A brief overview of the Metaverse
The Metaverse is a virtual reality or virtual space where people interact with each other and the world around them.
But it all started when the term debuted in Neil Stevenson’s 1992 science fiction novel Avalanche. In it, people interact with their avatars in 3D virtual reality. The protagonist Hiro the Protаgоnist, works as a pizza delivery man in real life, but in the virtual world, he is a hacker and samurai who fights against the distribution of Avalanche’s substance.
The Metaverse can also be compared to the movie “The Matrix,” where the main character Neo goes to the matrix (virtual world).
And in 2021, the boom of cryptocurrencies and NFTs, as well as their mass implementation, begins. The general trend towards decentralization, Web 3.0, and cryptocurrencies are starting to take over the world.
The two most famous metaverses at the time, Decentraland and Sandbox, are gaining popularity quickly, and Travis Scott’s online concert in Fortnite is blowing up online.
More and more companies understand the promise and scope of the future metaverses, and at the end of 2021, Facebook moved into the Metaverse. Facebook was renamed Meta, after which everyone started talking about metauniverses.
From 2022 to now, the metauniverses have tightly entered our lives.
The Metaverse is a new technology that could revolutionize how we interact with the digital world. This allows users to create and use permanent online identities or avatars that can be used to interact with others in virtual spaces.
In 2024-2025, large companies will create metaverses, have a considerable budget and popularity, and graphics indistinguishable from reality. All current ways of interacting on the Internet and social networks will move into the Metaverse. This has already been said on Facebook.
The distinguishing features of the Metaverse
In general, the features and characteristics of a metaverse platform will depend on the specific goals and design of the platform. Some common features that may be included in a metaverse platform include immersive virtual environments, customizable avatars, social interactions, and virtual economies. It’s essential to consider the target audience and intended use of the platform when determining which features to include.
- A single information space for work, communication, leisure, shopping, and games, connecting you with others worldwide. Metaverse is presented as a new stage in the development of the Internet and a potential replacement for the already familiar “Web 2.0”.
- Use of VR and AR technologies. Meta puts a lot of emphasis on the need to get away from the plane of the screen and create a virtual space that feels real. Perhaps this is the main selling point and the central stick in the wheel of the Metaverse project.
- Presence in a virtual environment. In the form of an avatar, you can visit friends, attend a work meeting, and hang out at a concert of your favorite band.
- Creation of user content. This can include customizing an avatar, arranging a virtual home, or creating with the help of tools provided by the developers.
- Possibility to have virtual property. The point is closely related to the previous one. We put .jpeg with a monkey on the fact that things will not work here without NFT.
- Combining pop cultural objects from different franchises (characters, locations, etc.) into a global crossover like never before in Fortnite, Smash, or Marvel movies.
What is a metaverse app
A metaverse app is a software application that allows users to interact with and explore a virtual world, typically through a combination of graphics, audio, and other media. Metaverse apps can be accessed through various devices, including desktop computers, mobile phones, and virtual reality headsets.
Many metaverse apps range from games and social networking platforms to educational and business applications. Some typical features of metaverse apps include:
- Virtual avatars: Users can create and customize their virtual representation, known as an avatar, which they can use to interact with other users and the virtual environment.
- Virtual environments: Metaverse apps typically feature a range of virtual environments, such as cities, forests, or outer space, that users can explore and interact with.
- Social interactions: Many metaverse apps offer social features, such as chat functions, forums, or multiplayer games, that allow users to connect in the virtual world.
- Virtual economies: Some metaverse apps have virtual economies where users can buy, sell, and trade virtual goods or services using in-app currency or real-world money.
Overall, metaverse apps offer users a unique and immersive experience, allowing them to explore and interact with virtual worlds in previously impossible ways.
Must-haves for the metaverse apps
Several key features are essential for creating successful metaverse apps:
- Immersion: The Metaverse should provide a sense of presence and immersion for users, allowing them to feel like they are genuinely a part of the virtual world. This can be achieved through high-quality graphics, realistic environments, and the ability to interact with objects and other users naturally and intuitively.
- Interactivity: Metaverse apps should offer a range of interactive experiences, such as games, social interactions, and other activities that allow users to engage with each other and the virtual environment.
- Personalization: Users should be able to customize their avatars and personal spaces within the Metaverse, adding a layer of individuality and personal expression to their experience.
- Scalability: The Metaverse should be able to accommodate a large number of users simultaneously, with minimal lag or downtime.
- Security: Ensuring the security and privacy of users is crucial, especially given the sensitive personal information that may be shared within the Metaverse.
- Cross-platform compatibility: Metaverse apps should be accessible from various devices and platforms, including desktop computers, mobile devices, and virtual reality headsets.
- Monetization: Many metaverse apps rely on revenue from in-app purchases, subscriptions, or other monetization strategies. It’s important to consider how these strategies will be implemented in a fair and sustainable way for both the app developers and users.
Some popular apps that have been successful in the Metaverse
Second Life is a virtual world platform that allows users to create and customize their avatars, explore various virtual environments, and participate in multiple activities, including socializing, gaming, and shopping. Users can communicate via text, voice, and other interactive features.
Second Life is a massive online platform with a wide range of user-generated content, including virtual homes, clothing, and other items that can be purchased using in-game currency or real-world money. The platform also supports user-generated events and activities, such as live music performances, educational lectures, and art exhibitions.
Second Life is available on desktop computers and supports virtual reality headsets for an immersive experience. It is one of the longest-running and most popular virtual world platforms, with a large and active community of users.
Roblox is a platform for creating and playing user-generated games and virtual experiences. It features various virtual environments and activities, including role-playing games, racing games, and multiplayer adventures.
Users of Roblox can create and customize their avatars and communicate with each other through text and voice chat. The platform also has a virtual economy where users can buy, sell, and trade virtual goods using in-game currency or real-world money.
Roblox is available on desktop computers and various mobile devices and supports virtual reality headsets for an immersive experience. It is popular among children and young adults and has a large and active community of users.
Minecraft is a sandbox-style video game in which players can build and explore virtual worlds made up of blocks. The game has many creative tools and features that allow players to build structures, create artwork, and design their adventures.
Minecraft has two main game modes: survival mode, in which players must gather resources and craft items to survive in a hostile environment, and creative way, in which players have unlimited resources and can focus on building and creating. The game also has a multiplayer mode that allows players to join servers and play with others online.
Minecraft is available on various platforms, including desktop computers, mobile devices, and game consoles. It has a large and active community of players and has won numerous awards for its innovative gameplay and creative potential.
VR Chat is a social platform that allows users to meet and interact with each other in virtual reality. The platform features a range of virtual environments and activities, including games, social events, and different interactive experiences.
Users of VR Chat can create and customize their avatars and communicate with each other through text and voice chat. The platform supports virtual reality headsets for an immersive experience and has a desktop mode for users who do not have access to VR equipment.
VR Chat is popular among users interested in exploring virtual reality and meeting new people in a social setting. It has a large and active community of users and offers a unique and immersive social experience.
Rec Room is a virtual reality game and social platform that features a range of multiplayer games and activities. The platform has a variety of virtual environments, including sports courts, arcade games, and other interactive experiences.
Users of Rec Room can create and customize their avatars and communicate with each other through text and voice chat. The platform supports virtual reality headsets for an immersive experience and has a desktop mode for users who do not have access to VR equipment.
Rec Room is famous among users interested in virtual reality games and social interactions. It has a large and active community of users and offers a wide range of fun and engaging experiences.
Decentraland is one of the largest and most famous metaverses based on the Ethereum blockchain. Decentraland was founded in 2017 and had its MANA token, with which you can interact with the virtual worlds of Decentraland.
Users can buy or rent land in the game and build casinos, malls, art galleries, and music centers with their virtual property and value.
Decentraland is genuinely decentralized and does not have a central server; content on the platform is sourced from users’ computers worldwide. True Web 3.0.
Decentraland is available on desktop computers and supports virtual reality headsets for an immersive experience. It is popular among users interested in virtual reality, blockchain technology, and the creation and sharing of user-generated content.
The Sandbox is a tool for the professional social media community to share ideas and information to help professionals maximize their potential on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media.
Professionals of all backgrounds can benefit from this app by accessing content that will help them build their brand and make themselves more attractive to potential employers.
The app provides users with various resources that they can use to improve their social media presence. These resources include tips on how to create compelling content, how to engage with followers and customers, and how to use social media to build connections effectively.
In addition, the app also provides users access to a community of like-minded professionals who can provide advice and support.
The SandBox app is essential for anyone looking to improve their social media presence and build their brand. With rich resources and a supportive community, it’s the perfect platform for exchanging ideas and information between professionals from all backgrounds.
The Epic Games app is a popular gaming platform that allows you to play and interact with other players worldwide. The app is available across multiple platforms, including mobile devices, PCs, and consoles.
One of the most fantastic features of the Epic games app is its cross-platform play support. This means that players can compete against each other no matter their device.
For example, someone playing on their mobile phone can challenge another player playing on their PC.
The application also has several tools for integration with social networks. For example, you can link your Facebook account to the app to find friends who also play Epic games.
If you’re a big gamer, it’s worth checking out the Epic games app. This is a fun and attractive platform that allows you to play with other players worldwide and share your gaming experience on social networks.
Cryptovoxels is a virtual world and a metaverse. Based on the Ethereum blockchain, this platform is still in its infancy and much smaller than its contemporaries.
In Cryptovoxels, users can create and customize their avatars and explore various virtual environments, including cities, parks, and other landscapes. The platform also has a virtual economy where users can buy land and build anything, shops, or art galleries, with built-in editing tools using the cryptocurrency MANA.
Cryptovoxels is available on desktop computers and supports virtual reality headsets for an immersive experience. It is popular among users interested in virtual reality, blockchain technology, and the creation and sharing of user-generated content.
Somnium Space is a virtual reality platform that allows users to explore, create, and interact with a virtual world. The platform features various virtual environments and activities, including socializing, gaming, and other interactive experiences.
In Somnium Space, users can create and customize their avatars and explore a range of virtual environments, including cities, forests, and other landscapes. The platform also has a virtual economy where users can buy, sell, and trade virtual real estate and other assets using the cryptocurrency CUBE.
Somnium Space is available on desktop computers and supports virtual reality headsets for an immersive experience. It is popular among users interested in virtual reality and creating and sharing user-generated content.
Metaverse is still developing, and it’s too early to determine the best applications in a particular order or ranking. At the moment, metaverse technologies are driving new waves of digital transformation in various industries.
Why you need a responsive website
Technology is developing rapidly, and equipment manufacturers are not far behind them. Smartphones, tablets, TVs, and other electronic devices connected to the Internet are available for every taste and budget, and there are many screen size options.
At the same time, content consumption is increasing exponentially. In the struggle for a client, site owners use all means and methods. In particular, at the development stage, they could correctly display their web resource on various devices.
The number of devices allowing you to view information online is growing yearly. A variety of formats and resolutions complicate the development process as a whole; additional requirements must be considered at all stages: designers, layout designers, and programmers.
The concept of adaptive design allows you to streamline the process since you do not need to create several variants of sites, as was the case with mobile versions in the past. In that case, a separate set of functions was designed on a different subdomain.
Old sites need to be improved, and various adaptable approaches allow this to be realized. The main thing is to assess the scale at the start correctly; sometimes, it is easier, faster, and cheaper to use new design layouts and templates. If your corporate identity is not a recognizable brand, the fact that it is morally obsolete often pushes you to rework it. And rebranding, as a stage of transition to a new level, has not been canceled. A responsive website is a powerful tool for your business.
There are services to check how the site meets the requirements of adaptability.
Moreover, today the most significant search engines, Google and Yandex, consider this parameter when ranking websites. Since usability and navigation are mandatory factors for evaluating the quality of a site. The speed of loading information, and in the case of optimized images, it drops, unreadable text, and distorted elements that are too small or do not fit on the screen make it difficult to find information and lead to an increase in bounces – the user closes the page. These are behavioral factors that also affect the position in the search results.
For site owners, technical terminology and ranking parameters are not entirely clear and tangible criteria. But it is enough for them to understand how this affects attendance dynamics. In many areas, the share of traffic from mobile devices is comparable to and even exceeds desktop traffic. This must be taken into account. It is less and less possible to meet developers who do not offer to adapt the website but navigating this issue to control the process will not hurt.
Principles of adaptability
Let’s say you’ve designed for desktop browsers. Everything cool. The blocks are shifted and go under each other when viewing this site from a mobile device.
This is called a flow. And now, this is one of the main principles used in responsive design. Consider this.
