The Pros and Cons of the Azure SignalR Service

ASP.NET SignalR is a very useful library for developers. It helps the developer to add real-time functions of the web to the applications developed using ASP.NET. This means that if you are a user who is online at a certain point in time, then SignalR can help the developer push through web content to you in real-time. Some examples of the usage of SignalR are when your webpage has any dashboards to be updated regularly or any documents that are being collaboratively worked upon by a large team simultaneously.

Historically there were two forms of SignalR that were used commonly. The first was the original library for SignalR and the newer Core SignalR library. The latest version of SignalR is to be released as version 2.4 in 2018. Apart from other new features, the biggest addition that was most widely talked about in the industry was the availability of Azure SignalR Service.

The SignalR service of Azure is complete all-inclusive support that helps a website design company to scale up the web applications in real-time. The connections do not need to be present on the application directly, so the user can scale up without exceeding the maximum throughput available.

Let us look at the three specific benefits of using Azure service for SignalR:

  • All the clients would be connected to the service only. That means you do not need to worry about overloading on the server you are using, or too much load on the browsers being used.
  • The backplane doesn’t need to be managed anymore inside the application. This allows you to remove the configuration completely from the app.
  • All the visitors to your affordable website design would run through the Azure service, which means there will be less blocking of bandwidth for your application servers. This allows you to scale up without having to worry about the number of users who are using the app simultaneously.

While it is very easy to convert a regular ASP.NET SignalR app to use the Azure SignalR service, there are also certain limitations you need to work with. Let us take a look at some of them.

  • You would need to upgrade the version of .NET that is being used on your server. The bare minimum needed is the 4.6.1 framework.
  • You will not be able to service persistent connections using your Azure SignalR service. At this point, this service is not available, although we are hopeful of the necessary upgrade soon.
  • Usually, clients use the JSONP protocol, but the Azure SignalR service doesn’t support it. The clients would need to upgrade to a cross-origin resource sharing protocol.

Even with these limitations, the benefits provided by Azure SignalR service are big enough to have both the industry as well as users excited. We are sure that whatever glitches we see at present would be ironed out in the upcoming releases. There are several service providers who would be more than willing to offer their services to help you migrate.

The Most Popular Frameworks and Libraries That Can Be Used For Vue.js

There are some monolithic frameworks which can be used for building interfaces. But there are also some progressive frameworks which can be designed from scratch and are quite flexible in their use. One such progressive framework is Vue.js, whose name sounds like ‘view’ probably because the core library used in it is mostly concerned with the view layer of the framework.

If you have a current project, you can easily assimilate Vue.js with the existing framework. In case you do not need to integrate it, you can also use Vue.js with single page applications. The most popular application of Vue.js which is encountered by anyone who is getting trained in website design services is the Hello World code. Some of the other tricks which a Vue.js learner quickly learns are declarative rendering, conditionals, loops, composing etc. There are a number of Vue.js frameworks and libraries that can be used by you in your projects. Let us look at some of the most popular and useful ones.

IviewThis is a user interface (UI) kit for the upgraded version of Vue.js and has got great ratings everywhere. This library has an inbuilt CLI tool which you can use for scaffolding your projects. You will also find a number of easy to use API, detailed documentation and useful demos. The UI components of IView have been used by a number of well-known names like Lenovo, Alibaba, and others.
Vuikit This is another popular library providing Vue.js user interfaces. You will find its output very simple and tidy, and this library adheres to all guidelines of YOOTheme. You can choose from a large number of default themes provided. If you want more, Vuikit can also provide customized themes for your use.
Onsen UI Vue The UI components in Onsen are designed in such a way that they can act reactively to all props received by you. This library is most useful for hybrid apps. It provides a Vue-like API which can interact with the core web components developed by a website development company. This allows it to emulate all the iOS as well as Android guidelines for UI.
Semantic UI Vue This is specifically for use in the Semantic UI. Although it hasn’t gone live yet, it is being developed quickly and would soon be available. The API of this framework is quite similar to that of Semantic UI. The themes available can be used as they are, or they could also be customized as per requirement, using the NPM module.
Element UI This is another toolkit that is compatible with Vue.js 2.0, just like IView we mentioned above. All types of users would find it useful. You can choose from any of the 3 languages it is available in, depending on which project it is being used for.

The above 5 are just some of the choices available. Because there has been a lot of activity in the Vue.js community, there are new variants being created almost on a daily basis, and the excitement has only just begun.

Magento vs WooCommerce – Which one is Better?

Whether someone needs to find out about the day’s weather, or get some help with their fitness goals, or simply needs to find a good restaurant in a new locality they are visiting, there is some or the other web or mobile app to help them. Once they have used these tools to gather information, they do not always go to the physical store now, as was the norm earlier. They complete most of their purchases from their desktop or phone.

