What Is API and How API Works

What is an API
How API works

Examples of APIs we use every day
Weather snippets
Log in using social media accounts
Twitter bots
Travel booking

Conclusion

What is an API

An Application Programming Interface (API) is a gateway that allows one App to communicate with other Apps – and defines how that communication occurs. They foster connections between technologies to improve the user experience. API is a collection of software functions and procedures.

APIs open up access to your resources while maintaining security and control. This enables services to communicate and use data and functionality through a documented interface.

How API works

APIs enable to explain how web applications communicate with each other. They process data transfer between systems and locate between the application and the web server. APIs enable access to software (or web data) in a controlled and secure way for the program. Then the code sends requests to the receiving software and returns the data.

APIs can be divided into four main categories based on the functionality they serve.

APIs protocols can be divided into three main categories:

Examples of APIs we use every day 

1.    Weather snippets 

One of the common examples of API usage is weather data like Google Search.

2.    Log in using social media accounts

The second good example of APIs usage is the log-in with Gmail/Facebook/GitHub you may have seen on different websites. Instead of logging in to users’ accounts on social networks (which would be a serious security issue), applications with this functionality use the APIs of these platforms to authenticate the user with each log-in.

3.    Twitter Bots

Twitter bots are accounts that automatically make tweets and send direct messages. Behind them are complex Twitter APIs. The Twitter API tells the bots when something specific happens on the platform. For example, you can ask the Twitter API to tell your bot when it gets a new repost. Here are some of the popular Twitter Bots:

Hundred Zeros (@HundredZeros) – Twitterbot that regularly tweets links to the eBooks that are free on Amazon.
Earthquake Alerts (@EarthquakeBot) ­– tweets about any earthquakes with an intensity of 5.0 or greater as they happen worldwide.
Free Game Findings (@freegamefinding) – the Free Game Findings bot can help you get free deals on PC/PS/Xbox games. 

4.    Travel Booking

Travel booking websites use third-party APIs to collect flight and hotel availabilities from providers. Here is the list of the top 5 travel booking apps:

Tripadvisor.com
Booking.com
Airbnb.com
Kayak.com
Ihg.com

Conclusion

API is a powerful tool that can help speed up your business operations, grow your brand’s reach, connect your clients to the products they want, and so much more. In the API Developer Documentation, you will find guides to the various API functions that you can use.

The post What Is API and How API Works appeared first on Flatlogic Blog.

PHP MySQL Select Data Using In Page

PHP MySQL Select Data Using In Page  – The following example selects the id, firstname and lastname columns from the MyGuests table and displays it on the page:

Select Data From a MySQL Database

The SELECT statement is used to select data from one or more tables:

SELECT column_name(s) FROM table_name

or we can use the * character to select ALL columns from a table:

SELECT * FROM table_name

Example (MySQLi Object-oriented)

<?php
$servername = “localhost”;
$username = “username”;
$password = “password”;
$dbname = “myDB”;
// Create connection
$conn = new mysqli($servername, $username, $password, $dbname);
// Check connection
if ($conn->connect_error) {
die(“Connection failed: “ . $conn->connect_error);
}$sql = “SELECT id, firstname, lastname FROM MyGuests”;
$result = $conn->query($sql);

if ($result->num_rows > 0) {
// output data of each row
  while($row = $result->fetch_assoc()) {
echo “id: “ . $row[“id”]. ” – Name: “ . $row[“firstname”]. ” “ . $row[“lastname”]. “<br>”;
}
} else {
echo “0 results”;
}
$conn->close();
?>

Code lines to explain from the example above:

First, we set up an SQL query that selects the id, firstname and lastname columns from the MyGuests table. The next line of code runs the query and puts the resulting data into a variable called $result.

The post PHP MySQL Select Data Using In Page appeared first on PHPFOREVER.

351: Moving to PostgreSQL from MySQL

As you read this, CodePen is 100% on PostgreSQL for our main relational database. It was a transition that took a couple weeks of pretty intense effort, and lots of planning and prep before that. I’ve got Alex on the show to talk about it, as he was the main instigator and led the effort, but everyone contributed in some way.

Wondering why? Well…

We were on a pretty old version of MySQL (5.6), and upgrading to something more modern (like 8) would have required just as much effort, so we thought we’d move on to something we saw more value in.
We’re undertaking big new efforts that require a bunch of data specific work. It’ll be more work to change after that, so it felt like a now or never situation.
PostgreSQL means consolidating of technology, which is big for our small team. We’ve done some of this, and it opens the door for more. For example, we can stop using Elasticsearch as a totally separate database for search and lean on PostgreSQL. The same goes for an analytics-focused database, job queuing, and even potentially static asset hosting.

There is a lot to talk about here, so we get into all the nitty-gritty detail, including how we pulled it off with near-zero downtime and the tools involved.

Time Jumps

00:16 CodePen switched databases

01:08 Team effort

03:16 Is it a big paradigm shift?

06:53 Using ElasticSearch

13:34 Recapping the why

16:14 We have some in house experience with PostGres

17:17 Sponsor: WooCommerce

18:50 How did we do the transition?

27:23 How long did it take to move the data?

31:14 How the migration went

36:53 What enabled this to be possible

41:06 Any negatives or issues?

Sponsor: WooCommerce

WooCommerce is eCommerce for WordPress. It’s powerful software in that it can do anything you could ever want to do in selling online. You can sell physical products. You can sell digital and downloadable products. You can sell memberships or tickets or appointments. The sky is the limit. I’ve used it personally for all those things and have had a great experience every time.

The post 351: Moving to PostgreSQL from MySQL appeared first on CodePen Blog.

Announcing .NET MAUI Preview 12

Today we are shipping a Preview 12 of .NET Multi-platform App UI with many quality improvements and some new capabilities. As we near shipping our first stable release, the balance of work begins to shift towards quality improvements and stabilization, though there are still some interesting new things to highlight including:

New documentation for App icons, App lifecycle, Brushes, Controls, and Single Project.
FlyoutView handler implemented on Android (#3513)
Compatibility handlers added for RelativeLayout and AbsoluteLayout (#3723)
Z Index property added (#3635)
.NET 6 unification – iOS types (Issue)
Windows extended toolbar – non-Shell (#3693)

This release also brings an exciting enhancement to Shell. Let’s take a deeper look at Shell in Preview 12.

Navigation in .NET MAUI: Focus on Shell

Shell is an app scaffold that simplifies common app designs that use flyout menus and tabs. Within your Shell, commonly named AppShell in our examples, you start adding your app pages and arrange them in the navigation structure you want. For example, here is the .NET Podcast app sample:

<Shell xmlns=”http://schemas.microsoft.com/dotnet/2021/maui”
xmlns:x=”http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2009/xaml”
xmlns:pages=”clr-namespace:Microsoft.NetConf2021.Maui.Pages”
xmlns:root=”clr-namespace:Microsoft.NetConf2021.Maui”
xmlns:viewmodels=”clr-namespace:Microsoft.NetConf2021.Maui.ViewModels”
x:DataType=”viewmodels:ShellViewModel”
x:Class=”Microsoft.NetConf2021.Maui.Pages.MobileShell”>
<TabBar>
<Tab Title=”{Binding Discover.Title}”
Icon=”{Binding Discover.Icon}”>
<ShellContent ContentTemplate=”{DataTemplate pages:DiscoverPage}” />
</Tab>
<Tab Title=”{Binding Subscriptions.Title}”
Icon=”{Binding Subscriptions.Icon}”>
<ShellContent ContentTemplate=”{DataTemplate pages:SubscriptionsPage}” />
</Tab>
<Tab Title=”{Binding ListenLater.Title}”
Icon=”{Binding ListenLater.Icon}”>
<ShellContent ContentTemplate=”{DataTemplate pages:ListenLaterPage}” />
</Tab>
<Tab Title=”{Binding ListenTogether.Title}”
Icon=”{Binding ListenTogether.Icon}”
IsVisible=”{x:Static root:Config.ListenTogetherIsVisible}”>
<ShellContent
ContentTemplate=”{DataTemplate pages:ListenTogetherPage}” />
</Tab>
<Tab Title=”{Binding Settings.Title}”
Icon=”{Binding Settings.Icon}”>
<ShellContent ContentTemplate=”{DataTemplate pages:SettingsPage}” />
</Tab>
</TabBar>
</Shell>

Navigation in a Shell context is done with URI based routing. In the center image of the screenshot we have navigated to a details view which isn’t represented in the XAML above. For pages that don’t need to be visible, you can declare routes for them in code and then navigate to them by URI. You can see this again in the podcast app code “App.xaml.cs”:

Routing.RegisterRoute(nameof(DiscoverPage), typeof(DiscoverPage));
Routing.RegisterRoute(nameof(ShowDetailPage), typeof(ShowDetailPage));
Routing.RegisterRoute(nameof(EpisodeDetailPage), typeof(EpisodeDetailPage));
Routing.RegisterRoute(nameof(CategoriesPage), typeof(CategoriesPage));
Routing.RegisterRoute(nameof(CategoryPage), typeof(CategoryPage));

To move from the home screen to the details view, when the user taps the cover image the app executes a command on the ShowViewModel binding context:

private Task NavigateToDetailCommandExecute()
{
return Shell.Current.GoToAsync($”{nameof(ShowDetailPage)}?Id={Show.Id}”);
}

From anywhere in your app code you can access Shell.Current to issue navigation commands, listen to navigation events, and more.

This also demonstrates one of the powerful features of navigation in Shell: query parameters for passing simple data. In this case the “Show.Id” is passed with the route and then Shell will apply that value to the binding context of ShowDetailPage making it instantly ready for use. The “QueryProperty” handles the mapping of querystring parameter to public property.

[QueryProperty(nameof(Id), nameof(Id))]
public class ShowDetailViewModel : BaseViewModel
{
public string Id { get; set; }
}

Shell and Dependency Injection

.NET MAUI’s use of HostBuilder and powerful dependency injection have been a highlight of the previews. One of the top feedback items we have received about Shell is the desire to use constructor injection, and in this release thanks to the efforts contributor Brian Runck you can now use it!

Define your dependencies in the DI container, typically in the “MauiProgram.cs”:

public static class MauiProgram
{
public static MauiApp CreateMauiApp()
{
var builder = MauiApp.CreateBuilder();
builder
.UseMauiApp<App>();

builder.Services
.AddSingleton<MainViewModel>();

return builder.Build();
}
}

Then in the page where want it injected:

public partial class MainPage
{
readonly MainViewModel _viewModel;

public MainPage(MainViewModel viewModel)
{
InitializeComponent();

BindingContext = _viewModel = viewModel;
}
}

Shell offers a lot of styling and templating capabilities so you can quickly achieve most common needs. For more details check out the Shell documentation.

Get Started Today

Before installing Visual Studio 2022 Preview, we highly recommend starting from a clean slate by uninstalling all .NET 6 previews and Visual Studio 2022 previews.

