How continuous integration reduces integration risks in software development

By Guest Contributor on September 5, 2019

Continuous integration is a coding philosophy encapsulated into a set of practices whereby development teams implement small changes and check in code to version control repositories frequently, to ensure error-free development. The development team integrates code into a shared repository on a consistent basis, even multiple times a day, after setting up an automated build upfront, to detect any problems in the code.  Development teams working under conventional models defer integration until the last, invariably magnifying the number and severity of the inevitable merge conflicts.

Continuous integration (CI) is now mainstream, thanks to the host of benefits on offer. Identifying issues as and when it occurs, and mitigating it on a timely basis reduces risks, improves code quality, and speed up project execution. It is easier to identify and resolve glitches, quality, and other issues on smaller code differentials rather than over code developed over an extended time. In addition, developers spend less time backtracking and more time building new features.

Here are the specifics on how continuous integration reduces integration risks in software development.

Create a Version Control Repository

One of the first tasks in the Continuous Integration approach is creating a version control repository and placing all code and database artifacts in it. A unified master database capable of updating changes in real-time is another essential requirement.

The code working perfectly fine in some systems, but not in other systems is commonplace. The problem compounds in Continuous Integration, where all iterations pose such a risk. The solution is to eliminate tight coupling between the IDE and the build processes. Use a separate, exclusive machine to integrate the software, and add everything required to build the software to this version control repository.

Another common issue faced by developers is the inability to synchronize with the database, or recreating the database quickly during development. This is mainly owing to poor collaboration between the database development team and the development team.

Deep collaboration is the backbone on which the continuous integration approach sustains, and as such, tight integration of Dev, Ops, QA, and the wider IT team is an essential prerequisite for Continuous Integration. Development teams need to collaborate effectively on technologies and develop a consensus on the approach.

Placing all database artifacts, including scripts, procedures, and other assets, in the unified master database of the version control repository ensures the development and testing teams have access to everything required to develop database creation and data manipulation scripts and recreate database schema, stored procedures, and triggers.

Create a Continuous Integration Server

Side-by-side with the version control repository creates a Continuous Integration server, to keep track of changes in the version control repository and to run the project build script on changes to the repository. Provision the Continuous Integration server with adequate capacity to run the build through various tests, perform inspections, and deploy the software in the development and test environments.

Rebuild the database and data from the build script by dropping and recreating the database and tables. Next, apply the stored procedures and triggers, and finally, insert the test data.

Build a Test Suite

Continuous integration requires continuous testing, in the form of a set of automated regression, performance, and other tests, as a core process. In fact, the effectiveness of CI depends on the stability of this testing suite.

Build a proper testing suite and write test scripts upfront. Configure the continuous integration server to run regression testing automatically whenever there is any major change to the software code. Regression tests are however just the start. Effective CI requires automation of performance testing, API testing, static code analysis, security testing, and other testing forms, and triggering these tests as well, through command line or web service. Make sure all the deployed tests return success or fail status codes.

Ensure the test cases are complete and test all code paths. The test cases not covering the entire functionality of the code renders the process meaningless. Also, make sure the tests are not just repeatable, but actually performed continuously in virtualized systems, replicating unavailable testing environments.

A unified testing suite, however, is not a universal solution. In some cases, the developers would have to create custom database-specific tests. Multiple developers make changes to the source code always raises the possibility of a defect manifesting itself only much later. As such, even though checking in code takes place frequently, implementation of features and fixes take place on both short and long periods.

Adopt the Right Version Control Strategies

Development teams practicing continuous integration use different techniques to control the features and code ready for production.

Version-control branching is one of the common techniques. Here, the development team selects any branching strategy such as Gitflow, to define protocols on how to merge new code into standard branches. The approach entails creating additional feature branches for features taking longer development cycles. On completion of the feature, developers merge the changes from feature branches into the primary development branch.

Feature flags, another popular technique, entail wrapping features under development with feature flags in the code deployed with the master branch to production, effectively turning off the code until ready.

One best practice is to use cloud environments and containers such as Docker and Kubernetes. Containers allow the development team to pack and ship applications in standard, portable ways and also scale up or tear down environments with variable workloads. DevOps teams may use automated database integration, local database sandbox, and version control repository to share database assets.

Continuous Integration offers the best opportunity to develop quality code from the ground up, in compliance with the architectural standards tailored to the specific requirements of the enterprise. However, integrating several iterative builds invariably cause quality issues and defects. DevOps teams need to assess the integration project for potential defects on a continuous basis and adopt a proactive approach to tackle any underlying issue as early as possible.

