Clear Measure Blog

Gold Microsoft Partner for DevOps

Azure DevOps consultants Clear Measure announce new Microsoft Gold Partner Status: DevOps

AUSTIN, October 30, 2018 – Clear Measure today announced its status as Microsoft Gold Partners in the latest competency, DevOps, in addition to its existing Gold Partner status in the Cloud competency.

“As leading Azure DevOps consultants, we’ve been working with Azure DevOps since day one,” said Jeffrey Palermo, Clear Measure CEO. “We’re excited to add this Microsoft certification to our collection, showing our customers our continued commitment to excellence.”

Featured on the 2018 Inc. 5000, Clear Measure works with companies worldwide to build and implement Azure DevOps best practices and streamline their software development processes. CEO Palermo also hosts the Azure DevOps Podcast, which features his insights as well as ideas, advice and practical tips from podcast guests.

As experienced Azure DevOps consultants, the Clear Measure team helps its customers get the most from their development teams, their DevOps processes, and...

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Azure DevOps experts Clear Measure announce brand new Azure DevOps Podcast, available on all major podcast platforms

AUSTIN, September 14, 2018 –Clear Measure today announced the new Azure DevOps Podcast, hosted by Microsoft MVP and Azure DevOps expert Jeffrey Palermo. Clear Measure is proud to sponsor this new podcast, focused on strategy, tactics and expert advice all around Azure DevOps, devops, and related Microsoft technologies (like VSTS).

“I’m excited to share these Azure DevOps insights with developers around the world,” said Jeffrey Palermo, host and Clear Measure CEO. “Listeners will gain practical, actionable advice from our experience and expertise in Azure, DevOps, efficient software development, Microsoft VSTS, and related technologies mixed with the unmatched insights from our guests.”

Featured on the 2018 Inc. 5000, Clear Measure works with companies worldwide to build and implement Azure DevOps best practices and streamline their software development processes. The Palermo-hosted Azure DevOps Podcast features...

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Clear Measure Inc. Magazine

Clear Measure ranks on the 2018 Inc. Magazine 5000 (Inc 5000) for the second year in a row, showing growth and customer focus.

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Software Developer for Small Department

If this just happened, and you are the operations executive at your firm, you may be a bit stressed at the moment. The Internet is littered with articles that discuss reasons developers and software engineers quit their jobs at otherwise high-profile tech companies.

The fact is software developers quit all types of companies. If you are a company that is not in the Fortune 5000, and your market happens to be more high-touch than high-tech, then this might have been your only developer, or half of your team of two!

Because the departure of a developer in a small IT department can leave a gaping hole, it’s not a bad idea to look at why the event happened in the first place even as you look to fill the role as quickly as possible.

Why Developers Quit

In a company with a small software department, it is often more challenging to attract and retain qualified talent. And just because you’re not a Fortune 500 company doesn’t mean you’re not in need of a talented developer. Many mid-market companies rely upon a careful mix of off-the-shelf...

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Texas Software Development Firm

For most small and mid-market companies based in Texas, the case for keeping software development here in the Lone Star State is more compelling than ever. Indeed, the reality of outsourcing software development to countries like India is that it’s not always the best or cheapest alternative for a company to pursue. Offshoring software development is complicated.

Put simply, the risk of outsourcing to offshore software development firms often outweigh the financial savings that those firms always advertise.

At Clear Measure, we were faced with a similar decision years ago. We wondered if we should follow others in the custom software development industry by sending more of our work offshore in order to offer a lower price point. We decided that keeping our talent in-house and onshore (mostly here in Texas!) would be a competitive advantage that our customers would appreciate.

It turns out we were right.

Here are just some of the advantages our own Texas-based customers — many from traditional industries like manufacturing, natural resources and logistics —...

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Modernize Legacy Software

Renovating a home is never as simple as it looks on paper. You can get an architect to draft up the blueprints for the new and improved home you dreamed up but once the project gets started things just have a way of going sideways, especially if you have an older home.

