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Web Services

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Contributors to this blog

  • Calum Towers 16
  • Anthony Lawrence 7
  • Andy Ford 3

About this blog

Our Web Team are responsible for maintaining the websites and systems that the Division uses.

Entries in this blog

Improving UK Controller Plugin Updates

Believe it or not, the UK Controller Plugin was released almost two and a half years ago. How time flies! In that time we've seen 35 releases to the EuroScope plugin itself and over 100 releases for the API (think of the API as the brain of the plugin that sits on our server). Right now, every time we release an update to the UK Controller Plugin you need to download the new DLL and load it into EuroScope. This has a number of disadvantages including: You have to go and download t

Andy Ford

Andy Ford in Web Services

Stand Assignments within UK Controller Plugin

Today, we are pleased to announce a significant update to the UK Controller Plugin - automated assignment of stands to arriving aircraft! We've sourced together stand data for as many airports we can find in the AIP, vMATS and sector file... even the two lone stands at Dundee... to allow the plugin infrastructure to manage and assign realistic stands for arriving aircraft! How does it work? Stands are assigned around fifteen minutes before the aircraft is due to arrive. We as

Andy Ford

Andy Ford in Web Services

Slack's Retirement & Our Transition To Discord

Hey all, Some of you may have seen some of our work in recent months to explore the possibility of setting up a Discord server for VATSIM UK members. This followed suggestions by members that Discord could be used within the Division as a replacement to Slack and, potentially, TeamSpeak. It has been nearly 6 years since we started with Slack. In that time, we have exchanged over 1.1 million messages between nearly 3000 members. We are pleased to announce that we are now ready to

Calum Towers

Calum Towers in Web Services

George Barlow

Hi all, George Barlow has decided to leave the Web Services team to allow him to focus on his studies. Please join me in thanking George for his time and contribution in the past year, no doubt a lot of you will have received help from him at some stage through our Helpdesk. Thanks, Calum

Calum Towers

Calum Towers in Staff Changes

Web Services Manager

Good evening, In order to better support our ongoing projects and ways of working, I am pleased to confirm that @Callum Axon has assumed the role of Web Services Manager. Callum will work closely with me to ensure that we continue to maintain our existing systems and develop solutions that will keep the Division working efficiently for many years to come. The role also provides a level of redundancy to the Web Services Team that has not always been as prevalent as it is in other depa

Calum Towers

Calum Towers in Staff Changes

Web Services Assistant

Hi all, The Web Services team are starting to make significant head way on the long-promised "new training system" to replace CTS. There is a lot of moving parts with this; a new design for Core, a brand new admin panel and a fairly complex migration of a legacy (12 years +) system into a modern web infrastructure. For that reason, I am very grateful that Andy Ford has taken me up on my offer to rejoin the Web Services team. Having worked on CTS in the past as a developer, his k

Calum Towers

Calum Towers in Staff Changes

Web Services Assistant

Hi all, Following the recent opening of applications for a Support Assistant within the Web Services team, I am pleased to confirm that George Barlow has accepted my offer to take up the role. George has a long standing interest in web technologies and is no stranger to the Division. As we restructure the team and give individual's clearly defined responsibilities, George will take ownership of our front-line support. The Web Services team deals with an vast number of requests and it i

Calum Towers

Calum Towers in Staff Changes

Getting Started With Core

Core, the service that runs at https://core.vatsim.uk, is the backbone to the Web Services department. It has been a long time since it "just" handling sign on to all of our other services. Now, it is a platform that facilitates feedback, handles Visiting/Transferring applications, creates TeamSpeak registrations and more. Soon, it will become the shop window of the division too, handling our public facing website and the content that it provides. To give you an idea of how much it is used.

Calum Towers

Calum Towers in Web Services

Web Services Assistant

Hi all, I was pleasantly surprised at the volume of strong submissions to the announcement of a vacancy within the Web Services team. After spending some time reviewing them, I am pleased to announce that Callum Axon will be joining the team. Callum has spent time on the ATC staff team in the past and is very familiar with the Division's operations. His past experiences with the technologies that we utilise will be of great assistance as we take on some rather large projects in the c

Calum Towers

Calum Towers in Staff Changes

Craig Milne

Good evening all, It is with regret I inform you all that Craig Milne has decided to leave the Web Services team as a result of his increased workload at university. I would like to thank Craig for his time and the time he spent helping to develop Core and wish him well in his studies. I hope others with join me with a show of thanks. Calum

Calum Towers

Calum Towers in Staff Changes

George Jones

Good evening all, With disappointment, I announce that George Jones has resigned from his post as a Web Services Development Assistant. Please join me in thanking him for his contributions to the Division during his tenure and wishing him luck in his future endeavours. Thanks George!

