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Our team of specialists wanted to share some articles on technologies, services, trends and news of our industry in the era of digital transformation.

What is hybrid app development?

What is hybrid app development?

As a professional, you may have heard about hybrid app development. Now, what exactly is it, and in which cases is this option convenient in the code? Below, we will explain what hybrid apps consist of, how they differ from native apps, and what you should consider about this.

 

Hybrid applications: how do they differ from native applications?

Before explaining what hybrid apps are, it is essential to understand what native apps are. According to TechTarget, it is a program that is developed for use on a particular platform or device. Therefore, they are created with a particular language and a special operating system.

In the case of mobile applications, the two options are Android and iOS. For example, historically there were 3 major operating systems: Android, iOS, and Windows Phone, although Microsoft discontinued the latter. Consequently, the two contenders are the Google and Apple options. 

Therefore, it could be said that to speak of “native” applications is to refer to specific releases for Android and iOS. For example, to create an application on Android, the Kotlin programming language is used, but also Java. As for iOS, the most interesting option is Swift.

what is hybrid app development

 

So, when an application is created in a native language, it is uploaded to an official app store. That is the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store. Once this is done, the official support of these companies will supervise this application. If they approve them, they can be found in online stores. 

 

The role of web apps and hybrid applications.

Now, what does this have to do with hybrid applications? Well, not all developments are designed natively. One example is web apps or Progressive Web Apps (PWAs), which are “intermediate” applications. In this way, they are halfway between a web application and a native application. 

In other words, they are web applications that can run on a web browser. However, thanks to service workers, they can function as mobile applications. For example, you could also use background functions or push notifications, as if they were native applications. 

Once this is known, hybrid applications can be easily understood. According to Telerik, hybrid applications run on the device but are not necessarily created for it. They currently appear as a more than useful option for the development of any mobile app. 

It should be noted that hybrid applications are developed using a web programming language. Once developers work on the source code, it is compiled and converted to a specific programming language. In other words, the result is the same as native apps.

hybrid app development mockup

 

What to consider for hybrid app development?

Well, you already know what hybrid applications are. However, what should you consider when developing them? Below, we will tell you some of the essential variables so that you know if this option is viable for all the personal or business projects you have:

 

Development time.

A differential value that you need to know. Hybrid applications have a shorter development time than native applications. So, you must keep in mind that you are working on the same base (source code). Once this is done, then it is compiled for Android and iOS.

Therefore, if you develop an application in a “native” format, you have to develop two projects in parallel. That is, the original and the adapted version. On the other hand, with a hybrid application, everything is done at the same time. Consequently, it is something you should keep in mind about this.

 

Development cost.

Similarly, native applications are much more expensive than hybrid applications. The reason? In a hybrid application, you would only need a team specialized in JavaScript. On the other hand, for the release of each operating system, you will need experts in Kotlin and Swift, for example.

 

The complexity of work.

However, it can also be a somewhat more complex development. This situation is because the logic of the mobile operating system is not the same as that of the web. Therefore, problems may arise in the backend. In this case, you may want to develop your application natively, even if it means a higher cost.

 

Resources and specialized personnel.

Finally, something you should keep in mind: it is easier to find professionals who are good at web technologies. For example, JavaScript appears as one of the most known and used languages on the planet. Many of them have probably worked with hybrid frameworks. On the other hand, it is more complicated to find specialists in native applications. 

In short, you already know that there are many options for hybrid app development. Consequently, you must take into account which is the best alternative you have for all your projects. We hope you liked this information!

 

Learn about the software life cycle and technological change

Learn about the software life cycle and technological change

In planning software development, estimating the potential of the software product is a first step that must include both cost-benefit analysis and the usefulness that the development will bring to users. It is also essential to consider factors such as the estimated durability that the software product will have in the company and how it will help to achieve business objectives; that is the software life cycle. 

This first analysis must be complemented with a study of the software life cycle, that is, with an evaluation of the potential evolution of the utility of the software in the company over time.

 

What is the Software Life Cycle?

The software life cycle is a dynamic concept, which assumes a series of steps or stages that development goes through from its conception to its obsolescence.

The determinants of the life cycle period are both uncontrollable factors in the environment and fully controllable managerial decisions. One of the most important uncontrollable factors is the evolution of technology, which drives new products, and makes existing ones obsolete. A second factor is the evolution of production and consumption, which means that certain developments are no longer suitable for the market while others are in demand.

These factors exist in all sectors and industries. However, it is a fact that certain developments have longer cycles than others. The life cycle is also influenced by the marketing efforts of the competition, particularly when the market expands. So we can say that it is not a fixed process, and our experience in this field allowed us to identify a wide variety of patterns.

