What is REST API

Posted by Tushar Bedekar

Basic Description 

The Word REST stands for Representational State Transfer which is nothing but the technology that is generally preferred to more robust simple object access protocol (SOAP) Technology. Robust because it leverages less bandwidth usage and hence more suitable for internet usage.

An API ( Application Programming Interface ) for a website or an app is a code that allows two software programs to communicate with each other. It is the program that requests the hosted services.

An API is required when we want to consume the services that are running or hosted on the other web servers rather than installing the huge redundant hardware devices as per the demand that fulfills our purpose. This can be understood by the following examples:

As we are creating the weather app for the mobile device. Now the app needs to be dynamic, that is the weather needs to change as per the environment. That we need to have some sensors to collect the data for weather. Also, there can be one approach that we install sensors at different locations across the globe for collecting the data. This will be very costly if we go like this. The second approach can be contacting some vendor/service provider that can share the required weather information.

Now as our app is ready that means we have a ready design for use and we just need some data to make the response dynamic. We can get that data from the other hosted servers dedicated for this purpose using communication interfaces such as REST API`s.

Data Format 

Now the data we receive from other serves need to have some specific format that is structured so that it can be easily understood.In case of REST API, this data format can be JSON(JavaScript Object Notation) or XML(Extensible Markup Language).

Communication Using REST API 

In Our Example here we need weather information. That may contain data such as city name, humidity level, temperature etc. Now all this data can be contained within one object or specific to one object ( instance) here that object is "weather object" which is related to whether class. As we know that each and every object has some properties such as state, behavior etc. So if we need weather data we need to first set up a connection to the specific port of the server where a particular service is running and then we need to capture the state of the object weather which is nothing but the representational state. Now, this representational state is being transferred using some communication channel called an API.The state information can be transferred in JSON or XML format.



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Mobile app development trends if you’re building an app in 2018

Posted by Tushar Bedekar

Apps are popular, and a great number of consumers around the globe regularly use their smartphone as part of their daily life. Mobile users can download apps covering all kinds of subjects and purposes. App developers have accomplished a lot when it comes to app development, as their advancements have taken apps to innovative places, with excellent and creative ideas happening along the way. The competition among app developers is increasing, of course, as consumers grow evermore reliant on their smartphones to accomplish tasks related to both their professional and personal lives.

It's critical that any mobile app developer expert know what the latest trends are in the realm of app development so they're able to keep up with the competition and possibly even pull ahead so they can make engaging apps for mobile users. Let's talk about six critical trends in particular that you should consider before the development of a mobile application.

Ensure app security


Security is easily the most crucial factor if you develop an app. Developers need to make sure that any app they create is safe for its users, so they have protection from cyber attack or viruses. Any kind of carelessness or lapse in an app's security can create damage to an app's data. Apps need to be put through security tests to make sure that their safety is assured.

Use cloud technology


The use of cloud technology in apps isn't just trendy, but actually very useful for mobile users. It helps them use apps across more than one device and even more than one kind of device. These apps need to be developed in ways that let them sync with other devices easily by using the cloud. It's very beneficial to users to be able to access similar functions and features through their mobile phone app as they can on other devices. Businesses can benefit when e-commerce apps that are used on smartphones can also be used on tablets, for instance.

Provide a robust user interface


As an app developer, you need to consider the app's user interface as you develop it all. Apps that are designed for websites have different kinds of user interface features and elements as compared to an app for a mobile piece of technology. Android and Apple phones both have their own correct user interface guidelines, and you need to adhere to them. Use appropriate icons and widgets on your app. Also, make sure there is a menu included.

Take advantage of Android Instant


Android Instant is definitely a top trend in the world of app development. It's something that lets mobile users run their apps immediately without having to first download or install that app.

Use AI


Artificial Intelligence is a growing trend in the industry of app development. It can include things like IoT and virtual personal assistants. It's advantageous to make use of this particular app development technology.

