Top 10 Hybrid mobile application development technology considerations

What is hybrid mobile app development? You have a great potential business idea for Mobile applicati

 

What is hybrid mobile app development?

You have a great potential business idea for Mobile application and wondering what platform to start with? If you choose to develop native mobile app, you would end up developing many applications for different platforms costing you huge money and lot of time. Hybrid mobile app is a buzzword among mobile application development companies in India that is taking the center stage these days.

Technically speaking, Hybrid mobile app is a combination of native and web app. Hybrid app runs on the device and web technologies like HTML5, CSS and JavaScript are used to implement them. It runs inside a native container and leverage the device’s browser engine (but not the browser) to render the HTML and process the JavaScript locally. Hybrid app can be a good choice for your business idea as it helps you develop common app for multiple platforms.

There are many cross-platform mobile app development platforms available in the market like PhoneGap, Xamarin, Telerik AppBuilder and many more. We discuss here top ten technology considerations for hybrid mobile app development for your business idea.

1) PhoneGap

PhoneGap is an Open source technology to develop hybrid mobile applications using web technologies like HTML/CSS and JavaScript. PhoneGap is very popular hybrid mobile application tool among hybrid mobile application development companies in India. PhoneGap uses JavaScript to access device level APIs similar to native app.

Pros:

  • Uses web technologies lie HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript
  • Easily available source
  • This is write one time and run anywhere – Android, iOS, Windows, Firefox OS, BlackBerry etc.
  • Available in Google Pay Store for Android, integrated payments via App Store for iOS and in-app and more

Cons:

  • Poor performance for graphic-intensive applications
  • Plugins are available however many are outdated or unsupported based on target platform.

 

2) Xamarin

Xamarin, newly Microsoft acquired technology, is used to build native mobile applications with cross platform compatibility. It uses portable C# code. All codes are written using C# that developer can do in Java, Swift or Objective-C unlike other platforms. Xamarin studio is user friend IDE for the app development.

Pros:

  • Development is using C# so no need to learn near programming language
  • Xamarin studio is highly user friendly IDE
  • Code reusability is very high (almost 75%) across major mobile platforms like iOS, Windows, Android etc.
  • Android Emulator for quality testing.

Cons:

  • Many open-source libraries for iOS, Android etc. have compatibility issues with Xamarin

 

 3) Onsen UI

This is an open source framework and technology to build hybrid mobile apps using native looking components. AngularJS can also be used to build the apps. It has good documentation that includes good examples and layouts for common features.

 

Pros:

  • This works with predefined components
  • Faster development as it is based on predefined components
  • Good documentation with common features and examples

 Cons:

  • PhoneGap/Cordova builder not included, but supported
  • Currently does not support material Design
  • Onsen UI currently offers only an iOS theme

4) Appcelerator

Appcelerator is the technology used to build native apps using JavaScript technology. This is an enterprise based development platform allowing writing JavaScript with MVC framework.

 

Pros:

  • Pre-built database connection for MS Azure, MongoDB, MS SQL and other database engines.
  • Consists of schema-less data store, ArrowDB, to deploy data models with zero setup efforts.
  • Allows rapid mobile app development
  • Quick prototype development with less time and effort for evaluation

Cons:

  • Pre-built database connection for MS Azure, MongoDB, MS SQL and other database engines.
  • Consists of schema-less data store, ArrowDB, to deploy data models with zero setup efforts.
  • Allows rapid mobile app development
  • Quick prototype development with less time and effort for evaluation
  • Little buggy and laggy, though newere versions are more stable.
  • Poor support from developers community

 

5) Intel XDK

Intel XDK is another popular platform to develop native apps for mobile phones and tablets using HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Cordova platform is used to compile apps making them cross-platform compatible.

 

Pros:

  • Developer can compile same solution for different platform.
  • HTML, CSS and JavaScript are used as technology for app development.

Cons:

  • “Native code” component of a plugin is not supported by simulator
  • Device simulator’s emulation of the App Security API does not provide any real security

 

6) Nativescript

Nativescript is an open-source platform for making native cross-platform mobile applications. Nativescript gives mobile application development companies, every native APIs in JavaScript. It offers reusability of existing plugins from npm directly.

 

Pros:

  • Embedded support for TypeScript and js 2.
  • Direct access to native APIs in place of development libraries access and then utilize native components.

Cons:

  • Multi-threading is an issue in Nativescript.
  • Lack of in-depth examples and documentation on features and its usage.