 

Let’s analyze the Different Steps of the Software Life Cycle.

software life cycle

  1. Birth.

The software life cycle begins with its birth. This stage includes both the recognition of the need and the planning and ideation and subsequent development. This is a broad phase, which usually lasts a considerable time.

Generally, companies that provide software development services, such as Huenei, are in charge of carrying out these projects hand in hand with clients. Specifically, at Huenei we offer three development service models that allow this first phase of the life cycle to be carried out: Dedicated Teams, Staff Augmentation, and Turnkey Projects.

As an example, we would like to mention the development of a corporate Sharepoint Portal that we carried out for ABB. The objective of this project was to create software that allowed easy management and distribution of information among different business areas.

 

  1. Launch.

Once the software has been developed, it is time to launch it. In this instance, the company presents the product to its employees, customers, suppliers, or whoever will be the end-user.

It is also common for the development team to be present in the first instances. For example, at Huenei we generally accompany our clients in the introduction of software developments to users and we provide support and follow-up during the first months of use.

 

  1. Growth.

Once the software product has been released, its use of it begins to grow and evolve. Early growth occurs when the early adopters of the program become savvy in using it and begin to get used to it and take it as part of their day-to-day work.

In a second instance, late growth occurs when the laggards who had not been able to get used to the use of this developed product, begin to be motivated by those who already are users to join the tribe.

 

  1. Maturity.

Once the majority of potential users are using the software, it is said to reach a point of maturity in its life cycle. This means that many users have been reached and, therefore, this number will hardly achieve great growth in the future.

This is generally the desired instance as it means that almost the entire segment (e.g. company employees) has gotten used to using this product and has integrated it into their day-to-day operations.

 

  1. Obsolescence.

Lastly, all good things usually come to an end. The instance of obsolescence occurs when the software is no longer used. Generally, a few users stop using the product and this trend grows until it reaches the majority of users.

Technological change, organizational restructuring, demanding market changes, and the deliberate decision of users are some examples by which software can reach its obsolescence stage. There is no estimated time to reach obsolescence; there are developments that can have short life cycles, of months, while others can last for years and years until they reach their obsolescence.

 

Gaining an understanding of the software life cycle can help you in future planning for your developments. It is very important to forecast or estimate how these five phases could occur in your new development, to take preventive and decisive measures.

For example, if you identify slow early growth, it will be important for you to take actions that communicate to users about the new product and motivate them to start testing and using it. Another very common example is the detection of potential rapid obsolescence in terms of time; In this case, it will be essential that you manage to identify the factors that would speed up this obsolescence to neutralize them or adapt the characteristics of your new product to defeat or overcome these threats.

Without further ado, we invite you to think together about the life cycle of your next software development project and to be able to find the best way to achieve your business objectives.

How to Structure your Business Intelligence Software Development Project

How to Structure your Business Intelligence Software Development Project

In a hypercompetitive and globalized world, there is more and more information to capture and learn. Companies are often overwhelmed with data, and until a few years ago it was difficult to manage. But this is no longer the case. Business Intelligence systems are present in the DNA of successful organizations. The now-famous BI allows companies to learn from their customers, their operations, their production, and their marketing processes. In this sense, it’s key that you learn how to structure your business intelligence software development projects.

Gartner defines a BI system as the set of applications, infrastructures, and tools that facilitate the access and analysis of information to improve and optimize decisions and organizational performance. In this sense, TechTarget affirms that it is a technology-driven process for analyzing data and presenting actionable information to help managers and other users make better-informed business decisions.

 

Business Intelligence Software Development.

With the popularization and evolution of business intelligence systems, more and more companies want to incorporate them into their structures. Although some canned services and programs allow a certain development of competitive intelligence skills in an organization, our experience in Huenei has shown us that these don’t allow us to exploit all the potential available. An ideal approach is the Ad Hoc development of software systems tailored to the specific needs of organizations. This is one of the challenges that we most like to face at Huenei.

But developing a business intelligence system for a company is not an easy task. The development team needs to specifically understand the needs of the organization and thus adapt them to a global structure of business intelligence.

In this article, we will focus on giving you a description of the components you should consider in your business intelligence software development projects. It is then the responsibility of the development team, such as Huenei’s, to adapt these components to the structure required by the organization.

 

Components of a BI System

  1. Data Sources

Data sources are the points of supply of potentially useful data for the analysis of a business process. These data sources can be internal, that is, found within the company’s system, or external.

