Software tales – to reuse or not to reuse?

Udi Dahan business logic review

In the first episode of our Money Dashboard Developer Series, Adam Lubek dissects Udi Dahan’s ‘Business Logic, a different perspective’.

Presenting Udi Dahan’s business logic

At Money Dashboard, we like to learn new things and expand our horizons. One way we tend to do this is through group learning sessions where we watch development related lectures or talks from conferences.

The latest video we watched was ‘Business Logic, a different perspective’ by Udi Dahan. This video encouraged us to take a step back and take on a fresh perspective regarding software reuse and how it sometimes can cause problems.

While we agreed that indeed, Udi is right about how software reuse can sometimes be problematic, he didn’t unfortunately suggest solutions that our development team would be happy with.

Viable solutions

An example problem was business requirement to have string up to X characters (which usually tend to be duplicated throughout solution layers for various reasons) and how to handle inevitable change to that requirement.

Udi suggested that it’s OK to duplicate logic instead of coming up with reuse strategies and when requirement to change the rule comes, just use source control to check where to apply changes so no place is missed (as theoretically we would have all changes under one issue).

We discussed that later and agreed that this is not viable solution as it’s sometimes hard to track initial issue. Or how about if developer forgot to reference one of the commits properly?

Another problem are cases where rule was added somewhere else later on under another issue.

P is for problematic reuse

Regardless of our disagreement with suggested solution, we agreed that reuse can be problematic (for example: how do you efficiently share logic across layers and different platforms/programming languages?) and actually, we have an example of how reuse is causing us some problems currently.

We have business logic layer which is shared by various services that are used by number of platforms we have. This means that any change to business logic for a specific platform requires deployment of all of the services that use business logic layer (as keeping service out of sync is never a good idea).

We agreed that we need to come up with a better solution for this, with initial ideas being separate business logic which would certainly result in some duplications (no!!) or come up with better deployment strategies.

Moving forward

This looks likely to be a topic of team discussions over upcoming weeks; which we’ll commit to because we strive to adhere to one of the most fundamental principles of software development. Can’t live with it, can’t live without it.

In general, talk was interesting and thanks to Udi for prompting us to think about fundamental development practices that like anything, can have exceptions.

Maybe sometimes, when supported by strong case, fundamental practice isn’t right for the solution?

About the author

Adam Lubek is a Developer here at Money Dashboard and spends his time TDDing and complaining about missing automated tests. He enjoys listening to Hope Conspiracy while at work. If you have a question on what Adam has blogged about, do tweet us @MoneyDashboard with our #askAdam hashtag.

adam lubeck money dashboard developer

Budget better with ‘Balance History’

free budget planner

With Money Dashboard’s free budget planner, you can easily manage finances online. On the dashboard page in Money Dashboard, the balance trends pane gives you an overview of how the balances of your accounts changed over last month, and the current month so far. Go a little further and you can see a more detailed pane containing your balance history.

In this blog we offer you a video overview and some points to take away on how to make the most of the ‘Balance History’ function in Money Dashboard.

Video overview

Take a look at our video overview which Money Dashboard’s Max Thomas has pulled together to explain how ‘Balance History’ works. You can use this functional tool to learn how to budget money and achieve your financial goals – which could be saving for your wedding or just to pay off some credit cards.

Using the ‘Balance History’ function

A more detailed breakdown of your balances over time can be found on the ‘Balance History’ screen, which can be found in the ‘Past’ section. Here are a few points about what you can see here:

  • Each line on the graph shows the balance of one of your accounts changing over time. The colour of the line corresponds with the colour stripe next to the account name on the left hand side.
  • Hover over any point on the graph to see what the balances of your various accounts were at that time.
  • You can zoom in on any period by clicking and dragging.
  • You can add another line to the graph for the total value of all your balances by clicking ‘Net Balance’. The dark line shows your net balance over time.

To change accounts that you are viewing balance history for in your personal finance dashboard simply:

  1. Click on ‘change account’
  2. Deselect ‘All’, then select the name of the account you want to view
  3. Deselect ‘Net balance’
  4. Hover over slowly from left to right
  5. Click on ‘change account to choose which accounts are shown on the chart.

