1
Check Out: The Benefits of Drupal 8 Webform
2
Unreal Engine 4 or Unity: Which Is Best for You?
3
Can a Startup Be Successful If the Team Is Completely Remote?
4
Check Out: 5.6 Is Now Available and Completes the Unity 5 Cycle
5
Which Is Better for a Small-Medium Business Commerce Website: WordPress or Joomla?
6
Why Should You HIRE a Remote Team for Your Web and Mobile Requirements?
7
Remote Work is a HIT! We’ve Got Data to Prove It
8
Which is the Best Cross-Platform Framework for Mobile Apps and Games?
9
7 Ways to Boost Your Remote Team’s Productivity
10
What Are the Trends Set for Outsourcing in 2017?

Check Out: The Benefits of Drupal 8 Webform

From the time the beta version came out, Drupal 8 has become more and more popular. You may already know that there are modules that are extremely beneficial in not only optimizing your website but also in satisfying the module needs and requirements of the customer. This write-up will help you to gain a better understanding of the aspects of Drupal 8 module development.  We’ll also cover the useful features of a completely new approach to creating custom forms. Almost every day Drupal’s Webform Module offers new features. The latest major release from the Drupal community offers a range of ways that are really helpful in solving common problems.

What is the main use of Webform?

If you have a Drupal website and want a module to build forms and surveys, then Webform is a perfect module to do that. The best part is that it comes in handy. With this module, you are able to create not only smart and content-rich forms but also maintainable customer facing forms for a Drupal website. Examples of a customized form for end-users may include personalized contact forms or petitions. In order to widen its features, Webform has an extended API. Some of the main functions of this module include:

  • Sending confirmations, as well as notifications
  • Gathering submissions
  • Constructing a new form or reproducing a pattern that is already existing
  • Placing a form in the page or block
  • Looking through submissions online

Benefits of Drupal 8 Webform

  • Businesses and website owners

If you own a website or run a business, then Drupal 8 Webform is perfect for you. Your developers will be happy, as well as be more productive. Also, you will get to see fully integrated forms on your website that not only look good but are also made in a much faster and cost-effective way. In short, you have nothing to worry about if you have Webform. The possibilities are endless when creating rich forms that fully integrate with multiple APIs and systems.

  • Site builders and developers

If you are a site builder or a developer, then know that in Drupal, you can build forms and surveys. , You just need to make use of the tools that you feel most comfortable with. Web form found its beginnings in the YAML Form module. The YAML Form module was what developers originally utilized to build forms. This was actually a developer-centric solution. In the UI, website builders can build not only robust but also customizable forms. If you are a developer, you can construct, as well as edit forms directly in the YAML source code. This is really great. There are no other form builders in the market that make it this simple and easy for developers who are experienced to edit as well as create forms so efficiently.

  • Drupal community

This free and open source solution helps the Drupal community in creating powerful forms in Drupal 8. The web form is being used to inspire organizations and developers to adopt Drupal. It is actually a product and a tool. With the Webform module, people of the Drupal community can do their jobs easily and without difficulty. Within the Drupal community, the Webform module will definitely be seen as an important module.

The web form has a code base that is totally new. Looking at its approach to creating forms, when compared with Webform for D7, you will see that there are a number of new features. Such as –

  • There is now a possibility to build an API-first approach, along with an unstoppable refactoring, OO design patterns and a large variety of writing tests.
  • There are improvements made to Drupal.org’s automated testing.
  • The core API’s, which are firmly fixed, are extended by the Webform module.

These are some of the compelling reasons why you should switch to Drupal 8 Webform. As of early 2017, more than 7,000 sites are using Webform for Drupal 8. This number is increasing with every passing day. Drupal 8 Webform is exactly what you need for your website.

Unreal Engine 4 or Unity: Which Is Best for You?

Although many game development studio giants prefer to develop games on their own game engines, there is still a huge scope for indie developers in the market. There are many large studios, like the small developers,  that seek a decent game engine. There are many popular games like Pokèmon Go, Assassin’s Creed, Hitman Sniper, etc. that have been developed using indie game engines.

When it comes to game development engines, the Unity and Unreal Engine 4(UE4) are undoubtedly the two most widely used game engines available to game developing teams today. Whether you are a coding genius or you are a novice in game development without any prior experience, both Unity and UE4 offer an easy and hassle free development. The Unity3d game development company has continuously worked hard to improve the experience of the users. It is due to their constant efforts and zeal for improvement that Unity has made a name for itself in the market.

With many world renowned games in its gallery, Unity is the undisputed king among all the indie game engines, but Unity has some serious competition from Unreal Engine 4. Both Unity and Unreal Engine 4 are loaded with features and are easy to use. Both come with their own pros and cons. One could get confused between the two. Whether it is the features, interface, programming language or graphics, it might become difficult to pick a game engine between the two. Here is a breakdown of both the game engines with a focus on their strong points to help you make the choice if you happen to face the tough situation of choosing one.

