ROCX

Mobile App Design and Development | Salesforce Development | Systems Integration

Rocx Software blends the design capabilities of a mobile development firm with the technical expertise of a systems integrator. We have unique expertise to create engaging mobile experiences that integrate with enterprise systems. For over 10 years we've consulted with Fortune 500 companies and other leading clients utilizing technology to help them exceed their customer's needs.

Background Image by Flickr user neo_II.

Copyright © 2008-2016. Rocx Software Corp. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

Microservices

Microservices API Gateways

A useful guide to deploying microservices with C# by Paul Mooney covers the benefits in regard to app management and delivery. The two-part posts also make use of RabbitMQ for the queuing functionality. The API Gateway Pattern is presented here by Microservices.io.

“The key in making great and growable systems is much more to design how its modules communicate rather than what their internal properties and behaviors should be.” Alan Key

A nice post regarding object-oriented-programming and microservices with Node.js.

We can confirm that objects are really good. However, modeling the interactions between classes can lead to systems that are extremely complex to understand.

Advanced Messaging Queuing Protocol (AMQP)

AMQP is a popular protocol in both the commercial and open-source world. One of the more popular open-source implementations is RabbitMQ. We are subscribers and highly recommend Derick Bailey's Node.js tutorials on integrating Node.js and RabbitMQ. 

Collect, analyze, report

Background

Loral Skynet was looking to introduce new streaming media services to more fully utilize their fixed satellite service infrastructure. We helped Loral linked up and monetize events.

Solution

Loral approached Rocx Software about building the enterprise system that would collect, store, and analyze data from multiple hardware and software vendors' equipment located in Skynet's regional points of presence (POP). The data collector would have to normalize data in disparate formats from multiple vendors and store this data. The analysis and reporting functions were responsible for usage and billing reports. The billing business logic needed to support two business models, each of which needed to allow Loral personnel the ability to adjust the business logic without programmer intervention.

Rocx integrated with Loral's existing accounting system and allowed network operations personnel near-real-time access to usage reporting.

  • Measure client usage
  • Provide real-time usage that:
  • Allows clients to closely monitor costs which helps to avoid unexpected costs associated with having to wait for monthly invoices
  • Provides the client insight into activity data that they may use to extend the programming schedule on-the-fly
  • Allows producers and network engineers to make adjustments during a media event since they can view real-time data
  • Provide multiple levels of authentication to reports: for example only accounting may view billing reports while producers may only view usage reports
  • Allows Loral's clients the ability to provision services
  • Architecture supports reselling - database, security, authentication, reporting

Technologies

  • Microsoft .NET
  • Microsoft Windows Media Services
  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • Oracle
  • Lawson accounting hosted on UNIX
  • Crystal Reports
  • Web Services
  • Reliacast (monetization)

iOS Network Load Testing

Under iOS 6 to aid in network testing you can make use of the Network Link Conditioner located under Settings. This is perfect for many of today's apps that make use of RESTful services.

Bletchley, England: Powering Hendrix and saving the free world!

Marshall Amplification plc. a.k.a. Marshal Amps and Bletchley Park National Codes Centre are located about a 0.5 mile from each other as shown on Google Maps.

History

Bletchley Park was the main site of the British decryption facilities. The Bletchley Park Wikipedia post goes into the exciting history and has many links to key people involved. Many top mathematicians and cipher analysts worked there. 

One of them was Allan Turing, the mathematician who became influential in the development of computer science.

And I learned that three Polish mathematicians and cryptologists were the first to solve the plugboard-equipped Enigma machine in 1932. That was the main cipher device used by Germany, and their work gave the British a jump start on reading the Enigma of World War II.

Pictured to the right is the Colossus computer invented by Tommy Flowers at Bletchley Park. These were the world's first electronic, digital, programmable computing devices. They used vacuum tubes to perform the calculations. 

