Developing Tech Skills

Why Learning Tech Skills Made Me a Better Business Analyst

When I started my business analyst job here at Entrance, I quickly realized that the soft skills I’d developed in college weren’t going to cut it — simply being able to communicate just isn’t enough for a business analyst when it comes time to performing quality assurance testing on the software you’re building for a client. Though it wasn’t impossible, testing complicated scenarios coupled with the …Read More

K2 Logo

Three Things We Just Learned About K2 BlackPearl 4.7

This week, K2 held a partner webinar to go over some of the changes set to be released as part of BlackPearl 4.7. The release promises several positive changes focused on three main areas.
Package and Deployment
The P&D tool gets an overhaul with the goal of making you aware of changes that will break deployments well in advance. For instance, when changing a SmartObject, K2 will …Read More

How Should You Be Migrating to OneDrive for Business?

How Should You Be Migrating to OneDrive for Business?

Microsoft is rolling out big improvements to the OneDrive Sync tool, and the experience of using OneDrive on the web is top-notch. Plus, each user gets essentially unlimited storage capacity. Time to get ready for migrating to OneDrive for Business, right?

Maybe not. Our friends at ShareGate explain why most content should not be moved to OneDrive, and why it might be better to just let …Read More

.NET Framework 2.0

This is the End: .NET Framework 2.0 & Visual Studio 2005

.NET Framework 2.0 has been around for a decade but will be completely unsupported by Microsoft; the announced end of the extended support period is April 12, 2016.  In lock-step with the .NET Framework, the corresponding version of Microsoft’s development tool, Visual Studio 2005, is also at its end-of-life.

The end of “extended support” in Microsoft parlance means that the product is no longer maintained, including …Read More

It's the end of the road for SQL Server 2005

SQL Server 2005 End-Of-Life: Where Do We Go from Here?

SQL Server 2005 has been around for over a decade but will shortly end its existence as a supported Microsoft database product. The end of extended support for SQL Server 2005 is April 12, 2016. The associated development tool, Visual Studio 2005, also goes off support at the same time.

The end of “extended support” in Microsoft parlance means that the product is no longer maintained, …Read More

How to Create User-Friendly Redirects in SharePoint Online

If you ever need to establish permanent redirects in SharePoint Online, there are several ways to go about it, but only one that produces a clean user experience.

This came up recently with a client who had a home site collection and a marketing site collection. We wanted to make sure that when user navigated to the home site collection, they automatically ended up in the …Read More

Unit Test for Software

How a Unit Test Can Save the Day

I had a time-sensitive fix to a calculation that needed to be applied to a complicated calculation for a highly complex application. We’re helping someone account for money that runs their business and the result gets exposed to clients and sent out on an invoice, so I had to ensure that my fix didn’t cause more bugs elsewhere, and ensure that the calculation is functioning …Read More

Moving an Application to the Web: Top Design & Testing Concerns (Part 2 of 2)

Today, I’d like to continue my discussion of the top concerns when moving an application to the web.  If you haven’t already read Part 1 of this post, here’s a link to get you up to speed.

There are two more issues that, while important for desktop apps, tend to require much more effort for web apps: security and loading times. Security is usually going to …Read More

Moving an Application to the Web: Top Design & Testing Concerns (Part 1 of 2)

If you’re moving an application to the web, there are a lot of things to keep in mind when designing and testing it. Most of them, however, ultimately boil down to two things: user expectations and user experience. When using a browser, users will have certain expectations of how windows act and how to navigate the application that won’t be the same as a desktop …Read More

Managing Railroad Crossing Safety with TIBCO Spotfire Analytics

Imagine that you are a intensely focused on managing railroad crossing safety by improving rail-highway crossings that are the site of accidents involving trains and road vehicles or pedestrians. While all crossings may be of interest, you want to triage the 500,000 crossing in the US to determine those that most urgently need attention to safety conditions.

We want our dashboard information system to answer these questions at …Read More

Meteor JavaScript: Rapid App Development

Are you looking to quickly build a custom web app, and you want to use JavaScript to do it? If so, Meteor JavaScript could be the foundation you need.
1) An Overview
Meteor is a full stack JavaScript-based app development platform, designed to make it easy and fast to go from prototype to production. Meteor does this by providing a curated set of open source libraries, many of which …Read More

Hybrid On Premise Data in SharePoint Online with Azure Hybrid Connection

Technology in the cloud is tremendously more fast moving than when compared to on premise solutions. The case of SharePoint hybrid solutions is a prime example. The current Microsoft-provided documentation itself seems to be a bit dated with a suggestion to set up an on premise installation of SharePoint to serve the on premise data to the cloud. Another popular (and less costly) approach involves …Read More

Azure Hybrid Connections Make Cloud-Hybrid Connections Easy!

This year Microsoft released Azure Hybrid Connections, and significantly simplified the setup process of hybrid cloud solutions. Before, surfacing surface data from an on premise SQL server was an arduous task. It may have required developing data migration solutions, mirroring table structures on Azure, and opening firewall ports. Contrast this to the new process: setting up the Azure Hybrid Connection in the Azure Portal, and …Read More

Top 5 Mobile App Trends for 2016

The proliferation of mobile apps will only grow in 2016. Are you up to speed on the latest trends in mobile app development? Here are some key mobile app trends that you should keep in mind in 2016.

Cloud-based
Cloud service offerings such as the Azure App Service from Microsoft, provide a launching pad to accelerate your mobile app development. Furthermore, once launched they provide the flexibility …Read More

4 Tips for Gathering Requirements for SharePoint Projects

Getting started as a business analyst on a SharePoint Project can be challenging because SharePoint has so many features and functionalities. Users will provide their software wish list to the you without considering the items that will bring the highest business value to the company.
Here are four quick tips for gathering requirements for SharePoint projects:

Identify who will be affected by the success or failure of the SharePoint …Read More

Mobile Usability: 4 Key Best Practices

In many regards, mobile is no longer just the future, it is critical to the present as well. Mobile internet usage now makes up a majority of worldwide internet usage. Applications that do not feature mobile usability are quickly becoming a hassle for users, and ultimately obsolete.
Unfortunately, developing for mobile is not as simple as taking desktop development practices and squishing them to fit on a …Read More

Choosing A Test Suite in Microsoft Team Foundation Server (TFS)

There are three types of test suites used in Microsoft Team Foundation Server (TFS) for organizing test cases: regular, query-based, and requirements-based suites. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, and though none of them are perfect, using requirements-based suites as your primary means of test case organization allows for the best combination of traceability and usability.
Regular test suites are essentially folders; they can contain either …Read More

Should You Phase Out On-Prem SharePoint Customizations?

I was recently asked to comment on a recommendation that SharePoint leaders should phase out on-prem SharePoint customizations that may inhibit a cloud migration. The argument goes that tightly coupled customizations likely won’t make the hop to the next on-prem version, let alone the relative long-jump to the cloud, and thus you should rework them now to prepare for migration. While I agree with the …Read More

How to Use Azure to Jumpstart Mobile App Development

Azure App Service is a fully managed Platform as a Service (PaaS) offering from Microsoft that enables you to deliver mobile apps quickly to market and do it at scale. Azure provides all of the tools you need to enable everything from the back-end database to the front-end user experience.

On the back-end, cloud data storage is available in the format you need, including traditional SQL …Read More