Servage Magazine

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Archive for May, 2011

Success with multiple platforms

Sunday, May 29th, 2011 by Servage
It's not easy creating something useful, fun and successful online. Competition is merciless, there are literally hundreds of thousands of alternatives, and customers switch around between products with an incredible pace. Tolerance for bad products, service or pricing is very low. So creating something with a continuos success, even on multiple platforms is quite an accomplishment. One of the most interesting things in recent years has been the introduction of even more platforms than we had before combined with the explosion of users of various devices. Once we "just" had Windows for the consumer market, with some competition from consoles for gaming. Today Linux and Mac systems are increasingly competing with ...

TeamLab creates your corporate online portal

Saturday, May 28th, 2011 by Servage
Have you heard about online portals? Web-based customer relationship management? Marketing? Wikis? Document sharing? And many other tasks... TeamLab helps you get started with an online portal quickly, offering the most common features you need for good and efficient web-based collaboration. Main features Project Management. Set milestones, assign tasks and due dates. Track team activity and generate reports. Business Collaboration. Express ideas in blogs and forums. Share photos, bookmarks, wiki. Post polls and news. Document Editing. Create, edit, store and share documents with colleagues all in one place. Instant Messaging. Chat with your team members, set up conferences, receive "what's new" notifications. Customer Relationship Management. Manage, track and enhance your customer relations with a multi-functional system. Email. Send, receive and organize email messages right on your corporate portal. The ...

Easy and beautiful console app

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011 by Servage
Hey, did you ever need to use a terminal client? There are many pieces of software for this purpose. Most do their job well, some don't. On Mac OSX I've been trying to get along with the default Terminal app, but I just doesn't cut it. Some years ago I stumbled over iTerm, which was an extended version of Terminal. It's good, but not goo enough. I like to use the Terminal here and there, quickly, not like a real standalone application, but just as a part of an existing workflow with other apps. Using the terminal is like using spotlight. It happens now and then, clean and fast. I ...

Should you buy or should you not?

Monday, May 23rd, 2011 by Servage
We have tons of cool gadgets to choose from when purchasing new stuff. Regardless if we need it or not, we find ourselves facing decisions every time we buy something. Getting a new computer is not an easy task. It could generate philosophical questions of the perfect computer environment. Which devices do we need? What should they do? And how can they interact? Being sightly overwhelmed with the recent development with tablet computers, I am starting to consider purchasing one. But does it really provide any addition to my life, exceeding the first few days of excitement over a new toy? I'm not sure. What do I really need? I come from ...

Using SSL for your local development

Thursday, May 19th, 2011 by Servage
In this previous article I showed how you can use local domains (like aproject.local and beeproject.local) for development on your local host. Today I am going to show how you can use SSL for your local development as well. I.e. using https:// instead of http:// for encrypted connections to your local development projects. Every serious and trustworthy website uses SSL encryption to secure sensitive data from third parties. This might just as well be a part of the development process. First, you need to make sure that your webserver us ready to run with SSL. I have previously discussed two good options to get a local development ...

Improving your workflows

Saturday, May 14th, 2011 by Servage
There are many ways of doing this. Often there are even different ways that yield the same result, even at similar expenses. Sometimes there are also ways that drain resources. Working efficiently is not just something you accomplish here and now, by using smooth workflows, but a continuos process of optimizing the ways your team interacts and collaborates. Improving your workflows can significantly improve your results by increasing customer satisfaction and profit. It's not a new idea to improve workflows. Many ways are publicly discussed. There are also various tools that can assist you. This article will not describe this type of improvement from an academic or theoretical point of view, ...

Setting up local domains for development

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011 by Servage
In this previous article I discussed some easy solutions to get started with local development for PHP and MYSQL applications. However, following the default installation instructions for the available server software, often just gives you a standard setup without local domains. For example a default Apache webserver shows the global webroot when accessing http://your-ip or http://localhost (or any domain pointing to your computer). This article will show you the basics of setting up your system to work with local domains, so you can work on multiple projects on your system in parallel. For this purpose, let's say you have two projects, called "Aproject" and "Beeproject". We want to access these ...

Easy next-gen stylesheet creation with SASS

Saturday, May 7th, 2011 by Servage
SASS stands for Syntactically Awesome Stylesheets, and is an addition to CSS3. It's meant to make CSS3 generation easier and more fun. Since browser differences and complex CSS definitions have made the stylesheet creation a very complex task, SASS enables the designer to get great results fast. Some of the core features of SASS are the ability to use variables, nested rules, mixins and selector inheritance. This functionality makes CSS creation more script-like, and you get better CSS with less code. After creation, SASS uses Compass to compile your final stylesheet. This step also compresses your stylesheet to the smallest possible size, by reducing the entire file to one ...

Working with API’s to enrich your website

Monday, May 2nd, 2011 by Servage
The term API is often described nowadays. It seems a popular feature around on many web apps. Especially large projects like Google or Facebook have developer APIs. But what are they exactly and how can they help you and your website? API is an abbreviation for Application Programming Interface. A more formal definition from Wikipedia states: "An application programming interface (API) is a particular set of rules and specifications that software programs can follow to communicate with each other. It serves as an interface between different software programs and facilitates their interaction, similar to the way the user interface facilitates interaction between humans and computers. An API can be created for ...