Ease of Use

Unity is much more easy to use in comparison to the Unreal Engine 4.  Unity is easier to understand and grasp as a game engine. The Unity engine is based on C# which makes game development easy.  Although the UI of UE4 was built to be as easy as Unity, it fails to match up to the level. If you try out both of the game engines, you will find that both game engines offer ease, but Unity is excellent for beginners. When you are looking for ease of use in game development, it can also come down to individual preferences. Some might find UE4 easier than Unity or vice versa. Your level of expertise and knowledge can be a dependent factor. Either way, both of the engines allow you to push the boundaries of your ideas and imagination.

Graphics and Other Features

Unreal Engine had an upper hand in graphics because it was designed to develop games for the next-gen game engine. This soon ended when Unity stepped up the game with Unity 5.  With Unity 5, Unity’s graphics now offer static batching, physically-based shading, shuriken particle system, low-level rendering access, dynamic fonts with markup, enlighten-powered real-time global illumination, render-to-texture effects and full-screen post-processing effects. The 2D game developments have sprite packer, 2D physics, alpha cutout, automatic sprite slicing and automate sprite animation. The 3D physics include Multithread stimulation, Cloth Component, Advanced Vehicle Physics, Super-Accurate Collision Detection and bake-free scaled MeshCollider support. The animation and optimization features of Unity have also become stronger. With Unity 5, there are improvements on other features like audio and scripting.

Both of the engines now offer graphics suitable for next generation games, from complex stimulation systems to dynamic lighting of advanced level. Unity and UE4 both have advanced features to ensure high-quality game development. One benefit that Unity offers is that you can build any type of game using it.

Free Tools

Unity free offers many tools that are not restricted to its pro version. Unity offers many advanced and useful tools in its free version as well.

Community

When a beginner is starting out in the game development sector, it can be very difficult. Lack of experience and expertise can add to the difficulty. Unity, having been in existence from a long time, has a very strong community. There are many tutorials and beginners can expect help at any point of time.

Unity uses C#, an extremely high-level language. This is the reason why Unity is remarkably competitive. Users of Unity can use a wide range of gaming techniques and elements. This is possible due to the programming language being C#. On the other hand, UE4 uses C++. Unity and UE4 both offer asset store for easy downloading of game assets.

Unity is a pioneer in the game engine arena introducing many things like free access. Although UE4 is easy to use like Unity, the features, and tools that Unity offers still make it the most trusted game engine in the market. Unity is faster and, with the right assets and plugins, it is the most suitable platform to develop any kind of game.

Can a Startup Be Successful If the Team Is Completely Remote?

This is the age of startups with numerous companies launching daily. Startups have not only provided a boost to the economy but have also reversed the way of doing business altogether. The success of many startups has proven that money is not a factor when you have the right talent and creativity paired with innovative ideas.

Startups are never apprehensive of a slow economy, a daunting topic for large enterprises. Instead, some of the most successful startups have been launched in times of economic turmoil.  Surviving, and even thriving, through difficult times, they’ve emerged successfully. In addition to supporting the economy and providing new directions for business operations, startups have given us an even more valuable asset by redefining the way we work. While many IT giants are deciding to restrict the remote working scenario due to fears, which are not based in reason, startups are the living example of how remote working can be a great success. A startup requires a decent amount of hard work, dedication and time in order to survive in the market. In a competitive market, employees and professionals typically have to put in even more time and work.

Successful startup companies understand that they need to move beyond traditional ways of working in order to achieve their goals. Remote working is beneficial for startups for this reason and much more. With virtual team management and technologically advanced work management tools that allow companies to get better control of remote working teams, remote working has become the logical choice. Here are some points to prove that, not only is the remote working team a profitable option, but it is also the best option.

Cost Effective

The primary concern of a startup is to keep their costs at a minimum. It is very necessary for a startup to count all their costs and to avoid any kind of unnecessary expenses. Most startups begin their journey without an office or they operate from home offices. Thus, they work with remote teams in order to be productive. This enables the founders to avoid investment in infrastructure until they are profitable and better established. Remote teams are the solution for the lean startup.

Best of Talent

Startups need a skilled, experienced and talented team of people to facilitate growth. When you’re working with a remote team of professionals, you can connect with talented and creative professionals that add to your business through their innovative ideas. This is possible because the workplace moves out of the physical office into a digital arena and allows the companies to reach out to talented people from different cities as well as different countries. There is another factor that contributes to this benefit. When companies offer an opportunity to work from home, or any other place away from the office, there is an abundance of talented professionals who will apply for that job as they cannot or do not want to work in a traditional setting. Startup companies benefit from a very large talent pool to choose from.  Companies can access a base of prospective employees at a global level, which gives them a definite advantage over traditional businesses.

