How to Choose a Software Development Partner for Critical Business Processes

How to choose a Software Development Company

You need software to run a critical business process in your firm and have decided a custom solution is right for you. You’ve thought through your needs and the business problem you need to solve. Now, how do you select a software development firm that can deliver exactly the right software?

Microsoft Customer Relationship Management Data Migration

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Logo

Microsoft’s customer relationship management system, better known as Microsoft CRM, is a tool used by companies to organize, track, and maintain healthy relationships with its clientele. It’s not unusual for businesses to be a few updates behind the newest software. In order to migrate a CRM server to a newer version, its data will need to be extracted. There are two different ways to do this. One is to export directly out of the CRM application through its export button, the other is to export via CRM’s SQL server. When attempting to export data for a server migration, using your CRM SQL server provides significant advantages over the built in CRM exporter.

User Centered Design at Spot Solutions

User Centered Design

User Centered Design (Human Centered Design) is a design and development approach that keeps users' needs and goals as the focus of the design process. Solutions begin and end with the end user in mind. By involving human perspective in all phases of the process, a product is produced that is usable, efficient, and satisfying for the user.

Creating your first Phonegap (Cordova) application

Phonegap mobile development

Phonegap and Cordova are powerful tools for quickly and efficiently developing a mobile application that targets all major platforms. This style of mobile application is known as a "Hybrid App". Instead of writing purely native code on Android or iOS, the application is developed with web technologies such as HTML, JavaScript, and CSS.

Build or Buy: Deciding between Custom Software or COTS


You need software to run your business effectively. It is a core tool of your business operations and your people depend on it. So when should you buy Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) software and configure it for your needs; and when should you consider a custom software solution?

SharePoint Saturday - A Hacker's Dream: SharePoint Talk

SharePoint Saturday

SharePoint has become ubiquitous in enterprise for content, collaboration and even public facing web sites, but most organizations don’t understand how vulnerable their content is when stored in SharePoint. This presentation will explore the SharePoint security framework, vulnerabilities within this framework, and what we can do to better protect our sensitive information. Come on out on Saturday March 12th to SharePoint Saturday. Held at UBC - Robson Square 800 Robson Street, Vancouver, BC from 2 - 3pm. Click here for more information.

How to prepare for Custom Software Development

How to prepare for Custom Software Development

At Spot Solutions, we make sure that your quality custom software is delivered on time and on budget. To achieve that, we have to build a productivity tool that tailors to your business needs. Here’s a guide to how you can help us achieve the business purpose of the software.

Automated Tests Use Case with CMC

Visual Studio

The development cost to create these tests and associated data scripts was not astronomical but there was a notable cost. The cost of such an endeavor in the future should be reduced as developers gain more familiarity with VSTF. It could be argued that having these tests in place absorbed the costs of development. A considerable amount of QA time was undoubtedly saved, not to mention the time saved tracking down mysterious bugs that would have been missed otherwise.

Testing in Visual Studio Primer

Testing in Visual Studio Primer

Many more features are available in the test framework, this description was provided as a brief overview to quickly become familiar with the test framework in Visual Studio. Even with this simple example one can begin to see the power and utility of the test framework.

Lazy Loading in Entity Framework

Lazy load is a pattern applied to delay loading of a resource until it is actually needed or accessed. For example, you may have an object that instantiates and initializes a logging utility in its constructor. The class may use the logger only in certain scenarios and often times is not used at all. Given this attribute of the application, it would make sense to only load the logger when needed. One solution to this problem would be to implement the logger as a singleton and check to see if the logger has been previously initialized whenever a request to submit a log entry sent. If the logger is not initialized, logic to initialize the logger is executed and the application proceeds as normal.

SharePoint 2010 Filtered Lookup Column

Western Grains Research Foundation (WGRF) Research Project Management Tool & Database is implemented as a SharePoint 2010 multi-tenant site. The “database” contains a large number of lists. Many of these lists are linked to each other through lookup columns to provide referential integrity. These lookup columns are used instead of choice columns as these lists are very dynamic with entries being added and changed frequently.

Manually Importing SharePoint Term Sets


SharePoint applications provide a mechanism to import term sets by uploading a Excel spreadsheet to your SharePoint site. This article reviews the steps to perform such an import.

IIS Error

How to fix IIS Error ('applicationhost.config corrupt) .

How to Make Entity Created and Modified DateTimestamp Consistent

​In business application, it is critical to make the time stamp consistent for all entities. However, developers sometimes may not following the process well. To make the date time stamp consistent, we handle the created and modified date time in a central location before saving data to database.

Fighting Cystic Fibrosis with Cloud Technology

Spot Solutions is proud to announce that our team has won the 2015 Microsoft Canada Citizenship and Community IMPACT Award. This award recognizes partners who have leveraged Microsoft technology and their company resources who define innovation in technology and have been trailblazers in the Mobile First, Cloud First world.

SEO Best Practices

Search engine optimization is a necessity to make a website visible amongst the competition. These are some small changes that can easily be implemented on a website or webpage to significantly boost search engine rankings.

HTML Graphics: SVG vs. Canvas

The HTML5 specification provides two ways for generating graphics, by use of the <svg> and <canvas> elements. Both of these elements enable the developer to dynamically generate and display graphics in a HTML5 compatible browser. Such abilities are useful for creating animations, games, generating charts as well as many other applications.

Solution Delivery Partnership Models

Spot Solutions has different Partnership Models used to deliver solutions to clients. This is an overview of some of the different ways Spot Solutions has worked with clients in the past.

Optimizing SharePoint Performance

Application performance is a key component for successful SharePoint deployment and adoption. The technical architects and system administrators at Spot Solutions can provide assistance to improve the capacity of the SharePoint 2010 environment and performance of the SharePoint servers though numerous techniques.

Umbraco Google Analytics Integration

Google Analytics is the most widely used website statistics service, currently in use on around 55% of the 10,000 most popular websites. Google Analytics provides formally for free incredible data visualization, segmentation for analysis of subsets, such as conversions, custom reports, and integration with other Google products, such as AdWords, Public Data Explorer and Website Optimizer. Google Analytics can track leads and sales, calculating conversion rates and helping you get a clearer idea on how effective your marketing campaigns are.

SQL Server 2014 New Features

Microsft SQL Server 2014 new features

We have been advocating SQL Server 2014 with SharePoint 2013 deployments for many prospects on recent RFPs. This article highlights many of the new features in SQL Server 2014.