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 Sat, 26 Jul 2014 11:00:00 EDT Iron Cloud IoT Shootout Announced at @CloudExpo @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley
Cloud Expo, Inc. has announced the first annual "Iron Cloud IoT Shootout" to be held on November 6, 2014 at Cloud Expo Silicon Valley at Santa Clara Convention Center in California. The "Iron Cloud IoT Shootout" will be a live competition among all the key Cloud Computing platforms, and will be held on Day 3 of the show, Thursday, November 6, at the Santa Clara Convention Center. So far five platforms, Amazon AWS, Google GCE, Microsoft Azure, IBM SoftLayer, and Rackspace have been named as part of the live competition. The "Iron Cloud IoT Shootout" will feature teams representing each platform. Team members may or may not be employees of the companies which represent the competing platforms. Each team will create an IoT app or service, and be judged by everyone in attendance.

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 Sat, 26 Jul 2014 10:00:00 EDT IBM Exec: "Big Data Is the Phenomenon of Our Time"
The agreement between IBM and Apple to collaborate on mobility and Big Data will certainly rank as one of the big stories of the year in global enterprise IT. In addition to Apple's devices and IBM's custom apps, an absolute key to this deal will be telecommunications. As we all know, what we call Information Technology (IT) in the US is generally referred to as Information and Communications Technology (ICT) throughout the world, demonstrating telco's importance to the whole enchilada. Thus, we were fortunate to speak about the IBM/Apple deal recently with Robert Fox, IBM's Global Industry Leader for Telecommunications Media & Entertainment. Here's what we asked, and what he had to say: Big Data Journal: Apple CEO Tim Cook mentioned "Big Data Analytics" as a key reason to do business with IBM. From your point of view and IBM's point of view, what strengths to you bring in this area? Bob Fox: The Apple and IBM partnership is all about combining IBM’s Big Data and Analytics capabilities with Apple’s legendary consumer experience, hardware and software integration and developer platform. IBM is the proven leader in Big Data and Analytics with more than 40,000 data and analytics client engagements that spans research and development, solutions, software and hardware. The analytics portfolio is made up of more than 15,000 analytics consultants, 4,000 analytics patents, 6,000 industry solution business partners, and 400 IBM mathematicians who are helping clients use Big Data to transform their business. Over the last ten years, we have been applying these resources to solve mission critical challenges in sales, marketing, operations, fraud, security, and many other functions across the 17 industries on which we focus. BDJ: Big Data is, obviously, nothing without strong telco to deliver it throughout enterprises and the world. What is IBM's vision and execution in the telco aspect of the IBM/Apple agreement? Bob: While communications service providers (CSPs) are rethinking how new networks will be provisioned and managed in order to meet new traffic demands, they are also faced with the need to radically change the way networks are maintained and customers are serviced. Some 76% of CSP enterprise customers report that they are not satisfied and are demanding faster and more efficient service. In the consumer segment, CSPs rank among the lowest in traditional measures of customer satisfaction, including NPS and advocacy. BDJ: So how do you improve this? Robert: Customer satisfaction can be drastically improved in this industry by giving mobile workers in the field access to real-time ticket management, service history or parts inventories in the palm of their hand. To help restore telco’s customer service reputation, IBM and Apple will develop more than 100 enterprise solutions, starting with apps for telecommunications field service personnel. These applications will allow CSPs to deliver the right services the first time, all at lower costs. BDJ: Do have an estimate/projection on the amounts of Big Data than an individual enterprise may be collecting and analyzing? Do you have a global estimate on the growth of Big Data over the next few years? Bob: Thanks to a proliferation of devices and the infusion of technology into all things and processes, the world is generating more than 2.5 billion gigabytes of data every day, and 80 percent of it is unstructured—everything from images, video and audio to social media and a blizzard of impulses from embedded sensors and distributed devices. It is not atypical for a single CSP to collect data on tens of billions of events, yielding a petabyte or more of data to store and analyze--every day! With the market for data and analytics estimated to reach $187 billion by 2015, organizations spanning many industries have become increasingly dependent on data—for recording their business transactions, managing their production lines and defining their growth strategies. The emergence of Big Data is the phenomenon of our time; it is a new natural resource. It is fueled by the proliferation of devices, the rise of social media and the infusion of technology into all things and processes.

