The Ultimate Guide to Software Development Outsourcing in 2020

software development

The technology industry has witnessed a revolutionary change with the advent of disruptive outsourcing. This kind of outsourcing involves technological advancements like automation, cloud computing etc.

According to the 2018 Deloitte survey, 500 executives from leading organizations have stated that disruptive outsourcing has helped them increase their productivity and competitiveness in the market. 

Emerging trends and solutions in cloud and automation have enabled various tech industries to scale faster and reach the global market. Outsourcing is a valuable strategic tool, especially for the tech industry. 

For example, outsourcing an activity like software development, Software maintenance to a vendor helps to cut down operation cost and also helps to focus the resources on the business logic. Moreover, technology is rapidly changing and it is difficult for your in-house team of developers to be good at everything. 

Outsourcing of services opens up the immense possibility of working with expertise that is not available to individual companies. Your workforce instead can focus on the core competencies of the company while IT services are handled offshore. 

According to the surveys of Deloitte, 31% of all IT-related services were outsourced and the global outsourcing industry produced a whopping 88.9 billion U.S dollars in revenue, last year alone. 

Software Development Outsourcing

Outsourcing software development helps companies to reduce the costs that they incur and also helps them focus solely on business goals. It is not just beneficial for saving money but it is a great means of innovation. 

Why Do Companies Outsource?

“As with many initiatives, organizations are finding that delivering competitive advantage through disruptive outsourcing solutions is anything but simple; effort and expertise are needed to address potential data security and cyber risks, changing regulations, organizational resistance, skill gaps, and to help flatten fragmented processes. In this new world, place your bets on the brave and the good, and against the fearful and complacent.”

Doug Plotkin, managing director, Deloitte Consulting LLP

1. Time to Market 

Time to market is basically the duration between the creation of a product idea to launching it in the market. If you have the development process streamlined and effectively planned out then it becomes easier to predict the time you will take for your launch. It is also extremely important to decrease this time gap. 

Delaying your launch will allow your competitors to get ahead of you. The ephemeral nature of technology can also you’re your product idea redundant and useless. 

Why Do Companies Outsource?

Hiring an outsourcing company helps you to make your delivery to the market much quicker, thereby reducing a considerable amount of time. This improves your competitiveness in the market and also gives you a head start among your contemporaries. 

2. Access to Expertise 

There might arise a situation where your company might lack people who are qualified enough for a big project. However, with hiring a dedicated team, you have access to the most qualified and experienced professionals. The hired outsourcing company will be the expert in the field and hence can make your projects professional. 

Outsourcing of services can enable somebody who specializes in the field to apply their specific technical expertise to make your product better. 

You get access to expert specialists like business analysts, project managers, fullstack software developers etc who can guarantee you a high-end product .

3. Domain Awareness 

You might have a project that involves a complex technology. For this, you might require a team that has specific and deep domain expertise for that particular activity. It is not financially practical to recruit an in-house team merely for such a skill-specific project. 

This is where outsourcing helps you. For example, if you want a team of developers for custom software development you can look for vendors that are proficient in custom software development. 

4. Cost-Effectiveness 

Offshore outsourcing reduces the overall business operating cost. It eliminates the need to hire permanent employees who have to be paid even after the completion of a project. This, in turn, reduces the cost of training and recruiting. 

In most developed countries, companies have the added burden of paying the employees insurance, tax, security benefits and other collateral dues.

Outsourcing benefits in flexibility when it comes to termination of services. It eliminates the need to pay government-mandated compensation while terminating an employee. 

With an independent outsourcing contract, they can simply change the service provider if not satisfied with the service. 

Outsourcing software development are on a steady rise. More companies are now outsourcing both their major as well as minor projects. 

Why do software outsourcings fail?

Even though the trend of outsourcing has grown, it also had high failure rates.

According to the data collected by Dun & Bradstreet’s Barometer of Global, 25% of outsourcing project fails within two years and 50 % of them fail within the first five years.

Why do software outsourcings fail?

5 reasons why outsourcing relationships fail

1. Unclear Expectations and Objectives

Client companies often fail to communicate the goal they are trying to achieve and what they are expecting to get out of the outsourcing company. This will drastically affect the outsourcing company’s perspective of the work they have to do. 

Without a detailed understanding, orders might have to be changed. This can, in turn, lead to delays and cost overruns. There has to be a clear understanding of what the project entails and preferences. Clients have to be transparent about their goals and keep them realistic. Then you have to make sure that the outsourcing company is on the same page as you. 

2. Lack of Clarity

Lack of overall clarity of the business can lead to poor planning. It can lead to a waste of your budget. You must succinctly pinpoint all the essential details about the project. The implications of the project must be communicated properly to the outsourcing vendor and other important stakeholders. A detailed portfolio of your expectations and goals and the entire plan and methodology of the project will help. 

3. Insufficient Technical Experience 

Most often, companies outsource software development to keep the cost low and also to not hire employees permanently. 

The outsourcing company might not have the technical expertise or know-how, it can lead to severe problems, especially in project estimation.

The whole purpose of outsourcing services is to get the work done by somebody that is more equipped at it than your company. Therefore, if the company is not better than your own in-house team or lacks sufficient knowledge, the whole exercise becomes fruitless. You also outsource services expecting better quality than what you can achieve. 

Quality that does not meet your market standards also lead to failed projects. 

4. Communication Barriers 

Clients sometimes do not share information thinking it is apparent. 

However, if the outsourcing company is not aware of what they are expected to do, the project will not be finished as is expected. 

What might seem apparent might not be apparent to the outsourcing company. 

Therefore, all details have to be shared even if it might seem redundant. Ideally, there should not be a communication gap. 

It is imperative to hold regular meetings and video conferences as well as exchange feedback. 

28% of respondents indicated poor communication as the most important cause of outsourcing projects failure.

According to the white paper released by SourcingFocus.com

Sometimes the reluctance to share information might be due to confidential information which has the risk of being stolen. 

To solve this, a confidentiality agreement or a non-disclosure agreement can be signed. This will delineate the security responsibility each party holds. Once this agreement is signed the outsourcing company will be bound not to disclose any information covered in the ambit of the contract. 

5. Failure to Fine Tune Contract

Signing a contract with the outsourcing company does end the job of the clients. 

The project needs to be managed and under supervision throughout the process.

The main priorities that the clients have should be set out and the project must be planned to the very details before a release date is announced. These details must also be informed to the outsourcing company. 

Failure to have a consistent method and planning for the project can lead to a loss. Not every single thing can be planned but the tasks to the nearest milestone must be planned and specific. 

These are some of the most common reasons why outsourcing relations and projects fail at a high rate. This can easily be avoided if the clients do their due diligence during the pre-deployment phase of a project. 

Choosing the Right Development Partner

The planning that goes into the pre-deployment phase is what ensures a smooth launch post-deployment. 

Choosing the right development offshore partner and building a good team can prevent your outsourced projects from failing. 

Following are some of the guidelines while choosing your offshore team.

1. Team Skill Set and Expertise

Team Skill Set and Expertise

It is extremely important to study and know everything about the team you intend to work with.

You have to collect information about the company, what their skill set is, the expertise of their team, how adept they are with the latest technology, exposure to the latest technology, their portfolio, how effective are they with meeting deadlines, experience in handling different kinds of projects communication etc. 

You must look for an offshore outsourcing partner that can give you the appropriate person to handle your account. It is advisable to keep in touch with a developer who is working on your project. 

Going for a team that works with hybrid models or agile models will be beneficial for your project. It has to be made sure that they understand what exactly it is that you want and also that they are serious about achieving your project milestones. 

2. Market Reputation 

Working with the best company can yield you the best results. Therefore, it is important to check up on the market reputation of your prospective partner. 

This can be done by taking a look at their client base and completed project history. 

You can also look for reviews and feedback from their previous clients, from their website and other social media platforms.

You have to ensure that their services are customer-centric, that is services centered around the needs of the customers. All of these have to be considered before you decide to hire a particular vendor. 

3. The Trust and Security Factors

Trust is a very important factor for such a project to succeed.

During the course of the project, you might have to share a lot of information. Sensitive information stands at the risk of being misused. 

One of the major security concerns is the intellectual property of the client and the sensitive data. 

Before hiring an outsourcing company, you can make sure that they will respect your privacy. The vendor must be somebody who has regular security and network audits. 

You have to make sure that they have sufficient infrastructure to protect your data. 

4. Scalability and Flexibility 

Scalability and flexibility are important elements that you need to consider when you choose the company for your software outsourcing project. You have to check how much scalable their services are and how much customization they can provide. This is an important factor when your business is expanding. The software has to be scalable as per the growth of the business. Your offshore business partner must be able to handle your growing needs. 

5. Project Management 

There has to be a clear idea as to how the project will be managed. Signing the contract and handing over the project does not end your responsibility. 

There has to be constant management throughout the whole process. 

All the decision making and planning must go smoothly so that the project does not have any delay. The supervisory role of your client and the management of the project must be decided along with the key terms of the work contract. There must be several channels of communication between your in-house team and the offshore team so that your team can manage and supervise the project. 

6. Post Deployment Support 

Technical assistance is not only needed during the project put also post-deployment. 

A small bug or technical glitch can cause a huge loss to your business. You have to inquire how your offshore partner is going to handle technical issues and updates. There has to be consistent post-deployment support to maintain your product. 

Team Set-Up Process and Guidelines

Team Set-Up Process and Guidelines

Software that you build or a product that you make is a long-term investment. So is the outsourcing partner you choose. It has to be an addition that will always be valuable to your business. Therefore, it is important to have a great team of developers. 

Guidelines to follow while setting up a team.

1. Legal Aspects of Hiring a Dedicated Team 

The legal aspects of building a team mainly include three important agreements: Non-Disclosure Agreement or NDA, statement of work or SOW and Master Services Agreement or MSA. 

• Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA)

 If your project involves sensitive information that you might have to share with your partner, then it is important to sign an NDA. The agreement must contain what the information entails, and that the information can only be disclosed for project-related purposes. This agreement will legally bind the partner from not disclosing the information. The agreement can also indicate the penalty in the event of a breach. 

• Statement of Work (SOW)

 The statement of work agreement includes the scope of work, the product that has to be delivered, criteria for acceptance, the time period, the standards, deadline and any other terms and conditions or special requirements. 

• Master Services Agreement (MSA)

 This agreement is what defines the cooperation with the offshore partner. You have to specify the payment, terms of paying, intellectual property rights, dispute resolution mechanism. The agreement must explicitly indicate that your company will own the copyright to the work that has been done by the team but they will have the rights to it. 

2. Set Up Communication Channels 

It is important to set effective channels of communication. Most of the communication can be done via online means like video conferencing. But a real-life communication bond has to be made so as to understand the team properly. An in-person conversation will be more effective and supportive. 

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3. Establish Procedure 

It is important to establish procedures for the work. You have to foresee the questions and problems that the members might have. They should be aware of the work procedure and it has to be ensured that it is followed. There has to be a strict guideline as to who is responsible for what, whom to contact in case of issues etc.

 4. Provide Constant Feedback 

You have to be responsible in order to manage a team successfully. All the answers and questions of your software engineers have to be answered to make sure you get what you expect. You have to be equipped with the answers. Feedback is what will guide the team as to how their product development is going. There might be a situation where your feedback would dictate the next steps of the team. Therefore, it is important to provide constant feedback. 

Examples of Successful Companies that Leverage Dedicated Teams

Successful Companies that Leverage Dedicated Teams

Apiax is a fintech startup that has proved that outsourcing can be successful business cooperation with the right partner and the right team. 

They outsourced their Minimum Viable Product to an efficient Portuguese agency. They provide regulation services to financial service companies. They started off in 2018. However, by the end of the year, they have some of the most sought after clients in the banking industry. Moreover, they were also awarded the Early Stage Startup of the Year at the 2019 Swiss Fintech Awards.

GitHub is another company that went on to immensely succeeds due to their great outsourcing partnership yet again. They were helped by the offshore partner Scott Chacon. 

Slack the company that collaborated with MetaLab was valued at $7,1 billion but this year, Slack is getting closer to revenue of $10 billion due to their outsourcing partnership.

WhatsApp has Igor Solomennikov who started as a contractor and later joined the team in California on a full-time basis. Thus, these companies go on to prove that successful outsourcing can revolutionize business. 

Summary

As an entrepreneur in the technology industry, it is always in your business’s best interest to find innovative ways to bring your product into the market. They have to be faster yet cost-effective.

Fortunately, the technology has advanced so much so that the core competencies of your business can now be taken care of by experts offshore in any part of the world. 

Outsourcing has proved to be the most lucrative in the software industry. 

It reduced the overall business cost including, compensation, tax, wages etc. 

Although there are instances where an outsourcing partnership might fail due to factors such as lack of experience, a poorly drafted contract, communication barriers, unclear objectives etc., it can improve your outcome and make business more financially sustainable for your business. 

It is also very easy to mitigate these risks by following a strict guideline while choosing your offshore development partner and also while setting up a team. 

With the help of the right software development partner like aTeamIndia, we ensure that your idea gets translated into a market redefining product. Talk to our expert today! 

To know more about aTeamIndia offerings, drop a mail to sales@ateamindia.com

Top Mobile App Ideas for Your Business in 2020 and Beyond

Mobile App

How often do you look at your phone? It is definitely more than what we would like to admit. In fact, if you take a second to look, you will notice that others are also glued to their phones. An average American checks his or her phone every 12 minutes while 10% of the masses check their phone every four minutes. Now, this is inevitable as we use phones for literally everything and 90% of the time we spent it on mobile applications. Because of these factors and over 2.7 billion smart phone users of the world, it is no surprise that the mobile industry is indeed thriving. 

Mobile apps have become a billion-dollar industry. Applications help generate revenue in ways like charging users for making use of the app, providing access to premium features etc. Moreover, mobile applications are expected to generate $189 billion in revenue this year (2020). Game development companies such as King, Supercell, Bandai Namco etc. has managed to generate a revenue of 40 million dollars in 2019 alone. Developers like Google, Tinder and Pandora have managed to top the list of non-gaming developers when it comes to revenue. 

Mobile apps have become an essential part of our day to day life with 49% of people opening an app at least 11 times a day. This provides a lucrative business opportunity for mobile app developers and startups. 

How is this an Opportunity for Startups?

The smart phone revolution has opened up immense opportunities for businesses in particular. Since the majority of the population are using apps, startups can get a good percent of them to use their application. This is a great opportunity to monetize the utility of mobile apps that already exist. Apps also serve as a better way to interact with customers and transform your operations at a much speedier rate. Because most of your customers will be using smart phones more than laptops, they can use features like location, camera, sensors etc. This makes an application an important tool for marketing your startup. 

