CodeIgniter, Zend and Yii are the three most popular web application frameworks based on PHP with which you can create dynamic websites, web applications and web services.
If you are planning to develop your own PHP application, you should know the most important differences between the various PHP frameworks, and not leave the choice up to an external web developer. Here is a small summary of the most significant differences.
CodeIgniter: mini-framework with a turboboost
CodeIgniter is an easy to use PHP framework with high performance, which is well documented and also easy to learn. In addition to PHP, it assumes experienced in object-oriented programming. CodeIgniter does not impose a specific programming style onto the developer, however a clear model view controller approach (MVC) is used for the structure of the software development. As CodeIgniter libraries only load if needed, the resource consumption is low – which especially pays off in high traffic. The scope of features however is limited.
Zend framework: battleship
Zend framework consistently uses the model view controller approach (MVC) and allows for easy change of developers and clear project structures. Logic and GUI are always separated in Zend. Due to strict modular principles, Zend is a bit more inflexible in development than CodeIgniter. The learning curve is very steep, and complex applications require high development costs. In terms of performance, Zend is regarded as somewhat slow, but the framework offers a very wide range of features and several add-on packages. Zend_SOAP and Zend_XMLRPC packages let you easily incorporate a RPC style SOAP server and the appropriate client applications.
Yii: king of performance
Yii is similar in many approaches to Ruby on Rails, and is seen as a high performance framework. In terms of speed, it even leaves CodeIgniter behind in the dust. In comparison to CodeIgniter, Yii offers a significantly larger range of functions, but the setup and training time is a bit longer. You can easily create CRUD database queries for input fields, models and views with the built in code generator.
CakePHP: right in the middle and secure
Like CodeIgniter, CakePHP only requires minimal configuration and can be learned relatively easily. CakePHP does not need its own database, existing database tables can be used with prefixes. CakePHP supports IBM DB2, Firebird, MSSQL, MySQL, Oracle, PostgreSQL, SQLite and Sybase, in addition to AdoDB and ODBC, which makes it very easy to connect to existing systems. Integrated work tools protect against attacks such as SQL injection. The documentation is considered to be extensive but also badly structured and maintained, which can lead to problems.
Symfony: extensive and practical
Symfony, like Zend, lacks for nothing in terms of functionality and scope, and is very suitable for high end web applications. In comparison to Zend it is somewhat more performant and, thanks to a first-rate documentation, developing challenging projects is a bit easier.
How you can develop web applications cheaply
No matter if you are planning a quick web application with CodeIgniter, or rather a complex one with Zend or Symfony – whether or not it will be successful all comes down to the skill of the web developer. If you are looking for a PHP web application developer, but shy away from the high rates, then we can help you with professionals from India. outsourcing4work can provide you with top PHP developers from India who will affordably implement your project – no matter if you need support or specific expertise for an existing project, or are planning a completely new PHP application.
We take over the responsiblity for successful implementation, and guarantee you rates that local providers can not compete with. Our very experienced European project managers ensure that your wishes and requirements are fully respected during the development stage.
And since you conclude contracts directly with us as a European company, you are always on the safe side. We have the right offer for every size of project with flexible working models, such as time-based billing, dedicated employees or a branch (light) in India with IT professionals who only work for you.
A Magento agency will take over the work for you when creating and setting up an online. Although, you could theoretically set up Magento yourself using your own IT employees, its best to use a Magento agency due to the Magento shop software’s high level of complexity.
To ensure that your shop is successful later on, you will need to make sure the shopping experience is well-made. It’s the same for Magento as it is for other shop systems: concept and implementation is everything. Magento is the most popular shop software by far and is used in more than one percent of all websites. Yet this does not guarantee the future e-commerce success of your shop.
What to pay attention to in a Magento agency
Just as with web developers, refences are an important indication of skill for Magento agencies, as well as of their professionalism. If the Magento agency has already established many shops and the website refer to it on the appropriate page, this is usually a good sign. If you have to ask for references first, this is usually not as good – maybe even a reason to pass them over.
It’s more important to look at the size and range of online shops that have already been implemented than the amount of them. Every type of product is different and requires different adjustments. A different approach is better for electronic products with volatile prices and stock levels than for fashion or food. The visual presentation of the products in high resolution images is also an important factor – maybe even in 3D or videos.