Author Bio:

Girish R, Programmer for 17 yrs, Blogger at Techathlon.com, LifeHacker, DIYer. He loves to write about technology, Open source & gadgets. He currently leads the mobile solutions team at Fingent.

Why Schools Should Invest in Admission Management Software?

By Guest Contributor on July 31, 2019

With the advent of time, technology has rapidly integrated into major parts of our lives. This is true for all facets of our life. Technology has made our lives simpler, and in the process, has also improved the way we do things significantly.

Hence, it’s obvious that all sectors, be it business or education, have to be up to date with technology. The education sector has to keep up with technological improvements so that it can provide its students with the best learning environment possible. It’s no secret then that technology has a huge role to play in our classrooms and schools.

Before the start of every academic year, most schools have to go through the hassle of conducting a long and stressful admission process to admit students in their school. Given the complexities of this long process, it’s no surprise that it consumes a lot of time and effort of the school.

Add to that the pressure of getting everything right when doing all the tasks manually. These tedious tasks can stress any sane person and leave him too tired to focus on any tasks that could potentially improve teaching quality. Better teaching quality is known to improve the effectiveness of student learning outcomes and improve student performances.

The manual process of admissions can consume a lot of school resources that could otherwise be used in more productive tasks or to improve education standards. In other words, this tenuous process eats up a lot of resources which distracts the schools from their main purpose, which is to provide students with a better learning environment and to inculcate better values.  These manual tasks can easily be delegated to technology. There are now admission management software that allow you to automate the admission process to a great degree.

This in turn allows schools to focus on the education of the students. There are plenty of advantages for a school to opt for school management software. Below we discuss some reasons in detail so that you can get a better idea as to why your school should invest in admission management software.

A Paper-Free Solution

The whole admissions process consumes a lot of paper in the form of brochures, pamphlets, admission forms, and receipts and so on. Using soft digital copies for each of these things can be very convenient and efficient. It reduces the need for paper to a great degree and significantly reduces your printing expenses. Handling digital copies instead of paper is not only simpler but also easier and less time-consuming.

The use of document management software can also make your life very simple. Such software makes it very easy for anyone to edit, track, organize and compile the soft copies instead of wasting time on the hard copies. For example, online admission forms, made using the software, can be uploaded on the school website so that parents can fill in the required information themselves from the comfort of their homes. The reduction of paperwork simplifies life for both parents and schools.

Significant Reduction in Effort

With the introduction of the management software in schools, the effort required to carry out the admissions process is greatly reduced. Before the software, all tasks used to be done manually by the staff. These tasks would include everything—registering students, collecting and organizing student information, answering parents’ queries in person, and managing appointments.

All these tasks would overwhelm the staff and the teachers, leaving them with no energy to invest time into improving their teaching quality. Now the software handles most of these tasks and significantly reduces the manual work that is required.

Reduces or Eliminates Long Queues

Automating the admissions process eliminates the long queues that schools and parents witness during the admissions process. The complex nature of the process, which further increased the waiting time for people standing in the lines, can be reduced if schools opt for admission software.

In this day and age, when every parent is busy and can’t afford a day off to wait in lines, it becomes crucial for schools to install management software so that these queues are greatly reduced. This is done by allowing parents to complete the process from homes and pay the fees online.

Reduce Time Wastage

One of the obvious advantages of using a software for the admissions process is that it saves time. Time is the most valuable resource that anyone has because once it’s wasted, you can’t get it back. Not to mention that some things are very time sensitive. So, for example, the admissions process only occurs for a certain period every year after which the academic year begins, so the school has a time limit till which it has to finish the process.

If time is saved using the software, it can greatly reduce the resources used up by the school. These resources can then be redirected towards the students and teachers. Also, when time is not wasted during the manual process, it can be used to prepare for lectures and school improvement projects that would otherwise keep getting sidetracked.

Reduction of Temporary Staff

For the admission season, the schools have to hire more temporary workers to handle the large inflow of parents. This is because there is a lot of work to be done during this period.

The manual process requires running multiple counters to cater to parents that come to the schools. If the process is automated, the need for these workers is eliminated as most of the work can be done by the software. This allows the school to save money that would otherwise be spent on employee wages.

These savings will likely outweigh the costs of installing these management software and make the school more efficient.

These reasons should be enough to convince every school owner to implement changes in their respective schools so that they can take advantage of this management software.