Reasons why apps are a great opportunity for startups:

  • Apps provide brand presence 
  • Stimulate user engagement with push notifications
  • Track user’s interest 
  • Expand customer base
  • Improved revenue
  • High conversion rates
  • Access to feedback and opportunity to improvise on them

This being said, not all mobile app ideas end up being successful. Your application idea has to be relevant.

1. Mobile E-Commerce App

Mobile E-Commerce

E-commerce has become a billion-dollar industry and is set to become a trillion-dollar industry in the coming years. Studies have shown that 67% of all e-commerce sales are mainly done through mobile devices. In the U.S alone 82% of the total internet users have used mobile devices to shop online more than any other medium. There is a percent of users who only use mobile devices to shop due to its convenience. Experts have also predicted that the US mobile commerce is set to increase by 420 billion dollars by 2021. Studies have also shown that consumers shopping from mobile devices spend twice as much as a normal shopper. Consumers also shop from applications that are specific to a company. These statistics go on to show that the best way to acquire sales and customers is through developing a mobile application. 

Features to be included in the app:

  • Analytics
  • Multiple payment options
  • Push notifications
  • Custom branding
  • Shopping cart
  • Social media integration 
  • Rating and feedback
  • Analytics

2. Telemedicine and Healthcare App

Telemedicine and Healthcare App

E-health has become a booming market. The telemedicine market in the US is set to reach 22 billion dollars in two years. Telemedicine services and healthcare apps are needed now more than ever. COVID-19 has changed the way we interact with everybody including healthcare professionals. Following social distancing, it has become difficult for doctors to provide consultation to individual patients in person. Professionals can make use of these apps to reach their medicine. Telemedicine benefits include making online consultation easily accessible to people who are in self-quarantine and practicing social distancing. 

Features that can be included in the app:

  • Patient question
  • Remote monitoring
  • Video consultation
  • E-prescription
  • Electronic health record
  • Patient portal

3. Fitness Application for Gyms like My Fitness Pal

Fitness Application

The global digital health industry has seen steady growth with revenue of 14.6 billion. Fitness apps provide a better way of fitness management like tracking your daily intake of calories, charting your activities, connecting with your personal trainer, setting fitness goals and recording workouts. Some apps provide multiple features in one place.

One popular fitness app is My Fitness Pal. It helps to break down ingredients and determine calorie intake with every meal. The app also helps you to log in your activities and goals which makes it easier for you to track your progress. My Fitness Pal helps users to get professional advice regarding their diet and exercise. Virtual personal training apps are a great tool for businesses to convert general members to premium customers and, at the same time, enhance the overall personal training service.

Convenience and quality of life features are what users look forward to in the modern age. An app that does the personal trainer’s job for you is the perfect motivation to overcome all the problems related to fitness problems. Additionally, all these features can be accessed from the device in your pocket making it the perfect app for health fanatics and fitness enthusiasts.

Features that make an ideal fitness app:

  • Track macros
  • Set fitness goals
  • Exercise video library
  • Chat
  • Schedule & record workout
  • Calorie counter

4. Streaming App like Netflix

Streaming App

Streaming apps have become a booming industry with over 27,000 million dollars in market volume. Netflix, YouTube and Amazon Prime have become the most popular streaming applications in 2020.

Netflix has one of the most successful business models. Netflix has become a multi-billion-dollar app with three simple plans for subscription: basic, standard and premium. Not just Netflix but other Over the top (OTT) streaming business verticals are set to reach a whopping 156.9 billion dollar mark by 2025. There are different industries that can now make use of OTT streaming services. 

Other OTT Streaming Business verticals

  • Entertainment 

The entertainment industry mainly consists of content like movies, music, sports, TV series etc. This industry relies heavily on audio and video streaming OTT apps. Applications like Spotify and Netflix have become very popular among users. The industry could benefit from OTT in the expanding market. OTT has the capabilities to target ads and tracks the response more effectively which was difficult traditionally as advertisers could never accurately predict the number of viewers watching an ad or if there was any effect on sales due to the ad. Viewers can watch the OTT media from their TV, computer, mobile or any device that has Android or iOS. The device just needs an internet connection to access the media and hassles such as cables and dishes are not required. People also have the options to watch what they want, which enables the advertisers to divide customers into different categories depending on the type of media they watch. Over-the-top media is expected to pass 150-billion-dollar revenue by 2024.

  • Education 

Another industry that has immensely benefited from OTT platforms is education. Online courses and teaching have been in existence for a long time. However, OTT platforms for e-learning has now utilized the video on demand concept wisely. While reluctant to adapt to OTT education media initially, recent events such as COVID-19 has shown how education in OTT platforms can be as efficient as traditional methods. Streaming apps play major roles in schools and colleges now. These apps are used to conduct virtual classes which would have been impossible if not for the streaming and video call technologies. The pandemic has also not stopped guest lecturers and industry experts from taking seminars in institutions as the technology has paved the way for live webinars.

  • News channels

Traditionally, News contents are broadcast through cables or satellites that can only be accessed in a scheduled time. OTT apps have worked around this limitation and enable users to watch content anytime and anywhere. 

Develop an On-Demand Streaming Service MVP

Netflix did not become a success overnight. The business model was such that they started off with basic features. Likewise, it is always better to kickstart a streaming service with an MVP. Focus on providing a platform which is easy for users to navigate. The feedback after launching the MVP will let you know what the lockdown era users are looking for.

features for a good streaming app:

  • Option to livestream
  • In-app purchases
  • Original content
  • Recommendations
  • Download and watch offline

5. Food Ordering and Delivery app like Zomato

Food Ordering and Delivery app

The food and beverages industry has become an amazing opportunity for startups due to its steady growth. The industry has also made the life of everyone, especially foodies, better in terms of having food. All thanks to Zomato, Grubhub, JUST EAT, Uber Eats and other on-demand food ordering and delivery apps for making it hassle-free.

The industry has the potential to grow by 44.23 billion dollars by 2024. In 2019, the revenue from online food delivery amounted to US$107. It has been found out that restaurants that do not have an online food delivery system can lose 70% of their customers. 

Why is a custom food ordering app useful for your restaurant?

  • Third-party commission
  • The risk of losing customers
  • Absence of third-party delivery services in your area
  • Limited customer data

Functionality of Zomato 

Zomato offers a very successful online food delivery business model. Their main source of revenue is from charging a commission from restaurants on the basis of orders. The delivery fee is split between the company and the delivery partner. Another source of income for Zomato is its subscription plan – Zomato Gold. 

Features for a hassle-free food ordering and delivery app: 

  • In-app online ordering and mobile payment
  • Discount/rewards, cashback and loyalty programs
  • Real-time GPS tracking of food delivery
  • Restaurant profile
  • Order history
  • Reviews and ratings
  • Delivery person contact info
  • Content management
  • Order management
  • Cross-interface communication

6. E-Learning app like BYJU’S

The global online education market has witnessed a steady growth from 187.877 billion dollars in 2019. It is forecasted to reach a market size of 319.167 billion dollars by 2025. This is due to the fact that the faculty worldwide has encouraged less traditional modes of teaching for better results. 

Benefits of Online Learning 

A great example of an online education app is BYJU’S. BYJU’S has seen tremendous success in the past few years. Online learning helps students to progress at a much faster rate. Most applications combine education with entertainment so that learning becomes enjoyable. 

Features for a good e-learning app:

  • Videos and interactive visuals
  • Live and prerecorded sessions 
  • Knowledge testing sessions 
  • Total syllabus
  • Adaptive learning
  • In-built chat
  • E-Learning management
  • Mobile learning management
  • Book store management

7. Bike sharing app like Jump

Bike sharing app

Another trend that has become popular in the past few years is bike sharing. These applications let you share bicycles and bikes. Public use bicycles have become very popular in China. An example of such a service is Jump which is valued to be worth $200 million.

Why is Bike Sharing a Great Idea?

Bike sharing apps are a great mobile app idea because of the increase in pollution and congestion that is caused by too many vehicles. It is a very sustainable and innovative transport option. People will no longer have to go through the hassle of bringing their vehicles everywhere and can also save up on fuel. In this time of increasing population, pollution and chaos, we need such innovative solutions.  

How Does Bike Sharing Apps Work?

These apps provide an option to the rider to locate bikes that are available in the nearest location. There are mainly two models that bike sharing apps follow. One system is the dock system. In this system, users can use the bike and return it in another dock which is designated. Docks are a kind of rack system that locks these bikes and the release is controlled by computer. The second model is dockless or free-floating. Some popular examples of bike sharing apps are, Mobike, Lime, Jump, Motivate and ofo. 

Features for a great bike sharing app:

  • Allow people to find nearby bikes 
  • Lock code
  • Payment for the trips
  • Check out trip details
  • Locking bike using bike number
  • Customer support service 

8. Parking Management App or Parked Vehicle Finder App

Parking Management App

The development of car parking as an industry dates back to the late eighteenth century in the US. Since then it has become a billion-dollar industry by reaching almost 10 billion US dollars in 2017. Increase in shopping malls and office buildings are what drives the market revenue primarily. The expansion in commercial space plays an important role in the increasing number of garages and parking lots. For instance, more than 20000 shopping malls were built in the last 20 years. The ever-increasing number of jobs, vehicles and malls is only going to increase in the coming years leading to ever-increasing revenue in the industry. It has resulted in the creation of parking management apps and smart parking systems for better convenience and productivity. The United States is still the market leader of smart parking and it seems to be so in the future as well. It is stated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics that there will be a decrease of more than 35 percent of parking enforcements jobs by 2026. 

Key Features

  • Easy search 
  • GPS
  • Street parking alerts 
  • Price comparison 
  • Booking 
  • In-app communication 

9. Grocery Delivery App 

Grocery Delivery App

The number of grocery app users is predicted to pass 30 million by the year 2022. Online delivery has surged since the pandemic lockdown. 

Why Does Your Store Need Grocery App?

Obviously, the app enables you to deliver grocery to your customers. In this age of lockdowns and social distancing, delivery apps are the heroes. These apps let one help in the fight against COVID-19. Customers do not have to queue up at stores and can order grocery from their homes. Another advantage of grocery delivery apps is that you can build your customer base. People now only opt for delivery apps to stay safe as stated earlier. You can promote products, offers and discounts through the app. Customer loyalty can also be maintained with the help of a grocery app.

Since people use applications for running errands, it is also an important opportunity for grocery businesses to bring their market online. Some of the leading grocery delivery apps are Instacart, Amazon Fresh and Big Basket. 

Features for a good grocery delivery app:

  • Coupons and loyalty programs
  • Barcode scanning and aisle locations 
  • Categories base product listing
  • Add to cart product items
  • Live order tracking
  • Manage multiple addresses and checkout features
  • Online store locator using your mobile device
  • Order history
  • Manage categories and subcategories.
  • Create/edit/delete product item
  • Manage attribute of the product
  • Ticket and their status management
  • Manage store order status
  • Set payment method from the admin dashboard

Offshore Development vs. In-House Development

For any mobile application to be successful, they have to be developed by experienced hands. You can either hire an in-house team or outsource your app development to an offshore development team. Choosing an offshore development over an in-house team is always a better option for developing applications and software. Yes, you also have to make sure that the offshore team knows what they are doing. For a great app, you need a team that has access to a highly-skilled workforce and the latest resources. Offshore teams often have developers that have many years of experience working in that specific domain. You have greater control over the custom mobile app development process and costs. Finally, no matter which mode of development you follow, the efficiency of the app comes down to the software development company. 

We at aTeamTexas create great quality custom mobile applications. That’s it. No other distractions and sugarcoating. All you have to do is come on over, pitch your idea and we deliver the product that you envisioned. 

To  get a free quote/consultation for your mobile application idea, email  sales@ateamindia.com  or fill up the form

Serverless Architecture: Advantage of going Serverless for your next app development

Serverless Architecture

App development keeps evolving and this evolution does not seem to have an end. Trends like cloud computing have helped developers to meet the new expectations of businesses, by building applications in a much faster and productive way. But in recent years, terms – “Serverless application” and “Serverless Architect” – have seen an increasing momentum, leading us to the concept of Serverless computing. Despite being a relatively new capability, the popularity that Serverless has gained in the IT industry makes it the next step in the app development. Cloud apps are shifting to Serverless world, but why? There’s a simple reason behind this hype – No infrastructure management. Benefits like less workload, less time to market, reliability, improved efficiency and affordability, Serverless architecture has managed to deliver what technologists desire. The role of Serverless computing in IT will only expand in the upcoming years. Therefore, if you still haven’t caught on with the technology, chances are you will soon have to update your imagination.

Since its launch in 2014, Serverless architecture has refined the ways of app development. According to RightScale’s 2018 State of the Cloud report, with the annual growth of 75%, Serverless is the fastest-growing cloud service model, at the moment. That’s not surprising, given the fact that the technology lowers costs, reduces operational complexity, and increases DevOps efficiencies. Furthermore, statistics show that by 2021, the market size of Serverless computing is estimated to grow to 7.72 Billion!

Stefan Bergstein, Chief Software Architect at Micro Focus, said the wheels were in motion for serverless adoption.

“We will see further adoption of serverless, especially in public clouds. The large cloud providers are going to invest into maturity, programming languages coverage and improved IDE integrations. These aspects will drive adoption.”

—Stefan Bergstein

However, what really is Serverless Computing? What is a serverless application? How does serverless web application work? What potential and benefits does it hold for developers and business enterprises? And why is Serverless Architecture the right choice for you?

We will be tackling all these questions in this article. Let’s break it down with a step-by-step guide and get a better understanding of the concept.

What is Serverless?

The word “Serverless” does not mean “no servers”, in fact servers are an integral part of the concept. Serverless computing is an execution model of Cloud computing, where the need to manage infrastructure is eliminated. Meaning, the developers do not have to worry about server management, scaling or provisioning when deploying code. They only focus on building the application while the back-end system that supports the app i.e. server, is managed by cloud provider and the billing is done only for the time the code runs or requests / events are processed. This allows developers to reduce maintenance cost and increase productivity.

What is Serverless

In Serverless, the whole application is split into two separate components, each performing a distinctive task.

  • The first is BaaS (Back-End), which applies to applications featuring their backend on Cloud. This camp is managed by a third party, which handles the server-side logic and state.
  •  On the other end, there is FaaS (Function as a Service), featuring applications running parts of their code through event triggers, including http requests, database events, monitoring alerts, file uploads, cron jobs, queuing services etc. The application is housed in stateless containers which are event triggered and the third party handles them.

