mrc's Cup of Joe Blog

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Application Development

Weekly recap: 5 ways devops can help companies, tablets outsell PCs, and more…

EducationEvery week, I share the most interesting and useful tech articles that I’ve found over the past week. This week’s top articles focus on how devops can help companies create applications faster, why “Shadow IT” must be embraced, and more. I hope you find them useful:

Shadow IT: Once hidden, often hated, but well worth embracing
The concept of “Shadow IT” is becoming more and more prevalent. Tired of waiting around for the IT department, end users are now buying and using SaaS services without the IT department’s knowledge or approval. IT departments are scrambling to adjust, driven by the fear of being bypassed altogether. The solution: Give users a development platform that meets their needs, while giving the IT department control over data and user access.

Weekly Recap: 3 ways IT still fails itself, developer’s checklist for the cloud, and more…

EducationEvery week, I share the most interesting and useful tech articles that I’ve found over the past week. This week’s top articles focus on 3 ways IT still fails itself, a developer’s checklist for the cloud, and more. I hope you find them useful:

Enterprise software: Win over the staff and you’ll win over the business
With the rise of mobile apps and consumer-focused web services, end users demand more out of their enterprise applications. They expect everything to be as simple and intuitive as the applications they use everyday. This puts added pressure on the IT department to meet the end user’s rising expectations.

Weekly recap: 10 things to improve application development, HTML5 tutorials, and more…

EducationEvery week, I share the most interesting and useful tech articles that I’ve found over the past week. This week’s top articles focus on how to improve application development, HTML5 tutorials, and more. I hope you find them useful:

Mobile developers look to cross platform development tools
A recent report highlights the current trends in mobile application development. As it turns out, developers are turning to tools that let them build one application for all platforms, rather than building separate applications for each platform.

7 key security features of business-class development software

EducationWorking in the business software industry for over 30 years, I’ve seen my fair share of pretenders–amateur software posing as professional business software.

The problem is, this “amateur software” is often hard to detect. It looks great in the demo. Unfortunately, its limitations become apparent after you’ve already purchased the software…when it’s too late to go back.

Today, I’d like to share some tips that will help you separate business-focused application development software from the “amateur” software. I’m focusing on web application development software because that’s our area of expertise (we’ve been doing this for quite a while), but I’m sure these tips apply to most any business software.

So, what separates the pretenders from the legitimate, built-for-business software? Architecture and security. The cheap amateur software focuses mainly on the look and feel, but skimps on the architecture and security. Application development software that’s truly designed for business will include flexible architecture and business-class security features.

What types of security features should good application development software include? I’ve compiled a list of 7 security features that are absolutely essential in professional business application development software:

4 simple ways to improve developer productivity

ProductivityLet me tell you a quick story about two similar development projects at two very different companies. Both companies were building extranets/portals–applications that let their customers log in, view their data, and place orders online.

Both had similar requirements. Both were nearly equally complex. The big differences between the two projects: One required 3 years, while the other required 3 months.

What caused this huge disparity?

As it turns out, the first company made a number of mistakes that killed their developer’s productivity. What were they? I’ve pulled out the most important lessons to learn from this story, and listed them below. With that in mind, if you want to maximize your developer’s productivity…

How to install a navigation bar in your web apps

EducationHere’s a great new feature that will improve your web apps. With the latest m-Power enhancement, developers can now automatically include a custom, drop-down navigation menu in every application.

Here are a few reasons you’ll love this new feature:

1. Maintenance is simple: The m-Power navigation menu is built for simplicity. Once you create your navigation menu file and tell m-Power to include it in your applications, you’re home free. Because the navigation menu is a separate file, maintenance is a breeze. You only have to change one file to update your navigation menu across all applications.

2. User-based security: When you apply the same navigation menu across all apps, you run into user-access problems. What happens if certain applications should only be accessible by a select number of users? Don’t worry, we thought of that. You can set up user-based security on the menu, so users can only see the menu items that pertain to them.

3. We’ve already done the hard work for you: We’ve already created the CSS and HTML necessary for the drop-down menu (though you can alter it if you want). There’s nothing for you to do except tell m-Power that you want the menu added to your applications.

How to add the navigation menu

Want to add the navigation menu to your m-Power applications? It’s simple. We’ve written up a short tutorial in our techblog that explains the whole process. You can find it right here.

Weekly recap: 6 tips to break app dev bottlenecks, how to master new skills, and more…

EducationEvery week, I share the most interesting and useful tech articles that I’ve found over the past week. This week’s top articles focus on development bottlenecks, web standards, and more. I hope you find them useful:

How to master a new skill
Keeping your skills current is one key to success in the IT profession, or just about any field for that matter. But learning a new skill is quite intimidating if you don’t know where to start. This article lays out a great plan of attack for learning new skills.

Weekly recap: Develop applications that empower users, BYOD acceptance, and more…

EducationEvery week, I share the most interesting and useful tech articles that I’ve found over the past week. This week’s top articles focus on the importance of developing applications that empower users, cloud architecture, and more. I hope you find them useful:

Can business embed IT
Like it or not, IT departments are changing. We’re seeing a shift towards the integration of IT and the business. Technology shouldn’t be confined to one department. It must permeate the entire business.

5 new skills necessary for modern development

EducationThe rapid rate at which technology evolves is both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, new tech trends give companies new opportunities to improve their business. For instance, the rise of mobile apps is already helping all types of companies in many different ways.

On the other hand, keeping up with new tech trends is no easy task, as new tech trends require a new set of skills. For example, take a look at the ever-changing world of application development. Business application development is becoming more complex, driven in part by recent trends like the web, mobile, and the cloud. While these new trends expand business opportunities, they also require an ever-expanding skill-set.

How exactly have these new tech trends changed application development? What new skills are required for modern application development? To help you understand how development has evolved, I’ve created a list of 5 new skills that are essential for modern application development.

2 ways “socialization” can improve business applications

Save MoneyHere’s a question for you: Is social media good for business or bad for business? From the surveys I see, companies are fairly split on the issue. Some companies ban the use of social sites, while others allow it.

Regardless of your stance, don’t be so quick to dismiss the social revolution altogether. Whether or not your company chooses to ban social sites, the concepts behind social media hold some valuable benefits to your business applications.

How so? I see two ways that business’s applications can vastly improve with a little “socialization”: