A Scand Flag touch-based Elbrus

IMG_1519

Karen is a Java Developer at Scand. August 20, 2016; he effected an ascent of a mountain and placed a Scand flag on the very summit of it. The whole team is so proud of you!

Karen is keen on sports and programming and recently he has taken the mountain summit of 5642 meters that is located in the Russian Federation. Yes, it’s Elbrus. This mountain is one of the 7 highest summits in the world. We decided to have a small talk with him and get to know what does it mean to be a Java developer and how come he decided to climb a mountain?

Continue reading

Posted in News and Events | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Top 5 Reasons to use SkyHistory for your Skype account

Make your Skype chat history trackable, scalable and easily manageable. Get this unique user experience with SkyHistory developed by Scand Ltd.

skyhistory_main_image

Everybody heard of Skype and almost everybody is using it, so there is no need to explain how Skype helps us live smart and work efficiently. With its free calls and messages, the ability to stream business video conferencing and so on we could build up a more stable and reliable workflow. Anytime we could reach anybody wherever these people are.

SkyHistory was designed by Scand Ltd as an add-on to Skype over 4 years ago but with the time it grew into an independent product with its very unique features. This is not the first Microsoft-connected product developed by our company. The other one is Outlook4Gmail, a tool to sync Outlook and Google Contacts and Calendars. SkyHistory caters to the needs of the customers who use Skype a lot. It’s great for company heads or managers or employees working on a several projects and constantly getting tasks from their managers. Our product allows them tracking and marking all important conversations and it significantly facilitates the search.

Let’s dig into the main 5 ways to boost your business life using SkyHistory.

1. Unique navigation

All your chats are imported and highlighted in a separate window, they are categorized by the date and the inbuilt calendar features them on a daily or monthly basis. The other type of navigation is where groups and individuals you are communicating with are laid out chronologically.

  2. Easy tracking

SkyHistory allows performing the search by either:

- having all conversations being filtered according to some part of the message or

- organizing the search using the keywords, with the help of the search bar.

A great addition to SkyHistory user-friendly GUI is an opportunity to apply bookmarks to the important texts that you would like to have in front of your eyes and always pay attention to.

3. Portability

Your Skype conversation could be stored from now on anywhere you want (though Microsoft will keep saving them in its cloud, anyway) but you could make a difference. Write the way to your stick or disk and move your SkyHistory database to the portable device. Next time you access any kind of gadget with SkyHistory on it the database from your portable device will be updated and you will be able to keep working with it.

4. Security

SkyHistory creates and works with the database of its own and as it was mentioned above, its path could be directed to your stick or disk. To make the storage of your business chats even more secure you could encrypt the portable device they are streaming to. Scand Ltd respects your privacy and lets you stay secured, especially if your Skype texting could hold any sensitive information.

5.  Chat layout customization

The settings of SkyHistory give you an opportunity to play with the background color of the chats, the styles and the message type itself. Customize your chat history layout and have fun while doing business.

You deserve only quality communication with SkyHistory. Click here to download our tool. You can also purchase the version with additional functionality.

To get to know more, please click here or drop us a line by writing to skyhistory@scand.com.

Posted in News and Events | Leave a comment

How to develop high-quality insurance software with impressive infographics

There is not a single sphere in the modern business world that could be active and profitable without the implementation of software. Many developers and software companies are spending time and efforts to come up with the idea of business software to optimize the workflow and be helpful in many ways.
react_image

Scand Ltd has over 15 years of experience in developing high-quality business software for different industries. The present post reveals our expertise in making enterprise software for the insurance business sphere.

Our developers created fast and lightweight web-based software for the management and support of various insurance operations as well as provide a convenient tool to process data, with the graphical visualization included. The mentioned above functionality became possible to apply using the most convenient development means for such operations: React and Redux.

These options gave the team an opportunity to reduce the development time and improve the quality of the product, as the most of the errors could have been corrected already on the stage of its development with the help of ‘hot reloading’ and ‘time travel’. The project literally could have been returned to its previous state the corrected code was re-run without reloading the entire application.