To take advantage of these new enhancements, visit your Money Dashboard account now.

We’d love to hear what you think about our new Spend Tracker! Use the feedback function in the tracker to share your thoughts or leave us a review on Trustpilot.

Using Money Dashboard’s Spend Tracker

spend tracker money dashboard

With Money Dashboard’s free budget planner, you can quickly see the areas of your financial life where you might be spending more than you want to. Sometimes just getting visibility of these figures and trends can be enough to spur you into action, but sometimes it’s useful to have some targets!

Recently, we’ve introduced the ‘Spend Tracker’, which you can find in the ‘Future’ section of Money Dashboard. Here you can set up target limits for areas of your life you want to get control of and track how much you spend in those areas throughout the month.

With recent updates to the tool, you can now use the Spend Tracker in a few different ways:

  1. See a historical view of previous tagged activity providing a comparison to your current trackers.

  2. Have the ability to create trackers on groups of spend tags.

  3. Personalise your trackers by giving them meaningful names and colours.

To take advantage of these new enhancements, visit your Spend Tracker now.

Video overview

Take a look at our video overview which Money Dashboard’s Lisa Venter has pulled together to help you get to grips with our new spend tracker. Using the spend tracker can help learn how to budget money and achieve your financial goals – whether that is saving for a mortgage or just to go on holiday.

Using the spend tracker

First, select the tag against which you want to start tracking. If you know what you’re looking for, the quickest way to do this is just to start typing the name of the tag in the field and it will automatically bring up tag names for you to choose from.

Anytime throughout the month, you can edit your trackers to help you get to grips with budgeting. Just click on the ‘cog’ icon to bring the tracker into the ‘edit’ state. Here, you can change the tag you’re tracking against, or the amount you want set as the target limit.

You can see the exact spend on any of your trackers by hovering over the orange bar.

We’d love to hear what you think about our new Spend Tracker! Use the feedback function in the tracker to share your thoughts or leave us a review on Trustpilot.

New past activity section

transactions-hero

 

New! ‘Past activity’ Improvements

Always striving to improve your experience of our service, today we’ve released a major enhancement to our “Past” section, which allows you to review, categorise and visualise your financial transactions.

We’ve been listening to your feedback, and have introduced:

  • A slicker, cleaner, and much faster interface
  • An improved experience on tablets
  • Easier to locate and categorise transactions

Transactions Page

 

transactions-image2

 

We know that the old Transactions listing could be a bit slow when performing some tasks, so the new page is designed to make it incredibly quick to filter your transactions, for example by turning your accounts on and off, and filtering for specific tags or descriptions.

We’ve also made it much easier to edit multiple transactions – using the new “multi-edit” mode, you can easily select multiple transactions and make changes to them. Combined with the new filtering tool, this makes it easier than ever to review and categorise your transactions.

New In:Out Graph

 

transactions-image3

 

We’ve added a new graph to let you easily see how your incomings compare to your outgoings. You can configure the graph to exclude specific categories, or even to focus on a specific category to see how your spend varies month-on-month.

Balance History Graph

 

transactions-image4

 

We’ve revamped the Balance History Graph so it’s a faster and smoother. It still gives you a visual history of the balances of your accounts, and on top of that we’ve added the ability to see your combined balance across multiple accounts.

And this is just the start…

We plan to keep the improvements coming… Over the next few weeks we’ll be releasing more new features which continually help you to manage your money more effectively.

 

Posted by Money Dashboard

  

 

New features and developments

Updates-October

We’ve just released some new features and in the coming weeks we have some forthcoming developments we want to share with you.

New dashboard panes

On our desktop service, you’ll now see two new panes on your dashboard. Here’s a little bit of information on why they are there and the benefits they provide:

Outgoings in the past 7 days – this pane let’s you see a more focused breakdown of your outgoings. It presents a graphical representation of the breakdown you regularly receive in your weekly summary.

Upcoming transactions – this enables you to quickly see transactions that are imminently going to happen on your accounts. Now you’ll never be caught out by an unexpected payment.

