Data Analytics in the Cloud: Where to Start?

An enterprise-wide data analytics system pulling data from multiple sources, correlating and presenting results in relevant, insightful visualizations to enable prompt, informed decisions is the dream of many organizations. Those in the lead already reap the benefits of faster, high-accuracy, proactive decisions that data analytics provides. Getting to that point requires exquisite planning and execution by stakeholders […]

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Cloud Data Warehousing with Azure SQL

If you are running an on-premise data analytics stack on Microsoft’s SQL Server, but running into maintenance, cost and scaling issues, you can consider moving your data system to a cloud-based database service such as Azure SQL Database. Especially for your first data analytics stack, Azure SQL Database provides low startup costs with the ability to easily expand […]


Power BI and SSRS: How Do They Pair?

SQL Server Reporting Services is a powerful reporting tool in its own right with strong programmability, extensibility and scalability features that have led to its widespread adoption. As a report authoring tool, however, SSRS has lacked the powerful dashboard creation features of its competitors. With the release of SQL Server 2016, it now has the […]


Migrating Crystal Reports to SSRS

Most legacy ERP systems still utilize Crystal Reports for creating detailed, flexible and dynamic business reports. However, multiple acquisitions of the software over the years has resulted in it falling behind software trends in Data Analytics systems. Even its latest owner, SAP, is moving to Microsoft’s SQL Server Reporting Service as its go-to solution. The […]


SSRS Best Practices

Installing, configuring and running SQL Server Reporting Services is a non-trivial set of tasks. To successfully perform these, a company needs people with skills related to databases, system administration, report creation and data analysis. Most initial deployments and their usage can take advantage of several best practices in order to improve performance, maintenance and the […]


SSIS Best Practices

SSIS represents a complete rewrite of its early predecessor Data Transformation Services. Usability, parallelism and performance have all been vastly improved over the years resulting in an SQL Server component aimed at high-volume, high-performance ETL applications. Here are several additional tuning steps that can further increase SSIS performance for your particular jobs. Managing Parallel Execution […]

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Power BI vs QlikView

In the world of business intelligence, putting the right tools in the hands of the right people is critical to success. Two of the most popular tools in the industry today are Microsoft Power BI and QlikView. Both provide modeling capabilities and allow you to generate visualizations and dashboards, but there are key differences between […]

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Power BI for Office 365

If you’re like many folks in today’s business world, there’s a good chance you’re already using Microsoft’s Office 365 software suite. You may even already feel like you have a fairly data-centric approach to using Office, especially if your company is a heavy Excel user. Putting all that information to use, however, requires powerful data […]

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Steps to Getting Good BI Requirements

Half the battle for many projects is getting started. BI projects are no different in that respect. A critical phase in realizing your BI project vision is developing thorough project requirements in clear, crisp, implementable and measurable terms. The temptation is to rush this phase, which often produces excessive churn or even failure as unguided […]

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How SSIS Fits into an ETL Process

MicrosoftSQL Server Integration Services – SSIS – is a common solution for many organizations’ data management requirements with regard to their Business Intelligence systems. Specifically, SSIS and SQL Server together streamline Extract, Transform and Load – ETL – operations on data warehouses. The process is essential to providing efficient, accessible data flows to BI system […]


BI: Cloud vs On-premise

The model for how companies acquire and field software for business intelligence purposes has changed dramatically in the last five years. One major factor driving this change has been the emergence of cloud-based computing options and software as a service. Modern operations are increasingly comfortable having large amounts of their data, processing capacities and even […]


Best Practices for Successful Business Intelligence

Few, if any, companies doubt BI’s value to their internal and customer-facing operations and the crucial role it plays in making accurate, lightning-fast tactical and strategic decisions that affect the business’ competitive position. The difficult bit is ensuring that BI’s deployment in your company is fetching the best data, crunching it in a timely fashion […]


What is Business Intelligence?

Modern companies are compiling a huge amount of data on a daily basis. Answering the question of what to do with all this information is the domain of business intelligence. BI covers a large range of functions within a firm, including everything from database compilation to the creation of presentation materials. BI tasks typically center […]

Dos and Don'ts

Dos and Don’ts of Software Outsourcing

Outsourcing software development can be a great way to save your company or organization time and money. However, if done haphazardly, it can also become a source of great headaches. It’s easy to make common mistakes, such as not clearly defining goals or expecting the process to magically produce results. It’s much harder to manage […]


Tactical Outsourcing vs Strategic Outsourcing

The term outsourcing scares people for various reasons, but there is no reason that it should. Outsourcing is very effective for certain situations, especially when developing software solutions. For a company to grow its internal IT department, it must search for a qualified candidate and go through the long process of interviewing, hiring, and training […]

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Pros and Cons of Pure Onshore, Pure Offshore and Hybrid Model Outsourcing

North American companies contemplating outsourcing some or all of their software development have more options than ever before. They can choose from among onshore outsourcers close to home, offshore services halfway across the globe or a blend of these in unique combinations. In a few situations, which model to choose may seem straightforward, however, each […]

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What to Look for in an Outsourcing Partner

Bad experiences with outsourcing providers are often traceable to badly designed selection processes or the use of deficient selection criteria. Whereas, you can find ample guidance online on how to build a robust selection framework, we will share the most important vendor attributes for comparing and contrasting outsourcing companies to ensure you select one right […]


Top Ten Software Development Outsourcing Trends for 2016

Originally, the primary motivation to outsource software development was to achieve lower labor costs, but continuing and emerging business and technology trends in 2016 are leading to new client requirements on outsourcers. When choosing an outsourcing partner, more and more businesses are looking for closer alignment to their business goals, flexibility demands and quality requirements. […]


Tips on Keeping Your Intellectual Property Secure When Outsourcing

Security has been and continues to be one of the top concerns for enterprises considering outsourcing some or all of their software development or IT functions. Within the sphere of security concerns, one risk especially stands out, which is the potential to lose control over your enterprise’s intellectual property. Reputable outsourcing vendors would not remain […]


Using Context Driven Testing

The premise behind context-driven testing is that software should be viewed first and foremost as providing solutions to real problems. In order to effectively test software, the problems it solves, the end-user needs and usage contexts must be taken into consideration when creating a test plan and applying tests. It recognizes that test processes must […]

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Test Automation in Agile

Although both agile development and automated testing have more or less independently come into more widespread use with each passing year, it seems they were made for each other from the start. The advantages of both are derived from the same desire to increase software production efficiency overall. Both work best when there is a […]


5 Ways to Improve Mobile App Testing Quality and Efficiency

Mobile device application development faces significant challenges, which pass through to their testing. Though the obstacles appear daunting, there are ways to mitigate such complications, improve your team’s testing effectiveness and also raise app quality. Mobile App Challenges Mobile device fragmentation is rising. There are a myriad of hardware platforms, OS versions and network connection […]


Performance Testing Fallacies

When testing software performance, there are several erroneous assumptions commonly made about when and how to go about it, what is to be measured, and how to make improvements based on the results of such testing. Performance, Load and Stress Testing Are Not Equivalent Thinking that load and stress testing are the same as performance […]


Mobile Breakfast Series April 2016 Recap

On April 28th, 2016, we were overwhelmed by the response to Vancouver’s Mobile Breakfast Series! Optimus Information brought this event to Vancouver with Chetan Sharma Consulting and was met with a completely packed house. The event brought together four executives from leading brands to discuss IoT, where it’s heading and how their different organizations are approaching […]

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Popular Java Testing Tools and Frameworks

There are a wide variety of testing tools and test frameworks for automating the testing of Java/J2EE applications and server components. Many are aimed at unit or functional testing, while others are utilized for specific types of Java components such as view, logic and validation components. Unit Testing JUnit is perhaps the best known testing […]


What Is Positive and Negative Testing?

Finding bugs is the main goal for testers, which primarily involves verifying that the software correctly provides a solution to an end-user’s problem. However, no interface has been designed that can anticipate all the ways users can run amok operating the program. Thus, testers must also verify that the program fails gracefully versus crashing in the […]

Automated and Manual Testing for Web & App Accessibility

VanQ April 2016: Automated and Manual Testing for Web & App Accessibility

Each month, Optimus Information hosts VanQ, Vancouver’s testing and quality assurance meetup group. To attend the next event, join VanQ here.  Date: April 28, 2016 Topic: Methods in Automated and Manual Testing for Web & App Accessibility. This presentation will: Provide a background on web accessibility standards and legislation Discuss software tools to automate the discovery […]

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Top 10 Most Innovative IoT Companies

The IoT ecosystem has come a long way in recent years with multiple big players coming into the field. We take a brief look at the top companies investing heavily in IoT including industrial giants, semiconductor manufacturers, cloud providers and key players in the consumer and retail sectors. Samsung Samsung’s goal is to have 100 […]

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IoT Challenges and Opportunities

The Internet of Things is poised to exponentially expand from the millions of devices and services available today to billions of components in the coming years. It is difficult to envisage all the ramifications that follow its full-on manifestation not unlike when the Internet took off in the 1980s. Despite a lack of prediction precision, […]

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How IoT Impacts Your Organization

Increasingly, companies across all business sectors are realizing they need to adopt an Internet of Things mentality, or Internet of Everything as some put it, in order to keep their business expanding in the right direction. In many cases, IoT is only understood as a newly coined buzzword without a full comprehension of how it […]


IoT and Enterprise Security Risks

In one sense, the Internet of Things has been around since the early days of the Internet. The geekiest of early Internet users found that it was child’s play, for instance, to discover and interact with – unauthorized of course – thousands of unprotected Windows PCs and their peripherals. The IP addresses of these devices […]


10 Considerations for Mobile App Testing (Part 1)

As the world decidedly transitions from desktops and laptops to mobile devices, application developers and testers face enormous challenges to ensure that their products meet basic metrics of functionality, performance and usability. These are requirements for desktop apps too, but they are compounded for mobile apps due to the immense variance in platform resources, input […]


Microservices vs Service Oriented Architecture (SOA)

At first glance, Microservice architectures appear suspiciously similar to software developers who are familiar with Service-Oriented Architecture or SOA. In general, they both provide solutions to avoiding the creation of inefficient, unwieldy monolithic or layered applications that are difficult to develop, modify and deploy. However, each has distinctly different approaches in terms of scalability, messaging […]

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Introduction To Microservices Architecture

The Motivation for Microservices Separating the various components of a single application’s architecture carries a number of well-known advantages. For one, the components can be distributed among several members of a development team, which increases the ability to deliver the application more quickly. With well-defined interfaces between the components, developers and testers increase their focus […]


5 Common API Testing Mistakes

APIs may not appear as end-products to clients, but they play a vital role internally in an enterprise’s products or workforce applications. They often represent valuable assets for creating several top-level products around them. As such, they deserve respect and the best way to show that respect is to thoroughly test them. Unfortunately, through either […]


Using Testing to Improve API Performance

For application programmers, APIs are the user-interfaces upon which they build their own APIs, services and applications. They have been in use almost since software programming began. Until recently, their main acceptance criteria were their ease of use and functionality. However, in today’s world, they are on the critical path for determining application end-user performance, […]


Amazon Launches AWS Mobile Hub

Last autumn, Amazon announced a new service dashboard in their ever-expanding universe of Amazon Web Services that specifically targets mobile app development called the AWS Mobile Hub. This will significantly streamline the processes of building, testing and monitoring mobile apps built for both iOS and Android using a wide variety of development and testing tools. […]


QA’s Strategic Role in DevOps

Fundamentally, DevOps adoption is about streamlining an organization’s conventional Software Development Life Cycle to achieve faster time-to-market for company products. Other factors held equal, faster TTM imparts increased competitive value due to the ability to meet customer requirements more accurately and more frequently. In the quest for speed, however, many organizations transforming to a DevOps […]


6 Test Automation Trends for 2016

Although the number of test organizations utilizing test automation has only incrementally increased over last year, the demands for automation overall are increasing significantly. As a result of new technologies, new approaches to software development, the increasing sophistication of cloud testing services and an enormous increase in the complexity of deployment environments, those using automation […]


10 Top Tech Priorities for CIOs in 2016

Results from multiple CIO surveys from the likes of Gartner, Deloitte and IDG Enterprise are pointing out clear trends and priorities this year reflecting CIOs’ efforts to increasingly digitalize their businesses. These are generating a number of spin-off effects for how business is conducted, the incorporation of new technologies and the evolving role and responsibilities […]