Include digital mobile payment options


A huge trend right now is letting mobile users make app payments on their phone, so include digital mobile payment features. Many mobile payment apps are in use around the world already. Successful examples include Android Pay, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Google Wallet. Just make sure that your mobile payment app features are as safe as they can be considering they will be used for financial transactions.


Don’t delay in building a mobile app for your business! More apps are added to the IOS and Android store daily. Invest in mobile app development to make your business available to your target audience on their devices.
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A Strategic Approach For eCommerce Growth and Development in 2018

Posted by Tushar Bedekar

2017 was a significant year for eCommerce, as several new and impressive tweaks were integrated to online firms. And as we are heading to 2018, the technological developments are taking new twists. Below are the top eCommerce trends for 2018 that will dominate eCommerce businesses in the upcoming year.

Big data and analytics are more precise


Big data and analytics have changed most business areas, to help them get the best out of their efforts. Nowadays, most of the actions taken by consumers can be converted into some sort of data; and that information will give e-commerce websites more insight into their target group of people.

Both the parties are poised to analyze customer demand; bring out extremely personalized user experience and optimize pricing structures in future. The massive amount of data gives way for actualizing a diverse digital marketing culture that is related to the specific intentions.

In that accord, online marketers will understand when and where to channel personalized marketing, and native marketing accordingly. And in the end, it also enhances the predictions of marketing endeavors.

Mobile usage will be a force in eCommerce


With the development of technology, most people have a phone or tablet today. People usually search for goods and services and even buy them through these devices as opposed to desktop computers.

From surveys, over half of the eCommerce sales are seen to be actualized over mobile devices; and it is expected to rise exponentially over the coming years, which will significantly affect the online establishments.

The surge in the mobile market will prove to be the trendiest thing next year. According to Goldman Sachs, the world revenue share that would be held by mobile eCommerce could span to about $626 billion.

Supply chain management is more subjective


Supply chain management has a considerable impact in the eCommerce industry, which is quite volatile to deal with. This area is undergoing major improvements, eventually standing out as one of the potential giants in the eCommerce trends next year.

Three essential factors fuel these adjustments:

Automation - Automation and process integration assists firms to dissipate a clear and straightforward transition of commodity and information flow.

Data sharing - The data, for instance, the details concerning the availability of stock, information about shipping and consumer details are availed throughout the supply chain process.

Customer –Centricity - It is essential to understand your customers' targets, tastes, and traits. Effective supply chain management will be reliant on the mentioned aspects to improve its efficiency.

Micro-moments marketing are making headlines


When consumers dig for information about a commodity or check the instructions, there are some specific touching points, which are referred to the micro-moments. Designed by Think with Google, the micro-moments are one of the top eCommerce trends that are going to be dominant in 2018.

Their insatiable need for immediate fulfillment and the always-on access to data through mobile devices is behind this trait. Therefore, moments, for instance, I want to do this, but this, go here, and know this and others can be detected through their smart mobile devices.

For them to satisfy customer needs, eCommerce sellers take proper actions concerning the customer’s micro movements. This assists to precisely predict customer actions and behaviors. Huge brands are already laying their offers, taking advantage of these moments.

Voice assistant research


Voice assistants have grown significantly regarding popularity and desirability in the last couple of years. It is undeniable that people are significantly using voice-activated digital assistants such as Apple Siri, Google Assistant in their day-to-day activities.

Usually, they trigger them to action by just talking and ask them to execute some purchase related tasks. Permissive to it, client research concerning the items they would like to purchase, and even request for the balances while using the voice assistants.

A survey done recently implied that close to 40% of millennials are already venturing into voice assistant research when they want to purchase a commodity. Therefore, it holds water to be a significant thing the eCommerce world.

In that accord, the mouse and keyboard will be eliminated slowly while the voice searches make a massive rise to prominence.

Messenger applications and chat bots supplement firms


The world chatbot market has garnered a staggering 24.3% of CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate); over 45% of users ponder using chatbots as their first pick, for customer service concerns. Yes, we are in a time where messengers and chatbots rule!

