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When purchasing a website today, choosing a CMS over the traditional static website, is pretty standard. When choosing a Content Management System, there are numerous guides on what to require. One feature that I would like to point out as one of the most important is Automatic updates (or at least a service contract that includes updates).

If you don’t recieve technical updates to your website, it will fall behind in several aspects, like Search Engine Optimization, browser compatibility and various web standards. You will ultimately end up having to invest in an expensive major update or change website provider. And this is how it worked before. But it shouldn’t when it’s 2011.

At Mindbite we’ve been building Content Management Systems for over 10 years, and in 2005 (six years ago) we formalized our solutions into one product, called SiteFactory CMS. At that point we also started selling it with a service contract that binds us to deliver updates to the product. That means that every customer that invested in SiteFactory 1.0 and later has been receiving updates to their websites. And no customer with a service contract has ever had to pay extra for an update.

Last year we took a huge step when we decided to develop our Update Service. The service was introduced upon the release of SiteFactory CMS 4.0 and it provides automatic updates to every SiteFactory CMS 4.x website. Since November 2010 we have pushed out over 50 updates only to SiteFactory CMS 4. Every update differs in size and is spanned between simple bug fixes up to major features like MultiSites.

When Internet Explorer 9 was released we pushed out an update making SiteFactory CMS 4 compatible with it in a very short time. If our customers had chosen a different CMS provider without a service contract or automatic updates, they would likely have had to pay for this compatibility update.

If I were to invest in a CMS, I would certainly require Automatic Updates, and so should you. At the very least you should require a service contract which includes updates. Any other offer should not be taken seriously. Would you buy a phone or an operating system without ever getting updates that makes it a better product? I wouldn’t.

Screenshots from different versions of SiteFactory CMS

To give you an idea of how much a Content Management System changes over time, check out the screenshots of some of our SiteFactory CMS versions. Over the last six years we have released hundreds of new features empowering our customers websites. This is the way we work at Mindbite. Our passion is to deliver great features and updates to our customers.

SiteFactory CMS 1.2.4 from 2006 (screenshot taken in 2007)

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SiteFactory CMS 2.0 beta from 2006

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SiteFactory CMS 2.1.1 from 2007

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SiteFactory CMS 3.0 beta from 2008

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SiteFactory CMS 3.0 from 2008

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SiteFactory CMS 4.0 from 2010

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SiteFactory CMS 4.2 (build 4052), which is our latest release

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Last week I released my first app for Windows Phone 7. The app is called “Viltolyckskartan” and it’s developed with Rikspolisstyrelsen.

Since this spring I’ve had the opportunity to test-drive a Windows Phone. And when Mango beta was released early this summer I started developing the app. After my summer vacation I did a live demo in a car with our project manager at Rikspolisstyrelsen.

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The app shows a map and uses Location Services to determine the user’s location. Every 50 meters the app sends a call to a web service at viltolycka.se and asks for every wildlife accident nearby. The web service responds with a list of all accidents and its coordinates. Then the app adds these accidents as PushPins to the map. When 3 or more accidents has occurred nearby, an alarm is triggered so the driver will be alerted that he/she is entering an area with several historical accidents.

For the moment our database stores accidents from January 2010 up to now. So we have a lot of data to work with. And more features will certainly be developed in the future.

Many might think of it as stupid to develop an app for Windows Phone 7, due to its lack of owners. Today WP7 has a market share around 1-2 %. The reason I decided to test developing for Windows Phone is:

- Windows Phone apps are developed with Microsoft .Net and C# which is the language I work with professionally, so I have great knowledge in that.

- Short learning time. I wrote a working app in only a few hours (even though the final product took a lot longer).

- The Marketplace is not near the quantity in apps from competitors iPhone and Android. So I figured, hey, if you want to get some attention, publish an app here.

- The app might be released on iPhone in the future.

Even though I’ve had access to the Mango update, this app is developed for the original (7.0) Marketplace. Microsoft began accepting Mango apps as of today, so I haven’t had the time to publish with features like multitasking yet.

If you have a Windows Phone 7, check out the app using this deep link.

Closing comments

Developing apps for Windows Phone 7 is really easy, especially if you are familiar with Microsoft .Net Framework and C#. If you have no previous skills with this technology, Microsoft provides free developer tools and a lot of online training, and it’s easy to learn.

Yesterday I attended the WP7 CodeCamp at Microsoft’s head office in Sweden. It was a WP7 coding event with approx. 40 developers and some people from Microsoft. We kicked off with an introduction by Dag König, presenting some news in WP7 Mango development and some example projects we could work with.

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Outside Microsoft. Pretty cool facilities.

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Our dev team working working on a Memory game using Augmented Reality. For four hours we brainstormed, and developed an app that we later showed for the other attendants.

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At 15.00 we took the stage and demoed our apps. Here you can see Jessica Engström showing off here XNA Game.

About an hour ago I arrived at the Ibis Hotel in Akalla, Kista. Not the worst hotel (even though its price would suggest that). So Marcus & Kim, you’re still in the lead.

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Tomorrow I will attend the Windows Phone 7 CodeCamp at Microsoft’s head office in Sweden. We’re 45-50 developers gathering at Microsoft for a whole day, focusing on development for WP7. Dag König will lead us through the new features in the Mango release.

Closing comments

Very exciting.

On July 1st, a unique service was released at www.viltolycka.se. The Wildlife Accident Map is a service that brings driver safety and wildlife awareness. By entering a start location and a destination the map creates a route and displays all wildlife accidents along the way.

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The service is provided by Nationella Viltolycksrådet which is the council managed by Rikspolisstyrelsen (National Police Board). The council is responsible for handling search parties for wildlife accidents in Sweden. Whenever an accident occur, it is reported in a web application developed by us at Mindbite. Over 7 500 persons work with this application and they provide all necessary data about these wildlife accidents.

During 2010 over 47 000 accidents were reported, and this data gives excellent reports to authorities, scientists and media. With this data it becomes easier to inform citizens and improve risk awareness for people driving cars in Sweden.

At www.viltolycka.se several reports are available to the public, so that they can become aware of regions where many accidents happen. Even if accidents may happen almost everywhere, drivers can now find information about troubled regions and ultimately change their driving behavior.

This kind of organization and data gathering is unique, and the first of its kind in the world. So we at Mindbite are very proud to be a part of this service. We are also proud to deliver the Wildlife Accident Map which will enlighten its users.

So, head over to www.viltolycka.se/viltolyckskarta/ and check out your common routes and find out about the troubled regions along your way.

Closing comments

The mapping technology is provided by Google Maps. All coordinates are provided by Nationella Viltolycksrådet.

We would appreciate if you would spread the word about this service. It will help other drivers become more aware of the risks.