Design Tips for SharePoint 2013 Apps on Tablets

The discussion on the tips for designing for the SharePoint 2013 Apps on tablets should essentially begin with the concept of minimal viable product. The idea is to enhance the user experience with Office 365 and Microsoft Office. Enterprises seem to be on the lookout for continuously updating the products to gain a strong competitive advantage and engaging in viable business in Office 365.

SharePoint site branding expertsWith the increase in the number of mobile devices and tablet users, it has become necessary for the SP 2013 apps to stay accessible as well as work effectively on these devices. Here is a list of tips on designing excellent SP apps for the tablets.

Always Go For Responsive Design
Whenever it comes to designing SP 2013 applications for tablets, a responsive design is a prerequisite. Now, for those working on a publishing site or planning to render it with a great look and feel, a responsive web design is must. Now, for those not using a custom master page as a basis for compatibility with other apps, a responsive design might not appear to be that suitable.

Maintain the Minimum Possible Width
Although the base resolutions vary depending on the landscape mode, majority of them have a width of 980 pixels. While the meta tags, JavaScript and CSS allow for control over the zoom behaviors and view port to a significant extent, it is always better to ensure that the columns in the tabular layout look impressive. This would also keep the initial investment to be made by the enterprise pretty low.

Make Efficient Use of CSS
The detailed pages for the varying entities in the form of matters and clients comprise a table at the top along with a set of tabs at the bottom, displaying related data. It is the entity as well as the data that work together in determining the number of columns in the header. On the other hand, for the clients, the columns denoting the phone numbers, address and notes are hidden especially, in cases where there is no data.

Now, these tables pose challenge because of the fact that both the width of the browser as well as the one that is required to display particular data within the table vary. The solution lies in using the base of 980 pixels, which renders a lower bound. Also, with a vertical alignment at the top, padding is explicit while word-break is natural.

Derive Benefits Out of the ‘Focus on Content’ Button
The ‘Focus on Content’ button appears at the upper right hand corner of the page. This is quite a beneficial feature and using it optimally can actually lead to an effective designing of SP 2013 applications for tabs.

Not Putting any Options in the Quick Launch Section
The pre-dominant belief is that while using a tablet, focus should always be laid on the content. However, it is better not to put any important option in the ‘Quick Launch’ section for this section can not be viewed by the tablet users and hence, the app will be of little significance for them.

Avoid Adopting the Minimal Download Strategy
The minimal download strategy is fine for those in any app web. However, this feature calls for some serious compatibility issues in certain browsers. The minimal download strategy can be disabled using the CSOM.

Prefer a Dynamic Sizing of Dialogs
While much of the discussions so far have been done with, height is also a matter of concern when it comes to using a dialog framework. It is always essential to go for dynamic alignment and setting the options depending on the natural height of the page.

With the above-mentioned tips and strategies, one can certainly develop suitable SharePoint 2013 apps for tablets. And while looking for SharePoint services India, make sure you are reaching out to companies who have solid credentials and have proven expertise in application development in SharePoint and have equally strong domain expertise as well.

We provide Sharepoint migration services. If you would like to know more about the expertise of our SharePoint site branding experts, please get in touch with us at Mindfire Solutions.

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Will Computing take over the main tasks of Physicians?

Is it possible to automate a doctor-patient interaction with machines and algorithms handling 80% of the work? It might sound a bit outlandish but a reputed Silicon Valley investor feels it is quite a possibility. The person feels that general checkups can easily be handled by computer algorithms as well as an average physician. They may also have a lot of utility in recommending people for a physical visit to a doctor (when there is an actual need) after analyzing vital inputs shared by them and in the process save effort, time and money. Suggestions from these systems would also be based on history of illness, test results, symptoms etc. just like actual physicians would do.

Healthcare software developersNot many leaders from this field quite agree with this thought though. The argument broadly put across by them is in the lines of replacing human beings with robots. What a computer can replicate is the analytical and logical thinking which a physician would put in while treating a patient. However, it will fall short when qualities like creativity, experience and most importantly empathy comes into play. All these are adequately used by physicians when they arrive at conclusions related to a certain course of action for treatment. Also, another valid point to be taken into account is that each patient is different from the other; not necessarily reflected in terms of readings from tests, medical devices measuring vitals etc. This has led to the second school of thought by another bunch of healthcare leaders who take the middle path. According to them, the current state of affairs requires technology to permeate more into the healthcare domain but not so much so as to reduce the importance of physicians for making decisions. Ultimately physicians should have a role to play in validating technological inputs.

