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Microsoft Puts the Cloud First with SharePoint Server 2016

June 30, 2015

Discussion of the cloud seems to push users into two camps: for and against. While hybrid is probably truly the way of the future, folks are still currently either of the “love it” or “hate it” variety. Redmond Magazine has provided good ongoing coverage of the upcoming SharePoint Server 2016 release, and their article, “Microsoft Taking a ‘Cloud First’ Approach with SharePoint 2016,” gives more details about what can be expected.

The article says:

“SharePoint Server 2016 will be a very cloud-inspired product when commercially released next year . . . Microsoft’s cloud services have been looming in the background of prior SharePoint Server releases . . . Office 365 cloud services have played a role since SharePoint Server 2013, and they will do so going forward with SharePoint Server 2016.”

One of the main promotional points of the new release is a promised “unified experience” for SharePoint users. While cloud skeptics still have reason to be cautious, the promised improvements may win them over. To stay up-to-date with the latest news regarding SharePoint, stayed tuned in to and the dedicated SharePoint feed. Stephen E. Arnold is a longtime leader in search and his expertise comes in handy when trying to stay current without spending a lot of time doing independent research.

Emily Rae Aldridge, June 30, 2015

Sponsored by, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph


Oracle Data Integrator Extension

June 29, 2015

The article titled Oracle Launches ODI in April with the Aim to Revolutionize Big Data on Market Realist makes it clear that Oracle sees big money in NoSQL. Oracle Data Integrator, or ODI, enables developers and analysts to simplify their lives and training. It cancels the requirement for their learning multiple programming languages and allows them to use Hadoop and the like without much coding expertise. The article states,

“According to a report from PCWorld, Jeff Pollock, Oracle vice president of product management, said, “The Oracle Data Integrator for Big Data makes a non-Hadoop developer instantly productive on Hadoop…” Databases like Hadoop and Spark are targeted towards programmers who have the coding knowledge expertise required to manipulate these databases with knowledge of the coding needed to manage them. On the other hand, analysts usually use software for data analytics.”

The article also relates some of Oracle’s claims about itself, including that it holds a larger revenue than IBM, Microsoft, SAP AG, and Teradata combined. Those are also Oracle’s four major competitors. With the release of ODI, Oracle intends to filter data arriving from a myriad of different places. Clustering data into groups related by their format or framework is part of this process. The end result is a more streamlined version without assumptions about the level of coding knowledge held by an analyst.

Chelsea Kerwin, June 29, 2014

Sponsored by, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

Major SharePoint Features Disclosed

June 23, 2015

SharePoint Server 2016 has caused quite a stir, with users wondering what features will come through in the final version. At Microsoft Ignite last month, rumors turned to legitimate features. Read more about separating fact from fiction in the newest SharePoint release in the CIO article, “Top 4 Revelations about SharePoint.”

The article begins:

“Some of the biggest news to come out of Microsoft Ignite last month was the introduction and the first public demonstration of SharePoint Server 2016 – a demo that quelled a lot of speculation and uneasiness in the SharePoint administrator community. Here are the biggest takeaways from the conference, with an emphasis on the on-premises product.”

The article goes on to say that users can look forward to a full on-premises version, bolstered administrative features, four roles to divide the workload, and an emphasis on hybrid functions.  For users that need to stay in the loop with SharePoint updates and changes, stay tuned to Stephen E. Arnold is a longtime leader in search, and his Web site offers a unique SharePoint feed to keep all the latest tips, tricks, and news in one convenient location.

Emily Rae Aldridge, June 23, 2015

Sponsored by, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

Make Your Data Pretty

June 19, 2015

It is very easy to read and interpret data when it is represented visually.  Humans are visual creatures and it can be easier to communicate via pictures for an explanation.  Infographics are hugely popular on the Internet and some of them have achieved meme status.  While some data can be easily represented using Adobe Photoshop or the Microsoft Office Suite, more complex data needs more complex software to simplify it visually.

Rather than spending hours on Google, searching for a quality data visualization tool Usability Tools has rounded up “21 Essential Data Visualization Tools.”  What is great about this list is that it features free services that available to improve how you display data on your Web site, project, or whatever your specific needs are.

Some of the choices are obvious, such as Google Charts and Wolfram Alpha, but there are some stand outs that combine JavaScript and draw on Internet resources.  Plus they are also exceedingly fun to play with.  They include: Timeline.js, Tableau Public, PiktoChart, Canva, and D3.js.