It is known from school physics lessons that the speed can be absolute when, regardless of where you observe the movement from, the speed will be the same. And relative – when the rate can change depending on the reference point.
Same with units of measurement. Different devices have different pixel densities. And the size, for example, 320 px, will look different on a computer and a smartphone screen.
The solution is to use relative units of measurement when you set all sizes, scales, and coordinates of the block close to the element on both the PC screen and the smartphone display—for example, the upper bound.
These are elements whose location changes only if a particular device with the specified screen parameters is used for viewing.
For example, if the page’s content “creeps away,” it makes sense to add and fix such a point.
Minimum and maximum values
On a mobile phone, the article can be displayed as it should. But here, you open the same page on a widescreen monitor, and the picture does not please you. Everything is stretched out; readability is out of the question.
For example, you can specify properties. If the screen width is less than 1000 pixels, the content should be displayed on the entire screen. Otherwise, the maximum width will be 1000 pixels.
It happens that you need to use many elements that depend on the position of other blocks. It’s hard to control. You can nest such objects in one container. This is suitable for snags you do not want to adapt to screen parameters – buttons, logos, etc.
Web fonts look beautiful. But do not forget that they are all loaded. This affects the page loading speed of the user.
Proper use of raster and vector graphics
If the picture has many small details, use a raster format—otherwise, vector.
But not a single picture should be used without optimization – compression. Vector images are usually already compressed. But not all older browsers support them.
Compliance with layout sizes
There are general standards on what basic dimensions it is customary to focus on when developing a layout.
In responsive design, there is such a thing as breakpoints. These are the parameters that are passed in the media functions. Indicate at what resolutions the design changes.
The following are considered standards:
- For mobile, 320px, 480 px.
- For tablets, 768px.
- For netbooks and some tablets, 1024px.
- For personal computers, 1280px or more.
Binding to a specific resolution is not hard. Depends on device settings and parameters.
Sometimes there is no need to create a layout for intermediate resolutions, for example, 480px, if the form is displayed correctly in the 768 – 320px.
If the layout “breaks” on a particular gadget is displayed incorrectly at a different resolution, the actual values for this screen are taken as the breakpoints.
What is needed in a website to make it responsive
To make a website responsive, you will need to use responsive design techniques such as flexible layouts, flexible images, media queries, mobile-first design, smart scroll, dark mode standardized, and minimalistic design.
Flexible layouts, also known as responsive layouts, are essential to creating a responsive website. A responsive layout is a design that adjusts to the size of the user’s screen, ensuring that the website looks good and is easy to use on a wide range of devices, from desktop computers to smartphones.
Designers and developers use a combination of grid-based layouts, flexible images, and media queries to create a flexible structure.
Grid-based layouts involve dividing the webpage into a series of rows and columns and setting the width of the columns to a percentage of the screen size. This allows the layout to adjust automatically to the screen size so that the elements on the page are always arranged in an organized and visually appealing way.
Flexible images are designed to resize and scale to fit the size of the user’s screen. They are an essential part of creating a responsive website, as they allow the images on the website to look good and be easy to see on any device, from desktop computers to smartphones.
To create a flexible image, designers and developers use the max-width property in CSS, setting it to 100%. This ensures that the painting will always scale to fit the screen size but will not exceed its original scope.
Flexible images are handy for large, high-resolution images that may not be suitable for smaller screens. By using flexible images, designers and developers can ensure that the photos on their website look good and are easy to see on any device while still preserving the quality and resolution of the original image.
It’s important to use flexible images carefully, as they can cause performance issues if not used correctly. For example, using too many large, high-resolution images on a webpage can cause the page to load slowly, frustrating users. To avoid this issue, it’s a good idea to optimize the web images and use appropriate image file formats, such as JPEG or PNG.
Media queries are a feature of CSS that allows designers and developers to apply different styles to a website based on the size of the user’s screen. They are an essential part of creating a responsive website, as they allow the website to adapt to the size of the screen and provide an optimal viewing experience for the user.
To use media queries, designers and developers specify a set of styles that should be applied when certain conditions are met. For example, they might determine that a particular layout should be used when the screen is less than 600 pixels wide or that a specific font size should be used when it is at least 1200 pixels wide.
Media queries can be used to apply styles based on various factors, including the width and height of the screen, the device type, and the device’s orientation. This allows designers and developers to create websites tailored to the specific needs of different devices and screen sizes.
Media queries are essential for creating responsive websites that work well and look good on a wide range of devices.
Mobile-first design is a design approach that involves designing a website or application to work well on small screens, such as smartphones, first and then adapting the design for larger screens, such as desktop computers. The goal of mobile-first design is to ensure that the website or application is usable and easy to navigate on all devices, with a particular focus on users’ needs.
There are several reasons why mobile-first design is essential. Firstly, the number of people accessing the Internet on mobile devices is increasing, and websites and applications need to be accessible and easy to use. Secondly, designing for smaller screens first can help focus the design process and ensure that only the most essential elements are included, leading to a more streamlined and effective user experience.
To implement a mobile-first design approach, designers and developers should start by creating a design that works well on small screens and then build up from there, adding additional features and functionality as needed for larger screens. This can involve using responsive design techniques, such as flexible layouts, flexible images, and media queries, to ensure that the website or application looks good and is easy to use on a wide range of devices.
The smart scroll is a feature that allows a webpage to scroll automatically to a specific point or element when a user arrives at the page. It can be a practical approach to creating responsive websites. It can help direct the user’s attention to a specific page part or navigate to a particular section more quickly.
Using smart scroll carefully is crucial, as it can disrupt the user’s experience if not implemented properly. For example, if the page scrolls too quickly or unexpectedly, it can disorient the user. It’s also a good idea to provide the user with a way to disable the smart scroll feature if they prefer not to use it.
To ensure that smart scroll works well on a responsive website, it’s essential to test the implementation thoroughly on various devices and screen sizes. This will help ensure that the feature works well and is easy for users on all devices.
The dark mode is a design feature that allows users to switch the color scheme of a website or application from light to dark. It can be a practical approach for creating responsive websites, as it can help to reduce strain on the eyes when using a device in low light conditions, and it can also help to save battery life on devices with OLED displays.
To implement dark mode on a responsive website, designers and developers can use media queries to apply different styles to the website based on the user’s preference for light or dark mode. For example, they might use a media query to apply a dark color scheme to the website when the user has enabled dark mode in their browser or operating system.
It’s essential to use high-contrast colors that are easy to read in both light and dark modes, as this will help ensure that the site’s content is easily legible for users, regardless of which color scheme they prefer.
In addition to using media queries, it’s also a good idea to provide users with an option to switch between light and dark modes within the user interface. This can be done through a toggle button or other control, and it should be prominently displayed so that users can easily find it.
Finally, it’s essential to thoroughly test the dark mode implementation to ensure that it works well and looks good on various devices and screen sizes. This will help to ensure that users have a good experience when using the site or application in dark mode.
Minimalistic design can be a practical approach for creating responsive websites, as it helps to focus the user’s attention on the essential design elements and makes sense of simplicity and clarity.
To create a minimalistic, responsive website, designers and developers should use a limited color palette, straightforward typography, and clean, uncluttered layouts. This can involve using grid-based designs and flexible images to ensure that the website adjusts to the size of the screen and looks good on any device.
It’s also important to use white space effectively, as this can help to create a sense of simplicity and focus. Using large amounts of white space can also make the website feel more spacious and easier to navigate, which can be particularly important on small screens.
In addition to these design elements, it’s also a good idea to use a mobile-first design approach, where the website is designed to work well on small screens first and then enhanced for larger screens. This helps ensure the website is usable and easy to navigate on all devices.
In conclusion, creating a responsive website involves using a combination of techniques, such as flexible layouts, flexible images, media queries, and a mobile-first design approach, to ensure that the website looks good and is easy to use on a wide range of devices, from desktop computers to smartphones.
Design elements such as minimalistic design and dark mode can also be used to create a responsive website that is visually appealing and easy to use.
It’s essential to test the responsive website thoroughly to ensure it works well and looks good on various devices and screen sizes. This will help to ensure that users have a good experience when using the website on any device.
Introduction – what is mCommerce
mCommerce (mobile commerce) refers to the buying and selling goods and services through mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. This type of commerce has emerged due to the widespread use of mobile devices and the growing number of people who use their mobile devices for shopping and other transactions.
mCommerce offers consumers the convenience of shopping from anywhere and at any time and the ability to compare prices and products easily. It also allows businesses to reach and engage customers and sell their products and services through mobile channels.
Examples of mCommerce activities include purchasing items through a mobile app, making payments using a mobile device, and using mobile wallets and digital currencies for transactions. The development of mCommerce has also been facilitated by advancements in mobile technology, such as the widespread availability of high-speed internet and the growth of mobile payment systems.
Types of mCommerce
There are several types of mCommerce, including:
- Mobile Shopping: This involves purchasing goods and services directly through a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet. This can be done through mobile-optimized websites or dedicated mobile shopping apps.
- Mobile Payments: This refers to using a mobile device to make payments for goods and services. This can include mobile banking, mobile wallets, and mobile payment systems such as Apple Pay, Google Wallet, and Samsung Pay.
- Mobile Banking: This allows consumers to access their bank accounts and perform financial transactions through their mobile devices, such as checking account balances, transferring money, and paying bills.
- Mobile Advertising: This involves using mobile devices to deliver advertisements to consumers. This can include banner ads, pop-ups, and in-app advertisements.
- Mobile Ticketing: This refers to using mobile devices to purchase and manage tickets for concerts, sporting events, and transportation.
- Mobile Couponing: This involves using mobile devices to access and redeem digital coupons for discounts on goods and services.
- Mobile Marketplaces: These refer to online platforms that allow consumers to purchase goods and services through their mobile devices. Examples include Amazon, eBay, and Etsy.
Each of these types of mCommerce plays a role in the growing trend of mobile commerce and helps to provide consumers with a more convenient and seamless shopping experience.
Pros of mCommerce
Here are some of the critical advantages of mCommerce:
- Convenience: mCommerce allows consumers to shop from anywhere, anytime, using their mobile devices. This offers consumers a convenient and hassle-free shopping experience.
- Increased Reach: mCommerce allows businesses to reach new customers who may not have access to traditional retail stores. This can help companies to expand their customer base and increase sales.
- Improved Customer Engagement: mCommerce provides businesses with new opportunities to engage with customers through mobile channels, such as mobile apps and social media. This can help companies build stronger customer relationships and increase customer loyalty.
- Personalized Shopping Experience: mCommerce enables businesses to provide a customized shopping experience for their customers using data such as past purchases and browsing history.
- Faster Transactions: mCommerce enables consumers to make purchases and complete transactions more quickly and efficiently without the need to visit a physical store.
- Enhanced Customer Insights: mCommerce provides businesses with valuable insights into customer behavior and preferences, which can be used to improve marketing and sales efforts.
- Increased Product Availability: mCommerce enables businesses to offer their customers a broader range of products and services, as customers can easily compare products and prices from multiple sellers.
- Cost Savings: mCommerce can help businesses to reduce their costs by streamlining their operations and reducing the need for physical stores and inventory.
These advantages demonstrate the many benefits that mCommerce can bring to consumers and businesses, making it an essential aspect of the modern retail industry.
Cons of mCommerce
Here are some of the critical disadvantages of mCommerce:
- Security Concerns: Using mobile devices for transactions and financial information can expose customers to security risks, such as identity theft and fraud.
- Limited Screen Size: Mobile devices have limited screen sizes, making it difficult for customers to view products and make informed purchasing decisions.
- Technical Issues: Technical issues such as slow loading times, poor network connectivity, and software compatibility problems can impact the customer experience and limit the potential for mCommerce.
- Dependence on Mobile Devices: mCommerce is reliant on mobile devices, which can limit the accessibility of products and services for customers who do not have access to or are not comfortable using mobile devices.
- User Experience Challenges: The design and functionality of mCommerce apps and websites can play a critical role in the customer experience. Poorly designed or confusing interfaces can reduce the appeal of mCommerce and limit its potential.
- Privacy Concerns: mCommerce can raise privacy concerns as businesses collect and store customer data, including personal information and transaction history.
- Cost of Development: Developing and maintaining mCommerce apps and websites can be costly, limiting the potential for smaller businesses to participate in the mCommerce market.
These disadvantages highlight some of the challenges businesses and consumers may face with adopting mCommerce. However, many of these challenges can be addressed through careful planning, investment in technology and security, and the development of user-friendly mCommerce solutions.
