Intergen Smarts 2 (2002)


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Intergen's newsletter, Smarts, now available for online reading.

Intergen provides information technology solutions across Australia, New Zealand and the world based exclusively on Microsoft’s tools and technologies.

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Intergen Smarts 2 (2002)

  1. 1. INTERGEN NEWS >> PROJECT CASE STUDY >> HOT NEWS >> CREATIVE STUDIO >> EVENTS & LEISURE >> INTERNET HOSTING >> BUSINESS SOLUTIONS >> TWILIGHT SEMINARS >> 2 3 4 4 5 6 7 8 The next wave I S S U E T W O >> HOT NEWS: We are now in Auckland - Intergen Auckland opened its doors on June 6th. This is a significant and exciting move for us .... The Vault - We have launched a complimentary online research service. If you need to keep abreast of topics like Content Management then here is a way to find out what industry commentators are saying .... A cost effective Microsoft Content Management Server offering! - There is little doubt that Microsoft Content Management Server is a fully functional industrial strength Content Management product ..... For more information go to page 4 >> T H E I N T E L L I G E N T B U S I N E S S M A G A Z I N E SMARTSmagazinedesignandproductionbyIntergenCreativeStudio It is almost a year since the inaugural issue of “SMARTS”. We set ourselves an ambitious target of delivering a quarterly newsletter but, unfortunately, talking about what we are doing has to come second to the doing. Hence this is issue number two. About this time last year, as part of re-establishing ourselves as Intergen, we chose four areas to focus on: Microsoft .NET, Content Management Server, SharePoint Portal Server and Mobility. I am pleased to say that we have had a lot of success in all these areas. We have delivered more than 10 significant applications developed using the Microsoft .NET Framework. In doing so we have proved that we can quickly develop applications, with more features and less bugs. We are working on our fourth Microsoft Content Management Server project and have recently established a facility for providing CM Server site hosting for a monthly fee to bring the advanced capabilities to clients who would otherwise not be able to justify the license outlay. With more than 7 million seats of SharePoint Portal Server world wide, we saw a huge opportunity to develop a product for that market. We have developed a Records Management Web part to complement the Document Management features of SharePoint Portal Server. We are yet to formally begin marketing CustodianRMS but have already been receiving enquiries from Europe and the USA. Our work in Mobility has largely been R&D and marketing to date but we expect that to bear fruit over the coming weeks. As we move in to our second year as Intergen, we refocused our efforts along four primary service lines. Business Intelligence, Enterprise Application Integration, Portals and Mobility. These areas are not new to us but our focus now extends beyond a “product view” to consider all aspects of services related to them. You will hear more from us about these areas over the next few months. We are planning more Twilight Seminars and are happy to discuss these or any other areas where we can help you or your business. We look forward to speaking with you in the months ahead and hope that you enjoy issue two of SMARTS, our Intelligent Business Magazine. < Copyright 2002 Intergen Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without permission of Intergen Limited >
  2. 2. >>2 < S M A R T S - T H E I N T E L L I G E N T B U S I N E S S M A G A Z I N E . I S S U E T W O > Intergen ranks as one of the best workplaces in NZ The survey is sponsored by Haines Recruitment Advertising, designed and conducted by HR consulting firm John Robertson & Associates. We are proud to have participated and done so well. We believe the result reinforces one of our key values: People: We have fun and genuinely enjoy work. We work as a team without egos and recognize the value and diversity of the team members. We strive to learn, to always do better and to help others in the team to realize their potential. Thanks to all our clients for the positive feedback we have received. We wish to extend our thanks to you for your support and assistance with helping us achieve our goals and have fun along the way. If you would like any further information about the Unlimited Best Places to Work Survey go to Unlimited magazine undertakes an annual best places to work survey. We are happy to advise that in the largest and most authoritative survey of its kind Intergen ranked 6th. The Unlimited Best Places to Work survey was completed online and in total confidentiality by 6,927 employees from 87 companies. “The winning companies don’t just say that people are their best asset, they act like it by providing extensive benefits, strong staff development and heaps of fun,” says Unlimited publisher Vincent Heeringa. “As a result their work forces are pro-active, flexible and enthusiastic – they are treated as knowledge workers, not factory drones.” Dwayne Bace Dwayne contributes extensive project management and technical consulting experience in both government and private sector organisations. What do you do? Manager, Technical Services – responsible for Intergen’s Internet Hosting, Technical Consulting and Facilities Management. How do you make a difference? I love a challenge, and find none greater than when people claim “it can’t be done!”. For me, making a difference is about going the extra mile, anticipating and clearing the hurdles, and exceeding expectations! Share one thing about your job? My job is about delivering dependable, high performance Internet Hosting and Facilities Management. In many ways, an indicator of my success is when people forget that I exist. A bit about yourself? I divide my spare time between playing golf, turning my barren, Johnsonville section into a garden and pursuing my career as an armchair sports critic (an often conflicting combination!). >> INTERGENITE: >> I N T E R G E N N E W S
