Shop Talk

The End For Bitcoin Draws Near (SegWit2x)
7/31/2018 6:37:49 PM by admin

The Blockchain algorithm is running without issue on nodes across the globe for nearly two decades. Like all things technology, the time comes for an upgrade. That time has arrived for the Blockchain. SegWit2X is an upgrade to the  Blockchain set to deploy on the Aug 1, 2017. The upgrade will double the size of the block and increase the Bitcoin network performance which is very much in need now and more so in the future. So what is the problem? Just click the upgrade package and wait for it to install. There is fear that some crypo current platforms will not support the new blocks. Bitcoin miners also are not fully on board with the implementation and some are deciding to stay with the old block structure. Since all crypo current is a block in the Bockchain, the idea that after Aug 1 some blocks may no longer be valid implies that some individuals in the Virtual Currency industry stand to loose large amounts of their virtual wealth. Thus far, there is a determination that 80% of the Bitcoin miners ar ....


Working with Sitefinity MVC Widgets (Pure, Hybrid or Classic)
12/28/2017 12:20:05 AM by admin

We are currently building custom MVC widgets for a client, and noticed a couple of things. First is that the development environment with Sitefinity Thunder is not the best. The provided Visual Studio project is part of the site installation. Since this client pushes content changes from their development installation, we would have to work from the same site. Work would be checked from the physical site and not in a development environment.  This slowed us down a great deal. What we did is to create a standard MVC project in Visual Studio and use pre and post build scripts to package everything according to Sitefinity’s specifications and then drop the .DLL in the run-time directory. This approach allowed us to develop faster and still have an easy deployment process for the finished product. The second important concept to develop Sitefinity MVC Widgets is deciding to what level of MVC the Widget will be. The CMS supports both ASP life-cycle pages and MVC routed views.  There are three po ....


Blockchain - The Average Joe Explanation
7/31/2018 6:43:06 PM by admin

This blog will be the beginning of a series to frame the inner workings of Blockchains and how they are evolving in modern society.

Let us begin with this question, “What is a Blockchain”.  A Blockchain is a continuous record of individual transactions or “Blocks”. We might look at a Block as a receipt. When you make a purchase at a store, you are given a receipt for that purchase. When you think about it, that receipt is a record of two things. First it records how much money escaped your pocket. Next, it is proof of how much money was placed into a stores cash register.  It is a chore to consumers across the globe to store a receipt as proof of a purchase. Enter the Blockchain. A Blockchain can be viewed as a centralized collection of <strong>all</strong> receipts. By “<strong>all</strong>”, I mean all over the entire world. Like a global library whose purpose is to just store receipts.  It would work similar to a consu ....


Progress - Sitefinity CMS Development
12/28/2017 12:19:46 AM by admin

When Progress bought Telerik and as Sitefinity consultants, we were concerned that the commitment to MVC might be lost. The .ASP life cycle has served its purpose for many years; however, modern client side complexities are better tackled with architecture capable of offering flexible client side packages and proven server side frameworks to handle the business needs.

Over the years we have made a number of custom Modules for Sitefinity.  The unusual ability for Sitefinity to allow custom development while giving content administrators creative control has made working with it a very nice experience. From the beginning, as a Sitefinity consultancy, most of our custom Development focused on Sitefinity and not the page lifecycle.  This is not the case with many other CMS systems.  For clients, this really can save a lot of money in custom Web Application Development.

We looked at MVC and Sitefinity Widgets and feel that Progress seems to be staying true to driving Sitefin ....


SiteFinity Developers/Architects – (Module or Control)
12/28/2017 12:19:25 AM by admin

Sitefinity offers many ways for developers to add custom features. Often we find ourselves asking, “What would work best”? Create custom controls or a custom module. From our experience working with the CMS on various client projects, the answer resolves to the question, “Native logic and custom controls or custom logic and native controls”?   With a module there will be an entire configuration section that gets built for users to set global configuration. This may be a necessity, for example, when integrating Sitefinity to other applications such as SalesForce. Also, a Module’s native functions can be overridden to perform custom logic. This approach obviously involves more interface implementations, more coding and more resources. One might think the easier path would be to just create custom controls for content editors to drop into pages and create their own logic. Not so fast. The native Sitefinity controls extend the native Telerik controls. Those controls exte ....


Survey Says - Food Trucks
12/28/2017 12:18:23 AM by admin

We did a survey of food truck operators while researching features for an on-line web application which will serve that industry. We found some interesting things.

We asked if they needed an application to let their customers know where they are. All responded in the negative. The next question was if their customers needed an online menu. All responded in the negative. Intuitively, one would think these two questions are the two most important to that industry. They are not as you will see.

