Archive for the ‘Enterprise App Development’ Category

Microservices

Friday, January 24th, 2020

The world we live in is dynamic, in fact, the only sure-fire constant that you may find in it is the fact that change here, is a rather constant set of affairs. When we narrow down our view of the world to software and technology this seems to take a whole other meaning, not only is change constantly occurring, it is occurring so rapidly that even the best of our brains have difficulty keeping up with it. This brings us to a very interesting question- how can the various applications and other software on your electronic devices accommodate such a variety of change and that too this fast? This question lies in the mind of all developers, before they even launch a new application, for example, they build it already capable of inculcating new updated, etc. Now comes the question of rapidity. Earlier the applications used to have monolithic architecture. Under this, the entire application was built as one independent unit. This resulted in any induction of change to be an extremely time-taking and tedious process as any change affected the entire system- even the most minuscule modification to even a tiny segment of the code could require the building or deployment new version of the software.

But the world as we know it needed to be much faster than that, this where Microservices came and replaced Monolith applications.Microservice architecture or as it is popularly known- Microservices is today one of the foundation components of creating a good application aimed and precise and immersive delivery of service. It is a style of Architecture that designs the application as an amalgamation of services that can easily be maintained over a long period of time and deployed if need be both with one another or independently. It tackles the problems posed by earlier models by being modular in every single aspect. It is a rather distinctive method of creating systems of software that emphasizes the creation of single-function modules with strictly defined operations and interfaces.

Since there are no official templates available to either design or develop or even base microservice architecture upon, providers of these services often find themselves in a more creative space than usual, however over time there has come some uniformity in types and characteristics of services offered or how this architecture is developed. Topping the charts, of course, is its uncanny ability to be divided into numerous components with each being able to be tweaked and redeployed independently so if one or more service is to be changed, the developers do not have to undertake the gargantuan task of changing the entire application. Another defining characteristic carried by it is the simple fact that this is built for business. In previous architectures the traditional approach with separate teams for User Interface, Technology layers, Databases, and other services and components were present. Microservice comes with the revolutionary idea of cross-platform teams, with each team being given the task of developing one or more very specific products based on any number of services (as available within the architecture) with the help of a message bus for the purpose of communication. It functions on the motto- “You build it, you run it.” Hence these teams are allowed to assume ownership of their developed product for its lifetime.

Another well-founded achievement of Microservices is its quality of resistance to failure. The probability of failure is extremely plausible since a number of services which on their own are quite diverse as well are continuously communicating and working together. The chance of a service failing is rather high. In such cases, the client should withdraw peacefully allowing other services around its function. Moreover, Microservices come with the ability to monitor over these services which exponentially reduces these chances of failure and if and when one service or the other does fail it is thus well equipped to cope up with it.

As you may realize reading thus far, that Microservice architecture in all its application and potential seems to be a design capable of bringing a revolution in the industry, hints of which have already been seen as it has efficiently and rather completely replaced the traditional monolith models. It is an evolutionary design and it is an ideal choice for a designer who is unable to anticipate the types of changes that product may have to undergo in the future. In fact, it is built to accommodate unforeseen changes and that is why as development becomes more and more rapid a larger share of industry is switching from Monolithic to Microservices.

Some of the big players adding to its prestige are Netflix and Amazon. Both requiring one of the most widespread architectures possible in the industry. They get a number of calls from a variety of devices which would simply have been impossible to be handled by the traditional models they used before that.

One major drawback faced globally among Microservices enthusiasts is the fact that the logic, schema and other information that would otherwise have been the company’s intellectual property implicit their own minds now have to be shared across the various cross-platform services. But there is no way around it, in the world around us where most software is being developed over cloud environments this is more or less a philosophical question that whether we should even keep a secret. But along with this aby accepting regression tests and planning around backward compatibility a lot of such tricky scenarios could easily be avoided. Anyway, compared to the ocean of benefits that one receives from Microservice architecture it can remain a rhetorical question whether companies have any other options available. The pros outweigh the cons by far and in the coming times, this is going to be even more sought after model than it is now.

React Native vs Xamarin

Friday, January 24th, 2020

With an overly increasing market for mobile applications in both of its major platforms- Android and IOS, it is only probable that the developers continue to hunt for a faster, a more comprehensive way of creating these. This where open source cross-platform frameworks like React Native and Xamarin come to play. With both these frameworks topping the charts in their fields it is only necessary to closely examine and compare their features so that the user is better equipped to make a choice.

If simple facts are to be believed then React native has about three times more users than Xamarin, on the various platforms where the users of these frameworks form communities and interact we can see a wide disparity in the number of people committed to one of the two, be it Github or Reddit. But this does not necessarily indicate better technical prowess. What it does show is that Facebook is making extra efforts in securing a community for its framework, a field where Microsoft effectively lacks.

If we care to examine the technical aspects of the two, we see the amount of ease of usage that React native provides to its customers- basic knowledge of the Java Script and you are ready to develop mobile apps. Xamarin, on the other hand, uses the C# language, which is more popular with the native users of Android or IOS.

This also introduces to one of the areas where React Native falls short of customer expectations is that it has no provisions for the native features of Android or IOS, the need to be created from scratch every time you have to include them in your development process, this tedious task compels you to write in both Java and Objective C. Whereas Xamarin offers no such problems.

As far as the need for emulators is concerned, in Xamarin one has the compulsion to integrate them in order create anything, whereas React native can function without it, but for a better or more complex application your work has to be integrated with these external emulators at the end.

Another area where React native has not been scoring high is the lack of maturity in its framework, it is easily susceptible to damage and prone to attack via bugs, etc. It has taken a lot of public heat, since often, these bugs are hard to fix, and time taken in doing so might range to days.

So, while React native might appear to be more lucrative a strong proposition can be made claiming that Xamarin with its impeccable centralized support among other things is a better boat to sail in for the long term.

What made your favorite social networking sites go down?

Friday, January 24th, 2020

Eight years after it launched Google+ with much fanfare, Google shut down its social network in April this year. Though the announcement to shut down Google+ comes after it was found that a bug that was present for more than two years led to the exposure of data of millions of users to external developers, Google+ was already dying.

And this is not the first time a social network has to be shut down.

In 1997, the first social networking site was launched, SixDegrees.com. At its peak, the site had around 3.5 million registered users. The platform was simple; users could send messages and share content by posting on bulletin boards. The network shut down just four years later in 2001.

Remember Orkut? Orkut was launched in 2004 by a Turkish software engineer and Google employee, Orkut Büyükkökten. Orkut was the result of the search giant’s failure to buy Friendster. Orkut, while not much of a success in the US, proved big in Brazil and India, its two key markets. Orkut had 19 million users in India and 34 million in Brazil when it lost the top spot to Facebook. Google finally shut Orkut on September 30, 2014. This site had a much longer tenure than SixDegrees but still ended up in the grave in 2014.

Another fallen giant was MySpace. It may be hard to imagine how big MySpace was. In 2006, it beat Yahoo and Google to become the largest website in the US by page views. Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp had bought it the previous year for $580 million. Its valuation shot up to a staggering $12 billion in 2007 when it had 300 million users.
But it was all downhill for the site from there as Facebook closed the gap with MySpace and became the largest social networking site. News Corp sold MySpace in June 2011 for just $35 million.

Obviously, social media has come a long way since then, and we’ve seen many social media platforms launch, experience relative success (or complete failure), then crash and burn a few short years later. While these sites went down, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Reddit have only seen upward graphs. So where did these companies lose the plot?

Why did they fall?

Facebook, the most popular social network on Earth, has over 2 billion users. Instagram has over 1 billion. If Facebook were a country, it would be the most populous in the world. This network shows no sign of slowing down, it seems the only limit left to its growth is the number of people on Earth who have access to the internet — something they are actively working on increasing.

So, why has Facebook succeeded where others have failed? What does Facebook have that MySpace and Friendster did not? For starters, Facebook maintained its scale as waves of users signed on and created accounts. Facebook focused more on the user offering unique features to connect and expand your circle while keeping in touch with older friends. Creating a timeline with life events, photo albums, videos, check-ins, events, and social gaming was something never seen before in the social networking space and contributed to the explosive growth and popularity of facebook. Later on, support for businesses and marketplaces which gives them the opportunity to expand and attract customers also made sure that Facebook didn’t become redundant.

One aspect of Friendster’s downfall was that it was unable to keep up with how many members joined the site. As more people joined, the site grew slower and slower, so slow that people were forced to switch to Facebook or MySpace.

MySpace failed because it connected users to bands, celebrities, and strangers, rather than people you knew in real life. People wanted to interact with their friends and family to enhance and expand their existing social lives onto the internet.

iTunes Ping fell apart. Google+ offered integration with Gmail, hangouts, Drive and also introduced Circles, something which was new in the space but didn’t strike a chord with the potential user base. Users already had Facebook to accomplish anything that Ping and Google+ offered.

What is the takeaway from all this?

Staying Relevant

1. Successful social networks are original. New networks will not survive if they simply copy the concept of an existing service. They must build upon the services by fulfilling a need of the users, or introduce something entirely new that users did not even know they wanted.

2. Successful networks scale. As social networks grow, they must be able to accommodate the influxes of new users. When platforms start to slow down and falter due to increased use, people will leave due to frustration.

3. Successful social networks evolve. As user bases grow, so do the wants and needs of those users. When platforms fail to address the feedback of their members, they provide an opportunity for another platform to step in and fulfill that need.

