Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Optifocus is Now Ready for USA Opticians

Till the previous version, Optifocus catered only to the UK market. However, with the release of Optifocus version 9.0 in Nov 2011, Optifocus is now ready to assist USA opticians in their practice.
Optifocus is a comprehensive practice management and marketing software for an optician that assists in managing patients, appointments, inventory, communication and point of sale. With its multi-branch functionality, an optician can manage operations and employees at different branch locations.
Some of the changes done in Optifocus for USA release are
  • Support for state and federal taxes
  • Currency shows in $
  • Address records as per USA requirements including street, suite, and zip code
  • Name of Insurer and Member Group can be recorded
  • National Provider Identification (NPI Number)
  • Fully updated USA Help module
To know more visit,

Monday, December 26, 2011

Optifocus 9.0 Released

Optifocus released its new version 9.0 in Nov 2011 with a number of enhancements and new features. Optifocus is an Optician’s practice management and marketing software which facilitates the management of day to day sales, inventory and patient appointments and communication.

Whats New in Optifocus 9.0
Till now, Optifocus was designed specifically for managing optician practices in the United Kingdom. However, with Optifocus 9.0, support for US optician’s requirements has also been included. So Optifocus 9.0 is now available as both Optifocus UK version and Optifocus USA version.

Some of the new features and upgrades in Optifocus 9.0 are
  • Better Patient Management
    • Ability to generate report card for patients in case of revisit / recall.
    • Possibility to send SMS alerts to patients
    • Ability to record the GP details
  • Better Cash monitoring
    • Ability to view daily / previous cash transactions
  • Stronger support for multi-branch operations
    • Chat module to facilitate instant messaging between employees in different branches. This module includes ability to view online users and maintain chat history.
    • Email module to facilitate communication between employees in same or other branches
  • New Accounts module to facilitate basic accounting for sales, income and purchases. Report generation facility has also been provided.
  • New Email module for communicating with patients and suppliers. This promises to be a great tool for sending reminders / promotional offers to patients and for following up with suppliers. The email module can be configured with your Gmail account if required.
  • New utility to generate bar codes for different products.
  • Better security and administration
    • Utility to back-up your Optifocus database for safety against loss
  • Better monitoring of employees
    • Maintenance of daily attendance and in-out records
    • Ability to manage employee schedules
    • Ability to calculate salary automatically using attendance records
  • New module Stock Take to search & update physical inventory of products
  • Ability to record NHS payments (for UK) and print GOS forms (for UK)
  • Facility to define brand group and other product groups and other products
  • Facility to search for old transactions
  • Fully updated Help module
Optifocus 9.0 brings in more transparency to transactions. New features for branch and headquarters make operations more efficient for optician’s practice.

Visit Optifocus to read more.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Cygnet Assists Client in Developing Traffic Signal Update System for Poole Harbor Bridge, UK

Poole is a large town and seaport on the southern coast of United Kingdom. It is famous as being the birth place of the noted author John le Carre and television producer and actor David Croft. Poole was also the residence for 4 years of J R R Tolkien the author of the Lord of the Rings.

The A350 is the main road cutting through Poole from the north to the south. On this road is the Poole harbor bridge which is lowered down to allow vehicles and pedestrians to cross the creek and which is raised up to allow boats and ships to pass through. However, this bridge is now too congested and another bridge, the Long Sails Bridge is under construction to connect Poole to Hamworthy.

Traffic Signal Update System

Poole is using an advanced traffic control and management system developed by Cygnet’s client, a specialist provider of traffic management software in the United Kingdom. Cygnet has a dedicated offshore team working for the client to develop or update some parts of the functionality of this software.

As a specific requirement for the Poole Harbor Bridge, Cygnet’s team assisted in developing a prototype of the system which would provide traffic updates on the A350 further up the road to warn the vehicles and pedestrians about the status of the bridge.

The variable message signs placed on the A350 would indicate whether the Poole Harbor Bridge and the Long Sails Bridge were closed or open for vehicle and pedestrian traffic thus allowing people to make changes to their travel routes. Cygnet was able to develop the system such that the signal would be available in all major variable message sign boards in less than 5 seconds after the bridge was closed or opened.

The client’s project manager was exuberant on this achievement and said, ”Just a quick email to say thanks for today and your support… Personally I consider today to be a Success!

The technology used was ASP.NET 3.5 and Windows Communication Framework.

Cygnet’s team continues to understand and solve any technical challenge given by our clients and never fails to deliver.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Cygnet Training Center at the ACMA Exhibition

Cygnet Training Center gave off a fabulous performance at the recently concluded 3-day ACMA Exhibition in Ahmedabad. The whole of Cygnet Training Center team enjoyed their experience of talking to students, working professionals and other visitors at the stall.

Cygnet Training Center had promoted its flagship Microsoft Certification courses at the exhibition including MCTS in ASP.NET, Silverlight, WPF, WCF, SharePoint and SQL Server. Courses in Mobile application development in Android, iPhone and Windows phone were also on display apart from courses in Java, PHP and software testing.

Over 3000 brochures and course catalogs were distributed at the event which generated a great response from the visitors. See the rest of the story in the following pictures.

A big thanks to all those who made the event a great success aka THE RED TEAM – TPSO, Niraj, Radhika, Anuja, Aarti, Kush, Darshit, Ashish, Yogesh, Jay, Varun, Ankush, Manali, Rutva, Keval, Amit and Devender.

Cygnet’s Java Team Develops Cookie De-bugging Tool for Client

Browser cookies are invaluable in the world of internet and online services. They help in keeping the session alive in your online banking transaction. They help in storing state information, user preferences and authentication information on your favorite website.

