jQuery to Ship With VS2010!

In a move to improve its tool set, Microsoft announced that the next version of its development flagship, Visual Studio, version 2010 will include the jQuery Javascript library.

Rich Internet Applications (RIA’s) represent a growing proportion of our custom software development. Using such libraries as jQuery or Prototype we are able to deliver rich client-side functionality that is cross-browser compatible with greater ease than ever before.

With this announcement, it is clear that Microsoft understands the trend and is looking for opportunities to capitalize on it.

For us as developers, VS2010 will allow us to build even better, more robust web applications that can run on a multitude of browsers and operating systems.

Gotta love it!

Organizations, Certifications Keys to IT Professionalism

What makes a good Information Technology professional? Is it simply good training, gritty determination, logical thinking, and the ability to put in long hours alone at the keyboard?

That may be part of it, but a more complete answer would include communicating effectively, understanding business needs, dressing smartly, belonging to professional organizations, and acquiring certifications.

My company, Nicom IT Solutions, pays particular attention to these organizations and certifications and I will summarize the ones that exist in Nova Scotia. If you are in IT, you’ll want to check these out. If you want to find good IT organizations and individuals who can help your business, this article is a good place to start.

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Marketing During the Recession

As we all hear over-and-over again, that the world is in the midst of a recession, or an economic slowdown, I have been wondering if cutting back in the marketing division is really necessary. It is generally accepted that this is one of the first, if not the first, areas to see cutbacks during times of trouble. However, the marketing division is not just a cost centre. Marketing helps organizations generate revenue by making the brand / corporate name known. If everyone else is cutting back on their promotions, why should you? This is the time to let the public know that you are still there and thriving, and ready to serve them.

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Save Money by Using Virtualization

In 2008, there was a lot of talk around communications devices, but in many corporations one of the hottest IT topics was a technology called “virtualization”. So I’ll start the new year by explaining what virtualization is and why you might be interested in it.

Simply put, virtualization is a way of making a single computer do the work of many. As organizations buy more and more powerful hardware, they often find themselves with too much equipment and with capacity than is not being used.

With virtualization technology, these organizations can partition pieces of a single computer and use it for multiple purposes, efficiently using its capacity.

Without virtualization, companies often use multiple pieces of hardware, called servers, each one running a particular piece of software, confusingly also called a server. So the software servers, such as Windows Server (used for sharing files and running applications), SQL Server (used for corporate databases), Exchange Server (used for email), Internet Information Server (used for hosting websites), etc., each run on their own computer.

If each computer is only partially utilized, there can be tremendous waste in the cost of equipment, electricity, floor space, air conditioning, etc.

With virtualization, any number of software servers can run on a single computer, optimizing the use of hardware. In fact, even desktop operating systems like Windows XP, Vista, or Linux can be run in a virtual environment, and so can individual program applications. How they are configured is controlled by utilities that you use to allocate available hardware to your needs. These utilities allow you to set up “virtual machines”, whereby you allocate pieces of the computer’s central processing unit, memory, hard drive, and other resources, to each virtual machine.

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Oh, T-SQL, take me away!

Ok, so I have this project that I’m working on with a complex security requirement. I’ve built the data layer using NetTiers as a C# library. All of the necessary methods have been exposed as a user-friendly API via a VB.NET client library.

Problem #1, my library is required to make WAY too many calls to the database as the security process works its way through the layers of permissions (business rule permissions). How do we reduce these database calls?

Answer #1, implement my database calls as native SQL functions.

Hmm, what would be involved in essentially converting my VB.NET functions as T-SQL functions? Surprisingly not much. Once you get past the fact that every line needs to be re-coded, the work really isn’t all that bad. It’s an effort that will pay off in dividends in terms of speed and efficiency.

Now, if I can do something about that large session parameter class we’re using.