Dedicated Team

Most traditionalists try to lodge a debate that employees working from a remote place will not be as dedicated as the ones working in a physical office, but that is a concept of the past. Many researchers have shown that employees prefer remote working models, especially millennials. Employees these days want more flexibility and freedom in their work. The younger generation wants a clear work/life balance and remote employment allows for that balance. When employees needs are met, they are happier and more productive. Employees are more satisfied, thus, they work with more dedication and put in even more hard work.

Increased Productivity

The team of workers has a vital role in the growth of a startup company. Research has shown that a remote team is far more productive than those who work in the office. Experts believe the home, or any other cozy environment of choice, to be the reason behind the boost in productivity of remote professionals. Apart from the working environment, the working hours are also very flexible. Thus, if a professional is comfortable working at a particular time, they have the freedom to do that.

No Distractions

A focused working environment is very crucial for the survival and growth of startups. Working in an office where there are many other employees can be very distracting. It can be very difficult to focus on work. In some cases, too many meetings and dependence on emails to communicate in a traditional working environment deepen this problem.

There are many technologies that help companies to coordinate their remote team of professionals. Remote teams have been a definite advantage, laying strong foundations for many successful startup companies.

Check Out: 5.6 Is Now Available and Completes the Unity 5 Cycle

Developed in June 2005, Unity is a cross-platform engine for gaming developed by Unity Technologies. It’s used to develop video games for PCs, mobile devices, consoles, and websites. Now extended to twenty-seven platforms, Unity is and has always been, known for its ability to develop games on multiple platforms. It’s one of the most successful gaming engines in the history of game development. More recent versions of Unity came with improvements in game graphics and lighting, as well as a highly optimized rendering pipeline for both VR and AR devices. The unity team is known for delivering an outstanding and stable product on release, removing all bugs and introducing new features like the new unified OpenGL rendering background.

On March 31st, 2017, Unity 5.6 was released and, as the Unity team has announced, this will be the final installment in the Unity 5 cycle. It includes Lightmapper preview, Vulkan support, a new video player, new light modes, and much more. This is a massive improvement compared to the version that was released two years ago. Here is what  Unity 5.6 brings to the table in terms of mobile game development.

The highlights of this release at a glance:

  • Incredible lighting improvements:  The new Unity 5.6 adds the Progressive Lightmapper preview. It has the ability to provide immediate feedback when trying out different lighting scenarios. It also offers new Light Modes, which allow for both baked lighting and real-time lighting for static and dynamic objects.
  • Graphics Performance improvements:  Unity 5.6 introduces another new feature, GPU instancing. It enables a new variety of effects that can be used where numerous, similar objects are needed at a very low-performance cost. Compute shaders for Metal is another feature that allows the developer to add more details to games by tapping into the raw power of both the chipsets of Apple iOS and MacOS.
  • Support for Vulkan:  This is extremely important for reducing driver overhead and CPU workload while increasing development speed. As a result, the CPU becomes free to do any additional computation or rendering. This also saves on battery life.
  • Particle System Updated:  There is a massive update on the particle system for this version of Unity, giving the user more control and more options. It also improves the actual Particle System performance.
  • Video Player:  The old video player is replaced by a new one which enables playback of four thousand videos and allows developers to build 360° Virtual Reality experiences.
  • Improvement in the Navigational system:  Unity 5.6 offers improved AI and pathfinding tools, known as a NavMesh system. It enables a whole new set of use cases and gameplay options for character navigation.
  • New 2D tools:  Complex 2D objects can be easily created using the new 2D tools available with Unity 5.6. The new features include new varieties of gameplay and effects. This is inclusive of particle effects that are featured when interacting with 2D objects.
  • TextMesh Pro: One of the top performing tools on the Unity Asset Store, TextMesh Pro can now be natively integrated with Unity 5.6. It features advanced text rendering and dynamic visual text styling.
  • Performance reporting: Performance reporting now collects native crashes for iOS. The Profiler improvements and Physics debug visualization make it easier to find the source of performance issues.
  • New platforms:  The addition of compatibility with Facebook Gameroom, Google Daydream and Cardboard for Android means that the engine has made huge advances in compatibility. Nintendo Switch Support is another compatible platform that is available.
  • Experimental support for WebAssembly:  There is now experimental support for WebAssembly, a cross-browser technology.
  • Unity collaborates:  Unity Collaborate makes it simpler for teams to share, save and sync their Unity projects. This enables developers from around the world to contribute to the project. With Ignore Files, included in Unity Collaborate, the user can ignore files and directories in your project that aren’t needed. Another valuable aspect is the new Rollback feature which allows the user to generate a previous version of his or her project. This is extremely helpful for undoing unwanted or unintentional changes.

