Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Web Design Tip: Use an HTML checker

When your site has HTML errors, missing links, spelling mistakes and browser-compatibility problems, your site is losing its effectiveness.
Luckily, there are tools out there to let you double-check your work and rid yourself of some of these common problems.

This short article tells you about one tool that offers a free trial that works so great...well, we'll let you decide.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Trend to watch: Improving on processor speed.

This article, from Intelligent Enterprise magazine, in the section titled, "Computing at a Crossroads" talks about how despite rapid performance growth between 1986 and 2002, nearly doubling performance and power almost every 18 months, microprocessor companies in 2004 hit a "Power Wall," and what it will mean to programmers going forward. The ball is now in their court.

Programmers will need to learn to architect applications that most advantageously take advantage of these processors using techniques such as "paralleling" and multi-threading, in order to gain the best performance from their applications, to improve performance per watt, or performance per dollar within the peak performance of the microprocessor.

With the advent of mrc's new Web 2.X templates, these considerations are already built in, creating systems of multi-threading for the best scalability and to use the processor most efficiently.

Smartphones and you: Running BI from your mobile device.

With the new introduction of Apple's iPhone, SmartPhones are in the spotlight once again.

Here's a great side-by-side comparison of what to look for from your SmartPhone operating systems.

And remember, while you can offer Linux-based applications on the phone itself, providing browser-based applications may be faster and more secure. After all, if everything is through a browser, if you lose your phone, the only thing you the phone.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Portals and Portlets: What they are, and what they do.

Portals and portlets are terms often bantered about and can be very powerful business tools, but what do you need to do to create them, and what makes them different from other Web applications?

Here is a new straightforward overview of portals and portlets and what they can mean for your business.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Web Design Tip: Hex colors and how to use them.

When designing a Web page in HTML, colors are defined using a 6-figure coding system called hexadecimal(or hex) colors .

For example, if you wanted to make some text red, you could type: <font color="#FF0000">This is a hexadecimal code for red</font> into your HTML, and your Web page would show this: This is a hexadecimal code for red.

But where do these 6-figure codes come from, and how can you determine which colors will work for your site?

Here's a quick article to give you the background along with some tools you can use to make color selection easier.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Dear Marcy, I can't tell if shopping cart is tied to a larger system, or if it's just a demo application.

Dear Marcy,
We are in the process of researching how to develop a shopping cart/order entry system for our customers. We've run across a variety of options in the process. One way requires us to copy data over from our backend system to an MS-based server (to provide an extra layer of security), and have the MS guys create the application from there. But, I've been arguing with management that this is inefficient, and also dangerous in its own right because of data inaccuracies.

The other option we've been looking at is a plug-in module manufactured by our MRP vendor.

I know crazybikes has a shopping cart. But, I can't figure out from your site whether it's tied to a larger complex backend system, or if it's just a stand-alone demo application that was hand-coded. What is it written over and/or is it possible to write it over my MRP (we use Movex)? If so, how much would something like that cost? Would we need a consultant? --Exploring Options

See her response here»

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Attend the Omni User Group Conference for DB2/400 users in Chicago

It will include a brand new mrc hands-on lab (with new Web 2.X features) and industry experts speaking on various modern business and IT solutions. For more information, visit our events page.

Or, if you would like to try our original hands-on lab online instead, you can do that right now if you like! Just sign up here. (It takes less than 1/2 an hour to develop 2 Java applications!)

Monday, January 08, 2007

Study: Most managers' info searches are useless

A newly released study from Accenture says most managers' info searches are useless, and that more than half the data they find has no value to them.

Here are a few interesting statistics:

  • Only 16% store valuable data in a collaborative workspace like a portal.
  • Over 42% said they accidentally use the wrong information at least once a week.
  • 57% said having to go to numerous sources to collect data makes managing it difficult. On average, the managers said they go to three different sources to find certain types of information.

Creating a portal like this one (Sign in as 10DKS10 as both user and password to view it) solves many of these problems and can be accomplished very quickly and cost-effectively.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Web Design Tip: Including Icon in URL

You may have noticed that often next to the URL in your browser, or in your favorites folder, companies have placed their logo or a corporate icon of some kind.

For example:

If you would like to do the same for your Web site, it's easy. We've posted an easy how-to article on the User Development Forum. You can find it here»

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