If the focus were to be shifted to the positives that technology has to offer, the list will be a long one. In fact, all the push from the Federal government for Health IT implementation under Obamacare is result of it. At an elementary level, technology in healthcare has led to marked improvement in provider adherence to clinical guidelines. At a more complex level, it has led to the process of “hot spotting”. This results in identifying problems in patients and making required interventions before a flare up happens; thereby saving high treatment cost and lives. Use of mobile devices like smartphones, tablets and other devices is also transforming the way healthcare delivery is taking place.

If we take a long-term perspective of the industry, within a few years from now there will be humungous amount of electronic healthcare related data created. Efforts are now being directed towards preventative care, population health, implementation of health insurance exchanges and a general shift from quantitative to qualitative healthcare. However, reaching a stage where disparate systems start talking to each other and are able exchange data will not be enough. There will be a need to have systems in place to mine the data available and come up with solutions to assist physicians in decision making – from suggesting the best treatment methods to other areas of decision making .These will become all the more relevant to the new healthcare delivery models e.g. ACOs which are emerging.

Thus, technology is proving to be very important in helping doctors to provide quality care. But expecting it to delivering the care outright would be a long shot. Also, the industry as a whole will improve only if the people at the core of the business i.e. the physicians are motivated to make a difference. Research done in this field has indicated that Physicians like to be given a certain level of autonomy in structuring their clinical activities and high control over the pace and content of patient care. The recent changes in terms of the compliance rules and regulations seems to be taking a toll on them as it indirectly reduces the time they get to spend with their patients. This problem is expected to be resolved over time as their familiarity with using new info systems and workflows gets better.

Leveraging newer technologies and building applications and systems which help make the tasks easier for physicians is the need of the hour and fortunately is on the rise as well. Healthcare software developers with solid domain expertise and strong technical know-how are making this a reality.

We provide medical software development services. That includes software development and independent software testing. So if you are looking at hiring certified software development experts for building healthcare applications, please feel free to speak to one of our developers or healthcare software testers at Mindfire Solutions and you will be glad you did.

5 Reasons Every Retailer Should Have a Mobile App

Mobile devices have become an integral part of the lifestyle and habits of modern people. Along with gathering information on various topics, most users also use their mobile devices to carry out a variety of transactions on the go. The growing popularity of mobile devices is also affecting the way traditional way of promoting and marketing products and services. The results of several surveys have highlighted how an increasing number of users are buying products or services using their mobile devices. Along with promoting products by targeting the most relevant customers, the app will further made it easier for a retailer to enable customers purchase the products in a quick and hassle-free way. So a retailer can always consider investing in retail app development to avail several benefits.

Why Mobile Applications have become Essential for Each Retailer?

1) Meet the Latest Trends in Shopping
Mobile app development companyThe busy lifestyles of modern people do not allow them to visit several shops. So most people, nowadays, use their smartphones or tablets to gather information about a specific product, service or store. Similarly, people also love to purchase products or services by downloading the mobile apps launched by different retailers. According to Compete.com, “Almost half of people who own smartphones are becoming mobile shoppers. People don’t just shop on their phones because of the convenience of mobility; one of the survey results indicated that 74% of shoppers do mobile shopping at home. Around 30% of them do mobile shopping at work.” So a retailer can always meet the latest trends in user choice by launching a customized mobile app.

2) Promote Your Brand
Each retailer finds it a daunting challenge to make customers consistently aware of his brand. Some stores even spend extra funds to attract and engage customers. The retail mobile app enables a retailer to remind customers about his brand without putting any extra efforts and money. As the retail application will remain on their handheld devices, it will consistently remind users about the brand. Further, the app can be used as a medium to seduce customers by conveying additional product information. The app can further make it easier for the user to buy the product by displaying the retail outlet locations according to his address. At the same time, a retailer can use push notifications to remind customers about new products or services.

