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4 million Literatuurplein users - Literatuurplein - 4 miljoen gebruikers
4 million Literatuurplein users - Literatuurplein - 4 miljoen gebruikers

4 million Literatuurplein users can’t be wrong!

The Literatuurplein website – developed by BSL – is one of the most popular websites in the Netherlands. There were more than 4 million Literatuurplein users in 2015, and it’s not hard to see why! Updated daily, the site contains everything you ever wanted to know about Dutch literature, providing extensive insights into all books published in the Netherlands – and their authors – and far more besides.

Combining rich content with technical know-how

BSL worked closely with Bibliotheek.nl to design and develop their Literatuurplein website, the largest and most popular website dedicated to Dutch literature. Our engineers and designers used their technical know-how and years of experience to create the underlying Literatuurplein database,  as well as a custom CMS  that is used to manage the often complex content. Our web developers created a modern, user-friendly website (in the Bibliotheek.nl housestyle) that now attracts more than 4 million Literatuurplein users each year.

Updated daily – using sources from NBD Biblion, CB and G!dsBibliotheek.nl’s Literatuurplein database contains a wealth of information on all books that have been published in the Netherlands since 1980. There are now more than 700,000 different titles available – together with a wealth of extra content, including author profiles, reviews, articles, videos, interviews, and forthcoming radio/TV programs. This rich content is used to update hundreds of thousands of links on local and regional library websites each day, as well as our own Boekwijzer app that gives booklovers access to the latest literary news on their smartphones and tablets.

4 million Literatuurplein users – more than 21 million page views

Visitors to the Literatuurplein website viewed more than 21 million pages in 2015! When you take a look at just some of the content available, it’s not difficult to see why…

Around 3,500 news items can currently be found on Literatuurplein, with new articles added almost daily. Continual updates mean that visitors can quickly and easily find up-to-date news and information associated with titles, authors, and organizations involved in the literary world. Lovers of literature are kept informed about literary prizes in the Netherlands too, varying from major prizes such as the Libris Literatuur Prijs to the annual J.M.A. Biesheuvel prize awarded to the author voted to have written the best collection of short stories in the Dutch language.

Anyone looking for tips on recently published titles can find these in the carousel on the home page. If the accompanying description looks interesting, a single mouse click takes you to a detailed title page and biographical information about the author. Some 847 reviews of these and other recently published titles can be found as well, linked to the relevant books and authors in the database, together with extensive interviews with popular (and some less well-known) authors.

And there’s more – take for example the 128 videos with exclusive interviews, where authors discuss their most recent or important works. Or perhaps you’d like to find out about book-related events taking place in the Netherlands, or upcoming TV programs with a literary theme? Problem solved – simply take a look at Literatuurplein’s agenda, which contains details about some 150 literary-related events every week.

Literatuurplein has so much to offer anyone interested in literature – why not take a look for yourself!
Just like the other 4 million Literatuurplein users (booklovers) who visit the site each year!

If you’re interested in finding out how to make the most of your own content, or want help to design a successful user-friendly website, or even a new app based on content in your own web site, CMS or database, please get in touch!

Designing a simple phone app for 1888 information numbers

Designing a simple phone app for 1888 information numbers

1850 BV has asked us to design and develop a new simple phone app for Android and iOS, designed to help people who have difficulty using modern smartphones. After all, not everyone is excited about all the hundreds of features provided by a typical smartphone. It’s hard for people who lack the technological skills to figure all this stuff out. And or course, many simply find tiny screens challenging.

Early to market? Try developing a Minimum Viable Product

Early to market? Try developing a Minimum Viable Product

Entrepreneurs frequently contact us with ideas for their ground-breaking app, web-service, or web application. Their market research completed, business plan ready, financial backing sorted. They want to start, and get their product to the market as quickly as possible. This is when we introduce the concept of an MVP or Minimum Viable Product.

The Entoen Nu app makes history lessons easy

The Entoen Nu app makes history lessons easy

Do you sometimes have trouble with Dutch history? The EnToen Nu app is intended for those interested in Dutch culture and history, particularly children from grade 5 up to and including secondary school. It can be used at school, and at home. We’ve recently updated the app, adding support for the latest version of the Canon of the Netherlands.

SRS: New Job Model and Access Governance Foundation

SRS: New Job Model and Access Governance Foundation

Since developing the original Signature Registration System (SRS) on behalf of a large international bank we’ve made many changes. Migrating SRS to an Azure SQL cloud service is our current focus, but earlier this year we worked on two other infrastructure changes: Introducing NJM (New Job Model) and AGF (Access Governance Foundation) support in SRS.

Oracle migration to Azure SQL database – Part 2

Oracle migration to Azure SQL database – Part 2

In recent months, two clients have asked us to migrate legacy Oracle systems to Azure. In the previous blog, we explained how our tiered web applications make it easy to maintain our software and to migrate from one database to another. We asked Eric Wijnands to tell us about one of these migrations, moving a Banking solution from Oracle to Azure SQL.

