Posts Tagged Technology

All You Need To Know About DevOps

As a term, DevOps is derived by combining two different terms- Dev and Ops. “Dev” is a vast term that covers all kinds of software developers and “Ops” includes system engineers, system administrators, operations staff, release engineers, network engineers, system security professionals, and various other sub-disciplines.

DevOps is a practice rather than a set of tools. It can be defined as a setup where the development and operations engineers work together through all the stages of a service lifecycle including design, development, production support, deployment, testing, and continuous improvement.

DevOps is essentially based upon a CAMS structure:

  • Culture: This practice requires the organization to build a culture where people and processes are top priorities. It focuses on the overall service that is delivered to the customer instead of the ‘working software’ only.
  • Automation: In order to implement the DevOps practice to its complete capabilities, it is essential to build an automated fabric of tools. Common tools that should be a part of this fabric are the tools for release management, provisioning, configuration management, systems integration, monitoring, control, and orchestration.
  • Measurement: Successful implementation of DevOps requires a team to regularly measure some metrics such as performance metrics, product metrics, and people metrics. Regularly measuring these metrics helps the team to make improvements, where required.
  • Sharing: Sharing of ideas is an important part of DevOps implementation. It involves a thorough discussion of problems between the development and operations teams to find common solutions.

Challenges Solved By DevOps:

In the absence of DevOps application development, a general development scenario includes:

  • A development team that is responsible for gathering business requirements for software and writing code.
  • A QA team that is responsible for testing the software in an isolated development environment and releasing the code for deployment by the operations team, if requirements are met.
  • A deployment team that is further fragmented into independent groups such as networking and database teams.

Since the teams functioned independently, new challenges are added whenever software is pushed from one phase to another. Some of the challenges arising from this setup are:

  • The development team is unaware of the problems faced by the QA and Operations teams which may prevent the software from functioning as required.
  • QA and operations teams have little information about the business purpose and value that formed the basis of software development.
  • Each team has independent goals that may contradict each other leading to reduced efficiency.

DevOps application development helps in integrating the teams and thus, overcoming these challenges. It establishes cross-functional teams that run in collaboration to maintain the environment that runs the software.

For more information on DevOps, call Centex Technologies at (254) 213 – 4740.

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A Comprehensive Guide To Continuous Deployment

Continuous Deployment is the practice of releasing software on production servers continuously in an automated manner. Before a software is released, it needs to be thoroughly tested for ensuring that it is free from any bugs and errors. In the case of continuous deployment, the testing is done by using a testing software instead of manual testing. If the code is found to be free from errors, it is automatically deployed. The automation of the release of the software helps software development organizations in ensuring that the software updates reach the end-users as soon as possible with a minimum lag time.

One of the primary requirements for continuous deployment is to implement a series of other automated programs that can pull the software seamlessly through later stages of development into release. These stages of development include compiling and validation of source code, reviewing the code, unit testing, integration testing, packaging the application and user acceptance testing.

How Is Continuous Deployment Different From Continuous Integration And Continuous Delivery?

Continuous deployment takes continuous delivery a step further, which is generally perceived as furtherance of continuous integration. In order to understand the difference, it is important to understand the terms individually:

  • Continuous Integration: It is a technique that continually merges the source code from different developers into a shared mainline. This helps in avoiding cataclysmic merge conflicts as new source code is regularly added by various developers.
  • Continuous Delivery: This technique adds a step to continuous integration. It takes the merged code and conducts the necessary tests to ensure that the code is error-free. Thus, in this technique, the code is written, tested and pushed into a production-like environment. The software stays in the holding area until a developer manually pushes it for deployment.

Continuous Deployment reduces the hold time of continuous delivery by taking it a step further. Once the software code is created, tested and pushed into the production-like environment to see how it would perform in the real-time environment; the code is deployed automatically without any manual interference.

Stages Of Continuous Deployment Pipeline

  1. Deploy To Production: In this step, developers need to deploy the software in a production environment without releasing the functionality to end-users. Also, it is important to implement a system that allows you to toggle between the old & new versions.
  2. Verify: During this stage, various tests are performed including user acceptance, stress test, performance test, etc.
  3. Monitor: Monitor the deployed code as per your business metrics to gain insights for strategic business outcomes. Make sure that the code works as desired in the production environment and make the changes as required.
  4. Respond & Recover: After the software is released, it is important to keep a check for unforeseen issues. Manage a system for proactively detecting problems before they are detected by end-users and recover from these problems by providing fixes or patches.

For more information on continuous deployment, call Centex Technologies at (254) 213 – 4740.

