NewsBY RabIT software engineering · March 18, 2020

The company’s CEO Nat Friedman announced on the 16th of March that GitHub has acquired NPM, the world’s largest software registry.

 

 

The npm Registry is a public collection of packages, open-source code for Node.js, front-end web apps, mobile apps, robots, routers, and countless other needs of the JavaScript community. The registry was created in 2009 to help JavaScript developers easily share packaged modules of code. Since then, it has largely contributed to the expansion of JS technology and its community as well.

GitHub itself is one of the world’s largest software development platforms that provides hosting for software version control using Git. Microsoft acquired the company back in 2018. At first, the developer community was concerned about the future of the platform and its open source projects.

Since then, Microsoft hasn’t done anything to risk losing the trust of the GitHub community. On the contrary, they have added new features to aid the community such as Actions and Projects.

Nonetheless, the same concern rises again now that GitHub has acquired npm. The largest one is that Microsoft now controls an overwhelming part of the JavaScript ecosystem, which has always been open source.

Of course, the company promises to keep things the way they are and only improve on user experience and introduce new features.

In the announcement Friedman promises that npm “will always be available and always be free”. Their key focus after closing the deal will be to:

  • Invest in the registry infrastructure and platform. This is crucial because of the rapidly growing JavaScript ecosystem. They promise they will make the investments necessary to maintain speed, reliability and scalability.
  • Improve the core experience. Improve the everyday experience of developers and maintainers, and support the ongoing work. They also promise to introduce some bigger features, Workspaces and improvements to the publishing and multi-factor authentication experience.
  • Engage with the community. Engage with the JavaScript community to get ideas and help define the future of npm.

GitHub will be hosting a Reddit AMA to answer further npm-related questions in the coming days.

RabIT software engineering

RabIT is an innovative software engineering company from Hungary. Our goal is to help startups and enterprises drive growth through technology innovation and make a real impact in their industries.

Code quality and transparency are our main priorities throughout each project.

Startup & MVPBY RabIT software engineering · March 11, 2020

Thanks to increasing healthcare costs and the wide availability of devices like smarthphones, smartwatches and different IoT sensors, demand for digital care is rapidly on the rise. Through healthcare mobile app development, innovators were able to greatly increase cost-efficiency of healthcare service delivery, and help answer this growing demand.

However, there is still much to be done, and plenty of room for new innovation. According to Grand View Research, the global home healthcare market size was valued at USD 281.8 billion in 2019, and is expected to have an average growth rate of 7.9% over the next decade.

 

healthcare mobile app development market size

Source: grandviewresearch.com

 

A rapidly growing population forces governments to constantly expand public health care systems. This means that healthcare expenses will also continuously increase throughout the foreseeable future.

In order to make health services more accessible to patients everywhere, innovators must find a way to make them more scalable and less fixed in time and space.

 

What Are the Factors Accelerating Healthcare Innovation?

 

According to a 2019 research conducted by Deloitte, the key factors driving innovation in healthcare are:

  • Cost pressures on traditional models
  • Shift to prevention and well-being
  • Consumers’ heightened demand for transparency, convenience, access and personalized products and services
  • Consumers’ increased access to and control over personal health care data

Thankfully, new technological advancements make it possible to answer the most pressing challenges in this sector. One of the most effective tools here is data management, which has evolved from just storage to drawing insights. This helps medical professionals make better-informed decisions and increase diagnostic precision.

However, newly emerged security challenges may prolong the innovation process. When it comes to digital health, privacy is one of the most discussed concerns among patients and healthcare professionals as well. Keeping personally identifiable health information safe must be a top priority during every healthcare mobile app development project.

Mobile health requires the use of strong encryption and authentication processes to ensure the security of these data.

 

Benefits of Mobile Health Apps

 

  • Increased speed and cost-efficiency of delivering healthcare services – With solutions such as video visits or AI-powered chatbots, smaller services like patient diagnostics and check-up visits can be delivered at a larger scale, using much less resources.
  • Physicians can access health data from anywhere – Completing health care services becomes much less fixed in time and space, increasing the availability of professionals, regardless of their location.
  • They enable predictive and preventive care – Healthcare mobile app development allows providers to gradually switch from reactive care to a more preventive approach. Providing consumers with their own personal health assistant can greatly raise their awareness about potential health risks, monitor their diet, body weight, heart rate, etc.
  • Increased precision – With the integration of AI, machine learning and advanced data analytics technologies into healthcare processes, professionals are able to make better-informed decisions and spot irregularities they would’ve likely missed otherwise.
  • Healthcare services become easier to scale – Healthcare mobile app development also enables providers to answer the rapidly growing demand from patients through increased service accessibility.
  • They can help solve staffing challenges – Staff shortages are a major issue in today’s healthcare systems. Adopting advanced technologies that accelerate decision-making and eliminate routine administrative tasks is another step toward solving this challenge.

 

Most Significant Areas of Innovation in Healthcare Mobile App Development

 

1. AI-POWERED CHATBOTS AND DIAGNOSTIC SYSTEMS

These types of applications help physicians determine which disease or condition explains patients’ symptoms and signs. Patients can use these apps themselves without having to set up a doctor’s appointment.

After asking a series of symptom-related questions, the diagnostic app uses great amounts of data from electronic health records (EHR) to compare the new information to other, similar cases and provide a diagnosis. Technologies like Natural Language Processing allow these questions to be read and answered more intuitively, making the whole process feel much more natural for patients.

Of course, using an app doesn’t substitute a full diagnosis provided by an experienced professional using specialized medical equipment. In more severe cases, diagnostic apps usually recommend patients to go see a doctor as soon as possible. Nevertheless, dealing with routine queries using AI-backed messaging and voice systems can help organizations decrease physicians’ workload and realize cost savings.

 

2. CLOUD COMPUTING SOLUTIONS

Cloud computing is an appealing choice for healthcare organizations trying to build out, run and maintain infrastructure for patient record-keeping needs. Public cloud systems are more suitable for providing generic health information. On the other hand, private cloud systems can be used for more security-sensitive cases, like pharmacy orders, patient bills and physician inquiries.

HIPAA compliance is one of the biggest issues in this environment. Organizations often don’t fully embrace cloud computing because of the strict health information security regulations.

 

3. BLOCKCHAIN SYSTEMS

Peer-to-peer systems with shared digital ledgers promise great possibilities for healthcare organizations. The increased security, portability and integrity of patient data will make creating, modifying and distributing healthcare information much more efficient. Blockchain technology also allows healthcare providers to always have access to patient health records, through a shared system that is used by everyone, while still complying with HIPAA and GDPR regulations.

 

 

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4. BIG DATA & PREDICTIVE ANALYTICS

Collecting and storing patient health data has been possible for a decades now. However, analyzing these massive pools of accumulated information and drawing actionable conclusions has proven to be a challenge. More recent advances in data science will allow experts to feed patient information (personal and family medical history, previous test results etc.) into AI-based systems to draw relevant conclusions for their effective treatment.

 

5. INTERNET OF MEDICAL THINGS (IoMT)

IoMT has emerged as the combination of IoT development and telehealth technologies. It mainly includes wearable devices such as smartwatches, ECG and EKG monitors, smart scales and others. By providing consumers with devices that communicate with each other, and are easy to use, they are able to accurately and consistently monitor their own heart rate, blood pressure, body weight, and other vital health information. The results can also be forwarded to their local physician for further analysis.

 

healthcare mobile app development

 

6. AUGMENTED REALITY AND VIRTUAL REALITY (AR/VR)

From educating new students to planning procedures, or foster post-surgery improvement for patients, Augmented and Virtual Reality applications show a lot of promise. With their help, professionals are able to place patients in more enhanced and simulated environments without having to use physical therapy. While monitoring these sessions, data can also be gathered to assist therapists in devising customized treatment for each patient.

 

Also, more focus is being placed on developing so-called Smart Health Communities – groups of public, nonprofit, and commercial organizations – who’s goal is to prevent disease and improve people’s well-being, while operating outside traditional healthcare systems.

To achieve this, they are making use of the previously mentioned innovations in data-fueled technologies like AI, NLP, Internet of Things, AR and VR.

 

Examples of Successful Healthcare Mobile App Development

 

AI-POWERED CHATBOTS & DIAGNOSTIC APPS

K Health develops a mobile app that uses AI to deliver personalized primary care for patients faster and cheaper. The company is comprised of doctors and developers who are passionate about using advanced machine learning techniques to turn clinical health data into knowledge that can help patients better manage their health.