7) Telerik AppBuilder

The Telerik Platform is popular cross-platform mobile application development tool and it also supports native apps developing for iOS, Android and Windows phones. Appbuilder  IDE supports Production of cross-platform and native applications both. AppBuilder also equipped with the Apache Cordova API.

Pros:

  • Easy to develop cross-platform application.
  • It is compatible with .NET, JavaScript/HTML5, Java JSP and PHP technologies.
  • Easy to learn

Cons:

  • It's not a free tool.
  • One can convert all steps to code, but can't revert them back.

8) Monocross

Monocross is an open source cross-platform for mobile application development. It is used to create applications for Android phones and tablets, Windows Phone and iPads and iPhones. It uses .NET C# and the Mono framework for developing cross-platform supported applications.

Pros:

  • Need only C# and .NET compatibility for the application development and maintenance activities.
  • Provides access to full power of the native device APIs still using C#

Cons:

  • Documentation and resource available for Monocross framework is harder for application development.

9) React Native

React native supports creation of proper native apps in place of hybrid ones that run in Webview. JavaScript and React are used as technology for mobile app development.  It also supports Android.

 

Pros:

  • Native-like performance
  • Great community support

Cons:

  • The development tools only work on OS X at the moment
  • Steep learning curve

10) Ionic

Ionic is a popular framework of mobile app development companies for Hybrid mobile apps.  One can use CSS to create native looking designs and best to pair with AngularJS. It also provides command-line interface that includes integrated emulators and a Cordova based app packager.

Pros:

  • Command-line interface to use most of useful features.
  • Works with inbuilt component and Great Community

Cons:

  • AngularJS expertise is required for complex features

Conclusion:

There is no best framework or platform to develop hybrid or native apps. Each has its own advantages and challenges. Platform choice depends heavily on project requirements in hand. Mobile application development companies should consider requirements in hand with features available in platform to decide the platform for the app. One should also consider performance and security parameters to choose the best suitable option for your requirements.

Top 10 Notable software bugs re-enforces the Software Quality

  Many software outsourcing companies ignore the most important stage of software development l

10 notable software bugs - software outsourcing companies India

 

Many software outsourcing companies ignore the most important stage of software development life cycle that is Software Quality (Testing). Software Quality Assurance is predominant and unrivalled step in providing quality and successful product to the customer. It is a known myth that the QA process is performed as a last step of software development process however QA starts from the beginning of the project. Quality of a product is backbone to its success. Following case studies provides important insight on how less quality product can create havoc and ultimately impacts the business performance and its brand image.

 

1. Apple Maps – A vision to replace Google Map

According to (NYtimes, 2016) company decided to replace Google Map with its own mapping system back in the year 2012 with Apple iOS 6 update. Unfortunately, it did not work the way it was planned resulting in one of the most epic failure of the mobile computing. The software was missing entire towns and some locations were entirely misplaced. Company invested a lot of money in building the same and then replacing the software.

 

2. Windows : the Blue Screen of Death

Per (Geek, 2016),  most of software professionals might have witnessed this bug. This bug was due to issues with hardware driver software. This causes the Windows to crash and stop working. The only solution it was believed to have was to start the computer. This can potentially lead to data loss.

                                 blue screen bug, custom software development companies India

 

3. Software Security flaw in OLA’s Mobile App

Mobile computing and usage is increasing at very high pace. Users have started using Mobile apps for various reasons like online shopping, booking and online banking. Security is paramount for safe and secure user experience.

Ola cabs app allows easy and fast cab or a taxi booking.  Per (Times, 2016),the two programming flaws allowed unethical individuals with basic computer and programming knowledge to enjoy unlimited free cab rides at the expenses of Ola company. This was due to lack of implementation of security protocols or token validation issues.

 

4. HSBC business banking glitch

Financial transactions are highly prone to hacking and security breaches for financial gain and misuse. Security is an unrivalled important factor for online banking and transactions. As mentioned by (BBC, 2016), HSBC customers could not access their internet banking for several hours due to cyber-attack. The company website and portal was hit by a denial of service attack, which is caused by overload of network traffic by cyber attackers.

 

5. Nissan’s Airbag Software Flaw / Malfunction

(Bidnessetc, 2016) takes a note of Nissan’s Airbag software flaw that resulted in 4 million Nissan cars being recalled. The software had safety issues where passenger air bags or seat belts could fail in a crash that can lead to serious fatalities or injuries. As per The Telegraph news, Nissan recalled approx.. 3.5 million cars due to airbag issues and it caused heavy loss to the company.

