Android, Android Forums Sri Lanka, Programming

Etisalat Android Forum 2012

Etisalat AndroidThe second Etisalat Android Forum was held on Friday 28th January 2012, at Cinnamon Lakeside. The day was divided catering two categories of people.

  • Morning – Advance Class for Android Developers
  • Evening – The ABC’s of Android for Beginners

I personally wanted to attend the evening session, because I didn’t know anything else other than the existence of an OS called Android. Doh! But because of my lecture schedules, I realized that I won’t be able to make it in the evening and just thought of peeping around at the Advanced Class though I had a strong feeling that I wouldn’t understand a thing they would be talking. And when the sessions kicked off…. as usual to my surprise, the topics discussed were definitely related to my domain of knowledge, so Thank God, that I went for it without chickening after seeing the topic! 🙂

Okay now, getting down to the real deal…The morning sessions were divided as following :

  • Session 1 – Why Should You Android? by Buddhika Siddhisena
  • Session 2 – HTML5 vs Native by Misha Seltzer
  • Session 3 – Android widgets? by Shan Sinnathambi
  • Session 4 – Panel Discussion – Localizing Apps
  • Session 5 – Getting the Best out of Your App

Before I dive into the sessions, this review is not a full review of the Forum as I was unable to stay for the entire forum for the Developers. I’ll be only elaborating on the first 3 sessions and a bit about the 4th session. So if you wanna know about the entire event, better search another post 😉

A short video was shown on how Android has reached across the world and how it has become one of the giants when it comes to the Mobile world.

Why Should You Android?

Android WristwatchAs usual Bud’s presentation was very interesting. He spoke of the very basics to give a heads up to those who didn’t have the slightest idea about Android. The session started off with the introduction of the OS, its architecture and other basics about Android. He gave some examples on how the Android OS was used in various products like Refrigerators, Smart TV’s (Google TV)and the future of it (Android Wristwatch).

Later on Bud gave some areas of focus for the developers to venture into.

He shared some ideas which were implemented using LED to detect the blood pressure Android Fridgeand pulled out some innovative ideas from his creative head as well. Later on he gave some steps to follow in the process of developing an App in both HTML5 and Native form. These are the 2 basic modes in which one could develop and app. If you are not into Java and hard core programming you can opt for HTML5 and if you are into Java you can go for Native.

Native HTML5
Java HTML, CSS, JavaScript
Download the Android SDK Develop App
Download Eclipse Test on Webkit Browser
Develop app Test on Emulator
Test on Emulator (Available in Android SDK) Test on Device
Test on Device Test on Server
Convert to Native via PhoneGap

One thing to note was the emphasis on registering your app with Google. Apps registered are more reliable and secure.

HTML5 vs Native

Along with the intro given by the former speaker on this Misha who came from Google, Israel to speak at the forum was geared to encourage users to use HTML5 and then re-encourage them to use Native as well 🙂 It was a balance view on the two. Misha also spoke on Apps / Web for Mobile. He showed that the beauty of Native was that it was directly connected to the hardware. He went on to explain how one could write only a few lines of code to achieve what PhoneGap offered and it is not necessary that one should always rely on it. Some useful links from which the presentation was inspired were also provided for those who were interested in digging deeper.

The speaker also explained some useful code snippets that can be used during the development process. For instance, configuring the touch aspects, GeoLocation, etc; There were some interesting demos by the speaker, but on a personal level, I thought that the level of interest had a slight drop after the first speaker. It could have been a bit more interactive and interesting in terms of the content covered. And I personally don’t fancy anyone reading out a code snippet off of a slide unless a live demo is done with it.

Android Widgets

Android WidgetsShan took over the stage and gave some knowledge to the audience on how to create a simple Widget. The first demo was a simple Digital Clock, secondly he did a demo on widgets which were based on LBSLocation Based Service and at last Shan showed how to create a widget using embedded Google Maps.

  • Steps to create a simple widget
  1. Create an Android Project
  2. Create Java Class – public class MyWidget extends AppWidgetProvider
  3. Create Code
  4. Create UI XML file – Edit the view for the widget
  5. Update Android Manifest file (AndroidManifest.xml)
  6. Create WidgetProvider file.
  • GeolocationLBS

Shan explained that there were two types of LBSs.

  1. Location
  2. Location Maps

Main techniques to get the location are, GPS, Cell Tower Triangulation and Wi-fi Triangulation. In order to enable LBS you have to enable the LocationManager class.

  • Embedding LBS  – For this you need to get a Google map API key.

The drawback of this session, is similar to the previous, reading out codes from the slide…Big NO! And the presenter also failed to keep the enthusiasm level high with his presentation.

Panel Discussion

Next the stage was set for some of the major players of the field to contribute their views. Two of who were Dhanika Perera and Harsha Purasinghe.

Dhanika spoke on Localization of Apps. A maestro in localization, he showed that only 10% of the Sri Lankan population qualified in English Literacy and 90% of the population had the need of localized apps. He proved this need by drawing a comparison between a news app that was only available in English released two months ago and another news app available in both Sinhala and Tamil released a month ago. Hands down, the download rates of the bilingual app compared to the English app was higher by a broader margin within a month of its existence. Since there is a need he encouraged those who were interested to explore this area.

Harsha taking over, was intimidated by the Android fanatics because he was inclined towards IOS 🙂 Nevertheless, he gave his view on Android in the Enterprise. He presented three types of models available in the market,

  1. Appstore Model
  2. Traditional Advertising Model
  3. Dynamic Model – Where one is able to come up with their own terms and conditions.