  • Over $97M raised since 2016

 

 

Sensely’s avatar and chatbot-based platforms assist insurance plan members and patients with the insurance services and healthcare resources they need, whenever they need it. The company has developed separate chatbot applications specifically for insurers, employers and pharmacies as well.

  • Over $26M raised since 2013

 

 

MENTAL HEALTH PLATFORMS

The importance of caring for people’s mental health has gained a lot of attention over the past few decades. Advances in healthcare mobile app development also provided some great tools for online therapy and aiding mental stability. The main goal of innovators in this sector is to provide anonymous, easily accessible and affordable mental care for anyone, anywhere.

 

Talkspace is an online therapy startup that offers affordable and confidential therapy with a network of professional and licensed therapists. With online messaging therapy, users have access to a licensed, professional therapist, without having to schedule an appointment.

  • Over $106M raised since 2014
  • Over 1 million users.

 

Headspace is a digital health platform that provides guided meditation sessions and mindfulness training. The company’s content can be accessed online, or via the Headspace mobile app.

  • Over $168M raised since 2014
  • Used by more than 8 million people in over 200 countries.

 

 

INTERNET OF MEDICAL THINGS (IoMT) PRODUCTS

Fitbit is developing wireless wearable sensors that automatically track data about a person’s activities, such as calories burned, sleep quality, steps and distance.

Their trackers collect activity data automatically while it is worn by the user all day. The collected data is wirelessly uploaded to a website where the wearer can see their data and track their progress toward personal goals. Other than trackers, the company also produces smartwatches, smart scales and other accessories.

  • Over $66M raised since 2008
  • Reportedly almost 16M devices sold in 2019

 

CLOUD DATA MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS

Flatiron Health is a healthcare technology and services company focused on accelerating cancer research and improving patient care. They connect community oncologists, academics, hospitals, life science researchers and regulators on a shared cloud-based platform.

Their platform enables cancer researchers and care providers to learn from the experience of a large number cancer patients.

  • Over $313M raised since 2013

 

AR/VR APPLICATIONS

Oxford VR’s highly immersive VR therapy, provides patients with treatments that are: faster and more effective than traditional therapy sessions, significantly lower cost to health providers and loved by users.

Their focus is on developing clinically validated, cost-effective, user-centered treatments with significant impact on patients, the health system and wider economy.

  • Over £13M raised since 2017

 

 

Summary

 

In order to be able to answer the growing demand for accessible and accurate healthcare services, organizations must continue to explore emerging, innovative tools and technologies.

The possibilities offered by the technological advances listed in this article are still only partially explored. Apart from achieving great financial results, innovators also have the opportunity to help improve people’s well-being and quality of life on a global scale.

Utilizing the potential of data science, AI, cloud computing and other emerging technologies is certainly a challenge. This is why we offer our help as development partners to healthcare organizations and HealthTech startups all around the world.

If you have a project in mind, feel free to reach out to us for a free consultation session.

RabIT software engineering

RabIT is an innovative software engineering company from Hungary. Our goal is to help startups and enterprises drive growth through technology innovation and make a real impact in their industries.

Code quality and transparency are our main priorities throughout each project.

SoftwareBY RabIT software engineering · March 04, 2020

DigitalOcean’s Currents report analyzes the most relevant trends of the software development world. As one of today’s most discussed topics in IT, last year’s survey focused on working with remote software developers.

 

Their key findings on working with remote software developers

The 4300-person survey showed that:

  • Remote work has become the new normal – Remote work is increasingly practiced and even demanded by both developers and employers. 86% percent of respondents currently work remotely in some capacity. 1/3 of them work remotely full-time.
  • Remote developers are connected – The traditional narrative states that working with remote software developers results in the remote team being disengaged from the company. This is rapidly proving wrong, with teams and employers reporting that they feel connected even while working from different locations.

 

The United States and Canada are the leading countries in terms of working with remote software developers with 44% and 43% of those surveyed working primarily remotely. The following countries are the United Kingdom with 37% and India with 25%.

 

working with remote software developers by country

Source: digitalocean.com

 

Communication tools preferred by remote software developers

The survey showed that remote teams make use of all types of communication channels and collaboration software. Business collaboration software like Slack and Skype are most preferred, followed by instant messaging, email, phone (either texting or calling) and Video conference tools (GoToMeeting, Zoom, Hangouts, etc.)

 

Source: digitalocean.com

 

We can testify to this ourselves, as we also use Slack and Skype most often while working remotely with our clients.

 

How to mitigate the challenges of working with remote software developers

While it is quickly becoming common practice, remote development work still provides unique challenges and obstacles teams must overcome to reach success. You’ll find that communication, project management as well as technical aspects of software development all require a bit different mindset in a remote setting.

We have plenty of experience with this topic, as our team works 100% remotely with every client. After completing 40+ international custom software projects, we’ve gained some very valuable insights and experience about the dos and don’ts of remote development work.

 

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THE MOST COMMON CHALLENGES APPEAR IN THE AREA OF:

Onboarding

Introducing new team members to a large codebase requires quite a lot of time and effort. Under codebase we mean a whole collection of source code that is used to build a particular software system or component. If the code is messy and poorly documented, newly joined remote developers will find it difficult to understand how all pieces of the code are working together.

This is why it is extremely important to follow industry best practices and standards and to writing code. Clean code is written using suitable design patterns and is easy to read and understand for fellow developers.

Adding clear and detailed documentation is also crucial at every stage of the project. Before writing a single line of code, the first thing for new team members should be reading any available information about the project.

 

Communication

Communication-related challenges are frequently mentioned as the biggest obstacles while working with remote software developers. Collecting daily updates, discussing urgent issues, or explaining new tasks and objectives becomes somewhat more difficult if you are working in different locations, or even time zones. As remote team members often work with flexible hours as well, gathering everyone involved together in a virtual meeting room at the same time becomes a challenge of its own.

To make sure everyone is always on the same page, we schedule frequent (sometimes even daily) online meetings with our clients and other development teams. To discuss more urgent issues, our team primarily uses channels like Slack, Skype or Email.

Apart from this, we also have longer weekly meetings and a product demonstration meeting at the end of each development sprint (every 2 weeks). This may sound like a lot, but the people we work with really appreciate having such a deep insight into the project at all times.

 

Tracking progress

Without version control and issue tracking systems, working with remote software developers would be an absolute nightmare. They make web projects much easier to implement and manage in particular. Version tracking allow each team member to work on any file at anytime without having to worry about overwriting current versions, or wasting time locating where the latest iteration of a file is being stored.

Issue tracking tools have proven particularly useful for project managers and product owners to oversee complex development projects. Everyone can see scheduled work tasks and what each developer is working on at all times. We like to invite our clients into our issue trackers to help them see exactly what we’re working on at any given stage of the project.

During our remote development projects we mainly use Asana, Jira or Trello for issue tracking, and GitLab, GitHub or BitBucket for version tracking.

 

Feeling disconnected

If someone works as part of a remote team for a longer period of time, they often feel like they’re not as valuable to the team as the people working on site. This can lead to them overworking themselves to contribute as much as possible, or to them feeling depressed and demoralized.

Meeting the remote team in person and organizing team building events can have a great effect on morale. It can also help everyone involved form a more personal connection. Even if your team is located overseas, we would encourage you to meet with them at least once a year, if your’re planning an ongoing cooperation.

 

To Summarize

 

Remote work in software development has become the new norm instead of the exception. You are truly missing out if you aren’t utilizing the benefits of working with remote software developers. A few of these benefits are a larger available talent pool, higher employee satisfaction and higher cost-efficiency.

The development of sophisticated online communication, version tracking and issue tracking tools makes this form of cooperation more seamless and efficient than ever. New innovations in this space will continue to remove the remaining barriers of working remotely.

More niche products designed for specific roles will enter the market. Some experts also predict that AI technology will help keep an increasingly remote workforce aligned to an organization’s timelines, goals, and priorities.

With all the necessary technology at our fingertips, and the growing demand for software development experts, it’s safe to say that remote work will only become more widespread over the next decade.

RabIT software engineering

RabIT is an innovative software engineering company from Hungary. Our goal is to help startups and enterprises drive growth through technology innovation and make a real impact in their industries.

Code quality and transparency are our main priorities throughout each project.

SoftwareBY RabIT software engineering · February 14, 2020

So you’re either considering to, or have already started a custom Ecommerce website development project. First off, congratulations! Now we need to make sure you have all the necessary information to make your new website a success.

Statista’s projections estimate that the Ecommerce industry will be worth $4.5 trillion by 2021. Competition is becoming more intense as new players enter the market for a piece of that considerably-sized pie.

ecommerce industry statistics

Source: Shopify.com

 

Despite how easy some people make it seem, developing an Ecommerce website from scratch can prove challenging, depending on product category and targeted markets.

