Tag Archives: programming

ruby on rails web development

Ruby on Rails Development: Benefits and Pitfalls.

Any driver in the world knows: it doesn’t matter how powerful, innovative and high-tech is your vehicle if you have no chance to try it on the good road. This small everyday situation easily shows that lots of things, concepts and activities are deeply interconnected and mutually influence each other. In digital design and development it works the same way: there’s a huge lot of factors having an impact on final result. Bad design will spoil well-written code as well as badly developed code can bury the most sophisticated design solutions. Every side plays its big role in the final outcome which should present a user-friendly product.

 

Earlier we have already given closer insights into the definition, processes and tools for web development. Today’s post is going to continue the theme presenting considerations on a particular tool for web development Ruby on Rails and reviewing its benefits as well as possible pitfalls that need to be taken into account.

 

Brief background

 

Let’s start with a tiny bit of history. Ruby is dynamic, object-oriented, open source programming language with a focus on simplicity and productivity, created by Yukihiro “Matz” Matsumoto and first released in 1990s. It powers famous websites such as original version of Twitter, Hulu, Living Social, Basecamp etc. Many companies use Ruby in some capacity: BBW, Cisco, CNET, IBM, JP Morgan, NASA, and Yahoo. Moreover, Ruby has framework which supports high level of flexibility for developer in the process of creating code for particular aims.

 

“Ruby is named after the precious gemstone; it’s not an abbreviation of anything. When I started the language project, I was joking with a friend that the project must be code-named after a gemstone’s name (àla Perl). So my friend came up with «ruby». It’s a short name for a beautiful and highly valued stone. So I picked up that name, and it eventually became the official name of the language.” said Yukihiro «Matz» Matsumoto, the creator of Ruby, in his interview about the roots of the programming language.

 

Ruby on Rails is an open-source web application framework for the Ruby programming language optimized for programmers’ sustainable productivity. David Heinemeier Hansson extracted Ruby on Rails from his work on the project management tool Basecamp at the web application company also called Basecamp. Hansson first released Rails as open source in July 2004. Major brands like Amazon and eBay even have Rails projects.

 

“Rails (Ruby on Rails) was extracted from my work on Basecamp—a project collaboration tool from 37signals. So it was motivated by needs, not predictions. And I believe that’s a big part of why we’re currently enjoying such success. I didn’t try to imagine what some programmers might need for a fantasy job. I just built what I needed to get my work done with a smile.” says another interviewee David Heinemeier Hansson, the creator of Ruby on Rails.

 

ruby on rails web development article

 

What is Ruby on Rails?

 

Ruby on Rails often just called “Rails” is a development tool to give web developers libraries providing structure for all the code they write. Actually, it is a server-side web app framework that extends the Ruby programming language. Ruby presents the operating language for Rails the same way as PHP does for Symfony and Zend or Java does for Struts. Rails combines Ruby programming language with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to create a web app. This framework uses Ruby to dynamically assemble HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files. Rails helps developers to build websites and web apps abstracting and simplifying common repetitive tasks.

 

Rails apps operate upon a model–view–controller (MVC) pattern. Many other web frameworks use this pattern, such as AngularJS (JavaScript), Django (Python) and CakePHP (PHP).This means that the apps are divided into three parts: models, views and controllers. These components have the following roles:

 

Models. They are used to represent forms of data used by the app and contain the logic to manipulate and retrieve that data. In Rails, a model is represented as a class. These forms of data are not low-level like strings or arrays.

 

Views. They are the templates (typically formed of a mix HTML and Ruby code). Views are used to build up the data that users of web app see in their browsers or through other clients. They can be rendered as HTML for web browsers, XML, RSS or other formats.

 

Controllers. Controllers provide the logic that binds together models (their associated data) and views. They process input, call methods and deliver data to the views. In Rails, controllers contain methods known as actions that, generally, represent each action relevant to the controller, such as “show”, “delete”, “view”, etc. The framework can be used with various operating systems such as Windows, Mac OS X and Linux; various databases such as SQLite, MySQL, PostgreSQL and others; various web servers such as Apache, Nginx, etc.

 

Talking about operations via the platform, developers usually mention several core principles. Among the main ones, convention over configuration (CoC) should be mentioned. It means that developers don’t have to spend a lot of time configuring files in order to get setup, Rails comes with a set of conventions which help speed up development.

 

Another important principle of software development in Rails is don’t repeat yourself (DRY). It encourages developers not to make duplications in their code and isolate functionality in small functions or files. The principle helps to make code modular, easier to understand, read and debug. When code is duplicated, the outcome becomes more complex, making it more difficult to maintain and more vulnerable to bugs.

 

Ruby on Rails uses Representational State Transfer (REST) architecture that rests around the relations between the client and the server. The architecture helps to create logic around the app and code that developers find highly intuitive and functional.

 

Another key feature is RubyGems, a package manager that makes it easy to create and share software libraries (“gems”) extending Ruby. RubyGems provides reliable and simple system to install “gems”. Anyone can upload them to the central RubyGems website, making the “gem” immediately available for installation by others. The RubyGems website is where developers obtain the most recent version of Rails.

 

ruby on rails web development

 

Benefits and drawbacks of Rails

 

As well as any tool or software, Ruby on Rails has its strong sides and pitfalls that need to be considered. Let’s briefly review both aspects on the basis of various feedback from developers.

 

Benefits for developers on Ruby on Rails

 

Large Community. Generally, Rails is more than development tool, it is also large community. The members share their works, often use the same tools, and support each other. The informal community provides diversity of jobs, recruiters, meetups, conferences, examples of businesses building websites with Rails, and clients funding startups. It is no surprise that Rails is popular on social coding resource Github. This aspect is particularly helpful for beginners.

 

Variety of gems. “Gem” is the software package that contains a package Ruby app or library. Commonly it is used to extend or modify functionality in Ruby apps. Some “gems” provide command line utilities to help automate tasks and speed up developer`s work. They are all publicly available at RubyGems.

 

Cost-effective. The process of building functionality with Rails is fast because it has the collection of open source code available within the community and set of conventions. Ruby on Rails also runs on a free operating system and works with mostly free databases and web servers. These features provide less number of working hours, quick development process and low overall cost.