Now, install Visual Studio 2022 Preview (17.1 Preview 3) and confirm .NET MAUI (preview) is checked under the “Mobile Development with .NET workload”.

Ready? Open Visual Studio 2022 and create a new project. Search for and select .NET MAUI.

Preview 12 release notes are on GitHub. For additional information about getting started with .NET MAUI, refer to our documentation.

Feedback Welcome

Please let us know about your experiences using .NET MAUI to create new applications by engaging with us on GitHub at dotnet/maui.

For a look at what is coming in future releases, visit our product roadmap, and for a status of feature completeness visit our status wiki.

The post Announcing .NET MAUI Preview 12 appeared first on .NET Blog.

Top 8 Material UI Templates

Table of Content

Introduction
Why Use Material UI

Material UI
Pros of Material UI
Cons of Material UI

Top Material UI Templates
Hulk
React Material Admin by Flatlogic
MaterialPro
EasyDev
Enlite Prime – React Admin Dashboard Template
Crema
Reactify
Egret

Building New Apps with Flatlogic

ConclusionSuggested articles

Introduction

The foundations for Material UI templates originate earlier than Material UI’s official release. In 2012 Google released Google Now, the predecessor of Google Assistant. On October 29 of the same year, an update added Gmail cards. The cards pulled information from Gmail account and displayed it without opening dedicated apps. Google used the tile-like design and depth effects as the foundation to keep building on. On June 25, 2014, Material Design was announced. Gmail Cards’ legacy was visible, but a lot had changed. Transitions were smooth and responsive. Depth effects became more complex. Finally, the padding and grid-based layout gave Material-compliant applications a distinctive minimalist look. The look we would grow to associate with Google and Android.

Why Use Material UI

What’s the value of this decision? Usually, a company uses design languages to give its software a recognizable view. Products from the same manufacturer look different but related thanks to patterns in shapes, colors, and construction elements. Apple is a nice example. If you covered the Apple logo on an iPhone or a MacBook, the distinctive simple shapes and smooth colors would still give them away. But we have a different situation with Material Design. While most companies guard their proprietary designs, Google encourages developers to use theirs. Everything falls into place when we remember the company’s trade. Docs, Spreadsheets, Calendar, and other services don’t exist in a vacuum. 

Google services are easy to integrate, both with each other and outside platforms. 

A link to an online document you send via a messenger often comes with a preview. The said document can contain links to calendar events. You can connect said events to outside software, which could lead the user to yet another Google service. They encourage integration, making each app and each service an extension of something else. More websites and apps complying with Material UI guidelines make the web more seamless. This brings smoother transitions and a deeper and more consistent experience.

Material UI

Material UI, or MUI, is a React library heavily inspired by Google’s guidelines and principles. React speeds up the development of SEO-friendly components and elements. Its components are highly reusable. It offers a great variety of tools for web development. There’s a good reason React is so popular. Whatever metric you choose to evaluate frameworks by, React will be among the top spots or at least a decent contender. As we can assume, Material UI inherits a lot from both React and  Material Design. Keep reading for more details on Material UI’s pros and cons.

Pros of Material UI

1. Space for maneuvering

MUI offers a huge selection of components. Few libraries offer you the same freedom within one framework while adhering to design standards. Whatever admin panel you want, chances are it can be built with Material UI.

2. Flexible styling

Managing CSS styles with JavaScript isn’t exactly new. But within Material UI this feature opens up on a new level. Change one style and one class at a time or adjust the whole theme. Use unique class names and scope classes to components. MUI can be as precise or as broad as you need it to be.

3. Popularity

A solution’s popularity is good on multiple levels. Social proof means it’s either good or at least not bad enough to cause serious issues. A wide pool of users means that any problem you might face was likely dealt with by many before you. And some of them are bound to have shared their valuable experience online.

4. Proven success

Material UI is a solution that works. It’s a merger of two solutions that have been tried and tested thoroughly over the years. When it comes to feedback, there was never a shortage of respondents. Whatever your content is, chances are Material UI will work fine.

5. Arsenal of tools

Material UI comes with over 1000 customizable icons out of the box. It supports TypeScript and features associated with it. Its Grid system supports adaptive design compatible with all platforms and devices.

6. Optimization

Material UI takes a good part of the unused code out of the package for the production build. If you take full advantage of this feature, your apps will weigh less and load faster.

7. Saving time

This is a plus of many libraries, not only the MUI. It leaves you with fewer things you must choose. Big Tech giants can afford the luxury of being both efficient and unique. Smaller companies and individual creators often have to choose. If a unique design is not your priority, the time you’ll save will be of greater value.

8. Simplicity

Highly versatile solutions are often overly complicated. Oddly, MUI is simple enough. Its features are scalable. In other words, MUI is as advanced as you need it to be, and won’t require that you learn all the features to make the most basic interfaces.

Material’s Cons

The Material isn’t perfect, of course. Let’s round up reasons to avoid it

1. Popularity

Yes, that was the first good thing about Material Design. But popularity is a double-edged sword. Complying with Material UI guidelines leaves your products with a Googly (is that a word?) look that makes them similar to Google and about half of all the web.

2. Design Limitations

Material UI is a safe option that works almost every time but rarely excels. You might want to use different styles for a library and a tattoo salon. They’ll be hard to differentiate between if you want to comply with Material UI. However, this shouldn’t be an issue for admin dashboards.

3. Heavy Weight

This is the bane of many frameworks and libraries. Their developers usually try to include all the popular features. The thing is, most users don’t use all or even most of those at once. The result is a load of code that is there but serves no purpose only adding weight and slowing the whole application down. Mind that and check the limiting factors like your server’s capabilities. Usually, though, this downside is balanced out by MUI’s “tree-shaking” capability that removes unnecessary code from the package.

4. Complicated inner mechanisms

The more we implement ready solutions the less we delve into the way they operate. When using MUI templates, it’s easy to forget how the end product works on a molecular level. And it is even easier to never bother with it in the first place. This is rarely a problem since Material UI templates usually come with plentiful documentation and support. Yet every now and then there’s a compatibility issue, and that’s when troubles might arise since few people have delved deep into MUI templates’ inner mechanisms.

Top Material UI Templates

By this point, we’ve covered the reasons for you to use MUI or avoid it. For this article, we’ve collected many templates to fit all needs. Some are great UI templates. Others are admin panels with easy navigation and an unobtrusive design. Each has something it excels at, and we’ll explain it all so you can make your picks.

Hulk

Source: Themeforrest page

Preview: https://preview.themeforest.net/item/hulk-reactjs-redux-material-ui-admin-template/full_screen_preview/26538639

Technologies: React.js, Material UI, HTML 5, CSS3
Compatible browsers: IE11FirefoxSafariOperaChromeEdge

This hulking force of a template (sorry) has you covered on many fronts. It has three dashboards in one package. It has a multitude of charts and graphs including React-Google-charts, Echarts-for-React, and React-chartjs-2. Hulk has a layered side menu that lets you navigate it with ease. Hulk is integrated with Firebase, Autho, and JSON Web Tokens. These allow for multiple authorization methods. And if those aren’t enough, Hulk also supports digital signatures. Hulk’s responsive design works great on mobile screens. Finally, there’s support. We usually say “responsive” about software but this time we’ll give credit to Hulk’s support team. They’re very helpful and always there. Proper documentation is nice but consulting with the people who wrote the template is a whole other level of support. Hulk’s list of features and components is solid in any context but at $24 it’s a real treat. Take a look!

React Material Admin by Flatlogic

Source:
Free version
React Material Admin Full
React Material UI Node.js

Technologies: React 16, React Hooks, Material UI, Node.js, PostgreSQL

Compatible browsers: IE 10, IE 11, Firefox, Opera, Chrome, Edge

The next entry is our own product. The React Material Admin name leaves no room for doubt. It’s built on React 16 and the 4th version of Material-UI. We carefully structure our templates’ interfaces to let you do more with the same number of buttons and toggles. This React-based template goes well with eCommerce platforms, SaaS, Project management, CRM, and more. React Material Admin is inter browser-compatible and supports React hooks. The code is lightweight and all adjustments intuitive. It’s easy to adjust React Material Admin and even easier to have it replace the demo data with actual information from your API endpoints.

If you have software development experience, you know how easy it is to inflate the software to the point where it messes with performance. When developing React Material Admin we had a balance to uphold. Insufficiency of features is bad for obvious reasons. Excess causes slower performance and a greater number of things that can go wrong. We wanted as many features and technologies as possible so the template can perform anything. At the same time, we took care to keep it lightweight. And we believe we managed it.

React Material Admin comes in three versions. The basic free version lets you learn the handling of React Material Admin. React Material Admin Full comes at $99 for the Personal license and $499 for the Developer license. Finally, the most complete version, the React Material Admin Node.js, comes with Node.js (hence the name) and PostgreSQL, and starts at $149. Other parts besides the admin panel are built-in, with only the end-user interface remaining.

MaterialPro

Source: https://themeforest.net/item/materialpro-bootstrap-4-admin-template/20203944

Preview: https://preview.themeforest.net/item/materialpro-bootstrap-4-admin-template/full_screen_preview/20203944

Technologies: Bootstrap 5, Material Design, HTML 5, CSS3

Compatible browsers: IE11FirefoxSafariChromeEdge

It’s hard to pinpoint what exactly sets MaterialPro apart. It doesn’t exactly outperform all competition in any particular regard but is solid in each. Compatibility with major browsers? Check. Documentation? Plenty of it. MaterialPro is a versatile template and can be useful for any type of business or website. It’s especially good for warehouse management, accounting, and SaaS applications, according to the creators. MaterialPro is a great choice for beginners, too. It’s intuitive and simple. MaterialPro is among the easiest-to-install templates on the market. And every time it gets unintuitive, its thorough documentation kicks in.

This blend of simplicity and versatility makes MaterialPro great for Just about anyone. Especially beginners and anyone who doesn’t want their admin panel to take too much time. The main downside we could think of is the ambiguity of its compatibility with Internet Explorer. If you prefer the good old Explorer (we’re not here to judge), you might want to keep looking. If not, give the MaterialPro a try!

EasyDev

Source: https://themeforest.net/item/easypro-developer-friendly-react-bootstrap-4-admin-template/21798550

Preview: https://preview.themeforest.net/item/easypro-developer-friendly-react-bootstrap-4-admin-template/full_screen_preview/21798550

Technologies: React, Bootstrap 4, React Hooks, Material UI

Compatible browsers: FirefoxSafariOperaChromeEdge

EasyDev is among the more complete packages we could find. Its SASS-based Material Design has light and dark modes. React hooks are responsible for the routing, and the template is easy to deploy using Dockerfile. But the thing (or things) that caught our eyes the most was the selection of six separate dashboards. The E-Commerce dashboard is for sales, orders, and reports. Usage statistics and conversions appear in the App dashboard. The Finance dashboard tracks exchange rates. Each one is ready for action. All you have left is to connect the template to your API’s endpoints which is easier than it sounds. Pick one that fits best, or switch between them at your discretion, whichever suits you.

