We use pre-built tools and libraries because they’re supposed to make the tedious parts of our projects easy to put into action. A well-designed web app helper can make the project less stressful and more interesting and organized. Here are a few tools that have made steps of the web development process more enjoyable.
My first payment gateway was Authorize.NET. While Authorize.NET is a powerful, customizable payment gateway solution with lots of possibilities – I found the library complicated and hard to implement for the projects I used it for. This happens because the majority of the projects I work with are not large applications for large corporations. Usually these are smaller business that only need a relatively small, customizable payment gateway.
Then I found Stripe – a service that is based on APIs so you can use any language you’d like to use. There is a developer community that provides Stripe libraries in languages that Stripe doesn’t cover. They provide comprehensive documentation and examples. I’ve never used an easier payment gateway or API. Here are some of the high points:
Web API Testing
So you’ve written your APIs and you want to test them. But let’s say you have complicated steps you need to follow in your web application in order to get to each API and to test them properly. It’s tiresome and frustrating. Enter Postman, a Chrome browser plug-in. Here are the some of the high points:
If you insist on using Firefox or IE for debugging/testing, Firefox also has similar plug-ins like RESTClient or Poster. You’re on your own with IE.
Creating Fast Mockups
If you use hand-drawn layouts or MS Paint to give your clients a rough idea of what you’ll be creating, then Balsamiq may be worth investing in. It’s inexpensive, easy and fun to create professional web mockups. Here are some of the high points:
The desktop app for a single user starts at a $79 one-time payment and the web app at $12/month. Balsamiq can help round out your web app tool arsenal and requires no photoshop skills! You’ll find yourself asking your clients if you can create mockups for them.