The serverless architect allows applications to evoke functions on demand and the cloud provider charges only for the compute time i.e. resources used for the execution and not a monthly fee.

The following are major cloud providers (FaaS):

–        AWS: AWS Lambda

–        Microsoft Azure: Azure Functions

–        Google Cloud: Cloud Functions

Now that we have broken down the distinctive points, let’s dive deeper!

Cloud Computing Adoption

Cloud Computing Adoption

According to a global CIO survey, questioning their priorities regarding the technology adoption, it was found that public cloud adoption is the top focus and a major initiative for many companies in 2020. Around 79 percent of surveyed organizations are planning to have heavy to moderate adoption of cloud technology.

After Artificial intelligence and machine learning, Cloud containers are the most widely adopted emerging cloud technology in the United States and Europe as of 2019, as they help organizations to cut costs. According to statistica report, currently, it’s used by 18 percent of the respondents, which will further 20 percent increase by the end of 2020 as organizations are accelerating towards the cloud. Containers allow for the deployment of applications with access to a shared operating system without the need for virtual machines.

How does the Serverless app work?

Serverless sounds like a piece of cake, doesn’t it? But it’s not that easy. It makes a big difference when it comes to application architecture. An abrupt change, rather than gradual.

Serverless is relied upon by developers, for executing specific functions. Due to which, the cloud providers offer FaaS (Functions as a Service), which is an event-driven model.

Let’s take a look at how serverless functions are written and executed:

  • Developer writes a function which serves a specific purpose within the application code.
  • Developer defines an event which triggers the cloud service provider to execute the app function.
  • If the event is an HTTP request, it is triggered with a simple click.
  • To execute the function, the provider if an instance of is already running. If it’s not, a new instance is started for the function.
  • When the function is executed, the client or user sees the result inside the application.

Understand Serverless Apps with Examples

1.      Single Function Application

Take an example of Chatbots, which use minimal code and have a single function. Instead of hosting a chatbot on VMs, which run at capacity, service providers can run the logic on a serverless platform and decrease the operational cost. The company will only be billed when server requests.

2.     Complex Application

Take an example of a video transcoding application. To create event-driven pipelines, developers can use FaaS, which will remove manual input from the users. Through a serverless application model, the client will only be charged when the videos are being uploaded and processed by encoders.

Components of a serverless app

It consists of a web server, FaaS (Lambda Functions), STS (Security token service), user authentication and database. In which, the UI of the application is rendered client side.

Components of a serverless app
  • Web Server – Amazon S3 acts as a robust and provides a simple web server for static file. It serves all the static files of the app i.e. HTML, CSS and JS.
  • FaaS (Lambda Functions) – It acts as a key enabler in the serverless architect. AWS Lambda is used in a serverless framework for logging in and accessing data, built as lambda functions, to read and write from your database and provide JSON responses.
  • Security Token Services (STS) – Temporary AWS Credentials (API Key and Serial Key) are generated for users, which are used by client to invoke the AWS API i.e. Lambda.
  • User Authentication – Using Identity Service integrated with AWS Lambda, user login can be added to both mobile and web applications and help in authentication.
  • Database – A fully managed NoSQL database is provided by AWS DynamoDB. Though Dynamo is just used as an example here and is not essential for a serverless app.

FaaS: Function-as-a-Service

Function as a Service (FaaS) is a model of cloud computing, which allows developers to write business logic functions that are executed by cloud providers, in response to an event. It makes scaling easier and microservices are implemented cost-effectively. Developers upload pieces of functionalities into the cloud to be independently executed and the provider manages everything from execution to scaling.

What are Microservices?

Microservices architecture involves breaking the monolithic applications into smaller services using Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS). This allows developers to easily modify the pieces of code and implement them into their database. Microservices can be deployed and scaled separately and can also be written in different programming languages.

With FaaS, developers only have to focus on writing the application code while the server allocation and backend services are handled by the provider.

Components of FaaS:

–        Function – An independent unit of the Deployment i.e. performing a scheduled task.

–        Events – Triggers to execute the function.

–        Resources – Components or infrastructure used by the function.

Once the function is executed, FaaS tears it down. Although, it might keep the function until the next event has to be processed.

Advantages of FaaS:

–        Developers do not have to worry about servers and deployment and can spend more time on writing application logic.

–        FaaS code is inherently scalable.

–        Clients only have to pay for the computation time.

Disadvantages of FaaS:

–        Third-party manages a part of infrastructure thus, you have less system control. This makes it hard to understand the whole system.

–        Incorporating FaaS code into a local testing environment and testing the application becomes a difficult task. 

Benefits of a Serverless application

“Serverless computation is going to fundamentally not only change the economics of what is back-end computing, but it’s going to be the core of the future of distributed computing.”

— Satya Nadella, CEO Microsoft.

Serverless computing offers various advantages over traditional cloud-based infrastructure. Building a serverless web application means the developer can focus on the core product and not worry about the operating or managing servers. Let’s establish why serverless framework is the right choice for app development. Here are some reasons.

·       Easy Deployment

If you need to develop an app fast, serverless approach is the perfect choice for you. With serverless, you can deploy an app within days or even hours, instead of months because you only have to focus on the code. You don’t have to worry about infrastructure or provisioning needs. Moreover, scalability is also automatic. Thus, less time-to-market.

·       Improved Efficiency

Traditional servers had to be running all the time but with serverless, you have to pay per request i.e. charged when the server is used. This improves efficiency as you do not have to worry about scaling, setup, capacity planning. 

·       Low Costs

Adopting Serverless means cutting costs. The reason behind this is outsourcing the responsibilities. Third-party manages servers and databases. In the case of traditional servers, developers have to scale, project the server capacity and purchase however much capacity is needed, whether it gets used or not. However, in serverless, developers pay for the resources they use. The code only runs when functions are needed and also automatically scales up accordingly. Sometimes, the charges are broken down into 100-millisecond increments.

·       Better Latency

Your application response is one of the critical points that can affect an app’s performance. Latency depends on physical geography and with the access points on a global scale, serverless can handle users from around the world. Which means, Serverless ensures global coverage and improves the response time of the application.

Benefits of a serverless application

What can you do with a Serverless application?

Some organizations might find the going serverless a bit daunting. However, with the correct understanding of the concept and the right tools, the entire application can be created in a short time, reducing the time-to-market. In contrast to traditional server-based approach, you can enhance the app development speed and there is more scope for experimentation in Serverless and services such as Amazon Lambda can help you achieve that. Here are some examples to where the serverless applications would be a good choice:

1. Backend applications for IoT

While building an IoT Solution, your main focus is on the devices and the goal. You might want to manage the devices, see how the data coming from a network of devices can be processed and analyzed but in order to do that, cloud infrastructure setup has to be enabled and managed. This is where the serverless approach comes in. There are many services like AWS Lambda Functions, Microsoft Azure Functions etc. which have the direct integration capabilities that allow devices data to be routed and processed by serverless functions. This takes away your burden of managing infrastructure and you can focus on core product business logic!

2.Web and mobile backend services

Using serverless, you can power your web or mobile backend. With the business logic in AWS Lambda, Amazon API Gateway exposes your cloud APIs to the application. In other words, Amazon API integrates user-facing content in an S3 bucket and the front-end content is integrated as a backend service API, with Amazon API Gateway. This triggers the business logic using Lambda functions, which ensures successful development of serverless web and mobile applications. With this approach, it will be easy to limit access to application users who have authenticated with any of the sign-in options.

3. Virtual Assistants and Chatbots

Serverless platforms can easily accomplish natural language input and user voice input responses. Using Amazon Lex and Alexa Skills Kit, you can apply natural language recognition to freeform text and voice inputs by users, which will further trigger a Lambda function that can engage with customers.

How does serverless resolve the most common app development problems?

We have discussed what serverless means, how it works and established it makes the scaling and maintaining the applications easy, but there’s more to it. Serverless allows you to easily build continuous integration and delivery. The code needs to be deployed on both the cloud and to a repository. This is where Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Delivery (CD) create a dualism in serverless.

Let’s understand the two concepts more clearly.

      Continuous integration (CI)

It is a practice where the code is integrated into a shared repository, several times a day. Each integration is then verified by automated build and tests. Basically, it automates the building process by testing the code each time something gets changed or updated to a version. This helps in detecting and locating the errors more easily. CI provides “Version Control”, also known as source control, which keeps multiple versions of your code files and allows you to access the previous ones while making modifications.

      Continuous delivery (CD)

Continuous Delivery comes into play where Continuous Integration ends. CD builds, tests and releases software continuously without interruption. It automates the delivery of the software to designated infrastructure environments. This reduces the time and risk of delivering needed changes.

The biggest challenge while working with serverless systems is deploying the serverless applications. The more complex the application, the more complex it is to deploy. It gets easier to maintain the applications when you have clear boundaries between the services which form the app. In serverless, there are many components and the integration problems between them is common. Therefore, to deploy your applications, they need automation multiple times a day i.e. release updates, for which you need an automated pipeline.

Why is serverless architecture the future of modern app development?

In the ever-evolving cloud computing environment, Serverless architecture is on its way to become the face of app development’s backend – A new revolution – one might say.

But before we dive into it, let’s look at a brief history of cloud computing:

There are four types of cloud computing – IaaS, PaaS, SaaS & Serverless.

IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service)

It is the lowest level of XaaS, which provides only a base infrastructure that the developer has to maintain – Virtual machine, Software Defined Network, Storage attached. You’ll have to manage the platform and environment, do the configuration, and deploy applications on it. IaaS is more difficult to maintain, as compared to other XaaS.Examples of IaaS – AWS (EC2), Microsoft Azure (VM)

PaaS (Platform as a Service)

PaaS allows you to deploy the applications in a simple way, in a given technology. It allows you to develop, run and manage your apps without the headache of building or maintaining the infrastructure.Examples of PaaS – Google App Engine, Heroku, AWS (Beanstalk)

SaaS (Software as a Service)

It is also known as “on-demand software”, which doesn’t require you to deploy or maintain servers. Everything is managed by venders or third-parties – applications, runtime, data, virtualization, servers, storage, networking, middleware, OSes.Example of SaaS – Google Apps, specifically Gmail, where everything is managed by Google and you just have to use it via web or through clients. Moreover, some companies write SaaS on demand such as SAP.   

Then comes the Serverless Architect, which completely removes the infrastructure management and lets developers build the application faster, reducing the time-to-market. Due to its many advantages, it has gained popularity and most of the organizations or businesses now prefer to channelize Serverless resources to reduce operational costs and maximize return on investments. Developers deliver solutions at less time using Serverless architecture. 

Organizations are moving to FaaS from PaaS (Platform as a Service) because it scales better and takes complete control of infrastructure management. Most of the organizations are already providing serverless services but the top providers of serverless cloud service are AWS Lambda, Azure Functions, Google Cloud Functions

Summary

Serverless may have a confusing name and might have people believe that it is “server-less” but it is still an impressive architect with various benefits. As all the architectures, there’s no doubt that the success and viability of a serverless approach too, depends on the requirements of the business. Despite having many advantages, it cannot solve every problem. Therefore, be careful before adopting a serverless approach.

From a business’ perspective, the best advantage of going serverless is reduced time-to-market. Others being, less operational costs, no infrastructural management and efficiency. But serverless is still at its infancy stage.

As we know, technology never stops evolving, thus, maybe in future, serverless will be able to solve and fit into many other architectural requirements.

What does aTeamTexas do?

aTeamIndia can help you migrate to Serverless, build Serverless applications, and train your team on the best practices in Serverless. We offer customized, scalable, robust and highly secure AWS (Amazon Web Services) development services to carve the future of your business.

With the right guidance and an experienced software developing partner, you can bring your envisioned ideas into existence and we are here to provide you just what you need to turn your idea into a refined product.

We look forward to serving your requirements. Contact our team today!

Why your business needs a mobile app in 2020? The complete guide

mobile app

COVID 19 has left an appalling impact on all businesses. However, small businesses were affected the most. According to the SMB or Small and Medium Business Group survey of around 500 businesses, the most affected small businesses were found out. Moreover, it was also understood from a survey that the smaller the business, the harder they were hit. This is the right time for these businesses to take advantage of mobile application development. Mobile apps will help them go beyond their physical constraints and have access to a global market. A good mobile application can help these businesses create significant revenue even during the lockdown.

Growth of the Mobile App Industry

The mobile industry has witnessed a large growth during the past few years. According to emarketer an average US consumer spends more time on their phones than on TV. Smart phones top this list. The usage of smart phones will steadily increase and it will make up the majority of the media consumption in 2020 and coming years.

In 2014, an average US consumer used to spend two hours more on TV than on their phones. But according to several e-market analysts, mobile has overtaken TV. Followed by a social networking app, digital audio applications are the most used among mobile applications. New data go on to show that smart phones will continue to dominate consumer media.

Why Mobile Applications Are Becoming Increasingly Popular Today?

Mobile applications are becoming increasingly popular today. This is fueled by better mobile application development and mobile app design.

Applications are now using artificial intelligence and predictive analytics to increase their competitiveness in the market.

With better mobile app design also comes better UI and UX experience. 78% of consumers prefer to use a mobile application rather than a website because of this reason. Performance of an application is also what keeps these apps popular. The applications have to be functional and efficient. According to App Samurai, 76% of customers uninstall mobile apps due to frequent crashes. Thus, mobile app design plays an important role in the popularity of applications.

Another reason for the increasing popularity of mobile applications is due to the online shopping trend. Online shopping is the hot trend as 50% of the world’s populations have connectivity to the internet. 43% of Smart phone users find online shopping to be their top online activity.

Rise of e-commerce

According to Statista mobile phones generate 50% of the global website traffic.

This goes on to show that smart phones and mobile applications how now become an inseparable part of our life. Android users also had 2.56 million applications to choose from in the first quarter of 2020 alone. Thus, Google Play became the platform with the biggest number of apps.

Why Your Business Needs a Mobile App?

A mobile application is also a great way to reach your customers. A mobile application also opens up a new channel of revenue for businesses. It is a simple and extensive way to increase revenue. An application will help you reach the vast majority of customers at a minimum cost. Following are some of the reasons why businesses need mobile apps:

  • Increased visibility
  • Better customer loyalty
  • Better brand recognition
  • A direct marketing channel
  • Increased profits
  • Increased accessibility
  • Better customer service
  • Expanded customer base
  • Business process optimization

Why Mobile Apps Are Becoming an Integral Part of Business In 2020?