  3. 3. < S M A R T S - T H E I N T E L L I G E N T B U S I N E S S M A G A Z I N E . I S S U E T W O > The Challenge Time was one of the tightest parts of the equation when Local Government Online Limited sought a partner to help them deliver the most important phase to date within their online strategies and Community On Line web product. Existing concerns and the growing information needs of councils, helped them zero in on the answer. To take the next step, they needed a partner to face not only a tight transfer deadline, but a partner who could bring a business face to the strategic targets they had set for the future. Others demonstrated they could give us what we asked for. Intergen asked what we wanted in a partner. Not just a one time answer, but a long time alliance. “We needed more than just technical abilities. Intergen stood out because they’re all about people. They have strong marketing and what I call ‘envisioning’ skills, and the further down the track we go, we’re seeing even more and more value from this alliance”. Bob Vine, Executive Director, Local Government Online Ltd. It had to be right and it was right A deadline was struck for transferring from their existing provider, so in six weeks not just one, but 23 sites needed to be re-engineered and seamlessly turned over to a very tight time schedule. There could be no loss of service, in short, the public wouldn’t even know about the frenzy of work behind the scenes. What made it possible was Microsoft’s new .NET environment which allowed the task to be broken down and tackled in simpler blocks, and the fact that the team at Intergen had a lot of local government experience on their side. 23 sites + 1 deadline = a 24 hour a day effort? >> P R O J E C T C A S E S T U D Y “Intergen demonstrated a keen interest in local government and came to us with a recent history of web services and development in the public sector. That experience showed right from the start”. Bob Vine. The Business Difference As effectively a “local government tool kit” the new Community On Line model is now well positioned to help regional and local councils. More importantly, the investment needed is minimal. The solution can be delivered many times over without a continual reinvestment of the core elements. As a model, councils aren’t re-inventing but rather leveraging off a combined investment that has been made. “This solution holds so much potential to be used many times over, but what really makes this investment work is Intergen’s principle of self maintaining, self- sustainable sites that give the client all the control”. Bob Vine A Model for the Future Now that the first critical step has been taken to advancing the quality of local government web sites throughout New Zealand, the future is well in sight. Under the Local Government Bill 2001, the future will be about giving a much higher emphasis to true online interaction with the public and in the delivery of the wide range of local government services. “The model which has been developed will be hugely advantageous in allowing us to fulfill that strategy”. Bob Vine >> TECH TIP: .NET caching An ASP.NET feature is a system for caching page and application data, avoiding recalculation on every page request. Page caching: Caching can be performed on a per-page basis, or on a per-user-control basis, letting you store part or whole pages in a cache, and customise their expiration. Page caching is controlled by the OutputCache page directive which has two compulsory parameters: * Duration: The number of seconds to keep the page in the cache * VaryByParam: The query string parameters to use when determining page uniqueness e.g. for news.aspx?id=2 you would vary by the “id” parameter. Object caching: You can insert a value into the cache object giving it a unique key and set its absolute or relative expiration time. For example, to cache some xml resulting from a complicated process, and store it for 12 hours. Each time we use the xml we check if it’s still in the cache: XmlDataDocument x = null; if (Cache["xmldata"] == null) { x = ComplexProcess(); Cache.Insert("xmldata", x, null, DateTime.MaxValue, TimeSpan.FromHours(12), CacheItemPriority.High, null); } else { x = Cache["xmldata"]; } >>3
