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April 3, 2019
Dave Holbrook
cloud, AWS, Packer, Docker

Immutable Services with Packer and AWS

Just a few years ago, server-side software was dominated by heavyweight application servers. These servers ran on dedicated hardware, dedicated operating systems, and were managed by IT professionals. The process of adding new applications, or updating existing ones, depended on human interventions that could be difficult and error prone. Over time, the configuration would drift from a well-known state to an unknown state. This has been described as a snowflake server by Martin Fowler.

March 27, 2019
Ray Mitchell
JSON, data, PostgreSQL

Querying JSON Data in Postgres

In a recent project, my team had a chance to use the JSON features built into PostgreSQL. We discovered that these features are powerful and easy to use, so I wanted to share our experience here. Consider this tool for any project that is using a relational database and needs to work with complex, structured data.

March 21, 2019
Fairway Technologies
data, AI, artificial intelligence, data governance, China

MIT Study: 5 Takeaways on the Global AI Competition Between the U.S. and China

We’re continuing to look at the results of the MIT and Boston Consulting Group (BCG) studies on artificial intelligence (AI) that were released late last year. In the first part of this blog series, we looked at five ways businesses can reap value from AI. We debunked the myth that the U.S. is sure to win “the battle for world dominance of AI.” In fact, China is ahead of its peers—both in artificial intelligence adoption and also, with the centralized data governance that makes AI possible. As the study says:

March 13, 2019
Paul D. Sheriff
WPF, MVVM, DataGrid

Using WPF List Controls - Part 1

WPF has several controls that allow you to display a list of data to the user. In this blog post, you are going to learn the basics of displaying product data in a ComboBox, a ListBox, and a DataGrid. In the next post, you are going to learn to customize the look of the basic controls using templates. To use these list controls, you are going to create an Entity Framework entity class and a DbContext class to retrieve data from the AdventureWorksLT sample database that comes with SQL Server. You are going to create a view model class to interface with the WPF list controls.

March 5, 2019
Fairway Technologies
women in tech, Fairway

Celebrating Fairway Women in Tech

To celebrate International Women’s Day this year, we wanted to honor a few of the amazing women who work at Fairway. (And there are many! With 50% of leadership positions being filled by women, we are on the right track.) But, we can all do better at encouraging diversity in tech and every other industry. It’s strange that only a few generations ago, one in four people in computer programming were women. The thing is: diversity is not important for diversity’s sake. Studies have found that diverse workplaces perform better financially. And if tech is for everyone, shouldn’t it be designed by everyone? We think so.

February 27, 2019
Paul D. Sheriff
WPF, Model-View-View-Model, MVVM

Filter Data in WPF DataGrid

In most business applications, users wish to filter data that has been displayed to them. This blog post is not about how you filter, per se, but how to display the filtering options to the user. In the first scenario, an expander control where the user selects values to filter is used. In the second scenario, the filters are displayed within the column header on the data grid control. The third scenario ensures that column headers are aligned consistently across each column.

February 20, 2019
Fairway Technologies
data, AI, MIT, artificial intelligence, data governance

5 Ways Businesses Can Reap Value From AI

MIT publishes report that explores myths and reality of AI in business

When you’ve got your head down, working day-to-day to keep IT operations running smoothly, artificial intelligence (AI) can feel like a pie-in-the-sky fad. Many of its benefits (automation, insight, cost reduction, etc.) sound great. But, when it comes to thinking about integrating AI into your business, the daydreaming stopsfor good reason. While AI technology has grown leaps and bounds in the last five years, the tools that would make it easy to apply are not yet ubiquitous. Also, self-driving cars and other AI tech feats might be relevant to the tech sector, but can seem out-of-reach and impractical for other industries.

February 13, 2019
Paul D. Sheriff
WPF, Model-View-View-Model, MVVM

Build WPF Screens Using Inheritance and Aggregation

If you have a WPF screen that is made up of two of more "sections," where each section has its own unique functionality, you might want to consider breaking each of those pieces of the screen into individual user controls and individual view model classes. This will help you build, run, and test each component. You can then aggregate the user controls into one control and inherit from one view model to the other to bring them all together. In this blog post, you are going to build upon the sample created in the post entitled "Basics of MVVM in WPF." Read and download that sample application to follow along with this blog post.

February 6, 2019
Paul D. Sheriff
WPF, Model-View-View-Model, MVVM

Basics of MVVM in WPF

In this blog post, you learn how easy it is to use the Model-View-View-Model (MVVM) design pattern in WPF applications. This blog post is a step-by-step illustration of how to build a WPF application to display a list of users. You are going to perform the following steps.

January 30, 2019
Paul D. Sheriff
Programming, iTunes, XML, orphan files

Find Orphan Song Titles in iTunes

In the last blog post, you learned to read songs from an exported iTunes XML file. If you have been using iTunes for a long time and have deleted songs, merged songs from other libraries, or moved your library from one computer to another, then you may not know it, but there could be song files on your hard drive that are no longer in your iTunes library. This blog post shows you how to locate those missing files. To follow along with this blog post, read and follow the instructions in the first blog post on reading songs from iTunes.

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