 

Code Quality. Rails uses Ruby programming language whose code has a high level of readability. This aspect increases productivity with the lower need to write out separate documentation or comments, making it easier for other developers to pick up existing projects.

 

Tester’s perspective. Rails has been developed with a focus on testing and has good built-in testing frameworks.

 

Diversity of tools. Rails provides fantastic variety of tools that help developers to deliver more features in less time. For example, it has a standard structure for different web apps in which all the common patterns are are available for programmers.

 

Flexibility. It is one of the biggest pros of using Ruby on Rails. For example, Rails interacts perfectly with technologies and frameworks like AngularJS. This factor offers developers opportunity to separate layers of the app and use multiple technologies.

 

web development ruby on rails

 

Potential Ruby on Rails problems and limitations

 

Performance. Some developers complain that Rails apps are not as fast as Java or C. The statement is generally true, but for the majority of apps it is fast enough. Rails web app may become a little slow and bloated when it is large although a high-skilled programmer has the means to tune the performance up whenever it is necessary. There is also the option of running the app under JRuby, so it will show the same performance characteristics as Java.

 

Hosting Issues. Not all website hosts can support Rails. The main reason is that Rails can be more resource intensive than PHP, a fact which deters some providers. Alternatively, there is a number of hosts (Virtual Private Servers) such as Amazon EC2, EngineYard, Linode or Rackspace, which can satisfy Rails developers’ needs.

 

Popularity. The number of Rails developers is growing year by year as more people switch to it from other programming languages. Yet, Rails is still not as popular as Java and PHP. Probably, one of the reasons for this is that the language is relatively difficult to learn especially compared to PHP. However, one of the main differences between the Rails and others in this aspect is the big amount of open source code (“gems”) which is publicly available. “Gems” are helpful for beginners because they appreciably simplify the process of web development.

 

Lack of documentation. It can be hard to find good documentation for the less popular “gems” and for libraries which make heavy use of mixins. Developers often end up finding the test suite playing the role of documentation and they have to rely on it to understand behavior of the written code. This aspect isn’t bad in its essence, as the test suite should be the most up-to-date representation of the system; however, it can still be frustrating having to dive into code, when sometimes written documentation would have been much quicker.

 

web development

 

Let’s draw up the balance. Rails is a huge web app framework with a great number of built-in features. It can be used to create either small or large apps, but it tends to use more memory and resources than the other frameworks and performance can be a bit lower. In the majority of cases, Rails apps will be composed of many tens of files and have tight structure of models, views and controllers. Anyway, nowadays the framework is popular because it is powerful, standardized, reasonable and well-established.


Welcome to read more articles on web development

mobile application testing

The Brief Guide to Testing Mobile Interfaces

Mobile technology and smart devices have already brought massive and significant changes in human behavior, communication, way of thinking and lifestyle. In fact, the boom of apps popularity can be seen in plenty of industries, among which we can easily sort out some noticeable ones such as Media (magazines and newspapers), Travel (maps), Medicine (patient records), Finance (apps for real-time trading), Education (translators and dictionaries) and Social (games and social media platforms). With steady and obvious progress of the sphere, mobile and web apps are definitely going to become more critical for personal, professional and business success and efficiency. So, creating and launching a new application, all sides of its production should test the solutions and environment and well as practical quality of design and development outcome. Extensive practice we have got here in Tubik Studio proves that this is the well-lit way to providing users with positive experience and helpful products.

 

Testing is vital for product quality

 

In our previous article, devoted to the full cycle of creating a mobile application, we have already mentioned the great part of testing in providing high quality products, able to solve problems and improve lives. As it was outlined in general terms, testing is one of the crucial phases of the entire app design and development process: it helps to reveal bugs before the app is brought out to actual users. Practice shows that in the majority of cases, users abandon the app if it has functionality problems, no matter how promising and engaging it seems. Vise versa, even the simplest apps can be successful for commerce, business, advertising and other aims if they work correctly and efficiently, according to target audience’s expectations and solving their problems.

 

Testing doesn’t mean that designers or developers do not provide the upper quality. To set the analogy, the fact that every book, magazine or newspaper issue goes through editor’s eye doesn’t say that journalists or writers are not talented and qualified. Different specialists have different goals and skills in the process to increase general productivity and efficiency, and it works the same way for design and development of mobile apps. Supposing that developers have done a great job and made no mistakes, the task of testing is not only finding errors. Quite the opposite, it helps to understand the quality of the app and find the way to improve via real interactions.

 

Peter Drucker once said “Quality in a service or product is not what you put into it. It is what the client or customer gets out of it.”  In the majority of cases, if users see that anything in the app is broken or it constantly takes large amount of time to load preventing them from quick accomplishment of the task at hand, the risk is really high that they will bounce it and never come back. That’s why testing phase is the hidden hero of mobile app development.

 

Today we are going to concentrate more on perspective of testing mobile apps, as websites testing has its own specific features worth another article. So, let’s review the basic steps and aspects important for effective digital product testing.

 

mobile app testing

 

Start with the type of the app

 

Mobile app testing has plenty of challenges based on multiple factors: there are some compromise decisions testers or developers need to consider and choices they need to make on combinations of different techniques and methods to be used. One of the aspects to think over is the nature of the app itself directly influencing the process and limits of testing. In this perspective, the following basic categories of the apps should be mentioned.

 

Native apps. The apps of this sort are created specifically for one platform, aka operating system of device. They can take full advantage of all the device features such as the camera, the list of contacts, the flashlight, the accelerometer, the compass or others, and are installed via an app store (Google Play, Apple’s App Store, Microsoft store, etc.).

 

Mobile web apps. They are mobile-optimized websites that look and feel like native apps, still they are run by a web browser.

 

Hybrid apps. This type representatives provide the mix of native apps and web apps. Like native apps, they are installed through app stores and can take advantage of the numerous features available on device. As well as web apps, they rely on HTML being rendered in a web browser.

