October 22, 2018

Learning Kentico: Scheduled Tasks

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I was supposed to blog this last Friday but I ran out of time. Spent trying to resolve the issues I encounted and was only able to fix it just at the nick of time (before the office closes at 6pm). Whew!

There were quite a few errors I encountered when working with the exercise including the practice example and below are some them:

a. When trying to follow his example about importing products, I couldn't seem to resolve the ERPProductHelper does not exist in the current context issue. I used all the namespace he used but still the same. I couldn't find ERPProductHelper in the Kentico Documentation and tried other solutions but still no luck :(

ERP Product Helper does not exist in the current context
So I just skipped this and didn't include in the project. But if you know how to solve this, feel free to comment below. 

b. The No Definition found for Set Doctors issue. Remember I skipped the 2nd exercise of Kentico API because I got confused with it? In here, I have really no choice but to do it. 

No Set Doctor Method
And I learned that I don't need to modify the previous code generated in the DoctorInfoProvider class which I did in Custom Module exercise and that I only need to add a new public method Set Doctors. And it resolved the no definition issue. :)

c. The next one was File does not exist issue (when I ran the Import Doctor scheduled task)

File does not exist

I couldn't really understand why the file is not found. I've placed it in the App Data folder, created my own folder and placed the Doctor List.csv.

I rechecked all my steps for creating scheduled tasks:

1. Create a new class implementing the CMS.Scheduler.ITask interface - done
2. Add the RegisterCustomClass assembly attribute above the class declaration. - done

 [assembly: RegisterCustomClass("ImportDoctor", typeof(ImportDoctor))]
Import Doctor not found

At first I didn't wrap it in namespace and then tried wrapping it to see if it's fixed the issue because when I reset the executions I got this error above) 

3. Implementation of scheduled task - register it in the Scheduled tasks app and configure the settings (execution interval etc) - done

register scheduled task

I have also asked myself it it has something to do with the Task provider name because mine is only showing custom classes but in his example video, it is showing the name he specified. But nahhh..it's not. 

And you know the culprit? It's because I didn't specify the task data property. Noticed in the above screenshot, the task data field is emptyJaaahhh...he didn't show this on the video. Huhu. Perhaps that part, he didn't just capture it. But at least, I know now. :) Hehe. 

Task Data location

Now import successful! 

scheduled task, import

Till next time! And for reference about Scheduled Task properties. check-out this link
October 18, 2018

7 Causes of Poor Personal Finances in Our Modern World

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There are several reasons why someone might struggle financially in our modern world. The primary culprit is the fact that the cost of living is higher in many parts of the world than at any other time in recent memory. Many individuals don't have family in a position to help them get started on the road to financial independence, and the result is an inability to get ahead. 

accounting, managing finance

Here are some of the other reasons why you might struggle to maintain your personal finances: 

Reason 1: Too Much Debt 

Today, if you want to have an education to find a good job, then you will probably have student loans that are a significant portion of your monthly salary. For many individuals, the student loan payment is more than their monthly rent on a tiny apartment. This definitely makes life financially difficult, and it is often impossible to have this monthly debt reduced. 

Reason 2: An Expensive Addiction 

When you have financial difficulties, you might try to overcome the stress by drinking too much alcohol or taking drugs. Unfortunately, an addiction will make things worse for you because you will want to use more of a drug or drink more alcohol, often at the expense of paying your bills and saving money. Most insurance plans will cover treatment at a center for alcohol detox or drug addiction recovery, so those with coverage ought to seriously consider getting help before their substance abuse problem lands them in bankruptcy, followed by an early grave. 

Reason 3: Cost of Transportation 

Most people don't live where there is public transportation such as commuter trains, subway cars or public buses. This means that they must have a vehicle, leading to a monthly payment for the item along with the cost of insurance and an occasional repair. In many geographic regions, an employer won't hire you unless you have a vehicle available to get to work.

Reason 4: Having an Apartment 

Most adults can't live with their parents, and they may not have other relatives to live with either. This means that they need an apartment. Unfortunately, the average cost of rent is skyrocketing in most cities. A landlord will want a deposit before a renter moves in, and you must pay rent in addition to utilities such as water, electricity, and natural gas each month.