How to get the most profit with mCommerce
Security and the user’s desire to continue shopping go hand in hand. Protecting customer data is a top concern for a mobile commerce business owner. No one wants to be the victim of identity theft or fraudulent debiting.
The worst enemy of a smartphone owner is manual input. Especially when it comes to entering bank card data when paying for goods; this is often encountered when buying on websites.
One of the significant advantages of m-commerce is the ability to pay with a bank card and with the help of mobile electronic wallets (Apple Pay, Android Pay), avoiding input errors and saving time.
It is worth looking at the application from different angles: through the eyes of both the buyer and the business owner. The user must understand that you, for your part, are aiming to make a profit and build long-term relationships with him. This will be facilitated by surveys about the quality of service, feedback forms, a welcome guide when you first open the application.
Mobile applications for retail offer convenient tools for tracking statistics. If websites require the connection of devices for collecting business statistics, such as Google Analytics, then mobile solutions allow you to analyze KPIs without third-party services. You can find out: the most popular product categories, time spent in the app, conversion rate, used mobile traffic, etc.
As a result, you will get to know your target audience better and understand their needs. By learning more about your customers, you can earn their loyalty.
The mobile application acts as a communication channel with customers and provides close interaction, thanks mainly to custom error reporting and social media integration. In addition, linking social networks and mail services to the application will simplify the registration of new users if you take care of the possibility of authorization through Facebook or Gmail.
Statistics for sales growth with mCommerce
These statistics demonstrate the rapid growth of mCommerce, its increasing impact on the retail industry, and the growing importance of mobile commerce for consumers and businesses. As more and more consumers adopt mobile devices and use them for shopping and other transactions, the sales growth of mCommerce will likely continue to rise in the coming years.
- Mobile commerce sales are expected to reach $3.56 trillion in 2023.
- In 2021, mobile commerce accounted for approximately 39% of all eCommerce sales worldwide.
- Over 80% of internet users own a smartphone and spend an average of 3 hours per day using it for various activities.
- In 2021, mobile app revenue was estimated to reach $157 billion, with 90% of this revenue generated by in-app purchases.
- Mobile payments are increasing, with an estimated 1.6 billion users worldwide in 2021.
- Mobile shopping app downloads are expected to reach over 8.5 billion by 2023.
- In 2021, the average order value of a mobile commerce transaction was approximately $123.
- Approximately 60% of all online searches are conducted through mobile devices.
- Mobile commerce sales in the US are expected to reach $774 billion in 2023, a significant increase from $601 billion in 2022.
- In the Asia-Pacific region, mCommerce sales are expected to reach $2.07 trillion in 2023, a significant increase from $1.52 trillion in 2022.
- In Europe, mCommerce sales are expected to reach $716 billion in 2023, a significant increase from $556 billion in 2022.
Trends in mCommerce 2023
Mobile commerce accounts for 73% of the global e-commerce market and has already become the audience’s preferred shopping channel. And what trends and features will attract even more users to the retail mobile app?
Discounts on every screen
Over the past year, the consumer activity of the population has fallen, and many users have switched to a savings model. According to the study, 71% of respondents preferred to avoid spending extra on clothes, 66% saved on entertainment outside the home, and 65% began to visit catering establishments less often.
The desire to save money on the client’s part can be beneficially used in marketing communications. Based on the user journey map in mobile retail applications, it has been observed that the buyer adds more products to the cart when he sees that he is saving. For example, the catalog of the OZON app is dominated by discounted products. In the basket, the discount amount is highlighted in red, and the user immediately sees the benefit for each item.
The user feels excellent savings, which motivates him to buy more than necessary.
The Bristol mobile app also focuses on special offers and discounts. Along with the product catalog, the user sees a dynamic loyalty card that displays the available deal for the buyer.
Personalization is a trend that will continue to grow strongly in 2023. A targeted greeting by name and a personal account with personal birthday discounts have long been mandatory in applications. How else can you personalize communication?
About 42% of brands plan to offer personalized product recommendations to their customers through tools such as quizzes.
For example, cosmetics company Jones Road, which sells products through its DTC store, uses a “Find My Shade” quiz to collect data. In the mobile version of the site, users answer questions about skin type and makeup preferences. And the result is a personalized product recommendation, and an Add to Cart button.
You can also use customer data to send push notifications.
It has been found that such push notifications increase the engagement of user actions in the application by 88%. They also affect customer retention: 65% of users return to the app within 30 days of receiving a push notification.
Video showing a product is gradually replacing photo content. In e-commerce applications, it develops in the format of Stories in a banned social network and video demonstrations. With the help of video, you can show the product in detail from all sides, as well as conduct a personal consultation, for example, in the mobile application of the Golden Apple network.
An analog of Stories is shotted. With the advent of shots, it is planned to increase the involvement of mobile application users and increase the share of redeemed orders.
Location-based service (LBS)
Location-based service (LBS) is a service that allows you to determine the current location of the user. Based on the geolocation data of the client, you can track the places he visits and use for marketing purposes. For example, send push notifications with discounts or promotions when a customer is in a shopping center where your point of sale is.
The location service can be integrated not only into a mobile application but also to ensure its operation in conjunction with a virtual discount card. Such a function can be especially relevant in a large shopping center. In a push notification, you can specify the floor on which the outlet is located or other data that can be used to find the desired store quickly. And, of course, such notifications allow you to return customers who spent a significant amount of time in the store and left it empty-handed.
According to Spiceworks, more than 60% of companies in Europe and North America use biometrics to protect their data and consider this method more secure than a pin or combination of login and password.
Biometric authentication is rapidly becoming a popular component of multi-factor authentication strategies. It combines strong authentication with a user-friendly user interface.
The trend toward using AR and VR technologies has dominated in recent years and will continue to develop in 2023.
One of the most popular augmented reality games back in 2016 was the Pokemon Go mobile app. Then Snapchat and Instagram adapted the technology by releasing masks.
AR and VR technologies will be relevant for retail applications.
Apple and IKEA are already working on an app showing IKEA furniture in a customer’s home. It will use Apple’s ARKit. This means that new items will first be available through the app. Also, these technologies are widely implemented in industry, for example, simulation and elimination of emergencies.
According to ResearchAndMarkets, the mobile augmented reality (MAR) market was valued at $10.7 billion in 2020 and will grow to $230.6 billion by 2027. At the moment, the fastest-growing vertical sector for technology adoption is education.
Beacon technology is a current way to communicate with users’ smartphones offline using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). Beacons are transmitters that connect to computerized devices via Bluetooth. Initially, they were used to notify customers about the most advantageous offers in retail outlets. Today, the range of lighthouses has expanded.
Beacons are installed in shopping malls, airports, hospitals, and other locations. When the user’s mobile phone enters the coverage area of the beacon, the device sends relevant information to the user’s phone: promotion notification, location map, etc.
BLE technology allows such a tag to interact with multiple devices simultaneously. Using beacons, you can automate the collection of information about customers, improve UX and increase user engagement.
Business owners invest in developing mobile applications for trading for many reasons. Applications provide a more significant ROI, increase customer loyalty and engagement, help promote, and make the site more recognizable.
A retail application is an essential attribute of modern business. Shortly, about two-thirds of online purchases will be made through mobile devices, which seems an excellent reason to start developing an m-commerce application.
What is PHP?
PHP is a general-purpose scripting language used in web development. He has been predicted to die for years, but PHP is still one of the most common programming languages. It is used in 77% of all pages on the Internet, and not all of it is legacy.
The author of the language is a Canadian of Danish origin, Rasmus Lerdorff. PHP is a recursive acronym of PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor (having originally a meaning given by its creators, Personal Home Page). PHP was first released in 1995.
PHP has weak implicit dynamic typing. This means that the interpreter determines the variables during program execution. Different types can be mixed into one expression, and they will be converted automatically.
In practice, this allows the language to be flexible and scalable. PHP code is written quickly, especially since it has a simple syntax. Scripts will work even if they contain blunders, although at the risk of unpredictable results.
As a server-side language, PHP is mainly used for the backend development of websites, web applications, and services of any complexity. Initially used to serve personal web pages, it has long been used in large-scale projects such as Wikipedia, TED, Avito, Yahoo, Badoo, and BlaBlaCar. Facebook also uses PHP.
Sites in PHP are written directly and with the help of popular CMS created in this language, such as WordPress, Drupal, 1C-Bitrix, and partly Joomla.
Advantages of PHP
- Big community. The language has the fifth-largest community on Stack Overflow. If a question or problem arises, then on the Internet, someone has likely published an answer or a ready-made solution. Finding reference information will be fine.
- Simple syntax and low entry threshold. Writing code in PHP takes a little time, and you can make your first site on it after a month of training. PHP is often chosen as the first language.
- Many libraries and frameworks extend the capabilities of the language and automate processes. Among them, for example, Laravel, Symfony, and Yii2.
- Demand. There are a lot of vacancies – only on HeadHunter are there more than 3.5 thousand of them. Also, salaries for PHP developers are growing faster than for developers in other languages.
- Dynamic development. New versions of PHP are constantly released, in which shortcomings are fixed, and new features appear.
Disadvantages of PHP
- Low speed. Due to dynamic typing, PHP code runs slowly and consumes a lot of RAM. In PHP 7 and PHP 8, it has been optimized and made more than twice as fast as previous versions. PHP 8 also introduced the JIT compilation.
- It is easy to make a mistake; you need to be careful. This is the other side of the simplicity and flexibility of the language. Since the language forgives many mistakes, it is easy to make them, but it can be challenging to catch them. However, since PHP 7, it is possible to enable strong typing.
- PHP is slowly but surely losing popularity. If five years ago, according to the TIOBE index, it was in seventh place; now, it is only in tenth. In its niche, it has to compete with other languages, such as Go.
What does and what must know a PHP developer?
The PHP developer is responsible for the development and maintenance of the resource. The primary responsibilities are:
- Creation of sites, individual pages, or modules, as well as testing their performance
- Preparation of technical reports
- Implementation of additional external and internal systems on the site
- Optimizing the web resource and technical support (improving performance, security, etc.)
- Website launch and its further administration
- Search and elimination of operational errors
- Improving functionality
- Interaction with other professionals
A general list of what a PHP developer should know and do is as follows:
- Work with composer – package manager for PHP, a set of ready-made scripts for work.
- Create autotests to check the written code to make sure it works.
- Provide code flexibility and optimization, eliminating “garbage” and making pages run faster.
- Use MVC (Model-View-Controller) algorithms – interface separation models, data distribution schemes, and control logic.
- Know and use at least 3-5 frameworks: Laravel, CodeIgniter, yii2, Symfony, Zend, etc.
- Apply Ajax – building dynamic user interfaces for web applications.
- Implement efficient load distribution.
- Know popular engines (CMS) for creating websites: WordPress, Joomla!, MODx, Drupal, and others.
- Be able to manage the MySQL database: connection, selection, sending commands, and processing results.
- Work with database architecture, normalizing them and creating nested queries.
- Know the main programming patterns, understanding which of them in a given situation solves the problem faster.
Soft skills of a PHP developer
In addition to technical skills, soft skills are also crucial for a PHP developer to have. PHP developer is usually working in teams. Therefore, such an employee must be able to communicate with people, keep in touch and find a common language with everyone. Leadership qualities in the chosen field will also be reasonable.
Here are some soft skills to look for when hiring a PHP developer:
- Communication skills: A PHP developer should be able to communicate effectively with team members, clients, and stakeholders. Good communication skills help ensure everyone is on the same page and that project goals are being met.
- Attention to detail: A PHP developer should have a keen eye for detail and be able to spot errors and bugs in code. They should also be able to write clean, efficient, and well-structured code.
- Teamwork and collaboration: PHP development often involves working as part of a team, so a PHP developer needs to be able to work collaboratively with others. They should be able to share their knowledge, ask for help when needed, and be willing to contribute to team projects.
- Time management: A PHP developer should be able to manage their time effectively, prioritize tasks, and meet deadlines. They should be able to balance multiple projects and tasks while still producing high-quality work.
- Problem-solving skills: A PHP developer should be able to think critically and solve problems creatively. They should be able to identify and troubleshoot code issues and find efficient and effective solutions.
- Learning mindset: A PHP developer should have a growth mindset and be willing to learn new technologies and techniques. They should be able to stay up-to-date with the latest trends in web development and be committed to continuous learning and improvement.
- Stress resistance: Web development can be a high-pressure environment, with tight deadlines and competing demands. A PHP developer who can remain calm and focused under pressure can help keep the project on track and ensure deadlines are met. They should be able to prioritize tasks, manage their time effectively, and not be deterred by setbacks.
