Category Archives: Uncategorized

UI Design and Approach for Line of Business Apps

For any LOB (Line of Business) Application, User Interface Design can make or break the success of the application. In the recent years, due to the advent of mobile devices, great improvements in the Web technologies, the browsers and client side experience, there has been greater than ever emphasis on UI Design and usability than before. Users having used iPhones, iPads and Kinects come to expect similar intuitive experience when they are using any application, be it an internal enterprise app or public facing web applications.

I’ve been very inspired by Billy Hollis’ approach to Application development, ever since I first listened to his shows on the .Net Rocks podcast shows. He has a keen focus on User Experience and Prototyping.

Here’s a compiled list of links to his talks and presentations

User Engaged Prototyping with Billy Hollis

Billy Hollis on WPF and Silverlight

Bytes by MSDN: June 18 – Billy Hollis

Billy Hollis on Getting Smart with WPF – dnrtv

Billy Hollis: XAML for Developers Part One

Billy Hollis: XAML for Developers Part Two

Check out this nice application called Quince which has a treasure trove of UX Patterns

Full Map Scroll Mode Extension for VS2010

I used “Metal Scroll” for VS2008 to get a full code map on the right hand scrollbar to quickly identify and reach a code section I have in mind.

However, there wasn’t a similar extension for VS2010, until now.

The Productivity Power Tools extension recently added “Enhanced Scroll Bar” that provides similar functionality.

To enable it,

  1. Install the “Productivity Power Tools” Extension
  2. Go to Tools -> Options -> Productivity Power Tools -> Enhanced Scroll Bar.
  3. Turn on “Full Map Mode”
  4. Now open any code file and look at the scroll bar on the right.
  5. Done

 

 

Lambda like code with Javascript in KnockoutJS

KnockoutJS has a good set of utility functions built in under ko.utils which were actually part of ko, to make ko. However you might find them very useful in writing regular javascript code as well. I came across this example by rniemeyer on ko Google group, which works like lambdas in any language ( => in C#)

ko.utils.arrayFilter allows you to do a items.Where(i => i.type == myType) like statement.

var viewModel = {
    items: [
        { type: "a", name: "one" },
        { type: "b", name: "two" },
        { type: "a", name: "three" },
        { type: "b", name: "four" },
        { type: "b", name: "five" }
        ],
    filteredItems: function(type) {
        return ko.utils.arrayFilter(this.items, function(item) {
            return item.type == type;
        });
    }
};

The JSFiddle for the working sample is at http://jsfiddle.net/rniemeyer/Kbszh/

Swimlanes for Scrum now on CodePlex

Swimlanes for Scrum is now on Codeplex for everyone to use. Like I mentioned in the last post, this project started off as a learning exercise. But I figured, there might be other Scrum teams out there who might need lean and mean web-based Scrum Swimlane taskboard for use, in daily stand-up scrum meetings.

So here it goes, modify the web.config file to suit your settings, host it on IIS, set the application pool to “Enable 32 bit applications” and off you go.

http://swimlanes.codeplex.com/

Swimlanes for Scrum
Swimlanes Taskboard for TeamProjects with TFS (currently supports SfTS V3 Template)

Features:

  1. Look at Product Backlog Items and Sprint Backlog Item statuses and get the big picture for a given sprint (Sprint numbers are configurable via the web.config)
  2. Ability to modify statuses and move from one status to another.
  3. Vertical and a horizontal view (for non-widescreen displays)

Wish list for Enhancements:

  1. View complete details (all fields) of a work item in a tooltip
  2. View Related links, for a given Product and Sprint backlog item
  3. View Impediments, Retrospectives, bugs
  4. Windows Authentication (login with domain id)
  5. Search
  6. Support for MS Agile Templates
  7. Support for other Scrum Repositories, apart from TFS

Technical Details:

Built with the following technnologies

  1. ASP.Net MVC 3 on Visual Studio 2010
  2. jQuery and jQuery Templates
  3. KnockoutJS
  4. TFS API and WIQL (Work Item Query Language)

 

SwimLanes for Scrum – Status

For a little while now, I’ve been working on a web-based Swimlanes taskboard application for software development teams using Agile Scrum methodology. This came out as a side project of something I was doing at my job, but needed a POC/learning exercise of the KnockoutJS (MV-VM Javascript library) and jQuery Templating.

I am ready to push this app to github or codeplex. Just need to clean up a few things before I do that.

Pre-requisite to run the Swimlanes app

  1. Scrum team is using Team Foundation System (TFS)
  2. The scrum template using SFTS – Scrum for Team System v3 on TFS 2008

I will post more details very soon