The Future of Social Networking

With the demise of Twitter and SnapChat looming on the distant horizon, the future of social media is up in the air. Facebook and Instagram will continue to dominate the market, but neither service offers everything that a citizen of the social realm looks for.

Facebook is great for news articles, updates from friends, and memes, but the enormous amount of content is overwhelming, and ads take up a lot of space in Newsfeeds.

Reddit is great for anonymity and non-censorship while sharing content but lacks the social part of media.

Instagram is the perfect medium for sharing photo and video but is an awful place to post a quick text update to your friends.

A facelift to the business world — Digital Transformation

Friday, January 24th, 2020

How is digital transformation reshaping businesses?

There is a fixed pattern or way in which businesses operate. When that changes its course from its traditional fons et origo due to modernization and technology, it is referred to as digital transformation.

“Change is inevitable. Change is constant.” — Benjamin Disraeli

Hence, digital transformation has made its mark in a wide range of arenas like hospitality, automation, information technology, finance, and even medicine. It has carved a niche for itself in all kinds of businesses — be it small, medium or large. However, it’s being ubiquitous comes at a price. It needs to prove itself worthy to the customers and the employees and this can be achieved only by employing voguish business applications. Organizations should be able to churn these out at lightning bolt speed because it is the only way they can survive in the extant cut-throat competition.

The essence

The pith of digital transformation is a reduction in operational costs and enhanced customer experience. It does not just circumscribe around new innovative technologies but also revolves around a change in mindset and work culture. Thus, enterprises ought to cater to fluctuations in the business environment and business demands by inventing appropriate strategies.

“…the key to digital transformation in re-envisioning and driving change in how the company operates. That’s a management and people challenge, not just a technology one.” — Capgemini Consulting

The factors

It is hence, pivotal for the management to join hands with IT teams and cater to business needs, motor innovation and head towards continuous development. These form the core of digital transformation — progress in business activities, reduction in costs, improvement in marketing time and so on. Influenced by major factors like technological innovations, customer expectations and demands, market scenario and environmental changes, digital transformation is a force to be reckoned with.

Advancements in technology lead to disruptions. Those operating on obsolete and outdated computer systems are shunned for latest and more modern versions of the same technology. Cloud computing, big data, internet of things, machine learning and others have taken the limelight and if harnessed, are done throughout the organization for better results, higher efficiency, and lower costs.

In the case of customer behavior, it refers to the desires and expectations that they have from the business and from the technology being employed. Consumers want sophisticated and latest technologies but also want them to be handy and easy-to-use. They must be satisfied with the service and should be willing to speak highly of your organization to others. Hence, it is extremely important that these expectations of the customer and technology changes catering to business demand must be in sync with one another. Digital transformation, therefore, helps in the evolution of organizations towards being more customer-centric.

The aftermath

Now, let’s move to different aspects of a business model that digital transformation influences or is capable of influencing. It can affect the normal functioning of the business across different departments ranging from human resources to administration. It can also streamline business models, increase the efficiency of underlying processes and balance business ecosystems. Dealing with customers and information, the two main intangible assets of any business, also become much easier.

Back to the essence

Profitability, customer care and faster market time are key components of digital transformation. Large amounts of data can also be analyzed easily using the latest tech to make decision-making more efficient and improve overall performance. Due to its camaraderie with the business world, digital transformation is often also referred to as business transformation.

“Digital transformation is a journey for the entire company. It’s no longer just about marketing transformation. We’re entering a new phase where all internal stakeholders are involved.” — digitaltransformationbook.com

It is indeed reshaping the business world to transform not just operations management but also organization at all hierarchies. Taking the world by the storm, it is no surprise that a significant number of Global 2000 companies deem it a priority in their corporate strategy. So, watch out for this one!

Also, feel free to reach out to us in case of any query regarding the digital transformation of if you just feel like having a construction discussion regarding the same. We will be more than happy to help out. Thanks for reading!

MangoPay

Friday, January 24th, 2020

MANGOPAY is a payment solution that enables marketplaces to easily process third-party payments. MangoPay is a service for market places, collaborative consumption platforms, and crowdfunding websites. It allows them to have a payment solution and to manage the electronic funds, with as particularity the management of e-wallet in white label. The typical workflow is described below.

Typical marketplace workflow

PREMIUM FEATURES OF MANGOPAY

Payments become a breeze

Make payments easy for your users by allowing them to pay in multiple currencies and with various payment methods.

Automate all payment flows and commissions with one single contract so you can focus on the growth of your platform.

Designed for developers

Integrate their payment solution on your platform quickly thanks to the open-source SDKs (PHP, Java, Ruby, Python, and .Net), our WordPress plugin and the checkout libraries for web, Android and IOS.