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 Sat, 26 Jul 2014 10:00:00 EDT How to Spruce Up Your Evolved PHP Application
Do you have a PHP application running and have to deal with inconveniences like lack of scalability, complexity of debugging, and low performance? That’s bad enough! But trust me: you are not alone. I’ve been developing Spelix, a system for cave management, for more than 20 years. It originated from a single user DOS application, and has now emerged into a web application with hundreds of users, used nationwide as the official cave directory in Austria.

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 Sat, 26 Jul 2014 09:30:00 EDT Harnessing Big Data for Product Improvement
By adopting HP Vertica, Systems Mechanics improved how their products best deliver business intelligence, analytics streaming, and data analysis. Three years ago, Systems Mechanics Limited used relational databases to assemble and analyze some 20 different data sources in near real-time. But most relational database appliances used 1980s technical approaches, and the ability to connect more data and manage more events capped off. The runway for their business expansion just ended.

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 Fri, 25 Jul 2014 15:15:00 EDT Octoblu Execs: "Any Device, Any Protocol, Single IoT Platform"
With Octoblu emerging from stealth mode, it seemed like a good idea to talk to a couple of key people there. We were able to do just that with company co-founders Geir Ramleth and Chris Matthieu. Geir Ramleth serves as CEO. He was named to CIO Magazine's Hall of Fame in 2008, and served as SVP/CIO of the Bechtel Group for more than a decade during his career. Chris Matthieu serves as CTO and has a global reputation as an innovator in emerging technologies. Chris also serves as our Tech Chair at @ThingsExpo. Octoblu will utilize Meshblu (formerly code named SkyNetIM), an open source machine-to-machine (M2M) instant messaging platform that Chris created. Meshblu can be used for the discovery, control and management of any API-based software application, any hardware or appliance, or social media network. Here's what we asked Chris, and here's what he had to say: IOT Journal: This seems like a culmination of a lot of work you've previously done with SkyNet and other projects? How long have you had a vision for IoT connectivity? Chris Matthieu: I've been watching the IoT space evolve for several years now. Our open source SkyNet.im project, which is the basis for Octoblu Meshblu, came from an idea around M2M instant messaging. With a market full of smart devices, sensors, and proprietary protocols, Meshblu will enable any device using any protocol to connect to a single IoT platform capable of discovering and messaging any other device. Before creating SkyNet, I was building Twelephone, the WebRTC-powered Twitter telephone). This project was technically rewarding, but I soon realized that people seem to prefer messaging people throughout the day rather than actually "talking" to people as they work. This led me to the idea of people "chatting" with machines! After numerous strategy sessions with Geir, we realized that both of these ideas (SkyNet and Twelephone) were closely related. However, they are only half of the story. We founded Octoblu to connect, control, and manage the communications and automation across people, things, systems, and clouds. IoT Journal: What are your main technical priorities for the next year or so? Chris: At this point we see the key technology areas for development as being in the areas of security and rights management, building broad and deep connectivity services, and continued hardening and platform flexibility for scalability of deployments. IoT Journal: What key hurdles does the IoT industry face in achieving connectivity across platforms, apps, devices, and other "things”? Chris: Although we will see that cross platform, apps, devices, etc. integration will be simplified, the technical challenges will be how to keep this coordinated and orchestrated in such a manner that we don’t get “lost” in the details. The hurdles will be that we have to also get meaningful integrations in the layers of security, rights management, quality of service and assurance of performance. Geir also had some comments about the company and its relation to the IoT industry and environment: IoT Journal: The IoT does certainly open new universes of possibilities? How chaotic is the connectivity/protocol landscape, and how are you addressing it? Geir Ramleth: Consumer IoT is very fragmented, where each hardware manufacturer has its own applications, with no plan to bridge individual environments. Part of the problem is that today, there are no clear standards or leaders in the connectivity/protocol landscape. This will continue to evolve, and we might eventually see clear winners emerge, such as we did some years ago when we got TCP/IP for networking. However, until then, it will be important that we have services that can operate integration in a heterogeneous environment.We see this as a key role and core advantage for Octoblu, as our platform is built to connect any device using any protocol. IoT Journal: When do you expect to see tangible results of your work, ie, and will it be in M2M, enterprise IT connectivity, personal IoT, or all? Geir: It will be all of the above, as our vision is to connect, control and manage the communications and automation across people, things, systems and clouds. We can’t give too much information at this point on timing, but we expect that the broader based integration in this space will first be seen in the industrial space starting in the fall, and then later “backfill” into the personal environments. IoT Journal: How does your membership in the AllSeen Alliance drive your vision, and how are you contributing to this effort? Geir: The AllSeen Alliance is an important effort to standardize the connectivity/protocol challenges. We fully support that and plan to contribute with resources and free tools to help connect, manage and secure environments. At the same time, we will also assure that we continue supporting older and other emerging efforts.

