C-SAM Ltd is delighted to announce that from April 2017 David Paterson, a company veteran of 17 years, will become Operations Director.
David joined C-SAM in 2001 as a developer, advancing to operations manager in 2013 where he has helped expand the company’s global reach to markets in Canada, Norway and Nigeria.
Theresa Wheeler, managing director of C-SAM said: “The past two years have been exceptionally challenging but David has been instrumental in ensuring the continual performance and growth of C-SAM. David’s operational and commercial experience will further enhance the skill sets and determination of the executive team and help the company in its growth and product development aspirations.”
The appointment comes as the company continues to grow its product offerings, with a new Scottish Enterprise funded project set to be launched in mid 2017.
It takes very little time for a business to grow to a size where large amounts of information are created and required on a daily basis. That information drives every decision, from purchasing to pricing, so ensuring its availability and quality may be the difference between boom or bust.
Despite it, many organisations operate in virtual darkness by storing vital information in separate systems, un-coordinated formats and document types that can be a complete nightmare to keep up-to-date. The trouble really starts to escalate when information is needed between departments. For example, when the sales team need to find out whether a piece of equipment will be available on a particular date or when operations need to know if a stock item has already been ordered by purchasing. If your company is reliant on tracking the movement of assets, then you’ll be more than aware of the time and resources it can take to get the right information to the right people, know where things are and what state they are in.
Fortunately it’s the same types of problems that come up with every company, regardless of what they work with, be it a £10 pack of bolts or a £15 million ROV. Asset management software is typically designed with these re-occurring problems in mind. It helps solve these problems by holding all of this vital information in one reliable place. The potential time savings from not having to chase down and collate all of that information from various different people and sources can be huge. Reports which would take hours to build, might only take a few seconds. Throw in real-time notifications, dashboards and alerts and you are quickly left wondering how you managed to stay on top of everything before.
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On 21st April, members of the C-SAM development department attended the latest Aberdeen .Net Developers User Group talk. The talk on Cake (C# Make), a cross platform build automation system, was delivered by Gary Park who is an active contributor to this open source project.
Cake allows developers to write build scripts in C# negating the requirement to learn a new language in order to automate the building of a software application. The guest speaker spoke about the features of the framework before taking the attendees through a demo that added a build & orchestration script to perform the following tasks:
- compile a .Net application
- run unit tests
- perform static analysis
- package the application
At C-SAM we’re committed to continuous staff development and strive to keep abreast of new platform developments in the industry.
C-SAM will no longer be supporting the hosting of our applications on Microsoft Windows Server 2003 & Microsoft SQL Server 2000/2005, and running them on Microsoft Windows XP & Microsoft Windows Vista. Following a survey distributed at the end of last year we are confident that this move will have little impact on our customer operations, as a large percentage of participants indicated they have either already migrated or intend to migrate to newer versions in the near future.
As of immediate effect we are ending official support for the following products:
- Microsoft SQL Server 2000
- Microsoft SQL Server 2005
- Microsoft Internet Explorer 10 and below (Bespoke handheld applications using IE on Windows Mobile remain unaffected by this)
As of 31/06/2016 we will be ending official support for the following products:
- Microsoft Windows Server 2003
- Microsoft Windows XP
- Microsoft Windows Vista
- These products are either no longer officially supported or will shortly cease being supported by Microsoft and are security risks.
- Known functionality problems are also no longer addressed by Microsoft.
- It is no longer viable to verify our applications work on these environments.
- Our systems will not be constrained by maintaining compatibility with software from 10+ years ago which prevents us using newer technologies.
What happens now?
If you continue to run C-SAM software on unsupported environments and experience problems, then issues caused by outdated environments may not be possible to solve by C-SAM and will persist until your migration to a newer version is completed.
For advice on moving your SQL Server database onto a new server please contact us for a copy of our Database Migration Guide.
If you believe the ending of official support of these packages will cause your C-SAM system issues or are unsure please get in touch stating the following:
- Microsoft Windows Server version used
- Microsoft Windows client versions used
- Microsoft SQL Server versions used
In the near future, we will be migrating our applications to the latest version of the .Net Framework (4.6.1). More details will be shared closer to migration so that you have enough time to roll this out to all users of our application.
