There has never been a clear winner when it comes to mobile platforms. Both iOS & Android app development have been going to toe-to-toe for years. Mobile app developers are not willing to stick to just one of the two either. Mobile technologies today can, rather easily, realize the idea of targeting a wider audience for businesses provided there is enough expertise to leverage them properly.

When it comes to that expertise, there was always one faction among developers for a long time – native app developers. Native app developers have the expertise and knowledge to build apps in a target platform. They know the specifics, and they know what their app can become in the platform they have expertise in. But, not too while ago, cross-platform app development came into the picture. And native app developers raised questions.

Let’s see what the situation is all about, and explore the merits and demerits of cross-platform mobile app development.

Cross-platform app development

It’s not to be confused with hybrid app development, as both are fundamentally different. Cross-platform development is an umbrella term for application development that targets multiple platforms. Hybrid falls into that category but only as a subtype. Hybrid app development generally uses a specific development model to create apps that are a hybrid variant of web and native apps.

Hybrid apps are coded in HTML, CSS or JavaScript and then encased with a native WebView browser giving it the feel of an app. Cross-platform development is what a business needs if its target audience is split between Android, iOS, and Windows platforms.


Hybrid app development is known for its speed. Even inexperienced developers would be able to develop a hybrid app rather quickly, reducing costs for businesses while allowing them to enter the market early. Generally, in most cases, developers would only need their front-end development knowledge for developing hybrid apps, and don’t need to go out of line to build the app from scratch.

For cross-platform development, it’s a different case. They are akin to native apps, and are often referred to as near-native due to this. Mobile apps developed using tools like Xamarin or React Native are considered as native apps. However, unlike hybrid apps wrapped in WebView, these native apps can access mobile hardware directly. This means their performance isn’t limited. They are fast in both audio and video processing.

It still takes good app logic and a well-devised development strategy to save time and costs with cross-platform development. Regardless of the targeted platform, the developers would have to build the app’s core first, and then separately tune it to be functional and visually appropriate.

The development process is comparatively faster, and debugging and maintenance are much easier. Another one of its merits is flexibility, particularly when it comes to UI/UX development. Using the Xamarin tool gives developers two options for UI – a basic Xamarin.Forms interface, and a more flexible interface that can be tailored for the targeted platforms. The latter looks and feels very much like a native interface.


Because WebView is still technically a browser and is separate from the mobile device’s hardware, hybrid apps won’t always be able to guarantee great performance. However, cross-platform apps can. But it still comes with a fair share of cons.

Cross-platform apps are near-native apps, but they are still not native apps. It still has functional limitations unlike native apps, and limitations respective to the platform. Each platform comes with its own unique functionalities and flexibilities. Cross-platform apps won’t be able to leverage the unique tools and functionalities of one particular platform, as they run on all platforms.

In addition, it’s very challenging to offer a good user experience on cross-platform apps as UX varies between platforms. Facebook first started with a cross-platform but soon realized their user experience limitations, and decided to go for native apps on iOS and Android.


Cross-platform app development is still in demand, and contributes mainly to enterprise application services. Because technology is advancing rapidly today, clinging to native app development alone is not a wise approach. There are possibilities to explore, and the future of mobile app development will present more opportunities for businesses. And cross-platform development would more likely have a bigger role soon.

Written by: verbat

This infographics presents a general comparison between custom open source software and proprietary software, and why the former still retains its demand.
Custom Open Source Vs Proprietary Software

Written by: verbat

APIs have always been a vital part when it comes to software development and how the software serves its purpose. Web-based applications are too common now, and are heavily relied on by organizations and individuals alike. This makes proper API testing more crucial than ever.

In this post, we will be sharing 6 great API testing tools that would come in handy for software testing efforts this year.

Soap UI

Soap UI is a popular open source testing tool used primarily for web services testing and API testing. Its functionality is useful for invoking, development, simulation, web service checks, load testing, functional testing etc. to name a few.


An open source JavaScript library, Frisby is built on NodeJS and Jasmine (a Behavior-driven development style test runner). The community considers it a great REST API testing framework facilitating simpler and faster testing of API endpoints.

