Blogs

SQL 2008 R2 Performance Issues

One of our largest customers has attempted to move to SQL 2008 R2 as part of a Hardware and Software upgrade project, however we have since discovered certain issues with the SQL query performance of SQL 2008R2 against older versions of Microsoft SQL

Thankfully the customer in question has employed a very helpful and willing IT Team who have assisted in re-installing the new SQL Server machine with the older version SQL Server 2005 SP4 using an idenitical database in order to prove for certain that the performance issues are solely down to the Microsoft SQL Server version

Hotfixes have been suggested online:

 

Original post suggesting Hotfix for SQL Server on Windows Server 2008 R2

unexplained slowness

Hotfix from Microsoft

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;976700

 

However we did not experience any improvement in performance after installing these.  We will continue to research and investigate these issues with our customers, but in the meantime based on this experience we would hesitate to recommend SQL Server 2008 R2 for running TriSys software until this issue has been acknowledged and resolved by Microsoft

Calendars Part 2 and More Twitter Tips

What a week it was last week. 

Our internal Network Storage Server broke down and caused some dificulties in support, then just when we had it fixed, a few days later we had a total power outage in Cambridge which took all our servers down and offline.

I have blogged previously that we had improved our failover capability for our ASP network, and this put the technology to the test.

It Worked !!

All users using the TriSys Login Tool were completely unaffected by our outage, and were still able to login to their own desktops.

Our 99.99% network availability is in tact.

Phew ....

 

 

Google Calendars

Following on with my 4 part how to add, share and access colleagues Calendars in Google, here is the next installment.

Part 2 - Accessing a Colleagues Calendar in Google Apps

Login to your calendar at https://www.google.com/calendar/hosted/<your domain name>

Enter the colleague’s name in “Add a colleague’s name” box

The calendar will then appear under “My calendars”

This calendar will also appear in Outlook

For further information on this see:- Accessing a Colleagues Calendar in Google Apps

 

Yet To Come:-

Part 3 - Accessing a Colleagues Custom Calendar in Google Apps

Part 4 - Sharing a Custom Calendar in Google Apps

 

You can find further helpful information at :- support.trisys.co.uk

 

Found some more very good Twitter Tips :-

  • General Twitter Tips for starters - A must read for every beginner - Starters

http://twittertips.org/top-6-twitter-tips-and-tutorials-for-beginners.html

 

Well this is all from me for now, pop back later if you get a mo.

http://support.trisys.co.uk - support@trisys.co.uk - 01223 393519

Do We Need Training?

This is a question that we are asked time and time again when we have an enquiry about our software.  Not just because I have a background in training do I realise the importance of training but because I have seen how differently the rollout of a new software is impacted by proper training.  Why spent money on the installation, data conversion and hardware and then cut corners on the training?

 

To get the best out of any recruitment solution it needs to be properly set up to support the business and used consistently by all consultants.  When a software is set up correctly and used consistently the results are much more meaningful and give the business what it needs not just in finding the correct person to fill a job but in the analysis of the business, everything from where leads are coming from to how many CV's need to be sent out to achieve the required revenues down to the individual consultant level.

 

Business Intelligence is more and more widely talked about and business want to utilise the statistics that can be obtained from this but without training the consultants on how to record information the data you are basing your decisions on may only be half the picture.

 

Benefits of Training

• Productivity - Training and Development helps in increasing the productivity of the employees that helps the organization further to achieve its long-term goal.

• Team spirit - Training and Development helps in inculcating the sense of team work, team spirit, and inter-team collaborations. It helps in inculcating the zeal to learn within the employees.

• Organization Culture - Training and Development helps to develop and improve the organizational health culture and effectiveness. It helps in creating the learning culture within the organization.

• Organization Climate - Training and Development helps building the positive perception and feeling about the organization. The employees get these feelings from leaders, subordinates, and peers.

• Quality - Training and Development helps in improving upon the quality of work and work-life.

• Healthy work-environment - Training and Development helps in creating the healthy working environment. It helps to build good employee, relationship so that individual goals aligns with organizational goal.

• Health and Safety - Training and Development helps in improving the health and safety of the organization thus preventing obsolescence.

