Ayoka Application Development Services Blog

Tom Knoll Runs Through Arlington for ALSF

On November 1, 2014, Tom Knoll will make a 41-mile charity run through Hawaii before coming to Arlington for another 41-mile charity run on November 5! Knoll is making the runs as force of habit, he’s raised millions of dollars for charity, and is willing to put his Iron Man Triathlete reputation into action again to benefit Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) in their fight to end child cancer.

Knoll began his running career in 1974, when he was serving in the Marine Corps and stationed on Oahu, Hawai’i. He was in his early forties, and joined a group of Marines who ran ten miles over lunch every day. Soon, he was racing in marathons and ultra-marathon events. ”This story is for the jogger, the long distance runner, the humanitarian and for all those who believe that if you have a dream, you should pursue it to its end.” Tom Knolls opens his book, “Why Not A Million?” as he recounts his life as a long-distance runner and his life-long devotion to helping others. Although he is a retired Marine, Knoll has since given his service in Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq-and has run across the United States twice! Next week, he will be running the total 82 miles for ALSF in homage of his 82nd birthday! Ayoka’s own CEO is a former Marine and all of the Ayokian Marines will be in attendance of Tom Knoll’s charity run!

If you would like to donate to this event, or have any questions, feel free to contact one of our own former Marine Sergeant, Chad King, at 817.210.4042.

5 Common Pains of Dealing with Vendors

Too often, our new clients have worked with vendors that stall, mislead and ultimately lose communication during project iterations. The Vendor-client relationship can teeter back and forth based on a vendor’s performance and a client’s articulation of their specific needs.

As a client needing the vendor’s service, you rely on their knowledge and prowess to aid you in making an informed decision regarding what solutions will fit you best. Below are the 5 most common pains of dealing with vendors:

1. Vendors can be inexperienced with their own solutions and show a demo that works nothing like your finished product. If the vendor does not know the capabilities of their solutions, then they may overestimate and promise more than they can deliver, leaving your company without the solution that they need to grow. Wouldn’t you feel more secure in knowing that person knew the real-life limitations and best ways to implement their product?

2. Sometimes, as sales people, vendors outright lie to get your business and often go with the turnover of sales staff, they may even go so far as to criticize other departments of their company and say that the help desk does not offer support or that the engineers are the real problem.

3. Since you know your company better than any third party, articulating your business needs and setting expectations is often left to you, but a vendor needs to do their part to help you put your needs to their services. A vendor not listening or being conscientious of your company’s needs may not be their fault entirely, since they are sales people often occupied with trying to get the sale, and they often are unable to detect the reasons behind your questions.

4. If you find that your vendor’s documentation is lacking and seem irrelevant to your unique needs, then it may be time to focus on building a custom solution from the ground up. Documentation that revolves around the solution and its capabilities without addressing how it can be implemented for your company could mean problems later in the project.

5. Keeping in contact with your vendor can mean the difference between completion of iterations towards the project and stagnation of progress in your project. It shouldn’t be up to you and your company to keep communication lines open, your project should mean as much to your vendor as it does to you.

At Ayoka, we understand that your pain points need to be addressed. We will take the time to listen to you, meeting with you and your employees in-person to elicit requirements and perform analysis. We prefer to work closely and collaboratively with our customers – and we provide experience with open-source or other innovative applications that are powerful enough to generate business intelligence for small business. At Ayoka, client satisfaction is our number one priority. Ayoka is committed to your business’ success and we strive to create partnerships built on mutual trust and respect that will grow as we help your business grow. Contact us today for a complimentary consultation.

Incompatible Software Systems are A Thing of The Past!

In order to grow and thrive in this changing economy, your company needs to be able to perform Business Process Management to maintain Inventory control and manage product planning, perform Customer Relationship Management to retain customers and increase satisfaction, and implement business intelligence findings to provide “comprehensive insights into factors that affect a company’s business.”

Software incompatibility can encompass software components or entire systems that cannot work satisfactorily together on the same computer or across the network of systems. “Lack of standardization and governance can adversely affect the performance and cost efficiency of your IT architecture.” Building a custom solution to help your company combine the desired functionalities of multiple incompatible systems will ensure that your company is working at its maximum potential efficiency while taking the necessary steps toward mitigating risk and loss.

