Pleading with Microsoft to Step Up Mobile Development

March 12, 2014

Mobile computing is not just the latest trend. It is here to stay, and users of all varieties are pleading with major platforms to offer more mobile functionality. SharePoint should be used to hearing the pleas of users in this arena, but Search Content Management offers a well-written request in their article, “Dear Microsoft: Step Up Mobile SharePoint Development.”

The article sums up the issue:

“Microsoft now stands at a crossroads, surrounded on all sides by able competitors and imprisoned somewhat between its behemoth server technology stack, the growing cloud and the critical need to reinvent the face of its applications. Microsoft has been dragged kicking and screaming into the mobile era. Now it needs to update SharePoint development to really embrace the mobile revolution.”

Stephen E. Arnold of ArnoldIT.com is a longtime expert in all things search. He knows that the future is mobile and gives a lot of attention to the growing movement. He has found that while mobile is a “want,” security and functionality are “needs” in the enterprise. So Microsoft’s challenge will be to give equal weight to these areas.

Emily Rae Aldridge, March 12, 2014

Yahoo and Search

February 24, 2014

Yahoo may not be able to wriggle out of the Microsoft Bing search deal. Microsoft may not be m making much progress in catching Google, and Yahoo may want to swizzle a different spin on Web search. Microsoft’s voice enabled technology seems to be disappointing Ford. The US auto maker may be embracing BlackBerry’s QNX system. Yep, BlackBerry, a stellar outfit in my experience. Microsoft has some issues to resolve particularly if it loses a major account to the shareholder-pleasing Waterloo, Ontario company.

I read “Yahoo Launches $10 Million Research Effort to Invent a Smarter Siri.” I find the notion that a large company can invent voice search that is “better” than another voice search system interesting. Google has a voice search system, and there are a number of companies eager to make their voice search technology available to Yahoo. But Yahoo apparently has confidence in Carnegie Mellon University, the outfit that delivered Lycos, Vivisimo, and Claritech to information seekers in the past.

According to the Technology Review article:

Ron Brachman, head of Yahoo Labs, says that he expects the InMind project to experiment with apps that are capable of rudimentary conversation—for example, asking a person follow-up questions and making suggestions based on new information. “This is missing from Siri,” he says, adding that although Apple’s personal assistant is impressive, it doesn’t attempt to understand the context in which it is being asked a question: it doesn’t understand what the user is doing or might need at the moment.

With Web search shifting to mobile like iron filings following a magnet, users find typing less facile on a mobile device. Will Yahoo crack the code in five years with the help of the CMU professors and students?

Five years is a long time. Like Facebook and Google, Yahoo may find it more expedient to start buying voice recognition companies and licensing available technology. WhatsApp, a company that Facebook bought in February, promptly said, it would not change. I learned today that Facebook will be adding voice calls to WhatsApp. How long did that “will not change” statement endure? WhatsApp did not have five days.

Yahoo may not have five years.

Stephen E Arnold, February 24, 2014

Blackberry Adds SharePoint Access

February 20, 2014

Enterprise is moving toward mobile at a rapid pace, and applications that hope to stay in the game have to adapt. SharePoint has made great strides in mobile in the last two years particularly. And in response, Blackberry is enabling SharePoint mobile functions. Read the story in, “Work Drives for BlackBerry 10 Adds Sharepoint Access for BES Users.”

The article says:

“BlackBerry has updated their Work Drives application to v2.0 today for devices running OS 10.2+. This new version extends the application to allow remote file access to SharePoint sites. This is on top of the network drive access they had in the previous versions. Sadly you still need BlackBerry Enterprise Server 10.2 to use the network shares even though BlackBerry could easily expand the user base for the application by allowing all users to mount network drives.”

Stephen E. Arnold is a longtime leader in search and follows the latest on SharePoint on his Web site, ArnoldIT.com. Arnold finds that organizations are increasingly motivated by mobile technologies, as work and employees is moving increasingly off-site and outside of regular hours.

