Magento 2.2 – All you need to know about it!

Magento 2.2

 

While many online businesses are looking to Migrate from Magento 1 to 2, platform developers are already updating the version with new functionalities.

The new version iteration focuses on B2B development as mentioned in the company webinar held in June.

Magento developers are excited about the launch of version 2.2 to leverage the technology better for clients in more brand new ways than ever. Here are some improvements introduced in the latest version:

For Businesses

  • Account management – B2B merchants can now support client accounts with diverse buyers in different organizations with efficient self-service tools
  • Quote engine – Allows for negotiations as customers can now convert a cart to quote instead of orders. Merchants can then ascertain prices with comments.
  • Credit purchases – Companies can now choose payment on credit while merchants can adjust credits and edit those options on a constant basis.
  • Custom catalogs with prices. Merchants can now control products and their categories and price lists even sending in different price lists for different companies
  • Revamped API for ERP integrations – Web APIs are now available that expand on the feature set for company accounts, users, credit limits & transactions. The APIs are also available for quotes and requisition lists. The bulk Tier Price API can now update several product prices quickly.

For Developers

  • Performance Toolkit – New changes related to profiles update, quicker generation, B2B entity support have pushed performance levels upward.
  • Minimized core around plugins – Call parameters are added to plugins with minimized core around them, making it easier to debug with minimal clicks.
  • Enhanced Deployment flow – The function will allow export configurations in different environments and upgrades will happen in seconds.

For Security

Removal of Unserialize() calls – unserialize() calls are now removed from all except for performance code for reducing vulnerability issues.

Upgraded hashing algorithm – Hashing algorithm was upgraded to upgrade security for the most sensitive values.

Other major upgrades include the addition of extended reports with an advanced reporting module, so that data can now be stored in graphs with the required metrics. The changes also provide the opportunity to identify and eliminate roguish orders with 100% protection on chargebacks.

There are a number of index improvements while customers can even browse the store shop while the indexing process is on. Magento will also drop support for the latest PHP versions 5.6 and PHP 7.1 along with MySQL 5.7 and Redis 3.2. Magento also highlights and improves deployment process with its latest update.

Magento with the 2.2 version, is now becoming a better and more comfortable tool for transforming online businesses for the best. Magento concentration on the B2B approach is bound to usher in bigger opportunities to clients.

Best eCommerce Platforms for 2017

Best eCommerce Platform

You finally want to migrate to an online store instead of a physical store.  But taking the leap into the online world of eCommerce is tricky, as you need to figure out an efficient e-commerce platform that could work for your online store.

With a variety of e-commerce platforms in the market, it is evident that there is no one-size-fits-all eCommerce solution. Each platform boasts of some pros and cons, depending on the feature set and functionality that you are looking for in your website.

We reached out to 25 eCommerce Experts and learned their three best eCommerce Platforms:

Best eCommerce Platforms as voted by 25 eCommerce Experts -

Best eCommerce Platform

25 Experts share their thoughts on top eCommerce Platforms trending in 2017

1. Andrew Youderian : [Website | Twitter]

The top three carts I would recommend for independent merchants would be Shopify, WooCommerce and Magento – in that order.

  1. Shopify is my overall favorite as they’re a hosted solution that eliminates technical headaches while providing you a very robust, customizable cart.
  2. WooCommerce is ideal if you want to host your own cart and want a lightweight solution.
  3. And if you need a fully customizable solution (and don’t mind some server and IT overhead) Magento is worth considering”.

2. Richard Lazazzera : [Website | Twitter]

The three platforms I’d recommend are Shopify, BigCommerce and WooCommerce.

  1. For the majority of businesses, I think Shopify has really proven themselves and are leading the pack in terms of innovation, features and the future of ecommerce in general.
  2. BigCommerce is a great platform as well overall with similar features and functionality to Shopify.
  3. WooCommerce for WordPress provides you nearly unlimited customizability.

3. Nicole Reyhle : [Website | Twitter]

  • I’ve always believed that variety is a good thing, and this is particularly true when looking for the right e-commerce platform.
  • There are many to choose from and each have their pros and cons based on your unique business – which is one may be right for one business while another may be better for a different business. Among my favorites include Big Commerce, Woo Commerce and Shopify.com

4. Anuj Dalal : [Website | Twitter]

Selecting an eCommerce Platform is a tough task since there are multiple eCommerce platforms available in the market that are good enough in their own right.
Each of these platforms has their own benefits and features that one should consider before choosing the best fit as per their requirement.

