• The Technologies

    Luke Canvin Blog Post

    Starting from a blank slate on day one would be a little daunting and no doubt we’d spend a fair chunk of the week trying to decide what we’d like to build before even getting on to planning how to build it. So we decided to make a list of the technologies we’d like the chance to try out and use that to give us some direction in the sort of app we’ll be building. We came up with the[...]

  • The Venue

    Luke Canvin Blog Post

    To try to bring as fun and creative an atmosphere as possible to the week, we decided to break away from the office completely and find a interesting place to stay; somewhere without the usual distractions. After a fair bit of searching, I came across a house in the Cotswolds having privacy, not to far from Oxford where most of us are based, but far enough for it to definitely be away. Hoopoe Cottage (though I think it’s too new[...]

  • So what is a Dev Camp?

    Luke Canvin Blog Post

    First, a little introduction might be useful. I’m Luke, a developer and product manager at Oxford Computer Consultants. We build web and software applications for a really wide range of clients all over the UK and further afield – you can take a look at the OCC site if you want to know more. As part of my annual review process, this year I was particularly interested in finding new ways to give our developers a chance to express their[...]

  • Select variable number of rows with SQL

    Reynold Greenlaw Blog Post

    In SQL Server 2005, you can now use a variable when getting the first n number of rows in a SELECT query: DECLARE @NumberOfRowsIWant INT SET @NumberOfRowsIWant = 23 SELECT TOP (@NumberOfRowsIWant) * FROM T_Client The OUTPUT clause added in SQL 2005 gives you access to the inserted and deleted tables, normally only useable in a trigger, in your stored procedures (SP). Combine the clause with an UPDATE or a DELETE and you can, for example, select fields from the[...]

  • Tally Tables in SQL

    Reynold Greenlaw Blog Post

    A tally table is a table with a set of numbers in, such as all of the integers from 1 to 1,000,000  in order. It may also known as a number table and could contain every day between two dates, or every Monday between two dates, etc. Tally tables can be used for a large and varied number of ways, to make code simpler and/or faster. Converting a CSV string into a dataset A common use of a tally table[...]

  • Outsmarting SQL Joins

    Reynold Greenlaw Blog Post

    If you work with SQL you will know about the various types of join and what they do: [Inner] Join Left [Outer] Join Right [Outer] Join Full [Outer] Join Cross Join (Where the Inner and Outer keywords are optional). But how does SQL actually do the joining? Usually, it picks the most appropriate method (ie the fastest) and everything’s fine. Occasionally, however, it drops the performance ball and everything grinds to a halt. In these situations, knowing what’s going on[...]

  • Science Oxford Apprentice 2011

    Reynold Greenlaw Blog Post

    Contestants have completed round 2 and the finalists have been decided. The final of Science Oxford Apprentice will be held at Science Oxford Live on the 4th of May. To be crowned this years Science Oxford Apprentice, the finalists will have to give a 10 minute presentation, followed by questions from the judging panel. In their presentations they will be outlining a software concept they have designed, and how it will encourage people to take up and maintain interest in[...]

  • OCC Awarded Sustainable Routes Grant

    Reynold Greenlaw Blog Post

    OCC has been awarded a grant of £1,000 from Sustainable Routes, as we were able to show that we had purchased 2 new laptops, to help staff work from home and a web cam and microphone have been installed in one of our meeting rooms for distant communication. The award was a match funded grant. More information at  www.sustainableroutes.co.uk OCC’s directors believe that the company’s IT solutions and services should bring value to clients and the local community in a[...]

  • Science Oxford Apprentice 2011 – Voting closes Friday

    Reynold Greenlaw Blog Post

    The Science Oxford Apprentice is an annual enterprise competition for 16-19 year old students in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire. The Competition aims to encourage young people to develop their skills by giving them the chance to interact with local science and technology companies. This year OCC is supporting Science Oxford Apprentice which sees students competing in a series of business-themed challenges for a cash prize of £475 and a two week work placement at OCC. Round 2 is currently underway. Six[...]

  • OCC MarketPlace

    Reynold Greenlaw Blog Post

    Over 50 Local Authorities have been using OCC’s electronic market place solution for several years.  To support the Government’s Individual Budgets programme, we have overhauled and extended our portal to become the OCC MarketPlace a comprehensive services directory for personalisation with information about trusted and safe services. 7 LAs have brought our new product and are already using it. OCC MarketPlace helps people identify high quality, affordable services using the latest information direct from service providers & council IT systems. Users[...]

  • OCC MarketPlace helps West London Boroughs reduce costs

    Reynold Greenlaw Blog Post

    The West London Alliance (WLA) consisting of 6 London boroughs (Brent, Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham, Harrow, Hillingdon and Hounslow) are working together to make their combined adult social care more efficient, and have chosen Oxford Computer Consultants to provide our OCC MarketPlace system to support them. With a combined budget of £330 million a year the WLA has the greatest spend of any single local government organisation in England for adult social care. By combing their budgets the local authorities[...]

  • Sport England Market Segmentation Web Tool

    Reynold Greenlaw Blog Post

    The Sport England project involved the development of a Geographical Information System (GIS) that shows the profile of people living in different parts of the UK.  It is designed to help organizations plan their investment into sporting facilities. Sport England selected OCC to develop an interactive web-based tool for viewing their refreshed market segmentation data. The Sports market segmentation web tool enables users to analyze the general population and their characteristics at different social and geographic levels. It makes it[...]

  • Keeping our Clients Safe

    Reynold Greenlaw Blog Post

    At the recent ContrOCC workshop on ad-hoc reporting John Boyle was reminded of a paper he wrote in 1984  suggesting that the ‘on button’ for a simple calculator (one that could perform addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) should be replaced by a ‘test’ button.  On pressing the test button, the screen would display a simple, but appropriate, test: for example, 7 * 8.  If the human entered the correct answer, only then would the calculator switch on and the user[...]