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Enterprise Mobility Trends in 2015

The last few years have been a whirlwind period for enterprises, as work cultures ruffled up and finally settled for new ways of doing business with enterprise mobility. It has made businesses realise the potential of mobile devices supplied by them to their employees and how it can create a positive impact on their business in terms of enhanced communication, increased productivity and improved efficiency.

According to a study by Salesforce, 60% of British workers use mobile apps for work-related productivity and around 21% use department-specific enterprise apps. It has also been found that enterprise apps boost employee productivity by 34%!

While enterprise mobility is focused on solving the business needs, normal mobile apps are mostly fun-orientated and specifically focused on the consumers.

Additionally, developing enterprise mobile apps is much more complex and expensive, demands reliable security features to prevent any breaches of confidential business transactions and requires highly-skilled resources.

So, what lies ahead for enterprise mobility? Is it going to evolve more this year? Although half of 2015 is already gone, we can expect to see more improvements in the remaining months.

So let’s see what’s in store.

More Devices for Greater Enterprise Mobility

Forrester states that about 20% of all tablets sold today are used in enterprise mobility. This all started with the Blackberry in 2000 and the pace increased with smartphones in 2007 and again with tablets in 2010.

Besides this, a heterogeneous world of devices is emerging as “internet of things,” connecting all possible devices together.

You need to keep up with the pace of the ever-changing world of digital devices where the success mantra is to provide an outstanding user experience by adopting new technology and engaging the customers through the variety of devices.

This caused a paradigm shift in workplaces with the deployment of enterprise-focused apps being on the rise. According to Forrester, 65% of enterprises view customer engagement as their primary mobile priority.

So, we will certainly witness more devices used by businesses to maximise the usage of enterprise mobility to improve efficiency.

Interactive Apps on Multiple Devices

You have tested the agility and efficiency of enterprise mobility with services delivered in your hands on your smartphones and you do business and personal transactions with a whole range of smart devices, resulting in higher expectations for better services in your terms.

But now you want a consistent experience through resourceful apps on all your communication channels. Isn’t it?

To handle such mounting client anticipation, the IT industry is gearing up to meet the ever growing demands of enterprise and customer mobility.

One way of doing this is by an overhaul of the backend architecture to provide SOA-based apps running on a variety of digital devices. Enterprises are shifting to provide a perfect customer experience on all possible devices through interactive apps that aptly represent their business processes.

Such architectures will need a common code-base for all devices. It’s like a single application wearing various masks for multiple channels of interaction.

Versatile, Scalable and Robust Customer Apps

As this trend is catching up, a need to provide versatile, scalable and robust apps is being felt. These apps can be off the shelf or customisable to handle various user demands. They should be instantly deployable or vertically or horizontally configurable to adapt to your business processes.

The coming years will see a major growth of control systems to integrate the apps with the back-end functioning of the enterprises to give proficient and expert guidance to customers for profitable business deals at both ends.

Another new mobility trend is shaping up in enterprises is “bring your own device” (BYOD). Organisations have visualised huge savings by using smart devices brought by employees to their workplace. Internal business processes are now mobile-enabled through apps for employees in manufacturing, human resources, sales and marketing, and many more.

According to Forrester, by the end of 2015, 60% of the enterprises will employ higher investments in their IT departments in mobile apps. The fast invasion of smartphones, encouraged by low-cost Android phones, is driving the rapid growth of app development and downloads.

Providing Good Customer Experience

Enterprise apps are bridging the gaps between designers and IT professionals. Designers are being encouraged to create appealing designs to provide a unique experience to the customers. This collaboration of designers with IT professionals and the adoption of development standards across organisations will help create apps which give an excellent and beneficial customer experience.

This will allow experts and professionals to present the business and its processes to customers. To hit the bull’s eye, a single interconnected technology stack is needed to cater to all the development needs, such as device management, design, development and testing processes for multi-channel applications.

As per Forrester, 226 billion apps will be downloaded in 2015 and this number will grow at a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.2%. By the end of 2017, 45% of the cloud services will be SaaS based. The world of mobility is being redefined and so are the enterprise processes. So with bigwigs forecasting a bright future for mobility, enterprises would not want to miss this opportunity.