And it was vacuum tubes that powered Jimi's Marshall amps about 20 years later! To this day some of the most sought-after amps are vacuum tube powered. Most amps today use solid state electronics (built with solid materials as opposed to the somewhat fragile glass vacuum tubes).  Jimi's first Marshall was a Super 100.

Media

Relevant movies include Sekret Enigmy, a 1979 Polish movie with English subtitles that is likely more historically accurate than most. An American made movie U-571 (2000) was enjoyable, but it was not very accurate.

And on the Hendrix side we have Jimi Hendrix - Live At Woodstock released in 2005 about 389 years after the event.

Does the sound of Purple Haze fire you up? Or does Foxey Lady have you playing air guitar to the classic riffs? Then check out the Apple iTunes app Jimi Hendrix: The Complete Experience

Applications, Services, and Hardware We Use

These are applications, services, and devices we use every day and/or for specific projects. For example, while we currently are not using CacheFly, we have made use of the service for particular projects. We expect this post to be updated routinely.

Offsite and Cloud Providers

Amazon Web Services

Apple iCloud

Google Apps

Rackspace cloudserversTM and cloudfilesTM

Backpack and Basecamp from 37signals. And by the way they use Amazon Web Services for storage.

Domain names, hosting, virtual and dedicated servers we use our WebServicesRock.US! affiliate.

Salesforce Cloud.com

Operating Systems

Apple OS X Mountain Lion

Most of our regular use and development is on Windows 7.

Windows 2008 Server, Web and Standard Editions

Ubuntu Desktop and Server often as a virtual machine on the Mac.

Application Software

Multiple OSes

TrueCrypt Free open-source disk encryption software for Windows Vista/XP, Mac OS X, and Linux. We use it on the Mac.

Cloud Storage

We recommend you create accounts with a couple of vendors in the event you are at a location that is blocking a particular vendor/URL. And yes this has happened to us on multiple occasions and going to plan B saved the day!

Box.net provides 5GB for free. They have excellent support for the applications such as LinkedIn and Salesforce and there iPad app is very good.

Dropbox works with WindowsMacLinuxiPadiPhoneAndroid and BlackBerry.

SpiderOak SpiderOak provides an easy, secure and consolidated free online backup, sync, sharing, access & storage solution for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux open-source disk encryption software for Windows Vista/XP, Mac OS X, and Linux. We use it on Windows, Mac, and iPhones.

OS X iLife '11

Apple iWork '09 word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation software. We also use the iPhone app that both controls the slide show and displays presenter notes.

We use Screenflow for desktop recording on our Mac and also to record Windows when running on under a VM on the Mac. The new version added some nice features including easy publishing to YouTube.

Microsoft Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 continues to be one of the best Mac applications.

Growl Growl lets Mac OS X applications unintrusively tell you when things happen. Small popups occur such as when GMail or Skype users login or leave or Xcode compiles are complete.

VMware Fusion 5

Parallels Desktop 4.0 for Mac

Intuit QuickBooks for Mac. QuickBooks for Mac allows encrypted backups to your MobileMe iDisk. 

OmniFocus is GTD® style task management for Mac OS X and iPhone. The software has good syncing functionality.

OmniGraffle Professional a drawing program - similar to Visio but for the Mac.

OmniPlan a project planning tool we occasionally use.

iStat pro is a free widget that lets you monitor your Mac, including CPU, memory, disks, network, battery, temperatures, fans, load & uptime and processes.

SuperDuper! is the wildly acclaimed program that makes recovery painless, because it makes creating a fully bootable backup painless. And it complements Time Machine.

Apple xCode development environment for Mac OS X.

TextMate TextMate brings Apple's approach to operating systems into the world of text editors.

Aptana Studio

Panic Software Transmit ftp client that works with ftp, MobileMe iDisk, Amazon S3, WebDav and more.

Panic Software Coda one-window web development

Kaleidoscope is a Mac program used to spot the differences in text and image files. Review changes in seconds with the world's most advanced file comparison application.While our consulting work requires us to use various version control products, including the trash Visual SourceSafe, for our development we most often use Mercurial and Git. We had used Subversion for years but once we switched to a DVCS product there was no going back.