Cookies also store your online shopping cart information till the time you proceed for check-out. Essentially, cookies are text files which are stored on the computer and used through the browser. To prevent cookie theft by malicious agent, programmers usually encrypt the information in the cookie.

Cookie De-bugging Tool

Since more than 2 years, Cygnet Infotech has been providing offshore software development services to a large USA based organization. The company is in the business of providing online communication solutions such as online fax, email campaigns and online backups.

The project requires a heavy usage of cookies and programming had included highly complex encryption algorithms for enabling security of transactions. As a part of customer service, there were many situations which required the knowledge of the information getting stored in the cookie in order to provide a solution. However, the trouble-shooting process was very time-consuming since it was not easy to see what information the cookie was storing because of the heavy algorithm implementation.

To solve this problem, Cygnet’s team developed a cookie de-bugging tool which takes the cookie as input and displays the value of the cookie. The tool is extremely fast and shows the value within seconds. This has helped the client’s team to provide better customer service to their clients by resolving their problems fast.

The Cookie Checker worked great! I was able to decrypt the cookie and immediately saw the problem with the account. Many thanks” – Web Manager at the client.

The cookie de-bugging tool was developed in Java and Cygnet is proud to provide such services to its clients which help solve challenging real world problems.

3 cheers to the team that made this possible!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Windows Store is here!

With the new Windows store, Microsoft has made yet another attempt to please its users. As per the official blog, below areas have been of major focus in the Windows store

Ease of app discovery
The new Windows store is designed with functionalities that ensures better visibility of apps because of which discovering apps is now more efficient. Some features that are implemented in order to help developers and customers discover apps of their interests as quickly as possible are Search, Category browse, Ranking lists and Editorial Curation.
To the users browsing through IE 10 on Windows 8, developers can now promote their apps by displaying a metro style app rather than plain text.
Wider market
Windows store is now available in 231 countries and supports multiple languages. The payment for Windows store is accepted in the local currencies of more than 50 countries. PayPal is another payment method that is acceptable by Windows store in most nations. With this, the reachability and usability of Windows store is certainly on a rise.
Designed for Enterprise as well
Now it is possible for enterprise users to market and offer their apps in form of metro style app through the Windows store.
  • Enterprise can restrict the access to Windows store catalog to specific employees.
  • Direct deployment of apps to PCs is possible.
  • IT admins can install enterprise apps on the Windows 8 machines that they manage.
  • Group policy can be used by IT admins to allow metro style app installation on Windows 8 Beta PCs.
New Business models
Now, developers have a wide range of flexible options when it comes to choosing a business model to build the metro style apps on. Giving developers choices with respect to developing business models helps them evolve new ideas and approaches as conditions and needs change.
Better ways to engage customers/developers
Windows store presents customers with trials and in-app purchase facilities that provide them with consistent firsthand experience of all the applications. Developers also have chance to control their advertising thus enabling them to fund their business. Also, Microsoft has made way for open source apps in the new Windows store.
App Certification Kit
Along with the SDK, Microsoft will be providing the developers with app certification kit and app acceptance guidance so that the developers can develop and publish apps that have minimal chance of rejection due to compliance issues.
Store economics
In the new Windows store, individual registration fee is $49 USD. For companies, it is $99 USD. Microsoft will share up to 80% of the revenue generated from app sale.
On a side note, Microsoft has announced that all the apps during Beta period will be free of cost; paid apps are unsupported.
Read more about the new Windows store
Read more about Cygnet Infotech’s mobility services and mobile technology training programs.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Cygnet Training Center Announces Participation in 8th ACMA ICT Exhibition

Cygnet Training Center, the training division of Cygnet Infotech and a premier IT education provider in Ahmedabad has announced its participation in the 8th ACMA ICT exhibition to be held between 16th and 18th December 2011 at the Gujarat University Convention Center, Ahmedabad.

Visit us at stand #104-105 in the IT Education Section.

ACMA (Ahmedabad Computer Merchants Association) has been organizing the ICT show for the past 7 years with tremendous success.

Cygnet Training Center will promote its IT training programs for students, IT professionals and corporates at the exhibition. Cygnet flagship courses include ASP.NET and .NET 4.0. Being a Microsoft certified Silver Partner for Learning Solutions, Cygnet offers a number of courses in Microsoft technologies including SharePoint and Dynamics CRM. Cygnet also offers training programs in Java and iPhone / Android application development. These programs assist trainees to prepare for certification exams like MCTS (Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist), MCPD (Microsoft Certified Professional Developer), MCITP (Microsoft Certified IT Professional) and SCWCD (Sun Certified Web Component Developer)

Through its training programs Cygnet aims to bridge the gap between college education and IT industry requirements to make students even more job-ready. IT professionals can gain by enhancing their technical skillsets through CTC training programs.

Cygnet Training Center also offers short term 2-day certificate courses for college students who want to make a career in IT. Corporates can avail of custom training programs for their employees in MS Office and MS Project which are conducted by CTC on premise.

At the exhibition, you can interact with our experienced counselors and discuss in person what kind of training program would benefit you the most in your career plans.