  1. Shopify : Since the last couple of months, Shopify has become the number #1 preferred Hosted eCommerce Solution owing to its host of its features & Community Support.
    The reason I like Shopify is that you as a store owner don’t need to have any technical Knowledge to keep your site running smoothly – which is a Big Convenience of Store Owners – since you do not need to get in touch with Shopify Developers to make any small or big changes. (Saves time and money both).
  2. Magento : Magento has been proven to be the best Open Source eCommerce Platform since the last couple of years. If you are looking to build something Big and highly Customised eCommerce Store – Magento Platform can be an excellent choice.
    Magento Community Edition is completely free software. However, it will require web development knowledge or Skilled Magento Developers to create the Online Store. Magento is a great fit for store owners who are planning to create medium to large eCommerce sites with some customized/specialized features and having a good budget for development & maintenance.
  3. WooCommerce : WordPress, the most popular open source Content Management System (CMS) allows users to make online shopping cart website using the highly popular WooCommerce plugin.
    It offers the ease of Shopify to manage store admin and also allow us to customise the source code like Magento to achieve desired features on the store. If you are looking for small to medium size e-commerce store solution, you should take WooCommerce Shopping Cart into consideration.
    But in my humble opinion, the above three transcend all other e-commerce cart solutions in more ways than one.

5. John Jantsch : [Website | Twitter]

  1. Infusionsoft is a robust automation system that not only includes e-commerce, but email management, automated marketing, sales, and other features as well.
  2. Shopify is easy to set up and offers numerous features to help you grow your business.
  3. WooCommerce is one of the most customizable platforms for growing your online business.

6. Jamie Turner : [Website | Twitter]

There are a lot of good e-commerce solutions available today — many more than in years past.

  • For me, I look for a combination of features and ease of use. Both those traits allow me to work quickly, without getting bogged down.
  • With all that in mind, my favorites are Shopify, Magento and Six, all of which provide varying degrees of flexibility and ease of use.”

7. Brian Jackson : [Website | Twitter]

If I had to recommend to someone the top 3 platforms for eCommerce you should try, I would say WordPress, Shopify, and LemonStand (in that order).

  1. WordPress is currently used by 28% of the entire web. It is completely free to use and the ability to instantly implement eCommerce solutions such as WooCommerce or Easy Digital Downloads make it a quick win.
    According to BuiltWith, WooCommerce in fact already powers over 41% of all online stores! The customizations within the WordPress platform are almost unlimited, as their repository has over 50,000 plugins which can help extend your website.
  2. Shopify would be my 2nd recommend as they do one thing and do it well, which is provide eCommerce solutions to business owners. And they have a long history of doing so. They make it quick and easy to launch your store.
  3. My last recommendation would be LemonStand, which most of you probably haven’t heard of. This is definitely the newest one out there, but if you are just diving into the eCommerce space, this platform makes it about as easy as can be.
    If you want something that will help you sell products, create a blog, loads fast, and keeps both digital and physical products in mind, you might want to check it out.

8. Steve Wiideman : [Website | Twitter]

Finding an E-Commerce solution that satisfies flexibility in design, friendly user experience and maximizing search engine optimization focal points has been a real challenge for brands we’ve worked with.

  • Over the years, we have tapered our list down to one solution that always crushes it with SEO, UX, and elasticity: Cirkuit Commerce. Visit Bobswatches.com to see a website that started from scratch in 2010 and now earns upwards of $20 million per year.
    The solution offers everything from product feeds for Google Merchant, automatic 301 redirecting, to customizable XML options for efficient indexing by web crawlers.
  • If we had to choose two other solutions, they would be Shopify, which is improving many of the SEO limitations it originally came bundled with, and Magento, which will feel like an extension nightmare by the time you’re done setting everything up.
    The really helpful SEO extensions for Magento require recurring fees, so you’re locking yourself into continuity forever if you go this path. Plan on SEO affecting your ROI, when historically the cost was just labor time.
  • Avoid home-grown solutions, which can become vulnerable to security hacks, and could leave you having to rebuild if your developer(s) decide to go elsewhere. Cirkuit Commerce is really the way the go if you want an E-Commerce solution that’s perfect out of the box.

