LaSalle Software News #5: Engaged To Be Paid

Tuesday March 1st, 2016

Episode Summary

Welcome to my fifth LaSalle Software News podcast.

This is Bob Bloom, from Toronto Canada. 

Today is Thursday, March 03rd, 2016. 

I publish LaSalle Software News monthly, at the top of the month, to update you on my LaSalle Software. 


LaSalle Software is ready-made web application software that let's you hit the ground running towards your own custom web application. Based on the terrific Laravel Framework, LaSalle Software gives you content management, login/logout/registration management, an administrative back-end, and a lot lot more.

LaSalle Software is comprised of Composer installable packages, so you can install just what you need. I am adding six new packages to my Software portfolio, for a total of 23 packages. 

There is no proprietary add-on system. My Software uses straight Composer on purpose, so we have the widest universe of PHP packages with which to bring into our LaSalle Software based web apps. 

I built my very own admin form automation feature so we can get the back-end administration of custom apps up-and-running sooner than later, saving you considerable time & money spinning up proof-of-concept web apps.

LaSalle Software is released as free open source software under the GPLv3 licence. 


In April 2014, on the cusp of releasing version 3.0 of my Joomla ecommerce extension, I abandoned Joomla lock-stock-and-barrel, due to what I'll call ongoing debate in the project about versions. Joomla version changes were obsoleting my Joomla ecommerce extensions, ruining my ability to achieve a return on significant investment. 

I decided that my new technical specialty would be the Laravel Framework, an up-and-coming web application framework for the PHP programming language. Good decision! But, boy... what a journey of learning it was, and is. My technical skills have vaulted by orders of magnitude.

It did not take long to realize that I was going to need some type of ready-made content system, along with a few other accroutements. The Framework does not provide this, by design. After searching for the right project that offers the web app basics that all projects need, I decided to create my own software. At the time, I was programming my own little blog, just to learn Laravel. Well, this little blog turned into my LaSalle Software. 

In early November 2015, I released version 1.0. At the same time, I live deployed six of my own web applications: my Flagship web app, this podcasting web app, and four one page web apps. 

In February 2016, I released my first ever "client-ready" LaSalle Software version (version 1.0.1). I ironed out some rough edges, and added a few features, One of the more notable features I added was two factor authentication. 

My first client is a volunteer proof-of-concept web app -- my synagogue. There will be more rough edges to smooth out, as people other than me will use my Software for the first time. The goals are very ambitious. Two notable packages that will come from this project are the Event package; and, the Granular Access Control Levels pacakge. These packages will be released as FOSS. 

I just might have my first paid LaSalle Software engagement this month. It's not finalized, and maybe it will not happen. But, it's notable that LaSalle Software is at the point where paid engagements are contemplated. 

It's a very good progression.


I created six new packages ahead of creating the base proof-of-concept web app. Which brings me to almost two dozen Composer-installable FOSS packages.

A candle lighting package, a service times package, an enhanced contact form package, a list of installed LaSalle Software packages, an SMS package, and an events package. The enhanced contact form package will grab contact info from my customer database, even though there will not be any customers, the customer database is a great place to keep employee and executive data for display in various spots throughout the app. All packages will be done by mid-March, except the events package which has a bigger scope so it will take time to develop. 


I'm none to happy with MailChimp's sudden announcement to get out of the free Mandrill business. The suddenness is, in my opinion, out of character. Their announcement included the suggestion that those seeking a low-cost alternative for transactional email look at Amazon's Simple Email Service. I will take them up on their suggestion because the more I use Amazon's web services, the more I will learn it; and, AWS is broadening its email offerings in general. 


I want to learn Amazon Web Services as much as I can by actually using it. So I will be doing just that -- switching into AWS. 

The one exception may be Elastic Cloud Computing (EC2) because Digital Ocean so far seems like the better deal. 


Now that people other than me will be using LaSalle Software, there's going to be a period of smoothing out the rough edges other people see that I do not see, or that really do not bother me. An example are errors that halt a web app. I actually prefer to see the raw message; but, these error messages are not very helpful in general and they are very dire looking. So I'll need custom error messages for things like PDO Cannot Connect to Database and Token Mismatch errors. 


I've been pondering my version numbering. My "client-ready" release should be version "1.1.0" instead of "1.0.1". To make matters worse, I marked this version as "1.01" in a lot of packages. Oops. Hopefully, the SemVer gods will shine a bright countenance on me nonetheless. 

The next major (backward-compatible) LaSalle Software release shall be crowned "1.2.0" to get back on track. 


I have a back-log -- it does not take much to get behind, with all that is happening. This week, the first week of March I will take care of this back-log.

My back-log does include some new things that I want to do before I start my new things in earnest. 

I will wrap up my half-dozen packages, which are all small and do-able. 

I will modify my Flagship site's home page, in the hopes of getting across what LaSalle Software is all about. 

I will switch my web apps to SES and EC2.

And a few other things. 

Then, I am blocking out a couple of days to go through Laracast's testing series, and to go through MuleSoft's tools for LaSalleMart's API, because I need to kick-off LaSalleMart development.

After that, I have the proof-of-concept's initial deployment (on EC2!) to do. And, we'll see about the new engagment in the works. 

And, my granular permissions package. 


Enjoy a good, profitable month!



You have been listening to a production. Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of SouthLaSalleMEDIA dot com, nor of the organizations represented. Links and materials discussed on air are available in the Show Notes for this show. Information contained herein have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but are not guaranteed. Podcasts are released under a creative commons licence. Some rights are reserved. Email correspondence to the attention of Bob Bloom at info at SouthLaSalleMedia dot com.

Monthly report on the good, the bad, and the ugly of my ongoing LaSalle Software development. Produced by Bob Bloom, founder and developer of LaSalle Software.

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