None of the data visualization tools are better than the others, in fact the article’s author says what you want to use is based on your need:

“As you can see, there is plenty of Data Visualization tools that will make you understand your users in a better, more insightful way. There are many tools being launched every day, but I managed to collect those that are the most popular in the ‘industry’. Of course, they have both strong and weak sides, since there is no one perfect tool to visualize the metrics. All I can do is to recommend you trying them yourself and combining them in order to maximize the efficiency of visualizing data.”

It looks like it is time to start playing around with data toys!

Whitney Grace, June 19, 2015

Sponsored by, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph


Microsoft Artificial Intelligence Upgrades Artificial Insemination

June 11, 2015

No joke. I read “Cómo Microsoft Destina Su Inteligencia Artificial a Insemina Vacas.” The main idea is that using Microsoft algorithms, the efficacy of births has jumped. The write up reports:

Raquel Durá, responsable de Microsoft España, explica a Teknautas que los ganaderos recuperan en poco tiempo la inversión del sistema, y por otro lado, este es escalable según las necesidades y dimensiones de la explotación. “Todo empieza con una pregunta”, explica Sirosh en referencia al origen de GyuHo: “un ganadero preguntó si no podía optimizar su explotación de alguna manera”, y a partir de ese punto entran en acción el análisis de los datos y los modelos matemáticos que anuncian con precisión milimétrica, los momentos claves para la explotación óptima del negocio. O como ellos mismos dicen, “el internet de las vacas”

If your Spanish is as rusty as mine, Google translates the passage as:

Raquel Durá, head of Microsoft Spain, told Teknautas that farmers quickly recover the investment in the system, and secondly, this is scalable according to the needs and size of the holding. “The project started with a question,” Sirosh [a developer] explained with reference to the origin of GyuHo [the insemination process], “a farmer asked if he could not optimize its operation in any way”, and from that point the application of Microsoft’s AI allowed for optimal operation of the inseminations for Internet cows.

I would be delighted if Microsoft could improve the precision of its search results with equal aplomb. I am tempted to ask the cow, “Was it as good for you as it was for Microsoft”? I shall refrain.

Another question, “What does IBM’s Dr. Watson make of this probing matter?”

Stephen E Arnold, June 11, 2015

Jury Is Still Out on Microsoft Delve

June 11, 2015

Sometimes hailed as Pinterest for the enterprise, Microsoft Delve is a combination of search, social, and machine learning, which produces an information hub of sorts. Delve is also becoming a test subject, as enterprise experts decide whether such offerings intrude into users’ workflow, or enhance productivity. Read more in the Search Content Management article, “Microsoft Delve May Drive Demand for Office365.”

The article summarizes the issue:

“As Microsoft advances further in its mobile-first, cloud-first strategy, new offerings such as Microsoft Delve are piquing companies’ curiosity but also raising eyebrows. Many companies will have to gauge whether services like Delve can enhance worker productivity or run the risk of being overly intrusive.”

As SharePoint unveils more about its SharePoint Server 2016, more will become known about how it functions along with all of its parts, including Delve. It will be up to the users to determine how efficient the new offerings will be, and whether they help or hinder a regular workflow. Until the latest versions become available for public release, stay tuned to for the latest news regarding SharePoint and how it may affect your organization. Stephen E. Arnold is a longtime leader in search and his work on SharePoint is a great go-to resource for users and managers alike.

Emily Rae Aldridge, June 11, 2015

Sponsored by, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph


Differing Focuses for OneDrive and SharePoint Online

June 9, 2015

Microsoft is unveiling a new OneDrive for Business, and hopes that it offers a secure and sanctioned alternative to other lightweight solutions increasingly preferred by users like: Box, Dropbox, or Google Drive. Search Content Management covers the story in their article, “OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Fill Different Niches.”

The article says:

“Microsoft has recognized users’ preference for lightweight systems, and that preference may explain the recent success of OneDrive for Business (ODB), a cloud file-sharing service that is part of the Office 365 suite. But Microsoft also has SharePoint, its heavier, more traditional content/collaboration platform, which also supports integration with a version of ODB.”