Reason 5: Paying for Phone Service 

While you might be okay with only having an inexpensive minute telephone for minimal communication with others, an employer may expect you to have a smartphone with all of the extras on it so that he can communicate with you at any time. Smartphones can become expensive when an employer expects you to have extra features. 

Reason 6: Identity Theft 

If you have your identity stolen, then it can become a financial nightmare as your credit score becomes lower. An identity thief can apply for numerous credit cards or hack into your bank accounts, leading to financial devastation. While you can report these problems to the local police department and the credit bureaus, it can take years to resolve the situation. 

Reason 7: Wanting to Have Everything Now 

When you aren't satisfied with wearing clothing from garage sales or buying furniture at a charity store, you will buy everything new. It is expensive to shop for the necessities for an apartment, including basic appliances, dishes, and cookware. This can lead to applying for charge cards and overspending for the best or trendiest items can lead to a financial overload. 

Seek Professional Help 

If you are having financial problems, then seek help from professional counselors before you begin to make more bad choices. For example, those like Kevin Canterbury Redstone Capital Management will be able to give you some sound financial advice, leading you in the right direction if you are willing to listen. There are professionals out there who want to help, but you’ve got to let them.
October 11, 2018

5 Ways To Cultivate The Perfect Company Image

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When you’re trying to market your business, the product is obviously important. But consumers often make their purchasing decisions based on other things. That’s why your company’s image is so important. Consumers want to deal with responsible companies that give something back to the local community. They’re also sometimes reluctant to buy products from smaller companies that might not have that much experience. That’s why it’s important that you give the impression that you’re a large, well established company and you cultivate an image of responsibility. If you’re worried about your company image, here are some simple ways to improve it. 

Website Landing Page 

man using the computer

The first thing a potential customer will do if they want to get to know your company a bit better is go to your website. The landing page on your site is your chance to make a good first impression on them and encourage them to browse your products. If you’ve got a cheap website that looks like it was made in the 90’s, people are going to assume that the quality of your products and services matches the website. That’s why it’s important to make sure that you’re investing a decent amount of money in web design. It’s always good to make a landing page that’s a little bit different so it leaves a lasting impression, but remember that functionality is always key. If people land on your website and they can’t work out where to go next, it’s going to put them off. Always have clear menus and search functions on the front page, otherwise, you’ll look like you don’t know what you’re doing. 

Now that you’ve got a good landing page which screams professionalism, you need to start attracting more visitors to the website. There’s no point investing money on a great website if nobody is seeing it in the first place so make sure your social media marketing strategy is in good shape. 

Charity Partnerships 

Companies that put something back into the local community always do well. When customers buy your products, they get the sense that they’re part of something positive rather than just giving their money to a big company and lining somebody’s pockets. That’s why local charity partnerships are a great way to boost your image. Check out realbusiness.co.uk to see just how beneficial charity partnerships can be. Reach out to local charities in the surrounding area and see whether you can start some initiatives together. 

Virtual Mailboxes 

mail boxes

Trying to give the impression that you’re a large, well-established company is hard if you’re running the business from home or out of a tiny office building. When people see your address, they’ll immediately be put off because they’ll think that you don’t have much experience. There is a simple way around that problem though. Visit www.yourvirtualofficelondon.co.uk to find out about virtual office services. You’ll be able to get an address in a large office building and have all of your mail sent there. Then it’ll be forwarded on to you so you can operate from a smaller premises while still giving the impression that you’ve got the money to hire a big office building. 

Positive Working Culture 

People love to moan about their jobs and now that social media is a thing, that moaning is broadcast to the entire world. That means if you don’t treat your employees right, they’ll tell their friends and family, and the rest of the world, how much they hate working for your company. Nobody wants to buy products from a company that doesn’t treat their employees well. That is, of course, not the only reason you should treat your employees properly. Employees that are happy will be more productive, the positive image it conveys is just an added bonus. 

