During this time of the COVID-19 Level 3 lockdown in Auckland, Computer Craft will be following the Government’s guidelines around staying at home, essential travel and physical distancing.
Our staff have re-located to their homes, but have full access to company resources.
We are still answering phone calls and providing Customer support and software development services. It's… Business as usual!
Stay strong, stay safe and take care.
We are able to take a leadership role in developing end-to-end solutions, as well as supplying resources to meet needs and deadlines.
We have a long standing track record of delivering projects on budget and on time!
Our customer liaison skills are well tuned to listening to and (if necessary) provide input to customer needs.
Custom developed solutions have provided our customers with a competitive advantage. We say this because that's what our customers tell us.
Software development is our primary forte and the root to our success. We religiously go through a process of conceptual -> logical -> physical scenarios during the development process. We have the best available tools to help us through these processes, to ensure the customer will receive what the customer expects.
Computer Craft have over the past 38 years, fine-tuned the software development process that enables us to move efficiently and effectively through the requirements gathering, analysis, design, coding, acceptance and deployment phases.
The starting point on any project in understanding what the client is expecting. The technique to achieve this may include:
Modelling is describing something you know. A good model makes correct assertions.
Design is manipulating space for things you don't know. A good design lets you change things easily.
Writing, testing, debugging and maintaining the source code of computer programs.
Acceptance testing is a testing technique performed to determine whether or not the software has met the requirement specifications. The main purpose of this test is to evaluate the system's compliance with the business requirements and verify if it is has met the required criteria for delivery to end users
At Computer Craft we practice "deploy early" and "deploy often". This gives the client the ability to review features as they become available.
Our skills are numerous and varied. Fortunately, this media (the web) provides ample "screen real-estate" to enable us to elaborate, so here we go! The impression we want to leave you with, is that, we are well versed with old and new technologies.
The MS Access database has a robust repository for customer data, which the customers themselves can then query, using tools like Access or Excel.
MS Access has now been superseded by SQL Express.
Active Directory (AD) is a directory service that Microsoft developed for Windows domain networks. It is included in most Windows Server operating systems as a set of processes and services. Initially, Active Directory was only in charge of centralized domain management. Starting with Windows Server 2008, however, Active Directory became an umbrella title for a broad range of directory-based identity-related services.
Today Active Directory is used in cloud product like "Windows Azure"" and "office 365".
Angular 7 is a new and exciting technology for software developers. The end users in some cases will ask "yeah- what's all the excitement about". To the end user the end result appears to be the same?
For the developer Angular 7 brings a totally new experience with single page applications (SPA), introducing concepts like module loading, components, directives & events to name a few.
Computer Craft recently completed a project which along with .Net Core and Entity Framework included an Angular 2 SPA Client. The application resides on the internet and the customer has the ability to review important statistics in real time. Angular 2 provided the application with fast data entry components.
ADO.NET is a set of computer software components that programmers can use to access data and data services based on disconnected datasets ets and XML. It is a part of the base class library that is included with the Microsoft .NET Framework
ASP.NET is a programming framework that enables the rapid development of powerful web applications and services. It is part of the Microsoft .NET Platform, and it provides a scalable way to build, deploy and run web applications that can target any browser or device.
Over time as ASP.NET has matured, Microsoft have added extensions to the framework, namely
This site has been developed using ASP.NET and C#. There are many instances where the contents of this site comes from a database (like Excel or SQL Server), and by using this methodology, we are able to provide Data Driven content.
Our Web Hosting Service options include Windows server 2012, which is required for running ASP.NET.
ASP.NET Core 2.1 is a new open-source, cross-platform, high performance and lightweight framework for building Web Application using .NET. You can read more about ASP.NET Core here.
Worldwide, many developers are eagerly checking the schedule and roadmap of this exciting new technology. Over the past 12 months Microsoft have delivered on proposed schedule dates.
Computer Craft recently completed a project that incorporated a Net Core Web API. The service is extremely fast with round trips to the server taking less than a second.
Azure App Services Function Apps can host one or more Azure Functions. You use Azure Functions to host small applications, like background jobs or a microservice that only runs for a short period of time.