Therefore he explained about these models and how one could cater to either one of these to get their apps across to the world.

Right after his speech, I escorted myself out where I was surprised with a free gift of 10GB data 🙂 But more than that I think I value the knowledge I gained from the forum and I’m glad that I attended it!

Programming, SQL Server, SQL Server Sri Lanka User Group, SS SLUG

SS SLUG Kaleidoscope – January 2012 Action

After celebrating the success of the last October meet up for two months, the first SS SLUG meet up for 2012 was held on the 18th. Last meet up had a significant turn out, where the place seemed too small to accommodate the attendees. But disappointingly, this time there was a lesser crowd.

Getting down to real business, the meet up was lined up with two sessions.

Before hitting off with his session, Dinesh A. mentioned that the content of his presentation was taken from msdn. According to which, Resource Governor, is a feature available in SQL Server, where it allows you to set limits on the resource consumption of SQL Server workloads and in turn help you manage your workload. Then he elaborated on the main concepts of Resource Governor,

  • Resource Pools
  • Workload Groups
  • Classification

What was to be noted was the mentioning of the creation of two resource pools and mapping of workload groups when SQL Server is installed.

  1. Internal resource pool and Internal workload group
  2. Default resource pool and Default workload group

The interesting part is that, the Internal group and resource pool act as the highly privileged or reserved. You cannot or should not try to modify it, because the basic commands are specified for those and are not accessible for modifications. The session ended with a comprehensive demo of how to assign a maximum and minimum CPU usage percentage for an SQL Server workload and there by monitor the CPU usage as well.

Next on stage was Dinesh P. whose session was a bit overhead for a newbie like me, but still was worthwhile for those who are well grounded in the arena. Initially he planned of getting an audience involvement by starting off an open discussion on what everyone has done to eliminate round trips. But as usual it took a fortune to get the people talking 🙂 Moving on, he spoke of the various difficulties faced and then came to the point on how to solve the issue. What I picked up was, which I wasn’t aware of, a data type called the “Table Data Type“. Dinesh did a demo on how to use the data type and Merge technique to eliminate roundtrips.

Overall rating of the session was GOOD 🙂 Am I looking forward for the next meet up?? YES, let’s see what they’ve got next time 😉

Programming, SQL Server, SS SLUG

What’s the big deal about SQL Server 2012??

SQL ServerMicrosoft SQL Server 2012 RC0 enables a cloud-ready information platform that will help organizations unlock breakthrough insights across the organization“.

Unless you were living under a rock, you must be aware of the ongoing revolution in the SQL Server world about the much anticipated release of SQL Server 2012 formerly known as SQL Server Denali. The SQL Server 2012 Release Candidate was released last week.

And if your thinking that this is gonna turn out to be another blog post on the performance of the release, you better think twice. I’m not an expert in the development of the release nor do I have a clue of what the hype is all about, but I would like to bring out what I think from an eye of an IT student by connecting the dots and and pieces of what I’ve heard and read.

Just like all software products bring in new versions by improving the flaws of the previous versions and coming up with new adornments to the existing product, the newer version of SQL Server also, successfully maintains the good old tradition. Well, according to the Release Candidate 0 announcement, what can the users enjoy??

  • Greater Availability
  • Blazing fast performance
  • Rapid data exploration
  • Credible, consistent data
  • Optimized productivity

So the buzz is all about these new/ improvised aspects of the product. If you take the track records, you can see the contribution of many tech brains to achieve its current status. But a sure thing is, SQL Server 2012, is not THE Flawless product and we could expect something better than this in the future as well. It’s just another Key milestone of the SQL Server Development!

Programming, SS SLUG

SS SLUG Kaleidoscope – October 2011 Action

The October SQL Server Sri Lanka User Group meet up consisted of 3 main sessions this time.  Deviating from the conventional SS SLUG meetups, this time the team incorporated a new twist to the agenda to make the evening more interesting. Their first sign of victory was the numbers they brought in for the day.  It was the first time in the history of the SS SLUG a large number of audience gathered.

The agenda for the day was,

The performance graph of the day was similar to a cosine curve.

The first session managed to hit the mark. Dinesh A. spoke of UDFs (User Defined Functions) and also he touched on certain limitations of stored procedures that could be overcome with UDFs as well as instead of writing long lines of queries with stored procedures, how the same thing can be done using few lines of UDFs.

Progressing to the second session, Dinesh P. spoke of the upcoming enhancements made to the BI suite planned by Microsoft and if you’re doing any development for BI, how it would help you to know where you stand compared to the current progress of Microsoft. This session did not raise itself up to as the first session because there was a very small percentage of the crowd who really knew what BI was. Though Dinesh P. managed to give a bird’s eye view into BI before he began his session, as he continued the interest level on the topic dropped a bit low. He spoke of Traditional BI and the emerging trend of Self Service BI. I personally clueless about BI was looking forward for this session, because the topic on the agenda sounded pretty interesting and I assumed that it would give an overview to BI and cover some interesting areas. It was a bit of a disappointment.

Trying to gain momentum, Preethiviraj got into the field with his topic. Another session I was looking forward to. Preethiviraj spoke about what Very Large Databases were, maintaining them and some of the dos and don’ts. Since the first session started behind schedule, Preethiviraj was being hurried to finish his session sooner than the time slot allotted to him. It was a drawback that he had to cut down on his session, because all those who wanted to learn could see that he planned to deliver so much more but couldn’t because they were already behind schedule.

So hoping that next time’s SS SLUG meet up will try to improve on the shortcomings of October’s meetup and try to keep up the enthusiasm and the drive to learn in all the sessions they plan for the day.