 

Toonie Alarm UI design

 

The type of the app under construction directly influences all creative stages from UX wireframing to final check of all the code. Different operational systems set their own guidelines and recommendations on design solutions and performance, development tools and restrictions.  Neglecting those limitations and rules can bring to fail of submitting the app to open use and turn all the creative process into wasted time and effort.

 

Plan the testing levels

 

Starting actual work over the app, creative and production team needs to consider a testing plan combining different testing levels. Testing is not the process taken as one single stage or action: it is spreaded via different stages. Schematically, this process can develop in vertical and horizontal directions. Vertical dimension is presented with testing levels and usually deals with going deeper to the code and functionality from separate units to whole app, its connection with the server if its needed, and its technical correspondence to the requirements. Horizontal dimension deals with different aspects of app performance and user experience.

 

Taking the testing levels to account, their basis is variety of tests grouped according to the stages when they are used in the development process, or by the level of specificity of the test. The main task of testing levels is to identify missing areas and prevent overlap and repetition between the development phases. Let’s briefly describe the various levels of testing.

 

Unit testing. This testing is commonly done by the developers to make sure that their code is working correctly: they test the sections of code like classes, functions, interfaces, etc.

 

Integration testing. Integration testing is done when particular units are integrated with each other, with the aim to test the behavior and functionality of each unit after integration. This testing level is usually carried out by a software testing engineer. There are a few types of integration testing such as big bang integration testing, top down and bottom up.

 

System testing. Here the name says everything: at this level all the components of the app are tested as a system in order to ensure that the product at the pre-launch stage meets the specified requirements. As the app is almost ready, it can be tested in the environments really close to the actual in which users will get their experience once it is deployed.

 

Acceptance testing. The main objective of this testing level is to evaluate whether the app system complies with the user requirements and whether everything is ready for release.

 

ios-developers-tubik-studio

 

Define the types of testing

 

All aspects of the app usage should be tested. Designers, developers and testers will need to check it across different devices as the points like screen resolution, processors, battery life and memory are different and can significantly affect on the efficiency and performance of the app, functionality, handling and loading time, as well as UX and UI solutions.

 

Among the variety of types, applied to test the mobile app at different stages of its creation, we should definitely mention the following list.

 

Usability testing. It is carried out from the early stages of app creation to verify if the app fulfills the established objectives and tasks getting a good response from users. The primary focus of this testing is on easy and quick use of an app, simple on-boarding and user’s satisfaction with the entire experience. For higher efficiency and productivity of general creative flow, this type of testing should start much earlier than any single line of code will be written, from the first schemes and transitions put into UX wireframes.

 

Installation testing. At the initial stage on installation, the app should add required software to the device automatically. And uninstalling, it should remove all the available content and databases from the device which are used by the app. So, this type of testing checks that the install/uninstall flow goes properly.

 

Functional testing. It is the most basic test for any app to ensure that it is working according to the defined requirements and there are no functions missed in the process of interaction. Functional testing mainly includes finding possible specific bugs of the device or navigation issues of the app. This type of testing should be done at the primary stages of development. In enables developers or testers to check and measure database or network queries with response times, crashes and memory issues.

 

Performance testing. Rather stressful part of any app testing is performance test revealing the omissions which left unnoticed during functional and user interface testing. This testing is required to be done on actual device only so it means the whole app is coded t this stage. This type covers client-side, server and network performance. For example, it checks the performance specifications and behavior of the app under certain conditions such as low battery, bad network coverage, low available memory and etc.

 

Interruption testing. An app may face various interruptions being in active mode, such as incoming calls or network coverage outage and recovery. This kind of testing shows what the app will do in this variety of cases. The common types of interruptions are:

 

  • Incoming and Outgoing calls, SMS or MMS and different notifications
  • Low memory warning
  • Cable insertion or removal
  • Network outage or recovery
  • Media Player on/off
  • The device power cycle, such as low battery notification.

 

Memory testing. This type checks that each app maintains optimized memory usage throughout surfing. As mobile devices have definite limits of available memory, this testing is crucial for the appropriate product functioning.

 

Security testing. It checks vulnerability of the app to hacking, authentication and authorization policies, data security, session management and other security standards. The fundamental objective of security testing is to ensure that the app data and networking security requirements are met according to standards.

 

Tubik Studio iOS development

 

Don’t forget to test design

 

One of the huge mistakes that could be done about testing it planning this part not earlier than the development stage starts. Obviously, the product getting live via code presents wider perspective of testing its actual functionality and performance. Still, we should remember that any digital product is not just code — it is the set on user interactions which should be thought-over and designed thoroughly with target audience in mind. Therefore, testing should take its first steps at the stage of wireframing to check if all the elements take their places, communicate to users, provide them with feedback from the system and what is more, achieve the goals and solve users’ pains.

 

Numerous prototyping tools enable to simplify and speed up the process of testing user interface so that developers obtained the verified version of design not taking major design alterations in the process of development. This is the efficient way to optimize the general creative flow and provide maximum efficient outcome at every stage. Prototyping gets testing sides, be it client, designer or even potential users, closer to real interaction with the concept of the future interface. Prototypes should not be seen as the analogue of the final product as they aren’t those. Their main aim is to check the correctness and appropriateness of the design solutions way before they will be transferred to developers.

 

The most effective point to involve prototyping for testing design is the step between UX wireframing and UI design.  The prototypes on UI stage can also be created for presentation of application general looks rather than for testing and improving its functional features. Still, it crucial that usability should be thoroughly checked first of all at the UX stage, otherwise it will be much harder to change inefficient solution after having accomplished a lot of work on UI and then development.

 

All the numerous aspects of design testing are definitely worth a separate article which will continue this topic in our blog very soon.

 

InVision for UI prototyping tubikstudio

 

Check the code thoroughly

 

When the design is transformed into code, the developers and testers need to make sure that all the quality and performance nuances are considered and included. Pointers in this area are testing on actual devices and simulators. Testing on devices is proceeded on the actual handset where app is installed, run and tested. Testing in simulator applies the software that can accurately imitate a mobile phone.

