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Latest PHP trends in 2019

3 minutes, 48 seconds read

PHP, or hypertext preprocessor, is an open-source server-side scripting language. It’s extremely popular, too — almost 80% of all websites were using PHP as of October 2018. The major reason for its wide popularity is that it is actually an open source programming language that means it is free to use. It supports MS SQL, MySQL and Oracle databases without any sort of trouble.

A PHP framework provides a basic structure for streamlining the development of web apps. We use them because they speed up the development process. In our last year edition, we already mentioned the top PHP trends but technology always has something new or different to offer. Apart from Laravel, CodeIgniter, Yii, Zend, Cake PHP and Symfony which are as popular as anything can be in the PHP world here are a few PHP trends to look out for this coming year.

Phalcon

A full-stack PHP framework that employs the MVC web architecture design pattern, Phalcon was originally written in C and C++ and released in 2012. Since it’s delivered as a C-extension, you don’t have to worry about learning the C programming language. Phalcon is easy to install and suitable for creating highly configurable web applications that are in line with enterprise development guidelines.
Key features include increased execution speed, asset management, a universal autoloader, and top security and caching. Unlike other frameworks, Phalcon optimizes performance due to its efficient memory utilization. If you’re looking to create a blazing fast website, give Phalcon a try. On the negative side, Phalcon developers are a bit slow to patch bugs, which may not jive with today’s need for high levels of security.

FuelPHP

FuelPHP is a flexible, full-stack PHP framework first released in 2011. Apart from supporting the MVC design pattern, it has its own version called the hierarchical model view controller (HMVC). With HMVC, unlike with MVC, content doesn’t need to duplicate to show on multiple pages. As a result, it consumes less time and memory.
FuelPHP helps developers deliver end-to-end web solutions that are diverse in size and complexities. Key features include HMVC implementation, RESTful implementation, a URL routing system, vulnerability protection, and a caching system. It extends its security approach beyond ordinary security measures, making it a great option if security is crucial for your project. Because FuelPHP is relatively new, it offers less support and may present a steeper learning curve.

PHPixie

Introduced in 2012 and just like FuelPHP, PHPixie implements the HMVC design pattern. Its goal was to create a high-performance framework for read-only websites. It’s easy to get started with PHPixie, which is suitable for social networking websites, customized web applications, and web app development services.

Key features include HMVC architecture, standard ORM (object-relational mapping), input validation, authorization capabilities, authentication, and caching. PHPixie is built using independent components. For this reason, you can use it without the framework itself. Note that PHPixie has relatively few modules. Besides that, it lacks support for components independently made from the dependencies. Since it’s relatively new, it’s less popular and has a smaller community of users than other frameworks.

Slim

Slim

 is another popular PHP micro-framework that helps developers quickly create simple but powerful web applications and APIs. Just like PHPixie, Slim is easy to learn. PHP developers use Slim to develop RESTful APIs and web services.
Key features include URL routing, session, and cookie encryption, client-side HTTP caching, and more. 
It’s the best framework for a small web application that doesn’t necessarily require a full-stack PHP framework. In addition, active maintenance and friendly documentation make Slim super user-friendly.

Fat free

Just as the name suggests, Fat free is free of fats. This is one of the most popular and trending PHP micro frameworks that comes with a number of packages. It comes with features, such as data validation, CSS compression, unit testing, image processing, Open ID and others. It supports both SQL and NoSQL databases, supporting the development of web apps with ease.

Aura

It is a set of decoupling libraries that can be used for developing basic apps. These self-contained libraries can be easily integrated with any projects and the best part of these libraries is that they have no dependencies. All the libraries are flexible, compliant and well documented.

PHP programming language helps you to develop web applications that are complex, reliable and faster. Based on your business requirements, hosting plans, experience level, app needs, and development timeframes, although there are a large variety of PHP frameworks to choose from it is important to have a clear understanding of what actually your business needs on the basis of the latest PHP trends.

Also read:

  1. Top Latest PHP trends in 2018
  2. Top Latest PHP trends in 2017

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  3. Google for India September event 2019 key highlights
  4. Learn Ionic Framework From Scratch in Less Than 15 Minutes!
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  6. 10 Reasons to Learn Swift Programming Language
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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.

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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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