Author Bio:

Brandon Harris is the vice president of Smooth Solutions founded by his father Michael Harris, who has been a pioneer in document scanning industry for over 35 years. A leading Document Scanning Company in Lodi, N.J., they are experts in providing document scanning services, document management software, workflow management software,  affordable book scanning services and Convert Microfilm to Digital. They scan paper files, large format drawings, digitize books, convert microfilm to digital, etc. Prior to that, Brandon owned and operated a small bakery. Other than working to grow and improve his business, he enjoys spending time with his wife, daughter, and family.

Route Planning Software- Taking The Driver Seat In Last Mile Delivery

By Guest Contributor on July 17, 2019

Do you know why the concept of last mile delivery has become a staple to the logistics industry? It’s speedy delivery. The customers just hate delayed deliveries no matter what are the reasons for the unnecessary delays and prefer to choose the competitors. It’s a recipe of disaster for the businesses.

The inefficiency in the last mile delivery can be removed with a proper vehicle route planning in place. If you are thinking route planning with pen and paper and a couple of calls or texts can let your drivers deliver the product at the right time and everything will work out as expected, then you are absolutely wrong.

Conventionally, the route planning eats up a lot of time, and no visibility under the shipment progress may lead to imprecise routes that in turn, increases driver attrition, emerges legal hassles, and surge fuel expenses. It can be fixed when advanced route optimization software is integrated with last mile delivery software.

Ending the guessing game, the route planning software design the accurate optimized routes for every delivery; showcase the visual comparison of planned route against actual route on a map; enable dynamic re-routing with great insights into traffic and weather conditions, roads knowledge, time-preferences, and area-specific information; allow businesses to manage the multiple route plans on a single dashboard; contributes a ton in keeping the operations run seamlessly and enhancing the customer experience.

What are you thinking? Interested in investing in the routing software? If so, I assert to check out the advantages that the process of moving from pen and paper to cloud will bring.

Here is the myriad of the benefits that route planning software brought on the table:

  • Plan in a matter of seconds

The software helps in getting rid of the messy paperwork that even consumes several hours in day-to-day deliveries and now, it takes less than half of a minute to plan routes. It provides a precise optimized route by performing all the complex calculations (Route optimization, dynamic re-routing, and updation of ETAs) in a few seconds that allow the drivers to cover more routes in the same time. The route planning not only become easy while delivery planning will be decreased by 95%.

  • Increase savings

The optimized routes provide the shortest path to the drivers to deliver the order, which means they can complete more deliveries in reduced time with less fuel consumption. The increased productivity augments the ROI by 30%.

Also, getting good routes with zero hassle, diminished turns, and fewer traffic results in less time get wasted by the drivers in combating with the challenges and slash the unapproved overtime costs. No additional fuel expenses get summed up to the profit side.

When the drivers are getting everything beforehand from optimized route info to safety info, they are held accountable for the delays and that also keep them on their toes.

  • Ensure safety

The mishaps (Adverse weather conditions or accidents) are unfortunate and unforeseen and lead to spending big bundles on the repairing, medical, and legal issues. The risks cannot be avoided but their worse impact can be minimized by scheduling a new route for the drivers that’s safe to travel and enable timely shipping. This all is done automatically when the geographical location and date is entered. Besides, the customers are timely informed for the delays with GPS tracking that increases visibility into delivery along with ETAs.

The driver’s driving behavior can be tracked with GPS services and they can be sent real-time alerts for harsh braking, rapid acceleration, or speeding issues for ensuring their safety.

  • Simulation for scale

When the business is prospering, its expansion or addition of new store is most probable. The software provides a better understanding and rich insights into how many drivers or resources need to be increased to fulfill the customer’s orders on-time and stay profitable. It builds efficient plans for the staff in a few minutes.

  • Uplift the throughput

Don’t panic, when the business gets more orders to deliver on-time. The software is capable enough to strike a fine balance between the number of deliveries and drivers at the push of a button. It creates the robust routes that enable drivers to complete maximum deliveries at the same time like- delivering all the orders coming in the way and thereby more can be done with the same resources allocation. Moreover, the performance can be analyzed on the analytics dashboard to determine, if the route plan requires modification.

  • Stay competitive

The on-time delivery is the hallmark of the leading last mile delivery companies such as FedEx. When the businesses fulfill the last mile delivery needs by hook or crook, they gain an upper hand over the competitors. The route planning software comes to rescue.

The businesses don’t need to keep the fingers crossed and hope order is delivered on time leveraging GPS tracking in conjunction with route software. There will be no blind spot from the moment the driver pick-up the order to the drop-off location as the GPS location is continuously updated. The complete visibility into driver’s activity ensures that the product will be delivered as planned.

