How to Learn a New Programming Language this Summer


What better goal to set for your summer than learning a new programming language? Forget the “beach books” this summer and set your sights on diving into a new coding language – but which one should you pick?

As reported by EDC there are approximately 24 million professional software developers on Earth, and almost 700 notable programming languages (according to Wikipedia). I would wager a bet there is a staggeringly equal number of places online where you can learn one programming language or another. Whether you are already one of those 11 million coding experts or a newbie to programming, there is a plethora of information out there to sort though.

For the purposes for this blog post, we will certainly look at the world’s most-widely-used programming languages in 2021, but also at important languages for data manipulation and querying, so we’ll discuss: C and its derivatives (C++, C#, and Objective-C), Java, Python, R, JavaScript, Ruby, SQL, and XQuery.

Deciding where to start depends entirely on the kind of development scenarios you have in mind, so we’ve broken things down for you to make it easier. It doesn’t matter if you are a seasoned programmer looking to add a new language to your repertoire or a novice who doesn’t know the difference between C, C++, Objective-C, or C# yet. We have assembled a list of explanations to help you choose which language you may want to conquer next.

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MobileTogether Adds In-App Purchasing


The latest release of MobileTogether introduces new tools for monetizing your apps and integrating them in new ways – making the platform even more flexible and useful for developers in firms of all types and sizes.

If you haven’t tried the MobileTogether framework for rapidly building enterprise apps and native apps for iOS, Android, Windows, and more, now is the time. Learn about all the new features below and try MobileTogether Designer for free.

Announcing new features in MobileTogether
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Updated Support for the Latest JSON Schema Versions


The latest release of Altova desktop developer tools and server software products introduces support for the newest JSON Schema versions in all JSON-enabled products. This adds to support for previous versions of the JSON Schema specification.

JSON Schema diagrams

JSON Schema Editing & Validation

In addition to previous versions of the JSON Schema specification, XMLSpy now supports the two latest versions for JSON Schema editing as well as validation of schemas and instances:

  • JSON Schema 2020-12
  • JSON Schema 2020-09 (formerly known as Draft 8)

It’s easy to select the desired version when building a schema in the graphical JSON Schema editor.

Support for JSON Schema 2020-12 in the JSON Schema editor
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Mobile App Development: A User Story


Ahh spring! Birds singing, flowers blooming, and the sun rises earlier and sets later. All that extra daylight gives solar power generation systems more hours to make electricity. As the summer solstice approaches, solar generation systems enter their most productive time of year.

Owners of rooftop solar systems can be passionate about tracking their productivity. The actor and comedian John Hodgman even moderated a disagreement over obsessive monitoring of solar production. My friend Kasey is also enthusiastic about solar power. Whenever I see Kasey, she reports her latest kilowatt-hours stats. Kasey’s home is in a warm, sunny climate where air conditioning is her biggest electricity demand. She installed solar panels on the roof of her house at the end of last June and her system raced to generate enough power during long summer days to offset her air conditioning.

After receiving the electric bill for August, Kasey called her solar installer to report success – her home’s electricity consumption for the month was zero. “I have to confess, I read my meters every single day to see how the system is doing,” Kasey told the installer.

“Everybody does it,” the installer replied. “Some users even tell me they check the meters three times a day!”

Kasey asked me if a mobile phone application built with MobileTogether might make a good reporting tool for her solar power system. “I could enter the meter readings into my phone,” she said. “I can do it every day when I take the dog out before breakfast.”

That’s how our mobile app development collaboration began. The result is the MobileTogether app we call Solar Power Tool.

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API Data Mapping


Web service data integration with MapForce is a popular and proven strategy to capture timely information for analysis or generation of user-friendly reports. In an earlier post we demonstrated API data mapping in 5-day weather forecasts for busy cargo shipping ports by reading Web service data in JSON format and mapping to richly formatted Excel spreadsheets. The weather API we used  is hosted by OpenWeather, a provider of historical, current, and weather forecast data.

But integrating data from any API is not a set-it-and-forget-it task. When you build a solution based on external data, you have to react quickly when the data structure changes. Since our original integration project OpenWeather revised the data delivered by their API. The API now includes wind gust predictions in a JSON property separate from wind speed. Since wind gusts are suspected as a cause of the recent Suez Canal blockage the new data is very relevant to our application! Fortunately, both the MapForce data mapping and the Excel spreadsheet are easily revised to add new data.

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How to View Workflow Automation Reports on FlowForce Server


Altova FlowForce Server is a high-performance workflow engine for automating enterprise-level data processing, data integration, and ETL jobs.

FlowForce Server includes a helpful web interface for managing and monitoring all aspects of data processing jobs, including in-depth logging functionality and a complete visual dashboard. Let’s take a look at how you can take advantage of FlowForce charts and statistics to monitor the progress of FlowForce Server jobs, as well as performance of the server itself, in great detail.

Article about FlowForce Server
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Data Mapping with XSLT3 Math Functions


XSLT3 adds trigonometry and other advanced math functions, new formatting functions, functions to collect environment variables, and more, extending XSLT and XSLT2 XML transformation standards. Data analysts and other data professionals can apply XSLT3 functions to solve XML data mapping and integration challenges that require complex mathematical computations. Let’s look at some MapForce examples of data mapping with XSLT3 math functions using trigonometry and other complex math expressions.

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