A lot of free products and frameworks were built using Java as their core technology during the open-source boom. This was due to the multi-platform capabilities provided by the Java Virtual Machine and their write-once/run everywhere premise. Since then, the open-source community has grown tremendously and many of its members have become not only Java developers, but Java enthusiasts. Now, many of those same people work as decision-makers and manage large IT departments and projects. As time went by, Microsoft noticed how behind they were in the open-source world and how discredited they were within the open-source community. This disrupted the Microsoft development ecosystem and caused them to launch .NET Core with the same premises as Java: write once/run everywhere (or almost everywhere).
Nowadays, Java and .NET Core are not a developer's only options. There are plenty of different technologies for different focuses and different goals. However, the discussion about portability remains for these two stacks. Both .NET Core and Java applications can run on Linux or Windows and choosing which stack is right for your organization will most likely require a deep analysis. Part of that analysis should be that Java isn't free anymore, but .NET Core promises to be free for a long time.
Since the acquisition of Sun Microsystems by Oracle, a lot of things have changed and Sun’s commitment to open source seems to have weakened. A signal of this is the recent licensing changes that Oracle introduced to the Java Runtime Environment. If you are a developer or you want to use the runtime environment non-commercially, you don't have to pay for it. But, if you are a company or you intend to use your Java-based software commercially, you do have to pay for a license. .NET Core doesn't have any kind of licensing costs for it's runtime environment.
You may be thinking about the other factors, aside from pricing, involved in this decision. But, I caution you not to discount the importance of pricing. While a large company should be able to afford all of the required licensing for a Java-based deployment, giving them the ability to leverage the robustness and matureness of the Java platform, this often isn't the case for startups or small businesses. .NET Core's performance improvements (remember that it is a full rewrite of many .NET components), portability, and zero cost provide a great solution for budget-conscious organizations.
Wait a minute! There are free Java Runtime Environments like OpenJDK that could be used! Yes, technically that's true, but let’s be honest, what company would replace a mature and fully supported platform like Oracle’s JRE for an open-source project?
This discussion isn't intended to persuade anyone to switch to .NET Core. I'm simply advising decision-makers to consider the platform. Aside from price, I do believe the platform has a lot of great benefits and will ultimately end up surprising even Java enthusiasts with its capabilities. On the other hand, if you're an experienced Java developer or your company has large Java-based solutions that make Oracle's JRE too compelling to pass up, my suggestion is to plan and budget for the costs in the beginning. Overall, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for this kind of decision. Put in front of you what you want to benefit from and then decide how much you're willing to pay.
The coronavirus pandemic has upended the structure of businesses all over the world. Companies have scrambled to create temporary fixes, from work-from-home options to layoffs to total shutdowns. With no end in sight, uncertainty pervades the workplace. Recorded June 16th, this new TED talk could not be more relevant. James Ludwig, vice president of global design and product engineering at the office supply company Steelcase, engages in conversation with TED curator Chee Pearlman about the long term future of organizations. Here are some notable insights into the talk and James' perspective on the future and potential reopening.
In recent months, many companies have moved from the office to working from home. Working remotely can be great, but it’s important to be aware of how to create a remote workspace conducive to productivity. When we work from home we have many distractions that weren’t present in the office. Distractions from your day to day home life may impact your workday, which can make it a bit difficult to concentrate on everything you need to get done. When working remotely, there are several things to take into consideration. One is the space in which you are working. While you may not put much thought into it, this is something that can truly make or break your work from home experience. Some people believe that working remotely means that you can work from anywhere in the house such as the kitchen table or even your living room couch. However tempting that may be, you are more than likely not going to get as much work done on your sofa as you would in a well thought-out office space.
Leveraging the cloud for various computing needs of an organization such as memory, data storage, and processing offers numerous benefits to businesses of all shapes and sizes. Cloud-based integration adds flexibility, scalability, and efficiency to any company’s day to day business workings while reducing cost and risk.
At its core, the cloud integration process centers on configuring multiple application programs to share data in the cloud and connect. In a correctly integrated cloud set up, various cloud-based and on-site applications can communicate effectively either via third-party software or directly.
Properly integrating a robust cloud model into your specific business structure involves significant planning, proficiency and preparedness around the various options and functions available to enterprises. Before looking at the benefits of these platforms, let's understand how they differ from your standard APIs or connectors:
Integrated cloud platforms are far more easily programmable than regular connectors. The latter is more like plug-and-play integration that is compatible only with specific applications.