The visuals are also a strong plus. EasyDev uses Recharts, ChartJS, and React-Vis for interaction with outside services. All the data from your website, or other platforms, goes straight to the dashboards with little to no delay. The selection of 200+ UI elements is enough for building new functionality if preinstalled dashboards don’t cut it. And, finally, EasyDev sports a proprietary chat application for commuting with your clients. Follow the links below to check it out!

Enlite Prime – React Admin Dashboard Template

Source: https://themeforest.net/item/enlite-prime-reactjs-fullstack-website-template/23803960

Preview: http://enlite.ux-maestro.com/

Technologies: React, Material UI, Firebase, Redux Saga

Compatible browsers: FirefoxSafariOperaChromeEdge

Enlite Prime is our next pick. We’re talking about a React-based full-stack template, meaning you will not have to worry about the back-end or database. Enlite Prime won’t work with WordPress, and neither can you use it as a static HTML template. Those limitations aside, we couldn’t find a single area where Enlite Prime is lacking. The 12 Grid system makes for a flexible layout that fits any screen. There are multiple themes, light and dark, including pitch-black backgrounds, that work so great on OLED displays. Enlite has 30+ React components. This isn’t as many as some competitors have, but combined with adaptive design will likely cover all needs.

But perhaps the biggest thing setting Enlite Prime apart is its quick-starting capacity. It comes with pre-built CRUD apps, a selection of sample pages, and a ‘Starter Project’ option. The latter lets you set up your online platform in no time at all.

Crema

Source: click the link

Preview: https://preview.themeforest.net/item/crema/full_screen_preview/26540158

Technologies: Material UI, React, React Hooks, Ant Design

Compatible browsers: FirefoxSafariOperaChromeEdge

Coming up is another well-rounded package called Crema. This isn’t the first time Crema appeared on our lists. It has 7 built-in Apps, 3 theme styles, and 11 navigation styles. As if that wasn’t enough to choose from, Crema lets you adjust the color scheme and pick one of many thousands of possible combinations. Crema sports 6 dashboards: Analytics, e-Commerce, CRM, Crypto, Healthcare, and Academy. Each was preconfigured for specific tasks and use cases. The included apps cover useful functionalities like Scrum board, Task manager, and SM style Wall. Crema supports login with four different services: AWS, Firebase, Auth0, and JWT.

Crema utilizes over 300 widgets and metrics, most of them ready to integrate with outside sources. This covers virtually all use cases and allows for seamless integration with other services. Finally, Crema lets you choose between 5 menu styles to find the one that makes you feel the coziest.

Reactify

Source: click the link

Preview: https://preview.themeforest.net/item/reactify-reactjs-redux-material-bootstrap-4-admin-template/full_screen_preview/20922934

Technologies: React, Bootstrap 4, React Hooks, Redux

Compatible browsers: IE11FirefoxSafariOperaChromeEdge

Reactify is a mixture of React and Bootstrap with Material-based design. We’re not sure we can call it a Material UI template in the traditional sense. What we can call it is a template that deserves a spot on this list. Right off the start, you’ll get 30+ pre-built pages and 60+ widgets, some of them proprietary and exclusive to Reactify. As you install it, you will almost instantly find solutions for typical situations in business. They only require minimal calibration on your part. And if those options don’t cut it, you can explore Reactify’s full features.

Don’t let the initial ease mislead you. Reactify is a solid tool for advanced users, too. It has charts, promo widgets, and customizable reports. Set up chats, interactive feedback, pricing plans, and more. Reactify has tons of features, and you can customize each one for your needs. Visit the page and give Reacify a try!

Egret

Source: click the link

Preview: http://preview.themeforest.net/item/egret-react-redux-material-design-admin-dashboard-template/full_screen_preview/24673283

Technologies: React, Firebase, Redux,

Compatible browsers: FirefoxSafariOperaChromeEdge

Egret takes up the next spot. We liked the aesthetics of each template on the list, but boy does Egret catch the eye! The color scheme seems typical for admin templates, yet the subtle difference in tones, shades, and contrast makes this dashboard stand out. We don’t know if that’s a plus or a minus, considering you’ll have to do business with this thing, not casually observe it. We do know that Egret has plenty to offer in other departments, too.

Egret’s list of features and components isn’t long, but they’re well-picked and customizable. That gives you the balance between advanced freedom and easy entry that can be hard to find and uphold. Egret comes with dashboards tailored for online education, analytics, and sales. These serve as a starting ground, and one of them is bound to come in handy in any business. As you get the hang of it, you can delve deeper into Egret’s functionality. It has seven pre-built-in apps: Event Calendar, Inbox, Chat, Invoice builder, CRUD list, To-do list, and Infinite Scroll list. The Forms section includes form validation, Upload, Wizard, and Rich Text Editor. You’ll cover lots of ground with those. Egret integrates with Google Maps, Calendar, and a multitude of other outside services you might require data from. Follow the link below to give Egret a try.

Themeforrest

Preview

Building new apps with Flatlogic

We’ve covered our picks for the best Material UI templates we know of. They’re versatile and offer a great variety of features for managing your business. And some even work as full-stack web applications not requiring you to develop any additional software. But at Flatlogic Platform there is another path to pick if you need a web app for your business.

Web applications have more in common than you might think. There is a term CRUD in web development. It stands for Create, Read, Update, Delete. These are the most basic functions any application performs. Like the basic actions, other features of an app can be categorized and replicated. We followed this line of thought and developed a platform that lets you build web applications from scratch. We took Web App development and stripped it down to a few choices. Keep reading to know what they are.

#1: Choose a Name

The first step is inelaborate, even by beginner standards. We choose a name easy enough for you to associate with the project.

#2: Choose Stack

An app consists of the front-end (or end-user interface), the database, the admin panel, and the back-end that makes everything work together. We’re constructing a headless CMS. That means we’ll handle the end-user interface separately and concentrate on other components for now. On each level, we have multiple options working on different technologies. For example, we can choose between React, Angular, and Vue.js admin panels. Likewise, we pick technologies our database and back-end will run on.

#3: Choose the Design

Admin dashboard design has its peculiarities. It’s meant to be clear and easy on the eye, rather than pretty and original. We offer you five distinctive dashboard designs on the Flatlogic platform and keep working on new ones so you can have more options to choose from.

#4: Choose Database Schema

Next up, we construct the schema. The schema is the backbone of a database. It includes attributes, tags, fields, and the meaning of the data in those fields. This step is more complicated than the ones before it. Luckily, it doesn’t require any specialized expertise beyond understanding your business and the kind of data you’ll deal with.

#5: Review and Generate your App

Everything has been set. We only have to check if everything is the way we need and hit the Create App button. After a brief compilation, your App will be at your disposal. The Flatlogic Platform is integrated with GitHub and lets you push your application there. Or you can host your app with no help from external services. Either variant costs mere seconds of your active involvement. At this point, your App is ready and fully functional. Enjoy!

Conclusion

That was it for our favorite Material UI templates. Items on this list have different strengths and weaknesses but each has a solid build and operation. Each has all the awesome features we expect from the blend of React and Material Design. Each is a capable solution that will work for your business website. Now, you know the reasons to choose Material UI and reasons to avoid it, and can use that knowledge to make better calls and build great web applications. Happy developing!

Suggested Articles

Bootstrap vs. Material-UI. Which One to Use for the Next Web App? – Flatlogic Blog
Top 10 Material Design Templates for Your Next Project – Flatlogic Blog
Top 8 React Bootstrap Templates for Enthusiasts and Pros – Flatlogic Blog

The post Top 8 Material UI Templates appeared first on Flatlogic Blog.

Verify a #US Driver’s License via an #API in C#

This is an API I discovered while hunting on Rapid API, and it seems like an interesting find, and potential future addition to RegCheck – It’s a Driver License verification API for the US, in some 37 states, which is most of the country – here; https://rapidapi.com/appaio/api/drivers-license-verify-usa/

var driversLicense = new
{
State = “FL”,
DriversLicense = “W426-545-30-761-0”, // This particular driver is deceased
Firstname = “”, // Not required in Florida
Surname = “”, // Not required in Florida
Last4SSN = “”, // Not required in Florida
DateOfBirth = “”, // Not required in Florida
ZipCode = “” // Not required in Florida
};
var payload = JsonConvert.SerializeObject(driversLicense);
using (var web = new WebClient())
{
// Get Key here: https://rapidapi.com/appaio/api/drivers-license-verify-usa/
web.Headers.Add(“x-rapidapi-key”, “*** Put Rapid API key here ***”);
var result = web.UploadString(“https://drivers-license-verify-usa.p.rapidapi.com/DriversLicenseLambda”,
payload);
Console.WriteLine(result);
var json = JObject.Parse(result);
var valid = json[“valid”];
var endorsements = json[“endorsements”];
var validity = json[“validity”];
var information = json[“information”];
}

Top 20+ Bootstrap Dashboard Templates to Use Absolutely Free

Admin dashboard templates strong suits
Bootstrap framework benefits

Free Bootstrap admin dashboard templates
Modular admin
Sing App HTML5 LITE
Concept
Flatlogic One Bootstrap
Admin Kit
Soft UI Dashboard
Star Admin Free 
SB Admin 2
Stisla
Ample Bootstrap Admin Lite
Material Dashboard Dark Edition
Dashio
CoreUI

Argon  
Kapella
Purple
Majestic Dashboard
ArchitectUI
Cool admin
Bluebox Free Bootstrap Admin Template
Adminator
Chameleon Admin Bootstrap Template

Tips to build your web site or web app
Bonus!
Creating your web applications with Flatlogic

Bootstrap, earlier known as Twitter Blueprint, needs no introduction because it’s a well-known web development framework on GitHub. To find your best fit for an admin dashboard template for free doesn’t seem like a complex task, cause Bootstrap has CSS-and JavaScript-based design templates with a variety of UI components that are widely known and used in web app development. Despite the oversaturated market in web development, Bootstrap themes and templates remain one of the most sought-after products among front-end developers. Bootstrap framework is used by 26.9% of all the websites; among them such valued brands like Netflix.com, Cnn.com, Espn.com, and Udemy.com.

Admin dashboard templates strong suits

What are the indisputable components of a robust admin dashboard template? How to choose your optimal platform for better work and high performance? We’ve defined a list of fundamental principles of a good admin template:

UX design quality 

By this, we mean that the hierarchy of elements matters. The structure of the components on the page, plenty of space, the contrast in colors for easy text comprehension, some decent logic that will hint to the customer to intuitively make this or that action on the page. Good design is design that evokes emotion, nevertheless B2B or B2C design should be both emotional and rational. Visual hierarchy is the key that leads the user through the site satisfying their customer needs and your commercial ones.