Even if you haven’t renovated a home yourself, you need only watch any of the popular home renovation shows on HGTV to understand how a home renovation project can encounter unforeseen challenges. An outdated electrical system, compromised foundations, previously undetected mold -- any of these can turn your dream home into a nightmare project.

Modernizing legacy software can often have similar hidden traps, challenges, and drama. Plus, the risks are just as great, maybe even greater, in that a botched modernization project could cost a company enormously in lost productivity, customer loyalty and cash flow.

Planning Stage: The devil is in the details, and planning the specific details of a software modernization project, which can run in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, is...

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Onshore Software Development Company

The trend toward using onshore software development firms has been growing in recent years. So much so that The New York Times wrote an article about the reasons behind the shift.

As you’d imagine, cost has a lot to do with the recent surge in nearshore and onshore development work. As the cost of developers has grown in countries like India and China, the previous cost advantage there versus developers in the U.S. has shrunk.

There are, however, other reasons why using onshore software development can help your company’s bottom-line.

Responsive

When you hire a software development firm in the U.S., especially if it’s ‘close to home,’ you have the advantage only proximity and a shared work culture can give you. When you deal with a software development firm here in the U.S., it’s within the same or similar time zone as you. Translation? There is less lag time you have to wait for...

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Using the Cloud for your Software Modernization

The tech world has always enjoyed throwing around acronyms to communicate complex ideas -- SQL for structured query language, SAN for storage area network, JSP for java server page.

Now the Cloud has introduced a new set of acronyms that could use some explaining. PaaS and IaaS are two such examples that are related yet highly differentiated in terms of what services you decide to locate in the Cloud.

The question is, should your company, as part of a broader software modernization strategy, begin to use one of these Cloud models for its IT needs?

Many small and mid-market enterprises are beginning to embrace the Cloud as they seek to minimize the cost (and risk) of their IT operations. But what the Cloud is now capable of offering is not limited to storing data offsite for ease of system restores, although that is certainly still a value of using the Cloud. You now have the ability to run the bulk of a company’s IT operations entirely through Cloud service providers like Azure and AWS, including using the Cloud to setup and run a software development...

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software modernization and devops

Radical changes in both the business world and consumer behavior are compelling companies to modernize now more than ever before. From opening online stores, building sophisticated websites, to managing social media accounts, there are many ways businesses have adapted to today's online consumer, and many business owners have taken taken the first strides towards modernizing their business for today’s marketplace.

While these kinds of marketing efforts can help the outward appearance of your business, it's critical to look internally as well to make sure your legacy systems are ready to tackle whatever's coming next. Read on to learn how legacy system modernization can help you improve your business's bottom line while preparing your business for whatever lies ahead.

It Provides a Competitive Advantage

If you're operating in a sector that's dominated by old technology, don't lose the opportunity of beating your competitors by modernizing your internal systems. The efficiency you gain through legacy system modernization can not only make your...

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Outsource Software Development to Local Software Company

If your company needs to create a new piece of software or refurbish an older legacy system, you may be deciding whether you'll produce the software in-house or outsource software development to an outside contractor. In many cases, hiring a local software company for your outsourced project can provide a variety of benefits from a quicker development time to a lower overall cost.

Outsourcing Gets Your Project Running Quickly

If your company doesn't already have an in-house software development team, you'll need to locate, hire and train a dedicated team to begin working on your project. Even after you've hired your team, they'll still need to spend time learning how to delegate responsibility for maximum effectiveness, and acquire the necessary equipment and other resources you’ll need for your project.

On the other hand, a dedicated software development contractor will likely have all of the key personnel in place already. They are well equipped to support your software development project and can quickly set up a collaborative development...

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Outsourcing Software Development

Many growing companies that rely upon legacy software for a significant portion of their business tend to have their own internal software staff. It just makes sense to have coding talent on hand to take care of the day-to-day development and feel some peace-of-mind knowing your business is in good hands no matter the time of day or night.

