Posts tagged "microsoft"

Litera Releases Innova v6.0: Simplifies Document Automation Processes

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Since document content lifecycle management company (DCLM) Litéra (news, site) bought document automation company SoftWise last December, it has been working on developing Innova, SoftWise’s automation platform. After six months work on it version 6.0 has finally been released.

Targeting law firms in particular, Innova streamlines and standardizes document creation and automation and now comes with new features for Microsoft Active Directory configuration as well as new legal modules for 19 more states in the US.

With Innova 6.0 the company aims to simply the platform making it accessible to more users in more enterprises and has done so by delivering a user-friendly macro/template package with an architecture that uses advanced multi-level caching to increase speeds and improve productivity.

Innova Document Automation

Part of the Litéra group of document lifecycle management products, Innova is a document automation platform that streamlines and standardizes document creation and automation.

  • Active Directory Integration: With direct integration into an enterprise Active Directory, enterprises will not have to configure connections to an external personnel database.
  • QuickDoc: Easy change between document types by extraction of data in one document type for use in another. Also includes ability to fill dialog boxes with information from saved documents.
  • Doc ID: Support for multiple versions, or even different document management systems as well as multiple versions of Microsoft Office.
  • Numbering Module: Support for the existing number module with improvements including support for multiple Table of Content(s).

Litéra And SoftWise

Innova became part of the Litéra family of document content lifecycle products following Litéra's acquisition of SoftWise in December 2009.

Like most similar deals the price the company paid was not released, but at the time the company said Innova would add feature-rich document creation, template management and numbering to some of the components in Litera’s DCLM suite.

For its part, Litéra’s DCLM software suite enables users to create, collaborate, compare and cleanse documents as they move through the document lifecycle.

Litéra, which works principally with corporations and law firms, said the acquisition was prompted by the need to provide standardized document creation and process automation using a single interface.

Microsoft and Joomla! working together

Open Source Matters, Inc. (OSM), the not-for-profit organization that supports the Joomla! Project, today announced that Microsoft ® has signed the Joomla! Contributor Agreement (JCA), the project’s new general public license (GPL). As a result, Joomla! users will experience improved Internet Information Services (IIS) compatibility and support in Joomla! 1.5.16. In addition, key Microsoft code contributions will be included in the trunk of the upcoming Joomla! 1.6, allowing the system to benefit from increased speed and efficiency by leveraging the Windows® Cache Extension for PHP.

“Microsoft signing the JCA is big news for the Joomla! community. Not only is this the largest organization to ever contribute code and to agree to the terms of our contributor agreement, but this means Joomla! users will get improved performance and usability of Joomla! on Microsoft’s IIS,” said Ryan Ozimek, President of Open Source Matters. “We’ve always had a portion of our community that has been IIS-based, yet we haven’t been able to offer the ideal level of IIS support and integration. With the new agreement in place, Joomla! will not only offer tighter ties with IIS, but our community can better work with Microsoft to make improvements or address future engineering issues. We're very happy to have Microsoft as part of our GPL development community.”

Joomla! community members have been working closely with the Microsoft team and have integrated the Joomla! package with Web Platform Installer. In addition, by utilizing Microsoft test environments, the team has been optimizing Joomla! to run better on IIS. With the release of Joomla! 1.5.16, the community has solved some long-standing compatibility issues that will allow the system to be supported on the same level as Apache. Furthermore, Joomla! 1.6 will include code for Windows Cache integration, further improving speed and code efficiency.

For those interested in trying Windows Cache integration now, you can get more information on how to run it with Joomla! 1.5 at http://blogs.iis.net/donraman/archive/2010/03/05/performance-improvement-in-joomla-using-wincache-user-cache.aspx

About Open Source Matters, Inc. and the Joomla! Project
Open Source Matters, Inc. (OSM) is a not-for-profit organization that helps to manage and support the Joomla! Project. Joomla! is the industry’s leading open source content management system (CMS). For more information visit www.OpenSourceMatters.org or www.joomla.org.