To make the data flow between the system components effective and intuitive, making it easier to support the system in the whole and reduce the risks of mistreating the code by other developers Redux was used. The bundle of Node and Express used by our development team could handle a huge number of connections with high bandwidth simultaneously, as well as create needed CRUD functionality in the shortest possible time. For the framing facility MongoDB, a document-oriented database was used as it allowed working with data insurance business operations.

This software makes it possible for the unified insurance system to allow managing company resources management (clients, agents, and products based on customized policies) easily, delegating the permissions and responsibilities to a particular user stepwise using the template sets for insurance workflow process. It also helps to calculate all benefits and risks as well as experience their change depending on different parameters

Let’s take a look at the basic functionality of the product.

It supports:

  • - quick creation of initial requests;
  • - possibility to organize different workflows based on the country regulation;
  • - configurable Dashboard;
  • - history changes/revisions;
  • - statistics presented in charts and diagrams;
  • - customized reports generation;
  • - possibility to export reports in PDF, MS Word formats;
  • - easy mobile access to the information;
  • - single interface for all devices.

This software developed by Scand meets unique business needs and brings real value to it. With the help of our flawless code, your insurance ecosystem will drive growth by increasing the agents’ productivity and customers’ experience. This scalable and configurable soft could be beneficial for insurance business sphere of any country.

If you are interested in any Web-Application or other software development with similar functionality, please, do not hesitate to contact us.

 

Posted in Business, Technologies | Leave a comment

TouchZ touches new bug tracking approach based on visualization

A handy open source library designed for iOS developers, testers and everyone interested in mobile app development. TouchZ optimizes time and efforts spent on testing and help app developers to get a better insight of how bugs occur. Our library is available for free and under the GPL license.

Cannot go to bed without checking the latest news on twitter or connecting with some friends through messenger or maybe raiding a new village in Clash of Clans? We have all that experience only due to the existence of mobile phones and what’s more important phone applications. But have you ever thought what it takes to release a new app and how much time is spent on the elimination of all possible bugs (doesn’t sound very realistic, right?).

It’s a well-known fact that world class mobile app developers put much effort into the process of testing their products. The facilities involved could be enormous. Just think about it: 15-20 testers working with one app using one type of device and the amount of different kinds of devices absorbed into the testing process could reach up to 50!

Our mobile dev team was driven by the idea that the testing process could be facilitated and they gathered one day and thought: ‘Why don’t we create something to track bugs that is easy to handle?’

The strong side of our TouchZ library is that it uses visualization approach. The bugs indicated or those that were failed to be indicated all could be saved in the forms of screenshots, showing what actually was happening on the screen of the gadget while this app had been tested.

main-screen

TouchZ is developed to be integrated into your iOS project and is ready to use. If the app is active and being tested, it evokes screenshots being taken automatically. This feature is on by any activity on the sensor screen of the gadget. It’s also easy to get access to the archive or TouchZ settings. Simply draw Z on the screen.

Any time during the app testing period it is possible to organize and send all or some of the screenshots to the developers of the app. It is possible through:

  • - email;
  • - cloud;
  • - sharing or export the archive with the shots to other programs. Pick the needed shots up and press ‘Share’.

The two really convincing reasons to use TouchZ are at the same time the main features of the project:

  • - Screenshots have additional information on the date when they were taken.
  • - Screenshots show your tap activity. There is an arrow showing the gesture performed.

How to integrate this iOS library into your project:

  1. Add line ‘pod ’TouchZ’ to Podfile in your project.
  2. Run ‘pod install’ from Terminal.
  3. Replace principalClassName argument (nil by default) with @‘TZApplication’ in main.m file of the project. This library is provided “AS IS” under the terms of the GPL. It requires iOS 8.0 or higher.

This library is provided “AS IS” under the terms of the GPL. It requires iOS 8.0 or higher.