Emily Rae Aldridge, February 20, 2014

Secure Mobile SharePoint Connectivity

February 17, 2014

SharePoint is definitely moving in the mobile direction, but security remains a concern. MobilityShield is hoping to resolve some of those concerns with their newest product release. Read more in the PR Newswire article, “MobilityShield Reveals New Solution for Secure Mobile SharePoint Connectivity.”

The article begins:

MobilityShield, an innovative solution that guarantees secure mobile connectivity, today launched SharePointShield, a new product that guarantees secure mobile connectivity for users of Microsoft SharePoint. The innovative SharePointShield was developed following the successful launch of LyncShield which enables users to safely use approved mobile devices outside the corporate network to connect through Microsoft Lync. The new solution protects organizations that use SharePoint against Active Directory credentials theft, block DoS, DDoS and brute-force attacks, and enforces connection to registered devices.”

Stephen E. Arnold is a longtime leader in all things search, including SharePoint. And while SharePoint has its ups and downs, it’s not going anywhere. That’s why the increasing availability of add-ons improves the usability of satisfaction of SharePoint implementations. More SharePoint news, tips, and tricks can be located on Arnold’s Web site, ArnoldIT.com.

Emily Rae Aldridge, February 17, 2014

The State Server Side and Client Side Software

February 5, 2014

Software in 2014, the article on the blog Tbray.org offers a state of the software construction. The overall news is positive from the article, with satisfied server developers and good tools for constructing software. The question the article poses is where 2014 will lead in terms of client-side software, and the answer is uncertain. The article suggests that HTTP is universally acceptable and easy to use while almost everything is “built with an MVC or equivalent level of abstraction” in spite of some apps still being created in PHP and Spring. The article posits that storage options are also multiple and strong. However, it also gets into the client-side difficulties the industry faces in the coming years.

The article states:

“When I said “Mobile sucks”, I wasn’t talking about engineering suckage… Crucially, for most of the things you’d want to put in a UI, there’s usually a single canonical solid well-debugged way to do it, which is the top result for the appropriate question on both Google and StackOverflow. But look at all the energy going into browser tech; surely it’s going to catch up with mobile tech any day now?”

The article offers no easy forecasts for the future of the client side. The redundancies in Web, iOS and Android, the mobile form factors among other mobile issues are all problems without simple answers. We are curious what Tim Bray would say about enterprise search software.

Chelsea Kerwin, February 05, 2014

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

SharePoint Mobile Game Gets Serious

January 29, 2014

SharePoint knows that they need to be competitive in mobile in order to stay in the game. And after several dabbles in the mobile arena, many experts are saying that SharePoint’s latest attempts are proving fruitful. Read more in the Search Content Management article, “Is Mobile SharePoint Ready for Prime Time?

The article sums it all up:

“If we can sum up the state of the SharePoint mobile art in a sentence, that sentence would be, it’s the beneficiary of perfect timing. The cloud is opening up just as HTML5 is arriving, and that makes mobile SharePoint a smart choice. There are still some downsides, but SharePoint is finally in the mobile game for real.”

Stephen E. Arnold, a longtime leader in search, keeps a close eye on all things mobile on his information service, ArnoldIT.com. SharePoint’s mobile features are a key spotlight for Arnold, and so far the reviews are mixed. However, it is clear that SharePoint is making a real effort this time and that a serious mobile functionality will keep them from being lapped by competitors.

Emily Rae Aldridge, January 29, 2014

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

Evaluating SharePoint 2013 Mobile Features

January 17, 2014

A common theme in the SharePoint discussion of 2013 was mobile. Mobile was everywhere: Twitter feeds, tech blogs, and enterprise news. And while SharePoint has made some strides toward a more pleasant mobile user experience, many are still skeptical. Search Content Management reviews SharePoint’s mobile strivings in their article, “Are SharePoint 2013 Mobile Features up to Snuff?