9. Dennis Wagner : [Website | Twitter]

  • There are certainly many E commerce platforms available for business owners to choose from in 2017. The single most important step in choosing the correct E commerce platform is to take as much time as you need to do your research on which platform fits your wants, needs and desires best.
  • Based on price, ease of use, performance and features here are three E commerce platforms that are the total package, #1 Shopify #2 BigCommerce, and last, but certainly not least is #3 Volusion. Keep in mind that every business is different. Do your research and Happy Selling!

10. Craig Campbell : [Website | Twitter]

There are many E-Commerce platforms to choose from, but being an SEO expert I have my own reasons for picking the following three.

  1. WordPress/Woocommerce For small business owners who don’t have thousands of products this is a great platform to work with. Not only is WordPress one of the most SEO friendly platforms on the market, it’s also very easy and simple to use if you are not a designer.
    It’s simple and easy to use and can integrate with most common payment gateways, with a clean easy to use interface you can add your products, prices, get reviews and anything else that you would expect to see on an E-commerce website. This platform is one I use daily for small E-commerce websites.
  2. Magento I would tend to go for Magento for a bigger E-Commerce website, again this platform is very SEO friendly, but you are likely to require a developer for this platform to get the site the way you want it. But it’s a much more stable platform for a big online shop and again there are so many add-ons you can get for Magento that this will do anything any other platform does.
    Again it’s a nice simple to use interface with many online tutorials to help you add your products and get selling online. Just ensure you have a decent server to host this site on as it does use up a lot of memory.
  3. Shopify is my third choice a great off the shelf platform with FREE templates where you can get your online shop up and running in no time. Very simple and easy to use, even for those with no real design or website experience.
    Shopify is for those beginners who don’t have a huge budget and want something up and running fairly quickly.
    You can integrate with most common payment gateways and its very simple and easy to add your products, and there is no real limit to how many you can add, so Shopify can be used for small or large online shops.
    There are a wealth of others to choose from and it really comes down to your own budget and requirements.

11. Panos Ladas : [Website | Twitter]

I am a great friend of easy solutions, things that just work. That’s why I really like Shopify, WooCommerce and Magento.

  • Shopify is huge right now, it is the easiest way for someone to sell anything online. And it is inexpensive. And I believe that a platform that works almost immediately is one of the greatest benefits that a business might have, given that speed and agility are critical when it comes to online and eCommerce business.
  • On the other hand, WooCommerce and Magento allow for great customization and flexibility, they are robust platforms, well tested all over the world. These are amazing solutions as long that obviously come with a cost, both financial and in time to the market.

12. William Harris : [Website | Twitter]

  1. Shopify
  2. BigCommerce
  3. Woocommerce

13. Hassan Bawab : [Website | Twitter]

  1. Oracle Commerce Cloud
  2. Magento Enterprise
  3. Demandware Cloud

14. Kenny G : [Twitter]

  1. Woocommerce
  2. Magento
  3. BigCommerce

15. Tina Roth : [Website | Twitter]

  1. Shopify
  2. Shopify
  3. Shopify

16. Gabriella Sannino : [Website | Twitter]

  1. Shopify
  2. Magento
  3. YoKart
  4. Woocommerce

17. Craig Patterson : [Website | Twitter]

  1. Shopify for e-commerce sites.
  2. Lightspeed for POS and ecommerce support.

18. David sandusky : [Website | Twitter]

  • We use Shopify and think it is the best ecommerce platform.

19. Denisse : [Website | Twitter]

  • PrestaShop

20. Lori Wagoner : [Twitter]

  1. Shopify
  2. BigCommerce
  3. Volusion
  4. PrestaShop

21. Dolores Vela : [Website | Twitter]

  1. PrestaShop
  2. Magento
  3. Shopify
  4. Woocommerce

22. David J. Neff : [Website | Twitter]

  1. BigCommerce
  2. Episerver
  3. Magento

23. Jeremiah Cathey : [Website | Twitter]

  1. Shopify
  2. Magento
  3. BigCommerce
  4. Enterprises suites

24. Abel Premnath : [Website | Twitter]

  1. Sellmojo
  2. Nwebkart
  3. Martjack

25. Chuck Rouse : [Website | Twitter]

  • I would say it depends on the product and the longevity of the shop. If you want to trial a product use a service.
  • If you are thinking long term there is no point in renting a service build your own with a Magento cms or even WordPress.