Feel free to share your comments or ideas with us by dropping a line to touchz@scand.com

 

Posted in Technologies | Leave a comment

Outlook4Gmail gives more control over your Outlook and Google accounts

Many of us use both Google and Outlook accounts and which are usually abundant with working contacts organized in groups and categories as well as many calendars and events. Some people have more than one Google account. Outlook4Gmail syncs your Outlook contacts and calendars with contacts and calendars from numerous Google accounts easily and quickly. Our soft is highly manageable as it goes as an add-in to your Outlook. It’s also practical as it represents a number of key features:

  • 1. Binds your Outlook contacts with the Google ones by synchronizing them. Syncing is performed one- or two-way interaction.

  • 2. Free version of Outlook4Gmail syncs only one Google and one Outlook account while 7-day trial and full versions of the tool performs simultaneous synchronization for numerous Google accounts with your Outlook account.

  • 3. Syncs Outlook and Google Calendars, which helps to boost your work life as now all your appointments and events are within the hand’s reach.

  • 4. With the opportunity of automatic frequent synchronization, all events and appointment from your numerous accounts will be synced and updated as often as you want them to.

The new version of Outlook4Gmail (4.6.1)  has an improved interface, easier synchronization patterns, and much better functionality.

screen

The new features added:

  • - added contacts synchronization from multiple Outlook folders with a Google account;

  • - implemented customization of synchronization rules for any Google account or Outlook folder;

  • - proxy settings customization;

  • - implemented ‘Bypass Phone Type’ option for contacts synchronization;

  • - ability to skip scanning of the public folders;

  • - non-standard font sizes and DPI settings support.

Scand Ltd. and its development team are happy to create helpful software and our goal is to make it even better. Outlook4Gmail 4.6.1 version is not the full stop for our progressive team as we are in the process of adding new essential features.

Outlook4Gmail has its limited version available for free, to get it, click here. A full commercial version with a year client support and free updates are also available. More information on our free and full versions you can find on Outlook4Gmail product page.

Stay tight, keep up with our new updates and follow Outlook4Gmail social network group.

Contact email to drop us a line: outlook4gmail@scand.com.

Posted in News and Events | Leave a comment

Protect your data with WinGPG, free encryption software

wingpg_blog

Stay protected with WinGPG, free open source encryption software created by Scand Ltd (based upon GnuPG).

An easy-to-use Windows tool for files encryption, secure messaging and overall data protection driven by open-source PGP program reveals its power.

Initially, the idea of protecting your personal data goes back to the beginning of the 1990s. As different types of coding came to life, some of the encryption software using those code lines started to loose its original nature: simplicity. Many free encryption tools began to reach out for complexity and sophistication. It happened just in time for us to occupy our present niche: reliable open source encryption software easy to use. That’s how half a year ago WinGPG developed by Scand Ltd. came into existence.

Our tool is a solid ‘shell’ for GPG though an open source one. It is a classic Windows tray application and has an original GPGv2 distribution (no modifications are done to the official code). WinGPG is facilitating productivity far-forth by registering shortcuts and extensions into your system using GPG (via GPGme library) with proper options.

What makes WinGPG different to its closest analogs? First of all, you should realize that all allied software operates on Kleopatra certificate management system. In case you have ever heard any feedback regarding Kleopatra you’ll feel the difference working with WinGPG. We managed to provide stress-free encryption environment when you don’t have to read manuals on encryption operations or spend hours and hours of watching how other people are using it on Youtube. Do you really want to do that? We doubt it.

We prioritized essential encryption functions combined in a pretty secure tool (openPGP windows) with a nice simple GUI.

wingpg-combo

WinGPG can ensure secure delivery of files and messages, as well as provide verification of who created or sent the message using a process called digital signing at the click of a button. The soft we created could also be used to secure sensitive files when they’re stored in vulnerable places like mobile devices or in the cloud. Even if you are using such apps as Whatsapp, Skype, Viber, Snapchat, etc. WinGPG could provide secure messaging.

We made our Windows encryption tool simple and as user-friendly as it could be. It doesn’t occupy much space, doesn’t seek for automatic updates and tries to reconnect to unknown cloud servers. It’s a humble tool and does only what it is supposed to: encrypt, decrypt, put a signature, verify a signature. The original GPG encryption code has not been modified, so if one day you decide to take gpg.exe and try to make it work with our GUI, you’ll be delighted how quickly they hit it off with each other.