In case you are still not sure why anyone would want to build their own mobile platform, here are justifications that will help you get excellent value for money.

• Flexibility to Target Global Audience

Mobile applications provide the flexibility to target a global audience. According to Business Insider, India has become the largest market of mobile application downloads. US and Brazil follow suit. With every other person connected via the internet, people from different parts of the world can access your application. For example, translating your application into mainstream languages will help to double your global outreach. Another way in which apps help with the global audience is through sharing. Applications make it easier to share them and the in-app content. This will also help you to go beyond your local market.

• Mobile App Market is growing

The mobile app market is steadily growing and it shows no sign of going down anytime soon. With the increase in apps, competition is also increasing in the market. Businesses now have the challenge of making efficient apps to stand out.

• 50% of the World is Connected Over Internet

50% of the world is connected to internet making online commerce convenient. The Internet has had a global expansion since the 1960s. The world is changing rapidly and more people come online every year. An average of 27,000 people was online every year in the last few years alone according to Our World in Data. Owing to the recent development of telecommunication and infrastructure of internet technology, the global average internet penetration has become 59 percent. With such a large internet user base mobile apps have become the most integral means to reach people for businesses.

• Mobile Traffic

Half of the web traffic in the world is comprised of mobile accounts. Mobile devices have been making 52.6% of global website traffic since 2017. While spending time on phone users spend 90% on mobile apps and 26% of people search for apps in search engines. Use of the mobile app is steadily increasing with 58% hike every year. This will continue to grow as business app downloads are predicted to grow by 16% in the coming years. This is another reason why mobile apps have become an integral part of the business.

• Emerging Technologies

By 2020, 83% of workloads of business will be managed by technologies like AI, ML, Blockchain etc. These technologies also help create faster loading and less power consuming applications. This will help the businesses get a step ahead of their competitors.

Advantages for Business

Here are few ways that your business will reap the benefits of creating a mobile app for your customers and achieve specific business goals.

• 24/7 Availability

With a mobile application, you will be available 24/7 to your clients. Your customers can easily access you by tapping on an icon. With the app, your customers can track your services no matter what kind of business you run.

• Push Notification

Your customers can also be updated by way of push notifications. With these notifications, you can send them details regarding your new products, sales, discounts etc.

• Client Engagement through Loyalty Program and Rewards

With mobile applications, you can keep your clients engaged by giving them customer loyalty rewards. This provides them with an incentive to stay loyal to your brand.

• Customer Engagement

Customer engagement is important to maintain customer loyalty. You can build a better relationship with your customers by hearing their concerns and complaints. Apps provide online help desk provisions to fulfill this function. Business to customer communication also serves as a means for marketing your business. Apps receive the complaints and let you resolve them without any time lag. Reduced cost along with better accessibility is the key to customer engagement.

• Social Platform

It is a great idea to add social features into a mobile application. Data shows that people spend a lot of their time on social media platforms and check-in just to see how their friends are doing. This idea can be used as a marketing strategy. People can see your brand while also getting in touch with their friends. Features like messaging within the app, comments, photo sharing features etc help in engaging the users. Enabling logging into the app using Facebook and Twitter is also a great idea. This kind of marketing technique has resulted in increased sales and customer engagement.

• Increase Website Traffic

Mobile application development acts complementary to your website. Many businesses on a tight budget do not find it necessary to invest in a mobile application if they have a functional website. But an app adds on to the functionality of the website. A website can attract new users while mobile app helps you to maintain customer loyalty. Using a website usually requires you to open a browser and then find the website URL. However, with an app, you just need to touch the icon on your smart phone. Website is also a great platform for posting content, videos and pictures while the app provides a two-way communication channel.

• Brand Visibility

Over the years the way people seek services and products have greatly changed. Earlier people used to recommend other products and web browsing was also used as a way to find new products. But now, people look for products whole travelling, waiting for an appointment etc. They can grab the attention of the users and will increase the visibility of your business.

In a nutshell

The main goal of every business is to increase its customers, make their brand more popular, and increase sale and revenue. Mobile applications can attain all these goals and exponentially increase business growth while generating a lot of revenue.

In order to create amazing and effective mobile apps for your business, you are highly recommended to hire a mobile app development company that can integrate an advanced level of features and help you target the right audience through the app.

With the help of the right software development partner like aTeamTexas, we ensure to deliver a quality mobile app for your business scalability. Talk to our expert today! To know more about aTeam-India offerings, drop a mail to sales@ateamindia.com

Native VS Hybrid App : How to choose which is the best for my Product?

Native VS Hybrid App

With the emerging dependency on smartphones, the app development industry has seen tremendous growth. Technology keeps evolving and with rapid increase in innovations, developers are now gluing their eyes on the app development tools or frameworks, to minimize the app development time and get the work done more effectively.

According to the Statista, the total number of mobile applications in both the App Store and Google Play has crossed 4.1 billion mark, with 75.16% share of Android apps and 21.98% of iOS. The bar keeps increasing as 83% of businesses target to launch an app on Google Play Store, whereas 59% of respondents develop apps for Apple’s App Store.

When you think about building a mobile app, you have to make informed decisions to create an app which is powerful, efficient, as well as cost effective. And the moment you make a decision to invest in a mobile app, you’re faced with the terminologies, which is Hybrid vs Native Applications. What’s the difference between Native Apps and Hybrid Apps and which type would be most appropriate for you or your business? 

Many companies face a similar situation — What should we choose? Therefore, it is important for you to know the difference between both platforms so you can select the one which suits and fulfills your business’s purpose.

Native Apps and Hybrid Apps

In a nutshell:

The debate between choosing Native Mobile Apps vs Hybrid Mobile Apps vs Web Apps has still no clear winner because they all have their own benefits. Each Operating Platform (OP) is leading in its own way. Though developing either of them i.e. Native Android or iOS App is a costly deal, whether it is for a well-established enterprise or a startup. Which is why most of the businesses, even Startups and SMEs, choose hybrid mobile apps while developing an application, as it allows them to run the app, with a single codebase set, on multiple platforms, including iOS, Android, and Windows.

This article aims to aid your decision of choosing the right mobile application platform for your business, by providing you a sound understanding regarding the difference between native apps vs. hybrid apps, their pros and cons. Let’s figure it out!

Native App vs Hybrid App: What’s the Difference?

Native Applications are developed for a specific platform like Android, iOS or Windows. These applications are built using the framework that are compatible with the corresponding platform and are officially supported by the Operating Systems. For Android, it’s primarily Java and Kotlin, whereas for iOS, it’s Apple’s Swift or Objective-C. Native Mobile Apps have a faster and more responsive interface. They do not always require an active internet connection.

Hybrid Applications, on the other hand, are developed with the help of web technologies such as JavaScript, CSS, HTML5, combined with native elements. Basically, Hybrid Apps are platform-independent websites, which are put into native apps and then integrated with the corresponding device hardware, to make them function across multiple platforms.

Both Native and Hybrid applications can be distributed on App Store and Google Play.

Both Native and Hybrid applications

As it was mentioned earlier in the article that both have their own pros and cons, let’s have a brief view of both.

Native app Development: An overview

Native applications need to access all the functionalities of the hardware to work on the device’s OP (Operating Systems). SDK or Software Development Kit is provided to the developers by the platforms, which is a powerful combination of tools. This helps developers to create high-performance apps on a particular platform. The SDK Kit contains a certain set of tools, code samples, libraries, documentation, and guides. There are IDEs (Integrated Development Environment) which have a code editor, a compiler and a debugger, that you can use for writing and testing the software.Apple provides Xcode, whereas Google provides Android Studio.

Benefits of Native Mobile App Development

Performance

The coding in native app development is done for various platforms, thus, the app has different versions with utilized programming language, specified to each operating system. The apps are optimized for iOS and Android, keeping all the factors in mind i.e. battery use, memory etc. This makes the app run much more flawlessly with impressive speed.

Security

While hybrid or web applications rely on multiple technologies like JavaScript, HTML5 and CSS, Native apps use hardware resources efficiently and guarantee a more reliable and secure data protection.

Interactive and Intuitive

In Native apps, one specific platform’s functionalities can be tailored to give it a more unique set of elements. They inherit their respective device’s interface and allow users to navigate through the functionalities smoothly. In addition to this, Native Apps can also run in offline mode.

Accessing the Full Feature Set of Devices

Native apps allows developers to access all the features or functionalities of the Operating system and the hardware of the device, giving them full advantage to execute better user experience. For instance, Camera, microphone, GPS etc. can be accessed. Another huge advantage of Native app development is Push Notifications.

Disadvantages of Native Mobile App Development

Time-consuming Process

Native apps require more time to build because each platform needs a separate set of coding. Which means, if you are building an app for both iOS and Android, you need more time to work on both simultaneously.

Costly

The complexity of developing native apps demands more labor. Due to the tricky programming, it requires more qualified developers as well as time, hence more costly.

Require frequent updates

Frequent updates and bug fixes need to be uploaded to the app store. If users do not update the app and face any glitches, they might abandon it.

Native app Examples

·        Google Maps

·        LinkedIn

·        Twitter

·        Telegram

·        PokemonGo

Hybrid App development: An Overview 

While the basic definition of Hybrid apps was mentioned earlier, let’s dive into the variations and understand how it works.

Hybrid apps are basically native apps that act like web applications. Which means, they incorporate features of native applications and also do everything HTML5 can do. Hybrid app development is divided into two parts. First, developers build a back-end code using languages i.e. HTML, JavaScript and CSS. Then a native shell is added to load the code using WebView. Once the app is downloaded and installed on the device, the shell connects all the capabilities that the device’s platform provides, through the embedded browser in the application. End-user does not see the browser or the plug-ins which run on the back-end of the application.

Though in Hybrid App development, specialized APIs are used, which means third-party tools are necessary to access certain features and that puts a limitation to various capabilities of the application. But Hybrid apps have their own advantages which make them more popular amongst most businesses.

Benefits of Hybrid Mobile App Development

Work on multiple platforms

Hybrid apps have cross-platform capabilities which means they can run smoothly on both iOS and Android with one codebase.

Cost Effective

Hybrid apps have lower development costs as compared to Native apps because developers use web technologies and there are ready-made components available.

Fast Development process

Hybrid apps do not require different codes for different platforms. A single codebase handles both iOS and Android, which takes much less time.

Easier to update

Due to a single codebase, hybrid apps do not have to work on separate platforms to make changes. Same updates can be applied to all platforms.

Disadvantages of Hybrid Mobile App Development 

Limited Functionalities

The framework of Hybrid apps does not support or provide every feature of native apps. These apps rely on plugins which can be unreliable and have no accessibility over certain parts of the device.

Slow Performance

Hybrid apps create an additional layer between the source code and targeted mobile platform, which can create performance and debugging issues.

Poor user-experience

While hybrid apps look like native apps, they still lack the rich experience which native apps can provide. Hybrid apps may also lag 3D graphic elements.

Hybrid app examples

Let’s take a look at some top-notch applications that are Hybrid.

Instagram
Instagram

One of the leading social media apps, which allows people to share photos and videos, has very high user engagement every day, is Hybrid. It is powered by HTML5 and has the ability to support offline data.

A great example of hybrid app development, which supports rich media and lets the end-user access the features even in offline mode. Not only that, it allows you to send messages, post stories with creative tools i.e. filters, and has IGTV option as well. 

Uber
Uber

Another great example of Hybrid App is Uber. The most popular taxi-booking app, with a simple yet intuitive user interface and easy navigation tool. This user friendly hybrid application runs on m.uber.com which provides a WebView on the app and helps users book cabs hassle-free.

Gmail
Gmail

Google, a pioneer of HTML arena, leveraged its power to redefine user experience with Gmail, a hybrid app, with its advanced features. It also lets users access data offline. Along with multiple account support, it provides 15GB free data storage to store messages.

Gmail was only powered by HTML earlier but to make it more seamless, it now has native elements as well, which makes it a great hybrid app.

Evernote
evernote

As one of the most popular productivity mobile applications, Evernote is an extremely high-performing hybrid app, with an elegant and intuitive design. This app has a multi-device sync capability and its seamless functionality can be mistaken for a native app.With quick and easily accessible home screen widgets, the app lets you scan or capture anything, sync important notes, share memos and keep your thoughts organized. 

Top 3 hybrid app development framework

Flutter

Flutter

It is a mobile UI technology powered by Google, that allows you to build fast-performing hybrid apps. Flutter is an open source platform for developers to create highly-interactive cross-platform hybrid apps. It is an extremely flexible platform which provides a lot of libraries, widget, one-time writing code.

Its dynamic interface and portable GPU rendering help you work on multiple interfaces. Google Flutter uses Dart, a programming language, which draws its own interface and use native components.

We can’t call Flutter a complete Hybrid. It’s more than that providing Native experience using widgets. Hence its doesn’t uses html , javascript interface like Ionic, instead use native components that gives better experience and usability

Other Features:

– Allows you to localize the apps and achieve a wider audience.

– Supports a wide range of IDEs i.e. Virtual Studio Code, Xcode and Android Studio.

– Equipped with ARM (Advanced RISC Machines)– Allows developers to access Native Features and SDKs

Ionic
Iconic

Ionic was released in 2013 and has helped develop over a million hybrid apps since then, and is counted amongst the most popular frameworks. A technology with an inbuilt library of elements, that allows you to develop a full-fledge hybrid application. It uses JavaScript, HTML5 and CSS and focuses mainly on UI interactions, design. There are plugins which are used to connect the app to the hardware or the device.

Ionic framework is built from a combination of Cordova, AngularJS and SASS, which allows developers to create feature-rich hybrid applications with web technologies. AngularJS is a JavaScript framework, developed by Google itself, which allows you to build apps with exemplary architecture and evolve in a controlling way. Whereas, Cordova is an open-source framework, which helps reduce the risk of architectural mistakes because less coding techniques are used in the process.

The major asset of Ionic framework is it focuses on interface and builds apps which feel and look like native.

React Native
React Native

Backed by Facebook, React Native is an open source framework. In React Native, fundamental UI blocks are put together by JavaScript, which are the same as Native apps and are supported by both Android and iOS. You can also render UI components both using React native.

It primarily uses JavaScript to build hybrid apps and the apps developed in React Native are a combination of JS XML-esque i.e. JSX.

It allows you to reuse the components on the web as well as mobile platforms, which save a lot of time.

Native experience we can gain using React Native because of its bridging and so it also provides almost similar native experience as Native apps.