- Self-discipline: PHP development requires a high degree of self-discipline, as developers often work independently and need to manage their own time and workload. A self-disciplined PHP developer can set goals, manage their time effectively, and stay focused on the task at hand. They should be able to work independently, without close supervision, and still deliver high-quality work on time.
By looking for these soft skills in a PHP developer, you can ensure that you hire someone who is technically proficient and a valuable team member who can contribute to your project’s success. A PHP developer can not only be a highly effective team member but also help ensure your project’s success. When hiring a PHP developer, look for these skills and technical proficiency to ensure that you hire someone well-rounded and capable of working in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment.
Finding a good PHP developer
Finding a great programmer is a big problem. One does not meet the qualifications, the other delays the deadlines, and the third does not respond to messages. Many commonplace things are skipped by recruiters, even in large companies. And if you’re interviewing without an expert in the proper discipline, or if you have a small startup trying to hire one of the first suitable employees, everything becomes twenty times more difficult. Finding a worthy and experienced specialist without extensive knowledge in the industry is not a trivial task.
But first, if you want to avoid training a developer from scratch, you need to look for candidates with at least 2-3 years of experience (better, of course, 5). So that they can create a new product themselves, take responsibility, and make architectural decisions. Ideally, the employee you call for the first interview has already worked in large firms, participated in large projects, and received the necessary mentoring. If you hire a freelancer, he must have several sites in his portfolio (worthy or not – we will check this now).
The excellent candidate must do the following things:
- Focus on security issues. Your backend is your everything. A great developer not only solves the task assigned to him but also protects the product from potential dangers. He needs to know about SQL injections, XSS attacks, session hijacking, CSRF, etc. Talk to him about these topics, and everything will become clear.
- Application of frameworks. Only those who are entirely “starred” refuse them because their use increases the purity of the code and allows you to complete the task much faster.
- Using ready-made solutions. Again, there is nothing shameful in this; on the contrary: it saves time, and their high-quality adaptation to your project may be more successful than writing new code. If you are looking for a programmer for a startup team, this is all the more useful.
- Constant learning. Backend development is constantly evolving. New technologies appear PHP1 changes to PHP 7.0. A candidate at the forefront of technology just a few years ago may now be in the dustbin of history. If a person reads profile sites, visits Habr, and studies new frameworks, this is a big bonus for him. A conservative web developer living only in technology five years ago is not your candidate (even if you are working for them now).
Top Tips for hiring a PHP developer
Hiring a PHP developer can be challenging, especially if you need a technical background. Here are some top tips to help you hire the right PHP developer for your project:
- Clearly define your project requirements: Before you start looking for a PHP developer, you must clearly understand what you want to achieve with your project. This will help you identify the skills and experience essential for the PHP developer you are looking for.
- Check their portfolio and references: Ask for examples of their previous work and references from their past clients. This will give you an idea of their style, strengths, and weaknesses.
- Conduct technical interviews: Conduct technical interviews to assess the candidate’s knowledge of PHP and web development. You can ask them to write a small program or ask them to explain the process of developing a particular feature.
- Consider cultural fit: It’s essential to hire a PHP developer who fits well with your company culture and has good communication skills. Look for candidates who are passionate, motivated, and have a positive attitude.
- Evaluate problem-solving skills: Evaluate their problem-solving skills by asking them to solve coding problems or provide solutions to real-world problems. This can give you an idea of their approach to problem-solving and their ability to think creatively.
- Hire based on potential: Finally, it’s essential to hire a PHP developer based on their potential to grow and learn. Look for candidates who are eager to learn new technologies and are committed to professional development. This will ensure that your project remains relevant and up-to-date in the long run.
In conclusion, hiring the right PHP developer can be challenging, but with the right approach and preparation, you can find the best candidate for your project. It’s essential to clearly define your project requirements, look for experience and skills, check the candidate’s portfolio and references, conduct technical interviews, consider cultural fit, evaluate problem-solving skills, and hire based on potential.
By following these tips, you can identify the best PHP developer for your project who will bring value to your team, positively impact your business, and ensure the success of your project. Remember that finding the right candidate takes time and effort, so be patient and thorough in your search and only settle for the best.
What is Infrastructure as Code (IaC)?
Infrastructure as Code (IaC) manages and provides infrastructure resources using code and software development practices, such as servers, networking, and storage. Rather than manually configuring servers and infrastructure components, IaC involves defining the desired state of the infrastructure in code, which can then be version-controlled, tested, and deployed using automation tools.
IaC is often used in cloud computing environments, where resources are typically provisioned and managed through APIs rather than physical hardware. By using IaC, teams can automate the deployment and management of infrastructure resources, making it easier to maintain consistency across environments, roll out updates and changes, and reduce the risk of errors and downtime.
IaC can involve a variety of tools and technologies, including configuration management tools like Ansible, Puppet, and Chef, infrastructure provisioning tools like Terraform and CloudFormation, and container orchestration tools like Kubernetes. IaC can also incorporate testing and continuous integration and deployment (CI/CD) practices to ensure that changes are tested and validated before being deployed to production.
IaC offers several benefits to organizations looking to streamline their infrastructure management processes and increase efficiency and reliability. By treating infrastructure as code, teams can more easily collaborate, automate routine tasks, and reduce the risk of human error, ultimately leading to more stable and scalable infrastructure environments.
IaC is a process for managing and provisioning data centers and servers using machine-readable definition files, designed as an alternative to physical hardware configuration and human-operated tools. Now, instead of running a hundred different configuration files, IaC allows us to run a script that brings up a thousand other machines every morning and then automatically scales down the infrastructure to an acceptable evening scale in the evening.
It allows engineering teams to quickly create and version infrastructure the same way as regular code and keep track of those versions to avoid inconsistencies between environments. Commands usually do this in the following way:
- Developers define and write infrastructure specs in a domain-specific language.
- Generated files are sent to the management API, controller server, or code repository.
- Then an IaC tool such as Pulumi does whatever it takes to create and configure the required compute resources.
For IaC to work, it is necessary to describe the future infrastructure, interpret the code, and distribute the settings. This can be done in two ways.
- Declarative approach. In the declarative approach, the administrator describes the system’s final state in code. Automation does the rest: it interprets the configuration files, determines the current state of the system, compares it with the desired one, and brings the infrastructure to it.
- Imperative approach. The critical method involves writing an algorithm – a sequence of specific actions to configure the system. More work, but in return, you get maximum control over the deployment process.
There are two methods of IaC which mainly differ in the manner the servers are told how to be configured:
- Push model. There is a specific central server from which you can launch the application of the configuration, bypass the infrastructure objects in turn and bring them to the required state. This model does not require any initial infrastructure setup, but changes are slower to propagate because the process depends on a single server.
- Pull model. An agent is installed on each infrastructure object, which monitors the appearance of new configurations, takes them from the central server, and applies them independently.
Advantages of IaC
With this high level of competition generating the need for improvement, IaC tools are constantly innovating to deliver more value to end users. The most significant benefits for teams using IaC can be summarized in a few key features:
- Speed and cost reduction: IaC enables faster infrastructure configuration and aims to provide transparency to help other teams across the enterprise work faster and more efficiently. This frees up expensive resources for other essential tasks.
- Scalability and Standardization: IaC delivers stable environments quickly and satisfactorily. Development teams do not need to resort to manual configuration – they ensure correctness by describing the required state of the settings using code. Infrastructure deployments with IaC are repeatable and prevent runtime issues caused by configuration drift or missing dependencies. IaC completely standardizes the infrastructure setup, which reduces the possibility of errors or deviations.
- Security and documentation: If code is responsible for provisioning all compute, network, and storage services, they will be deployed the same way every time. This means that security standards can be quickly and consistently applied across companies. IaC also serves as a form of documentation about the right way to build infrastructure and insurance in case employees leave your company with important information. Because code can be versioned, IaC allows you to document, log, and track every change to your server’s configuration.
- Disaster recovery: The name says it all – it’s essential. IaC is a highly effective way to keep track of your infrastructure and redeploy it to the last healthy state after a failure or disaster. Anyone who has been waking up at 4 a.m. because their website is down will tell you that the importance of recovering quickly after your infrastructure has gone down cannot be underestimated.
There are more specific benefits for individual setups, but in general, IaC significantly impacts engineering teams’ workflows. Implementing IaC to manage your infrastructure can be a decisive competitive advantage.
Disadvantages of IaC
There are four fundamental limitations when implementing IaC:
- Logic and Conventions: Your developers still need to understand IaC scripts, whether written in HashiCorp Configuration Language (HCL) or plain Python or Ruby. The bottom line is that they should only understand a few different languages but rather understand and apply generally accepted logic and conventions. Suppose even a relatively small part of your engineering team is unfamiliar with the declarative approach (we often see this in large enterprises with legacy systems like . NET) or any of the other basic IaC concepts. In that case, you will likely find yourself in a situation where Ops and those who understand them to become a bottleneck. The onboarding and rapid scaling phase can be problematic if your setup requires everyone to understand these scripts to deploy their code.
- Maintainability and traceability: While IaC provides a great way to keep track of infrastructure changes and monitor things like infrastructure drift, maintaining an IaC setup becomes a challenge in and of itself when it reaches a particular scale (in our experience, if the number of developers exceeds a hundred). When IaC is widely used in an organization with multiple teams, tracking and versioning configurations are more challenging than they might seem at first glance.
- RBAC: Based on it, access control also becomes a challenge. Setting up roles and permissions in various parts of your organization that suddenly have access to scripts to deploy clusters and environments quickly can be quite challenging.
- Feature lag: Vendor-independent IaC tools (like Terraform) often lag features compared to vendor-specific products. This is because tool vendors need to update providers to fully embrace new cloud features being released at an ever-increasing pace. As a result, sometimes you can only use a new cloud feature if you 1) extend the functionality, 2) wait for the vendor to cover the functionality, or 3) introduce new dependencies.
How to boost deployment efficiency with IaC
Infrastructure as Code (IaC) can be used to improve deployment efficiency by streamlining the process of provisioning and managing infrastructure resources. Here are some ways in which IaC can help boost deployment efficiency:
- Automating infrastructure provisioning: With IaC, you can define the desired state of your infrastructure in code and use automation tools like Terraform, CloudFormation, or Ansible to provision and configure infrastructure resources automatically. This can save time and reduce the risk of human error, as manual provisioning can be time-consuming and error-prone.
- Enabling consistent and repeatable deployments: IaC allows you to define your infrastructure configuration as code, which can be version-controlled and deployed consistently across different environments. This helps ensure that the same infrastructure is deployed in every climate, reducing the risk of inconsistencies and errors.
- Testing and validating changes: IaC allows you to try and validate changes to your infrastructure code in a staging environment before deploying them to production. This can help catch errors and potential issues early on, reducing the risk of downtime and improving the overall reliability of your infrastructure.
- Simplifying updates and changes: With IaC, updating your infrastructure can be as simple as updating the code and running a deployment. This eliminates the need for manual updates and can reduce the time and effort required to make changes to your infrastructure.
- Streamlining collaboration: IaC enables teams to work together on infrastructure changes and deployments by defining infrastructure as code. This can help improve collaboration and communication, allowing teams to work more efficiently together and reduce the risk of miscommunication and errors.
In summary, by using IaC, organizations can reduce the time and effort required to provision and manage infrastructure resources while also improving the consistency, reliability, and scalability of their infrastructure. This can lead to more efficient deployments, fewer errors, and a more streamlined infrastructure management process.
What results are expected using IaC
Using Infrastructure as Code (IaC) can lead to several benefits and outcomes, including:
- Increased efficiency: IaC allows you to automate the provisioning and management of infrastructure resources, reducing the time and effort required to deploy and manage your infrastructure.
- Improved consistency: IaC helps ensure that the same infrastructure is deployed in every environment, reducing the risk of inconsistencies and errors.
- Reduced risk: By treating infrastructure as code, teams can reduce the risk of human error and the risk of security vulnerabilities and downtime caused by misconfigurations or other issues.
- Better scalability: IaC makes it easier to scale infrastructure up or down to meet changing needs, allowing you to quickly and easily add or remove resources as needed.
- Greater agility: By making it easier to deploy and manage infrastructure, IaC can enable teams to be more agile and responsive to changes in business requirements.
- Improved collaboration: IaC can streamline collaboration among teams, enabling them to work together on infrastructure changes and deployments more efficiently.
