• Follow our developers at Dev Camp

    Laura Walton

    Day 1 was spent settling in and setting up in the beautiful cotswolds. After supper and before turning in, they get stuck into business splitting up the application tasks thus: Server-side – RavenDB and ASP.Net MVC – Mariusz and Neil Client-side – Backbone.js and HTML5 – Tomasz (and Andrew, when he arrives) UX – CSS framework(s) and JavaScript – Luke They will do a fair bit of pair programming before moving on to parallel development after getting the basics done.[...]

  • CoffeeScript anyone?

    Tomasz Agurkiewicz

    What is CoffeeScript? It’s a little language that compiles into JavaScript. And it’s so much simpler to write and look at than original Javascript. And the best part of it? Underneath it all it is still pure JavaScript! I have to admit I was a bit sceptical at first. After looking at the documentation the syntax looked funky, and I thought that I would have to install a compiler, then run it every time I want to have a working[...]

  • Creating a REST API with ASP.Net MVC and RavenDB

    Mariusz Plaskowicki

    With the second day of our dev camp coming to an end it’s time to summarise our server side work.  I’ve been working with Neil on setting up the server side part of the application while Tomasz was working on the client side. We decided that we are going to use standard MVC controllers to implement a RESTful service and RavenDB for data storage. RavenDB is a nosql database server, which stores information as JSON “documents”. These documents can have[...]

  • CuPiD – Parkinsons rehabilitation and telemedicine

    Laura Walton

    Dr John Boyle, MD, and Dr Reynold Greenlaw, Senior Project Manager are attending the CuPiD kick-off meeting in Bologna. OCC is involved in a 3 year EU project to provide personalised rehabilitation exercises for people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) at home. The project is called “CuPiD” and is powered by an eight member consortium led by the University of Bologna. Cupid will develop and test a combination of services for at home rehabilitation and training of major motor impairments caused[...]

  • Dev Camp Day 1

    Luke Canvin

    Our day started at the OCC office with the five of us making a fantastic mess on one of the meeting-room whiteboards getting down our ideas for the domain model of the questionnaire app we are planning to build. After much discussion, especially around the issue of making the application robust vs. doing more interesting things, we settled on our model. Essentially a very simple pairing of Questionnaires as sets of Questions along with their types, and Responses as sets[...]

  • Choosing a JavaScript framework

    Luke Canvin

    One of the most important elements of a modern web application is the JavaScript that powers the client-side interactions. It is what gives us AJAX for subtle server interaction; powerful manipulation of the web page’s structure; and attractive animations and effects that users come to expect from high-quality web sites. All that JavaScript can lead to a mess of script files, functions and variables, which becomes harder to manage as the application advances. To combat this a range of JavaScript[...]

  • Forming the idea for an app

    Luke Canvin

    Based on our requirements, we batted a few ideas back and forth before settling on a web application that will allow a user to fill in forms/questionnaires/assessments that will continue to work when the user is offline. The form would be made up of data recording objects ranging from simple sliders and data entry fields to complex canvas-based controls, sketchpads and multi-user interactions. This idea gives us a simple way of scaling the scope of what we create to the time we[...]

  • The Technologies

    Luke Canvin

    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[...]

  • So what is a Dev Camp?

    Luke Canvin

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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[...]