Visit us at stand #104-105 in the IT education section

Friday, December 9, 2011

Windows Phone 7 Demo on Android or iPhone

Are you one of those curious Android or iPhone mobile phone users who are itching to try out the new Windows 7 release? Well, worry not! Microsoft has released a cool demo that can be run on iPhone and Android phone without any issues.
With a tap or a swipe, you will be presented with a start up screen with the most commonly used services such as Messaging, Outlook, and Calendar etc. Once you have tested any one of the service’s demo, you can go back to the main screen to test another one. It is simple, interactive and certainly very user-friendly.
Some of the features that take Windows 7 mobile to the next level of communication are:
  • Touch-Friendly user interface that is slick and elegant.
  • With a tap and a drag, move the apps around.
  • Easy synchronization of documents between your phone and PC.
  • Access to Outlook mail application giving way to important features such as flagging important e-mails etc.
  • Large and colorful live tiles can be used as shortcuts to frequently used apps and websites.
  • Adding apps to Quick launch is as easy as it can get.
  • A single people hub to show the ‘Recent’, ‘New’ and ‘What’s New’ happenings with your friends across social networking sites.
  • The interface is elegant and extremely impressive. Usage of bold colors and clear font has made the overall display quality very high.
Though a lot of focus has been about the cool interface and its impressive look, the functionality aspect of Window 7 mobile is to be appreciated as well. With live tiles and several useful apps, Windows 7 mobile sure seems to be gaining the edge in the mobile market.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Office 365 gets its First Upgrade

Microsoft has announced the first major upgrade for Office 365 to help users gain more leverage from the whole package that consists of Microsoft Office, SharePoint Online, Exchange Online and Lync Online. In order to help customers and employees work together in the cloud, Office 365 is being preferred more than other services in the same genre by several organizations.
In lieu of its wide usage and coverage, more than 30 new features have been incorporated into this upgrade of Office 365 for professionals, small businesses and enterprises. The most talked about features are:
  • Office 365 support is now enabled for OS X Lion.
  • Support for Windows Phone 7.5 Mango release is provided.
  • Several improvements in the client access control area have been added.
  • Windows Live ID can be used to connect to SharePoint Online for external users.
  • SharePoint Online is now supported on Chrome and Internet Explorer 9.
  • Administrators can reset their own passwords through a text message (SMS) or an additional email address. See video
  • SharePoint Online now has Business Connectivity Services (BCS) as well.
  • A Do It Yourself (DIY) troubleshooting tool is now available to help customers solve any problems or issues themselves.
  • MAC users can now use Lync in order to share instant messages and to perform video conferencing.
One of the most noticeable update is the release of Office 365 to 22 new countries including Argentina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Egypt, Estonia, Iceland, Indonesia, Kuwait, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malta, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Taiwan, Turkey, Ukraine and UAE. With this, Microsoft Office 365 has been taken to the next level of customers thereby increasing its accessibility and popularity.
Based on several feedbacks that it obtained from clients, Microsoft has also released an update for SkyDrive, Online-hosting service. As per Windowsteamblog, previously the way users shared data was primarily ruled by the way they organized data. With this update, however, an app-centric approach has been adapted. From now on, users can share from whatever application they are currently working in, without having to worry about structure of folders or sub folders. Thus, with this update, sharing of data or collaborating with friends and colleagues across the organization is easy, simple and definitely faster.
With these two major updates, Microsoft has once again strived hard to please its users and make its applications friendlier. It certainly seems to be good news for all those Office 365 and SkyDrive users out there!
Cygnet offers professional services using Office 365 and Windows Azure to assist clients in developing cloud based applications.

Monday, December 5, 2011

How to use and configure Dynamics CRM Mobile App

The Windows Marketplace has released Dynamics CRM Mobile App that can help users receive latest notifications on their mobile phones.

Below are the steps to be followed to configure and start using this app from your mobile phone:
  1. Download Dynamics CRM App from the Windows Marketplace. Install the application and launch it.
  2. Specify user name and password to connect to your CRM Online instance. This is same as the one that you use to connect from web client or outlook client to the CRM Online instance.
  3. Once the configuration is done, a window with ‘Success’ message is displayed.
  4. To enable connection to IFD (Internet Facing Domain) environment, toggle the switch “Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online” which then becomes “Custom”.
  5. Enter your server URL and home realm URL (if any). Contact your administrator for these details, if you are unsure. Ensure you choose the right organization if there is more than one. 
  6. The administrator must enable Activity Feeds for your organization to get the real time posts. In order to take advantage of this app, your mobile needs to run UR5 or greater version. 
Apart from getting real time notifications, the below activities can be done from the mobile phone once the configuration is complete:
  • User can view both auto and user posts
  • User can make or refresh a post or comment
  • User can delete a post or comment if they have proper permissions
  • User can move from one post to another by using right and left arrows
  • By tapping on blue text on the form, user can navigate between entities
  • User can view CRM entities such as accounts, contacts, leads etc.
  • User can search and view a record
  • User can also reconfigure the app for a different organization
  • User can launch email, phone and Bing maps tasks from record form
Apart from the above, with the help of system administrator, user can enable specific entities for mobile and choose the right columns for every entity’s view.

Also, when you set up personal views on your web or outlook client, it will automatically get downloaded to your phone after 24 hours. Additionally, if you make any metadata changes to the server, they will be reflected on your phone as well. Read more

Cygnet Infotech offers professional services in developing mobility solutions for business applications. 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Windows Mobile 7 bags OS of the year 2011

The news is certainly all over the place - Know Your Mobile Awards of 2011 has recognized and rewarded the Windows Mobile phone with Operating System of the year 2011 award. Despite the fact that Windows phone is still not as popular as the iOS of Apple or Google’s Android, this award sure seems to have given Microsoft some leverage with respect to mobile phones.

