Extraction, Transformation & Loading Vs. Enterprise Application Integration

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Over recent years, business enterprises relying on accurate and consistent data to make informed decisions have been gravitating towards integration technologies. The subject of Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) and Extraction, Transformation & Loading (ETL) lately seems to pop up in most Enterprise Information Management conversations.

From an architectural perspective, both techniques share a striking similarity. However, they essentially serve different purposes when it comes to information management. We’ve decided to do a little bit of research and establish the differences between the two integration technologies.

Enterprise Application Integration

Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) is an integration framework that consists of technologies and services, allowing for seamless coordination of vital systems, processes, as well as databases across an enterprise.

Simply put, this integration technique simplifies and automates your business processes to a whole new level without necessarily having to make major changes to your existing data structures or applications.

With EAI, your business can integrate essential systems like supply chain management, customer relationship management, business intelligence, enterprise resource planning, and payroll. Well, the linking of these apps can be done at the back end via APIs or the front end GUI.

The systems in question might use different databases, computer languages, exist on different operating systems or older systems that might not be supported by the vendor anymore.

The objective of EAI is to develop a single, unified view of enterprise data and information, as well as ensure the information is correctly stored, transmitted, and reflected. It enables existing applications to communicate and share data in real-time.

Extraction, Transformation & Loading

The general purpose of an ETL system is to extract data out of one or more source databases and then transfer it to a target destination system for better user decision making. Data in the target system is usually presented differently from the sources.

The extracted data goes through the transformation phase, which involves checking for data integrity and converting the data into a proper storage format or structure. It is then moved into other systems for analysis or querying function.

With data loading, it typically involves writing data into the target database destination like data warehouse and operational data store.

ETL can integrate data from multiple systems. The systems we’re talking about in this case are often hosted on separate computer hardware or supported by different vendors.

Differences between ETL and EAI

EAI System

  • Retrieves small amounts of data in one operation and is characterized by a high number of transactions
  • EAI system is utilized for process optimization and workflow
  • The system does not require user involvement after it’s implemented
  • Ensures a bi-directional data flow between the source and target applications
  • Ideal for real-time business data needs
  • Limited data validation
  • Integrating operations is pull, push, and event-driven.

ETL System

  • It is a one-way process of creating a historical record from homogeneous or heterogeneous sources
  • Mainly designed to process large batches of data from source systems
  • Requires extensive user involvement
  • Meta-data driven complex transformations
  • Integrating operation is a pull, query-driven
  • Supports proper profiling and data cleaning
  • Limited messaging capabilities

Both integration technologies are an essential part of EIM, as they provide strong capabilities for business intelligence initiatives and reporting. They can be used differently and sometimes in mutual consolidation.

Technology – Personas Vs. Roles – What Is The Difference?

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Personas and roles are user modeling approaches that are applied in the early stages of system development or redesign. They drive the design decision and allows programmers and designers to place everyday user needs at the forefront of their system development journey in a user-centered design approach.

Personas and user roles help improve the quality of user experience when working with products that require a significant amount of user interaction. But there is a distinct difference between technology personas vs. roles. What then exactly is a persona? What are user roles in system development? And, how does persona differ from user roles?

Let’s see how these two distinct, yet often confused, user models fit in a holistic user-centered design process and how you can leverage them to identify valuable product features.

Technology Personas Vs. Roles – The Most Relevant Way to Describe Users

In software development, a user role describes the relationship between a user type and a software tool. It is generally the user’s responsibility when using a system or the specific behavior of a user who is participating in a business process. Think of roles as the umbrella, homogeneous constructs of the users of a particular system. For instance, in an accounting system, you can have roles such as accountant, cashier, and so forth.

However, by merely using roles, system developers, designers, and testers do not have sufficient information to conclusively make critical UX decisions that would make the software more user-centric, and more appealing to its target users.

This lack of understanding of the user community has led to the need for teams to move beyond role-based requirements and focus more on subsets of the system users. User roles can be refined further by creating “user stand-ins,” known as personas. By using personas, developers and designers can move closer to the needs and preferences of the user in a more profound manner than they would by merely relying on user roles.

In product development, user personas are an archetype of a fictitious user that represents a specific group of your typical everyday users. First introduced by Alan Cooper, personas help the development team to clearly understand the context in which the ideal customer interacts with a software/system and helps guide the design decision process.

Ideally, personas provide team members with a name, a face, and a description for each user role. By using personas, you’re typically personalizing the user roles, and by so doing, you end up creating a lasting impression on the entire team. Through personas, team members can ask questions about the users.

The Benefits of Persona Development

Persona development has several benefits, including:

  • They help team members have a consistent understanding of the user group.
  • They provide stakeholders with an opportunity to discuss the critical features of a system redesign.
  • Personas help designers to develop user-centric products that have functions and features that the market already demands.
  • A persona helps to create more empathy and a better understanding of the person that will be using the end product. This way, the developers can design the product with the actual user needs in mind.
  • Personas can help predict the needs, behaviors, and possible reactions of the users to the product.

What Makes Up a Well-Defined Persona?

Once you’ve identified user roles that are relevant to your product, you’ll need to create personas for each. A well-defined persona should ideally take into consideration the needs, goals, and observed behaviors of your target audience. This will influence the features and design elements you choose for your system.

The user persona should encompass all the critical details about your ideal user and should be presented in a memorable way that everyone in the team can identify with and understand. It should contain four critical pieces of information.

1. The header

The header aid in improving memorability and creating a connection between the design team and the user. The header should include:

  • A fictional name
  • An image, avatar or a stock photo
  • A vivid description/quote that best describes the persona as it relates to the product.

2. Demographic Profile

Unlike the name and image, which might be fictitious, the demographic profile includes factual details about the ideal user. The demographic profile includes:

  • Personal background: Age, gender, education, ethnicity, persona group, and family status
  • Professional background: Occupation, work experience, and income level.
  • User environment. It represents the social, physical, and technological context of the user. It answers questions like: What devices do the user have? Do they interact with other people? How do they spend their time?
  • Psychographics: Attitudes, motivations, interests, and user pain points.