Azure Functions can be triggered by configurable timers, like on a schedule (every 15 minutes) or by an external service, like when a new Blob is added to Azure Blob Storage. When triggered, the code in the Azure Function can use the value from the trigger, like the Blob that was added. You can also add output bindings to an Azure Function to output a value to an external service, without writing any plumbing. This could, for instance, be a Blob Storage output where you just return a Blob without having to write code to connect to Azure Storage.
Just like Logic Apps, Azure Functions are “serverless”, because they scale automatically and you only pay for them when they run.
Another way to run background tasks is to run them in Azure WebJobs. WebJobs are part of App Services and run inside an App Service like a Web App or a Mobile App. You can write and host code in WebJobs that gets started by a trigger, like a timer (every 15 minutes) or an external service, like a new message in a queue.
WebJobs work similarly to Azure Functions in that they run small pieces of code that can be triggered by outside sources that don’t require any plumbing code to set up.
They are different from Azure Functions in that you need to scale them manually. You pay for the App Service that hosts your Web Job, which is a monthly fee, regardless if the WebJob runs or not.
Bootstrap is a very popular tool for creating dynamic web sites, which is a key requirement for obtaining high google search engine rankings.
Sometimes it is just nice to write that mean, lean module that, for example polls the serial port. Then we make it a DLL and call it from our main application.
This is one of the early database technologies, that was available shortly after the birth of the PC. To this very day there are thousands of applications out there that still deploy dBase files (dBase IV, Foxpro, Clipper, Visual Objects, Excel). It's popularity grew because it was not expensive to deploy, and it was the first of it's kind to offer relational files.
C# (pronounced "C sharp") is Microsoft solution providing Software Developers with a powerful and a productive programming tool. In the past there was C and C++ - these are both powerful tools, but the productivity was seriously lacking.
C# is a modern, object-oriented language that enables programmers to quickly build a wide range of applications for the new Microsoft .NET platform, which provides tools and services that fully exploit both computing and communications.
The language enhances developer productivity and brings rapid Web development to the C and C++ programmer.
We have been deploying C# as a back-end tool for Web Site development. This web site is an example of that. Having an intelligent back-end on a web site provides us with the ability to add niceties. An example of nicety is having the Web Site wish our customers Merry Christmas in the Month of December, and on the days leading up to New Year the messages changes accordingly. If there is anything on the Right-hand side of this page (up the top), then that is because the backend logic has detected a condition, which required a message or graphic to be displayed.
Today - C# is our preferred development environment, for both Windows Form and Web based solutions.
Once a favourite tool when starting a new project is CaliberRM. CaliberRM is a powerful requirement management system that enables a team to deliver applications that meet end-users specifications.
With CaliberRM not only can we define the project, but it has exceptional requirement change management, to allow us to keep on-track of all changes to a project while under development.
Clipper was our tool of preference, when developing DOS solutions.
As dBase grew in popularity, some young guys got together that wanted to enhance the dBase product. They did this very successfully, by developing Clipper, which was able to compile dBase applications. This was a huge breakthrough, as it allowed developers to deliver to customers a (Royalty Free) runtime application. These applications where very fast - which in those days was a highly sort after attribute.
We started developing in Clipper with the introduction of their Winter 85 edition. To this very day, we have clipper applications that were designed more than 29 years ago, still providing the solution that was intended.
Clipper provided the developer open architecture, memory management, dynamic overlays, replaceable database & terminal drivers, high-performance variable storage classes, full-featured compiler, pre-processor and user-defined commands.
This technology comes in many flavours, and it came about from OLE technology that has been around for some years now. The most common area of COM are DCOM, COM+, MTS, MSMQ & ActiveX. We have written several solutions using all the common items just mentioned, and their performance is pretty impressive.
COM is not dead, but if we were considering developing a new application today, we would most probably develop the application using .NET remoting or Web Services.
The Personal Computer became a Business tool in New Zealand, some years after we started trading. So starting with IBM DOS, we have moved through the ranks of operating systems, unitizing each enhancement as it came along. Our favourite was DRDOS, as it had excellent Multi-tasking capabilities.
