• 22 Feb 2013

    That DAM System...

    What is a Digital Asset Management System?

     It allows you to centralise and manage your digital assets in the most efficient way. It enables an organisation to centrally store them in a secure environment and access files as and when they need them.

    As an organisation grows it gets harder to control digital files. Time is often wasted dealing with requests for images, logos and other files.

    Resources get scattered across CDs, hard discs, USB's  and network drives. Resulting in poor version control and branding issues.

    What makes a good implementation different from others?

    If thorough business analysis is undertaken at the start, key processes, metadata, categories, permissions, formats, etc will all have been considered. These elements are key and capturing the correct workflows is essential to guarantee success.

    Implementing a digital asset management system is no mean feat, because it largely involves many stakeholders across a business. It also ...

    Category:
  • 20 Feb 2013

    Using AJAX Update Panels

    An UpdatePanel can be used to enable partial-page postbacks within an ASP.NET page.  The contents of the UpdatePanel, which need to be encased in a ContentTemplate element, will be sent back to the server whilst the rest of the page will remain unchanged.  The data returned from the postback will then be rendered to the page using updates within the DOM (Document Object Model).

    As long as the page contains a ScriptManager control and an UpdatePanel control partial-page postbacks can happen.

    An UpdateProgress control can be added to an update panel to make it so loading symbols can be used to show when a partial postback is happening, thereby informing the user that an update is in progress.  The required loading symbol (of other HTML elements to be displayed) need to be placed within a ProgressTemplate element within the UpdateProgress control.

    There are several advantages to using UpdatePanels, the main ...

    Category:
    • Software Applications
    • Software Design & Development
  • 20 Feb 2013

    Auto Spell Check

    Recently, I was asked to implement an auto spell check functionality for a client’s ASP .Net application.

    There are third party custom spell checkers available already; however they come with a high price tag. After doing some research and with the guidance from my seniors, I came across the ‘Telerik Rad Spell’. Initially, by looking at the Telerik documentation and live demo, it just looked fairly straight forward to use but in order to get it to work according to our client’s requirements, a lot of changes had to be made.

    As mentioned above, the initial usability of the ‘Telerik Rad Spell’ for simple applications is quite straight forward. All you have to do is register the Telerik assembly and add a script manager in your .aspx page as in the following line:

    <%@ Register TagPrefix="telerik" Namespace="Telerik.Web.UI" Assembly="Telerik.Web.UI" %>

    <telerik:RadScriptManager runat="server" ID="RadScriptManager1" />

    Once the assembly has been added, you are free to use ‘Telerik Rad Spell’ anywhere ...

    Category:
    • Software Applications
    • Software Design & Development
  • 20 Nov 2012

    The joys of the one page functional specification document

    Forget the details for now, they are not importantWhy is the detailed specification document so rare to find? A one page set of scribbled notes is the single biggest unnecessary risk you can take in any software development project. A concise specification document should always be the first deliverable for any project.

    When you write a decent spec, you only have to communicate how the software is supposed to work once. The clients read it to make sure the developers will be building a product that they want. The developers read it so that they know what code to write, the QA testers can read it so they know what to test for. Simple! So why make life complicated with just a set of notes and a whole bunch of assumptions?

    A good specification document is written in clear and plain language that can be reviewed by the client with minimal technical expertise. It might be very detailed, ...

    Category:
    • Project Management
  • 05 Nov 2012

    Normalisation. Part 4

    Third Normalised Form (3NF)

    This is the last stage of normalisation, there are further levels but it’s the first three that are the integral ones.

    This level of normalised form is the process of identifying transitive dependencies. As intimidating as this sounds, it really isn’t! These are attributes which depend on fields other than the primary key.

    For example, within the customer table there is a field entitled discountAmount. This particular field is dependent on the membershipType and not the custNo. Therefore, these two fields will be put into a new table. The membershipType will become our primary key, every tables needs one.

    Now we have a separate table, we need a way of linking it to the customer table, the membership type is a part of every customer. To do this we use a foreign key. A foreign key is always points to the primary key in another table. ...

    Category:
    • Software Design & Development

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