WinGPG allows you to either create your binary keys by choosing from numerous algorithms and defining various other parameters, such as name, email address, comments, and passphrases. Additionally, you can set expiry dates for your keys, so that they can be no longer used after a certain period, thus ensuring your sensitive information a higher level of data protection.

However, the communication requires participation by both the sender and recipient and you will be surprised how intuitive its interface is, a classic Windows’98 one. It has clipboard support, WinNT Explorer support, global accelerator and global shortcuts working from the active explorer window, clipboard and context menus.

WinGPG is free to download because we believe in free encryption software and online protection. Click on the button, get our manageable and reliable tool.

Have any questions, ideas or simply want to give us feedback on WinGPG? Send us an email to wingpg@scand.com or click here.

 

Posted in News and Events | Leave a comment

SkyHistory – a full featured Skype chat history manager

Six years ago Scand decided to release a new tool that helps to advance efficiency and productivity of your communication via Skype.

During this ‘six-year-period’ SkyHistory had its ‘per Aspera ad Astra’ time and finally its glory hour has struck. We are excited to announce the latest highly functional 2.0.0. updated version eventually released on June 2, 2016.

Now, thanks to our software developers there is no need to make your way through piles of personal messages and numerous of calls to find some valuable pieces of information you received a couple of days ago. Yes, general Skype history is being tracked, but SkyHistory categorizes all the chats with the date and time. It is available now with our built-in Skype calendar which lines up all the chats in chronological order.

main-window-medium

Once you found the sought-for chat under some date, go through and bookmark the key messages. Thus, you’ll get the immediate access to this information. One thing that should be mentioned is that this feature is available only for a full version (license purchasing is necessary). Another paid feature is also a search bar to find keywords of important Skype chats when the date of the conversation simply slips out of your mind.

The redeeming feature of SkyHistory is its intuitive and straightforward interface. You can download the free version here and browse your chat history with pleasure. Moreover we provide 30-day trial version without limitations.

How it works:

- First of all our app creates a database which imports all previously saved Skype chat history (full version), 5-day chat history (free version). In other words, it works with a separate GUI based chat manager and all your contacts are imported unchanged, including Skype lists titles and the group structure.

- Upon your wish, you could sift through what part of chat history will make up the core of your database. In case you have no desire to keep tracking conversations with some contacts you could disable that function.

- SkyHistory dev team created an above-average feature: your database could be located on a portable device (stick, drive). It means that any device you are using to get access to Skype will have your Skype viewing tool at hand all the time.

diagram

Total $19 fee for such a useful tool is not a big deal. Moreover, if you purchase more than one activation key, our discount scale activates automatically.

Enjoy using your favorite app with great comfort and have all Skype data protected!

Our development team is happy to cooperate and looking forward to being at your service. Please, drop us a line to skyhistory@scand.com.

Posted in News and Events | Leave a comment

One Story of Making a Server Part Using D Language

Preface

Not so long ago our company released a fun-making app Selfie King. It’s a refreshing way to interact with your friends and even total strangers through taking selfies and joyful way to challenge each other. And today’s post is dedicated to a quite unknown side of our product development: the server part. Not many people know how many languages are used to develop a working server part. Ours is made using programming language D. It’s a rare developing means and we are really excited to give it a second life!

Server-side API is optimized for a mobile application using such methods like getUsers(DateTime startDate). The key point for us was how to develop an offline supported mobile application and our API are optimized for this.

Such a feature helped users take selfies and participate in challenges even without being connected to the Internet. Once they have access to WiFi the app syncs the fresh content with server and CDN, so all photos and users’ challenge details are easily uploaded.

Architecture

Basically, the architecture can be illustrated as follows:

server_sk

Thus, we have some of our users working with our web server, processing all requests concerning users and challenges, and other stuff. But we have one exception: photos (or photo bodies) are being submitted to AWS S3 service. It gives users an opportunity to operate fast and our server doesn’t need much funding.

As you see, the server side does not interact with the real activity of the application (except such cases as removing accounts and the photos). The metadata is locked inside and able to compute everything.

