FileMaker Best Practices for Developing Accessible Solutions

Many enterprises, nowadays, use FileMaker to create custom solutions without putting any extra time and effort. The cross-platform relational database application further enables users to update or modify their databases simply by dragging new elements into the forms, screens and layouts. The current version of FileMaker also comes with capabilities to make the data accessible to users on a variety of conventional and mobile devices. However, the programmers must consider and implement several best practices to build robust and accessible solutions with FileMaker 13.

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Best Practices for Developing Accessible FileMaker Solutions

Enhance the Code Readability
FileMaker currently does not provide a comprehensive code editor to developers. So they miss the convenient options to write clean and structured code. However, the programmers have option to external editors and snippet along with several keyword expansion tools. It is always important for the code writers to rite cohesive code that can be encapsulated and reused without any hassle. In addition to using strongly named grouping conventions, they are further required to handle all probable errors, while avoid using additional dependencies.

Make the Layout Mode More Accessible
The accessibility of a FileMaker solution also depends on its layout design. The programmers can connect field labels to the active field by using the Accessibility Inspector. As the field labels will be read by the screen readers, it is important to include navigation and buttons in the tab order. Further, each button must have short and simple text labels. The screen reader can read the text label of each button, so no title or label needs to be added to the button text. Instead of displaying the status bar, the layout buttons can be used to get enhanced control and accessibility.

Optimize the Images
While designing the layout, developers must avoid using images. Similarly, the decorative objects also need to be avoided if they provide no relevant information or function. The Accessibility Inspector allows them to describe images in the container fields. However, each text object must be spelled correctly to be read and understood by the screen reader. It is also a good idea to opt for pop-up menu style instead of the drop-down list style. Similarly, instead of using the drop-down calendars, the programmers can display calendar icons within the field. The existing tooltips also need to be copied and pasted into the Title field in the Accessibility Inspector.

Opt for List View Layout
While creating FileMaker solutions, programmers have option to choose from both List View and Table View layouts. But they can enhance the accessibility of the solution by using the List View layouts, while hiding the Table View layouts. Further, they need to use the field objects instead of merge text when working with the List View Layout.

Optimize the Application’s Search Capabilities
The accessibility of a FileMaker solution can be further increased by optimizing its search capabilities. Nowadays, users access database solutions from a variety of devices including computers, laptops, smartphones and tablets. So the solution must find the relevant data based on the search keywords entered by users, and display the search results quickly. It will become easier for the solution to find data when the fields are identified, and results are read out clearly. Thus, each field must be described in a clear and unambiguous way to enhance the FileMaker solution’s search capabilities.

Work on the Application’s Look and Feel
The look and feel of the FileMaker solution will also impact its accessibility level. So the layout must be optimized by applying high-contrast themes. Similarly, the users must have option to increase the zoom level of the document window. You must opt for interface designs that will appeal to all types of users. It is also important to avoid using videos, animations portals, and tab control to make the solution work faster. While using the FileMaker solution, designers can be prompted for the next action through custom dialogs. The dialogs can also be used to give error alerts.

Each updated version of FileMaker comes with enhanced capabilities and new features. Each developer needs to implement these best practices by keeping in mind the features provided by the most recent version of the cross-platform relational database application.

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Best ways to wireframe iPhone apps

User demands as well as requirements have to be deeply considered when developing mobile applications or iPhone apps. Apple has a high standard set for its apps and as such a lot of thought along with planning has to be invested to ensure the success of the apps. To make the design process successful, the app building must be properly planned as well as wireframed. Proper wireframing helps save money regarding development as well as design, build functionality along with structure, gather effectively invaluable early feedback and expand basic initial ideas. Given below are some ideas that will help you in this process. However, the very first thing that needs to be done here is downloading the iPhone Wireframe UI Kit which is available in dark blue, beige and blueprint varieties.

iphone applications developmentFocusing on user experience- Make the wireframe as bare as you possibly can since it is the user experience that should be judged, instead of the look. If you are confident then use real grids and dimensions. Try to determine realistically the amount of content that can be fitted in a single screen as that makes or even breaks the concept. If there is time constraint, then it is best to be as close to the actual product as possible. High fidelity mockups can have a huge influence on other decisions like content fitness, navigation complexity, overall value, usability, etc.

App views planning- Any design may have various kinds of views. Content, photo gallery, table listing, numerical dial pad, etc may be included in the app. While designing, think what will be needed; it may be a good idea to actually make a list of the things which must be included in it. Start from root view, or in other words, the very first view that is seen by users after they have downloaded the application. Remember that the list of views needed by the app should feature only unique interfaces.

