Microsoft ALM : The ultimate solution for managing your software development lifecycle

VSFor the past few decades with the explosion of software development as a major industry and ultimate engine driving the Information Age, many different software development life cycle management methodologies have come and gone.

The most popular SDLC methodology to date, undoubtedly used the world over is the Agile Software Development methodology, which comes in various flavours like scrum and kanban. Until recently a number of third party software providers have built software that helps teams to manage their software development lifecycles based on agile principle until Microsoft introduced Visual Studio ALM (Application Lifecycle Management) tool that based on agile principles helps organizations manage the entire lifespan of application development.

Now, with the introduction of Visual Studio ALM you dont have to subscribe to a third party provider like Pivotal Tracker to help you keep track of your sprint velocity and burn down. You can now do everything within Visual Studio, thanks to Visual Studio ALM tools. Click here to learn more.

Blog Post by Farai

Understanding the “Internet of Things”

internetThings1According to Gartner research vice president Chris Howard, consumerisation and mobility will continue to be the top trends driving technology in 2014 and beyond, along with the continuing growth of the ‘Internet of Things’ which extends the human-machine relationship.

But what really is the ‘Internet of Things’? In what’s called the Internet of Things, sensors and actuators embedded in physical objects—from roadways to pacemakers—are linked through wired and wireless networks, often using the same Internet Protocol (IP) that connects the Internet.

These networks churn out huge volumes of data that flow to computers for analysis. When objects can both sense the environment and communicate, they become tools for understanding complexity and responding to it swiftly. What’s revolutionary in all this is that these physical information systems are now beginning to be deployed, and some of them even work largely without human intervention.

internetThings2      internetThings3

Pill-shaped microcameras already traverse the human digestive tract and send back thousands of images to pinpoint sources of illness.  Looking through Google Glass, a mere pair of spectacles is transformed into a tool for taking photos and videos, recording and displaying data all controlled by the eyes. Billboards in Japan peer back at passersby, assessing how they fit consumer profiles, and instantly change displayed messages based on those assessments.

None of this is news to technology companies and those on the frontier of adoption. But as these technologies mature, the range of corporate deployments will increase. Now is the time for executives across all industries to structure their thoughts about the potential impact and opportunities likely to emerge from the Internet of Things.

Blog Post by Farai

Excel 2013 stand-alone now includes #powerpivot

Microsoft has listened to the many complaints received since Excel 2013 release and the stand-alone version of Excel now includes Power Pivot and Power View! This is a very important news because there are customers around the world who have not yet upgraded from Excel 2010 to Excel 2013 just because they would have lost the Power Pivot add-in!

Microsoft updated this blog post describing the SKUs that includes Power Pivot and Power View, and now the list includes the Excel stand-alone version that anyone can buy (for example on Amazon). If you already have Excel 2013 and do not see Power Pivot active, check you have this upgrade.

As a side note, Power Pivot (formerly known as PowerPivot) has now an official name that is made by two words and is no longer a single word. The reason is that Microsoft announced Power BI, which includes Power Pivot, Power View, Power Query (code named Data Explorer), Power Map (code named GeoFlow) and much more. For a long time, we will probably see this name written in both ways.



Blog Post by Farai

10 factors to consider when upgrading to Windows 8.1

Win8.1PreviewPC users have traditionally relied upon an iOS or Android companion device to reap the productivity benefits of BYOD, but the touch-enabled interface enabled by Windows 8 eliminates the numerous challenges of this approach.

With the Windows 8.1 update scheduled for general availability in mere months, it’s important to understand what to expect from the new system. Windows 8.1 provides enterprise-level upgrades that give users a consistent computing experience across devices, but it may require infrastructure upgrades to experience the full benefits of the platform.

A significant upgrade

While 8.1 is not a completely new operating system, it is a significant upgrade, and shouldn’t be viewed simply as a service pack.

Below is a list of 10 ways that Windows 8.1 can benefit the enterprise:

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10 steps to adding a timeline to an Excel 2013 Pivot Table

Get to know Excel’s new timeline tool for PivotTables, step by step.


Excel 2013 includes a new timeline tool for PivotTables. A timeline lets you filter records by dates, similar to a slicer. In this 10-step article, we’ll generate a simple PivotTable, add a timeline, and explore the different ways to use it to filter data. Combining PivotTables, timelines, and slicers is a great start to an interesting and easy-to-use dashboard.

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Top 20 jQuery plugins – August 2013

When John Resig developed the jQuery library back in 2006, he can’t have imagined that it would become the most popular Javascript library on the web, or that it would have tens of thousands of plugins written for it. But it’s true to say that jQuery, above all other libraries out there, has been embraced by the web design community. It’s so popular and pervasive that some developers feel JavaScript itself is threatened, such is the tendency to use jQuery when plain JavaScript would work.

Below we’ve rounded up 20 of our favourite jQuery plugins. Have a look, and let us know in the comments if we’ve missed your favourite!

01. MixItUp


MixItUp is a CSS3 and jQuery filter and sort plugin. Essentially, it enables you to quickly sort and filter through categorised content with beautifully fluid animation. Ideal for blogs, portfolios or even eCommerce stores, it’s also free for commercial use.

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10 steps for a successful BYOD adoption

Bring-your-own-device doesn’t have to be a disaster for your organization. Plan ahead and create a good policy with these tips.

byod-workersBring Your Own Device will happen. Your company will find the benefits outweigh the possible headaches brought about by this change in the way we approach business technology. For many IT administrators, BYOD is a nightmare in the waiting. The security, the policies, the data loss and network bottlenecks – it all spells disaster.

It doesn’t have to. With a little advance work, you can prepare your company for a successful BYOD adoption. Let’s take a look at just how you can manage this.

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