Iain's IT Solutions Ltd.

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Freelance Software

Specialist in developing back office and process management systems

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Latest News


Upgrading a PHP MySQL web application from PHP version 5.6 to 7.2.  Changes made so far:

- Updated the TCPDF library as it had each() functions which are deprecated.
- Changed the way I create dynamic variables from $$variableName or $$row['name'] to ${$variableName} or ${$row['name']} - so adding curly braces.
- Optional variables in function need a default value.


Finally figured out how to deploy and update Excel Add-ins and create nice ribbon menu items to run them.  Uses Custom UI Editor with XML editing, a batch file and a VBScript file.

Adding audit log to PHP MySQL web application.  Storing date and time of change, value before, value after the user who made the change.


Installed Visual Studio Community 2017 and upgraded some of my VS2013 applications to 2017.  All seems to have gone okay.


Working on an MS Office reporting application.  VBA code behind a Form in MS Word is run to import and format data from multiple Excel workbooks.  The result is a nicely formatted report in MS Word which is exported to PDF.

Figuring out the Facebook API.  The aim is to have a news item on my bespoke CMS and post it to Facebook - so a news item can be entered in one place (the CMS) and posted automatically to Facebook.

Doing a presentation on the range of my IT services to local businesses at the Independents' Breakfast Club


Did some testing of Google Cloud Platform - Cloud Spanner.  I was able to create and host a MySQL database on their server.  Perhaps on my next web database project I'll host the database with them.


Did some testing of HTML5 Local Storage.  It persists nicely if you close the tab, the browser and restart the PC.  It's cleared if you clear browser history and cookies.  Could be useful for a new project where storing data while offline is required - without the need for PDAs or a mobile app.

Connecting a C#/Visual Studio/Windows Forms application to a local MySQL database.

Set up a VPS using Webmin, added a domain and after a lot trial and error, got it working.  Also set up SFTP to upload files to the new domain.  Until now, I've only used cPanel.  This seems to be the level above - good learning experience.

Adding throttling to a PHP email sending mechanism.  Emails are sent from a private members website to all signed up members.  Due to sending frequency limits imposed by the web host, we couldn't send to all members in one go, so a cron was used to send emails to subsets of members at timed intervals.

Redesign/rebrand of my online invoicing system icq32.co.uk.  Responsive/mobile friendly layout with a nice slide-down menu when viewed on a mobile.


Upgrading my website content management system - making it responsive/mobile friendly


Working on an Excel application with lots of quite complicated VBA coding. It's using Excel as a database, which has its advantages and disadvantages...


Moving a number of websites from one hosting company to another.  Along with the site files, databases and content, locally hosted emails were also moved.

Adding a range of new features to a web-based back office invoicing system.


Working on a web-based multiple choice quiz.  Mainly written in JavaScript.  Stats gathered on time taken for each question and users can give feedback on why they got answers right or wrong.

Added a feedback feature to my online invoicing system icq32.co.uk. From any page on the site, users can click a button, type in problems or indeed compliments about that page and send it to me.

It should help promote continuous improvement of the system through user feedback. 

Went live with a clean, simple responsive website furwood.co.uk


Building a data backing up tool to back up a large number of large documents on a website.  The process brings together PHP, Cron jobs and a C# desktop application.


Learning about systems and processes needed by companies attaining ISO accreditation. 

Working on a range of updates to a php, Web based, mobile friendly CRM system.

Working on creating png images dynamically with php.  What's interesting is that the src of an img tag can be a php file.

Working on a range of updates to an online invoicing and process management system for a builders company.  The system has helped them achieve ISO 9001 accreditation.

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