 

Simulator testing is useful at the primary stages of development as it allows quick and efficient checking the app, but it doesn’t fully measures performance and usability which should have their healthy doze of actual human testing. Still, automated testing got really popular now because it is effective, cheap and quite reliable. iOS Simulator as well as testing tools such as Appium, Frank, Calabash and others are available to support moving the app through the testing process and point out the issues requiring attention.

 

Continuous testing at all stages lays the strong foundation for keeping small bugs from becoming major issues later on. The final testing is conducted on actual devices so that crashes and hangings could be identified. Testing on device is obligatory for every app as it provides developers with actual data on the app behavior in different environments.

 

Test and measure after launch

 

Another mistake that should be avoided is stopping testing after the product is launched. Vise versa: testing will get even more diverse and comprehensive as it will inform the sides maintaining the app viability and efficiency about behavior, problems and preferences of real users. This information is the direct route to product improvements providing users the updates they really need and want.

 

testing digital product

 

Mobile technology is transforming the way of using devices. Smartphones and tablets of all kinds are rapidly becoming the valid method of interaction between consumers and businesses. People use mobile apps to connect socially, find information, order and track goods, book places and set appointments and do hundreds of other operations improving their lives regularly. It is important to build an app with all features and functionality that are required. Without effective testing plan, users are likely to come across unexpected bugs and errors. In the modern world with tough and growing competition in this field, the risk is high that they will quickly lose interest to the app while thoughtful testing and analysis is the solid way to avoid this risk.

 

Recommended reading

 

Diverse issues of applying testing at different stages of creating digital products have been an object of professionals’ attention lately. Here is the collection of recommended sources on further reading for those who would like to read more on the theme.

 

Testing Strategies and Tactics for Mobile Applications

 

Mobile: Native Apps, Web Apps, and Hybrid Apps

 

Beginner’s Guide to Mobile Application Testing

 

Mobile Testing: Complete Guide to Test your Mobile Apps

 

17 Strategies for End to End Mobile Testing on both iOS and Android

 

Levels Of Testing

 

Software Testing Levels

 


Welcome to read The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Mobile Application

ios development glossary

IOS Glossary: Architecture, Patterns, Xcode.

As soon as you know the basics, you set the foundation for growth. It works the same way for any job and there is no any secret that many significant innovations are still grounded on diverse knowledge boosting potential and force of creativity. So, today let’s do our homework on the basics and add one more article to the set of professional glossary. Earlier we have already published the Glossary posts with key terms for the topics of UI/UX design and web design as well as business terms and abbreviations. This time the perspective will get changed a bit, featuring first set of terms in the theme of iOS development. Let’s get started briefly reviewing the basic notions common for the sphere of iOS development.

 

iOS

 

Basically, widely known iOS is the well-established abbreviation taking its roots from the phrase «iPhone Operating System» which was created originally for the system of mobile devices produced by Apple such as iPhone, iPad and iPodTouch and now also AppleTV. 

 

User interfaces created for iOS are made on the basis of direct manipulation involving multi-touch gestures. Interface control elements present variety of functions and forms including buttons, sliders, and switches. Gestures taking place in the process of interaction with such type of interface are also various, for instance, swipe, tap, pinch, and reverse pinch; what is more, they all have specific definitions in the context of the iOS operating system. Some iOS applications even use internal accelerometers which can react to the cases of shaking or rotating the device in three dimensions. Another typical feature is portrait and landscape mode switching.

 

From the standpoint of development, Apple gives steady preference to simple and durable things, and this concept is applied to their products, applications, tools and frameworks. It is expected that when iOS developer builds an app for iPhone, it will run on any other device with the iOS. This aspect of iOS development can save large amount of time for programmers as writing code, let’s say, for iPhone, developer uses the same programming language for all Apple’s computing devices. Said otherwise, application created for iPhone can later be even integrated into Mac.

 

In both UI/UX design and development for iOS, specialists making screens and writing code, apply their flight of creativity in terms of definite rules and guidelines to keep. The apps which don’t keep those guidelines risk failing to submit their app to Apple ecosystem of devices. Working over the digital products intended to be used in iOS, professionals need to know iOS Human Interface Guidelines and always keep and eye on updates and fresh recommendations. The set of guidelines for designers states: «As an app designer, you have the opportunity to deliver an extraordinary product that rises to the top of the App Store charts. To do so, you’ll need to meet high expectations for quality and functionality». Actually, the same position works the same way for developers who are offered samples, guidelines and support to find the optimal solutions for user-friendly and effective digital products.

 

ios-developers-tubik-studio

 

iOS architecture

 

As it was mentioned before, iOS allows users to interact with their devices and products using gestures such as swiping, tapping and pinching. These finger actions are typically performed on touch screen displays, which provide fast response and accept inputs from multiple fingers.

 

The iOS architecture can be pictured as four abstraction layers that define it:

 

Cocoa Touch. The layer containing variety of frameworks which define the appearance of the app. It also provides the basic app infrastructure and support for main technologies such as multitasking, touch-based input, push notifications, and many high-level system services.

 
Media. The layer with graphics, audio, and video technologies which developers use to implement multimedia experiences in the apps. The technologies in this layer make enable building apps that look and sound excellent.

 

Core Services. The layer that consists of essential system services for apps. Main services are the Core Foundation and Foundation frameworks, which define the basic types that all apps use. It also contains individual technologies to support features such as location, iCloud, social media, networking, etc.

 

Core OS. The layer including services such as the security, local authentication and core Bluetooth frameworks.

 

Apple recommends developers to write code to the highest applicable layer whenever possible, and only use the lower-level frameworks for features not exposed at higher levels.

 

Architecture design patterns

 

In software development, architecture design pattern is the matter of structure. It is not a finished architecture that can be transformed directly into code. Patterns are similar to the case of reliable practices that the developer can use to solve common problems building an application or system.

 

In general terms, architecture pattern in case of development could be described as reusable solution that could be repetitively applied for the issues that frequently rise within a particular context of development and engineering interactions. This sort of patterns take into account various limitations and restrictions including the problems of hardware performance, availability, environment of use and even particular business goals.

