On May 17, 2010 Web Applications UK had its annual User Group Seminar. Around June 1 the video from the event was ready to be uploaded onto YouTube. 3 Weeks, about 18 aborted/failed uploads (the mysterious disappearance of 9 clips) and at least 10 migraines later, the job is complete. The clips are ready and available for your consumption and viewing pleasure. So please, enjoy!
All the clips from that special afternoon in the Castlefield Rooms are available via our Youtube page www.youtube.com/WebAppsUK. However! Due to a barrage of video upload failures, there is no discernable order to the clips (other than their clear numbering clip 1, clip 2…). This was remedied by placing all the videos onto their own playlist which allowed me to add the clips in order and make finding specific videos easier. Below I have listed each clip and provided a short summary of what is covered in that segment, along with a link to the specific video. You can either access all the link this way, or use the playlist, it is up to you. Hope you enjoy!
Clip 1 – Introduction Craig delivers his opening gambit. He welcomes everyone and thanks them for attending. Craig laments the absence of those who couldn’t make it due to the ash cloud. He goes through the agenda and explains why different parts of the agenda are important and applicable to everyone. He explains our theme and introduces the three topics he is going to be discussing, the past, present and future of Web Applications UK.
Clip 2 – Introduction Craig goes into detail on Web Applications past and how we have delivered what was asked of us. A lot of how we move forward as a company is by making use of new technologies. A big issue that customers have often talked about is a new reporting engine, and now we have it, called Br-ease. Craig moves into Web Applications Present and how we Achieve What We Promise, listing 6 specific things we promised to do. In the end of this clip, Craig makes it through the first 2 promises: we have moved premises and become a full Unified Communications based business. The rest will be continued in Clip 3.
Clip 3 – Introduction Continued from Clip 2, Craig details the promises we have fulfilled. In this clip, Craig talks about how we have grown the business, made additions to the Support Team, introduced Direct Debit and introduced monthly billing. We have stabilised the Acumen Division and frozen prices. In addition to this we have added new customers and improved communications.
Clip 4 – Introduction Craig moves on to the future of Web Applications and the ways in which we will Anticipate Future Needs. We plan to guard ourselves against the future through improved communications and improved standards, security with convenience – without compromise, cloud computing and social integrations.
Clip 5 – Introduction Craig continues talking about the importance of social integrations and introduces Web Application’s new 363 days a year policy, meaning that Web Applications is open on Weekends! The office will now only be closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day from here on out and weekends will include the same hours as weekdays, 8am to 6pm.
Clip 6 – Introduction In order to illustrate the full potential of UC Craig initiates a video conference, speaking first to Vivienne and then to Robin, who discusses the new Microsoft partnership programme.
Clip 7 – Introduction This is really part 2 of the video conference. In this segment it is Allan’s turn to speak and he talks about Web Application’s network infrastructure and our Microsoft Apprenticeship scheme. Next up is Jeff from the support team who discusses release procedure and the 363 days a year scheme. This is the end of the Video Conference and Craig moves on to highlight some of the advances the Systems Division has made.
Clip 8 – Introduction In this, the final segment of Craig’s Introduction, we take a look at Web Application’s involvement in the community, the clubs and events we sponsor, our partnership with local businesses and our involvement in school placements, apprenticeships, and internships.
Clip 9 – Tr@veller Steve Morgan outlines what he is going to be discussing in his presentation, Tr@veller enhancements and Mercury. Mercury is a light-weight, fully hosted, version of Tr@veller. It is built as a SaaS, and will feature community led changes as well as be configurable. Steve goes through how to find Mercury on our website, what it would look like, and the benefits of Mercury to Tr@veller customers. He moves on from there to start looking at Tr@veller enhancements, first up to be seen here is the new Menu (with collapsible side bars).
Clip 10 – Tr@veller Steve goes into more detail about Tr@veller’s new Menu and demonstrates exactly what it looks like. He discusses the technologies that were used in making these enhancements. He also illustrates how to move and remove bookings through the new User Interface, accessing the Booking Management Screen.
Clip 11 – Tr@veller In this segment Steve discusses how to tap the full potential of Babel and Tr@veller through new third party integrations (Hotel Beds, low cost flights, chartered flights, UK rail and Eurostar). Steve also illustrates how Babel can be used for pricing, especially when using a packaging system and relying more on third parties.
