Precision farming and sustainability

Precision farming expertise sustainability

Precision farming and sustainability

 

Precision farming is not a new concept. It boosts the efficiency of agriculture with the use of technology. However, the output is something even more important, sustainability.

With the use of customized software development that now leans into the field of IoT agriculture becomes more manageable than ever before. Therefore, with precise forecast, real-time, and near-real-time monitoring, accurate measurement, has three main benefits.

It maximizes output, increases workplace safety, and facilitates sustainability.

Maximized output

Until then use of IoT technology for agricultural purposes this sector was characterized by intense labor, volatility, and high vulnerability to climatic factors. Furthermore, there are two definitory changes: the exponential increase in demand due to the growth of the global population and global warming. These create circumstances that require to speed-up precision farming.

According to the UN, currently, the world’s population is 7.6 billion. By 2050 we will reach 9.7 billion and 11.2 billion by 2100. At the same time, the average number of calories needed to sustain the body at rest is around 2000/day/person. This is the main reason for the need for maximized output.

Increased work safety

Agricultural labor is one of the most exposed to injuries. These accidents take up to almost 20% of all workplace injuries. Given the repetitive tasks, workers are less aware of the dangers of their job. With automation, the worker doesn’t need to have direct contact with dangerous machinery.

Furthermore, these are more exposed to respiratory risks, heath stress, chemical hazards, and noise pollution.

Among the most relevant technologies to be used are agricultural robots, satellite imagery, and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, according to the EU. These are stipulated in the declaration of cooperation for a sustainable digital future for European Agriculture.

With precision agriculture these risks are minimized, hence this is the most efficient way to keep agriculture worker’s safety.

Sustainability

With the help of big data, the right amount of resources is being used for certain agricultural purposes. Thus, unnecessary use of these is avoided, which not only results in cost-efficiency but also sustainability. The right distribution of resources leads to an environment-friendly approach to this essential sector for humanity.

Avoiding waste is essential for sustainability. Through technology, farmers have exact data about the status of crops, fields, or animals. Hence, agricultural workers can intervene strictly where it is needed. Also, by reducing the use of toxic material like pesticides agriculture becomes less harmful to the environment. Plus, through automatic checking, the farmers reduce fuel-consumption drastically.

Hence, there are several advantages to using precision farming. Not only for the increasing profitability but for the safety of labor, and most importantly for a sustainable future.

However, studies show that there is still a reticence in adopting this technology. The main reason is the fear of the unknown and the attachment of traditional methods, outweighing all proven benefits.

Precision farming expertise

The best way of fighting it the education and self-education of the decision-makers in the agricultural industry. The first step is finding trust-worthy partners with expertise. With over 20 years of experience in software outsourcing for multiple industries, the expertise on IoT and Enterprise Solutions stands out in AROBS.

From successful projects on forestry to agriculture, industry know-how is the most valuable asset. Results like forest growth calculation models, laser scanning forest assets, integrated map systems, simultaneous management of 8000 projects, 10 times improved response time, and many more. 

Choose your partner and embrace the digital transformation of the agricultural sector.

Image source: Pixabay

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The AROBS’ software development teams toolbox – part 2

software development teams

The AROBS’ software teams toolbox – part 2

After the extensive discussion about the communication tools that we published in the first part of our article, here on our blog, we will talk about the heavy-duty tools for software team management and for organizing software dev teams.

The research followed the same procedures: we simply asked our colleagues leading the teams of AROBS and wrote their answers.

Thus, we found out that the teams use a combination of Project Management software products and Integrated development environment tools.

Even though we’ve already switched massively to remote work from home, they are still building complex software engineering and development projects for global industries and clients.

The Project Management software products that made it on the list

 

Is a web-based Kanban-style list-making application, that’s a subsidiary of Atlassian. The software teams can build their task boards with various columns and move the jobs between them. Normally, columns include job statuses: To Do, In Progress, Dev-Done, UAT, Closed and completing tasks in rest of the Definition of Done (DoD). The basic steps that are necessary in organizing software development teams and completing tasks.

Trello also includes many different functionalities for work and personal use, including real estate management, software project management, college bulletin boards, lesson preparation, bookkeeping, web design, gaming (of course!), and many more.

It’s a proprietary issue monitoring product developed by Atlassian that allows pest monitoring as well as organizing development teams’ work. Jira is written in Java and uses the Pico inversion of control container, Apache OFBiz entity engine, and WebWork 1 technology stack. For remote procedure calls (RPC), Jira supports REST, SOAP, and XML-RPC. Confluence is used for content management and organized using spaces, pages and blogs. The users can write, edit and comment and finish the work together.

