Category Archives: Software

.Net to SharePoint Migration – Top Insights you can’t ignore for a successful migration

Any sort of migration must always begin with a proper understanding of the capabilities of both the source system and target system. What new potentials the target system might provide? Is there any missing functionality in the target system that might necessitate the purchase of third party components? These are some aspects that need to be considered prior to taking the plunge. A proper understanding of the differences as well as the similarities of both the platforms will definitely help in the entire process of migration.

SharePoint developers

Today, a number of .NET developers are considering a move towards the creation of a SharePoint site. So, why such a move has been favored by web developers all around? Well, here is a quick look at the reasons that favor the SharePoint solution:

  • No need of providing support as well as maintenance to data stored in the database of SQL server in the SharePoint.
  • Site templates can be used for the creation of new sites and publishing pages featuring different layouts.
  • Versioning of the content can be maintained easily without any coding
  • Security of item level can be provided without taking up any extra effort.

These reasons strongly support the migration of .Net application to a publishing website of SharePoint. In most cases, the use of a migration tool is witnessed as it ensures an efficient and successful migration. The migration strategy involves the following aspects.

1. Source System (SS) – An application based on .Net usually stores data in a specific database of SQL server. This is referred to as the source database. The data comprises of the profile information of user, static texts, files, and images.

2. Staging Database (SD) – A staging database needs to be designed for pushing the data (apart from the binary ones) from database of the source system with proper formatting making use of the stored process. It is to be noted that the binary data will be recovered directly from the source system file.

3. Target System (TS) – Following this, it is important to create a parallel sub site for each .NET application page categorized under diverse functional areas in SharePoint under separate site collection.

4. Migration Tool (MT) – Henceforth, the migration tool that is designed will extract the data from the source system database and subsequently push it to the publishing pages of SharePoint in the corresponding site. Here is a look at the process:

Choose the content pertaining to a specific functional area from the staging database into the .Net Data Table and create publishing pages concerning each row mentioned in the table. You must update the metadata following this:

  • The tool helps in wise migration of all Meta data including the Modified date as well as Created date along with other specific custom fields.
  • It also helps updating the published content, rollup image, and page image on the fly
  • The tool also assists in setting the custom properties of a customized web part in a publishing page on the fly.
  • It will choose the binary data from the database of the source system along with uploading the specific data into the picture and document library of the SharePoint site respectively.
  • For a specific functional area, the migration tool will likely go for the creation of sub sites on the fly following it up with creation of page with the updated Meta data.

The tool also offers the status of the presently running tasks.

General Steps to Migration
ASP.Net to SharePoint migration involves three basic steps. Here is a look at the same:

  • Addition of a Web Deployment Project to the website that helps creating a single DLL for all codes and several other dependent DLLs of the website.
  • Copying the DLLs bin folder into the bin folder of the SharePoint and modification of the web configuration file for using the copied DLLs.
  • Opening of the SharePoint site from the Designer and importing the web pages from the application following it with the linking to proper DLLs.

Adopting the above-mentioned steps and strategies will surely help you to go forward with the successful migration of .Net to SharePoint. To help you with small migrations, you could even use webparts. To help you with SharePoint Webparts development, there would be numerous companies who can assist.

We provide custom SharePoint development services. If you would like to discuss with our SharePoint developers, please get in touch with us at Mindfire Solutions.

Top 4 Case Studies – Why missing out on Load Testing can be disastrous!

Each enterprise wants to beat its competitors by launching a powerful website. So it always explores options to optimize the look, feel, performance and scalability of the website. In addition to keeping the visitors engaged, the web application also needs to handle the constant fluctuations in the size of the website traffic. No enterprise can predict the exact number of users who will simultaneously access its website. Therefore, it must load test the website thoroughly to ensure that it is stable, scalable and high-performance. There are many instances when the website development projects failed only due to failure in load testing. These companies could have optimized the performance and scalability of the websites simply by conducting load testing.

load testing servicesCase Study I
Each person wants to participate in the famed New York City Marathon. The people who cannot participate in the hugely popular event keenly follow the runners’ progress during the race. So many websites try to attract users by allowing them to observe the runners’ progress live. A popular online sports portal tried to broadcast the race without implementing a proper load testing plan. The webmasters even ignored to check if the website and web server are effective in handling an enormous size of traffic at average page duration of one second. The absence of a comprehensive load testing strategy made them face one of the worst-case scenarios for the performance of their websites as well as the server load. The webmasters rectified their mistakes, and load tested the application immediately to optimize its performance during the next New York City Marathon.