Payment flows your own way

Create your own payment flow matching your business model thanks to their seamless payment solution.

Their white-label product allows you to setup e-wallets enabling you to manage the escrowing and splitting of funds between users.

Maximum security for minimum worry

Keep your payments and transactions safe thanks to multiple anti-fraud and money laundering prevention tools.

Concentrate on your business while they verify your users in accordance with the latest European and local regulation.

Accessible dashboard for real-time monitoring

Manage your transactions, commissions, users, e-wallets and financial reporting thanks to their practical and accessible dashboard.

PAYMENT SOLUTIONS

Marketplaces

Integration made simple

Integrate their marketplace payment solution easily thanks to a developer-friendly API, online documentation which includes dedicated case studies, check out libraries for web, iOS, Android and their open-source SDKs’: PHP, Java, Ruby, Python, and .Net.

Global payment solution

Accept the most popular local and international methods of payment and currencies with one single contract.

Transfer funds to your users around the globe. Thanks to their solid international banking network, we guarantee fast and reliable payments.

Compliance on all levels

Rest easy with the verification of your merchants and end-users from around the world. We take care of checking and declaring their identity to the banking authorities, as required by European marketplaces’ regulation.

Comply with all European Union and card industry regulations thanks to their banking license which covers marketplaces registered in the 31 countries of the European Economic Area. We guarantee that all sensitive data such as card details and user identity is handled securely, conform with PSD2, GDPR and PCI DSS.

White-label solution

Focus on giving the best experience to your users. Design and integrate your payment flow to ensure a smooth user experience within your web and mobile app.

Access all API functions on your personal dashboard and gain full control over your payments. Use this complimentary tool along with their API for operational and reporting purposes.

Rental Marketplace

Your platform facilitates rentals by connecting renters with owners.
Their marketplace offer is your solution to:

  • Collect secure deposits
  • Set up recurring payments
  • Verify the user’s identity

Merchant Marketplace

Your platform facilitates business by connecting buyers with merchants.
Their marketplace offer is your solution to:

  • Accept local currencies
  • Pay Merchants globally
  • Verify merchants’ identity

Community Marketplace

Your platform facilitates exchange between individuals as well as local businesses within a community.
Their marketplace offer is your solution to:

  • Split payments
  • Customize rules for transfers
  • Verify sellers
  • Crowdfunding

Integration made simple

Integrate their crowdfunding payment solution easily thanks to a developer-friendly API, online documentation which includes dedicated case studies, check out libraries for web, IOS, Android and their open-source SDKs’: PHP, Java, Ruby, Python, and .Net.

Adaptive workflow

Take advantage of the high degree of flexibility their technology offers to build the unique user journey your crowdfunding platform needs.

Escrow funds as long as you need and dispatch them easily thanks to their e-wallet technology and fluid payout system. We take care of executing the payment orders with the necessary banking institutions.

Provide your users with a unique IBAN directly linked to their e-wallet.

Compliance on all levels

Comply with all European Union and card industry regulations thanks to their banking license which covers marketplaces registered in the 31 countries of the European Economic Area. We guarantee that all sensitive data such as card details and user identity is handled securely, conform with PSD2, GDPR, and PCI DSS.

Work in all countries by signing one unique contract that is in accordance with your country’s own set of crowdfunding rules. We fulfill local legal requirements and will help you to be compliant within your sector of activity.

Secure payment environment

Rest easy with the identification of your contributors and beneficiaries. Whether it is a company, an association or an individual, we take care of the due diligence and declare them to the banking authorities, as required by anti-money laundering laws.

Secure your payment environment by using their tools to flag unusual behavior and block fraudulent actions.

White-label solution

Focus on giving the best experience to your users. Design and integrate your payment flow to ensure a smooth user experience within your web and mobile app.

Access all API functions on your personal dashboard and gain full control over your payments. Use this complimentary tool along with their API for operational and reporting purposes.

Donation crowdfunding

Your platform facilitates fundraising for personal, social and entrepreneurial projects.
Their crowdfunding offer is your solution to

  • Collect donations
  • Hold funds securely
  • Verify users and organizations

Equity crowdfunding

Your platform facilitates direct business investment opportunities in return for equity.
Their crowdfunding offer is your solution to:

  • Secure investment payments
  • Associate Ibans to e-wallets
  • Verify project owners

Loan crowdfunding

Your platform facilitates loans for new ventures by connecting lenders with project leaders.
Their crowdfunding offer is your solution to:

  • Manage deposits
  • Acquire mortgage payments
  • Comply with your local regulation

FINTECH

Adaptive workflow

Take advantage of the high degree of flexibility their technology offers to build the unique user journey your FinTech needs.

Escrow funds as long as you need and dispatch them easily thanks to their e-wallet technology and fluid payout system. We take care of executing the payment orders with the necessary banking institutions.

