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The Enterprise is a Jungle Search

April 16, 2015

The word collaboration has become one of those corporate power words like “synergy” and “KISS method.”  Many people groan inwardly at new ways to “collaborate,” because it usually means another tool they have to learn and will fall out of use in under a year.  With the myriad of ways to collaborate digitally, getting any actual collaborating done is difficult.  The SAP News blog says enterprise collaboration might be getting a little easier in the article, “EnterpriseJungle Tames Enterprise Search.”

EnterpriseJungle created an application with the SAP Hana Cloud Platform to help companies connect quickly find and connect with experts within or outside their company.  The Principal at EnterpriseJungle states that a company’s people search is vital tool to locate and harness information.

“ ‘Large companies are desperate to get a handle on understanding and accessing the expertise available to them at any given moment,’ said Sinclair. ‘Our solutions help companies solve fundamental questions like how do we find the people who are fantastic at what they do, but only known to their closest core group of co-workers? And, how do we easily bring their knowledge and expertise to the front line with minimal extra work? If we can help get information to employees that need it, we’re fundamentally making their lives easier, and making the company’s life easier.’ “

After a description of how EnterpriseJungle’s works and its usefulness for companies, it makes a claim to offer Google-like search results.  While it might be a people search tool, the application is capable of much more.  It can help people locate experts, track down skill sets, and even improve IT relations.

EnterpriseJungle is hitting on a vital tool for companies.  People search has a severe need for improvement and this might be the start of a new enterprise niche market.

Whitney Grace, April 16, 2015
Stephen E Arnold, Publisher of CyberOSINT at www.xenky.com

Mobile Office 365 Usage on the Rise

April 16, 2015

A recent study by harmon.ie has found that Mobile Office 365 is growing quickly among its users. Mobile is a huge consideration for all software companies, and now the data is proving that mobile is the go-to for even heavy-hitting work and enterprise applications. Read more in the AppsTechNews article, “The state of mobile Office 365 usage in the workplace – and what it means for SharePoint.”

The article begins with the research:

“24% of harmon.ie mobile users are now using mobile Office 365 in the cloud, compared to 18% six months ago. Not surprisingly, the most popular activity conducted by business users on mobile devices was online and offline document access, according to 81% of the vote. 7% most frequently use their mobile devices to add a SharePoint site, while 4% prefer to favourite documents for later offline access.”

Retrieval is still proven to be the most common mobile function, as devices are still not designed well for efficient input. To keep up with future developments regarding mobile use in the enterprise, stay tuned to ArnoldIT.com. Stephen E. Arnold has made a career out of following all things search, and his SharePoint feed is an accessible place to stay tuned in to the latest SharePoint developments.

Emily Rae Aldridge, April 16, 2015

Stephen E Arnold, Publisher of CyberOSINT at www.xenky.com

Oracle is Rocking COLLABORATE

April 15, 2015

News is already sprouting about the COLLABORATE 15: Technology and Applications Forum for the Oracle Community, Oracle’s biggest conference of the year.  BusinessWire tells us that Oracle CEO Mark Hurd and Chief Information Officer and Senior VP Mark Sunday will be keynote speakers, says “Oracle Applications Users Group Announces Oracle’s Key Role at COLLABORATE 15.”

Hurd and Sunday will be delivering key insights into Oracle and the industry at their scheduled talks:

“On Tuesday, Sunday discusses the need to keep a leadership edge in digital transformation, with a special focus on IT leadership in the cloud. Sunday will build upon his keynote from two years ago, giving attendees better insight into adopting a sound cloud strategy in order to ensure greater success.  On Wednesday, Hurd shares his insights on how Oracle continues to drive innovation and protect customer investments with applications and technology. Oracle remains the leading organization in the cloud, and Hurd’s discussion focuses on how to modernize businesses in order to thrive in this space.”

Oracle is really amping up the offerings at this year’s conference.  They will host the Oracle User Experience Usability Lab, Oracle Proactive Support Sessions, Oracle Product Roadmap Session, and more to give attendees the chance to have direct talks with Oracle experts to learn about strategies, functionality, products, and new resources to improve their experience and usage.  Attendees will also be able to take accreditation tests for key product areas.

COLLABORATE, like many conferences, offers attendees the chance to network with Oracle experts, get professional feedback, and meet others in their field.  Oracle is very involved in this conference and is dedicated to putting its staff and products at the service of its users.

Whitney Grace, April 15, 2015

Stephen E Arnold, Publisher of CyberOSINT at www.xenky.com

New UltraSearch Version Available for Free Download

April 1, 2015

Anyone who has researched alternatives to Window’s built-in Desktop Search has probably read about the freeware program UltraSearch. Now, MajorGeeks.com offers a free download of the latest version, UltrasearchPortable 2.0.3. The description specifies:

“UltraSearch finds files and folders on local NTFS drives and provides the results in just a few seconds.UltraSearch does not maintain an index which is stored on your hard disk, but achieves its speed by working directly on the Master File Table (MFT) of the NTFS partitions. UltraSearch even identifies NTFShardlinks. Simply enter a file name or a pattern like *.exe and see the first results while you are still typing. In addition, UltraSearch supports regular expressions. Additional information like file size and file dates (last changes, last access and file creation) will be shown for all listed files. Naturally, the Explorer context menu is available inside UltraSearch. UltraSearch enables you to exclude folders, files or file types from searches via an exclude filter. The search results can be sorted according to different criteria, printed or exported as text, RTF, HTML, CSV, and Excel file.”

