We have been tasked with the development of a large facilities management application -- one which has gone through several revisions over the years. In moving the project forward we wanted to add in features that provide more information quickly, and at-a-glance. In order to make things more real-time we investigated several options for replicating Facebook-style "badges" that would let users know when they had new tasks assigned to them or other content alerts that needed their attention.
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For the recent redesign of our own website we wanted to add in a jQuery rotator, as we had done for other sites in the past. We wanted to overlay a title, descriptive text, and a "more info" link on top of the main images and there are a few ways to accomplish that.
When we start a new custom programming project we typically begin by copying and pasting a handful of useful functions that we have developed for previous projects. Most developers will put together a toolbox like this -- if you haven't, you can save yourself a lot of hassle by doing so. The first step is to make sure that you're wrapping any potentially reusable code in a function. For example:
There are many trends and fads that come and go in the web development market just as there are elsewhere in business. At Ten Ten Studios we field all sorts of questions from clients that are often times driven by fads.
From time to time we have been tasked with creating a site that is easy for site administrators to manage but which uses data from an existing source -- either from an older site or from another offline data source. While Drupal is always our first choice for the easy-to-manage part, data importing can be tricky because there are always a great many variables to be considered -- field type (text, numeric, date), field size (character limits), and relational linking are some good examples. Fortunately there are a few Drupal modules that can help.
We were recently tasked with the redesign of a fairly large intranet application which used Microsoft Active Directory for user authentication. The previous version of the site was created with ASP/VBScript and so our first challenge was duplicating (or in this case, improving) the LDAP connection system using PHP.
The vast majority of PHP sites are built using a LAMP setup. For the uninitiated, this indicates a server running a Linux operating system, Apache web server software, a MySQL database, and the PHP development language. There are several reasons why this set of software is so popular, but the key ones are cost (free), security, reliability, and a wide open-source development community. However, in a recent custom project we were tasked with setting up a new intranet site which was effectively married to a Windows/IIS server running MS SQL.
We launched a rather large e-commerce site recently, and one of their requirements included a report that allowed administrators to mark purchases as processed -- the client had a much larger donor management system that was separate from the website's database and needed to make sure that orders were recorded in the other system.
A quick Google search for free website design will yield many results -- some better than others -- so why would a web design company want to write an article about getting a site online for next to nothing? Because depending on the small business involved, some of those options may actually be worth exploring; but first you'll need to take a look at what's involved and see if a free or low cost website would fit the needs and goals of your business.
We spend a lot of time developing custom web based applications for a variety of clients. There are key differences between a typical website and a custom web application and those differences affect all stages: planning, design, development, and rollout. Here are a few tips to help when tasked with creating what is effectively a piece of shared, web-accessible software.