Friday, May 29, 2009

IT gets ready for the recovery

Amid all the budget cutting and economic turmoil, it’s important to still plan for when the economy turns around. In other words, if you must cut back, do so in such a way that you will be in good position for an increase in business when the economy recovers.

Need some ideas? This article in looks at a few different ways that IT can cut-back while simultaneously prepping for future growth. Or, maybe you can learn something from this company, who used new technology to both fight the current economic problems and prepare for the future.

Could you use some additional ways to save money? Check out our short presentation entitled, “7 ways to save money with web applications”.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Modernization in 5 practical steps

This white paper details 5 steps you should take when modernizing your legacy applications. It even takes a practical look at the steps we took to modernize the character-based mrc-Productivity Series into the Java-based m-Power, why we chose Java over .Net, and a few tips to help you modernize quickly.

You can read the white paper here.>>

Monday, May 25, 2009

10 Cities with the most available IT jobs

I think the IT industry is a great one to be in. There’s always something new and interesting to learn that can help you in your career. Better yet, despite the economy, the need for IT professionals is still high in many areas.

The good folks at have put together a list of the 10 cities with the most available IT jobs. They’ve even included salary information and a few ways each city is unique.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Doing more with less

I know that many are being asked to do more with less these days, but before you get overwhelmed, just think about Boise Cascade. Their IT department was instructed to develop a sophisticated web reporting system that could interface with multiple host systems. The kicker: They had to do it in 3 weeks, despite being short a developer.

Sound impossible? It sure did to them, but despite the general lack of resources and time, they still managed to meet their deadline. Find out how.>>

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

First there was validity checking . . . and now, server based magic?

If you've built many web apps with m-Power, you already know how to validate data entered into a form the traditional way. When the user presses the accept button, the server validates the entries and either returns with error messages or posts the update,

But this forum post will show you how to make your web apps validate the data in the form as the user is entering it. On the right app, it can be almost magical!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Top 10 free Blackberry applications

One the great aspects of owning a smart-phone these days are all the external applications you can download and run. The best part: Many of these applications are free! In fact, I just ran across a top 10 list of free Blackberry applications that you might want to check out. Make sure you read the comments too, as many readers have listed their favorite free applications as well.

Of course, when using your smart-phone for business purposes, please take extra security precautions. I can’t stress this enough. A lost smart-phone can be deadly to a company if it contains sensitive information.

The best way to avoid a smart-phone security breach? Create web applications that can be accessed via smart-phone. It’s the best of both worlds: You get access to information from anywhere, and don’t run the risk of a security breach should your phone get lost or stolen. Here’s an example of one such application.>>

Friday, May 15, 2009

Is real-time the future of the web?

Here’s a great article on that asks the question, “Is real-time the future of the web?” My opinion: Without a doubt, but not just when it comes to news and information. I’ll take it one step further into the business realm. These days, if your business is operating at anything less than real-time, you are at a great disadvantage.

Let me ask you a few questions:

  • How long does it take to run a business report?
  • How long does it take for you to view crucial business information?
  • How long do your customers have to wait to get status updates, tracking info, or reports?
If the answer to any of these questions is anything other than "instantly", then you’re not operating as quickly as you should in this day and age.

Many of our customers faced these problem, but quickly fixed them with m-Power. If you’re not operating in real-time, m-Power can help you. Feel free to fill out this short form for more information, or take m-Power for a spin with our free online lab.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Spice up your web apps with AJAX

You’ve no doubt noticed that when you do a search in Google, you see a list of suggestions immediately after typing the first letter. You also probably know that this functionality is all thanks to Asynchronous Javascript And Xml (AJAX).

What you might not know is how easy it is to add this functionality into your m-Power built applications. If you'd like to learn how, we’ve written up a tutorial and placed it in our forum.

To learn how to add AJAX functionality to your m-Power web applications, click here.

Monday, May 11, 2009

IT salary trends, 2004-2009

Here are the latest IT salary statistics from Janco Associates. They analyzed salary levels by position from 2004-2009, and the results are interesting…and a little strange.

Assuming the data is accurate, the IT industry has the most unpredictable average salary levels I’ve ever seen. According to the data, some positions could see average yearly salary fluctuations of $18k or higher. However, it’s not all that bad: IT salary levels are still the highest of any industry.

You can read the entire article on

Friday, May 08, 2009

10 Technologies that survive budget cuts

I recently read an article in entitled “10 Technologies that survive budget cuts”. It summarizes the findings from a recent Robert Half survey which polled 1,400 CIOs to learn which technologies they plan to invest in.

While the results are interesting to read, I do have one fear. I fear some people read these surveys, hear about the hot new technologies that others are implementing, and convince themselves that their company needs it too.

In reality, the only technologies that should ever survive budget cuts are those which generate or save more money than they cost to obtain. Don’t invest in technology simply because it’s popular today. Figure out what will benefit your company the most, and then do it.

Here’s the right way to do it: This company analyzed 9 different products before making a decision, and it really paid off.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Spice up your web apps: hide table rows

Sometimes the web applications you build with m-Power contain so much information, it’s a bit difficult to focus on one area at a time. For applications like this, you need a way to hide or unhide data so you can focus on a specific area at a time without being overwhelmed.

Now, there are a few different ways to do this. One method lets you toggle more or less information for the entire document, allowing you to hide many rows at once. You can find instructions for this method here.>>

The other method involves placing toggle buttons on certain rows, usually on the subtotal rows. This allows the user to view more or less information for a specific area of the application. You can find instructions for this method in our forums.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Top 25 cities for tech jobs

Does it really pay to live in a large city? Sure, the salaries are generally higher, but so is cost of living. Then again, you could move out to the suburbs and commute, but many don’t want spend all that time traveling. These are all important factors to consider when figuring out which city is best for a job.

Here’s a recent article that lists the top 25 best cities for tech jobs. They consider factors such as average salary, cost of living, average commute, and a few more. You can read the entire study at I was a little surprised at the cities that made the list.

I’m curious about you. What city do you live in, and how would you rank it when it comes to great cities for tech jobs?

Friday, May 01, 2009

Outsourcing not the big savings firms expect

I’ve found that if I have high expectations for a movie before I watch it, I’m usually disappointed. Even if it was a good movie, I'm disappointed because it didn’t live up to the unattainable expectations I had set in my mind.

I tell you this because I just read an interesting study in which suggests that many companies do the exact same thing with regards to outsourcing. They set unrealistic expectations as to the quality and savings they will receive through outsourcing, but are sorely disappointed when they aren’t met.

Knowing your options and what to expect is extremely important if you’re thinking about outsourcing. If you would like insights or questions into outsourcing application development, like knowing what questions to ask or where to start, let us know what you have on your plate. You may be unaware of some of the choices available to you.

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