I know there was a lot of information there, so here are the top 5 eCommerce once again:

Best eCommerce Platform

If you could only recommend three best eCommerce Platforms to build your eCommerce Store, which three would you choose? 

Are there any eCommerce Platforms you are using that weren’t mentioned above?

Let us know in the comments below.

8 Points Needs to Consider while Optimizing Google Shopping Feeds

optimize-google-shopping-feed

Product Listing Advertisements (PLA) by Google is a popular advertising platform that fetches product data from Google Merchant Center and displays it systematically for increased clicks. For running a streamlined PLA campaign, one needs to setup a seamless shopping campaign in Google Adwords with proper planning and management. To boost conversion ratio and sales from the shopping campaign, you need an optimized Google Merchant Account and Data Feed that should adhere to your campaign goals and objectives.

Here are 8 points to consider while optimizing your Google Merchant Account:

1. Data Feed Should be Approved without any error

One needs to create a relevant data feed and submit the same in their Google merchant account. To upload data feed, use Google Sheets to directly incorporate data into the account or manually upload from local files, through FTP, or cloud storage. One can even set up an upload schedule for fetching data from a data feed hosted on their site with a proper schedule or use automatic import option from a compatible e-commerce platform. One can also make use of content APIs to make uploads possible.

After uploading data feed, it should be reviewed for errors. The Google Merchant Center add-on can be used for feed validation and upload. One can view errors by exploring custom data feed’s Diagnostics and make sure that the uploads are error-free. You can also identify the impact of the errors, if any on the process, right there.

2. Optimize Product Title

Product Title plays a critical role in optimization of Google shopping feeds. The first aspect of every Product Listing Ad is the Image and connected title. If products titles are optimized, the click-through rate and conversion are impacted positively. One can optimize product title, with respect to its attributes including its font size, color, and font style too. The above attributes help in avoiding wrong clicks and users can actually click on something they need to know about.

3. Divided Product into Categories

After a shopping campaign is set up, it’s time to display products that are performing well. But for that to happen, one needs to segregate products into various product categories. The categories will help assess the right performance measure of each batch of products. Without product division, every product added to the campaign would include the maximum cost-per-click bid level.

The entire Google Shopping account will calculate average performance that does not result in product optimization. Increase or Decrease bid of specific products would help to market as necessary. Analyze the performance of each of the products and then create the data feed, under each product group so that they are assessed as per their results in shopping campaign and not the average.

4. Use Special Offers for Attracting Audience

The Google Shopping Campaign also consists of the Special Offer page that helps one to create specific offers for every product, attracting the intended audience for better sales and conversion ratio. To use Special offers feature, one has to fill a form and let the Google team review the application. After the request is approved, one can create special offers using the Promotions tool. if your promotion is product specific, map the promotion_id to the Product feed and set the time zone too. One would have to adjust redemption start and end times on a manual basis.

Using a Promotions feed is perfect when one has the higher volume of promotions to send to a single feed in a spreadsheet. The promotions feed includes core information about the promotion in a .txt file or.xml file

5. Follow Product Data Specification and Select right category

When submitting data feed in Google Merchant account, follow product data specifications including the title, description, hyperlink, image link, and mobile link as required. The price and availability need to be listed in the specification along with its expiration date and changing sale prices. One can attach loyalty points to each product type, along with its condition. The Google Spping Category, for instance, will define where the PLA will be displayed. Choose the relevant category and mention the attributes of the product for better segregation.

6. Bid strategy and budgeting

In a Google Shopping campaign, one can control the overall budget not specific to keywords budget. Setting a proper budget impacts conversion and clicks directly. One should think about expanding on the budget if products perform well and sales reach good limits, when you got more volume of traffic than you can handle or when special offers are in play since there is marked a rise in traffic and sales when lucrative offers are introduced.