  4. 4. < S M A R T S - T H E I N T E L L I G E N T B U S I N E S S M A G A Z I N E > >> H O T N E W S Auckland Office Intergen Auckland opened its doors on June 6th. This is a significant and exciting move for us and demonstrates growth amidst a rebounding market for our robust, innovative software design and development services. Shaun Donaghey, General Manager has been very busy since we opened, fielding numerous calls about our offering to the Auckland marketplace: "Over the last few weeks I've been meeting with many organisations and potential partners, and the recurring feedback is that Intergen is a welcome and strong alternative to other local providers, especially with our leading skills in .NET. We're hungry and can demonstrate world-class capability and talent. We're also kicking off our Auckland Twilight Seminars on Wednesday 21st August at Totem on the Viaduct - these are great opportunities to hear from industry experts and meet colleagues. For more info and to register please visit our web site. If you would like to know more about our approach in Auckland and how we can add value to your business please call me direct on 09 488 1604 or 021 359 061" Cost effective Content Management! There is little doubt that Microsoft Content Management Server is a fully functional industrial strength Content Management product. Unfortunately for a lot of New Zealand organisations it can be prohibitively priced. There is now a solution. Intergen has recently signed up as a Microsoft SPLA reseller enabling us to offer Microsoft Content Management Server on an Application Service Provider basis. Now you can get the power of this fully functional industrial strength product without huge capital outlay. If you would like more information about this offering or would like someone to contact you regarding this please contact us at The Vault We have launched a complimentary online research service. If you need to keep abreast of topics like Content Management then here is a way to find out what industry commentators are saying. We constantly undertake significant research and have had so many requests to share this research that we have decided to make it available. We crawl the Internet and collect the best and most informative articles covering all aspects of the chosen topic. Registered subscribers will be able to log into the knowledge base to review articles and get regular emails with article summaries. Our initial topic is Content Management and we have plans to extend this with a series of new topics earmarked for release later this year. For additional information or to subscribe go to >> C R E A T I V E S T U D I O Hot from the Studio! Intergen Creative Studio continues its focus on delivering intelligent user interface design for business communications and applications. Our experience with large and complex intranets has been extended further with the recent completion of projects like the Meridian Energy Intranet “Wired” (pictured). The solution required the application of usability best practice to the structure, navigation and tools of a major site in terms of both breadth and depth. Our approach was driven by the most recent Nielsen Norman Group simplification design research. >>NEW INTERNET PROJECTS LIVE: Totem - new website Totally Wellington - screensaver, downloadable at Western Bay of Plenty District Council - new website “Wired” Meridian Energy’s new Intranet >>4
  5. 5. >> E V E N T S & L E I S U R E Wine - art and technology When technologists need a break from technology, they will often seek solace in the enjoyment that a glass of wine can bring. Sometimes, when the opportunity presents, a tour of modern wine making facilities and a look over their technology deployed provides a happy coincidence of technology and the pleasure of sharing a drop. Modern winemaking is now a hi-tech study, and it seems appropriate that we support the efforts of these endeavours. One thing appears certain, and it is that the overall quality of most of the red wines being produced in New Zealand grows steadily from harvest to harvest. It is possible to purchase excellent value for money in the under $25 a bottle range for New Zealand red wines. And to prove it, I suggest you try any of the following excellent examples of the “Hawkes Bay” Y2k vintage (tech-talk for the 1st year of the millennium vintage) with food, of course. All of these wines are currently available at around the $20 mark. All of them continue to reassure me that from a value for money standpoint, red wine in New Zealand is on a continuous improvement curve. Long live the conjunction of art and technology. Cheers everyone. Ngatarawa Cabernet Merlot 2000 Drinking well already. Luscious, berries and plums flavour. Excellent accompaniment to lamb or pasta with tomatoes. Te Mata Estate Cabernet Merlot 2000 Sharper (more tannic) than the Ngatarawa, but with the same pronounced flavours. Keep this a while. Currently it would accompany most red meats and the tastier of cheeses. Estate Cabernet Merlot 2000 Also drinking well now, but will improve over the next 3 years. Shows all of the varieties’ characteristic flavours of plums and berries, and represents excellent value for its price - a very reasonable $16 to $18 or so. Stay with the lamb or pasta. Alpha Domus Navigator 2000 OK, just one wine above $25 (slightly). It has just been released and is simply lovely, complex and sophisticated. It’s a Merlot-predominant wine, blended with Cabernet Franc and Malbec. The Malbec appears to give it an almost food-like satisfaction to your drinking pleasure. I really love this wine, and find it an excellent accompaniment to steak and mushrooms, or just plain mushrooms on toast. From left: Team Intergen wave a yellow flag at Dev Days; Mark Orange attends CMS “Airlift” in the US and brings back Fire Engine photos!; Wayne cuts the cake at our birthday party; Our Microsoft Gold Certification star at the Worldwide Fusion partners conference; Tony with fellow kiwis at Fusion. Jillian Ross What do you do? I