• Morale - Training and Development helps in improving the morale of the work force.
 
• Image - Training and Development helps in creating a better corporate image.

• Profitability - Training and Development leads to improved profitability and more positive attitudes towards profit orientation.

• Training and Development aids in organizational development i.e. Organization gets more effective decision making and problem solving. It helps in understanding and carrying out organisational policies

• Training and Development helps in developing leadership skills, motivation, loyalty, better attitudes, and other aspects that successful workers and managers usually display.

• Training and Development demonstrates a commitment to keeping employees on the cutting edge of knowledge and practice.

 

 

Exciting Times for Technologists

'May you live in interesting times', or so legend has it, is supposedly an ancient chinese curse. Well, we in the software industry certainly live in interesting times. I believe though that we are not cursed, rather blessed. The opportunities for technologists have never been greater. Yes, we have a global recession, and yes, spending in some sectors (including recruitment) is down, but this is balanced by the growth and excitement surrounding new technology. 

So what is on the horizon?

On the mobile front, Google have just relased Android 4 - or Ice Cream Sandwich. This is available on the new Samsung Galaxy Nexus - I have one and it certainly gives the iPhone a very decent run for its money. Having now used iPhone, Windows Phone 7 and Android, I'd give Apple and Google 9 out of 10 and Microsoft 8 out of 10. As for Blackberry/RIM, I couldn't possibly comment.

On the tablet front, many players are starting to ship Android tablets, including of course Amazon who have launched the Kindle Fire tablet in the USA. Apple will announce the iPad 3 on Wed 07 March 2012. I have an iPad version 1, and it certainly has found a place in my household, although it is not a serious business tool for content creation, but excellent for content consumption and research, although of course it doesn't support Flash so a lot of web movies and clips are not available. Rumours of Office for iPad are also surfacing although Microsoft is strenuously denying press reports.

On desktops, Microsoft Windows 8 is due in beta next week. We have had the technology preview for a number of months now and the new Metro interface borrowed from Windows Phone 7 is as user friendly as iOS, with a dual-mode of metro/desktop.

Microsoft is also releasing Visual Studio 11 or VS 2012 in the next few months and this promises to have a lot more tools to publish apps to Azure, Windows Phone 7 and Windows 8.

The TriSys roadmap takes all of these developments into consideration, and you can expect to see some really cool and exciting announcements from us in the coming months, so please stay tuned.

Google Calendars and Twitter Tips

Looks like the warmer weather is definately here and February might be a record breaker.

Support is still busy as we answer our customer issues and work on our infastructure to ensure we keep our 

99.99% network availability.

 


Google Calendars

We get asked how to add, share and access colleagues Calendars, so I thought I would do a 4 Part Howto:

Part 1 - Adding a Calendar In Google Apps

Login to your calendar at https://www.google.com/calendar/hosted/[your domain name] 

Select the drop down next to “My calendars”

Select “Create new calendar”

Enter a name in “Calendar Name:”

Add a description in “Description:” (optional)

Check the box next to “Share this calendar with others”

For internal calendars check the box “Share this calendar with everyone in the organisation…”

Select what your colleagues will see

Select “Create Calendar”

For further Information on this see:- Adding A Calendar In Google

Yet To Come:-

Part 2 - Accessing a Colleagues Calendar in Google Apps
Part 3 - Accessing a Colleagues Custom Calendar in Google Apps
Part 4 - Sharing a Custom Calendar in Google Apps

You can find further helpful information at :- support.trisys.co.uk

I Found this "Top 20 Twitter Tips For Businesses" the other day, thought I would share this with you.

