Ruby on Rails – A Competent Web Development Application

Written in Ruby programming language, Ruby on Rails is one of the most frequently used web application development framework. Often termed as RoR or Rails, it is an open source web development framework which is basically an object oriented programming language encouraging simple development, complete and potent web applications encompassing rich interactivity and functionality. Since Ruby on Rails works effortlessly with an array of web servers, deploying web solutions by using it is an effortless job. This is why; Ruby on Rails is part of every competent web development services set.

Ruby on Rails encourages the rails developers to boom in building powerful and elegant applications in an efficient and effortless way. Ruby on Rails segregates into four packages, Active Record which best suited for database interactivity, Action Pack which is on rails from request to response, Active Support encompassing utility classes and regular library extensions, and Action Web Service, where the server side support for the SOAP and XML-RPC web service protocols.

Ruby on Rails web development facilitates the rails developers to successfully build powerful and elegant applications in a relatively efficient and effortless way. It is believed that the coming of Ruby on Rails, an open source web development framework brought with itself a revolution in the way web applications are created. Some of the most popular websites that use Ruby on Rails web development framework in production environments are Scribed, Twitter, Urban dictionary, Base camp, Xing, Shopify, holu and Github. It is believed that any set of web development services is incomplete without Ruby.

Developed with the use of Model-View-Controller Design Pattern, ruby on rail is the favorite pick of many developers on the grounds of its powerful philosophy of CoC, which is Convention over Configuration, and DRY (Don’t Repeat Yourself), and close connection with the supple development methodology. In addition the utmost convenience of using Ruby on Rails is the supple nature of development. Due to this flexibility, developing a thing on Ruby on Rails takes a much shorter duration than other platforms. Practically, Ruby on Rails has encompasses the potential of supporting rapid application development.

Features that drove humongous popularity to Ruby on Rails framework:

• Applications can be easily developed using simple methods and less code.
• Suits best for developing database-backed web applications.
• Facilitates quick and easy deployment of web solutions using Rails as it is adaptable with a variety of web servers and databases implementing CGI or Fast SGI.
• Shows smooth compliance with databases like MySQL, SQL, SQL Server, DB2 and Oracle and allow Ruby on Rails programmers to create user-friendly, enhanced applications.
• Absence of any requirement of compilation phase.

Web Development Lifecycle (WDL)

The web development lifecycle (WDL) is a more specific variation on the general framework for developing any application development project. Unlike general application development, all web design and development projects follow a similar structure, so the web development lifecycle / process can be drawn upon as a point of reference for both the web development team and the client to determine the status of any given project and the area of activity to address next.

The Web Development Lifecycle is made up of eight identifiable stages described as follows:

1. Initial Consultation

The Initial Consultation seeks to understand the high level business requirements, the scale of the web development, required delivery schedule, and the overall feasibility, web design and cost of the project.

2. Project Specification

The business requirements of the proposed website are iteratively established between the Client and the web design team, and documented in the form of a High Level Requirements Specification. Focus here is on the relevant business rules and outputs. Implementation of the system, how the requirements are actually delivered, is reserved for later. Once agreed, this document will form the basis of the subsequent stages of the Web Development Lifecycle.

3. Web Site Architecture

Here the software and hardware requirements for delivery of the web application are established, such as the most appropriate web and application development language, operating system, database management system (DBMS), and hardware / hosting environment that are most appropriate to support the final website in a robust and reliable manner; taking account of the likely growth of data volumes, visitor numbers web traffic, and functionality.

4. Web Site Design Cycle

Deliverables out of this phase have a particular focus on the web design of the system, include mock-ups or prototypes of the screens that make up the system, combined with system walkthroughs which will enable both the Client and the software developers, designers and project management team to clearly understand how the website will work from the user and administrators perspective. The design of the CRM would also be full considered here also. This web application functionality is considered in the context of the defined outputs and business rules, and may result in the High Level Requirement Specification being updated or changed. Following this, a key deliverable here is a Low Level Website Design Specification / Document precisely defining the required implementation of the web design and forming a blue print of the project for the software developers.

5. Content Collation

Any required textual and graphical content for the web application is developed or acquired by the Client (or the software development company, depending on the relevant situation). Admin functionality which enables the Client to amend the full content of the site from system launch, and on an ongoing basis, is assumed to have been included and defined within the High Level Requirements Specification, as mentioned.

6. Web Site Project development

At this stage a detailed project plan will have been established for the implementation of the web design, resources identified, time scales defined, and project dependencies clearly understood – especially with respect to which parts of the web development can be done in serial or parallel. This stage actually overlaps with the next stage of the Web Development Lifecycle since all web developed modules are unit tested to destruction by the corresponding web development team members. Further, it is very important that all code produced by the software developers is quality checked to ensure adherence to project development standards.

