Archive for category: Development

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 →

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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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 →

A Groovy way to customize Boomi

20 Aug
August 20, 2012

My latest travels in the world of Boomi were to find a way to take an order from our local SQL database and put it in Netsuite.  This seems like a simple job since Boomi’s job is to integrate systems by mapping data of one type to another type.  However, there is a bit of a roadblock in the data format on the SQL side.  Our orders come from one table where the items in the order are in a single field, separated by commas.  Boomi does not like to take things from a comma separated string and put them in a list.  This is where Groovy comes in.
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NetSuite’s Answer to Platform 9¾

16 Aug
August 16, 2012

One of my favorite pieces of creative writing has been the outrageously popular Harry Potter series. In particular, I’ve always appreciated how J. K. Rowling has managed to weave little pieces of realism into the story by referencing common elements of modern society to offset the wild and wonderful world of wizardry. Take for example the concept of taking a train to Hogwarts, and only being able to access that train from a special platform —

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Subway vs. Which Wich: Dealing with Network Latency in Mobile Applications

08 Aug
August 8, 2012

Everything I do at work bleeds. Now I’m not talking about the cuts and scrapes I’ve gotten from crashing RC helicopters into myself at work, but when projects I’ve worked on start affecting the way I look at things outside of work. Recently, it’s been getting me thinking about sandwiches.

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My SSIS success story

03 Aug
August 3, 2012

Recently I was given a very cool project, cool in the fact that it wasn’t reporting for a change. Our distributor for Catalist Digital Retail, B&T, needed us to build an automated data flow process that will provide them excel and text files on a daily basis of our content. We need to make sure that all of the content updates we receive from publishers makes it to B&T within the day.  Being a SQL dude, I immediately thought of SSIS, which stands for SQL Server Integration Services. SSIS is SQL Server’s toolset for ETL, which stands for Extract, Transform and Load. Using this toolset, I can pull the data from our database into whatever format I need.  All of our company data is initially hosted in a cloud ERP called Netsuite, and we use a product called Boomi to pull that data into our local SQL environment to do reporting and manipulations like this. But that whole ball of oil is for another day.

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Python Decorators – part 1

26 Jul
July 26, 2012

One of the many reasons I like solving problems with python is its expressive nature – do more with less.

In particular, I find python’s decorators fun to use; they are a natural way to augment any function with additional behavior without changing the original. If you’re curious how they work, read on. They’re easy to understand and very useful.
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