am a graphic designer for Intergen. I design web sites and build production graphics for our clients. What are you known for ? Riding my bike. I've been cycle racing for two years now - on and off road. How do you make a difference? I'm the 'user-interface' creator that takes the web applications that we build and presents them in an intuitive, easy to use way. What do you love about your job? The clients, and the variety. We get a lot of scope to be really creative and its good to see a site that you have contributed to go live. Tell us about yourself? I've been at Intergen for two years. I studied post graduate graphic design at Wanganui Polytech, and also have a Fine Arts degree in Photography. I’ve spent the last three months overseas - touring around Europe and cycling down the Danube River through Hungary. Now I am settling back into work and trying to acclimatise to the Wellington winter. >>5 >> INTERGENITE:
  6. 6. < S M A R T S - T H E I N T E L L I G E N T B U S I N E S S M A G A Z I N E . I S S U E T W O > >> I N T E R N E T H O S T I N G >> 7 x 24 hour monitoring and application availability >> On call engineers able to respond quickly to issues raised >> Access to a call logging service 24 hours per day >> A supplier who knows and understands Service Level Arrangements and commitments >> Flexibility that allows for remote management of equipment on your premises >> Options for you to provide your own equipment >> A secure facility >> Highly experienced and capable staff >> Scalability options capable of catering with demand peaks and troughs >> Purpose built facilities >> Back-up and Disaster Recovery options >> A proven methodology and operational procedures >> Solid track record Intergen offers Internet Application Hosting in a secure hosting and systems management facility, in Wellington. Applications we host include: >> Kachingo >> NZ Government Jobs Online >> State Insurance iTravel Internet Travel Insurance solution >> Local Government Online portal >> Palmerston North City Council >> Community Development Group – COGs Online >> ACT New Zealand >> Woolnet >> Aviation Security Service >> Meridian Energy Intergen also provides monitoring and management services for application and Internet servers housed in remote locations. Benefits of using external specialists include: >> Avoiding reliance on already over-burdened or under-skilled internal resources >> Ability to deploy solutions more quickly >> Maintaining currency with Hardware and Software >> Predictable costs with ability to spread operational costs over duration of agreement >> Access to scarce specialist resources >> Formalised Service Level Arrangements >> Service-centric approach Our offering Is designed to reflect the importance of the Internet medium as a communication and business channel. To achieve the required levels of availability, reliability, scalability and security a minimum set of services is required including: >> DID YOU KNOW? That in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Visio), the format painter button can copy the current selections’ style to another part of the document? Also, by double clicking the format painter button, it will stay turned on and you can apply the style to many parts of the document. To turn the feature off simply press ‘escape’ or click on the format painter button again. Intelligent Internet Application Hosting The Internet is propelling businesses into a new model of interdependencies and online communication with partners and customers. This new model requires business-critical systems availability. It also more commonly requires high speed network services, highly skilled engineering and implementation services, support utilities and broadly-based technology management services. Lastly it requires an environment conducive to rapid systems commissioning and set up. The high level of investment or organisation change required to provide these services in-house is major. Often it results in poorly implemented solutions and a failure to deliver to requirements. The use of an external specialist who delivers economies of scale for processing power, scalability, availability, network bandwidth and security is often the best choice. >>6
  7. 7. CustodianRMS - Records Management for your Portal >> B U S I N E S S S O L U T I O N S The document management features of SharePoint Portal Server are excellent and provide rich functionality. However, the functionality stops short of record-specific management requirements. These requirements arise from archiving responsibilities that have become more defined within the public sector, but they are also determined by key record retention policies imposed by general commerce legislation in all sectors. CustodianRMS records management capability has been developed by Intergen to complement Microsoft’s SharePoint Portal server offering. CustodianRMS is an application comprising a series of web parts that complement the document management features of Microsoft’s SharePoint Portal Server product. As such it has been designed to be used with SharePoint Portal Server and within that product’s Digital Dashboard environment. The main web part accessed by all users (coordinators, authors and readers) is the Records Management Web Part. Here, the record-specific features utilise the full range of SharePoint Portal Server’s existing functionality, but combines with CustodianRMS’s own features to provide for the inclusion of