Dec 15 2005

Audit Assistant

Category: Selfish MotivationJoeGeeky @ 23:16

This one was a lot of fun... We needed something to help audit our systems. On the surface a simple task, but this is one of those cases when one thing leads to another and pretty soon you’re on your way to developing enterprise services (boggle). There are a lot of nifty features here, but since this is for the geeks in the house, this included tons of owner-drawn stuff using GDI+ and more brute-force pagination than I ever want to repeat again :-)... To round things out, are sprinkles of XML/XSD, serialization, interoperability with the Windows Instrumentation Engine, SOA based services, and a partridge in a pear tree. This also gave me a chance to explore some IUI concepts in human engineering and process automation. Although I developed this on my own time this has gotten some attention and may grow up to be something larger in the future.


Dec 2 2005


Category: Selfish MotivationJoeGeeky @ 03:22

This is another case where 'sometimes' the best solution is the one you create yourself. In this scenario, I was faced with the crippling process of gathering and analyzing metrics for our SW-CMM initiatives. After doing this by hand a few times I realized that I had to find a way to automate the process and define more objective measuring criteria for the team. Here is where the geek part comes in... All of the data was stuck in a proprietary portal engine that had no 'advertised' interfaces... 'They' said I was only allowed to view content via the browser. You know 'They', because we all work for 'Them'. There are those of us who understand what we do not manage, which is often managed by those that do not understand what 'They' manage... Got it?... Good!... Ok, I will play... In this application I embedded a number of browsers and created bots that would crawl through the portal, scrape the data out, normalize it, model it, cache it, and then apply it to a charting engine I developed for the font-end. This process was eventually relagated to a server-based product with a service layer allowing access to scraped data by clients.  One thing led to another, and I found myself integrating with Microsoft Outlook, implementing full-screen briefing support, chart image capturing and extraction, and the aforementioned implemention of a service oriented layer to support multiple client access. Ok... A little out of control?... Maybe... but it made my job; in this area; super easy and I had a lot fun working with the embedded browsers, DOMs, bot methods, service layers, owner-drawn charting, etc. Hey, it’s a geek thing...  :-)

As a side note...  Sadly...  Sometimes I find that I am one of 'Them', ohhh the horror!  Nevermind, it comes with a pay raise...  :-)