3. End Goal(s)

End goals help answer the questions: What problems or needs will the product solution to the user? What are the motivating factors that inspire the user’s actions?

4. Scenario

This is a narrative that describes how the ideal user would interact with your product in real-life to achieve their end goals. It should explain the when, the where, and the how.

Conclusion

For a truly successful user-centered design approach, system development teams should use personas to provide simple descriptions of key user roles. While a distinct difference exists in technology personas vs. roles, design teams should use the two user-centered design tools throughout the project to decide and evaluate the functionality of their end product. This way, they can deliver a useful and usable solution to their target market.

Are Information Technology Skill Badges Valuable?

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Information Technology (IT) Skill badges are becoming more prevalent in the information technology industry, but do they add value?  I will be in the past I have only bothered with certifications where my clients or my employer thought they were valuable.  At some point in your career experience should mean more tests and training.  So, perhaps is time to consider the potential value of IT Skills badges (Mini-certification) and the merits behind them.

What Are Information Technology (IT) Skills Badge?

IT Skills badges are recognized as mini-certification, which are portable. IT Skills badges are achieved when an individual completes a project, completes a course, or make a distinguished contribution towards code repository on either GitHub or elsewhere. When a person earns this kind of certification, the IT Skills badges can be stored in a digital wallet. An individual can use it by either including it to his/her LinkedIn profile or website. The issuer has the authority of editing the badges. This feature is designed to bolster credibility.

Research shows that many IT job applicants show badges as an added advantage in his/her skills. IT skills badge are not a sure bet in job hunting that an applicant will land on that particular job because most job recruiters don’t focus on them.

Many IT industries want validated skills before hiring an applicant. IT Skills badges are complementary to certificates, but IT Skills badges can’t in any way replace certifications. Individuals with convectional certifications have high chances of landing on premium pay. As a result, badges don’t ensure the owner a pay boot in his/her job.

How Do IT Skills Badges Differ From A Certification?

Certifications are considered evidence by many of an individual’s skills. Does this mean that any other credential systems aren’t necessary for proving your skills? IBM’s study shows that technology is growing at a faster rate in areas like artificial intelligence, big data, and machine learning and the updating and creation of certifications can lag because of the time required to update or developing certifications is lengthy.

Another difference when it comes to comparison between IT Skill Badges and certification is that certifications are seen to be more expensive to both employers and employees. It is costly to achieve certification, and a lot of study time and books may be required. An in-depth done survey shows that employers are willing to pay a good portion to the right certification. Certificate value is drastically increasing value yearly as compared to badges.

Clients of IT companies consider engaging in a contract with the company after making sure that the company has a specific number of employees with specified certifications. IT Skills badges are at a disadvantage for hiring consideration. Most hiring managers, the likes of Raxter Company, don’t know the benefit of badges or even what IT Skills badges can do with IT Skills badges. IT Skills badges are new in the market; hence, most employers have little information about IT Skills badges. For instance, an applicant who in the past years has worked for IBM Company presents an IBM badge to Raxter interview panel, and the panel will not know what it means.

In the case of Grexo Technology Group’s CEO, Bobby Yates, IT services Company in Texas doesn’t know the apparent value of IT skills badge. He further challenges it by saying that most applicants have presented the badges to him. But he surely doesn’t know the importance of them towards his requirements from the applicants. He further says that he doesn’t consider badges as a valuable hiring tool as compared to certification.

Dupray’s Tremblay, on the other hand, seconds the elimination of badges as an essential tool for hiring by saying that he will not know if the applicant is cheating to him. As a result, he values the certification as a real prove of skills towards IT.

How To Obtain IT Skills Badges

Most Companies’ hiring panels consider IT Skills badges as nothing towards job requirements. But some companies’ managers like O’Farril and others challenge them by finding them worthy when it comes to IT workers investment. CompTIA’s Stanger, on the other hand, backs badges by referring to them as a complement to a basket of certifications, good resumes, and real-world towards job experience. He adds by saying that it is a form of strengthening the education chain. Raxter on his personality considers IT Skills badges as a selling point. As a result, IT Skills badges are essential to present to some recruiters.

The following are the top five tips that will aid an individual towards his carrier advancement in getting the most in IT skills badges.

1. Avoid listing badges which are easily obtained. Anything that can take less than 40 hours to complete it is unworthy of mentioning it in your professional resume.

2. Always consider those courses that directly aline with the type of jobs for which you are applying. IT skills badges that directly complements to your job requirements are worth taking. Irrelevant badges may, to an extent, reduce the chances of being recruited.

3. Make sure to pair the badges attained with your education or real working experience.

4. Don’t insist on the importance behind your badges. Not everybody will like to hear. Real work experience always takes the lead.

5. If you can’t defend your knowledge, experience, and skills or hiring managers will consider unqualified. ITSkill badges and certifications show that you had enough knowledge to pass the qualifications, but employees want people who can and will excel at doing the work as part of a team. requirements

Do IT Skills badges have value in the hiring process?

IT skills complement IT certification and act as an added advantage in hiring panel, mostly when your certification is almost similar to the other candidates. IT Skills badges add some value towards a good resume, real job experience, and certifications. Some recruiters consider IT Skills badges worthy when it comes to the hiring process. Recruiters think them as a selling point.

So it’s essential to take IT Skills badges that relate to your job application to spice your application form. Remember to keep in mind the top five tips when you decide to have one. In other words, IT Skills badges are somehow worthwhile to consider in IT workers investments.

IT skills badge from a social media perspective

Social Media badges are virtual validator of successful completion of a task, skill, or educational objective. IT Skills badges can either be physical or digital depending upon what other people in a particular community value or market. IT Skills badges are more prevalent in a collaborative environment, and social media as well as portals and learning platforms, including team participation, certification, degrees, and project accomplishments.

In conclusion, many IT skills are available for your earnings. To gain more on IT Skills badges, you can visit IBM, Pearson VUE, a global learning company, and others who have partnered in offering IT Skills badges. You will be able to find a range of IT Skills badges from which to choose.