I would say it’s only worth to start an online store, if you have a strong knowledge about your customers and the products you’d like to sell to them. It is also a big advantage if you already have a physical store before the Ecommerce website, so you have a large customer base who will provide initial feedback you can use to make it more attractive for new clients.

 

To make your custom Ecommerce website stand a chance, we recommend you to follow these steps:

 

1. Online competitor research

Chances are someone has already started selling products similar to yours online. By this point you should always expect to have competition and make the necessary precautions before investing into Ecommerce website development.

Before you start analyzing the competition, you need to determine your own business profile, as well as a detailed customer persona. Write down what customer needs your business is equipped to satisfy, and all the aspects that make it different from companies in the same space.

Do your best to create a detailed description about people who you expect to buy your product (or are already buying your product offline). Who and where are they? How old are they? How much are they willing to spend? Where do they search while shopping online, etc.

Once you know where you stand on the market, it’s time to do the digging. Search for similar competitors on sites like Amazon or Google Shopping. Examine the user experience of their Ecommerce website, pricing strategy, buying funnel, etc.

Subscribe to a few newsletters and follow their social media pages to learn about how they communicate with their audience. You can even try to order something from them, to experience the complete delivery process.

 

2. Choose the right Ecommerce platform

During competitor research, you should come across a few different Ecommerce platforms. This can also help you decide which one you’d like to adapt yourself.

First off, you need to decide if you want to use an Ecommerce website builder or have your development write the code from scratch.

The main advantages of using a website builder are lower overall development costs and a shorter time-to-market period. However, using these SaaS solutions can come with a high monthly fee, so costs can easily build up over time, especially if you want to scale your site later on.

Building your Ecommerce website from scratch gives you maximum flexibility, control and allows for easier scaling. Not to mention you don’t have to deal with support every time something goes wrong. This usually makes the development process longer and more expensive early on, however.

If you do decide to go with an Ecommerce builder, here are some good options to consider:

 

comparison for custom ecommerce website development guide

Source: Vizteams

 

3. Prepare design mockups

While most ready-to-use Ecommerce builders provide free website templates, you should consider creating custom design to make it stand out even more.

I’d recommend hiring a professional web designer who has deep knowledge about user experience and modern user interface builds as well. There are also plenty of talented freelancers you can easily hire through sites like Upwork or Guru.

When it come to Ecommerce design, remember these key aspects:

Load speed – This is the most important factor that impacts online shoppers’ user experience today. According to Smart Insights, 57% of visitors will leave your site if loading takes longer than 3 seconds. About 80% of them will likely never return to your site again.

Responsiveness – Site elements must display properly on all screen sizes, in all browsers. Also make sure that your designer follows mobile UI best practices.

Clear and visible call-to-actions – Your Ecommerce website design should help customers effortlessly complete their purchases. Your CTA buttons should have clear, concise text, and eye-catching design.

High-quality images – As much as you want to improve load times, pay attention that your images don’t appear low-quality or pixelated. Use JPG image formats for multi-color images, and PNG for simple images. You can also use formats like WebP or JPEG XR, but they aren’t supported by all browsers.

 

 

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4. Choose payment gateway API

Payment API integration is an essential part of any custom Ecommerce website development project. It is crucial to select a gateway that fits both your business’ and customers’ requirements.

These APIs help you manage credit card payments and bank payments, and also play a key role in tracking orders and maintaining customer lists. They also help protect both online vendors and shoppers from fraud and information breaches.

We recommend using acclaimed gateway APIs such as Stripe, Square or PayPal. Our own team uses Stripe the most during development projects, but Square is also a good alternative. It is popular among small vendors with a physical storefront as well as an online store.

 

5. Develop planned features

By this point you should be able to picture your ideal Ecommerce website and compile a list of feature requirements. You will need this to ask for initial project estimations from development teams. Include as much detailed information as you can in order to get an accurate estimate.

When you start looking for development companies for custom Ecommerce website development, you need to think about how much money you can afford to invest in it and ideally how much time it should take them to finish the project.

Be sure to reach out to at least 5 different teams, and compare offers, clarity of communication, and whether they have proper development, quality assurance and project management processes set up.

If you know someone with an IT background, or a reliable consultant, involve them in the selection process as a third party to make sure you choose a capable team.

It is crucial for you to stay in constant communication with the developers, because they will need your input and feedback throughout the project. Someone from your internal management team should be assigned to follow the development process and make sure the completed features are in line with your expectations.

When it comes to custom Ecommerce website development, scalability and security are extremely important. Site architecture and databases must allow for easy expansion to be able to grow together with your business. This might require the use of cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS).

We also recommend to include penetration testing during the development process to discover potential vulnerabilities and protect future customers’ sensitive information.

This is how the development process looks for us.

 

6. Quality assurance & usability testing

QA testing should be an integral part of the custom Ecommerce website development process to make sure all features work error-free. Unit testing, automated testing and code reviews should be carried out continuously throughout production.

It might require some extra effort from the development team, but it would take much longer to correct coding errors later on, when critical errors start to appear.

Usability testing is also crucial to see if your Ecommerce website is easy to understand and navigate for your potential customers.

 

custom ecommerce website development testing

 

7. Import product content & write creative

The job of your website creative is to make an immediate impression, and really draw customers in. Your chances of converting visitors are much higher if you manage to tell an engaging story that appeals to their imagination and gets them excited.

Make sure to add:

Visually appealing product photos – Since customers can’t touch or interact with your product online, you must rely on interesting, high-quality images to present them. Upload clean photos and give shoppers the opportunity to zoom in and out and view items from multiple angles.

PowertoolWorld, a popular hardware Ecommerce website even includes short product videos.

Descriptive keyword-rich product titles – Titles also serve as brief product descriptions. Here you need to think like your customers and use words that they would use to search for your products. This will make your site easier to find for search engines.

Creative, engaging product descriptions – Include the most important information your customers would want to know about your products. Write about aspects that make them stand out, how they were made, and why people should be excited to own them.

 

8. Hosting & SSL certificate

There is a whole plethora of hosting providers out there to choose from. There is no such thing as an absolute best, the right one for you depends on your specific requirements.

When choosing a provider, make sure they fit your business in terms of:

  • Security capabilities
  • Performance abilities
  • Database performance potential
  • CMS software compatibility

After setting up your Ecommerce website, you still need to make it secure.

 

ecommerce website security

Source: Pixabay

 

SSL certificates encrypt visitors’ financial data and other sensitive user information. Search engines will also give your site a higher ranking if it is equipped with an SSL certificate.

If you want to get one for your own Ecommerce website, Let’s Encrypt offers free certificates as a nonprofit organization. You can also install SSL certificates through paid certificate distribution websites like DigiCert or Comodo SSL, or directly from hosting providers like GoDaddy.

 

9. Prepare content, advertising & social media strategy

Having the perfect Ecommerce website won’t provide financial results without enough traffic. Since you are likely only starting out, you probably can’t afford to advertise to a wide audience on every platform.

You need a carefully targeted and efficient content & advertising strategy to reach the right people with the right offer at the right time.

If you don’t have a background in digital marketing, the most obvious solution might be to simply hire a professional agency to take care of this for you. Although, if you’re starting out with a tighter budget, or want to keep your marketing activity in-house, you must come up with an initial strategy yourself.

This is not a marketing-focused article, so I won’t go into too much detail here.

Basically, you have to identify your ideal buyer personas, find ways to engage with them and convince them to take action (buy). You can do this organically through content, or reach them with targeted offers through paid advertising channels (social media ads, banner ads, search ads, etc.).

 

10. Search engine optimization – SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) can save a lot of money and effort when starting a new Ecommerce website. If you don’t have to advertise your site, because its the first result in search engines (like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.), you can achieve a much higher profit margin.

However, if you want to stay on top of the search game, you need to invest into quality SEO development and keeping it up to date. This can be hard, because SEO requirements are always changing.

Developers need to stay in touch with these changes and update your Ecommerce website accordingly. Despite all of this, I‘d say it’s still more cost-efficient on the long run than paying for advertisement.

 

11. Maintenance and further development

Instead of a linear process with an end point, think of custom Ecommerce website development as a cycle that repeats throughout the software’s lifetime.

Once your team has successfully developed all planned front-end and back-en elements, the work is still not over. There is continuous maintenance work that has to be done in order to avoid feature-breaking errors and keep all systems up to date.

Due to the ever growing competition in the Ecommerce industry, innovation is essential for every business that wants to stay relevant. You must keep in touch with customer demand and evolve your site to be able to satisfy new needs and preferences.