Is A Microsoft product that offers version control (possibly with Team Foundation Version Control (TFVC) or Git), reporting, software team management, project management (for both agile software development and waterfall teams), automatic builds, laboratory management, testing and release management capacities. It covers the whole application lifecycle and empowers DevOps capabilities. Our colleagues use it on various projects and strongly recommend it for the DevOps teams. Azure DevOps can be utilized as a backend to numerous integrated development environments (IDEs) but is tailored for Microsoft Visual Studio and Eclipse on all platforms.

Is provided to organizations that seek greater control over SharePoint’s behavior or design. This item is installed on clients’ IT infrastructure. It receives fewer frequent upgrades but has access to a broader set of features and customization capabilities. There are 3 variants of SharePoint Server: Standard, Enterprise, and Foundation (free) that was stopped in 2016. These servers could be provisioned as ordinary virtual/cloud servers or as hosted services. Here, me must mention the most embraced feature of them all, Office 365.

  • NABU Timesheet workforce management Applications

Nabu Timesheet is an AROBS in-house developed platform with various workforce management functionalities that you might find very useful in organizing teams during this period, and not only. It addresses different needs for different niches of business.

Time & Attendance – Having proper data will tell you all you will need to know about your teams’ use of the work time and presence. Additionally, the system will prepare all of the data for invoicing.

Performance evaluation – Give workers a clear career direction – that drives satisfaction for them and retention to the business.

Company pulse – Be the information wizard and see it all on your own. Make data-driven decisions. Confirm employee satisfaction and more. Check the pulse of your company with a couple of clicks.

Is a dispersed version-control system for monitoring changes in source code through developing software projects. It’s created for organizing developers teams, but it can also be used to monitor changes in any almost any group of documents. Its aims include speed, data integrity, and support for distributed, non-linear workflows.

  • Integrated development environment

An integrated development environment (IDE) is a software application that offers comprehensive facilities for development teams. An IDE normally includes at least a source code editor, build automation tools and a debugger. Some IDEs contain the essential compiler, interpreter, or both. Some even offer features for database integration and special plug-ins that work with the frameworks used in the projects.

Is an integrated Development Environment (IDE) written in Java for developing computer applications. It’s developed by JetBrains (previously called IntelliJ) and is available as an Apache 2 Accredited community edition and in a proprietary business edition. Both may be used for commercial growth. 

Is a cross-platform IDE primarily for internet, JavaScript and TypeScript development. Many of JetBrain’s other IDEs include the characteristic set of WebStorm through plugins. WebStorm brings you intelligent coding Help for JavaScript and compiled-to-JavaScript languages, Node.js, HTML, and CSS. It offers code completion, powerful navigation features, on-the-fly error detection, and refactoring for all these languages. This, as well as IntelliJ IDEA above mentioned have powerful support for short-cuts that help speed the development process.

Big, complex projects usually migrate to cloud applications. These are two of which that our colleagues interact on a daily basis. AWS is considered to be flexible, cost-efficient, scalable, elastic, secure and experienced.  Azure offers benefits for business of all sizes, security, reliability and performance that on-premises. They both support many other programming languages, frameworks and tools.

Nevertheless, your knowledge, experience and constant learning will add the perfect layer that makes all these tools work together.

In AROBS working in a multi-cultural environment and complex projects with teams spread around the world, has always implied using these long-distance communication tools. So, intuitively, we’ve started The Toolbox for organizing software dev teams with communication apps that have become the best channels to reach our teams and get the pulse on a daily basis.

Moreover, after getting passed the communication layer, we were introduced the more technical tools, the must-have, for our teams, in order to keep the level of productivity in the same parameters as before the self-isolation period.

We brought to your attention the most used and popular of them, as our colleagues recommended. Hopefully, they will come in handy for you, if you’re in a management crisis.

Help your team adapt to these new changes we are all facing and share these tools with them.

You can find the first part of The Toolbox here.

PS – And the cat, don’t forget the cat. 🙂

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The AROBS software developer toolbox – part 1

software developer

The AROBS’ software developer toolbox – part 1

 

We asked our colleagues around and we collected here the must-have toolbox for remote work from home in the Coronavirus era. Our software developers use them daily, and they swear by these tools they chose. These keep their productivity up, their team cohesion strong and their communication impeccable.

Many teams working on our projects for Life Sciences, IoT, Enterprise Solutions, Automotive or Travel Software business lines answered happily to our questions. They sent their preferences for #WFH tools from their own #MyAROBSHomeOffice (take a look at the AROBS people home-offices, with cats, books, coffee – the full package).