Technology – A 720-Degree View of the Customer

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The 360-degree view of the consumer is a well-explored concept, but it is not adequate in the digital age. Every firm, whether it is Google or Amazon, is deploying tools to understand customers in a bid to serve them better. A 360-degree view demanded that a company consults its internal data to segment customers and create marketing strategies. It has become imperative for companies to look outside their channels, to platforms like social media and reviews to gain insight into the motivations of their customers. The 720-degree view of the customer is further discussed below.

What is the 720-degree view of the customer?

A 720-degree view of the customer refers to a three-dimensional understanding of customers, based on deep analytics. It includes information on every customer’s level of influence, buying behavior, needs, and patterns. A 720-degree view will enable retailers to offer relevant products and experiences and to predict future behavior. If done right, this concept should assist retailers leverage on emerging technologies, mobile commerce, social media, cloud-based services, and analytics to sustain lifelong customer relationships

What Does a 720-Degree View of the Customer Entail?

Every business desires to cut costs, gain an edge over its competitors, and grow its customer base. So how exactly will a 720-degree view of the customer help a firm advance its cause?

Social Media

Social media channels help retailers interact more effectively and deeply with their customers. It offers reliable insights into what customers would appreciate in products, services, and marketing campaigns. Retailers can not only evaluate feedback, but they can also deliver real-time customer service. A business that integrates its services with social media will be able to assess customer behavior through tools like dislikes and likes. Some platforms also enable customers to buy products directly.

Customer Analytics


Customer analytics will construct more detailed customer profiles by integrating different data sources like demographics, transactional data, and location. When this internal data is added to information from external channels like social media, the result is a comprehensive view of the customer’s needs and wants. A firm will subsequently implement more-informed decisions on inventory, supply chain management, pricing, marketing, customer segmentation, and marketing. Analytics further come in handy when monitoring transactions, personalized services, waiting times, website performance.

Mobile Commerce

The modern customer demands convenience and device compatibility. Mobile commerce also accounts for a significant amount of retail sales, and retailers can explore multi-channel shopping experiences. By leveraging a 720-degree view of every customer, firms can provide consumers with the personalized experiences and flexibility they want. Marketing campaigns will also be very targeted as they will be based on the transactional behaviors of customers. Mobile commerce can take the form of mobile applications for secure payment systems, targeted messaging, and push notifications to inform consumers of special offers. The goal should be to provide differentiated shopper analytics.

Cloud

Cloud-based solutions provide real-time data across multiple channels, which illustrates an enhanced of customer. Real-time analytics influence decision-making in retail and they also harmonize the physical and retail digital environments. The management will be empowered to detect sales trends as transactions take place.

The Importance of the 720-Degree Customer View

Traditional marketers were all about marketing to groups of similar individuals, which is often termed as segmentation. This technique is, however, giving way to the more effective concept of personalized marketing. Marketing is currently channeled through a host of platforms, including social media, affiliate marketing, pay-per-click, and mobile. The modern marketer has to integrate the information from all these sources and match them to a real name and address. Companies can no longer depend on a fragmented view of the customer, as there has to be an emphasis on personalization. A 720-degree customer view can offer benefits like:

Customer Acquisition

Firms can improve customer acquisition by depending on the segment differences revealed from a new database of customer intelligence. Consumer analytics will expose any opportunities to be taken advantage of while external data sources will reveal competitor tactics. There are always segment opportunities in any market, which are best revealed by real-time consumer data.

Cutting Costs

Marketers who rely on enhanced digital data can contribute to cost management in a firm. It takes less investment to serve loyal and satisfied consumers because a firm is directing addressing their needs. Technology can be used to set customized pricing goals and to segment customers effectively.

New Products and Pricing

Real-time data, in addition to third-party information, have a crucial impact on pricing. Only firms with a robust and relevant competitor and customer analytics and data can take advantage of this importance. Marketers with a 720-degree view of the consumer across many channels will be able to utilize opportunities for new products and personalized pricing to support business growth

Advance Customer Engagement

The first 360 degrees include an enterprise-wide and timely view of all consumer interactions with the firm. The other 360 degrees consists of the customer’s relevant online interactions, which supplements the internal data a company holds. The modern customer is making their buying decisions online, and it is where purchasing decisions are influenced. Can you predict a surge in demand before your competitors? A 720-degree view will help you anticipate trends while monitoring the current ones.

720-degree Customer View and Big Data

Firms are always trying to make decision-making as accurate as possible, and this is being made more accessible by Big Data and analytics. To deliver customer-centric experiences, businesses require a 720-degree view of every customer collected with the help of in-depth analysis.

Big Data analytical capabilities enable monitoring of after-sales service-associated processes and the effective management of technology for customer satisfaction. A firm invested in being in front of the curve should maintain relevant databases of external and internal data with global smart meters. Designing specific products to various segments is made easier with the use of Big Data analytics. The analytics will also improve asset utilization and fault prediction. Big Data helps a company maintain a clearly-defined roadmap for growth

Conclusion

It is the dream of every enterprise to tap into customer behavior and create a rich profile for each customer. The importance of personalized customer experiences cannot be understated in the digital era. The objective remains to develop products that can be advertised and delivered to customers who want them, via their preferred platforms, and at a lower cost. 

What is a Private Cloud?

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The private cloud concept is running the cloud software architecture and, possibly specialized hardware, within a companies’ own facilities and support by the customer’s own employees, rather than having it hosted from a data center operated by commercial providers like Amazon, IBM Microsoft, or Oracle.

A companies’ private (internal) cloud may be a one or more of these patterns and may be part of a larger hybrid-cloud strategy.

