The websites, business systems and applications we produce are developed using a range of technologies. Typically these are ‘Open Source’ meaning they are freely distributed and available amongst the developer community. The advantages of leveraging open-source languages and frameworks is that they promote flexibility & speed of development and many are backed up by a passionate community of developers that are constantly working to improve and expand upon the care technology.
We always endeavour to select the most appropriate languages, frameworks and systems based on a thorough understanding of your specific project requirements.
Below are a selection of the web technologies we utilise on a regular basis described in greater detail:
Python and Django
Python and Django empower us to rapidly develop reliable, secure and scalable web applications.
Why Python and Django?
Django is a widely used web framework, its philosophy emphasises rapid development and clean code. It comes batteries-included with all the security, authentication and admin interface features you’d expect in a web application.
We at Accent are proud of the fact that many of our web applications are built with Python on top of the Django web framework but we are not alone. Some of the most popular and widely used websites and applications that you use every day are built using these same open source tools. The success of these shows the power of the Python language and Django framework. Examples of sites using the Python Django are Dropbox, Instagram and Spotify which really shows the power behind the framework.
At Accent, we’ve used Django to build variety of web applications including public facing websites, back office applications to APIs for the backend of mobile apps.
How Python Was Used in Manufacturing
We work with a Masterbatch production company creating a lab database system allowing them to create and test Masterbatch formulas before sending them through to production. The backend system is built atop several Django applications each specialising on a specific task allowing the codebase to be simpler to work with across our team of developers.
These modules were developed rapidly and allowed us to create secure admin backends quickly. Not wanting to reinvent the wheel, the rest of the application was developed using Open Source modules and it’s important to say thanks to the large Open Source community as this allows us to build better solutions.
Worldwide Open Source Developer Community Django
With an active large online community constantly securing, improving and adding functionality it means we have access to a vast code base. This also means we have access to a supportive community that allows us to accelerate our own rate of development.
Django comes with batteries-included and helps with the setting up of web applications providing authentication, api, cacheing and best practice for SEO.
Python and Django Projects
Accent can create native mobile apps in record time using React Native.
Why React Native?
React Native is flexible, we can build initial native applications that prototype the functionality for client approval quickly. Then development of the fully functional application can be built atop the prototype ensuring the approved design/interface is seen through to the finished version.
With React we use a single codebase which can be deployed across Android and iOS which means we spend less development time building two independent applications.
Accent has been developing React Native applications since 2016 and it has become our technology of choice when it comes to developing mobile applications.
Using a single source code for both Android and iOS reduces the build time and allows for updates to be made quicker and cheaper than supporting two independent solutions. React Native has awesome debugging tools built in allowing for realtime reloading of your app which makes for a smoother development process.
Loving React Native
React Native builds a native app so it responds like a native app as it uses the very same components that are available for native apps.
Adding Functionality Nirvana
It’s easy for us to componentise our applications, leading to testable modular pieces that can be reused. Releasing these components back into the wild also allows us to contribute to the growing community; what better way to say thank you?
React = Developer Heaven
Using React Native For Online Publishing
We work with an Online Property Portal which reports on property news to it’s large membership. Accent created a News Portal app that notifies it’s users the instant a new article is published. In addition the app sends a notification when comments are made on subscribed posts allowing the user to keep up-to date with the online discussion. The challenge was linking the existing WordPress CMS to the React Native app, pushing the updates to Android and iOS devices.
An interactive prototype was created to ensure the UI and UX met the clients requirements. Once approved, the functionality was added alongside the extension of the WordPress API to securely communicate with React Native.
React Native Projects
in use online
of the Internet
WordPress is used by small and large companies like the Sony Playstation blog, full-scale content strategies can be developed in and supported by the WordPress CMS.
Your blog isn’t worth much if you and your team can’t quickly access its backend. WordPress lets you easily and intuitively publish and modify all of your content to improve your SEO and feed your social media strategies. WordPress started life as a publishing platform that promoted editorial control with a user friendly interface. Today, this user-first approach is at the heart of WordPress requiring no programming or coding skills to use, if you can use Microsoft Word, you can make edits to your content through WordPress.
Force of Open Source
WordPress is open source, free and non-exclusive. It’s supported and developed by an thousands of developers worldwide resulting in greater security, customisation and overall a higher standard of development compared with other CMS alternatives.
Open Source doesn’t mean you don’t own your own website, you have total ownership to use the software that drives your website, you can update and distribute the code without any associated licensing costs.
Extendability Through Plugins
For users needing additional functionality, such as shopping carts for e-commerce sites or SEO tools to audit your site for better organic ranking, WordPress offers a massive list of plug-ins, and the packaged plugins are easy to install.
This modern, ultrafast flat file-based CMS is the perfect choice for delivering websites on a slightly smaller scale.
The What & Why of flat file-based Websites
Grav is one of the foremost flat file-based Content Management Systems (CMS) available. Put simply, a flat file-based website features a CMS where all the sites content is saved within the file structure of the website itself instead of the content being stored in a supporting database.
Removing this database dependency makes deployment quicker & simpler as well as improving the speed performance for the websites users. Generally they are also more secure with less entry points for attacks.
The trade-offs of using such a CMS are that they haven’t been as widely adopted by the developer community meaning there are fewer plugins available. They also struggle to ‘scale up’ when used on much larger sites.
With all this in mind, Grav is a very viable option for smaller websites where performance is key.
A Dash of PHP
As nice as it is to throw off the database shackles when using a CMS such as Grav it still requires a little PHP on the web server running it.
It also has a sleek & contemporary back-end admin interface making the management of content far more intuitive and aesthetically pleasing.