- Greater cost efficiency: IaC can help reduce infrastructure costs by optimizing resource usage and reducing the need for manual provisioning and management.
By using IaC, organizations can expect improved efficiency, consistency, scalability, and agility while reducing risk and enhancing collaboration and cost efficiency.
Good practices using IaC
Here are some best practices for using Infrastructure as Code (IaC):
- Define infrastructure as code: IaC involves defining infrastructure as code, which should be version-controlled, tested, and deployed using automation tools. This allows you to automate infrastructure provisioning and manage your infrastructure more efficiently.
- Use declarative rather than imperative code: Declarative code focuses on the desired state of infrastructure, while binding code specifies how to achieve that state. Declarative code is more flexible and easier to understand and helps ensure that infrastructure is deployed consistently across environments.
- Leverage modular design: Break down your infrastructure code into reusable modules to help reduce complexity and improve maintainability. This can make it easier to manage and deploy infrastructure resources.
- Test infrastructure code: Test your infrastructure code to ensure it works as expected and meets your requirements. This can help catch errors early on and reduce the risk of downtime caused by misconfigurations or other issues.
- Use continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD) practices: Incorporate CI/CD practices to automate testing, validation, and deployment of infrastructure changes. This can help ensure that changes are tested and validated before being deployed to production, reducing the risk of errors and downtime.
- Implement security best practices: Use security best techniques, such as implementing access controls, encrypting sensitive data, and scanning for vulnerabilities, to help ensure that your infrastructure is secure.
- Document your infrastructure code: Document your infrastructure code to make it easier to understand and maintain. This can also help onboard new team members and reduce the risk of knowledge loss.
By following these best practices, organizations can use IaC to streamline their infrastructure management processes, reduce the risk of errors and downtime, and improve their infrastructure’s overall efficiency and reliability.
In conclusion, Infrastructure as Code (IaC) is an approach to managing and provisioning infrastructure resources by defining them in code. This allows organizations to automate the provisioning and management of infrastructure, leading to increased efficiency, consistency, scalability, and agility, while reducing the risk of errors and downtime.
By defining infrastructure as code, teams can use automation tools to provision and manage infrastructure resources, test changes, and updates, and deploy infrastructure consistently across different environments. This can help organizations be more agile and responsive to changes in business requirements, reduce the risk of human error, and improve collaboration and communication among teams.
To get the most out of IaC, organizations should follow best practices, such as defining infrastructure as declarative code, using modular design, testing infrastructure code, implementing security best practices, and documenting code. By doing so, organizations can improve their infrastructure’s reliability, efficiency, and scalability and help ensure that their infrastructure resources meet business requirements and are secure and compliant.
What are low-code & no-code platforms?
Low-code and no-code platforms are software development tools that enable users to create software applications with minimal coding or programming. These platforms provide pre-built components, templates, drag-and-drop interfaces, and other visual development tools that simplify the process of building software applications.
Low-code platforms generally require some programming skills and allow developers to accelerate development by automating routine programming tasks. These platforms offer a visual interface, enabling developers to create user interfaces, workflows, and integrations with minimal coding. Low-code platforms can be used to build complex applications and typically require more technical expertise than no-code platforms.
On the other hand, no-code platforms are designed to be used by non-technical users, such as business analysts or citizen developers. These platforms provide a drag-and-drop interface and pre-built templates and components, enabling users to create applications without writing code. No-code platforms can be used to create simple applications or automate business processes, such as customer onboarding or invoicing.
Low-code and no-code platforms offer faster development times, increased efficiency, and reduced costs compared to traditional software development methods. They have become increasingly popular recently, especially as more businesses seek to digitize their operations and accelerate digital transformation.
How does low-code & no-code work?
Conventional software development has long been thorough and detailed work. Developers write single lines of code that represent instructions and data. They organize this code into functional procedures and modules that provide the software’s functionality.
This approach requires detailed knowledge of the entire application development spectrum: development languages, development environments such as IDEs and compilers, test and deployment tools, and the various policies and practices used to approach coding, testing, and deployment.
By comparison, low-code technology abstracts and encapsulates much of the programming knowledge required to create software. Instead of writing individual lines of code, users select reusable functional components from a menu using a visual drag-and-drop interface. They order and organize the available active components to form the intended software flow, like creating a flowchart for solving a business problem or task. Users can easily add, move or remove functional components to build the final process. At this stage, the low-code tool includes the base code and support tasks such as testing and deployment.
The main benefit of low-code development over traditional application development is the cost and time savings that allow an enterprise to deliver certain products and features faster and at a lower price. Many reasons a business should continue using traditional development models, especially for complex or specialized enterprise software. Many projects require features and operations, such as performance optimizations, that do not easily fit into low-code approaches. The amount of work to create and modify low-code code to meet these requirements cannot be justified.
Low code or no code: Low code techniques can simplify and speed up many everyday business programming tasks, but low code is not meant to eliminate all coding. Many low-code projects require some programming knowledge to either modify existing functional components or create new ones, as well as assemble components in specific ways that the low-code tool may not support.
Low-code and no-code systems are fundamentally identical, but there is a crucial difference: no-code systems aim to provide all the intended functionality and eliminate the need to add or change components. This means that users do not need programming knowledge. No-code systems are generally considered a subset of low-code platforms.
Pros of low-code and no-code platforms
- Accelerated development speed. Writing single lines of code and mastering complex syntax takes a lot of effort. Low-code allows practitioners to assemble complex ideas and workflows into packaged functions or components organized into a user-friendly visual interface. It can also speed up future updates and iterations of the project.
- Greater availability of staff. In most enterprises, highly skilled development talent is critical. Low-code allows less experienced programmers (or even non-programmers) to participate in the software development process. Any customization or manual coding required can often be done without professional developers’ support.
- Increased efficiency. Companies can use low-code to create tools for individual departments. For example, HR may need a tool to help model or predict payroll and benefits to make better-informed pay decisions.
- Inexpensive innovation. Similarly, companies can experiment with ideas that can be costly or time-consuming in traditional development—for example, creating a tool for marketing departments to analyze campaign costs versus responses and determine the most effective ways to reach customers.
- Placement of niche projects. Low-code can quickly and economically accommodate narrow applications and small user bases. For example, a business may need more funds to develop a tool used in the finance department, but low-code can provide an attractive option.
- Performance management, leadership, and compliance. Low-code platforms typically track and manage a software project and its associated elements. This makes it easier for the business to control development and establishes guidelines that help ensure business governance and compliance. Low-code platforms also typically provide tools, analytics, and reports that can help gather important insights into a project’s performance and usage, which can help teams plan upgrades and troubleshoot.
Cons of low-code and no-code platforms
While low-code and no-code platforms offer many benefits, there are also some potential drawbacks and limitations to consider, including:
- Limited customization: While low-code and no-code platforms provide pre-built components and templates, they may offer a different level of customization than traditional programming approaches. This may limit the functionality or user experience of the final product.
- Integration challenges: Depending on the complexity of the application or business process being developed, integrating with existing systems and databases may be more difficult with a low-code or no-code platform. This may require additional programming or technical expertise.
- Security concerns: Low-code and no-code platforms may not provide the same level of security as more traditional programming methods. This may be especially important for applications that handle sensitive data or require compliance with specific regulations.
- Vendor lock-in: Using a low-code or no-code platform may require ongoing reliance on a specific vendor or platform. This can limit flexibility and result in additional costs or challenges if the platform is discontinued or no longer meets the organization’s needs.
- Learning curve: While low-code and no-code platforms are designed to be more accessible and easier to use than traditional programming methods, there may still be a learning curve for non-technical users. This may require additional training or resources to use the platform effectively.
Evaluating a project’s specific needs and requirements is essential before using a low-code or no-code platform. While these platforms offer many benefits, they may not be the best fit for every project or organization.
Where low-code and no-code platforms are used
Once the IT department and the business side define the business goals and align them with precise IT requirements, low-code projects can fill a lot of potential opportunities. Typical low-code applications include the following:
- Internet portals. Portals are a common and popular means for customers to interact with businesses, search for services or products, get quotes, check resource availability, schedule work or place orders, and make payments. Low code can help you quickly create an array of portals with standard interfaces or user interfaces instead of manually coding HTML and backends.
- Business systems. Companies rely on business systems and applications to complete day-to-day tasks. For example, a mortgage lending company uses a system to organize mortgage documents and paperwork, integrate assessments, and conduct credit checks and financial analyses of borrowers. Companies often buy a platform from a vendor or build it using traditional coding processes. Low-code offers a third option that helps enterprises build and add responsive and scalable applications and even migrate them to single or multi-cloud deployments.
- Digitized business processes. Traditional business processes based on paper or spreadsheets are time-consuming and error-prone. Companies can use low-code applications to capture the required information, pass information and requests through the company’s approval process, deliver results to requesters, and integrate with traditional business systems such as ERP. For example, low-code can optimize an application with a capital request.
- Mobile applications. With low-code, a company can create a wide range of mobile applications that present customer data and business interactions. For example, an insurance company’s mobile app allows customers to file claims and upload incident documentation from their smartphones, such as collision photos. Modern low-code platforms can assemble apps for both Android and iOS devices from the same project.
- Microservice Applications. The microservices architecture creates highly scalable applications from a number of independent components that communicate via APIs over the network. Details can be developed, deployed, and maintained independently, allowing faster development and easier upgrades with fewer regression tests than typical monolithic applications. Low-code is a viable platform for microservice-based components to quickly build and rethink core applications to improve performance and stability and to help transition traditional legacy code into modern, flexible microservice applications.
- Applications based on the Internet of things. Companies are trying to find ways to extract meaningful business data from the volumes of sensors and real devices that make up the Internet of Things (IoT) and monetize the resulting data or services. Companies can use low-code to create applications and functions that integrate IoT endpoints, collect data, send IoT data through backend computing infrastructures, and provide the resulting requests to internal or external clients. For example, a low-code horticultural application could use humidity and temperature sensors combined with data on cycles and growing conditions to control indoor lighting and watering crops automatically.
Can low-code & no-code platforms replace traditional software developers
The rise of low-code and no-code platforms has led to concerns about job displacement and whether these tools are stealing jobs from conventional software developers. However, the impact of low-code and no-code platforms on the job market is a complex issue with both potentially positive and negative effects.
On the positive side, low-code and no-code platforms have the potential to increase productivity and reduce the time and cost of software development. This could increase demand for software developers as businesses can complete more projects with fewer resources. Additionally, low-code and no-code platforms can enable non-technical users to create simple applications, freeing software developers to focus on more complex and strategic projects.
On the other hand, the increased availability and ease of use of low-code and no-code platforms could lead to some displacement of traditional software development jobs. For example, some routine programming tasks may be automated, and non-technical users may develop more straightforward applications without needing a dedicated software developer.
Overall, the impact of low-code and no-code platforms on the job market will depend on various factors, including the specific platform being used, the needs of the organization, and the level of technical expertise required for a given project. While low-code and no-code platforms are unlikely to replace traditional software development jobs completely, they may change the nature of the work and the skills required for success in the industry. As with any major technological shift, it will be essential to monitor the impact on the job market and to provide support for workers who may be affected by changes in the industry.
Conclusion – future of low-code and no-code platforms
Low-code helps enterprises fill this gap and create applications for specific business purposes with a broader range of IT and business involvement. According to analytics firm Gartner, low-code and no-code accounted for less than 25% of all app development in 2020 but will account for 75% by 2025. Over the same period, annual revenue for low-code and no-code platforms will grow from just over $9 billion to nearly $30 billion, Gartner predicts.
As low-code platforms evolve with more speed and automation, ensuring proper coding and defect management (testing and bug fixing) standards will drive additional testing capabilities and deepen test automation into the CI/CD pipeline.
Ultimately, the developer community must accept the reality of low-code business strategies. Developers should explore low-code platforms and work more closely with programmers to extend and customize low-code components. This requires improved communication and collaboration skills and the ability to interact with business personnel and even “civil developers” to build future enterprise applications.
What is collaboration software?
Collaboration software refers to tools and applications designed to facilitate teamwork and communication among individuals or teams in a work environment, even when they are not physically present in the exact location.
Collaboration software can include various features and functions, such as real-time messaging, video conferencing, screen sharing, file sharing, task management, project management, and more. These tools are typically used to help employees work together on projects and tasks, exchange ideas and feedback, and stay connected even if they are working remotely or from different locations.
Collaboration software includes popular tools like Slack, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Trello, Asana, Google Docs, and many others. Many of these tools are cloud-based, meaning they can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection and a compatible device, making it easy for remote teams to collaborate effectively.