We have used Microsoft Exchange in-house and are supporting the same product for some of our customers. Since 2010 we have been promoting Microsoft Online Services. Using this link you can sign up for a 30 day trial. If after the trial you like what you have experienced then press the buy button. Put “Computer Craft ” as your Supplier and we will then get in touch with you to help resolve any change over issues you may have.
Framework was a product which was ahead of it's time. It was around when we didn't have MS Windows or MS Office and operated under DOS. It was the complete office suite, and included a development language called FRED, which did some real magic things which office products are only getting around to achieving today. The Ashton-Tate organisation folded in 1996 and with it's departure went a huge amount of resource and talent. The product was briefly taken over by Borland, and now is supported and developed by Selections & Functions, Inc.
Jasmine is an Object Database, which differs from MS-SQL which is a Relational Database. It is very common for Software Developers to create solutions deploying Object Orientated mythology, but when it comes to the data storage tier, revert to a relational database.
Well, CA have said "there's something wrong here", and we have to agree. If you are writing OO code then you should be depositing the results to an Object database.
Well the idea was good, but the practice never caught on? April 2008 saw the end of any support for the Jasmine product, and relational data store will still live on.
Azure App Service Logic Apps are different from Web Apps and Mobile Apps in that you don’t host an application in it, but orchestrate business logic with it. Think of Logic Apps as a way to automate a business process by just configuring it.
A Logic App is started by a Trigger. This can be a time (every 15 minutes) or an outside source, like a new message on a queue. The Trigger passes values into the workflow (like the contents of the queue message), that can be used throughout the Logic App. The rest of the flow of the Logic App consists out of calling Connectors, which are APIs to third party services, like Office365 or Twitter or your own APIs.
Logic Apps scale automatically and you only pay for them when they run. This is sometimes called “serverless” because it means that you can completely focus on your application or logic and not on the underlying infrastructure.
Office has always been our desktop software of choice since the conception of Office 95. We have also developed many applications that deploy MS Office as part of the overall solution. Examples are report writing in Excel or Word format, or interfacing diary notes with Outlook.
Azure can also help you when you are creating mobile applications. You can host a backend for your mobile app in Azure App Services Mobile Apps. You can easily connect to this backend using the SDKs for Azure Mobile Apps that are available for IOS, Android, Windows, Xamarin.IOS, Xamarin.Android and Xamarin.Forms.
The mobile backend provides you with some unique benefits. One of them is the ability to do offline sync. This enables a user to continue working with the app if he is offline and sync data back to the backend when he comes online again. Another capability is push notifications. This allows you to send notifications about your app to the user’s device. Additionally, Mobile Apps has all of the same capabilities that Web Apps has, like auto-scaling, and high availability.
The MySQL database has become the world's most popular open source database and gains in popularity every year. Using the MySQL Connector for .NET, Computer Craft are able to use My SQL as the Data Store for the .Net applications we develop.
.NET Core is the cross-platform runtime that executes applications.
Microsoft .NET is software that connects information, people, systems, and devices. It spans clients, servers, and developer tools. The backbone to Microsoft .Net is the .NET Framework which is a component of the Microsoft Windows® operating system used to build and run Windows-based applications.
Computer Craft have in the past 20 years developed solutions deploying the .Net Framework. We have had hands on experience on the following core .Net Framework technologies:
Prior to the release of the .Net Framework we were already familiar with many of the abovementioned components, namely Com+, dCom, CGI, Soap, HTML, ASP, SQL Server.... .NET is simply an extension of these technologies
.NET remoting provides an abstract approach to interprocess communication that separates the remotable object from a specific client or server application domain and from a specific mechanism of communication. As a result, it is flexible and easily customizable.
This technology comes in many formats. Currently the buzz word that describes it is 'Cloud Computing'.
The .NET Standard is a compiler-enforced set of APIs that are used as a target for class libraries, so a single library can run on any runtime that supports the standard. This specification brings consistency to .NET-based development across .NET Framework, .NET Core and Xamarin.
Developers who target NET Standard 2.0 can build libraries that can be used from any .NET implementation or supported OS, including Windows, Linux, Android, macOS and iOS. If you want to maximize the reach of your code in the most consistent and reliable way, .Net Standard is the way to do it.