To track challenges, we created ‘workers’. These are independent processes checking challenges from time to time, and sending notifications through Google service to mobile devices. It is not the channel for notifications only but it is necessary to have it going when the app hasn’t been opened for a couple of days.

And now closer to the main theme of this post. Drumming.. To create the whole server side we used D language.

Technically, MongoDB collections are simple and we have a few of them: ‘users’, ‘photos’ and ‘challenges’, and ‘photos’ have URLs to CDN. At the same time we have metadata fields like author, ‘likes’, and geolocation, that is actually optional). The server standard ’findAndUpdate’ code is well-known too. Again, no magic.

Why D

First of all, we used that language simply because we know it. This one is a small free project without any commercial input and it has no specific requirements, such as thousands of rps support, tons of ads to be displayed, or ERP integration, whatever. It means that our system is very flexible and doesn’t need any specific features to operate. We decided to have as much fun as possible. Hope it will be interesting for you too.

Deployment

To reduce the cost of this free service, we used the following combination:

server_SK2

When we were working on its development we used AWS EC2 too, but later we decided to decrease costs with DigitalOcean: for AWS t2.micro instance we used a swap file to make ‘dub’ tool happy at the time we compiled vibe.d.

So we moved up in scale for the production server and as we had no extra traffic between web, worker and MongoDB we just made a cheaper choice. Does it make any sense?

For us it did. Hopefully, this little post will be instructive for developers using different languages and we are open for any kind of cooperation. Our Scand team also could make a small webinar or prepare a blueprint based on how language D is used if needed. Happy to be useful.

We’re very happy to receive feedback and ideas from other developers. Please, get back with us by dropping a line to selfieking@scand.com.

Posted in Technologies | Leave a comment

Realm Browser Library – easy viewing and editing Realm database files on Android

Due to the development of smartphones more and more applications get created specifically for mobile devices. Therefore, developers search for tools that will provide maximum efficiency and quality. Also, it is preferable that tool is ready for scalability and carrying out all operations immediately. One of the problems faced by many developers is database. Realm is chosen as a mobile database, because it perfectly combines all features required for the convenient development of applications.

Our team loves to work with it. However, we found that it is rather inconvenient that Realm browser is available only for Mac OS X users. Therefore, we decided to fix that problem! Our team created Realm Browser Library. It is a small, but very helpful library designed for viewing and editing Realm database files on Android devices faster and easier. Using Realm Browser Library developers have an access to stored data directly in the program without having to copy the data file. Library also provides the ability to generate data automatically.

There are two ways to open the Realm Browser:

  • 1. Сreate a notification.
  • 2. Call the appropriate method at the right time.

First method prevents interference in your app’s user interface, while the second one provides necessary flexibility.

Recently, we launched a new version of Realm Browser for Аndroid with fixes and improvements. It comes with a more attractive UI for better user experience.

You are welcome on the product page where you will find the details and links to download the library.

realm-android

 

Posted in News and Events, Technologies | Leave a comment

About sponsorship for Children’s IT Academy

Aiming at introducing of information technologies in children and youth’s education in Belarus our company has made a decision to sponsor the Children’s IT Academy, established on the basis of the district center of children’s technical creativity in Orsha.

The official opening of the IT Academy will be held on April 22, before the final Republican contest in the Scratch programming language, which is to take place in Orsha.

The IT Academy will become the basis for realization of the innovative project called “Implementation of the model of organization of students’ extracurricular activities on the I and II stages of secondary education”. The project will apply the programming language Scratch and will be supported by the Hi-Tech Park.

8 more schools in the city will become the base for this 2 -year old project.

The IT Academy children will be able to learn programming in Scratch environment, computer graphics, design and be involved in studying and research activities in the field of information and communication technologies. In perspective an IT literacy study group for the elderly is going to be organized here, there is also a plan to organize a study group on robotics.

In March 2016 SCAND donated 18 computers to the IT Academy to contribute to development of this establishment and building its infrastructure.

computer technologies

Posted in News and Events | Leave a comment