Some examples of data sources in a Business Intelligence system are:

  • Databases.
  • Files.
  • Management systems, such as ERP, CRM, SCM, GIS, and so on.
  • Internet: websites, social media, and so on.
  • Information systems of the organization.
  • Information systems external to the organization but to which there is access: suppliers, customers, etc.
  • Data provided by the public administration, such as statistics on population, exchange rates, etc.
  • Data collected from sensors, mobile devices, and IoT, among others.

 

  1. ETL

The second layer of the architecture of a BI system in an organization is called ETL. In it, the data passes from the data sources of the previous step and reaches the organization’s databases. The acronym ETL refers to the three central activities of this instance: Extract, Transform, Load.

  • Extract refers to obtaining information from internal and external sources. We are talking about capturing data that can come from heterogeneous or homogeneous sources.
  • Transform is the filtering, cleaning, purification, homogenization, and grouping of the collected information. It is a set of unification rules to transform data from source to destination. Some examples are converting to a certain unit of measure, purging and cleaning inconsistent data, encoding, etc.
  • Load refers to the structurization and updating of data and metadata in the database. In other words, the data is entered into the corresponding storage place.
ETL Process

Illustration by BI Smart

  1. Data Store

Once captured, transformed, and loaded, the collected data is stored in data warehouses. There are different types of databases depending on the characteristics of the data they store, as well as their structure. As an example, below we will tell you about the most common structures.

  • Operational Data Store (ODS): this is an intermediate store between the ETL and the Data Warehouses, which allow large amounts of information to be stored in a sequential and orderly manner. You should understand them as intermediate instances, before their final storage.
  • Data Warehouse: it is a data repository that provides a global, common, and integrated vision of the organization’s data.
  • Data Mart: it is a subset of the data warehouses focused and of value for a certain department of the company. They are like small databases of the different areas of your company: Marketing, Operations, Finance, Human Resources, etc.

 

  1. Metadata.

Metadata refers to data about data. It is information about where the data is used and stored, the data sources, the changes made to the data, and the relationships between data.

The author of a document represents metadata, as well as the duration of an audio file, the font, and color of a text, the date of creation of a file, the moment of data capture, etc. This information is useful for the correct administration of the previously captured and stored data.

 

  1. End-User Layer.

This layer is what gives meaning to all the previous steps. Here, the end-user has access to the information, can analyze it, and use it for decision-making. It represents a series of tools to analyze and visualize information in different formats and for different users.

  • Analytical apps.
  • Visualization tools.
  • OLAP.
  • Data mining.
  • Reporting and query tools.

 

Ready, you already know the structure of a Business Intelligence system. Following this structure in the development of BI management software will allow you to arrive at a useful product for your company. But don’t forget: the development and this structure must be adapted to the specific needs of your organization.

Android vs iOS App Development: Everything you need to know

Android vs iOS App Development: Everything you need to know

Have you ever compared different features between the two most famous mobile operating systems in the world? This is something you should do when you want to buy a new smartphone, for example. However, it is also essential that you can find out information about Android vs iOS App Development

 

Android vs iOS App Development: all the essential differences

If you are thinking about which option is the best for you when developing an application, here we tell you the fundamental comparison between the two options.

android vs ios app development mobile comparison

Picture by Xataka Movil

 

Popularity

One of the main issues to consider. Currently, there are more than 2.5 billion Android users worldwide. Therefore, the figure is truly higher than Apple, which has more than 1.4 billion active iOS devices worldwide, including iPhones, iPads, Apple TVs, iPods, Apple Watches, and Macs.

Consequently, we could say that Android dominates 76% of the current market. In contrast, iOS has 22%. Consequently, this situation explains why both options are the favorites not only of users but also of developers and the companies themselves.

However, this also depends on the country. For example, in Mexico, there are only 16% of Apple users, because smartphones are too expensive. On the other hand, in the United States, there is a much higher tendency to consume Apple. Therefore, always look at your target audience before choosing which of the two operating systems to use.

 

Price

The price is another point that greatly affects brands that need an application. Here again, the answer can be variable. There are several issues to take into account, but the main one lies in the functions that a given application will include.

The same situation happens in the website market: a landing page is not worth the same as an e-commerce store. In this way, it is always important to consider what you need to implement in an application. For example, a chatbot, a database, forms, and even a news section.

As a general rule, we could say that Apple apps are cheaper and can be created faster. On the other hand, Android apps may require more development time, and Apple users tend to spend more money within the App Store.

However, this is by no means a strict rule. There will be Android projects that will require a very small budget. While some iOS developments can be really expensive. There are no substantial differences here, beyond some generalizations that will be found in the market. 

