Web Systems Detail

Web Development and Cloud Systems Details

The page below provides some general thoughts and details on the core set of tools and methods we regularly use in our web development and cloud IT system administration work. This is not a comprehensive tutorial, but a reference list or checklist with links to some key readings, tutorials and download sites.

External Websites (WordPress CMS)

WordPress is the workhorse CMS (and blog) for external and simpler web sites. Very easy to set up and customize. Easy to adminstrate. Themes are plentiful. Our favorites to build from include Mantra which has lots of native settings without a custom theme but has a nice structure from which custom themes can be created. Key modules frequently included: Exclude Pages from Navigation, HungaryFeed RSS, Contact 7, Events, jQuery Collapse-O-Matic.

Internal Websites (Drupal CMS)

Drupal is used primarily for intranet sites with lots of data. More specifically, lots of custom data types and fields. It has excellent capabilities for customization of content types and a very powerful View module to render data tables with many options for filter and sorting. Favorite themes include Pixel Revisited and Corporate Clean. For building from scratch we have been using Omega, although Adpative Theme or Zen are options. Key modules included View, CSS Injector.

Custom Development on MVC/OO and Frameworks (e.g., CodeIgnitor, Zend)

Today most of our work is based from either the WordPress or Drupal CMS to form the front end. Backend ‘business logic’ is implemented as object oriented library modules or web services. When necessary, either the CodeIgnitor or Zend frameworks are used. Clearly the models and views are separated via plugins/modules versus themes/templates, respectively, in these CMSs. Although these CMSs are not inherantly object-oriented, we develop our customization on object based modules/plugins and libaries, including web services.

LAMP Server Stack (PHP, MySQL, BASH)

Section under development.

SQL

We have worked with a number SQL databases including MySQL, SQL Server, PostgreSQL and SQLite. However, over time most of our work has gravitated toward MySQL. We are very comfortable generating SQL statements by hand or through various framework interfaces or clients.

Linux Administration and BASH Scripting

Either through control panels (Plesc, cPanel) or through manual scripting (BASH, crons, .htaccess, etc) and editing we set-up and configure your Linux environment. Automated database backups are one critcal function.

Web Services (XML, REST)

Section under development.

Client Side (HTML, CSS, JS, jQuery)

Section under development.

Responsive Designs (Mobile)

Section under development.

Our designs take into account the flexibility required to be viewed on a mobile device or tablet by ensuring the views can be adjusted based on screen size. Our testing includes compatibility with widely accepted browsers and mobile devices (iPad, Android based smart phones).

Agile & Conventional Project Management

Section under development.

Technology Plan Development to Your Specific Needs

Section under development.

We can conduct an assessment of your current IT situation and work with you to determine what solutions can improve your efficiency, output, and data security. This may include cloud solutions to move the data off of your hard-drive or internal servers to cloud-based servers with improved reliability and 24/7 secure access. We can also evaluate your current client-based applications and make recommendations based on our experience.

Cross-Technology Systems with Client, Browser, Mobile and Cloud Servers

Section under development.

Communications (Email, IM, Video)

We are glad to help set-up your web-based communications. One of our most popular configurations is MS Office 365 (formerly BPOS) which we have used for years. It is a very robust offering for larger small businesses. The package includes Exchange which handles interaction with MS Outlook extremely well, including calendar, contacts, and other functions. We have also set up email via Gmail and hosts, such as GoDaddy.

Data Storage & Versioning

Shared data is

Archiving, Backup & Recovery

We can help with independent data backup and recovery. Usually a backup service is available within the datahost. If possible we prefer to see the data backed up to a remote location periodically in addtion to the regular/incremental backups on-site. For smaller servers and backup of individual computer data we recommend an offiste automatic service such as Carbonite or equivalent. These are easy to use and transparent to the user. We can help set it up so it is most efficient and only backs up critial unique data (versus standard system files). Testing the recovery is a critical part of this operation.

Web & Database Servers

Section under development.

Client & Web Applications

Section under development.

System Administration (Windows and Linux Hosted Servers)

Section under development.

User Support

Section under development.

Application Support (Client, Client-Server and Web SaaS)

Section under development.

Regular IT System Monitoring and Reviews

Section under development.

Flexible in use of agile and conventional development methods based on scope client/regulatory needs.

Section under development.

Extensive user interaction/experience modeling, prototyping and interactive development.

Section under development.

Requirements gathering and analysis using UML diagramming to document user experience and functionality.

We use a hybrid of system concept/design capture methods from UML and DFSS. In particular, we compile a package of design diagrams to capture a project concept before planning and estimating in detail. Typical diagrams include UI, Use Cases, Static Structure/Object Diagram, Dynamical Diagrams (Flow) and State Diagrams. Database diagramming is also used extensively.

Requirements traceability and testing experience with validation documentation, including test driven design (TDD) and unit testing.

Section under development.

The quality of the product starts with the quality of the requirements and ensuring that each requirement is tested and documented. This has been the core of our working experience across multiple projects, whether hardware or software-based. The requirements are actively captured and traced through the testing process, starting with the unit or module test through the system integration tests. One of our strengths is the quality integrated into our validation documentation. In fact, we even enjoy it!

Full Product Life Cycle management and support with source code management tools and issue tracking systems through launch support and maintenance/continuous improvement.

Section under development.

Comments are closed.