1.  Help others with problems by using the hashtag for your industry term.
2.  Share tips related to your business and work-life balance.
3.  Share photos of conferences, travel, products and other interesting finds.
4.  Provide selected highlights from a conference or event.
5.  Report industry, company, world and other news that’s related to your business, together with some commentary.
6.  Link to articles and content posted elsewhere with a summary of why it’s valuable.
7.  Post original thoughts on your topic, industry and business.
8.  Join industry and topic Twitter lists related to your business.
9.  Feed your tweets into other social networks like Facebook and Linked-in
10. Participate in Twitter chats related to your industry or business on a regular basis.
11. Research prospects before meeting them. You can gain a lot of valuable information just from scanning their tweets, profile and contacts.
12. Give referrals via Twitter. What goes around comes around.
13. Spread your tweets throughout the day, rather than posting the all at once, as people check Twitter at different times of the day.
14. Respond to tweets which relate to your industry.
15. Publish your Twitter ID on all marketing collateral, including business cards, email signature, email newsletters, web sites and brochures, so prospects can learn more about you.
16. Post discounts and offers on Twitter.
17. Use keywords on your profile and a fun fact to earn trust, add personality and enable you to be found.
18. Dump the default Twitter avatar use a photo of yourself or a suitable image.
19. Follow experts, companies, competitors and leaders in your industry.
20. Be authentic, genuine and real. In other words, be yourself.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/twitter/9093740/Top-20-Twitter-business-tips.html

Well this is all from me for now, pop back later if you get a mo.

 

http://support.trisys.co.uk - support@trisys.co.uk - 01223 393519

Warmer Weather, SMS, and The Night Sky

The snow is dissipating and the weather is getting warmer, and everyone can now look towards summer.

Regardless of what the weather is doing, we are always looking at ways to make improvements to our network and we recently improved our failover technology to ensure that if part of our network does have an issue then users can still access their desktops regardless.

This is great news for our user's and for us as we strive to keep our 99.99% network availability.

 

 

We get asked sometimes if users can SMS directly from the TriSys application.

 Yes you can !

 You can use the SMS action to send your Clients and Candidates short messages to their mobiles.

 You will need to register with an SMS provider first.

 The easiest integration that we have found is with 24x 

(Other providers can be used, but please check with us first)

 You will have to get your TriSys Administrator to set up the details first.

 

TriSys Version 7

Login as Superuser

 Select “Application Properties” on the TriSys Sidebar

  •              Select SMS Password and enter the password

  •              Select SMS Provider and enter the provider name (ie 24x)

•              Select SMS Username and enter the username

 You will have to enter a mobile number on each of the user's personal contact record 

(This can be one central number)

 

TriSys Version 8

 Login as Superuser

 Select "Tools", "Administrator Console", "View", “System Settings” or use the button on the ribbon.

  •              Select SMS Password and enter the password

•              Select SMS Provider and enter the provider name (ie 24x)
•              Select SMS Username and enter the username

  You will have to enter a mobile number on each of the user's personal contact record 

(This can be one central number)

 

You can find further helpful information at :- support.trisys.co.uk

 

Have you looked up to the night sky lately when going home from work?

If you have you would have seen a wonderful sight, two stars shining very brightly.

These are the planets Saturn and Venus.(Venus is the lower and the brighter of the two)

On the 22nd through 24th of February you may see that Saturn, Jupiter, The Moon and Mercury are nearly in a straight line in the evening sky. (Mercury will be visible for about an hour after sunset)

On March 15, Jupiter and Venus will be "In Conjunction" (In the same space in the night sky)

Well worth a look through February and March.

 

Well this is all from me for now, pop back later if you get a mo.


support.trisys.co.uk - support@trisys.co.uk - 01223 393519

Fabio Has Gone But AWR Hasn't

Despite rumours prior to AWR starting that there may be last minute changes this did not happen and on the 1st October 2011 the new Agency Workers Regulations came in to force.

By now we all know what the Agency Workers Regulations are but here's a short summary:


The new Agency Workers Regulations derive from European legislation designed to give temporary agency workers parity in pay and employment conditions as they would have been entitled to had they been recruited by the hirer directly to do the same job.

 

The New Entitlements are:

 

Day 1 rights for all agency workers: If you hire agency workers, you must ensure that they can access your facilities (such as canteen, childcare facilities, etc) and can access information on your job vacancies from the first day of their assignment.

After 12 weeks in the same job: The equal treatment entitlements relate to pay and other basic working conditions (annual leave, rest breaks etc) and come into effect after an agency worker completes a 12 week qualifying period in the same job with the same hirer. After completing the qualifying period, pregnant agency workers will now be allowed to take paid time off for ante-natal appointments during an assignment.
It is not retrospective and for those agency workers already on assignment, the 12 week qualifying period will start from 1 October 2011.

