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Angular-2 – Developers Preview

Angular 2 is a big upgrade from Angular 1. It is a framework for mobile apps and can be used for desktop as well. Like Angular 1, Angular 2 (currently in alpha) is built on a set of concepts that are used throughout the framework and they would be used directly or, indirectly while writing applications.

Angular 2 separates updating the application model and reflecting the state of the model in the view into two distinct phases. The developer is responsible for updating the application model. Angular, by means of change detection, is responsible for reflecting the state of the model in the view. The framework does it automatically on every VM turn.

Angular 2 Features:

Component-based UI
Angular is adopting a component-based UI, a concept that might be familiar to React developers. In a sense, the Angular 1.x controllers and directives blur into the new Angular 2 Component. This means that in Angular 2 there are no controllers and no directives. Instead, a component has a selector which corresponds to the html tag that the component will represent and View to specify an HTML template for the component to populate.

User Input with the Event Syntax
Angular 2 applications now respond to user input by using the event syntax. The event syntax is denoted by an action surrounded by parenthesis (event). You can also make element references available to other parts of the template as a local variable using the #var syntax.

Goodbye $scope
Even though ‘$scope’ has been replaced by “controller as” as a best practice since Angular 1.2, it still lingers in many tutorials. Angular 2 finally kills it off, as properties are bound to components.

Better Performance
With an ultra fast change detection and  immutable data structures, Angular 2 promises to be both faster and more memory efficient. Also, the introduction of uni-directional data flow, popularized by Flux, helps to ease some of the concern in debugging performance issues with an Angular app. This also means no more two-way data binding which was a popular feature in Angular 1.x. Not to worry, even though ng-model is no more, the same concept can be solved in a similar way with Angular 2.CWcQuqmWsAE8UKK

In any front-end web, frameworks is the technique used for change detection. Angular 2 adds a powerful and much flexible technique to detect changes on the objects used in the application. In Angular 1, the only way the framework detects changes, is through dirty checking. Whenever digest cycle runs in Angular 1, the framework checks for changes on all objects bound to the view and it applies the changes wherever they are needed. The same technique is used for any kind of objects. In AngularJS 2, we don’t have a chance to leverage the powers available in objects – like observable and immutable. Angular 2 opens this channel by providing a change detection system that understands the type of the object being used.

In addition, the change detectors in Angular 2 follow a tree structure to detect changes. This makes the system predictable and it reduces the time taken to detect changes.

If plain JavaScript objects are used to bind data on the views, Angular 2 has to go through each node and check for changes on the nodes, with each browser event. Though it sounds similar to the technique in Angular 1 but the checks happen very fast as the system has to parse a tree in a known order. If we use Observables or, Immutable objects instead of the plain mutable objects, the framework understands them and provides better change detection.

Angular 2 is written from the ground-up using the latest features available in the web ecosystem and it brings several significant improvements over the framework’s older version. While it retires a number of Angular 1 features, it also adopts a number of core concepts and principles from an older version of the framework.angular-2-better-or-worse-26-638-1

Short Summary:

  • Angular 2 separates updating the application model and updating the view.
  • Event bindings are used to update the application model.
  • Change detection uses property bindings to update the view. Updating the view is unidirectional and top-down. This makes the system a lot more predictable and performant.
  • Angular 2 embraces unidirectional data-flow.
  • You can use the same mindset when building Angular 1.x applications.

The team has collaborated with the TypeScript team at Microsoft, both the teams are working really hard to create a great framework and they are also working with TC39 team to make JavaScript a better language. The best is yet to come and hence the future is going to be exciting for all developers.

In case, you have any queries on Angular 2 framework, feel free to approach us on hello@mantralabsglobal.com, our developers are here to clear confusions and it might be a good choice based on your business and technical needs.

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Retention playbook for Insurance firms in the backdrop of financial crises

4 minutes read

Belonging to one of the oldest industries in the world, Insurance companies have weathered multiple calamities over the years and have proven themselves to be resilient entities that can truly stand the test of time. Today, however, the industry faces some of its toughest trials yet. Technology has fundamentally changed what it means to be an insurer and the cumulative effects of the pandemic coupled with a weak global economic output have impacted the industry in ways both good and bad.

Chart, line chart

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Source: Deloitte Services LP Economic Analysis

For instance, the U.S market recorded a sharp dip in GDP in the wake of the pandemic and it was expected that the economy would bounce back bringing with it a resurgent demand for all products (including insurance) across the board. It must be noted that the outlook toward insurance products changed as a result of the pandemic. Life insurance products were no longer an afterthought, although profitability in this segment declined over the years. Property-and-Casualty (P&C) insurance, especially motor insurance, continued to be a strong driver, while health insurance proved to be the fastest-growing segment with robust demand from different geographies

Simultaneously, the insurance industry finds itself on the cusp of an industry-wide shift as technology is starting to play a greater role in core operations. In particular, technologies such as AI, AR, and VR are being deployed extensively to retain customers amidst this technological and economic upheaval.

Double down on digital

For insurance firms, IT budgets were almost exclusively dedicated to maintaining legacy systems, but with the rise of InsurTech, it is imperative that firms start dedicating more of their budgets towards developing advanced capabilities such as predictive analytics, AI-driven offerings, etc. Insurance has long been an industry that makes extensive use of complex statistical and mathematical models to guide pricing and product development strategies. By incorporating the latest technological advances with the rich data they have accumulated over the years, insurance firms are poised to emerge stronger and more competitive than ever.

Using AI to curate a bespoke customer experience

Insurance has always been a low-margin affair and success in the business is primarily a function of selling the right products to the right people and reducing churn as much as possible. This is particularly important as customer retention is normally conceived as an afterthought in most industries, as evidenced in the following chart.

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        Source: econconusltancy.com

AI-powered tools (even with narrow capabilities) can do wonders for the insurance industry at large. When architected in the right manner, they can be used to automate a bulk of the standardized and automated processes that insurance companies have. AI can be used to automate and accelerate claims, assess homeowner policies via drones, and facilitate richer customer experiences through sophisticated chatbots. Such advances have a domino effect of increasing CSAT scores, boosting retention rates, reducing CACs, and ultimately improving profitability by as much as 95%.

Crafting immersive products through AR/VR

Customer retention is largely a function of how good a product is, and how effective it is in solving the customers’ pain points. In the face of increasing commodification, insurance companies that go the extra mile to make the buying process more immersive and engaging can gain a definite edge over competitors.

Globally, companies are flocking to implement AR/VR into their customer engagement strategies as it allows them to better several aspects of the customer journey in one fell swoop. Relationship building, product visualization, and highly personalized products are some of the benefits that AR/VR confers to its wielders.  

By honoring the customer sentiments of today and applying a slick AR/VR-powered veneer over its existing product layer, insurance companies can cater to a younger audience (Gen Z) by educating them about insurance products and tailoring digital delivery experiences. This could pay off in the long run by building a large customer base that could be retained and served for a much longer period.

The way forward

The Insurance industry is undergoing a shift of tectonic proportions as an older generation makes way for a new and younger one that has little to no perceptions about the industry. By investing in next-generation technologies such as AR/VR, firms can build new products to capture this new market and catapult themselves to leadership positions simply by way of keeping up with the times.

We have already seen how AR is a potential game-changer for the insurance industry. It is only a matter of time before it becomes commonplace.

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