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News for March 2013

Web Development: ASP.NET or PHP?

Web Development Platform ComparisonWhile web development can be done a variety of coding platforms, it often comes down to two languages: ASP.NET or PHP. Both offer benefits the other doesn’t have and most of the time, it will depend on what type of web development project you have. Some of the major considerations are cost, project size, and performance.

Cost of Web Development

The cost involved in each platform is usually three-fold: price to use, third-party hosting price, and development cost. While both are very low cost, ASP.NET does need some extra budget considerations because it runs on Microsoft’s IIS web server. So take into consideration you will have to pay the standard Microsoft OS cost to use it. PHP is free and can run on the Apache web server on a Linux OS. Both of these are also free saving you big bucks in avoiding the Microsoft products. Third-party hosting price is not high for either but does have some costs involved. Comparatively, PHP is found to be a bit cheaper in that category. Development cost are relatively similar for both coding platforms. ASP.NET is more rapid application development that can take much less time so the overall cost of development is minimized. PHP applications can also be developed using free tools but there is more coding involved that will take extra resources. Time equals money in these scenarios.

Scalability and Project Size

Consider how much your project or application may need to be expanded as your business grows. ASP.NET scales very well and is generally recommended for larger applications that will constantly be in use. PHP is usually recommended for small to medium sized projects that may not have as much stress. It’s important to properly spec out your requirements analysis when creating your product roadmap so you can choose the platform that is most efficient at the beginning. You don’t want to start with PHP and realize half way through the project that the application is going to grow beyond it’s capabilities.

Performance

Obviously you want to choose a platform that will offer great performance for your web development project. There is one distinct difference between ASP.NET and PHP that needs to be considered. ASP.NET is compiled and PHP is interpreted, meaning it is compiled and executed line by line. Thus, you will get faster performance with ASP.NET based on compiling speeds. This is why it’s generally recommended to use ASP.NET for larger applications where compiling happens quickly. PHP is usually faster for smaller program so if you are confident your application will not need to be large, PHP is quite beneficial.

These are just three of the considerations to keep in mind when choosing a platform. There are several others and our development team created a matrix to guide you in choosing the right language for your web app. Feel free to right click the image and save to your computer for easy printing and referral.

Web Development Comparison

For more information on Serpico DEV and how we utilize user stories in Agile development, please contact us.

Posted: March 19th, 2013
Categories: General
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5 Benefits of User Stories

User StoriesUser stories make software requirements easier to communicate between the client and technical team.

In Agile software development, user stories capture the ‘who’, ‘what’ and ‘why’ of a requirement in a simple, concise way. User Stories are designed to keep development teams focused on customer needs, and serve as the driving force behind quickly delivering valuable, high quality software.

Anyone that has used the Agile software development process has probably experienced communication issues between the development team and client. The issues become even larger in a remote or virtual team setting.

Creating user stories is a great way of opening discussion and bridging the communication gap between the client and development team. User stories created by the product owner (typically the client) are written in a non-technical format that fulfills a business requirement for the project. The development team then creates the needed tasks to satisfy the client’s business requirements. Creating the tasks of the project this way allows everyone to understand what is needed to achieve the requirements.

If you have worked with user stories before, then you probably understand the keys to writing effective user stories using the INVEST model. A Google search of the term will lead you to hundreds of good articles.

But from a client and business standpoint, you may be wondering what advantages user stories actually provide for a development project.  Here are 5 benefits that user stories provide:

Creating user stories is easy

User stories are easy and fast to write. Clients with no software development experience at all can write them easily to communicate their goals. Not a lot of time or money is invested in writing them; therefore, if they are changed or never used, the team has not lost a lot of time in developing them.

Written by the “user”

User stories are ideally written by the “user” or client in most cases. This allows the development team to spend time with the user and better understand the functionality that they want. If a client is not comfortable writing the user stories for their project, the development team can step in and assist them, enabling a better understanding of what the end product needs to accomplish.

Easy for remote development teams

User stories are simple enough that a freelance or outsourced team would easily be able to understand the end goals. Finding a productive team collaboration platform and a centralized area to communicate user stories will help the client easily communicate the stories to their remote team, no matter where they are located. This will help alleviate those communication challenges that come with trying to pass user stories along via email or on a conference call.

Creativity

The user story allows for the development team to be creative in designing the product. Clients give a basic outline of the needed functionality, letting the designers and developers run with it. This lets the development team create the product in a way that works on all platforms and is easy to integrate.

Faster and cheaper

Client user stories help development teams better estimate the development roadmap needed to complete the project. More accurate estimates and roadmaps lead to quicker development and faster delivery times, hence a cheaper project. Developing quality user stories through the project can help improve the project’s overall ROI by expediting the delivery process.

User stories help keep the client and development team on the same page for the requirements of the project. This leads to more productive collaboration between the parties to make the delivery process more efficient. Does your development team utilize user stories? How has it improved the client/technical team communication process of the project goals?

For more information on Serpico DEV and how we utilize user stories in Agile development, please contact us.

Posted: March 1st, 2013
Categories: General
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