The year is almost half over (unbelievably!) and is proceeding on schedule to be an exciting year. It looks like eBooks are past the maybe stage, and moving quickly into acceptance. The iPad has a lot to do with this – it can function as an eBook. Speaking of the iPad – over a million sold already. And, iPhone 4G expected out any day now. HTC EVO 4G has a June release date and both of these superphones will run on 4G networks (see my Blog.
Microsoft's been busy. They released Visual Studio 2010, .NET Framework 4 and Silverlight 4 in April; Office 2010, SharePoint 2010 and R2 of SQL Server 2008 (which is called SQL Server 2010 by some) were released in May. Adobe released Creative Suite 5 in April; Google's planning to follow the Chrome browser with the Chrome operating system this year; SugarCRM version 6 is planned for release in July 2010; Version 5.12 of Perl was released in April.
This is just a selection of what's going on. Keep reading for more!
Here's the schedule or you can view the complete schedule on our Website:
CSTA Web sessions:
July 12, 13
August 25, 26
UITJ (Understanding IT Jobs) Web sessions:
TR Web sessions:
Keep in touch - I love hearing from you - and keep up with technology!
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Data Integration: MDM
Data Integration is still on the top of IT's to do list. It's a simple concept – accessing data from diverse sources – but a complex implementation. One of the reasons it's complex is that there are different ways of doing this. We know we've been integrating data from multiple sources into data warehouses for several years. Data warehouses are, in fact, today's typical implementation of data integration. But now we've got a new kid on the block - MDM: Master Data Management.
Data warehousing means creating a new store of data. It takes data from many sources including multiple databases, the Internet and public data stores. As the data is moved into the warehouse it is transformed into a defined format or definition. This transformation is done every time data is added to the warehouse, and, in fact, appears in the name of the most common input tool – ETL (Extract, Transform, Load). Data warehouses have proved to be invaluable and are used in BI (Business Intelligence). BI is, according to surveys of CIOs (Chief Information Officers), the #1 topic on their agenda in 2010.
There's one major drawback to data warehousing. You've got to build an entirely new data store which holds a lot of redundant data (the same data appearing in more than one source). No one likes redundant data, so what can we do to avoid it? That's where MDM comes into the picture. Master Data Management says "leave the data where it is – just be able to access it at the same time." Again, something that sounds simple is more complex.
One big problem is that the same data can be expressed differently. Do you always provide your name the same way? Very few of us do, which means that if we have a checking account, a savings account, and a mortgage at the same bank, one account could be Jonathan Jones, another John Jones, and the last John J. Jones. People have no trouble understanding that all these represent the same thing, but software does. This means that when we integrate data from multiple sources, the software has to reconcile the differences. It must understand whether we have one customer with three accounts, or three different customers. Another view of this problem - take a simple piece of information such as an address. Sometimes it's spelled out as "street," other times it's abbreviated "st." Or, it could even be left off. How about state - it could be represented by the state name, the numeric code, or the alpha code. How do we want street and state to appear to our customers, partners, and employees? Can we live with the inconsistencies? Do we have to change some of the sources to make sure data is always expressed the same way? We don't have time to do this.
Master Data Management creates a single view of all the data. The easiest way of understanding this is that MDM creates a single definition and then a filter that automatically transforms data to the MDM definition.
Master data describes core business entities such as customers, locations, products, etc. It's mostly used with customer data (often called CDI – Customer Data Integration) and product data (called PIM – Product Information Management). It includes both traditional structured information and unstructured content such as documents and images. No single business application can provide all the core information on a single customer. Information on a customer's individual purchases is captured by the sales system, credit card information is found in the billing system, and complaints and returns are in the CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system. The master data concept concentrates on a single system to build and maintain data that can then be accessed and created by the operational systems. MDM systems are often called Hubs, and are referred to as pure play MDM systems. MDM functionality, however, is also included in ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), ETL (Extract, Transform, Load), EAI (Enterprise Application Interface), and BI (Business Intelligence) systems.
MDM is also used with BPM (Business Process Management), another hot button on many plates. In fact, BI and BPM are merging – and MDM is one of the tools used to facilitate that merge. Get used to seeing all these acronyms used together!
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1. What computer peripheral is getting a new look?
2. Which of the following does not belong?
b) Sprint 4G
c) Road Runner Mobile
3. Which of the following does not belong?
a) Google Editions
d) Project Gutenberg
4. Which of the following does not belong? As you can see, I'm on a roll. Which I'm sure I'll regret when I get to the last question and have trouble finding a good series.
5. Which of the following does not belong?
a) Aspire One
b) HTC Dream
d) Nexus One
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I'm pushing Twitter again. I still don't know how I feel about the whole idea, but I'm liking how it works for us. I spend a lot of time researching IT – reading blogs and articles, following press releases, and answering questions that come in to us through TechRef®. And, when I find new information, the first thing I want to do is share it. I've been enthralled with IT for years, and am constantly amazed with the stuff that appears. I think everyone should know about it – so I tweet!
It's just a great way for me to give a shout out about something I just found. Usually I have more to say than 140 characters allow, so most of my Tweets link to my Blog – gives you an easy way to decide whether you want to know more, and a way for me to go into some detail. I'll repeat my usual promise – I will never Tweet about what I had for lunch – all tweets provide information that at least some (and often most) of you will find valuable.