The metro user interface incorporated by Microsoft was the main focus during the presentation of the award. The fact that the interface does not look like any of its competitor’s interfaces has worked in its favor. Below are the three highlights with respect to Metro interface.
  • Smart updating tiles
  • Tablet optimized interface
  • Flexible apps

The completely customizable startup screen has scored among the customers leading to the success of this phone. Some other highlighted features were:
  • XBOX Live
  • Bing
  • Windows Live
  • Office Integration
  • Zune
The judge panel seemed to have well-justified reason for choosing the Windows Phone OS. Below are some of the comments given by the judges with respect to the winner this year.
“It has the most potential, with a unique interface and a rapidly growing apps selection. It has a great looking UI and doesn’t look like Android or iOS.”
“A massive move from the previous OS. Huge growth in apps and the system looks heaps better than the competition.”
“Innovative interface, with more success to come.”
“A refreshing OS that doesn’t try and copy other operating systems. Has attracted a large number of developers too.”
Thus, the OS has concentrated on the user needs first by getting rid of useless uninformative icons and providing them with rich Internet experiences and useful as well as smarter apps on the mobile phone. However, whether the same can be said of the interface when implemented on desktop is still under speculation.
For those of you who are curious to know - Blackberry 7 and Samsung Bada were awarded with runner up prizes in this category.
Cygnet offers mobile application development services to assist companies to introduce mobility solutions for their business.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

OptEyeCheck – an iPhone App for Checking Your Vision

OptEyeCheck is an iPhone application which offers a convenient way for checking your vision. By placing your iPhone one foot away from your eyes, you are able to complete four tests: Near Vision (for Myopia), Color Vision Deficiency, Amsler Grid Test and Contrast Sensitivity Test. The results of the tests are stored on your iPhone so that you may share them with your eye doctor.

Near Vision Check (Myopia)
Myopia may be the cause of blurred vision. This check provides you with alphabets in the upper panel to select from the options given below the panel. The size of the letters becomes smaller with each level you pass, and the test continues until your answer does not match the required answer. Your result is then displayed for you.

Color Vision Deficiency Check (Ishihara Color Test)
Color Vision Deficiency is the lack of perceptual sensitivity to certain colors. A series of pictures of colored spots with an embedded number is presented. When you identify the number and select the correct answer from the options presented, a result card is generated showing how your answer compares to a person with normal vision. If you experience “color-blindness” this is an excellent way to check for sure.

Amsler Grid Check
Designed to detect any kind of visual disturbance which may be caused by changes in the retina, optic nerve or the visual pathway to the brain, this test has you look at the grid with each eye concentrating on the small dot at the center of the grid. If you see any wavy lines or if some lines are missing, you mark the grid. The result of each eye is stored in your iPhone and can be used by your doctor to diagnose the actual location of a problem. The Amsler Grid Check helps diagnose macular disease in your eyes. If macular degeneration is in your family, this will be an important check for you.

Contrast Sensitivity Check
The Contrast Sensitivity test will determine how well your eyes adjust to low light and how well you can distinguish objects when they are in similarly colored or shaded backgrounds. This is a special way to measure your visual acuity. You are presented with a high contrast eye chart which has a black letter slowly merging into the white background on each level of the test. The check continues until you give two consecutive wrong answers. A chart showing how far you completed the test successfully and where exactly the answer went wrong is then stored.

Consult Your Doctor
Once you have completed all four of the tests, your iPhone will have four test results to share with your doctor.

Rated 4+, the app is available from iTunes for $0.99. Developed by Cygnet Infotech LLC and released in 2011, this app is also compatible with iPod touch and iPad; it requires iOS 3.0 or later. If your eyes are “bothering” you, perhaps you might find the reason in one of these tests. Check it out OptEyeCheck

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Delivering Business Critical Solutions with SharePoint 2010

Access of business critical data and management of processes across an organization is no longer time consuming and inefficient.

With SharePoint 2010 delivering business critical solutions, the storage of business data is secured at the same time access to this data has been made easier. Be it customer related information or business critical data, business connectivity services of SharePoint 2010 makes is possible for the employees to view this data with no/minimal support from the IT resources.

The simple fact that not all the employees are trained to interact with the back end systems has so far hindered operational efficiency during critical times. With SharePoint 2010 however, the backend data can be brought forth and displayed to the users without having to rely on IT support personnel.

The user-friendly interface enables the employees of an organization to operate quickly and effectively when it comes to looking for important information. According to the permissions granted, business processes and critical data can thus be accessed more efficiently by employees of the organization.

Download the whitepaper - Delivering Business-Critical Solutions with SharePoint 2010

How does SharePoint help in information access?

By connecting the Line Of Business (LOB) applications to SharePoint 2010, the information buried within the LOB systems can now easily be presented to users through the familiar Microsoft Office or SharePoint user interface. This has been made possible through business connectivity services present in SharePoint 2010. The business data is thus displayed to users on more familiar user interfaces such as Microsoft Outlook, Word and Excel thus making it easier for them to read or edit LOB information.

Also, by connecting external systems with SharePoint 2010, business critical solutions including IT managed solutions and advanced user and information worker solutions that are crucial to an organization can be built on SharePoint itself.

Cygnet Infotech assists IT companies and independent software vendors to develop portals, sites and business information access solutions using SharePoint 2010. Having earned a Microsoft silver competency in portals and collaboration, Cygnet has the experience and expertise to develop and implement solutions on SharePoint. Read more about Cygnet’s SharePoint Case Studies.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Developer Tools and SaaS Capabilities introduced for Dynamics CRM