Case Study II
The owner of a popular online gift card store underestimated the significance of load testing. The entrepreneur even did not realize whether the website and web server are optimized to handle heavy load during busy holiday season. The owner realized the problem only when the website failed to deliver maximum capacity during the peak holiday season. However, the webmaster realized the problem immediately, and hired renowned software testing service provider to identify the problem. After evaluating the system and environment thoroughly, the professionals found problem in a key section of the code that affects the scalability of the web store. The web store owner could have avoided the problem easily thorough load testing during the development and deployment of the website.

Case Study III
Some companies even do not realize the significance of load testing while migrating to a new and advanced system. The new system definitely offers loads on innovative features, functionalities and advantages to an enterprise. A large communication service company failed to avail the benefits of an advanced system as it failed to implement a detailed load testing plan. It invested a huge amount of funds in buying and installing the mission-critical systems. But the systems failed to support the company’s workflow along with a large number of users. The load testers hired by the enterprise identified problem with the hardware. The new system needs higher specification hardware to support a large number of users.

Case Study IV
A popular online action sports network updates its websites at regular intervals without conducting any load testing. New sections were being added to the website to complement promotion and sponsoring of various sports events. At the same time, the website also allows participants to register by submitting information. The participants also have option to create their sports profiles, monitor the activities of competitors, and communicate with promoters and sponsors. After some time, the sports network realized that the website is working at a much slower pace. It hired experienced load testers to determine the nature of the exact problem. The testers prepare a comprehensive load testing plan, and suggested the changes required to optimize the performance and scalability of the website.

In each of the above mentioned cases, websites owners concentrate more on the features and functionality of the website. The enterprises failed to determine if the website is effective in handling a large number of visitors at a time. Some websites like the marathon portal and gift card store need to handle heavy traffic only at certain times. But no webmaster can predict when the website will attract an increasing number of visitors. So most enterprises, nowadays, are integrating load testing as part of the website development strategy. The test-driven development strategy will further optimize the performance and scalability of a website in the long run. Also, the enterprise can avoid maintenances required to meet huge website traffic.

You can hire software testing companies from India after due validation of their skillsets, expertise and experience in handling huge load testing projects to avoid risks associated with letting an amateur do load testing for you.

We provide load testing services. If you would like to talk to one of our certified software testers, please contact us at Mindfire Solutions.

SharePoint Apps will change the way you work

“SharePoint Apps” refers to add-ons or pieces of software which enhances the features of an application developed using SharePoint. These ‘apps’ can be written using a number of languages like PHP, HTML, Javascript etc. Another basic thing about apps is that they can be hosted in either the SharePoint environment or outside, in the cloud. Outside part can be at two different places – either Microsoft Azure or any other cloud service provider.

sharepoint application development

As done by mobile apps, SharePoint apps also increased the options of things that developers can do. That in turn has translated into providing a large number of smart options for a developer building an application using SharePoint. Suppose earlier a developer wanted to have a feature to enable viewing of SharePoint application using tablets or smartphones, he/she would have had to develop it on his own and that might have taken a really long time. But now all the developer has to do is use an app called Shareplus. This app is available for iOS and Andrioid based tablets and enables a user to browse, edit documents directly from SharePoint via the tablet directly.

Similarly there are many such apps or applications which provide the developer with the option to make applications smarter. Apps like OurCRM, DocAve, MyView etc are quite popular. For your reference OurCRM is a CRM that runs on MS SharePoint – it basically allows organizations to edit the customer relationship management software as per their need.

