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For a phrase that’s being thrown around a lot recently, what does “Digital Transformation” really mean? When someone says that they want to digitally transform their business, what does one really mean, why do they want to do it, and should they approach this “digital transformation” process? First off, let’s start with a definition. If we don’t know what we are trying to achieve, then how do we know how to get there? Or to quote the famous Greek philosopher Yogi Berra: “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.” In a recent blog “How To Achieve Digital Transformation,” I stated with the following definition of Digital Transformation: “The coupling of granular, real-time data (e.g., smartphones, connected devices, smart appliances, wearables, mobile commerce, video surveillance) with modern technologies (e.g., cloud native apps, big data ... (more)

Improve Your UX and You’re Bound to See eCommerce Success | @DevOpsSummit #DevOp #WebPerfs

Improve Your UX and You're Bound to See eCommerce Success By Scott Davis Commerce has become both digital and global: Online sales are expected to exceed $1.6 trillion dollars by 2020. As a customer preferred way of doing business, ecommerce offers increased selection, value, and convenience. Online shopping also offers merchants increased access to customer data and opportunities to capitalize on that information. If your business isn’t keeping pace with best practices in ecommerce UX—not to mention leveraging mobile to capture even more opportunities—you’ll miss out on the continuously growing percentage of consumer online spending. In 2016, for instance, shoppers made 51 percent of their purchases online (compared to 48 percent in 2015 and 47 percent in 2014). Regardless of the path of innovation you choose in the ecommerce space, your online presence should be o... (more)

What I Learned at Gartner ITOSS 2017

Last week, I took time from my “day job” to spend at the Gartner ITOSS conference in Orlando, and it was worth the investment. From the education sessions and keynotes to engaging with our customers to meeting with Gartner analysts, I walked away with a sense of rejuvenation regarding the future role of IT operations and infrastructure in digital business. My seminal takeaways can be summed up as follows: Monitoring requirements of the “new world of digital business” means your tooling strategy must change I&O must change focus from building and running to delivering on business outcomes Change your tooling strategy Let’s start with what’s driving the big changes in monitoring requirements: Cloud. Today cloud computing or what Milind Govenkar called a “virtualized infrastructure” in his “The Cloud Computing Scenario – The Last and the Next 10 Years” presentation, whe... (more)

GigaSpaces to Provide Simplified Scalability for Cloud Computing

GigaSpaces Technologies and CohesiveFT announced their partnership to enable simplicity in building scalable applications in cloud environments. GigaSpaces' recently announced cloud application server, combined with CohesiveFT's Elastic Server On-Demand, allows customers to build software stacks and deploy them on multiple cloud providers with just a few clicks. The joint solution handles partitioning, load-balancing and fail-over, while CohesiveFT makes it easy to bundle these applications with software stacks and deploy them on many cloud infrastructures. The highly scalable GigaSpaces eXtreme Application Platform (XAP) is ideal for large testing grid scenarios in which there is a need to develop, deploy and test complex data-intensive and transactional applications on large clusters. The offering marks a new era for developing applications in the cloud. It makes... (more)

Using the CASE Expression in SQL Queries

The DBMS (database management system) is often faster at performing calculations like summing up or averaging the values in a column of numbers than, for instance, the application server. However, there are many cases in which performing the same calculation on all of the data in a column will not provide the correct result. This article will show you how to use the CASE expression in SQL queries to more flexibly perform aggregate calculations and set values based on a logical statement. An example of the need to apply the CASE expression in an aggregate function is an online shopping cart with several item-specific options that, depending on the options chosen, change the way an item's price is added to the cart and, therefore, the final total price of the order. I will discuss a shopping cart for an online store that requires variable pricing within four option ... (more)