While many of these internal developers may indeed be truly talented and capable of exceptional work, there are times when even that level of competence is just not enough to get the job done. The fact is, even the most talent-rich companies can run out of internal options when faced with a particularly challenging set of circumstances.

The key is to know when your team is about to reach its limits. That way you can seek the help of a qualified third party before things get seriously off track and threaten the viability of the project itself.

Here are three signs that your internal software team may require you to bring in outside help - or as we like to call it: fresh perspective.

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Custom Software Company

One of the big reasons to invest in technology is to automate tasks that can be done more efficiently and accurately by a machine compared a human. In other words, software handles the mind numbing, highly-repetitive tasks that are so easy to get wrong when human hands get involved.

But what happens if the software becomes part of the problem? What if instead of automating all the redundant tasks and improving accuracy, software ends up becoming the anchor that drags on a company’s growth?

Here are some ways in which your custom software may no longer be adding the productivity lift that was originally intended:

Downtime

The older your software gets, especially custom software, the greater the chances that its age works against it. That can take the form of system downtime, which in economic terms is no joking matter. According to a recent survey by research...

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When the Cloud arrived on the technology scene around ten years years ago, the fanfare very quickly became deafening. There were more than a few bold predictions about how the Cloud would disrupt the software industry. One of the predictions was that legacy technology would soon go the way of the dinosaur.

SaaS solutions began popping up seemingly overnight to challenge dominant software players with promises of a lower technology TCO, painless upgrades and a more stable operating platform. In short, this brave new world of business software would be far more nimble, affordable and easy-to-adopt than its predecessor.

Custom software fell into the category of legacy technology as well. After all, companies are always better off running the newest software technology with all the latest bells and whistles. Or so the marketing literature would have you believe.

Well, it turns out that the very Cloud-based technology behind the explosion of SaaS solutions is what has now allowed companies to extend the life of their legacy software. In an ironic twist, Cloud...

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Custom Software Innovation

Have you ever noticed that really successful companies, in addition to being leaders in their respective markets, tend to be driven by innovation? It should come as no surprise that they also tend to be among the fastest-growing and most profitable companies in America, too.

At Clear Measure, we are frequently asked to be a force for custom software innovation. Companies come to us for inspiration on all manner of technology issues ranging from process bottlenecks and complex manual workarounds to modernization of legacy systems and brand new software development. In other words, we have gotten pretty good at helping companies discover, design and build innovative solutions that have measurable, even game-changing, business outcomes.

Based on our own observations and customer successes, we have put together five ways you can out-innovate the competition and establish market dominance for your company.

Crowdsourcing

When you embark on your journey toward greater innovation, you want to make sure you have the best ideas rising to the top....

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Software Development Influencers

At Clear Measure, we like to keep up with the hot new custom software development trends as much as the next person. In fact, we went so far as to make a list of go-to software development influencers that help keep our own software engineers current, enlightened and even entertained. Here is list of the top five influencers we believe are worth following:

Udi Dahan

  • Website: udidahan.com
  • Twitter: @UdiDahan

The creator of NServiceBus, the most commonly used enterprise service bus for .NET, Udi Dahan is also a major thought leader on Service-Oriented Architecture and Domain-Driven Design. Although he is not blogging or writing articles as frequently as he did in the first decade of the millennium, Dahan is shaping the world of software as a globe-trotting instructor on architecture design practices for distributed systems. In the next year the Israel-based developer will travel to Los Angeles, Sydney, London and Dallas to conduct four-day workshops with those looking to boost their skills. His...

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In-House vs. Hiring Custom Software Development Company

Businesses run on software, either in helping to get things done or as part of the development process itself. Keeping your business software up and running is critical to your business’s success, and necessary to insure the longevity of your company.

But what happens when that expensive piece of mission-critical software no longer works right (or works at all) with your new computer hardware or operating system? What happens when your custom or enterprise software no longer serves the needs of your growing company?