DocAve is a data and document management platform for SharePoint.

MyView the winner of Best SharePoint App 2013 award (at the European SharePoint Community Awards), enables users to focus on productivity and important ongoing projects by collating and synchronizing SharePoint and Microsoft Outlook tasks and calendar items, presented through online, mobile, or desktop based Microsoft Exchange applications.

Similarly there are many such ‘apps’, based on the need one can search for those and use the one best suited. A simple Google search can fetch you the app that you might be looking for, for example I was looking for “Top iPad apps for accessing SharePoint” and I found this Techrepublic link which lists out details of best apps for iPads –

My interest primarily in SharePoint Apps has been in applications related to Marketing and Social aspects of a business. These days Social media constitutes a major part of marketing and this area has to be handled effectively to ensure active participation of people in your products, which in turn would lead to increased revenue. The top 5 social media SharePoint apps, as per me, are the following:

  • Social Squared : Social Squared is an app which gives organizations the choice of providing a large forum environment to its members for them to discuss projects or other topics. This provides as a nice space for sharing and brainstorming of ideas.
  • eLocker Solutions : eLocker Solutions is the perfect social SharePoint solution for teachers and students. It allows them to interact without worrying about security within the SharePoint environment. It can be customized for a specific school or district and allows teachers to assign projects, track progress and interact with students.
  • SharePoint twitter web part : The Twitter Web Part allows users to tweet right from their SharePoint environment as well as display the latest Twitter posts and search based on hashtags. This is a great option for companies who want to control everything (including social media) from their SharePoint environment.
  • Blog Rollup webpart : The Blog Rollup Web Part allows organizations to display a blog roll of the most recent blog posts created within the SharePoint environment. This is a very useful tool, which is perfect for seeing at a glance the most recently published posts.
  • SP Community : SP Community utilizes SharePoint’s existing social features and transforms them into a complete user experience that organizations and businesses can take advantage of. It offers groups, user home pages and profile pages, discussion boards and much more.

You can hire developers from top sharepoint development companies in India who can help you in your project within allocated budgets and time schedules.

We provide sharepoint application development services. If you would like to discuss with our certified sharepoint programmers, please get in touch with us at Mindfire Solutions.

Benefits of Offshore .Net Application Development

.NET application development

Since its initial launch in 2001, Microsoft .NET is being used widely by developers to build a variety of applications. Along with websites, web applications and web services, the framework also enables programmers to develop several types of desktop applications. But the ongoing recessional phase of the global economy has made it essential for enterprises to curtail software development cost. So, most companies, nowadays, look for cost-efficient ways to build dynamic and robust applications. A gradual increase is also noted in the number of enterprises hiring offshore .NET development companies to keep the software development cost under control.

Each business also has option to hire an offshore software development company according to the nature and specific requirements of the project. As it can choose from several reputable offshore .NET application developers, a company can always negotiate for a better deal without compromising on the quality and timeline of the project. Along with keeping the project overheads under control, the offshore .NET application development can further get a business several benefits. However, an enterprise must do a thorough cost and benefit analysis before opting for offshore .NET application development.

Why Many Enterprises Opt for Offshore .NET Application Development?

Reduced Project Cost: The constant changes in technology have made it a daunting challenge for companies to find technical skills and expertise. In addition to hiring experienced .NET developers, an organization has to invest in updating their knowledge. But when a company outsources the project, it can avoid expensive new recruitment. Further, it can concentrate on its core business processes, and optimize profits. At the same time, an enterprise avails the services of offshore .NET developers whose education, training and skills are on par with the local programmers.

Rapid Application Development: As software development has become competitive, each company wants to impress clients by completing the project at a rapid pace. In addition to saving the time required to recruit skilled developers, the offshore software development can further contributes toward reducing the project duration. The combination of skilled .NET developers and round the clock output makes it much easier to conceptualize and implement the idea. Many companies even outsource .NET application development projects to impress clients by releasing the product quickly.