Ayoka’s custom Enterprise Architecture (EA) and technology services utilize open source applications whenever possible to help contain costs and maximize flexibility. We employ proven, development disciplines that integrate with legacy infrastructures and provide scalability with emerging technologies.” When processes are streamlined with accessibility across multiple concerns of your enterprise (including Human Resources, IT, Operations, and others), costs are reduced and responsiveness across all departments is improved. Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) can also help to streamline processes and decreased “duplicate data entry, increased accuracy and avoided expensive customization and duplication of application updates” by building a middleware solution that can offer access to your businesses’ different existing software applications. SOA has a holistic approach and anticipates the evolution of a company’s best practices of their previous software architectures by pushing for accessibility across different platforms and networks for your employees.

Implementation of either of these architectures, with Ayoka’s help, can help your business respond quickly to the ever-changing market conditions. Tapping in to your company’s ‘digital nervous system’ of the processes, data, analytics, reporting, and inventory that is accessible by different employees in different departments of your company can help to itemize weaknesses and accelerate implementation of custom solutions. Ayoka is committed to your business’ success and we strive to create partnerships built on mutual trust and respect that will grow as we help your business grow.  Contact us today for a complimentary consultation.

Bring Your Systems’ Performance into the Future

Performance engineering sets to define and optimize tools, practices, and roles to meet and exceed your businesses non-functional requirements. It is also used to describe the different processes, people and technologies required to effectively test these non-functional requirements, ensure adherence to service requirements, and optimize performance before deployment. As a part of IT service management, performance engineering also monitors the production systems after deployment. Performance engineering may seem to be a benign step in the development process, but your application’s performance serves as the base for your company’s success and growth.

Performance EngineeringWhen the business processes are identified during the primary conceptual phase of design is when risks that can impact system performance can be identified. Business values such as cost and value come into play to assess how critical a risk is. Next, the performance-related non-functional requirements will be assessed to show how fast a business application or operation will perform under an array of circumstances by utilizing use cases and analysis of system volumetrics, which details the system loads to deduce how long it takes for business processes to be executed.

Ayoka’s software maintenance services allow clients to enhance their existing applications while maintaining control over their intellectual property. Working with poor performance in your software systems creates a bottleneck for productivity in your business. Reevaluating and implementing performance objectives will help your business to meet your performance requisites and goals, providing a structured approach. You can reduce maintenance costs due to performance problems and ad hoc fixes that are not scalable while reducing the need to deal with security vulnerabilities and system issues that are tied to performance.When managing performance, it’s important to realize that engineers have an easier time building an optimized system than updating a poorly designed system, although it’s important to focus your businesses optimization efforts to decrease the need to totally redesign, which will save effort, time, and money.

Once performance has been optimized, your company will be ready to start implementation of enhancements like creating and monitoring reports, moving your applications to new platforms, or start to build a mobile application! Adding mobility by building mobile applications for your enterprise will empower your company with the tools and information that will enable you to ultimately be more accessible and successful.

Ayoka is committed to your business’ success and we strive to create partnerships built on mutual trust and respect that will culminate as we help your business grow.

Don’t Let Your Development Project Fail

A myriad of feelings-from anticipation to eagerness-come across any team member who is about to embark on a new development venture. Plans are executed at full-throttle, but at some point, the pace slows and you are in touch with your outsourced developers less often than you were before. Everyone loses communication lines and a project’s productivity grinds to a halt.

It’s imperative to tailor your solution to the company’s goals and objectives so that it the application can be utilized by the company with the opportunity for growth. Out-of-the-box solutions aren’t easily tailored to your company’s unique business needs and you know you are taking a gamble by employing a development group, but development projects fail because they get out of scope, out of budget, and, most often, out of time. As a business, you’re ready to see your development goals actualized. You want to get your brand off the ground, and you have high expectations. Some development companies gladly bite off more than they can chew in hopes of gaining experience, portfolio exposure and expansion, and the check at the end of the long project ahead. Knowing what the scope of your project will entail and keeping communication lines open, including making time to meet with your developers face-to-face, creates a feeling of inclusion and a bond that facilitates a mutual want to see the project through to the end.

