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