3) Share Information through Customers
Most people stay connected with their friends, family and coworkers through social media. It is also a common practice among modern customers to share information about their shopping. Along with sharing information about the products purchased by them, the users also share their shopping experience. So the mobile app can be used by the retailer as a medium to encourage customers to share his products. The customers can further post product reviews and ratings to make it easier for their friends to pick the right product and store. Also, the app can fetch information from popular review websites to help customers in making the right decision.

4) Carry out Digital Marketing Campaigns
Each store has to make and implement a comprehensive digital marketing strategy to promote its products by targeting the most relevant customers. Many retailers even customize their online promotional campaigns to target specific segment of customers. The retail mobile app will contribute towards optimizing digital marketing results. Along with sending catalogues and flyer to customers, the app will further enable retailers to attract them by offering promotional deals and coupons. Also, the digital marketing campaign can be carried out at a rapid pace by targeting the relevant customers.

5) Easy to Make Retail Mobile Applications
With more and more programmers switching to mobile application development, it has become easier for a store to build and launch its own app. A number of frameworks have further made it easier to build retail mobile applications using technologies like JavaScript, HTML5 and CSS. Further, the apps can be again customized to work seamlessly on major mobile platforms like iOS, Android and Windows. The apps can also be designed as a product catalog or shopping cart by integrating a set of simple features. Despite being simple and easy-to-use, a retail app can still impress users by conveying important information like products and prices.

The rapidly growing popularity of mobile shopping has encouraged many retailers to launch mobile applications. According to some reports, over 80% of the top retailers have already launched customized mobile apps. So a store can consider launching its own app to beat competition. At the same time, it can leave it competitors behind investing in retail mobile app development. Certified app developers from a top mobile app development company can help you build innovative apps for your retail business. Are you already thinking of an idea to implement via a mobile app? Look no further. Try us.

We provide mobile app development services. If you would like to speak to one of our expert mobile app developers, please reach out to us at Mindfire Solutions.

The Importance of SharePoint Software Development in the Marketing Technology Today

Microsoft launched SharePoint in 2001 as a rapid web application development platform. But within a decade, it is being used by enterprises for various purposes. Many companies even use SharePoint to manage their content, documents and records. A number of survey results have further highlighted that the platform is being used widely by companies across the world to build intranet. The innovative features offered by SharePoint 2013 also make it easier for businesses to constantly collaborate and communicate with both external parties and internal departments.

Custom SharePoint developmentThe quick and hassle-free sharing of documents, images and content further helps the marketing teams in boosting sales, and beating competition. At the same time, an enterprise also has option to build a customized SharePoint intranet site to enable members of its sales teams to access the latest information, images and videos on the go. If you are yet to migrate to SharePoint 2013, it is time to understand the significance of the platform in latest marketing technologies.

Why Invest in SharePoint Intranet Solution for Your Marketing Team?

Hassle-Free Communication and Collaboration
The SharePoint intranet will allow you business to store marketing brochures and similar collateral in a PDF or Microsoft Word format. The data can further be tagged and classified according to your marketing strategy. So the members of your marketing team can access the most updated and relevant data without putting any extra time and effort. You can further use the versioning feature for documents to ensure that your employees are accessing the most updated version of marketing collaboration. The quick and hassle-free collaboration will contribute towards optimizing the performance of your sales team.

Better Control over Marketing Images
Most marketing campaigns, nowadays, use images to attract and engage the prospects. But each member of the sales team must know the approved marketing images. As SharePoint allows you to store the images at a centralized location, the library can be accessed by each employee, along with acting as an archive for old marketing images. The accessibility with further help you marketing department to exercise a greater control over the images that will be used as part of the ongoing marketing campaign.

Easy to Share New Marketing Videos
Similar to images, videos are also an integral part of marketing campaigns. Some of the video clips can be used to promote products or services offered by the company, whereas others will convey important information to the employees. SharePoint allows you to add new marketing videos by using the Media Web Part feature. You can simply post the latest video on the home page of the intranet, and the video clip will be accessible to all employees in an instant. The feature can also be used to display both audio and video clips on the various pages of the site.