A good Magento agency will also usually be certified by the Magento company. Magento offers five different certifications to show skill. The titles Magento Certified Solution Specialist, Front End Developer Certification and Certified Developer and Developer Plus are especially important.
In addition to setting up a base shop, a good Magento agency will also create external extensions and third party interfaces such as payment systems or a merchandise management system. If the provider has the right expertise, and maybe even technology partners for such extensions, this is a good sign.
Once the shop has been set up, the work in Magento is still far from finished. Many aspects which were not previously considered will only be revealed during operation, and the shop will then gradually be developed and optimised. Make sure you pay attention to which further services the Magento agency offers after finishing set up, and which service packages are available for what rates. It is not recommended to later switch providers for service and development.
How to find an Indian Magento agency
If you are looking for an Indian Magento agency to save costs, we at outsourcing4work can provide you with the right service provider. Thanks to our many years of experience with shop and CMS systems we know what matters in the selection process.
Once the suitable partner for your Magento project has been found we don’t leave you on your own. As a European contracting partner we take over responsibility for professional implementation with our own Scrum/Agile project managers. Coordinating offshore service providers from another culture requires a good level of experience and management expertise.
If you would like to create a website, there are many different options. Nowadays you will find a huge amount of diversity: from manually developed online presences, to ready-to-use solutions, to modular designs, up to powerful content management systems (CMS). Depending on what your requirements are will decide which approach is the most suitable. Here are a few tips for different scenarios.
Create a company website
If you want to create a company website there are many different technical variants to consider. The two most important criteria for the decision making process are whether the website, in addition to being a representation of the company, should also be a complex service portal with lots of media formats and content, as well as the expected page views. For company websites with static individual pages and perhaps a blog with current information any CMS is more than enough to create a website, as well as WordPress and Joomla.
Complex websites with many manual adjustments by web developers often use CMS Drupal or Typo3. Both systems have a reputation of requiring less server performance and offer a higher level of security against hacker attacks. Creating a complete company website in-house with web developers is only recommended in exceptional cases. Even some large corporations use existing CMS which can be adapted and expanded if necessary.
Create a product website
It is often simpler to create a product website, and the same factors apply as when creating a company website. It is usually easier to develop because a product website will often have much less content. For very graphically challenging multimedia presentations with a very original approach and few subpages, it might be best to complete the development work manually. If you are planning many individual product pages then it is easier to use a CMS to lighten the administrative load. You also combine the two concepts – the user won’t notice.
Create an artist website
If you would like to create an artist or portfolio website, WordPress or Joomla should be your first choice. There are a number of professional design templates specifically for artists on both free CMS. It is also relatively easy to realise image galleries and videos or sound clips. In addition, the administration and the setting up of new content is feasible even for non-experienced computer users. You can also easily change the design in the future if needed.
Create a blog or news website
Blog and news sites use WordPress, even professional websites such as the Wall Street Journal or the New York Times. The CMS became popular is this exact field and is better suited to it than any other system. Joomla and Drupal are also used, but to a much lesser extent. There is a wide range of other CMS for specific topics that might be more appropriate in individual cases. It’s best to get advice before deciding on which software to use.
Create a website with Indian web developers
You will receive a website considerably cheaper with outsourcing4work’s Indian IT professionals than would be possible with European web developers. You can still have a complex and elegant website even with a fixed budget.
You can have your website developed by a web agency at a fixed priced, or hire a temporary web developer and benefit from their expertise. We ensure that your wishes and requirements are fully respected throughout the process with the help of our experienced European project managers. And since you conclude contracts directly with us as a European company, you are always on the safe side.
Most Web applications run on PHP. The scripting language has become popular throughout the world and can count on a worldwide community with millions of developers and users. ASP.NET plays a significant role in web applications, websites and web services, as it is used in nearly 16% of all websites. Although this does not sound like much, it is actually in second place. I would like to give a brief overview of the strengths and weaknesses provided by the two web technologies in my ASP.NET vs. PHP comparison.
The main differences between ASP.NET and PHP
PHP is used as a server side scripting language usually on a Linux system with Apache web servers. Generally MySQL or other SQL databases are used for PHP software. Both programming languages have existed for years in a kind of symbiosis. Thanks to its open source availability most websites use this approach – according to php.net there are around 244 million websites which run it.
ASP.NET was brought onto the market within the .NET technology group as a web application framework by Microsoft as a PHP alternative. ASP.NET web software can therefore be used with one of the programming languages supported by .NET such as C++, C#, Perl or Python. ASP.NET web programs need to be run on a Windows server. This makes web application development very easy for many developers.
