At OCC we have been building and hosting software that deals with sensitive public sector data for over a decade. But where do you start if you are embarking on a project/business that has sensitive data at its heart? ISO 27001 The basic standard you need to look at for a company in this sector is ISO 27001:2013. You can purchase a copy of this standard online. If you go along this path the one thing I will say is[...]
Carrying on from our first post following the results of our developers’ adventures in the most recent ContrOCC hackday, here is the final set of projects: Client Provisions – Julian Alternative storage – Maciej WiX – Matthew DB upgrades with F# – Nathan Generating test data – Nigel New documentation – Steph Automating deployment – Tom G Automating component testing – Tom L Web-based CSV editor – Tomasz A Parsing & Analysing T-SQL – Trevor Julian – Client Provisions As[...]
Last month OCC took part in LocalGovCamp 2015 and the Local Democracy Maker Day fringe event in Leeds. LocalGovCamp is an annual “unconference” where the attendees set the agenda by pitching sessions, building a schedule, and taking part in the sessions that appeal the most to them. To people used to formal conferences, it might sound a little chaotic, but it works incredibly well and results in a highly topical and engaging event. Sessions ranged in topic from Open Data,[...]
Tom Litt & I will be attending The Lead Developer conference in September – it’s a new conference with a great line up of speakers covering new and disruptive technologies (of course), tools, methodologies, and, because it is aimed at Leads, also managing teams, motivation and leadership. To warm up I’ve written an article for the conference blog: How to write a 5 year plan (and why it doesn’t matter if no one follows it).
Our ContrOCC hackdays give our developers a day to work on tweaks, gripes, improvements, or whole new features of their choosing and then sharing those with the rest of the team. For all the thinking behind our product hackdays, have a look at the intro to the first ContrOCC hackday. We have plenty of projects to talk about again this year so I have split this post in two; we’ll post the remaining projects soon. Here is the first set:[...]
A requirement we hear from many of our Government customers is that a sizable number of their users with sight impairment prefer to have a text size widget on-screen when they browse a website. These accessibility widgets are tough to implement cleanly using HTML and CSS but the advent of CSS preprocessors such as Sass and LESS make the job much easier. In this post we’ll see how we can use Sass to create a text size widget. What we’re[...]
Oliver Britton, a DPhil student in the Department of Computer Sciences, University of Oxford, has won an international prize for his paper on a new computer model of cardiac electrophysiology. The National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs) awarded Ollie the prize for its potential to reduce the number of animals used in drug testing. He plans to use the prize grant for further research to apply the methodology in neuroscience. OCC has been[...]
If you’re more than 20 years old you will remember the annual delivery of your local telephone directory; the thud as it lands heavily in your hallway, often with a crumpled cover, a testament to the efforts of the delivery boy to fit the tightly published pages through your letter box. For me, this directory was my first exposure to search engine rankings, with its wonderfully named 001 Aardvark Taxis vying angrily with 001 Ace taxis for first place in[...]
SQL Server Service Broker was introduced in Microsoft SQL Server 2005 and this article suggests several uses, the most significant of which is probably the ability to do asynchronous processing. Service Broker might be seen as the database equivalent of Microsoft Message Queuing. In this scenario, a synchronous process can put a message on a queue and then complete immediately (i.e. return control to the user). A separate process can then take this message off the queue and perform some[...]
Carrying on from our first post following the results of our developers’ adventures in the most recent ContrOCC hackday, here is the final set of projects: Graphically presenting performance information to the lay developer – Julian Fletcher Cleaning up the developer documentation – Maciej Luszczynski CSV Merger – Matthew Clarke F#/C# – Nathan-Madonna Byers ContrOCC version manager – Nigel Palmer An executable imports/exports specification – Patrick Donkor Improving code integrity checks – Steph Sharp Migration from within the ContrOCC UI[...]
Our ContrOCC hackdays give our developers a day to work on tweaks, gripes, improvements, or whole new features of their choosing and then sharing those with the rest of the team. For all the thinking behind our product hackdays, have a look at the intro to the first ContrOCC hackday. This year we have so many team members I have split this post in two; we’ll post the remaining projects soon. Here is the first set: Converting the distributed tests[...]
This picture was generated based on the most common words in the user guide for the upcoming ContrOCC version 8 roadmap release. Client, Service, Care and Package are seen to be important as are Financial, Payment, and Charging. More prosaic common words are dictionary, date, default, report, see, and used. Our thanks to the entertaining wordle.net which made this fun and easy to do.
Imagine you’ve been asked to think up a really difficult technical challenge. Well how about delivering health and social care on line, using self-service portals, to frail and elderly citizens? For good measure, imagine that those people need your services to be as simple and familiar as Amazon or Google and that the people funding you are Local Authorities, facing budget cuts in the order of 60%. Oh and you have to ensure accessibility – from PCs, tablets, mobile phones,[...]