Project Apex: Part 2

We started this week developing our new web browser application code named 'Project-Apex'. Our web designers have created an HTML / CSS framework which mimics the layout and regions required in a line of business (LOB) application such as TriSys.

We are making sure that this framework is truly cross-browser, and supports the major web browsers used today, including those that do not yet fully support HTML5. These browsers include Mozilla Firefox (our favourite), Microsoft Internet Explorer (6, 7, 8, 9 & 10), Apple Safari, Google Chrome and Opera. This is very important because we want TriSys/Apex to be completely browser agnostic and provide the exact same look and feel on any operating system/browser combination.

So, here it is as it stands:

You can see the regions laid out with full auto-resize, and scrolling available in the content area for large forms or pages.

We are now working on the pop-out alarms region and images for the ribbon, and will show these early next week.

Stay tuned.

Project Apex: Part 1

Today marks the start of a new series of blog posts featuring our new web browser product/service. This was previously referred to as 'project-x' because our developers often lack imagination ;-) After consulting marketing however, we have decided upon the project name of Apex. This reflects the fact that this product/services lives on top, or is at the summit of our underlying mountain of technology comprising cloud, desktop and mobile.

Project Apex will be a totally web browser and device independent recruitment application designed for both recruitment agencies and corporate recruitment departments. It will have functionality for both recruitment consultants, clients and candidates, and be delivered as a cloud based application underpinned with a plethora of ancilliary services such as e-mail synchronisation, e-marketing, CV parsing, job posting etc..

This blog series will document our progress and provide plenty of visuals as to how the product develops over time. We expect that the product will be available for alpha testing by selected customers in October 2012. To sign up to be an alpha/beta tester, please click here and send us your request.

OK, here goes... 

Started on the framework using some 3rd party internet tools. Quickly gave these up and started using our trusted Telerik and Devexpress toolkits for ASP.Net/Ajax. This is the first screenshot of the browser independent framework:

The framework is designed to look like our desktop version 10 product with a ribbon interface, navigation bar and scrollable content region.

Please check back in a few days to see further design and development progress.


Microsoft Office 2013

Microsoft has previewed the next version of Microsoft Office (version 15 or 2013 as it will be known) and this has been documented by the BBC:

Microsoft also has a preview page at

Essentially, this latest version of office addresses two main areas:

  • Cloud computing
  • Touch

Office 2013 is going to work well with Microsoft's on-line services for example Azure and Office 365. Customers can use the web browser version of Office 365 to run Office on non-Microsoft operating systems such as iPad and Android tablets. Of course a Microsoft on-line account is necessary for this.

Office 2013 also has innovations to make it work well with the new touch interface in the forthcoming windows 8 tablets for both ARM and Intel processors.

TriSys will be evaluating Office 2013 in the coming weeks and will ensure that TriSys products remain compatible with Microsoft's flagship 'cash-cow' product, worth an estimated $22bn a year in revenue to Microsoft. In particular, TriSys ASP/remote desktop customers will be able to use Office 2013 in the cloud without requiring a Microsoft on-line account.



Microsoft Surface

Late last night, Microsoft accounced Surface, or rather I should say re-announced and rebranded surface. Surface was Microsoft's table top operating system for touch screens. This is now called PixelSense.

Microsoft has hijacked the Surface web site at and are pre-announcing their new iPad killer. This is a tablet computer running Windows 8 (or variations such as RT) with a detachable multi-colour keyboard and uses a pen instead of a mouse for those people who do not wish to mess up the screen with greasy fingerprints.

It seems that the first version aimed at consumers will be running the ARM version of Windows 8 - Windows RT (Metro UI only) and future Intel based devices will run the full Windows 8 with the full desktop + Metro.

No prices or dates were given. 

What is very interesting is that this is Microsoft hardware. This means that Microsoft are changing or adding to their existing business model of using third party hardware suppliers to license Windows. This could be a pivotal moment in which Microsoft transforms itself into what Apple has become.

After Google bought Motorola's mobile division, they themselves will get into the mobile device game. Microsoft will complete the trio of technology companies who have a complete software (operating systems, applications, servers, cloud hosting) and hardware stack. This game is going to get really interesting in the next few months.

Restart Remote Desktop Function

We have now added new functionality to our web site to allow remote desktop (formerly ASP) customers to restart their individually assigned hosted application server in the event that the server becomes non-responsive. This can happen occasionally when the Amazon EC2 server incorrectly starts up and fails to load all necessary network drivers or other software components. When this happens, users are often unable to login. This new function allows users to force their server to restart which will stop and start the instance to enable login.

The new Restart Remote Desktop option is available from two places:

You must be logged in using your active directory credentials (forename.surname) to use this functionality.

When you click the Restart button, the browser will show that the server is being stopped/started: 

If your server is already started, this whole process could take around 5 minutes. During this time, the server is stopped, started and pinged to ensure that it is responding before you will get confirmation that the restart has completed.



The times, they are a changin'

We have changed our web site and company branding to reflect our new approach to marketing and delivering our products and services.

