How Software Development Agencies can become more efficient

How Software Development Agencies can become more efficient

 

The challenges of making software are so varied. It is an empirical process, non-replicable, and sometimes unpredictable with constant changes. Small-Medium Size Software agencies (< 50 Developers) not only wholeheartedly feel these problems, they will constantly find further conundrums of standing out from competitors who are either “more experienced” in taking on enterprise-only projects starting from 100K, or “more extensive” for including a “full package” of UX / UI design, marketing strategy and more for all web, mobile, IoT and gaming needs.

Think that’s all of the problems? Hold on, there is more.

Besides the technical and business challenges, software agency owners also have to constantly think about customer management, development methods, internal team management, development efficiency maximization, and software project delivery flow.

How does a software system like Back4App know about all these? It’s quite simple: we have been there, and we have seen too many.

In the course of running a software agency, Back4app’s co-founders spent 10 years accumulating the professional knowledge required to make a real difference in helping software agencies to deliver faster without compromising the quality.

We summarize, an amazing software agency has to

  1. Execute a clearly defined scope;
  2. Your agency is expected to deliver great quality, completing the job as fast as possible using the limited resources;
  3. smoothly and accurately communicate with manage the client and the team;
  4. also, handle all the changes that occur throughout this journey.

 

Working towards a [New] solution

Many methods have been developed to help the developers meet these challenges, for example, the agile methodology, the principles of lean software development and even system thinking. In fact, these methods do go a long way to help eliminate wastes in software development. They can also help ensure better flow and collaboration to produce software faster. Yet by themselves, these methods do not completely solve all the agencies’ problems.

Back4App is the crucial piece with a practical solution that automates part of the agency work. 

Back4App has developed special tools to tackle problems that software agencies commonly face within a complete development environment. Back4App’s approach removes a succession of barriers and frictions facing the development team to free them to focus even more on what really matters to your project’s success. We work in two main areas: eliminating commodity codes(boilerplate codes) and the performance of unnecessary/low-value tasks in your project.

 

Execution with a clear scope & without Learning Curve

Our objective from the very start has been to create an easy to use platform for building a backend project. Therefore, it will only take a short time to train your team on how to use our platform effectively. Our dashboard is designed in the most intuitive way. It allows the developer to build his entire backend without opening any IDE or a new window on his computer; he does everything on the Back4App platform.

We have SDKs for more than 10 different languages. You do not have to learn a new programming language to use Back4App. Simply install the SDK you are already using and start making the calls to the Backend inside your app project. Also, for each new class of database or new cloud function created, we automatically create a REST API that also allows external access at any time.

Another important point to bear in mind is that our stack is entirely built on a universal development language: JavaScript. Our database (MongoDB) and our application layer (parse server/nodeJS) are based on JavaScript; this gives the most power to the developer who wants some sort of customization at this database level or application layer.

parse-sdk-libraries

parseplatform.org SDKs and Libraries

Build the Architecture your customer needs

We also believe every single kick-ass application must be built on top of a robust but flexible infrastructure to store, protect and scale.  That’s why we choose the Parse technology, an open source Backend-as-a-Service(BaaS) framework developed by Facebook, as our foundation. It has two main modules: the Parse Server (application layer) and a module that allows the construction and management of the application, the Parse Dashboard. Because it is open source, the community (in which we actively participate) is constantly evolving the platform and updating the features and compatibility news.

The Back4App architecture enables optimizing each client application separately — that’s why we have the most diverse Parse Server configurations. We optimize the applications according to the needs of each client/application to extract the best performance for each request. We have Parse cases using MongoDB (the classic case), but we also have Parse using Postgres and even MySQL.

The open source framework gives the customer greater flexibility as it eliminates vendor lock-in. So if the client chooses to manage his Parse Server by himself, he can do so at any moment. This is a very important issue for a software agency since a range of customers demand totally different applications, and using an open source solution is mandatory for many of them.

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Back4App Customer Testimonial.

Boilerplate Code Deleted  = Better Code

We are always working to eliminate codes that do not generate any value for your application but need to be there in order for it to run — the boilerplate codes. In addition to benefiting from Back4App’s fully serverless architecture, you do not have to worry about all the code that needs to be generated to perform all of the CRUD operations in the database; we automatically generate this for you. With each new class created in Back4App, you can consult the API Reference tool, and view and copy the code you need to perform your database operations within your front-end code.

 

api-reference-back4app

The API Reference Tool creates all the code you need to perform CRUD operations.

Furthermore, in some Back4App guides you can find the necessary codes to perform integrations with important services such as means of payment (Stripe, Braintree), messaging services (Twilio, Sendgrid, Mailgun), and logins/user registration using data from social networks (Google, Facebook, Twitter).

The time gained by avoiding having to code all these boilerplates directly affects the profit margin of the software agency’s project. It makes it more competitive in RFPs and allows the agency to increase its profit margin by ensuring the company’s growth and endurance.

 

Faster true serverless architecture

Our platform allows you to start a project without having to do an environment setup or worrying about continuous integration, file management, software updates, and database index backups. We have a fully replicable structure that allows us to scale horizontally and vertically the application layer and the database. Some applications have already reached 15000 requests per second.

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Creating a new app at Back4App is very simple and totally serverless.

This gives the agent software end user the security and confidence that is so vitally important when presenting the solution. This ability to build a robust solution with an APP that is fully scalable and able to withstand increasing customer demand gives the software agency a huge business advantage.

 

Dedicated customer support engineers for all the possibilities

If you need any help to create, maintain or change your application, the Back4App engineers are always on hand to help ensure that you deliver the best product to your customer. We help you to optimize your code, suggest better cloud functions approaches, and recommend the best security practices. We can also help you with even more basic issues if necessary. Our chief goal is to stay at your side to help you meet your deadlines and deliver an excellent quality product.

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Back4App Customer Testimonial.

The Bottom Line

Software agencies operate in increasingly competitive business environments with tight margins. This places a premium on finding ways to reduce software development time without cutting any corners in product quality. Agencies who take advantage of the Back4App’s open source platform can gain a distinct business advantage by saving time spent on unessential coding. The platform’s highly flexible, open source base provides a sound foundation for developing customized solutions that exactly fit your clients’ needs. Access to professional support from the Back4App team can also make a significant contribution to your project’s success.

Are you a Software Agency? Do you know that Back4App not only increases productivity but also profit margin? Let us show you how. Contact us!

 


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