Zoovy's New Web 2.0 and AJAX-Based Software Boosts Ecommerce Sales

Ecommerce solution provider Zoovy, Inc. announced a template driven AJAX ecommerce site builder. This technology makes it possible for any company to have a Web 2.0 ecommerce site. Web 2.0 improves the overall usability of ecommerce sites by increasing the interactivity and speed of online stores. Zoovy's AJAX software is one of the fastest content management systems on the web. With an improved user interface it's easier to update content, add/remove product categories, and edit items in an online store. "Switching to an AJAX based store really helped improve sales by making the shopping experience more user friendly. Customers can shop without having to wait for pages to constantly reload," said Scott Ingham, owner of Expeditionimports.com. "This change has correlated to a 40% increase in our online sales." Zoovy's AJAX technology combines a number of user enhanc... (more)

Amazon - The Real Web Services Company

I am biased writing this article because my company is a big user of Amazon Web Services. But please read on and see why I am so excited about what the largest online retailer is doing these days. Not only Amazon is the real Web Services company now, it is becoming an icon for the 21st century software tools company. Not Microsoft, not IBM not even Google, but Amazon has been quietly, and recently not so quietly, building the blocks of the next generation software platform. At the core of the Amazon strategy are the Web Services. The Amazon team takes the concepts of search, storage, lookup and management the data and turns them into pay-per-fetch and pay-per-space web services. This is a brilliant strategy and Amazon is certainly a visionary company. But what impresses me the most as an engineer is their ability to take very complex problems, solve them and then ... (more)

E-Commerce 2.0

With all the noise the Web 2.0 revolutionaries are making, it's easy to ignore another-this time velvet-revolution. E-commerce 2.0 is coming into maturity and getting ready to relieve its now 10+ year old predecessor. It's about time. What makes an e-commerce 2.0 site? Well, as Supreme Court Justice Stewart's famous saying (about pornography) goes: "I know it when I see it." This may not be a satisfactory answer but it's an honest one. It's too early to tell. E-commerce 2.0 sites look better, they are easier to use but, most importantly, they drive better economics. Let's look at the e-commerce 2.0 drivers, the trends that define the transition and the architectures and technologies that enable it. What drives the change? For starters, maturity and perspective. E-commerce has been around for over a decade now. Online retail spending will near $100B in 2006 with cl... (more)

Rich Internet Applications - State of the Union

[This prescient article first appeared on SYS-CON.com nearly 12 months ago.] We are entering an era of Rich Internet Applications (RIA),  and many enterprise development managers are facing the dilemma - which way to go - remain with  tried and true Java or .Net technologies or less known yet AJAX, Flex, OpenLaszlo or a number of other vendors.  This article is an attempt to give a brief overview of what's out there on the RIA market. Historically there have been major shifts in the software industry. We moved from mainframes with dumb terminals to client/server. Users gained in convenience and productivity, and mainframe systems were patronizingly labeled as legacy. With the availability of the World Wide Web industry visionaries turned the tables: vendors and corporate IT had been eager to get rid of the complexity of client/server version management and technologist... (more)

SOA and Integration-as-a-Service

Customers want smooth fast purchase transactions. They want to connect to vendors' sell-side systems transparently - accessing online catalogs and issuing purchase orders without leaving their native procurement environments. Companies that offer this capability differentiate themselves from competitors. Integrating suppliers into the supply chain is nothing new. Many global enterprises have increased operating efficiency by requiring key players to adopt their integration technologies. Batch-oriented EDI messaging has typically been used to link organizations and, despite some limitations, has been adequate to the task. Customer integration is altogether different. First, customers expect sellers to conform to their integration methodologies. Second, e-procurement application providers promote access through their particular pathways. Finally, real-time communica... (more)

Tooling Up for Web 2.0

Most of the discussion surrounding Web 2.0 applications revolves around the way it revolutionized end users' interaction with applications and with other users. An area that is sometimes left out of the discussion is the impact Web 2.0 had on the developers who are actually building these applications. Creating Web 2.0 applications involves a variety of technologies and standards from UI technologies such as AJAX and DHTML to back-end technologies such as SOA and other mash-up technologies (see Figure 1). This puts a new burden on developers and challenges them to become multidisciplinary developers - proficient in a range of new and emerging technologies. One key enabler that will allow a developer to overcome this challenge is having the right development tool in his arsenal. The correct tool doesn't only speed up development with a specific technology, but also ... (more)