UltraSearch can be started from within a Windows Explorer directory. It also allows users to store the 100 most recently used search patterns for later reference, and includes an autocomplete function and pattern suggestions.

Keep in mind, though, that UltraSearch is not your only Windows Desktop Search alternative. Some others include Sow Soft’s Effective File SearchGaviri Pocket Search,Snowbird, ,FileSearchEXSuper Finder XTLocate32Search Everything, and Launchy. There’s plenty to check out for the comparative shopper.

Cynthia Murrell, April 1, 2015

Stephen E Arnold, Publisher of CyberOSINT at www.xenky.com

Tag Boosting and Hybrid Cloud Environments from Microsoft Azure

March 29, 2015

The article titled Microsoft Azure Rolls Out Improved Search and New Hybrid Test Environments on Tech Week Europe touts the new direction of Microsoft Azure, namely a focus on “tag boosting,” and hybrid cloud environments. The cloud environments are for playing around with Azure features with local internet connections. As for the “tag boosting,” the ability to use the borders created by developers in order to rank search results will hopefully help narrow the definition of “relevant” searches. Senior Program Manager of Microsoft Liam Cavanagh discusses the work being done,

“Let’s say you have customers that purchase items from you regularly. For each customer, you track their top 3 or 4 brands they buy the most often. Now what you’d like to do is to boost documents in search results when those documents represent products of the preferred brands. Note that this is contextual; each user would have a different set of top-K brands they prefer.“In our experimental API… we’re introducing a new scoring function called “tag” to handle this scenario.”

This “tag” can be assigned manually to each customer, or assigned to clusters of similar shoppers. Azure continues to collect feedback on the results, making it a work in progress. Search does seem to be in progress most of the time at Microsoft.

Chelsea Kerwin, March 29, 2014

Stephen E Arnold, Publisher of CyberOSINT at www.xenky.com

Adobe: A Document Cloud Looms

March 19, 2015

Adobe is moving from PDF creation to document management. I avoid Adobe Acrobat because it bedeviled me years ago with a PDF dongle. The dongle had a counter. After we created the number of documents authorized by the dongle, the opportunity to purchase another dongle arose. Exciting. That warned me off the outfit.

I brushed against Adobe when I researched the original Enterprise Search Report in 2003. That was a mere 12 years ago, yet the memory is still fresh. I was trying to figure out what vendor provided the search system for Adobe products. After reading publicly accessible information and making fruitless attempts to speak to a person who knew about search at Adobe, I learned by accident the name of the provider.

Do you recognize the name Lextek. I sure did not. I offer a no cost summary of this company and its search system at this link. I was fascinated with Lextek because I had difficulty locating information using the Adobe products which incorporated this system. I had a short list of other search systems Adobe has used over the years to the same result. I invite you to fire up an Adobe product and try to locate the information needed to solve a problem or learn a procedure or figure out what state an Adobe software product is in. Let me know how that works out for you.

I read “Adobe Unveils Cloud Electronic Document Service.” I learned that “Adobe Systems will launch a cloud-based document management service within the month.” That’s soon. The article continued:

The company said the core of the new service is Adobe Acrobat, the world’s most sought-after document management software. The upgraded Adobe Acrobat Document Cloud enables document managers to produce, check and confirm official documents on both personal computers and mobile devices. They also can put an electronic signature to the Portable Document Format (PDF) file to give it a legal force, the company said.

Yikes, another silo of data for an organization to “federate.”

Several questions crossed my mind:

  • What is the search system for the system? (Lextek’s owners operate a confectionary store if I understood the research my team assembled.)
  • What is the programmatic access Adobe will provide to an organization placing its PDF documents in the Adobe Document Cloud?
  • What is the security provided for these customers?

Adobe’s play is an interesting one. I wonder if the company will allow its customers to mark documents “public” and then provide an online access service? Worth watching.

Stephen E Arnold, March 19, 2015

Open Source ElasticSearch Added to Google Cloud Platform

March 12, 2015

ElasticSearch is a popular open source search engine that has been downloaded over 10 million times since it deployed in 2010. Amazon recently announced they are planning on adding an ElasticSearch management service to EC2 to relieve workloads for developers. Rival Google announced on the Google Cloud Platform Blog that they will be adding ElasticSearch compatibility to its own cloud computing platform: “Deploy ElasticSearch On Google Compute Engine.”

The Google Compute Engine is ecstatic that ElasticSearch will be deployed on the platform and are actively encouraging end users to download it. They even made a list about why people need to start using ElasticSearch:

1 “Based on Lucene: Elasticsearch is an open source document-oriented search server based on Lucene. Lucene is a time tested open source library that is capable of reading everything from HTML to PDFs.