Other features– Can be implemented on existing apps

– Lets you see the changes made in the codebase

– Uses Native components to make the app look and feel like native

Even though Flutter and React native differ from Hybrid definition (Web View), we had placed it there because of the cross platform development from single code base and development time. Essentially they provide  native experience with widgets in flutter and using bridge in ReactNative. But when comparing to Objective C, Swift and Java, they cant be treated as Native technology aswell.

Why is time to Market important?

Building a mobile app is a time-consuming process and how soon you want your app in the market matters. Native apps take quite a lot of time to develop. While, hybrid apps have better TTM (Time to Market). A single codebase which runs everywhere is the reason behind reduced TTM. It also allows you to customize the app by making changes in a single code, which means faster updates.

Hybrid app development is a good option if you want to introduce your app before your competitors. But the standard of UX and performance of the app drops. Though Native apps might seem like a better option on paper but a lot of factors need to be considered before choosing especially in case of a startup.In the world of startups, speed is a very crucial point. How fast you can make your app available in the market determines the success of your business. Which is why Hybrid app development is the best option. Also considering, a startup’s environment can be really sensitive, iterating the product ahead of the rivals is also very important, which makes Rapid app or hybrid app prototyping crucial.

Rapid Prototyping cuts time to market

It means building a detailed model of the application and creating a visual and graphic representation or designing the concept afterwards. The idea needs to be validated early in the app development process.

Some business owners consider prototyping a waste of time and it has a number of benefits. It clarifies the requirements, users’ needs and preferences beforehand, which minimizes the potential risks. With a clear vision of what needs to be built, it also reduces the app development time.Another point which needs to be taken into account is the MVP (Minimum Variable Product)While developing an app, you need to decide which feature you want. When it comes to getting your app in the market as soon as possible with a budget and limited resources, getting your hands on every shiny feature is not possible. Rather, a small set of features which will make an impact in the market need to be picked up and executed accordingly. The features you think will make the most impact must make it to the top of the list of app’s prototype.

Considering all the factors, hybrid app development is recommended for startups and other small businesses. It has better TTM and is sufficient for the business’ purpose laid out.

Preferences of companies in mobile apps

Research shows that Small to mid-range market companies tend to choose Hybrid apps over Native app development due to its cost-effectiveness and more supportability. These can be built with common front-end technology and do not require a highly-advanced platform-specific developer, which means they can even use their existing tech team. Meanwhile, big enterprises are most likely to Native apps. They have the budget and resources to support Native app development and its maintenance or even hire experts who work within the enterprise. Some of the popular native applications by large companies include Instagram, LinkedIn, Google Maps etc.

Leading companies which use mobile apps

This is not to say that big companies completely avoid Hybrid app development. It depends on the nature of business. If a company needs to access every functionality of the device, they would go for Native, even if it is a small startup. Some of the Hybrid apps by major companies are Gmail, Amazon App Store etc.

Though Hybrid app development has some flaws, it is still gaining popularity amongst most businesses due to its easy availability and it’s making its way to become the future of app development.

Common main points to be singled out

  1. Hybrid apps are cost effective apps amongst the two.
  2. Hybrid apps take less time to build due to its single codebase.
  3. Native apps have better performance records due to its customized specifications.
  4. Native apps have better UI and are more reliable and secure.
  5. Maintenance of Hybrid apps is easier than of Native apps.
Common main points

How to Decide which is best for my Product?

If you’re looking for a direct answer, there isn’t one. Each of these mobile app development processes have their own benefits and the ultimate decision solely depends on your business’s unique needs and which one can fulfill them. You need to keep all the factors in mind i.e. Cost, Market / Target Audience, Functionalities, maintenance, resources to be used etc.

Common thing to consider

Hybrid app is best for –

If you are on a budget with limited time and resources, and do not want to maintain separate codebases, then Hybrid app is a way to go. Hybrid apps are also the best option if you are looking forward to test a market by building an MVP (Minimum Variable Product)

Native app is best for –

If you have surplus time, a big budget to hire  specialized developers and want customized features by accessing all the functionalities of the device’s hardware, then Native app development is your go-to.

Still confused? We provide free consulting to help you find the right solution that is flexible and cost-effective and perfectly corresponds to your business goals and IT strategy. Drop a mail to sales@ateamindia.com  

Hire Software Developers With the Ability to Turn Your App Idea Into Reality By Simply Leveraging the Latest Technology.

Why Startups Should Outsource Software Development ?

Outsource Software Development

In this day and age, it is difficult to run a startup business. There are very few that manage to succeed. Even though your startup might be small, it brings with it a lot of complex activities that have to be managed rightly. On top of this, software development might be a huge task to manage. However, it is also an integral part of the business that cannot be compromised. In such a situation, hiring an in-house team of your own can cost a hefty sum and also take up a lot of time. Instead, outsourcing website and software development to another company will help get your perfect software and is also convenient and less expensive. 

outsourcing Software Development

Startups often go for an in-house team thinking it is the safer way to handle their information. They are often under the misconception that an offshore team might leak their client information and other such sensitive data. This is not true. This is a challenge that is there in both offshore and in-house firms which can be resolved with a Non-Disclosure Agreement. 

Outsourcing Development is Beneficial for Startups

Outsourcing software development is more economical and helps the tech startup to focus on their key components without spending an awful lot of money and time. 

According to the studies conducted by Information Services Group, the annual global revenue generated from software development outsourcing amounted to 60-70 % billion US dollars. 

Following are some of the reasons why startups stand to benefit from an outsourcing strategy:

#1. Cost Saving

For a company that is starting out, the operational costs of running an in-house team of employees can lead to a financial crunch. Therefore, it is important to distinguish between tasks that can be outsourced and the ones that need an in-house team. Many have agreed that outsourcing services have helped them stay within their startup funding. 

Maintaining an in-house team can cause you to run out of money. This is the case with 45% of startups. Some run out of funds initially itself when creating their own startup websites. 

27% of them have been able to cut startup cost with the help of outsourcing. Around 60% of the operational cost can be saved with the outsourcing of services. 

One of the outsourcing benefits is that it eliminates the need to keep a set of employees on payroll and paying them regularly even when there is no work. Outsourcing staff also helps you find better talent internationally at the best price than what might be available locally. This is because the international market offers a better talent pool at a competitive rate. 

#2. Loose Focus

When you lead a successful business there might occur situations that are not expected. You have to be prepared for these. These new changes can either help your business or cause a loss. The key to a successful startup is to be prepared for both the contingencies by focusing attention on what is needed the most. 

A startup company can’t handle every area of their business. Those who try to handle everything because they are reluctant to let an outsider deal with certain aspects of their business often end up ill-equipped to deal with an unexpected event. Therefore, startups have to be realistic as to what tasks they can handle and what they should not be wasting time on. Such tasks can be handed out to a professional through outsourcing human resources. This can increase the productivity and competitiveness a 100-fold. 

#3. Scale Up & Down 

Outsourcing offers scalability. It is the most efficient way to scale up or down. This is why it is an attractive option. There are thousands of new startups entering the market and there is a lot of pressure and competition. Therefore, they will lose out on a lot of things if they stick to an in-house team of developers. 

Scale Up & Down

Startups are also restrained by a small budget with which they might not be able to hire skilled developers. Top developers will most certainly demand a higher wage. On the other hand, outsourced talent can be hired at half the cost. This process is also very quick. They need not be included in the payroll and do not even need to come in every day. All they need to do is one job that is given to them. This speed can be tremendously useful. Scaling down is also quick. It is just as easy to remove them. This way you can apply your time and money on a difficult project and then go to the next one efficiently while on a small budget. 

One of the best outsourcing examples is that if your outsourcing partner does a good job, they can be hired again for another project. Otherwise, you can look for a better person for the next project which is difficult to do with your own staff.

Sometimes you might be 100% sure that your product or idea will be a success right off the bat. However, the reality might be quite different and disappointing. When you are employing the services of an in-house team that comprise full-time labor, your product might take longer than expected. In this circumstance, you risk the jobs of people and the capital you invested. 

For startups, it is a wiser decision to hire a software developer offshore who is qualified, especially for creating an MVP or minimum viable product. Minimum Viable Product is an essential part of a startup business plan in the sense that it can make or break your business. Outsourcing MVP development helps you to reduce the risks such as equity dilution, investments and will make you more trustworthy to your stakeholders. 

hire a software developer

In the case of MVP, outsourcing this process will bring a lot of new idea and innovation to the table. They will have global exposure and are more aware of what ideas are more validated in the market. They bring in new ideas for the entire development cycle. 

7 Reasons why Should You Outsource MVP Development

#1.  Access to a Cross-Functional Team

One of the main benefits of outsourcing MVP for startups is that you get a cross-functional team. You already get a team that has developers having experience in different areas instead of hiring different developers for each different element. Thus, hiring an offshore team is much less expensive than hiring different developers for one project. 

#2. Technical Support and Consultation

If the outsourcing vendor is an established company of developers, they will have a team of experienced developers. They will be partners with great knowledge of the field and can, therefore, understand your vision perfectly. They can then help you to make your idea into reality. Because of their years of experience, they will be aware of the practical problems that arise while running a startup. 

An efficient team can provide you with high-quality technical support. They bring a different perspective to your MVP startup business idea and will provide their support to constant consultation. 

#3. Get Started Sooner

Outsourcing web development or an MVP project will reduce the duration taken to bring your product to the market. It is much easier to get started than it is with an in-house team of developers. You will not have to waste time finding developers, interviewing them, recruiting them, providing them with adequate training etc. This, in turn, ensures that you can market your product much faster and will get a head start when compared to your competitors. 

#4. Short-term Commitment

One of the most overlooked benefits of an offshore term is its short-term nature of the commitment. You get to bring experts to work with you on a short-term basis. This means that you will not have to pay them a monthly salary or incur any long-term expenses that are involved while hiring an in-house team. 

You also do not have to worry about laying off employees if you need to scale down or worry about losing employees if you take on a different project. You have the freedom to hire experts only when you need them. 

5. Structured Process: Project Management Made Easy

Structured Process

If you are working with an experienced company, they can provide you with a structured process for your MVP development. From the initial meeting to the delivery, they will have a planned method which ensures a smooth uninterrupted workflow. A good MVP development company will give importance to communication in such projects. They will be in constant touch with your business during each and every stage of the MVP development process. This gives you clarity as to where the project is standing and how long it will take. 

Along with this, without having to dedicate any resource for recruitment and training, the project becomes much easier to manage. It requires less manpower as well. With your idea, the vendor will bring their expertise to it. Combining these two elements, you get a fair idea of how feasible the product is, the duration for it to reach the market etc. This helps you to plan ahead and allocate resources when they become necessary and gives a smooth flow for not just the MVP but also the development cycle. You can also plan your launch dates, strategy to promote, advertising etc. 

#6. Development of Strong Code Base

You often seek experienced developers for outsourcing MVP work. They will know what platform to be used, the best languages for coding, UI frameworks, testing mechanisms and other good development practices. With this knowledge, they can build a strong and robust base for your MVP. The entire infrastructure of the code will be understandable easily so that your future developing team can manage the application. 

#7. Partnership

A great advantage of an MVP development partner is that even after the initial stage of development, you can continue working with them. They will work until the details are sorted out rightly. They can also work along with your in-house team of developers as the business expands. They can share their knowledge and expertise with your team. 

In conclusion

In short, outsourcing software development needs has helped many big startups to be successful from their initial stage of MVP. This is mainly because a third party will handle technology, coding, testing etc. because of their expertise, they will know which technology will be appropriate for you and what development practices fit you the most. While your technology partner focuses on these challenges, you can focus on marketing strategies, finding investors, new and innovative ideas etc. You can finally put in the time and effort that is required to grow your business. You no longer have to worry about things that are not related to the key elements of your business. 

Another important expense is that of hiring an IT department which outsourcing lets you avoid. The outsourcing team comes with their own experts. Technologies and solutions that were previously only accessible to big corporations can now be used by startups, thanks to outsourcing. 

MVP development outsourcing can be a very wise decision for your startup. Often, you might have a great idea but lack the time or skill for developing and building it. This is very common. Outsourcing companies will have the resources and expertise required to convert your idea into a product. This will help you to quickly deliver to the market. If it is a company that has previously done many successful MVP projects, it’s all the better for you. Once your idea is approved, you can right away build a team and start outsourcing work. 

Outsourcing reduces the risk while also providing you access to clients. There are chances that the MVP might change in its version upon receiving feedback. This will help you to directly reach customers and understand their reaction before bringing changes to the product. In the case of MVP, the product version changes under the feedback received from early adopters. Outsourcing vendors thus give great exposure to your MVP. Outsourcing also provides you with better access to stake holders who guarantee easy access to potential customers and developers. Your outsourcing partner will help you create the final product accurately based on the initial reaction thereby mitigating the risks

A reliable software development outsourcing company can help you save time and money while providing you with top services. Carefully analyzing and studying your prospective partner will guarantee a successful outsourcing partnership. This can also avoid common outsourcing disadvantages. Outsourcing MVP development also ensures better success rates for the finished goods. Finding the right outsourcing company is the most profitable alternative to wasting time on technology, software etc. which can be efficiently looked after by a team of experts.

With the help of the right software development partner like aTeamTexas, we ensure that your idea gets translated into a market redefining product. Talk to our expert today! To know more about aTeam-India offerings, drop a mail to sales@ateamindia.com

Ultimate Guide to Building an MVP (Minimum Viable Product)

Everyone has ideas. Some have very good ideas. However, one is only truly victorious when he or she is able to turn that idea into a reality. Additionally, this product of reality must be top-notch and not some cheap knock-off. So, what are you going to do? Do you build your product on your own or do you hire a good team to build a product? No, this is the wrong path. First and foremost, you need to know if your idea is truly needed in the market and if consumers can solve a problem with your idea. Your idea may be good but it can lead to huge financial loss and a waste of time and resources if your product is unsuccessful in the market. So first, you have to start with an MVP or a minimum viable product before you start developing your final product.

What is minimum viable product?

A minimum viable product or MVP is merely a lightweight version of a product. It will only have the minimum features or even just the concept without the functionalities to convey the core idea of the product. The feedback from this customer base will then be used to improve the product in future. Gathering such insights and feedbacks is a less expensive affair than making a fully-fledged product without analyzing the market. It is a huge financial risk and an economic loss is guaranteed if the product is to fail. With regard to an MVP, the economic losses can be kept to a minimum. 

