In recent days the Heartbleed bug gained significant media attention.
The bug is a serious vulnerability in the popular OpenSSL cryptographic software library. This weakness allows stealing the information protected, under normal conditions, by the SSL/TLS encryption used to secure the Internet. SSL/TLS provides communication security and privacy over the Internet for applications such as web, email, instant messaging (IM) and some virtual private networks (VPNs).
What does mean for our clients and us?
On Tuesday morning we learned about the vulnerability. After an initial analysis we got in contact with our hosting partner Nine.ch and discussed the possible ways to upgrade the faulty OpenSSL component.
We started the mitigation process at 13:54 CET. All systems were patched, and tested against the vulnerability by Tuesday 17:41 CET.
All our clients affected have been contacted individually by Thursday morning.
As there might be the possibility that the private keys of the used certificates have been compromised we started revoke all current certificates and reissue new SSL certificates to ensure safety of the encryption.
Today we are proud to announce that amazeelabs.com, our main website, has been re-launched ON DRUPAL 8.
After countless hours of emotional debate we came to the conclusion that we required a bold move to communicate our position as Switzerland’s #1 Drupal agency. To put this straight we actually are the proud owners of the first company web presence on Drupal 8 - on the entire web!
We strongly believe that a website isn't the final destination after all, it’s just the medium for the creation and promotion of a site’s content.
Gregory Gerhardt, Managing Director and Founder of Amazee Labs, commented: ”For too long our brilliant design has fought an uphill battle against the evil work of copycats. Our new website design shall rest uncopied - simple, authentic, close to its roots."
We hope you like our new face.
Update: So who fell for our April Fools' Day story? Normality has been restored and our regular site is back up. We loved your reactions.
The inaugural edition of the Web Expresso is in the books. It was a great pleasure to welcome our dear clients and partners exclusively to our quarterly breakfast briefing series. Accompanied by coffee, orange juice and fresh croissants we served an insight into the prospects of Drupal 8 in easy digestible portions.
Here are the slides of the event:
For further questions on Drupal 8 get in touch. We are happy to share our expertise with you.
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We have been asked how Amazee Labs manages the IT infrastructure and how we ensure that the right person gets to work when it does not. Our monitoring has come a long way and has been improved constantly.
This blog post highlights our toolset empowering Amazee Labs to swiftly respond to problems as they occur:
Monitoring the uptime and the availability of our sites is done with Pingdom. The service enables us to frequently check the status of all our hosted websites and provides us with valuable information.
On-Call Schedule Management: PagerDuty
PagerDuty features many ways to inform us when something is wrong.
It informs the person on-call first by sending out a push message to his phone. At the same time, information about the problem is passed to our HipChat channels. After one minute without acknowledgment of the push notification the person in charge is automatically informed about the situation by phone. After a certain amount of repetitions without any acknowledgment, the alert is escalated to the second person in charge which is informed by the same pattern.
This service enables us to have someone continuously on call by using an on-duty schedule. If someone has a day off, we can easily override the schedule. A nice new feature we love is the Handoff notification. As soon as your duty starts you are notified by PagerDuty. So we know when we are on call. For further reading of this subject there's a great blog post by the maintainers of the service about Handoff notifications.
In-depth Analysis: New Relic
For analyzing performance bumps and slowness we leverage the features of New Relic. This gives us a fast full spectrum view of our sites from page render time to the load times of the users browser. Just one of many perks you get with hosting with us!
Once an open problem has been acknowledged, which indicates that someone is working on it, we communicate the steps taken in our internal Hipchat channel. If the problem has been solved we close the incident and everything goes back to green.
Additionally there's a status board for our clients. If something goes wrong, we communicate our current state of work there.
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Drum roll, please, for the launch of our latest client project: The Voice of Switzerland! It's been a year since SRF, the Swiss broadcasting company, aired the first series of the casting show. Now Switzerland is again on the hunt for the most beautiful voice and Amazee Labs was commissioned to develop the show's platform.
The motto of this year's solution is: same same but different and more sophisticated. After entrusting us with the building of the show's website and a second screen solution for the first series in 2013, SRF came knocking at our door again. This time they opted for a deeper social media integration, thus giving their audience even more opportunities to engage. The viewer can now enjoy a completely new social media and a second screen experience with real time updates looking gorgeous on any device.