Oracle migration to Azure SQL database – Part 1

Oracle migration to Azure SQL database – Part 1

Is Azure the flavour of the month? We’ve been approached by two clients in recent months to help them transition legacy Oracle systems to an Azure Cloud database. We’ve been building tiered database solutions for many years, with Front-end web applications calling web-services that use Oracle databases for storage. Just how easy is it to migrate these applications to Azure?

BSL creates a new Corporate site for WCC Group

BSL creates a new Corporate site for WCC Group

The WCC Group is a leading provider of advanced solutions for Public & Private Employment Services and ID/Security government agencies. Two years ago we designed and developed a dedicated Careers site to help find the specialized personnel needed to support their rapid expansion. This year they asked us to create a new, modern, responsive Corporate site.

Bright Side of Life Director – Martyn Simpson – Part 2

Bright Side of Life Director – Martyn Simpson – Part 2

In his previous blog, Martyn introduced us to his time working for Computervision/CIS, creating custom solutions for their clients. Experiences that he uses daily within BSL. After leaving CV, he continued to travel, working firstly with a company you’ve maybe never heard of (although you’ve probably used their products). And then with a company that you all know: Apple Computer.

Bright Side of Life Director – Martyn Simpson

Bright Side of Life Director – Martyn Simpson

So rounding off our current series of Bright Stories, it’s the turn of Martyn, our director. Martyn created the Bright Side of Life more than 25 years ago, and he’s been developing software since 1977. It’s not easy to condense 43 years of software development into a single blog, so in this first part, we find out just why he became a software developer, with some “Lessons Learned” on the way.

Front-end Developer – Roderick Gadellaa

Front-end Developer – Roderick Gadellaa

Continuing our “Bright Stories”, this week we turn our attention to Front-end Developer, Roderick Gadellaa. Someone with a very sweet tooth, and who enjoys solving design and UX problems. You’ll frequently find him on Twitter, tweeting about design changes and concepts. Here at BSL, Roderick’s enthusiastic whistling and singing are part of our soundscape!

PA / Customer Relations Manager – Caroline Bos

PA / Customer Relations Manager – Caroline Bos

As part of our “Bright Stories” series, it’s now the turn of Caroline, PA / Customer Relations Manager at BSL. We tell you why her varied background, outgoing personality, and talent for organization make her ideal for the role. Connecting and communication with people is in her DNA! Having worked nearly 8 years at BSL, she plays a pivotal role in our organization.

Software Developer – Jurjen Schröder

Software Developer – Jurjen Schröder

Our “Bright Stories” campaign is your chance to get to know some of the talented individuals that make up the Bright Side of Software. This week, the spotlight is on one of our software developers: Jurjen Schröder. An opportunity to find out more about Jurjen, and at the same time discover why he keeps some very unusual housemates!

Agile working is a success even during Corona

Agile working is a success even during Corona

Agile working is ideal for teams working remotely. Although we’ve used Agile for several years, there’s always room for improvement. Flexibility is part of this approach. Each client has their preferences, and so we refine our working methods to suit each customer. Fortunately, this type of refinement is more or less built-in to Agile: The Sprint Retrospective…

NBD’s LiteRom and Uittrekselbank online websites refreshed

NBD’s LiteRom and Uittrekselbank online websites refreshed

Agile development is part of our culture. During two recent Sprints, BSL delivered new versions of NBD’s Literom and Uittrekselbank online web services. LiteRom contains thousands of book reviews, as well as many articles about authors. Uittrekselbank subscribers can access thousands of extracts about books, as well as detailed author profiles. Find out more in our blog…

Working from home, but staying connected

Working from home, but staying connected

We’re working from home as much as possible due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). We’re doing all we can to keep Business as Usual. Technical innovation is part of our DNA, and so we’re perhaps finding this easier than others. Nevertheless, we are having to change the way we work in response to these challenges. Our blog tells you about some of the steps we are taking.

Eric Wijnands, Designer and Developer, with a love of Jazz

Eric Wijnands, Designer and Developer, with a love of Jazz

BSL has always looked for designer and developer candidates who have their own stories to tell. Rounded individuals who offer more than just IT skills. Our work frequently begins with understanding the work carried out by our clients. So we supply inventive teams that deliver usable, productive solutions – not just code. Offering designers and developers with wide interests outside of IT.

Long-term relationships brings rewards to clients

Long-term relationships brings rewards to clients

2019 is a year where our long-term relationships with clients have kept us extremely busy. BSL provides highly skilled teams that complement our clients’ needs. As a result, we respond quickly to new demands. Designing, developing and delivering unique applications. This year we’ve worked on many new developments for existing clients.