The Impact of DevOps on Testing

A fundamental principle of DevOps is that the concept demands close collaboration between all the stakeholders involved in an end-to-end software production process from requirements to development to deployment and delivery. However, because the portrayal of DevOps often exclusively emphasize melding development and IT Operations, other stakeholders may seem peripheral to the process. In particular, […]


5 Software Testing Trends for 2016

As long-term transitions continue around the increasing market dominance of mobile and cloud apps and the adoption of faster software development life-cycles, testers in 2016 are taking on an increasingly critical role in software organizations. Several trends this year are building on the contributions of the testing to enhance both quality and efficiency. Test Automation […]


Tips for Reproducing a Non-Reproducible Defect

Defects that are seemingly non-repeatable are the nemesis of both developers and testers alike. They consume an inordinate amount of time compared to other bugs and significantly reduce confidence in the quality of the software under development besides having the potential to drive everyone to the edge of madness. Many such defects should actually be […]


Exploratory Testing vs. Scripted Testing

In scripted testing, test designers develop detailed test scenarios that testers transform into scripts. Scripted tests provide rigid guidance based on intimate knowledge of the software application under test and are expected to produce a well-defined set of outcomes. Exploratory testers, however are able to make lane changes as they from a looser set of […]


Most Common Types of Software Testing

Lack of complete and comprehensive software testing have a potential to result into unmitigated disasters in terms of failures, costs and overruns. It is essential to get acquainted with the basic ideas of software testing before making decisions. An unsecure, under tested software with no performance guarantee can drastically affect a complete network. For example, […]


HP UFT/QTP vs. Selenium – Automated Test Tool Comparison

HP Quick Test Pro, also known as HP Unified Functional Testing, is currently a well-known force in the web-based testing market, but Selenium is quickly gaining mindshare and advocates as a more capable, open-source competitor. There are several clear-cut distinctions between each test tool that should make choosing one or the other a straightforward decision […]


Areas of Focus in Web Browser Testing

Web browsers are arguably the most widely used computer applications around the world. Web browser testing thus becomes a vital part of any browser transfer or upgrade process. This is our approach to web browser and compatibility testing. Compatibility Testing: What does it mean? Compatibility testing is done to evaluate the user’s visual experience and […]


6 Popular Test Automation Frameworks

What Is a Test Automation Framework? Automated testing frameworks provide test environment structure that is typically missing from underlying test tools. Each framework style offers unique rules, guidelines, protocols and procedures for test creating, organization and execution. Six types of test automation frameworks are regularly encountered. Those covered here increase in complexity and levels of […]


Regression Testing Mobile Apps

Mobile app development is fast paced. In the last few short years, smartphones have exploded in popularity and user’s expectations of their software have dramatically increased. Release cycles have shortened and if apps aren’t regularly improving, users will start to look for alternatives. With this comes a pain: regression testing. It’s fun to design, develop, […]


Selenium Testing: Advantages and Disadvantages

When we speak of Selenium, we are actually talking about both its flavours: Selenium WebDriver and Selenium IDE. Both automate browsers in support of web application testing. WebDriver is typically used to create browser-based regression tests, whereas Selenium IDE is most advantageous in creating unit tests, exploratory tests and one-off bug reproduction scripts. There is […]


Benefits of a Cloud-Based Point-of-Sale Solution

Traditional POS systems require proprietary servers and client machines, which are expensive to acquire, difficult to maintain, and prone to security issues, which merchants must diagnose and repair while suffering costly downtime and inconvenience for their customers. And for all that, they pay hefty upfront and monthly fees to their old-style POS provider. Fortunately, there […]


5 Point-of-Sale Industry Trends for 2016

As the famous Nobel Prize-winning physicist Niels Bohr once said, “Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future.” Regardless of that cautionary note, there seem to be at least five predictions we can make for 2016 based on current evidence about emerging trends for the digitization of point-of-sale systems and the impact on […]


Cloud-Based Test Automation Tools and Benefits

Acquiring and maintaining in-house testing platforms for even small-market software applications is expensive and time-consuming. If your software products include mobile applications that support thousands or millions of users, then the sheer scale of testing can overwhelm even well-stocked IT departments. Fortunately, with the availability of a multitude of cloud-based testing environments, there is a […]


Test Automation: Myths and Facts

Automation is an area of software testing encompassing a multitude of techniques and tools with potential application throughout the software development process. Some organizations with automation experience may hesitate to expand its use due to concerns regarding costs or a perceived lack of relevant skills. Others may be overly gung-ho to automate their development processes […]


Should I Automate GUI Tests?

