• Converting C# to JavaScript

    Neil Bevis Blog Post

    We were recently approached by a client who wanted to create a tablet app that would work offline and yet implement a large, complex C# library that was already being called by their website. For platform flexibility, the decision had been made to build a HTML5 application and therefore our main challenge was in converting the C# library to JavaScript. SharpKit We opted to use SharpKit, which is designed to help C# developers generate JavaScript easily. It is indeed successful[...]

  • Our work experience student – Keith

    Janine Smith Blog Post

    Keith, from Burford School, just spent a week doing coding for one of our research projects. Here’s what he said about his time here: “I really enjoyed my experience at OCC – I’d done quite a bit of programming before, but never in large projects. Working at OCC, I learnt lots about project control and teamwork in programming, as well as learning about new technologies such as MVC 4 and Razor. When I got a placement, I thought I would[...]

  • Converting code from MATLAB to FORTRAN 95

    Tim Palmer Blog Post

    Recently, OCC completed a project converting MATLAB code to FORTRAN 95 which presented us with some interesting problems due to their differences in the treatment of variables, functions and matrices. This article describes how we solved those problems. Variables The most noticeable difference between the two languages is that MATLAB is dynamically typed, while all variables in FORTRAN are declared at the top of the scope. In FORTRAN, variables must be declared before use. A major challenge of converting dynamically[...]

  • ContrOCC Hackday II

    Luke Canvin Blog Post

    After the success of our first ContrOCC hackday, we’ve decided to hold one every four months, to give the team a day to work on things that they think would make ContrOCC a little nicer in some way, for users or developers. For all the thinking behind our product hackdays, have a look at our summary of the first ContrOCC hackday. The day’s projects Alan upgraded as many of our Visual Studio solutions as possible to VS 2012.   2012 improvements[...]

  • OCC Sponsors Young Enterprise 2013

    Janine Smith Blog Post

    OCC sponsored the Young Enterprise 2013 competition locally for the Best Use of Online Media. The School of St Helen and St Katharine company Wrong Way won in early May at the South East finals and John Boyle, OCC’s MD, presented them with their well deserved award. Wrong Way sells quirky, handmade hats and boxes.

  • OCC Sales Success – 1st quarter 2013

    Janine Smith Blog Post

    Our 1st quarter of 2013 has been a resounding success. We’ve had 9 new sales of our products, thanks to our dedicated team of directors, implementation managers and help desk all pulling together. With every new sale comes a new implementation, which we undertake in partnership with our client; migrating data, installing software and training our new users. We’ve also recently won a major contract to deploy PSOCC, our provider system, to manage Day Centre services. For this contract, we’ve[...]

  • NHS Hack Day – Dementia Scrapbook

    Reynold Greenlaw Blog Post

    Over the last weekend in January I attended the NHS Hack Day at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, with friends from Step Up Software and Dr Doctor. NHS Hack Days are weekend events that brings together doctors, nurses, developers, designers, and other “geeks who love the NHS” to create disruptive solutions to problems in the health space. Our team worked together on a novel application called the Dementia Scrapbook – a tablet app that allows content to be uploaded[...]

  • Lunchtime mini-conf roundup

    Luke Canvin Blog Post

    At the end of October, we introduced a series of lunchtime meetups in the office, where we’d watch a talk from a conference related to what we do here at OCC; designing websites, software, building databases, writing code, and creating experiences our users and clients will enjoy. We’ve been getting together for eight weeks now, and I’ve been really pleased to see how many people from all our different teams are keen to spend their lunch expanding their knowledge of[...]

  • ContrOCC Developer’s Hackday

    Luke Canvin Blog Post

    We recently held the first ContrOCC Developer’s Hackday, which was all about giving the team some time to work on things that would make the product a little nicer for them in some way. For example: A development task or bug that’s getting on their nerves but which isn’t getting scheduled Improving developer tools Experimental development which might or might not work A prototype solution or toy program to demonstrate an interesting idea A spec or mockup for something more[...]

  • OCC’s Marathon Man

    Laura Walton Blog Post

    OCC’s Ulen Neale is very near the completion of a huge challenge; one that he has named 12 in 12 in 12. Ulen has run his 11th marathon this year and he is planning to do one more before the year is out. Ulen is dividing the funds he is raising through the marathons equally between Sobell House Hospice and Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC) Support. There is no cure for PSC, which is a degenerative liver disease, but PSC Support[...]

  • Replacing trigger-based validation with foreign keys

    Julian Fletcher Blog Post

    Several techniques are often deployed in well-designed databases to minimise the amount of invalid data. Common ones include: Check Constraints– checks that can be made on a single row in a single table, for example: StartDate <= EndDate Height > 0 Age < 199 Unique Indexes– to make sure we don’t have duplicate entries in a table, for example: National Insurance Number Car Registration Number Triggers – a last resort for cases where “it’s complicated” or we have to check[...]

  • OCC’s Conference Season

    Laura Walton Blog Post

    OCC has been extremely busy during the conference season promoting our contract management and financial assessment management product, ContrOCC. Nick Warner and Damian Payne were at the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) Information Management Conference held at the Hotel Russell, Bloomsbury, in October. Later the same month, Damian Payne, Chris Smith and Keith Musson represented OCC at the National Association of Financial Assessment Officers (NAFAO) meeting at the Macdonald Burlington Hotel, Birmingham, where Damian demonstrated the new[...]

  • UX best practices from homepage to checkout – UX Oxford

    Luke Canvin Blog Post

    UX Oxford‘s September talk was given by James Chudley and Jesmond Allen from cxpartners on UX Components Deconstructed. James and Jesmond are the authors of ‘Smashing UX Design: foundations for designing online user experiences’ and in this talk they focus on their advice for providing the best user experience on common website components; the homepage, category/product listing, product page, shopping basket, and checkout. You can find the slides for the talk embedded at the end of the post. Homepage UX[...]

  • UX Oxford – User research doesn’t need to be boring

    Luke Canvin Blog Post

    August’s UX Oxford talk was “Research is boring: How we sell it, do it better, and make better use of it.” from Lee McIvor, a freelance user experience designer and the organiser of lightningUX. As user experience designers, we often come up against the misconception that user research is not important, that a design does not need to be fed by research, but that we can take the “genius” design route, assume that we know what we need to know,[...]