It boils down to two options: You can hire someone in-house, or outsource to a company to fix your software woes. Keep reading to learn some key differences between these two options.

An In-house Developer

For custom software, it used to make sense to hire a developer in-house to do the work. With an in-house developer, you had someone dedicated to the project who knew what they were doing. And because you were paying them, they had a vested interest in getting the job done right. But you also got:

· The time and expense...

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Onshore Software Development Outsourcing

There’s no use denying that we live in an increasingly global economy, where workers and customers often transcend borders. One of the widely-discussed consequences has been the offshoring of millions of jobs in manufacturing and tech to countries where labor is cheaper and regulations are laxer.

More and more U.S. companies, however, are concluding that the advantage of cheap labor may not outweigh the drawbacks of relying on workers half a world away. The New York Times recently reported that the offshore services sector is only anticipated to grow 8 percent over the next five years, down from an average of 15 percent between 2011-16.

Instead, many companies are looking to outsource to American software development firms that provide high-quality work, not to mention a number...

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Legacy Software Modernization

Who hasn’t driven with the emergency brake on at some point or another? You know the feeling you get when you start down the road and the car seems sluggish, like you’re being held back, unable to accelerate?

Then it occurs to you to look at the dashboard, and you see the brake light lit up making fun of your forgetfulness. When you release the brake, it’s like a weight has been lifted, and your car suddenly accelerates.

Companies of all kinds can experience the same drag on growth and productivity when their software is not operating optimally.

The reasons for software’s failure to deliver on promised productivity improvements run the gamut, but they have one thing in common: They prevent your company from achieving accelerated growth goals over a sustained period of time.

For your company to enjoy full-throttled business growth, you have to figure out the symptoms (brake lights!) and then put a fix in place (release the brakes!).

Here are some areas you should start looking into immediately if you want your enterprise to pull into the fast lane and...

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Cloud Solutions for Companies

The cloud. Some call it a revolution. Others see it as the next natural step in our gradual embrace of the Internet and all it promised during the dot-com era.

These days, the cloud seems to be everywhere. Commercials from IBM, Microsoft and even GE have all invoked cloud technology and how it will make everything from raising tomatoes to cancer research faster, easier and more effective.

Yet with all the marketing hype and so many ‘cloud-based’ technologies promising miraculous results, many mid-market companies are often puzzled over whether they, too, should try to keep up with the latest trends in technology.

For starters, we are definitely advocates of using new technology. But only to the extent it can give you a measurable competitive advantage, or help you maintain or improve the bottom-line. Now here’s the thing about the cloud -- It means different things to different people. In fact, so much has been attributed to the cloud that it’s easy to get confused over how to start taking advantage of it. From subscription-as-a-service applications residing on...

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Financial Service Custom Software

In an industry as regulated as financial services, you would think there would be one or two standard solutions to the biggest issues you’re facing. Those regulations, however, are exactly why there can never be a “one-size-fits-all” software solution.

Here are some of the primary reasons why many, if not all, financial institutions tend to prefer custom developed software solutions over off-the-shelf ones:

Regulation

There is no question financial services organizations are overwhelmed by the volume of reporting required by federal, state and even local governments. In other words, a custom developed software solution that comprehends the totality of an organization’s regulatory ‘footprint’ is often preferable to the lowest-common-denominator approach of off-the-shelf software. Well-crafted custom software can provide a tailored reporting workflow that addresses regulatory compliance issues more responsively, with less overall stress to your systems and your team.

Security

There is no question the security of...

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Disruptive Technology Industry

As you check your daily news source each morning, you are reminded that the world is moving at what almost seems like the speed of thought. You can hardly keep up with all of the latest developments in the world of software and technology.

Now I consider myself to be a fairly early adopter when it comes to technology, but even I am left amazed at how fast the market evolves today.

One thing I have noticed lately is how the Cloud has become a major enabler of technology disruption across virtually every industry, including many traditional industries.

