Five Reasons You Need to Understand Database Design

The word database is not one that you hear in everyday conversation. It’s one of those technical terms that’s used by business and I.T. people. It might evoke images of computers and long reports of names and numbers or indecipherable data. Some people might think of marketing or mailing lists. In fact, a database is simply any collection of data that’s organized so that it can be retrieved and used as needed. Usually, it refers specifically to data that has been stored within a computer system so that it can be quickly manipulated into reports. Databases take many forms but anytime a computer needs to present information of any kind, whether it be a store’s customer data or patient data at your doctor’s office, that data has to be retrieved from somewhere and it’s usually in a database of one kind or another.

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How Healthy is Your Website?

If you’re managing one or more websites, Nibbler is a great website for testing their performance. The free version tests 5 pages from your site and rates them based on a variety of factors including mobile accessibility, server performance, code quality, social media integration and more. These are all factors that can affect your website’s popularity, value and ROI.

  • Social media and incoming links – Everything on the web is connected for a reason and websites aren’t worth much if nobody is seeing them. The number of incoming links and the amount of cross-promotion with Facebook pages and Twitter feeds determines how many people actually visit your site and hear your message.
  • The mobile and printability scores determine how people using different browsers, devices and media will be able to access your website. It’s not all about desktop and laptop browsers anymore. As technology evolves, your site needs to evolve with it so people can find your message on a range of devices.
  • Page titles, headings and meta tags all affect how Google and other search engines index your site. The best use you make of these elements, the more exposure you get.
  • The amount and relevance of your content is vital. It’s not enough to put up a website and forget about it. Every bit of fresh content gets you more exposure on the web and draws more visitors.

Take a moment to visit Nibbler and run a report on your website. If you’re not satisfied with the results or have questions about the tests, please contact us to find out how Comeau Software Solutions can help improve your website’s performance.

ASP.NET for Beginners

31dfef58-1812-4523-ab35-c8bf20fcfd83If you’ve been wanting to learn how to design websites with ASP.NET, here’s your chance! Check out my latest three-part series on OcalaITPros.com where I explain the basics of Microsoft’s ASP.NET framework and how it’s used to create dynamic websites. This series will guide you through creating and publishing a sample application completely from scratch. The series is based on my speaking notes from a recent meeting of the Ocala I.T. Professionals.

Part I – What is ASP.NET?
Learn about the difference between static and dynamic websites and how ASP.NET is used to serve dynamic content.

Part II – Getting Started with Visual Studio and ASP.NET
Installing Visual Studio 2013 Community and starting your first ASP.NET project.

Part III – Building and Publishing Your ASP.NET Application
Completing your ASP.NET project, testing it on on your local machine and publishing it to a hosting service.

 

Three Types of Content To Keep Off Your Website

Running a website is easy and inexpensive these days. With cheap domain names, hosting packages running under $5 per month and gigabytes of space and monthly data transfer, anyone can quickly get started with a new site and put their name and message out there. Better yet, user-friendly tools like WordPress and Joomla make it easy to go far beyond a few static pages and to create a full multimedia experience, adding audio and video content to your site to entertain and engage your visitors. With all the space and resources available to you through the average hosting package, however, it’s often better to store some of your content, such as video, on other sites and then display it on yours so your visitors can still see it.

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What is WordPress?

There are many options out there when it comes to creating a website, from different hosting options to the tools that you can use to create and manage the content. Unlike in previous years, website design is no longer limited to programmers and those with extensive technical expertise. Many site owners are more interested in managing the content than focusing on the finer details of the technology and today’s options can be a confusing tangle of details for many beginners to sort out. That’s why it’s nice to find a single solution that makes it fast and easy to create your own website and manage the information that you want to put online.

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What is Microsoft Access?

If you’re experiencing issues with Microsoft Access in your organization and would like some answers, Comeau Software Solutions offers over 15 years of experience in application development with Microsoft Access and other tools. Please contact me through this website or call (352) 572-2997 for more information on how I can help.

Our modern world runs on stores of electronic data of one kind or another, whether it’s financial data transferred between banks and companies, medical data stored by physicians and health insurers or business and personal data used by individuals and companies. This data very often needs to be stored, analyzed and presented in a way that provides the answers its owners are looking for and that’s where database software like Microsoft Access comes in. Database software allows for data of various types to be entered into a system where it can be organized and selected for custom reports that will provide the right information to make whatever decisions are needed. Microsoft Access is one of many software titles designed to provide these analyses and reporting capabilities to desktop PC users.

The Good

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How Do I Create a Website?

If you want your message heard these days, it needs to be online. With most people spending at least some of their day on the Internet, there is no more effective way to get the word out about your products and services, your organization or any other message. A quick search of the web reveals a wide variety of companies and products offering to help you setup your website and while it’s become much easier for the average person to create a website, the details involved in doing it well without paying a small fortune to a professional design team can still be bewildering.

wordsWhat does it mean to design a website well? The answer goes back to the basic reason for creating a site and that is to communicate with other people and promote a message. Whether you’re designing a blog to share information and updates, a promotional site or a site for your business, your website needs to provide the necessary information in a way that will reach the right people. Every aspect of that site, from the technology that supports it to the promotion of the site on search engines to the content of the pages itself needs to support that goal. Let’s take a look at a few things to consider before deciding on a website product or service.

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Problem Steps Recorder: Documenting Windows Errors the Easy Way

Screenshots and and programs that create them are one of the most useful tools in the tech support arsenal. Being able to see the exact error message goes a long way toward knowing what’s actually happening on a user’s system. Even more helpful is seeing the exact steps that a user followed to get the error message and the conditions that existed when it appeared. Screen recording software can be expensive, however, and is generally unavailable on personal computers.

A new utility in Windows 7 and 8 offers a handy compromise between the single screenshot and a full screen recording. Problem Steps Recorder (PSR) creates a report that shows all the steps taken by the user, complete with screen images and annotations describing each user action. This comprehensive report is self-contained in a single web page viewable in Internet Explorer which can be copied to tech support for analysis of the problem. It’s also easy enough for users at all skill levels to work with.

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Domain Owners – Don’t Fall For This Trap!

There’s a scam out there that you need to be aware of. I would call it shady although somewhat enterprising. In any case, it can cost you money if you’re not careful. Here’s how it works …

Let’s say that you own the domain WidgetKingdom.net. You would have gotten the .COM domain but it wasn’t available so you settled for .NET. One day you get an e-mail like this:

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Welcome!

Welcome to the new ComeauSoftware.com! The site has been completely renovated in the past couple of days and if you followed a link here and were looking for something that was previously on AndrewComeau.com / ComeauSoftware.com, chances are it’s still here somewhere.

The following items are still here and each has its own page …

Your First Guide to Database Design (eBook)

Job Search Plus (software)

Microsoft Access for Beginners (eBook)

Ocala I.T. Professionals (networking group)

Many of the programming articles have been moved to Drewslair.com as this site will be focusing on my professional services. Please take some time to check out that site and let me know if you can’t find what you’re looking for.