Archive for January 12, 2016

Running CM WebClient Applications 24 Hours a Day, 365 Days a Year

Andrew Leggett / Sr. Application Consultant

running

If you have a live, CM WebClient web application, you will probably want to upgrade your existing site sometime, whether to fix a bug, add new features, or just to update the graphics.

Upgrading has traditionally been a pain.  You had to make sure no-one was using the system and schedule a window of time where the system would be unavailable.  This is not always practical if your system is used around the world and needs to run 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Fortunately, if you are using Tomcat v7 or later as your web server, there is already a built-in solution for this, and it’s incredibly simple to implement.

This feature is called ‘Parallel Deployment’, and this is how it works:

  1. When you are ready to deploy your CM WebClient war file, you just need to rename it to add ‘##’ followed by a sequence number, e.g. rename “MyWebApplication.war” to “MyWebApplication##0001.war”.
  2. Copy this file to your “WebApps” folder in your Tomcat installation.  Tomcat monitors this folder and will automatically unpack and deploy your war file.  Your application will be available to your users at the usual URL.
  3. When you need to upgrade, rename your new war file to include a higher sequence number, e.g. “MyWebApplication##0002.war” and copy it to your “WebApps” folder.
  4. Tomcat will take care of everything from this point.  If there are users currently using the previous version, they will continue to use that version for their current session.  Any new users connecting to the URL will be directed to the new version.  Once all the sessions for the old version have expired, Tomcat will undeploy the old version and clean up the files.
  5. Repeat for each upgrade, just increment the sequence number each time.

The 3rd of Four Tips in Designing a Good Mobile Application

Lily Taharudin / Application Consultant

Have you ever been annoyed when you encounter a web page where you have to scroll and scroll to get to the content you want? Imagine the same page on your phone. You’d quickly give up trying to find the information you need. Complexity is another issue. When there is too much content crammed on a page, it can be very difficult to read.

While there is a legitimate fear that people won’t click to another page, most will be more likely to look elsewhere when they struggle to locate the data they want. Good headers taking you to new pages will make your application far more usable and likeable to your customers and employees.

Imagine a restaurant site. One might have a set of beautiful pictures, followed by their location and hours, then a link to menus and a way to make a reservation. For someone already sure they want to eat there, they want to get to contact/reservation information instantly. A more successful site might have the following headers, leading to new pages:

Screen Shot 2016-01-12 at 2.32.30 PM

Each page might have a different restaurant image, but this design allows anyone to quickly get to the information they need.

Here is a real-world example of a great mobile screen:

3_of_4_tips

The basic information is available on the first screen and you don’t have to scroll. Each page has a full page of related data. You only scroll as far as you need to go.

Keep this in mind when you are designing your mobile applications. When it comes to a mobile application, simpler is better.

 
 
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