With Unity 5.6, everything seems to get easier. It’s a fully integrated development engine which can provide rich, out of the box functionality that allows the user to create amazing games and other 2D/3D content. Unity’s rapid and productive workflows help the developer drastically reduce time, effort and cost of making interactive content. Particularly, Unity 5.6 adds many exceptional improvements in graphics as well as the new impressive improvements for shading that include reflection probes and physical shading. All these features are securing Unity 5.6 as the future of game development.

Which Is Better for a Small-Medium Business Commerce Website: WordPress or Joomla?

As a vast majority of shoppers initiate a search online before making a purchase, it has become very important for small businesses to have an online presence. With a website and little bit of online marketing, small businesses stand a fair chance to compete against the bigger businesses. Many small businesses have understood the importance of having an online presence and have already started building a website to act as their face online.

But small businesses face many struggles when it comes to building a website. The most common struggle is choosing the right content management system (CMS). While there is a wide number of CMS’s available, most of them require a deep knowledge of coding or hiring and maintaining a team to manage the coding work. Being a small business, budgets are limited, making it necessary to avoid such a large investment.  Thus, these smaller businesses look for an easy to use and PHP ready CMS, an affordable alternative.

There are two popular PHP CMS frameworks that come to mind while looking for a flexible and easy to use CMS. While both WordPress and Joomla are designed to deliver high-quality performance,  there are many distinctions between the two. Here is a complete analysis of both WordPress and Joomla to help you choose the one that works for you.

Reasons to Choose WordPress

There is a reason that WordPress dominates the market and is currently being used as the site builder for 60.4% of websites on the internet. Having been designed to make blogging easy and accessible, WordPress is true to its main objective. This PHP content management system supports you through every process. It is search engine friendly and makes link management and tagging seem like child’s play. Here are some more pros of WordPress:

  • Easy To Use

WordPress is very easy to use and has a very simple interface. You will not face any difficulty in publishing your content or handling any other aspect of your business website. This CMS is a result of continuous improvement efforts.

  • Strong Community

WordPress has a very strong, as well as large, community of designers, users, and developers. This large community ensures that you get the support that you need and want, avoiding unnecessary interruptions while waiting for assistance.  You can hire WordPress developer to help you with any issues you may run into. WordPress ensures you have everything you require to build a good website.

  • Installation and Content Publishing

WordPress is a PHP ready CMS and you can use it to build your site without any knowledge of coding. It is easy to install, as the installation only requires just a single click. Setting up a website using WordPress is very easy and quick. The flexibility and convenience in publishing content are one of the most treasured advantages of using WordPress. The importance of this feature cannot be overemphasized, especially with the importance that is placed on content these days. With an interface similar to that of a word processor, WordPress makes publishing content a piece of cake. You can publish content without having knowledge of CSS, HTML, or others.

Apart from being extremely easy to use and having a friendly interface, WordPress offers a broad range of themes. Plugins help enhance the functionality of WordPress and are easy to install and use. WordPress has a highly responsive design and has a default SEO optimization.

Reasons to Choose Joomla

Joomla is also a PHP ready content management system that allows small business owners to build websites in a hassle-free and easy manner. There are many amenities that are offered by Joomla that has made it one of the most popular CMS’s available today. Joomla, like WordPress, offers cost effectiveness. Cost is one of the most important factors for small businesses as they might not be able to allocate huge capital for website development. Joomla, like WordPress, is a CMS that is not only easy to use but has all the features that one needs to build a decent website.

Joomla offers one of the shortest time development cycles which is more or less the same as WordPress. Joomla is a little faster. The quality of the website created is incredible with the added and necessary benefits of being stable and secure. Joomla also offers flexibility and control to the website builders.

Bottom Line

WordPress is a remarkable CMS. They continue to update their system, always looking to enhance the user experience. Although Joomla is similar to WordPress in many features and in functionality, it falls behind in matching the WordPress standards. With WordPress, content management and publishing is hassle free and so easy that it can be handled by a beginner. In conclusion, for small businesses looking to build their online presence, WordPress is an excellent and wise choice.

Why Should You HIRE a Remote Team for Your Web and Mobile Requirements?

In order to develop your business and launch your online product, the very first thing that comes to mind is hiring developers that come at a high price. With in-house programmers, the costs of you have to pay a great deal of money in the name of salary. Not only money, you also have to spend time.  It can take months to find the right developer, and then you must also pay for their office space. Office maintenance is an additional expense to consider.