In order to provide more advanced features with respect to development of custom components in Dynamics CRM, Microsoft has released new tools. Till now, the developers have had difficulties in developing code-based solutions such as plug-ins, custom workflows as well as UI web resources like JavaScript. The developers have had to update such solutions with latest available version of these components from time to time. 
With the new developer toolkit, developers have been granted an easier mechanism to code the additional components such as a new form or an extension to an existing schema. The recently released toolkit for Microsoft Dynamics CRM: 
  • Provides integration of Dynamics CRM with Visual Studio
  • Accelerates development of custom code components
  • Enables developers to write the code from within Visual Studio
  • Enables developers to use Visual Studio 2010 templates to develop custom component projects in Dynamics CRM
  • Supports automatic deployment of code to CRM service in the cloud
  • Supports automatic deployment of code to in-premise environment
  • Supports complete development, editing and deletion of CRM Plugins and workflows
  • Supports both XAML and customer workflow activities
  • Installs browser module that can be used to browse various artifacts present within Dynamics CRM instance
The package can be embedded with Visual Studio 2010 development environment that enables to streamline the development of custom solution components. A familiar development studio is provided to those who are already well acquainted with Dynamics CRM development. Also, this toolkit can guide the developers who are naïve to the CRM extensibility but are well versed with VS and .NET to start coding within ten minutes. With this toolkit, the Silverlight applications can also be created, updated, deployed and deleted.
Apart from this toolkit, the below tools have also been released by Microsoft to aid developers: 
  1. Plug-in profiler which can make troubleshooting plug-ins an easier and quicker job for the developers
  2. Entity Metadata Browser which can be used by developers to view the entities and their properties in the system

Friday, November 25, 2011

Testing Whiz Blog Launched

Cygnet is glad to announce the launch of its public blog on software testing. You can visit it at

The purpose of the blog is to share concepts and trends in the area of software testing - types of testing, testing methodology, automated testing, testing frameworks, and other topics.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

RAD Studio XE2 – A Game Changer

The fact that applications developed for Mac OS cannot be run on Windows and vice versa has created a big divide in the operating systems arena. Although, it has been possible to run Windows applications on Mac computers through various workarounds, it has never been easy for people to run applications on both Windows and Mac.

Here is one company that is trying to change that. Embarcadero has released in Sept 2011, a new development platform RAD Studio XE2 which will allow developers to build applications for Windows, Mac and iPhone / iPad at the same time. That news is definitely worth raising your eyebrows for.

RAD Studio XE2 from Embarcadero

RAD Studio XE2 is an application development suite for building applications for Windows, Mac, mobile, .NET, PHP and the Web. It will enable developers to build cross platform native applications up to 5 times faster. Applications are 100% CPU and GPU native and developers can build GPU-powered HD and 3D UIs using the new FireMonkey™ platform. RAD

RAD Studio XE2 comprises of Delphi XE2, C++ Builder XE2, Prism XE2 and RADPHP XE2. For a PHP developer, RADPHP XE2 enables development of applications for iPhone, iPad and Android with just PHP knowledge. RADPHP XE2 also provides a visual PHP IDE for rapidly developing web applications using drag and drop components. Delphi XE2 also supports development of 64-bit Windows applications.

With RAD Studio XE2, rapid application development will become even more rapid.

Cygnet has already started offering services on this new platform. Since it has several years’ experience in development with Delphi technology, Cygnet is in a good position to extend its expertise to RAD Studio XE2 based development and offer its clients even faster development times and ability to develop cross platform native applications. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Windows Azure updated SDK has been made available

The development experience on Windows Azure has just been made better with the below three updates that have been made available this November:
  1. A new version of Windows Azure SDK with multiple updates to the Windows Azure tools for Visual Studio 2010. With this enhancement, the development, deployment and management on Windows Azure has become easier and simpler.
  2. A new Windows Azure HPC Scheduler SDK, which assists with developing high performance computing (HPC) applications. 
  3. An updated Windows Azure Platform Training Kit to help the users get familiar with building applications using Windows Azure. Demos, hand-on exercises and manuals are a part of this training kit.
The following new features have been included in the November 2011 release of Windows Azure Tools for Visual Studio 2010:
  • Easier for your environment to connect to Windows Azure because the publish settings file are available for your account.
  • Easy configuration and publication/update of applications. The new publishing wizard enriches the overall experience of publishing right from sign in to review.
  • Multiple profiles are available thus enabling you to store and change the environmental settings easily and quickly.
  • MSBuild command in-line support enables team building and packaging of your applications.
  • In-place updates to deployed services can be made.
  • Credentials can be automatically managed thus eliminating the need of manual intervention.
  • Easier to select one amongst the many Windows Azure subscriptions while publishing within Visual Studio.
  • New hosted service can be created within Visual Studio itself. Windows Azure portal need not be used.
  • Easy and automatic creation and configuration of storage accounts within Visual Studio.
  • Easier to manage multiple deployment environment configurations.
  • Detailed information available about virtual machine initialization status.
  • Remote desktop workflow can be enabled by a simple click of a checkbox.
With respect to Windows Azure Libraries for .NET 1.6, below are the updates:
  • In order to simplify the development experience, service bus and caching from the last Windows Azure AppFabric SDK has been incorporated into this release of Windows Azure Libraries for .NET.
  • Support for invisibility timeout
  • Support for update message method
  • The new size limit for message is 64KB
  • A message can be made invisible until a future time
  • Analytic service settings can be made available through Get/Set Service Settings
  • Also, Windows Azure Emulator has been incorporated with performance enhancements.

The below enhancements are now present in Windows Azure HPC Scheduler SDK which will enable developers to include the below in a Windows Azure deployment:
  • Resource Management
  • Job Scheduling
  • Persistent State Management of job queues
  • Persistent State Management of resource configuration
  • Web-based submission

With these updates, the developers are empowered to develop compute intensive applications that are scalable in Windows Azure. Click here for more information
Cygnet Infotech provides software development services on the Windows Azure platform. It assists ISVs and IT service providers with resource augmentation and technical expertise while developing applications on cloud using Azure. Read more about Cygnet’s services on Windows Azure.  