Cost comparison: ASP.NET vs. PHP
While PHP is completely free, you will need to pay software license fees for Microsoft’s Windows server for ASP.NET. This leads to higher costs for Windows hosting. You can now find Windows hosting servers, but they are in the same price range as Linux.
Microsoft provides Visual Studio as a development environment for developing ASP.NET programs at a fee; however you can use Visual Studio Express as a free beginner version. Usually development costs for ASP.NET programs are slightly higher.
Scalability: ASP.NET vs. PHP
ASP.NET and PHP programs lack nothing in scalability. Facebook, the current most-visited website, is PHP based. MySpace, which was the largest social network before Facebook, was developed with ASP.NET.
Performance: ASP.NET vs. PHP
In PHP software the performance depends on the interplay between Linux as an operating system, Apache as the web server, MySQL as database and PHP as the scripting language. In more than two decades of optimisation work the individual components have become heavily interlinked with one another, resulting in very efficient operation.
ASP.NET runs on Windows Server and Microsoft SQL Server, with the NTFS file system. While the individual software components are very well matched, NTFS will likely lead to performance drawbacks. It’s not possible to compare the two one on one, as one would need to compare two identical web applications with both technologies. As Linux has a more powerful file system with ext4, one can assume that PHP applications have an advantage.
ASP.NET and PHP support options
PHP has the clear advantage when it comes to support. The open source community and PHP’s widespread use have led to an infinite amount of support resources. PHP service providers are also much easier to find than PHP service providers.
Use Indian web developers to save on costs
Whether ASP.NET or PHP is better suited to your need depends on how much you rely on Microsoft software, and if you already use Windows Server for anything else. If you are developing a web application, you should not have to decide between one or the other technology because of cost reasons. In long-term operation other cost factors often play a larger role.
However, there is also the option of outsourcing web development to India. outsourcing4work can help you and provide you with excellent ASP.NET and PHP developers. In our comprehensive approach our project managers and we guarantee you efficient and top-quality implementation. The contracts are concluded directly with us for your security. We will take care of the rest.
If you want to create a website, you are sure to come across WordPress. The CMS software came onto the market in 2003 and was originally developed for bloggers. WordPress has been continuously further improved over the years, and expanded with many functions. Nowadays WordPress is the undisputed market leader in the CMS area, and according to statistics from W3Techs, it now has an impressive market share of nearly 60%.
It is used by companies to create complex and professional websites, as well as by private bloggers with only rudimentary technical knowledge. WordPress is used in all areas and a quarter of existing websites worldwide use the popular CMS.
When large companies create a website they often choose WordPress
A look at some of the largest WordPress customers shows the sophisticated results you can achieve if you create a website with WordPress. Sony Music, The New York Times, TechCrunch, BBC America, MTV News and Fortune all use WordPress. Google Ventures and Facebook Newsroom are two of the leading internet companies among them, despite the fact they both have extensive experience and top employees. They could create an excellent website in-house if needed. In Google’s case this is particularly interesting, as the internet company runs its own blog platform with bloggers which is also used for many Google product blogs, such as the Chrome blog for Google’s popular web browser.
WordPress is very flexible thanks to a modular approach. The open-source software provides the functional basic structure and a back-end for managing and publishing content. WordPress themes and templates are used for the design, which specify the appearance and arrangement of the articles, pages and all other visible elements. The basic functionality of WordPress can also be extended with plug-ins.
This approach can be used with blogs, company websites, online news portals, online shops or social networks. This is even possible for simple pages for enthusiastic hobbyists. Companies or organisations which usually create complex websites like to use experienced web developers or CMS agencies specialised in WordPress. For special requests it is necessary to extensively adapt or customise existing WordPress themes and plugins.
Create a WordPress website in India to reduce costs
If a CMS like WordPress is used on millions of websites around the world, then it is obvious that you can also find specialised web developers all around the world. This applies to India in particular, which is the world’s most important outsourcing provider. Many companies that create a website use Indian web developers thanks to their lower rates costs and high quality. You will get significantly more for your investment with Indian WordPress agencies.