There is one point that needs to be noted: the value of the developer license. An Apple Developer Program account is $99 per membership per year. For a company, it is $299 per year. ¿Google Play? The value is $25 and costs a one-time fee. The difference is in profitability, as we will see below.

 

Profitability

Apple has achieved an incredible ecosystem for the different applications. Mainly, because the user who consumes iOS products feels part of a status community. Consequently, this usually leads him to spend more money on application platforms. 

For example, a study by Sensor Tower mentions that 100 of Apple’s top app developers made revenues of $84 million during the first quarter of 2019. In that same period, Android developers only made $51 million in revenue. This situation makes Apple 65% more profitable than Google.

 

Safety

For many years, Apple was considered “impossible” to hack. At the present, Softpedia reckons that Apple’s security is of low quality. The actual level of iPhone security is quite controversial, as many exploits were discovered by researchers.

Conversely, Android has made major changes to its security settings, because the myth of iPhone security meant that many hackers improved their work. In turn, the Apple user has more money than the Android user-made hacking these devices more profitable.

android vs ios app development safety

 

The importance of a good development choice

For example, if you offer very expensive services, most of your customers may use Apple devices. But, remember: this is only a generalization and you will always need to do your research. Ideally, you should have the same app that is functional for both iOS and Android. This way, you can cover almost the entire market share, to appeal to the majority of users. 

However, if you have to choose, you need to think about what is the goal of your development: are you looking for direct revenue from the app, or do you just need a mobile supplement? In any case, you should look at what percentage of users depends on each operating system.

In short, you’ve seen that understanding Android iOS vs App Development involves considering many variables. Even at this point, at Huenei we are advocates of a hybrid approach to App programming. To adapt to the needs of your users and your market situation, we recommend that you consider both operating systems and that you code your applications in such a way that they can adapt to both. We hope this information has helped you!

Dedicated Teams: The best alternative to achieve results

Dedicated Teams: The best alternative to achieve results

Are you thinking of contracting a dedicated team for software development? Then this post is just for you. We’ve been offering outsourcing of IT services for more than 25 years and we’ve learned that a big part of a successful software development project is based on having a great team and the right workflow. We would like to share some learnings with you and let you know why you should consider hiring these kinds of services.

An important challenge for technology companies is to be up-to-date in terms of work tools and methodologies. In this sense, outsourcing models such as dedicated teams represent unique opportunities for organizations.

dedicated teams are the best alternative for your business

Outsourcing to boost your business

Outsourcing has been around for decades. The earliest example of it is the 20th century when Henry Ford contracted the assembly line for Model T cars to a series of subcontractors in the US. More recently, outsourcing became popular for a wide range of companies, such as outsourcing software development, and it’s been a mainstay for companies since then.

Supporting software development is not just a financial issue. Having adequate staff to ensure a timely, accurate, and cost-effective delivery of software is no small task. The demands of the development process are high, and the need for focused attention, dedication, and a strong commitment to quality quickly become apparent. As a software development outsourcing provider, our experienced professionals are familiar with this process and can meet the client’s needs in a cost-effective, timely, and reliable manner.

The software development industry has experienced rapid growth for some years now, and software development outsourcing represents an opportunity for organizations that do not have the necessary team, knowledge, or resources to develop in-house software products.

Outsourcing allows organizations to focus resources on their core business and structure processes. This structure allows for cost savings and benefits from better efficiency.

In-House vs Outsourced development models - dedicated teams

Illustration by Lvivity

 

Dedicated Teams – Huenei’s approach

Software development outsourcing companies take time to understand your business model and requirements and tailor their services accordingly. In addition, companies do not have to incur the cost of building and maintaining their in-house software development team.

One of the preferred alternatives for many companies is to hire dedicated teams. This is a managed team of specialists who work to obtain the best results in your project. At Huenei we focus on our teams being agile, autonomous, and in line with our client’s needs.

We offer dedicated team services, which are based on forming groups of experts based on the specific needs of our client’s project. These teams provide immediate answers to client demands, helping them meet their business objectives. To work effectively and efficiently, our teams are based on agile methodologies (such as Scrum and Kanban), which allows us to establish a workflow that offers total transparency and continuous feedback about the outsourced IT service.

Depending on the needs of the customer, the development company structures a team of experts formed by a project manager (also known as a Scrum Master), product or business analysts, programmers, architects, QA engineers, and UI/UX designers.

The team developed to face a Project will dedicate 100% to that task during the period that the Project is in Development. The objective is clear: to achieve the ideal result quickly and at a lower cost.

 

When should you choose to outsource your company’s software development?

If the core business of your company is not software development, we recommend hiring the services of a company like Huenei, which will take care of obtaining the best results without you having to worry about the process.