While the former includes pre-built connectors, they can also be used to create customized integrations for various in-house applications.
These platforms are incredibly useful if you have multiple apps that you need to connect to the cloud or vice-versa.
A typical customer utilizes cloud-integrated platforms to connect a minimum of 10 SaaS applications to the existing system.
Beyond standard integration, a cloud integration platform will enable you to create an integration process. It means you can build a unique process that outlines an entire series of tasks and activities based on conditions or rules.
Cloud integration platforms prove to be value propositions because they are straightforward to use, from development to deployment.
With widespread adoption, cloud integration technology is now becoming increasingly affordable, and this has boosted the trend of using it.
Before the current day cloud integration solutions came into existence, organizations that wanted to migrate to the cloud needed to follow a complicated and lengthy process. These issues caused several variations in a company's daily workings affecting their efficiency and productivity. What resulted was a chaotic and highly compartmentalized cloud solution that created chasms between various loosely coupled applications.
Today, integration has altered the cloud computing game, and businesses everywhere are taking advantage of it. Some of the notable benefits of modern-day cloud integration in the real world compared to traditional and outdated migration techniques are:
Individual users can easily access crucial personal data from various devices in real-time.
Users can access all of their data without the need for an Internet connection from any place.
Users can use a single login for multiple integrated application programs, which is a very convenient way to access needed information.
Individual users can also easily merge their personal data from external applications such as calendars and contacts.
An integrated cloud platform shares control and administrative messages among multiple applications.
Data conflict and redundancy are avoided.
Data security and integrity are maintained very well due to the avoidance of data silos.
Cloud-based integration gives you flexibility and you can expand it to accommodate future growth.
While companies can create in-house systems, functionality and scalability are often not on par with those from third-party providers. If you are considering adopting this technology, it’s advisable to contact professionals with experience in delivering cloud-based integration services.
Professionals can help you design and deploy a scalable and agile cloud platform that effectively supports complex application architectures. These providers will design a solution that allows disparate applications to effectively communicate with fully-integrated custom cloud solutions.As an information technology company with many years of experience, we’ve helped hundreds of clients leverage technology to become more efficient and increase profits. Interested in learning more? Let’s connect. Send us an email or give us a call at 502-212-0978 and we can get the conversation started.
The COVID-19 outbreak has impacted every business in the world in one way or another other. While people practice social distancing, many businesses are encouraging or even making work-from-home mandatory for their employees. This has led to an exponential rise in the use of various digital systems and tools, including video conferencing for virtual meetings.
It may seem convenient to jump out of bed at 8:50a.m., and after hurriedly washing your face and brushing your hair, get onto that virtual meeting scheduled at 9:00a.m, However, you should refrain from doing so. Even if you are experienced with online meetings, giving yourself ample prep time to set up and log on sets you up for a much more productive meeting experience.
As a company that has engaged in virtual meetings for years, Number8 has picked up a few things along the way. Follow along for some helpful tips on how to get the most out of virtual meetings.
While preparation for a virtual meeting may vary depending on the context, here are some basic tips that can help you get the most out of the experience.
You can simply conference with one of your colleagues to make sure it's working as it should. Low volume and poor audio clarity can impact communications, especially if you are discussing something crucial. Speak clearly and slowly when you are on the call so that none of the participants miss anything you say.
Check if you have muted the microphone before delivering a monologue that no attendee will hear.
While this may be unlikely, if screen sharing is a possibility, you should make sure you are prepared. Shut down or hide other programs like email and unrelated browser tabs, and ensure your computer monitor is ready for sharing.
Virtual meetings are sometimes full of delays and frozen screens. It is advisable to do what you can to limit the type of distraction this creates. Set up your computer in the best location for connectivity, and limit your movement while on the call, as this can interfere with the quality of your connection.
While you aren’t necessarily expected to wear regular formal office attire while attending virtual meetings, you should always wear professional and clean clothing.
It can be extremely disconcerting to speak with someone that sits in a dark and poorly lit location. It's best to sit in a place with side lighting. Consider positioning yourself near an open window or switch on an overhead light to brighten up the space.
The surroundings should be clean and not cluttered or messy, even if you live alone. If you are sitting at your desk, ensure it isn't covered with trash, dishes, or coffee mugs.
Most programs send notifications as to who is talking, but conference line numbers do not. Therefore, it’s advisable to take the extra time to introduce yourself, depending on who is in the meeting and how well the participants know you and the sound of your voice.
