PraxIS June 2010

10-06 Contents: Excel workshop,  Eusprig Conference, XLTest 1.20 release,Rapid Software Testing Sept.

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Systems Modelling Ltd.: Managing reality in Information Systems - strategies for success


 Risk and Quality
      Michael Bolton in Dublin Sept 2010

     Excel developers' workshop London July 12
     Eusprig Conference Greenwich July 15-16
     XLTest 1.20 update released
     ActiveData For Office / SQL is now free

 Off Topic
     On Programming and Attitude

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Welcome to PraxIS

My XLTest spreadsheet auditing add-in is now at version 1.2, with many more features. .

Patrick O'Beirne


IT Risk

Rapid Software Testing Course, Dublin September 13th

by Michael Bolton

    * Date: Monday 13th to Wednesday 15th September 2010
    * Venue: Xilinx, Citywest Business Park
    * In association with Testing Times and Xilinx
    * Duration: 3 day course (9.00am to 5.30pm)
    * Cost to non-members: 1,700 per person
    * Cost to Software Skillnet Members* after Grant aid: 770 per person

*Membership to Skillnet is Free

The course cost is all-inclusive for the 3 day course and covers all materials and refreshments  
This event is being grant aided by the Software Skillnet
Contact to book your place


Rapid Software Testing is a three-day, hands-on class that teaches testing as a sophisticated thinking art. The philosophy presented in this class is not like traditional approaches to testing, which ignore the thinking part of testing and instead advocate never-ending paperwork. Products have become too complex for that, time is too
short, and testers are too expensive. Rapid testing uses a cyclic approach and heuristic methods to constantly re-optimize testing to fit the needs of your clients. The Rapid approach isn't just testing with a speed or sense of urgency; it's mission-focused testing that eliminates unnecessary work, assures that everything necessary gets done, and constantly asks what testing can do to speed the project as a whole. This class presents an approach to testing that begins with developing personal skills and extends to the ultimate mission of software testing: lighting the way of the project by evaluating the product.

One important tool of rapid testing is the discipline of exploratory testing-essentially a testing martial art. Exploratory testing combines test design, test execution, test result interpretation, and learning into a seamless process that finds a lot of problems quickly. If you are an experienced tester, you'll find out how to articulate those intellectual processes of testing that you already practice intuitively. If you're a new tester, hands-on testing exercises help you gain critical experience.


Michael Bolton is an established and recognised leading-edge expert in the area of Software Testing. Michael has extensive experience in delivering workshops, tutorials, and conference presentations on the topic of Rapid Software Testing. He has over 20 years of experience in the computer industry testing, developing, managing, and writing about software. Software Skillnet
c/o Irish Software Association, Confederation House, 84-86 Lr Baggot Street, Dublin 2 Phone: 086 8067200



Draft programme for Eusprig 2010, July 15-16, Greenwich                     

"Practical steps to protect organisations from out-of-control spreadsheets"

Mary Pat Campbell, Society of Actuaries, author of several papers in the SOA journal.
Morten Siersted, F1F9, of the FAST Modelling Standard
Simon Murphy of Codematic, author of the Smurf On Spreadsheets blog
Michael Hutchens, BPM, Best Practice Modelling Standards

Other confirmed speakers so far are: (please check back for updates)

Ozgur Ozluk and Tom Grossman, USFCA : "Spreadsheets Grow Up: Spreadsheet Engineering"
Thomas Lemon, Protiviti : "A practical approach to managing spreadsheet risk in a global business"
Ray Panko and Salvatore Aurigemma, University of Hawaii : "The Detection of Human Spreadsheet Errors by Humans versus Inspection"
Sebastian Dewhurst of EASA & Nemanja Kostic, Zurich Finance : "Transforming Critical Spreadsheets into Web Applications at Zurich Fin."
Ruth McKeever & Kevin McDaid, Dundak Inst Tech : "How do Range Names Hinder Novice Debugging Performance"
Andrea Kohlase, German Research centre for AI: "What we understand is what we get: Assessments in spreadsheets"
Francoise Tort , ENS de Cachan: "Spreadsheet teaching: principles to design a curriculum"
Angus Dunn, Consultant & Angela Collins, BDO LLP : "Spreadsheet Compliance"
Dermot Balson: "Changing spreadsheet attitudes - a case study"
G. Croll, D. Baker & O. Lawal: "Evaluating Financial Model Performance: An Empirical Analysis of Some North Sea Models"
Ben Rittweger & Eoin Langan of Athlone Inst. Tech.: "Spreadsheet Risk Management in Organisations"
Ralph Baxter, ClusterSeven: "Transparency, Control and Opportunity - The Role of Continuous Validation"
Patrick O'Beirne, Systems Modelling : "Spreadsheet Refactoring"


UK Excel Developer Conference - Monday 12 July 2010 - London

Excel development overview and extension options
The Excel Tool Business over view
Fast User Defined functions with .net and ExcelDNA
Technology, Business, and Backoffice Considerations for FastExcel
Excel as the window to corporate data
Command extensions with VSTO and ADX



XLTest 1.20 upgrade

XLTest is an Excel add-in that dramatically increases an auditor's ability to test for unusual conditions in spreadsheets,
This upgrade includes:1.    Detailed listings can now list found areas separately
2.    Lists macro shortcut keys and button actions
3.    Shows DV & CF formulas in A1 and R1C1 style
4.    Lists formulas in charts, OLE objects
5.    Adds timing estimates for bulk operations
6.    Worksheet and Workbook comparisons show both R1C1 and A1 styles.
7.    Workbook comparison includes option to compare VBA source using WinMerge.
8.    Comparison functions made available as a public macro to your own VBA code
9.    Added VB Component export and import.
Still only 99 euro!
Bonus for readers of Praxis : Download the complete XLTest manual here  (3.5MB PDF)


ActiveData For Office / SQL is now free

This was originally developed  to overcome Excel's old 65,536 row limit. Since most users who deal with more than 65,536 rows of data have moved to Excel 2007 and many more are likely to move to the new Excel 2010, they have decided to provide ActiveData For Office / SQL as a free download.

Spreadsheet Check and Control: 47 best practices to detect and prevent errors



Simply send your comments to FEEDBACK (at) SYSMOD (dot) COM

Thank you! Patrick O'Beirne, Editor


Off Topic

On Programming and Attitude
"...what really matters in programming. It is not about solving puzzles and being the brightest kid in the class. It is about realizing that the complexity of software dwarfs even the most brilliant human; that cleverness cannot win. The only weapons we have are simplicity and convention."


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