5th May 2017
Rasomware Attacks!

Another business I deal with has been hit with ransomware. Likely the attack was from an email. Firewalls and Anti-virus software DO NOT protect you from ransomware.

I'm starting to sound like a stuck record here, but the only protection you have from ransomware is your off line ( disconnected ) backup. If you don't have backups, you have no choice but to pay the ransom and hope the criminals send you the key to unlock your data.

Every business should have someone on staff who understands how ransomware works, and is responsible for the backups of your data.

27th March 2017
Cyclone advise

Due to the approaching cyclone and risk of storm surge, please make sure your JAQ server backups are up to date. Ideally, you should have a off site backup, stored in a dry place. If you're in a storm surge area, and not sure about your backups, contact you IT supplier, and even consider unplugging the server and taking off site. Its also a good idea to lift any computers and other sensitive electronics equipment off the floor where possible.

Hope all goes well and losses are minimal.

12th January 2017
JAQ port progress

The port of the JAQ system to a new software language is progressing. Development has been full time for the last couple of months and I expect there is at least 2 to 3 more months before its finished. There are approximately 500 pages in JAQ, each with 100 to 2500 lines of code, so a estimate would be 200,000 lines of code that need to be translated.

Once completed, JAQ will look the same in most respects, and no functionality will be lost. Some pages will be streamlined, and a lot of new features added.

A couple of new features that might be of interest......

Doc Merge. JAQ will be able to use your Word or Excel templates and populate them with data from the JAQ database. So you could for example create a QA form in Word as a template, then ask JAQ to grab a copy of the QA form, fill in all the details from a JAQ job card, and save it under the job folder. This could save a lot of document editing.

Charge Code Allowances on Quotes and Jobs. When entering a Quote or Job, you can specify how many hours you expect to be needed for each charge code used on the job. As the job progresses, you can see the booked hours tally up for each charge code, compared to your original allowance. JAQ will be able to give you an idea how many hours are needed for each charge code to finish the job in time, and warn you if it looks like you dont have the man hours needed.

Hope everyone had a good break over Christmas and the New Year.

25th August 2016
Upcoming updates

A few new features have been added to JAQ and these will be rolled out over the next few weeks.

Invoice Subjobs. Subjobs are a handy way to break up a large job into sections, and you can book hours, purchases and stock to sub jobs instead of its parent job. This update will tally up the hours, purchases, etc, for a closed sub job and create the invoice. This is aimed at businesses that need to send periodic invoices for larger jobs.

Mobile friendly. JAQ has a front end designed for the small screen of a mobile phone, with a few basic function that allow you to clock in and do your time sheets, view card files, quotes and jobs, and raise a purchase, all from your mobile phone while away from the office. This service depends on your office internet connection and mobile phone plan. Time sheet entry is also geo tagged ( if the device supports it ), so you can see where the employee was when they clocked in/out using the mobile interface.

Time sheets has a new optional Start and Stop interface. Your jobs are listed on the screen with a start and stop button, plus a dropdown list of the charge codes. You simply select the charge code ( if different than your default ) and hit Start when you start the job, and Stop when your finished. Hitting start for another job will automatically stop the current one. You can use the standard timesheet screen to tidy up the hours at the end of the day if needed.

14th July 2016
How to protect yourself from Rasomware

Rasomware is a growing market for criminals, and could cost your business thousands. I cant stress enough how common this is, and your only real protection are your off line backups.

See https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/alerts/TA16-091A

11th March 2016
Invoice Payments, updated.

Due to recent issues with some clients, I now insist that when you pay your monthly invoice from JAQ Software via direct transfer, you include the invoice number in the banks transfer description. It makes it MUCH easier to match payments with their corresponding invoice, especially if you are late making a payments or have missed a payment. I understand some automatic payment systems used with MYOB or Quickbooks dont allow you to edit the transfer description when you make bulk payments, but that isn't my problem. For those who do include the invoice number, thank you.

23rd Feb 2016
Work in progress

Two major updates for JAQ in the pipeline. Database change, and a complete rewrite of the code.

JAQ currently uses a Microsoft Access database to store records, and this has worked well for the past years. But Access has a max file size of 2 Gig and some JAQ clients are approaching 1/2 that size, so its time to migrate to a better database. I've chosen to use MySQL, as it has a good reputation as a robust database, and a max files size of over 2 Terra Bytes ( 1000 times that of Access ).

The change over will be seamless, JAQ will behave the same as it does with the Access database. The update will be ready in a few weeks, depending on work load. There may be some speed improvements on some JAQ pages.