A minimum viable product or MVP is merely a lightweight version of a product. It will only have the minimum features or even just the concept without the functionalities to convey the core idea of the product. The feedback from this customer base will then be used to improve the product in future. Gathering such insights and feedbacks is a less expensive affair than making a fully-fledged product without analyzing the market. It is a huge financial risk and an economic loss is guaranteed if the product is to fail. With regard to an MVP, the economic losses can be kept to a minimum. 

MVP definitions are many. The dictionary definition of ‘viable’ is ‘feasible’ or ‘capable of working successfully’. Therefore, a mvp meaning an unfinished product created with minimum resources that can solve (or convey that it can solve) the problem that is intended to be solved by the final product. In a general sense, the aim of the product is to analyse the market demand. The results will actually determine whether an expansion of your business or further development of your product will be fruitful or not. The term was made by Frank Robinson in 2001 and it was later used by Steve Blank and Eric Ries.

Examples of Minimum Viable Product

Spotify 

In the MVP for Spotify, the developers only focused on one core feature instead of wasting resources on many features that might or might not be successful. Their idea was to build the best music streaming service and therefore in their MVP, they only focused on music streaming. In order to evaluate the market, they created a desktop app and ran a closed beta. The product’s free minimum price model became very popular with consumers. This gave the Spotify developers time to sign more and more artists and to go overseas into the US market.

Facebook 

The Facebook MVP merely connected college students on the basis of their class or college and provided a platform to post messages. It started off as ‘The Facebook’ and did not have the many features that we see today. This was not a novel idea and it was already existing in applications like Friends Reunited and other social media platforms. What made the Facebook MVP popular among college students was how easy it was to use. It was also supposed to be a university directory of sorts restricted to Harvard students alone. The popularity is what made it include more universities. This is what made the full product a success and helped it to be the most used social media platform. 

Groupon 

Vouchers and discount coupons have always been there. But Group on took these and shared them. With the Group on MVP, the founder, Andrew, validated his idea in just a month.  It brought the element of group socializing. Initially, it was just a website on WordPress that emailed PDFs to subscribers regularly. This proved successful among the initial subscribers and had a rising demand and the company then built the full-fledged voucher system. Groupon was successful compared to their copycats because their MVP helped them acquire a user base with a pre-launch landing page.

Use cases

Many startups have had successful business expansions because of following the MVP model. One such startup was AdWords. The MVP model of AdWords was called AdWords Express. it is much more simplified and it can produce a version of the ad for the customer. Initially, the process seemed automated but it was basically a group of students quickly typing and copying in the back end. When this little experiment became a success, the developers further developed AdWords Express and now it has become fully automated. Yet another success story is that of Airbnb. Initially, their idea was to just earn a little side income. They managed to create a website but it was difficult for them to get people to use their website. They came up with a plan to target Craigslist. The house owners were given the option to post automatically to Craigslist. This is how Airbnb reached its prospective users. Airbnb today has an income of 2.6 billion dollars. While startups have become successful with the help of MVPs, it does not mean that the MVP methodology is limited to startups. Many successful companies still follow MVP methods to release products and concepts in a short timeframe and minimum resources so as to avoid huge financial investments and losses in releasing an unsuccessful final product.

MVP model

MAP and Its Significance in 2020 And Beyond

A minimum acceptable product or MAP is by definition a minimum viable product but with more streamlined features and design. You set a standard with the product so that the customers know that they can expect a quality product while also increasing the likeliness of your product’s success. While MVP has only one or two core features of an idea, MAP upgrades on it by making it faster, user-friendly and design-centric. The goal of the MAP must be to provide a good experience for the user along with conveying the basic idea of the app. In simple terms, if MVP is a teaser of a movie, MAP is basically a trailer of a movie. Things have radically changed and most B2C cases now demand MAP. The technology has transformed so much that the internet is no longer a novelty. In 2020, clients are already used to getting minimum quality. That is a basic necessity that they expect from all products. But today, people need more than minimum; they need an ‘awesome’ experience from the app. A Minimum Awesome Product may be more expensive than MVP; However, MAP is the road to commercial success from 2020 onwards.

How The MVP Approach Helps Your Business? 

It is not easy to make it in the market today with thousands of businesses competing with each other. It is important to create a product that fits the market so that consumers care about it. This is exactly what MVP for startups can do for your business. Following are some of the benefits your business can get with an MVP approach:

Early User Feedback

When you launch MVP software, you get an early data regarding what the consumers think about your product. If the feedback is positive, then you can continue developing the full version of the product thus minimizing the failure of the full-fledged product. If you get feedback regarding what they do not like or what they think is missing, you can rectify that and add the feature in the full version of your product. 

Saving Time and Money

App development processes can be expensive. Investing a large sum on a full product without knowing how it will perform in the market is risky and not a wise business decision. MVP can assure you that you are investing in a product that has chances to succeed in the market. 

Verifying Market Trends

In order to evaluate market trends, you can launch your MVP app among your target audience like, for example, consumers from a certain age demographic. This will help you to understand the market trend that is the most appropriate for the complete development of your full product. The feedback you get from the consumers is what helps you understand the market trend. 

Building a User Base

When you launch your final product in the market, it is better to have a user base that is already familiar with the product and knows what to expect. An MVP helps you to acquire this initial user base. This initial user base can also later become the ambassadors of your product as they know the product better. They can then spread the word among potential users. 

Attracting Investment

An MVP is a great way to find the financial funding it deserves. Once you have established a functional MVP in the market and acquired market traction by way of your initial user base, you can show investors that your product is worthy of investments. This is a great way to convey to investors that your product is of value in the market and will succeed even more with the full version.

Step-by-step guideline to build a minimum viable product

An MVP is the right balance between what your product offers to the users and what the users want. This will minimize the chances of failure and error. Just because you do not have to have a lot of features do not mean you can put out a bad MVP. A lot of preparation and research must go into an MVP. The success of your full product will depend on the performance of your MVP. The lack of understanding of the steps involved in the MVP development is what leads to failure.

1. Find out the Real Problem

The first and most important step is to find out the real problem that you are addressing. The product must be able to solve at least one actual problem for one real set of audience in a way no other product can. Thus, the most time and research must be allotted to find out the real problem first. You also have to determine your target market in order to start your product discovery. There are millions of people that you can help with your product but the target market will consist of people that you want the most and whom you can help in the best manner possible. You have to ask yourself and your team many questions. 

To get started you can begin with specifically outlining the problem that you intend to solve and who you are going to solve it for. 

This is the first step towards honing your target audience. You have to decide the demography of the society that you are planning on targeting. It can be based on age, gender, religion or any criteria depending on your problem. You then have to understand the mindset of this target audience. What their needs are, what they expect, what challenges will you face etc. have to be understood and studied. 

Two main ways to do that is by undertaking interviews and market research. Interview all the people who you think are likely to use your product. There are many ways in which you can collect such insightful data. One way is to conduct online interviews through social media platforms like FacebookLinkedIn etc. Another effective way of data collection is through surveys. Google Forms and Survey Monkey provide great services for such surveys. Additionally, services of Mailchimp can be used to share survey forms through mails. This method has more success rate than others as it is easier to undertake a survey through the mail. 

Research and investigation must also be put into companies that are your contemporaries or competitors. This will help you to understand what is currently available to your target audience and how they have responded to these so far. Some of the important areas where research must be done are if there are ample opportunities for products and features not being met at present, whether there is any benefit on developing what is already available, how will the product be valuable to the customers and how will it solve their problem etc. Once this primary research is done you can select an important problem that you are equipped to solve with your MVP. 

You have to ensure that your idea has a business opportunity and will be of utility to your target audience. You will have to do further research as that will help you uncover other features and problems that have to be solved. These features and problems have to be listed out. 

The next step is to determine what you long term goals for your MVP are. You have to answer questions like what are the success criteria that you have set for your product. You need to have a flexible strategy that can be changed as and when you get customer feedback will help you to provide valuable services to your customers. 

After all this preliminary research is done, you will be able to understand whether the problem that you chose actually poses a challenge to your intended customers and whether they are willing to pay for the solution. 

2. Product or Solution That Competitors Are Already Providing

A pertinent fact is that the MVP will be launched in a market where it will be immediately faced with competition. It is extremely important to study your target audience as well as competitors to make sure that you are not launching a product that already exists in the market. 

Analyzing your competition will also help you to understand what is unique about your product and make those unique features your core ones. You have to understand the promotional tactic used by your contemporaries to reach their target audience. A majority of the internet users today change their opinion per second and one day a product will be hyped to be completely forgotten the very next day. Think of the best way to reach your target audience evaluating promotional tactics of your competitors. This also serves as an amazing opportunity to beat your rivals. 

There are many tools available to analyze your competitors easily and effectively. One such tool is SEMrush. Following are some of its main uses:

  • Keyword research 
  • Keyword strategy used by the competition
  • SEO audit of blog
  • Blacklining opportunities.

SEMrush is a very common and popular tool to analyze your competition. It is also used by many businesses irrespective of their size across the world. AHREFS is another useful tool for competitive analysis. Yet another tool is Producthunt which primarily helps you to find out the alternatives of a currently existing product. Other than that, it lets you get in touch with your first real users. 

Analyzing your competition will help you to find a unique selling proposition for your product. You can make sure that your marketing campaigns are better and unique compared to that of your competitor. Thus, this method helps you uncover a unique selling proposition for your solution and a niche customer base to test your product. 

3. List Out Feature List and Prioritise Them 

How your product is going to be perceived depends on the features that you include in your MVP. 

The whole point of including only certain features is to keep the cost at a minimum and also to provide a basic version. Therefore, it is important to only add the core features. A minimum viable product must include only those most important features which help to fulfil the most pressing needs that your customers might have. 

Eric Ries who is the father of lean startup rightly says that any feature, process or effort that does not directly contribute to what you are seeking should be removed. But this does not mean that the product is too basic to be functional. The core function without which the product has no existence must be identified in order to produce the simplest version of your product effectively. It is very important to identify the features that you want to go into the first version of your product. it is also important to identify those features which are to be added on later in the upcoming versions of your product. The feature list of your competitors has to be identified. 

Some of the basic steps include finding out the main feature list that the customers require, editing these features on the basis of their value or utility that they provide the customers and then prioritizing the list. 

4. Design a Userflow 

The next important step towards building an MVP is to map and identify the steps that a certain type of user is likely to take while using your product. 

You have to hypothetical considered how each type of user will interact with your product. 

This leads to two important questions: 

What are the needs these users have to fulfill? And what is the environment in which they will be using your product? You have to look at it from the perspective of the user thus putting yourself in their shoes. It has to be ensured that every task is very simple and easy to fulfill. Customer experience will be better if they can get their work done with just a few clicks. If it is too complicated and inconvenient, chances are more that they will not use it. the user flow for each task that each user type will be fulfilling should be predetermined. For this, the process has to be broken down into stages and every stage has to have an objective. Then you have to outline the steps that are required to reach this objective. 

User flow is a process of mapping the user’s steps effectively. It helps you to track the steps taken by the user through your website or application interface in order to fulfill a task like making a reservation, buying something etc. This is also called a user journey. It is a very crucial aspect for maximizing your conversions. If you want to convert users to customers, you have to get the right user flow. Flow map is about creating a better UX for the website. They create visual sitemaps which will help you to make a better website. Justinmind is another great tool for prototypes. Finally, you end up with a well-defined user flow diagram of your application. 

5. Build, Learn and Measure 

Building, learning and measuring is the final step that brings all of the elements of your minimum viable product together. Your journey to mvp development does not end with merely building and launching the MVP. It is equally important to collect feedback and understand the market validation of your product.  Let us look at a real-world example to understand this method. 

The team behind Dropbox, even before designing the product or a beta version of the product, went directly to user feedback with the help of a 3-minute video presentation. This was an instant success as the signups increased overnight to more than 70,000. You should note that all this was done without a real product. The team conveyed their idea through their presentation and gathered feedback. This helped them to cement their decision in investing in the development of their product as it was already successful.

Since the MVP is built with only so many features just enough to satisfy the early customers, their feedback is essential in the future development of this basic version. There are many ways to collect customer feedback. Some of them are:

  • Interviews 
  • Surveys
  • Analyzing traffic
  • Sign-ups 
  • Engagement 

Google Analytics is one of the most popular and commonly used tools for analyzing. It is a free web analytics service that is provided by Google. It gives you in-depth information about your user’s activity on your websites. This information serves as a valuable insight using which you can create a strategy for your business. 

Crazy Egg is another online application which provides you with a set of tracking tools like heat map, scroll map, overlay and confetti which tracks the different aspect of website operation. This helps you to better understand the needs and preferences of your customer. It is a way to directly benefit from your website and also lets you create a customer approved MVP. 

4 Reasons Why MVPs Fail

Even when you have a reliable developer and have done in-depth research, there are chances that your MVP might fail. Markets and fast growing and changing. The research and information you have attained might become outdated by the time you launch in the market. Following are the common reasons why MVPs fail. 

No Market Niche

It is always important to create a niche market. If you enter a market that already is monopolized or have alternatives similar to your product, your MVP will fail. Even if you are convinced that your product idea is better, customers might already be satisfied with already existing products. Unless your MVP proves that your product is distinguished, you will just be one of the many variables. 

No Problem to Solve

A software solution must solve a problem in order to be successful. The MVP must provide a real-life solution to consumers. If there is no solution or if the solution is not important, then your product will not be cared for. 

User Needs or Expectations Weren’t Met

There are times when the MVP is too minimum and ended up being unimpressive. Maybe users did not like the design or did not have a good experience.  Not properly understanding the market needs or issues can also lead to a failed MVP. 

Poor Technical Implementation

Even if you identify a problem and create a solution via the MVP, you can still fail if it does not work properly. Even if it’s not a finished product, a faulty or bugged MVP will not be remembered. Thus, poor technical implementation can affect the life of your product. 

Examples of Failures 

• Standout Jobs

The main reason why this MVP failed was that it was based on guesswork and not solid market research. The creator did not test his idea by seeing if there was a demand in the market for his product. Instead, the creator invested a lot. The team was not able to create a good MVP and ended up with a product that nobody really cared about. 

• Electroloom

Electro loom was a 3D printing company for manufacturing clothes through a desktop device. They did not completely develop their MVP and it remains a mere prototype. Because of the lack of market research, their product was offered to the wrong target group and therefore seemed useless. It did no gain traction and lost funding eventually.

Thus, the greatest power of an MVP is that it reduces the time taken for your product to come to its best version. It significantly reduces this learning cycle. Further, it can help you to create stronger relations with your customers. Through feedback, you are directly involving them in the product development process. It also helps you to prevent wasting money and resources to create features which are not actually useful.