7. Assessment of better platform

One needs to assess the best platform for shopping advertising campaign – mobile or desktop! One should check on the right conversion rates and the better amount of clicks derived from a stipulated budget. If the campaign has more clicks and a better conversion rate from a mobile platform, it would be feasible for you to create separate mobile ads and then even increase the bid for the same too.

8Improve Account Health Score

Google has recently introduced account health score analysis to Adwords through which you can see the results of the campaign being run, the health score and useful recommendations for improving it.  Check the recommendations and then implement the suggestions to boost the account health score.

teamzestard-picnic

TeamZestard Picnic (Apr 2016)

The benefits of a company picnic are significant, and can reach far beyond the single day’s activities. Well, we never think too technically when it comes to enjoying with our Teammates!

Yes, after a long… most awaited day of Picnic was spent well with zest and zeal by TeamZestard at the Picnic held on 9th April 2016 for Thol Lake and Serenity Pastures. This was a real fun we are still mesmerized with! & Finally, a long awaited photo album of our picnic is ready to enjoy… which certainly portrays splendid glimpse of freakish enjoyment as kids do. Click Here to view Picnic Photos

This time our picnic had many interactive activities and games as a perfect way to create a bonding experience between fellow workers and management, Afterall, there’s nothing like playing on the same team to be on the same team!

We started our picnic with colourful dress ups and cheerful hearts (like always ;) ) early morning around 6.00 in a bus from office and reached a distant place of Thol lake near Ahmedabad. In the bus , we enjoyed some small games like ABCD, Card-Lotto, Number-chase which we often play in any parties and picnics at Zestard.

Thol- this place is a visual treat for any tourist and a treasurable experience for a bird watcher or ornithologists, this place is home to more than 100 species of birds. It was a reminiscent expericne to be close to the birds in alliance & with nature. We enjoyed sunrise together and some warmth of the surrounding , did some trekking and photography of nature and after that we indulged ourselves in selfies, grouphies and games. Infact, most funny part was to watch poses of the the photographer more than the those who are being captured in the pictures ;)

We made noise at a place like Thol-Bird Sanctuary and that proves how happy and loud we can be even in- out of office celebrations! Playing Standing-Kho-Kho, running after eachother(;)) , shouting on every one’s mistakes and laughing on funny playing style of each other charged ourselves for all fun ride for rest of the day.

After this, we set in the bus again and reached Serenity Pastures -resort Place, there we had all cool indoor , outdoor games available to play in teams, pairs. After having some trials on Table Tennis, Ice Hockey boards, Carrom Boards like indoors ,we enjoyed breakfast of Delicious Pakoda & Sandwiches with Tea & Coffee. Ofcourse, during all these we kept on taking photos and that can be seen in the Zestard facebook Picnic photo album here.

Post Breakfast, we played some outdoors and were ready to go to the swimming and splash pool. After spending 3-4 hrs in the pool we kind of started feeling like aquatic vertebrates ! We played lots of funny games and challenges in teams and individually while relaxing in the pool. Water-Ball-game was the simplest of all , but was the most memorable time of the whole picnic.

Swimming fun drove us straight to the late-lunchtime. we relished the flavours of Kathiyavadi food in the lunch, further accompanied by the Buttermilk (Chhash) without fail ! Again after lunch , we rushed to the indoor section and played those games again with different partners and some new challenges may be ! and we went to MiniTheatre and watched Kapoor & Sons movie all togather… it was very relaxing experience to sit in and watch the movie with our office fellow mates as part of the picnic itself. After the movie and some more outdoors games, badminton, swings and kids play area were even explored & enjoyed by some girls from the TeamZestard . Also, we did some group photography and our creative designer suggested Zestard’s “Z” as part of the photo-arrangement , & we tried that too with some pixel perfect instructions !

We set back to the bus on our way to the office location again and played Antakshari – a must game to play in any picnic , ABCD again. Fun in the Bus was further concluded by prize distribution to the winners of the games ,winners dances , some cool announcements by Anuj and some news and upcoming plans for TeamZestard which were happily greeted & applauded by the whole team.

As expected, the Picnic was a huge success, everyone proved that their work load can be embraced easily with Picnic or Team -outing. This was the most fun-time picnic many of us ever experienced so far. We are still busy sharing picnic photos and memories on our TeamZestard Whatsup group and finally all are compiled and made online on Zestard’s Facebook page. Just like last year’s picnic , everybody had great time suggesting constructive feedback and only unanimous suggestion was ”we should plan such picnics often and at least for 2 days! ”.