Integrating newly emerging technologies, optimizing new devices and platforms all require extra development work to be done. For example, industry analysts currently predict that voice shopping, AI services and Augmented Reality (AR) will provide the next innovation challenges for Ecommerce website owners.

 

voice-shopping-ecommerce

Photo by Fabian Hurnaus from Pexels

 

A custom Ecommerce website comes with a lot of advantages and also a few disadvantages for your business.

 

Here are some of them:

Advantages:

  • You’ll have a platform where you can receive and respond to customers’ questions quickly and directly.
  • Buyers don’t have to travel to your physical store, which can save them a lot of time and money. Delivery services are often cheaper nowadays than buying the fuel to drive to a store on the other side of town. If you manage to save money for your customers, they might even spend a little extra on your Ecommerce website.
  • A big advantage is that you can almost automate the flow of the orders. If your custom Ecommerce website has integrated billing API and delivery service API, it only requires 2 clicks to prepare the invoice and the delivery note.
  • It’s way easier to manage product stock and keep descriptions, pictures, names, categories up-to-date because you can see and edit everything in an admin interface instead of writing down the changes on paper.
  • You can collect data and prepare statistics reports about orders, outgoing and incoming stock, etc. This way you can discover seasonal buying trends and place more focus on best-performing products to increase your profits as much as possible.

 

Disadvantages:

  • One of the first that comes to mind is, of course, the cost of development. Hiring skilled programmers to realize what you have dreamed can cost a lot. Especially if want to make your Ecommerce website really stand out with unique features and design.
  • Once you start an Ecommerce website, you need to constantly think about new features to improve user experience and regularly update the design of the site, so customers will see that you are taking care of your online shop.
  • It’s also a pain to pay every month for the server where your site is hosted.
  • It’s harder to show product quality and explain every information about them to customers through the internet. Presenting the items in real life and demonstrating their functionality can be much more effective.

 

To summarize

This is our broad outline of the custom Ecommerce website development process. Of course, many details are up to you to figure out, since you’re the one who knows the ins and outs of your business.

We thinks that the process shouldn’t start with the actual development, but with market research and careful planning. Once you have a clear picture of exactly what you need to do, you’ll have much better chances to succeed with development.

If at any stage you feel like you need help from an experienced team, feel free to reach out and ask your questions. Thanks for reading!

RabIT software engineering

RabIT is an innovative software engineering company from Hungary. Our goal is to help startups and enterprises drive growth through technology innovation and make a real impact in their industries.

Code quality and transparency are our main priorities throughout each project.

SoftwareBY RabIT software engineering · February 07, 2020

Mobile application technology is still heavily on the rise. According to Statista, there were 3.2 billion smartphone users in the world in 2019. This number is expected to reach 3.5 billion in 2020, and 3.8 billion by 2021. Most of the world’s population can be reached through mobile applications.

Edit 07/02/2020: Updated data and research results in the article for 2020

Choosing the right technologies is one of the most crucial decisions you have to make when entering the mobile app market. There are new solutions appearing constantly which make this decision more difficult.

This is why we decided to focus this article on helping you find out which platforms, frameworks and languages will work the best for your business in 2020.

 

If you are still on the fence about building digital solutions for your business, I recommend you read one of our earlier articles:

7 Reasons Why You Need to Start Business Digitization Right Now

 

When choosing your tech stack, first you have to consider your overall business strategy. Do you want to reach potential users on the Android or iOS platform? Perhaps you want to reach both with a single application. Once you have this figured out, you have to decide whether to build a native, hybrid or progressive web application.

 

Here is a quick breakdown to help you choose the mobile application technology that fits your business the most:

 

Native Apps

Native applications are developed specifically for a single mobile platform. Today, the only relevant platforms to choose from are Android and iOS. Depending on which one you choose to focus on, you will need to compile your tech stack accordingly.

 

Android – Java and Kotlin

Most Android applications are built using Java. After all, it is still the most widely used language on the planet. The classic way of writing native Android apps is to use Java and the Android SDK.

Java’s popularity for Android is mainly a result of its rich set of core features, redundancy, high security, speed and scalability. However, since mid-2017, there seems to be a trend that shows Kotlin finally replacing Java as the go-to language for Android app development.

Since Google endorsed Kotlin as an official language for building Android apps, it has been rapidly gaining in popularity. According to GitHub’s Octoverse, Kotlin was the fastest growing language in 2018. Its number of contributors has more than doubled since the year before.

 

Source: octoverse.github.com

 

According to the 2019 Octoverse, Kotlin is still the 4th fastets growing technology.

 

kotlin mobile application technology growth

Source: octoverse.github.com

 

Kotlin is wildly popular mainly because it makes coding much more concise, and is 100% interoperable with Java and Android. Writing code in Kotlin requires approximately 40% less lines of code compared to Java.

The language is big, complex and new, so it might take time for people to learn. Although, it is reportedly much easier for developers who already know Java, and there is also a rapidly growing support community today. You definitely won’t have any trouble finding Kotlin experts in the years to come.

 

iOS – Objective-C and Swift

Objective-C is a superset of the C programming language, and is utilized by a high number of mobile developers building apps for OS X and iOS. It is a very mature and tested mobile application technology that survived many generations of developers since its first release in the early 1980s.

Thanks to its stability and maturity, Objective-C manages to stay relevant today. There are a lot of well-documented third party frameworks out there, and very strong community support. It is also highly compatible with C and C++ programming languages.

There was obviously room for innovation, though. In 2014, Apple released Swift to provide new developers with an alternative that is easier to learn and to understand. The code length in Swift is significantly reduced, which makes development with it much faster compared to its older counterpart.

Apps developed in Swift are also considered to be safer and less prone to bugs and crashes than the ones developed in Objective-C. While Objective-C is still in the lead when it comes to community support and documentation, Swift is rapidly gaining in popularity.

Stack Overflow conducts a survey with its developer community each year. This is how the popularity of Objective-C and Swift changed with the community over the past 6 years:

 

ios mobile application technology trends

Source: https://insights.stackoverflow.com

 

We can see that the number of Objective-C developers started to stagnate after 2016 with only a minor increase this year compared to 2017. On the other hand, it is expected that the Swift community will continue to grow over the coming years.

Here is how native mobile technologies cluster together according to over 100,000 developers surveyed by Stack Overflow this year:

 

Source: https://insights.stackoverflow.com/survey/2018/

 

Advantages of Native Apps

  • Native apps are faster and more responsive than hybrid apps
  • They can run offline depending on functionality
  • Developers can better utilize device functionality like camera, microphone, swipe gestures, etc.
  • They are more interactive and run much smoother, creating a better overall user experience

Some Disadvantages

  • More expensive and slower development compared to hybrid apps
  • Harder to scale and maintain on each platform separately

 

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Hybrid Apps

We are talking about a hybrid app, when it includes both native and web elements. Creating a hybrid application is similar as building a web app. They are built using web technologies like HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

More and more people are choosing to build hybrid mobile apps over native ones. The growing demand resulted in the evolution of a number of hybrid frameworks like Ionic, Cordova, Xamarin or React Native.

The Ionic framework and Cordova both use HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Ionic builds on top of Cordova. This mobile application technology basically provides a set of front-end components that allow you to write HTML5 apps that look like native apps. Ionic also allows for up to 98% code reuse. These technologies already have a large community following.

Xamarin uses C# and .NET. Xamarin.Android and Xamarin.iOS are used for providing platform-specific behaviour, while Xamarin.Forms is responsible for code sharing. It allows for the reuse of 96% of the written code. Xamarin also has a large community following.

React Native uses JavaScript and React.JS, and has a rapidly growing community. React Native heavily builds on JavaScript, and is backed by Facebook. A huge benefit is that it allows for writing modules in Objective-C, Swift or Java languages if needed. Up to 70% of React Native code is reusable, which helps speed up development for multiple platforms.

React is a great choice if your app needs to handle heavy operations like image editing or video processing. High accessibility and its ability to build high-performance UI solutions fast helped it become the most sought-after hybrid mobile application technology of 2019.

 

popularity of mobile app technology

Source: Google Trends

 

Advantages of Hybrid Apps

  • More cost-efficient than native app development
  • Shorter time-to-market
  • Most of the code is reusable for multiple platforms (write once, use anywhere)
  • Because there is only one code base, it is much easier to scale and maintain a hybrid app

Some Disadvantages

  • Hybrid apps can have stability issues across different devices
  • Inconsistent performance on different platforms, which can negatively impact user experience

 

Progressive Web Apps

Progressive web apps (or PWA) are the perfect cross between native mobile apps and websites. PWAs are web applications that load like websites, but can offer functionalities traditionally available only to native apps. They can be loaded with the push of a button from the user’s mobile home page, without having to go through the whole app installation process beforehand.