How does collaboration software work?
Collaboration software provides tools and features that facilitate communication and teamwork among individuals or teams in a work environment. Here are some critical ways that collaboration software works:
- Real-time communication: Many collaboration tools provide real-time messaging or chat features, allowing team members to send and receive messages quickly and easily. Some devices also include video or voice conferencing capabilities, enabling team members to communicate face-to-face even if they are not in the exact physical location.
- File sharing and collaboration: Collaboration software often includes tools for sharing and collaborating on files, such as documents, spreadsheets, or presentations. Team members can work together on these files in real time, making changes and edits as needed.
- Task and project management: Many collaboration tools include features for managing tasks and projects, such as to-do lists, timelines, and project management dashboards. These features help team members stay organized and on track with their work.
- Integration with other tools: Collaboration software can often integrate with other devices and applications that a team may be using, such as email, calendar, or project management software. This can help streamline workflows and ensure that team members have access to all the information they need in one place.
Collaboration software is designed to make it easier for teams to work together effectively, regardless of their physical location or the specific tasks or projects they are working on. By providing a range of communication and productivity tools, collaboration software helps teams stay connected and productive.
Pros of collaboration software
There are many benefits to using collaboration software, including the following:
- Improved communication: Collaboration software provides various communication tools, including messaging, video conferencing, and file sharing, that can help team members communicate more effectively and stay connected even when they are not in the exact physical location.
- Increased productivity: By providing task and project management tools, collaboration software can help teams stay organized and on track with their work. This can lead to increased productivity and faster completion of tasks and projects.
- Better teamwork: Collaboration software can facilitate cooperation and collaboration among team members, enabling them to work together more effectively and share ideas and feedback in real time.
- More accessible remote work: Collaboration software can benefit remote teams, providing a way to stay connected and work together effectively even when team members work from different locations.
- Access to information: Collaboration software often includes features for sharing and collaborating on files, making it easier for team members to access and work on the same documents, spreadsheets, or presentations.
- Scalability: Collaboration software is often designed to be scalable, meaning it can accommodate teams of different sizes and adapt to changing needs over time.
Collaboration software can help teams work more effectively and efficiently while improving communication and collaboration among team members. By streamlining workflows and providing tools for task and project management, collaboration software can help teams be more productive and achieve their goals more quickly.
Cons of collaboration software
While collaboration software offers many benefits, there are also some potential drawbacks to using these tools. Here are some common cons of collaboration software:
- Learning curve: Collaboration software often includes many features and can be complex to use, so there may be a learning curve for team members unfamiliar with the software.
- Technical difficulties: Collaboration software can be affected by technical issues, such as slow internet connection or software glitches, which can disrupt team workflows and productivity.
- Security concerns: Collaboration software often involves sharing sensitive information and files, so there may be security concerns regarding data privacy, encryption, and access control.
- Over-reliance on technology: Collaboration software may lead to an over-reliance on technology, making it harder for team members to communicate and work together effectively without the software.
- Increased distractions: Collaboration software can also introduce new distractions, such as notifications or chat messages, that can disrupt team members’ focus and productivity.
- Cost: Some collaboration software may be expensive, especially if you must purchase licenses for multiple team members, which can be a barrier for smaller teams or organizations.
While collaboration software can be a powerful tool for improving communication and productivity, it is essential to be aware of these potential drawbacks and to address them as needed. By carefully evaluating different collaboration tools and assessing their fit for your team’s needs, you can ensure that you get the most out of your collaboration software while minimizing potential downsides.
What has been used up to that moment instead of collaboration software
Before the rise of collaboration software, many teams relied on email, phone calls, and in-person meetings to communicate and collaborate. While these methods can be effective, they also have their limitations.
Email, for example, can be slow and inefficient for real-time communication, and it can be difficult to track changes and collaborate on documents or projects. Phone calls and in-person meetings can be time-consuming and not feasible for remote teams or teams working across different time zones.
As a result, many teams turned to a range of specialized software tools to address specific collaboration needs, such as project management, team chat, or file sharing. However, these tools often lacked integration and could lead to information silos, making it difficult to collaborate across different devices or systems.
Collaboration software addresses these limitations by providing a unified platform for communication, project management, and document collaboration. By combining a range of collaboration features into a single tool, collaboration software makes it easier for teams to communicate and work together effectively, regardless of their location or time zone.
Today, collaboration software has become a critical tool for teams of all sizes and industries, enabling them to work together more efficiently and effectively.
Why do people need collaboration software?
People need collaboration software for several reasons, including:
- Communication: Collaboration software provides various communication tools, such as chat, video conferencing, and email, that enable team members to communicate and collaborate more effectively. These tools make sharing information, discussing ideas, and asking questions easier, improving overall team communication.
- Coordination: Collaboration software helps teams coordinate their work and stay on the same page. By providing tools for project management, task assignments, and file sharing, collaboration software makes it easier for team members to track progress, work on shared documents, and stay aligned on project goals.
- Remote work: Collaboration software is essential for remote teams, providing a way to work together effectively and stay connected even when team members work from different locations. Collaboration software enables remote teams to communicate in real time, share files, and collaborate on projects as if they were in the exact physical location.
- Efficiency: Collaboration software can help teams work more efficiently by streamlining workflows and eliminating redundant tasks. By automating tasks, reducing manual processes, and providing real-time information, collaboration software can help teams save time and work more productively.
- Innovation: Collaboration software can help foster innovation by enabling teams to share ideas, brainstorm, and work on new projects collaboratively. Collaboration software can help teams develop new products, services, and solutions by providing a platform for creative collaboration.
Collaboration software is essential for modern teams to communicate and work together effectively in the exact physical location or remotely. By providing a range of communication, coordination, and collaboration tools, collaboration software can help teams stay productive, innovative, and connected while achieving their goals more efficiently.
How the market starts growing using collaboration software
Collaboration software can help businesses in several ways to stimulate growth in the market. Here are some of the ways collaboration software can help:
- Improved Communication: Collaboration software enables employees to communicate more effectively and efficiently. It allows team members to share ideas, discuss projects, and work together on documents in real time. As a result, the quality of work improves, and the team’s productivity increases.
- Increased Efficiency: Collaboration software can streamline processes and automate repetitive tasks, which helps teams work more efficiently. For example, collaboration tools like project management software can help teams organize and prioritize tasks, assign responsibilities, and track progress.
- Better Decision Making: Collaboration software can help teams make better decisions by providing access to all the necessary information and expertise. For instance, a business can use a virtual meeting platform to bring stakeholders from different locations to discuss important decisions.
- Enhanced Innovation: Collaboration software enables teams to share knowledge, exchange ideas, and brainstorm new concepts. This can lead to innovative ideas and solutions to help the business grow and stand out in the market.
- Improved Customer Service: Collaboration software can also help businesses to provide better customer service. By enabling teams to collaborate more effectively, companies can respond more quickly to customer inquiries and resolve issues more efficiently.
Collaboration software can help businesses grow in the market by improving communication, increasing efficiency, enabling better decision-making, enhancing innovation, and improving customer service. By leveraging these benefits, companies can gain a competitive advantage and increase their market share.
Why collaboration software market share grows steadily
The collaboration software market has been increasing steadily for several years, and several key factors are driving this growth:
- Increasing demand for remote work: The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the trend toward remote work. Collaboration software has become essential for teams to communicate and work together effectively when working from home or other remote locations.
- Advances in technology: Advancements in technology, including cloud computing and mobile devices, have made it easier to access collaboration software from anywhere, at any time. This has made collaboration software more accessible and user-friendly for teams of all sizes.
- Shift towards digital transformation: Many companies are undergoing digital transformation efforts, which involve moving towards digital tools and processes. Collaboration software is vital to this shift, enabling teams to work more efficiently and effectively.
- Increased focus on productivity: Collaboration software can help improve productivity by providing tools for task and project management, communication, and file sharing. With productivity being a key focus for many organizations, the demand for collaboration software has increased.
- Competitive landscape: The collaboration software market is highly competitive, with many players offering a range of features and tools to attract and retain customers. This competition has driven innovation and improvements in collaboration software, making it more valuable and attractive to customers.
Collaboration software has become an essential tool for teams to work together effectively. Its market share is expected to grow as more companies embrace remote work, digital transformation, and productivity improvements.
In conclusion, collaboration software has become essential for businesses to improve their productivity, enhance communication, streamline processes, and boost innovation. With the growing trend of remote work and virtual teams, collaboration software has become even more critical in enabling effective communication and collaboration between employees, regardless of their location.
Collaboration software can benefit businesses in various ways, including improving decision-making, reducing costs, enhancing customer service, and increasing employee satisfaction. By utilizing collaboration software, companies can foster a culture of collaboration, encourage knowledge sharing, and improve overall performance.
Moreover, various types of collaboration software are available in the market, including project management tools, virtual meeting platforms, team messaging apps, and file-sharing software. Each type of collaboration software serves a unique purpose, and businesses must choose the right one to meet their specific needs.
Collaboration software has become indispensable for businesses looking to remain competitive and grow in the market. Its ability to enhance communication, increase productivity, and streamline processes makes it a must-have for any modern business.
What is a blockchain?
Blockchain (“chain of blocks”) is a technology for encrypting and storing data (registry), which are distributed over many computers connected to a common network.
Blockchain is a digital database of information that reflects all completed transactions. All records in the blockchain are presented in the form of blocks, which are interconnected by unique keys. Each new block contains data about the previous one.
Blockchain is used to store and transmit digital data. These can be financial and non-financial assets (for example, images or objects of the video game industry). Blockchain technology assigns unique asset information about its ownership to a specific person. At the same time, such information cannot be forged, deleted, or quietly changed.
How and when did blockchain appear
The basic principles of the blockchain (the distribution and combination of data about the authenticity of a document into blocks) were developed in the early 1990s based on even earlier mathematical concepts. In 1991-1992, American scientists Wakefield Scott Stornetta, Stuart Haber, and Dave Byer described the technology of sequential creation of data blocks, in which a certificate of authenticity and information about the date of generation is fixed using cryptographic algorithms and a hash tree. But at that time, there was no technical possibility for the practical implementation of this idea.
In 2004, the American programmer Harold Thomas Finney II developed the RPoW system, considered the cryptocurrency prototype. In October 2008, Satoshi Nakamoto (the pseudonym of a person or group of people), in a scientific article on the first cryptocurrency, bitcoin, proposed using blockchain technology to create a decentralized and independent payment system with a limited supply of assets. Bitcoin development began in 2007 and ended in 2009.
Blockchain technology became relevant when there was a need for fast and reliable digital data transfer.
How blockchain works
Blockchain allows each network member to have access to a distributed database. At the same time, the blockchain does not store the data itself but records events (transactions) chronologically. All new records are checked for authenticity – to be entered into the blockchain, most network participants must confirm them. Records are grouped into blocks, which are combined into chains. Data that has entered the blockchain cannot be changed or deleted without violating the integrity of the blockchain.
Types of blockchain
Blockchain can work both in a public (open) network, to which any user has access, and in a private (closed), for example, in a corporate network, in case of using confidential data. In private versions of the blockchain, different access levels for users and different complexity of information encryption can be provided. The most famous example of a public blockchain is Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Corporations use blockchain not only in the financial sector but also in other sectors, such as the entertainment industry (for issuing tickets) and healthcare (to protect patient data).
There are also hybrid networks that combine the properties of both open and closed networks.
Key operations in blockchain
Blockchain technology involves several key operations that enable it to function as a decentralized, immutable ledger. These operations include:
- Validation: The process of validating transactions involves confirming that a transaction is valid and meets specific criteria, such as verifying that the sender has enough funds to complete the transaction.
- Record Transaction: Once a transaction has been validated, it is added to the blockchain as a new block. The block contains a cryptographic hash of the previous block, creating a chain of blocks resistant to tampering.
- Consensus: Consensus is the process by which a network of nodes reaches an agreement on the state of the blockchain. In other words, it is agreeing on valid transactions and adding them to the blockchain.
- Mining: Mining is the process of adding new blocks to the blockchain. It involves solving complex mathematical problems using specialized software and hardware. Once a block is successfully mined, it is added to the blockchain and becomes a part of the permanent record.
- Cryptography: Cryptography is used to secure transactions and ensure the integrity of the blockchain. It involves using complex mathematical algorithms to encrypt data, such as transaction details, to prevent unauthorized access or manipulation.
- Smart Contracts: Smart contracts are self-executing contracts that automatically enforce the terms of an agreement when certain conditions are met. They are stored on the blockchain and can be used to automate various processes, such as supply chain management or financial transactions.