Calum Towers

Calum Towers in Staff Changes

Web Services Assistant

Good evening all, Please join me in welcoming Nathan Davies to the Web Team as a Support Assistant. He will be working alongside Matt Collier to provide front-line support to members and staff. In addition, he will be working closely with Neil to help with the upkeep of our servers. His experience in SysAdmin in his profession will prove invaluable to the division in the management of our development environments, backups and other fun stuff.

Calum Towers

Calum Towers in Staff Changes

Changes to CTS

Evening All, Recently, we deployed a number of updates to the CT System, as some of you may have already noticed by the large banner on your homepage. Over time, we're hoping to use the System Updates feature in the CTS to inform you of any important changes that may affect your use of the system. On this occasion, due to the number of changes and also because of the previous lack of use of the system updates, we are also using this forum post to let you all know the important bits that ha

Andy Ford

Andy Ford in Web Services

Web Services Assistants

Hi all, I am pleased to announce that following the invitation of applications for Web Services Assistants, we have had three successful applicants who will be joining the Web Services Department. Craig Milne as a Development Assistant Craig has an impressive portfolio of projects that have allowed him to develop skills that will be invaluable to the Division in continuing to develop our web services for our membership. Josh Riley & Matt Collier as Support Assistants Both

Calum Towers

Calum Towers in Staff Changes

Begin at the beginning, and go on till you come to the end: then stop.

Hello.   How are you today?  Have you done something with your hair?  It really suits you.   Theodore Roosevelt once said that "in any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing and the worst thing you can do is nothing". Making decisions that are right, but aren't what you'd like in an ideal world are always going to be hard but after about a week or mulling over the different options to take, I think the decision I'v

Anthony Lawrence

Anthony Lawrence in Web Services

Change of Domain

All, As 2016 draws to a close and we start looking at the list of tasks that 2017 presents, we're presented with a great opportunity to start the year with a fresh domain to better represent the VATSIM UK brand (and make it slightly easier for folk to remember).  @Alex Hartshorne is working incredibly hard to ensure VATSIM UK is correctly represented and as such, from the 1st January, we'll be migrating to our new home - https://vatsim.uk  All old links will continue to work as expecte

Anthony Lawrence

Anthony Lawrence in Web Services

Plans for 2017

Overview With the new community cohesion plans, Community Championships/Leaderboards, Central Training, and Pilot Training exercises all announced, it is a good opportunity for me to outline the plans for our department as we go forward and some of the technical challenges we need to overcome. Quarter 1 The most noticeable change for our members that are embarking upon ATC Training will be the rebranding of the RTS System to the CT System to complement the new trai

Anthony Lawrence

Anthony Lawrence in Web Services

Open Source Web Services - Update 3

At the start of 2016, I outlined our plans for moving to an open source model for our core web services.  During the year this has always been a big focus for the team and has helped massively as a reminder of why we need to thoroughly document our code and ensure only high-quality commits to our repositories. 12 months ago we wouldn't have been able to open source straight away - our code styling and formatting was largely inconsistent, we had areas that were written in a different manner

Anthony Lawrence

Anthony Lawrence in Web Services

Open Source Web Services - Update 2

Dear all, As we approach the end of the year, I felt it was a good time to provide an overview of where we are in terms of open sourcing the Web Services platform. This has not yet been completed, however I'm very keen that this doesn't hold the project up.  This was always a nice to have by the time we open sourced, but we'll continue to develop this and release in due course. The team continue to work on this - we've now split the new site down into key modules, each of whic

Anthony Lawrence

Anthony Lawrence in Web Services

Open Source Web Services - Update 1

Evening all, I just wanted to provide a quick overview on where we are in terms of open sourcing our code base as we enter Q2 of 2016.  For those who haven't read the plan as a whole, please see the overview post: This has now been completed.  The SSO element of our authentication simply detects that it isn't going to work on the current setup and reverts to an alternative login process. In this scenario (of not having any of the SSO authentication information, or having any access

Anthony Lawrence

Anthony Lawrence in Web Services

Open Source Web Services - The Plan

One aspect we’ve struggled with in Web Services over the years is finding people who have the time to commit to web services projects.  We’ve found that the quantity of applicants for web services roles is often low, and many people don’t have much of an idea of what skill set is truly required until they’re on board. To protect the longevity of the web services and to benefit from members being able to donate a few hours every few months to resolving an issue/implementing a feature, our lo

Anthony Lawrence

Anthony Lawrence in Web Services

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