SparkLabs

We believe that passion drives great ideas. Our teams are very passionate about the work they do, which results in a lot of innovative ideas. SparkLabs is where we explore those ideas, and develop them into tools and products that bring value to our services, and ultimately our customers.

We have developed a structure of Innovation Centers that are carefully designed to support and improve our services. The Centers serve as a knowledge base, analyzing our experiences and lessons learned to identify opportunities for improvement. Innovation Centers feed into our work in SparkLabs, and have produced process improvement concepts like DevTOps, which you can read more about below. Click on one of our Centers to learn more about what they do.

MockSpider logo platform-agnostic data solution

Data Pipelines are Expensive to Maintain and Rigid by Nature.

We found that all analytical systems deal with the same burdens caused by data ingestion. In addition, these systems are never able to consistently communicate the data transformation rules applied to the data in terms that the business user community can understand. This inability to communicate data transformation rules results in an even greater need to rely on technical staff to address these business-driven inquiries.

So we created our eleVate solution.

eleVate (Extract, Load, Enhance, and Virtually Transform) is a platform-agnostic solution that leverages dynamic SQL to profile, improve, and prepare incoming data for future analytics. eleVate addresses common problems upfront while allowing systems to ingest self-described data without custom code. Time-versioned views are applied to implement any remaining complex business rules. In addition to nearly eliminating source dependencies, eleVate also allows users to re-run their analytics against the system as it was in the past.

Features

  • A platform-agnostic solution built using ANSI-Standard SQL.
  • Reacts to incoming file layouts guided by user input to rapidly deliver improvements.
  • Transformed data resides alongside raw data.
  • Modular dynamic improvement transformations ensure consistent transformations across your whole system.
  • Complex business logic allows for historic what/if analytics.
  • Provides daily configurable data profiling and trend analysis across all incoming data sets.
  • Addresses issues including: data ingestion, referential integrity, duplicate data, bad data typing, non-contiguous overlapping dates, lists of values, field and table aliases, and more.
MockSpider logo virtual integration tool

Testing is critical.

It is also complex, time consuming, and expensive. Loading data is slow, and you can't test during this time. Further delays are caused by waiting for all of the components to be completed before testing. This lost time adds up quickly, and is costly. We knew that we could develop a way to bring efficiency and flexibility to this cumbersome process.

So we created MockSpider.

MockSpider provides a virtual environment for your data, and creates a "sandbox" for developers to test in. Data can be batch uploaded, and is available immediately to begin testing. Your data is infinitely reusable, and available to multiple systems.

MockSpider can also simulate incomplete components, allowing you to test your completed components earlier. Developing and testing concurrently makes finding and fixing bugs easier, and significantly shortens the lifecycle of your project.

Now, testing is fast, flexible, and affordable.

Features

  • Provided as Software as a Service (SaaS), it is easily scalable.
  • You don't have to develop and manage web service sandboxes, MockSpider takes care of it all for you.
  • You can choose to use our secure cloud hosting, or install it in your data center.
  • It mocks services for SOAP and REST.
  • Virtualized data is available for testing immediately, infinitely reusable, and accessible to multiple testing systems.
  • Incomplete components of your application are simulated, so completed components can be tested earlier.
  • You can mock services quickly and easily using Smart Templates.
  • Enterprise level role-based access controls access to information.
reusable testing framework

Testing is labor intensive.

We have run extensive testing, both manual and automated, on large and incredibly complex systems. Through this we have identified pain points in the testing process, and gained valuable understanding of the unique needs of these processes. We knew there had to be a way to streamline testing.

So we created ScriptHive.

ScriptHive is a hybrid automation testing framework, supporting both Test Driven and Business Driven Development. More than that, it is reusable and customizable. You set ScriptHive up to run your test scripts for a project, and at the end you can re-tailor the framework for use with your next project, eliminating the need to build a new framework each time.

ScriptHive has been built to run grid-based parallel execution, in a cloud environment. This allows you to run multiple tests across browsers,concurrently, and without the need for physical machines. We also added features for scheduling tests, monitoring, recovery, and automatically generated and shared reporting.

Features

  • Hybrid framework for both Test and Business Driven Development.
  • Reusable, flexible, and customizable to each project.
  • Cloud based execution eliminates the dependence on physical machines for testing.
  • Automatic script triggering allows you to schedule testing, without manual supervision.
  • Automatically generates and shares test results.
  • Built to run parallel execution, across browsers.

accessibility validation plug-in

508 compliance is important.

508 compliance is not a new requirement, but standards remain poorly understood by many, and testing is often performed as an afterthought.

We decided to simplify 508 testing, and make it easier. The solution needed to be fast, flexible, and able to stand alone or integrate into a current system.

So we created 508bee.

508bee is a browser plug-in and API that tests websites and documents for 508b and WCAG AA standards compliance.