FileTek Releases Migration Tool, Adapters For SharePoint, IBM, Open Text

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Information and document management provider FileTek (site) has just released new content migration software that enables users to move documents that are stored on network files into enterprise content management systems.

The new Trusted Edge for Intelligent Content Migration (ICM) works by providing adapters for the majority of systems including SharePoint, Open Text’s Livelink and IBM’s content and records management software.

In essence what ICM does is to locate, classify and move documents based on administrator defined criteria into secure locations by uniformly classifying and tagging both new and legacy content during the archiving process.

Intelligent Document Migrations

Maybe it’s just an accident that this has been released only two months before the release of SharePoint 2010 but whether it is or not, it will give SharePoint users an additional adapter that will be able to take network documents and throw them into SharePoint.

While it’s not the only system that will benefit, all the buzz at the moment is SharePoint 2010 and this kind of release needs to be seen in this context just for the moment.

One of the principal advantages of this new software is that it will be able to burrow into shared drives across a network and all the information that is stored in them, be that information business critical or horoscopes downloaded over lunch breaks, identify what is needed, take it out of the shared files and send it to a safe repository.

For the large part, current software moves bulk data “as is” and pushes it all across to a repository so instead of having a disorganized and uncategorized stack of document files in your shared folders, you have a stack of disorganized and uncategorized documents in your records management, document management or enterprise content management system. And that’s not good.

ICM deals with this by tagging only relevant content according to pre-configured file policies that can be built around file type, path, name and even file content. Based on that it can make intelligent decisions on whether the content should be migrated. If the content is moved, it is tagged with further metadata to make it easier again to find.

FileTek’s Trusted Edge

This is not the first foray for FileTek into the world of unstructured content, nor is it the first time it has produced software to deal with it.

Last September it released Trusted Edge v4.0 which is able to get into employee’s laptops and desktops — transparently they say — to get all the unclassified content sitting there properly organized.

By its own estimates, FileTek reckons that up to 80% of unstructured content resides on either desktops on laptops and their focus with that release was to cull the content form “the edge of networks” and classify it all.

It too can work with the major ECM systems, including SharePoint, IBM Content Manager, Open Text Livelink and EMC. Watch out for further solutions to whip all that unruly content into shape!

Microsoft Betters Bing with New Design and foursquare

In addition to some sunshine, the next few months are going to see interesting updates from Bing. Microsoft previewed several new features for their search engine at the Search Engine Strategies 2010 Conference in New York this week, highlighting foursquare integration and new design concepts.

Better Looking Bing

The self-proclaimed "decision engine" has always had roots in the visual side of things. For instance, unlike the simple Google interface, Bing results include a list of links for enhancing your search. Dubbed Quick Tabs, the left-side column of links offers drilled-down suggestions based on your initial query. For example, if I search the word 'sheep', in addition to the regular top results, my Quick Tabs will list links for sheep facts, sheep breeds, cute sheep pictures and raising sheep:

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Bing search results

It looks a bit busy, doesn't it? In order to remedy that, Microsoft is moving the results to the top of the page (we're not sure whether or not they'll be hidden, but it would be nice).

"We have a vision for Bing to serve as a vital assistant to your online decision-making," said Jeff Henshaw, GPM of Bing's user experience team. "In these latest designs, you’ll see a lighter, cleaner presentation of results that highlight key actions that will efficiently guide you toward your goal."

Fun with foursquare 

Microsoft will also be incorporating foursquare's popular location-based data for a real-time experience with Bing Maps.

"The foursquare map app is a powerful combination of the spatial canvas that Bing Maps provides, combined with foursquare’s user reputation service … making it easier to explore any city in the world as if you were a local," Schwartz continued. "It's like an interactive day planner, designed to help find the best things to do in the area."