  • Home-Grown, where the company has built its own software and or hardware could infrastructure where the private could is managed entirely by the companies’ resources. 
  • Commercial-Off-The-Self (COTS), where the cloud software and or hardware is purchased from a commercial vendor and install in the companies promises where is it is primarily managed by the companies’ resources with licensed technical support from the vendor.
  • Appliance-Centric, where vendor specialty hardware and software are pre-assembled and pre-optimized, usually on proprietary databases to support a specific cloud strategic.
  • Hybrid-Cloud, which may use some or all of the about approaches and have added components such as:
    • Virtualization software to integrate, private-cloud, public-cloud, and non-cloud information resources into a central delivery architecture.
    • Public/Private cloud where proprietary and customer sensitive information is kept on promise and less sensitive information is housed in one or more public clouds. The Public/Private hybrid-cloud strategy can also be provision temporary short duration increases in computational resources or where application and information development occur in the private cloud and migrated to a public cloud for productionalization.

In the modern technological era, there are a variety of cloud patterns, but this explanation highlights the major aspects of the private cloud concept which should clarify and assist in strategizing for your enterprise cloud.

What is cloud computing? 

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Cloud computing is a service driven model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on demand network access to a shared pool computing resources that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal administrative effort or service provider interaction.

Related References

Public Cloud Versus Private Cloud

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Cloud Computing

A public cloud strategy refers to a situation where you utilize cloud resources on a shared platform. Examples of shared or public cloud solutions include Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services and Google cloud. There are several benefits associated with cloud solutions. On the other hand, a private cloud strategy refers to a situation where you can decide to have an infrastructure which is dedicated to serving your business. It is sometimes referred to as homegrown where you employ experts to run the services so that your business can access different features. There are several advantages of using a public cloud over private cloud which you should know before you make an informed decision on the right platform to invest. Some of the benefits of the public cloud strategy include the following:

Availability and scale of Expertise

If you compare the public cloud and the private cloud services, the public cloud

allows you to access more experts. Remember the companies which offer the cloud services have enough employees who are ready to help several clients. In most cases, the other clients whom the service providers serve will not experience problems at the same time. It implies that human resource will be directed toward solving your urgent issue. You can as well scale up or down at any given time as the need arises which is unlike a case of private cloud solutions where you will have to invest in infrastructure each time you will like to upgrade.

Downgrading on a private cloud system can expose you to lose because you will leave some resources underutilized.

The volume of Technical Resources to apply

You access more technical resources in a public cloud platform. Remember the companies which offer the public cloud solutions are fully equipped with highly experienced experts. They also have the necessary tools and resources which

they can apply to assure you the best technical solutions each time you need them. It is unlike a private arrangement where you will have to incur more costs if the technical challenges will need advanced tools and highly qualified experts.

Price point

The price of a private cloud is high when compared to a public arrangement. If you are looking for ways you can save money, then the best way to go about it is to involve a public cloud solution. In the shared platform, you will only pay for

what you need. If you do not need a lot of resources at a given time, you can downgrade the services and enjoy fair prices. Services such as AWS offer great cost containment across the time which makes it easy to access the services at fair prices. For any business to grow, it should invest in the right package which brings the return on investment. The services offered by the public cloud systems allow businesses to save and grow. You should as well take into consideration other factors such as ecosystems for cloud relationships before you make an informed decision. There are some business models which prefer private cloud solutions while others can work well under public cloud-based solutions.

Related References

Major Cloud Computing Models

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Cloud computing enables convenient, ubiquitous, measures, and on-demand access to a shared pool of scalable and configurable resources, such as servers, applications, databases, networks, and other services. Also, these resources can be provisioned and released rapidly with minimum interaction and management from the provider.

The rapidly expanding technology is rife with obscure acronyms, with major ones being SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS. These acronyms distinguish the three major cloud computing models discussed in this article. Notably, cloud computing virtually meets any imaginable IT needs in diverse ways. In effect, the cloud computing models are necessary to show the role that a cloud service provides and how the function is accomplished. The three main cloud computing paradigms can be demonstrated on the diagram shown below.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

In infrastructure as a service model, the cloud provider offers a service that allows users to process, store, share, and user other fundamental computing resources to run their software, which can include operating systems and applications. In this case, a consumer has minimum control over the underlying cloud infrastructure, but has significant control over operating systems, deployed applications, storage, and some networking components, such as the host firewalls.

Based on its description, IaaS can be regarded as the lowest-level cloud service paradigm, and possibly the most crucial one. With this paradigm, a cloud vendor provides pre-configured computing resources to consumers via a virtual interface. From the definition, IaaS pertains underlying cloud infrastructure but does not include applications or an operating system. Implementation of the applications, operating system, and some network components, such as the host firewalls is left up to the end user. In other words, the role of the cloud provider is to enable access to the computing infrastructure necessary to drive and support their operating systems and application solutions.

In some cases, the IaaS model can provide extra storage for data backups, network bandwidth, or it can provide access to enhanced performance computing which was traditionally available using supercomputers. IaaS services are typically provided to users through an API or a dashboard.

Features of IaaS

  • Users transfer the cost of purchasing IT infrastructure to a cloud provider
  • Infrastructure offered to a consumer can be increased or reduced depending on business storage and processing needs
  • The consumer will be saved from challenges and costs of maintaining hardware
  • High availability of data is in the cloud
  • Administrative tasks are virtualized
  • IaaS is highly flexible compared to other models
  • Highly scalable and available
  • Permits consumers to focus on their core business and transfer critical IT roles to a cloud provider

IaaS Use Cases

A series of use cases can explore the above benefits and features afforded by IaaS. For instance, an organization that lacks the capital to own and manage their data centers can purchase an IaaS offering to achieve fast and affordable IT infrastructure for their business. Also, the IaaS can be expanded or terminated based on the consumer needs. Another set of companies that can deploy IaaS include traditional organizations seeking large computing power with low expenditure to run their workloads. IaaS model is also a good option for rapidly growing enterprises that avoid committing to specific hardware or software since their business needs are likely to evolve.

Popular IaaS Services

Major IT companies are offering popular IaaS services that are powering a significant portion of the Internet even without users realizing it.

