CockroachDB Test Drive

We do a lot at Mi4. We create turnkey applications, custom software solutions, provide BI and data visualization consulting, software integrations, cloud migrations, cloud to on-premise connectivity, and a bunch of other stuff that is slipping my mind right now. We also write fascinating and insightful blogs.

Because we offer so many IT solutions we keep a pulse on what’s going on in the IT world around us. We stay abreast of updates, changes, and new feature options that are available on the platforms we currently use, but we also keep an eye out for new products and techniques that could benefit our customers.

I came across one of these products called CockroachDB while naviguant sur Internet (French for “doing market research”). CockroachDB is a cloud-native SQL Database; a new breed of solution that is a consistently-replicated, transactional datastore by default. Now the name “CockroachDB” makes more sense doesn’t it?
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Putting on Augusta….

We recently added a putting green to the office for goofing off, gambling, entertaining clients, keeping our skills sharp for the weekend, to relax so we’ll be more productive.

Mi4’s  address is 1502 Augusta Dr Suite 430, Houston, TX 77057….so I’ve played on Augusta.

I feel like there’s also a pun that can be made from being on Augusta DRIVE….if you think of one leave a comment.

Disclaimer: I am neither a photographer or a hand model

The Snapchat UI Change from a Historical Perspective

I’ve been casually following the recent Snapchat UI change that has generated a lot of discussion. I am not an avid Snapchat user so I don’t have much skin in the game but I like to keep track of UI trends and developer/end-user/shareholder relations. I’m a nerd like that….sorry, I mean: “I am a professional like that.”

The UI change has raised questions about whether a company should trust their R&D and stand by their change, if they should listen to a large outcry from it’s user base to roll back some of the change elements, and what impact UI changes can have on stock prices.

I looked at other UI changes that generated similar debate. Facebook, Windows, and iTunes have all had UI changes resulting in loud outcries from their users. Continue reading “The Snapchat UI Change from a Historical Perspective”

Productioneer REDD

One of Mi4’s main products, Productioneer REDD (Remote Data Delivery), just celebrated its 4th birthday this Spring. Its goal is to enable data entry when there is a bad  Internet connection, or no connection at all.

The data being entered gets queued in a local database on the users’ computers until they find a spot with a good connection from which they can upload it to the Productioneer servers. We designed REDD’s interface to look very similar to that of the main Productioneer software product because it’s what the pumpers are used to working with.

In order to work well offline, REDD must also download and store all the latest Productioneer data (currently the latest 31 days), so that it can read it and of course update it. It does so with its “full synchronization” feature. Every morning, a pumper finds a spot with a reliable Internet connection and runs this synchronization before heading to the field. Any data that may have been entered already gets uploaded first, and then the downloads begin.

When a connection is available and the user still wants to upload data using REDD, they have two options: have it sent automatically like in Productioneer, or queue it in the local database and then choose to upload it later – as if REDD was actually offline. The latter option comes in handy when the pumper wants to review the data before sending it, or if they have an Internet connection that goes on and off unpredictably.

Pumpers across many different organizations have given REDD good reviews. When we started developing REDD 4 years ago we were surprised how many oil fields had little to no Internet connection and 4 years later that is still the case. We implemented a lot of the online/offline logic that we developed for REDD when we rolled out our initial iOS app a year later in 2015.  It would sure be easier for everyone if every oil field had a good Internet connection, but until that day comes we will continue updating and adding new features to REDD.

Happy Birthday REDD!

Processing Excel Data with Powershell

When a new customer signs up for Productioneer, Mi4 imports their historical data from their previous system into their new Productioneer environment so that they can have a comprehensive view of their assets. Typically our customers are switching from another system like GRT, FieldDirect, Merrick, etc and the data is relatively straightforward for us to import.

Sometimes we have clients that weren’t using a field data capture system at all and were keeping track of their production in Excel. Normally these companies only have 20 or so wells and manually manipulating the Excel spreadsheets into an importable format isn’t too labor intensive.

An exception to this rule was a new client we on-boarded, let’s call them Hakamada Resources because their actual name isn’t really pertinent to the blog post and this Juzo Itami movie I just watched was really good.

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Does It Really Matter Which Browser I Use?

Here at Mi4 Corporation we are currently in the process of rolling out a variety of new web-based features for our applications. One of the biggest challenges faced by web developers is ensuring that your application is compatible with all of the most popular browsers.

The types of applications that are being built for the web in 2018 are getting more and more powerful and, as a result, more and more complicated. As the types of applications on the internet become more complicated, which browser you use to view websites becomes increasingly vital. Using an outdated browser to view the internet in 2018 is like trying to stream HD Game of Thrones episodes on a black and white tube TV. That just wouldn’t be enjoyable at all. The quality of user experience you receive and whether or not the web applications that you are using even function properly are all dependent on the browser that you are using. Luckily, unlike televisions, you don’t have to pay to upgrade your browser; you can download the latest and greatest for free.

So, what can you do to ensure that you have the best user experience possible? Continue reading “Does It Really Matter Which Browser I Use?”

Track your downtime

Want a better way to document and report on your downtime? Check out Productioneer’s new downtime codes! Productioneer comes with a list of 26 downtime codes but our customers can make any customizations and additions that fit their operations.

Uptime/Downtime is a KPI that is relevant from the field to the boardroom. These discrete codes and the analytics expertise of Mi4 team make Productionner a great platform for tacking your performance.

Hosting your dotnetcore app with Kestrel

Kestrel is the built-in web server for Microsoft’s dotnetcore platform. I do not know the actual etymology of Kestrel, but it sounds like a planet or the name of some obscure band that played at Fitzgerald’s in 1997. My band never played Fitzgerald’s in the 90’s. We played the Firehouse Saloon and The Side Car Pub, but that was 2000. We had some pretty catchy tunes.

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