Chatbots give online businesses an upper hand by directly interfacing with the entire batch of customers, in a real-time and authentic manner. Aside from that, online sellers can utilize them as well.

-Fuel client personalized marketing contents.
-Propose perfect purchase options and specific deals to potential customers.
-Collect useful insights, straight from the clients.
-Old-fashioned advertising is enhanced with chatbots.

Moreover, their integration capability with messenger applications helps to avert app fatigue. Therefore, it is undeniable that the chatbots, integrated with messenger apps will be tremendous players in the e-commerce in 2018.

Improved UX/UI for enhanced eCommerce Utility


An eCommerce firm's success relies on how the commodities are presented and how straightforward it is for clients to understand them. The two crucial matters can be dealt with by User Interface (UI) and User Experience design parts.

The UI/UX design has become better over time, and we should expect some major updates with sounder enhancement. This will significantly reduce the annoying poor aesthetics and bring out more responsive layouts. In that respect, we will be prompted to:

Prioritize mobile-responsive design, since mobile gadgets are turning out to be the primary source of product information and purchases.

Practice a clog free, and SEO friendly user interface with relevant videos, sidebars, and animations without forgetting real-time pictures to capture customer attention.

Offer navigation links to compare commodities with those of other firms to bring about competence. Align your business with an eCommerce design agency to improve your business’ digital assets.

Conclusion

eCommerce trends are continually preparing for an improved client acquisition and retention process in recent years. Not adjusting by these trends could prove to be costly. Therefore, online firms should be on their toes, analyzing the new trends and also developing new creative ideas to stay ahead of the competition. Be extra keen on eCommerce trends for 2018 and be ahead of your competitors in the business world.
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Cyber Security for Finance Companies

Posted by Tushar Bedekar
comelec_data_breach
The recent data breach of information giant Equifax underlines the harsh reality that finance companies have to face – when it comes to protecting consumer data, size doesn’t matter. The financial services industry remains under constant threat of cyber attacks.


In the Equifax case, hackers were able to access the personal data of 143 million customers, reports CNN. The breach occurred when the attackers gained access to the company's Apache Struts software – used to develop its online dispute center web application.


Following the attack, it was reported that the U.S. Department of Cybersecurity had alerted Equifax and other users to the Apache system vulnerabilities at least a month prior to the attack, yet the data conglomerate failed to take immediate action to patch holes. The shocking headline is a reminder of the importance of continued monitoring and safeguarding a company's network infrastructure.  

The New Threat: Ransomeware Alert


On May 17, 2017, the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) issued a press release stating, “a widespread ransomeware attack, known as WannaCry, WCry, or Wanna Decryptor, rapidly affected numerous organizations across over one hundred countries” – which highlights the importance of performing routine scans, penetration tests, and updates.
Among those identified as susceptible to the cyber threat were broker dealers, financial advisers, private funds, and investment management firms.

26% of advisers and funds (collectively, “investment management firms”) examined did not conduct periodic risk assessments of critical systems to identify cyber security threats, vulnerabilities, and the potential business consequences
57% of investment management firms examined did not conduct penetration tests and vulnerability scans on systems that the firms considered to be critical

Cyber Security Best Practices


Many SMBs in the financial services industry are wondering what they can do to keep their network safe and secure. By following a standard protocol and by following the best cyber security solutions for financial businesses, you can feel rest assured you will be armed and ready for attackers.

Develop & Distribute Cyber Security Guidelines – In the unfortunate event your firm is attacked, ensure that all employees are aware of the firm’s cyber security protocol. Keep the document updated and notify employees regarding changes.

Train Your Employees – Appoint a cyber team leader to schedule periodic training meetings. If your firm works with outside IT specialists, the appointed team leader will work closely with your outside cyber security team to schedule office visits and train employees on security systems.