Suitable front-end framework

It’s up to you to decide which technology fits your best: trendy React or familiar Bootstrap or Node. But we’d go on the framework with which you feel most confident.

Updateability

An admin template should have frequent updates. An up-to-date theme will be more secure and will benefit from any new features.

A number of custom features, additional pages (e.g. profile page, inbox page, etc)

The admin template may be given some unique feature that makes it stand out from the crowd.

Reasonable price

Good admin templates can be priced higher without sacrificing customer interest in them, while bad admin templates can’t be.

Bootstrap framework benefits

If you are unsure what technology to choose for building your website, Bootstrap has some clear benefits for your multiple possibilities. Flexible in development, the front-end framework has numerous HTML and CSS templates, validation styles to state warnings, and last but not least support various JavaScript extensions. Websites built using Bootstrap technology will display the same in all modern browsers. Bootstrap is the real way to build your site and mobile app fast since designing all of the front-end pages from scratch will be a pricey and time-consuming challenge, to say the least.

Thanks to its clear code, Bootstrap can be quickly learned by a novice. Bootstrap is a proven and self-sufficient way to save time developing your web application and make the UX design quick. Bootstrap is a modular framework. Its real advantage is a huge number of ready-made well-designed components and a series of LESS files. The ability to customize templates for your project is achieved by changing the SCSS variables, and the low threshold of entry; to work with the framework you don’t need to be a genius of HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and jQuery.

Top Free Bootstrap Admin Dashboards for 2021

We have gathered a list of the most attractive admin dashboards for you to choose from. Build your website effortlessly and in record time with free Bootstrap admin templates. 

Modular admin

Image source: https://modularcode.io/modular-admin-html/

Modular admin dashboard is a Bootstrap 4 admin template, that boasts a clear and simple design, easily scalable, and fully customizable in use. Modular admin is a neatly arranged open source dashboard theme with lots of useful widgets like stats, history of visits, sales items, sales breakdown pie-chart, sales by countries, tasks lists, and more. All the UI elements like icons, cards, and buttons, are carefully drawn and highlighted in vivid colors. This admin template provides real-time insights into the sales activity simplifying inventory management. It’s easy to modify and maintain.

More info
Demo
GitHub

Sing App HTML5 LITE

Sing App HTML5 LITE is a free dashboard for your grand eCommerce plans, promo deals, mobile apps, or email marketing automation. Rather restrained in colors, though full of useful widgets, chart libraries, gallery, timeline, Sing App HTML5 LITE is perfect as a platform for your applications back end, project management systems, or any SAAS projects. Painted in Prussian blue background and chiseled typography of the theme adds formality and decisiveness to your business management. Sing App HTML5 Lite is a fully responsive admin template built on Bootstrap 4 and vanilla Javascript. One of the definite advantages of Sing App HTML5 LITE is data visualization through dozens of charts like flor charts, morris charts, rickshaw charts, and sparkline charts.

More info 
Demo
GitHub

Concept

Image source: https://technext.github.io/concept/index.html

Concept is an absolutely free admin template built on Bootstrap framework with a perfect responsive web design. Concept provides within easy reach all the essential components for building an admin panel for web applications. Concept dashboard has been designed as a stylish tool for developing projects in sales, finance, eCommerce, and influencer projects management. Concept features a huge collection of reusable code snippets and utilities, invoice, timeline, calendar, the media objects, and all clean code along with in-depth documentation.

More info 
Demo
GitHub

Flatlogic One Bootstrap

Image source: https://flatlogic.github.io/one-bootstrap-template/

Flatlogic One Bootstrap theme is a brand new template in the family of Flatlogic dashboard templates. Conceived as a helper in building deep analytics and data tables applications, Flatlogic one has a bunch of integral dashboards to check average order value, conversion rate, upsell take rate, number of returns, and more. Cheerful colors and pleasing to the eye, UI interface is very intuitive and ready to use for  CMS, SAAS, IoT Dashboard, eCommerce apps, and others.

More info
Demo
GitHub

Soft UI Dashboard

Image source: https://demos.creativ-tim.com/soft-ui-dashboard

Soft UI Dashboard is a free Bootstrap 5 Dashboard template that you can use to visualize data on any online business. Its design combines gradients, bold colors, and realistic textures to create a modern and innovative look. The template comes with many prebuilt design blocks that allow you to choose and combine to build your own customized admin panel. Soft UI Dashboard includes 70 components like buttons, inputs, navbars, nav tabs, cards or alerts, and a set of 7 prebuilt example pages (Dashboard, Tables, Billing, RTL, Profile, Sign In and Sign Up). It is MIT licensed, fully responsive, and free to download with complete documentation.

More info
Demo
GitHub

Admin Kit

Image source: https://demo.adminkit.io/

Admin Kit is a free and open-source Bootstrap 5 Web UI Kit & Dashboard template with highly detailed pages, tools and components, plugins, and add-ons. A fully responsive system, clean code, constant improvements, and regular updates are provided. Admin Kit is a super fit for administrator dashboard or Saas-based interfaces. Fabulously elegant design, nice functionality, and a wide range of widgets inside like neatly arranged invoicing help to run your site work processes really smoothly and quickly. Some additional components like calendar, task, or notifications are available in the PRO version of the template.

More info
Demo
GitHub

Star Admin Free

Image source: https://www.bootstrapdash.com/product/star-admin-free/

Star Admin is a free bootstrap admin template made in juicy ultramarine blue. Star Admin has a full kit of representative dashboards like impressions, conversions, downloads, but is not burdened with extra components. All the basic UI-elements and clear form elements, and well-written code are the distinct advantages of this trendy open-source dashboard. StarAdmin is primarily the dashboard template for keeping track of conversion rate, analyzing real-time sales. The custom plugins are also carefully customized to fit with the overall look of the theme, working seamlessly on desktop as well as tablets and phones. 

More details
Demo
GitHub

SB Admin 2

More info: https://startbootstrap.com/theme/sb-admin-2

SB Admin 2 template has a casual appearance and is highly intuitive to use, due to its fresh and clean UI design. Its strong side is in utility classes: the structures like animations, borders, colors, that contain reusable and stateless helper methods. And what’s more, this free dashboard has an advanced workflow environment based on npm and Gulp with live reloading via browser-sync. Desktop, tablet, and mobile versions are also available and supported.

More info
Demo
GitHub

Stisla

Image source: https://demo.getstisla.com

Stisla is a 100% open source product by Indonesian developers that has more than 30 third-party libraries. Stisla looks really fresh and modern in its light purple shades and will be a perfect fit for your dashboard UI design to capture the admins’ heart. It is a HTML5 admin template, and each Stisla component/element/kit has its SCSS & JS file. Order statistics, general balance, budget vs. sales widgets, top 5 popular products will ease your sales or eCommerce management.

More details
Demo
GitHub

Ample Bootstrap Admin Lite

Image source: https://wrappixel.com/demos/admin-templates/ampleadmin/ample-admin-lite/basic-table.html

Ample Admin is a nifty admin template dashboard by Wrappixel for building web and mobile apps. If you love a minimalistic design, this transparent dashboard will work for your eCommerce or sales web app solution. Easy to customize, the platform with solid icons can be updated to the PRO version with 1600+ page templates, unlimited color schemes, 7 unique demos, and 6 months premium support. 

More info
Demo
GitHub

Material Dashboard Dark Edition

Image source: https://demos.creative-tim.com/material-dashboard-dark/examples/dashboard.html

Inspired by Google Material Design, Creative-Tim launched its admin template for lovers of dark colors and dark themes. The material dashboard is rich in components, has about 37000 downloads and about 200 positive reviews from customers all over the world. This is a free admin dashboard that comes with 5 color filter choices for both the sidebar and the card headers (blue, green, orange, red, and purple), plus an option to have a background image on the sidebar.

More info
Demo
GitHub

Dashio

Image source: https://templatemag.com/demo/Dashio/

Dashio is another fully free admin dashboard template suitable for web apps for various purposes. Depending on your needs, Dashio admin template may be used for CRM and CMS projects, or project management systems. It loads fast, it’s highly responsive, and has a variety of useful widgets for better data analysis. Besides the basic extra pages, like log screen, pricing table, FAQ, Dashio provides advanced cards for eCommerce, analytics, statistics, weather widget, Mail, and chat room. Dashio admin dashboard has a straightforward code and works well with all popular devices including mobile. 

More info
Demo
GitHub

CoreUI

Image source: https://coreui.io/demo/3.4.0/

CoreUI admin template is a multipurpose Bootstrap admin template stand on Angular, ReactJS, and VueJS web frameworks. CoreUI offers 6 versions of free admin dashboard templates constructed on Bootstrap, React.js, Angular, Vue.js, Laravel, and Vue.js + Laravel. CoreUI was designed by polish web-developer Łukasz Holeczek in a super clean style. Plus, for lovers of beautifully made pics and symbols, CoreUI offers 1000+ cool icons for common actions and items.

More details
Demo
GitHub

Argon  

Image source: https://technext.github.io/argon-dashboard/index.html

Argon Dashboard is a free dashboard template that offers a vast range of components made with the help of Bootstrap 4. Among its top features that make Argon unique are a drop-down menu, call to action button, and progress bars, made with different colors, styles, and hovers. Moreover, Argon Dashboard has a sparking design with detailed documentation. Argon employs the Sass processor, offers one default dashboard, and contains 5 pre-built plugins that you can customize according to your needs.

More info
Demo
GitHub

Kapella

Image source: https://www.bootstrapdash.com/demo/kapella-free/template/pages/tables/basic-table.html#

One of the most extraordinary examples in our list is the free Bootstrap 4 framework admin template, named Kapella. The structure of elements and widgets of this free template differs from the rest of the admin dashboards because of its horizontal navigation bar with a bunch of necessary functionalities like dashboard UI elements, form elements, charts and tables, and sample pages. This free website template has got an excellent collection of handy tools and essential components to use. The mint shade of typography and sans-serif typeface makes the whole design look fresh and attractive.

More info
Demo
GitHub

Purple

Image source: https://www.bootstrapdash.com/demo/purple/jquery/template/demo_1/

Purple admin template is your best choice if your project demands a free, bright and vibrant set of admin pages. The dashboard UI elements have clearly been designed to be a good fit for the design of elegant web apps. Whether you’re designing the dashboard for your latest web app or software program, Purple focuses on the visual impression to provide an engaging user experience. It’s well-suited for eCommerce projects, CRM, or any other custom admin panels.

More info
Demo
GitHub

Majestic Dashboard

Image source: http://www.urbanui.com/majestic/template/index.html

The design of Majestic free admin dashboard is remarkably simple, but super customizable and responsive due to the technologies of CSS framework Bootstrap 4 and scripting in Sass. This dashboard is a good choice for newbies in web development thanks to its well-managed code inside the box and firmly established documentation. We personally like its consistent design for all kinds of up-to-date web apps. Plus, it works super fast on all popular devices.