Amazon EC2: Offers scalable and highly available computing capacity in the cloud. Allows users to develop and deploy applications rapidly without upfront investment in hardware

IBM’s SoftLayer: Cloud computing services offering a series of capabilities, such as computing, networking, security, storage, and so on, to enable faster and reliable application development. The solution features bare-metal, hypervisors, operating systems, database systems, and virtual servers for software developers.

NaviSite: offers application services, hosting, and managed cloud services for IT infrastructure

ComputeNext: the solution empowers internal business groups and development teams with DevOps productivity from a single API.

Platform as a Service (PaaS)

Platform as a service model involves the provision of capabilities that allow users to create their applications using programming languages, tools, services, and libraries owned and distributed by a cloud provider. In this case, the consumer has minimum control over the underlying cloud computing resources such as servers, storage, and operating system. However, the user has significant control over the applications developed and deployed on the PaaS service.

In PaaS, cloud computing is used to provide a platform for consumers to deploy while developing, initializing, implementing, and managing their application. This offering includes a base operating system and a suite of development tools and solutions. PaaS effectively eliminates the needs for consumers to purchase, implement and maintain the computing resources traditionally needed to build useful applications. Some people use the term ‘middleware’ to refer to PaaS model since the offering comfortably sits between SaaS and IaaS.

Features of PaaS

  • PaaS service offers a platform for development, tasking, and hosting tools for consumer applications
  • PaaS is highly scalable and available
  • Offer cost effective and simple way to develop and deploy applications
  • Users can focus on developing quality applications without worrying about the underlying IT infrastructure
  • Business policy automation
  • Many users can access a single development service or tool
  • Offers database and web services integration
  • Consumers have access to powerful and reliable server software, storage capabilities, operating systems, and information and application backup
  • Allows remote teams to collaborate, which improves employee productivity

PaaS Use Cases

Software development companies and other enterprises that want to implement agile development methods can explore PaaS capabilities in their business models. Many PaaS services can be used in application development. PaaS development tools and services are always updated and made available via the Internet to offer a simple way for businesses to develop, test, and prototype their software solutions. Since developers’ productivity is enhanced by allowing remote workers to collaborate, PaaS consumers can rapidly release applications and get feedback for improvement. PaaS has led to the emergence of the API economy in application development.

Popular PaaS Offerings

There exist major PaaS services that are helping organizations to streamline application development. PaaS offering is delivered over the Internet and allows developers to focus more on creating quality and highly functional application while not worrying about the operating system, storage, and other infrastructure.

Google’s App Engine: the solution allows developers to build scalable mobile and web backends in any language in the cloud. Users can bring their own language runtimes, third-party libraries, and frameworks

IBM BlueMix: this PaaS solution from IBM allows developers to avoid vendor lock-in and leverage the flexible and open cloud environment using diverse IBM tools, open technologies, and third-party libraries and frameworks.

Heroku: the solution provides companies with a platform where they can build, deliver, manage, and scale their applications while abstracting and bypassing computing infrastructure hassles

Apache Stratos: this PaaS offering offers enterprise-ready quality service, security, governance, and performance that allows development, modification, deployment, and distribution of applications.

Red Hat’s OpenShift: a container application platform that offers operations and development-centric tools for rapid application development, easy deployment, scalability, and long-term maintenance of applications

Software as a Service (SaaS)

Software as a service model involves the capabilities provided to users by using a cloud vendor’s application hosted and running on a cloud infrastructure. Such applications are conveniently accessible from different platforms and devices through a web browser, a thin client interface, or a program interface. In this model, the end user has minimum control of the underlying cloud-based computing resources, such as servers, operating system, or the application capabilities

SaaS can be described as software licensing and delivery paradigm that features a complete and functional software solutions provided to users on a metered and subscription basis. Since users access the application via browsers or thin client and program interfaces, SaaS makes the host operating system insignificant in the operation of the product. As mentioned, the service is metered. In this case, SaaS customers are billed based on their consumption, while others pay a flat monthly fee.

Features of SaaS

  • SaaS providers offer applications via subscription structure
  • User transfer the need to develop, install, manage, or upgrade applications to SaaS vendors
  • Applications and data is securely stored in the cloud
  • SaaS is easily managed from a central location
  • Remote serves are deployed to host the application
  • Users can access SaaS offering from any location with Internet access
  • On-premise hardware failure does not interfere with an application or cause data loss
  • Users can reduce or increase use of cloud-based resources depending on their processing and storage needs
  • Applications offered via SaaS model are accessible from any location and almost all Internet-enabled devices

SaaS Use Cases

SaaS use case is a typical use case for many companies seeking to benefit from quality application usage without the need to develop, maintain and upgrade the required components. Companies can acquire SaaS solutions for ERP, mail, office applications, collaboration tool, among others. SaaS is also crucial for small companies and startups that wish to launch e-commerce service rapidly but lack the time and resource to develop and maintain the software or buy servers for hosting the platform. SaaS is also used by companies with short-term projects that require collaboration from different members located remotely.

Popular SaaS Services

SaaS offerings are more widespread as compared to IaaS and PaaS. In fact, a majority of consumers use SaaS services without realizing it.

Office365: the cloud-based solution provides productivity software for subscribed consumers. Allows users to access Microsoft Office tools on various platforms, such as Android, MacOS, and Windows, etc.

Box: the SaaS offers secure file storage, sharing, and collaboration from any location and platform

Dropbox: modern application designed for collaboration and for creating, storing, and accessing files, docs, and folders.

Salesforce: the SaaS is among the leading customer relationship management platform that offers a series of capabilities for sales, marketing, service, and more.

Today, cloud computing models have revolutionized the way businesses deploy and manage computing resources and infrastructure. With the advent and evolution of the three major cloud computing models, that it IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS, consumers will find a suitable cloud offering that satisfies virtually all IT needs. These models’ capabilities coupled with competition from popular cloud computing service providers will continue availing IT solutions for consumers demanding for availability, enhanced performance, quality services, better coverage, and secure applications.

Consumers should review their business needs and do a cost-benefit analysis to approve the best model for their business. Also, consumers should conduct thorough workload assessment while migrating to a cloud service.

What Is Machine Learning?