Have a look at Switzerland's voices here.
We are proud to introduce our latest creation: Fischer Connectors.
Fischer Connector designs, manufactures and distributes high performance connectors and cable assembly. With 60 years of experience they surely stand for precision and quality.
The company mandated us to develop a fully responsive site that represents their innovative image and allows their wealth of products to take center stage.
The challenge of this solution was to address the needs of different target audiences at once. Industry experts, on one hand, will find technical documentation with the help of a sophisticated faceted search, while on the other hand researches and engineers can dive into an abundance of information to find the required solution.
Get connected at Fischer Connectors.
Monday morning, our team silently working in a beautiful new office, Zurich's fog slowly giving way to another magic morning. We love our new work space, just a stone's throw from Technopark.
Yet, it's with great joy that I think back of the not so remote days in Zurich's startup incubator: Our team working shoulder to shoulder in sweatshoppy conditions, hot summers, client meetings on the hallway, an underperforming house cantina, our rattling, yet unbreakable coffee machine. The relocation was more than just a move, it marked the detachment from a startup life.
2013 has been a leap in many ways.
Six more Amazees joined the team: Dagmar for Project Management; Bastian for DevOps; Corina for Operations; Alex for Backend Development; Anna for UX Research and Consulting; and Marc for a Dev traineeship. Amazee Labs will start the new year with a crew of 18, the perfect size to serve our clients as a reliable yet flexible and personal partner.
In line with the team growth our processes and checklists were significantly improved and we have been lucky to serve some of the leading companies in media, finance and retail. The hard work has resulted in 16 remarkable Drupal websites that are run on a brand new Drupal Cluster providing better performance, security and reliability.
Next to that, we added a new family member to the Amazee world and established our sister company Amazee Metrics. Metrics was created as a dedicated service unit for all things data, web analysis, visualization and search engine marketing. Headed by Evelyn Thar, the team has grown to three and has run break even just after a few months of service.
Beyond our daily business, Amazee Labs has been active for the Drupal community like in no year before. We have contributed to the TMGMT initiative, more than a dozen presentations at DrupalCamps and DrupalCons and supported DrupalCon Prague with a Platinum sponsorship.
Summa summarum, 2013 has been another successful year among some of the most exceptional and spirited people including team and clients. In terms of revenues it marked the third profitable year, driving our ambition to become one of the global Drupal leaders. Not by size, but by excellence. And we've got some exciting projects ahead.
We wish you, dear reader, a successful and happy 2014.
We’ve been busy in the last few weeks and it’s our pleasure to introduce the latest release off our production line: Swisscom SME Business World.
SME Business World is an initiative by Switzerland's biggest telecommunications provider to help and connect SMEs in the country.
The focus of this mandate lay in refining the editor’s experience. While content editors often are forgotten in web projects, they took the center stage in this one. Specific improvements were made by providing a solution consisting of modules like Fieldable panels panes and Ctool’s page manager to provide a powerful in-place editing experience.
Since Switzerland is a multilingual country the Translation Management Tool and the Supertext module were implemented to ensure the quality of copy, in the different languages, is consistent on the site.
Besides these less visible betterments the site received a facelift too.
We hope that Switzerland’s SMEs can profit from the output of the platform's exuberant content editors.
Check out our newest release: Tele - Switzerland's premium TV guide publication. Axel Springer Schweiz mandated us with the development of a fresher, user and editor friendlier platform.
Additionally we implemented a deep Brightcove integration to show Tele's new daily web-show ZAPPIN‘.
So, up for a cosy evening with Chips and TV ? Tele will tell you what to watch.
We proudly present our latest release: SRF Die Schweizer!
During the month of November all eyes are set on Switzerland and its history - at least at SRF, the Swiss national broadcasting company. They entrusted us with building the website for their series about major events in the nation's history.
We designed and implemented the platform and made the Swiss national heroes look good on desktop, tablet and mobile by making the platform fully responsive. Furthermore we implemented a video upload portal to host user generated content.
Get into some Swiss history right here.