- Decentralization: Decentralization is a key characteristic of blockchain technology. It means that there is no single point of control or authority, and transactions are validated and recorded by a network of nodes that work together to maintain the integrity of the blockchain.
- Governance: Governance refers to the processes and structures used to manage and update the blockchain protocol. Governance can be decentralized, with decisions made by the community, or centralized, with a governing authority making decisions.
Below we will take a closer look at some of the blockchain operations.
Hashing in blockchain
Hashing is an essential component of blockchain technology. In a blockchain, a hash function is used to create a unique digital fingerprint, known as a hash, of each block in the chain.
A hash function is a mathematical function that takes an input (in this case, the data within a block) and generates a fixed-length output, the hash. The hash is unique to the data, meaning that if the input data changes in any way, the resulting hash will also change. This property makes it virtually impossible to alter data within a block without detection, as any change would result in a different hash.
In a blockchain, each block’s hash includes the previous block’s hash in the chain. This creates a chain of linked blocks, with each block referencing the one that came before it. This makes it very difficult to alter any previous blocks in the chain, as changing the data in one block would require recalculating the hash of that block and all subsequent blocks in the chain.
Additionally, because the hash function is one-way (meaning that it is easy to calculate the hash from the input data but very difficult to derive the input data from the hash), it is impossible to reverse-engineer the original data from the hash. This property provides an added layer of security to the blockchain, ensuring that data within a block remains confidential and cannot be easily accessed by unauthorized parties.
Verification in blockchain
Verification is a crucial process in the operation of a blockchain network. In a blockchain, verification refers to validating transactions and adding them to the blockchain ledger.
To maintain the integrity and security of the blockchain, transactions must be verified by multiple parties before they can be added to the ledger. A network of nodes, computers, or devices in the blockchain network typically performs this process.
When a transaction is initiated, it is broadcast to the network of nodes, who work together to validate it. This process typically involves performing a series of checks to ensure the transaction is valid and meets specific criteria, such as verifying that the sender has enough funds to complete the transaction.
Once the network validates a transaction, it is added to a block of transactions, which is then added to the blockchain. This process is typically called consensus, as the network of nodes must agree on the state of the blockchain before any new transactions can be added.
Verification is essential in blockchain technology, ensuring only valid and authorized transactions are added. By relying on a network of nodes to validate transactions, blockchain networks are able to operate in a decentralized and secure manner, without the need for a centralized authority to oversee transactions.
Consensus model in blockchain
Consensus is a key operation in blockchain technology that ensures that all nodes on the network have a consistent and accurate view of the blockchain ledger. In a blockchain, consensus refers to the process by which a network of nodes reaches an agreement on the state of the blockchain, including which transactions are valid and which blocks should be added to the blockchain.
There are several consensus models in blockchain technology, each with its unique approach to reaching consensus. Some of the most commonly used consensus models include:
- Proof of Work (PoW): In a PoW consensus model, nodes on the network compete to solve a complex mathematical puzzle to add new blocks to the blockchain. The first node to solve the mystery and add the block to the blockchain is rewarded with cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum use this model.
- Proof of Stake (PoS): In a PoS consensus model, nodes on the network are selected to validate transactions based on the amount of cryptocurrency they hold. This model is designed to reduce the amount of energy required to maintain the web compared to PoW models. Cryptocurrencies like Cardano and Tezos use this model.
- Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS): In a DPoS consensus model, nodes on the network are selected by other node holders to validate transactions on their behalf. This model is designed to reduce the computational power required to maintain the network while maintaining decentralization. Cryptocurrencies like EOS and BitShares use this model.
- Proof of Authority (PoA): In a PoA consensus model, a small group of trusted nodes is responsible for validating transactions on the network. This model is designed for use in private blockchains where the identity of the nodes is known and trust is established. Some enterprise blockchain solutions use this model.
Consensus is essential in blockchain technology. It ensures that all nodes on the network have a consistent and accurate view of the blockchain ledger and that all transactions added to the blockchain are valid and authorized.
Mining in blockchain
Mining adds new blocks to the blockchain by solving complex mathematical problems using computational power. In a blockchain, nodes on the network mining are performed to validate transactions and add new blocks to the blockchain ledger.
When a new block of transactions is added to the blockchain, miners are rewarded with cryptocurrency, typically in the form of new coins or transaction fees. The reward incentivizes miners to continue to participate in the network and validate transactions, which helps maintain the blockchain’s security and integrity.
In a proof-of-work (PoW) blockchain, such as Bitcoin, mining involves solving a complex mathematical problem known as a hash function. The first miner to solve the problem and add the new block to the blockchain is rewarded with cryptocurrency.
Mining in a PoW blockchain requires significant computational power and energy consumption, which has led to concerns about its environmental impact. As a result, some blockchain networks, such as Ethereum, are transitioning to a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus model, which uses less energy.
In a PoS blockchain, mining involves holding a certain amount of cryptocurrency in a designated wallet, a staking wallet. The network randomly selects a node to validate transactions based on the amount of cryptocurrency held in their staking wallet. This process reduces the computational power required for mining and energy consumption.
Mining is a critical operation in blockchain technology, as it helps maintain the blockchain’s security and integrity. By incentivizing miners to validate transactions and add new blocks to the blockchain, blockchain networks can operate in a decentralized and secure manner without needing a centralized authority to oversee transactions.
Blockchain is a technology for encrypting and storing data distributed over computers connected to a shared network. Records in the blockchain are presented in the form of blocks interconnected by unique keys.
The technology stores and transfers digital assets and can operate in public and private networks. Blockchain can be used in many areas where the speed of information transfer with high protection is required—any cryptocurrency functions based on blockchain technology. The blockchain also allows smart contracts to be entered into and NFTs to be issued.
Blockchain technology can provide trust and security in an inherently uncertain environment. By using consensus models to ensure that all nodes on the network have a consistent and accurate view of the blockchain ledger, blockchain networks can prevent fraud and unauthorized transactions.
Blockchain technology can transform how we think about transactions and data storage and create new opportunities for innovation and collaboration in various industries.
What are Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Apps?
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) apps are software applications that help businesses manage their interactions with customers and potential customers. These apps typically allow companies to store and manage customer data, track customer interactions and communication, automate sales and marketing processes, and generate reports and analytics to help businesses make data-driven decisions.
CRM apps can be used by businesses of all sizes and in a variety of industries, including retail, healthcare, financial services, and more. They can help companies to improve customer satisfaction, increase sales, and streamline business processes.
Some typical features of CRM apps include:
- Contact management: allowing businesses to store customer contact information and track communication history.
- Sales management: enabling businesses to manage their sales pipeline, track deals, and automate sales processes.
- Marketing automation: allowing businesses to automate marketing campaigns and track the success of these campaigns.
- Analytics and reporting: providing businesses with insights into their customer base, sales performance, and marketing effectiveness.
- Collaboration and communication: enabling teams to collaborate on customer accounts and communicate internally about customer needs and issues.
Popular CRM apps include Salesforce, HubSpot, Zoho CRM, and Microsoft Dynamics 365, among others.
Main ideas behind CRM and aims
CRM, or Customer Relationship Management, is a strategy for managing interactions with customers and potential customers to improve business relationships, increase customer satisfaction and loyalty, and ultimately drive sales and revenue growth.
The main ideas behind CRM are centered around understanding customer needs and preferences, collecting and analyzing customer data, and using this information to tailor communication and marketing efforts to individual customers. The goal is to provide a personalized and seamless experience for customers across all touchpoints and interactions with the business, including marketing, sales, customer service, and support.
The aims of CRM are to:
- Increase customer satisfaction and loyalty: By providing a personalized and seamless experience for customers, businesses can increase customer satisfaction and loyalty, which can lead to repeat business and positive word-of-mouth recommendations.
- Improve customer retention: By understanding customer needs and preferences, businesses can identify opportunities to proactively address customer concerns and improve the customer experience, which can increase customer retention and reduce customer churn.
- Drive revenue growth: By tailoring marketing and sales efforts to individual customers based on their preferences and past behaviors, businesses can increase sales and revenue growth.
- Streamline business processes: By centralizing customer data and automating key processes, businesses can streamline operations and improve efficiency, reducing costs and improving profitability.
Expectancy of higher use of CRM
Several factors may lead to an expectancy of higher use of CRM in the future:
- Increasing customer expectations: As customers become more tech-savvy and accustomed to personalized experiences, they are likely to expect businesses to use CRM to provide tailored interactions and experiences across all touchpoints.
- Growing availability of customer data: With increasing customer data available through digital channels and IoT devices, businesses have more significant opportunities to collect and analyze customer data to inform their CRM strategies.
- Advancements in CRM technology: Advancements in CRM technology, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, can enable businesses to analyze customer data and automate critical processes, making it easier to implement and manage CRM strategies.
- Competitive pressures: As more businesses adopt CRM strategies to improve customer experiences and drive revenue growth, those that fail to do so may be at a competitive disadvantage, leading to a greater need for CRM adoption.
- Shift towards subscription-based business models: With more businesses moving towards subscription-based models, where customer retention is critical to long-term success, effective CRM strategies can be crucial in retaining customers and driving revenue growth.
Main trends about CRM in 2023
In an increasingly competitive marketplace, good customer relationship management (CRM) may be the only thing that can set a company apart from the rest. However, businesses today may find that achieving good CRM is easier said than done. As per CRM trends, many CRM software solutions are now integrating new technologies, making it more difficult for businesses to make the most of these tools. Moreover, customer expectations of companies have increased even more since the COVID-19 pandemic. 58% of consumers say they expect better customer service than they did a year ago. Combined with new customer service technologies, these increased expectations force businesses to continually improve their customer relationships. To assist business owners in this effort, we have listed the most important CRM software trends for 2022. By knowing these trends, business owners and their teams can better understand how to meet customer needs more effectively. Using software to manage customer relationships better is a concept introduced previously.
However, these days, many companies rely more and more on CRM solutions. Factors such as customer preference also push businesses of all sizes to adopt an “all-digital” CRM strategy rapidly. Business experts expect the spread of CRM technology to continue in the coming years, especially as consumers say they plan to continue their new buying behaviors post-pandemic. To meet these increased demands and ensure brand loyalty in a volatile marketplace, companies must use every tool in their arsenal. Personalization, improved customer experience, and technologies such as VR, AR, and IoT also continue to influence CRM trends. By staying on top of these trends, business owners can gain valuable insight into customer behavior. As a result, this knowledge can help sales and customer service teams develop better strategies to meet customer needs. Below we have listed some of the most critical trends in CRM software today. This list will help business owners use CRM to improve their bottom line and drive business growth.
Continued expansion of the CRM platform market
If the trends in CRM software allow this to be judged, then the prospects for the CRM platform market remain positive. Previous projections put the CRM market at $113 billion by 2027. However, new data suggests that the global CRM market could reach $129 billion by 2028. Software giants like Microsoft, Zoho, and Visma dominate the market. These companies will also likely continue to have a significant market share in the future. Increased investment by businesses in better CRM software will drive the growth of these companies. By making such investments, business owners can be sure they have the tools they need to maintain and improve customer relationships.
Interestingly, the experts also calculated the approximate profitability of such investments. CRM 2022 trends show that for every dollar spent on CRM, businesses can earn up to $30. The potential return on investment alone makes CRM technology a smart investment for any business.
Using CRM to gain a deeper understanding of customers
CRM software trends show that CRM has become more than contact management and lead generation. With the amount of data they can collect, these tools are now working to provide companies with a very detailed view of customers. Using data from CRM tools, sales, and customer support teams can create comprehensive profiles of every customer they interact with. Sales departments, in particular, benefit greatly from such a detailed view of customers. According to a sales industry report, 70% of salespeople consider CRM “very important” for closing deals. Thus, up-to-date and complete CRM data is critical for successful sales teams.
Connecting all aspects of the business to CRM
As consumer behavior evolves and more customers depend on virtual interaction, businesses realize the importance of maintaining an effective CRM system. Companies and organizations must integrate this software into all business processes to take full advantage of CRM. By integrating CRM with other business software and tools, companies can create a single, comprehensive view of each customer and eliminate data silos across the organization. In turn, marketing systems can use this single source of truth to create highly personalized customer journeys. As a result, these personalized journeys help build brand loyalty. For example, most modern CRM tools can be integrated with a wide range of marketing software, including email marketing platforms. Data synchronization between CRM and marketing systems ensures customer contact information is constantly updated. This integration also minimizes the hassle of duplicate emails.