Colors- Efficient wireframes generally favor the use of subtle tones like soft blues or gray. Idealistically speaking, the shades should be consistent as well as neutral so that the strong colors do not distract and the structure is the main point of focus. Determining the varying use of colors may be difficult, so use it at your own discretion, and at your own risk. Create a color structure and according to that change or alter the hues so that they suit your taste.

User interface- There is no need of interactivity for creation of good iPhone app but majority of them include that. So plan out how to provide it. The very few elements needed are keyboard and popup modal messages. Plan about the different kinds of submit buttons as well as e-mail fields, password, username. Use appropriate labels as well to explain users the kind of information to be inlcuded. The design often includes icons; you can choose standard icons for representation of key actions. Also you should have a clear idea about the actual dimensions for the buttons.

Fonts- The kind of font to be used is also a decision to be taken. Generally Helvetica Neue is used on iOS. In fact, by default it is available on Mac. Android users can use Roboto as well. The typography is not a section for you to worry about; Blokk font may be used with irregular blocks representing text. To stop it from looking strange, the perfect line-height and font size must be set.

Some of the tools which may help you in this endeavor are Wireframe.CC, Fluid UI, Balsamiq, HotGloo, MockApp, Proto.IO and Framer. All of these help you out, making the wireframe designing an incredible as well as fulfilling process. It also makes the entire process simple. You get a chance to realize how the creation will actually look and feel but without any restrictions related to finer-detail elements, paving the way for an easy development cycle, by understanding the required elements for good programming.

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Business Value and SharePoint

Most organizations adopt new technology platforms only after evaluating their business value. Many reports have highlighted how an organization can avail several benefits by creating a well-designed intranet solution using SharePoint 2013. But the design and implementation of the intranet solution need to be customized according to the organization’s specific business needs and objectives. At the same time, the business as well as technology departments must understand the full capabilities of the web application development platform from Microsoft to get higher ROI by optimizing content and document management through a customized intranet solution.

Driving Business Value with SharePoint 2013

Create Intranets Accessible on Several Devices
sharepoint custom solutions developmentThe modern professionals use a variety of devices to access their corporate resources. In addition to desktops and laptops, users also access the document on smartphones and tablets. So the intranet must be scalable enough to allow employees to access documents on devices of their choice. SharePoint 2013 allows organizations to create customized and scalable intranets that allow their employees to access the information on any device. Further, the platform is compatible with major operating systems and web browsers.

Bring the Distributed Teams Together
Nowadays, most professional service organizations work with remote teams. An organization can easily curtail overheads by working with teams located in different regions. But it must facilitate quick and interrupted communication between the members of the in-house and distributed team to carry out the business process without any hassle. SharePoint is widely used by enterprises to create secure and effective intranet solutions that can be accessed simultaneously by multiple users. The intranet will further acts as a central location where employees can access the required documents and information anytime and anywhere.

Share Internal Documents Securely with Various Stakeholders
Each enterprise also has to share internal documents with various stakeholders to facilitate the decision making process. Each stakeholder in a project must access the internal document immediately to facilitate key activities like project planning, resource sharing, documentation, collaboration and approvals sign off. The custom SharePoint solution provides a secure environment to modern businesses to share a variety of content with various stakeholders. In addition to members of a remote team, the solution can also be used by partners or clients to access the required information. The solution further help users in avoiding the complexity associated with document sharing.

Easy to Find the Required Information
Along with being secure, the SharePoint solution further makes it easier for the stakeholders to find the required information immediately. Microsoft has updated the web application development framework with both Bing and fast capabilities. These features enable end users to quickly find a specific document, along with reviewing the search results while initiating or after the search.

Realign Business Processes
The complex projects often require organizations to restructure and realign their business process. While realigning business processes, the strategy must be communicated to different departments in a detailed and unambiguous way. For instance, the details of a sales deal must be clearly conveyed to the sales, finance and project management departments. The native SharePoint applications make it easier for enterprises to realign key business processes. Each time a department initiates in change, it can submit the information into the system on a daily basis. The solution will further inform other stakeholders about the updates and changes by sending notifications. Thus, business process realignment can be done smoothly without affecting the core activities of an organization.

Microsoft has further released SharePoint 2013 with a set of new features to deliver enhanced business value. The business and technology departments of an organization must avail these capabilities to create customized and scalable technology solution that complements their needs and objectives.