Service workers are used to provide the best of both web and mobile native worlds. These service workers lie between the network and device to supply the content. Among many other properties, they are capable of utilizing cache mechanisms efficiently. This allows PWAs to work in offline mode as well.

This relatively new mobile technology allows you to provide a swift and smooth mobile native experience to your customers without intrusive app installation pop-ups. Your team can build them using a basic web stack (JavaScript, HTML & CSS).

World-leading companies from all industries are reportedly already experiencing higher web traffic, customer engagement, and conversion rates thanks to PWAs.

We wrote about 8 famous PWA success stories in a recent article.

 

Source: https://www.pwastats.com/

 

Advantages of Progressive Web Apps

  • PWAs provide a smooth experience at high performance, without relying on web connectivity.
  • They are also able to deliver real-time updates and push notifications, which was a feature reserved only for native apps in the past
  • They use 10-1000x less storage space compared to native apps
  • Fast and cost-efficient development

Some Disadvantages

  • PWAs don’t have access to all mobile hardware functions such as fingerprint scanning, advanced camera controls, Bluethooth, etc.
  • Running robust web apps on a smartphone uses up battery charge fast

 

Final Summary

Thanks to the popularity of mobile platforms, today there is a mobile  application technology for everyone.

It is up to you to assess the needs of your organization and make your choice according to your strategic vision and goals. If done correctly, your new mobile application can become as important of an asset to your business as a brick-and-mortar store.

We hope this article helped you figure out which technologies will be the best fit for your business.

 

If you need additional information to help you select your ideal mobile technology, feel free to ask your questions through our website, or ask for a free consultation.

RabIT software engineering

RabIT is an innovative software engineering company from Hungary. Our goal is to help startups and enterprises drive growth through technology innovation and make a real impact in their industries.

Code quality and transparency are our main priorities throughout each project.

WebBY RabIT software engineering · January 21, 2020

What is a PWA?

Progressive web apps (or PWA) are the perfect cross between native mobile apps and websites. PWAs are web applications that load like websites, but can offer functionalities traditionally available only to native apps. They can be loaded with the push of a button from the user’s mobile home page, without having to go through the whole app installation process beforehand.

Service workers are used to provide the best of both web and mobile native worlds. These service workers lie between the network and device to supply the content. Among many other properties, they are capable of utilizing cache mechanisms efficiently. This allows PWAs to work in offline mode as well.

 

Why are PWAs gaining in popularity?

This relatively new mobile technology allows you to provide a swift and smooth mobile native experience to your customers without intrusive app installation pop-ups. Your team can build them using a basic web stack (JavaScript, HTML & CSS).

World-leading companies from all industries are reportedly already experiencing higher web traffic, customer engagement, and conversion rates thanks to PWAs.

PWA has the highest reach with companies like Flipkart, Twitter Lite and Starbucks reporting increased user retention rate.

Here is a closer look at some of these successful progressive web apps.

 

Examples of PWA development projects in practice

 

Twitter

With close to 330 million active monthly users around the world who consume, create and share content, it is no wonder that Twitter wants to keep their mobile web experience as fast, reliable and engaging as possible. This was the main objective when they decided to upgrade their web application to a PWA.

 

examples of PWA development - Twitter

 

It’s safe to say that they’ve succeeded. Twitter Lite helped deliver a more robust experience and helped:
• increase number of pages per second by 65%
• increase number of Tweets sent by 75%
• decrease bounce rate by 20%

All this while requiring less than 3% of device storage space compared to Twitter’s native Android app. Instead of installing the app through the App or Play Store, web application visitors can choose the “Add to Homescreen” option directly from their mobile browser.

 

Instagram

Instagram was one of the first major companies to adapt PWA technology. If you somehow haven’t heard of it yet, it’s a social network service for sharing photos and videos. Following in Twitter’s footsteps, they upgraded their web application, giving web app users access to functionalities that previously were only available to native app users.

 

examples of PWA development - Instagram

 

The Instagram PWA now supports push notifications, has a web manifest and can be installed on both iOS and Android devices, using up much less storage space.

There are still some noticable navigation issues, but the pros outweigh the cons overall in terms of user experience thanks to the increased speed and lightness of the app. According to recent news, Instagram will expand the compatibility of the PWA to Windows Mobile OS as well.

 

Alibaba

Alibaba.com is the world’s largest wholesale trading platform, serving 200+ countries and regions. After upgrading their site to a progressive web app, they saw a:
• 76% increase in conversions across browsers
• 14% increase in monthly active users on iOS; 30% on Android
• 4X higher interaction rate from the “Add to Homescreen” prompt

 

Alibaba's progressive web application

 

Alibaba released its PWA in 2016, and they closed that year with $15,69 billion in annual revenues. Such a significant rise in mobile web conversions contributed a healthy amount to increasing this number to over $60 billion by the end of 2019.

By understanding how mobile web users interact with their business, they were able to deliver an excellent user experience to both first-time visitors and repeat visitors. Their PWA is also able to deliver push notifications the same way the native app does, achieving the same open rate on both platforms.

 

 

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Trivago

Trivago is one of the world’s most popular hotel search engines. The travel industry has been heavily disrupted by internet technology over the past two decades. Ever since their founding, they have been fully aware that they need to utilize emerging technologies in order to stay ahead of the competition.

 

examples of PWA development - Trivago

 

Because the majority of users access their service through mobile phones, succeeding on mobile platforms quickly became the company’s number one priority. They finally decided to design a progressive web application to improve their user experience.

Since then, more than half a million people added the Trivago site to their mobile home screen. Engagement for users who use this functionality increased by 150% thanks to push notifications. This increased engagement also lead to a 97% increase in clickouts to hotel offers for PWA users.

 

Starbucks

The reasons behind decision at Starbuck to develop a PWA were twofold: The company wanted to introduce ordering functionality to their website, while also making it more accessible for emerging markets. This way the service would be available in locations where internet connections are less reliable, like rural communities.

 

examples of PWA development - Starbucks

 

Because PWAs are built around the concept of “offline-first”, they are great for cases like this. Much of the application is available without an internet connection. Customers can modify the product in their order, and the information gets sent directly to the POS.

Starbucks now has a fast, performant, easy-to-use PWA that is 99% smaller than the 148MB native iOS app. By utilizing React, the development team was even able to include content-specific animations which are common in native apps, but rarely achieved for web apps.

 

Tinder

Tinder was also among the early adopters of PWA technology. They had noticed that session times are typically longer on web than their native apps. Users typically chose web more often to send messages and edit their profiles, so the company decided to focus on improving performance and user experience primarily on this platform.

 

examples of PWA development - Tinder

 

They chose React and Redux as main technologies. JavaScript performance optimization was used for improved load times, service workers for network resilience and push notifications for chat engagement.

Tinder is still iterating the progressive web app, but has already experienced great benefits. With the PWA they were able to cut their load times by 61% from 11.91 to 4.69 seconds. It’s able to deliver the core Tinder experience for only 10% data investment. The PWA is also 90% smaller than their native Android app.

 

Pinterest

Low engagement rates were the driving force behind the development of Pinterest’s PWA. The company realized that their mobile website only converted 1% of users into sign-ups, logins and native iOS and Android app installs.

 

Pinterest's progressive web application

 

Of course, this was far from ideal, and something needed to be done to increase web engagement. It took only 3 months, and the resulting improvement in business metrics really speaks for itself. People started spending 40% more time on the new PWA compared to the old mobile site. This lead to an increase in user-generated ad revenue by 44%, and core engagements also rose by 60%.

Performance also improved significantly. Due to its monolithic build and some CPU-heavy JavaScript, it took 23 seconds for the old mobile web site to become fully interactive on load. This wait time got reduced to only 5.6 seconds for to the new PWA.

 

Telegram

Telegram’s PWA was already available when its rival, WhatsApp Web got released to the market. It offers almost the exact same features as the mobile version, while being much lighter and faster than a conventional application.

 

Telegram's progressive web app

 

Beside the usual perks, this PWA has a small downside too. To start using it for the web, users must signed up on a native Telegram app first, and verify their details. This is necessary due to the company’s high security standards. All messages get encrypted on the cloud, and there is also a secret chat feature that doesn’t get stored on the company’s servers.

These examples of PWA development demonstrate that these new type of apps provide real value that is measurable in both user engagement and increases in profitability.

 

When should you consider PWAs?