The question of whether to adapt to the changes sweeping American business is no longer open to debate. If you don’t change and improve, you will most likely perish, sooner rather than later.

Disruption is a process, not an event

But the real question to focus on is whether you will also be a technology disrupter to your own industry. I don’t use the term disrupter casually here. It’s a loaded term nowadays. There are those breakthrough technologies we’ve all seen, like when the iPhone...

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Software Development Outsourcing

It’s one of the perennial challenges for companies of nearly every size, but particularly for mid-size businesses with limited IT resources: Should you outsource custom software development to an experienced software development firm or do it in-house, either through your existing team or by adding employees?

There’s no easy rule of thumb to follow, but here are a number of considerations you should weigh as you determine the path you want to take.

Pro: Provides immediate skills and expertise that your firm may lack

No matter how talented your IT team is, there are almost undoubtedly certain tech skills that your employees lack. If you’re a mid-range company, you may not have a full-time employee, or a complete team for that matter, with the specific experience necessary for the custom software development work that you need at a given moment.

Contracting with a firm is often a good alternative to asking members of your team to figure it out themselves. Not only will your employees likely take more time to complete the task, but the time...

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Custom Software Development Company

In today's business world, technology is extremely important for optimizing workflow and delivering a top-notch customer experience. One of the most critical uses of technology within any organization is the type of business software in use. From workflow management software to inventory tracking, your business is only as strong as the software that keeps it running.

If you want your business to achieve optimal performance, you'll need software that can respond effectively in times of need, and a system that suits your unique workflow. This can only be done through custom software development.

If you're ready to maximize your organization's profitability and efficiency, the next step is finding a trusted software development company. Generally, you'll consider things such as the company’s experience, portfolio, or client feedback. However, this criteria alone may not result in the right company for the job. Pay attention to the following considerations when choosing your software development team:

...

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Business Automation Software

The majority of businesses, large and small, can benefit from using some type of business automation software. Business software can eliminate repetitive tasks, create timesheets for your employees, keep proper electronic records, automate IT backend processes, and more. No matter what industry your business is in, it's important to have the right software and processes in place to achieve optimal performance.

If you already have business software within your organization, it's important to schedule regular reviews of your automation systems to make sure your goals are being met by your current software capabilities. Take the time to interview your employees to uncover any issues they have with your software, and gather information about the performance and cost of all software being used. However, we understand that many companies simply don't have time for a lengthy software evaluation. If that's the case, watch out for the following signs that your business has outgrown your business automation software.

1. Decreased competitive advantage

If...

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"Sincere desire to meet the needs of the client. It means a lot. I’ve worked with other vendors where their ego was much bigger than working with the client."

If your custom software built on Microsoft technologies no longer performs to your expectations, it might be time for you to upgrade your business software solution. Your custom software should work for you, not against you, and holding off on a needed revision can prevent your company from realizing its full potential. However, while you may be tempted to toss your outdated and inefficient programs, it may be more efficient to update them instead. Through smart legacy software modernization, you can bring your business up to speed for less than it would cost for a total system rewrite. If your business is experiencing the following three problems, it is time for you to look into modernizing your business software.

1. Your software is slow and fails to perform to your expectations

Software systems that are slow to complete standard tasks may need to be replaced. While you might not think it's a huge issue to have to wait a couple minutes while performing a simple task, consider how much time your business may be losing overall. If you have 50...

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Devops Implementation Plan Step by Step

Use DevOps best practices to speed, improve your team's work.

While every team uses different languages, toolsets and architectures, DevOps best practices apply to any team, including yours. Learn how to apply these Continuous Delivery (CD) models to your projects. DevOps expert and Clear Measure CEO Jeffrey Palermo shows you how in this fast-paced bootcamp.

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This Old Software

Long before HGTV came on the scene, back when I was a teenager growing up in a small town in south-east Texas, I used to love watching the PBS home renovation show “This Old House.” The show followed a team of home-building experts as they carefully renovated an older home over a few months time to build in the modern features people expect from their home.