Provide your users with a unique IBAN directly linked to their e-wallet.

Integration made simple

Integrate their FinTech payment solution easily, thanks to a developer-friendly API, online documentation which includes dedicated case studies, check out libraries for web, IOS, Android and their open-source SDKs’: PHP, Java, Ruby, Python, and .Net.

Compliance on all levels

Comply with all European Union and card industry regulations thanks to their banking license which covers businesses registered in the 31 countries of the European Economic Area.

We guarantee that all sensitive data such as card details and user identity is handled securely, conform with PSD2, GDPR, and PCI DSS.

Work in all countries by signing one unique contract that is in accordance with your country’s local financial rules. We fulfill local legal requirements and will help you to be compliant within your sector of activity.

Secure payment environment

Rest easy with the identification of your users. Whether it is a company or an individual, we take care of the due diligence and declare them to the banking authorities, as required by anti-money laundering laws.

Secure your payment environment by using their tools to flag unusual behavior and block fraudulent actions.

Fintech

Your FinTech disrupts traditional financial services by providing an innovative payment solution.
Their FinTech offer is your solution to:

  • Collect funds with different means
  • Comply with local regulation
  • Verify users and organizations

Important Reasons to Redesign Enterprise Apps

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

It is a very well said proverb from Dr. Ralf Speth, CEO of Jaguar Land Rover, that “If you think good design is costly; you should look at the cost of bad design.”

With the help of user research, a well-designed enterprise app solves the actual problems of actual users. It very well understands the behavior of the user, its requirements and preferences, and the pain points that existing software is not able to address. Employees, organizations, and users are benefitted at large by a well-designed solution.

Here are some of the primary reasons why redesigning an enterprise application is essential.

  1. Advantage in competition

To outperform the competition that deploys the legacy application, agile enterprise applications give organizations a competitive edge. A lightweight application that is well included in the different business departments is a better tool for revenue optimization than the legacy application that slows down the work pace.

2. Improves efficiency

Enterprise apps are designed not on how employees work, but it is based on how the organization wants the employees to work. The employment of a user-centric approach to design is done to bridge this gap. UX designs improve the efficiency of the task they perform by resulting in faster and better workflows that are easy on the users.

3. Forecasting and data optimization

To unlock the actionable opportunities and business insights, new age enterprise application utilizes significant data capabilities. Big data analytics is provided by most modern-day companies to build services and products closest to their needs and to understand the customer better.

4. Cost-effective solution

Employees need little to no training for easy to use intuitive interface. Even a flexible or design-driven system considers the technological aspects and scalability, ensuring that the maintenance cost and set-up are optimized to a great extent.

5. Reduces cognitive load

Many users struggle to find the information with ease as most enterprise apps have an excessive amount of data or information on the same screen. We can ensure that there are fewer errors, and critical data is accessed faster by designing the interface keeping in mind the ability of human beings to process and perceive the information.

6. Higher employee satisfaction

The systems are built and sold to make the life of users productive and more accessible. The simplified interface must be a part of the human-computer interaction. Users are willing to use a digital tool when it is assistive rather than being burdening.

7. Empowers field workers

Enterprises that initiate the use of smart devices, especially tablets, allow the workers to know the real-time insights into the process of which they are a part of. It also gives them the ability to enter first-hand data from the ground back to the enterprise. It is a recurring cycle that results in the data being analyzed continuously and then re-fed in the form of business intelligence to the device of the workers.

Conclusion

Designing an enterprise application sounds easy, but in practice, it is an extremely tiresome process. Designers that are willing to be a part of the enterprise app designing process should understand the patience, commitment, and endless hours it requires.

Facebook To End Android Dependency: Here’s How

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

The social media scene has been developing over the years. The beginning was with Google’s hangout, and then came along Orkut, and along that line, came the creation of Mark Zuckerberg. Yes, you are right! We are talking about Facebook.

This online social directory becomes available first to the students of Harvard and later, to anyone who claimed to be of at least age 13. This rule was in place since 2006 and still ongoing. Any person with an account on Facebook can share digital content; it can be text, photo, and other multimedia files in their profile. They can have conversations with other persons who are their “friend”, comment on other persons’ posts and even have one-on-one chats. There are several in-built apps that can also be used to complete different tasks or serve specific purposes.

Climbing into stardom

The rise of Facebook to become “the” social media was not slow but not instant either. After changing the name from “the Facebook” to just “Facebook” in 2005, this social media channel was opened to the general public in 2006. Within the year 2009, the company had 350 million users joining in its list and in the summer of 2012, the number finally rose to the magic number of 100 million. By the end of 2018, the number had grown to 2.32 billion, which is more than half of the world’s population and they are all present in the program written in the Harvard dorm room. In 2019, the numbers are becoming less, but with an average of 52%, Facebook is still the top contender in social media sites. However, the introduction of sites like Instagram, Twitter has decreased its popularity. Another favorite social media messaging service called WhatsApp has been recently acquired by Facebook. Still, newer services like SnapChat are slowly making their presence felt. However, the company is taking the necessary step to address this particular issue.