Final Thoughts

“The global market for enterprise mobility is expected to grow from $72 billion to $284 billion by 2019, nearly quadrupling in size,” said the president of Products and Marketing of Kony Inc.

Enterprises are growing with mobility by redefining, reshaping, refining and refreshing their internal as well as external business communications and collaborations.

Apps for communication, office productivity, sales force automation, human resources, supply chain logistics, mobile commerce and customers are opening a new avenue of enterprise mobile applications for any imaginable and conceivable business process.

So we can expect to witness much more advancements in this space in the coming years.

What’s your view about enterprise apps? Have you implemented it yet? Do you have any points to share? Please feel free to leave your comments below and thanks for reading!

The New Face of the Web: Trends in Front-End Development

The New Face of the Web: Trends in Front-End Development

While browsing through a website with an extremely easy user interface (UI), our mind inadvertently goes back to the times when just loading a web page was an enduring task.

Moving from the mouse-driven computers to smartphones and tablets, web pages have adapted themselves seamlessly over the years.

The year 2015 and beyond will witness some benchmark transformations in front-end technologies. Internet users will traverse this wave of change, enjoying speedier and more appealing web pages.

Moving along this technological wave, we are hooked on providing the best web solutions today. Based on our expertise, here is an in-depth view of the current and future trends in front-end development.

The User’s Perspective

Front-end development is the face of the application. As users, we want web pages to be friendly and appealing.

Here are some aspects of front-end technologies which users are most interested in:

  • Compatibility: The ability to adapt to different internet browsers.
  • Usability: This attribute signifies the easy-to-use aspect of the website.
  • Complexity: This specifies the back-end of the web application, which controls the speed and security of the data.

Whatever the style and time may be, engaging these aspects remains unchanged.

Recent Trends in Web Development

Web technologies have taken a major leap with the changing requirements. The applications that go well on a laptop screen are now also compatible with mobile phones.

There are some important parameters that have implemented these changes, so let’s take a look of these:

Responsive Web Design

For any website, the response of users is the most imperative factor. A responsive web design (RWD) allows users to browse the website from any appliance, including mobile phones and tablets. The most recent and famous RWD frameworks are Twitter Bootstrap and Zurb.

responsivegraphics

 

The above figure shows the compatibility of a webpage towards a screen of any size. Some features of RWD are that it:

  • Makes websites compatible with web and mobile; and
  • Minimises user efforts, such as updating data.

Hence, a web application with the best RWD is required to streamline the user’s interactions.

Mobile-First Architecture

The architecture of a web application is currently being controlled by the mobile-first strategy. It’s an obvious move, as we all have turned into frequent mobile users. The most recent is the Representational State Transfer (RESTful) architecture for server-side coding.

Note: The RESTful architecture style provides a uniform interface. Properties such as performance, scalability and modifiability to work on the web are induced in the application.

Mobile-stats-vs-desktop-users-global

Image credits: www.smartinsights.com

The bar diagram above shows the growth of smartphone users till 2018 and shows that meeting the demand of the use of adaptable architecture is important.

Features of mobile-first architecture are that it:

  • Supports mobile platform and enterprise integration;
  • Streamlines end-to-end procurement for the organisations; and
  • Streamlines web development.

Rise of API Driven Development

It is difficult to find someone who cannot operate a smartphone since the “touch factor” has made this possible. The Application Program Interface (API) is, therefore, the strength of these devices. The architectural design, especially RESTful architecture, has an important role to play.

Features of API-driven development, especially RESTful, are that:

  • It is compatible with both mobile and web applications;
  • Its server side is restricted to data and security only;
  • It is compatible with operating systems, such as Android, iOS, Windows and TV; and
  • It is adaptable to the changing technological landscape.

Mobile Back-End as a Service

Mobile Back-End as a Service (MBaaS) is the cloud technology facet of front-end technologies. The back-end services for Parse and Azure Mobile Services have already adapted MBaaS.

