Friday, December 29, 2006

Dear Marcy: How can I convince management that the platform I know is the platform to keep?

Welcome to our latest forum feature: "Dear Marcy" where you can write in anonymously and ask our resident expert business and IT questions that you might like some creative solutions to.

Here's the first published letter:

Dear Marcy,

My company just got acquired by a larger company, and they are running their business applications on SQL Server. We run ours on DB2 served off an iSeries.

This concerns me because I’ve got expertise associated with the AS/400 or iSeries platform and don’t want to be downsized.

How can I try to convince management that the iSeries is the one to keep?

Acquired in Alabama

Read her response here»

Or, you can listen to this podcast response, if you'd rather not join the forum.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Web 2.0 capability: AJAX in action

Here's one example of AJAX in action that makes it faster and easier for your users to get to the critical information they need.

To try it out: Go to this application and look for the “Customer Name” column.

You'll notice there's a field to enter information. The dropdown next to it is marked CT. (CT stands for Contains, so when you select CT from the drop down, you are looking for Customer Names that "contain" the letter, word or number you are searching for.)

To use it, let's say you are using this application to look for customers with the word “bikes” contained in their names. To use mrc Prompt, type the word “bikes” one letter at a time. As each letter is entered, a drop down will appear showing you only those options that contain the word bikes. You can then click on your selection and hit enter to bring up your record of choice.

Give it a try in each of these fields. It's an amazing way to drill down to filter information on the fly.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Web Design Tip #15: Creating ordered lists

As a follow up to last week's article on creating Web content through use of bulleted lists, there are also some built in list building features which allow you to create ordered lists.

Ordered lists can come in handy in a number of ways on Web sites, or Web applications, but probably find their most common use when developing a series of ordered steps or instructions.

This article tells you how.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Personalize your Google Page..with Cup of Joe!

If you have already personalized your Google search page, you can add this blog feed to it and see our latest posts as they are updated! Just click the "Add to Google" button on the top of the right hand column of this page.

If you haven't personalized your Google search page yet, here's how to do it:
1) Create a Google Account.

2) Once your google account is completed and you're signed in, go to and either click on the "Personalized Home" link in the upper-right corner of the page, or you are already at your personalized home page.

3) Now, come back to this blog, and look at the right column, and click on the brand new button we've added right above the search window that reads, "Add to Google!" Then, click "Add to Google Homepage" button.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Web Design Tip #14: Creating bulleted lists for better organization

Real estate on Web sites is limited, so it often comes in handy to give users easier ways to find and break down information more quickly.

One of the simplest solutions is to create simple lists using bullets.

Here's how you can create your own»

Friday, December 15, 2006

Another great idea to steal

Information Week recently compiled a list of the top 20 IT business ideas (that you might want to steal.)

Inventory Master
E.&J. Gallo Winery developed a warehouse management & logistics system, giving managers inventory and supply chain visibility in distribution centers worldwide.

The system uses RFID with automated vehicles inside Gallo warehouses. That, with data integration among planning, sales, and delivery systems resulted in: 35% improvement in demand forecast accuracy, 98.5% inventory accuracy. The order-to-ship cycle is half what it was--and all while the winery's brand portfolio doubled.

This kind of integrated information sharing and forecast accuracy can be even more challenging when there are many systems and databases involved. Here's one manufacturer who had to track production on products that were being created in four worldwide plants...and had "made do" with an e-mailed Excel spreadsheet for a little too long.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Happy Holidays from all of us at mrc!

Click on the image below and build your own snowman!

Friday, December 08, 2006

This is not your father’s report-writer! (The Remix)

The Web world has not only given new life to business intelligence, but to everyday report-writing.

Web reports can contain links and graphics to product and customer information and let you drill around your data, resulting in more information at your fingertips, and in a much more readable format.'s all done in an instant.

Try it! This one lets your user request a report via the internet, run it and distribute it automatically via email, or run it on the fly. It also lets you determine the data and formats...PDF, XML, CSV, HTML, whatever you like.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Older IT Workers: The survival guide

The ever-changing nature of tech means there’s a kind of ageism built into the industry itself. Previous experience is devalued because previous technology moves toward irrelevance.

Couple this built-in ageism with an employers concern about job longevity, and veteran IT staffers can face a real challenge: how can I stay employed after the first few gray hairs?

This article has some hints»

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