In the events of unplanned delays, the businesses can see the driver closest to broken-down delivery vehicle and re-route the closest driver to make the delivery at the defined time. It’s noticed by the customers, which makes them feel valued and give more credence to the business the next time when they order a product. It lets businesses seize an edge in the fierce competition.

  • Delight the customers

The customers are the real hero of this industry. When they get outstanding services, instant information, and timely deliveries, undoubtedly, they become a great fan of the business services and look no further. The route optimization provides real-time visibility into the shipment, enable last-minute delivery, and send a prior notification in the event the delivery is not possible in the defined time window. In this manner, the software delivers beyond the customer’s expectations, which keeps them happy.

Wrap up

The last mile delivery concept accounts to 28% of the transportation cost and that can be reduced by minimizing delivery planning time, shortening routes that save fuel and wages, tracking the drivers in the real-time, and updating the customers in an automated fashion. All is feasible by embracing route planning software.

Don’t hang fire! Implement the software right away to control the last mile delivery efficiently, make the drivers happy, and win the customers forever.

This article is contributed by Noman Shaikh — Digital Marketing Head at Fixlastmile which is known for developing top-notch last mile delivery Software.

Have an interesting article or blog to share with our readers? Let’s get it published

10 Benefits of Outsourcing Custom Software Development

By Guest Contributor on March 7, 2019

Outsourcing of business is considered as the most noteworthy solution when it comes to aspects of running the business, the cost being one of the major factors. What you want to provide the customer through your business is an important factor that impacts the other areas of your business. There are many people, decisions and Statistics involved in a business. In this article, we will go through the benefits reaped by a business by outsourcing software development.

Managing a business is not just developing software or marketing, but it has many aspects and components including business and financial decisions also to be taken considering many people and things right from the start of the business throughout the development of the products and providing the customers the services and enhancing the business. With so many aspects being involved, an entrepreneur wants the business to be run in a fast, periodic and an inexpensive way without facing many challenges or issues.

Technical advancement, the digital revolution and for the reason that the availability of social media connectivity and with the advent of the internet the traditional methods of running a business will be costing the entrepreneur a lot in terms of time, money and also effort. Gone are the days where all the people working for business have to be present in person and used equipment to build a product. The internet provides an easy, faster, flexible way for people to connect with each other all around the world and work easily to provide and develop the product for the company in a simple and quick manner, therefore, reducing the effort of factors that decide a company’s growth.

Outsourcing of software development has many benefits that can make the company grow better. Let us have a look at them 10 benefits that can be experienced by the entrepreneur.

#1. Better time management

One of the prominent benefits of Outsourcing is the effective usage and management of the time invested by various resources in the company. The Outsourcing employees provide the output in a more effective manner with strict timelines because business operation with them is different than with regular employees.

#2. Cost cutting

When the Software developing aspect is outsourced, the company doesn’t have to think of the resources for the development and the other aspects of the workplace, the work equipment, and operational cost. The maintenance and management of the employees and the workplace is no more a burden of the company which intern reduces a lot of money that is spent on all the above-mentioned aspects.

#3. High flexibility

Coming to the terms of working and the timelines for the development and the production of the software Outsourcing you a very flexible option to find better resources working who can provide the desired solution within the given time. This gives a better advantage over the traditional working model.

#4. Improved productivity

The Outsourcing employees method of working is completely output driven and within the given timelines this provides the company the best and fastest development of the software in a given time enhancing the productivity of the overall product and the business. The dependency between the various components of the business reduces because as many teams in the business can be worked at the same time giving the result in best time increasing the value of the product.

#5. Talent inclusion

Trying to find people for the software development within the region or unlimited geographical area might give you less advantage than when you go online to the employee the resources. Outsourcing services provide that talent all over the world in a better way to give the best version of the product you need for your business.

#6. Invest in core values of business

The time and effort that will generally be spent in software development when outsourced can be effectively used to understand the current scenario of the business and to utilize that time too bring more value to the product. Rather than putting in more effort into one aspect of business this time which is gained from outsourcing the software can be used to invest in researching and developing new ways to improve the business.

#7. Easy resource management

If the employees are hired under made to work in a company directly in the workplace then the company has to take care of not just the workplace and its maintenance but also the other aspects of the well being of the employee, the transport and the training to have the employees updated in terms of the current market. All these resources can be eliminated when outsourcing is embraced by the company

#8. Risk factor sharing

The company when managing all the aspects of hardware software and marketing we face challenges and risks than that business which is adopting the method of outsourcing a software. When the developing of the software of the product is outsourced the risks that are encountered would be taken care of by the outsourcing company rather than the business entrepreneur itself. The issues and the risk would be work easily when it is shared which is only possible through outsourcing.