Frisby.js 2.0 is coming out soon with further improvements making the underlying Jasmine structure more extensible and exposed. The Jasmine node test runner makes it possible to run Frisby tests in a continuous integration ecosystem.

Karate DSL

Karate DSL is an open source command-line testing framework that uses BDD to define API tests. The framework is more familiar to people who use Cucumber JVM for BDD tests, as it’s built on Cucumber JVM. Like Frisby, Karate DSL also supports seamless integration and continuous delivery pipelines.

It also supports testing live environments, in addition to providing comprehensive support for common HTTP calls that use HTTPS, HTTP proxies, SOAP/XML etc.


Unlike its other counterparts mentioned above, Postman is a hosted GUI API Testing client used for exploratory testing primarily. It features documentation, sharing, and monitoring support in addition. Its broad set of features make it a very useful API testing tool.

Another advantage is that Postman runs on local machine, giving control of data. However, not all software testing companies prefer using Postman, and it’s not because of a lack of features. Many companies would have security restrictions due to which they won’t be able to use a fully hosted option. Like most other tools in this list, Postman also supports testing in a continuous integration pipeline.


Assertible is more popular and preferred compared to Postman as it focusses more on automation and reliability. The tool also features HTTP response validation with turnkey assertions.

Its greatest advantage is the fact that it allows automation of API tests through every step of a continuous integration/delivery pipeline, making things much easier for smaller groups of testers.  It can integrate with tools like GitHub, Slack, and Zapier, and supports running API tests post deployment.

Apigee API Studio

Testers can use the API Studio from Apigee to build APIs. The Studio also facilitates easier and effective API testing thanks to its many features designed specifically to simplify testing. One of the major use cases is for API Response Simulation with mock HTTP responses. However, it is still in its beta but the community expects many updates this year which will add more features to the already useful tool.


There are a great number of useful tools for thorough API testing, but the ones listed above are quite unique. Most of them are still rising among the ranks but handy nonetheless. This list should be helpful for testers who would like to explore tools that can make their work easy. It’s a new year, and introducing yourself to new testing tools might be the change you are looking for. Try them out.

Written by: verbat

Every online business needs a good web host to keep their website from underperforming during traffic spikes. It’s not something every web host out there can do. Over the years, web hosting evolved in a spectacular fashion especially with the advent of cloud technologies.

Will the cloud impact the future of web hosting as well?

It most certainly will. Back in the days, large websites with growing traffic had to resort to a dedicated server with powerful hardware and abundant resources to sustain website performance. This was an expensive option for many small and medium-sized online businesses. However, as cloud technologies evolved, new hosting options emerged.

Cloud hosting is just as good as a dedicated server but with a pay-as-you-go pricing model where the tenant only needs to pay for the resources they use. And when they require more resources, the cloud host scales. Essentially, the website gets everything it needs from the cloud environment, and the website owner pays only for what the website consumes in order to sustain performance. This can however vary depending on the nature of the web host and the hosting package.

The bottomline is that cloud is indeed transforming the concept of web hosting.

Trends to watch out for in 2018

Demand for comprehensive hosting packages

Users no longer see web hosting services as a service that hosts their website on a server. They now expect more solutions in a single hosting package. The modern-day hosting approach is all about getting a comprehensive hosting package with web design, search engine optimization, eCommerce, and email hosting services.

They essentially get their website designed, search engine optimized, and secured with SSL for eCommerce transactions in addition to getting their email hosted by the web hosting provider. The one-stop shop approach would only become more demanded this year according to experts.

Dwindling numbers of hosting data centers due to Autoscaling

Last year, many surveys found that over 80% of IT managers use cloud technology instead of data centers. Based on the findings, experts predict that corporate data centers or hosting infrastructures would eventually go obsolete with the cloud’s rapidly increasing momentum.

Cloud computing is only getting cheaper while offering improved performance and robust security. The cloud’s autoscaling feature allows the number of servers in a data center to scale automatically depending on the varying computational load.