Perform Routine Risk Assessments – Perform routine risk assessments to monitor and catch potential threats. Get alerted to the latest “Risk Alerts” published on the OCIE website. However, working with an outside cyber security firm takes the pressure off. Your dedicated IT Specialists will monitor your network, scan your system, and implement preventive measures that mitigate risks.

Consider An Off-Site Cloud Server Data Management Center – The most proactive security measure your firm can take to safeguard its data network is a cloud server-based solution. This is sophisticated data solution that employs the around-the-clock monitoring of data management center to service your servers, storage, and applications.

Proper Detection And Elimination Tools


The threats are real and they are unstoppable. Attackers troll the web 24/7 - on the lookout for a way into your company’s data infrastructure. However, malicious spyware, ransomware, and malware can be detected and eliminated before it causes any serious or permanent damage.

By implementing proper detection and spyware elimination tools finance companies are able of keeping customer data out of the hands of cyber hijackers. Your cyber security team or IT Specialist needs to be ready to act immediately to carry-out your cyber security guidelines to catch suspicious activity and suspected threats. Also, ensure that periodic risk assessments are performed on a timely basis.

Expert IT Specialists

The types of methods deployed by cyber attackers are constantly shifting and evolving, presenting a challenge for cyber security professionals. To stay ahead of threats, work with a dedicated team of cyber security specialists.

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--AUTHOR INFO—

This is the Guest Post Written by Stephanie Rowan who works as an IT Consultant at NIC. And I think he is an expert in Information Technology after receiving such a nice drafted article as a gust post from him. 
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How Big Data And IOT Technology Is Shaping Our Future

Posted by Tushar Bedekar
The future of all aspects of our culture and society will rely on advancements in IoT technology and big data. While big data and IoT technology are two different technological concepts, each is directly related to each other, and the future of each are tied to each other.

IoT technology will allow individuals and companies to connect various aspects of their life through devices that communicate with each other through an Internet connection. These devices will open new possibilities to help individuals accomplish their personal goals, along with allowing businesses to increase efficiency in all areas of operation.

IoT is the technology that focuses on collecting massive amounts of information from individual devices. However, the information that is collected is only as good as the ability to analyze and interpret the information based on specific criteria.



Big data is a vital component for the advancement of IoT technology because big data provides the capability to store and analyze massive amounts of data to find specific patterns and make sense of all the information collected. 

Big Data Is The Backbone For IOT Technology

As technological advancements continue to speed ahead, IoT technology is seeing a big push in capabilities and integration into cultures across the globe. The progression of the web is a system of physical items which could be retrieved through an Internet connection.

These connected devices and sensors are being integrated into everyday products like cars, thermostats, and dishwashers. As more devices become connected, sensors are becoming embedded with technology that can interact with other sensors across all aspects of the environment.

IoT will continue to collect more data, and big data processing will help make that information more relevant. Here are three ways that IoT technology and big data will improve the future of connected devices.

1. Improved Data Quality

It’s easy to collect massive amounts of evidence, but it's hard to ensure the quality of data as the volume increases. Even more, data scientists are finding it increasingly difficult to analyze and interpret data as the stream of incoming data increases at the same time.

Big data and IoT is the rise in the quantity of information which will hit the information storage framework for personal and business applications. Data centers will need to utilize advanced data processing practices to ensure there is the appropriate capability to analyze data in real-time, especially at peak periods.

2. Big Data Will Increase Cloud Computing

Taking into account the massive effect IoT will on information storage infrastructure, organizations have started to move towards the Platform-as-a-Service version, a cloud-based alternative, instead of relying on physical storage centers on-site.

Unlike, in-house info systems which will need to be continuously updated as the information load rises, PaaS offers flexibility, scalability, compliance, along with an elaborate architecture to store all valuable IoT data.

Cloud storage alternatives include private, public, in addition to hybrid versions. If a business has sensitive information which is subject to some regulatory compliance conditions that need heightened security, utilizing a personal cloud are the ideal plan of action. For other businesses, a hybrid or public cloud may be used for the storage of IoT data.