It seems that Microsoft is putting OneDrive up in the battle against others in the cloud file-sharing arena, while leaving SharePoint to handle more structured collaboration. It will be interesting to see how customers and enterprise managers market the two to their users. Stephen E. Arnold also has good coverage on both solutions for those who are looking for more information. His Web service,, offers a good go-to SharePoint feed to keep users updated on the latest SharePoint tips, tricks, and news.

Emily Rae Aldridge, June 9, 2015

Sponsored by, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

Users Hope SharePoint 2016 Eases Integration Woes

June 4, 2015

SharePoint integration is often mentioned as one of the lowest points of user satisfaction for the whole solution. However, to be fair, SharePoint has very drastically moved away from its very simple start. Its original purpose was document sharing, and probably just Office documents at that. Now the platform is expected to handle any type of file constantly emerging in the fast-moving world of content. IT Business Edge takes a good look at the issue in its article, “Why SharePoint 2016 Needs to Address Integration Shortcomings.”

The article begins on a humorous note:

“SharePoint integration must be really hard, judging by this new infographic, “Seven Alcoholic Drinks to Imbibe as Your SharePoint Integration Project Fails.” . . . Why is SharePoint so hard to integrate? There’s the obvious reason, of course: Microsoft’s built it for Microsoft ecosystems with little concern for heterogeneous environments. Still, that’s not the only reason it’s a pain. In fact, SharePoint had integration problems even with other Microsoft solutions, as this 2012 post by an application architect shows.”

There are clearly issues with SharePoint integration, and in light of them, head SharePoint execs are discussing improvements to the 2016 platform. While it will take some time before it is known whether the changes do improve user satisfaction, keep an eye on for the latest updates. Stephen E. Arnold is a longtime leader in search and his Web service gives a good deal of attention to SharePoint. In fact, his dedicated SharePoint feed is a good place to start for the latest need-to-know information.

Emily Rae Aldridge, June 4, 2015

Sponsored by, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

NSA Blanket Data Collection Preventing Accurate Surveillance

June 4, 2015

The article on ZDNet titled NSA Is So Overwhelmed with Data, It’s No Longer Effective, Says Whistleblower examines the concept of “bulk data failure” by the NSA and other agencies. William Binney, a whistleblower who has been out of the NSA for over a decade, says that the sheer amount of data the NSA collects leads to oversights and ineffective surveillance. The article states,

“Binney said he estimated that a “maximum” of 72 companies were participating in the bulk records collection program — including Verizon, but said it was a drop in the ocean. He also called PRISM, the clandestine surveillance program that grabs data from nine named Silicon Valley giants, including Apple, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft, just a “minor part” of the data collection process. “The Upstream program is where the vast bulk of the information was being collected,” said Binney.”

It appears that big data presents challenges even when storage, servers, and money are available. Binney blames the data overload for bungles that have led to the Boston bombing and Paris shooting. He believes the NSA had the information needed to prevent the attacks, but couldn’t see the trees for the forest. Smart data collection, rather than mass data collection, is his suggestion to fix this information overload.

Chelsea Kerwin, June 4, 2014

Sponsored by, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

SharePoint Is Back and Yammer Is Left Behind

May 28, 2015

Many old things become trend and new again, and even that holds true with software, at least in principle. The old functions of SharePoint are withstanding the test of time, and the trendy new buzzwords that Microsoft worked so hard to push these last few years (cloud, social, collaborative) are fading out. Of course, some of it has to do with perception, but it does seem that Microsoft is harkening back to what the tried and true longtime users want. Read more in the CMS Wire article, “SharePoint is Back, Yammer… Not So Much.”

The article sums up the last few years:

“But these last few years, Microsoft seemingly didn’t want to talk about SharePoint. It wanted to talk about Office 365, the cloud, collaboration, social, mobile devices and perpetual monthly licensing models. Yet no one appears to have told many of the big traditional SharePoint customers of these shifts. These people are still running SharePoint 2007, 2010 and 2013 happily in-house and have no plans to change that for many years.”

So it seems that with the returned focus to on-premises SharePoint, users are pleased in theory. However, it remains to be seen how satisfying SharePoint Server 2016 will be in reality. To stay tuned to the latest reviews and feedback, keep an eye on and his dedicated SharePoint feed. Stephen E. Arnold is a longtime leader in search with an interest in SharePoint. His reporting will shed a light on the realities of user experience once SharePoint Server 2016 becomes available.

Emily Rae Aldridge, May 28, 2015

Sponsored by, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph



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