Ready to Build Your Mobile App? Here’s what You Need to Know

phoneYou most likely wouldn’t install a new shower head or put together a piece of furniture without reading the step-by-step manual feverishly, and that sentiment carries over to building and launching your mobile app. After all, a plug-in-play methodology for mobile app creation could leave you drowning in a sea of performance problems.

Just because the hard part—coming up with the app concept, identifying an audience and scouting your competitors—is over, does not mean you can instantly go live with the click of a button. Rather there are key considerations that must be met when launching your mobile app:

  • Flow and Features: The UI and built-in features and capabilities are what will set your mobile app apart, but only if they function seamlessly. While this may seem simple enough, the stats are unfortunately not in your favor. In fact, 62 percent of mobile app users have reported experiencing crashes, freezes and errors; 47 percent have grappled with slow launch times; and 40 percent have even tried an app that simply wouldn’t work at all, according to Compuware’s “Mobile Apps: What Consumers Really Need and Want” report. Before you are ready to launch to the public, make sure you have application hosting procedures in place to ensure seamless, uninterrupted usability.
  • Test Frequently: Once you have the flow and features secured, you need to enter a test mode before rolling out to the masses. This includes testing its use across the globe, across a variety of devices, and across several different networks, since there are several hundred mobile network operators worldwide. You will also want to stress your mobile application to see how it can handle sudden surges in traffic.
  • Eye the Experts: Chances are you have your hands  full—conceptualizing the unique differentiators needed to bring your app to market—that you are unable to focus as much on the back-end infrastructure that will keep it running at peak performance. And that’s exactly what the experts are there for. Before you go live, assess the capabilities and limitations of your existing IT team to determine if you could benefit from working with an application hosting provider who can offset some of the critical IT duties.

Ready to go live? We want to hear from you! How has your app development process been going?

 

 

Mobile Usage Causes Black Friday Sales to Surge

phoneThere are a variety of reasons why Black Friday sales are back to where they were pre-recession: consumers are feeling more confident; companies are offering more and more doorbuster deals to entice customers; and companies are starting offer the same great in-store deals online, which allows consumers to shop from the comfort of their homes. But perhaps the biggest driver of Black Friday sales is the surge of mobile devices and the ability for consumers to purchase items right from their trusty smartphones or tablets.

In fact, out of the $1.512 billion in sales that United States retailers wracked in on Black Friday this year, mobile commerce sales accounted for nearly 21 percent, at $314 million, and about 17 percent of Cyber Monday sales, $350 million out of $2.085 billion, according to Internet research firm comScore. In other words, mobile commerce accounted for one in five digital dollars, or 18.5 percent, spent during those two days. According to comScore industry pundits, this number is “significant… because that percentage is far higher than we’ve ever seen in our quarterly spending data.”

It comes as no surprise, however, that mobile commerce is on the rise especially with the number of smartphones increasing exponentially. In fact, 80 percent of the world’s population now has a mobile phone; 89 percent of smartphone users use their devices throughout the day; and 84 percent use their phone for Internet browsing, according to an infographic compiled by Go-Globe.com. With mobile commerce becoming exceedingly ubiquitous, it is more paramount than ever for e-commerce platforms to test the performance and uptime of their mobile applications, as well as their everyday websites.

To learn more about the importance of teaming with an application hosting provider to ensure the peak performance of your mobile platform—and how Mentora can help—click here.

Mentora: Packing our Bags, Hitting the Road for the Fall Tradeshow Season

suitcase2The smell of hot apple cider might hang in the air, but for us here at Mentora, the ambiance is all about trade shows and events as we hit the road for our Mentora Road Show. From our most recent participation in the Workshop on Performance & Reliability (WOPR), which took place Oct. 17-19 in San Francisco, Calif., to our upcoming appearance at STPCon 2013, we are pounding the pavement this fall, sharing our story of Mentora and our managed hosting offerings.

Our primary goal this fall is to educate. As thought leaders in the industry, our performance engineers are oftentimes asked to speak to other engineers about best practices, challenges, and technological evolutions. We are also talking all things mobile—a huge driver for our industry right now—and new technologies, such as mobile apps. There are many variables that developers need to keep top of mind when developing both Web and native applications. After all, each has specific considerations that must be accounted for as they greatly affect a user’s experience, as well as the ability for a performance tester to properly test those apps for scalability.