If you are a business owner who is targeting online business from customers instead of wanting to get them to buy from your physical store, then the most important tool you need is a good e-commerce platform. This would enable the customer to complete the transaction conveniently and securely so that you can dispatch after getting confirmation of the order. There are two popular e-commerce platforms which are generally favored by many business owners or webmasters – Magento and WooCommerce. Like many other web app development products, these two platforms also have their loyal supporters. Let us look at them a bit costlier and try to do an unbiased comparison.

The first point of difference is that Magento is an open source platform, whereas WooCommerce is an open source platform built on top of the WordPress website builder. So, while both are open source platforms, WooCommerce is par for the course and comes with the territory when you have used WordPress to build your website.

But for a user, the first and more important point of comparison is the cost involved. This is especially true for a small company that is just starting off. Although the prices are not available for open viewing, users have informed that the paid version of Magento is quite costly, but that cost provides you with lots of features and good support. On the other hand, WooCommerce is available free with WordPress, but you have to pay separately for domain names, SSL certification etc.

The next point of comparison that is more important for a business that is just starting off is how easy (or difficult the platform is to use). Resources would be limited, so it is expected that the business owner wouldn’t be able to employ specials for every aspect of the business, like website development or app development, and would be likely to be handling everything on their own. So the platform for e-commerce must be easy to set up and use. In our opinion, Magento has some incredible features but those features would be better harnessed by someone who has a knowledge of the development process. Because of its automatic link to WordPress, WooCommerce is comparatively easier to use. You need to become conversant with the installation and use of plugins.

The final point of comparison is how well they stack up a few years down the line when your business has grown. We already spoke of the comparatively higher setup costs for Magento. This is replicated when you try to scale up for most users. On the other hand, WooCommerce gives you some more options to keep your costs low while you are expanding, allowing you to plan for the addition of more features and incorporating more application development features.

Five Use Cases of Artificial Intelligence in Daily Life

For years we have read books and seen movies about the way robots and machines will take over our world. We have been fed scenarios of how machines would develop human thinking abilities and ultimately replace humans. In the last few years, a lot of progress has been seen in making this a reality, and artificial reality is today all set to be a part of our regular lives rather than stay in the realm of fantasy. Let us take a look at five ways in which AI (artificial intelligence) is already changing our lives.

1. Facial Recognition

If you have been even slightly regular on Facebook, all this month you would have seen people upload a current picture of themselves along with a 10-year-old picture of themselves. Although this trend became viral as a harmless game, there are people who said it is a ploy to get tons of data to help recognize Facebook’s facial recognition algorithm. Machine reading of faces for allowing access, providing medical records, finding a family tree, the possibilities of facial recognition are endless. Many a website design and development company has invested in facial recognition already, and this year we hope to see more use cases in everyday life.

2. Personalized News Feeds

With a Facebook page open, try booking an airline ticket online. For the next few days, your Facebook feed will have lots of stories about airlines, hotels, and car rentals. This is just one example of the use of AI to get more relevant feeds to every person. Whether it is music, films, news, sports, or books, AI will continue to be used to come up with more pertinent suggestions.

3. Empathy

The principle premise of AI has been to allow machines to ’think’ like humans, but not too much progress has been made on making machines ‘feel’ like humans. As the virtual assistants (more on that later) answer more and more queries and do more and more jobs for you, their answers and suggestions will become less of fact-providing and more on understanding your needs.

4. Virtual Assistant

The personal assistant has already become quite ubiquitous, being used from everything to playing music to giving weather updates and controlling lights and temperatures in the house, etc. The interesting thing about virtual assistants is that they not only highlight the great features of AI but also give you the benefits of machine learning, with the assistant learning to understand what you like or don’t like.

5. Healthcare

This is one of the areas with the greatest potential to change our lives for the better. Doctors and diagnostic facilities have already begun to use AI for intelligent data mining from patient health records. The biggest intervention is expected in the area of correct diagnosis of a health problem using the right combination of symptoms, recent medical history, and family medical history. Less common, perhaps, but more far-reaching, would be the use of machine intelligence in areas like genome sequencing for getting cures for life-threatening diseases. The five examples above are just some ways in which AI has already begun to affect our life and work, and beyond this, the possibilities are just endless. AI is also being adopted by many websites designing companies in India.

10 Best Drag & Drop Page Builders for WordPress

Are you looking to work on a DIY website development project without getting the help of a professional web developer? Then it is important that you make the use of a WordPress page builder that comes with drag and drop features. Such a program can enable you to create beautiful, unique and customized websites all by yourself and help you to save time while you are doing it. A WordPress website developer is the program that you need when you are looking to have easy access to various customization features.

How a drag and drop page builder for WordPress is important

Even though it is quite easy to download and use WordPress themes, they mostly have got very limited customization options. The thing is that in such cases you need to have the assistance of a professional WordPress developer if you are looking to make major changes to the theme designs. It is exactly here that a WordPress Page Builder comes in. With the assistance of a drag and drop page builder for WordPress, you can come up with customized layouts for the website that you want to create. Even if you are not exactly a tech-savvy person, you can still create any kind of thematic layout for your website as you fancy. The page builder that you select for your own project must come with responsive design elements and SEO friendly layout designs.