Helping you save money

At Money Dashboard, our goal is to help you get on top of your finances. We can do this by highlighting areas where you might be overspending and suggest solutions to help you save. To achieve this we’ve also been partnering with a number of companies to bring you the best deals and market-leading rates across a variety of areas and products.

We’ve already had a great response to our recent Big Energy Switch, with thousands of our users registering for a cheaper gas and electricity offer. We’re also delighted to announce that the auction has taken place and the winner is one of the Big 6 energy suppliers, with a market leading tariff*. If you’ve participated, you’ll receive your offer by the 24th October.

*(based on Ofgem averages on the day of the auction)

Improving our service

In the next few weeks we will be releasing improvements to our past activity section.

We’ll be presenting you with a new experience to help you understand your historic transactions better and where your money goes according to category. Included in this release:

  • A sleaker, cleaner, and much faster interface
  • An improved experience on tablets
  • Easier to locate and categorise transactions
  • A simpler process to filter transactions by account, tag, etc
  • More customisable graphs, including the ability to see net balance history over time

Privacy Policy

In keeping with our desire to make everything transparent, and to take into account some of the introductions above, we have also updated our privacy policy. Read the updated privacy policy here, and do let us know if you have any questions. Your continued use of the service will be deemed to be acceptance of these new policies.

 

Posted by Money Dashboard

  

 

A new way to manage your accounts

ManageAccounts Zoom

 

Are there any areas of your life that are not included on your dashboard? Perhaps you have investment accounts, accounts with no online banking facility, or you simply want to track the money you keep in your wallet.

We’ve recently launched the new, more intuitive Manage Accounts page, where we have introduced new functionality that enables you to keep track of every area of your financial life, making money management and budgeting even easier.

Add Additional financial items

If you select the Manage Accounts option in the My Accounts menu on the left hand side of your Dashboard, you will now see a new section called Your additional financial items. Here you can add any additional financial items that are not currently represented on your Money Dashboard and they will show under your other aggregated accounts on the left hand side.

You can name these additional items and enter their balance, which can be edited at any time. You can also choose whether to have these balances included in your total balance on your My Overview section.

Colour code your dashboard

You can now make your accounts any colour you like so you can differentiate between them throughout the app. Simply select the account that you want to re-colour, click on the colour box and select the colour you want.

Top tip: Group all of your credit cards, savings and current accounts in different shades of the same colour – that way you’ll not only be able to tell your accounts apart, you can mark similar accounts with similar colours.

More mobile functionality

You can now edit your accounts and login details on mobile. You can also add and edit all of your new additional financial items.

Log in and check it out for yourself now.

 

Posted by Money Dashboard

  

We’ve launched our iOS and Android apps

Money Dashboard iOS and Android apps

As a result of high consumer and user demand we’ve been making a lot of new developments at Money Dashboard lately – and now we’re excited to announce the latest…

You can now have your finances at your fingertips with the new Money Dashboard app, available for you to download for free on both iOS and Android.

The new apps make accessing personal financial information ‘on-the-go’ easier and clearer than ever before.

Download it now to plan, track and control your financial life on the move.

Here are some reviews so far:

“All in all, this is a great little app. Simple to use, secure, and with all of the information I need about my bank accounts. Really great stuff – looking forward to more functionality in the future”

“Absolutely love this app, nice simple views to show me where I spend all my money. Hopefully this app will help me to manage money more effectively”

 

iOs-app     andriod-app

 

Posted by Marc Murphy

 

We’re updating the future planner

Future planner

 

We would like to let you know that we will soon be introducing a brand new future planner. The new future planner will allow you to get a better view of your financial future with a more intuitive interface, and a clearer picture of upcoming events in your financial calendar.

New users

While we update the Future Planner, new users of our service will not be able to see the old Future Planner.

Existing users

The Current Future Planner will still be available to existing users of Money Dashboard who registered an account prior to the 15th of January 2014.

What to expect

  • Intuitive Calendar

See where your cash balance will be at its lowest, and what money will be going in/out and when

  • Balance predictions

The ability to see your predicted balance for any day in the next 12 months

  • Easier editing

Add and edit your predictions of future transactions

If you any questions regarding the new future planner please contact our support team at support@moneydashboard.com

 

How much did you spend on Christmas Presents?

christmas shopping free budget software

 

On average, Money Dashboard users spent £177.89 on Christmas presents this year. How much did you spend? If you use Money Dashboard free budget software there’s a way to see your total Christmas present spend.