From the 12th April 2016, Microsoft SQL Server 2005 is no longer covered by Extended Support from Microsoft.
This means that customers will no longer be offered security updates for the product. Recommended action is to upgrade to the latest version of SQL Server (at the time of writing the latest version is SQL Server 2014) or to migrate to Azure SQL Database.
Internally at C-SAM we run a mix of on premise SQL Server 2014 servers and cloud based Azure SQL Database servers. We also have plans in place to upgrade our on premise servers to SQL Server 2016 when it released so that our customers can be confident of on-going compatibility with the latest versions of Microsoft databases.
For more information about this, please visit the Microsoft SQL Server 2005 product website.
Today, C-SAM are proud to announce that we have renewed our Microsoft Partner status for a 4th consecutive year.
In 2013 we gained a Silver competency in Application Development and we have been working hard to ensure that we retain this from year to year.
Our participation in this programme gives us priority support and access to a vast array of learning material in addition to the latest and greatest versions of Microsoft software allowing us to be at the leading edge of technology.
You can be confident that whenever new versions of Microsoft software are released, C-SAM will be there to ensure that our products and services are compatible with the latest release.
On Thursday, 21st January, two of our developers attended the January Aberdeen Developers .Net User Group session held at the Robert Gordon University Garthdee campus.
This month’s speakers were Carl Franklin (@carlfranklin) and Richard Campbell (@richcampbell) from the highly popular US based .NET Rocks! developer podcast. The session was split into two, with a pizza break in between (what developer doesn’t like pizza right?)
The first session covered the past, present and future of IT and took attendees on a journey from the humble beginnings and rise of the personal computer (IBM PC, Apple II) to the potential post PC world in the future. The talk also covered the ever changing development landscape and the solutions that have emerged in order to deal with this.
The second session treated the attendees to a live recording of the .NET Rocks! podcast (to be released towards the end of February) and featured an interview with Gary Short (@garyshort), a Data Solution Architect at Microsoft. The recording covered all things Statistics and Machine Learning (specifically Microsoft Azure ML).
The Aberdeen Developers .Net User Group was formed in June 2010 as a non profit group aiming to develop software developers in the local area. For more information see http://www.aberdeendevelopers.co.uk/.
Here at C-SAM we have recently completed a company-wide roll out of Windows 10 and Office 2016.
We are committed to keeping abreast of all new developments within the IT industry. By ensuring that we are using the latest software internally, this enables us to support customers using our products who are either planning to deploy the latest software or already have.
The new features of Windows 10 include the following:
- Upgraded Start Menu
- Cortana virtual assistant
- Task switching & virtual desktops
- Action Center
- Improved Windows Explorer and Command Prompt
- New Microsoft Edge web browser
- Windows Hello
- It’s a free upgrade!
New features of Office 2016 include:
- Tell Me – smart natural language help system
- Smart Lookup – provides insights into highlighted words in Word, via the Internet
- Real-time co-authoring
- Colourful user interface – mirrors mobile apps
We will follow up this blog post with another later in the year highlighting our experiences both during the upgrade and in the months following the upgrade.
Today, Tuesday January 12 2016, Microsoft announced that versions 8, 9 and 10 have reached End of Support and would no longer be receiving updates.
This means that only Internet Explorer 11 on Windows 7, 8.1 and 10 will be receiving security updates and fixes after today.
C-SAM’s web products have been designed and tested with the most recent version of popular modern browsers (apart from web solutions designed for custom devices e.g. barcode scanners – these have been designed and tested with the specific device).
At the time of writing, we recommend using one of the following browsers:
- Microsoft Edge (bundled with Windows 10)
- Microsoft Internet Explorer 11 (Download IE11)
- Mozilla Firefox 43 (Download Firefox)
- Google Chrome 47 (Download Google Chrome)
At the beginning of your special C-SAM 12 Days of Christmas series we ran a competition to find out the best things to do in Aberdeen this Christmas. Thank you to everyone who sent in their suggestions – we have now picked the winner and the £25 Amazon vouchers goes to Lesley Allan- congratulations!