GDPR: one month to go

The European General Data Protection Regulation, GDPR, comes into force in a month’s time. The GDPR is a massive overhaul and extension of existing data protection and privacy laws in the EU, the first in over twenty years.

We talk about the GDPR, naturally, in the context of Europe and the European Union. However, the GDPR has a far wider impact, although the reaction from some organisations and individuals to date would have you believe otherwise. Any organisation that has dealings, directly or indirectly, with EU citizens needs to consider the following questions:

  • Can you search across all relevant applications in your IT landscape?
  • Can you structure, save, and refer to, these search queries?
  • Do you know what sort of data you hold on individuals?
  • Do you know what constitues “personally identifiable” information?
  • Who is your nominated data controller?
  • Are you in a position to process “forget me” requests, and information requests from data subjects?
  • What are your data disposal policies, and how are they managed?
  • Do you understand how that data is being used?
  • Have you got agreement from those individuals to hold their data?
  • What security measures do you have in place for data, personal and otherwise?
  • Data about a subject has to be portable: is it relatively straightforward for you to move such data from your current systems?

If you are concerned about any of these issues, or worry about vendor support for GDPR and related data protection legislation, contact us.

Stack Overflow developer survey 2018

The annual Stack Overflow developer survey is in, and the results aren’t all that surprising: funnily enough, artificial intelligence and machine learning are hot topics, as are “coding ethics” — only a small proportion of respondents would engage in “unethical” coding practices. Software has moved on from being the odd app on a phone, the odd wide-ranging enterprise web app: it’s a big deal, and has a massive impact on us all.

Similarly interesting is the language trend: Python surpassed PHP in the survey last year, and this year it’s cruised past C# in the popularity stakes. Get learning!

So far so good, but then we get in to demographics, and things are far more depressing. A massive 92.7% of respondents were male, 6.8% female, 0.7% transgender, and 0.9% identified as non-binary, genderqueer or otherwise gender non-confirming. Almost three-quarters of those surveyed are also white / European in descent. There’s a lot of work to do.

Read more: Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2018.

Welcome to 2018

Hello 2018! A couple of weeks back we at LDC Via had our first board meeting of the year, and we’re thinking about what we’re going to do in 2018, what we’re going to concentrate on, and how we’re going to deliver our work.

The platform, together with our consulting base, had a pretty decent year in 2017 and as a result we are due some timely upgrades, both for LDC Via itself, and for the MongoDB layer that underpins it. Busy busy busy!

The consultancy side of our work is growing far more than expected: to the point where we’re having to turn away work, which as any freelancer knows, is anathema. This growth in our consultancy practice has given us a couple of advantages:

  1. Every migration we run increases our knowledge and gives us new ideas to improve the LDC platform and associated migration utility.
  2. We get to see all the different stresses and strains that every company out there works with.

You might think that after a few migrations we would have seen them all, but no, every organisation brings its own story (and motivation) to the table. What is more, whilst we have a platform and a migration “story” to sell, a considerable amount of our work is focussed on bringing Domino-based data and knowledge into other platforms entirely: G Suite, Office 365, custom CMS and more… it’s never dull.

All work and no play make for a dull Via. Whilst of course it’s a conference, and it’s “work”, we do love to attend Engage every year. Come May, we shall be there in Rotterdam, as you will have seen from previous posts and tweets, and we look forward to seeing you!

Year end!

Here we are, almost at the end of another year, crikey. As is pretty much the norm, we’ve all been heads-down working frantically, and thus neglecting this poor blog. What’s new?

Well, we’re finishing up a large project using our platform to deliver a spanking new version of a multi-tenant web application. We’re also working on projects making use of Google apps script, node, Kubernetes, and more, with Domino migration work underway too!

In other news, Engage 2018 is a go for LDC Via: we’ll be in Rotterdam, how about you?

MongoDB Europe 2017

It’s been quiet on this site for a couple of months, and that’s because as usual we’re all heads-down working. So many things to do, so many things. Sometimes however, one has to take a step back and look around, see what’s happening, see what’s around the corner, and see what others are doing.

A few years ago, all of us attended MongoDB “days” in London which were interesting, niche-ish geek-fests. That has really changed now. MongoDB is over a decade old, and at the MongoDB Europe conference today, they officially announced version 3.6, and its impressive feature-set.

Our intrepid loon Ben attended said conference which was well-organised, well-attended, and pretty well-populated with useful content. Particular sessions of note included those on the forthcoming developer-focused product MongoDB Stitch, along with MongoDB Atlas which has been in beta for some time. These satellite offerings look great (oh my: query-able back-ups in Atlas!), but what of the core product?

Well, version 3.6 of MongoDB offers a number of intriguing features, which can be summarised as follows:

  • Change streams: invoked with a simple these are Observers for MongoDB. Fab!
  • “Retryable” writes in the event of failures.
  • Oodles of document updates including hugely increased “expressibility” in queries, aggregations, pipelining, array processing and updating. These look to be very powerful, and I think Matt will be cock-a-hoop with them.
  • R driver to support advanced analytics and business intelligence.
  • Support for JSON schema.
  • Tunable consistency: customise your app’s balance between read-write consistency needs and overall availability.

You can read more about 3.6 and the future of MongoDB on the official web site.