When it comes to estimating the required time to turn an idea into a project, non-technical clients often do not understand what a developer’s time consists of and why a particular function is implemented faster than others. In this article, we’ll walk you through the modules that are the easiest way to speed up the development process and reduce the time and costs required.
A module is a ready-made part of a program that contains one or more functionalities, allowing you to reuse its code. Modules make a programmer’s job easy and faster by allowing the programmer to focus on only one difficult area of the functionality of the software application. This also guarantees a reduction in costs at the development stage, since developers do not waste time creating functionality already created by someone, but reuse the ready-made code.
Twilio — Simple SMS Notifications
Customers often ask us to implement an SMS gateway for sending bulk messages to their customers. The required functionalities of such messages are very diverse as they can, for example, include a secure login to the company’s service, account verification, informing about upcoming promotions and other reasons. The next step in integrating SMS messaging is to use SMS as a two-factor authorization method or as a simplified one-time password service. One-time login passwords will allow users to stop having millions of passwords in their heads and, ultimately, will increase the user experience.
How to integrate these functionalities?
Our team can deliver all these amazing functionalities with just one powerful technical solution – Twilio. Twilio can be quickly integrated using their powerful APIs to start building SMS and WhatsApp messaging, voice, video, and email solutions. When it comes to integrating a service with an SMS gateway, our developers prefer to use Twilio as they have proven to be offering reliable, stable and secure solutions. Moreover, Twilio relies on Amazon Web Services, which guarantees high uptimes.
Not sure if your business can benefit from an SMS gateway itself. Contact us for a discovery phase – you will be surprised at what new doors of interaction with your clients will open for you!
Stripe — Best Solution for Recurring Payments and Subscriptions
A subscription model is a business model in which a customer must pay a recurring price at regular intervals to secure her access to a product or service. Rather than selling products with a one-time off-price, a subscription offers periodic (daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, semi-annual, annual, or quartiles) cash flows for sellers and more flexibility for customers. The implementation of recurring payments and subscriptions recycling is one of the most frequent requests we receive from our business clients. Recurring payments are regular payments, of which the payer confirms only the first one, and the thereafter following payments are made automatically. Most often, our clients ask to organize a multi-tier subscription – each membership option allows access to a different set of content and differs in price and payment frequency.
How to integrate these functionalities?
Stripe Billing is the most popular way to set up recurring payments and subscriptions. Vasterra’s team uses the Stripe plugin to implement a comfortable subscription form for both subscribers and business owners. For instance, one of our e-learning customers asked our team to configure Stripe so that the payments from students are directly debited to the trainers account instead of running through corporate accounts. Moreover, Stripe also allows us to implement tiered subscription access for a music streaming customer ultimately guiding the various access levels.
Besides Stripe Billing, Stripe Connect offers an additional fast and secure way to implement any payment method on your website. Read more about the payment solutions in our case for the EdU e-learning platform.
Google Maps — Impressive Geo-Features in One
In today’s location-based environment, geospatial data is gold. Visualizations including a map make a lasting impression on any client. In some industries, maps are the most functional element when it comes to conveying information effectively.
For example, in the real estate industry, maps are used to plan expansions, overview projects and visualize the footprint of a given company We’ve also seen travel apps that give you discounts when you’re near partnered businesses based on geospatial data. Finally, we’ve seen these maps being used in incredibly interesting ways. Lego and Chrome teamed up for their initiative “Build with Chrome”, an experiment that gamified geospatial mapping by allowing users to build Lego objects on Google Maps.
Google Maps is the map service with the largest user base on the planet. More than a million users open Google Maps every day, which means that its functions and appearance are familiar to the whole world. When it comes to embedding a map in an application, our developers offer the most diverse functionality based on Google Maps. Our experiences include:
- calculating and building optimal travel ways,
- creating a real estate database based on available addresses,
- geofencing specific parts of the map based on a hand-drawn shape.
We use the GoogleMaps Platform API to add this to your service, which is the best and fastest option if you want to offer more sophisticated mapping capabilities. Impressive, isn’t it?
Firebase — Ecosystem of Modules
Firebase is a whole ecosystem of modules that provide a wide range of features from cloud databases to web notifications. In this article, we focus on just one part of the core Firebase library – namely the one that helps avoid the long coding time of a new registration system.
Firebase Client includes a simple and easy-to-use authentication service built on top of Firebase Custom Login, allowing you to authenticate users without any server-side code. It offers several types of authentication: email/password, anonymous, and third-party integration with Facebook, GitHub, Google, and Twitter. It allows you to authenticate your users without having to manually store authentication credentials or run a dedicated server.
Our development team suggests using this module, based on integration with the most popular services and social networks as it significantly improves the user experience of your customers. You can read more about our experience with Firebase in the Prema, FinGo and Yablochkov case studies or write to us for a free consultation.
AWS Lambda — Serverless Computing that Saves Energy and Cuts Costs
Increasingly, our customers are choosing to use serverless computing. AWS Lambda is a compute service that enables you to build serverless applications without the need to provide or maintain hardware infrastructure. Simply put, AWS Lambda offers its customers on-demand server time, ultimately increasing the cost flexibility of a company. When no one uses the service, it is as if it does not exist – which means it does not take up space nor does it cause any costs.
At Vasterra, we use other Amazon tools in conjunction with Amazon Lambda to provide more functionality and even further reduce costs for our customers. For example, one of our customers decided to create a physician app entirely based on serverless tools. So, in addition to AWS Lambda as the development core, our team uses Dinamo DB and Amazon S3 as a cloud file storage system and Amazon Kognito for registration and login functionality. This serverless system, built based on many Amazon products, impresses with high resource savings and guaranteed security levels by the hacker-resistant Amazon servers.
We hope this article helped you to understand what makes up a developer time and how it can be accelerated.
If you have any questions or would like to request a project estimate - do not hesitate and get in touch with us.