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Blood Donation Camp held at Cygnet

The second consecutive year of blood donation camp organized at Cygnet Infotech Pvt Ltd on 18th November 2011 was a grand success where we had 34 donors in all. Leading from the front was the Managing Director Mr. Niraj Hutheesing.

The camp, organized by Prathama Blood Center, was held at Cygnet's development center “Manikyam” where employees voluntary donated the blood for a good cause.

Prathama Blood Centre is an endeavor of Advanced Transfusion Medicine Research Foundation (ATMRF) established for modernizing blood banking in India. As a not-for-profit organization Prathama (in Sanskrit means 'First and the Foremost') revolutionized blood banking in India with three fundamental principles.
  • Encourage voluntary Blood donors and discourage replacement donor practice.
  • Execute 100% component preparation and distribution.
  • Enhance scale of operations to provide safe blood on cost recovery model.
As a result of its unique approach and commitment to provide safe blood products, Prathama is now one of the finest blood establishments in South Asia. NABH accredited and ISO 9000:2009 certified, Prathama meets 50% of Ahmedabad city's blood requirement. Ahmedabad is now leading the country in blood donation ratio to population at 3.5%.
At the camp, Cygnet adopted the tagline of Prathama “Donate blood and stay healthy” - blood donation reduces chances of heart attack as it thins out your blood and trusted the organization. Cygnet has always been ahead in all CSR (Corporate social responsibilities) activities and take this kind of initiative to benefit society at large.
A BIG THANKS to all the volunteers. They must have made somebody's day!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Microsoft's Silverlight 5 Could Be The Last Version

Despite the fact that Microsoft Silverlight has been one of the most sought after cross platform browser plug-in and is being widely used for writing and running rich Internet applications, reports reveal that the latest version 5 of Silverlight could actually be the last one.

There are also some reports, which claim that Microsoft may not even release any service packs for Silverlight 5 once it has been released. Also, some sources claim that Microsoft’s support for Silverlight 5 after its release in last week of November 2011 may not last long.

Another noteworthy information is that - The current versions of Silverlight run on both Windows and Mac OS, as well as on Google Chrome and Safari. However sources seem to convey that this may not be the case with Silverlight 5. It is quite probable that Silverlight 5 will run only on Microsoft Windows and Internet Explorer.

This news of Silverlight’s end of life has not been confirmed by Microsoft yet. But the Silverlight site has announced the final release of Silverlight 5 in 2011.

For those of you who are interested to know what’s new with Silverlight 5, here is a glimpse:
  • Enhanced media support including support for HD video
  • Rich user interface features including video playing at different speeds
  • Some performance enhancements such as support for 64 bit OS
  • Graphics upgrades including 3D API
On her blog, ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley clearly states that, “Silverlight is no longer Microsoft’s cross-platform runtime solution. Instead, Microsoft currently positions Silverlight as a tool for creating rich media, line-of-business and smartphone apps.” She has also said that despite her continuous questioning about the Silverlight’s future to Microsoft officials, she has not got any proper response from them.

This apparent silence could also be attributed to Microsoft’s reluctance to share information regarding its roadmaps and future plans. Following these reports, the future of XBOX 360 and Windows Phone that rely on Silverlight is under wild speculation.

To summarize - neither is the news confirmed, nor is it denied. But for all we know, Silverlight has probably reached the end of its journey!

Cygnet Infotech is a specialist service provider of IT services in Microsoft platforms. It has several projects experience in developing applications using Silverlight. Know more about Cygnet’s Silverlight expertise.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Integration of SharePoint Online with Dynamics CRM is Here

Several new and enhanced features are being introduced to SharePoint Online service by the SharePoint team in order to provide its customers with more useful functionalities. These features of SharePoint online service are expected to be rolled out to all the data centers by end of November.

One of the most notable features in this release is the integration of SharePoint online with Dynamics CRM application. With introduction of this feature, creating, editing and managing documents with Microsoft Dynamics CRM has just been made easy. SharePoint Online document management facility is accessible from the Dynamics CRM application that enables quick creation of document libraries as and when needed by the Dynamics CRM users.

The document management capabilities can be added to all the entities including the following (the below list is not exhaustive) within the Dynamics CRM application:
  • Accounts
  • Opportunities
  • Cases
  • Custom entities
However, before one can take full advantage of this functionality, the below steps need to be taken:
  1. Login to the SharePoint server as SharePoint site collection administrator.
  2. Install Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 List Component. Click on the below links for the detailed steps and more information. 
  3. Open an account as the Microsoft Dynamics CRM user.
  4. On the left hand side panel, click on Documents.
  5. A document library is automatically created in SharePoint Online, if there is none. Click Ok on the dialog box displayed.
  6. Once the SharePoint Online document library is created, it is directly rendered with Dynamics CRM.
  7. User can then start uploading of contents to the SharePoint online library from within the Dynamics CRM application.
While configuring data management system in Microsoft Dynamics Online, the user can select the entities that need to have document management capabilities. The user can also specify either Account - B2B or Contact – B2C mode of organizing document libraries in SharePoint Online.

Learn more about configuring data management in Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 

Thus, with the aid of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 List Component for SharePoint, all your documents that are stored on SharePoint can now be accessed from Dynamics CRM in a format that is consistent with Dynamics CRM display properties. Dynamic creation of document libraries or folders is possible from the Dynamics CRM application as well.

Cygnet Infotech is a specialist services provider on Dynamics CRM and SharePoint Implementations. Read more about our Dynamics CRM services and SharePoint services

Friday, November 11, 2011

Windows 8 Will Include Push Notification Services

Windows 8 has been touted by Microsoft as the next generation OS for tablet computers. No wonder Microsoft has been taking tips from mobile technology for building Windows 8 services.