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 Fri, 25 Jul 2014 09:30:00 EDT How to Approach Application Failures in Production
In my recent article, “Software Quality Metrics for your Continuous Delivery Pipeline – Part III – Logging,” I wrote about the good parts and the not-so-good parts of logging and concluded that logging usually fails to deliver what it is so often mistakenly used for: as a mechanism for analyzing application failures in production. In response to the heated debates on reddit.com/r/devops and reddit.com/r/programing, I want to demonstrate the wealth of out-of-the-box insights you could obtain from a single urgent, albeit unspecific log message if you only are equipped with the magic ingredient; full transaction context:

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 Fri, 25 Jul 2014 08:00:00 EDT Setting the Stage for Cybersecurity with Threat Intelligence
Ransomware is the latest example of the increasingly sophisticated and damaging inventions of hackers. Individuals and organizations of all sizes are finding that their data has been locked down or encrypted until a ransom is paid. One program, CryptoLocker, infected more than 300,000 computers before the FBI and international law enforcement agencies disabled it. A few days later, Cryptowall showed up to take its place. Companies paid $1.3 billion last year in insurance to help offset the costs of combatting data attacks like these. Other examples include highly customized malware, advanced persistent threats and large-scale Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. Security professionals must remain ever vigilant to both known and new threats on the rise. However, with proper visibility into the extended network and robust intelligence, an attack can often be detected and stopped before it causes significant damage. By using the network to gain intelligence, cyber defenders can gain greater visibility of adversary actions and quickly shut them down.

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 Fri, 25 Jul 2014 08:00:00 EDT Toward a More Confident Cloud Security Strategy
The cloud has hit the mainstream. Businesses in the United States currently spend more than $13 billion on cloud computing and managed hosting services, and Gartner projects that by 2015, end-user spending on cloud services could be more than $180 billion worldwide. It is estimated that 50 percent of organizations will require employees to use their own devices by 2017, which will depend on shared cloud storage. All of this requires encryption. Organizational deployment of encryption has increased significantly in recent years. Its use spans everything from encrypting data in databases and file systems, in storage networks, on back-up tapes, and while being transferred over a public and internal networks. Although this might seem that we are moving in the right direction when it comes to enterprise data protection, there’s a real risk of creating fragmentation and inconsistency – referred to as encryption sprawl – as different organizations deploy diverse technologies in different places to secure different types of data. Adding fuel to the fire, the cloud poses its own unique threats and challenges. With an undeniable value proposition, it seems clear that the cloud is inevitable and that protecting data within it will be a top priority.

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 Tue, 15 Jul 2014 16:57:00 EDT Working on the Java Tutorial, Second Edition
In 2011 Wiley (Wrox) published my book “Java Programming. 24-Hour Trainer“. To be honest, I don’t like the title because it misleads people as if this book promises that the reader can learn Java within 24 hours. But creators of this series (many titles were published under this umbrella) meant to say that this book was like your personal instructor; 24 hours a day. Whatever. It’s not my call. But earlier this year I got a call from the publisher stating that they’re happy with the book sale numbers and want me to update the book and release the second edition reflecting the latest changes in the Java Language. I agreed because with the latest release Java became more interesting than ever. The magnitude of changes to the Java 8 language and APIs can be compared with Java 5 that was released back in 2004. It’s exciting to program in Java again.

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 Sun, 22 Jun 2014 02:27:00 EDT Long Polling Explained
This article defines long polling and presents a few techniques on how long polling could be used in Spring MVC web applications. Discussion covers both the AJAX and the server part of the solution as well as outlines a few possible options for implementation. The article compares performance of the two server side approaches and describes a practical example of long polling application.

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 Fri, 20 Jun 2014 10:20:20 EDT OpenXava 5.0 Released
OpenXava is an Java Framework for Rapid Development of Enterprise Web Applications. In OpenXava you only have to write the domain classes in plain Java to get a web application ready for production. This 5.0 release has a new look & feel, includes module navigation, user login/logout (so you do not need Liferay anymore), inline editable collections (just like a spreadsheet), a new editor to attach files to your entity, and many many more things.