Find Required Information Quickly
Microsoft has further designed the latest version of SharePoint with an advanced search center. The feature enables users to find the most relevant information on a topic in a simpler and faster way. The search results will be displayed according to the relevance of words in the search term entered by the user. Further, the search center is designed with a refinement pant that allows users to restrict the search results by choosing from the links appearing in the panel. At the same time, SharePoint further enables enterprises to promote the expected results through features like Keywords and Best Bets. These features will help you in allowing sales team members to access the most relevant information according to their individual contribution and expertise.

SharePoint 2013 also comes with a set of innovative features that enable the members of a distributed sales team to stay connected with each other. The members of your marketing team can use the instant messaging and online chat option to find the members of their group who are currently online. So they can discuss various aspects of a sales deal in an instant.

Custom SharePoint development teams can help you build projects within allocated budgets and time schedules.

We provide SharePoint bespoke development services. If you would like to know more about the expertise of our SharePoint developers, please get in touch with us at Mindfire Solutions.

Gartner Calls Sharepoint an “Evolutionary Dead End” that “No One Likes Using”

As per the views of Jeffrey Mann, a Gartner analyst, Microsoft should soon do away with SharePoint and companies that are largely dependent on the platform should actually consider a more cloud-based future. The Gartner analyst also said that though a majority of the companies make use of SharePoint, they do not quite like it. SP is also less functional and less useful in many respects. Moreover, it does not facilitate smooth content migration and requires greater amount of online management.

SharePoint migration servicesWith SharePoint being customized in most organizations, it also appears to be excessively big and complex. Certain businesses are also making use of older versions of this web application development platform. With regards to the question of whether to move to cloud or move out of it, Mann says that Microsoft should essentially move SP to the cloud by means of killing its current form.

The enterprise social networking platform, on the other hand, comes up as a hope for Microsoft, as both of these compliment each other in multiple ways. SP, on becoming more cloud- based, will have a strong influence by Yammer.

However, the problems regarding the on-premise deployment of SP, slower arrival of upgrades, lower functionality will remain the same. Hence, a cloud- based solution is considered more beneficial for the large-sized organizations. In fact, Mann advises the technologists to start developing plans for post- SharePoint scenario.

Reasons behind People Disliking SharePoint

While Gartner declares SharePoint to be an evolutionary dead end, there are quite a few reasons behind people hating SP. Surveys conducted at different points of time also point out to negative sentiments. Here is an overview of some of the causes behind this dislike:

It Takes Too Long a Time to be Deployed

One major problem with SP is that the deployment process is quite elaborate and time- consuming. Presence of technical difficulties often make it rather impossible to get done with the deployment process within the allotted time. An unnecessary delay is certainly undesirable because it compels organizations to lose valuable time and resources.

SP Requires Assistance of Third-Party Tools

Enterprises realize that SharePoint cannot be used “out-of-the-box”. Augmentation of the platform for the purpose of fulfilling the specific business requirements is nearly impossible without the use of the third-party tools. Governance is perhaps the biggest technical issue when it comes to the implementation of the development platform. Managing the metadata and taxonomies is equally difficult. It is for these reasons that 50% of organizations are planning heavily on having the third-party add-on products.

SharePoint Promises to Handle Too Many Tasks

SP has always been promoted and marketed as a solution to several problems and issues. Now, whether it is document management, corporate intranet, project management, wiki or blog, SharePoint promises to handle it all. Consequently, the end result is often far from being satisfactory.

User Experience is Nothing Satisfactory

It has been revealed by certain surveys that users are not really happy using SharePoint. Individuals who find it difficult to handle this particular platform prefer going back to the original business process for smooth operations and better accomplishment of projects.

Lesser Mobile Device Access to SharePoint

SharePoint’s mobile device access is slow and ineffective. The dissatisfaction about the matter has been expressed by many users. The issue automatically prevents the users from staying updated and productive, no matter where they are.

How to Lead to Successful SP Implementation and User Experience?

In spite of the many difficulties associated with SharePoint, the platform is actually of several benefits. Here is a list of tips and strategies, following which SP can be made more acceptable.