electronic and physical records, management of the processes of checking them in and out, physical labeling and ‘boxing’, and record-specific classification and metadata management. This web part is tightly integrated with SharePoint and also uses the features of other Microsoft Office products (such as the label printing functions within Word) Kevin Hayman Kevin Hayman has returned to Intergen from his OE. What are you doing now? Senior Developer How do you make a difference? Delivering the best solution we can is very important to me. A solution that meets all the client’s needs as well as one that we can learn from and feel proud of as a company. What do you love about your job? Learning and using new skills. It’s a constant learning curve with what we do but it’s very satisfying to acquire and use these new skills in real projects. Brief about yourself? I'm originally from Taihape. Yip. Gumboot city / town. I studied Computer Graphic Design at Wanganui Polytechnic and then moved to Wellington for a few years before heading to Europe to see some of the world. Although London is an amazing place and was great to experience, I’m glad to be back in Wellington now where I am closer to my family and can enjoy the outdoors again. The second web part focuses on record retention scheduling and actions to be undertaken with records once their retention periods have expired. This web part records audit trails of actions, archiving and destruction actions, approvals, freezing and unfreezing a record once closed, retention schedules creation and management and reporting. Finally, CustodianRMS uses the exact same coordinator, author, and reader roles as SharePoint Portal Server. Any information relevant to SharePoint Portal Server will also be applicable to CustodianRMS. It is also designed to use SharePoint Portal Server and Digital Dashboard functionality. The product is designed to co-exist with SharePoint Portal Server and therefore all information pertaining to SharePoint Portal Server that relate to the technology environment and client requirements are also relevant to CustodianRMS. More information on CustodianRMS, its features and functions or ordering details are available at >> INTERGENITE: >>7
  8. 8. < S M A R T S - T H E I N T E L L I G E N T B U S I N E S S M A G A Z I N E . I S S U E T W O > >> MICROSOFT NEWS Intergen was very lucky to be invited by Microsoft to join the New Zealand contingent attending Fusion 2002 in Los Angeles. Fusion is Microsoft’s annual partner conference. It is an opportunity for Microsoft to lay out its plans for the coming year. The conference gave us some very valuable information about what is coming from Microsoft over the next 12 months and where they are putting emphasis in the longer-term. This allows us to make informed decisions about where Intergen should focus and allows us to provide better advice to our clients. Last year Intergen made a decision to invest in developing a Microsoft Content Management Server capability. We were very pleased to be able to continue that investment by sending Mark Orange to Seattle for advance training in the up and coming .NET version of Content Management Server. Mark joined Ian Morrish from Microsoft NZ at the CM Server 2002 Airlift in June. They are both very enthusiastic about the new features and capabilities. We are working to be able to offer CM Server 2002 based solutions as soon as it is released. The Intergen Twilight Seminars are informal late afternoon sessions designed to inform you about current trends, technologies and initiatives in the space where business and information technology overlap. The seminars consist of an interactive presentation followed by open questions, drinks and nibbles. They are presented by topic experts either from within Intergen or from one of our business partners. They are not “Sales” oriented but designed to inform, educate and initiate informed discussion. Guests are welcome to stay around for a drink and discussion with the presenters and fellow attendees. Topics we have covered include: >> "A history from 2020 - how technology transformed our business style and lifestyle" >> "Current dynamics and uncertainties within the global Information Technology markets" >> Mobility >> Content Management – including Microsoft Content Management Server and Viatx Content >> New thinking in Interface design and usability >> Knowledge Management – including SharePoint Portal Server and our records management add on for SharePoint Portal Server >> .NET – using .NET for development of applications and solutions >> Hosting Internet sites >> Quality Assurance/ Testing To be added to the Twilight Seminar invitation list contact Gina Harper at or (04) 472 2021 Keeping up with the pace of change? We look forward to your company. However, if you are unable to attend a scheduled Seminar for any reason but are interested in the topic let us know. We are often able to schedule another session and provide copies of presentation materials. >> I N T E R G E N T W I L I G H T S E M I N A R S E R I E S SMARTSmagazinedesignandproductionbyIntergenCreativeStudio >> SCHEDULE: Time 4.20 For a 4.30 start 4.30 – 5.30 Presentation 5.30 + Q/A, discussion and drinks Wellington: August – December August 7th & 21st September 4th & 18th October 2nd & 23rd November 6th & 20th December – none planned at this stage Auckland: August – December August 21st Other dates and events will be scheduled as appropriate.