Conclusion 

The entire process of MVP is centered on testing a hypothesis. Businesses can identify their risks, assumptions and test these assumptions with the MVP product experiment. The information from this experiment can be used for enhancing the development process. It will help businesses to start small but steady and then, later on, build a better product according to the market response. With every new version, the product evolves into its better version and brings you maximum returns for your investment.

Countless successful projects in MVP developments are what made us, aTeamIndia, to build this guide. What we focus on is to ensure that the product, even though minimal in functionalities and features, is well designed and performs seamlessly. This MVP must solve the problem that is intended to be solved with the final product. So, if you need help in converting your idea to an MVP, you know where to go. 

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An ultimate guide for Proof of Concept in Software Development

software development

Inspiring your team, brainstorming and forming an idea is both exciting and energizing. Envisioning the ideation of forming something different that solves problems seems wonderful but if that idea is not put through its pace properly, it may face the same problem that many others face i.e. False Value.

Millions of people or companies come up with new innovations every day but not everyone succeeds. The new projects of the companies, especially startups, fail because the ideas are poorly tested which results in false value. Businesses fail to analyze certain things – if the idea is practical or feasible, what resources would be required to build it and would the users or target audience want to use it?

These are the problems which are solved by Proof of Concept (PoC) approach. With Proof of Concept, budding entrepreneurs can determine if the idea is achievable or not.

Let us understand in detail, what Proof of Concept is, why it is important and what the best way to approach it is.

What is Proof of Concept (PoC)?

Let’s start with a basic Proof of Concept Definition in terms of Software development, because it is likely to mean something else than you think.In simple terms, proof of concept is a general approach of testing the idea and determining whether it feasible, viable and can be built in the real world or not. Proof of Concept is to make sure if the idea will strike a chord in the market and win the customers or not.

Concept (PoC)

Let’s say you have an idea that you think stands out and will help people in some way. PoC may not have a direct impact on the market but it will help you find out the functionalities of the idea and how it can be built at a reasonable cost, effectively, and with which technologies. It helps avoid possible technical problems and allows you to obtain feedback at the early stage of the development cycle.

Need for Proof of Concept?

Nearly everyone who comes up with an idea is convinced that it will work. But applying Proof of Concept approach will test the idea and ensure that it arrives at the best version. It will not only save you time and money but will also reduce any possible risks involved.

A proof of Concept is used in the early stage of the development cycle which validates the technical feasibility, identifies possible expectations of a platform and potential blocks. It also determines the scope and requirements of customizations in order to complete the project.

Proof of Concept also identifies performance issues while testing and validates the assumptions made in the ideation process. Along with all that, in the results, PoC also estimates the efforts.

Moreover, you need to persuade stakeholders that your idea is worth investing in. Whether it’s something from the scratch or adding some new features to the already existing software, Proof of Concept will direct you towards the right route.

Besides you, multiple other organizations are involved in creating a project that matters. The Proof of Concept helps bring them into your corner and fully convince them of the actual value and real-time effect of the idea.

When does the need for Proof of Concept arise?

  • When it is necessary to check if the idea changes values
  • When you have to ensure that the chose plan of workflow is right
  • When the limitations for solving a specific problem has to be determined
  • When you need to make sure the idea is technically possible
  • When it’s necessary to check if the solution matches the expectations of the target audience

Here are some of the questions, the answers to which will help you make out a necessary criteria list, to correctly interpret the results of the finished project:

  • Why are we doing this and what are we trying to achieve?
  • What are the measurable success criteria?
  • Is it achievable in the time frame allowed?
  • Is it achievable with the resources available?
  • What’s the real value we are hoping to achieve?
  • How will it be implemented into the workflow?
  • Is there something with which the concept can be compared?
Proof of Concept arise

Discovering Your Idea

Ideation is the first stage towards building something and putting it into practice. It is focused on identifying a solution which will solve a particular problem for the end-users. The idea should be something that helps the users and makes a change in the market.

 To help visualize the main aspects of the idea that you are trying to develop, these are the things you need to include and define on a Canvas:

1. Problem – After doing a market research, you would gather information regarding the problems your target users face while achieving their goals. A problem statement needs to be prepared with a clear insight, target user / market, which should not include features or solution.

2. User Needs – From Problem Statement, you can identify what the users require and adapt accordingly.

3. Solution – Describe a solution that you want to propose to solve that problem and attend their needs.

4. Features – Based on the solution, a list of features that it offers needs to be added in a priority list. These features should be directly linked to the users’ needs.

5. Competitors – Prepare a list of your main competitors, both direct and indirect.

6. External Factors and other Operations – This includes IP (Intellectual Property), industry standards, targeted market, expected or assumed price, due date.

7. Requirement – Based on all the lists prepared above, a review of which resources would be required. This step can be fulfilled as you go along with the project.

After you have discovered the main idea of the project that you want to build, the idea needs to be analysed by someone with technical knowledge. It’s where the next step starts – Building the Idea – and the Proof of Concept has to be used.

Proof of Concept Process Flow

A Proof of Concept Process flow goes through several iterations – Design, Building and Testing the Product. Once the PoC is accurate and fully captures the functionalities that you intend to add and provides a minimum level of performance, the next step can be started i.e. Prototyping.

A Proof of Concept Process Flow follows these steps:

  • Designing – You will need to make a rough sketch or drawing of the product you need to build, which will include the basic functional blocks. This will help once it’s time to create a PoC and Prototype.
  • Building PoC – This phase is critical for software development. It will help you analyze the ideation sketches and help understand if they are functional in actuality or not. 
  • Testing Functionality – Testing phase will determine whether your PoC meets the minimum performances requirements of not, to be accepted by the board members.
  • Evaluation – Once the testing is done, the results are to be evaluated to determine which functions or elements need to be redefined. When the evaluation is done, it’s time to repeat the process and test them again.

Building a POC (Proof of Concept)

Building a POC (Proof of Concept)

While developing a Proof of Concept, a detailed study of user needs, preferences and expectations needs to be conducted. Creating Proof of Concept will help you make informed and rational decisions because it shows a clear picture of the software’s future, that you want to build.

Here’s a checklist for the Proof of Concept development:

1. Define your Target audience before writing a PoC

It is unlikely to create a solution that solves everyone’s problems. You need to take into account the needs and preferences of a specific group of users. This will define the target audience and PoC development will help you find the right customers and analyze their feedback. Other than that, conducting a competitor analysis before writing a proof of concept is important. PoC creation will make the task of determining potential customers much simpler and will clarify the relevance of your idea in accordance to the target audience. You need to pay close attention to how the competitors are performing. Analyze their ups and downs and how you can improve.

2. Pre – assessment of the selected solutions

After understanding how your product will solve the users’ problems, it’s time to consider other aspects.

Technical

To make the right choice of which platform, programming languages and tools to use for developing and testing the Proof of Concept. This stage will define the market analysis, system maintenance and other requirements.

Cost

Taking into account the available funds or investments and calculating the project’s budget.

Timelines

The more complex the solution, the more it will take to develop the software. Therefore, you can either expand the building time frame or consider optimizing the product’s functionalities. In the first case, the software will be built according to your original idea but in the second case, it will reach the market faster.Track your project development tools with GitHub or Jira.

Documentation

You need to keep a detailed track record of all the solutions, functions and elements to identify the glitches. With this, you can replicate the PoC at the time of full implementation of the product. Documenting everything will help evaluate the functional requirements and determine whether you are on the right track or need to make further readjustments in design.

3. Development

Now that you have all the information, it’s time to use it in building the POC, which will imitate the work of user interface. The basic requirements of PoC are Simplicity, Adaptivity, Interactivity and Content. By creating a prototype of Proof of Concept, you will be able to clearly spot the defects, address the shortcomings and find a solution, and you will have the basis of your final product which can be altered as you go along the process.A wireframe is created in this development stage, which is basically a low fidelity representation of the product and shows content, structure and basic visualization of UI interaction. Wireframes are the backbone of the design. Furthermore, a mockup is built which represents the functionalities in a static way to help people review the visual side of the product. Software developers will choose the right framework i.e. front and back-end development, to provide you with the wireframe and mockup which visually represents your idea. This mockup is later used for testing.

4. Testing

You can test the POC on a small group of targeted users and analyze how the software can be enhanced. By this, you will have a solution for further development process. At this stage, you can easily make modifications as per the users’ feedback.

5. Collect market feedback

To improve or scale your product and fill a niche in the market, it is important to collect feedback. It will help you the pain points of the users and you will gain a clear understanding of how your product can solve their issues in a best way, which features are really wanted and which should be removed. For this, different polls, surveys or interviews can be conducted but it is not obligatory to interview a huge group of people, 30-60 people is enough. You can also analyze the existing clients or users (if you have any)The main goal of this stage is to know how you can tailor the product according to their needs and it can be achieved by encouraging users to participate in the survey.

Once the feedback is received and the user requirements are aligned with your solutions, the PoC is successful and the Product is ready for the next stage. 

Guidelines for a successful Proof of Concept

  •   Identify Specific Business Cases – When you identify the technology to be used, it is advisable to have some specific business cases and have the expected outcomes to which both the IT team and end-users agree. This will assist the PoC team to focus on the elements which are important. Furthermore, it will also allow vendors to verify the product’s functionalities, which will help in configuration.
  • Map Pain Points to Solutions & Get Feedback – This stage involves brainstorming sessions to solve each pain point which was identified earlier. There can be multiple solutions to each issue but you have to evaluate them and determine how each fit into the process according to your cost, competition, timeline and other technical challenges. After this, you will have a clean understanding of which solutions will be included in the final product. Once the list of main solutions is done, it can be used to get feedback from users and stakeholders. Their reactions and inputs will provide valuable insights.
  • Set your Performance Goals – Once you have solved the pain points and identified key elements in regards to the cost, you will be able to set your goals i.e. Return on Investment (ROI) and Key Performance Indicator (KPI), for improvements which will lead to move revenues.
  • Track your Metrics – Once the PoC is complete, the KPIs that have been achieved for the PoC, can be compared to the current KPIs that you’re getting from existing systems. Then you and your team can take charge of ROI measurement formulas and avoid any misrepresentation that might have previously been built into the ROI formula, favorable to the solution.
  • Get Ready to Prototype – Build a prototype of the product which includes the UI/UX set and other features that are finalized. This prototype will be presented to the stakeholders and the users who were interviewed before to gain insights. The feedback regarding the interface and functionalities will help further improve the product working.
  • Set your Investment levels – When PoC is successful and management is on board, the project is ready to implement production and determine a budget. To make sure the product is correctly built, a MVP (minimum value product) is built, which helps you discover the finest execution of PoC that can lead to a successful product.
  • Create a Roadmap – Once all the information has been collected and the budget has been approved, it will be easy to create a roadmap. A roadmap is basically a blueprint which consists of all the steps for making the product. It includes an organizational chart of supervised work, list of all the stages of the work that needs to be completed and information of assigned tasks to the members.
successful Proof of Concept

Proof of Concept Example

Let’s take a look at these proofs of concept study cases –

1. You want to create a fully functional voice-based product i.e. a personal voice assistant, like Amazon Echo, which uses IoT (Internet of Things) and Artificial Intelligence to provide information as per users’ voice commands. The device will allow users to get news and media updates, make to-do lists, set-up meetings etc.

After the ideation is done, you need to create a concrete Proof of Concept to determine how the idea will work and be executed. The proof of Concept will include all the functionalities, elements of the device and how Natural Language Processing (NLP) will work to send commands through speech. This voice command module can either be built by your own team or enabled by a third-party service provider.

After the coding is done and tested, by capturing audio samples using the microphone of a Smartphone to generate voice segments for commands, PoC can be tested on the potential buyers or users to let them know that the idea is feasible and how the product is fully functional.

2. You want to develop an app that home delivers food to students at night. There are already many apps like this. In this case, Proof of Concept will help you improve your app and make it stand out. In this, POC focuses on determining best technologies to develop a well-optimized application. It will also help build a roadmap.

POC vs. MVP vs. Prototype: What’s the difference?

Even though Proof of Concept and Prototype are used interchangeably, both are different processes meant for different purposes. The both produce different results. Whereas, MVP comes after a successful PoC development process.

POC vs. MVP vs. Prototype

Proof of Concept vs. Prototype

Proof of Concept is used to determine whether the idea can be brought to reality and be developed or not. On the other hand, a prototype is created to turn that idea into a skimmed-down version of the final product, which is later tested. A prototype does not include all the features of a market-ready product, but it shows the design, navigation, layouts etc. of the product and shows how to best develop the product.

A Proof of Concept shows that the idea is viable and functional and a Prototype is a draft of the final product, which works as a selling point.

Minimum Value Product (MVP)

Meanwhile, MVP (Minimum Value Product), comes after Proof of Concept is successful. It is the early version of what the final product might be and is more developed than a prototype. MVP is used to identify pain points, determine the functionality, test the usability and marketability of the potential users. With the use of MVP, you can allocate time and budget that can best satisfy the objectives.

Conclusion

Proof of Concept is the most important stage in software development and it cannot be neglected if you are developing a complex, lengthy and costly project.

Note that documentation is the key. You should document every detail and step for your proof of concept projects. This documentation will include everything i.e. installation, configuration, outputs of all the tests performed, feedbacks and final findings.

Documentation will help make all the other members clearly understand the Proof of concept steps and make it easier for the team to replicate the same project, when needed.

Regardless of the POC strategy chosen and results obtained, there will be benefits of this approach.

·       It will help you get proof that your idea is worth implementing and help avoid spending a lot of money on something that is not viable.

·       You get to have tangible proof to present to the stakeholders and prove that your idea is worthwhile.

Countless successful projects in POC developments are what made us, aTeamIndia, to build this guide. What we focus on is to ensure that the product, even though minimal in functionalities and features, is well designed and performs seamlessly. This POC must solve the problem that is intended to be solved with the final product.

With the help of the right software development partner like aTeamIndia, we ensure that your idea gets translated into a market redefining product. Talk to our expert today!

To know more about aTeamIndia offerings, drop a mail to sales@ateamindia.com

6 Benefits of Serverless App Development

Serverless App Development

The term serverless is a misnomer. It does not literally mean that there are no servers. Serverless app development is a cloud-based architecture used for app development where the cloud provider has the responsibility of allocating and provisioning servers. A cloud provider completely manages these servers. The traditional need of an ‘always on’ server component is done away with. Following are some of the benefits of serverless app development.