At Ayoka, we run our projects like a military operation and accomplish the mission, but take intense care, consideration, and pride into our work as a service to you. Our development services emphasize local, hands-on interaction with team members that visit your organization, meet in person, and talk to your end-users. This level of customer service is the foundation of Ayoka’s custom application development services. Ayoka takes time to help your company design a scalable, secure, and functional solution for your custom business needs. Building a comprehensive strategy coupled with incremental testing is imperative. It’s important to be a part of the process through interactivity and communication. All stakeholders should have an understanding of the scope of the project from start to finish while taking care to communicate through iterations to really help to take a project from an idea to a completed product that everyone can be proud of.

If you feel your development project has been abandoned or neglected, or if you would like to start your company’s development endeavors with a committed development team on your side, then contact Ayoka today!

Re-Engineering Software Systems

Ever-changing business needs and goals require re-evaluation of your company’s existing business models in order to anticipate and create the opportunity for growth. With newer technologies emerging, re-engineering your company’s aging software cannot be neglected as it is a crucial point of interest and deciding factor in whether or not your company’s hardware and software systems will hold your company back from realizing its full potential. Updating software and performing migration to newer platforms before it becomes obsolete would help for a more seamless integration that will not alter the workflow.

At Ayoka, we provide a full complement of consulting, design, build and management services and our University relations keep us on the cutting edge of evolving technologies. Unlike the “rip and replace” approach to modernization, we seek to help our clients maximize the potential of legacy assets and integrate new functionality in an open source architecture that allows for future enhancements to services and functions as technologies evolve and your unique business needs expand. These core values combined with Ayoka’s want to meet with your end users will result in increased system reliability to optimize end user satisfaction.

Implementing a new software system will ultimately prove to minimize cost and mitigate risk, rather than risking the loss of legacy functionalities as the code itself becomes obsolete. Re-engineered software systems will help to enhance your business’ value by reimplementing critical business logic and retaining the relevant data, and since your new software systems will be based on your most important and relevant business logic, it will continue to be of great use to your company in the future while maintaining new scalability to anticipate your company’s evolution and growth. Ayoka offers comprehensive, industry-specific, Web and enterprise application modernization services custom designed and implemented to suit your exacting business needs. Contact Us Today for fast, local, and collaborative application development services!

Customized Enterprise Integration

Many companies are utilizing legacy systems that have become out-dated and fragile, and are inflexible to changing business models as a result. Preserving these legacy systems is tedious and can prove ineffective for your company’s changing needs. To continue growth and accessibility in this changing world, it’s important to build systems that are scalable and offer the best way for your users to access information. Enterprise integration works to combine processes, systems, and technologies with the intent of optimization to enable the ability for your customers, vendors, and partners to make quick and informed decisions in lieu of any perceived obstacles or opportunities.

Enterprise Integration

Setting goals to be able to timely identify information, provide relevant and correct information, perform real-time updates to information, and coordinate business processes will optimize your enterprise integration and allow it to adapt to your enterprise models as you grow in size and complexity. Availability of information in real-time allows it to be accessible for support, monitoring, and control, and it requires more than the newest business information to stay relevant, encompassing information accumulated as new legislations, customer opinions, and new technologies emerge. Ayoka enterprise integration services will help you achieve these goals by providing agile, Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) that integrates existing assets and providing standards-based services that allow you to automate, reuse, re-purpose and share processes across your entire network regardless of client systems and languages. Integration also ensures ongoing compliance with governmental and industry-mandated regulations and streamlines workforce resources across disparate environments. In addition to reducing IT costs, enterprise integrations enhance productivity and improve time-to-market of services.

Making the decision to integrate your enterprise’s processes, systems, and technologies to enable mobile or remote accessibility can allow you to build on your company’s existing assets while reducing the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of out-of-the-box solutions. With Ayoka, you can be sure that your integration will be cross-platform compatible and mobile friendly to allow for optimal accessibility of your company’s data as you see fit, resulting in greater interaction between customers, vendors, partners and entire business divisions.