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Machine Learning

Machine learning is Artificial Intelligence (AI) which enables a system to learn from data rather than through explicit programming.  Machine learning uses algorithms that iteratively learn from data to improve, describe data, and predict outcomes.  As the algorithms ingest training data to produce a more precise machine learning model. Once trained, the machine learning model, when provided data will generate predictions based on the data that taught the model.  Machine learning is a crucial ingredient for creating modern analytics models.

Cooking Terms – What is Conchiglie Pasta?

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Big shell pasta (Conchiglioni) on a red checkered tablecloth.

Definition Conchiglioni

  • A type of pasta which is shaped like a small conch shell.
  • It is commonly used in pasta salads and with meat sauces. The smaller version of conchiglie is called Conchigliette and the larger version is called Conchiglioni.

Cooking Substitutions

  • Subsites in cooking for Conchiglioni pasta are farfalle, fusilli, gemelli, macaroni, rigatoni, or ziti.

What is Source Control?

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Acronyms, Abbreviations, Terms, And Definitions

Source Control is an Information technology environment management system for storing, tracking and managing changes to software. This is commonly done through a process of creating branches (copies for safely creating new features) off of the stable master version of the software, then merging stable feature branches back into the master version. This is also known as version control or revision control.

Whаt Iѕ A Cоdе Sniрреt?

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Acronyms, Abbreviations, Terms, And Definitions

 

Whаt Iѕ A Cоdе Sniрреt?

Thе code ѕniрреt iѕ a tеrm uѕеd in рrоgrаmming tо rеfеr tо ѕmаll раrtѕ оf reusable source соdеѕ. Suсh kinds оf соdеѕ аrе аvаilаblе both in binary оr tеxt context. Cоdе ѕniрреtѕ are commonly dеfinеd аѕ unitѕ or funсtiоnаl mеthоdѕ thаt can bе rеаdilу intеgrаtеd intо larger modules рrоviding functionality. Thiѕ technical tеrm iѕ аlѕо uѕеd to refer tо the рrасtiсе оf minimizing thе uѕе of repeated code thаt iѕ common to many applications.

Java рrоgrаmmеrѕ use соdе ѕniрреtѕ аѕ an informative mean tо ѕuрроrt the рrосеѕѕ оf еnсоding. Normally, a ѕniрреt shows an еntirе functional unit corresponding tо code a ѕmаll рrоgrаm, оr a ѕinglе funсtiоn, a сlаѕѕ, a template or a bunch of related funсtiоnѕ.

Prоgrаmmеrѕ use ѕniрреt codes with thе ѕаmе purposes аѕ аn аррliсаtiоn. Fоr еxаmрlе, they uѕе it as a way to ѕhоw the соdе as a proven ѕоlutiоn to a givеn рrоblеm. Thеу mау аlѕо use this tо illuѕtrаtе рrоgrаmming “triсkѕ” of nоn-triviаl imрlеmеntаtiоn to highlight thе ресuliаritiеѕ of a givеn соmрilеr. Sоmе реорlе uѕе thiѕ as an еxаmрlе оf соdе portability оr еvеn tо uѕе thеm tо lower the Jаvа programming timе. Organic аnd thеmаtiс collections of ѕniрреt соdеѕ inсludе thе digital соllесtiоn оf tiрѕ аnd triсkѕ аnd асt аѕ a ѕоurсе fоr lеаrning and rеfining рrоgrаmming.

Thе snippet iѕ ѕhоrt аnd fulfillѕ thе раrtiсulаr tаѕk well, it dоеѕ nоt nееd any еxtrа соdе beyond ѕtаndаrd library and ѕуѕtеm dереndеnt code. Thе ѕniрреt iѕn’t the complete рrоgrаm – аnd for thаt you will ѕubmit thе соdе in the ѕоurсе code rероѕitоrу that iѕ thе bеѕt place to handle the lаrgеr рrоgrаmѕ. Ideally, thе ѕniрреt must be thе ѕесtiоn of соdе, whiсh уоu mау ѕniр оut оf the lаrgеr рrоgrаm аnd very еаѕilу reuse in оthеr рrоgrаm. In order, to mаkе ѕniрреtѕ ѕimрlе tо use, it is good to еnсарѕulаtе in thе funсtiоn, сlаѕѕ аnd роtеntiаllу, аѕ thе framework tо ѕtаrt thе new рrоgrаm.

For a рrоgrаmmеr, having gооd code ѕniрреtѕ iѕ vеrу imроrtаnt. Mаnу people uѕе different wау tо kеер thеir code with them. Thеrе iѕ a lоt of оnlinе ѕоlutiоn аlѕо for thоѕе likе аgаinѕt. Hаving gооd соdе in hаnd is vеrу imроrtаnt tо dеlivеr best in class рrоduсt. Sniрреtѕ should bе аlwауѕ mоdulаr and роrtаblе. Sо that iѕ should bе plugged intо уоur соdе easily. Many реорlе uѕе github giѕt to keep thеir snippets. Rubу рrоgrаmmеrѕ uѕе mоdulеѕ to сrеаtе соdе ѕniрреtѕ.

Databases – What is ACID?

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What does ACID mean in database technologies?

  • Concerning databases, the acronym ACID means: Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, and Durability.

Why is ACID important?

  • Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, and Durability (ACID) are import to database, because ACID is a set of properties that guarantee that database transactions are processed reliably.

Where is the ACID Concept described?

  • Originally described by Theo Haerder and Andreas Reuter, 1983, in ‘Principles of Transaction-Oriented Database Recovery’, the ACID concept has been codified in ISO/IEC 10026-1:1992, Section 4

What is Atomicity?

  • Atomicity ensures that only two possible results from transactions, which are changing multiple data sets:
  • either the entire transaction completes successfully and is committed as a work unit
  • or, if part of the transaction fails, all transaction data can be rolled back to databases previously unchanged dataset

What is Consistency?

  • To provide consistency a transaction either creates a new valid data state or, if any failure occurs, returns all data to its state, which existed before the transaction started. Also, if a transaction is successful, then all changes to the system will have been properly completed, the data saved, and the system is in a valid state.