Instances when PWAs can be especially beneficial:

  • If you want to make an e-commerce website together with an app – PWAs provide an easy way to increase user activity by allowing them to “save” your web shop on their home screen, and serve receive push notifications anywhere.
  • If you and your team are comfortable with web technologies and want to build apps in a limited time. You can write it with classic web technologies like HTML, CSS and JS.
  • If you are going “everywhere first” instead of mobile first – PWAs reach the widest range of users and devices via the browser.
  • If you want the lowest cost option for your development team – PWAs only have to be written once.
  • If you care about low-end devices, or users with poor internet connections – PWAs provide a smooth experience on slower devices too, and even work offline.

Some other benefits of PWAs:

  • PWAs load directly from the browser without having to download an app
  • They are also able to deliver real-time updates and push notifications, which was a feature reserved only for native apps in the past
  • PWAs use 10-1000X less storage space compared to native apps, and they require much less mobile data to load pages

 

What are the downsides of PWAs?

  • Your app won’t reach users who are searching in the App or Play Store
  • Somewhat lower UI responsiveness and performance compared to native apps.
  • PWAs don’t have access to all mobile hardware functions such as fingerprint scanning, advanced camera controls, Bluethooth, etc.
  • Running robust web apps on a smartphone uses up battery charge fast

 

Hopefully we were able to inspire you with these examples of PWA solutions. The tech provides many opportunities for businesses of all shapes and sizes to engage more with their mobile site users, and reach real benefits in terms of bran loyalty and online profits.

Now it’s up to you to review the possibilities to increase mobile web user experience for your customers and take action before your competition does.

RabIT software engineering

RabIT is an innovative software engineering company from Hungary. Our goal is to help startups and enterprises drive growth through technology innovation and make a real impact in their industries.

Code quality and transparency are our main priorities throughout each project.

BY RabIT software engineering · October 24, 2019

Creating your own custom enterprise sofwtare or mobile app can help your business grow by increasing efficiency and adding customer value.

At RabIT Software Engineering, we are here to help! Our team is always willing to go the extra mile to add value to your company. We are happy to announce that RabIT Software Engineering has been placed on Clutch’s Hungary list of top B2B companies in the software development category for 2019.

 

top b2b companies hungary 2019

 

We are thankful to all of our clients who have left us reviews on Clutch, making this award possible. Clutch Leader Awards are based on market research done by the Washington, DC-based company. Their team conducts independent interviews with past clients of service providers to ensure their rankings are fair and transparent.

“There is nothing more rewarding at the end of the year than reading what new clients said about us on our Clutch profile. Each review we receive warms our hearts and reassures us that we’re really making a difference. We are looking forward to another year of work with such amazing people and companies.” – Salboch Horti, CMO

We are also featured on the Manifest, Clutch’s sister site! The Manifest has us among the top development firms in Hungary! The site features shortlists of companies, how-to guides, and business data to guide clients through the buying decision. Clutch also has a third site, Visual Objects! Visual Objects’ objective research directory allows clients to view the portfolios of service providers to find the best fit for their projects.

We are thankful to Clutch for this award and to all of our clients who have left us reviews, allowing us to maintain a 4.9-star rating!

 

 

 

 

Interested in starting a project? Get in touch for a free project consultation!

RabIT software engineering

RabIT is an innovative software engineering company from Hungary. Our goal is to help startups and enterprises drive growth through technology innovation and make a real impact in their industries.

Code quality and transparency are our main priorities throughout each project.

Startup & MVPBY RabIT software engineering · June 24, 2019

Introduction

Many of us dream about becoming self-made successes, entrepreneurs to finally free ourselves from our 9-5 jobs and turn our dreams into a reality. Today, the internet is littered with success stories about people who have already made it big and became millionaires, hundred millionaires, billionaires even.

The path to achieving breakout success sounds simple when you hear the story of someone who already has it all figured out. However, finding the right way is much harder if you are starting from scratch. A startling amount of entrepreneurs never achieve their ultimate goals. According to statistics, only 30% of small businesses make it past their 10th anniversary.

To improve the odds of success, more and more entrepreneurial journeys start out with a simple Minimum Viable Product (MVP).

 

What Is a Minimum Viable Product?

The term was introduced as one of the core principles of the lean startup methodology.

An MVP is the initial version of your product that only has the core features that are essential to solving an existing problem for your prospective customers. Your minimum viable product helps you gather important feedback and estimate market interest from the earliest stages of your business. More complex features are only added in later iterations, based on the received user feedback and the development of market demand.

A minimum viable product can be a simple web or mobile application, website or a single landing page.

what is minimum viable product development

Illustration of minimum viable product development

 

MVP Benefits

A minimum viable product enables you to:

  • test a product hypothesis with minimal resources
  • accelerate learning in your organization
  • reduce necessary development hours
  • reach your actual market as soon as possible
  • decrease the risks of investment
  • establish your brand to users quickly

 

Researching and Verifying the MVP Idea

Verifying the business idea itself is a crucial step that absolutely must come before you rush into any kind of development project. You can significantly decrease the risk of investment by double checking if there is enough interest on the market for your solution.

Not even a company like Google could get away with selling a product that had no clear product-market fit (ehm… Google Glass).

Your new product or service has to offer a much needed solution for a need (or problem) that is being underserved by competitors or not served at all by anyone. You also have to make sure that the problem is pressing enough to justify the price of your solution in the eyes of potential customers.

 

Minimum viable product market fit

Source:   leanstartup.co

A good cautionary tale here could be Juicero, Silicon Valley’s smart juicer that squeezes disposable packets of liquified fruits, vegetables, and other ingredients into cups. Even with 4 funding rounds and close to $120 million of total funding, they couldn’t justify the $400 price tag for a web-connected device the basically empties a drink from a bag. The company went bottoms up less than 4 years after its founding.

Know what it costs to deliver your product (materials, rent, salaries, etc.) and to acquire customers who will pay to use that product (CAC – customer acquisition cost). All these costs have to be included in your pricing as well. While breaking even helps you consistently pay the bills, it won’t be enough to become a top player in your industry. Be sure that your costs are still reasonable to customers even after adding your profit margin.

According to smallbiztrends.com, only 40% of small businesses are profitable, 30% break even and 30% are continually losing money.

 

startup profitability - minimum viable product guide

 

The initial verification usually isn’t enough to prove that your business will be sustainable on the long run. That part will be up to your actual MVP.

You can get really creative with your idea verification methods. Use every tool at your disposal to measure the buzz around your idea. These examples are accessible to everyone for little or no expense:

  • Google search
  • Google Trends
  • Landing pages
  • Explainer videos
  • User testing

Start by identifying your key customer profile and creating buyer personas. This should help you visualize your ideal client base and customize your marketing messaging to better fit their specific needs. Do your best to reach out to as many people who fit this profile as you can.

What does the minimum viable product development process look like?

Minimum viable product development has to result in a product that delivers real value to its users is a complex process that may vary depending on your industry, product type, user base and so on. For the sake of clarity, we will break the MVP development process down to the following steps:

I. Setting a hypothesis

Hypothesis-based decision making helps you avoid basing your product idea on false assumptions and prejudices.

While it might seem like a billion-dollar idea to produce a smart salt shaker with Bluetooth technology, it can’t hurt to double check first. Just to be sure.

Using this method to come up with a business idea should guarantee that it will be based on real-life demand. A good hypothesis must be:
– easily testable,
– clear and measurable,
– either clearly true or false.

The most simplified template for such a hypothesis would look something like this:

 

If [cause], then [effect], because [reason].

 

Example: If we develop an app for broadcasting nostalgic content for people born before 1970, then we can get 50,000 people to sign up for a free trial by the end of 2020, because research data shows us that 80s and 90s nostalgia is very captivating to our target audience.

Once you have gathered sufficient evidence proving that your hypothesis is true, you can start planning product development with much greater certainty.

 

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II. Selecting technologies

Minimum viable product development can be done with any modern-day programming language. However, it is crucial that you decide from the start whether or not you are planning to develop an MVP, or a full-fledged software product. If you choose the MVP route, you should go with technologies that are highly flexible and scalable.

Due to the evolving nature of an early MVP, developers need to be able to easily make changes to the source code at all times. By choosing modern and frequently updated tech in the planning stage, you can make your team’s life much easier when it comes to implementing these changes.

You should always choose the technology your team is most comfortable with. If you are open for suggestions though, here are a few pointers:

Micro-service architectures carry great benefits for MVP development. These micro-services are comprised of small modules that communicate with each other, and sometimes with the user as well. By using modular builds we are able to decompose an application into different smaller services. This makes the application easier to understand, develop, test and become more resilient to changes in the architecture itself.

