December 9th, 2013
We’ve all gone through the task of setting up a new development machine, either physical or virtual. It’s not always the most fun thing to do, sitting there watching those progress bars go to 99% in a minute and then wait another hour for the last 1%. Even though we might not want to go through that experience, it’s just part of being a software consultant. With that in mind, the following are a couple of the applications I always install on my development environments — and even on my home PCs – to make my job a little easier.
December 5th, 2013
Jorge Balderas, Consultant
This post includes tips and recommendations for tuning and troubleshooting performance on WebSphere Application Server based products. IBM WebSphere Application Server (WAS) is a market-leading Application Server for running Java applications. It is the flagship product within IBM’s WebSphere product line and it is the base runtime product for several IBM products. These products range from Mobile servers (IBM Worklight Server), Integration servers (WebSphere Enterprise Service Bus), Operational Decision Management servers (WebSphere ILOG JRules), to Business Process Management servers (IBM BPM Advanced), among many others. Because these products share the same runtime, the tuning tips and recommendations in this post apply to all of them.
December 2nd, 2013
Don Ayres, Consultant
Frequently, when a system is stood up and used, the initial configuration ends up as the production configuration. Since initial testing and usage was successful, there’s no budget for further investigation into whether it is the best configuration for the long term. As a result, the system may not be ideal for future needs. System usage may continue to expand or even change in function (like moving from internal to customer-facing) and the system isn’t scalable. How then do you move from a limited system to something that can evolve and expand as business needs change?
November 25th, 2013
Chris Newham, Consultant
November 23rd, 2013
Continuing the odyssey of configuring a stack to invoke a privileged DLL from a web page, this installment starts with the signing requirements for the .NET assembly that is your invocation target. Then I cover creating the Applet, a test HTML page, and preparing for creating the JNI DLL that forms the bridge from Applet to native code.
November 22nd, 2013
Phil Van Sickel, Senior Project Manager
The Pittsburgh Pirates had a great season this past year and AJ Burnett was a huge part of that success. His competitive spirit and drive helped change the culture of the team and its success. No longer are the Pirates the doormat of the National League. In fact, they look to be positioned to contend for years to come.
A big part of agile is the concept of a team. Most of us understand what a team and teamwork means from sports; a connection that can come from playing on a team or following local (or national) leagues. No matter how you understand teams, one thing is clear: not everyone on a team is equal. There were always the stars, the ones with God-given talent that puts them in a different stratosphere from us mere mortals.
November 21st, 2013
Chris Ruch, Director of Delivery Operations
I’m pleased to announce that Summa has joined the Scaled Agile Partner program. The Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) is an interactive knowledge base for implementing agile practices at an enterprise scale. The Scaled Agile Framework is a proven, publicly-accessible program consisting of approximately 300 pages of guidance. Its primary interface is the “Big Picture” graphic which highlights the individual roles, teams, activities and artifacts necessary to scale agile from the team, to teams of teams, to the enterprise level. It has been successfully applied in programs ranging from only 50-100 people, to enterprises employing thousands of software developers.
November 21st, 2013
I worked on a midsize project that had a requirement to implement a security for windows and form authentication. The requirement also stated that I could not use the .NET membership provider since there was a WCF service that provided users and roles to the application. Looking into the problem from a higher level, I wanted to either implement a role-based security model or an operation-based security model.
November 13th, 2013
Lou Biancaniello, Consultant
Mobile application development has been around as long as digital handheld devices have been produced. Palm Pilots, Newtons and Windows Mobile devices, all had apps to write or purchase. That said, it wasn’t until iOS 2 and the release of the iPhone 3G with the iTunes App Store that the app market really exploded. Early apps were written in Objective C (for iPhones) or Java (for just about everything else) by students, small and agile companies, and early adopters of mobile technology. Now we are starting to see businesses adopting mobile applications as a key strategic initiative, and as such, an Enterprise approach for developing apps must be defined.
November 11th, 2013
Mitch Goldstein, Consulting Services Manager
MariaDB is quickly becoming a popular and powerful alternative to MySQL as an open-source database management platform.
November 8th, 2013
Jason Graham, Consultant
I have been fortunate enough to spend time using Bash to work with PHP in a Linux environment in the past. At one point in my life, I was tasked with creating/configuring headless VMs to run our WebDriver test suites on Amazon’s EC2. I will admit that before I started this task I did know a few commands at the terminal. I had a few tricks up my sleeve, you might say. You might also say that those tricks were essentially “ls” and “nano” — and you’d be right. Of course, not all of my work used Bash, but if you’ve had to build up a Linux server from some vanilla distro to suit your needs, then you probably understand how a chunk of time is spent at the terminal.
October 31st, 2013
Phil Van Sickel, Senior Project Manager
Many of us have experienced the following: It’s code review time and Vince (name has been changed to protect identity) is presenting some very difficult logic he designed when the Team Lead notes that what he did is not going to work. Vince is floored and defends his reasoning trying to remain calm and focus on the issues he’s addressing. The lead pushes back and defends why the code is not correct. Discussion escalates as people try to control their passions, and, in the end, no agreedment is reached and everyone is very frustrated.
October 23rd, 2013
Code that runs in a web browser hosted application is intentionally isolated from the host system (sandboxed). This is a good thing, for very good security reasons. In spite of this, there are times we wish to escape the bonds of these restrictions. While breaking through these restrictions would typically be irresponsible in general public-facing websites or web applications, there are settings where it is desirable.
Web applications are becoming prevalent in line of business applications, and web-based internal portal applications have been proliferating for a long time. This is due to several factors:
•minimal installation footprint and even more importantly, minimal deployment management overhead
•single point of upgrade
•single point of integration to other systems
•scalability of server-side business logic
•hosted, or even cloud deployments of applications that used to have thick client implementations or UI components
There is often an issue with perceived loss of functionality in these applications when implemented in a browser, and I don’t just mean the ever narrowing gap in UI richness. The most common issue is the loss of direct interaction with client peripheral devices, most commonly printers and scanners. There may also be a need to support integrations with other client-hosted software, or software with a client-based API. The sample included here enables a web application to select a printer on the client computer.
October 18th, 2013
Three other Summa developers and I were notified that we would be developing a hybrid mobile application for the Summa Summit. Our first reaction was that this would be an exciting opportunity, as all but one of us was new to the company so this would be our first project with Summa — but then, reality set in. First, we were informed that we had three weeks to develop the application and that it had to work on iOS and Android. To add to the complexity, the mobile application also had to communicate with Salesforce.com. Finally, we had to use new technologies that we never used before, such as AngularJS.
How did our team create an application in such a short window? There are many factors that led to our team being able to produce a high quality mobile application in such a short time frame. The factors that will be discussed in this piece are the team’s constant communication, necessity of well-defined user stories, benefits of the Agile methodology and how one week sprints kept the team focused, the iterative design process, constant testing on many devices and, above all, every team member’s commitment to the project.
October 16th, 2013
Doug DiFilippo, Consultant
I love keyboard shortcuts in web apps. There is nothing better than being able to quickly navigate a UI without ever needing to touch the mouse. On my current project, we are building keyboard shortcuts into an internal tool to help boost productivity. We have a rather simple and elegant solution using AngularJS and Mousetrap so I thought I would share some of the details.