7. Testing & Quality Assurance

Many forms of testing are carried out during this phase, from system and volume testing – in order to ensure that all components work together within the web application and can easily cope with both the initial and anticipated future demands on the system – all the way to User Acceptance Testing (UAT) and sign-off. There are many forms of testing required during this phase that are beyond the scope of this introduction, such as cross-browser and security testing – all contributing towards the delivery of a high-quality website and service to the client.

8. Web Site Deployment (Launch)

Once the website implementation is tested and released by both the client and software development company as being fully operational, the website is deployed to the production environment and open to the relevant user base. Following this there is generally a pre-agreed period of warranty and an ongoing support agreement can be established at the discretion of the client.

The process can vary but, generally speaking, the dependencies and features of a successful process of delivering webs applications to the client does not. I hope this has been a useful introduction to the process of delivering quality web applications to any business.

About Us: Time Critical Solutions (TeCS)

Time Critical Solutions (TCS) Ltd, aka “TeCS”, is an international business company (IBC) incorporated in Cyprus (a full member of the European Union). The company primarily serves wider-Europe, the Middle-East and Mediterranean regions – but also has clients in many other parts of the world. The company was originally incorporated in the UK in 1998 as Radiant Systems Ltd, which operated as an IT consultancy boutique directly serving FT100 companies throughout the United Kingdom. From around 2003 there was a significant growth in the demand for IT services within small and medium sized companies who were realising the opportunity that the web presented to their business, as well as the cost savings that could be achieved through automation and streamlining of their operations.

The SME market for IT services continues to grow to this very day. However, it is true to say that the quality of service being offered by the IT industry to the SME varies widely, often with loose adherence to industry standards of design, development, documentation, support, and general customer care. Unfortunately, the industry continues to be sales, rather than service, orientated – and price, rather than value sensitive – causing many SMEs to fall foul of poorly qualified, inexperienced service providers.

Why Hire a Professional For Web Development?

The Australian economy is booming and the strong corporate infrastructure is supporting the surge in business processing and development strategies of the Australian companies. As the businesses develop, they find a pressing need of getting an access to a professional web service provider to get solutions for their online business development needs. Web development in Australia may be a relatively younger industry as compared to the major players like US, India, and China, but this does not rue in the potential of the upcoming IT industry from the country down under. Australia was never known for its IT industry in spite of the futuristic infrastructure. The scenario is fast changing as there has been a significant emergence of various web application development companies on the horizon over the past few years.

The plenty of these companies does get a business into confusion. The hunt for an ideal web service provider often ends up in contacting a firm that may not comply with your business standards and yet agree to sign the deal for your web development in Australia. The right tactics and patient search and research help in getting to know of a genuinely good web development company which is capable of addressing all of your online business development needs. Remember, a good web application development firm will not only deliver an exact web application to automate your online business processing, but also get into online promotion for your website.

A web developer brings in a lot of experience and technical expertise to the business development and co partners the enterprise in deploying a scalable web application comprehensive of all features and functionalities. The enterprise may even get a flexible business model from a prominent web development company wherein the client may either choose to get a fixed cost solution from the service provider or may enjoy the services of a dedicated web developer for the time that the client business development requires. The hired web developer works exclusively for the client as an extended employee of their company outside their organization. Web development in Australia is comprehensive of a full software development lifecycle (SDLC) wherein on receiving a request query the web service provider analyses the client business development requirements and their competition. On analyzing the project, a proposal is passed and the actual web development kicks in. First a web design is created that would loyally identify the business and convey the intentions precisely. Coding is done along with testing of the system. Once the web application has been approved by the client it is deployed at their workplace.

Hence the enterprise gets a comprehensive website solution from a professional web development company. This would significantly boost the web presence of the client enterprise and make them visible to more audiences on the Internet. Targeting and reaching out to a maximum audience increases productivity and improves profitability multiple folds.

What Does a Web Developer Do?

Web development is a craft that includes many different technologies. However, at the core of it all the responsibility of the web developer is to ensure that the client gets a website that does exactly what he wants it to do. There is a huge difference between being a web developer and a web designer, although their roles do have some overlap, the web designer will rarely be involved with any of the actual code that makes up the web site.

1. Plan The Design And Functionality Of The Website

It usually takes a while before the web developer actually starts to write the code that makes up the web site. When you get the contract for a web project there is a lot of planning and analysis that needs to take place. Usually the customer requires the website to function in a certain way. It is up to the project manager and his development team to estimate how long this will take.