It helps others on the video call feel like you're fully present and engaged.
Follow this even if you are alone in the room. Background noises can be an annoyance and distraction, and impact the meeting’s flow.
Strange camera angles can be unflattering and distracting during video conference calls. Set the camera at eye level and on your monitor before getting onto the call.
Do not do any other work while on the call. The rest of the participants can easily tell if you are distracted, and that is disrespectful and unprofessional.
Keeping these helpful tips in mind is an essential part of maintaining professionalism when you are participating in virtual meetings. You should plan ahead as much as you can. There are always unexpected interruptions that can challenge the quality of any meeting.As an information technology company with many years of experience, we’ve helped hundreds of clients leverage technology to become more efficient and increase profits. Interested in learning more? Let’s connect. Send us an email or give us a call at 502-212-0978 and we can get the conversation started.
Many IT companies have started to allow employees to telecommute on a part-time or full-time basis. People can work from home, cafes, or even parks instead of commuting to work every day. While this has several advantages, it can also hamper a team’s productivity if it isn’t handled correctly. There are several ways to help teams be more productive when they are working off-site. Here are some tips that can help:
Technological challenges can hamper a team’s productivity and make working from off-site locations a frustrating experience. It is important to make things easier for employees by providing them with tools to keep things organized. Use efficient conferencing or messaging applications like Zoom, Slack, Microsoft Teams, or Google Hangouts to ensure everyone can communicate without interruptions. Additionally, there are several project management and tracking applications available online, including Asana, Airtable, Trello and Todoist. These tools can help managers, teams, and temporary staff remain connected.
Check-in with your team on a regular basis to ensure that everyone is on the same page. This doesn't have to be a long or drawn-out process, but it can help people remain connected with team members. It can also help people switch to work-mode when they are at home and navigating household distractions. A simple call or a video conference that discusses daily priorities, tasks, goals, and targets will help people start on the right track. It is easier to maintain productivity when team members have a clear agenda at the start of the day.
Several applications allow managers to track just how much time employees spend working on a particular project. These applications give a very board view of an employee's working routine and help managers identify people who are falling back. For example, some employees work better during evenings or nights and may put in more hours during this time than during regular office time. If you track work, it is easy to see such a pattern and adjust their schedule accordingly. Off-site work can be very flexible and convenient if handled correctly.
Employees that work remotely are prone to occasional feelings of loneliness and isolation, especially if they don't maintain a proper work-life balance. That can lead to depression, burn-out, and a serious dip in productivity. Managers must help remote teams remain connected and offer some form of emotional support. In-office workers socialize, engage in conversations over coffee, joke around when there's no work to be done, and blow off steam. This helps them maintain emotional equilibrium and stay productive. Home, libraries and coffee shops don't offer this kind of social stimulation, which can take its toll over time. Encourage casual conversations and schedule video conferences dedicated solely for team members to reconnect with their coworkers.
Reward good work with positive feedback and praise. People working remotely can’t feel the general air of triumph that most on-site teams feel when a project is completed. That’s why it is important to reward good work with verbal praise regularly as it helps team members feel accomplished. A simple text or email with a few encouraging words about meeting targets and completing tasks on schedule can help.
Keep an eye on how much time team members spend on work. It is easy for work to take over life if there’s no separation between the job and personal life. It is important to establish a good work/life separation early on. Make sure your team works for a specific number of hours every day and limit all communications for specific times. Don’t call or message after hours unless there’s an emergency.
Teams that strike the right balance between flexibility and maintaining a proper schedule are most successful at off-site work scenarios, while maintaining high levels of productivity.As an information technology company with many years of experience, we’ve helped hundreds of clients leverage technology to become more efficient and increase profits. Interested in learning more? Let’s connect. Send us an email or give us a call at 502-212-0978 and we can get the conversation started.
Building and running a successful business isn't easy. Every aspiring entrepreneur needs practical and hands-on support from employees, mentors, and business partners to succeed. Hiring employees and getting mentors requires work, but it isn't as complicated as acquiring or maintaining business partnerships over the long term. Here are some things you need to know to develop successful partnerships:
Distributed teams have been commonplace in many industries for years. With the recent uncertainties faced by companies in the face of the coronavirus outbreak, remote work has become a necessary adaptation for even more organizations. As many teams adapt to a distributed model in the short term, it’s helpful to consider some of the pluses and minuses involved. Fortunately, there's a lot to learn from teams do distributed work. Here’s what you need to know about distributed teams.
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