In order to save time and money, businesses today prefer working with remote teams for their web and mobile requirements. In addition to the above issues, there are a number of reasons that lead businesses to hire remote teams for their mobile and web requirements. There can be a few drawbacks when hiring a remote team, but they can be resolved. The best thing about hiring a remote team is you can complete your project with the help of a talented development team, who work for you at a much lower cost compared to an in-house development team. If you still wonder why you should hire a remote team for your mobile and web requirements, a few reasons are discussed below.

  • Access to a larger talent pool:

The number of local developers available is not always abundant. Often times, when there are experts in your region,  they are already employed with another company. This is where the importance of remote teams comes in. You can choose from a large number of professionals who are experienced in a range of skills (from enthusiastic engineers to Scala programmers and developers) with a global search online.

  • Cost-efficiency:

In comparison with the cost of hiring a domestic development team, the cost of outsourcing to the developer team is more profitable. When utilizing remote teams, you save money in the form of monthly and/or yearly wages, insurance, taxes and office maintenance. They work based on an hourly basis or they charge a fixed service fee. It is actually advantageous to hire employees globally, in case you need an entire team of developers.

Working remotely is not only helpful for employers, it also saves costs for employees, as they save on the cost of transportation.

  • More productive environment:

Research says that remote workers are more productive than in-house staff. According to Global Workplace Analytic Survey, approximately 53% of remote workers are willing to work overtime, while 28%of in-house staff are interested in doing the same. Remote teams are insulated from daily distractions and confusions that arise in an office. Instead, remote workers concentrate on their tasks and complete them without interruption.

Remote teams aren’t inhibited by the 9 to 5 office hours. They are free to work any hours, weekends and nights included.  In fact, it is not uncommon for a remote team member to be highly productive and deliver their best work during the night, long after the sun sets. But, of course, you have to find the right people in order to create a successful remote work organization.

  • No commute time:

Another advantage of having a remote team is that there is little to no need for a commute. According to a research, commuting is a reason for increased stress, loneliness and health issues, such as neck pain. It also reduces the energy and lowers productivity. When you don’t have to commute, you avoid having to sit in traffic wasting time. This saves your potential employee’s time as well as your time. If the commute time is regarded as working time, it is clearly a better option to hire a remote team.

  • Employee turnover is minimized:

Replacing an employee costs a lot to the employers. Estimates say, if you want to replace an employee that earns 50,000 dollars a year, it will cost your business almost 20% of the salary. If the jobs require high levels of training and experience, this demand a higher turnover cost. Keeping this in mind, companies prefer to hire remote teams to get the top talent at an affordable price.

There are controversies about the pros and cons of hiring a remote team for any business development. Indeed, there can run into issues, such as communication problems, but the latest technologies outweigh these shortcomings. For example, the employers nowadays can easily communicate with their remote teams through Skype and other video conference services.

The above-discussed points are just a few advantages of hiring a remote team for your web and mobile requirements. There are innumerable benefits. Hiring a remote development team is an excellent choice with tremendous value for your time and money investment.

Remote Work is a HIT! We’ve Got Data to Prove It

Although remote working is unpopular with traditional businesses, remote working is proving to be an essential aspect for the future of business. While traditionalists might debate against the remote working system and draw out ideological divides, remote working is not as notorious as they make it out to be.

Debates Against the Remote Working System

The thoughts of traditionalists were further strengthened when business giants decided on policies against remote working. Although IBM was the recent of the latest IT giants to say no to remote working teams, Peluso made an ironic statement while breaking the news. He stated that there is only one formula of success known to him and that is to put productive talented and skilled people in really creative locations with the right tools and set them free.  Even though freedom of the employee was emphasized, it was snatched away the next second in the same announcement regarding policy change. Here are the points that traditionalists highlight as the disadvantages of having a remotely working team.

  • Remote working teams lack creativity and innovation due to lack of guidance.
  • Remote teams have weak morale.
  • Good management is an issue, which puts a strain on the overall operation of the business.
  • Remote teams lack the human interaction aspect, which helps colleagues to build trust and strong coordination. This factor further weakens the team.
Highlighted Negatives are Not Backed by Data

Although these points are some hurdles in maintaining a strong and beneficial remote team of workers, it is not something a business cannot overcome. If a company knows how to manage remote teams, they will not have any issues and the operations will be smooth. Over recent years, many bigger organizations have taken steps to minimize remote working as they think that remote working teams are one of the factors responsible for the decline in their profits.

It is ironic that, although most of the companies that recently turned against the remote working set up are data driven, they made policies without studying and analyzing the data in a proper manner. They did not have a legitimate base of data to support their decisions to make their policies against remote working. To draw a more accurate picture, Polycom conducted a study with the help of Morar consulting. In this study, they asked 25,234 workers whether remote working works for them.

Remote Working Teams Work as Proved by the Data

The results of the study are definitive data that are backing the claims of those who are in favor of remote working teams.  Here are some points that the study revealed about remote working and what is the worker’s point of view.