The other major update is a complete rewrite of JAQ's code. JAQ currently uses a Microsoft software language called ASP, which has been around for so long ( 20+ years ) its now called "Classic ASP". Microsoft stopped developing the language many years ago, so while the language still works fine, there have been no new features added in recent years, and ASP is expected to reach EOL ( End Of LIfe ) soon after 2020 as Microsoft drop support for it on their operating systems. Win 10 and the latest server editions support ASP, but after that is unknown.

I've looked at serveral options and settled on PHP as the new language. PHP is in constant development, so has many more features than ASP, and has no EOF date. Rewriting JAQ to use PHP will take over a year.

The important thing to remember is these updates wont affect how JAQ runs. If anything, it will be a little faster and have new features.

21st Feb 2016
GST

With the political talk of GST changes, just a quick note to let everyone know JAQ will have no issues migrating to a different GST rate, should that happen.

21st January 2016
Passwords

"As easy as 123456: the 25 worst passwords revealed"

Your businesses security is only as good as your employees worst password.

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/jan/20/123456-worst-passwords-revealed

9th August 2015
Ransomware reminder

Just a reminder ransomware attacks are getting more common and more sophisticated. Your only protection against ransomware is your off line backup. Remember to backup often and keep a offline ( disconnected ) backup. You should have at least two backup devices, and keep one disconnected and preferably off site.

How often should you swap backups? That depends on how many days data can you afford to loose without too much interruption to your business.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-08-09/australians-paying-thousands-after-ransomware-virus-infection/6683618

1st June 2015
JAQ Version 15.5.20

20th April 2015
JAQ Version 15.4.20

29th Dec 2014
JAQ Version 14.12.27

8th Dec 2014
Merry Christmas for 2014
Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and happy new year for 2015.

8th Dec 2014
Work in progress

7th Dec 2014
JAQ Version 14.12.01

24th Oct 2014
Security Notice

Alert from US-Cert about the latest ransom-ware and how to protect yourself. I know of businesses that have been affected by this sort of attack, but fortunately they had up to date, off line, backups and were able to get their businesses back up very quickly.

https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/alerts/TA14-295A

The US-Cert ( or The Department of Homeland Security's United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team ) web site is very informative and you can subscribe to receive email notifications of new computer vulnerabilities as they become known.


12th Sep 2014
JAQ Version 14.09.01

20th Aug 2014
JAQ Version 14.08.02

1st Aug 2014
JAQ Version 14.07.21

5th Mar 2014
JAQ Version 14.03.01


Merry Christmas!

Wishing all my clients a Merry Christmas and happy new year for 2014.

 


1st Oct 2013
JAQ Version 13.09.12

A note about the GPM% figure used in JAQ. Its calculated like this....

GPM% = 100 / InvoicePrice * (InvoicePrice -CostPrice )

where...

InvoicePrice = the price quoted or invoiced for the job.
CostPrice = the total booked stock, purchases and hours cost price.

Remember the GPM% figure is only as good as the information entered, please use it as a guide only.


1st Sep 2013
JAQ Version 13.08.21

Purchase Orders V Stock Orders

The next update of JAQ will separate purchases into two types, Purchase Orders and Stock Orders. A Purchase Order is used to buy in goods for a job, and will be costed against the job. A Stock Order is used to buy in goods for stock, which can later be booked out to a job as consumables. When a Stock Order arives, the quantities in the stock register will be updated. This does not happen for Purchase Orders.


Do you know of another business that could use JAQ?

If so, put them in contact with me and if they become a JAQ client, you will save $10 per week off your JAQ licence. Thats $520 per year per referal, for as long as they continue to use JAQ.

All you need to do is make the initial contact, put in the good word, and hand them a brochure or point them to the web site. If you need any brochures, please let me know and I'll mail some out to you.

http://www.jaqsoftware.com


1st Aug 2013
JAQ version 13.07.20

Lots of small changes that will mostly go un-noticed. As usual, I wont update anyone's particular JAQ version unless there is a distinct need.

Also added a database utilities page to let managers download a copy of the JAQ database, and perform a occasional Compact and Repair on the database, which may give a sligh speed improvement.


29th May 2013
JAQ version 13.05.27

New features

Fixed


14th May 2013
JAQ version 13.05.01

New features

Fixed


30th Apr 2014
JAQ version 13.04.01

New features

Under Development.

Customise. You can now customise some list type pages to include/exclude columns. Look for the spanner icon. Currently used on the job list page, will add to the quotes and purchase lists in the future.

Bugs

The targets widget has some display issues.


25th Feb 2013
JAQ version 13.02.03

New features