We gathered a lot of information and we will publish on our blog two episodes. The first will be about the communication tools used by our development teams, and the second will be about the project management and Integrated development environment software.

 

We stay safe and we stay tuned in the remote and work from home era

 

Our colleagues, despite the urban mythology about the not-very-sociable software developers, are very talkative people. So, they use a plethora of communication and conferencing tools, listed here below.

 

Microsoft Teams is one of the most used communication and collaboration tool that solves our necessities regarding workplace chat, video meetings, file storage, and application integration. The service integrates with the Office 365 suite and it offers the possibility to also be integrated with non-Microsoft products. As restrictions related to Coronavirus pandemic started to expand in Europe a couple of days ago, the popular software had a difficult day; to quote a very interesting title, “as the world and its cats start working from home” (FYI, Sophie is the name of the model in the picture above). But it recovered fast and it announces new interesting messaging features for April 2020. 

 

Zoom Video Communications is another well-known remote conferencing service that offers video conferencing, online meetings, chat, and mobile collaboration our software developers love to use. Since the pandemic started, the company has offered the opportunity to hold meetings with up to 1000 video participants for business account holders. 

 

Skype for Business is the enterprise version of the instant messaging software we all know since… forever. It is designed for use with the on-premises Skype for Business Server software, and software as a service version offered as part of Office 365. However, it seems that, very soon, Skype will be replaced by Microsoft Teams.

 

Slack offers many IRC-style features, like chat rooms (channels) organized by topic, private groups, and direct messaging. It is a freemium product; whose main paid features are the ability to search more than 10,000 archived messages and add unlimited apps and integrations. 

 

Cisco Webex is famous in the business of conferencing and videoconferencing applications. Its most renowned products are Webex Meetings, Webex Teams, Training Center, Event Center, Support Center, Sales Center, MeetMeNow, PCNow, Webex AIM Pro Business Edition, Webex WebOffice, and WebEx Connect. All of them are part of the Cisco Systems collaboration tools portfolio. 

Since the outbreak of the Coronavirus crisis, they launched extensive guides to help our teams of software developers communicate and collaborate better under these circumstances. 

We will publish the second part of the article on our software development toolbox on our blog very soon. Stay safe and stay tuned!

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Forestry Management Software for the green lungs of Northern Europe

Forestry software solution

Forestry Management Software for the green lungs of the Northern Europe

The Forestry Management Software: a platform for improved efficiency, visibility and control at each stage of the forest. Smart farming, but for trees

The forestry management of many companies in Finland needed a platform to provide improved efficiency, better visibility and control at each stage of the forest life-cycle. After the implementation of this forestry software, another type of a smart farming solution, but for trees, the cycle is more efficient: from forest to mill and from land acquisition to product delivery in order to support responsible forestry. The forestry management solution offers cloud-based data, collaboration and workflow automation services to forestry professionals and forest planning experts.

Small and medium-sized forestry companies in Finland use the solution. It has a centralized management environment for the various functions of forest planning in a modern user interface. It facilitates the update of the customer forest plans and forest stand data.

The project was implemented with the support of our colleagues from IoT business line of AROBS.

The Forestry Software functions imply:

  •       maintaining user accounts and customer data
  •       planning forestry work and cuttings
  •       managing harvesting service logistics
  •       update customer forest plans and forest stand data
  •       allows for geographic information-based forest plan and work site maps through     integrated map system
  •       laser scanning for forest asset data collection
  •       forest growth calculation models to help determine the need for cuttings.

Business Challenge of this smart farming niche product

One of the objectives of the project was and is to integrate as many as  possible of the older applications that were in use by some of the clients of our partner. An important focus was the improvement of the user experience, in particular by reducing response time, improving filters and guidance messages or alerts. A great emphasis was also put on the customization of customer-specific functionalities, the improvement of the support process and on the development of integration. This would allow better integration between the various companies’ products that help carry out the client’s activities. The forestry management at its best!

Technologies used in the forestry management project

We also made technical changes that place us in a better position in terms of market requirements, added new functionalities and support for the entire forestry management solution.
The main technologies used in the development of the project were:

  • AngularJs
  • Typescript
  • RxJS
  • Bootstrap
  • Lodash
  • ag-Gri

Benefits and impact of the Forestry Software Solution

The web-based platform created has become a valuable instrument for responsible and controlled forestry management. It’s increased responsiveness. The user experience improved the workflow that helps for a better time management. The development of new functionalities continued and the project currently has a number of tools that allow a better approach to the market.

The Forestry Software Solution is a complete niche smart farming product that integrates the entire activity process of any forestry company. As a web-based service, it can be scaled anywhere in the world, in any related industry, that desires to apply a smart farming approach.

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