The Windows 8 interface which comprises of tiles includes various updates like news, weather, sports, etc. To get such updates, traditionally the client application was supposed to be in constant touch with the server. For a PC, this is not a problem but for a mobile, this will be a big drain on the battery. Therefore, mobile devices have implemented a push notification service on the server so that updates are sent when available.

Windows 8 Tile Interface
Microsoft is now introducing the same push notification service for its Windows 8 operating system. The earlier power consuming Windows Gadgets will be eliminated. In addition, Microsoft has been able to separate the text from images for notifications so as to save on bandwidth usage.

With the data driven model used for the push notification services, application developers need not bother about writing complex code for connecting to the server, retry the connection during failures, authenticating the user, caching the information etc. This will bring about better user experience and device performance.

This seems to be good news for those who are waiting for Windows 8 and those who are developing applications for Windows 8. Read more on Building Windows 8 Blog

On a larger scale, this seems to be the signs of the things to come. More and more features of applications and computing will be driven by the user experience on the mobile devices.

Monday, November 7, 2011

“Your App Here” Microsoft’s Invitation to Windows Phone App Developers

Here is your chance to promote your Windows Phone application development skills. Microsoft has announced a new campaign called “Your App Here” to encourage application development on the Windows Phone.

Microsoft will select maximum of seven best phone apps for each of the months of December 2011, January 2012 and February 2012.
  1. These applications will be promoted using online banners on MSN sites network
  2. Each application will be featured exclusively for a day on Windows phone marketplace
  3. The application can be considered for other PR and publicity campaigns
Windows Phone application developers, gear up for this golden opportunity!

You can develop applications in any category such as casual games, kids and family, health and fitness, shopping, social, travel and utilities. However, your app must be published in windows phone marketplace before you can apply, it must be made for Windows Phone 7.5 and must include Fast App Switching and some innovative use of tiles.

Read more about the selection criteria and publishing your app for “Your App Here

Innovation and distinctiveness of idea, attractive and user-friendly user interface, appropriate display properties and ease of app integration (as and when necessary) will play an important role.

In order to build and publish the app on Windows Marketplace, follow these steps
  1. Install Windows Phone SDK 7.1
  2. Register on App Hub to publish the app
  3. Develop the App using the available resources/tools
Once the application is ready-for-use, you will need to publish it on the Windows Marketplace. An online form needs to be submitted after the publication in order for the app to be considered for the ‘Your App here’ contest. It is mandatory to fill up the form and complete the necessary formalities before the declared deadline for each month’s campaign consideration, failing which the app will go unnoticed.

Sadly, this contest is open for developers in the United States only. Although Microsoft assures that steps are being taken to extend ‘Your App Here’ to worldwide app developers, no program has been defined as of yet to make it happen.

Read more about Cygnet's Services for Mobility

Nov Release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Introduces Social Collaboration

A good news to all the organizations which rely on Microsoft Dynamics CRM to carry out their customer relationship management activities - Microsoft has announced the release of its latest November 2011 Microsoft Dynamics CRM service update, the main feature of which is social productivity.

The two most important functionalities that have been incorporated into this release are:
  1. Microsoft Dynamics CRM Activity Feeds solution
  2. Microsoft Dynamics CRM Mobile
The Dynamics Activity Feed aims to provide real time updates in form of notifications to its customers about people, accounts, contacts, leads and opportunities. The activity feeds include:
  1. Facebook status updates
  2. Twitter micro blogs
  3. The New Facebook Ticker
These updates can either be displayed manually or can be automated based on pre-defined rules. The already available API of Microsoft Dynamics CRM enables posting of these status feeds to external applications as well.

As another add-on - this Dynamics activity feed support is also being incorporated into the Windows 7 phones thus promising a better and continuous collaboration amongst the customers and sales executives. However, the Microsoft Dynamics CRM mobile application needs to be installed on a per phone basis to enjoy the benefits of this new functionality.

Apart from these two major add-ons, several valuable enhancements have also been provisioned into this latest service update:
  1. Multiple data series is supported in charts
  2. Sub grids and notes have been included to the reading pane in Outlook
  3. Dialogs and workflows support hyperlinks
  4. Additional CRM data types have been included
Also, improved disaster recovery mechanism has been offered as a part of this service update to help protect data and ensure uninterrupted business flow during a disaster.

Through these enhancements, the ability of Microsoft Dynamics CRM to help agents satisfy the customers has been taken to the next level. The lack of a proper technical document or an implementation guide may come across as a downside to some users of Dynamics CRM. Despite this drawback, the November 2011 Microsoft Dynamics CRM service update promises some exciting and extremely useful functionalities.

This update has been made available through Microsoft Download Center from October 25, 2011 onwards and as a separate Microsoft Update from November 8, 2011 onwards. All the CRM online data centers have already been updated with this latest version.

Read more about the professional services on Dynamics CRM offered by Cygnet

Monday, October 17, 2011

Review of Cygnet's Participation in GITEX 2011

Cygnet had a great event at GITEX Technology Week 2011 at DUbai. The 5 day event attracted thousands of visitors from the ICT sector. Profiles included CEOs, CTOs, IT administrators, programmers and business development managers from various countries in UAE including Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, RAK and also from nearby countries like Egypt, Iran and Oman.

Cygnet collected a significant number of inquiries for its SharePoint and Dynamics CRM service offerings. Since Cygnet was participating for the first time in this premier Middle East event, the response was very encouraging. Representing Cygnet at GITEX were Mr. Niraj, Mr. Oberoi and Mr. Yogesh.