  • A well-defined deployment process should be planned beforehand. This plan should also consider the needs of the business users apart from that of the tech savvy ones.
  • The project must focus on business solutions. For instance, it should take into account the ease with which SP can be accessed from anywhere.
  • Integrating SP into the everyday work flow of a business user is also essential.

Apart from the above-mentioned strategies, one can also go by Jeffrey Mann’s advice, that is to use the third party tools to cover up for the deficiencies of SharePoint.

We provide SharePoint migration services. If you would like to know more about the expertise of our SharePoint developers India, please get in touch with us at Mindfire Solutions.

SharePoint 2013 Development: Solutions vs. Apps

Microsoft launches each new version of SharePoint 2013 with innovative features and broader capabilities. The latest version of SharePoint comes with a set of advanced features that enable developers to build apps with additional features and functionality. Microsoft also recommends all developers to build SharePoint Apps. However, the enterprises still have option to build conventional SharePoint solutions. So it becomes important for enterprises to decide the pros and cons of both SharePoint apps and solutions. At the same time, they also need to understand some of the key differences between these two to take the right decision.

SharePoint 2013 Development: Solutions vs. Apps

SharePoint deployment planning servicesExecution of Code: The SharePoint apps run completely outside the SharePoint server. Further, the custom code is executed on a non-SharePoint server or the client browser. However, a business has options to pick from three types of apps, i.e., SharePoint-hosted, provider-hosted and auto-hosted. The SharePoint –hosted apps can run within the framework without any external dependencies. But the provider-hosted apps are designed with a single or multiple SharePoint components. Similar to the provider-hosted apps, the auto-hosted apps are also designed with external business logic and data storage. When these apps package is installed, a user can avail both website and database.

Enhanced Stability and Capability: As the apps run outside SharePoint server, these are effective in providing enhanced stability, performance and compatibility. A business can easily switch to a more advanced version of SharePoint as the apps are testing platform independent. At the same time, the apps can communicate with SharePoint through CSOM, ODATA and REST API. Microsoft has optimized these features to enable developers to build custom SharePoint apps without using the server-side API.

Easy to Deploy and Reuse: Microsoft has further made it easier and simpler for developers to install and upgrade the SharePoint apps. The simple configuration will further encourage many developers to switch to Sharepoint application development. At the same time, the apps can also be reused, packaged and marketed through a Public Marketplace or Corporate. The options make it easier for end-users to buy apps that can run on-premise and cloud environments, while complementing their specific needs.

Support for Server-Side Code: Unlike SharePoint solutions, the apps do not support server-side code. So the programmers have to build a solution to implement a new functionality by writing server-side code. Further, the code cannot be stored on the SharePoint farm as part of the app. The server-side code needs to be hosted on premises or in the cloud. On the other hand, the SharePoint app enables enterprises to promote a custom functionality by targeting relevant users. That is why; the solutions will be still used as part of robust SharePoint apps.

Custom Functionality: SharePoint allows enterprises to manage a variety of documents and content store on their intranet and on the web. The customized SharePoint solutions are used widely by businesses to manage their online and offline content. But Microsoft recommends enterprises to build apps to create a custom functionality as a sandboxed solution in SharePoint 2010. Further, the apps can also be used in SharePoint Online. On the other hand, the SharePoint solutions will be effective only in local and on-premise environments.

Adding User-Centric Functionality to SharePoint: In comparison to SharePoint solutions, the apps are more effective in adding user-centric functionality to SharePoint. The apps can also be used as a medium to implement functionalities according to the specific needs of an enterprise. These custom-functionalities further extend the internal functionality like Event Handler or Timer Job of SharePoint solutions. Also, the apps are effective in creating custom-functionality to make SharePoint more user-friendly.

As a business has option to choose from SharePoint apps and solutions, it is always important to do a cost-benefit analysis. A company can further determine its exact needs before comparing these two options. However, an enterprise can always switch to SharePoint apps to avail a number of advantages, while meeting the latest trends technology.

We provide SharePoint site migration and SharePoint deployment planning services. If you would like to speak to our 100% SharePoint certified team, please get in touch with us at Mindfire Solutions.