 

6. US and Canada : Blackout for 50 Million due to Race Condition Bug

As per the sources of PC Authority, (PCAuthority, 2016), on August 14, 2003, a blackout across eight US states and Canada affected 50 million people. “A race condition bug”, a situation when two separate threads of a single operation uses the same code element, was culprit behind this software flaw. This crashed a system without proper synchronization and resulted 256 power plants offline. This failed primary server within 30 minutes due to unprocessed events queue. Backup system also failed within few minutes.

FirstEnergy’s computerized Energy Management System is known as the direct cause for the blackout that cut off electricity to 50 million people in 8 states and Canada.

                                            

 

7. Computer virus due to World Of Warcraft game

World Of Warcraft (Wow) is a popular game of adventure in the fantasy world. (BBC, BBC NEWS | Technology | Deadly plague hits Warcraft world, 2016) reported a security breach in the game where new Hacker, the god of Blood, hit the game and took the “computer virus” thing literally. The virus, “Corrupted-blood” had the ability to kill off weaker characters thus interrupting the game. This infected many workstations as well.

                                                           

 

8. Loss of $440 million in 45 minutes - Knight Capital Group

The Knight Capital Group was an American global financial services firm with great reputation in the market, engaging in electronic execution, market making, and institutional sales and trading. Per (Fortune, 2016), It took only 45 minutes to blow off the company reputation and capital due to a computer software bug. Between 9:30 am to 10 am EST, 1 August 2012, the company’ software bought high and sold low on 150 different stocks. By the time software stopped further bleeding, company had already lost $440 million on trades. Company’s market capital was just $296 million then and loss was about four times its 2011 net income. In addition to this, company’s stock price dropped 62% in just one day according to Bloomberg Businessweek.

 

9. Starbucks Breakdown caused by Software Bug

Starbucks Corporation is an American coffee company and coffee house chain founded in Seattle, Washington in 1971.

As noted by (Yahoo, 2016), In April 2015, Starbucks had to close roughly 60% of their stores located worldwide due to software failure. Thousands of stores in North America were unable to proceed with their business due to software bug. Software flaw did not allow cash registers to process orders and take payments. The software malfunction was very high and it affected roughly 13,500 locations in US and Canada.

 

10. Swiss Bank : Software Glitch Sent Bank Statements to the Wrong People

According to (AbcNews, 2016), a Swiss bank found themselves in critical situation in 2014 when they discovered that their software system has sent bank statements addressed to wrong people. Many customers reported receiving along with their statement, other statements comprising of details for other bank patrons.

 

Conclusion

These case studies are examples of what havoc a software bug can create. Software can be helpful in automating your business processes however they are potentially dangerous if it goes buggy. It can impact your business big time. Software outsourcing companies in India should emphasize software quality and should include this from the beginning of software development.

 

Bibliography

AbcNews. (2016, 10 1). Swiss Bank Giant UBS Hit by LoveBug Strain - ABC News. Retrieved from AbcNews: http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=119543&page=1

BBC. (2016, 10 1). BBC NEWS | Technology | Deadly plague hits Warcraft world. Retrieved from BBC: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/4272418.stm

BBC. (2016, 10 1). HSBC online banking is 'attacked' - BBC News. Retrieved from BBC: http://www.bbc.com/news/business-35438159

Bidnessetc. (2016, 10 1). Nissan Under Investigation By U.S As Two Of Its Vehicles Are Called Back. Retrieved from Bidnessetc: http://www.bidnessetc.com/37653-nissan-under-investigation-by-us-as-two-of-its-vehicles-are-called-back/

Fortune. (2016, 10 1). Why Knight lost $440 million in 45 minutes. Retrieved from Fortune: http://fortune.com/2012/08/02/why-knight-lost-440-million-in-45-minutes/

Geek, H.-t. (2016, 10 1). Everything You Need To Know About the Blue Screen of Death. Retrieved from howtogeek: http://www.howtogeek.com/163452/everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-blue-screen-of-death/

MIS-ASIA. (2016, 10 1). MIS-Asia - Top software failures of 2015/2016. Retrieved from mis-asia: http://www.mis-asia.com/tech/applications/top-software-failures-of-20152016/?page=4

NYtimes. (2016, 10 1). Apple’s New Maps App Is Upgraded, but Full of Snags - Review - The New York Times. Retrieved from nytimes: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/27/technology/personaltech/apples-new-maps-app-is-upgraded-but-full-of-snags-review.html?smid=tw-nytimesbusiness&moc.semityn.www&_r=0