What I loved to see was an old home like a quaint farm house with ‘good bones’ and how the team would respect the history of the home — it’s dormers, grooved heart pine flooring and ornate fireplace mantles — all the while making the home more efficient and convenient for the modern family.

They preserved the integrity of the home even as they made the home ready to serve a family’s needs for another several generations.

It’s that spirit of renovation and transformation that drew me to custom software development and to start Clear Measure. While I like building out a custom software package from the ground up as much as anybody, I do enjoy working with pre-existing business software to see how my team can...

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Analyzing Codebase

Here at Clear Measure we are all about taking old software and making it new again. In doing that, we perform a lot of code refactoring - restructuring old code without breaking its functionality. This could, in some cases, call for some large rewrites of legacy components that still have to play nice with the rest of the system.

But before diving into a project, it would be nice to have a plan of attack, wouldn't it? This is where code metrics come into play. Code metrics are quantitative measurements of a codebase that can provide insights into software architecture. This information can then be used for smart budget planning and allocation of resources. A popular code metric is lines of code, or LOC for short. Naturally, codebases with more lines of code will turn into larger refactoring projects.

Another one of these code metrics is cyclomatic complexity - the number of independent paths through the code. Roughly speaking, the number of paths through the code corresponds to the number of unit tests that the code needs. To...

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Custom Software Development Partner

Picking a firm to help you maintain or modernize your software system is very likely one of the most important decisions you can make as a business leader. After all, the functionality of your enterprise software has far-reaching effects throughout an organization and can impact the top-line, bottom-line and everything in between.

Just as important, however, is recognizing when the folks you’ve hired are not working out. The problem is, it’s not always easy to identify troubling issues or to know whether those issues are great enough to necessitate cutting ties with a custom software development partner. Here are four clear signals that it may be time to part ways with your software development partner sooner than later.

Communication gap

Consistent communication between your IT team and the custom software developer is an absolute must. Unfortunately, it’s hardly a given. Communication is often particularly challenging if you’re working with an offshore firm, where major time zone differences, language barriers and differences in work cultures...

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Clear Measure Fortune 5000

Clear Measure is proud to announce that Inc. magazine ranked it at 1,163 in the 36th Annual Inc. 5000. The ranking puts Clear Measure in the top 25% of the Inc. 5000 on our first attempt to get included in the prestigious list. Inc. placed us in the top 25% after Clear Measure posted a three-year growth rate of 358%.

The Inc. 5000 list consists of successful companies within the American economy’s most dynamic segment— small and mid-sized businesses.

According Clear Measure’s CEO, Jeffrey Palermo, getting into Inc. 5000 list was a validation of his belief in helping mid-sized clients gain increased productivity for, and control over, their legacy software. “Making it into the Inc. 5000 is an amazing honor for the Clear Measure team. We could never have made it without our customers trust and faith in our approach to helping them modernize and support their custom software solutions.”

A press release from Inc. announcing the Inc. 5000 stated that this year’s list is the most competitive crop in the list’s 36 year history: “The...

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software.jpg

Every company that’s been in business long enough has had to deal with a family of software that grows over time.

Not to worry. There are a variety of reasons why companies should not be on one single software platform. From brand new product lines and cost centers to additional reporting requirements and 3rd party software apps, a company simply can’t cover 100% of its needs with one software application.

But that doesn’t mean your software family has to be dysfunctional. Just like a real family, your software family can work in harmony to further the collective goals of the family unit, which in this case happens to be your business.

So how can you tell your software family has gone from the Brady Bunch to a particularly bad episode of the Kardashians? Fortunately, there are some signs that you can easily spot. Here are some the Clear Measure team often see:

Communication breakdowns:

Just like any family squabble, there’s always a reason for your business systems not working well together. You could have different technology...