#9. Better access to new market areas

When a part of your work is outsourced you are not just connecting with new people and adapting new methods to work, but at the same time you are exposed to the new technology and also the areas where your business can be expanded and adapted to the other Technologies.

#10. Re-engineering of work

Time, cost and risks are the major things that see a lot of savings when the software development is outsourced. This free time can give the entrepreneur to rename the whole process by evaluating the growth of the business and also to adopt new methods to run the business in an effective and productive and increasing the revenue while reducing the burden in terms of time money and people.

This article is contributed by Sunny Chawla, Marketing Manager at AIS Technolabs.

Have an interesting article or blog to share with our readers? Let’s get it published

7 Top Video Editing Software for Make Awesome Videos

By Guest Contributor on September 20, 2018

If you want to edit video and looking for best free video editing software then this post will help you to find the best free video editor software. Using video editing software you can make many and many interesting and unique videos sitting at home. You can also earn money by uploading your edit video at YouTube. YouTube is a world largest popular video platform where you can earn money easily by only uploading videos without any investment. When you type in google “free video editing software”, you can see so many result. But before downloading any video editing software you should have to know which one is best. Otherwise you will only waste your time and internet data.

Here is a list of best video editing software available that can help you to edit video as a professional video maker.

Window Movie Maker:

Window Movie Maker is best video editing software. It is a very simple video editing software. Window Movie Maker is best free video editing software for beginner, it has very easy to use feature. This video editor software is basically designed for making simple videos. Window Movie Maker can be downloaded for free because it is part of windows essentials.

How to edit videos using Window Movie Maker

Window Movie Maker is very easy to use. You first need to create a project for edit video, and then you can add all photo and videos which you choose for making a new video or movie. After that you can arrange photos and videos, add Captions, Titles, as well as some visual effects and transitions. You can do cropping, trimming and also add music file with the video. Once your video editing complete you can save it in several available format of video. You can upload the saved video on YouTube and starts earn money from your work.

LightWorks Video Editor

LightWorks is also a best video editing software for professional. This video editor software comes in free and also premium versions for edit video. The free versions of Lightworks video editing software has all working function which required for edit video. But it has one limitation, free version of video editing software allow you to save your edit video in only MPEG-4 format at 720 px resolution. Youtube allow this MPEG format of video so you can also upload Lightworks videos at youtube and earn money. Lightworks video editor free download available for windows, Mac, IOS and also LINUX.

AVS Video Editor

AVS video editing software is a best video editor for professional video maker. This video editor has too many features which help you to create a fancy video project. For input, it can take video, audio and image files from your computer. AVS video editing software also capture screenshot of your computer screen and record voice. It also offers so many transitions and visual effects.

AVS video editor is premium video editor software but you can try it for free within trial period. After the trial period expires, you can buy it for continue.

Adobe Premiere Elements

Adobe Premiere Elements is developed by Adobe Systems. It was one of the first computer based video editing system. Adobe video editing has one feature called real time rendering. Real time rendering allow you to see instant preview of the changes that you make in the video files. This video editor software can handle unlimited audio and video files. Adobe Premiere Elements is available for Windows and Mac OS. It is top selling premium best video editing software.

Sony Movie Studio

Sony Movie Studio is another popular and best video editing software. It is developed by Sony Corporation. Sony Movie Studio now includes a “Show Me How” tutorial that makes easy to learn the digital video editing. “Show Me How” tutorial also help to first time users to do digital video editing. Sony Movie Studio has several audio sound effects and it also offers sound mixing. This video editing software has one great feature that allow you to directly upload your edited video on YouTube.

ZS4 Video Editor

ZS4 Video Editing software is another great video editor that provides facility to combine photos, videos and audio files in one or more output files. It can be used as photo-manipulation program with a timeline. This Video Editor is a very good video software for media expert.

Avidemux

Avidemux is also a best free video editing software. It is designed for simple video editing like cutting, filtering and encoding task. This video video editing software supports various file types, including AVI, DVD compatible MPEG files, MP4 and ASF. Avidemux video editor download is available for Windows, Mac OS, Linux.

Contact Us for Free Consultation

Are You Planning to outsource Digital Tansformation services? Feel free for work-related inquiries, our experts will revert you ASAP,