Uzility Board Background Images

Uzility is introducing the new board background images. Anyone using Uzility can set a custom background image on any of their boards. This is a new per user setting, allowing for the personalization of the agile board that everyone should have access to.

Some competitors offer the ability to set the background image only in their premium package. This new feature is available to everyone using Uzility regardless of the package they are using. Backgrounds are even available on the free single user product.

Over the last year we have added many features to Uzility, this one however is one of the more fun features that I have worked on.
Here is an example of a personal board that I have configured with a custom background, this board is being used to plan a family trip to Vancouver Canada.

BackgroundBlog1

Another example is my “development” board, for this board I have specified a blue gradient background that I found using the Google image search feature.

BackgroundBlog2

Here is how it works. First if you don’t already have a background, go to Google or your favorite search engine, and search on large background images. Once you find one you like, download it to your computer. Now you are ready to set that image as your board background.

Right click on the empty space on the background of one of your boards. Choose Backgrounds … Set Board Background.

BackgroundBlog3

You will be prompted with the Add Background dialog. Click the “Choose File” button and browse your computer to find the image you downloaded earlier.

BackgroundBlog4

Once you have selected the file, just click the “upload” button and your page will refresh with that image as your board background.

BackgroundBlog5

 

 

Your board is now transformed from a plain white background to any possibility of amazing images.

This background will only be available to you, other users will need to set their own background.

You can set a different background on each of our boards in the Uzility system.

 

Visit http://Uzility.com to find out more.

New Uzility Card Designs. Which do you prefer?

As we have been building the Uzility agile product, we have been following agile development principles, following the release early, release often and get customer feedback.

There have been things that we have tried, and things that we have learned from, and updated or changed. Its interesting when you have a design for part of the system that you think looks good, then the graphics designers and UI/UX team takes a look at it and they provide new designs. It goes to show how valuable it is to have great designers on the team.

Here is an example, the card design prior to last week:

SimpleKanban
And the new look of cards in the Uzility system based on the designs from our graphics design team:

New Style 1:

newCards1

 

New Style 2:

newCards2

 

With both styles, the color of the card represents who the card is assigned to. Each user can choose their own color. Also with both, there are 4 icons that can be shown that represent Comments, Acceptance Criteria, Point Estimates, and File Attachments. If the icon is shown it means that those items have been entered on a card.

For instance, the following card which shown first with style 1, and style 2 has three icons. One that represents that there are 3 comments on this card / user story, the second shows that there is one acceptance criteria, and that the card has been estimated at 8 points.singleCard1

singleCard2

 

I hope that everyone agrees that both of these designs are better than the original, but that I am trying to decide on is which one to use as the default.  Both styles are available to the Uzility user, but which one should I set as the default for new customers.

 

New Style 1:

singleCard1

 

New Style 2:

singleCard2

Please cast your vote by posting a response to this posting, and let me know which style (1 or 2) should be the default.

This is part of what I love about agile so much is getting customer feedback.

 

thanks!

-Steve Stedman

Founder Uzility

Agile Terminology – Sunday Fun Crossword – Answer Key

Please click the read more link to get the answers to the Sunday fun Agile crossword puzzle.

Read more of this post

Agile Terminology – Sunday Fun Crossword

AgileCrossword1

Across

1. These are specific criteria identified by the customer for each functional requirement.

2. Work in Progress.

Down

1. A timeboxed task to go research a specific item with the deliverable being the results of the research.

2. Sequence of numbers used in Planning Poker.

3. A relative number describing how much work the team can get done over a period of time.

 

Check back at 7:00pm pacific for the puzzle answers. http://SteveStedman.com

 

Database Health Monitor – Beta 8 – Soft launch

Today I launched Database Health Reports Beta 8 as a soft launch. What I mean by the soft launch is that other than updating the DatabaseHealth website and this blog posting, I haven’t done much to promote it.  Why you might ask?  Due to it being a holiday week between Christmas and New Years, there are many people out of the office. I figured I would wait until after January 1st to make a big splash.

Beta 8 is out. The biggest change is the charting. About 75% of the charts in the system have been completely rewritten. I was using a charting module that didn’t allow for the flexiblity that was needed to make the charts look the way I wanted. In September right after the Beta 7 release I started rewriting the charts from scratch.  Between now and the next Beta I will work to get more of the charts converted over to the new look.

Here is an example of some of the newer charts. The red and green bars on the plan cache are used to indicate change.  Red indicates that the value was worse, and green indicates that it improved or stayed the same. The CPU by database chart was rewritten to make better use of the available space.

New Charts

 

Also shown in the above screen shot is the new Server Configuration panel with details on the specific version of SQL Server, when it was installed, the number of processors and more.

Beta 8 Release Notes

Beta 8 Released 12/29/2013.

The following changes have been made since Beta 7. The big feature in the Beta 8 is the rewrite of many of the charts.

New Features

  • Renamed to Database Health Monitor, attempting to avoid confusion with SSRS Reports.
  • Additional checks for obsolete or unusual settings (SHRINK_DATABASE, TORN_PAGE_DETECTION).
  • Blocking reporting with hierarchical drilldown on the blocking queries.
  • Server details panel showing logical and physical cpu counts, SQL Server Start time, SQL Server install data, Server Name, SQL Server version info, and information on real or virtual server.

Bug Fixes

  • Multithreading the re-connect of databases, vastly improving the startup time if one or more databases is not available.
  • A large amount of the project has been refactored to help mature the product and allow for additional feature growth, and reduce bugs.
  • Improved background threading.
  • Updates and bug fixes on SQL Technical Debt.

IT Guy – 3.0

Great video that I discovered on YouTube today. 

Some great lines in this video…

“The project gets crazy and they call me to save it, so I search Pinal Dave and copy and paste it”.

“Your company is so backwards they still use Lotus Notes”.