 

 Click here for further AWR details.

 

What's happens now?

 

As it has now been more than three months since the 1st October 2011 the full provisions of the Agency Workers Regulations are starting to kick in as many worker will have passed the qualifying period and will be entitled to the equal treatments related to pay and other basic working conditions. 

 

What effect is this having?

 

According to a poll of recruiters conducted recently almost a third have suggested that clients will terminate contractors and temporary workers early because of AWR.  Even without the worry of losing on-going workers there has been an added burden imposed on companies placing contract and temporary workers to gather all the comparison data crucial from the compliance perspective and to keep this up to date. 

 

In contrast to the poll of recruiters figures from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) appear to refute claims that employers will lay off large numbers of temporary workers.  The December release of the REC's jobs outlook figures shows that 81% of employers plan to either grow their agency workforce or keep it at existing levels. Of those businesses, 31% planned to increase the size of their temporary workforce in the short term, compared with 22% at the same point last year.

 

Agency Workers Regulations not hitting use of temporary staff full article.

 

For the most part we haven't felt anywhere near the impact that many feared, however it is still early days and too soon to say what may come out of the first claims.

 

As and when more information comes to light I'll be keeping an eye out and passing it on to you.

 

 

 

Sales in the Cloud

Welcome all to TriSys’ Sales blogging!

It’s been a fair while since I’ve written an article due to being out of the fold for ½ a year caused by being involved in an RTA with a lorry… however since returning to TriSys I’ve noticed how the Cloud has changed the way everyone uses cloud technology in only a few months!!

As a highlight, what I’ve noticed to date is the following…

 

  • Everyone who’s running recruitment companies has a “Cloud” footprint in one shape or another
  • Most recruiters want to have access to their Clients and Candidates while on the move
  • 90% of all recruiters are using social networking to advertise, pitch and resource information


In a nutshell, everyone is using the “Cloud” (internet) way more than they used to 6, 12, 24, 36 months ago; making sure they aren’t just relying on their website, job boards or good old word of mouth.  The Cloud is constantly moving at rates quicker than everyone can see.  As soon as we think we’ve caught up, several new innovations are changing standard practices… not all for the better, however some really great concepts!

I’ll be updating my blog on all sales process and cloud innovations moving forward.

On a lighter note, we’re expecting more snow over the next few days in the UK; the best part about Cloud technology is we can work remotely if we’re stuck at home and no way into the office! :o)

Twitter: www.twitter.com/TriSysChris.

ASP.Net Woes

So, R&D is involved in deep web browser development utilising our old favourite ASP.Net which we first used to develop TriSys Web over 13 years ago.

Not a great deal has changed with ASP.Net in that time. We have a new complexity layer called MVC (model, view, controller) for people who need a bigger learning curve to knock up a simple web form, and for people who like wrestling with frameworks - not for the faint hearted. The debugging tools in VS2010 are superb and ASP.Net remains the leader in developing and debugging server based logic.

The client side is a different matter. We have found 10 year old Javascript which we first used in 2002 still relevant today for overcoming some shortfalls. We do not advocate writing CSS or JS generating code in our server side code, as we have seen many others do. We also do not advocate writing more and more business logic in JS on the client, instead rely upon third party vendors server controls to emit the necessary browser independent JS code on the fly. This is however not without many drawbacks, but if you have proper support, it will save considerable time. JQuery has also come along and provides client-side assistance, but is new/cryptic and has a long way to go to mature.

Here is a message to third party ASP.Net/Ajax vendors:

Whilst I appreciate that I can write DIV tags, this is missing the point of using a third party control. The reason we choose to buy ASP.Net/Ajax controls from vendors is so that we DO NOT HAVE to write HTML/CSS. We are application developers, not web designers. We expect the third party controls we use to emit the necessary HTML/JS/CSS on the fly so that we do not have to worry about that.This keeps our code focused on solving the business problems, rather than fighting against browser compatibility issues.