Easy to Incorporate Changes: The frequent changes in user demand has made it essential for businesses to build the .NET application with extended and innovative features. At the same time, the application must be tested thoroughly to determine its performance and scalability. So there are always chances that a client has to incorporate changes. Most offshore .NET developers deploy highly skilled and experienced developers. So they can easily incorporate the innovations and technological solutions without extending the project timeline. Also, they can conceptualize and implement the ideas by keeping in mind the latest trends in user choice.

Adopting Agile Development: Each company wants to adopt agile methodologies to overcome of the limitations of conventional project management. But it has to invest some amount of time, efforts and resources to adopt the innovative methods. When an enterprise outsources the .NET application development project, it can adopt agile techniques in a quick and hassle-free way. A business also has option to hire an offshore company that follows the agile methodology. The adoption of agile methods will further contribute towards reducing the overall project cost.

Extended Support: Along with developing the .NET application, you will need constant support for its maintenance and upkeep. The offshore companies, normally, offer extended support to maintain the software once the project is over. However, the period of extended support may vary from six months to one year based on the terms of your outsourcing contract. You must ask specifically for extended support to boost the overall efficiency of the .NET application through quick bug fixes and effective maintenance.

Each offshore .NET application developer wants to impress and retain clients by developing high quality applications. So the companies often manage the project through high-quality procedures and well-defined processes. The process and procedures further add value to the project, while conceptualizing the initial idea in a more innovative way.

We provide web development services. If you would like to hire developers from our team, please get in touch with us at Mindfire Solutions.

Manual v Automated Testing How to Achieve Consistency

software testing servicesSoftware testing refers to the process of verifying as well as validating the successful functioning of a particular software application/program/product. It ensures that the ultimate product/application/program caters to the technical as well as the business requirements, which guide the entire design and development procedure at best. This particular process of testing is implemented in a number of software enterprises to assure that the product that is being launched in the market is safe, standard, and effective.

Presently, two major approaches of software testing exist in the market that can be zeroed down to manual and automatic. The procedure of manual testing refers to the idea of hiring a professional tester to try or execute the product/program/application in different possible approaches of customer use. On the other hand, the automated procedure is all about acquiring a third party or external tool that is designed to execute a pre-set of scenarios along with steps that a customer might use.

Now, when it comes to manual vs. automation testing services, it is safe to say that the key to software testing rests with automation. The first question that an enterprise or tester should ask oneself when conducting manual tests is that ‘is it at all possible to make the process automatic?’ If yes, then it is always wise to think of the ways to automation.

How does Manual Testing Occur?
Let us take this as an instance: you are a member of a Quality Assurance team that is responsible for conducting web application tests and you find out there is no automated process written for the same. The outcome: every time, you think of testing apps, you need to click all the links/buttons manually, enter data into input fields, as well as verify proper handling of input and output fields. After the completion of the method, you document the errors that have been encountered and notify the developers to fix the errors accordingly. Now, all these steps enable the functioning of a single application. You need to repeat the entire process for all the applications/programs.

What’s the problem here?
First of all, this process is not just cumbersome, but also inconsistent. If there is a team conducting software tests, the process completely turns out to be relative in respect to the individual conducting the test of a particular application/program. On the other hand, even if you are single-handedly taking care of the entire process, the approach is most likely to change, every time you take up the same. Well, a probable solution to this situation rests with the idea of creating a set standard that everyone needs to follow while testing application. However, it is hard to determine that the standard is being followed by everyone.

Secondly, even if everybody is keen on following the set standard, the method does not guarantee complete efficiency. The reason is simple; it takes too much time to ensure proper functioning of a web application or a program. Moreover, it also turns out to be boring. After all, all you need to do is follow instructions like ‘press this button’, ‘type this’, ‘click here’, etc and that too repeatedly. Moreover, when you have the choice of implementing alternate ways of software testing, the entire manual procedure seems to be disinteresting.