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 Mon, 14 Apr 2014 11:00:00 EDT Sync Your Timeouts: When Load Balancers Cause Database Deadlocks
Have you seen this error message before “java.sql.Exception: ORA-00060: deadlock detected while waiting for resource”? This is caused when parallel updates require locks on either rows or tables in your database. I recently ran into this exception on an instance of an IBM eCommerce Server. The first thought was that there are simply too many people hitting the same functionality that updates Sales Tax Summary information – which was showing up in the call stack of the exception: The logical conclusion would be to blame this on too many folks accessing this functionality or outdated table statistics causing update statements to run too long causing others to run into that lock. It turned out to be caused by something that wasn’t that obvious and wouldn’t have shown up in any Exception stack traces or log files. A misconfigured timeout setting on the load balancer caused a re-execute of the original incoming web request. While the first app server was still updating the table and holding the lock – as it had a longer timeout specified as the load balancer – the second app server tried to do the same thing causing that exception.

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 Fri, 11 Apr 2014 16:11:00 EDT HTML5 and the Future of PhoneGap and WebView+
HTML5 is still one of the most discussed topics amongst us technical types. The key challenge, however, has remained unanswered for a long time. How do you effectively wrap HTML5 for use in native mobile applications? Unfortunately I do not have a universal answer, but I do have a solution for Android. Firstly, I recommend looking into the use of Vellamo in order to benchmark the performance of HTML5 on Android. Vellamo is designed to be an accurate, easy to use suite of system-level benchmarks for devices based on Android 2.3 forward. Vellamo began as a mobile web benchmarking tool that today has expanded to include two primary chapters: the HTML5 chapter evaluates mobile web browser performance; and the Metal Chapter measures the CPU subsystem performance of mobile processors. Firstly, I recommend looking into the use of Vellamo in order to benchmark the performance of HTML5 on Android (http://www.quicinc.com/vellamo/). Vellamo is designed to be an accurate, easy to use suite of system-level benchmarks for devices based on Android 2.3 forward. Vellamo began as a mobile web benchmarking tool that today has expanded to include two primary chapters: the HTML5 chapter evaluates mobile web browser performance; and the Metal Chapter measures the CPU subsystem performance of mobile processors.

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 Fri, 04 Apr 2014 15:20:00 EDT WebSphere Datapower Configuration for Database
The purpose of this article is to describe the steps involve to configure Datapower service for the Database communication. The service will parse the incoming parameters from the request, construct a SQL query string and returns the data from the Database, based on the constructed query. For the demonstration, the following table "DataPowerTest" is created in MS SQL Server. The following columns and data were added as well.

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 Mon, 31 Mar 2014 10:00:00 EDT Using a Performance Management Database to Identify Network Problems
Two weeks ago I wrote about how the world’s largest exporter of dairy products uses SAP to support their huge delivery chain of dairy products. We recounted how Fonterra used an Application Performance Monitoring (APM) tool to discover that additional training for employees was necessary to speed up certain critical SAP transactions: some employees weren’t optimizing attributes passed to the reports based on custom T-Codes. Unfortunately, additional SAP training cannot solve all the problems. Separately and unrelated to the training issues, Fonterra started to notice that end-to-end SAP transactions were much slower than usual; especially during the summer months. Correlating long-term network performance data, such as loss rate or RTT measures, with end-to-end SAP transaction response times revealed the actual network problem caused by something nobody thought about.

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 Mon, 31 Mar 2014 08:00:00 EDT The Great Java 8 Debate
Java 8 has been reengineered and the most significant enhancement in this release is Project Lambda Expressions for the Java Programming Language. To be more comprehensive, the standout features of JDK 8 are Project Lambda the Nashorn JavaScript Engine and a new Date and Time API. Al Hilwa is program director for software development research at IDC and he says that right now, with this release, the changes related to Lambda expressions are the most important single new thing in SE 8.

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 Fri, 28 Mar 2014 10:15:00 EDT APM & MoM - Symbiotic Solution Sets
Maximum productivity can be achieved more efficiently through event correlation, system automation and predictive analysis. Making that a reality however, requires consideration on how to manage the integration touch points from multiple toolsets and openness to the intrinsic value that this integration can provide. A focus on integration techniques, and not necessarily the monitoring technologies themselves, may be a better use of time to achieve a state of harmony within the event to incident flow. When rolling out an Application Performance Management (APM) solution, selection of your Manager of Managers (MoM) and how it will support the overall solution is critical. The assumption underpinning MoM is that the time to market and technical accuracy can be achieved more readily by allowing the Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) to select their own tools sets and not worry so much about controlling every monitoring tool on the periphery. This encourages timely configuration and ownership of the SME's individual systems making fine tuning the alerting levels into MoM much easier.