Additionally, Microsoft plans to involve Bing with everyday activities as well. Recent focus has been on the world of real-time, and partners include big names like Twitter. Microsoft hopes to incorporate much more significant data into the Bing search experience—an effort you can already see being tested. For example, when you search for a publication like New York Times, Bing now gives you both access to specific sections of the destination website, and the most popular shared links from that publication.

Users can expect all of these updates to be rolled out before the weather goes bad again, and our best guess is they're interesting enough to gain the search engine a few more fans.

EMC Extends MS Exchange, Adds Email Disaster Recovery

EMC and Microsoft can’t seem to get enough of each other. This time, EMC (site) is using a new API that came with Exchange 2010, extending the Exchange platform and offering back-up and disaster recovery for it.

Announced recently as a continuation of its “deep engineering” work with Microsoft, EMC is using Exchange’s Replication API not only to provide disaster and recovery solutions but also to add synchronous replication to Exchange.

By adding EMC’s Replication Enabler to the Exchange environment, EMC is giving companies an added layer of back-up, and by automating it ensures that in the event of a systems failure email will still be available across the enterprise.

Exchange's Replication API

This is the first time that a company outside of the direct Microsoft family has made use of the Replication API that came with the recently released Exchange Server 2010. In doing so, EMC has been able to considerably extend the reach of its data and recovery tools.

There are three new tools:

  • Replication Enabler for MS Exchange Server 2010: Enables integration of synchronous replication into the Exchange environment and supports EMC RecoverPoint Continuous Replication and MirrorView Remote Synch replication.
  • EMC Autostart: Provides infrastructure monitoring and automated restart for MES 2010 and is particularly useful and aimed at enterprises with geographically distant data centers.
  • Replication Manager: Provides point-in-time replicas of information lost in databases located on EMC arrays.

Consulting Services

EMC is also offering consulting services to enterprises that are looking to deploy or upgrade to Exchange Server, which was introduced last November, as well as for those that are looking to deploy Microsoft’s holistic communications strategy, Microsoft Unified Communications (MUC).

Exchange Server 2010 is corner-stone of that strategy, which aims to manage all asynchronous communications and delivers unified messaging (e-mail, voice mail, faxes, and calendaring) to users directly.

While EMC is not the only company to offer services for Exchange 2010 — Dell (site) started offering migration services in November — by providing comprehensive back-up disaster recovery, they are likely to be amongst the most popular.

Enterprise 2.0 Roll-up: The Great Google vs. Microsoft Debate

This week we saw Google move from taking a bite out of Microsoft’s pie to their first all-out attempt at devouring it whole. What we’re talking about, of course, is the Google Apps Migration for Microsoft Exchange tool.

If this is how we’re fighting now, then, well: Things just. Got. Interesting.

You Say You Want a Revolution…

We’re not gonna lie, folks. The battle field is ugly. Many of those in favor of Google are keen on proclaiming their love for the openness of the cloud, and shutting down anything that doesn’t follow that strategy.

For example, earlier this month Zoho’s CEO Sridhar Vembu spoke to his decision to stick his company’s CRM system in the Google Marketplace. In the manifesto his belief in the future of e-mail and contextual integration within the enterprise—and Google’s way of handling both—was borderline devout. Meanwhile, his opinion of Salesforce.com’s technique was, well, not:

“…to be a real platform, you have to have a degree of openness, and our experience with Salesforce demonstrates the opposite, and sets up a direct contrast to Google's platform approach.”

Meanwhile, some of Microsoft’s fankids argue that Google Apps is like child’s play when it comes to business productivity. After all, Microsoft offers different solutions for different needs (MOSS, WSS, SharePoint) while Google houses everything together.

E-Tantrums and pixelated tears have been especially prevalent at the mention of Google’s pricing structure, which requires individuals to purchase additional space once they exceed the single freebie gigabyte that Google provides. In contrast, Microsoft offers 25GB for free that integrates with their Online Office.

We All Want to Change the World

This debate is nothing new, of course. These two giants have gone head to head in battle over several areas of tech, including internet search, operating systems, enterprise applications and browsers.

