Development: How to Build an Online Product

Jason Nazar, co-founder and CEO of Docstoc (docstoc.com), talks about the key components of the final part of building an online product. The front-end and back-end of development are explained in this video.

  1. Front-end= visual design
  2. Back-end= data behind the product
  3. Use whatever solution works best for your developers

So, we’re on to developing your online product. What are the key components you need to know about? Typically, in a more complicated online product, there’s a front-end and a back-end.

The front-end to your development is the part of the code base that you’re going to develop. That is what the user sees. It’s everything about the user action – when they click on a button, when they go to another page. That’s the front-end part of your development.

But a lot of those actions are either going to need to be stored or called from a database. And that’s your back-end. The back-end is what powers your online product and enables different information to be called up in it and different interactions to happen.

When you’re developing both the front-end and the back-end of your online product, there are different programming languages and databases that you can use to build your online product, programming languages like PHP, LAMP, Ruby.net., Java and back-end databases like SQL, Oracle, MySQL. So, what’s the right programming language or the right back-end database to use?

There’s really no right or wrong solution. In large part, is determined by what are the needs to the online product and how complex are they. And it’s also determined by who are your developers and what programming languages and databases are they most comfortable with. So, who’s actually going to develop, write the code for this online product for you? You’re typically either going to hire developers that work directly for you as independent contractors or as employees and you may need someone that is good at both the front-end or back-end or specialist for each. You could hire a web development firm where basically going to then outsource all of the work to them. And you may give them a set of requirements and wireframes or they can put that together all for you including the design.

And a lot of times, people will also – will talk about offshoring which means you’re going to work with the web development firm outside of the United States. And typically, the benefits of this is that you can save money, but you may not get it as good of quality and it may take a little bit longer. So, it’s tradeoffs you have to look out like anything else. You may not be the person actually developing your own online product, but understanding the basic tools and building blocks that are going to help you communicate with those developers, all the better.

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