All teams will rely on CRM tools
In line with the previous trend of integrating CRM into every part of the business, business experts also expect CRM to be used by all teams in the organization. Traditionally, CRM technology has been seen as a tool for the customer service team in sales and customer support. However, this may change in the coming years as CRM becomes part of the technology stack used by the entire organization. Moreover, according to CRM software trends, this company-wide use of CRM may happen sooner as organizations realize how underutilized CRM systems are. One study even showed that 80% of companies admit that CRM tools are more widely used than sales and customer service support. For example, finance and accounting teams can also benefit from CRM tools, especially those that come with billing software features. After-sales teams successfully close deals and accountants can use these CRM systems to send invoices to customers immediately. Using these systems to manage bills and payments also makes it easier to keep track of earnings.
The growing role of CRM in customer experience
CRM is playing an increasingly significant role in improving the customer experience. This is mainly due to the ability of the CRM system to serve as a centralized repository of all customer data. These tools provide all the data a company needs to create a positive customer experience that fosters brand loyalty and ultimately increases profits. As a result, the future of CRM lies in supporting organizations as they expand their personalization efforts. With CRM tools, teams can handle the growing volume of customer interactions while ensuring that every message is targeted and personalized. Such actions can significantly improve the customer experience. Providing a positive customer experience right from the start is critical. This is especially valid as 2020 CRM trends show that over 60% of customers will tell their family and friends about a negative experience with a company.
Social CRM continues to grow
Social CRM shows no signs of slowing down in the coming years. This type of CRM emerged as one of the best CRM practices of 2020, and businesses today continue to use social media to build better customer relationships. To make this easier, many CRM tools today integrate seamlessly with popular social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. In addition to CRM systems that offer integration with social media channels, companies today can take advantage of standalone social CRM solutions. With these tools, companies can gain insight into vast amounts of customer data, including shopping habits and product reviews. This information can help companies get a better idea of their customers. As the number of social media users is growing every year, it is understandable that companies are also increasing their usage. 92% of companies use social media for at least marketing purposes.
Improved portability for CRM software
The first mobile CRM was launched in 1999; these applications have remained strong since then. Many business experts predict greater adoption of mobile CRM in the coming years, especially as more CRM users access these systems from multiple devices. With mobile CRM, teams also get the benefit of accessing customer data and working from anywhere. This flexibility and mobility have become especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic when companies have shifted to remote work. These mobile CRM systems have also played a critical role in ensuring that teams have access to vital customer data even when they are away from the office. To be fully effective, most mobile CRM systems have a user-friendly interface, many integrations, and the ability to work offline. Robust security measures also ensure the security and privacy of customer data.
In conclusion, CRM is a critical strategy for businesses looking to improve customer satisfaction, loyalty, and revenue growth. By collecting and analyzing customer data and tailoring communication and marketing efforts to individual customers, companies can provide personalized experiences that meet and exceed customer expectations. Additionally, by automating key processes and streamlining operations, businesses can improve efficiency and profitability.
As customer expectations evolve and businesses face increasing competition, CRM adoption and effective use will become even more critical. With advancements in technology and the availability of customer data, companies have more significant opportunities to leverage CRM strategies to improve customer experience and drive growth. Therefore, investing in CRM can be an innovative and strategic move for businesses looking to stay competitive and thrive in today’s market.
What is DApp?
DApps are decentralized applications. To help explain this term, a comparison with the usual applications that users download to their smartphones will help. In classic applications, the developer – one person or a large company – has complete control over the application, and the program code is located on the company’s computer or servers. For example, a company can change the rules for using the application and its functionality or close it altogether. Only the application owner can make any changes. The user cannot influence its operation in any way. For example, you installed a regular application and found a bug. All you can do is write to technical support or leave feedback. You cannot open the code and make changes to it. The developer can only do this.
No single center exists in decentralized applications because they work on blockchain technology. Users can openly view the code and suggest any changes. If other users support these changes, they will be made. In other words, the user community has control over the application. For example, if you find a bug in a decentralized application, you can always find the open-source code, make the necessary changes to it to fix the bug, and invite the community to vote for the new version of the code. If it supports you, the application code will be updated, and the error will be fixed for all users.
Criteria that DApps must meet
Not all applications that use blockchain are decentralized. They must meet four criteria:
- The application is open source. This will allow users to check it, find and fix errors, and improve the application. Changes can only be made by user consensus. To work with DApps code, you can use services for hosting and collaborative development of IT projects – for example, GitHub or Netlify.
- The application uses the blockchain as a decentralized database.
- The application has a reward system. Users who provide the computing power of their devices for the operation of the application have the opportunity or should be able to receive a reward in the form of tokens for this.
- The application generates tokens. To do this, it has a built-in consensus algorithm according to which tokens will be issued. The consensus algorithm is a cryptographic algorithm according to which user devices decide to add new information to the block. This process requires computational power, so the mechanism was initially based on the issuance of rewards for its implementation. The most common are Proof of Work (PoW) and Proof of Stake (PoS).
How DApps work
Any application has two parts: frontend (frontend) – the part of the application where the user performs actions, and backend (backend) – the application database.
The frontend is that part of the application you download to your computer or smartphone and open in your browser. It contains an interface, renders information to the user, and receives requests from him. For example, when you listen to music in Apple Music, the interface causes the pause, rewind, and song title buttons to the user and accepts music search and download requests. The frontend is also located on the device for decentralized applications and performs the same functions. For example, you installed the Golem application to create computer graphics for videos on other users’ computers in exchange for GNT tokens. The interface shows you the number of GNT tokens on your account, accepts requests from you to select the video resolution, and sets the folder where you want to save the finished file.
The frontend of decentralized and ordinary applications is practically the same. The DApps interface can be written in any programming language, regardless of the blockchain, and its task is to make the interaction between the application and the user understandable. The only condition for a decentralized application frontend is that it must support smart contracts.
The backend is that part of the application located on the company’s server. It is responsible for the application’s logic; it stores the database. In the case of Apple Music, the song is downloaded from Apple’s servers; they contain your personal data – whether you paid for a subscription, your nickname, or your email. In the case of Golem, the backend contains information about how many GNT tokens you have in your account.
The backend of decentralized applications is not a server but a blockchain. It is a database in which the program code is recorded, and all your actions within the application are recorded. Physically, this database is located on many users’ devices; there is no single storage of information, and there is no server. You can draw an analogy with torrent trackers: they also work at the expense of users who can distribute files from their devices and download them from other users. They do not require a centralized server to function. Blockchain works on a similar principle but adds encryption algorithms to it, which do not allow you to change the information already created and check all the created data for compliance with the previous ones. For example, if you want to sell tokens, the blockchain will check that you have these tokens in your account and deduct them from your account balance.
Tokens are digital assets created on blockchain technology. Each token gives the user the right to perform a specific action in the application, for example, for anonymous storage of data on other users’ devices or for the purchase of a piece of virtual land in the game.
Tokens have their value – they can be traded on exchanges and obtained in exchange for performing some action. For example, in the Golem decentralized application, GNT tokens can be obtained by renting out part of the computing power of your computer.
The collaboration of the blockchain and the application requires computing power to process information about user actions and add it to the blockchain. This is done by miners – users who provide their devices for the remote processing of data in exchange for cryptocurrency or tokens. In the case of DApps, the incentive for miners are tokens that they can sell or spend to use the app. The blockchain generates the tokens that miners receive through its consensus algorithm.
Smart contracts are responsible for the interaction between the interface and the blockchain in DApps. When a user acts as the application – for example, clicks on the button to buy a token and enters his card details – the smart contract reads this action as the fulfillment of the terms of the contract. It automatically performs it, interacting with the blockchain.
A smart contract is a protocol, a program code that automatically executes a contract when certain conditions are reached without the intervention of intermediaries. For example, the user will receive storage space in exchange for tokens.
Benefits of DApps
- Work stability. On servers, typical applications may experience temporary problems or maintenance. For example, you go to Telegram and see only the interface; the messages are temporarily not loaded. DApps servers are located on the user’s devices, so they will work until at least one user is on the network.
- You can view the open-source code of the application at any time. If you know the programming language in which it is written, you will recognize all the processes inside it. There are no functions hidden for the user in DApps. For example, a decentralized application cannot collect personal user data without the community knowing. If it collects personal data, the part of the code responsible for this will be in the public domain.
Classification of DApps
Depending on how decentralized applications interact with the blockchain, they can be divided into three types:
- Type 1 – applications that run on their blockchain. For example, the Ethereum platform belongs to this type of DApps.
- Type 2 – applications developed and operated based on an already existing blockchain. They are protocols and have their mechanism for issuing tokens. The most popular blockchain platforms for this type of DApps are Ethereum, Tron, and EOS. An example of a Type 2 DApp is the MakerDAO protocol, which allows you to convert ETH cryptocurrency into DAI stablecoins. At the same time, MakerDAO is based on the Ethereum blockchain.
- Type 3 – applications based on DApps protocols of type 2. To function, they need not only a blockchain but also an application running on this blockchain. They also have a mechanism for issuing tokens. Example Type 3 DApps is an Augur app that switched from using the Ethereum blockchain to using the MakerDAO protocol in April 2020 to reduce volatility. That is, it went from type 2 to type 3.
Scope of DApps
The dappradar.com website categorizes decentralized applications by scope: games, social applications, gambling, decentralized finance, exchangers, high-risk applications, collection applications, marketplaces, and more. But such a classification does not always give an accurate idea of the purpose of the application. For example, Decentraland belongs to the “Marketplaces” category and is also an online game.
We will show the classification of decentralized applications described by the developers of Ethereum in the white paper, a document with a technical description of the platform:
- Financial – these are tools for working with finances. These include decentralized exchanges, exchangers, and other applications designed to interact with cryptocurrencies. For example is the Compound application, with which you can lend cryptocurrency and earn money.
- Partially financial – Applications that involve working with finances but whose purpose is not related to them. These include auctions, marketplaces, and games. For example, to play some games, you need to buy a piece of virtual land for tokens. Further, the user is engaged in the gameplay, for example, equips this site. Finances are involved only to start playing.
- Non-financial – applications whose work is in no way connected with money. These include applications for sharing disk space or processing power. For example, the SAFE Network uses Safecoin tokens, which are not sold anywhere. They can only be exchanged or received for disk space or computing power. Finances are not directly involved in the operation of the application.
- Golem is an application aiming to create a global marketplace for computing resources. Golem is a decentralized supercomputer for complex computing operations such as computer graphics, scientific calculations, and machine learning. Application users can be divided into customers and suppliers. Vendors can rent out some of the computing power of their devices and receive GNT tokens as rent. Customers can buy GNT tokens to pay for computing operations on suppliers’ computers. The application uses the Ethereum blockchain for operation and belongs to type 2 DApps.
- SAFE Network is an application that is a network of decentralized servers. Users who install the application enter a network within which they can send messages or store information. Decentralization and encryption algorithms ensure the anonymity and protection of user data. To access the web, Safecoin tokens are required. These tokens can be obtained by renting out some of your disk space or computing power. They can also be exchanged for MaidSafeCoin tokens, sold on cryptocurrency exchanges such as Binance. The SAFE Network is based on the Omni protocol, which runs on the Bitcoin blockchain and is a Type 3 DApp.
- Decentraland is a metaverse, a virtual world built on the Ethereum blockchain. The users themselves primarily create the universe of Decentraland. They buy plots of land in a virtual 3D space and develop them as they wish. Users communicate with each other in this space, play games, and explore the metaverse. Decnentraland has its currency – MANA tokens, in exchange for which you can buy a piece of land or clothes for your avatar – a 3D model of the character you play as. Due to its own currency, Decentraland has its own economy. Users can provide services to each other in exchange for MANA tokens. For example, a tutor might teach another user how to play the guitar, or an artist might paint a custom painting. The world of Decentraland, its 3D embodiment, the economy, the market for services and goods – users form everything. Application developers cannot remove or modify user-generated content. The virtual world is entirely decentralized. Decentraland is a Type 2 DApp.
DApps are decentralized applications. They differ from typical applications because the application database is not stored on the developer’s server but on users’ devices inside the blockchain.
For an application to be considered decentralized, it must be open source, be based on the blockchain, use tokens in its work, and have a consensus algorithm for generating these tokens.
DApps are divided into three types:
- applications that are blockchain;
- blockchain-based applications;
- applications based on the blockchain.
The scope of decentralized applications is not limited to finance. There are games, marketplaces, auctions, and space-sharing platforms built on the principle of decentralization.