The range of devices

Unlike the programs of its predecessor companies, Facebook did not need the user to download or install any installer file in their device. Although, in the time when the only digital device was computers, only an internet connection was sufficient to connect and use the social media program. Nowadays, with the advent of smartphones, tabs and other handheld digital devices, it has become necessary to download the app onto the device. Thereafter, the user has to input their information and can access their profile. In case of security measures, the program or “app” in the new OS vernacular, has made some major changes to ensure the security of the user data. Still, in recent cases, the company has faced some serious problems in the matters of fake accounts, fake posts, and information with a debatable source. Facebook has employed third-party companies to perform the fact-check and other necessary data.

The operating systems

The main limitation the company was facing from the start was the dependence on other operating systems. From the start, it was either accessed from mainly Windows or the Macintosh operating system. And when the era of the smartphone or handheld devices came into being, it was either Android or the specific operating system of the Apple Inc, the iOS. Being dependent on these operating systems posed two specific problems;

  1. The coding and the necessary programming tasks becomes different when it comes to two different operating systems. Moreover, if only the example of the Android is taken, the OS essentially dictates Facebook about the hardware requirement it will need. Having to depend on a third-party OS makes it impossible to add features because it may or may not suit the specification requirement allowed by the OS.
  2. Facebook has been developing devices like Oculus, and voice-calling services like Portal, which are essentially the development of Facebook. Having to depend on the operating system like Android practically determines that the company cannot add necessary hardware, as it may clash with the inherent limitations of Android. Furthermore, the development of new versions, or upgrades of this operating system, will force the social media company to change the specification of its devices every time, adding to the production and implementation costs.

To cope up with these problems, and ensuring the independence of its programs and devices from the operating systems of other parties, Facebook has announced that it is now going to build its own operating system from scratch. According to the general pulse, this step was eventually coming, but the effect on the market and among its users is still to be seen.

The changeover to its own

The bid to stand on its own two legs in terms of an operating system was abuzz in the grapevine of the computer technology world, and the news was confirmed by the company itself later. Facebook told its users and the general public worldwide that it is appointing one of the creators and developers on Microsoft’s Windows NT OS, Mark Lucovsky. The step taken was supported by the Vice President of Hardware, Facebook, and confirmed in the statement that the company is seriously considering the fact that the future generation should have space for them. In the light of dependency on third-party systems, especially operating systems, it may not be possible for Facebook to achieve the target in terms of penetration and digital presence. For that reason, they are thinking of doing it on their own.

Expert’s opinion

According to the experts also, this step was in the pipeline for some time. Development of VR devices, Other machines like Oculus, a voice-calling feature like Portal, and even the AI-enabled program the company is developing, depending upon OS by Google, or any other company would have been limiting. For one, the developments had to be done according to the changes happening to the OS, and secondly, the hindrance of faster development in the case of Hardware would surface; as the Other OS may not be compatible with the hardware specification of the new development by Facebook.

Signing off

The development of a new OS is certainly exciting to Facebook users, but there are other factors to consider too. In the future, although not sure, Facebook can become the next Apple, where you have to buy their devices to enjoy their programs. With the world’s majority using android by Google and the number still increasing, the outcome of the project and the decision of the company regarding it will determine the fate of this development.

What’s New in Xamarin Image Editor?

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

Meta description: With Xamarin.Forms Image Editor 2019 Volume 3, users now have image filter effects, add read-only text, and enable/disable resize functionality for added objects.

The 2019 Volume 3 release of Xamarin.Forms Image Editor introduced several improvements, thereby allowing users such as top UX design firms an enhanced experience. Below, we take a close look at the new features which were added this year:

  • Image filter effects support

This effect enables users to choose from a wide range of color filters that can be added to their image. In other words, the original colors of the image are manipulated to achieve a different texture and color. There are six types of options that users have access to, including Hue, Saturation, Brightness, Contrast, Blur, and Sharpen. Users can apply these effects either by using the Image Editor toolbar or through code using the ApplyImageEffect method.

While the hue refers to the dominant wavelength of an image’s color, and its value ranges from -180 to 180, saturation refers to the intensity of the color. Its value ranges from -100 to 100. The brightness of an image represents how bright the image’s color is, with its value ranging between -100 and 100. The contrast of an image means the difference between the colors of an image. Its value ranges between -100 and 100.

Blur, on the other hand, means the clarity of an image, and its effect ranges from 0 to 6. Finally, the Sharpen feature is used for highlighting and enhancing the edges of objects found in an image. Its value ranges from 0 to 6 as well.