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Drones In Healthcare

A drone can be defined as an unmanned aircraft that is guided either by remote control or by the computers mounted on it. Although drones have been used for years, there has been a sudden rise in their application. This can be owed to the invent of new technology and the accessibility of this technology to the public. Among other industries, drones have found applications in the healthcare sector as well.

In lieu of the newly found applications, there has been an increase in businesses investing in the production and marketing of drones for healthcare. Following are some of the common uses of drones in healthcare:

Public Health & Medical Investigation: Drones equipped with the specialty cameras and recorders pose as a low-cost mode of conducting surveillance of biological/chemical hazards, disease spread, number of patients in need of support due to an epidemic, etc. Drones have the ability to gather real-time data which helps in improving the efficiency of healthcare response teams in affected areas.

Telemedicine: It is an emerging branch of healthcare. The term is used for the remote diagnosis and treatment of patients by employing telecommunication technology. As the efficiency of telemedicine depends upon network availability, drones are being used to establish Instant Telecommunication Infrastructure (ITI). This helps in pre- and post-operative observation of patients, telementoring of surgeries in remote areas.

Medical Transport Systems: Drones are being used as efficient medical transport systems due to their ability to reduce the response time and travel across otherwise unpassable terrains.  The drones are used to carry medical aids such as poison antidotes, oxygen masks, transplant organs, medicines, etc. Drones also help in delivering blood samples to a fully equipped laboratory in a short period of time. This is particularly helpful in high traffic areas or rural areas, where human transportation may take time due to poor construction facility.

Ambulance Drones: Ambulance drones are used to tackle emergency situations such as cardiac arrest where chances of patients’ survival decrease with every passing minute. The emergency support teams send out these drones which are equipped with a cardiac defibrillator and 2-way communication (radio & video) channel. The drone is used to instruct the bystanders on how to use the automated defibrillator, steps to perform CPR and keep an eye on patients’ symptoms until the healthcare team reaches the physical location.

As technology is improving, the applications of drones in the healthcare industry are becoming more deep-rooted.

For more information on drones in the healthcare industry, call Centex Technologies at (254) 213 – 4740.

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Risks Associated With Cryptocurrencies

PDF Version: Risks-Associated-With-Cryptocurrencies

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Understanding Eye Tracking Technology

Eye tracking defines the process of identifying where we look, in technical terms, it is referred as tracking the “point of gaze”. It also involves recording what do we ignore, when do we blink and how does our pupil react to different stimuli. The technology is being widely used in different sectors including healthcare, business marketing, website usability research, etc.

Concept Of Eye Tracking Technology

An “Eye Tracker” is used to collect the data related to movement of the eyes. It consists of two basic components; namely a light source and a camera. The light source is used to direct infrared light towards the eyes. This causes detectable reflections in the pupil and cornea of the eye. The reflection vector is tracked by the camera to record the eye movement.

Infrared light is used as it offers better accuracy as compared to visible light. Light falling in visible spectrum range tends to generate uncontrolled specular reflection. On the contrary, infrared light enters the pupil directly, while it bounces off the iris. This generates clear demarcation of the pupil adding to the accuracy of reflections. Also, the infrared light is not visible to the human eye and thus, it doesn’t generate any distraction to the user while his eye movement is being tracked.

Types Of Eye Trackers:

  • Screen-Based Eye Trackers: They are mounted either below or close to the screen. They allow the respondent to be seated comfortably in front of the monitor and record eye movement from a distance. Although the devices record eye movement within certain limits known as head box; they still allow freedom of movement to the respondent. The devices are used when observing results for a screen-based stimulus such as magazines, books, pictures, videos, websites, etc.
  • Head-Mounted Eye Trackers: These include mobile device trackers which are fitted near the eyes (commonly mounted in eyeglass frames). Thus, they allow greater degree of freedom of movement to the respondent. However, high degree of movement may result in shifting of the glasses while recording the eye movement. This type of eye tracker devices are used when observation has to be made for objects or tasks in real life or virtual environments such as usability studies, product testing, etc.

Business Applications Of Eye Tracking Technology:

  • Market Research: Eye tracking helps in measuring attention to brand or products. Thus, business owners use the technology to evaluate their products, designs or buying behavior to optimize overall customer experience.
  • Usability Research: The technology is being extensively used to measure user experience offered by a website. It helps the developers and business website owners in recognizing the areas that attract user attention or areas that need to be improved.
  • Packaging Research: Before a product is launched, thorough research is done to design a package that can get enough visual attention on store shelves. Eye tracking technology is usually used for designing the packages and understanding customers’ preferences.
  • Advertizing: Eye tracking is being used by business marketing professionals to measure the effectiveness of design concepts & placement of advertizement posts (print media and online).

For more information on latest trends in business technology, call Centex Technologies at (254) 213 – 4740.

 

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