Useful Content 

keyboard, typing

When you’re posting things on social media, you need to be careful that you aren’t bombarding people with marketing materials. It’s important that you post information about your products and any deals and offers you’ve got, but if that’s all you post, people are quickly going to get bored. What you need to do is establish yourself as an industry leader and a trusted source of information. Make sure that you’re posting useful articles that are valuable to your customers without shoving marketing materials down their throat all of the time. 

You should always let your products speak for themselves and invest money in marketing but it’s important that you cultivate the right image as well. Even if they love the product, they might not buy it if they don’t think that your company is right for them.

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October 09, 2018

Learning Kentico: Global Events

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I'm so happy today! I just finished the Global Events exercise and the took the test with only 1 mistake. :) Yay! (No retakes! Hehe)

For the exercise, it didn't take me that much time compared to the previous ones : Custom Modules and Kentico API . (For Kentico API, I still owe the 2nd exercise. I skipped it because I'm stucked or quite confused. Will get back to it soon.)

For Global Events, here are some of things that I've learned: 

1. It is used to extend the Kentico built-in functionalities and lets you execute custom code based on specific actions (like sending emails to admin when a setting is updated)

2. Learned this important syntax: 

creating handler and events

- where event classes are containers of events and there are sooo many different categories of event classes available (like Object Events, Workflow events etc)

- the event action could be Insert, Update, Delete (more specific ones can be found here as well as their respective event types and handler parameters. :) 

3. Global Events should be created in a custom class and must be placed in the App code. 
- when I was following the sample exercise I was doing it on a separate project so I encountered a lot of assembly or name reference errors. So it really needs to be placed in the App code. 

What else? 

For the actual exercise, I got a bit confused (again) with the name of the Global events that I'm working (so I renamed the folder) and I also forgot to add the email engine reference (but no worries, they are minor issues). 

global events, kentico global events

So tested it by creating a new appointment and the email is already found in the Email Queue. Yay! Still have a long way to go! But I'm just really happy with this progress (though little but still a progress hehehe)

Kentico email queue, global events
October 08, 2018

The Complete Guide To Fleet Management

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If you are in charge of managing a fleet at your business, it is of huge importance that you are able to do so efficiently. You need to be efficient in every sense of the word - from the amount of petrol you use to the costs associated with running your fleet. With that being said, read on to discover more about the most critical elements. 

Reducing your extensive vehicle emissions 

Reducing the emissions that your vehicle gives off is pivotal for everybody who drives. Nevertheless, it takes on greater importance when associated with businesses. After all, a lot of companies use heavy-duty vehicles and are driving regularly on a daily basis. Therefore, reducing CO2 emissions is pivotal. As a business owner, you need to do your bit to protect the land, keep your consumers happy, and showcase that you are a credible and a deservedly well-respected company. 

cars, city cars, traffic, road

There are many ways you can do your part in order to reduce your vehicle emissions as much as possible. This ranges from simple efficiency ideas – such as being mindful regarding where you park, to more elaborate suggestions – such as implementing an effective vehicle tracking system. 

Let’s deal with the former first; parking. Every 10 minutes it is believed that five pounds of CO2 are emitted because people are spending their time dawdling around looking for the cheapest and best-situated parking space. As a business, you don’t have time to waste, fuel to burn, or money to spend – make sure your employees are clued up on efficient driving and parking. 

In addition to this, if your fleet is dropping off products to customers who have ordered goods, then make sure that your employees actually turn off their engine. A monumental number of workers arrive at the destination, hop out the car, get the parcel, wait at the front door while the individual answers and signs for the package, all the while their engine is running and unnecessary CO2 is being emitted into the air. 

Using a vehicle tracking system is highly recommended. This can provide you with all of the information needed in order to reduce vehicle emissions across the board. The system will be able to flag up drivers who are speed, take the long route to get somewhere, and so on and so forth. This information is pivotal because these are all incidents whereby excess CO2 is being released into the air. Therefore, you can ensure that you keep on top of all this and that you are being as environmentally friendly as you possibly can. Moreover, a fleet management system will be able to provide you with emission-reducing methods that you wouldn’t have even thought were possible if trying to seek them yourself. 