More info
Demo
GitHub

ArchitectUI

Image source: https://demo.dashboardpack.com/architectui-html-free/index.html

ArchitectUI is a HTML free dashboard template with a scalable design system that makes website management a fairly simple process. It’s built on top of Bootstrap 4.2.1 and updates with newly developed data on a regular basis. So, if you need a free and straightforward platform Bootstrap admin dashboard template, ArchitectUI dashboard could become your best solution.

More details
Demo
GitHub

Cool admin

Image source: https://colorlib.com/polygon/cooladmin/index.html

Cool admin is a visually appealing personal website with a responsive layout and sleek widgets design. The dashboard includes the basic kit of snippets and utilities, custom pages, map data boards variations, and a collection of apps and clear chart widgets, that makes Cool admin a good statistical tool. The theme is free of charge with all the features required for Bootstrap.

Demo
GitHub

Bluebox Free Bootstrap Admin Template

Image source: https://webthemez.com/demo/bluebox-free-bootstrap-admin-template/index.html

Bluebox is a free admin template with a flat design for those who love classics. The theme can’t boast a variety of color patterns but has a pretty strict, clear and focused structure of inner elements. It is an extremely lightweight, simple yet powerful Bootstrap admin dashboard. Bluebox is the well-liked Bootstrap framework that powers Bluebox UI HTML, which gives the site canvas full flexibility.

Demo
GitHub

Adminator

Image source: https://colorlib.com/polygon/adminator/index.html

Adminator is an open-source admin panel designed with a truly beautiful layout by Colorlib. Free admin dashboard specification took as a basis HTML, HTML5, and CSS Templates. It is super simple and intuitive in use. Adminator helps to analyze the data percentage of total visits, page views, unique visitors, and even the bounce rate of the site. Adminator has a list of standard components like the main dashboard, email, calendar, chat, charts, forms, UI elements, tables, maps, pages, multiple levels, and a perfect scrollbar. They all can be adjusted by web developers to your business needs and you are all set!  

More details
Demo
GitHub

Chameleon Admin Bootstrap Template

Image source: https://themeselection.com/demo/chameleon-free-bootstrap-admin-template/html/ltr/

Chameleon Admin Lite is an open-source dashboard with organized code powered on HTML 5, CSS 3, Bootstrap 4, SASS, Gulp. In the Chameleon package, you get an admin template that comes with a starter kit of well-organized layers, nicely drawn stats widgets, free fonts and icons which will help developers to get started quickly. Chameleon admin panel has the next advantages being SEO ready from start, and secured & optimized code.

More details
Demo
GitHub

Some Proven Tips to Build an Awesome Admin Page

Choose UI elements specifically tailored for a particular web app;
Use minimalist design. Despite a variety of elements in an admin panel, it should be easy to use;
Make logical structure and use icons to improve navigation;
Assign clear roles to every user;
Add tasks, calendar, and email clients to make teamwork much easier;
Translate your web page targeting audiences all over the world;
Make sure your site loads fast both on mobile and desktop versions;
Make your admin page compatible with all browsers and devices, without exception.

Wrap Up

Making a functional and convenient admin template will improve your business processes, enhancing the relationship between the app and the customer. Build your web app or website faster with pre-built Bootstrap admin templates and a bunch of exciting widgets within to analyze the data visually. Design better UX and have higher conversions. Keep your web development simple and focused with the list of these Bootstrap templates totally free and adaptable supported on all desktop computers and modern mobile phones.

About Flatlogic

At Flatlogic, we help businesses to speed up web development with our beautifully designed web & mobile application templates built with React, Vue, Angular, React Native, and Bootstrap. During the last several years we have successfully delivered more than 100 custom dashboards and data management solutions to various clients starting from innovative startups to established and respected enterprises.

Flatlogic is a kinda synonym for perfection. Web development is our passion. We love beautiful things that work well. We love processes that run smoothly. We deeply care for user experience while using Flatlogic admin templates, because it’s about helping, helping people to build their workflow consistently and efficiently. We strive to make your workflow efficient, coz the speed of life doesn’t always let you have everything going right on track. But we keep going and stay stylish, organized, and inspired.

Bonus!

After the article came out, we kept working with templates, apps, and all things React. We checked out lots of cool bootstrap templates and picked two honorable mentions. Keep reading!

Now UI Dashboard

Source

At the time of writing the article, we didn’t think much of the Now UI. Its number of components and elements gave us the impression that Now UI is adequate in every relevant way but not quite versatile enough to make it to our top. However, as we tried it for a while it kept growing on us.

Now UI’s 16 free elements don’t sound impressive on paper. However, each element and each feature is so adjustable there may be as many possible results as with some premium solutions.

That minimalist yet versatile toolset leads to another thing we loved about Now UI: its elegant simplicity and ease of use. It doesn’t bother you with too many variables unless you choose to adjust them. Furthermore, the tooltips that emerge when the cursor is left over certain fields help navigate the dashboard and remind us about the options at our disposal.

Bootstrap admin dashboard developers know their target audience mainly consists of people doing a job, not casual users idly browsing the features. Hence the no-nonsense form-follows-function approach they often take. Don’t get this wrong, we think it’s perfectly reasonable. When choosing between a slightly scruffy but functional and dependable dashboard, and a pretty and smooth yet faulty one, we’ll choose the former without a second thought. Still, Now UI’s simplicity was a pleasant surprise. And it will be especially pleasant for newbies still learning the ropes.

Did Now UI displace all competition? No. There are cases where you need those extra elements and that’s why if we had to write this list from scratch we would probably leave it as it is. Still, Now UI’s intuitive user experience and smooth operation earn it an honorable mention.

There’s More!

Sofia React Template

Source

At the time of writing our very own Bootstrap Dashboard was in production and now we can finally present it to you. 

Originally we developed Sofia React Templates as templates for admin panels. But it has many other uses besides that. Like displaying complex data in an easier-to-comprehend graphical form. And it was built with generous use of Bootstrap. Does it qualify as a Bootstrap dashboard? Yes, it does, and a fine one at that!

We took our time picking solutions and technologies to make sure the template works perfectly. Sofia React Free Template is based on Bootstrap 4.6 and React 17. We found that React Hooks and React Router v5 greatly optimize routing, saving you loading time. The SASS preprocessor allows seamless style changes, and we believe it will soon be even more common.

Even the free version of Sofia React boasts dozens of tools and elements. Sofia React Free Template features tables, maps, charts, typography, and many other tools, most of them ready for integration with outside services. Sofia React’s minimalist controls help you learn the ropes in no time. Most beginners are capable of creating interactive dashboards within an hour of casual usage. And should you run out of the free version’s capabilities (which probably won’t be soon), paid versions of Sofia React feature the same interface for a smooth transition with little to no additional training.

Creating your web applications with Flatlogic

At Flatlogic, our goal is to speed up your web. You’ll find plenty of options in our catalog, based on a variety of frameworks and languages, and fitting various use cases. Alternatively, you can go to Flatlogic.com and tailor your web app with our block constructor. This option lets you tailor custom solutions without the custom price. Each choice you’ll make is either intuitive or understandable with minimum research. To give it a try, go to Flatlogic Platform and create a trial app for free!

How does it work?

There is a term CRUD in web dev which stands for Create, Read, Update and Delete. Those actions sum up the core functionality of just about any web app. If you think about it, every action an end-user takes leads to one of the four actions performed ‘behind the curtains’. We followed a similar approach when developing Flatlogic Platform. Flatlogic Platform takes headless CMS development and strips it down to a few choices.

#1: Choose the Name

This part is simple by any standard. You pick a name that is easy for you to associate with the project.

#2: Select Web App Stack

‘Web App Stack’ might sound like just a list of words if you’re a beginner. The application’s stack is the array of technologies used in different parts of the application. The parts are the database, admin panel, and the back-end that makes everything work together. Choosing those is intuitive for experienced web developers. For everyone else, a quick Google research will suffice.

#3: Select Design

Usually, choosing the admin template’s design boils down to personal taste. However, different design options can be based on different technologies. Admin panels and design patterns based on different frameworks are still compatible, we saw to that. Still, going with higher uniformity reduces the chance of any compatibility issues in the future.

#4: Build Schema

We chose the underlying technology of your database in step 2. Now it’s time to deal with the schema. A database’s schema is the structure of the database. It defines lines, columns, names, data types, and how they affect each other. If you’re unsure or short on time, the Flatlogic platform has ready schemas for you to try.

#5: Review and Generate

All the choices have been made. Review them, make sure they suit your needs and press the Create Project button. After a brief compilation, Flatlogic will offer you your very own application. You can use it, push it to GitHub, and host it in one click without using outside services. Well done, sir or madam!

You might also like these articles:

14 Great Admin Panel Themes for E-commerce
10+ Noteworthy Bootstrap Admin Themes Made With the Latest Version of Vue
Top 7 React.js, Angular, and Vue Material Design Templates for Admin Panels

The post Top 20+ Bootstrap Dashboard Templates to Use Absolutely Free appeared first on Flatlogic Blog.

14 Great Admin Panel Themes for Ecommerce

Table of content

Types of eCommerce platforms
Developing custom solutions
eCommerce templates explained
Notable eCommerce templates
Conclusion

Bonus!Honorable Mention: Hound

Creating your own Apps with Flatlogic Platform

Types of eCommerce platforms

Here’s a thing about modern software development: when you want to launch an online store, you usually turn to ready-made platforms, both paid and free. We all know platforms like Magento, Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, and others. Obviously, each one has its own pros and cons. The obvious advantage of using such solutions is the speed of deploying stores – for example, Shopify takes over the entire technical process of setting up the store. Magento offers various hosting partners as well.

Such an approach has certain disadvantages: big waste of money, getting stuck on a single technology, lack of technical support, lack of customization, searching for developers, and so on.

Developing custom solution

Taking all these disadvantages, you may be tempted to write your own solution. However, we recommend doing this in these cases only:

If your store is rather non-standard and you need deep customization of existing solutions. Then it really may be easier for you to write your own solution. For example, not all ready-made platforms are suitable for selling digital goods.
If you already have developers that know specific technology. For example, you happen to have people on your team who can work on React + Node.js. In that case you can write a custom solution that ready-made eCommerce platforms cannot provide.
Another advantage of custom solutions is the store speed. If you lay the right architectural solutions under the hood from the start, you can end up with a very fast-acting store.
If you want to save money and not give it to a third party. For example, you don’t want to pay for a Shopify subscription or buy the Magento enterprise version.

In general, the choice on how to develop an online store depends on the following criteria:

The size of the planned store;
What the store will sell;
How fast the store will grow;
Availability of developers in the company;
How much you can allocate on development and support.