You even have the option of creating your own image color style in the new Xamarin Image Editor. All you have to do is apply a combination of various filter effects to your image.

  • Option for adding read-only text

The 2019 Volume 3 release of Xamarin Image Editor allows users to add read-only text to images. To do so, it restricts the text pop-up while you tap on an added text. If you want to add read-only text, you have to set the IsEditable property in TextSettings to false (which is set in true by default) before you add the text to the image.

  • Option to enable or disable resize functionality for added objects

Users now have the option of enabling or disabling the resize functionality for added objects, including images, shapes, as well as custom views. To do so, you have to use the IsResizable property of PenSettings, TextSettings, as well as CustomViewSettings in the Image Editor.

Apart from these main new features, there have also been several minor improvements made to Xamarin Image Editor, along with bug fixes.

Queuing Tasks with Redis

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

Introduction and background

Redis is an open-source data structure that is used for in-memory storage and helps developers across the globe with the quick and efficient organization and utilization of data. Even though many developers worldwide are still struggling to decide which open-source software application to use, Redis is quickly growing to be a widely popular choice. Currently, more than 3000 tech joints, including our team, are using Redis.

Redis supports several data structures, including lists, sets, sorted sets, hashes, binary-safe strings, and HyperLogLogs. Our team uses Redis to support queuing in this project.

Queuing is the storing or deferring of tasks of operation inside a queue so that they can be used later. It comes into use for operations which are large in number and/or takes up a lot of time. Tasks can be executed in two different methods –

  • Tasks can be executed in the same order they were inserted, or
  • Tasks can be executed at a specific time.

Challenge

For this project, we needed to download large files, which is extremely time-consuming. To make the process more time-efficient, we decided to use queuing to effectively manage the download request. These download requests were added and served in the FIFO order.

Moreover, we wanted to retry the request in the time interval of one hour if it fails, until it fails three times. After this, the request is marked as failed and then removed from the queue. Our team soon found that manually creating and managing separate queues was rather inefficient, time-consuming, and troublesome, which hinted that we needed a new solution. This is where Redis comes in.

Solution

To create and manage separate queues more effectively, we put Kue npm package to the test. We hoped that it would make our task less time-consuming and more efficient.

And what exactly is Kue? Kue is a priority job queue package that is built for node.js and backed by Redis. What makes Kue so appealing for developers is that it provides us with a UI where the status of queues is displayed. This means that we can see the current status of the queues in real-time, thus helping us work better and smarter.

To use Kue, you have to first install it, then create a job Queue with kue.createQueue(). The next step is to create a job of type email with arbitrary job data using create() method. This enables the return of a job, which will be saved in Redis using save() method.

Then, after the jobs are created, the next step is to process them using process() method, after which failed jobs should be removed. You can then add Kue UI if you choose and install kue-ui package.

With this, you will be able to store your request in the Redis queue and then process them in FIFO order.

GraphQL | A query and manipulation language for your APIs

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

Before starting on the blog we would like to share why we are writing this when there is already a well-written document provided by the GraphQL community on the official site https://graphql.org.

Well, Here you will get an idea of how GraphQL works and how the GraphQL will implement.

According to the GraphQL community:-

GraphQL is a query language for your API, and a server-side runtime for executing queries by using a type system you define for your data.”

After spending time on understanding the GraphQL workflow using many blogs on the internet, people are still not aware of the exact use. That might be due to the reason that the blogs are focusing to start the work using GraphQL/Apollo rather than explaining the idea behind this.

It would be good for beginners If we can explain what GraphQL is and how it works rather than focusing on its code or implementation.

Let’s start with the most frequently asked questions that are misleading us:-

If we are using GraphQL we didn’t need REST APIs?

It was a negative hype and, It is not correct. GraphQL worked on the data which is provided to it. So data source can be either an API or any other source which is providing data to GraphQL.

For example, just see the below image:-

In this image, the GraphQL server will receive the data either from the REST APIs, JSON data or any of the database sources.

GraphQL is not a replacement of the REST APIs but it is a way to use the REST APIs or any other data by adding an extra layer.

If we still need the APIs to get the data, then why are we using GraphQL?

GraphQL was designed by Facebook to reduce the over and under the fetching problem of APIs. GraphQL was able to overcome this problem.

How it was reduced by the GraphQL we will understand it later in the blog.

As per the official site of GraphQL,

“GraphQL is a query language for your API, and a server-side runtime for executing queries by using a type system you define for your data. GraphQL isn’t tied to any specific database or storage engine and is instead backed by your existing code and data.”

Explanation of the above lines:-

  • It means that GraphQL is a query language that makes the query on the API data (like SQL for your DB).
  • And also it is a server-side runtime to execute our defined queries(which is strongly typed with its data) on our data(get by API or hardcoded doesn’t matter)
  • Now it is clear that GraphQL is not connecting with any DB like MySQL.