This way #TeamZestard’s Picnic Joy was relished & cherished with a final uproar of “Hip Hip Hurray!!!” :)

MeteorMeetupAhm- Sessions-Summary

Zestard at First Meteor Ahmedabad Meetup

As announced and shared on social media, recently, Zestard participated in first Meteor Ahmedabad Meetup in Ahmedabad on 31st Dec’16 and we were proud co-sponsor of the event.

This Meteor Meetup was organized by our Project Manager Dipali Vyas and as a representative of Zestard, she also presented her introductory talk on the Meetup, Motive of the Meetup and Meteor introduction and small demo-handson. Click here for her presentation slides for Meteor Ahmedabad Meetup.

Zestard is a Meteor Partner and it was our first initiative to support the booming technology community for Meteor in Ahmedabad. It was encouraging to see many RSVP done over meetup group’s event just within 3 weeks of time. The co-sponsor for the event Google Developers Group Ahmedabad (GDGAhmedabad) has been also supporting for the outreach of the event as well as Venue and other facilities. Dipali has shared her introductory view and meetup preparation thoughts in her first Linked in post at http://bit.ly/meteormeetupahmsummary1

Entire Agenda for the event was mentioned and updated on meetup itself. Other speakers for the meetup were Siddharth Kothari from appbase.io and David Bourguignon from Paris via Hangout session. You can go through their presentation summary, slides and other details in the 2nd Linked in post for Meteor Meetup Ahmedabad by Dipali at http://bit.ly/meteormeetupahmsummary2

To know more about  Meteor, Meteor meetup , handson demo by the speakers, you can got through their presentation slides. Also, have a look at recently shared photographs of the Meteor Ahmedabad Meetup event at Zestard’s Facebook page.

TeamZestard is keen to support such community initiative and would see lots of opportunity for our development team to communicate, share and gain more technology meetup this year.

Meteor Ahmedabad Meetup Event Banner

Zestard is co-sponsoring First Meteor Ahmedabad Meetup

Being a Meteor Partner, we are glad to co-sponsor the First Meteor Ahmedabad Meetup. #MeteorMeetupAhm is on Sunday, 31st Jan ’16 .

#MeteorMeetupAhm is supported by #ZestardTechnologies and #GDGAhmedabad

Check this link for more details and registration.​ Click on  ​http://www.meetup.com/Meteor-Ahmedabad/events/228225577/ , RSVP and see you there.

We will give more details about the meetup and our participation soon in next blog post.

Click here, for more details on our Meteor Partnership, technology and past events we participated actively in.

Sitemaps Its importance to Websites Zestard Technologies

Sitemaps – Its importance to Websites

A sitemap is a list or diagram which represents the hierarchical structure of the HTML pages in the website. It is a website designing planning tool. In other words it is a way to tell Google and other search engines about one’s website pages which might not be discoverable otherwise. The main aim of creating a sitemap is to make sure that Google knows about all the pages including URLs which might not be discoverable via the normal crawling process of Google. They are also known as URL inclusion protocols as it advices what to crawl. Also it provides valuable metadata associated with the pages listed in the sitemap.

Sitemaps  Benefits / Sitemaps are particularly helpful if:

·         Site has contents which are dynamic in nature.

·         Site has pages that are not easily discoverable during the crawling process.

·         Site is new with few links to it.

·         Site has a large archive of content pages that are not linked to each other at all or are not correctly linked.

Thus in the simplest form it can be said that a sitemap is a document containing all the URLs which the user needs it to be crawled on the website. It also details additional information such as the date a page was last modified, the frequency at which a page changes and the priority a page should be given or not over others. Specific sitemaps can be created for each type of content. For example, one sitemap for blog posts, another for videos and so on.

The importance of Sitemaps should not be downplayed. They help search engines navigate user’s website more easily, which helps search engines index user’s content better. If one thinks website as a building, then the sitemap is a blueprint that informs search engines exactly where everything is located. Click here for More details on helpful SEO tips by our SEO experts.

REST API BenefitsZestardTechnologies Blog Post

REST API Benefits

Before understanding what REST API is, we need to understand these two words separately. First of all we need to understand what REST is?