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Best Practices for Ruby on Rails Applications

Developers across the world rely on Ruby on Rails to build robust and high quality web applications within a shorter timeframe. In addition to being highly flexible and compatibility with multiple platforms, the web application development framework further makes it easier for developers to adopt agile development and avoid repetitive coding. However, the developers also need to understand and implement a number of best practices for Ruby on Rails applications write and maintain their code in a cleaner and efficient way.

Widely Used Coding Best Practices for Ruby on Rails Development

1) Bundle Your Code into Plugins and Gems
Expert Ruby on Rails developersThe web application framework allows developers to access a variety of rubygems. So the developer can always use the rubygems developed by others to solve relatively general problems. You can always consider reusing the existing code by extracting it into a plugin or gem. Also, the gem or plugin can be used more widely. You can further simplify the application design by extracting code from it. Similarly, you can consider using existing gems and plugins to avoid writing lengthy code.

2) Shift Logic Code from Controllers to Model
You can always optimize your coding by having most of the logic code on the models. It is also a good idea to move the logic code from controllers to model. The coding can be further optimized by keeping the controllers clean as these controllers remain loaded constantly. On the other hand, the models are loaded only based on requirements. So your application will use less memory when the logic code is moved from controllers to model.

3) Use Scope Access
The availability of an object can be easily determined by using scope access. Instead of using Finders, you can use scope access to gather the information directly from the object. Also, the coding can be modified to use Scope access for most of the objects created for the current project. Thus, code access will help you in reducing the number of calls, and faster execution.

4) Use Local Variables rather than Instance Variables
Ruby on Rails enables developers to access the @variable in views. Many developers even use the element in various parts of the code without evaluating the requirements. You can always optimize the coding by eliminating the instance variables. It is also important to check the instance variables, and convert them into local variables. The local variables can be further transferred smoothly from the view to the partial as part of :locals.

5) Eliminate Empty Helpers
You can always move all the Ruby code to the helpers by creating relevant methods. These methods can be called from the view to effectuate your coding. However, you must remember that additional helpers are created each time you create controllers. Despite being concise, the helpers will be loaded each time the application is launched. So the additional helpers can affect the loading time of the application negatively. You must check these helpers, and remove the helpers without any method to reduce the loading time of your Ruby application.

6) Organize Your Logic through Non-Database-Backed Models
While adopting the MVC approach, each developer has option to use both database-backed and non-database-backed models. Like other MVC development frameworks, Ruby on Rails also allows developers to use both models. However, you can always opt for the non-database-backed model to keep your logic clean and organized. Also, the virtual models can be used to adopt a RESTful controller design that facilitates data access from multiple sources. These practices will make it easier for the controller code to interact with these models.

Each Ruby developer has options to implement many coding best practices and techniques to shorten development cycles. At the same time, he can further create new best practices for Ruby on Rails applications based on his own experience and skills.

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Advantages Of Developing An Android Mobile App

Android can be described as an open source platform of development and is considered one of the most important as well as significant operating systems for mobile devices. Of late, there has been an epochal increase in the number of developers who have been working on Android apps. Now, developing android mobile apps has always been associated with a wide array of advantages. This frankly speaking, has prompted a number of young developers to work and develop the latest Android mobile apps. Let us discuss the advantages one by one.

A Low Barrier to Entry

android application development servicesAn Android app is associated with low barrier to entry. The interesting part is that none of these apps is associated with any expensive license fee or any kind of development tool(s). Besides, it is also possible to develop these applications in hardly any time. This significantly reduces the cost involved. However, the primary costs involved can be divided into three categories – development as well as testing expertise, test devices along with royalty fees (in case someone decides to distribute it by using any 3rd party store).

These Apps act as an ideal platform for the companies that are new to mobile

These applications are generally scripted in Java, which is made up of a rich array of libraries. Hence, any developer who has a considerable extent of knowledge regarding Java will be able to install these apps and have them up and running without any hiccup whatsoever. Software developers with considerable amount of knowledge on Java are frequently available. This makes development of android apps pretty easy.

A wide range of distribution mechanisms

Unlike the mobile platforms, these apps can easily be distributed in a number of ways. Besides having the option of using unlimited number of third party application stores, users can also create their very own channels of distribution – for the purpose of vertical market application as well as for developing new app stores.