Ecommerce templates explained

If you are still reading this, we suppose you still want a self-written solution for building online stores and ask the question – how can I save time and money?

There is a solution called ready-made templates for online stores. Basically, you get an already written code base and design at your disposal for a one-time payment. Prices for such templates can be ridiculously low, and the benefits are enormous. According to our internal calculations, such a product can save you $20k in the initial development alone. You can buy such products at a specialized template marketplace or from template premium vendors.

Ready-made e-commerce solutions can use the following technologies:

React, Vue, Angular on the front-end;
Node.js, PHP, Python for backend;
MySQL, PostgreSQL as a base.

Also, as options, various analytics tools can be connected and configured there – for example, Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, etc. Payment systems can be also integrated.

In this article, we will simply list e-commerce templates from various vendors. Before we do this, let’s analyze the minimum functionality and components that must be present in such a product.

Of course, you need to have a shopping cart feature;
Product management system;
Product catalog;
Login and registration forms;
Checkout feature;
For sure: different elements like buttons, logos, tables to edit your shop;
Nowadays it is critical that your eCommerce website would be responsive;
It’s also good if your eCommerce theme has a search option.

We would also like to warn you that e-commerce templates are divided into 4 types:

Templates and themes made for a specific technology. For example, themes that only suit for Shopify, Magento, Prestashop;

Storefront templates that you can integrate with any backend and admin template;

Admin templates (panels) that can be connected to the existing online store or data to manage it;

Full eCcommerce templates that have both the front-end (storefront) part and the admin panel inside (back-end).

In this article, we will review products from the last 3 categories.

Notable Ecommerce Templates

React Material Admin Node.js

Live demo: https://flatlogic.com/templates/react-material-ui-admin-node-js/demo
Price and License: 2-tier pricing, from $149 for the personal license to $699 for dev license
The technology used: React, Material-UI, Node.js, PostgreSQL
Number of sales (if applicable): 30+
Type of Product: Admin Panel

The first template we need to take a closer look at is React Material UI Admin by the Flatlogic team. It uses Node.js and Material-UI framework and comes with Material design. Describing the advantages, here’s one of the central points – it doesn’t use Bootstrap and jQuery. The Ecommerce section has an option to Manage products. Products Grid and Product Page are also there. By purchasing this template, the user can have both front-end and back-end for apps or websites. You can use it for showing data analytics, e-commerce, or any other kind of app.

Among other major components, there are various UI elements: 

Widgets;
Carousel; 
Notifications;
Navigation bar. 

Notable Features

Three color themes;
Sketch version files included;
Fully responsive;
Node.js & PostgreSQL integrated;
Full CRUD Application;
Various Charts Libraries;
E-Commerce Section;

Support and Updates Policy

Support is provided via email. The team promises to answer in 24 hours. Major updates come every 3-4 months, often including upgrades of the framework and libs versions.

Ecommerce React Template

Live demo: https://flatlogic.com/templates/ecommerce-react-template/demo
Price and License: 2-tier pricing, from $149 for the personal license to $699 for dev license
The technology used: React, Node.js, PostgreSQL
Number of sales (if applicable): 30+
Type of Product: Full ecommerce store template with backend and DB

Ecommerce React Template is a ready-made fully working ecommerce store built with the latest technologies and best practices. In this React Ecommerce template Flatlogic team have used React for the front-end, NodeJS for the back-end, PostgreSQL for storing the data and Sequelize as ORM.

Using an E-commerce React Template you will get a complete E-commerce store with front-end, backend, and admin parts. This E-commerce template is SEO-friendly with the help of NextJS – server-side rendering technology.

Notable Features

Full ecommerce store;
Fully responsive;
Node.js & PostgreSQL integrated;
Full CRUD Application;
Blog and CMS for it;
Registration with email / password / name;
Stripe integration.

Support and Updates Policy

Support is provided via email. The team promises to answer in 24 hours. Major updates come every 3-4 months, often including upgrades of the framework and libs versions.

Active Ecommerce CMS

Live demo: https://activeitzone.com/active-ecommerce-cms/
Price and License: 2-tier plan, from $59 for the regular license to $525 for extended
The technology used: PHP, SQL, Javascript
Number of sales (if applicable): 2082 on 25 Jan 2021
Type of Product: Full E-commerce template with CMS (back-end) and front-end part

Active eCommerce CMS is a complete online store template with the database, front-end, and back-end parts. It includes both parts of a proper online shop: storefront and admin panel to manage it. With this type of template, you need to simply set up a payment system, hosting, and add your first items to start selling online.

The design is quite similar to Aliexpress, but we think this is an advantage. The layout will be familiar to most customers. The entire layout is 100% responsive.

Notable features

Multi-vendor eCommerce system;
Checkout system inside;
Dynamic homepage;
Multiple languages;
Multiple color theme;
Pre-installed payment integrations like Paypal or Stripe;

Discount system;
Suggestive search.

Support and Updates Policy

The policy says that Active eCommerce CMS has support for 6 months from the purchase date. During the product support period, customers can report and discuss bugs and minor item defects with the author, and authors are expected to be available to assist with reported bugs.

Sing App Vue Node.js

Live demo: https://flatlogic.com/templates/sing-app-vue-node-js/demo
Price and License: 2-tier pricing, start from $149 for the personal license to $699 for dev license
Technology used: Vue, Node.js, PostgreSQL
Number of sales (if applicable): 42
Type of Product: Admin Panel

Sing App is a Vue Admin Theme with dozens of pre-built components and features that make your developer’s life easier. Sing App Vue gives you plenty of unique pages and components to help you build a custom admin dashboard or integrate with the existing online shop. The project works very fast and uses the latest technologies.

Notable features

Various charts to analyze sales;
Several types of tables;
Buttons and Forms;
Maps;
Dashboards;
Ecommerce section with Product Management, Product Grid, and example of the Product page.

Support and Updates Policy

Support is provided via email: the team says they answer in 24 hours. Major updates come every 3-4 months. They often include upgrades of the framework and libs versions.

Azia

Live demo: https://www.bootstrapdash.com/demo/azia/v1.0.0/template/dashboard-two.html
Price and License: 3 tier options, starting from $39 for a regular license
Technology used: Bootstrap 4, SASS, NPM, Gulp
Number of sales (if applicable): website claims 10000+ paying users
Type of product: Admin Template

Azia is a classic bootstrap 4 admin template. You can buy it both on the developer site and on ThemeForest. Made in light colors, it is generally designed in business style. It has a contrasting color scheme and is quite easy to read thanks to this. 

The template has the following main blocks:

Dashboard;
Apps and pages;
UI Elements;
Forms;
Charts;
Maps;
Tables;
Utilities.

How can you use this template for your online store? You can connect this product to an existing store via API and track the following indicators:

Sales monitoring helps you track the following: Revenue, Total Quantity, Profit. There is also an interactive map with sales over the country.
There is also a Product Management Dashboard that helps you to see Conversions, Number of Customers, Activity feed, and others.
And several dashboards such as Ad Campaign, Helpdesk, Web Analytics.

Notable Features

Bootstrap 4
10 Pre-built Dashboard Templates
1000+ Font Icons
500+ UI Elements
Pre-built Apps (Mailbox, Chat, Contacts, Calendar, etc.)
Pre-built Pages (Sign In, Signup, Error Page, etc.)
Form Validation
Tables and DataTables
Addon Utilities and Helper Classes

Support and Updates Policy

1 year of premium support from the team. Regular updates are stated. Support is working through the ticket system.

Light Blue React Node.js

Live demo: https://flatlogic.com/templates/light-blue-react-node-js/demo
Price and License: 2-tier pricing, starting from $149 for the personal license to $699 for dev license
The technology used: React, Node.js, PostgreSQL
Number of sales (if applicable): 51
Type of Product: Admin Panel

This admin template, designed in light blue colors, is made with React technology and Node.js back-end. You can easily use it for E-commerce apps because of special pre-built features like Product Management, Grids, Charts, login/logout forms, and others.

Some of the crucial components are the e-commerce product page and the product grid. The first one provides you with all details of your product, gives a description of it, and has the rating and reviews. The second one displays your products according to the chosen type, brand, size, color, range, and sort.

You can also find such components as:

Buttons;
Maps;
Forms;
Several types of tables;
Icons.

This dashboard template is a great start if you are building E-Commerce apps, CMS, SASS web apps, CRM, etc. It contains ready-to-use working Authentication, Social Login, and Product Management components.

Notable Features

Over 30 unique pages;
Node.js & PostgreSQL integrated;
CRUD Application node js;
Fully responsive;
8 Chart Libraries;
Fully Documented Codebase.

Support and Updates

Support, as in other Flatlogic products is provided via email: the team says they answer in 24 hours. Major updates come every 3-4 months. They often include upgrades of the framework and libs versions.

Plus admin

Live demo: https://bootstrapdash.com/demo/plus/jquery/template/demo_1/index.html
Price and License: 3-tier options, starting from $39 for a regular license
The technology used: Vue, Angular, React
Number of sales (if applicable):
Type of Product: Admin Template

Like the previous product, you can use this admin panel with an online store by connecting it with existing data via API. The product uses blue colors to highlight its corporate identity.

This product has a whole section dedicated to E-commerce, which includes elements such as:

Email templates
Invoicing
Pricing Table
Product Catalog
Project List
Orders

In addition to functions for an online store, in this template you will also find such interesting additions as Kanban board, Todo list, Ticketing system, RTL support, Text, and even code editor.

Notable Features

With Ecommerce elements, you receive such features as:

Sorting products into different categories;
Option to cancel orders and check your order history;
Payments, Returns, Reports, Transfers, and more.

Support and Updates Policy

1 year of premium support from the team and regular updates are stated. Support is working through the ticket system.

Cake

Live demo: https://colorlib.com/preview/#cake
Price and License: 3-tier options, starting from $19 for a single license
The technology used: HTML
Number of sales (if applicable):
Type of Product: Shop front end

This product belongs to the category of those that provide only the front end part of the online store, so it should be evaluated from four sides:

Speed – we can check it by trying out the demo;
The number of different elements and features;
Design –  is a purely subjective thing, but you can still create your own opinion;
Quality of the code – unfortunately, we cannot check it until we buy it.

This template is tailored for setting up an online store to sell bakery products, but for sure it can be used for other purposes as well. In order to use this template, you will need a little love, since you will also need to connect an e-commerce CMS to it.

The product has a nice neat design, using baked goods colors. The template looks good both on a mobile phone and on a tablet.

Notable features

Inside the product, you will find stuff like the shop screen itself, skill bars, testimonials, Google maps, social media icons, and a functional contact form. No complaints about the speed of work whatsoever.

Support and Updates Policy

Support covers getting up and helping in theme setup, as well as help with using features, theme options and bug fixes.