Let’s see a diagram to understand Graphql flow between the client and API:-

In the given diagram, there are two types of client-server architecture. First one is not using the GraphQL while the second one is using the GraphQL.

In the first client-server architecture, the client is directly hitting the APIs to get the data returned by the API. Once a request from the client to the API server will arrive at the endpoint. The API server will return the complete data to the client without making any further modifications.

In the second client-server architecture, we can see there is another server named GraphQL between the client and the API server. This server is containing the GraphQL implementation and it will work as middleware on the API.

In this architecture, the client will never know about APIs that will be returning the data in place and the user will be hitting the endpoint that will be provided by GraphQL.

Whenever a request will be made on the GraphQL endpoint, the GraphQL server will get the data by requesting on the API server.

Here the GraphQL will do its job that is the GraphQL can modify the API data before sending it to the client.

Let’s understand it using an example:-

Consider an application that is running on the mobile as well as on the web. And there is a user listing page in both(web & mobile) platforms.

Assume, Below is a GET API for user returning the following response:-

  • Name
  • Contact
  • Address
  • Email &
  • Description

Consider a user list page in the application where on the web we are showing all the 5 fields in a row and as the mobile will be having a small screen and need to show only the two fields.

Those fields are name and description of the user.

But to retrieve that we need to hit the GET API of the user which is going to return all of the above-listed fields along with the name and description, Hence, the result will be over fetched(also containing other unnecessary fields like contact, address, etc.).

Now you will be thinking that it will not be more than 1 kb of response data but consider the case when you will be needing this data on a page for multiple users(like facebook).

In that case, there will be more than 1 kb data that will be fetched from the backend unnecessarily & it will be stored on the frontend which in result will impact the app performance.

To avoid the frontend load either we need to modify the existing API or we need to create a new API that will be returning only two required fields. But doing so will result in repeated work or breaking the rule of single responsibility(SOLID principles). And also may affect some other existing functionality.

Here the GraphQL provides us the solution for this problem at hand, As we know GraphQL will be working as middleware between client and API server, GraphQL will check which API (or any other data source) we need to hit(will be defined in the query) and then it will check what data(data asked from the client(web/mobile)) it needs to return.

If GraphQL will be hit by the web then GraphQL will return all the 5(as all the fields asked in the request) fields but if it is hit from the mobile app then it will return only two fields(asked from the mobile) that are required on the dashboard.

Answer for the question “Why we are using the GraphQL?” is that it works as middleware using a server which resolves the request of the frontend by using the backend API and filter the API data as per the frontend needs.

GraphQL server reduces the number of APIs required and gives more control/ease over the APIs or the data source.

How DevOps Changed the Face of Application Development

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

Today, the top UX design firms are investing heavily in advanced technologies that can help them in the faster development and delivery of products. As competition rises, the need to stand out from the crowd by delivering high-quality and reliable apps in shorter periods increases.

To achieve this, DevOps has emerged as one of the best technologies for the best app design agency developers, allowing them smooth integration and deployment. We discuss the benefits of DevOps below:

· Better build quality

Through DevOps, companies can combine operations and development smoothly, thereby creating a suitable environment where build quality can be nurtured. It brings together development-centric focuses, including performance, features, reusability, and so on, along with ops-centric focuses, such as maintainability and deployability, thereby bringing together the best of both worlds to positively impact the build quality.

· Accelerated time to market

With DevOps, apps can reach your target audience faster, thanks to Disciplined Agile Delivery. Rather than having the development team building and testing in an environment that is separate from the operations teams working on productions, DevOps allows every change to be delivered to a production-like environment, thereby ensuring that the code is deployed to the production environment.

This puts away any chance of complexities that arise due to misunderstandings and miscommunication between the two teams, thereby accelerating the entire production process. This allows the best UI UX design services to cut down release time so that the app can reach the audience faster, and you can stay ahead of your competitors.

· Automated and reliable processes

With DevOps, you have access to various tools and principles that can help you develop apps through automated and reliable processes. This makes way for a better application quality as your teams can thwart many drawbacks of version control, continuous planning, continuous integration, configuration testing and management, deployment, as well as continuous monitoring.

Thanks to this automation, you don’t have to worry about the chances of errors caused by time-consuming manual processes. This means that you can develop, package, and deploy an app with increased ease, accuracy, and reliability.

· Improved team collaboration

Last but not least, DevOps leads to improved team collaboration between development and operations. Initially, these two teams worked separately on their specific tasks, which was not very efficient or productive. Now, thanks to DevOps, both of these teams understand the other’s workflow and processes better, thereby enabling a culture of collaboration and increased efficiency within the app design agency.

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