The platform is open and at the same time free of cost

Another extremely significant advantage of Android mobile app development is that it is open source, and hence does not need any license or royalty, thereby considerably reducing the cost. Besides, as the inherent architecture that Android SDK comes up with is an open source one, the users can get familiar with the upcoming releases without any delay. Also, they can effortlessly leave their feedback for the Android designing and development team to stock of, if and when needed. It is this what makes this particular platform so robust as well as convincing, particularly for the manufacturers as well as wireless operators of handsets as it provides better chances to the developers, so far as monetizing is concerned. The platform is also a vertical market application or device that can be perfectly customized as well as optimally integrated. In fact, experts are of the opinion that it is the best option a user can have.

It is the best Inter-application integration mobile platform

As per the experts, it is the best and the most user-friendly mobile platform, when it comes to inter-application or inter-process architectures. It helps those who are looking to have a suit of applications or are looking forward to integrate and cross promote them. Android provides an indisputable edge over other platforms as most of the other platforms would allow various backward processes. However, it would provide a perfect platform that will foster trust as well as relationship between various applications to offer the users a superior experience that is well-knit and well organized.

Android Software Development Kit (SDK) offers a perfect platform for an individual Android Code developer. The process of integration of the device-specific native SDK platform and a commercial development solution helps the users to attain optimal efficiency and yield the highest quality of results.

This SDK platform, which is available from Google free of cost, especially the Java APIs, provide the application developers a wide variety of highly useful materials that include extensive documentation, samples, tutorials, the best guidance for practice, an all-inclusive range of tools that come in handy for a wide variety of development purposes.

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What Can You Expect More From WordPress In Future

The development process of WordPress has come a long way, with the incorporation of a number of value added features of various dimensions as well as approach in its version 3.7. Again with time, all these value added features have broken up, making way for separate plugins. These plugins have operated individually till they were once again integrated into core.

With a constant transformation under way, WordPress in the future is likely to come up with a wide variety of features and there is enough scope of speculation regarding what types of features will be incorporated in the coming versions of WordPress. In fact, experts are of the opinion that the upcoming versions are likely to be different from the previous versions in terms of usability, along with forms.

A Revamped Dashboard

Expert WordPress developersThe future version is likely to come up with a plugin that will make the dashboard look sleeker as well as more robust. While one of the most significant issues that has plagued the WP dashboard till now is that they come up with a number of widget ready spaces. This forces the users to drag the widgets underneath the fold. Plugin of the new version will solve this issue as it will help the users to ditch this typical drop and drag facility and take the help of a user-friendly selection menu along with a button. This will understandably make dealing with the widgets much easier when it comes to managing them on various mobile devices, especially for those which are not custom built for the typical drag and drop option.

Redesigning the Theme Section

The THX38 plugin that the new versions are expected to come up with, is perfectly designed to revamp or rejuvenate the appearance of the theme section of the Dashboard of the WordPress. The objective of this plugin is to replace the traditional text-heavy pages of the WordPress with something that will be visually more appealing. This new plugin also puts more emphasis on the Theme Customizer. Besides, when it comes to themes that support it, the customiser plays the role of the main interface. In the further future versions, the Customizer is expected to become the unifying page for “theme options” that will be applicable for any theme.

A Universal Admin Search

The new OmniSearch plugin is designed to remove all the different search systems within the WP dashboard. As things stand now, for searching comments, the user at first will have to navigate through the comments tab. The same thing will have to be done for the posts, media as well as pages. The Omnisearch plugin collaborates all these results and offers the users the option of searching for all of them simultaneously.

New Look Structure of Dashboard

Then there is the WPDash plugin that is perfectly designed to remove the clutter and consolidate the information for creating a greetings page that is not only more streamlined, but is less bloated as well, especially when it comes to logging into the WP Dashboard. The plugin also makes the first page widgets, responsive and make the overview of the website more approachable, customer-friendly as well as cleaner.

Superior Search Functionality

As things stand now, the functionality of the standard WP search procedure asks for a considerable extent of improvement. Particularly, when we are speaking about storing an increased volume of content as well as information. At present the user needs to search in the following order – tags, followed by categories, then custom fields, and finally shortcodes. This is expected to change and there will be an advanced option by the virtue of which the user will be able to search for definite phrases, along with quotes, tags, custom fields, search comments, shortcodes. They will be designed in such a way that the user will look for information by relevance instead of date, matched partial words, and so on.

They are expected to come up with an improved search result page, with the search items highlighted and made bold to catch easy attention. The search results will return detailed information – instead of just excerpts or a paragraph or two.

WordPress is a fantastic platform, that facilitates free as well as open source blogging along with a CMS that is based on MySQL and PHP. With more value added and advanced plugins being added, it is likely to become more attractive and user friendly in the coming days.

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