The article states:

“Thankfully, SharePoint 2013 has vastly improved the mobile experience. One major improvement is the inclusion of the new contemporary view, which is for mobile devices that support HTML5. This approach provides a richer experience than was available in SharePoint 2010. For mobile users with older devices that do not support HTML5, SharePoint defaults to the classic view. For a comparison of contemporary and classic views, check out Microsoft’s site.”

Stephen E. Arnold is a longtime leader in search and dispenses his professional opinion through his information service, ArnoldIT.com. He pays a lot of attention to SharePoint and mobile is a common theme. His opinion would be a good one to consider when debating whether or not to supplement SharePoint with add-ons that enhance the mobile experience.

Emily Rae Aldridge, January 17, 2014

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

Add Mobility to SharePoint with Box

January 15, 2014

Many devoted SharePoint users are turning toward mobile access and mobile solutions. But SharePoint is a big ship and it is having a hard time turning in the direction of mobile. So many organizations are turning toward add-on solutions that can help SharePoint stay current in the mobile age. Information Week Digital Library offers a white paper on the topic in their article, “Five Ways Box Makes SharePoint Better.”

The article says:

“Box, the leader in Enterprise Content Collaboration, helps customers extend their SharePoint environments, quickly and easily meeting employees’ needs for mobile productivity and secure external sharing with customers and partners. This whitepaper describes the top five ways that businesses are adding mobility and collaboration to SharePoint with Box.”

Stephen E. Arnold is a longtime leader in search and devotes much attention to SharePoint on his information service, ArnoldIT.com. He has spoken of Box before and its benefits not only for mobile, but also for Mac users who historically have suffered under the dominance of SharePoint.

Emily Rae Aldridge, January 15, 2014

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

Lovely is the Apartment App for Mobile Devices

December 26, 2013

Zillow is a popular real estate database for people interested in purchasing a home, but it is not handy when it comes to finding smaller or temporary living quarters. Life Hacker has the scoop on a new app for people on the hunt for the perfect apartment or a rental home, “Lovely Puts Your Search For a Perfect Apartment On Your Phone.” The Lovely app, which recently launched for Android, gives people access to listings, photos, top-down Google map views, and ability to apply directly for housing.

The article states:

“The app looks sharp, and makes picking out listings on a map easy. Tell Lovely what you’re looking for in an apartment and how much you want to spend, and you’re good to go. You can easily identify the newest listings by their colors on the map or in your list, and you can set up alerts so you get push notifications when a new listing appears that meets your criteria.”

Another great feature for Lovely is the “Renter’s Card” that includes your personal information and renting history to be sent out to landlords and pre-apply for the apartment you have to act immediately on or lose it. Real estate shopping just got a whole lot more exciting and personable with this app. On a technical spec, where are the Lovely people getting their information from to maintain relevancy?

Whitney Grace, December 26, 2013

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

Languages Supported by Google Translate Increase

December 17, 2013

The article on eweek titled Google Translate Adds Support for More World Languages announces Google’s addition of nine languages to its service, making the total number 80 languages. These included several African languages spoken in Nigeria, Somalia and South Africa. There are motions in progress to add Mongolian, Nepali, Punjabi and Maori. The last was only made possible by New Zealanders, as the article explains:

“The Translate effort for Maori was made possible due to the “volunteer effort of passionate native speakers in New Zealand,” he [Arne Mauser, Google Translate software engineer] wrote. Users who want Google Translate to add other languages to the service can participate by “volunteering to help us gather and translate texts in your language,” he wrote. “We’re also constantly fine-tuning our translations. You can help with these efforts by clicking the translated text and editing it to be correct.”

The app itself is simple enough to use. You can now speak into an Android device and receive a translation or use the handwriting feature. You can also take a picture of text in another language and highlight the words you want to learn. The app is appealing to travelers especially now that it is possible to use language-translation on their phones even without an internet connection, by downloading offline language apps.

Chelsea Kerwin, December 17, 2013

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

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