REST stands for Representational State Transfer. It depends on a client server, stateless, cache able communications protocol and uses HTTP protocol in all cases. It has lower barriers to entry, has a lightweight  approach to things and is a good performer.

REST is an architecture style for designing networked applications. It uses HTTP to make calls between machines rather than using complex mechanisms. REST uses HTTP to Create, Read, Update, Delete operations (CRUD).

Now the next we need to know is about API. API stands for Application Programming Interface. It can be company’s greatest asset. It is intuitive (easy to learn), documented and opinionated (camel case, Ids).

As of now we have understood the meaning of REST and API separately. Now we need to understand what REST API is. As per the definition of Wikipedia REST API is “Web services APIs that adhere to the REST architectural constraints are called RESTful APIs. HTTP based RESTful APIs are defined with these aspects: base URI, has an internet media type for data, standard HTTP methods, and hyperlinks to references.

To list some of the advantages:

  • It is simple.

  • High load can be handled through HTTP cache and proxy server.

  • Complex application can be organised into simple resources.

  • It makes easy for a new client to use other’s application, even if it wasn’t designed specifically for it.

  • It is cleaner and easier to understand and discover.

  • While synchronising data with website, it is easier to use REST as it depends heavily on code.

  • Provides ubiquitous access by using standard HTTP method call-outs to make requests and retrieve information.

  • Provides standards-based security by utilizing the OAuth protocol for authenticating your REST calls.

  • User can gain access to the same data model and standard objects as those in SOAP-based Web services.

  • It provides flexible formats by serializing data in either the XML or JSON format.

We hope it becomes easier to understand what REST API is, its benefits and use at the same time.

Although we have both SOAP and REST in our toolbox, - You want to improve performance by caching web service request results at some point between the service and the consumer.
Caching on the URI of a service is very easy using REST API.

Importance and Need of CRM tools for your Business-1

Importance and Need of CRM tools for your Business

CRM Tools are one of the most necessary software tools to companies which are constantly under pressure of dynamicity and ever changing business environment, where the root cause of this is customer’s needs and requirements and to deal with these critical situations CRM tools tends to be very useful.

Now-a-days many new products enters market every day, businesses in all industries face greater cut-throat competition than ever before. With the marketplace changing at a greater pace a business cannot be at an advantage for too long by just offering a service or a product similar to competitors. A  Product and service offerings are becoming more and more similar with chunks of companies targeting the same customer base. With ample of options to choose from, customers are increasingly fickle and prone to churn. Not only do they scrutinize products and services before spending on them; with the advent of social media they are more capable now to influence the purchasing decision of others as well.

CRM is the name for any system or model used to manage a company’s interactions with its current or future clients or customers. This system is a piece of technology used to organise, automate and synchronise entire customer facing areas within your company: from marketing to sales to customer service to technical support.

It gives you the time to develop other areas of your business, whilst giving you the reassurance that you’re not letting your existing clients down or responding to new enquiries in an efficient manner.

To successfully implement CRM we need to evaluate and formulate a strategy to go with CRM:

A CRM strategy look at all the aspects of the business processes in all the time frames of organizations lifespan and also with the systems that deal with customers, and other functional units under organization like:  Marketing, Sales, Ordering, Customer care, Technical support and Business intelligence/customer analytics. In addition, it should also span all interaction channels, including call centre, retail/branch/outlets, web and mobile self service and sales and service partners. The CRM strategy needs to optimise all of the assisted and unassisted processes and ensure all channels are using the optimised processes consistently.

As with any strategy, it is critical that you should recognise what your key objectives are going to be, both in the short-term and the long-term.

A successful CRM system is not simply a case of going out and buying magic software that will transform your business fortune. The key to it is, knowing what you want to achieve and understanding your customers before you even think about CRM Tool. It takes good planning, starting with clear and achievable goals and deciding, where you want the business to go? And therefore landing on the best CRM tool required for your business!!

Below listed are some of the best CRM tools available in market:

  • Salesforce
  • InfusionSoft
  • Stage CRM
  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM
  • Oracle Sales Cloud
  • SugarCRM
  • Workbooks CRM
  • SNAPFORCE
  • BILLHORN
  • Base CRM

CRM is important for a business because of the following:

1.       CRM helps in identifying and targeting the customers, generating sales, implementing marketing strategies with clear goals in mind.