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 Tue, 25 Mar 2014 08:00:00 EDT Oracle Announces Java 8
Oracle has announced the availability of JDK 8, a production-ready implementation of the Java SE 8 Platform Specification, which was recently approved through the Java Community Process (JCP). This release includes the largest upgrade to the Java programming model since the platform was introduced in 1996. JDK 8 was developed collaboratively in the OpenJDK Community. Oracle has also announced Oracle Java SE Embedded 8, which leverages the new Java SE 8 features and is optimized for mid to high end embedded systems. With a consistent Java 8 platform across embedded devices, desktops, data centers and the cloud, customers can deploy applications faster, process and analyze in-flight data and act on events as quickly as they occur.

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 Sat, 15 Mar 2014 16:00:00 EDT Application Performance Problems? When to Blame the Untrained End User
In my previous posts I wrote about how important it is to have end-to-end visibility into SAP in order to avoid serious problems in our delivery chain or to discover that application performance degradation was caused by malfunctioning hardware. One of our New Zealand customers, Fonterra, who is the world’s largest exporter of dairy products, uses SAP to support its delivery chain of dairy products made from 22 billion liters of milk collected each year. In this article we show how Fonterra uses a new generation of APM tools that provide both user and transactional insight, as well as complete end-to-end coverage to monitor its SAP infrastructure. Monitoring SAP infrastructure led Fonterra to quite surprising discoveries that some performance problems could be caused by insufficient SAP training or that milk churns block Wi-Fi signal in Fonterra warehouses; we will discuss the latter story in my upcoming blog post.

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 Thu, 06 Mar 2014 10:00:00 EST Design Patterns in Java LiveLessons Review
I have spent the past few weeks watching this video series. I started watching it on the treadmill in the morning before work. I did that until I hit lesson 5. It is 4 hours and 20 minutes long. I started watching lesson 5 in front of the computer, not because I didn't want to walk for over four hours, but because I wanted to look at the code you can download with these lessons. In lesson 5 covers a ton of patterns. The thing I like most about the way the patterns are introduced is that they are introduced working with other patterns. The way patterns should be used, together.

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 Tue, 04 Mar 2014 13:26:00 EST JavaScript Cross-Compilation Mobile App Development
Recently Famo.us made a big announcement around offering their own PhoneGap alternative using a WebView that could use Chrome instead of the Stock Android Browser. Android 4.4 (KitKat) actually offers this out of the box now but it is actually Chrome 30 which isn't quite up to the same feature set of Chrome 33. That means no WebGL or WebRTC, which is a real loss. There are also no plans to roll ChromeView to older versions of Android and the open source project with this intention has considerable issues at this stage, which is a shame. Famo.us plan therefore to bundle Blink (Chrome 33) with Apps in order to offer WebGL and other improvements to Wrapped Web Apps. The downside is of course the size of Blink which is somewhere between 10M and 30M depending on which tech forum you follow. Famo.us plan to get round this by offering a one-off download of a shared library, of course this would need to be updated when the next version of Chrome is released. They have a neat demo showing Chrome 33 features including WebGL running through a WebView on Android KitKat.

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 Mon, 03 Mar 2014 14:00:00 EST Three Tips to Gain Executive Buy-In on APM
Convincing the astute executive who is cautious in not making an impetuous decision on an APM investment can prove to be challenging. Consider the amount of due diligence that is brought to bear in the decision making process. The wide array of APM technologies that need to be reviewed can be intimidating. The selection criteria for application monitoring doesn't have to be an arduous one, lending credence to the idea that an APM solution can be simplified, understood, and implemented. I'm suggesting that the critical success factors in the adoption of APM center around the End-User-Experience (EUE) and the integration touch points with existing ITIL/ITSM processes.

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 Fri, 17 Jan 2014 12:00:00 EST Achieving Agile Transformation with Kanban, Kotter, and Lean Startup
Change in IT is the only constant that you find in IT. Even the methods for managing change, change. Resistance to change is an open invitation to the Grim Reaper of software development projects in decent size companies. I have mentioned this in other book reviews, and find that it applies here as well. I was sitting in a meeting some time ago with a company that was embracing Scrum like a ten year old being offered a warm plate of chocolate chip cookies. They were grabbing at it as fast as they're little hands could reach out and grab the goodies. Watching this made me wonder what is was about Scrum that made them embrace it so emphatically. They had claimed to be an Agile shop for years, but were still failing to deliver quality software on time within budget. In past years they refused every single proposed process improvement recommendation made by consultants.

