Archive for month: September, 2012

The headaches of hosted data

30 Sep
September 30, 2012

Many companies use vendor bought solutions for their CRM and ERP systems. There are many benefits to this, especially if you do not have a large IT staff in house to develop and support it. Findaway fits this scenario, and it works for us very well to meet our business needs. However, it is my job to keep all our data in that hosted cloud environment synced with our local SQL Server environment. In my 3 years here, this has proved to be very challenging a lot of times, and needless to say quite time consuming. I am a SQL dude by trade, which I am awesome at by the way, but I spend a good amount of my time tracking down issues between the 2 environments, as it’s not real time syncing.

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Easy Python SOAP with SUDS, with a few Date/Time gotchas.

27 Sep
September 27, 2012

suds duckIn the world of web services, SOAP is a bit like the quip about the old Holy Roman Empire. It’s neither Simple nor an Object nor a Protocol (talk amongst yourselves). Actually though, the main thing is that it’s not all that simple. It’s just a teensy bit verbose and over-engineered for most uses. So in order to consume a partner’s SOAP web service with a minimum of overhead and teeth-gnashing, we use a very lightweight SOAP client called “suds”. In addition to its too-precious name, the other benefit of suds is that it is simple. To connect to a web service, you just do the following:

from suds.client import Client
url = 'http://localhost:3000/webservices/WebServiceTestThing?wsdl'
client = Client(url)

And you have a connection to the web service. It’s just that easy™. Read more →

A broadcast storm

26 Sep
September 26, 2012

A broadcast storm occurs when a network system becomes overloaded by continuous multicast or broadcast traffic. This happens when different nodes start sending and broadcasting data over a network link, and the other network devices respond by rebroadcasting the data back to that same network link.  Eventually, this overload will cause the entire network to melt down and lead to the failure of network communication. It is a system admin’s worst nightmare (especially if it is a Monday morning!) and promises a very interesting day to say the least!

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Integrated Database Development with SQL Developer

25 Sep
September 25, 2012

SQL Developer is a free integrated development environment from Oracle.

Out of the box SQL Developer connects to Oracle databases. With a few clicks, and downloading of a jar files, SQL Developer can connect to MySQL,  Mircrosoft SQL Server, Sybase, Cloudscape, DB2, Firebird, Informix , PostgreSQL, and others. Read more →

Outsmarting Your Users

19 Sep
September 19, 2012

Often times in the tech industry we believe ourselves to be smarter than the users of the technology we develop.  Or, at a minimum we believe we know our users well enough that we make certain design decisions base on how we believe they will use our technology.  This is not necessarily a bad thing in most instances.  After all, we are the creators of the technology.  It’s reasonable to assume that we know a good deal about that which we are creating.  At least, one would hope so.  :-)

Recently, I was working on an Android app where I needed to download a particular set of files. This task was fairly autonomous. I was content to start the download task and let it do it’s thing in whatever time it took.  I am aware of the fragile state of today’s <insert number here>G networks and was hopeful that I planned accordingly.  I would wait until enough of the first file was finished downloading before I used it in another task.  That however should not keep me from starting another task so long as I did actually plan accordingly.  I mean, really… who tries to use something before they actually have it?  Duh!

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IE and console.log

14 Sep
September 14, 2012

Many a developer has been foiled by IE after developing and testing in Firefox and Chrome, using their Javascript debugging tools, and then running into weird inconsistencies in IE.  This is yet another of those stories.

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Project Vermont (And Back)

12 Sep
September 12, 2012

I recently had the opportunity to go to my cousins wedding in Vermont. For a variety of reasons, I had only three days in which to drive to Vermont, attend the wedding, and drive home. I had never driven for more than several hours solo, so I was a little nervous about the twenty-five or so round trip hours. Because of some strategic choices I made, the trip was (spoiler) a huge success, and all of that time gave me the chance to wax philosophical about solo project management, Findaway style. Here are a few of my observations…

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Insert Spine Labeling

07 Sep
September 7, 2012

A few weeks ago I finished a project that would allow our printing on demand process to print out information directly on inserts instead of having to manually create labels and stick them on the inserts by hand. My last blog post was actually all about that. After the completion of that project our sales department wanted to add more to the project. The goal was to allow for the spine labeling portion of the program to become fully automated and read the information for the spine right out of Marc records. Marc records are a type of file our company uses that contain information about audio and video titles we have. To accomplish this task I would need to create another program and adding to the existing program. Read more →

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