What is Isolation?

  • Isolation keeps each transaction’s view of database consistent while that transaction is running, regardless of any changes that are performed by other transactions. Thus, allowing each transaction to operate, as if it were the only transaction.

What is Durability?

  • Durability ensures that the database will keep track of pending changes in such a way that the state of the database is not affected, if a transaction processing is interrupted. When restarted, databases must return to a consistent state providing all previously saved/committed transaction data

Related References

Database – What is TCL?

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SQL (Structured Query Language)

TCL (Transaction Control Language) statements are used to manage the changes made by DML statements. It allows statements to be grouped together into logical transactions. The main TCL commands are:

  • COMMIT
  • SAVEPOINT
  • ROLLBACK
  • SET TRANSACTION

Related References

 

What is Process Asset Library?

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Documentation

 

What is Process Asset Library (PAL)?

Process Asset Library (PAL) is a centralized repository, within an organization, which contains essential artifacts that document processes or are process assets (e.g. configuration Items and designs) used by an organization, project, team, and/or work group.  The assets may, also, be leveraged to achieve process improvement, which is the intent of lessons learned document, for example.

What is in the Process Asset Library (PAL)?

Process Asset Library (PAL), usually, houses of the following types of artifacts:

  • Organizational policies
  • Process descriptions
  • Procedures
  • Development plans
  • Acquisition plans
  • Quality assurance plans
  • Training materials
  • Process aids (e.g. templates, checklists, job aides and forms)
  • Lessons learned reports

 

Related References

CMMI Institute

What Is Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI)?

Building Organizational Capability

 

What is Confluence?

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Confluence

Confluence is the place or process of  merging of two things.

Business Perspective of Confluence

From a business perspective, a confluence is the merging processes, concepts, principles, and/or technologies.

What is an ERP?

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Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

What does ERP mean?

  • ERP Means “Enterprise Resource Planning”

What is an ERP?

  • An ERP is business software application or series of applications, which facilitate the daily operations of business. An ERP an be commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) applications (which may or may not be customized) or custom built (home grown) by the business and/or assemblages of different vendor applications and/or models.  ERP applications dules from a variety of vendors.

Common ERP Major Functions

  • ERP application software typically support these major business operations:

Financials Management system (FMS)

  • FMS supports accounting, consolidation, planning, and procurement.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

  • CRM facilitates customer interactions and data throughout the customer lifecycle, with the goal of improving business relationships with customers, assisting in customer retention and sales growth.

Human Resources Management System (HRMS)

  • HRMS supports workforce acquisition, workforce management, workforce optimization, and benefits administration

Enterprise Learning Management (ELM)

  • ELM is the integrated application which increases workforce knowledge, and skills, and competencies to achieve critical organizational objectives.

Asset Management (AM)

  • AM support activities for deploying, operating, maintaining, upgrading, and disposing of assets cost-effectively.

Supply Chain management (SCM)

  • SCM is the oversight of materials, information, and finances as they move in a process from supplier to manufacturer to wholesaler to retailer to consumer.

Related References

Business – What is TQM? and What Does it Mean?

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Total quality management (TQM) requires permanent changes throughout an organization. Unlike a project-based approach to managing quality, TQM takes an enterprise-wide approach and requires changes to be made to every aspect of the business. This method is a proven success and is a viable option for many companies. Read on to learn more about TQM and how it can benefit your business. We’ll cover why TQM is so beneficial.

The basic idea of TQM is to focus on the customer experience. The process is defined by the steps necessary to achieve success. The overall goal is to make sure every step of the process is repeatable and consistent. All team members are involved, so it is not a one-dimensional approach. Communication is essential to TQM success, as this ensures that everyone is working towards the same goal. And while it may sound like a lot, it doesn’t work the way you think it will.

In TQM, the organization must apply the principles of systems thinking, recognizing that change is necessary. It must have a firm grasp of customer needs, have defined processes, and a clear plan of improvement. It must be prepared to make the changes necessary to achieve success. While TQM is not for everyone, it’s a good choice for a variety of reasons. It will make a company more profitable and will improve its bottom line.

TQM emphasizes strategic decisions and systematic approaches to improving the company. Continuous improvement is better than a big project if it involves addressing root causes. It takes a long-term approach to improve core processes and customer satisfaction. And if you don’t have the budget to implement a large-scale change, TQM may be the right fit for your business. So what are the benefits of TQM?

TQM is a system of continuous improvement that emphasizes the customer’s experience and wants. It focuses on the customer’s satisfaction, and it emphasizes the employee’s ability to take ownership over their work. TQM involves every member of the organization, not just one department. If you’re not sure what TQM is, consider some of the common definitions below: What is TQM? and what does it mean?

TQM focuses on the people and processes in an organization. It aims to create a culture that values evidence-based decision-making. The TQM system can also help organizations improve their customer relationships and reduce the risk of errors. For these reasons, TQM can improve business performance and boost employee engagement. Its main advantages are efficiency and effectiveness, and it will help your business succeed in the long run.

The fundamental differences between TQM and other management strategies are often the details. It is best to use the TQM system in conjunction with the existing structure of your company. In addition to implementing the strategy, you should be aware of its benefits and drawbacks. You should have a culture of continuous improvement and not make a big project. It is best to keep in mind that the principles of TQM are applicable to all types of businesses.

TQM is a system-oriented approach to management. The processes in an organization are modeled as a series of steps, or processes. A well-defined process is one that makes it possible to see and measure the value of everything. If a process isn’t working, TQM might be the answer. TQM is the best way to make your business succeed. You’ll get better results and achieve your objectives by implementing the TQM model.

TQM is a comprehensive management system that focuses on creating and implementing processes. The goal of TQM is to identify and measure the key characteristics of your product or process and use this information to optimize the process. This method is the basis for TQM and it should be implemented in every organization. The key to TQM success is to continually improve the quality of your products and services. Efforts should be in harmony with each other and your customers.