Cygnet's stand decorated with balloons attracted many visitors. Our banner talking about SharePoint, CRM and other Microsoft related services also pulled in a lot of prospects. The Gulf region has many companies running projects in SharePoint and CRM, which formed the bulk of the inquiries. We also received interest in mobile programming and our lms-portal offering.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Dubai Calling - Cygnet @ GITEX Technology Week 2011

Cygnet Infotech is participating in the Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (GITEX 2011), one of the world’s premier ICT exhibitions.  

Stand No. SME-1 in SME Pavillion at Sheikh Saeed Hall

The GITEX Technology Week is going to be held between 9th and 13th October 2011 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre in Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai. GITEX 2011 is expected to attract over 136,000 ICT professionals. Cygnet Infotech is one of the 3500 exhibitors at GITEX this year.

Cygnet Infotech is a Microsoft Partner with several Gold and Silver competencies providing offshore services to clients in over 20 countries and 5 continents. At GITEX 2011, Cygnet will showcase its vast expertise and experience in Microsoft Technologies including .NET, SharePoint, Dynamics, CRM, Windows Mobile, BizTalk and SilverLight.

Cygnet Infotech is an ISO 9001, ISO 27001 and CMMi Level 3 certified company which has always delivered high quality development and testing services via a mature and proven global delivery model.

Cygnet invites professionals from IT Companies and ISVs in the Middle East who are visiting GITEX Technology Week to visit our stall at SME-1 Stand in the SME Pavillion in Sheikh Saeed Hall and meet our senior representatives to know more about our services and how we can assist you.

Please write to us at to schedule an appointment during 9th and 13th October at GITEX, Dubai.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Cygnet launches its brand new Microsoft services website

Cygnet is proud to announce the launch of - a new website highlighting all of Cygnet’s professional services offerings in Microsoft technologies.
The development of this site is part of a larger re-look at Cygnet’s overall website strategy. In due course, we will be developing different sites for each of our service offerings which will all come under the banner of the main corporate website.
To reiterate, Cygnet has earned a Microsoft Partner Gold competency in web development and Microsoft Partner Silver competencies in software development, portals and collaboration, search, data platform, mid-market solutions provider and content management.
The main service offerings are related to software development in Microsoft .NET, collaboration and document management solutions using Microsoft SharePoint, CRM with Microsoft Dynamics, web applications with SilverLight, legacy application integration with BizTalk, cloud solutions with Office 365 and mobility solutions.
Get a taste of Cygnet’s expertise in delivering solutions in Microsoft technologies by reading the case studies section.
Speaking on the launch of the site, Cygnet’s Executive Director Tejinder Oberoi said, “The purpose of creating this exclusive website is to reiterate our commitment to Microsoft technologies. In the entire Microsoft stack, we have everything that is required for building best of breed technology solutions that translate to better returns on investment for our clients.”
Mr. Oberoi is attending the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in Los Angeles, USA from 10th to 14th July and this was planned in advance as an appropriate event to introduce the site to other Microsoft partners and potential customers.
A special vote of thanks to the entire team which has made this site possible under extremely tight deadlines – from concept to live in just a month! Just goes to prove that if Cygnetians decide to do something, take it for granted that it shall be done.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

SharePoint – An Operating System for Collaboration!

AIIM, the Association of Information and Image Management ( recently released a report titled “Using SharePoint for ECM: How well is it meeting expectations?”

The report has some interesting findings on SharePoint usage in over 600 organizations which participated in the survey.
  • 29% of the organizations are live on SharePoint 2007 and 28% are upgrading from 2007 to 2010 and an additional 8% have completed the upgrade.
This implies that more than half of all SharePoint 2007 users are upgrading or have already upgraded to 2010 for whatever reasons. An additional 21% of the user base is first time user of SharePoint 2010. This data is clearly in line with the fact that SharePoint is the best-selling Microsoft product till date.
  • 55% of organizations are expected within a year to rollout SharePoint to 90-100% (almost all) of their employees.
This implies that these organizations very clearly understand that the real benefits of collaboration will come to fruition only if all employees are on the same platform, use the same interface and talk the same language.
  • In terms of adoption, IT department of organizations is the highest (72%), followed by the line of business departments (41%) and then followed by Marketing and HR.
This is not surprising since IT departments would be instrumental in rolling out SharePoint to other departments. But it also raises a flag that unless other departments are equal if not more adopters of this platform, the technology will remain under-utilized.
Although, SharePoint has functionality to support conventional ECM activities like scanning, capture, records management and document workflow, most users are using SharePoint as a digital storage for office files and PDF documents, and do not yet trust it with confidential information or large size videos.
Is SharePoint the final answer?
SharePoint 2010 does claim to be a one stop solution for all collaboration and document management needs of an organization. However, the fine print is seen through some of the AIIM survey findings
  • 50% or more organizations believe that they still need third party add-ons because SharePoint is not enough
  • 20%-40% of the organizations feel that SharePoint functionality in records management, scanning and document capture, and social business are not up to the mark
Microsoft itself is encouraging independent application developers to develop add-on functionality around SharePoint. This implies that Microsoft probably intends to make SharePoint as an “operating system” for collaboration, as a platform on which other applications can be built. It is also possible that Microsoft wants to learn how people use these add-on applications for collaboration so that it can build some of these features into the next version of SharePoint.
Some of the most popular add-on functionality organizations are adding is workflow/BPM, security and rights management, search and analytics, archiving of content and records, taxonomy management, security management, interface to email, digital signatures and case management.
  • 53% of organizations consider SharePoint to be their primary system for Enterprise Content Management going forward.
So currently, the scales are evenly balanced with a little more than half of the organizations believing that SharePoint is the final answer to their requirements.