TriSys Business Software has been providing business software to the recruitment industry for 20 years. Our software has matured greatly during this time, and because we have listened to our customers, TriSys has evolved to be much more than traditional customer relationship management. We provide a host of other software products such as applicant tracking systems, mobile apps, web apps, software development kits and application programming interfaces.
During this time, the world of recruitment has also changed greatly, and we have had to build a range of complementary services to the recruitment industry such as cloud hosted desktops, business analysis, customisation, data conversion, training and of course support.

Social networking provides great opportunities, and threats to recruitment agencies, and TriSys has built software connectors to integrate with all of the major players in this space.

We are thus in future, going to focus on what a modern day recruitment agency requires from a technology supplier. This is simply much more than CRM. We are now offering a comprehensive suite of complementary technology services which will help recruitment agencies tackle the more complex issues of the current and future world of recruitment.

By taking this approach, we hope to really help our existing and prospective customers to succeed in this changing climate, and to greatly improve the efficiency of your organisation by thinking outside and beyond your perceived current constraints.

We look forward to engaging with you in fulfilling our objectives for your benefit in the coming months.

Please visit our new web site at

TriSys ASP is now TriSys Remote Desktop

The new web site is now live.

We are dropping the ASP (application service provider) name and replacing it with Remote Desktop in line with changes of nomenclature within the cloud computing industry.

There will be no change to functionality, or price, only the branding of the web access portal.

Here is how it now looks:


and here is the post-authentication connection process: 


There is a lot of other goodies to show, so stay tuned to other posts by TriSys staff.


The Cloud This Week

Another interesting week in the cloud computing industry. Here are some key points:

  • Amazon are hosting an event in Cambridge where TriSys is presenting. Please click here to sign up.
  • Microsoft dropped the Azure name for its platform as a service (PaaS) cloud system.
  • Amazon and Microsoft both now support SQL Server in the cloud: Called RDS and SQL Database respectively.
  • Amazon are now supporting .Net via their Elastic Beanstalk. These last two announcements show that Amazon and Microsoft are collaborating on all things cloud, and this is very good news for TriSys customers.
  • Last week, the Google Drive and Microsoft Sky Drive joined Dropbox and Amazon S3 and others in the 'cloud data storage synched to pc' market. Another great move for consumers and business which will help drive down costs even further.
  • Google announced App Sync for Outlook 3.1 to help Microsoft Office customers, including TriSys ASP customers make better use of G-Mail.
  • TriSys are full steam ahead on a web site rebrand which highlights the breadth of our cloud credentials. We expect this to be live within the next 10 days.

The cloud is currently the most exciting and innovative technological space at present, and it sure is a fast and ever changing ride ;-)

Flashback: Recruitment '94

Recently, a jealous competitor questioned TriSys' claim to be the worlds first windows based recruitment software, and therefore by implication our assertion that we lead the recruitment software industry in terms of innovation and direction.

A trawl of the TriSys archives has revealed the following brochure:


This is the glossy brochure from the Recruitment '94 exhibition at The Barbican in London.

This is TriSys' listing in this brochure advertising our windows recruitment software:


The show was a great success. TriSys was the only product demonstrated at the show to use a monitor with colour! Other products of the day ran traditional 'green screen' monitors which used 80x24 character based terminals and high price Unix servers.

What is amazing is both the sophistication of the first version of the software and the entry level price of recruitment software which, in 1994 was around £3,000 - a far cry from today, where TriSys Starter-Edition can be purchased for as little as £50 per user per month.

TriSys began developing its windows recruitment software in 1990 and gained its first customers in 1993. Following the Recruitment '94 exhibition, sales of TriSys rocketed as customers moved away from mainframe and minicomputers to a more PC centric client-server architecture.

Please click here to view the original brochure, or click here to view the history of login splash screens of all previous versions of TriSys.

Ah, happy days ;-)


Windows 8 Editions

Microsoft has announced which editions that will be available for "Windows 8" when it is released to market around Q4 2012:

Windows 8 is the official product name for the next x86/64 editions of Windows. Windows 8 has effectively two types of windowing environments:

  • Windows Desktop is the traditional windows interface with task bar and 'start' button. This interface is almost identical to Windows 7.
  • Metro is the new tiled based interface first used in Windows Phone 7, but optimised for large touch enabled screens.

Users can switch between each environment, or mode by using a new interface paradigm called 'Charms' which appear when the mouse, or finger is positioned to the left or right edge of the screen.

For PCs and tablets powered by x86 processors (both 32 and 64 bit), there will be two editions: Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro

Windows RT is the newest member of the Windows family – also known as Windows on ARM (one of our fellow Cambridge technology companies) or WOA (Windows on ARM). This single edition will only be available pre-installed on PCs and tablets powered by ARM processors and will help enable new thin and lightweight form factors with long battery life. Windows RT will include touch-optimized desktop versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. There is to be no Outlook on this version, and it is also not possible to install non-Microsoft Office traditionanal windows or .Net applications.

TriSys Version 10 is already running on non-ARM Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro.

There will be two ways to run TriSys on ARM Windows RT mobile devices:

  • Via the ASP Remote Desktop
  • The New TriSys Web Browser product, or Project-X as previously discussed

Developers can now develop for Windows 8 using a new programming environment called WinRT, which is like a mini .Net framework, but allows access to the Metro interface to create native applications for tablet devices based on ARM processors. We can also build native applications in HTML5 and Javascript and Visual Studio 2012 provides new capabilities to assist developers with this.