 

Among main architecture design patterns we could mention:

  • MVC (Model–view–controller)
  • MVP (Model–view–presenter)
  • MVVM (Model–view–view-model)
  • VIPER (View-interactor-presenter-entity-routing)

 

First three types of architecture design patterns assume putting the entities of the app into one of 3 categories:

 
Models – give the controller/ presenter/ view-model the data to populate view.
 
Views – display content and are populated by the controller/ presenter/ view-model. Each screen of the app is a ‘view’ which includes buttons, text, menus, fields and etc.
 
Controllers/ Presenters/ View-models – control behavior of the app. Apps are based on event-driven programming, controllers/ presenters/ view-models receive, process and return events.

 

Tubik Studio iOS development

 

To see how it works in practice, let’s take MVC pattern and describe it a bit more in detail. The model-view-controller (MVC) is an architecture design pattern that breaks code down into three parts: user interfaces (views), data (model), and the software that communicates between the two (controller). The building blocks of apps are objects — arrays of code organized with MVC pattern. Each screen of the app is a view: the data model controls the content it displays, and the controller manages communication between the view and the model. The model-view-controller is just one of the architecture design patterns developers use while building the app, still it is popular in development.

 

Xcode

 

Xcode is Apple’s integrated development environment (IDE) and it is the main tool for building iOS apps. iOS developers can work applying either Objective-C or Swift in fact using only Xcode. This software only runs on Macs and there are no official ways to launch it on a Windows or Linux PC.

 

Xcode has tons of features for iOS development, among which:

 

Interface Builder. It allows designing and testing user interface without writing a code. Interface Builder helps to prototype and then connect interface to the source within the Xcode editor.
 
Source Editor. It is a professional editor with code completion, code folding, syntax highlighting, and messages that display warning, errors, and other context-sensitive information.
 
Continuous Integration. It is a feature of OS X Server controlling server-side bots that continuously build, analyze, test, and even archive Xcode projects.
 
XCTest Framework. It assists to build unit tests that check iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV and Mac apps performance.
 
iOS Simulator. It allows prototyping and testing app during the development process. This testing tool simulates iOS, watchOS, and tvOS devices before testing the app on an actual device.

 

iOS programming languages

 

Two fundamental programming languages for iOS development are Objective-C and Swift. The benefits and drawbacks of each language were considered in our earlier post.

 

At the moment Objective-C is commonly described as the general-purpose, object-oriented programming language adding Smalltalk-style messaging to the C programming language. Before Swift came into play, Objective-C had been the main programming language used by developers for OS X and iOS operating systems, and their APIs. Swift, introduced at Apple’s 2014 WWDC, brought its own dose of revolution. In general description, Swift is a general-purpose, multi-paradigm, compiled programming language broadening the previous scope of operating systems as it was developed for iOS, OS X, watchOS, tvOS, and Linux. Swift was designed to enable work with Apple’s Cocoa and Cocoa Touch frameworks as well as the large body of Objective-C code already written for Apple products. 

 

Initially Swift was intended to be more resilient and safer than Objective-C, and also more concise and developer-friendly. It was built with the LLVM compiler framework including in Xcode 6 and using the Objective-C runtime library that enables C, Objective-C, C++ and Swift code to run within one program.  Therefore, it enhances broadening professional horizons for developers making their work more efficient. That was the milestone when developers started their discussion of what is better, tradition or innovation.

 

Since 2014, Swift language has been used by Xcode for coding more often than Objective-C. Objective-C is the initial programming language for building OS X and iOS software and in perspective of all the apps coded for iOS, it presents a superset of the C-programming language and provides object-oriented programming and dynamic runtime. Nowadays, Objective-C is a good fit for early iPhone and it is also effectively applicable for maintaining and updating the apps initially created in it. Swift in its turn is newer  and more flexible programming language for Apple devices that has the best features of C and Objective-C, without the constraints of C compatibility. It keeps step with modern hardware being faster in actual process of coding as well as shorter, more secure and easy-to-use. 

 

tubik ios development

 

Read more about the topic in our previous article 

 

Anyway, the choice of the programming language, framework, method, and tool for creating iOS apps should be based on the intention to provide the efficient product to both the client and the final user. 

 

This set of our glossary is ready for those who need it and we are going to continue this practice before long. Don’t miss the new sets. If there are any specific terms you would like to see explained, described and illustrated, feel free to contact via direct message in our Facebook page or Twitter as well as our Quora representative. New definitions are coming soon!


Welcome to read the articles by Tubik Studio on web and app development

Welcome to read us on Quora

web development and programming

Back-End Development. Foundation of Digital Product.

Seeing an elegant building, we often don’t even imagine that its shape, height and loads it carries are possible due to solid and powerful foundation hidden from the field of vision. The same happens with digital products: when we open the website that downloads the history of our interactions with it in split seconds, or set the application connecting us with friends and saving our data on any device, when we do simple everyday operations like sending emails or downloading files, most of us don’t know that those interactions are possible due to back-end development which establishes the foundation for effective front-end and enables steady functionality of websites and applications.

 

A lot of internet users and clients ordering services for creating a website or an app think that web development is one-stage process. In fact it is divided into two parts: front-end and back-end development, and for people standing far from this sphere of professional activity, it might be really hard to understand the difference. In our previous articles we have already described general directions of web development and gave a closer review of front-end development issues. Today the theme we raise deals with back-end development, its essence, tools and specific nature.

 

What is back-end development?

 

In general terms, a website or dynamic web application is a number of files containing structure, design, content, and functionality. The technologies and codes that enliven a site, the area of web development which  makes the site run invisibly to users is called back-end. It consists of the server, the database, and the server-side applications. Back-end is the far side of the webpage or screen functionality; to set the analogy, it could be imagined as the brain or the engine of a website or app.

 

For example, when users navigate their web browser to http://tubikstudio.com/, they actually turn to the server where Tubik Studio website files are located and send a request to see them. It should be also noted that loading a website, users aren’t looking at that website directly on the server. The server sends the files to the web browser, which then looks at them locally, on user’s computer. In fact, back-end sets the basis on which front-end development is able to come into play. Back-end developer programs core computational logic of the system including software, website and information.

