Well, its that time of year again, where we say goodbye to one year and welcome the new, and look back as to what we've done during the past year.
You might be thinking, we haven't done that much this year, and although we haven't really made any new announcements, we have been hard at work.
In the early part of 2016, we released a status page at https://status.boardiesitsolutions.com. From here we can provide our users details on any issues with our APIs and services and any hardware maintenance tasks that we are scheduling.
HTTPS across everything####
We recently switched on HTTPS across the entire site and our services. Security has been a big talking point during this year with various cyber attacks from large known companies, and Google Chrome announcing that it will penalise non HTTPS websites.
Talking of security, we upgraded our server from CentOS 6 to the latest CentOS 7 a few months ago with the latest security patches and fixes.
Big Upgrade for Boardies MySQL Manager for Android####
During the summer we released a big update to our MySQL Management Android App. There was a lot of code changes in the background to improve the performance and reliability of the app, but there was also a lot of visible changes as well.
We modified the opening screen to give you a status about the API, i.e. whether the app is successfully talking to the app, or whether you need to install a newer version of the API (only applicable if you install the API on your own server).
We improved the speed for large datasets being returned. There was an issue, that if a large dataset was being returned it would take a while for the app to process the data, but it also wouldn't show what was going on, so it may have looked like it had locked. The code was refactored to improve the speed of the data processing, but also showed the progress of the data processing.
We also added functionality to each row in the result set so you can easily edit the data of a row (the table requires a primary key).
We also added SSH Tunnelling to the app, for secure connections to MySQL databases without needing to expose MySQL to the Internet. SSH tunnelling supported password and private/public key authentication.
During the early part of the year, we also introduced a new website using Bootstrap. This helped us to achieve a fully compatible website for our main site, and we hope that during 2017, our other pages, such as our bug reporting service will be redesigned to implement bootstrap as well to make sure, no matter what service, or web page you visit from our site, it will display correctly on mobile and table devices.
What to expect during 2017####
As mentioned above, we hope to move all of our websites and services to bootstrap so that they are mobile friendly.
There is also a big change to the MySQL SSH tunnelling application used by Boardies MySQL Manager for Android. Currently, the SSH Tunnelling plugin is written in C#, and is installed on our Linux server using Mono. Although Mono is a great tool for running C# on Linux, it has given us several problems, and we have also found, that for no obvious reason that we can fine, the SSH tunnel plugin utilises 100% of one core permanently. Although this isn't giving us any issues, we're not happy with this, so we are currently in the process or rewriting this plugin in C++. Doing this should also make it easier for other users to install on their own servers as Mono can be a little fiddly at times, especially if you are on an OS which doesn't have the prebuilt binaries.
We also plan to open source the PHP API and the SSH Tunnel plugin app to GitHub. There are two main reasons for this. First of all, security is important to us, and we understand that some people may not want to have our webserver connecting to your own database for security reasons. Open sourcing both parts of the API, will not only mean you can see the code, and double check for yourself we're not doing anything untoward (we promise we're not) and hopefully the open source community can also discover any potential vulnerabilities and they can either be fixed by the community and/or Boardies IT Solutions.
We also plan on adding further enhancements and functionality to Boardies MySQL Manager for Android, although we don't want to give too much away just yet.
We also have a couple of Android apps that we're thinking about developing and we also hope to release a brand new version of the bug reporting service. The new service will not just file bugs, but also feature requests and be fully mobile compatible.
What do you hope to see in 2017, either from us or in general, let us know in the comments.
Happy New Year and thanks for your continued support.