The next question was if their customers would like to place and order before the truck arrives. Most responded with a strong affirmative. This one really has a lot of meaning. We think this may be one of the strongest indicators of what drives the mobile food vending industry. Workers no longer have time for anything but to eat and run.

Continuing with the questions, the next one was if customers needed an easy way to get to the vendors information. All responded in the negative. In ge ....


Twitter Has Lost Its Twang
12/28/2017 12:18:03 AM by admin

The rapid growth of social media has been amazing no question. If you recall MySpace when it was an IPO, the model for raising a social media network was established with some concrete definition. First Hollywood was called upon to show the public how they regularly stay in touch with each other. The younger generation jumped on board quickly and blew up the number of users. Shortly after those younger users, came the small businesses looking to attract customers. Then after business adopted social media, came the politicians. Even with that many people MySpace still struggled to cash in on advertising. The reason why is important to this very day.

MySpace went out and new social networks came in. Using nearly the same business model they went live one after the other. What developed was a wide range of social networking platforms that fall into two categories.

The first are those that profile users by accumulating tons of small pieces of information about the individual over a long t ....


H1B Changes for IT
12/28/2017 12:26:05 AM by admin

With the current administration’s intent to revamp the H1B program, this is a good time to have a look at what is in play.
The IT industry claims a need for H1B workers due to labor shortages. However, other views see the industry simply abusing opportunities for cheap labor at the expense of domestic works. This issue has been around for a while and not of much interest in the scope of this blog, so we will leave it alone.


What are of interest are the influences affecting the US IT industry for the longer term. Domestically we have an administration driving an “America First” policy focused on training and employing domestic workers. On the other side is a large 3+ million army of foreign H1B workers thriving and living well for their standards. Both movements will be limited by the ability to train and supply workers.
Let’s look at the domestic perspective first. Since the beginning of the dot-com age, American IT workers face ever tighter criteria to land ....


Are Your Apps "Appy" Enough?
12/28/2017 12:17:40 AM by admin

How much native code is required for the app stores? “As much as you can get”.

A client recently asked us to make an existing app more “appy”. That is the word they used. Strangely though, the app was already deployed to Google Play and iTunes. It was based on a cross platform framework and they were having difficulty getting changes published because of insufficient native code. So there seems to be the case that there can be just too much framework and not enough “appyness”. Hmm, what should a growing business which connects with its customers through an app do? Make it more “appy” of course.

None the less the trend we see these days is more towards native code and away from frameworks. I like this from a technical perspective because it puts more focus on programming languages. It makes sense from a business point of view as well. About a decade ago, Enterprise this and that was the trend. Much of it was driven by lots of cash for IT ....


Cheap SalesForce and Sitefinity Integration
12/28/2017 12:17:24 AM by admin

Antyhing SalesForce related is not cheap. Not consider integrating your CMS with SalesForce and the letter "c" drops right out of the alphabet. There is exponential effort in getting a sales lead started as there is maintaining the contact. Why not let customers interested in your services or products start their own contant information. This Sitefinity module is just the thing. It lets you convert the standard Sitefinity forms builder into a self help SalesForce kiosk that allows customers to create their own contact information. It really is worth the money.


ProcessWire CMS
12/28/2017 12:17:07 AM by admin

If I had to pick right now which CMS is best, the answer would come from two questions. The first is, “Is it Windows based or LAMP?” The next question is, “how capable is the person/s managing the content?” There are not many Windows based CMS’s available in the market. Partially, because Sharepoint fills the need and smaller businesses mostly run on LAMP environments at a 30% discount from a Windows platform. However, PHP applications can run on IIS and so most of the emphasis moves to the second question.

How capable is the person/s managing the content? OK, sure Joomla, Sitefinity and others can give a admin the interface with which to change just about everything. These are all fine CMS applications and deployed across the globe. However, what about that start up or small business that needs to target a specific market? The full featured CMS’s will require too much training and or cost to quickly give such a business a specific online presence. As new busi ....


SalesForce REST Integration – Objects and JSON
12/28/2017 12:16:45 AM by admin

I really like the way SalesForce setup its REST API. The intuitive nature makes it simple and unnecessarily complex. Two main principles are involved. The first is the URL path to the SalesForce object. Next is the JSON serialization of that object posted to the URL. That’s it. SalesForce knows if it is an update insert, delete, or anything else. The reverse is true also. GET from the URL path to the object and de-serialize from the JSON string. Of course NOQL queries can be uses as well with the same technique. CRUD interfaces for the standard objects can be built in less than an hour on an MVC platform. Next to Entity Framework or Hibernate this is about as the easiest ORM one has to create manually.


I have worked with the SOAP services also and find it cumbersome in not only in overhead, but serialization of objects and security. These web services rely on before and after triggers which in themselves require some time to create, test and maintain. SalesForce, requires a minimum code ....


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