 

back end development programming

 

What are the objectives of back-end?

 

The key tasks of back-end are accessing the data that users request through the web browser or app, combining and transforming it, and returning the data in its processed form to the requester.

 

Accessing the data that users request
Any time of day or night, there’s always the chance that users will ask for data surfing the website or using the app. Taking it into consideration, back-end should be available on demand being ready to react and respond users’ requests.

 

For practical situation, let’s imagine someone launches an e-commerce startup before their website or app is prepared for a considerable number of users to log in and shop, especially in high season of celebrations like Halloween or Christmas campaigns. In this case the launch is done on shaky ground. What will happen? One day, the website or app will crash. Make no mistake, not being able to get the respond from the website, users will get angry and quickly find deals from the competitors. This is how the invisible foundation of back end directly supports not only digital product, but far more — brands, companies and clients.

 

Back-end always works with data. Developer has to understand it is vital for back-end to be developed on the basis of security practices. This is even more significant when the data interacts with secure information, such as medical, personal, or financial data.

 

Combining and transforming the data
The data that is required for website or app can come from a variety of sources called databases. The task of back-end is finding information the user needs within the databases, which contain enormous amounts of data, and then combine it in a way that provides useful and required results.

 

Imagine that someone downloads the app for travelling or opens the website aimed at this theme and wants to know how to arrive to a particular destination. The website or app will need to get access to the information from the city transport databases, taxi companies, Google Maps and so on and so forth.

 

What happens if the questions, which back-end has to respond, change over time? The structure of back-end is always optimizable which means that developers will be able to respond new requests within its code.

 

Returning the data
Eventually, as soon as back-end gathers and combines all the requested information, the data should be sent to the user. How many internet users can read the information in code produced for back-end? Perhaps, a small handful of chosen. What should others do? To solve this problem, here come the famous APIs playing the role of back-end “translators” transforming pure code into a language legible and edible for humans.

 

For the efficiency of a digital product performance, it is perfect when web designers, front-end developers and back-end developers can work together from the earliest stages of any project and have a constant feedback loop. It provides the ability to choose the best design and development solutions and techologies so that the final result could look great and operate properly.

 

What is the structure of back-end?

 

Back-end includes three parts: server, databases, and APIs.

 

The server is a computer, a device or a program whose purpose is managing network resources and data.

 

web development

 

Alternatively referred to as a databank or a datastore, and sometimes abbreviated as DB, a database is a big amount of indexed digital information. It can be searched, referenced, compared, changed or manipulated with optimal speed and minimal processing expense.

 

APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) are the tools that transport the data sent from back-end to front-end of the website or app. This data, in particular, can include elements of the layout such as buttons, menus, controls, tabs, images, copy, etc.

 

Back-end presents a combination of the databases and the applications written in a server-side language running on the servers.

 

Server-side languages

 

PHP. It is an HTML-embedded scripting language. The main aim of the language is to allow creating dynamically generated pages quickly. PHP is easy to install and deploy, it is staying competitive with lots of modern frameworks, and is the foundation for a number of content-management systems (CMS). PHP powers famous web sites and platfroms such as WordPress, Wikipedia, Facebook etc.

 

Python. It is an interpreted, object-oriented, high-level programming language with dynamic semantics. This programming language is fast, making it effective for getting things to market quickly. Python is simple; its syntax is easy-to-learn, readable and therefore reduces the cost of program maintenance. It is the oldest of the scripting languages, and often referred to as powerful and effective. Python powers famous sites such as YouTube, Google, The Washington Post etc.

 

Java. It is a programming language designed for use in the distributed environment of the Web. Java is similar to C++ language, but it is simpler to use than the latter and enforces an object-oriented programming model. It can be used to create complete applications that may run on a single computer or be distributed among servers and clients in a network. Java powers famous sites such as Twitter, Verizon, AT&T, Salesforce.

 

Ruby. It is dynamic, open source programming language with a focus on simplicity and productivity. Great for building complicated logic on the database side of a website, Ruby connects the back-end and database functionality that PHP and SQL can offer. It is characterized as the language of easy maintenance and high-traffic demands. Ruby powers famous sites such as Hulu, original version of Twitter, Living Social, Basecamp etc. Moreover, the framework Ruby on Rails for this programming language has extensive libraries which support higher level of flexibility for developer in the process of creating code for particular aims.  Here in Tubik we also use this programming language as the basis for back-end development.

 

C#. It is type-safe, object-oriented language that enables developers to build a variety of secure and robust applications that run on the .NET Framework. C# can be used to create Windows client applications, XML Web services, distribute components, client-server applications, database applications, etc. It also can be used to build iOS and Android mobile apps with the help of a cross-platform technology like Xamarin.

 

С++. It is an enhanced C language typically used for object-oriented programming. C++ is effective for complex applications also built on the .NET Framework.

 

Erlang. It is a general-purpose programming language. Erlang has built-in support which increases its level of competitiveness and distribution. It is used in several large telecommunication systems from Ericsson.

 

Server-side frameworks

 

ASP.NET. It is an open source web framework for building modern web apps and services with .NET. It creates websites based on HTML, CSS, and JavaScript that are simple, fast, and can scale to millions of users.

 

Ruby on Rails. It is an open source Ruby language framework for developing database-backed web applications. Ruby on Rails is also full-stack framework which includes everything needed to create a database-driven web application, using the Model-View-Controller pattern.

 

Django. It is a high-level Python language web framework that encourages rapid development and clean, pragmatic design. Django is also free and open source.

 

Node.js. It is a JavaScript runtime built on Chrome V8 JavaScript engine. Here are some examples of Node.js frameworks:

  • Hapi.js
  • Socket.io
  • Express.js
  • Mojito
  • Meteor
  • Derby
  • Mean.js
  • Sails.js
  • Koa.js
  • Total.js

 

Relational database management systems (RDBMS)

 

In order to work properly, every website needs a database to store its code, images, files and other data. The following relational database management systems (RDBMS) are the most popular for web-based applications:

  • MySQL
  • PostgreSQL
  • MongoDB
  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • Oracle
  • Sybase
  • SAP HANA
  • IBM DB2

 

web development

 

Let’s draw up the balance. Front-end is the part of the website or app which users see and interact with. Back-end is the engine behind the interface, allowing data validation, processing and storing.