"Both [companies] are looking for dominant positions in the Internet,” said In-Stat analyst Jim McGregor late last year. “For Google to increase its business, it needs to move into other territory. For Microsoft to have significant growth opportunities, it needs to become an Internet powerhouse, and they know it. This is not a war that is going to be won by one or two battles. This is going to be a prolonged activity."

Google’s certainly expanding into other territories with the new marketplace. Is Microsoft meeting the needs of its users as well?

Don’t You Know It’s Gonna Be All Right

However this battle goes down, we know one thing for certain: It sure is gonna be fun to watch. And, all things considered—even the migration tool—it's obviously far from over. Stick with us as the headlines change; nothing in the enterprise is ever boring these days: 

Microsoft Unveils a User Experience Kit

At this year's SXSW conference, Microsoft unveiled a User Experience kit. The kit helps both technical and creative leads make sense of the Microsoft technology stack by providing videos, reference implementations, sample code, live demos, installable tools, whitepapers, pattern libraries, etc. 

Enterprise Software: To Be or Not To Be Like Facebook

Yet another heated battle. On one side of the field we have Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO of Salesforce.com. His argument is that enterprise software should be more like Facebook. On the other side, a crowd of naysayers who don’t like the idea of mixing business with pleasure.

Play Time

Come get your hands dirty by taking part in some events:

International Intranet Day

"Join the full-day seminar on March 24 in Copenhagen to learn from the best while exploring intranet trends and experiences from intranet professionals all over Europe. Case studies include: Arla Foods, COWI, Danske Bank, De Lage Landen International, EDF Energy, Erste Bank, Novozymes, Sauer-Danfoss and Simcorp." 

Information Architecture Summit

"As busy practitioners, we rarely have the chance to step back and think about the future of our field—we’re too busy resolving day-to-day issues.This is an opportunity to help each other become more efficient. By gathering and sharing practical solutions for everyday challenges, we can create more breathing room to plan for what’s to come."

The Internet Show

"The Internet Show is a series of seminars and a showcase. It is the only event that brings together big, medium and small businesses eager to find new ways of doing internet business. It is a business—not technology—show."

Internet Explorer 9: A Platform Preview, Not a Beta

With Microsoft (site) rebounding like Dennis Rodman in his prime, can the company pull another Windows 7 or Windows 7 Phone out of its hat with IE9?

Exploring New Frontiers

Internet Explorer has had a rough ride since, well, forever. Most versions have been considered an assault on Internet standards, or derided as under-featured or security nightmares. The recent versions have improved on those areas but added features that few actually use.

With existing IE now lagging behind Firefox which is the most popular browser, where can Microsoft go with IE9? The news from Microsoft's  MIX10 developer conference in Las Vegas is that Internet Explorer won't just be a browser, but a whole platform.

There's a test drive site, where you can download a preview mini-browser for Windows Vista or Windows 7 users (nothing like a proper beta or test version) that allows you to take a look at some of the features in action.

According to Microsoft, the intent of the platform preview is to provide developers an opportunity to start planning when and how they will start supporting HTML5; this is definitely not suited for your everyday browsing needs.

A Platform to Where?

The primary addition is the implementation of DirectX hardware acceleration, something that really should have been in place for many years. Now, the horsepower of the typical PC's video card can finally be used to hoof along your graphical output and improve quality, allowing accelerated video, faster and smoother text effects and other essentials of the Web 2.0 environment.

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One of the demos showing off IE9's features

HTML 5 support will be the next big arms race as browsers throw it to the top of their features lists and Microsoft has it as a big tick in IE9. With support including CSS3, Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) which has been around for ages, XHTML parsing and H.264/MPEG4 and MP3/AAC tags and  codec support, all video standards will be supported.

If you can't wait for IE9 to get a little HTML 5 love, take a look at Christian Adams video tag for IE.

Additional news includes a boost for JavaScript processing speeds. With all its rivals crowing about their Java performance, it is only fair that Microsoft gets in on the act and brings its browser up to speed.