Materialize

Live demo: https://pixinvent.com/materialize-material-design-admin-template/html/ltr/vertical-modern-menu-template/index.html
Price and License: 2-tier plan, from $24 for the regular license to $699 to extended
The technology used: HTML, Laravel
Number of sales (if applicable): 6800+
Type of Product: Admin Panel

Materialize is a material design template made with HTML and Laravel with 5 layout options. The product has a great collection of material design animation & widgets, UI Elements, jQuery plugins. In terms of Ecommerce, the template has a specific block named “eCommerce” which includes the Product page and Pricing. To use this product as E-commerce, you need to integrate it with your database and storefront.

Notable Features

Pre-build applications: Chat, Email, ToDo, Kanban, App full Calendar, Invoice, File Manager
Several Dashboards
Icons
RTL Supported
Multi-Language Support
5 menu style variations
Charts: Chartjs, Chartist, and Sparkline Charts

Support and Updates Policy

Support is provided on bugs and issues through tickets in ThemeForest. Updates come once in 3 months.

Chameleon

Live demo: https://themeselection.com/demo/chameleon-admin-template/html/ltr/vertical-menu-template/
Price and License: 3-tier options, starting from $24 for a single license to $399 for Extended
Technology used: Bootstrap 4, SASS, Gulp
Number of sales (if applicable):
Type of Product: Admin Panel

Chameleon is a Bootstrap 4 admin panel from Themeselection. As with other similar products to use with online stores, you need to plug in your existing data. 

Notable Features

The following components will help with managing an online shop:

Ecommerce dashboard, where you can see Products Summary, Order Activity, Quarterly Sales, Number of Customers;
Analytics dashboards with Revenue and Income stats;
Apps like Email application, Chat application, Invoice, Contact list;
Various tables and charts.

Support and Updates Policy

Themeselection offers support for all of the paid products, in case if you face any issues or if something isn’t working as advertised.

Shoppy

Live demo: https://p.w3layouts.com/demos/28-03-2016/shoppy/web/
Price and License: One type of license for $15
Technology used: Bootstrap
Number of sales (if applicable):
Type of Product: Admin Panel

Shoppy is an admin template specially made for online stores. You just need to integrate it with the existing solution. This eCommerce admin panel template is built upon HTML 5, CSS 3, and Bootstrap framework. 

Notable Features

Shoppy comes with an E-Commerce section that has Product listings with Prices and Flat style Pricing Panels (opens a pop-up on-click with Order processing information – Shipping and Billing).

This template also contains components like:

Grids and Portlets;
Animated Buttons;
Maps;
Authentication Pages (Sign-up/Log-in);
Charts (Circular, Bar, Pie, Polar, and Line)

Support and Updates Policy

We haven’t found any evidence of support policy on the website.

Xtreme

Live demo: https://www.wrappixel.com/demos/admin-templates/xtreme-admin/html/ltr/index.html
Price and License: 4-tier plan, starting from $39 for single-use to $499 for Extended license
Technology used: Bootstrap, Sass, Gulp
Number of sales (if applicable): 368 sales as of 26 Jan 2021
Type of Product: Admin Panel

Xtreme is a classic Bootstrap 4 admin dashboard with eCommerce features that helps manage your online store. It packs a lot of UI elements along with a pre-constructed e-commerce setup and a lot of applications for managing an eCommerce business. 

You can see widgets that show what products availability in the shop and what might need an update. You will be able to configure the datasheet with the tables, helping to show your revenues and other details. Small details like taskboards, to-do lists, and ticketing systems are already integrated into this template to save your valuable time.

Notable Features

500+ UI Components;
Dark and Light Sidebar;
RTL ready;
100+ Page templates;
Form validations.

Support and Updates Policy

Support is provided through tickets only for premium products.

Monster

Live demo: https://www.wrappixel.com/demos/admin-templates/monster-bootstrap-latest/monster/src/main/index2.html
Price and License: 4-tier plan, starting from $39 for single-use to $499 for Extended license
Technology used: Bootstrap, Sass, Gulp
Number of sales (if applicable): 726 sales as of 26 Jan 2021
Type of Product: Admin Panel

Monster is another Bootstrap 4 admin template product from Wrappixel. It comes with a very big library of components, which will help you to set up your e-commerce website admin panel. 

For analytics and data collection, you will get visually appealing charts that simplify the operations and calculations necessary to take discussions and actions. Team management applications like chatting, inbox, and task management via Calendar are also strong in this template. Thus this project can be a great fit into your existing eCommerce storefront.

Notable Features

This template includes a lot of cards, widgets, and functional components like toasters, nested lists, and so on.

The other notable features:

Notes Application;
Ticker Application;
To-do app;
RTL ready;
3000+ Font icons.

Support and Updates Policy

Support is provided through tickets only for premium products.

Able Pro

Live demo: http://ableproadmin.com/bootstrap/default/index.html
Price and License: 2-tier plan, from $25 for the regular license to $999 to extended
The technology used: HTML, Angular, React
Number of sales (if applicable): 2096 as of 26 Jan 2021
Type of Product: Admin Panel

Able is an advanced template made with Bootstrap, React, and Angular technologies. It has a wide range of pre-built applications like Hospital, CRM, Helpdesk, School, and of course E-commerce.

For e-commerce integration, it has separate segments that you can use on your e-commerce site. It has product pages where all things are set up by default with the most necessary parameters like reviews, ratings, and many more.

Notable Features

Data table;
Maps;
Various Charts;
Built-In Search;
Calendar.

Support and Updates Policy

Support is provided through tickets.

Flone

Live demo: https://reactdemo.hasthemes.com/flone/
Price and License: 3-tier plan starting from $59 for the personal license to $299 for Extended
The technology used: React, HTML
The number of sales (if applicable):
Type of Product: Storefront template

Flone is a React JS eCommerce template with a huge number of prebuilt components and pages. It is a storefront template, thus you need to plug it in with the CMS. It even comes with such features as SEO optimization, Black Friday homepage, automotive shop page, and many others that will help you develop a good-looking website.

Notable Features

38+ beautiful homepages;
7 header variations; 
Different footer variations; 
Product Tab View; 
Product Grid View; 
Product List View; 
Blog section view.

Support and Updates Policy

Support is provided through the ticket system for premium products.

Materio – Vuetify Vuejs Laravel Admin Template

Live Demo: https://themeselection.com/demo/materio-vuetify-vuejs-laravel-admin-template/landing/
Price: starts from $49 for single-use
The technology used: Vuejs (No Jquery), Vue CLI, Laravel
Type of product: admin template

Materio Vuetify VueJS Laravel Admin Template – is the most developer-friendly & highly customizable Admin Dashboard Template based on popular front-end framework VueJS and back-end Laravel. Materio is not only fast and easy to use but highly scalable. Offering ultimate convenience and flexibility, you’ll be able to build whatever app you want with little hassle.

In addition, you can build premium-quality single-page applications with ease with the use of this Vuejs Laravel admin template. So, use this innovative Vuejs Laravel admin template to create eye-catching, high-quality, and high-performing single-page applications.

Features:

Utilizes Vuex, Vue Router, Webpack
3 Dashboard, RTL Support
Code Splitting, Lazy loading
API ready JWT Authentication flow
Access Control (even on CRUD operations)
Laravel Passport
Laravel Sanctum and many more

Conclusion

We have collected, in our opinion, the most suitable templates both for integration with existing stores and for creating stores from scratch.

Most of the presented products are admin panels with advanced functionality. With these, you can manage your products and analyze their performance.

It is worth noting that there are not so many high-quality products on the market, so choose your product carefully. We will recommend you to take a look at the Flatlogic admin templates and Materialize Admin Template: these have the best features and designs suitable for your project.

You can find great Admin templates and themes for eCommerce on the Flatlogic templates store. Feel free to use a 30% coupon code on any theme ECOMMERCE30.

Bonus!

Honorable mention: Hound

As we kept exploring web template market, some impressive entries came up. And while none were so groundbreaking they would shift our list’s order, we thought at least one deserved to appear on the list.

The Hound has over 90 pages, over 500 interface elements, and over 2k icons. With such versatility, we expected the Hound to be bloated and excessive but we were in for a surprise. The controls’ hierarchy turned out rigid and intuitive enough. We navigated it with ease, and we believe even a complete beginner can with just minimal research. The integration options are stellar. Maps, to-do lists, calendars, Google maps, charts, tables, and more. If there’s a feature you want in your eCommerce admin panel, the Hound most likely has it, and chances are it connects to outside services like clockwork.

The main downside we could see (literally) was the design. It can be fun and pretty. But an admin template is something you might have to look at for hours on end, and the Hound’s bright design is the opposite of neutral and unobtrusive. Still, we believe the Hound’s good sides outweigh the questionable aesthetics to the point where it deserves at least an honorable mention.

Themeforrest

Demos

Creating Your Own Apps with Flatlogic Platform

We’ve covered 14 templates that are good in many regards but especially when used for e-Commerce projects. Now, let’s take a look at another path you can take.

Most web applications operate by using different combinations of basic functions. The combinations are different but the functions are the same. Standsrd web apps like the ones used in e-Commerce are sometimes called CRUD apps. CRUD stands for Create, Read, Update, and Delete. These are the most basic functions that most web applications perform. Understanding that, we simplified the process of app development to give everyone a shot, not only those with a team of dedicated developers.

To do this, go to the Flatlogic Platform and follow five simple steps.

#1: Choose the project’s name

This step is as simple as it sounds. Pick a name that is easy enough to associate with the project in case you end up with several of them.

#2: Select your Web App Stack

Decide what your App will run on. Choose underlying technologies for the front-end, the back-end, and the database. In the example shown in the screenshot, we’ve picked React for the admin panel, Node.js for the back-end, and MySQL for the database.

#3: Choose the Design

The Flatlogic Platform offers a variety of admin panel designs. There are lighter and darker themes, themes with Material Design elements, and our proprietary design patterns. Pick the one you’ll be able to look at for a long time.

#4: Create your Web App’s database schema

We’ve picked the technology the database runs on. Now it’s time to define tables, columns, types of data in them, and the relationships between those. At this step, you decide what the content of your App will mean. Furthermore, the Platform will automatically generate REST API docs for your App.

#5: Review and generate your App

Review the decisions you’ve made. If everything is as intended, hit “Create App”. After compiling for a little while, the Flatlogic Platform will offer you your very own App that you can push to GitHub and host in one click. Enjoy!

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12+ Best Visual Studio Alternatives
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The post 14 Great Admin Panel Themes for Ecommerce appeared first on Flatlogic Blog.

Protobuf In C# .NET – Part 4 – Performance Comparisons

This is a 4 part series on working with Protobuf in C# .NET. While you can start anywhere in the series, it’s always best to start at the beginning!

Part 1 – Getting Started
Part 2 – Serializing/Deserializing
Part 3 – Using Length Prefixes
Part 4 – Performance Comparisons

We’ve made mention in previous posts to the fact that Protobuf (supposedly) will out perform many other data formats, namely JSON. And while we’ve kind of alluded to the fact it’s “fast” and it’s “small”, we haven’t really jumped into the actual numbers.