Here are some of the best drag and drop page builders for WordPress.

1. The Divi Builder

The Divi Builder works as a powerful page builder for WordPress with which you can create all kinds of designs for your website. With the Divi Builder, you can have endless flexibility on the way you want to have your website look and function.

2. WR Page Builder

The WR Page Builder works as a relatively simple drag and drops page builder that allows you to work with responsive layouts. Other attractive features include great widget support, full-page elements, numerous built-in shortcodes as well as various other styling variations.

3. Beaver Builder

Beaver Builder is ideal for you when you want to create WordPress websites without much coding knowledge. It offers numerous beautiful page templates as well as the flexibility to customize the fonts and images with them. It also offers you complete control over the content of your website.

4. Aqua Page Builder

The Aqua Page Builder is a plugin that can make it easier for you to work with numerous variations of templates. Due to this reason, it is highly recommended by leading WordPress website design company with many years of experience.

5. SiteOrigin

If you are looking to build a website that has got a responsive design and comes with text content arranged in a column-like structure, you should definitely opt for SiteOrigin. You can experiment with numerous themes and templates when you are using SiteOrigin.

6. Visual Composer

Visual Composer is a widely used plugin that is packed with a lot of great themes. If you are looking to have a fluid and easy front-end smart editing experience, you should ideally go for Visual Composer.

7. Elementor

Elementor is an open source WordPress page builder that comes with advanced features. It allows you to build websites with instant page edits carried out from the frontend. Elementor is also known for its user efficiency and high-speed performance that makes it quite user-friendly.

8. BoldGrid

BoldGrid can effectively transform your standard WordPress dashboard into a one of a kind user-friendly website builder. BoldGrid is also perfect for those who are starting to work with WordPress. It is equipped with numerous WordPress plugins which can guarantee a smooth workflow.

9. Themify Builder

Themify Builder is a WordPress page builder with excellent drag and drops features. It offers more than 60 prebuilt animation effects and layouts for you to choose from. With Themify Builder, you can create stunning websites without doing everything on your own.

10. WPBakery Page Builder for WordPress

The WPBakery Page Builder for WordPress is a popular choice for WordPress page builder with both newbie developers as well as experienced professionals. It is perfectly compatible with some of the best translation plugins, SEO plugins, and e-commerce plugins. This makes it perfect for all kinds of websites.

Mobile Apps Beckon for all Seasons and Reasons

Whether it is Android or iOS app development services, it is a mega business for 2018 and beyond and forever. The reasons are not hard to understand. With web-based apps around and too many of them exist already, more businesses are joining up to exploit the rich possibilities. Personalization is possible and that is what everybody wants now, along with artificial intelligence that has the ability to adjust to preferences, whims, and desires. The principle is simple enough to understand over time how the subject travels, dines, wears, and prefers movies and music. Accordingly, suggestions will come from the personal assistant and even over voice commands. All quite interesting, isn’t it, and so much easier and user friendly, seamless and intuitive?

The concept applies rather more to the over-busy, stressed-out executives in megacities who do not know where time comes from and disappears in the daily rush of travel, work, entertainment, meetings, and making ends meet. Time and money drive businesses and mobile apps cleverly combine a range of functions, information, feeling, and emotion into that little contraption that is no less than a modern deity, to say the least. No wonder it is that mobile app development is getting to be big business!

1. Building brands and attracting customers through mobile apps

Decades-old marketing techniques would still apply in the digital era. VFM and ROI are still important. Finding a voice and broadcasting to local and international markets for publicity would be necessary and big data decides how to configure and design the app to make it most appealing. Esthetic factors matter too, but functionality and blended AI and AR are crucial. It is hard to believe that hundreds of thousands of apps already exist. An individual could be familiar with a tiny fraction, just like the movies and music within the experience.

2. Wearable apps make it so convenient

Now that gadgets are getting so much smaller and more convenient, the smartphone is everywhere and combines numerous functions. Even smaller are the little wearables like watches and pens and god knows what else that hold secretive devices to monitor health and exercise, for instance. The range could find many more extensions in the future like the internet of things that connects many home devices that can be controlled across distances, like the security system.

3. The mobile application development world

Novelty and research keep the world going and spruce up human life with easier and faster work, study, and play methods. Intelligent apps like digital assistants and chatbots are only the beginning. Whatever apps are developed now should aim at the future with the face of the internet industry changing so fast. After all the effort and the expense with billions of dollars spent on research, aiming for a decade would be fine. Considering concepts like data lake and DaaS and AaaS perhaps, dreams may be possible.

4. Analytics, the cloud and machine learning are all trendy

Mobile apps with pretty shapes that load very fast and are small, residing in the cloud, and based on tones of research and big data would deliver dynamic results. Engineered to perfection and constantly updating to keep abreast of the competition, it is a universe that is gaining rapidly to set contemporary society on fire. A competent mobile app development company is fated to do big business.