The cloud’s many benefits also led to an increase in cloud hosting resellers, which is only expected to grow exponentially in the next decade.

Advanced forms of security

Despite the cloud’s rapid growth, many are still concerned about having their personal data stored in the cloud questioning the extent of security cloud can offer compared to a private dedicated server. There’s some validity to such concerns. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link after all.

Cloud’s security is still not evolved yet to have no ‘weak links’. There are vulnerabilities. Quite recently, even Amazon suffered serious security breach. However, this only served as a wakeup call and cloud security only advanced further since then. This year, we will be witnessing much more advanced forms of cloud security.

Green hosting

Green hosting is not exactly a new trend. The concept of green hosting stemmed from the fact that servers that power millions of websites in the internet consume an immense amount of energy. To reduce such power consumption, many hosting companies went the eco-friendly way minimizing the impact of web hosting on the environment.

They instead use renewable energy, carbon offsetting, energy saving technologies, and even plant trees around their data center. Green hosting appeals to people who are concerned about the environment. We may see it in a different form this year, and web hosting is expected to consume a lot less energy in the coming years. Green hosting in 2018 is also expected to be part of eco-friendly initiatives by many tech companies.


The evolution of web hosting from a big picture view has always been consistent. It only gets better over time. Now with the cloud taking matters into its hands, we can expect more stable, high-performance, and well secured hosting solutions to come out this year in more than one form. The trends mentioned above are just a few of the ones worth noting. Nevertheless, nothing will be driving web hosting irrelevant for a long time for sure. Websites will always need a home.

Written by: Safeer

Millions of developers joined the Microsoft .NET community over the years catapulting the technology to one of the most popular Microsoft technology solutions in the world. With the .NET platform, developers are able to craft rich, interactive applications that can run on Windows platforms, the internet, or even mobile devices.

However, they would still need a lot of help from various other sources and tools. In this blog, we list a few websites that can come in real handy for .NET developers and make their job easier.


CodeProject is reliable for thousands of .NET developers because it features helpful tutorial articles and downloadable code that can make things less challenging for developers – both experts and amateurs. The articles in CodeProject are all written by veteran developers to help other developers with a to-the-point solution to their coding problems.

The fact that the developers that post such articles aren’t paid and genuinely want to contribute to the community makes CodeProject a friend-in-need for .NET developers.


One of the most important things a .NET developer should possess is the mindset to stay updated on everything that revolves around the Microsoft platform. DevSource can help with that.

DevSource is a digital magazine sponsored by Microsoft that can keep the devs up to date on all things Microsoft technologies related. Devs can subscribe to the magazine’s free weekly newsletters to pick up new things on the go.


DotNetNuke is not just a website, but an open source framework that .NET devs can download and use to build web applications with Microsoft’s ASP.NET. Because it has a strong open source community working on making it better with each iterations, the framework now demonstrates efficient coding practices that would prove useful to even experienced developers.

However, the professional edition of DotNetNuke comes with a price tag. The community edition on the other hand is free to use and is totally worth registering to.

ScottGu’s Blog

Who better to look up to for some Microsoft knowledge than the Corporate Vice President for Microsoft’s Developer Division…

Scott Guthrie’s regularly updated blog is where devs can find announcements before they show up anywhere else. The blogs cover a wide range of Microsoft technologies from .NET base class libraries to SilverLight.

MSDN Magazine

When it comes to understanding current .NET standards that devs should be following, there’s no source better than the MSDN Magazine. This website can be very resourceful for developers who want to understand Microsoft technologies in depth. The articles available are comparatively longer than the articles in various other sources.

What makes MSDN Magazine unique is the fact that they are very strict when it comes to accepting content for their magazine. They scour through many articles from contributors and post those that they deem worthy. The articles in the journal certainly won’t disappoint.


Resources of all digital sizes and shapes are available for .NET developers provided they are willing to look at the right places. At some point in their career, one of the sites listed above can prove invaluable. The many articles and standards recommended by the community through blogs in various websites can help .NET developers refine their skillsets and passion in the technology.

Written by: verbat
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