 

Recommended reading

 

Server-Side Scripting: Back-End Web Development Technology

 

Web Development. Basics of the Job.

 

3 Web Dev Careers Decoded: Front-End vs Back-End vs Full Stack

 

The Languages and Frameworks You Should Learn in 2016

 

I Don’t Speak Your Language: Frontend vs. Backend

 

Basics of Back-End Development

web development job insights

Close Insight into Web Developer’s Craft

Being a web developer is not just writing code. It is literally breathing life into a website. It is making help, beauty, information and communication available for thousands and millions of people around the world. It is allowing stunning, stylish and user-friendly designs get live and do their best job. It is spending hours in the complicated and mysterious word of characters and signs enriching personal and professional progress. That is making wonders right from your desk and your computer.

 

Who are web developers and what do they do? One of our previous articles here in Tubik Blog has already unveiled a bit of basics on their job, let’s go further today. A lot of people conceivably count that web developers just provide technical side of building websites, but the job goes far beyond this simple definition. Professionals of this sphere are also required to analyze user’s needs to ensure that proper content, graphics and underlying structure are created and maintained to meet the goals of both users and website owners.

 

web developer tubik studio

 

What are web developer’s responsibilities?

 

Generally, all web developers can be divided into three groups. The first group focuses solely on the underlying software and databases (back-end development), while the second one works on the interface and visual design (front-end development). There’s also the third group whose representatives combine both directions (full-stack development).

 

Daily responsibilities include:

 

  • coding in one or more programming or scripting languages, such as PHP, Java, Ruby or JavaScript;
  • debugging, refactoring and optimizing existing code;
  • fixing bugs in existing projects;
  • testing new features thoroughly to ensure they perform the correct task in all cases;
  • testing performance of created web application or website;
  • building and testing Application Program Interfaces (APIs) for applications to exchange data;
  • converting written, graphic, audio and video components to compatible web formats;
  • participation in creating UX (logic and transitions) and UI (visual design performance) design in tight collaboration with designers at pre-development stages;
  • building and maintaining databases;
  • deciding on the best tools, technologies, languages and frameworks for the project;
  • planning and prototyping new applications or websites;
  • staying up to date with new trends and advancements in web development;
  • informing designers, developers and project staff for progress updates;
  • gathering requirements and wishes from clients and users.

 

The list can be continued longer and longer and amaze users and customers by its diversity.

 

programming languages fron-end

 

What should a web developer know?

 

A web developer (particularly, front-end developer) should know how to activate web content via code in a user-friendly way. This task provides a challenging aspect to website development and maintenance. The website should not be too simple for advanced users, nor should it be so intricate that the beginner is easily lost in the surfing process. This is the point on which UX/UI designers and developers are advised to support each other uniting their effort and professional knowledge and skills. Effective collaboration of these sides usually results in user-friendly efficient web product in which design finds sophisticated ways to support usability and harmony of logical and visual presentation while development sets the elegant methods to activate and maintain those solutions in live websites.

 

Hyper-Text Markup Language (HTML), JavaScript (JS) and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) are the foundation of front-end development. HTML is the main language used to build and display a website or web application. JS provides user interfaces and enhances interactivity of a website. CSS is used for the look and design of the website in spreadsheets written in HTML. These languages are essential of building website front-end.

 

Here are some examples of client-side programming languages:

 

-HTML
-XHTML
-CSS
-JavaScript
-Flash
-Microsoft Silverlight

 

A back-end developer builds and maintains the technology that connects user-facing side of the website to its server side. The back end of a website consists of a server, an application, and a database. In an effort to make the server, application, and database communicate with each other, back-end developers use server-side languages like PHP, Java, Ruby, .NET and others to build an application, and tools like MySQL, Oracle, and SQL Server to find, save, remove or change data and send it back to the user in client-side code.

 

Back-end developers use these languages and tools to create or contribute to web applications with clean, portable, readable code. However, before writing the code, they need to collaborate with clients to understand their particular needs and wishes, then translate those into technical requirements and come up with the most efficient solution for architecting the technology.

 

Here are some examples of server-side programming languages:

-PHP
-C++
-C
-C#
-Java
-Python
-Ruby
-Erlang

 

And these are some examples of widely used tools:

-MySQL
-PostgreSQL
-MongoDB
-Microsoft SQL Server
-Oracle
-Sybase
-SAP HANA
-IBM DB2

 

web development

 

What skills are advantageous for web developers?

 

On the basis of everyday routine here in Tubik Studio, it’s easy to state that web developers have to display comprehensive diversity of technical knowledge in the spheres such as client-side languages and development, server-side languages and development, web application frameworks and relational database management systems (RDBMS), as well as experience of dealing with version control systems and understanding of the architecture of web applications, web security and encryption.

 

Let’s look closer at skills and qualities that could be beneficial for people choosing web development as their professional sphere.

 

Good communication skills

Developers should be ready to various types of communication, depending on every particular case and deciding on the most effective one:

  • Face-to-face;
  • Phone;
  • Email;
  • Online chat;
  • Social networks;
  • A variety of instant messaging apps.

 

As a web developer, even one who works remotely, they need to be able to communicate confidently and effectively with clients, users, superiors, colleagues and perhaps other developers from outsource companies.

 

Flexibility and Adaptability

Websites and back-end requirements may change over time. Clients can be inconsistent by various reasons, alter considerations or critical details, perhaps as their businesses change. It is important to be flexible and adaptable, while also setting boundaries so that the scope on the project doesn’t creep too far. It means:

 

— Having to learn new languages, frameworks, skills, etc.

— Being ready to take on extra responsibilities

— Dealing with the situations when a project you are working on is cancelled

— Adapting to the changes in your working hours

— Ability to work independently and in mixed teams

— Staying up-to-date with new tools, methods of coding, etc.

 

Priorities setting

It is an important part of any web developer’s job. Developers may not be responsible for the overall web project, but will still find themselves having to prioritize tasks and deal with other participants of the process who also have their own deadlines and parameters to keep.