PCAuthority. (2016, 10 1). Ten of the world's most disastrous IT mistakes - PC & Tech Authority. Retrieved from PC Authority: http://www.pcauthority.com.au/Feature/264645,ten-of-the-worlds-most-disastrous-it-mistakes.aspx

Times, T. E. (2016, 10 1). Taxi aggregator Ola hit by tech glitches that allow free rides - The Economic Times. Retrieved from economictimes.indiatimes: http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2015-03-20/news/60322836_1_ola-largest-cab-aggregator-mobile-app

Yahoo. (2016, 10 1). Starbucks breakdown shows how registers have evolved. Retrieved from Yahoo: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/starbucks-breakdown-shows-registers-evolved-103020989.html

 

Top ten questions to ask to eCommerce service providers

Better prices, convenience and variety are some of the factors to stimulate online shopping revoluti

 

Better prices, convenience and variety are some of the factors to stimulate online shopping revolution. Owning an online store is not only a brand requirement but also an essential element to reach to customers directly. Security, frauds, return policy and personal feel were some of the reasons that were hindering customer behavior to shop online. Technological advancements have curtailed these risks and other benefits are outweighing the drawbacks making it lucrative to shop online.

It is imperative that an online store should be user friendly, safe, secure and mobile responsive to offer unforgettable user experience. Right choice of eCommerce platform is the stepping stone and foundation for great eCommerce portal. Consider below questions to discuss with eCommerce service providers to help you choose the right eCommerce platform for your online store.

 

1. What would be the cost comparison of various eCommerce platforms?

There are three types of eCommerce platforms available namely Licensed Shopping Cart, Hosted Shopping Cart and Custom Shopping Cart.  Each offers varying cost structure. Licensed shopping cart requires one time license fees. Hosted shopping cart offers monthly or yearly recurring charges and some have transaction charges as well. It is good to study the cost comparison of each platform in question.

 

2. What is the development timeline?

Development time is directly proportional to development cost and opportunity loss. Custom eCommerce solution sounds appealing compared to licensed shopping website and hosted shopping websites however it requires longer development time and thus requires higher investment.  This indirectly mean opportunity loss for the period when website is under development. One needs to carefully analyze to strike a balance between investment, opportunity loss and other business parameters.

 

3. Is my website secure?

Security and online fraud were biggest setback for online shopping. Technological advancements has subdued these risks however it has not been completely eliminated. It is apparent that your online store should be safe and secure for online transactions. One should discuss security measures of specific platform in question to build the website to ensure zero tolerance to security breaches.

 

4. Who would host my eCommerce website and what would it cost?

Server response time, uptime, security measures, service level agreement and support are some of the factors to determine best website hosting server. Cost is also an important factor to consider. Website performance is heavily depending on right choice of server. Server choice depends on eCommerce model choice and underpinning technology.

 

5. What would be the recurring cost to maintain the eCommerce platform?

Timely support and maintenance are very important to maintain smoothly running eCommerce platform to manage technical glitches, bugs and other usability issues. This requires continuous and timely support from eCommerce service provider. Other back office operations like inventory management, order management, customer data management and restore would also require technical assistance.  It is imperative to discuss support and maintenance arrangement and its cost.

 

6. Which payment gateway is suitable for the said eCommerce platform?

Every eCommerce platform has compatibility issues with certain payment gateways. It is good to discuss payment gateway of your choice with service provider to ensure safe and secure online payment processing.

 

7. Is my website user friendly and mobile responsive?

Usage of mobile is advancing at very high pace. It is predicted that mobile usage for online shopping would outweigh the normal website usage from computers very soon.  This requires that your website is mobile responsive and users can have uninterrupted shopping experience through mobile.

 

8. What would be the speed of my website?

User experience highly depends on website speed and performance. Many studies and articles have been published emphasizing the importance of website speed for better user experience and its impact on sales. The average online shopper is highly impatient and does not like to wait for information to load.  It is believed that every millisecond can have an impact on purchasing behavior and decision making process of an online shopper.

 

9. Is back office administration of website user friendly?

If you are an end-user, it is very important to understand how back office administration works for your online store. One needs to learn this so that inventory and orders can be managed smoothly without requiring any assistance from vendor every now and then. User friendly back office administration would subdue your headache to manage back office operations.

