Thursday, 26 February 2009

Licensing Process Flow and Gliffy

I've been designing a licensing system for small software deliverables.
Nice opportunity to show you the free and rather pleasant on-line flowcharting tool, Gliffy, in action.

Why is this process so complicated?
(1) We have a client-side click-once application as well as a server-side web application
(2) The client-side application connects to the server via a Windows Communications Framework (WCF) component that is installed into our web site.
(3) We are integrating with Paypal and GoogleCheckout
(4) We have 2 kinds of trial license and there two kinds of expired trial license.
(5) We are providing the user with an alternative way of getting their license key if they don't want to let the application connect to the internet. (We could come back to this part as a phase 2.)

The flowcharts below can be seen full page at: Licensing Process for small software deliverables and Server-side function to used to return the license key and Checking, repairing and updating the license (client side procedure)

This is the working draft of my licensing process:

This is a bit more detail on a specific function within the process ie. the Server-side function to used to return the license key

Checking, repairing and updating the license (client side procedure):

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Queen's web site crashes

This made me laugh.
I'm not exactly a royal hater, honest guv, but this made me laugh.
I went to check out the new web site unveiled today at Buckingham Palace by the Queen accompanied by Sir Tim Berners-Lee see BBC news item here

I did a search on what Prince Charles is doing this month (there is a drop-down where you can select the royal member you want to track), and got back the error page you see above.

Anyone out there who does Microsoft dotnet ASPX development may understand why I find this funny.

The other curious thing about this, it seems to me is how an out-dated but entrenched political power structure is using the worlds most modern technology to cling desperately to it's withering power base. The freedom, democracy, equality and levelling power of the world wide web are utterly anathema to everything the UK Royal Family as a political institution (not the very nice people themselves, who we all love and cherish, god save 'em!) stand for, uphold and embody.

Quite besides having all the royals on a drop-down list, which surely did have to have been done by someone with a sense of humour, the fact that even in the brilliance of the glow that shines from Tim Berner's-Lee, the palace still can't make a web site that reliably returns results pages running on Microsoft IIS technology... thank god no lives depend on it, unlike the situation in the UK NHS which rumbles on... see BBC News website - NHS computer problems continue - 13 Feb 2009 The story here tells us that at one UK hospital, patient waiting times have been drastically increased and they are 10 million pounds worse off as a result of the latest episode in the attempts to computerise patient records.

Bournemouth Business Software is working to make these kinds of sorry stories a thing of the past. See what they have to say about Bespoke solutions vs off-the-shelf products.