During this stage the web designer will most likely participate to make sure that his design works with the customers requirements. Indeed, the requirements will most likely include details about how the customer wants the web site to appear.

2. Create The Business Logic As Specified By The Customer

When the planning and analysis stage has been completed the web developer will start developing the website. This often includes working with both client side technologies such as HTML, Java Script and CSS and server side technologies such as PHP and.NET.

A good web developer needs to be proficient with many technologies. There is no such thing as a pure HTML developer!

Knowing which tools to use for each part of the web site is instrumental to the success of the project.

3. Implementing The Web Design

You might think that when the web developer is done developing the web site the web designer would start implementing the web site. Even though they often work together it is usually the web developer who is tasked with implementing the web design on the web site.

It is critical that the web designer and the web developer work together on this!

4. Testing, Testing, Testing

Testing is arguably the most important, and most often neglected, part of a web development project. If there are critical errors on the website when it is launched the customer is at risk of losing a lot of money and certainly a lot of credibility.

Having said that the web developer should not be responsible for testing the web site. It is critically important that it is tested by someone who has not been involved in the actual development of the web site.

Would you believe – These 4 stages often takes place at the same time. Iterative development has become increasingly popular, meaning that parts of the website will most likely be tested while other parts of the site is still in development.

10 Web Development Tips to Better Your Website Success

The most common mistake any company or individual can make when venturing out on a new website project is to assume that design is everything. I can assure you that your website’s design on its own is not what will make you successful.

A quality and professional web development service is what will affect the success of your site and its online objectives. High standards (above industry) are developed for a reason, and that is to ensure the product and service you receive is of paramount quality and to a professional level, so that your website will function as intended and provide the right return on investment.

Too many businesses that are relying on the success of their website to help drive their business will bypass the crucial step of dealing with a professional development company based on price.

In this article I will reveal 10 tips to choose the right development company and how it will better your project’s success.

10 Tips to Choose the Right Web Development Company

Track Record – Choose a company that has an established track record. Generally a web company that has more than 15+ websites that they have designed or developed in-house with case studies to show their achievements. Any qualifications or awards won will also help establish this.

Methodology – Ensure your chosen company has a strong web development methodology or process. This means that when your chosen company develops your website you can track the progress of your project and ensure all key quality standards are covered.

Usability – Design does play a heavy role in the development of your web project. Ensure the company you choose has strong visitor usability and user-friendly interaction knowledge. Usability is how visitors will interact with your website and how effectively they reach your end goal.

Development Team – The company you choose should have an in-house development team. Don’t use a company that is going to send your project work off to another country or other out-sourced web companies. You don’t want to be chasing an invisible rabbit down a hole should things be affected by an unforeseen event.

Design Team – Your web company ideally should have an in-house design team, unless you are dealing with another individual or company for design. This tip relates to tip 3, if your web company has a designer in-house this will better the success of the project as the development will mirror the design better and its objectives.

SEO – Choose a web development company that has an understanding of search engine optimization. Another important factor to any web projects success is making sure the company you deal with knows about SEO and how it will affect your website.

Social Media – Social media is a new form of marketing and can drive great results. Dealing with a web developer that understands this can help you drive better traffic and alternative forms of login.This tip applies to socially active websites and e-commerce based projects.

Content – Content is the biggest thing that pushes your website and draws in your visitors. Content will be the main thing that will sell your services or product, the company you deal with should have good development techniques to structure content effectively.

E-commerce – Choose a web development company that has e-commerce experience. E-commerce is fast becoming the biggest way to make money online, how your customers make payments is very important. Make sure you deal with a development company that can recommend and implement the best payment methods available.

Support – The most important tip to date, your development company must be able to support you as a customer and provide ongoing maintenance and service. Work with a company that is going to be around a year from the time you employ them, too many customers I have met have been left in limbo because the company or individual they were dealing with has gone bust or skipped the country to leave you in the middle of nowhere.

In summary there are a number of aspects to take into consideration before making your web developer choice. I am confident this article with the above 10 tips will help you qualify the best company to deal with for your new web project.

The majority of the 10 tips should already be covered by your chosen development company, but it does not hurt you to double-check. I highly recommend you ask your chosen company questions based on my 10 tips above, this will help establish them as the right business to deal with.

All successful web projects are a result of planning and evaluating, failing to plan and evaluate your development choices could mean failure of your website.

Choose wisely and approach everything smartly, remember if you put in the leg/foot work to start with, you will reap the benefits later.

Ben Davis is the sales and project manager for MediaCore a Specialist Web Company based in Auckland, New Zealand. He has had 6+ years of experience managing web design and development projects for his clients. He is also the author of ‘5 Tips To Search Optimize Your Business’.