3. IoT Technology And Big Data Will Drive Personalization

In a world driven by technology, the ultimate goal of IoT technology and big data is to provide a personalized experience on an individual basis. No longer will people read a generic marketing message. Instead, businesses will be able to engage with individual customers based on unique qualities and input as defined by data submitted from their IoT devices.

For example, the popular Nest thermostat will find patterns for the temperature of a home based on the season and specific preferences of a household. This information can be used in conjunction with other data points like air filtration systems to provide personalized product recommendations based on allergenic, seasonality, and other factors not available to businesses or consumers today.

Another example of IoT making communications hyper-personal is the fact that IoT technology will reshape how we commute throughout our day. Instead of physically driving, autonomous car technology will allow us to engage with interactive media. This means that companies will have a new opportunity to speak directly to their customers and customize Internet marketing message based on geographic location, final destination, and other factors.

Personalization is only possible if IoT technology and big data systems work together to collect and process information in a way that makes that data meaningful. These two technologies will allow a new level of customization and personalization in all areas of life.

IoT And Big Data Will Focus On Security Concerns

Security concerns will continue to be at the forefront of technology. The ability for hackers to break individual devices that are collecting data will be an issue, along with, the security of data centers and big data processing locations. All of these points present potential security concerns for individuals and businesses that utilize IoT technology.

IoT is a new and quickly evolving specialty, which means that many data specialists lack the technical know-how and best practices to secure information collected and stored by IoT devices. Attacks of any type can endanger more than just information. There's also the risk of damage to the apparatus on the network.

Within this sort of world, it is going to become necessary for businesses to make crucial changes to their safety landscape. IoT apparatus will come in assorted sizes and shapes and will be found beyond the network, but also has to have the ability to communicate with corporate programs.

The future of technology looks bright as we continue to see advancements in IoT and big data. These technologies will continue to impact our lives in ways we might not have even thought of yet, but if technology leaders keep the future in mind then we will keep seeing the benefits of this technological evolution emerge!


--AUTHOR INFO—

Chris is a Digital Media Strategy Consultant who helps small business owners grow their business with SEO and PPC Management Services. He is passionate about digital marketing, emerging technologies, and transportation issues.
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What to Do With a Failing Hard Drive

Posted by Tushar Bedekar

 When a hard drive eventually fails, for the vast majority of end users it can come as a real shock. Panic begins to set in, then you realise you did not back up the vast majority of the files on your hard drive.

Trying to fix it is the natural cause of action, especially if you have important data on it that you would like to access. But the chances are, unless you have some understanding of exactly what causes it or what you’re doing, there’s very little that you can do to fix it.

If you’re fortunate and most of the drive has remained to intact, then the problem could be caused by the printed circuit board (PCB). A damaged PCB is usually caused by a power surge which inadvertently overheats the drive. In situations like this, you can take the drive to a computer technician who can repair it by replacing the PCB with a working one.

However, there are those other circumstances when things can be a little more difficult to gauge what is what.

Determining What Causes the Crash


When you experience a hard drive crash, the first thing you’ll want to do is determine whether or not the crash was logical or physical. This can be quite tricky; though there are some tools that you can use to monitor your drive, letting you know when there may be potential problems with it. If your computer crashes and refuses to boot up, such circumstances can be caused by both physical and logical failure.

If your computer refuses to boot up, and you hear clicking, grinding or whirring sounds, that is a good sign that the cause of the failure is physical. At which point, you’d want to power the system down and consider physical repair solutions.

That said, as I touched on earlier, there are many tools that you can use to predict when your hard drive is going to fail, these tools do that by reading the S.M.A.R.T (Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology) data that is recorded by the operating system. Unfortunately S.M.A.R.T is known for being quite unreliable when it comes to predicting hard drive failure as the drive failure will usually occur before the S.M.A.R.T warning kicks into action. If you have a hard drive that is working, but you’d like to keep tabs on its health, then there are a number of tools that you can use to do that. So be on the lookout for them.