This post will take a look across three different metrics :

File Size – So just how lightweight is Protobuf?
Serialization – How fast can we take a C# object and serialize it into Protobuf or JSON?
Deserialization – Given a Protobuf/JSON data format, how fast can we turn it into a C# object?

Let’s jump right in!

File Size Comparisons

Before looking at read/write performance, I actually wanted to compare how large the actual output is between Protobuf and JSON. I set up a really simple test that used the following model :

[ProtoContract]
class Person
{
[ProtoMember(1)]
public string FirstName { get; set; }

[ProtoMember(2)]
public string LastName { get; set; }

[ProtoMember(3)]
public List Emails { get; set; }
}

And I used the following code to create an object, and write it twice. Once with Protobuf and once with JSON :

var person = new Person
{
FirstName = “Wade”,
LastName = “G”,
Emails = new List<string>
{
[email protected]”,
[email protected]
}
};

using (var fileStream = File.Create(“person.buf”))
{
Serializer.Serialize(fileStream, person, PrefixStyle.Fixed32);
}

var personString = JsonConvert.SerializeObject(person);
File.WriteAllText(“person.json”, personString);

The results were :

Format
FileSize

Protobuf
46 bytes

JSON
85 bytes

So just by default, Protobuf is almost half the size. Obviously your mileage may vary depending on your data types and even your property names.

That last point is important because while Protobuf has other mechanisms keeping the size down, a big part of it is that all property names are serialized as integers rather than their string form. To illustrate this, I modified the model to look like so :

[ProtoContract]
class Person
{
[ProtoMember(1)]
[JsonProperty(“1”)]
public string FirstName { get; set; }

[ProtoMember(2)]
[JsonProperty(“2”)]
public string LastName { get; set; }

[ProtoMember(3)]
[JsonProperty(“3”)]
public List Emails { get; set; }
}

So now our JSON will be serialized with single digit names as well. When running this, our actual comparison table looks like so :

Format
FileSize

Protobuf
46 bytes

JSON
85 bytes

JSON With Digit Properties
65 bytes

So half of the benefits of using Protobuf when it comes to size instantly disappears! For now, I’m not going to use the single digit properties going forward because it’s not illustrative of what happens in the real world with JSON, but it’s an interesting little footnote that you can shrink your disk footprint with just this one simple hack that storage providers hate.

So overall, Protobuf has JSON beat when it comes to file size. That’s no surprise, but what about actual performance when working with objects?

Serialization Performance

Next, let’s take a look at serializing performance. There are a couple of notes on the methodology behind this

Because Protobuf serializes to bytes and JSON to strings, I wanted to leave them like that. e.g. I did not take the JSON string, and convert it into bytes as this would artificially create an overhead when there is no need.
I kept everything in memory (I did not write to a file etc)
I wanted to try and use *both* JSON.NET and Microsoft’s JSON Serializer. The latter is almost certainly going to be faster, but the former probably has more use cases out there in the wild.
For now, I’m just using the Protobuf.NET library for everything related to Protobuf
Use Protobuf as the “baseline” so everything will compared to how much slower (Or faster, you never know!) it is compared to Protobuf

With that in mind, here’s the benchmark using BenchmarkDotNet (Quick guide if you haven’t seen it before here : https://dotnetcoretutorials.com/2017/12/04/benchmarking-net-core-code-benchmarkdotnet/)

public class ProtobufVsJSONSerializeBenchmark
{
static Person person = new Person
{
FirstName = “Wade”,
LastName = “G”,
Emails = new List<string>
{
[email protected]”,
[email protected]
}
};

[Benchmark(Baseline = true)]
public byte[] SerializeProtobuf()
{
using(var memoryStream = new MemoryStream())
{
ProtoBuf.Serializer.Serialize(memoryStream, person);
return memoryStream.ToArray();
}
}

[Benchmark]
public string SerializeJsonMicrosoft()
{
return System.Text.Json.JsonSerializer.Serialize(person);
}

[Benchmark]
public string SerializeJsonDotNet()
{
return Newtonsoft.Json.JsonConvert.SerializeObject(person);
}
}

And the results?

Format
Average Time
Baseline Comparison

Protobuf
680ns

Microsoft JSON
743ns
9% Slower

JSON.NET
1599ns
135% Slower

So we can see that Protobuf is indeed faster, but not by a heck of a lot. And of course, I’m willing to bet a keen eyed reader will drop a comment below and tell me how the benchmark could be improved to make Microsoft’s JSON serializer even faster.

Of course JSON.NET is slower, and that is to be expected, but again I’m surprised that Protobuf, while fast, isn’t *that* much faster. How about deserialization?

Deserialization Performance

We’ve done serialization, so let’s take a look at the reverse – deserialization.

I do want to point out one thing before we even start, and that is that JSON.NET and Microsoft’s JSON library handle case sensitivity with JSON *very* differently. Infact, JSON.NET is case insensitive by default and is the *only* way it can run. Microsoft’s JSON library is case sensitive by default and must be switched to handle case insensitivity at a huge cost. I have an entire article dedicated to the subject here : https://dotnetcoretutorials.com/2020/01/25/what-those-benchmarks-of-system-text-json-dont-mention/

In some ways, that somewhat invalidates our entire test (Atleast when comparing JSON.NET to Microsoft’s JSON), because it actually entirely depends on whether your JSON is in the exact casing you require (In most cases that’s going to be PascalCase), or if it’s in CamelCase (In which case you take a performance hit). But for now, let’s push that aside and try our best to create a simple benchmark.

Other things to note :

Again, I want to work with the formats that work with each data format. So Protobuf will be deserializing from a byte array, and JSON will be deserializing from a string
I *had* to create a memory stream for Protobuf. Atleast without making the test more complicated than it needed to be.

public class ProtobufVsJSONDeserializeBenchmark
{
public static Person person = new Person
{
FirstName = “Wade”,
LastName = “G”,
Emails = new List<string>
{
[email protected]”,
[email protected]
}
};

static byte[] PersonBytes;
static string PersonString;

[GlobalSetup]
public void Setup()
{
using (var memoryStream = new MemoryStream())
{
ProtoBuf.Serializer.Serialize(memoryStream, person);
PersonBytes = memoryStream.ToArray();
}

PersonString = JsonConvert.SerializeObject(person);
}

[Benchmark(Baseline = true)]
public Person DeserializeProtobuf()
{
using (var memoryStream = new MemoryStream(PersonBytes))
{
return ProtoBuf.Serializer.Deserialize<Person>(memoryStream);
}
}

[Benchmark]
public Person DeserializeJsonMicrosoft()
{
return System.Text.Json.JsonSerializer.Deserialize<Person>(PersonString);
}

[Benchmark]
public Person DeserializeJsonDotNet()
{
return Newtonsoft.Json.JsonConvert.DeserializeObject<Person>(PersonString);
}
}

I know it’s a big bit of code to sift through but it’s all relatively simple. We are just deserializing back into a Person object. And the results?

Format
Average Time
Baseline Comparison

Protobuf
1.019us

Microsoft JSON
1.238us
21% Slower

JSON.NET
2.598us
155% Slower

So overall, Protobuf wins again and by a bigger margin this time than our Serialization effort (When it comes to percentage). But again, your mileage will vary heavily depending on what format your JSON is in.

Conclusion

The overall conclusion is that indeed, Protobuf is faster than JSON by a reasonable margin, or a huge margin if comparing it to JSON.NET. However, in some respects a big part of the difference is likely to lie in how JSON is always serialized as strings versus the direct byte serialization of Protobuf. But that’s just a hunch of mine.

When it comes to file size, Protobuf wins out again, *especially* when serializing full JSON property names. Obviously here we are talking about the difference between a few bytes, but when you are storing say 500GB of data in Protobuf, that same data would be 1000GB in JSON, so it definitely adds up.

That’s all I’m doing on Protobuf for a bit and I hope you’ve learnt something a bit new. Overall, just in my personal view, don’t get too dragged into the hype. Protobuf is great and it does what it says on the tin. But it’s just another data format, nothing to be afraid of!

The post Protobuf In C# .NET – Part 4 – Performance Comparisons appeared first on .NET Core Tutorials.

In defense of books

When I’m asked “what podcasts do you listen to?”, after an uncomfortable pause
I’m forced to answer that “I usually don’t”. The full explanation is almost
always too long for a brief friendly chat, but I did manage to articulate it to
friends a couple of times in recent history; I think it’s time to put it down in
writing.

Generally speaking, I prefer Slow Media,
and the slower the better. This means I’d rather read books than articles, blog
posts and video talks; I’d rather listen to audiobooks than to podcasts. The
same applies further down the scale; I prefer articles and blog posts to social
media, and if I do listen to a podcast I favor the long-form ones.

Why? Wouldn’t one learn more by spending 10 hours listening to 10-20 podcasts
on different topics than by spending the same time on a single book?

While this question is phrased in a suggestive way, I posit that the answer – at
least for me – is actually NO, at least when viewed strategically rather
than tactically.

Consuming information is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s not the case that I have
10 hours allocated in my life to consume information and I have to be as
efficient as possible; the truth is that over the years, I have many thousands
of hours. While it may appear that given 10 hours listening to the more
condensed podcast format is more efficient, the same is absolutely not apparent
if the decision is between 1000 books and 15,000 podcast episodes.

Suppose I’m interested in 20 different topics. I could read two books on each
topic – 40 books in total; at my current pace of reading this would probably
take a bit less than a year. Alternatively, I could spend these ~400 hours
listening to podcasts and/or reading articles on the same 20 topics. It’s
slicing the same cake of time, just along different axes.
One could claim that with articles and podcasts you could learn about more than
20 topics in a given year, but do you really want to? I’d say even 20 is a
stretch, at least if by “learn” you mean at least some minimal depth.

In programming terms, it’s a bit like using DFS vs. BFS to explore the same
knowledge graph.

If the actual information intake is similar with the two approaches over a long
time period, why prefer one over the other? This is where the quality and depth
of information comes in. Books typically win on depth, since authors have put
much more effort into researching and writing them than is put into podcasts or
articles. Books also win on quality because they are easier to vet; when I plan
to spend 10 hours on reading a book, I can afford spending 15 minutes on
researching which book to read, looking at reviews, looking at samples, etc.
When one plans to spend 45 minutes on a podcast episode, any non-trivial
investment into research seems wasteful.

I’ll end this post with a few disclaimers: none of this is a rigid rule. I do
listen to podcasts every once in a while, and I do read articles and blogs
posts. Some of them are of a very high quality and informational value. I’ll
also note that some podcasts are packaged in well-researched and in-depth
series, which makes them very similar to books at this point. I’m not dogmatic
about these things; just stating my preferences.