Define what you want to test (a single page, the whole site, a user path, etc.), and 508bee will automatically check the code against its database of standards rules. It returns reports that are easy to understand, and built to help developers fix the code quickly.

508bee can be integrated into your development and testing environments, and modified with custom scripts to tailor its performance. The API easily integrates with Selenium frameworks, making 508bee an integral part of automation testing. This encourages testing early and often, and brings awareness of 508 compliance issues into the whole lifecycle.

Don't just test, develop for compliance

Features

  • Plug-in format makes it easy to test right from the browser.
  • Tests static and dynamic pages, in both standard and responsive sites.
  • Has a Developer mode that highlights web elements, and allows the developer to fix the issues in debug mode.
  • Reports are designed for developers, to help fix the code faster.
  • Tests documents, such as PDFs, hosted on your site or uploaded through the web portal.
  • Can be integrated with your Content Management System, and customized with scripts.
  • Tests both 508b and WCAG AA rules.
SparkMarker logo SparkMarker
in-line website acceptance testing

Web apps are expected to be modern, up-to-the-minute and without bugs or errors.

Web apps are the forward face of a modern company. However, building for the web comes with a notorious potential for oversight, especially when various browsers, screen sizes and user settings need to be accounted for.

So we created SparkMarker.

Our response implements an in-line system to facilitate acceptance testing from fellow developers, beta testers, or even end users. SparkMarker provides a collaborative, intuitive and lightweight solution that is easy to install and allows observations to be tied to specific HTML elements. By simplifying feedback delivery and tailoring it to various use cases, taking a web app from draft to production-ready becomes a simple series of adjustments.

The intuitive and familiar “comment”-based design embraces a large group of testers to counter the device variability that accounts for a majority of bugs. Feedback is also sharable so that multiple perspectives can be recorded in response to a single element.

SparkMarker includes a suite of features to consolidate feedback and expedite responses - comments can be downloaded as a table, viewed all at once or even organized to the side of the web page or app in question. Armed with this transparency and capacity for convenient feedback delivery, updates become seamless and well informed.

SparkMarker enables communication to empower developers.


Want to try SparkMarker and our latest beta features? Click the message icon in the SparkMarker toolbar below and select an element on this page to get started! You can email us your opinions, or simply experiment with the feature set. This tool is configured for feature testing, and messages are disconnected from our database and deleted as the page is reloaded.

Features

  • Built to facilitate acceptance testing for users of all experience levels
  • Provides capability to track & respond to observations
  • Resolve observations in-line without a separate document
  • Links track critiques to specific page elements
  • Replies allow feedback to be a community effort
  • Lightweight and easy to install; requires no training to use
  • Intuitive and familiar interface
  • Reports can be generated from feedback to consolidate improvement efforts
  • List view allows all feedback to be viewed simultaneously for a comprehensive view
SnowGrid logo SnowGrid
database communication via GUI spreadsheet tables

SnowGrid empowers seamless Snowflake communication for users of all experience levels. Bypassing interfaces that often require technical backgrounds, SnowGrid’s tabularized layout mimics the user experience of standard, familiar spreadsheet applications. Adding and removing rows and columns, renaming columns, and editing fields (including support for multi-field edits) become as straightforward as editing an Excel spreadsheet.

This streamlined conversion between intuitive visual displays and SQL queries for relational databases offers a universal accessibility to Snowflake’s powerful database warehouses; while some data management systems may offer graphical user interfaces, SnowGrid ensures consistent accessibility across platforms and ensures an interface that prioritizes users of all skill levels. Edits are automatically organized to prevent conflicts and can be committed to the database with a single click. SnowGrid’s error handling system will pause the commit on any invalid entry and highlight the row or cell containing commit errors.

To further equalize users' SQL expertise, all changes to tables may be previewed as SQL statements for either review or educational purposes prior to commission to the database.

Today, a majority of databases are used by personnel whose background knowledge of the data is compromised by difficulty navigating relational or hierarchical data storage. Not only can SnowGrid's accessibility initiative minimize required training, but it also takes advantage of Snowflake’s powerful data management features, including a role-based setup that ensures team members are automatically restricted to permitted tables for company-wide protection against data exposure and abuse.

SnowGrid’s table format bypasses lengthy and inconvenient form submission and encourages direct database interaction by guaranteeing a platform designed for all users - while maintaining support for the latest and most advantageous data platforms.

Features

  • Tabularized, intuitive & familiar GUI
  • Support for the industry-leading Snowflake cloud data platform
  • Varied functionality: select; navigate and sort multiple tables; add and delete rows, columns, and tables
  • Edit singular or multiple fields at a time
  • SQL statement preview
  • Takes advantage of Snowflake’s unique data management features, including role-specific table access and database schemas
  • Built-in error handling & security protocols

For more information about these products and the latest Sparksoft innovations,
call 410-424-7700 or info@sparksoftcorp.com

Sparksoft's Snowflake Data Marketplace Disclaimer