Logical Hard Drive Failure


Logical failure typically occurs when the hard drive is fine, health wise, but you are unable to access your operating system. There are many different factors that can cause this. A corrupt system drive, a malicious file or human error, all are capable of causing a drive to crash. When you experience a failure on this scale, cloning or imaging the computer will usually not work. Utilising professional data recovery software is your best option, although there is a Check Disk tool that you may want to try (assuming you can boot into Windows).

Accessing this tool is as simple as doing the following:

1. First, boot into your computer with full administrative rights.

2. Then press Windows Key + R, type into the Run Command box and click on OK.



3. When My Computer loads up, right click on your Drive and select Properties.



4. This will load up Hard Drive Properties, from here, click on the Tools Tab, and then click on the Check Now button under Error-checking.



5. When the Check Hard Drive applet appears, tick the box next to automatically fix file system errors and scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors, then click on Start.



One thing you must keep in mind is that, just because you are unable to access the data on a crashed drive, it doesn’t mean the data no longer exists. The option that you choose to take will be determined by how important the data on the drive is to you.

Physical Hard Drive Failure


If the crash of your hard drive was due to a malfunction, there is still a good chance that the data on it is still intact and accessible. The best giveaway for a physical fault is clicking and grinding noises whenever you turn the computer on, never mistaken these sounds for a malfunctioning cooling fan. In most cases the sounds will be relatively loud, however in some other cases you may be required to open up your PC case to hear the sounds.

If you are still able to boot into the operating system while the hard drive is making those noises, it’s possible that you could clone or copy the hard drive, but it will come at a risk. Do not try booting up the computer then using an external hard drive to copy the files from your active faulty drive, as this will stress the drive out even more. Your best solution is to remove the drive altogether and put it in a working computer as a secondary drive and use Data Recovery software to clone or copy its contents.

If you are able to retrieve the data on it, then you’re done. Next thing you’ll need to do is purchase a new hard drive and install your operating system and applications on it. This process can take some time, but is not too difficult. Alternatively, if you were able to clone your drive, you could simply copy the contents of the old drive to your new one. That way you won’t need to reinstall anything, just install the drive as your primary and you’re good to go.

Conclusion


Its best that you do not rely on software or those tell-tell signs to let you know when, if ever, your drive will fail, as it is most likely that it will fail unexpectedly, without any signs or warnings. You’re best option is always to be one step ahead of these incidences, by backing the data up on your computer constantly.

  

--AUTHOR INFO—


Uchenna Ani-Okoye is a former IT Manager who now runs his own computer support website where he writes extensively on failing hard drives and other computer related issues and topics.


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Types of Cloud Computing

Posted by Tushar Bedekar
Basically cloud computing is divided into 3 categories.

  • SaaS (software as a service)
  • PaaS (Platform as a service)
  • IaaS (Infrastructure as a service)

Software as a service - SaaS

SaaS s a software that is centrally hosted and managed for the end customer. It is usually based on a multi tenant architecture - a single version of the application is used for all the customers. It can be scaled to a multiple instances to ensure the best performance at all the locations. SaaS Software is typically licensed through a monthly or annual subscription.
Example :- Microsoft Office 365 is a prototypical model of SaaS. Other example are                                    Dropbox,WordPress and Amazon Kindle.

Platform as a Service - PaaS

With PaaS, you deploy your application into an application-hosting environment provided by the cloud service vendor. The developer provides the application, and the PaaS vendor provides the ability to deploy and run it. This frees developers from infrastructure management, allowing them to focus strictly on development.


Infrastructure as a Service - IaaS  

An IaaS cloud vendor runs and manages server farms running virtualization software, enabling you to create VMs (Virtual Machines) that run on the vendor’s infrastructure. Depending on the vendor, you can create a VM running Windows or Linux and install anything you want on it.
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