Flexibility

In the study, it was revealed that in this age of technology, digital-hybrid employment is what workers prefer. Out of all the employees, only 23% said that they do not enjoy a flexible working environment with their company. While 32% revealed that they often work in a remote working environment, 29% said they work in a remote setting from time to time. Three-fourths of all the employees who took part in the study revealed that they were working with at least one person who is not physically present in their office. Younger generations, especially millennials, preferred “work from anywhere” concept and over 70% wished to work in this kind of setup. Around 49% of employees who were 50 years or older, said they worked away from traditional offices on many occasions. This is very useful for those enterprises who want fresh talent to facilitate the innovative environment required for success.

Remote Working Promotes Work Satisfaction Among Employees

There are many benefits of having a remote team of employees, but one of the crucial benefits is that it promotes both satisfaction and happiness in employees which, in turn, helps to enhance their productivity. This was attested by 70% of employees who took part in the study. Remote working allows the workers to take better control of their work and life, promoting better work-life balance.

Working with Influential People

Remote working allows you to work with great people with talent and skills that ensure success. Not only does the business benefit from the innovative and creative minds working with them through the remote setup, but employees benefit from these interactions as well. This is because they get motivation and help from their colleagues which facilitate growth in them.

How to Maintain a Remote Team

While some negative points that are explained by the traditionalists have no substantial grounds, some other negative aspects of remotely employed teams are not entirely unsupported by reason.  The solution lies in the fact that you already know what can go wrong – and you can, therefore, take measures to prevent that from happening.

A remote team consists of workers who are working from different locations and are not together under one roof. There are chances of losing focus and motivation, or not being able to build a powerful work relationship. However, businesses can take the initiative and promote better communication within the team. Video and voice calls will help in bringing a sense of connectivity. There are many tools that help remote working teams to decide on accountability and track the progress of work. Regular video meetings and a friendly environment will make the remote team more efficient.

In a time when some companies find it easy to blame remote teams for the decline in revenue, it is important that enterprises realize that the remote working set up is not a soft target. Remote working teams of employees are a valuable asset that can prove to be more successful than traditional ones if they are handled efficiently. These teams have all the potential to be a hit as they have shown to promote satisfaction in employees. And when your employees are happy, productivity is improved automatically.

Which is the Best Cross-Platform Framework for Mobile Apps and Games?

Cross-platform programming refers to writing codes and developing software that will work on two or more platforms.  Cross-platform programming software has an added advantage. Normally, if an application has to be developed for different platforms (i.e., Windows, Linux or Macintosh), you would have to create multiple versions of the app using different source trees. While this may seem practical, it is very expensive in terms of developmental costs. So cross-platform programming software helps to create multiple versions of the same app, suitable for multiple platforms, without having to create separate code bases. The majority of mobile game development companies in India use cross-platform programming when developing apps.

There are a lot of cross-platform programming software available in the market. The popular choices include PhoneGap, Sencha Touch, Native Script, Appcelerator, and Unity. Of these, Unity looks to be the leader in cross-platform programming software, as it has the most advantages and the least disadvantages of the lot. Below, we discuss the points which make Unity 3D the best choice for Mobile Apps and games. This will be done through a comparative article.

1. PhoneGap

PhoneGap, also known as Apache Cordova, is one of the most popular platforms available. They use JavaScript, HTML, and CSS when developing their applications.

Advantages:

As there is no dearth of programmers with experience in HTML, JavaScript, and CSS, PhoneGap makes use of their skills. This, in turn, reduces training time and increases workflow, which then helps businesses operate without any hiccups.

  • It is open source and free of cost.
  • PhoneGap is very versatile in nature. It allows users who are not using a platform, to develop apps for that particular platform. For example, users who are not familiar with Mac can now develop apps for other iOS platforms and vice versa.

Disadvantages:

PhoneGap is known for being a poor performer when it comes to graphics intensive games and software. Plug-ins are available in order to rectify this. However, most of the time, the plug-ins found are either outdated or not supported.

2. Sencha Touch

Sencha Touch was developed by Sencha Inc, and is a cross-platform programming software that heavily relies on hardware acceleration techniques. It is mostly used for the development of large business applications and their maintenance. It primarily uses HTML5 as its programming language.

Advantages:

  • Sencha Touch has a lot of inter-operable sub-apps like Sencha Architect or Sencha Touch Charts, which can be used with Sencha Touch with ease.
  • It can be integrated with PhoneGap for native API access and packaging.
  • Attractive themes are available for each platform.

Disadvantages:

  • The themes that Sencha Touch offers are very limited and not easily available.
  • The commercial licensing of this app is ambiguous and hard to understand.
3. Native Script

Developed by Telerik and community, Native Script is an open-source multi-platform programming software that is primarily used to develop apps on iOS and Android platforms. It offers every native Application Program Interface in JavaScript for most mobile platforms.