Moscow performance for Marc Stoffels

Moscow performance for Marc Stoffels

Before Marc Stoffels made the move into IT, he was an actor. One of the theatre companies where he played, Het Houten Huis was recently invited to bring their performance to Moscow. A trip to Moscow is an experience in itself, and BSL didn’t want to deprive him of the opportunity. But with one condition – we asked him to write a blog about his trip!

Conversational Design helps increase conversion rates

Conversational Design helps increase conversion rates

Many websites ask visitors to share their contact details. And for many years the best anyone could come up with is a contact form. There are ways to make such forms more inviting, but a contact form shares many characteristics with a nightclub bouncer – it keeps people out. So we’ve started using Conversational Design UI’s. A technique that puts website visitors at their ease…

Don’t know your MVP from your SUV, read on…

Don’t know your MVP from your SUV, read on…

At the Bright Side of Life it’s in our blood to help clients to think about their needs, and to work with them to define the features needed in a first release. Going for an all singing and dancing first release is rarely the right approach. Focus on what you need – an MVP demonstrating great value to your users. It will save you money, gain insights into your users’ needs, and help to create a better product.

Summer Event – BSL and the Soldier of Orange

Summer Event – BSL and the Soldier of Orange

Our summer event this year was an opportunity for Martyn (Director, BSL) to finally experience a little Dutch culture. He’s not yet ready for the full Marco Borsato/Andre Hazes experience. So on June 6, we tore ourselves away from our work, and stood in the sunshine outside the office, waiting for a coach. A coach that was going to take us all to Katwijk, and the Soldier of Orange!

Keylane Careers – a Recruitment Challenge

Keylane Careers – a Recruitment Challenge

Recruiting talent for IT service providers is not easy. Good developers and designers are scarce. BSL uses our own website and several social platforms to find new talent. But when you’re a multinational, looking to recruit talent across Europe, you need to “Think Different”. And that’s just what the Keylane Careers team has been doing.

BSL team at the NN Rotterdam Marathon 2019

BSL team at the NN Rotterdam Marathon 2019

In February, BSL received an invitation to take part in a charity Business Run during the NN Rotterdam Marathon on 7 April. Participants could sign up for a 10K (1/4 marathon), with the goal of raising money for a good cause – the Linda Foundation. This charity helps make life a little brighter for less fortunate children in the Netherlands.

Oracle – MySQL Bootcamp in Dusseldorf (the boys on tour)

Oracle – MySQL Bootcamp in Dusseldorf (the boys on tour)

BSL has a lot of experience with Oracle databases and has been an Oracle partner for years. We were recently invited by Oracle to a MySQL Bootcamp held in Dusseldorf. The purpose of the Bootcamp was to learn more about the MySQL Enterprise edition, the commercial edition of MySQL. Two of our developers want to share their experience…

Will the proposed ‘EU Copyright Directive’ endanger the Internet?

Will the proposed ‘EU Copyright Directive’ endanger the Internet?

While the Brexit soap has all our attention, the EU is working away on their own controversial proposal: their EU Copyright Directive. This directive will endanger the Internet. A claim made by many journalists and technical gurus, including Tim Berners-Lee and Jimmy Wales.

Mandate fraud costs Pathé more than US$ 22 million

Mandate fraud costs Pathé more than US$ 22 million

Pathé recently lost millions in an internet scam (named Mandate fraud) that targeted their Dutch office. Several emails, apparently sent from the personal account of the Pathe CEO asked the Dutch office to wire the money in four tranches to a bank account based in Dubai. SRS software developed by BSL could have helped prevent the fraud.

Front-end Developer with Marketing skills – Gabriella Pap

Front-end Developer with Marketing skills – Gabriella Pap

We’d like to welcome Gabriella, the newest addition to our team. She’s working as a junior Front-end Developer, but will also be putting her online marketing skills to good use. Gabriella wants to become a Full-stack developer. Her new colleagues at the Bright Side of Life will be very happy to help her reach this goal.

A look back at BSL in 2018

A look back at BSL in 2018

The year is almost over, so time to look back at 2018. It’s been a good year, with many new orders and several new clients. We’ve also welcomed a number of new colleagues. And our workload was so great that we collaborated for the first time with a third-party developer. He helped us deliver two new web applications over the summer.

Pulse – a new Responsive web application from BSL

Pulse – a new Responsive web application from BSL

Staying up-to-date with the latest news is important in almost any business. But it’s essential for PwC consultants, who need the latest news to better serve their clients. BSL developed Pulse, a custom-made information platform to aid them, and we recently delivered a new Pulse responsive web application.

Rare Care project through the eyes of a Front-end Developer

Rare Care project through the eyes of a Front-end Developer

Because we frequently develop custom software at BSL, we often become closely involved with our clients and their goals. Our developers recently completed the RareCare.World website. Here, you can read about how one of our front-end developers experienced working on the project.

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