The short answer to the title question is “No.” Such is the opinion of the majority of experienced, senior software testers. That short statement is unlikely to convince you to throw your GUI testing plans in the dustbin though. In fact, there is value in automated GUI tests, but to avoid a testing quagmire they […]


Using JMeter To Load Test Your Web App

Apache JMeter is a simple, free, open-source load-testing and performance tool for web applications. The latest version (2.1.3) was released in March 2015. Load testing simulates and in many cases, exceeds production loads, performing many requests at the same time for extended periods of time. Simply put load testing helps to detect the maximum number of […]


Best Practices for Structuring Automated Tests

Test automation is an essential ingredient in any software organization’s overall testing strategy. Applied to code requiring frequent or repetitive testing, it offers increased efficiency, better test coverage and the opportunity to significantly improve software quality. To extract maximum value from automation, it must be applied and managed wisely. Start by being smart about structuring […]


Optimus Breakfast Event – Do’s and Don’ts of Software Outsourcing Video

Missed our last event? View the video below to watch the entire presentation, panel discussion and audience questions. On Tuesday, November 17 , 2015, Optimus Information hosted our second Breakfast Series event of the year. Hosted at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Vancouver, this early morning event brought together over 60 local technology professionals to form a captivating discussion on the Do’s […]


Optimus Breakfast Event – Do’s and Don’ts of Software Outsourcing Recap

On Tuesday, November 17 , 2015, Optimus Information hosted our second Breakfast Series event of the year. Hosted at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Vancouver, this early morning event brought together over 60 local technology professionals to form a captivating discussion on the Do’s and Don’ts of Software Outsourcing. Pankaj Agarwal, Founder and Managing Partner of Optimus Information, led a […]


Mobile Application Level Performance Testing Advice

Even within the walled garden of enterprise workforce apps, top performance is essential for app adoption and increased user productivity. If you produce mobile apps for public consumption, performance expectations increase by an order of magnitude. Many an app has suffered premature death due to inadequate performance regardless of how well it met users’ functional […]


Continuous Delivery: Benefits and Challenges of Automation

Archaic, waterfall methods of development and release are yielding to a new model where software is envisioned, specified, coded, integrated, tested and released within a continuous, seamless process. Continuous integration, delivery and deployment forgoes the fits and starts of linear, throw-it-over-the-wall methodologies in favour of a transparent, stable and highly responsive development pipeline based on […]


Improve Software Quality through Continuous Integration

The final judge of any software’s quality is in the eyes of the customer based on three fundamental measures: The software’s functionality, performance, usability and so on meet or exceed requirements The software is as nearly defect-free as humanly possible The software is delivered on time and within budget Given that the development organization’s planning […]


Continuous Integration, Delivery and Deployment Explained

The concepts of continuous integration, delivery and deployment arose from the shift to “small-chunk” software methodologies versus “large-chunk” processes. Waterfall development measures progress by weeks or months, whereas agile development gauges tasks in hours, days or a week at the most. Conceptually, both approaches employ a development pipeline of discrete steps from specification to coding […]


Benefits of Test Environment Management (TEM) Services

Assigning the critical task of software testing to ad hoc teams typically results in higher development costs, reduced quality and longer production cycles. Developing a dedicated Test Environment Management capability provides software organizations with a competitive advantage via cost reductions, faster time-to-market, and an improved reputation for quality products. Necessary Test Environment Capabilities In-house test […]


Test Data Management Best Practices

As the scale and complexity of IT software escalates, reliability and quality requirements must increase proportionally, which implies increasing challenges for test organizations to develop more effective testing methodologies. One critical test process is the collection, validation and maintenance of efficient production-quality test data as early as possible in the life of a software project. […]