If you would like to create a website with WordPress, we can help. outsourcing4work will find the right web agency for your project. You can also use other CMS options instead of WordPress, or completely develop a website from scratch. We will also find the right provider easily for you for this. We have many years of experience specifically in the area of CMS and we are well-suited to assist you in your search for the best CMS agency. You will remain unbiased in your preselection and you will later save money in the construction and operation of your website. You conclude the contract directly with us as a European company. If you would prefer to carry out a project at a fixed rate, or would like hourly billing, this is also possible. We offer all types of outsourcing.
When selecting a web design agency, technical and cost aspects play a role, but your website should also be visually impressive. All these points must be carefully considered before deciding on a specific web design agency.
Before you ask for quotes from various web developers, you should try to conceptually define your future website as closely as possible. You can do this by studying existing online presences.
Factors for selecting a web design agency
The more you know about what your future website should look like, the easier you can put together the selection criteria for the right web design agency. Take a look through 10-30 websites which are similar to your online project. Your top favourites will quickly emerge and you can mark these down as your main examples. This also applies to aspects that are particularly important to you.
Generally, you can differentiate between the following basic types of websites which web design agencies specialise in.
An informative website presents information on one or more topics, and usually consists of very many text-based pages, supplemented with image and video material, depending on the topic. This approach is used by private individuals, as well as companies or organisations which have special expertise in a particular subject.
A blog, or weblog, is a kind of chronological diary or online journal with successively published articles. A website can consist of only a blog, or it is also possible to operate a blog on a complex website. The borders between informative websites and blogs are very fluid, and both types of websites are the daily bread and butter of a web design agency. A large number of website operators use CMS solutions such as WordPress, Joomla and Drupal for blogs and informative websites.
You should hire a specialised web design agency for an e-commerce site. The development effort is much higher, especially if you are planning an online shop with many hundreds or thousands of products. OXID eShop, Shopware, PrestaShop and osCommerce are some of the better-known names, and Magento is the undisputed market leader.
Social networks, Web 2.0 pages
If you are planning your own social network, and have certain design specifications and specific functions you would like, then you probably need one or more specialised web developers. There are CMS software modules you can use such as BuddyPress (WordPress) or JomSocial (Joomla), but in most cases complex adjustments with large amounts of code work are essential. For Web 2.0 pages which do not want to be clones of Facebook or Reddit, and which want to use a totally new concept of interaction, it almost always requires complete interface programming.
Web-based applications are actually programs executed in web browsers, and not websites in the traditional sense. Two examples of this are Sketchpad or Gliffy, but web variants such as Skype, Spotify or even Google Mail are also web applications. To develop web applications you need a very experienced web developer – a normal web design agency will most likely be overwhelmed.
Save costs with an Indian web design agency
If you are looking for a professional and affordable online project, outsourcing4work will be able to flexibly help you. We are specialised in outsourcing to India, with more than twenty years of experience in web project development.
We are sure to find a suitable web design agency or specialised web developer for every website type with our experienced eye and our large network. If you only need a web design agency for certain tasks, that’s also no problem. Thanks to our various models, we can offer you projects at a fixed price or contracted work billed at an hourly rate.
Our own project managers guarantee problem-free cooperation between you and your Indian web developers throughout the project.
Along with WordPress, Joomla is one of the most popular content management systems. Both products are suitable for blogging, as well as for creating company websites. Joomla is a bit more suited for the creation of a social network or for an e-commerce page.
While WordPress is easier for beginners to use thanks to its simple installation and good adaptability, setting up a Joomla page requires a bit more effort. A Joomla agency is recommended for professional web sites and sophisticated projects.
Reach goals faster with a Joomla agency
Once your web presence is up and running, using Joomla is just as easy as the industry leader WordPress. The back-end of Joomla is somewhat more complicated, but it can be learned in a relatively short time. Creating a Joomla page can be somewhat tricky.
Joomla works with design templates and plug-ins like other CMS, by providing your web page with specific functions modularly. The Joomla community is somewhat smaller and the selection of extensions is not so extensive.
WordPress currently has about 27,000 free plug-ins and 2,000 free design templates in high quality. With around 900 templates and 7,000 plug-ins, Joomla can’t quite keep up. For special functions and adjustments more development work is needed for Joomla. The Joomla community on the net is also significantly smaller than for WordPress, meaning that the search for extensions, solutions and products takes a bit longer.
For this reason before making the decision for or against Joomla, think carefully about which features you’d like your website to have.
Joomla agency instead of a web developer
Many Joomla users set up their page largely themselves and fall back to a web developer for the more difficult tasks. This can lead to high costs, as web designers and software developers are expensive.
