Tallan Blog

Tallan’s Experts Share Their Knowledge on Technology, Trends and Solutions to Business Challenges

Tallan Blog Featured Image

Implementing Directives on Angular Form Inputs

What is a Directive?
Now we know how to make custom validators, which can significantly enhance user experience with more specific error messages that can pop up before submission. However, sometimes the answer that the user inputted is not quite what you are expecting, but not necessarily wrong. In these cases, you need to decide if it is better to leave the result as is, display a (hopefully descriptive) error message, or adjust the response. In this blog post, we’re going to focus on the third option, utilizing Angular directives to change the user response slightly as a gentle alert to the user that we will be saving their response in a different format than what they had originally inputted.
What exactly is a directive? Attribute directives, which is what we will be working with, are responsible for changing the appearance or…

Tallan Blog Featured Image

Making More Readable Custom Validators for Angular Forms

What are Angular Forms?
Angular has become a powerful tool in application development over the years. Companies in every field utilize this framework to create powerful websites that provide a clear and fast user experience. In many cases, there is a need to collect information from the user, for everything from gauging user experience to collecting vital documents and information when a claim is being filed. Angular has two different types of forms that are optimized for effective data collection from the user. Template-driven forms are asynchronous in nature and known for having most of their logic driven by the template. Reactive driven forms are known for being mostly synchronous and having logic that primarily resides in the component. In this blog, we will be tackling reactive forms, and more specifically, how to make your life easier with more readable validators.
How…

Integrating Cloud Services: Azure Service Bus

What is Azure Service Bus?
Azure Service Bus is an integration message broker used as a reliable platform for asynchronous data transfer between different applications and services. Data is transferred using messages which can contain JSON, XML, or simply text. These messages are either transferred over queues or topics. In short, queues are used for point-to-point communication between one sender and one receiver, and topics are used in publisher/subscriber scenarios, with one sender and multiple, subscribing receivers. This Microsoft document provides a more detailed explanation of the Service Bus, Queues, and Topics, as well as some advanced features to solve more complex messaging problems.
This article will provide an example implementation of an Azure Service Bus connecting two .NET Applications.
Implementing Azure Service Bus
Azure Portal
               Setting up a Service Bus through the Azure portal is a very simple process,…

How Automated Reporting Saved 96 Days Per Year for a Non-Emergency Medical Transport Broker

One of the most common goals in business is improving efficiency while maintaining high-quality work. As a consulting company, Tallan has worked with hundreds of clients on thousands of projects all across the US, so we are no stranger to the common expectation that our services will increase the quality of technology, and improve operations.  
Recently, we engaged with a local non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) broker on a Data & Analytics project. NEMT brokers serve as a liaison between health plan providers, patients, and transportation vendors. Their mission is to coordinate transportation services for disadvantaged patients who are unable to make it to health care appointments. Providing this service both improves wellness and reduces costs for insurers. 
Problem 
NEMT Brokers are responsible for, among other things, tracking interactions and reporting data to the insurers with whom they hold contracts. These contracted relationships now…

Western & Southern Financial Group Innovation Jam: Building Innovative Solutions for the Insurance Industry

Recently, Tallan had the pleasure of planning and delivering an Innovation Jam for Western & Southern Financial Group, Inc.  Our journey with Western & Southern began this September when we first connected thanks to an Azure AppDev Hackfest opportunity that turned into their Innovation Jam. First things first, we started with identifying what they were looking to accomplish for their business.
From the first conversation with Craig Spencer, Assistant Vice President of Application Development, and Bonnie Wathen, Talent Acquisition Manager, IT, it was clear that their organization was very excited about this opportunity and their future transition to a cloud-based infrastructure.  Over the two months of planning leading up to the event, we worked closely with Craig, Bonnie, and the rest of the planning committee to:

Define the groups that would be participating,
Assemble groups and collect ideas and solutions each group wanted…

CBIA Employment Law Conference: AI for HR Panel Recap

Last week, the Connecticut Business & Industry Association held its annual Employment Law Conference. Tallan’s SVP of Client Delivery, Doug Smith, spoke on a panel with Dan Schwartz, a Partner at Shipman & Goodwin and author of the CT Employment Law Blog. 
Rather than pose questions to the panelists, Moderator Mark Soycher opted to poll the audience, and allow Doug and Dan to provide color commentary on Artificial Intelligence & Analytics for HR: Recruiting, Retention & Engagement. 
This style panel allowed for continued audience engagement for a topic many seem to shy away from. I was pleasantly surprised by some of the answers I saw, and not all that surprised by others. The first two questions created a Word Cloud, so the audience was able to visualize what their peers were thinking. The very first question asked was, “What loathed HR task or responsibility would you love…

Power BI Embedded: Take your Power BI Content to the Next Level

Power BI is a self-service business analytics solution that continues to progress the data and analytics space. Allowing different user types the ability to create and collaborate on reports through visualizations, Power BI offers a quality enterprise reporting solution for your organization.
Power BI Embedded allows you to add Power BI visualizations and reports to custom applications and websites. In doing so, customers can access the data they need through fully interactive reports. With the Power BI Embedded API, embedding analytics is a breeze and can be done within an existing application. Once your application contains embedded visualizations, the API also includes endpoints allowing communication between Power BI content, and the data within your custom application. This opens an exciting approach to business intelligence in the form of actionable insights. Imagine being able to view reports and act on them all…

How to Avoid ADA Litigation: 5 Ways to Improve Your Website Accessibility

Introduction
Lawsuits filed under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) related to web accessibility increased 177% from 2017 to 2018. Court decisions as recent as October 7, 2019 have left businesses open to more accessibility lawsuits. While public entities have had to comply with web accessibility for decades, the topic has quickly become more of a concern for private businesses than it has ever been. Unfortunately, not every private business has the resources to address these concerns. Luckily, there are some general principles and low-hanging fruit that you can address to make an effort to improve the accessibility of your website. Here are five of them:
Every business should strive to deliver a web experience that translates to any user. This includes users with visual impairment, deafness and hard-of-hearing, motor impairment, cognitive disabilities, and any other users of assistive technology (AT)….

Integrating Cloud Services: Azure Cache for Redis

Introduction
Cloud services do a great job relieving the burden of managing and maintaining various IT infrastructure elements. However, the responsibility still belongs to the developer to determine how to integrate these cloud services into an application. This blog series will focus on Microsoft Azure Services, providing guidance and examples on how to integrate services into your application, starting with Azure Cache for Redis.
What is Azure Cache for Redis?
Azure Cache for Redis is Microsoft’s cloud caching solution based on the software Redis. You are provided with an instance of a Redis cache that is hosted within Azure and can use it to improve the performance and scalability of your application. A common circumstance where a Redis cache improves performance is when the same data is accessed frequently. The cache provides a temporary location close to the application for data to be…

Testing Suspicious emails using Windows Sandbox

Co-workers often forward me emails when they are unsure if it is a valid email or something malicious. As one of the IT managers, I need to evaluate these emails in a safe environment. The tool I use for this is Windows Sandbox.
Windows Sandbox was added as a feature to Windows 10 with the May 2019 Update (version 1903). Every time you start Sandbox, it creates a Virtual Machine with a clean install of Windows 10. When you shut it down, the image is erased. This makes it an ideal environment for testing untrusted applications, links, and emails.
To enable Windows Sandbox, first make sure you have the minimum requirements:

Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise, version 1903.
Hardware virtualization enabled in your BIOS
At least 2 CPU cores
4 GB of memory
1 GB of available disk space

Once the minimum requirements are met, click Start, then…

\\\