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Legacy Business Software

In our line of work, we like to think we help companies break out of jail. No, we’re not sneaking hand files hidden in sandwiches for convicted felons. When I talk to a CEO or VP of operations about their legacy business software I often get the impression that they feel trapped by what the software can (and can’t) do for them.

The fact is it’s not uncommon for a company to still run business software it may have purchased 10 or 15 years ago. Now don’t get me wrong, having a legacy system pushing past 10 years is not inherently a BAD thing. Indeed, there are perfectly good reasons why companies continue using older software, with stability being chief among them. Many companies — banks, insurance companies and other data-intensive companies come to mind — prefer the stability of an older system to one that’s cutting edge but fraught with transition risk.

The prison sentence comes into play when a company has fallen behind on maintaining and modernizing its business software. And when a company falls behind on technology it risks falling behind in other areas as well,...

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Customized Business Software

I’m a big fan of car shows where the host takes a regular old car, sometimes a beater, and has his crew totally transform it into a custom-designed dream car.

Shows like that remind me that buying a car doesn’t always get us 100% of what we’d like to get out of it. Sure, we get from point A to point B, but does it do the job as well as we’d like, or in the style, we’d like?

Not always. That’s where the custom body shops help us out. They add the tires and rims that impress, stereo and speakers that rock, and spoilers and paint stripes that excite.

It’s no stretch to say that business software is similar. Many companies buy a commercial off-the-shelf solution (also known as COTS) to get their basic needs fulfilled. You know, point A to point B functionality.

But oftentimes what you get is only 80-90% of what you really need to run efficiently and error-free as a business. Perhaps even more important, a solution that only meets just enough of your needs is not going the be the one that helps you out-innovate and beat the competition.

Translation? You...

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Business Automation

There’s a reason why marathoners say that the last mile is the hardest. They have been running for hours at their fastest pace. They have burned nearly 2,400 calories in just over 25 miles. Now, when their strength and emotions are equally sapped, they have to dig deep and somehow to find a reserve of energy for a strong finish.

After all, a marathon is 26.2 miles long, not 25.2 miles. And races are won and lost based on how quick you are for the entire race. Giving up on the last mile is just not an option.

Your last mile of business automation is no different. Emerging growth companies spend an incredible amount of resources implementing their primary computer systems — ERP, CRM, operational software. Most of these systems are commercial off-the-shelf (a.k.a., COTS) products, but some may have custom software developed exclusively for them. Still, others may have migrated to the Cloud with a SaaS (software as a service) application they no longer have to maintain on premise.

With many mid-market companies investing an average of 6-figures and months of staff...

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Clear Measure Custom Software

Asynchronous messaging in a distributed system is great! It allows for clients to move on with their lives without waiting on a response from the service. It can also enable sending messages when the service is unavailable, and help create more predictable load. However, async messaging has it’s downsides as well. It adds overhead to individual requests and unpredictable traffic could theoretically cause this service to grow its queue indefinitely.

Let’s assume in the following diagram that there are 4 clients and each client sends 2 messages per second to FooService. While FooService can process up to 4 messages per second.

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Clear Measure Custom Software

Our TeamCity configuration may not change often depending on the project, but when they do they could introduce a slew of headaches when “things don’t work no mo”. So to deal with our anxiety of updating our configuration in TeamCity when “things don’t work no mo” a week later and we forget who changed what, we need to have some mechanism of tracking our changes.

Storing our configuration in version control is ideally what we want to achieve on software projects. In “Continuous Delivery” by Jez Humble and David Farley, they advocate for keeping everything in version control, with the mindset that your configuration should be treated with just as much care as your code.

Since TeamCity 9, Jetbrains has provided developers Versioned Settings, the option to store the entire TeamCity snapshot as xml files in any target repo. This adds tremendous value to our CI pipeline because we now can keep track of all the changes made to our...

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Clear Measure Custom Software

I bought a new laptop, a Dell XPS 15 and my oh my is it snazzy. The thing I was most excited about was that I’d get to play with Windows containers again. I have 3 other machines in the house but they’re either unsuitable for containers (OSX running Windows in parallels) or I’ve so totally borked them playing with early betas of containers they need to be formatted and reinstalled – possibly also thrown into the sun.