Thanks to the independently functioning modules, multiple autonomous teams can work on development at the same time. This alone can help speed up the project significantly.

 

monolithic vs microservice minimum viable product

Source:    bmc.com

 

However, if you are developing a really minimalistic MVP with a small team, and scalability is not a top priority yet, we would rather recommend using monolithic architecture. Its main benefits are faster development and lower hardware requirements.

Also, the developed application will be self-contained and independent from other computing applications. Later on, if scalability becomes important and more developers join the team, it should be separated into micro-services though.

A lot of developers would disagree with using monolithic architecture for MVP development today. It may be falling out of popularity, but we believe there are still cases where it’s the right call. Instead of selecting the most popular option, this decision should be made according to product strategy and technical requirements.

Language-wise we ourselves prefer to use Java, since that is what our team has the most experience with. We have also started using Go (or Golang) recently, thanks to its speed and ability to produce small, static binaries. These really come in handy if you are working with micro-services.

Regardless of the selected technologies, you can build a top-quality MVP if you invest the time and energy into planning your project properly. You can only make your development team’s life easier if you choose a modern and frequently updated language.

One of the most common pitfalls of this process is not having a clear vision of a specific end goal and focus on the most critical features.

 

 

III. Product feature development

Choosing these key features may sound easy enough, but is not always so straightforward. This is why you needed to do all that research first, and verify your concept before moving on to product development.

If you already have a good understanding about your market, the development process itself should look something like this:

  1. Define product requirements
  2. Plan and assign development tasks
  3. Feature development and testing
  4. Live release
  5. Product evolution (repeat 1-4)

 

Try to look at product development as a cycle instead of a linear process. In this example, the live release doesn’t happen when development is finished, it happens when the MVP functions on a satisfactory level. Your product still needs to evolve through future iterations. Current features will have to be tweaked or scrapped if necessary, new features might have to be added, etc. In some cases, development may continue throughout the entire product life cycle.

Have you heard about the location-based iPhone app called Burbn? It allowed its users to check in at particular locations, plan future check-ins, earn points for hanging out with friends, and post pictures of these meet-ups.

 

burbn minimum viable product

 

The app wasn’t doing too well after its initial release. After analyzing their users’ activity more closely, the creators found out that people were mostly using Burbn to share photos. They weren’t using the check-in features at all. The app was just too complicated, and came with a lot of features that users found unnecessary.

The team finally decided to act on their data, focus on the photo-sharing feature and throw out everything else. This app is called Instagram today.

This is a good example for why it is essential to involve real users in the development process from the early stages.

Our team places a great emphasis on product evolution as well. Here is what the development cycle usually looks like for us:

minimum viable product development cycle

 

IV. Testing

Continuous testing is one of the key principles of validated learning, which is used to mitigate the considerable risk of launching a new product. There are over 30,000 new consumer products released each year, and 95% fail, according to Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen.

We recommend that, apart from testing software functionality, you should also start usability testing as early as possible. This is important because even a perfectly functioning product can be misinterpreted by users due to confusing layouts, unclear documentation or faulty user interface design.

 

user vs usability testing

Source: medium.theuxblog.com

 

Normally, software doesn’t get released until it is complete and working just as intended. Although a minimum viable product is intentionally released in an incomplete state, it is still expected to work flawlessly in the hands of users. It basically has to be much lighter than a complete software, but still has to seem just as stable. This requires continuous feature testing in every development phase.

The development team must include testing during and between sprints (iteration periods in continuous Agile software development cycles). Sprint length and frequency usually varies depending on client needs. For some clients we test each development task individually, others only require testing at the end of a sprint. We always use the same platform for this purpose that we use for development as well.

Minimum viable products are beneficial long-term, in part because the high user expectations result in a high-quality product that is thoroughly tested down to the smallest detail.

 

V. Collecting data and analyzing a hypothesis

The point of minimum viable product development is to collect user feedback, analyze this data and finally act on it through future product iterations. As your prototype becomes stable enough to be put into the hands of real users, you must also have the necessary data collection channels and tools in place.

To identify your key audience and focus on their needs as accurately as possible, you will need to measure their demographic (age, gender, location, etc.) and behavioral data (device usage, interests, preferences and such).

Remember that all data collection practices on your website and applications must be done with consent from the user.

The most widely-used data collection methods are:

1. Third party data collection services already available on the market

There are a number of ready-to-use tools out there such as Google Analytics, Crazy Egg, Hotjar, Optimizely and others, which can help you collect useful behavioral data about your website and apps.

Unfortunately, these tools may have some drawbacks for clients in EU countries. GDPR regulation now limits what types of data can be collected and under what circumstances. This means that you probably won’t be able to use them to their full potential.

You can also gather useful data from the App Store or Play Store if you are planning to release a mobile app.

2. Built-in custom data collection features

With integrated monitoring features you can measure and analyze almost any element of your product at this stage. You can keep track of which software features people are using, where and when they are using them.

We usually recommend to our clients to build a reporting page where they can organize all relevant data and visualize it so it can be presented to the whole team.

Again, it is crucial to remember to disclose all information about your data collection and management practices in your privacy policy.

Also make sure that your methodologies are in line with GDPR regulation for EU countries.

3. Surveys that ask users for in-depth feedback directly

E-mail and pop-up surveys are still one of the most useful ways to collect information about user satisfaction and recommendations. You can use them to get answers you can’t find by just monitoring behavior.

Be careful not to annoy your users with too many such requests and ruin their user experience though.

 

VI. Launch

Your minimum viable product is ready for launch when all the minimum requirements are fully developed. The product must be of satisfactory quality and without any critical usability errors by this point. You should know whether or not this is true from the results of previous testing.

Product testing and evolution doesn’t stop after the minimum viable product phase either. It is up to your product team now to listen to your customers, find ways to deliver even more value to them and integrate the necessary changes through future development iterations.

 

build measure learn cycle mvp

 

Remember, if you get your finger off the pulse of the market, you can quickly lose touch with your customers’ needs and allow competitors to swoop in.

Keep in mind, that developing a flawlessly working app with beautiful design does not automatically make it successful. You also need a strategy to acquire and continuously grow your initial user base. This topic deserves a whole article of its own.

Be sure to remember that a half-completed app with a steadily growing user base is always more valuable than a 100% finished application that nobody uses.

 

Summary

Successful minimum viable product development requires careful planning from the early stages, and close monitoring throughout the development process.

While there can be a lot of money involved later on, getting rich fast must not be the only motivation for minimum viable product development. If your new product truly helps people improve their lives, or the way they work, your chances at success are already much higher.

Be careful not to rush into development with only an idea. Do your best to back it up first through market research and concept testing.

Once you’ve decided that you want to develop an MVP version, stick to this decision throughout the development phases. Pay close attention to how your customers use the product or service, and plan each following evolution stage accordingly.

RabIT software engineering

RabIT is an innovative software engineering company from Hungary. Our goal is to help startups and enterprises drive growth through technology innovation and make a real impact in their industries.

Code quality and transparency are our main priorities throughout each project.

WebBY RabIT software engineering · March 08, 2019

There is a wide selection of cloud solutions available for businesses and individuals worldwide. Choosing the right solution may prove difficult if you aren’t familiar with frequently used cloud services such as IaaS, PaaS, SaaS and others.

This is why we are dedicating this article to clarifying the meaning, benefits, risks and common use cases for these popular cloud services.

 

What is IaaS?

Infrastructure as a service provides consumers with access to fundamental computing resources like processing, virtualization, storage and networks. IaaS solutions allow you to deploy and run arbitrary software such as operating systems and applications. The cloud service provider (CSP) controls and manages the underlying cloud infrastructure, but you have control over operating systems, storage and deployed applications.

 

Practical use and benefits of IaaS

Using IaaS solutions allows you to:

  • Avoid the high costs of buying hardware and setting up a new server infrastructure on your physical location
  • Access your files and data with higher security
  • Save several days or even weeks worth of time spent on setup and installation
  • Scale your computing resources up or down quickly, to meet your changing business needs

 

Potential risks involved with IaaS:

  • It can be more difficult to guarantee compliance with data management regulation. You must clearly establish accountability and control over sensitive information in your systems from day one.
  • Potential data loss is another risk when you choose to rely on a cloud service provider. It is essential to have a reliable disaster recovery plan in place to minimize the damage in case of an incident.
  • With the flexibility and accessibility of the cloud also comes reliance on the CSP. If your IaaS provider’s system goes down, so will yours. It is essential to check if they have a comprehensive recovery plan and policy in place before making your decision.

 

Dilbert by Scott Adams

 

IaaS Examples

Google Cloud Platform, Amazon Web Services, IBM Cloud, HP Public Cloud, Cisco Metapod, DigitalOcean, Linode, Rackspace

 

Who is IaaS for?