A Joomla agency from India can save you large amounts of money in comparison. Often a complete package with installation, setup and customization can be even cheaper than having a European specialist only occasionally help out.
We can help you further
outsourcing4work will provide you with a first-class Joomla agency from India. You make the contract with us, and the work is completed by one of our various partner companies in India. We take over the responsibility for a successful implementation, and guarantee you rates that a European company can’t compete with. Our European project manager will ensure that your wishes and requirements are fully respected during the development stage.
Outsourcing business processes is currently in fashion, due to the especially rapid development of the internet and the increasingly powerful hardware. Modern broadband connections even allow extensive project data to be quickly sent.
With the help of affordable cloud technology even large amounts of data can be obtained quickly. Companies such as Google, Amazon and Microsoft invest huge sums into this trend to become market leaders which has led to a sustained boom in so-called offshore outsourcing.
Digital projects are made for offshore outsourcing
The area of software development plays a large role in this trend. Many hurdles that get in the way of classic production processes fall away completely; no room-filling machines, primary products or complex logistic needed.
Software developers work almost exclusively with information and often need nothing more than a good computer, a fast internet connection, the appropriate development tools and the knowledge in their heads. For challenging projects that can only be realized in a team, an experienced development manager or a project manager should be used. They will then take over a large part of the communication with the client.
Whether or not the software project developers are in the same location is pretty much irrelevant. The countless successful open source software projects whose developers are scattered across the globe can attest to this. Surely you have heard of Mozilla Firefox, LibreOffice, VLC Media Player, GIMP or WordPress?
Cost advantages with offshore outsourcing
With the help of offshore outsourcing you can take advantage of this development for your company. If you have already considered developing a software project externally, this is the next step. European developers are extremely expensive.
If you give your contract to a European company, you are looking at an hourly rate per developer of up to 95.00 euros an hour. European freelancers aren’t much cheaper at a rate of around 65.00 euros an hour.
Offshore outsourcing leads to a huge reduction in costs. Indian software developers, for example, are available at a fraction of the cost.
You can realise your project completely in India with outsourcing4work and avoid the biggest hurdles of offshore outsourcing. We provide you with highly professional software companies in India and assume the responsibility for a successful project as a European contract partner. Our European project managers are specialised in offshore outsourcing, understand the Indian mentality and work style, and will ensure problem-free communication.
Outsourcing to India is still considered risky by some clients. Admittedly, it is difficult to find an all-inclusive outsourcing to India package without experience, knowledge of the Indian market and without any networking connections on location. But is that really a reason to abandon all thought of outsourcing to India? Definitely not. Here are a few tips on how to efficiently, affordably and successfully outsource to India.
Why outsourcing to India?
Compared to other outsourcing destinations, India has a number of advantages:
India is the world’s largest outsourcing market.
Indian software developers receive excellent qualifications (even by global standards) thanks to the highly developed and efficient educational system funded by the state.
Nearly all IT graduates in India speak English.
Working as a software developer on the outsourcing market is regarded very highly in India. The attractive prospects attract specialised experts whose motivation is high.
You will find developers for all programming languages, even the more hard to find ones, as well as for all niche technologies among the large number of active and newly trained software developers in India.
The competition among India software developers keeps rates low. Nevertheless, good developers can earn above-average wages in comparison to local wages, and enjoy a high standard of living.
All in all, outsourcing to India offers huge opportunities for India, Indian software developers and for clients from around the world.
What are the risks?
The risks of outsourcing to India can include:
Indian workplaces are much more hierarchically structured than many modern European companies. This can affect cooperation on projects.
Mistrust of the work ethic and the quality of work of Indian software developers, or an exaggerated preciseness and attention to detail of European software developers can lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy. Or would you like to work for someone who only assumes your self-interest or negligence?
Different working hours
Due to the different time zones Indian software developers don’t work at exactly the same time as their European clients. However, the time difference is only 4.5 hours in winter (3.5 in summer), which means that European and Indian work times overlap at least partially.
Different legal systems
Many people assume that differences in the legal systems between Germany and India are only be important if there is a conflict. Wrong. It can already cause problems when creating contracts prior to beginning work on the project.
How can they be solved?
Learning by doing is a common strategy when outsourcing to India. Companies first outsource projects, gather experience and then try to avoid mistakes the next time.