We are well versed in setting up Novell networks.
We have been doing Object-oriented programming now for 34 years. The technology makes efficient use of data, logic and time. Objects have a unique power to accurately represent any kind of information or activity. Allan has flown on several occasions to the CA-World conference in the USA to present papers on Object-Orientation and COMS development.
Object-Orientation Software Development and Relational Database Management System, sit on two different plans. Developers have to put some effort into the architecture and design required for the two to share data. The world has been holding out for a Object-Oriented Database System, and we were very excited when Jasmine II was release in onto the market.
In the early days of Windows (3.1), Multitasking (and Multithreading) in a GUI environment, was a demand our users required. IBM provided a better solution at the time with OS/2, and we deployed this operating system at some sites for serial applications, and they worked a treat.
We developed in the OS/2 environment at the same time as we were developing DOS Applications, and as a productivity tool, it was excellent.
SQL Server is a very well developed product. We started using SQL since version 6.5 and have moved up the ranks since then.
We also provide a MS SQL Database Hosting Service.
Superbase is a relational Database application tool designed by Precision Software Ltd in UK, in the early 1980's. It was a very mature product, and we used it to develop business solutions, which ran on the Commodore 64.
In 1989 a Windows version was released. The company claim it was the world's first Windows database.
We have been oriented to this protocol, since we were using Novell as well as the introduction of the Internet.
Visio is a diagramming program that can help you create business and technical diagrams that document and organize complex ideas, processes, and systems. Diagrams created in Visio enable you to visualize and communicate information clearly, concisely, and effectively in ways that text and numbers cannot.
The Database and Software modelling tools in Visio are those we use the most here at Computer Craft . We are able to produce diagrams that help us communicate clearly and effectively with our customers.
Going back some years now, CA-Visual Objects was our tool of preference Windows 95/98/NT/2000/XP development.
CA-Visual Objects is a fully object-oriented 32-bit development system for creating sophisticated business applications. It is a tool we are very comfortable with, because we know that whatever the customer challenges us with, VO will provide the solution.
Our VO solutions have included the following:
Microsoft Visual Studio is an integrated development environment (IDE) from Microsoft. Computer Craft use Visual Studio to develop computer programs for Microsoft Windows, as well as web sites, web applications and web services.
Azure App Service Web Apps are essential if you want to host a standard ASP.NET web application. Web Apps are an abstraction of a Web Server like IIS or Tomcat and can run applications that are written in .NET, PHP, Python, Node.js, Java and more.
They come with lots of benefits out-of-the-box, like the fact that by default, they are available 99.95% of the time. No need to worry about downtime. App Services are available for Windows and Linux both.
Web services are an approach that helps the business connect with its customers, partners, and employees. They enable the business to extend existing services to new customers. They help the business work more efficiently with its partners and suppliers. They unlock information so it can flow to every employee who needs it. They reduce development time and expense for new projects.
Web Services and more specifically Smart Client application are technologies the we get quite passionate about. Computer Craft were crusaders to Distributed Application Development and Smart Client definitely is simply the on-going path that we intend to travel.
Before Windows 3.1, we were avid DOS supporters, and we may have been guilty of questioning the feasibility and appropriateness of Windows. DOS was faster, easier to develop in and to this very day we have some DOS applications out there being used on a daily basis. However windows had the GUI, and that's what the people wanted, so that's what the people got.
Windows 95, became a stable platform to start developing solutions, that did not fall over, so we moved into the GUI environment, and Object Orientation development at the same time. Now we love it!
Windows 98, didn't even come out of the cellophane box.
Windows NT (after SP4) was even more stable than 95, so we changed our in-house systems and deployed NT Workstation and NT Server.
Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 later became our operating system of choice
The Windows 8 environment was very popular.
Today we enjoy the Windows 10 environment.
The following are case studies which Computer Craft have documented.
The contents of this site are detailed and lengthy, and we accept that you have not read it all.
Our objective is that we may for one moment have captured your inquisitiveness, and if this is true why not now contact us, so we can discuss your IT requirements.
If you didn't see what you were looking for, don't let that deter you from contacting us. It may turn out to be the best move you make today!