Advantages:

  • It can use any JavaScript library that isn’t reliant on the internet.
  • Declarative UI support is offered, which means you can create the app UI once and then use it on other supported platforms.
  • Perhaps the most important feature of Native Script 2.0 is its ability to integrate with Angular 2, an open source web application framework. They can now be used to build cross-platform mobile applications.

Disadvantages:

  • Multithreading is a recurrent issue that may or may not be corrected in later versions.
  • Its features are lacking the appropriate documentations and examples for us to understand it thoroughly.
4. Appcelerator Titanium

Appcelerator Titanium is a cross-platform programming framework. Its the main purpose is to build native apps using only a single JavaScript code base. It is known for providing tools that help in rapid application development.

Advantages:

  • A prototype can be tested using this framework. User interaction with the UI is heavily monitored and evaluated.
  • There is various value-added tools and services like app analytics or as Backend-as-a-Service (BAAS)  available. It also provides a marketplace for third party components.

Disadvantages:

  • It is known to experience bugs and lags.
  • There is not adequate support provided by its Customer Support.
5. Unity

Unity is a cross-platform engine that specializes in game development. It has an inbuilt IDE(Integrated Development Environment). It is used for developing games for multiple platforms, consoles and mobile devices.  It is the most efficient among all the platforms that are available for game development.

There are numerous advantages and minimal disadvantages to using Unity 3D that make it a popular choice for game developers.

Advantages:

  • It’s probably the best way to start programming and fare better compared to all other gaming frameworks, which is why it is a popular choice for beginners as well.
  • Unity provides a wide range of scripting languages like C#, JavaScript, Boo etc., which makes it easier for a wide range of programmers to adopt and learn.
  • It is both free and fully featured, which allows a wider range of programmers to access it, and can help to drive the gaming industry forward.
  • Developers use Unity when they are leaning towards more graphics-heavy gaming or other visual applications. Its lighting improvements, including PBS (Physically Based Shading) and other lighting components, have kept Unity at the forefront for a long time in this industry.
  • It also covers a wide range of platforms, ranging from operating systems like Windows and Mac, consoles like PlayStation and Xbox, and Windows-based phones, WiiU, PS vita, Android TV, etc. It is also compatible with Virtual Reality Platforms.

Disadvantages:

There are hardly any disadvantages to speak of, namely because of its widespread success in the gaming industry. With the newest lighting features, the visual appearance of Unity’s gaming engine has almost replaced both the UE4 engine and the CryEngine.
After careful evaluation of the above points, it is safe to say that Unity is easily the go-to software framework program, both for beginner programmers and for experienced ones, who want to make their games more beautiful and realistic.

7 Ways to Boost Your Remote Team’s Productivity

These days companies overcome geographical barriers and are more prone than ever to hire employees from other states and, even, countries that are different from theirs. In this way, they are able to take advantage of labor costs as well as tax costs. Of course, you may face certain difficulties if you work with remote teams. Your team might lag behind if there is a lack of supervision, or the productivity of your team may decrease because of different time zones. In spite of all these challenges, it is worth having a remote team. All you need is to follow some tips to boost the productivity of your remote team. Here are some ways that you may consider to help in that process.

  • Develop a good relationship between your teams

The first thing that you need to increase the productivity of your remote team is to develop a good bond between the teams. If they have a good attitude, then it will affect their workflow in a positive way. This will help you to get efficient results. You can use apps or chat rooms and let your employees contact and communicate with each other, not only on a professional level but also on a personal level. Let them be a part of important projects of your company. Keep them well-informed about all the achievements of your company and always make sure to praise your team members for their hard work.

  • Tell them what you want exactly

If you are working with remote workers, it is essential to let them know what you expect from them. Tell them at what hours you want them to be available, how they will have to share files and how they should communicate with other members of the team. If there are strong guidelines for them to follow, then it will definitely help in increasing the productivity of your remote team.

  • Online file and document sharing

In order to get the work done, employees must have access to all the files and documents that they need. There are many companies that only use emails when it comes to file sharing. This has a number of disadvantages. Sometimes, employees forget to attach the file and sometimes the document can get lost. Above all, the document that is emailed stays only in the account of the receiver and the sender. To overcome all these problems, you can make use of social intranet document management systems. This will enable you to upload and share files from anywhere and at any time and all the members of your team can see any and all the changes made.

  • Share calendars

It is quite difficult to get all the members of a remote team to get together for a meeting for even a conference call. So to cope with this difficulty, you can make use of shared calendars and plan events and meetings effortlessly. All the members of the team can see who is available and when. Once the meeting is scheduled, everyone in the team will get notified.