So when I found myself presented with the question “how can we get into messaging in our apps for free?” I figured I’d crack open the laptop and build something with MassTransit. I found that MassTransit supports running on RabbitMQ. Why that sounds like a perfect opportunity to deploy RabbitMQ to a container. The only problem was that I didn’t really know how to do that.

In my heart I felt like running the installer wasn’t quite the right way to go. I’d just copy the installation file into their destination. Problem is that RabbitMQ relies on erlang so I’d have to install that too. So I built a docker file which looked something like

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Custom Software

Today marks the launch of our newest white paper, The Custom Software Guide for Non-Tech Companies.

What may strike you as odd is why we would write about custom software development for non-tech companies at all. They’re low-tech, right? Yes they are. But you would be surprised at how advanced many non-tech companies (and low-tech ones for that matter) are when it comes to their software solutions.

Many business still depend on spreadsheets and manual data entry

Despite spending lavish amounts on software systems, many companies still find themselves spending crucial time on manual data entry, updating spreadsheets and working across multiple systems. They are truly are among the 90% of organizations still trying to automate their business functions and integrate their multiple systems. Even worse, they’re paying a steep price in the form lost productivity, reporting errors and even lower levels of customer satisfaction.

As we point out in our white paper, the challenge among non-tech companies is knowing when and how custom software should be used to get...

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Clear Measure Custom Software

For this article, I’m using Visual Studio 2017 RC along with the .NET Core SDK RC4.

With ASP.NET Core, the way you configure your application has seen significant changes and improvements. When dealing with larger solutions, we often end up having an <applicationSettings> section in our App.Config, Web.Config, or even several across many projects, all of which needed the same settings with the same values. Seems a little redundant doesn’t it? What about multiple configuration sources? Or the need to overwrite values when our application is running in different environments?

In an “out of the box” ASP.NET Core Web Application (.NET Core) template, we’re started with the basics of everything we need to hit the ground running, easily configuring our system as needed for the context in which it’s run.

Diving Into The Default Project

You’ll notice this right away in the constructor of the Startup.cs of the web project, shown below.

public Startup(IHostingEnvironment env) { var builder = new...

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Clear Measure Custom Software

Jeffrey Palermo, CEO of Clear Measure, was invited to speak at the Dallas.NET User Group at the Microsoft Campus in Las Colinas, TX. Jeffrey talked about continuous delivery and shared his thought on how development teams work together to develop, deploy, and run software.

DevOps is a term representing the convergence of development and operations. Both the development and operations communities like to own the term, so it has accumulated multiple meanings. With the Agile Manifesto, developers have jettisoned annual software releases for processes that allow releasing software multiple times per day. To accomplish this, teams use rigorous suites of automated tests to ensure that every change to the software is a solid step forward rather than an accidental step backwards.

In this lecture, you will learn the principles of how to set up your own continuous delivery pipeline very similar to how Microsoft’s NuGet team manages NuGet.org. We will use the same chain of tools, and the same techniques.

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Clear Measure Custom Software

The Premise

The CI server (i.e. TeamCity, TFS, etc) build in the CI/CD pipeline typically does a lot of the same things from project to project. Such a build generally might run requisite code compilation, automated testing and DB migration testing; followed up with the publishing of deployment packages and creation/deployment of a release to a test environment following the success of all the previous steps. Service users that execute these processes are often given extremely broad permissions that encompass far more than needed and can expose your infrastructure to harmful actions whether intentional or unintentional.

In this example we’ll establish a setup for the minimal permissions necessary in that final step of the process: automatically pushing packages and releasing via Octopus Deploy. A couple important reasons for minimal access given to the CI process are:

The compromised credentials involved (here, a generated API key) can have minimal scope and impact when in nefarious hands, and

Minimal negative actions can be performed via...

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