In the Background

Behind the web page, Microsoft also announced that it will contribute to the development of new features and enhancements in the jQuery JavaScript Library. It has shared the release of new SDKs for the Open Data Protocol that will make it easier for developers to access cloud-based data from to create cross-platform Web applications.

Developers are encouraged to use the Platform Preview Version on their own code, HTML, CSS, scripts and feedback on how it works. There are more details on the ieblog.

Microsoft has stated that a new version of the IE9 Platform Preview should come out about every 8 weeks, and there are no dates set for the beta release.

Google Analytics Now Tracks Silverlight Content

How would you all—including non-techies—like to be able to track how users interact with your Silverlight content? Well, now you can. Google Analytics has officially integrated into the Microsoft Silverlight Analytics Framework.  

Drag and Drop

It sounds fairly simple. Using the Google Analytics component, designers will be able to drag and drop icons for tracking the number of interactions on a design element. Then, within Google Analytics, they can segment and compare the difference in behavior between users who interacted and those who didn’t.

Tracking features supported include event tracking, pageview tracking and custom variables.

Why Google Analytics?

“One of the core principles of Google Analytics has been to democratize the utility of the web analytics tool, and to open up the platform with an API,” wrote Nick Mihailovski of the Google Analytics API Ttam on their official blog page. “This enables developers to innovate new uses of Google Analytics to help analysts, marketers, and executives make better data-driven decisions. Since we launched Google Analytics, developers have extended the product to track Flash/Flex and recently Android and iPhone Devices.”

The announcement was made at this year’s MIX10 conference, which saw a lot of focus on the new Analytics Framework for Microsoft's RIA technology in general. Designed to support data collection modules online or off, the framework parties with more than just Google, too.

"We also wanted to support multiple analytics services simultaneously," said Michael Scherotter, principal architect of the framework. “Multiple analytics vendors hooking into an application using different mechanisms can interfere with performance and appear as glitches to end users,” he explained.

We're not surprised to see Google at the front of the line for a next-generation solution such as this, and we expect similar announcement from companies like Webtrends and Omniture in the near future.

#SXSW: Don't Worry, Privacy is Alive! (But Tech is Stupid)

We’ve certainly heard plenty from CEOs about privacy being dead and all, but considering the heat coming from related debates, perhaps it’s time to hear from the opposing team.

Danah Boyd, social media researcher for Microsoft, took the stage at this year’s SXSW conference, and with her 10+ years in the social realm, claimed privacy is alive (but not well), and schooled us on the intricacies of screw-ups from some of the biggest names out there: Google and Facebook.

Where Google Went Wrong

It was such huge news that even if you’re not big on Internet life, chances are you’re aware that the blogosphere virtually bitch-slapped Google Buzz back to the laboratory. The arguments mainly revolved around privacy flaws—even Google has admitted to releasing the tool much too early—but Boyd made an interesting point: Nothing the Buzz team did was technologically wrong—it was just stupid.

What does that mean? It means Google tripped up on a personal expectation level. After all, regardless of how difficult it was to find them, the options to opt out of all the things that sent users into conniption fits were available since day one.

Here’s a look at Google’s non-technical mistakes, according to Boyd:

Google launched a public-facing service within a very private one. That is, the outspoken Buzz set up shop within Gmail. For many tech geeks it was a logical move on Google’s part simply because Gmail is used regularly by a ton of people. But the integration of opposing natures confused a lot of non-tech users, and caused them to believe their e-mails were being made publicly accessible

Google assumed that people would opt-out of Buzz if they didn't want to participate. “I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt on this one because a more insidious framing would be to say that they wanted to force people into opting-in because this makes the service more viral and more monetizable,” said Boyd. “While I'm trying not to let conspiracy theories cloud my analysis, I can't help but notice that more and more companies are opting people in and waiting until they flip out to adjust privacy settings.”