In an ideal world, I want to 'draw' my interface using the toolbox in VS2010 onto the design (not markup) surface. I want to use smart tags and the property grid to configure it. I want to click into the code behind (C#/VB), NOT markup (HTML/CSS), and write my business logic, then I want to compile and run it and have it open up inside a browser, and work on all browsers. I do not want to have to deal with ANY markup.

Consider the analogy of winforms, or even early SunView (the notifier), or PerQ, or any other highly productive graphical development tool: The developer draws the interface, sets properties and writes code to make it come to life. The programmer did not have to write native Win32 or Unix etc.. low level API's. The toolkit controls did that for him 90% of the time. If he wanted to he could call the native API, but it was not essential. Therefore when I use your controls, I want you to do the HTML/CSS/Browser (in)compatibility thing, not me.

So, what are we building? Aha, that's top secret, but we'll let you know on this blog first with the first screen shots in March 2012.

Stay tuned.

 

Weather, Infrastructure, And Wild Birds Galore

Hasn't the weather changed for February, snow and temperatures constantly below freezing, Brrrrrr.

Our infrastructure does not seem to be affected by the cold snap, as our uptime still meets 99.99% availability.

Helpdesk is busy also, as we work through our customers varied issues, and maintain our ASP infrastructure.

The decision to move customers to Single Desktops has been a proven success. 

We have seen a huge drop in performance related issues as each user's desktop is a complete Microsoft Desktop Environment that no one else has access to, and has its own allocated memory and processors.

We still have performance related issues reported, but this does seem (on the majority) to be local Internet line related.

You can test if your line is causing an issue by downloading out "Trace" program and using this when the performance slows.

We can then see from the output where the issue lies.

You can find the download with instructions here:- "http://www.trisys.co.uk/support/documents/downloads.asp"

Select "Trace Batch File"

 

We have issues being raised where the TriSys application has a "Switch To" error when trying to open a CV from a contact record.

The normal cause of this is that the TriSys application is trying to open a document which is "Read Only"

A document can be saved with a "Read Only" flag set, or the CV may already be opened by another user, and Microsoft Windows will place a temporary "Read Only" flag on the document.

Microsoft Windows places the actual option box BEHIND the TriSys application.

This is very annoying as users cannot get to the option box to tell Microsoft Windows to open the document anyway.

What you can do is use the "Show Desktop" icon that is on the "Start Bar" of Windows.

By selecting this button, all applications on the desktop will minimise.

Then by selecting the Minimised TriSys button will display the Windows option box and allow the user to open the document as "Read Only"

You can find further information on this issue here:- "http://www.trisys.co.uk/support/documents/SwitchTo.aspx"

I hope that helps a bit.

 

Did you know that February seemingly is the worst time for the bird population in the UK. Up till now, due to the warmer weather, birds have not been seen as much in back gardens as food has been plentiful elsewhere, but February should see them back foraging into gardens. Available water has been a problem for birds also as the drought keeps going.

Having wildlife in your back garden is great, and they help with the garden also.

You know the feeling when you step on a snail, :-(  Well, when I step an a snail, I don't get the spongy, gooey slime attached to the bottom of my boot, just a crunch of shell as the inside has already been eaten by the birds.

You can encourage all sorts of birds into your garden by providing different foods (Seeds, Nuts, and a Fat Compound) it doesn't cost a lot and is well worth it. Provide fresh water also for the birds to drink and clean themselves.

The fat compounds that you can buy ready done out of shops I find a bit expensive, so I have a recipe that does not cost a lot to make, and the birds love it. (In a recent survey I did, 9/10 birds preferred my recipe to the most expensive fat ball, and the one bird that did not like it was vegetarian and preferred my nuts!)

Here's My Bird Recipe:-

1 Jar Peanut Butter

6 Mugs Of Oats

1 1/2 Mugs Of Bird Seed

6 Blocks Of 250g Lard

 

Put in the Lard and heat until melted, add Peanut Butter and Bird Seed and mix together until Peanut Butter has melted.

Finally add the Oats and mix together. Put into a large container and allow to completely cool.

Fill bird feeders and hangers.

 

Well this is all from me for now, pop back later if you get a mo.

http://support.trisys.co.uk - support@trisys.co.uk - 01223 393519


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