You can also be efficient in other areas of your transportation operation which will then have the knock-on effects of making sure that you are not emitting too much CO2. For example, by taking five minutes of every day to determine where you need to go and what is the best way to get there, you can reduce CO2 emissions monumentally. You will be able to map out the most effective routes of going to these places without having to go back on yourself. This will reduce journey time, reduce costs, and reduce emissions. You should also make the most of truck hire to supplement busy periods, rather than running more vehicles than required, as this will cost more money and have a greater impact on the environment too. 

Underestimating the need to be as efficient as possible with fuel consumption would be vastly inadvisable. You need to ensure you are operating effectively, efficiently, and environmentally friendly, and the methods in this article will help you to do so. 

The ins and outs of commercial vehicle tracking 

Commercial vehicle tracking systems are flourishing at the moment. A vast number of businesses around the world are choosing to implement one of the many fleet management systems available, and they are certainly reaping the rewards. If you are yet to have selected a vehicle tracking system, then what are you waiting for? Read on to discover all of the essential information you need to know before proceeding to unlock a key service that is guaranteed to see your business efficiency boom significantly. 

Vehicle tracking offers more than a simple tracking feature 

A lot of people hear the term “vehicle tracking” and they assume that this simply means a software that can tell you where all of your fleet is. Of course, that is a feature entailed, but fleet tracking systems provide a lot more than that. You will be able to unearth the most efficient routes, determine fuel efficiency levels, monitor CO2 emissions, decipher heavy traffic areas, and so and so forth. All of these aspects combine together in order to guarantee that you can operate your transportation links to the most efficient level possible; keeping your customers happy, your costs low, and your service effective. 

highway, trucks, cars, road

The proof is in the numbers 

Whilst vehicle tracking has soared in popularity over the last few years or so in particular, it has still been implemented for more than long enough to deduce key statistics and data. With regards to cost efficiency, it has been revealed that there are several areas whereby vehicle tracking can lead to the lowering of outgoings. Surveys and data collections showcase that cost efficiencies occur within fuel usage, communications overheads, and overtime claims. Moreover, most businesses that utilise vehicle tracking report of positive knock-on effects that they have experienced as a result. When buying any product or service, or when it comes to making a business decision as a whole, it is essential that you evaluate all areas. You need to be certain that you are going for something that has a good reputation amongst those who have used it already. This gives you the confidence and assurance needed to proceed. Vehicle tracking certainly has that. 

And finally, a little word regarding the law... 

As a business owner or a fleet manager it can be very tempting to install commercial vehicle tracking systems without giving any knowledge to your drivers. After all, surely this is the most effective way in order to determine whether they are working as they should be or not, right? Wrong! You need to make sure that all of your drivers know that their vehicles are being tracked; this is something that is highly important. Therefore, when it comes to installing your tracking software, it is crucial that you tell your drivers about the software used and its capacity. You may actually find that your workers reach optimum productivity levels simply by knowing that they are being monitored. 

Finding the best fleet van insurance deals 

You will also need to have a good insurance policy in place as a fleet manager.The first thing that you obviously need to factor in is the price of the insurance policy. Every individual and every business has their own unique financial situation. Therefore this is something which can only be decided by you. Nevertheless, it is advisable to sit down and analyse your finances in order to determine how much you can afford to pay on insurance on a monthly or yearly basis. Make sure that you stick to this budget! 

A lot of people tend to pick fleet insurance because it is a lot cheaper. However remember, it is still beneficial to search around as this can help you to find the very best deals. You may also find it helpful to utilise the service of an online price comparison website in order to view all the policies you are considering on one page. 

Aside from price you obviously need to think about what sort of cover you require from your policy. This is something which goes hand in hand with the price because in general, the more aspects covered – the higher the policy payments. You should sit down and think about what you truly need and what on the other hand you could do without. 

In addition to this, you also need to make sure that you take out your insurance policy from a top quality insurance company. You should search the name of the company that you are considering online in order to discover whether they have a good reputation or not. You will be able to tell this by seeing what previous customers have said about their experience and whether they thought that the policy they took out was a good one or not. 

So there you have it: everything you need to know about fleet management and what you can do to boost the efficiency of your fleet.
October 05, 2018

Loans: Know the Difference Before Borrowing!