 

10. Does website / platform offers inline support for marketing/SEO?

Merely online store does not help you to boost product sales. One requires dedicated efforts to market the same to persuade online shoppers to buy your products or services. Online marketing is becoming prominent these days as people search products and services through google and other search engines online. It is evident that it would be a good strategy to discuss your marketing plans with  eCommerce service provider to make sure the website has prerequisites required for your online marketing campaigns.

 

eCommerce website is your lifeline to remain in business. Questions discussed will you help you to choose the right eCommerce service provider and platform though this list is an indicative and unordered list and not an exhaustive one.

 

Very best luck with your online shop!

Top ten questions to ask to software outsourcing companies in India

Have you made up your mind to outsource some of your IT operations, functions or projects to softwar

 

Have you made up your mind to outsource some of your IT operations, functions or projects to software outsourcing companies in India to reap the economic and competitive benefits? Beware, your wrong decision can put your organization in trouble. Quantification of process to choose software outsourcing company can help you choose the best organization that fits the best to your requirements.  A set of questions follow to help you in this process.

1. How is your financial health?

Financial stability is vital before outsourcing your projects to software outsourcing companies. Financial stability would induce stability and timely delivery of your projects. It would also ensure that it can cope up with economic fluctuations in the market. Financial health should be given very high importance while quantifying candidate qualification. Organization can use financial rations like Debt-to-Equity Ratio, Current Ratio, Quick Ratio, Return on Equity (ROE) and Net Profit Margin. This is indicative list and not an exhaustive one. There are many other financial parameters that one should consider to determine the financial health of a software outsourcing company.

2. How is your physical health?

Company profile with sound physical statistics like employee count, office locations, running project counts, successful projects executed, year of experience etc. helps you to decide company capabilities and competencies.

3. What is your relevant experience to my domain?

Proven track record of service commitment and delivery is very vital but Industry knowledge is even more important.  A company can be sound technically but if it fails to understand business requirements, it lays the foundation of unsuccessful product or project.  User acceptance heavily depends on this factor. Even if a project is technically good, it may fail if user acceptance is not given due consideration. Industry and subject knowledge play crucial role for successful project.

4. Do you have any quality assurance certifications?

Certification alone cannot help to judge a company in terms of quality and timely delivery. However this provides an organization additional surety that the company follows specific processes that leads to quality and timely service delivery to customers. This also reflects company’s commitment and dedication to service quality.

5. How would you protect our confidential information?

Concepts, ideas and trade secrets are king in business. It floats the organization and misuse of this has ability to sink the organization as well. IP protection and confidential information are the key factors that were hindering revolution in software outsourcing for ages. However software outsourcing companies in India have started respecting the importance of Intellectual property ownership and confidential information. Companies have taken required actions to ensure that IP remains with outsourcing company and confidential information are protected.

6. What is your project management methodology?

The success of project execution is highly dependent on selecting the right software development life cycle and its project management methodologies. Project management methodologies controls the project scope, time and cost creeps. It also puts required checks on project quality and deliverables. Software companies in India have started using AGILE Project management methodologies like SCRUM for better and effective project managmenet. Right project management methodologies provide sustainable benefits at tactical, operation and strategic level.

7. How would you fit to my requirements?

Every organization has different business needs. It is important to ensure that the company that you choose is flexible and scalable enough to meet your needs and service offerings. It should be flexible and ready to go beyond a service call to ensure that your business runs smoothly.

8. How is your business model and contracts structured?

Conflicts are unavoidable and can emerge any time during or after the service delivery.  It can be due to any reason foreseen or unforeseen. Contracts and agreements are vital to mitigate legal and contractual risks. It is important that contracts and agreements are structured considering all software outsourcing risks, business needs and geopolitical boundaries and protects the organization from legal issues and conflicts.

9. What is your SWOT analysis?

SWOT analysis would help an organization to understand strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the software outsourcing company in question. A closer frequency match of SWOT analysis, ensures better sync of organizations in terms of company culture, values and work ethics. SWOT analysis also provides other meaningful information about how company is structured and where it is heading. This can help you in company analysis in better way.

10. What is your force majeure?

Natural calamity or any unforeseen event or circumstances can put your business on hold. It is very important to know how company manages and reacts to force majeure like earthquake or any other natural calamity to ensure business continuity. These terms can help to know how soon your business can be expected to resume during force majeure.

A wrong decision of choosing software outsourcing company in India can outweigh the benefits of outsourcing in terms of money, time and skills and right choice can boost your business to next level. Though this list is not exhaustive but indicative to help you choose right software outsourcing partner to reap the competitive and economic benefits of software outsourcing.