To that end, this week at STPCon, taking place from Oct. 21-24 in Phoenix, Ariz., we will be holding two presentations: “Performance Testing Mobile Applications,” led by our Performance Engineer Rebecca Clinard, and “Performance Testing in an (a/A)gile Environment,” led by our Senior Performance Engineer Eric Proegler. Here’s a look at what each will cover at the testing professionals conference:

“Performance Testing Mobile Applications”

Simply put, today’s performance engineers need to keep up with the latest technologies as well as methodologies, particularly as they relate to performance testing mobile applications and the scaling of apps to handle massive volumes. Taking place Wednesday, Oct. 23, from 2:45 to 4 pm, this session will discuss the requirements and challenges surrounding mobile applications as well as delve into how to create realistic load script—by digging into the technologies and the embedded logic.

An end-to-end session on testing mobile applications, the presentation will also shed light on why cloud infrastructures are the perfect solutions for generating the virtual user load and how monitoring plays a critical role in identifying bottlenecks, which can prevent the app from scaling to a heavy workload.


“Performance Testing in an (a/A)gile Environment”

The presentation by Proegler, taking place Wednesday Oct. 23 from 10:30 to 11:45 am, will explore the history of performance testing—one characterized as a single experiment against a fully complete and assembled system. While using this approach has proved helpful for validating completely assembled systems, with the rise of (a/A)gile development contexts—and testing at the very end—traditional practices have become futile when it comes to providing timely feedback.

Alternatively, to prove more useful, performance testing should be adapted to the component levels and iteration intervals delivery of which teams are working. This session will cover the key techniques for providing performance feedback earlier as well as strategies for designing, conducting, and tracking frequently repeatable performance tests.

Are you headed to STPCon this week? Let us know in the comments below or Tweet us at #MentoraGroup so that we can arrange an on-site meeting.

Making the Case for Performance Testing Websites for the Demands of the Mobile User

phoneOur people make sense of data day in and day out.  Our application performance engineering team generates and interprets data that tell them how websites will perform under peak and forecasted loads, and where potential problems may occur.  Our application hosting team is inundated with data; each part of a client’s infrastructure creates log files almost every minute of the day, the sum of which can be enormous.  It’s our job to identify issues before they occur by collecting, organizing, interpreting and sharing data with our clients.   Data is the lifeline of our work. So here’s some data that’s a bit eye-opening and helps make the case for the need to take your mobile application strategy seriously.  And by mobile application strategy, we don’t mean your company should build a cool little game for all the iDevices out there.  We’re talking about making sure your website is optimized for the mobile visitor and that when you re-write or update an enterprise app so that it is useful to employees on the go – on their mobile devices – you test for performance. Did you know…..?

To learn more about how you can ensure your mobile presence provides an outstanding customer experience, read Mentora’s Practical Solution “Performance Engineering the Mobile Experience.”

Mobile –Generated Website Traffic on the Rise

Overall website traffic has exploded year over year since the advent of the World Wide Web (remember when that was a new phrase?), yet one of the most important drivers has been the mobile device.  The mobile device multiplies the ways with which website can be accessed.   We no longer need to be pinned to our home or work computers in order to play, research and work our way through the wonderful world of www.

Nearly one-fourth (24%) of total website traffic came from mobile devices in the first quarter of 2013—up 78% from the same time in 2012 and 109% since 2011, according to a recent report from Walker Sands.

mobile

The load on your website will grow organically as your regular visitors visit more often and you attract new ones, which leads to two important lessons:

  1.  Application performance engineering a.k.a. load testing – including emulating the mobile experience – is imperative.  (For more on this topic, read Mentora’s Practical Solution “Performance Engineering the Mobile Experience”)
  2. Your managed hosting service provider – whether it’s an internal IT operations team or a partner like Mentora – must help you economically plan for growth.  To learn more about Mentora’s breadth of expertise in this area, read Mentora’s Performance Engineering the Mobile Experience.

Mobile users want content delivered flawlessly and immediately as they are on the go. Performance testing helps make sure they get it.

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