The TQM approach emphasizes the importance of identifying and eliminating unnecessary steps. The TQM approach involves employees in the development of products and services, and it promotes collaboration among all employees. The approach encourages the use of data and creates a more collaborative environment. This way, your employees are more likely to be involved and motivated, and your customers will be happier. This is a key component of the TQM process.

What is Total Quality Management – TQM

What does CRM Mean?

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Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

 

What is CRM?

CRM (customer relationship management) is a type of ERP application, which are used to facilitate sales, marketing, and business development interactions throughout the customer life cycle.

What does a CRM Application do?

A CRM application capabilities, broadly, encompass:

Marketing Integration

  • Lead management, email marketing, and campaign management

Sales Force Automation

  • Contact management, pipeline analysis, sales forecasting, and more

Customer Service & Support

  • Ticketing, knowledge management systems, self-service, and live chat

Field Service Management

  • Scheduling, dispatching, invoicing, and more

Call Center Automation

  • Call routing, monitoring, CTI, and IVR

Help Desk Automation

  • Ticketing, IT asset management, self-service and more

Channel Management

  • Contact and lead management, partner relationship management, and market development funds management

Business analytics integration

  • Analytics application and Business intelligence and reporting integration, which may include internal reporting capabilities.

Related References

IBM Db2 on Cloud, IBM Db2 Warehouse, IBM Db2 Warehouse on Cloud (Previously IBM dashDB), and IBM Integrated Analytics System – Useful links

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Documentation

Here are a few references for IBM Db2 on Cloud, IBM Db2 Warehouse, IBM Db2 Warehouse on Cloud (Previously IBM dashDB), and IBM Integrated Analytics System – Useful links, which hopefully will be helpful.

 Table Of Useful IBM Db2 on Cloud, IBM Db2 Warehouse, IBM Db2 Warehouse on Cloud (Previously IBM dashDB), and IBM Integrated Analytics System links

 SQL Reference > Statementshttps://www.ibm.com/support/knowledgecenter/SS6NHC/com.ibm.swg.im.dashdb.sql.ref.doc/doc/r0011049.html

Installing the Db2 driver package

https://www.ibm.com/support/knowledgecenter/SS6NHC/com.ibm.swg.im.dashdb.doc/connecting/connect_driver_package_install.html

Related References

Information Technology – What is Greer’s Third Law?

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Greer’s Third Law

Greer’s Third Law

A computer program does what you tell it to do, not what you want it to do

Related References

What is Crayne’s Law?

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Crayne’s Law

Crayne’s Law

All computers wait at the same speed

 

“The Serious Assembler” by Charles A. Crayne and Dian Girand, 1985

Related References

Database – What is a Primary Key?

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Database Table

What is a primary Key?

What a primary key is depends, somewhat, on the database.  However, in its simplest form a primary key:

  • Is a field (Column) or combination of Fields (columns) which uniquely identifies every row.
  • Is an index in database systems which use indexes for optimization
  • Is a type of table constraint
  • Is applied with a data definition language (DDL) alter command
  • And, depending on the data model can, define parent-Child relationship between tables

Related References

Database – What is DDL?

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SQL (Structured Query Language)

What is DDL (Data Definition Language)?

DDL (Data Definition Language), are the statements used to manage tables, schemas, domains, indexes, views, and privileges.  The the major actions performed by DDL commands are: create, alter, drop, grant, and revoke.

Related References

Database – What is DML?

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SQL (Structured Query Language)

What is DML (Data Manipulation Language)?

As the name indicates, Data manipulation for working with information inside a database structure.  There are four main DML commands:

  • Select – reading data rows
  • Insert – adding data rows
  • update – changing values within data rows
  • Delete – removing data row

Related References

 

what is a Logical Data Warehouse (LDW) ?

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Acronyms, Abbreviations, Terms, And Definitions

Definition of a Logical Data Warehouse (LDW)

A Logical Data Warehouse (LDW) is  data management architecture for analytics, which combines the strengths of traditional repository warehouses with alternative data management and access strategies.

What is DCL?

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What is DCL (Data Control Language)?

Data control language (DCL) is anything that is used for administrating access (permissions/security) to database content.  The main DCL commands are:

  • Grant
  • Revoke

Related References

Software Development Life Cycle – What is RAD?

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What is RAD?

Rapid Application Development (RAD) is a type of incremental software development methodology, which emphasizes rapid prototyping and iterative delivery, rather than planning. In RAD model the components or major functions are developed in parallel as if they were small relatively independent projects, until integration.

RAD projects are iterative and incremental

RAD projects follow the SDLC iterative and incremental model:

  • During which more than one iteration of the software development cycle may be in progress at the same time
  • In RAD model the functional application modules are developed in parallel, as prototypes, and are integrated to complete the product for faster product delivery.
  • RAD teams are small and comprised of developers, domain experts, customer representatives and other information technology resources working progressively on their component and/or prototype.

What is a Peer Review?

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A peer review is an examination of a Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) work product by team members, other than the work Product’s author, to identify defects, omissions, and compliance to standards.  This process provides an opportunity for quality assurance, knowledge sharing, and product improvement early during the SDLC life cycle.

What is a software development baseline?

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What, exactly, the definition of a baseline it depends on your role and perspective on the SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle) process.   The baseline concept plays in many aspects of SDLC execution, including project management, configuration management, and others.  Additionally, the baseline concept and practice is applicable to all the SLDC methodologies, including, but not limited to the Agile Model, Waterfall Model, Iterative Model, Spiral Model, and V-Model.

Baseline Definition

A baseline is a reference point in the software development life cycle marked by the completion and formal approval of a set of predefined work products for phase completion. The objective of a baseline is to reduce a project’s vulnerability to uncontrolled change and to provide a point in time set of artifacts for references and recovery, if necessary.    Baselining an artifact (requirements specification matrix, design, code, data model, etc.) move it into formal change control (usually, in one or more repository tools) at milestone achievement points in the development life cycle. Baselines are also used to identify the essential software, hardware, and configuration assembly components that make up a specific release of a system.