If you already have an internal development team but you are facing a challenging project that requires more specialists, we invite you to contact us. Also, if your company is a startup that requires a good time to market, you could certainly benefit from our services.

Lastly, if your organization requires a team with specific knowledge, the management of new technology, or a complex technological domain of knowledge, you can surely benefit from the services of a software factory, like Huenei.

 

All in all, software development outsourcing is an effective and efficient way to accomplish complex software development tasks with a relatively small team. Outsourced software development also allows companies to focus on their core business, rather than spending money and resources on developing software that could be used by competitors.

Hiring dedicated software development teams, which are experienced and know the specific requirements of your project is the right choice for many companies. Dedicated teams like Huenei’s are always available to answer questions and make sure that your projects run smoothly, even when product and technology changes come fast and furious. As a result, the final product meets expectations and the process is completely optimized.

Scale up your tech startup with software development outsourcing

Scale up your tech startup with software development outsourcing

The continuous growth of your startup can be both exciting and scary at the same time. This is what all tech companies dream of, but growth does not come easy. If building a tech startup is tough, trying to scale it is even tougher. Startups can’t scale if they don’t get the skills they need.

If you want your tech startup to grow, then you would probably need to grow the number of people working to deliver value to your customers. In the fast-paced world of technology, scaling up may seem like an easy task. You may think you just need to hire a few more developers or keep on adding new UI designers to your team. But scaling up can be a difficult endeavor, especially for startup companies. Let’s explore a better alternative: nearshore software development outsourcing.

 

Challenges when scaling a business

At Huenei, we worked with over 100 clients, who managed to achieve their desired results in terms of software product development, which helped them increase the value offered to their clients and, consequently, their economic benefit. Having worked with many different startups, we realized there were a lot of challenges when scaling a business. Here are some of the most common hurdles companies (especially startups) face:

  • The opportunity cost of not devoting time to scaling your business.
  • Not delegating, and leaving a small group of managers overwhelmed with work.
  • Not having enough open headcount for hiring.
  • Having the wrong focus.
  • Not contracting the right service suppliers.
  • Underestimating how much work and resources it would take to scale and to keep that growth going.

 

Hiring staff vs. outsourcing

If you concluded that you need to increase your work team to offer more value to more clients and achieve better business and economic results, you may be overwhelmed.

At first, hiring new collaborators could seem attractive. It is an alternative chosen by many organizations that are committed to building an internal team. On many occasions, this can bring very good results… But the main challenge that arises is the uncertainty regarding the way of working, the results to be achieved, and the associated costs.

On the one hand, when hiring new teams, people do not know each other and may need some time to start working together harmoniously. In addition, these teams will require constant attention and direction from your company’s management. Following this line, you do not know until you have gone through a couple of specific projects if the results will be optimal. Finally, the costs associated with hiring staff are often very high!

tech startup software development stressed

Let us share with you some great news: There’s a way to avoid wasting money and resources on developing in-house teams, so a startup can grow without huge investments. It’s more advantageous from a quality point of view, as well as taking into account the associated costs, to contract a company that takes care of development. If you own or work for a tech startup and you need to boost your operations and your services, you can contract nearshore development services. They will dramatically improve your value proposition and boost your strategy.

In today’s market, where outsourcing is so popular, the options and opportunities for tech startups planning to scale are unlike before.

 

Grow your business with nearshore software development outsourcing

So, you have a growing business, but how can you scale it up into something bigger? There are countless ways to scale up your company, including hiring personnel, partnering with other businesses, and contracting nearshore software development services.

Rapidly growing tech startups still face the same challenges as small ones: how can you grow on results without growing on costs? As a technology entrepreneur or businessperson, at some point, you will need to be able to scale up your team from a small one to a larger one.

As we have discussed above, outsourcing represents great opportunities and benefits for your company. First of all, your product’s development is performed by a team with extensive experience working on a variety of development projects. In addition, this team adapts its agile way of working to the structure, times, and preferences of your organization. Last but not least, you’ll get better, faster, and more cost-effective results than ever before. Why hire a whole team and grow your payroll when you can get better results with a more efficient investment?

tech startup software development happy

In conclusion, it is important to grow your team to scale up your company, but hiring personnel does come at a cost. You will want to consider the tradeoffs and, most likely, conclude that software development outsourcing will offer you the same results (or even better ones), also allowing you to make your costs, your times, and your operations more efficient.

Now it is your turn to make a decision. Outsourcing may be the ideal option that your business needs to grow and scale in a hyper-competitive industry such as technology. Don’t let your business goals get away from you.