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 Fri, 03 Jan 2014 14:15:00 EST Creating JavaServer Faces Maven Managed Projects with Eclipse
Step 1 Create a project based on my blog “UPDATED Setting up a JEE 6 Web Profile Maven Project in Eclipse using TomEE”. Step 2 Eclipse reveals its special capabilities such as specialized editors based on the project’s facet. As … Continue reading

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 Wed, 18 Dec 2013 06:19:00 EST Objective-C Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide (2nd Edition)
This book is the perfect place for an experienced developer to start with iOS programming. I say experienced developer because this book does a great job of showing you the basics of C and the Objective-C language, but if you don't understand the basics of programming, you are probably going to get lost. Maybe not, but I found myself saying, "I am glad I already know what that is" about quite a few topics that were used to explain the subject matter. If you are experienced with C#, C, Java, or C++, you will be fine.

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 Thu, 12 Dec 2013 15:06:41 EST OpenXava 4.9 Released
OpenXava is an AJAX Java Framework for Rapid Development of Enterprise Web Applications. In OpenXava you only have to write the domain classes in plain Java to get a web application ready for production.

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 Wed, 11 Dec 2013 15:17:29 EST Consolidate Multiple Database Sources for Single-Source Reporting Tool
An effort to solve data source preparation in reporting tool developing. Data sources cover the result set of SQL queries or stored procedures, and the 2D table from the text or Excel files. Owing to the technical competence or versioning, various reporting tools may only support a single data source, such as JasperReport, Quiee, BIRT, and Crystal Report.

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 Sat, 30 Nov 2013 11:00:00 EST How to Monitor JVM System Properties
This article explains how to know which JVM System Properties are actually being queried by libraries. Many libraries use system properties for settings. For example, you usually have to set a property to enable debug traces or to activate certain behaviors. However, sometimes system properties that are used are not well documented or you are not sure that they are having some effect. In such cases it would be useful to have a way to know which system properties are queried.

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 Tue, 26 Nov 2013 11:31:18 EST Exploit the Results of Pmd, Findbugs and CheckStyle
Many Java static analysis tools exist right there, each one focus on a specific area and has its advantages, however if these tools report thousands of violations it became a challenge to exploit them. Let's discover another way to exploit the result of these tools.

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 Mon, 25 Nov 2013 15:30:00 EST DNS and Java
Determining the IP Address of the machine from the Hostname is termed as Hostname Resolution. Every computer (host) has a name. The Hostname should correspond to an IP address mapping stored in local Hosts file or in a database on a DNS Server. Translating (resolving) machine (and domain) names into the numbers actually used on the Internet is the business of machines that offer the Domain Name Service.

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 Sat, 23 Nov 2013 15:00:00 EST The Difference Between Winning and Losing Mobile Shoppers
Mobile performance will make or break retailers this holiday shopping season – so the importance of application performance management (APM) cannot be underestimated. The convergence of Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Hannukah and Christmas shopping combined with a record level of mobile shopping is creating a perfect storm many companies have never weathered before. Over the coming weeks it will be clear which e-commerce players have read our previous blogs and employed a smart APM strategy. That strategy has to include load testing and web performance optimization in the preparation phase and for the production monitoring, real user monitoring combined with synthetic and deep visibility to help sail smoothly through the holidays.

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 Tue, 19 Nov 2013 08:47:00 EST Real-Time Performance Management in Practice
Kweo runs their user engagement platform on a very interesting stack: They use Netty, Apache Kafka, Storm / Trident, Cassandra and ZeroMQ. They run all of their infrastructure on Amazon EC2. One of their most important requirements is Real time User Interaction which obviously requires good performance of their system which leads to good user experience. Knowing whether performance is impacted by the application code, individual components in the stack or the underlying virtualized/cloud infrastructure is a key requirement for them. The following screenshot is taken from their recent engineering blog post that highlights how they manage performance of their distributed real-time data processing system. It shows the flow of transactions through their environment which helps them to automatically detect any types of performance or functional problems that impact their end users.