Mbaas

Image credits www.appspanel.com                                                           

The figure above explains how MBaaS can enhance the shaping of the enterprise.

Some of the strongest features in favour of MBaaS are that:

  • These platforms provide automatic Restful services;
  • It supports mobility-specific back-end services; and
  • The platforms provide JavaScript SDKs along with Mobile SDKs for HTML5 clients.

Hence, MBaaS will take over the pages for mobile as well as the web. It can induce a dramatic growth in front-end technologies.

Single Page Application

A Single Page Application (SPA) loads a single page and dynamically updates the page as per the user’s interaction. With the RESTful services, the web pages on our desktop act like the UI of the web browser. The server side is, therefore, limited to data and security.

 SPA Working

Some of the strong features of SPA are that it is:

  • Powered with hybrid mobile containers for multiple mobile platforms;
  • Best for small-sized to medium-sized mobile apps;
  • Recommended for UIs based on data forms; and
  • Single code base for both web apps and mobile apps.

ReactJS Front-End Frameworks

ReactJS

ReactJS is a form of JavaScript, which has been extensively used by recent web applications. The most well know implementations are Facebook and Instagram. This framework supports quick rendering.

Some important features of ReactJS are that it:

  • Can work as a face of the Model View Controller (MVC) framework;
  • Introduced the concept of virtual DOM;
  • Has a high performance while rendering the UI; and
  • Provides data flow in a single direction when used with FLUX architecture.

The six aspects mentioned above are an integral part of today’s web development.

With our years of experience and expertise in the field, we have comprehensively ventured into every aspect.

Predictions for 2015 and Beyond

Though the recent revolution in web technology is astounding, the next era will bring about a massive vertical leap.

Currently, the technologies that rule the brains of web developers are facing challenges with the changing requirements and landscapes.

The most common scripting methods like Node.JS, JavaScript and Koa framework are on the verge of “gradual extinction”. The year 2015 and beyond will bring in new trends, such as:

  • Dynamic languages will gradually come to an end;
  • Technologies like Node.JS can become obsolete for maintainability reasons;
  • The emergence of GO technology will occupy all the work done on Node.JS; and
  • Java and .Net will survive the medium-sized and larger enterprise apps.

The GO Technology Era

GO (i.e. golang) is a static, open source programming language that supports building simple and efficient software solutions.

Developed by Google, GO is predicted to be the next generation language. GO has already been implemented in systems like Docker, Packer:IO and websocketed. Some reasons that stand strong in favour of GO are that:

  • It is static with the flexibility of dynamic languages;
  • There are no JIT compilation needed and, hence, concurrency is its strength;
  • It is the most recommended for building an HTTP server using RESTful services;
  • It is flexible for use in system programming and large distributed apps; and
  • It will be known as the language of the cloud era.

Ace the Race with the Masters

Trends are dynamic and so are the technologies associated with them. The introduction of cloud and platform independent technologies has brought new languages to instruct digital devices.

RESTful services have taken over control and static languages, such as GO, are immersed as languages for cloud technologies. To ace this race of huge turnover, associating with the best maven would be the first and most important step.

So what’s your prediction about front-end development? Please share your comments below and thanks for reading!

An Analysis of which JavaScript Framework Is Right for You

An Analysis of which JavaScript Framework Is Right for You

While building a multifaceted and interactive web application, architects and developers are usually met with the challenge of performance, maintainability and modularity and are in constant need of a set of frameworks that can act like a backbone to their project and help them knock-out all the glitches in the process.

JavaScript, a programming language that was designed to give easy access to pre-built components that serve as building blocks for a webpage, thus entered the field.

Gone are the days when web development was all about uploading static HTML, CSS and JavaScript files to an HTTP server. Modern web applications are much larger and more complex than earlier and require a framework of language that provides structure, quality and maintainability all at the same time.

JavaScript frameworks were created to address the need of building a stable foundation for a web application.

What are JavaScript Frameworks?

JavaScript frameworks are libraries of pre-written JavaScript that allow easier development of JS-based applications by providing a layer of abstraction on top of the core language.

These frameworks provide a multitude of functions and help make it easier and more achievable for developers to create responsive, fluid and maintainable interfaces for web apps.