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loans, money, dollars

A loan is a small to large amount of money that you can borrow from a financial institution. Once you've borrowed the money, you can choose to pay the money back at once or over a period of time. With loans, you will usually need to pay the money that you borrowed back with interest. The loan amount and interest rate typically depends on your credit, debt, and annual salary. It is important to know how does one loan differ from another. 

Before borrowing money from any institution, you should know that there are many different types of loans. It is important that you know your loan options before committing to a loan. Knowing your options will help you feel more confident when choosing a loan for yourself. 

Secured Loans 

Secured loans are loans that require assets for collateral. If you do not pay the loan back, your possessions will be taken to cover the loan cost. Interest rates are typically lower with secured loans than unsecured loans. Secured loans are often used for lower credit scores and larger loan amounts. 

Unsecured Loans 

Unsecured loans do not require any assets as collateral insurance. Typically, unsecured loans have higher interest rates, partly due to the absence of collateral. Some unsecured loans, particularly those through a bank, will require an almost immaculate credit score. Other unsecured loans, such as an easy personal loan through an online lender, can be gotten without good credit so long as the borrower is over 18, shows proof of income, and has an active checking account.  

Open-ended Loans 

Open-ended loans are loans that you can borrow from over and over again. Typically, these loans come from credit cards. Even though you can borrow from these loans over and over again, you will have a credit limit. The predetermined credit limit will allow you to know the maximum amount of money you can borrow. Each time you make a purchase, the amount of credit you have will decrease. As you continue to make payments, your available credit will increase.

Closed-ended Loans 

A closed-ended loan are one-time loans. You will not be able to borrow from the loan again, even once it is repaid. As you continue to make payments to the loan, the amount you owe will decrease. Once you are done paying for the loan, you will have to reapply for another loan, if needed. Mortgage loans, student loans, and auto loans are common types of closed-ended loans.

Conventional Loans 

Conventional loans are loans that are not insured or funded by the government. Conventional loans are most often used as mortgage loans and are typically fixed in terms of its terms and rates. Conventional loans typically also have less hefty down payments requirements. 

Loans to Avoid 

Try avoiding payday loans at all costs. Payday loans are short-term loans that are paid back to the company using your next paycheck. Payday loans are known to the public as predatory loans. Payday loan institutions are typically placed in impoverished communities. In addition, these loans typically have extraordinarily high interest rates. These interest rates can make the loan become difficult to repay. Even if you are in a financial bind, please seek other alternatives.

The Bottom Line 

It doesn't matter if you're looking for a student, mortgage, or auto loan. Before committing to any loan, please be sure to choose the best option for you. In addition, please be sure to research the company and interest rates before choosing the loan. There are various types of loans, remember to pick the right one for your personal needs.
October 02, 2018

Learning Kentico: Creating Simple New Info Object and Store Data using InfoProvider (Kentico API)

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Whoah! I'm finally in the exercises section. After a looooonnnngg time!

I've been reading and trying to understand all the topics & subtopics under the Kentico API section (not to mention Object Query, Document Query, Caching etc - nosebleed!) but TODAY I decided to just let it go (No More Excuses! Just Do It!).

And I was able to do it. Finished the first exercise. Weeee..

So, how was it? 

The one that confused me was how can I connect the previous exercises that I did to this? (Create a Doctor Info using Kentico API) because in his example, he was using the built in Kentico user membership module and added a new field and set values to it.

For this exercise, I need to define a DoctorInfo object and populate it with sample firstname, lastname, email etc.

So I created it with the below but got these two errors: Namespace not found & DoctorInfoProvider does not exist in current context. 

namespace reference

I know I have to put something in there at the top as he was using CMS.Membership, but I wasn't sure what to put in there that time. Good thing, that there's a Quick Actions that you can follow. So I use the namespace reference using MDDoctorsAppointment;  but  I got 5 more errors (see below)

no method

That's when I realized that I was just creating my own fields names. It should be the same fieldnames that I use for MDDoctorsAppointment module. Whew!

table field names

Then I added new line to insert the Doctor's info and everything is working now! Yey!
 // Insert doctor

simple Kentico API implementation

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