Archive for the ‘Managed IT Services’ 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.

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.

Airbnb Now Bookable with Bitcoin and Lightning Network via Fold App

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

One of the most popular Bitcoin payments app Fold has recently announced that users can now book Airbnb using the app. The short-term rental giant is now a part of Fold’s rewards program known as Fold Kickbacks, which supports Lightning Network (LN), Bitcoin’s second layer. It allows users to buy gift cards for Bitcoin with a reward of 3 percent cash back.

This means that with every stay and/or experience booked on Airbnb using Fold, users can get 3 percent cash back in Bitcoin (BTC). The announcement is surely an exciting feature on the Fold Kickbacks rewards program, which already has some well-known brands such as Uber, Amazon, and Starbucks.

Currently, the Fold app only works in few selected countries such as the US, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. Soon, Europe is expected to be able to use the app as well.

Fold facing new competition

The Fold may be among the oldest and the biggest Bitcoin shopping rewards apps in the market today, but it definitely isn’t alone app. There are several similar apps that have come up in recent years, offering users with an increasing number of options to “stack sats”.

One of the biggest competitors of Fold may be Lolli, which has partnered with Petco, a popular American pet retailer. In addition to this, the Bitcoin rewards shopping app also partnered with Safeway, a huge grocery chain in the US in order to provide users with an attractive offer of 3.5 percent cashback in BTC on all of the purchases they make at Safeway.

In an attempt to stay ahead of the competition and provide users with more payment options, Fold added a new feature that allows the app to accept fiat currency as payment at in-store and online retailers apart from Bitcoin. Users can do so by adding either their Bitcoin Lightning wallet or credit card. This new feature was added after the firm managed to raise $2.5 million in late September 2019.

Even Asia is not far behind and is rolling out Bitcoin rewards shopping options. Earlier this year, Amaten, which is the largest gift card platform in Japan announced that it partnered with Aelf, a blockchain network provider in order to issue tokenized gift cards to users.

With the growing popularity of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, we can expect to see more of similar services in the coming years with investors, tech companies and top UX design firms working together to bring improved services.

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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