JavaScript frameworks are open-sourced, released under the permissive MIT license and aim to resolve the problem of single page web apps using an MVC or MV* design pattern.

Top JavaScript Frameworks

There has been a great surge in MV* frameworks over the past few years and the list of new and stable frameworks continues to grow each year.

Developers usually find themselves lost in choice as to which framework best addresses their needs. So, we have simplified the selection process by reviewing the top JavaScript frameworks that have proven to be the best frameworks in the world of development.

The most established frameworks are Backbone.js and AngularJS, while the ones that have experienced the most growth in the last year are AngularJS, Meteor, Ember.js and Knockout.

AngularJS

AngularJS

Created as part of GetAngular, AngularJS is the oldest of all three top JavaScript frameworks and represents a client-side library written JavaScript that aims to simplify the development and testing of single-page applications by providing a framework for MVC and MVVM architectures.

This framework typically works by first reading the HTML page and then interpreting the custom tag attributes as a directive to connect the input and output parts of the page to a model represented by standard JS variables.

It is also worth noting that the values of these variables can be manually set within the parameters of the code or can be retrieved from JSON resources.

The rationale behind building AngularJS is the common belief that declarative programming is ideal for creating user interfaces and connecting components together, whereas imperative programming is well suited for business logics. All this innovation does not, however, rule out the flip side of the framework.

When it comes to the pain points, AngularJS is largely criticised for the complexity of the directives API. What confuses developers is the concept of ‘Transclusion’ which makes it challenging for them to understand the underlying concepts of compiling functions, pre/post linking functions and all other configuration settings for directives.

Ember.js

ember-logo

 

The newest addition to the flock, Ember.js, is the modular framework that is now used for creating scalable single-page applications by combining common idioms and best practices into the framework.

It uses the Handlebars template engine to write codes with Handlebars integrated templates that update automatically when the underlying model changes. Ember.js makes it easy to take on a multipage, navigational, long-term project, compared to other frameworks in the realm of JavaScript.

It is capable of inferring much of the configuration on its own and can create a controller for your resource, even when you don’t define one yourself.

However, what concerns developers is the fact that much of the content and examples in Ember.js no longer work and this confuses them when first using the framework.

Node.js

nodejs

 

The next top JavaScript framework is Node.js, an open-source, cross-platform runtime environment, which was designed for server-side applications. Node.js comes with an event-driven architecture along with a non-blocking I/O API that ensures optimum throughput and the application’s scalability.

This framework uses the Google V8 JavaScript engine for code execution and contains a built-in library to enable applications to act as a web server. Bringing event-driven programming to web servers, this framework enables development of fast web servers in JavaScript.

Using a simplified model of even-driven programming, developers can build highly scalable web servers using callbacks to notify them when a task is complete.

The drawbacks of using Node.js is the tonnes of nested callbacks and the use of single thread. It means that, unlike pre-emptive concurrency, programmers will have to figure out how to deal with concurrency. Some issues with regard to API stability have also been reported by developers.

Another challenge with using Node.js is the newness of the framework. Not every developer is well aware of the pain points of working with a large-scale Node.js application until the language is thoroughly road tested and made error free.

Conclusion

Developers with an MVC programming background in Ruby, Python, Java, C# or any other object- oriented language may find Ember. js’s holistic approach a viable option for application programming.

For those who prefer to work in the non-blocking, even driven I/I paradigm, Node.js is the best.

Lastly, AngularJS’s innovative approach makes a lot of sense to developers who are working for quick prototyping projects and large-scale production applications.

So, which is your favourite framework? Do you have any points to share? Please feel free to leave your comments below and thanks for reading!

Hadoop Vs. MongoDB – Which Big Data Technology Do You Prefer?

Hadoop Vs. MongoDB – Which Big Data Technology Do You Prefer?

Most organizations receive chunks of information. Some come from the customer service, some from their IT department and some from their market research team. This information might be random, anything from having a person’s name to his bill details. This random sets of information can start to make sense if organizations can organize this information correctly.