2.       CRM helps in building relationship with customers and providing customer support services in the best interest of the customers along with increasing the profitability of the business.

3.       CRM provides with the latest information about the needs and requirements of the customers according to the latest market trends and thus building long lasting relationship between customers and the business.

4.       CRM helps in keeping the details in a centralised form which reduces the process time and thus increasing productivity.

5.       CRM helps in enhancing the net growth of the business by providing customer satisfaction and increasing their loyalty for the business.

6.       CRM can be implemented in a very cost effective manner. It reduces the need of paper and staff. The technology used cheap and thus lot of cost is saved.

 So for today’s dynamic business environment dealing with existing customers along with targeting new ones, CRM becomes the need. Hence in this era of business every organization should be recommended to have a full-fledged CRM system to cope up with all the business needs.

Zestard Meteor partnership News

Zestard is now METEOR Partner

Glad to announce Zestard’s recent Association  – “We are now Meteor Partner” !

Zestard Technologies had plunged in to Full Stack Development with Meteor for two of our Esteemed Clients this year(2015). This has helped our customers for Faster, scale-able Application development and just after that we started digging more in to Meteor Technology and got our Development team trained for more Meteor App Development Work. We are happy that we are among those few developers from Gujarat,India , who work and represent for such a Fresh and successful technology.

This Strategic Partnership is providing another opportunity for all Zestard’s Meteor Application Development Team to lead to next level and we hope to help our clients more ad more, as we will now have Meteor Community support, encouragement and Code-base for Meteor APPs Development. Since, Meteor gives a radically simpler way to build real-time mobile and web apps, entirely in JavaScript from one code base, we are sure all our app development efforts, Customer stories and  case-studies will soon be shared on to Meteor’s.

Meteor is a cohesive and a complete open source development platform for building web and mobile apps in pure JavaScript. Meteor is very flexible about how you structure the files in your app. Node.js and MongoDB usage in Meteor has led it to the next level of the communication layer where the real magic that binds the client and server together. Hence, we can use the same methods to access your database from the client or the server.

Being fully powered, yet the simplest, Meteor , as a “gateway drug” in the world of modern JavaScript development. It is an open source real time JavaScript web application framework written on top of Node.js (a mature, solid web server tool, that speaks JavaScript natively, a reason why it fits so nicely into the Meteor framework seamlessly). The open source nature of Meteor allows and encourages the ever growing community of developers to contribute to an already rich ecosystem. Among the many advantages of Meteor are that it allows for rapid prototyping which helps understand the nature of the development easily and also that it produces cross platform (web, Android, iOS) code. The goal of the Meteor initiative is to enable developers to build applications that are not only a delight to use but also the fastest that are out there in the open.

Below are the benefits of using Meteor:

  • Data on the wire - instead of the server sending HTML to the client, Meteor only sends the minimum data necessary to re-render the portion of the page that has changed. This enables building low-latency single-page applications that avoid whole-page refresh.
  • Cross Platform – It produces cross platform code(web, Android, iOS).
  • Easy to learn for beginners – It is one of the easiest one to learn for starters as they don’t have to learn multiple languages and they can begin development even without being an expert in JavaScript and keep learning along the way.
  • Latency compensation – on the client, Meteor pre-fetches data and simulates models to make it look like server method calls return instantly.
  • Full stack reactivity – all layers, from database to template, update themselves automatically when necessary.
  • Simplicity equals productivity – Due to the easy to learn nature of Meteor, it becomes easier for developers to start contributing to the project from the word go and also keep learning on the way.

Click here to know about benefit of using Meteor App Development Services at Zestard

Zestard ’s Project Manager gave a talk on Meteor at GDGAhmedabad OSS Framework Event on 20th June 2015.

Here are some glimpse of a successful knowledge share activity encouraged by #ZestardTechnologies and supported by #GDGAhmedabad.

#GDGAhmedabad Event Page: https://plus.google.com/events/gallery/coniecg70i5593aimanuie0qisk?pid=6160693151552832930&oid=106261089114347152720

Presentation Slides: http://bit.ly/magnificent-meteor