And, almost completely unrelated – should "tweet" be capitalized? Obviously I don't know…
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We hear a lot about 4G networks lately and it almost seems like everyone assumes we know what that means. In actuality, it means fast – and that's all we really care about. Techies, however, go into much more detail than that. 4G wireless networks are being established all over the U.S. and if they're not in your location yet, they will be soon. Let's get started, at least with the vocabulary. Next month we'll put it together in an article.
3G (Third Generation Networks) Communications technology for wireless, or mobile systems. Based on GSM (Global System for Mobile Communication) and extends the capabilities of GSM to handle both voice and data transfers. Goal is to provide speeds of 2Mbps (Million bits/bytes per second). Services introduced in Europe in 2004, and expected to be a standard product by 2005. Some analysts predict it will dominate the wireless voice market by 2009.
4G (Fourth Generation Networks) Communications. 4G wireless service, also called mobile broadband. Broadcasts on the 2.5 GHz band which is higher than traditional WiFi networks and speeds of 3 – 5mbps (million bits per second) are about three times what current 3G networks are delivering. Technology was launched commercially in South Korea in 2006 under the name WiBro and is currently available in South Korea, Italy, Taiwan, Brazil, and Japan. WiMax from Clearw*re (includes Sprint, Comcast, TWC and others) is 4G technology available since 2009 in certain areas in the US (additional areas are launched regularly). LTE is another 4G technology with Verizon planning launches in 2010 and AT&T in 2011.
GHz (GigaHertz) Computer speed measure. One billion computer cycles per second. Computer chips with these speeds are being developed by IBM, Intel, and Advanced Micro Devices.
WiMax (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) Communications. Specification for wireless networks that proposes a range of up to 31 miles, compared with Wi-Fi's 300 feet and Bluetooth's 30 feet. Can operate in many bands within the range of 2 GHZ up to 11 GHz. Currently three profiles are being defined: one around 5.8 GHz, which is unlicensed in many countries; a second around 3.5 GHz, unavailable in North America but licensed in other regions; and a third around 2.5 GHz, licensed in the U.S. and much of the Americas. WiMax is IEEE Standard 802.16 and is being developed to be compatible with European standards. Transfers data at speeds of 75 Mbps (Million bytes per second). Called WMANs (Wireless Metropolitan Area Networks). Additional WiMax standards under development include:
802.16b defines QoS (Quality of Service),
802.16c defines products and test-suite specifications for interoperability,
802.16d corrects omissions in 802.11c, which is the standard for developing access points,
802.16e provides support for mobile as well as fixed broadband.
Initially approved in 2002, and 801.16a was ratified in 2003. 802.16e was approved in 2006. Heavily used in Asia and Europe, and available in specific areas in the U.S. with new areas being launched regularly with a major rollout in 2010. Clearw*re is the major vendor in the US; check Clearwire to see if there is a network in your area.
LTE (Long Term Evolution) Communications. Wireless technology competitive with WiMax. Each would more than quadruple existing wireless wide-area access speeds for users. The two technologies are somewhat alike in the way they transmit signals and even in their network speeds. The meaningful differences have more to do with politics and analysts believe LTE will have the tremendous upper hand over WiMax, primarily because carriers on the GSM standard (Global System for Mobile communications) predominate around the globe and will use LTE as their upgrade pathway. GSM is the most popular mobile communications standard.
wireless Wireless communications use radio frequencies and satellite transmissions for voice, video, and/or data communication. Wireless video and voice have been in use for decades, and data communications uses many of the existing technologies. As the use of wireless for data increases, technologies, standards, and functions are appearing and being defined by IEEE.
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1. The lowly mouse! New designs for a vertical mouse are in the works. All are designed to ease the strain on our hands. Check out the Zero Tension Mouse.
2. The first selection LTE does not belong. In fact, LTE is an alternative to WiMax, both of which are 4G wireless networking technologies. WiMax is currently available in many locations and Sprint 4G (Sprint) and Road Runner Mobile (Time Warner) are commercial names used by the vendors for the 4G technology. LTE is technology backed by Verizon and AT&T and networks are expected to be available late in 2010, 2011.
3. This one's a bit of a stretch – again it's a, the first pick. These are all eBooks (Google Editions and Project Gutenberg) or eReaders (iPad and Kindle). But because Google Editions aren't yet on the market (planned release is June/July 2010) they're the one not belonging. BTW – check out Project Gutenberg, if you're interested. All their book downloads are free! They ask for a donation, but it's completely optional. They also give you a choice of formats and you can download to many different devices.
4. Okay – same type of question. But, this time the answer's d) PIM. PIM, or Product Information Manager is a type of data integration, or MDM (Master Data Management) software. The other three are really different names for the same thing. BPM (Business Process Management) actually uses MDM – and it's also called EPM (Enterprise Performance Management) and CPI (Corporate Performance Information) although neither of these acronyms are common.
5. This one has two answers. Back to a) this is a notebook computer, all the rest are smartphones. But it could also be c) this smartphone does not run the Android operating system and all the rest do. Including, the notebook. Point being: Android runs on many devices, not just smart phones.
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