It is easier and more effective to find help. outsourcing4work is very experienced as a European company based in Germany. We work with project managers who speak German and English, work during European office hours and use German or English as the project language. We carefully maintain our network in India. We have long-term, stable relationships to Indian partners. We know the country and its people, culture and economy and the local conditions very well. And we believe our clients of the administration and coordination of international teams when outsourcing to India.
The key to success
In summary, it can be said that outsourcing to India can be a success story for countless clients and projects in Europe. However, a prerequisite is a self-critical assessment on the client’s side. Do they have all the necessary skills, knowledge and capacities for outsourcing to India? If not, they need to be obtained in order to hire the necessary external developer services. It is neither difficult nor expensive. But it can be decisive for outsourcing to India.
Choosing the right outsourcing service provider is no easy decision. For this reason the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) has issued a guide to selecting the right service provider (https://www.bsi.bund.de/DE/Themen/ITGrundschutz/ITGrundschutzKataloge/Inhalt/_content/m/m02/m02252.html). You can divide the search for the right outsourcing service provider into three steps: define your own requirements, select an offer and contract negotiations. The last step can also be partly seen as the offer negotiation before the final selection of a provider.
Before you begin to contact potential outsourcing service providers, it is useful to internally set up a requirement profile. The BSI recommends basing it on specifications. The requirement profile should contain the following:
A description of your outsourcing project, as detailed as possible, including the task requirements of the service provider
The key figures that you will use to measure the performance and quality of the service provider
What you expect from this step.
In addition, you should also consider how you imagine the collaboration should take place. The requirement profile can then help you ask about the important points when requesting proposals. And if you write out your project, the requirement profile can be used as the basis for the invitation to tender.
When you get in touch with an outsourcing service provider, you should consider if you would like to use a non-disclosure agreement during the offer negotiations. This can be important if your internal security mechanisms are a critical part of your business performance and must not reach a third party. Ultimately you need to talk to your service provider about security measures for data exchange.
If you have multiple offers, the following list of selection criteria can help you make a decision:
Reliability – you want to work only with the best, know your data is secure and avoid the risk of bankruptcy. If the provider has an ISO 27001 or ISO 9000 certification, that would also be helpful. You can also ask them where their servers are located. This is good if they are outside at different locations, as it means your data will be safe from things such as fire, for example. If the outsourcing service provider is prepared for worst case scenarios (what, when and where can something happen and what to do), you can assume that they have a comprehensive security concept.
References – check the provider’s previous clients. If they have already completed many projects in their industry, this shows experience. There could also be conflicts of interest if the outsourcing service provider also works for competition. Look for customer reviews and ratings on benchmarking portals.
Scalability – while smaller companies can run the risk of bankruptcy, larger companies should bear in mind that they have many clients and projects, and individual customers are often of no consequence. Complete outsourcing of IT should be given to a large outsourcing service provider. Selective outsourcing, as it often happens in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), is often better off in the hands of small, specialized providers. They understand the requirements and wishes of SMEs due to their own size.
Transparency – make sure your provider gives you a fixed contact, and gives you the feeling of that they are answering your questions openly and honestly. Ask about the qualifications of the employees and the representation provisions. For example, if you hire a developer in India through an outsourcing service provider in Europe and the developer becomes ill, who will take over their work? Ask about availability. Is there continuous support at all times on all days of the week? For providers abroad there are often special regulations that must be observed, for example, spying risks and foreign legislation. It is easier to look for a European-based contractor.
It is often useful to give a small project to the potential outsourcing service provider. If you are then satisfied with the cooperation, you can extend it.
In a contract with an outsourcing service provider you should clearly outline the verifiable obligations of the provider. Make sure that the contract contains your individual customer needs and the required services.
Set who will assume the tasks, which measures should be taken to protect your data and the measurement criteria for quality and performance.
If you want a long-term cooperation, pay attention to expansion possibilities and, if necessary,to the special conditions in the contract. And if the service provider develops their own systems, also consider necessary interfaces to your existing systems.
Also documentation and maintenance should be considered. Create service level agreements (SLA). The duty of cooperation and confidentiality rules should also be laid out in writing.
Language barriers can arise during the drafting of the contract with foreign outsourcing service providers, especially when it comes to detailed problems. A German and English speaking partner is then incredibly helpful.
Finally, a contract with an outsourcing service provider should include also an exit strategy. When happens when terminating the contract? What is handover like?