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 Mon, 18 Nov 2013 06:00:00 EST How Workstation Hardware Problems Can Affect SAP Performance Perception
Introducing SAP is a cost that makes everyone very cautious about the return on this investment. Performance problems with SAP delivery can quickly propagate to seriously affect business operations and lead to tedious war room scenarios. End-user complaints will usually point towards the SAP team, the SAP team will blame the network, and IT operations team will fight back. But what if the root cause of the problem is something altogether different. The inability to quickly determine the root cause of the performance problem often leads to war room scenarios, especially when the money invested in failing applications comes from public funds. Our client, Nimrod, a country-wide government agency from Republic of Razkavia (names changed for commercial reasons) made a decision to implement its key applications based on the SAP infrastructure. When employees from Rosecoast, a harbor city in Razkavia, started to complain about the performance problems with one of the SAP applications, the operations and SAP teams started to investigate the problem.

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 Fri, 15 Nov 2013 16:00:00 EST Live Performance Monitoring Status from HealthCare.gov
We keep monitoring HealthCare.gov and created a web page that shows the latest monitoring results. If you are interested check it out: HealthCare.gov Performance Status. Heat Map of Average Response Time by State Page Load Time Comparison of HealthCare.gov, US Healthcare Facilities and US Government Websites

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 Fri, 15 Nov 2013 09:00:00 EST The Butterfly Effect Within IT
Consider the possibility that a small innocuous code change could go undetected, promoted through Development & QA, and then have catastrophic effects on performance once it reaches production. The environmental variants need to be minimized and closely monitored to prevent the anomalous behavior.

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 Tue, 12 Nov 2013 04:14:00 EST esProc Empowers Computation Outside Database
The data warehouse is essential to enterprise business intelligence, which accounts for a great part of the total enterprise cost. With the global data explosion in recent years, the business data volume grow significantly, posing a serious challenge for enterprise data warehouse to meet the diverse and complex business demands. More data, more data warehouse applications, more concurrent accesses, higher performance, and faster I/O - all these demands give more pressure on data warehouse. Every IT manager nowadays has concern over expanding the data warehouse capacity at lower cost.

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 Mon, 04 Nov 2013 15:00:00 EST Ten Questions to Avoid a Classical Business War Room Scenario
I personally don’t like the term “War Room” when describing a firefighting situation that many software companies have to deal with when systems go down or have problems. The way these war rooms typically play out is that key personnel (engineers, operations, business) are summoned into a room until the problem is solved. This was the case back with the Apollo 13 mission and still is now when we look at the famous Facebook war room from Dec 2012. What’s the problem with these pictures? There are a lot of people in the room that have no clue whether the problem on hand is actually something they can fix or are responsible for. All of these people are summoned without first figuring out which people should look at the problem. Why is that? Because the collected “evidence” in the form of infrastructure monitoring data, log files, user complaints, etc., just shows symptoms but doesn’t tell us anything about the actual impact and root cause of issues.

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 Wed, 30 Oct 2013 14:00:00 EDT Planning for ERP Disaster Recovery
A commonly used preventative measure is storing data via RAID arrays, but it is important to understand that not all levels of RAID provide sufficient protection. Commonly, RAID 10 (combination of RAID 1 and RAID 0) for quick recovery, and RAID 6 (RAID 5 plus an additional hard disk to prevent failure at a single point) where more than one disk is at risk of failure. It is very likely that if something occurs that leaves you without your ERP system, it could be a disaster for your business. It is vital that you have a strong disaster recovery plan in place to deal with such a potential catastrophe, and minimize loss of time and money. It is when things go seriously wrong that a recovery plan is in order. It is much more secure but does not come cheaply. Creating backup files on a regular basis is standard practice for any IT operation, but the backups required in the event of a disaster recovery are different. A standard backup is created to ensure files can be restored in the event of missing or lost files. In the case of disaster recovery the backup is capable of complete restoration of your ERP software. A disaster recovery backup stores data in large blocks so that the system can be recovered and stored as quickly as possible. Data can be stored on site but it is highly advisable that additional copies be stored off-site, either by creating a backup to a remote site or by creating and storing copies on tape and then removing to a secondary location.

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 Fri, 25 Oct 2013 17:00:00 EDT How to Deploy a node.js App from GitHub to Heroku
Learn how to set up Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment for your node.js Application from GitHub to Heroku.

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 Fri, 25 Oct 2013 15:07:50 EDT Continuous Deployment to Nodejitsu with Codeship
Learn how to set up Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment for node.js apps from GitHub to Nodejitsu in less than 5 minutes. We are proud to announce a new member in our Codeship deployments family: Nodejitsu! Recently we experienced increasing interest in node.js deployments on our service. Especially after our Testing Tuesday series about node.js a lot of people started creating Continuous Integration and Deployment projects on the Codeship.