Version Control Systems

Git and github (git hosting) and Mercurial integrated with Kiln.

Versions Mac Subversion Client (version control system client)

Development Portals

We include here systems that combine some or all of the following features: bug, issue, and project tracking for software development; version control along with code review.

Fog Creek Software's FogBugz and Kiln hosted on a VM at WebServicesRock.US!

Atlassian's Jira which also provides hosted as well as downloaded solutions.

iPhone Applications

Analytics from AnalyticsApp.com

iStat Shows iPhone stats, monitors remote Mac, Linux & Solaris, CPU, memory, disks, temps, fans, and more. And it has some basic network tools.

OmniFocus Winner of the 2008 Apple Design Award for Best iPhone Productivity Application. We really like this program. It has multiple ways to sync but we use our MobileMe account here too.

Remotely lock your iPhone with Find My iPhone which requires a MobileMe account.

IIS Internet Information Server - web services. Much of our development targets IIS with ASP.NET.

FileZilla Client free open-source ftp client that runs on many operating systems. We only run it on Windows. There is a server now too that only runs on WIndows. 

Development

Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 The Microsoft Store is offering 12 free hours of training with your purchase now. There are numerous free and low-cost add-ins to Visual Studio. We'll show some that we use.

Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect is a great valued, full-featured UML diagramming program. We use it instead of the much more expensive Rational tools. 

Processes

We expect to write about some processes that we routinely use in the future.

Devices We Use

Apple MacBook Air 2nd Generation

Apple 20" iMac 

Apple Magic Mouse 

Blue Pen, Mechanical Pencil, pape, and iPhone Application Sketch Pad

The mStand Laptop Stand By Rain Design is a nicely designed stand for desktop we use regularly when working in bed or on the couch. It keeps the laptop at a good angle and most importantly keeps the ventilation at the back hinge clear from blankets etc.

Big Nerd Ranch Weblog » How to Time

I was asked three times last week how I find how long an activity takes on the Mac and the iPhone.  Here is the most accurate method that I know of:
#import uint64_t start = mach_absolute_time(); 
// do stuff to be timed 
uint64_t end = mach_absolute_time(); 
uint64_t elapsed = end - start; 
mach_timebase_info_data_t info; 
if (mach_timebase_info (&info) != KERN_SUCCESS) { 
  printf ("mach_timebase_info failed\n"); } 
uint64_t nanosecs = elapsed * info.numer / info.denom; 
uint64_t millisecs = nanosecs / 1000000;
As you use this, remember that the elapsed time for a given function will vary with the load the system is under.

via weblog.bignerdranch.com

The "timing" couldn't be better - I was just researching this topic last week.

Quick Timeout for The Blues

My wife Eileen and I stopped by the 

Ground Zero Blues Club

 in Mississippi after dropping off our son Ryan at Ole Miss

Located next door to the Delta Blues Museum in the heart of historic downtown Clarksdale. Owned by local attorney and businessman, Bill Luckett; Academy Award-winning actor and Mississippi Delta resident, Morgan Freeman; and Clarksdale native and Memphis entertainment executive, Howard Stovall. 

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To Uninstall Oracle...

Dictaphone 1998 – We had a love/hate (OK a hate/hate) relationship with Oracle. One of our issues was that the installer/uninstaller was written in Java. So it ran slow and crappy everywhere. Jerry had tacked a sheet of paper to the wall in the lab. It was hanging directly in front of you when you came in. Well, we had some investors come in one day - some of whom were big Oracle proponents (I know, I wondered where they came from too). So on the top sheet in 2" letters was the text "Oracle Uninstallation Instructions". Well funny thing...we had a second page which one of the pro-Oracle folks read. It read "fdisk". 

Copyright 2013-2016. Rocx Software Corp. All Rights Reserved. Background image by Flickr user 5chw4r7z.