Where Facebook Went Wrong

Perhaps you remember Facebook's changes in December? The world's favorite social network asked users to reconsider their privacy settings via popup. Unfortunately, tons of users bypassed the popup as if it were an ad because they just wanted to get to Facebook itself. Problem is, if the popup wasn’t addressed, Facebook automatically changed all of the "negligent" user’s settings to public.

This from a platform  that built its reputation on being a closed network—something users have always valued in a big way. 

“By continuously arguing that Privacy is Dead, technologists justify their efforts to make publicly available data more public,” continued Boyd. “But there's a big difference between something being publicly available and being publicized. I worry about how others are going to publicize this publicly available Facebook data and, more importantly, who will get hurt in the cross-fire.”

Ass [Out of] U [and] Me

Do you see a pattern here? It looks like networks are assuming what users want rather than asking them. Unfortunately, that logic would only work if everyone thought like a technologist and loved the idea of optimizing absolutely everything.

"What's at stake here is often not about whether or not something is public or private, but how public or private it is,” explained Boyd. “People are not used to having the paparazzi trail after them every time they leave their house. Yet, when we argue that there's nothing wrong with making something that happens in public more public, we are basically arguing that we have the right to sick the paparazzi on everyone, to turn anyone into a public figure."

The point? We’re a fickle bunch. Just because we put material in public places doesn’t mean we want it aggregated. And just because something is publically accessible doesn’t mean we want it publicized. And using information in unexpected ways is a recipe for disastrous media coverage.

What Hath We Wrought?

And so, what to do? Boyd says there's no magical formula for understanding privacy and publicity (rats). But she left us with some valuable words to chew on:

Wanting privacy is not about needing something to hide. It’s about wanting to maintain control. Often, privacy isn't about hiding; it's about creating space to open up. If you remember that privacy is about maintaining a sense of control, you can understand why Privacy is Not Dead. There are good reasons to engage in public; there always have been. But wanting to be in public doesn’t mean wanting to lose control.

And finally, for all the techies out there:

You are shaping the future. How you handle these challenging issues will affect a generation. Make sure you're creating the future you want to live in.

Microsoft Unveils a User Experience Kit

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Lots of interesting things happening at SXSW (site) over the weekend. Even Microsoft was in the game launching a new User Experience Kit for technical and creative leads. Let's see what's in the box.

Mapping Technology to the User Experience

The Microsoft stack of technologies is big, so big that it may be confusing or frustrating for both technical and creative leads to know how that technology aids in providing a strong user experience. It's not that Microsoft doesn't offer a lot of information on the subject, it's just spread across the entire technology stack.

The new User Experience Kit centralizes all that information, providing things such as videos, reference implementations, sample code, live demos, installable tools, whitepapers, pattern libraries and all that good stuff.

User Experience Kit Deliverables

The kit focuses on a number of important areas including:

  • Rich media Delivery
  • Content Publishing
  • Targeted (Personalized) Experiences
  • Multi-Channel Digital Marketing
  • Publisher Advertising
  • Connected Cients
  • Browser Extensions
  • Advertising Intelligence

It is good to know that the kit includes a great deal of SharePoint guidance in a number of areas listed above. But it also includes technologies such as Silverlight, Windows Presentation Foundation, Windows 7 Touch, Microsoft Surface, Windows Phone, Expression Studio and Microsoft Advertising

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Microsoft's Unified Digital Marketing Platform

How to Get Your Kit

The first phase provided the kit via disk/thumbdrive to install locally. But it's this next phase that will show the most uptaket: a web hosted solution — on as one would expect, Azure.

It is implemented using Silverlight, is configurable, searchable and tagged. The Browser framework used by the Silverlight Demo Kit is also used for the UX Kit.

The end goal is to see the kit supported and driven by the community, but initial support will come from a Partner Evangelism team.

Phase 1 was delivered on January 15th at 90% completion. This announcement is for Phase 2. Phase 3 will come by the end of the Fiscal year and should include community submission features.

You can view the kit now (of course you may need IE, because the website didn't come up in FireFox) and download whatever you need to get your job done.