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 Fri, 25 Oct 2013 09:00:00 EDT An Introduction to Client Latency
Client latency is driven by multiple factors, in the browser, network, and code. Dan Riti explores all those factors, including how Google... Let's face it, users are impatient. They demand a blazingly fast experience and accept no substitutes. Google performed a study in 2010 which proved that when a site responds slowly, visitors spend less time there. Speed as perceived by the end user is driven by multiple factors, including how fast results are returned and how long it takes a browser to display the content.

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 Wed, 23 Oct 2013 03:38:00 EDT DevOps Role in Troubleshooting JVM Issues
The JVM issues vary from Java OutOfMemory Error to JVM Crash. Application developers might be not completely equipped to determine the root cause of the issue, hence DevOps can play a vital role in narrowing down the issue and connecting the right people/team to rectify the problem. Application developers can deploy their applications with success in a staging or QA environment and broadcast that the application is working fine. However, the staging or QA environment is not completely identical with production at - least with respect to load. Due to huge load, the application can behave differently. In order to prevent an occurrence of these kinds of scenarios, it is a good practice to engage a DevOps team [with right JVM skills] to proactively analyze the running application. Proactive engagement of a DevOps team will be beneficial for the organization and for the development team as well.

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 Tue, 22 Oct 2013 14:00:00 EDT Book Review: Executable Specifications with Scrum
This book is exactly what the sub-title "A Practical Guide to Agile Requirements Discovery" says it is. The book is a very detailed breakdown of the steps that should be taken by Scrum teams that want to succeed. I have listed the chapters below to give you an overview of the topics the author covers in this book. In the first chapter the author covers how the scrum teams can distinguish requirements from the solution. In other words the what from the hows. In the second chapter the author shows how to develop guardrails which are basically the artifacts and activities that will keep the project within its defined scope. The examples that the author uses are a healthy team, involvement of all stakeholders, a shared vision, a meaningful common goal, a set of high-level features, and "can-exist" assumption.

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 Sat, 19 Oct 2013 17:00:00 EDT Slow Tests Are the Symptom, Not the Cause
If you have a slow test suite and you are asking yourself "how can I make my tests faster?" then you are asking the wrong question. Most chances are that you have bigger problems than just slow tests. The test slowness is merely the symptom; what you should really address is the cause. Once the real cause is addressed you will find that it's easy to write new fast tests and straightforward to refactor existing tests. It's surprising how quickly a rails app's test suite can become slow. It's important to understand the reason for this slowness early on and address the real cause behind it. In most cases the reason is excessive coupling between the domain objects themselves and coupling between these objects and the framework.

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 Wed, 16 Oct 2013 12:45:00 EDT Real-Time Monitoring Metrics - The Magical Mundane
As you strive to achieve new levels of sophistication when creating performance baselines, it is important to consider how you will navigate the oscillating winds of application behavior as the numbers come in from all directions. The behavioral context of the user will highlight key threshold settings to consider as you build a framework for real-time alerting into your APM solution. This will take an understanding of the application and an analysis of the numbers as you begin looking at user patterns. Metrics play a key role in providing this value through different views across multiple comparisons. Absent from any behavioral learning engines which are now emerging in the APM space, you can begin a high level analysis on your own to come to a common understanding of each business application's performance.

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 Tue, 15 Oct 2013 15:58:31 EDT Capgemini Study Evaluates Enterprise Attitudes on Next-Gen Tech
A new Capgemini Consulting aims to identify how companies are becoming aware of what digital technologies can do to change their business. Nearly 78 percent of 1,500 respondents from more than 100 countries to the “Embracing Digital Technology: A New Strategic Imperative” survey with MIT Sloan Management Review said the transition to new technologies will be critical over the next two years, Capgemini said Tuesday. Sixty-three percent said the their enterprise is adopting social media, mobile, analytics embedded devices and other digital technologies at too slow a pace and cited unclear priorities and a shortage in expertise as key limitations.

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 Fri, 11 Oct 2013 12:00:00 EDT Fast Tests in Ruby on Rails
Developers need to be able to run tests quickly or they will stop running them. Slow test suites are often partially caused by slow startup times. Once you've eliminated this problem, you might want to take a look at individual tests. Note that test suites stress your code in a totally different way from the production environment. A slow test suite doesn't mean your app will be slow in production and the other way around. Never optimize your code for the test suite. Sometimes slow tests are an indication of slow code, always measure to be sure.

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