Companies can do well to interlink data that are similar – to be able to strategize better and understand their customers in a better way – a thing we commonly refer to as Big data.

What are we talking about, what is BIG data?

Organizations store data under different heads. Some relate to customer details, some relate to customer mail ID, and some relate to customer needs. Every bit of data is important, but it is useless until it is organized, processed and reduced to simpler forms so to make a sense out of it.

This data can be in the form of text, images, audio, videos – anything imaginable. Most of it would not make sense individually. However, put together in a certain way,  they offer useful insights that can offer a detailed knowledge about the observed aspect. Combine your customers birth date with his personal taste and you might just understand how you can help him more with your products or services.

The term BIG DATA refers to large sets of data that are enormously large to be processed by the conventional methods of sorting and thus requires a smarter system to analyze, collect, share, store and simplify.

A system needs to process this data.  It is this need that brought up the development of  Relational Database Management systems and Hadoop and MongoDB – two big names in the Big Data market.

Talking about Hadoop

Hadoop is a Java-based open source software, developed by the Apache Software foundation in 2011. It is designed to store and process a large amount of data sets on computer clusters.

It consists of HDFS (Hadoop distributed file system), the storage part and the MapReduce, the processing part. The HDFS splits large data blocks into the nodes of the cluster, and this received data is processed parallelly through the package code that manipulates the data so to work efficiently and carry the process.

The data is acquired from the various sources, and these data bits are then passed to a system program that allocates locations to each data bit. These data bits carry this indexed data and move forward in the line to the processing unit. Here the data is harvested and is redirected to the intended nodes that carry the data to different locations to be stored. The program is equipped with the feature to prevent data loose, and machine failure, and so multiple copies of this data is produced and stored at different locations. The data transfer takes place through some reserved protocols and lines so to ensure security and prevent data corruption.

Networks like Facebook, Yahoo, Amazon use these cluster networks for data accumulation.

MongoDB brings solution to the data management hazard

MongoDb also called the NOSQL database, is a cross-platform database management system. Released in 2009 by the MongoDB Inc, this platform has made integration of data much simpler and faster. This is a free and open source software.

This software works as the back-end for many applications. This is among the popular NOSQL database management systems and enterprises like eBay, Craigslist and Viacom use this software for their services.

It utilizes document-oriented approach for data management. This means instead of creating copies of the data and saving it in a different location; this software stores the data in minimum space and least number of documents. Related documents like salary, employee id, and expenses for an enterprise would be compiled into a single document file, and this will not only make data easily available but also easy to manage records. Multiple copies of this compilation are produced to maintain a backup. Also, the read and write operations are initially performed on the primary copies, and the secondary copies remain unaffected until the temporary commands are made permanent. Thus, it can be concluded that the secondary replicas or the document are the read-only type.

Hadoop or MongoDB: A choice too difficult to make?

Both the platforms work on contradicting approaches. Hadoop works on the concept of distributing the data and creating multiple copies while MongoDB defines its algorithm by compiling all the related data into a single document.

Hadoop is designed to function in sync with the presently existing DBMS, while MongoDB is a replacement to these traditional programs.

Hadoop is itself a compilation of several software components while MongoDB is a DBMS in itself.

Can these offer a combined solution?

The MongoDB can help organize and accumulate enormous amounts of data. But this is not it, almost every application of the Big Data Management requires this data to be processed. Now the question that arises is can Hadoop provide this service. It is a good idea to work on but practically achieving this is a difficult task.

Hadoop uses languages like Pig and Hive, which compile as the MapReduce, and using this with the MongoDB is might solve the problem, and this is because the Mongo supports the native MapReduce language.

Working on a data as a whole and bulk processing exerts an excessive load on the hardware but if the load is distributed and the processing is different networks, the transaction takes place more efficiently and quickly.

The CAP (or Bower) theorem states that ‘distributed computing cannot achieve simultaneous Consistency, Availability, and Partition Tolerance while processing data.’ According to this concept, any system can achieve two out of the three above specified goals. This means that it is not possible to solve the problem entirely using a single software.