Clip 12 – Tr@veller Steve picks out some of the specific screens that have been improved, screens he affectionately calls ‘Old Favourites’. These screens include Rates, Discounts and Payments. The Rates Screen now has improved usability, better range selection, and better highlighting of selected rows. As always, when Steve says something has been improved, he backs it up with screen shots illustrating the enhancement.
Clip 13 – Br-ease Steve Elliott talks about the Wonder of Br-ease. Br-ease is Tr@veller’s new Reporting module. It was built using the latest Microsoft technologies, it adds a lot of great new features and its modular design allows us to build even more in the future. Steve defines Deliverables, a key component to Br-ease, and then does a demonstration to further illustrate their functionality.
Clip 14 – Br-ease Steve next talks about the different reports Br-ease is capable of, including Reporting Services Reports (SSRS) and Quick Reports. The two together make up a detail report which can either be sent to one person, probably using a Stand Report, or to many people using a Batch Report. Steve illustrates this using a sample report.
Clip 15 – Br-ease Steve picks up where he left off and moves from Quick Reports to Standard Reports. Standard Reports are meant for a single recipient and are good for MIS reports. Next up are Br-ease’s Batch Reports, the power behind all of Br-ease. Batch Reports output multiple reports to different destinations using deliverables. Steve uses a sample to illustrate Batch Reports as well.
Clip 16 – Br-ease Br-ease is specifically engineered to be able to allow reports to be sent at specific times, for example, MIS report in MD’s inbox at 8am every morning, or all confirmation emails for the previous day to be sent at 2am. Br-ease has a granular security model and a sophisticated Schema Admin which provides flexibility when viewing exec reports and optimising quick reports.
Clip 17 – Br-ease Steve talks about how Br-ease Integrates with existing products from Web Applications. Br-ease has deep integration with Tr@veller and Mercury, though can also stand alone as a separate reporting engine and can integrate into any SQL Server Database. Steve finishes up his presentation with a quick history of Br-ease.
Clip 18 – SQL Andrew Fryer, a guest speaker from Microsoft, begins his presentation on SQL Server 2008 and Business Intelligence. He starts with a quick introduction to SQL 2008 then goes through the Microsoft BI vision and Strategy policy and how Microsoft has made Excel and SQL much simpler and easier to use.
Clip 19 – SQL Andrew talks about some of the biggest Reporting challenges. He mentions Office 2007 and the Ribbon in particular in relation to Reporting Service’s integration into Office and SharePoint which maximises data organisation. Andrew demonstrates how to edit reports in the Report Builder and make use of the full SQL functionality.
Clip 20 – SQL In this segment Andrew discusses how Collaboration gets the most out of SQL Server. Andrew talks about how it can be difficult sometimes, to see what is going on. He makes use of some of the new visualisation tools to illustrate what the numbers in his report are describing. He also explains how to manage enterprise-wide workloads, basically how SQL Server handles vast amounts of numbers through an enterprise-scale platform, central deployment and strong manageability.
Clip 21 – SQL Andrew gives us a quick summary of Reporting services from Authoring to Management to Delivery (and thus back to Management). He moves from here to Power Pivot for Excel 2010. Andrew discusses how, not all data relevant to your business comes from within your business, it is important that it’s simple for everyone to be able to access information, not just the IT people within an organisation.
Clip 22 – SQL Andrew finishes up an example from the last segment. In these clips he goes into detail with a demonstration of Power Pivot for Excel. He illustrates the power of Power Pivot as he shows it process thousands of rows of data, defining relationships and creating graphs to compare different sets of data. Andrew goes into greater analysis of the integration of SQL into SharePoint and then finishes off with useful places to find more information.
Clip 23 – Q&A Steve Morgan, Steve Elliott, Andrew Fryer and Craig Dean sit on the panel to take questions from our attendees. Questions in this segment cover topics on corporate fonts to use in Br-ease, Br-ease availability in Acumen, Outlook integration in Acumen and browser support in Mercury and Tr@veller.
Clip 24 – Q&A Questions were on topics covering Style Sheets in Reports, setting features in Tr@veller, Br-ease in relation to Tr@veller, and SagePay.