How to solve the problem? The solution to efficient testing
If you feel like being turned to a machine while conducting manual tests, it is time that the machine takes up the job. It is always wiser to invest the time in something better like implementing an automated test process, which can be run quickly as well as efficiency without any hitch.

The process of automated testing offers an enterprise reliability, consistency, as well as speed alongside making way for better time allocation. If programmed properly, the tasks can be easily performed consistently in an identical approach. Automation definitely enables fast run of the tasks at specific occurrences, which as a result saves maximum effort, time and money.

We provide software testing services. If you would like to talk to one of our certified software testers, please visit Mindfire Solutions.

Migrate a SharePoint Team Wiki to an Enterprise Wiki

custom sharepoint developmentAn Enterprise Wiki (EW) refers to a publishing site that offers updating and sharing huge volumes of information within an organization. In case an organization requires a centralized, large knowledge repository which is designed to both share as well as store information over an organizational scale, the use of EW can be considered. They make use of the Enterprise Wiki site template, developed over the publishing infrastructure of Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010. This particular infrastructure makes room for a number of means for controlling content. For instance, permissions can be assigned or workflows may be used for establishment of an approval procedure.

The EW Site template can be leveraged for the creation of sub-sites or site collections. The site created through this template is focused on the content. The “Pages” Library is the main component of the site. Again, there is the “Wiki Page Library” list template. It has the potential to host wiki pages and can be utilized to create various kinds of sites. In fact, Wiki Library list template serves as the default pages library for the “Team Site” template.

Planning for an Enterprise Wiki
Before implementation of an EW, the concerned organization must determine whether it is the right solution. It is a perfect solution when the business is in need of manifold users for contribution to the knowledge repository. But in case a means to establish one-to-many communication regarding an area of interest or a project is required, a Team Site should be preferably used.

While deciding whether to go for it, the following things should be considered:

  • Purpose to be served: It should have a clear-cut purpose. For instance, a particular business goal can be addressed or it can be a centralized knowledge body regarding particular business problems, processes or topics. The aim is to offer a space wherein members belonging to a virtual community can remove, change or create content, including content created by previous authors. However, in case you need to have a knowledge exchange means that is more structured where one-to-many communication is mostly used, a blog or a team site comprising Web Edit facility can be used.
  • Number of users who would be contributing: A number of factors influence this decision. These are- whether there is potential to support enhanced growth coupled with the need for enhanced server and network capacity, whether legal consideration regarding contribution are there, whether key contributors from each business area should be determined.
  • Control of EW access: Ideally, each member of the organization should have access to update, edit or contribute content. In case there is the need for information separation with respect to groups, blog or team site with Web edit can be used.
  • Implementation of control over content: Blogs are designed in order to provide structured knowledge exchange while a wiki makes room for informal contributions. However, there are requirements and guidelines with respect to an organization for handling of particular content regarding specific subjects. Addressing inaccurate or inappropriate entries can also be considered.

Before creation of an Enterprise Wiki, the following tasks must be completed:

  • In order to provide storage for notes and social tags, a Managed Metadata serve application should be created.
  • For the management of the site collection wherein the EW is located, administrator permission pertaining to site collections must be there.
  • A User Profile Service Application must be developed in case the EW is intended to be used with My Sites.

Migration of Wiki Library
The following methods may be followed for migration:

  • The Enterprise Wiki may be linked to the existing Wiki library without moving the same. In this case, navigation must be well structured.
  • This involves linking to the existing Wiki Library. Here, the entire library is moved or copied to the EW site. This facilitates links to other pages and lists because they belong to the same site always.
  • Old wiki pages can be migrated into new EW Pages. This implies copying the wiki page content within the “Page Content” field. This can be manually done but may take a long period of time.
  • Migrating to Enterprise Wiki may indeed prove beneficial for your organization. The steps should be carefully followed and it should be properly done to ensure maximum success.

We provide custom sharepoint development services. In addition we can assist you in migration to and from Sharepoint. If you would like to speak to one of our certified sharepoint programmers, please contact us at Mindfire Solutions.