Some statistics of the platforms using these programs

The following table provides examples of customers using MongoDB together with Hadoop to power big data applications.

 

Hadoop_Vs_MongoDB

Source – mongodb.com

What should you look for?

Surveys and studies state that information generation would become two fold from within the next decade. One system alone would not be capable enough to process such enormous loads. If your organization is large, you need to depend on programs like Hadoop and Mongo together to handle and process data at such a large scale.

Mobile First Approach & Strategy – What, Why, How, When?

Mobile First Approach & Strategy – What, Why, How, When?

 

Mobile First Strategy_Stats_New

Gone are the days when websites were developed for large screens of desktop computers or laptops. Today, everything has to be scaled down to fit smaller screens of mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets.

With Google’s mobile-friendly update for websites as released on April 21, 2015, it has now become apparent for every webmaster or blogger to apply a mobile-first strategy for website development.

Developers now focus on mobile-optimised websites that work great on mobile phones and tablets, and then scale up perfectly for larger computer or laptop screens.

Let’s take a look at what mobile first web-design means, and its importance for websites, and how to start development of mobile-friendly websites.

What Does Mobile-First Approach Mean?

The ‘mobile first’ strategy for website development involves designing an online experience first for mobile devices and then optimizing it for scaling up to desktop and laptop computers.

It does not mean designing a website that works well on desktop computers and then adjusting it to be compatible with mobile phones or tablets. The mobile-first process is to design online websites specifically for mobile customers, keeping their dynamic behaviour, context and needs in perspective.

The user interface should suit mobile devices with easily readable text and easy navigation to the different sections of the site.

Why Go Mobile-First?

The number of mobile users has increased manifold and easily outnumbers the number of people that access websites on PCs or laptops.

According to a ComScore report, mobile devices generate more than 60% of the online traffic to websites. This percentage keeps on increasing with every passing quarter, and that has fuelled the need for every business to have mobile-friendly websites.

Mobile First Strategy

Source: ComScore

So, if you haven’t optimised your website yet, you need to get their sites scaled up for the smaller screens.

Today, the majority of internet users access social media via tablets or mobile phones. So, a new website shared on any social media platform with friends and colleagues is more likely to be viewed first on the screens of mobile devices.

If the site is not mobile-friendly and users are unable to view it correctly the first time around, then, they are less likely to recheck the website from their desktop or laptop. It is, therefore, obvious that any new website or blog needs to be designed and developed with a mobile-first strategy.

Importance of Mobile-Friendly Websites in 2015

Now, it has become even more important to develop mobile-optimised websites because of the mobile-first update (known as mobilegeddon) from Google (in April 2015).

As per the update, any mobile-friendly website or blog has a better chance of appearing higher in Google search results on mobile devices as compared to sites that are not mobile-optimized.

Another reason for websites to move to mobile-optimised versions is the ever-growing trend of online shoppers preferring to use apps for shopping. The amount of time that is saved (by shopping on the move) along with the money saved through discount deals on the apps of famous eCommerce players has ignited the need to go mobile with websites on an immediate basis.

Any new eCommerce merchant has to ensure that the developed website is first compatible with mobile devices as the majority of the target audience will be tablet and smartphone users.

This need was further emphasised when Amazon reported around 60% online sales from mobile devices during shopping season in 2014 (source: CNET ).

Useful Tips for Mobile-First Site Development

It is necessary to have a fluid and responsive design instead of an adaptive one. This will ensure the site layout fits accurately for varied screen sizes of different mobile phones and tablets.

Another important task is to focus only on the core features and content, as mobile sites need to be developed within limited real estate.

So, unlike the screen real estate available with larger monitors and displays, web designers need to rethink their strategy while designing a mobile website from scratch. Anything that is not absolutely necessary for the mobile users can be removed from the site design to save space.

The preferable approach is to focus solely on content (images, text, forms) initially, followed by site beautification through the addition of CSS elements. Later, the focus should be to provide add-on features using JavaScript.

This progressive enhancement approach from content to styling to the presentation will add immense value to the mobile website.

So have you adopted the mobile-first approach for your websites already? Let us know in the comments below, and thanks for reading!