  1. If you haven’t done so already, Sign up to Money Dashboard and add your accounts
  2. Log in to your Money Dashboard account and click the Past Activity tab at the top of the page
  3. On the right-hand side, set the date to run from start of November (or whenever you started Christmas shopping) to the current date
  4. Make sure any Christmas present purchases are correctly tagged as ‘Gifts, Charity and Religion: Christmas Present’. If not, tag them
  5. On the right hand Search menu, click on the ‘Out’ radio button
  6. Select the ‘Gifts, Charity and Religion’ Group and the ‘Christmas Present’ Tag, then click on the ‘Search’ button
  7. You should now see a list of all the Transactions tagged as ‘Christmas present’ for that period, and a total appears at the bottom of the right-hand side; your total Christmas Present Spend

According to our data, the average spend by a Money Dashboard user on a single Christmas present was £37.42. Many of these were purchased from amazon.co.uk, and could have been cheaper if the user had received an Amazon discount from Money Dashboard’s Price Beater.

If you spent more than you wanted to this year, here are a few simple money saving tips to help you get back on track:

  • Sell unwanted Christmas presents on a website like eBay or Gumtree
  • Sell old clothes, toys, mobile phones, electronics, etc. to make room for presents you received, especially if your present makes the old item redundant, like a new phone or computer.
  • If you have a garden, store unopened bags or boxes of frozen food in the cold outside so you have more room in the freezer to make your Christmas dinner leftovers last longer. Make sure the food is protected from rain damage, and birds or animals by putting it in a box or heavy duty bag.
  • Buy sunglasses and swimwear. They’re cheapest this time of year, and you’ll pay much more if you wait until summer.
  • Close all your curtains and blinds at night, it will keep the heat and reduce your gas and electricity bill.

 

Our New Customisable Dashboard

 New Money Dashboard
 

Money Dashboarders, you told us what you would like to see from your Money Dashboard. And we’ve been listening!

We are now delighted to introduce your new Dashboard screen, which consists of 4 movable and customisable panes. You can now position and set them up in a way that suits you.

Customisable panes

The Dashboard is now made up of four panes that can be rearranged as you see fit.  Set them up in the positions that suit you best so you always see what’s most helpful to you when you log in to your Dashboard.

Customisable Panels

The Panes

Outgoings by group

The first pane shows a breakdown of your outgoings across all your accounts, displayed in a donut chart to be clear and instructive.  You can choose to view your last calendar month’s outgoings in total or the current calendar month’s outgoings so far. You can also decide what types of outgoings (e.g. transfers etc.) to include or exclude from the chart.

For example, do you want to compare your Household outgoings with how much you spend on Going Out? Which do you spend more on? And how much more?

Benefit: This pane helps you get a handle on, and keep an eye on, the areas of your life that are consuming most of your money.

Balance trends

See how your balances fluctuated across the whole of the previous calendar month, and compare against the calendar month so far using the Balance trends pane. You can choose to show all your accounts, just your current accounts, just savings accounts or just credit cards.

Benefit: Balance trends helps you understand what happens to your balances throughout the month. In particular, you can determine when in the month your balance is at its lowest.

Outgoings by tag

The third pane allows you to track your outgoings across different categories over time.  Choose up to three tags to view at once, and how many months, from 3 to 12, you want the chart to show.

You can compare how much you spent on Groceries to how much you spend on Dining and Drinking, or how much you spend on Fuel vs. Car Insurance.

Benefit: This pane helps you see patterns and trends in your outgoings over time and lets you compare categories of outgoing transactions against each other.

Transactions

The fourth pane shows a quick, simple view of your transactions. You can view transactions from the last 7 days, transactions since you last logged in, or see transactions that are still untagged.

Benefit: From your dashboard you can quickly view significant transactions.

Money Dashboard has always aimed to give you the True View of your financial life, and we hope that this new functionality and additional customisation will allow our users to achieve this. Check out our new Dashboard by logging in or signing up right now.