 

Logical approach to problem solving

One of the hardest parts about being a web developer is addressing challenges. Before making decisions, research and thorough analysis are needed for finding out what is the problem and its roots.

 

Attention to detail

It will become a key to the kingdom for those who want to program because in huge number of cases code is long and complicated. Lack of attention and healthy pedantry has direct influence on the level of productivity as well as speed and quality of web product performance.

 

front end develoment tubik studio

 

What is a career perspective?

 

Web developers in companies or tech organizations usually start their careers as junior or entry-level developers before becoming senior or mid-level developers after around couple years or even faster, depending on abilities to learn and speed of skills practicing. Comparing to freelance projects, job in organizations often means getting involved into creating complex and serious digital products, meeting more clients, leading client meetings and working on large and longer-term projects. Senior developers might also manage junior developers.

 

After reaching advanced professional level, the next position is lead developer, technical lead or head of development. Generally, these promotions involve managing a team of web developers and contributing to the organization’s technical strategy and goals. It also means the amount of actual coding work will decrease. The next step can be a senior or even board-level position, for example Chief Technical Officer (CTO) or Technology Vice President.

 

The Bottom Line

 

When you open a web-browser, chose website and load it, the site, designed and developed properly and thoughtfully, will load instantly opening the variety of operations to your disposal. It sometimes knocks you down with its awesome layout, well-constructed pages, useful information and impressive visuals. Who is responsible for this positive experience? Sure, it is the team of designers, creating idea, logic and visual performance, content creators, planning and writing appropriate filling for the webpages, and web developers who seem to be a sort of magicians able to enliven all the stuff and bring it to the user quickly and efficiently. Web development has many ways for professional growth and self-fulfillment, and all of these directions are complicated but professionally rewarding.


Welcome to read the article about basic terms of web development and issues of front-end development

Welcome to see the designs by Tubik Studio on Dribbble and Behance

front end develoment tubik studio

Web Development. Basics of the Job.

It seems that there are crowds of web developers here and there, still the job is marked among those which are always in demand. The growing number and diversity of professionals doesn’t set the scarcity of places on the labor market in the sphere. And the reason is really simple: people around the world open more and more opportunities provided by modern websites for all the spheres of professional and personal activities.

 

“Everyone wants a website,” says Brandon Swift, co-founder of Santa Barbara-based Volt Commerce. “As a web developer, you’ll never be short on work. I mean never!” And that seems to be pure truth: total employment in this sphere is projected to grow 27 percent through 2024, three times faster than average for all occupations according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). British resource National Career Service also provides statistics showing the dynamic growth and it is forecasted to continue.

 

statistics web development jobs

 

So, naturally there are more and more people who start their path or broaden professional horizons in the sphere as well as growing number of customers who need to get into basics of the job for understanding the process and setting effective collaboration  with web designers and developers. 

 

Nowadays, average internet users often confuse web design with web development, but there is a huge difference between the two. That is why we have decided to start the series of posts in Tubik Blog unveiling basic and specific aspects of web development for all those who are interested in the theme. Today let’s start talking about the basics.

 

What is web development?

 

Web development is the process of building a website or web application from scratch which includes creating custom code to accommodate unique needs, developing everything from the site layout to features and functions on the webpage or web application.

 

Typically, web developer’s primary task is building reliable and high performing website or web application. What should we get as the basis of web development process? First of all, it is necessary to know main areas of web development and specificity of each.

 

web development

 

What are main areas of web development?

 

Client-side scripting — types of codes that execute in a web browser and determine what users will see when they open a website.

 

Server-side scripting — types of codes that execute on a web server and produce a response customized for each user’s request to the website.

 

Database technology — software applications which allow defying, creating, querying, updating, and administering databases.

 

In point of fact, in large-scale web projects these parts of web development are often delegated to multiple web developers for higher workflow speed and productivity: one programmer may focus on server side of a website while another focuses on the client side to add style and functionality to the website or web application.

 

Considering the above-mentioned issues, let’s take a closer look on what languages and tools web programmers should know in each of these fields.

 

What is used for web development process?

 

Codes of client-side scripting execute themselves within the browser of a user’s computer, like storing user data in cookies, simple flash games, web applications or other. Client-side development is done almost exclusively on JavaScript in addition to basic HTML and CSS code.

 

Here are some examples of client-side programming languages:

  • HTML
  • XHTML
  • CSS
  • JavaScript
  • Flash
  • Microsoft Silverlight

 

Server-side scripting is the type of coding used by web developers to build reliable user-server connection and vice versa. A web browser’s storage is limited by the end user’s computer, so websites need to host the files and images that make the site work in a database on a web server. This area of web development includes building the framework that allows the database on the web server to communicate with the web browser of the end user’s computer. Need to notice, server-side code is also more secure, because using a website the user has no direct access to source code and proprietary databases.

 

Here are some examples of server-side programming languages:

  • PHP
  • C++
  • C
  • C#
  • Java
  • Python
  • Ruby
  • Erlang

 

In order to work properly, every website needs a database to store its code, images, files and other data. These relational database management systems (RDBMS) are the most popular for web-based applications:

  • MySQL
  • PostgreSQL
  • MongoDB
  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • Oracle
  • Sybase
  • SAP HANA
  • IBM DB2

 

web development and programming

 

Bottom line

 

In a broad sense, web development includes web design, but also includes web content development, client and server side scripting, server and configurations security as well as e-commerce application. Web development is of paramount importance to any new or established business. Website is a useful method of presenting the list of the services and products offered by someone to the wide and diverse audience of internet users, it will provide understanding why these products are relevant and even necessary for them to buy or use, and presenting the company’s qualities setting it apart from competitors.

 

Web development has also impacted personal relations. Websites are no longer simply tools for work or e-commerce, but serve more broadly for communication and social networking. Websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram provide users with a platform to communicate and organizations with a more personal and interactive way to engage the public.

 

If you are interested to read more about web development, don’t miss our next post which will be devoted to client-side scripting. It is going contain detailed descriptions of this area and show how front-end functions. Join in!