Archive for November, 2008

I work on different projects which require me to perform very small, small and medium sized tasks which comprise a monolithic project just as any IT project out there would be. So what’s the big deal then?

I have seen people who design their work on paper be it very small or large and those who get into action right away. I fall into the latter group. I consider this to be a feather in my hat. This habit or skill, when I look at it now, are attributes that have creped into my nature of work partly due to my supervising body which wants results Yesterday and not Now or Tomorrow.

Until recently, I started noticing one of my colleagues who would jolt down even the slightest details of the task to perform before getting into action. Then with one steady stroke, as that of a master painter, she would complete her activities with no room for error. Integrating these modules would be a piece of cake.

On the contrary, I would have partly completed my activity with its main pieces in place and the results would also be there, feeling so proud of what I have achieved. In an IT project a partly completed project is equivalent to an uncompleted one. Integrating with these modules would be a tight rope walk. Endless debugging would follow during this integration process.

No more is this a feather in my hat, rather a scar on my face. I can’t emphasize enough the importance of Designing to the smallest details on paper before you start to act on your task. I am now trying by best to unlearn this behaviour. Hope I succeed. You might get a noticeable advantage in the beginning, however in the long run it’s always the tortoise than wins the race and not the hare.

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This is just ease the download of the Offline Desktop application. It took me some time to download it from the website. So I have downloaded it myself and hosted it on this page. Step to follow to get the Software Application for Emirates Identity Card.

Please check the pre-requisites before downloading

1) Try to get it from EIDA website http://www.emiratesid.ae/html/english2/Offline.html

2)Right Click HERE and Save file to the file system

3)Rename file(pre-registration.jpg)  to pre-registration.msi

4)Double click and Install this file

5)Run the file



The new location is here


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Today I had one of the worst experiences with the abuse of technology. For the past couple of weeks I have been rigorously trying to apply for the Emirates Identity Card which has been mandated by Emirates Identity Authority of United Arab Emirates. I have to say it’s a truly futuristic and highly commendable venture from the authorities. Every professional expatriate is supposed to have one. I foresee in the near future it will be integrated with all banks and form the basis of a Social Security System there by ensuring a nation wide credit system and much more. This initiative was a very good long term strategy which unfortunately lacked proper planning.

However my experiences in trying to procure an EID card have been quite bitter and painful in the royal way. I have been trying for the past few weeks to apply through their official website and fill the pre-registration form but in vain. You could get a cup of tea while the first page loads up (which is usual for high traffic sites). If it’s your lucky day and the page loads up by the time you get your cup of tea then definitely the time is 12:30 AM early in the morning.

The whole registration process comprises four pages. Now I fill the first page and try to submit, which gives me a validation check saying “Please choose your city & and street”. But again these are only optional fields. Then I notice that I was using the most popular browser in the world, FireFox(My mistake). So I switched to Internet Explorer (which accepts any junk.. thanks Microsoft) and the form submits to the second page. Voila, you get a page not found error. Submit again, once, twice then thrice. Luckily I get it now.

On the second page, you are requested to enter you residence permit number. Now this is a number of the format XXX/XXXX/XXXXXXX. However, by the time you enter the ‘/’ the whole content in the text field just disappears into thin air. Was this suggestion given by David Copperfield or David Blane? Hats off to whoever thought of this.

I would rather not elaborate on the third page. This is going to be an adventurous trip for the layman. So all the best and try and see if you know which part of the country you are in (If at all you find it).

Fourth page asks for your qualification. Now when you move on to your profession, it starts to get confusing again. There are tons of professions, and I being a Computer Engineer made me fall in none. Finally I had to satisfy my self with just “Professional” and as a job description, I key in “Sr. Software Engineer”.

Needless to say, once I complete all the four pages and reach the last Application Form preview section, I see that the details I have entered so far is not what I see on the last page. I see a totally new Occupation, someone else mother’s name is there, my company name is now “Sr. Software Engineer” and the rest I better leave it to all of you to figure it out. Don’t worry, its OK says the Call Center Executive. Don’t trust me, then give them a call and see!!!

If my memory is not wrong, this intricate system has been in place for more than a year now. Mind it; this is only the registration system we have been talking about.

You have only seen the tip of the iceberg still. The appointment system is something I still was not able to conquer so far. Hence I gave in and went to one of the centers. Needless to mention the bitter encounters I had with the Emirates Post counter staff, after a long treacherous trip I reached the venue and guess what I see!!! There is ONE kiosk machine (It’s a Touch sensitive enabled device wrapped over a normal computer) with half of its machinery outside for the convenience of the Security Staff so that it can be restarted at ease. At first I though it was my responsibility to restart the machine when it was my turn (If I could make it). Fortunately the Security Staff felt it their privileged responsibility to restart the machine (Yes restart the Computer and you can see….”Windows is Restarting…”) after each Appointment request was generated. That’s right after each request was generated they would restart the Kiosk Machine. Just some information to help those who will be going to get the Appointment from the Kiosk machine: Once you have filled in your mobile number you will be asked to call a standard mobile number something that starts with 0501062… Don’t be surprised when you hear the voice message “The mobile number you are calling is currently switched off…..!!!!” Its alright. Now that’s the intelligent system telling you with its ESP (Extra Sensory Perception) to call the Security Staff and ask him to restart the Kiosk Machine.

Fortunately I have got an appointment date now and am waiting for more action. More on that later. Until then, I shall cap my pen!!!

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In many different forums, I have seen posts regarding how to send parameters to JasperReport. If you are still looking for an answer, you can definitely find it over here.

I am assuming that you are familiar with JasperReport and the JRXML template.

JasperReport allows you to pass parameters to the report during runtime. In order to do so you need to:


  • Declare the parameter in your report template (jrxml) as follow
    <parameter name="itemName" class="java.lang.String"/>

    You can set a default value for the parameter in case it is not been passed. In order to do so, you can use the child element defaultValueExpression. 

  • You can then refer to the parameter that you have declared in your template using the syntax “$P{PARAMETER NAME}”
  • To refer to the parameter declared earlier in a text field use the follow syntax
    $P{ itemName }

    The text field will display the value of this parameter when the report is filled.

  • To pass the parameter declared earlier to a query, use the following syntax
    SELECT * FROM product WHERE itemName = $P{ itemName } ORDER BY inventoryDate
  • To dynamically modify portions of the SQL query or to pass the entire SQL query as a parameter the syntax differs a little. BE CAREFUL. The ! character is needed. See the following example
    SELECT * FROM $P!{MyTable} ORDER BY $P!{OrderByClause}

The parameters here are used to pass the table name in the FROM clause and the column names in the ORDER BY clause. Note that you cannot use the normal parameters (i.e. $P{}) to dynamically modify your query.

Please note that the reporting engine first deals with the $P!{} parameter references by using their values to obtain the final form of the SQL query, and only after that it transforms the rest of the $P{} parameters.


 Reference: The Definitive Guide to JasperReports by Teodor Danciu and Lucian Chirita

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