IaaS is a flexible solution that can be utilized by everyone who wants to manage software without having to worry about hardware. It is also a great choice for organizations that only need computing power on the short term, or for certain operations that require high capacity computing resources (e.g.: large batch processing).

 

Potential users of IaaS solutions:

  • Startups that are delivering a proof of concept, or require fast scaling within a short period of time.
  • SMBs that need a fast start and scaling without investing in too many resources in hardware.
  • IaaS is an ideal solution for Agile teams as well. It provides them with high flexibility while decreasing their reliance on corporate bureaucracy.
  • Also a viable solution for side/personal projects. Low-cost starter packages of CSPs allow anyone to set up an infrastructure quickly, without having to invest in physical systems.

 

What is PaaS?

Platform as a service provides a cloud platform allowing customers to develop, run and manage applications. As a customer, you only control the applications and data on the platform, while the cloud service provider manages operating systems, middleware, virtualization, servers, storage and networking.

 

Practical use and benefits of PaaS

Using PaaS solutions allows you to:

  • Reduce the costs involved with software development and deployment
  • Avoid the need of setting up additional server and storage space that would lie dormant once the development process is complete
  • Reduce the costs of managing software updates and maintenance
  • Achieve a faster time to market, greater speed and agility throughout the development process

 

Potential risks involved with PaaS

Same as with IaaS, you will also be susceptible to server malfunctions or compliance issues if you choose a dodgy PaaS provider. To be safe, double check accountability, control and disaster recovery principles and guidelines. Another potential issue worth mentioning is that these solutions require a very stable connection, and enough bandwidth to run smoothly at all times.

 

PaaS Examples

Heroku, Microsoft Azure, Google App Engine, AWS Elastic Beanstalk, OpenShift, Force.com, Apache Stratos

 

Who is PaaS for?

Teams that need extra computing power without wanting to worry about operating systems, server administration, and associated costs (energy, acquisition, maintenance, human resources etc.). Organizations that experience frequent spikes in computing requirements, don’t have the resources or don’t want to manage IT infrastructure internally.

 

Potential users of PaaS solutions:

  • Development teams who need a highly scalable and flexible platform to manage their applications and data during projects.
  • High-growth businesses that would likely experience a higher ROI from scaling a virtual platform, compared to developing their own physical systems.

 

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What is SaaS?

Software as a Service solutions are ready-made software products built on the cloud, and made available for customer’s use on a subscription basis. You can most often run this type of software as a web application without installing anything on your local devices. Everything, including applications and data, is stored and managed on the cloud. Chances are, you have already used multiple such software products. SaaS solutions are mostly available to use for a monthly or yearly fee, and they often have a more basic free-to-use option as well.

 

Practical use and benefits of SaaS

Using SaaS solutions allows you to:

  • Integrate new software solutions into your business processes quickly, without losing time and money on installation
  • Access applications and data from any location, at any time, on multiple devices
  • Let the software provider deal with hardware and software updates, removing this responsibility and workload from yourself
  • Scale your selected application by simply upgrading your subscription as your business grows, or more users need to access the software

 

Potential risks involved with SaaS

The lowest cost among other cloud solutions comes with the highest level of reliance on the software provider. Everything, including applications and user data is managed by the CSP, which can easily lead to privacy and data security compliance issues. Also, you often have to sacrifice customization for high accessibility, if you decide to use a ready-made solution. This can result in you subscribing to a software product that doesn’t serve your business as well as an in-house solution could.

 

SaaS Examples

Office 365, Semrush, Asana, Salesforce, Planning Pod, Dropbox

 

Who are SaaS solutions for?

Depending on their specific needs, anyone can benefit from the right SaaS. There is a wide range of applications available out there that provide solutions for businesses and individuals alike. SaaS are ideal for organizations that don’t want to invest into building their own in-house software solutions. They are also handy for individuals or freelancers who don’t have access to as many resources as enterprises.

 

IaaS, PaaS, SaaS – A Simple Comparison

Your choice of cloud services should coincide with your organizational needs and overall business plan. The core benefit of using any cloud solutions is the ability to digitize and scale your business in a much more time- and cost-efficient manner.

 

iaas paas saas comparison infographic

IaaS vs PaaS vs SaaS

 

Read more about why you absolutely should digitize your business processes here:
7 Reasons Why You Need to Start Business Digitization Right Now

 

When should you run your server internally (on-premises)?

Having your servers set up internally can also carry significant benefits for your organization.

Most notably, you can guarantee a higher level of security and resilience compared to having external storage. Holding internal systems behind firewalls and backed up as part of a standard set of security procedures makes your data inherently more secure against external attacks.

Also, without using outsourced suppliers, you can guarantee GDPR compliance with much less difficulty.

Consider internal, external and even hybrid hosting options in accordance with your unique organizational needs. It is generally advised to host your software and data internally if you only use it internally. If you have to share your data with external parties (partners, customers, etc.), it’s typically best to host it externally.

Choose the hybrid option if you need to use data in-house and with outside parties as well. The latter is the case for most organizations today. Hybrid hosting guarantees them the optimal combination of security and collaboration.

 

Summary

Today’s IaaS, PaaS, SaaS solutions (and their different combinations) help you digitize and scale your operations faster than ever before. This also means that things can take a downturn just as fast.

Taking your business to the cloud requires careful planning, research and coordination. It is important to be familiar with CSP policies and procedures in  order to make use of their benefits and minimize potential risks.

We hope that this article managed to help you see the world of cloud services more clearly. Happy cloud diving!

RabIT software engineering

RabIT is an innovative software engineering company from Hungary. Our goal is to help startups and enterprises drive growth through technology innovation and make a real impact in their industries.

Code quality and transparency are our main priorities throughout each project.

MarketingBY RabIT software engineering · November 30, 2018

The World Robotics Olympiad International 2018 Final was successfully organized in Chiang Mai, Thailand on 16-18 November with 8 Hungarian teams and 8 Hungarian referees. The Hungarian Delegation had more than 60 members including teammates, team leaders, referees, parents, supporters and representatives from the next International Final’s organizers: Edutus University, Mayor’s Office of the City of Győr, Széchenyi István University and the Hungarian Government.

 

26.280 teams from more than 70 countries participated in World Robot Olympiad Association’s global competition in robotics this year. In the International Final 482 teams compared their knowledge from 63 different countries. The Hungarian teams ran in the following categories: Regular, Open, Advanced Robotics Challenge, Football and WeDo.

The HT RoboTeam kids: Máté Sándor (age 9) and Péter Sándor (age 10) ran in the Regular category where they had to complete 4 rounds in a track with their self-built and self-programmed robot. They reached as many as 232 points out of the maximum 240 points thanks to their last perfect round.

 

“We are really proud of them because they completed their target, a flawless run.” – said Viktor Sándor, HT RoboTeam coach.

Because of their performance, they were awarded a special prize by the judges. In the WeDo category, a pilot race was organized, so the results were not ranked. Instead, the best performing teams all received special prizes.

Here is a video of their final perfect run:

WRO 2018 Thailand – Hibátlan kör

Máténak és Petinek a helyszínen kellett a robotot megépíteniük, programozniuk. A videóban látható körért maximális, 120 pontot kaptak. :-)#wro2018 #HTRoboTeam

Közzétette: HTRoboTeam – 2018. november 18., vasárnap

 

In the closing ceremony, representatives of Thailand handed the WRO flag (representing the hosting of the next Final) to the representatives of Hungary: Szilveszter Bus (Hungarian Ambassador of Bangkok), Dr. Lajos Csörgits (Vice Notary of the City of Győr) and Zoltán Szögi (National Organizer, CEO at Edutus). The ambassador held a speech to the participants and we could watch the WOW’s image films about Hungary and Győr, since the next International Final will be held in Hungary in 2019.

Members of the HT RoboTeam say they gained a lot of nice experiences and made many friends with other teams from abroad. As one of the team’s sponsors, the RabIT software engineering team congratulates the boys and the whole team for their outstanding performance.

Special thanks to the team coaches: Ágnes Borsi, Katalin Bártfai and Viktor Sándor for their invaluable work in nurturing young talent and providing the opportunity for Hungarian kids to start mastering fields in STEM sciences from a very young age. We will be following and can’t wait to cheer for them at next year’s WRO Finals.

 

 

 

RabIT software engineering

RabIT is an innovative software engineering company from Hungary. Our goal is to help startups and enterprises drive growth through technology innovation and make a real impact in their industries.

Code quality and transparency are our main priorities throughout each project.