Database Optimization for Web Applications

Web applications are more accessible than ever, and with optimization of load time across different browsers and devices, end users are beginning to expect the best experience when they visit and interact with your web application. Responsive methodologies optimize presentation loading time and data-driven content for the end user. Optimizing your company’s database and its queries will help the load time and alleviate the server load, which includes requests per second and memory allocation.

From a software company’s perspective, the relational database most often serves as the core of data-driven software applications, and lack of database optimization in such a key area can incur significant costs to both the client and the company. Managing inventory, customer data, orders, and other processes can quickly become a lot of data to query and calls for an optimized Structured Query Language (SQL) that will quickly pull the most pertinent data from the database and deliver it in a timely manner. Rewriting queries that use the Wildcard (*) to parse through the whole database, that use SELECT to unnecessarily select all columns, or fail to properly index, can easily be optimized to give your web application the information needed that will take up less of your hardware resources in a lower load time. Stakeholders in eCommerce take careful consideration of these high numbers and adeptly optimize their page load through image optimization and their use of JavaScript and CSS, but the best database managers and developers make sure to build a scalable and easily queried database.

It’s well known that virtually every human being in the Western world interacts with a database management system of some kind on a daily basis—often without using a personal computer at any time throughout the day. Taking time to invest in properly designing, building, and querying your database will ultimately be the best foundation and preventative measure to take when creating or updating your web application with timely responsiveness in mind.

Perks of Custom Application Development

Not every company fits an out-of-the-box application solution like Salesforce. There are functionalities left unused and often functionalities that are desired by a company to utilize, impeding on your company’s business model and goals.

While out-of-the-box software solutions prove to be inexpensive to purchase, it usually takes a company’s acquisition of software and implementation of the software for a company to realize that there is a lot of functionality that is left out that is desired, which could cost your company more money in the long run. Your own custom software applications can be maintained as long as your company needs it, while licensed business software is susceptible to updates and discontinuation at the licensing entity’s discretion. To maximize your company’s productivity, your end users need to be adept in utilization of your software capabilities. Most out-of-the-box solutions drop productivity levels and end users report that they cannot effectively complete their work as they experience continuous errors. Custom applications can fit perfectly with your company’s existing and future business methodologies. Building a customized application can prove to be more scalable, as our developers can project your company’s growth while maintaining program usability and security. External threats are always pressing, and out-of-the-box solutions make it easy for malicious users to anticipate and exploit your off-the-shelf software’s security flaws. If your company has already implemented an out-of-the-box software solution, custom software can be seamlessly integrated to meet your company’s itemized needs.

At Ayoka, we offer diverse industry experience in custom application development, bringing ideas from different fields that can be tailored to your exact needs. We examine open source alternatives to lower your cost of ownership while offering scalability to accommodate growth and facilitate emerging technologies. Creation of a customized solution that is tailored by our in-house developers based on your company’s needs and understanding what your end users expect will improve your application’s quality while cutting costs by utilizing open source frameworks like Java, .NET, SSIS, and more! We can meet with your staff and your end users to define software development processes to ensure that your custom solution is just what you need.

Load-Balancing for Resource Optimization

Software balancing between the client and server computer networks has always been a paramount for any developer or IT to deliver a seamless interface and a secure environment for businesses’ and their end users.

Load-Balancing is a computer networking method that distributes workloads across hardware resources, like CPUs, disk drives, or whole computers, optimizing resource use to up response time and mitigate risk of overload. The load balancer itself is forwarding requests to the back-end servers while preventing the clients from querying the back-end directly, offering security from malicious users that use DDoS attacks, SQL Injection, or any sort of attack that leads to bottlenecking of the servers’ resources. To meet industry standards, Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) traffic encryption will properly encrypt and decrypt your data packets through the offloading, re-encryption, and pass-through stages of data transfer between the client and server machines.

Today’s clients are too powerful to have the server do all their work for them, and to achieve the best performance servers are starting to offload more and more of their work to the client. Catering to their needs while providing security is something Ayoka Systems takes care to do. Expectations for our Clients are not to find a custom software development firm that simply follows orders or requires detailed specifications to proceed, but instead our Clients are seeking a collaborative approach to software development services, to get cost-effective, fully customizable software applications with the personal support found only in an American software development company.