  • Keep track of all the work

Your team members may become less motivated if the work schedule is flexible and if you have a team that is virtual. While it is possible in a physical setting to know when your employees arrive and leave, in a virtual setting, it is not possible. You can use Timedoctor for this, as this will let you know when your team arrives and leaves if they are working or chatting with friends, and much more. Also, you can use Basecamp, which is a great project management tool to track the productivity of your remote team.

  • Use virtual meeting tools

There are a number of means that an organization or a company uses in order to keep the workers of a remote team stay attached to their work. The importance of face-to-face meetings cannot be overemphasized. The lack of it can make your remote employees feel isolated and left out from the rest of the staff. You may find companies that require their remote workers to come to their office once a week or once a month. If that is not possible with your remote team, then you can make use of virtual meeting tools to make your remote team members feel validated. Getting to see all the other team members on a video chat will definitely let them connect with each other on a more personal level and help in strengthening bonds. This, in turn, will increase their productivity.

  • Communicate with clarity

In most cases, in-person communication can be regarded as the best means of communication. When you are face-to-face with someone, you get to pick up on things such as body language and tone. But when you are working with a remote team, this is not always possible and you need to make use of technology. To increase the productivity of your remote team, make sure you take that extra care to communicate with them. Use easy, clear and understandable language when sending messages. You need to state your needs explicitly via emails.  

Managing a remote team and giving their productivity a boost can be a real challenge, but if you make use of proper and effective tools and follow the above-mentioned ways, then you can make your remote team perform at their peak.

What Are the Trends Set for Outsourcing in 2017?

In 2016, the SEO industry, as well as the outsourcing industry, have made their way to success with the help of technological advancements. The year 2016 has been remarkable for new trends in the outsourcing industry. We are now three months into 2017, however, and during this period outsourcing has increased in popularity and to a whole new level altogether. In terms of outsourcing trends for 2017, experts predict that the year 2017 will experience greater innovation and development in cloud technology, in data security, and in social responsibility. Below are discussed a few possible trends that may influence outsourcing to a great extent this year.

  • Outsource providers will level up their quality:

According to a global outsourcing survey (conducted by Deloitte) in 2016, businesses who outsource their work to their outsourcing partners, expect innovative and error-free services from them. They outsource not only to complete their project within budget, but also to avail other value added services that are offered by their outsourcing partner.

So, in response to this, it can be expected that outsourcing providers will increase the quality of their services by including more and more value added services and bringing innovation into those services. According to this trend, before starting a new project, both employers and their outsourcing partners will get SLA or Service Level Agreements before initiating a new project.

  • Virtual employees will be increased:

With the help of advanced and latest technology, it has become easier for outsourcing providers as well as freelancers to work remotely. Since there is a number of project management and real-time monitoring software, it is easily predictable that 2017 will see a significant increase in virtual agents. The advanced technology will make the future of offshore outsourcing industry brighter than ever.

Since virtual employees and offshore outsourcing offers a number of benefits including productivity improvement, low workforce cost and accessibility for extended hours (especially if the outsourcing partner is from a different time-zone), most companies prefer outsourcing their project.

  • IT delivery system can be centralized:

Looking at the streamlining business process of 2016, it is easily predictable that more businesses will switch to just one dedicated IT vendor rather than opt for outsourcing to multiple IT vendors. The more centralized the IT system is, the more standard and innovative and productive it would be.

  • Use of cloud technology will be increased:

Cloud technology became popular in the year 2016. It is expected that this year will be an excellent year for Cloud technology, especially for the Hybrid Cloud. The Hybrid Cloud refers to an integrated Cloud service used by both private and public Clouds in order to access business functions easily. According to many industry experts, more than 50% of IT vendors will use Cloud technology by the year 2018.  The remaining percentage will possibly partner with industry Cloud platforms.

  • Impact outsourcing:

This year, it is expected that a new social responsibility model for business processes may gather more attention. The primary aim of the outsourcing providers would be providing quality outsourcing services in a cost effective way.

  • RPA or Robotic Process Automation:

This year, RPA may enhance the ease and efficiency of BPA in 2017. It is predicted that it will develop productivity to a great extent and reduce costs while maintaining its quality. For repetitive tasks, software robots can replace humans.

  • Development in automation:

With the help of the automation process, it is now possible to increase production with efficiency. Experts predict that there can be a great development in automation and scalability in the year 2017 with the help of reusable platforms that offer better technical support.

With the above predictions, the year 2017 is looking to be a promising year for the outsourcing industry. These trends, however, focus more on streamlining business processes and enhancing the use of centralized technology. Indian outsourcing providers will increase their functional capabilities significantly.

Additionally, outsourcing companies are making data security a priority in the year 2017. However, it is just a prediction based on the trends of 2016. Only time will tell if the prediction will come true or not.

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