A common miss in requirements is the back button. How you design this button has tremendous impact on how users navigate within your mobile app. It’s one of those things that seems intuitive and easy to grasp until you dig into it and find out that none of the platforms you’re targeting agree on a single approach.

At imason, we use Xamarin to build cross platform mobile applications for our clients. Using Xamarin enables us to take advantage of native UI toolkits and design familiar interface to the user.

Our recommendation is to implement your application’s back button based on each device’s native experience. This will make users feel right at home using your mobile app.

 Device  App Back Button  OS Back Button  Device Back Button
 iOS: iPad and iPhone   ✓ Yes
 Android Phone   ✓ Yes (Newer Models)   ✓ Yes (Older Models)
 Android Tablet   ✓ Yes
 Windows Phone   ✓ Yes
 Windows Tablet   ✓ Yes

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Watch these three customer testimonial videos to better understand how Sitrion enterprise social tools are making a difference in a global, 20,000+ person professional services consulting firm.

mercer-logoMercer is a global consulting leader in talent, health, retirement and investments with over 20,000 employees around the world in 43 countries. In 2012, Mercer president and CEO, Julio A. Portalatin, sought to improve employee engagement and innovation within the firm.  The Global Knowledge Management team felt strongly that enterprise social collaboration could be achieved by redesigning the company’s intranet, MercerLink.

Working with Sitrion, a provider of social and collaboration platforms, imason helped Mercer move from business case approval to launching a new MercerLink that empowered employees to build communities, discover expertise, blog, innovate and recognize top performers in under 7 months.
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This summer, I presented several workshops on requirements gathering and I kept finding myself focusing on six critical considerations.  As it turns out, asking the right questions to the right people to get the right information you need to design your technology solution turns out to be much more challenging than many organizations expect.  However, nothing helps ensure success in developing solutions to business problems better than proper planning.

All successful software design is highly dependent on a thorough understanding of the needs to be satisfied by the software.  Theoretically, software can be built with sketchy or imprecise definitions of the solution, but you would have to have a high tolerance for rework and revision, and that can get costly in the long run.

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Creating symbols in Balsamiq allows you to make the most out of your custom components. Symbols are maintained in one central location, ensuring that all wireframes that reference them are always up-to-date.

Learn how to leverage this tool in your Balsamiq wireframes by following these simple steps. Symbols are to Balsamiq what CSS is to HTML.

When should we use symbols?

  1. When there’s a good amount of effort in creating a custom control.
  2. When we plan to use a control in multiple wireframes and this control is prone to change as we iterate through our work.

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Enterprise portals and intranets play a key role in internal communications and collaboration.

How can enterprises use portals to continue driving increased productivity, as well as enhancing employee engagement?

In this 4 min video, Stephen Kearns, Director of Portals at imason, sits down with Eric Adams, VP of Business Development at Sitrion, to talk about trends in the portal space and how imason is responding to them.
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When trying to access SharePoint content with OAuth you need to have an Authentication Server. With SP2013, this Authentication Server can only be set up in the cloud in Azure.

This Authentication Server must also be Microsoft’s implementation of the authentication server called AZURE ACCESS CONTROL SERVICE (ACS).

Before I dive into details though, here is a recap of OAuth:

  • OAuth allows users to authorize SharePoint to provide access tokens to 3rd party apps. These 3rd party apps will then use the tokens to retrieve data from the SharePoint server for that user.
  • A token can access: a site, a resource (file, item), and for a defined duration.
  • The user has granted the app access to their data without giving away their username and password.

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With over 8 million registered users from over 200,000 companies (according to Yammer.com), Yammer has become an enterprise social powerhouse.

The Analytics tool was launched back in March 2012 as a built-in solution that tracks the performance and user engagement metrics of your company’s Yammer network. There are 2 main pieces to the Analytics tool: the Dashboard and the Data Export.

The Yammer Analytics Dashboard allows any user to look at a ready-made dashboard. The Dashboard can be accessed through Yammer’s web client by clicking the “more” menu button (indicated by the three dots) at the top right-hand corner of the page, selecting “Apps” then clicking the “Analytics” button under “My Apps”. There are 6 headings within the Analytics App: Overview, Members, Messages, Groups, Files, & Access and data can be easily viewed for either the past 7 or 28 days. I’d like to give a quick summary on what is displayed on the Dashboard.
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Should you deploy Microsoft CRM online or on-premise? Here are 5 strong arguments for choosing online over the hosted and on-premise options.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online

When I meet with clients and potential customers who are interested in deploying Microsoft CRM in their organization, one of the most common questions they ask is, “Should I deploy CRM online or on-premise?”

The buzz phrase “in the cloud” is everywhere today. Before I talk about the benefits of going online, I want to level set the options available with Microsoft CRM.
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Last week I wrote a post on how to manually install the Azure Guest Agent on an Existing VM, but it appears that this only works if the VM is not in an Availability Set. Microsoft posted a workaround for this, but it looks like a few things don’t work 100% with their script. I’ll provide a modified script at the end, but here’s the rundown of the issues faced:

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Cloud computing is fundamentally changing the world of IT, impacting every role, from service providers and system architects to developers and end users.

Main Benefits of IT in the Cloud and Microsoft Azure?

The ability to deploy scalable solutions that are delivered ‘as a service’ over the Internet is not only a major paradigm shift, it also represents a huge opportunity for IT leaders to reassert the strategic value of information and communication technologies in the enterprise.

Even amongst the more traditional markets such as healthcare, financial services and manufacturing, cloud technology is now driving completive advantage as organizations look to improve data-driven decisions and augment customer relationships.
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