startup and as they evolve, their requirements may change. So, if after few years down the line, startups feel that Joomla isn’t serving them well, it provides an exceptionally simple procedure to port your application to any other technology. Also, if you are facing any problems with servers, the migration process is very swift and simplified.

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The 5 Worst Mistakes When Hiring a Custom Software Development Company

The 5 Worst Mistakes When Hiring a Custom Software Development Company

You can get your business software development work done faster and hassle-free by outsourcing it to a right partner. It is practically impossible to get all your IT and software projects done in-house. It will take a toll on your company’s resources and add costs in new hires. Consequently, farming out your custom software development work makes a lot of business sense as it lowers cost, increases speed to market and leverage specialized talent of the software developers.

No wonder outsourcing is the buzzword in software development circles and is constantly on rise. Still many businesses are wary of the risks involved in outsourcing a project. Mistakes in getting a wrong team on-board for your business’s software development could be unforgiving. A wrong decision could land your business in a soup and cost you big money too. Being aware of the risk possibilities is the key to avoid these mistakes.

One can hire a custom software development company taking into consideration all the risks with careful planning and devising vigilant strategies during the course of the project. You will in fact find it is no rocket science if you could be vigilant and avoid these pitfalls while hiring a software development team.

Let’s look at the possible pitfalls avoiding which will make hiring a custom software development firm less of a daunting task.

  1. Price is not everything

Out of the numerous quotes for your software development project if you pick a firm which has quoted the lowest rates that might not be a sound thing to do. In all likelihood the company charging below the market rates either does not fully understand the project or they might be cutting their profits. They will most probably cut corners sometime during the project development cycle. This will be perhaps purely out of necessity as they will not be making any money. Chances are they lack sufficient experience or skill set and disciplined approach to carry out your project to a tee.

Cheap price generally means poor product or service. Basing your hiring decision solely on low prices might prove disastrous later. Prioritizing cost and ignoring quality would mean you get an application which has a badly written code or is full of bugs. The project itself could be half done with wrong codes and bugs might appear later. Sometimes these may not be apparent at first but with usage the flaws in coding could emerge. It could be extensively delayed as well due to lack of expertise in fixing the bugs and updating the app as per your requirement.

2) Cultural Disconnect

Cultural fit is perhaps an underrated piece of the puzzle of zeroing in on a software service provider. Not finding a team which understands your working style and believes in the same set of work ethos as yours sometimes can be the biggest pitfall in the successful completion of your software development project.

Outsourcing brings people from different cultures and geographies together for a project. This could bring the challenges of language barriers and differences in accepted business norms and ethics. Behaviour, gestures, vocabulary and implicit conventions vary across the globe. Cultural disconnect can lead to communication failure which in turn can be a big hazard for your app development project.

3) Not Owning the Source Code

Source code is a set of instructions to develop the application. It is at best the basic foundation of an application and if you are required to make any changes to the app in future you need the source code.

Very often the source code is included as part of a project deliverable in the custom software development project. If, however, the app developer is unwilling to part with the source code then you can infer some hanky-panky there. The software developer at any point in future can hold you hostage for the modification work required.

You need to have proprietary rights over your application’s source code. Not having clear rights over the source code can put your business at risk from competitors. Rivals can copy your application and you can do nothing about it.

A contract binding the developer to deliver the entire undocumented source code with full ownership also grants you the right to further develop it later with the same software developing firm or any other company. Owning the source code is critical to your business’s security and growth.

3) Unclear Goals and Objectives and Ineffective Communication

Any business thrives on the principle of setting out clear objectives and goals to yield better results and have control over the overall business process. It makes sense to leave the non-core competencies to the service partner while retaining the crucial decision making for the success of a project.

If an organization lacks clarity in vision and mission of their business and specific project goals or is not able to communicate effectively its goals to concerned partners, then it will certainly result in chaos and confusion.

This could be a pitfall that businesses can avoid when dealing with a custom software development company is sitting back and assuming that everything is going fine. The key to selecting a custom software company that best fits your business needs is to keep an unfailing level of regular communication and constant exchange of ideas so that you are always on the same page with your developer partner.

5) Not Getting a Non-Disclosure Agreement

It is imperative to get a non-disclosure agreement signed by your custom software development company to avoid any kind of mess later. Get the developers sign NDA even before signing a contract, in fact, even before discussing the project.

It is essential that you ask the custom software development company to consign all the rights of the software to your company. The last thing on earth that you would want is your competitor copying your idea or you landing up in dispute soup with your developer. If you have a great idea or product it is best to enter into a NDA agreement at the outset. Better safe than sorry!

6) Poorly Drafted Contract

Contractual terms are important, binding and critical to the success of your software development project. A detailed contract with great attention to detail should be prepared safeguarding your interests.

Nothing should be left to speculation in the contract. Ambiguous terms and clauses may result in disputes which may eventually snowball into a run of added tasks and overall cost of the project.

A poor contract management can upshot in unforeseen exigencies, project delays and excessive expense. In present times, with rapid and constant technological changes it is very significant to have an efficient contract management t in place. NDA, ownership of source code are the important terms to be negotiated in the contract. In fact, it should reflect even the tiniest detail to circumvent any issues in the future.

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