  1. Pay Per Use 

One of the main advantages of using serverless app development is the pricing. The developers and users will only be charged for what they actually use. The code can thus run automatically. On the other hand, in traditional server architecture, a predetermined server capacity has to be bought and paid for irrespective of whether it is used or not. 

  1. Easily Deploy Your App 

In order to release a working model of your application, there is no need to do any backend configuration. Updating becomes easy and a product can be easily released. It serves quick functionalities like updating, patching, fixing etc. New features can be easily added to the application. Additionally, one does not have to make changes to the entire application to bring changes to a single function. 

  1. Freedom from Server Maintenance and Management 

Serverless, as mentioned before, is a misnomer and computing does, in fact, take place on servers. However, the highlight is that the developers do not have to worry about the servers. These are looked after by the cloud provider. They take care of routine maintenance and management of the servers.

  1. Scalability 

Scaling is very easy and automatic. This will depend on the growth and change in the customer base. The architecture can automatically scale when the number of users grow. A practical example of this advantage is that the application will be equipped to handle an unexpectedly large number of requests and also a single request from a sole user. In the case of traditional server architecture, the application will already have a predetermined and fixed amount of server space which can only handle a fixed number of requests. It can get overwhelmed if there is a sudden hike in usage and might lead to system shutdown. 

  1. Cost Reduction

Another benefit of adopting a serverless system of application development is that it will help you to reduce cost significantly. Functions like server management, maintenance, scaling etc. are taken care of by the cloud provider or another vendor. Additionally, serverless employs less power to compute and also uses less human power. All you have to do is work on the code from the server-side as the infrastructure is already taken care of. 

  1. Reusability of Components 

Serverless is also more judicious and cost-effective in the long run. This is mainly because the components of the serverless architecture are reusable. 

If you are interested to know more on Serverless and other latest topics from our team at aTeamIndia, do subscribe to our newsletter. We push out useful content regularly. 

What does aTeamTexas do?

aTeamIndia can help you migrate to Serverless, build Serverless applications, and train your team on the best practices in Serverless. We offer customized, scalable, robust and highly secure AWS (Amazon Web Services) development services to carve the future of your business.

AWS Lambda- the future of Serverless application development

AWS Lambda- the future of Serverless application development

The cloud computing market is huge with a massive scope of expansion. In a race of having the biggest market share, with many leading companies such as Azure, Google Cloud, providing cloud services, Amazon takes the lead.

Amazon Web Services (AWS), having established itself as an early leader, owns almost half the world’s cloud infrastructure market. Amazon reported revenues worth $15.4 Billion in 2018 and carried the dominance forward into 2019 with revenue of $16 billion (Q1 & Q2 combined). 

In Q4 2019, the global cloud infrastructure market’s revenue amounted to $27 billion which brought the total revenue for the year to $96 billion. According to the reports of Synergy Research Group, Amazon’s market share, in 2019, amounted to 33% of the total worldwide public cloud infrastructure market.

AWS Lambda

AWS provides many different services which can be the components of a serverless application – AWS LambdaAPI GatewayS3DynamoDBSNS (Simple notification service)SQS (Simple queue service), AWS Step FunctionsCloudWatch Events and Amazon Kinesis.

The focus amongst AWS serverless services is AWS Lambda, which is the compute layer of the serverless app development, where the code is executed. AWS development tools and services enable best practices while building and maintaining the serverless application with Lambda.

AWS Lambda: An overview

AWS Lambda is a high-scale, event-driven, provision-free serverless compute, that allows you to run code without any wastage of resources. It provides the cloud logic layer for the apps. AWS Lambda functions are triggered by different events that occur on AWS or any third-party services, which enables developers to build apps. When an event occurs, the code is executed and the required operations are carried out by the code. When there are multiple events occurring simultaneously, more copies of the functions are run parallelly by Lambda. Each request is scaled precisely which reduces the wasted capacity. Moreover, you pay only for the resources used or the compute time consumed.

Lambda can also be described as FaaS (Function as a Service), where the vendor provides provision-free scalability and built-in reliability and there are no virtual machines present. With Lambda, you can virtually run code for any type of app or backend service.

Each Lambda function that is created contains the code that needs to be executed, the configuration that defines the execution and event sources which detect and invoke the functions when they occur. For example, it runs code in response to HTTP requests with API Gateway, it runs code in response to the data changes with S3 bucket or DynamoDB table, it invokes code using API Calls made with AWS SDKs, and there are many more. Many event source options can trigger aws lambda function.

You can just upload the code and enter configuration – when and how to invoke – and Lambda will take care of everything else that’s required to run the code with high-availability.

Key feature of AWS Lambda 

  • Add Custom logic to AWS resources – AWS Lambda allows you to extend your services and add custom logic such as S3 Buckets and DynamoDB table. Which makes it easy to apply computation to data as it enters through the cloud.You create your function either by uploading your code or writing in the Lambda console, select or allocate the memory, timeout period and IAM (Identity and Access management) role.Then you have to trigger the function by specifying the AWS resource i.e. using S3 bucket, DynamoDB table or Kinesis stream. Lambda will function, launch and manage the compute as needed, when the resource changes. You can bundle Lambda functions with other deployment artifacts.
  • Fault Tolerance and Automatic Scaling – With Lambda, the infrastructure automatically gets scaled without any additional configuration, depending on the number of requests. Sizing your deployment’s capacity is not necessary. Lambda serves incoming requests parallely by creating multiple instances as per requirement. Lambda has built-in tolerance and it maintains the compute capacity, across multiple Availability zones, ensuring robust service, which eliminates the data center downtimes or any other infrastructural failures.
  • Fully Automated Administration – You do not have to update the underlying OS whenever patches are released or resizing / adding new servers as the usage grows because AWS Lambda manages everything – deploys the code, handles administration, maintenance, security patches, monitors via Amazon CloudWatch and also offers built-in logging. Lambda manages the infrastructure to run the code in availability zones – which allows you to completely focus on building back-end services. Using Lambda API or custom API via Amazon API Gateway, you can create differentiated back-end services for your apps which are triggered on-demand and process custom events instead of servicing these on the clients. With this, platform variation and battery drainage can be avoided.
  • Build your own code and Run it globally – You can build a code using any third-party library or native library, without learning any additional languages or tools. With Lambda, package code (SDKs, libraries, frameworks, etc.) can also be used as a Lambda layer which can be managed and shared across platforms very easily. Lambda supports – Java, Node.js, Python, C#, Go, Power Shell and offers a Runtime API. This will allow you to author your functions using any additional programming languages. With Lambda@Edge, AWS Lambda can run your built code globally, across AWS locations, in response to Cloud Front events. These events can be requests for content, to or from origin servers and viewers. This lowers latency and more content personalization.
  • Relational databases connection – Get access to fully managed connection pools for relational databases, using Amazon RDS Proxy. RDS Proxy scales and secures Lambda-based serverless apps which need to interact with relational databases. Reason being, it manages thousands of database connections to relational databases. Currently, it supports MySQL and Aurora. You can use RDS Proxy either through Lambda Console or RDS Console.
  • Pay for what you use – With Lambda, you only pay for the resources you use i.e. the requests served and the compute time. You’re charged for execution duration and not by server unit. It’s cost effective, metered at increments of 100 milliseconds. Requests get scaled automatically, there is no wastage. Provisioned Concurrency –Payment is made for the amount of currency configured and duration or configuration. When you enable Provisioned Concurrency for your function, you also have to pay for requests and execution duration. 
  • Orchestrate Multiple functions – With AWS Step Functions, multiple Lambda functions can be coordinated. Step function allows you to define workflows which trigger a collection of Lambda functions, by using parallel, sequential, branching and error handling steps. You can build complex and stateful applications and back-end.
  • Security – A built-in AWS SDK and integration is used by Lambda, with AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) which ensures secure access to AWS services. Every code automatically runs within a VPC. You can use options to configure Lambda to “access resources behind VPC” which allows you to leverage custom security and network access control lists,  to provide Lambda functions access to the resources within a VPC.
  • Control over performance – With provisioned currency, you have more control over your serverless application’s performance. When you enable Provisioned Currency, it keeps functions initialized and hyper-ready to respond to double-digit milliseconds. It is ideal for any application, built using AWS Lambda, which needs greater control over function start time. Concurrency can be easily configured as needed and the level can be increased or decreased according to the high or low demand. Provisioned Concurrency efficiently achieves consistent performance for latency-sensitive applications and you do not have to manage compute resources. Moreover, Provisioned Currency does not require any changes to your code.
  • Resource Model – You can choose the amount of memory allocation to the functions. The CPU Power, network bandwidth and disk I/O is allocated by AWS Lambda, proportionally.

When to use Lambda?

You need to adapt AWS Lambda if you do not want to maintain the servers, scaling and provisions but focus on the application code and business logic. AWS provides complete automated control for a good price. Given the fact that it allows you to write code in languages and runtime environments, it is perfectly suitable for compute platforms for many apps.

Lambda is the right choice for building APIs, along with API Gateway, with which you can reduce the time to market, optimize cost and obtain efficient results. AWS allows you to choose from different types of Lambda Functions and serverless design patterns, as per your requirements. There are other tasks which you can implement with Lambda such as creating cron job using CloudWatch and automating processes. You have the access to both memory and time, hence there are no restrictions for usage flows. You can smoothly go to full fledge micro services apps using AWS Lambda. With Lambda, you can create service-oriented actions which do not have to be running all the time. Therefore, Lambda functions are a good choice for distribution systems.

Building a Serverless application with AWS Lambda

An Application can be built by combining Lambda functions, event sources and other resources which are required to perform other tasks. Along with Lambda, the application architecture includes – Amazon API Gateway, DynamoDB, Amazon Cognito and Amplify Console.

While building a serverless application, you will need the following stack:

  • Computing service
  • Database service
  • HTTP Gateway

Lambda provides the compute service and other services i.e. API Gateway, DynamoDB and RDS which form the basis of serverless solutions. Due to Lambda, individual tasks run for a short time and each task is self-contained.

All the components of the application can be collected in a single package, which can be deployed and managed as one source, using AWS CloudFormation. With CloudFormation, you can create a template defining your app’s resources and manage the app as a stack. AWS CloudFormation automatically goes back to the previous configuration if any of the updates fails.

To create an application with CI (Continuous Integration) pipeline, you can use Lambda Console, which provides starter projects for common app types and templates to create supporting resources. You need to create resources – Application, pipeline, repository, trigger, build project, deployment configuration, bucket and roles.

The resources and the application are defined in the CloudFormation templates which can be extended and customized. A template in the application repository can be modified and added to the DynamoDB, API Gateway and other resources.

AWS Lambda Function – Anatomy 

Lambda function is stateless, meaning – it cannot store persistent information. For instance, if a variable is defined as a counter and a function is made to increase the counter’s value, by two, it would fail to work, each time it gets invoked. The reason behind this is the variable is defined and initialized within the confined code. It would get reinitialized again when the code is run the next time.

Though this statelessness has a purpose. It separates the data from the software. But Lambda is integrated with other Amazon services i.e. S3 Bucket, DynamoDB etc. which provide storage when needed.

The AWS Lambda Function has 3 important aspects –

  • Trigger – A set of activities which run the provided code (functions). The activity could be a website, an API call, or an object going to the S3 Bucket. It can be anything.
  • The Actual Function – The function constituted by a run-time code. At the time of writing the blog, AWS supports – Pythos, Node.js, C#, Java8 and Go.
  • Resources – Every Function can be assigned to certain Roles. This allows the function certain privileges like S3 bucket contents can be read etc. 

Events which can trigger a Lambda Function

The following events can be configured to trigger Lambda Function: 

  • Amazon DynamoDB – Table Updates
  • S3 Buckets – Modifications to objects
  • Amazon SNS – Sending Notifications
  • Amazon Kinesis Stream – Messages arrival
  • AWS CloudTrail – AWS API Call logs
  • Amazon Cognito – Client Data Synchronization

Further, there can be custom events from mobile and web applications or other web services.  There are two event models – a push event model, a pull event model. Lambda uses one of these models to work.

AWS Lambda Pricing

You Pay what you Use

AWS Lambda is a code which runs single invocation tasks. Which basically means that the code runs in an ephemeral container which gets terminated after serving its purpose. You pay what you use, based on the invocations. The configuration of each lambda function is based on memory size (GB) and the execution time is measured in milliseconds (ms)

AWS Charges $0.2/M<requests, each time a function is invoked. The overall duration is calculated from the time the code execution begins until it returns or terminates, which is rounded up to the nearest 100ms. The amount depends on how much memory you allocate of your function.

You can allocate any amount of memory to the function in 64 increments –  between 128mb and 3008mb.

Current Price of AWS Lambda –

  • Request Charges – $0.2/M  requests
  • Compute charges – $0.00001667/invocation

Free Tier – AWS offers a free usage tier which includes 1 Million invocations and 400,000 GB-seconds of compute time per month.

Practical Examples of AWS Lambda

  • Media Transformation – With AWS Lambda, the issue of manual tasking during cross-device app development, can be solved. A multi-platform media and content delivery pipeline can be developed for automation. Suppose a request for an image is made but the image is unavailable in the S3, the request for image size redirects to API Gateway. This triggers the Lambda Function and the original image is fetched from S3, resized and uploaded. Lambda initiates each request of the unavailable image and each new request is not affected by the previous one.
  • Deriving Multiple Data Format from a Single Source – There often occurs a requirement where a single object is needed in multiple formats. AWS Lambda, with S3 & SNS, helps in building a system which processes the data parallelly as the events occur. 

Conclusion 

AWS Lambda offers a variety of features and when combined with its pricing, it does make a great deal of service. It allows developers to create internal serverless systems which helps in handling incoming API requests from multiple sources such as mobile, IoT devices, internet powered systems and other third-party platforms. You can build secure and scalable applications with Lambda’s powerful toolkit. You can operate serverless websites, automatically run codes in response to various events without worrying about handling the infrastructure. There are a lot more advantages of using Lambda as a serverless platform.

AWS Lambda is an excellent choice for cloud computing products. However, if you’re thinking about your next application or any implementation, consider the features, price, workings and reviews. And migrate to Lambda based on what you have understood about AWS Lambda and how it can be used to improve the efficiency of your next solution.

What does aTeamIndia do?

aTeamIndia can help you migrate to Serverless, build Serverless applications, and train your team on the best practices in Serverless. We offer customized, scalable, robust and highly secure AWS (Amazon Web Services) development services to carve the future of your business.

With the right guidance and an experienced software developing partner, you can bring your envisioned ideas into existence and we are here to provide you just what you need to turn your idea into a refined product.

 We look forward to serving your requirements. Contact our team today!