2 Designed for cloud: Elasticsearch was designed first for the cloud with its capabilities around simple cluster configuration and discovery and high-availability by default. This means you can expand your Elasticsearch deployment simply by adding new nodes. This expansion of your cluster — or in the case of a hardware failure, reduction — results in automatic reconfiguration of your document indices across the cluster.

3 Native use of JSON over HTTP: Extending the platform is simple for developers. The schema doesn’t need to be defined up front and your cluster can be extended with a variety of libraries in your languages of choice, even using the command line.”

ElasticSearch can be deployed with a few easy clicks ad once it is working you can immediately use it for log processes and analysis with Logstash, keyword text search, and data visualization with Kibana.

Deployment on the Google Compute Engine means ElasticSearch will reach an entirely new customer line. Other open source search engines will be pressured to up their ante with new features and services that ElasticSearch does not have. LucidWorks and other open source based search companies are feeling the pressure.

Whitney Grace, March 12, 2015
Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

Just How Expensive is Azure

February 9, 2015

Wondering how expensive it would be to implement Microsoft’s cloud storage solution Azure in your business? The company offers a free download that can help (but only if you’re in the U.S.): the Microsoft Azure (IaaS) Cost Estimator Tool. Here’s the description:

The Azure (IaaS) Cost Estimator has been designed keeping in mind the need to provide the IT manager of next generation organizations the ability to quickly assess running cost of the existing on-premises workload on Azure.

About the tool

1. The tool provides real world machine hardware usage

2. It recommends appropriate Azure instance to match the scanned workload

3. It also generates 31-day cost estimates of running such an Azure instance

Features

1. The tool supports

*Microsoft technologies (Hyper-V, SCVMM)

*VMware technologies (vCenter, ESXi)

*Physical environments (Windows, Linux)

2. Support to A series and D-series Virtual Machines

3. Support to all regions apart from US

4. Price conversion in 24 currencies with the latest prices.

5. It is able to export to Excel/.csv that can be used for discussions with Systems Integration partner or a Microsoft representative

6. No data is sent to Microsoft at any time. All report and profile information resides on the machine where the tool is installed

Value Proposition

1. Can be Installed and a profile scan completed within 15 minutes (can be deployed on a Windows client)

2. Enables a comparison with on-premises running costs (e.g. hardware, power, cooling, building, security, and systems management among others)

Then again, if you just want to know whether Azure will be expensive (but don’t need to know by how much) we can save you some time: the answer is yes, when compared to open-source Elasticsearch.

Cynthia Murrell, February 09, 2015

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

A Microsoft Azure How to PHP Search

February 2, 2015

Microsoft Azure is a cloud computing platform and infrastructure that has a variety of functions. If you want to hook up Microsoft Azure Search to your PHP Web site and are at a loss about what to do, then you need to check out this MSDN blog by Nick J Trogh. Simply titled Nick’s Blog, Trogh writes about “all things technical about the Microsoft platform.” He recently posted a guide about how to integrate Azure Search service into a PHP Web site and take advantage of advanced search techniques.

Trogh does not complicate the installation process and includes screenshots for easy reference. He ends with two last pieces of advice:

“In this article we’ve gone through adding search as a service using Azure Search to your PHP website.  In a matter of minutes you can get started and provide your users with a complex search functionality. And as your site gets more traffic, you can easily scale out your search service. Make sure to get started with the Azure Search service and also try out the other application, data and infrastructure services in the Microsoft Azure platform. You can get started for free on Azure or activate your MSDN Azure benefits.”

Azure is turning out to be a decent cloud service and much more favored than Windows 8. It is rare to see that Microsoft fans are justified in their praise for Windows.

Whitney Grace, February 02, 2014
Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

HP Does not See Amazon as a Threat

January 27, 2015

Amazon has gone way beyond selling books at near wholesale prices. The world’s largest retailer practically sells everything, including IT applications and cloud storage. Companies that deal strictly in the IT industry are wary of Amazon’s moves, but HP has something else to say according to ReadWrite: “HP Cloud Chief: We’re Not ‘Intimidated’ By Amazon’s Cloud.”

Cloud storage is still an untapped IT market, but Amazon Web Services is predicted to be the industry leader from market shares and “relentless economies of scale.” Stephen O’Grady of Redmonk says:

“The economies of scale that larger players can bring to bear on the markets they target are, quite frankly, daunting. Their variable costs decrease due to their ability to purchase in larger quantities; their fixed costs are amortized over a higher volume customer base; their relative efficiency can increase as scale drives automation and improved processes; their ability to attract and retain talent increases in proportion to the difficulty of the technical challenges imposed; and so on.”

Along with Amazon, Microsoft and Google will also benefit, but HP and IBM are supposed to benefit as well. HP and IBM are smaller companies and they only way they can compete is to offer something that makes them unique compared to the bigger companies.

HP believes it will see success by closely following Amazon and offering services that are compatible with it. HP does not want to be a rival; instead it wants to stand on its own, while working in tandem with the big giant. It sounds like it wants to remain as neutral as Switzerland.

HP’s cloud plan sounds reasonable, but you have to remember that HP also said they were going to make Autonomy a million dollar business.

Whitney Grace, January 27, 2014
Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

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