Security in the App Age

You owe it to your clients to perform vulnerability scans By James Sullivan. LearnQuest Master Instructor; Principal Partner and Technical Lead, Arcisphere Technologies

If you’re developing apps and not performing vulnerability scans, then you probably aren’t paying attention. Whether using malware or stolen passwords, hackers today are highly sophisticated and apps are a huge target. There’s so much complexity in app code that it’s very easy for individuals with bad intentions to get in and wreak havoc. There’s simply no excuse to not implement security testing.

Read More

Power Systems for AIX: Implementing Virtualization Training

The virtual world comes alive in December 14 course By Bob Mandarino. Master Instructor, LearnQuest

Today’s computing has become a virtual world, not only on the main frame but also in the mid-range and small system arena. The first installment of the Power Systems for AIX Virtualization course was designed to allow administrators and personnel in operations departments to design, implement and manage a Power System in the virtual environment in real time.

Read More

Introducing AIX Jumpstart
for UNIX Professionals

December 7 course will explain
the differences between UNIX Systems
By Robert Mandarino. Master Instructor, LearnQuest

If you’ve worked in the UNIX environment, you already understand that it can be complex, particularly if you’re working across different systems. Moving from one to another requires research and time to explore and figure out the nuances of each system. If this sounds familiar, you’re in luck: A new LearnQuest course, Introducing AIX Jumpstart for UNIX Professionals will be offered December 7, 2015.

Read More

A Case of Mistaken Identity

IBM SPSS Statistics vs. IBM SPSS Modeler By Keith McCormick. Lead Instructor, LearnQuest

I’ve been in this business for 20 years and I still run into mix-ups over names and products all the time, which can be frustrating to people looking for training. The most egregious and ongoing confusion, however, seems to be between two IBM products: SPSS Statistics and SPSS Modeler.

Read More

Datacap 9.0

Better recognition & more integration for Intelligent Data Capture By Nicola Quinn. Principal Partner and Lead Architect, MicroDevelopment

The recent major upgrade to Datacap since IBM acquired it was a big event last year. Datacap 9.0 is now better than ever, and it’s really very exciting. Datacap includes a full range of automated Document Classification and Identification methods, including ICR for handwriting, OMR, barcodes and what we call OCR, or optical character recognition, which is the ability to recognize characters and images through optics. Because paper still exists and not everything is automated these days, there’s still a great need among both enterprise level businesses and smaller organizations to quickly scan paper documents to images and capture and store that data in content management systems.

Read More

WTX Delivers

Guaranteeing your messages with
WebSphere Transformation Extender
By Raj Kumar. Senior Architect, Integration Management, Inc.

In a world where billions of messages are exchanged every day, businesses need to ensure that data moves efficiently — seamlessly crossing from front end to back end. WebSphere Transformation Extender (WTX) is a data transformation engine for application integration that works with the Sterling Business Integrator suite. In my view, its capabilities make WTX the future of transformation engines.

Read More

The Value of Process Measurement

It’s key to gathering the data you need to succeed as a manager By Eric P. Bloom. President, Manager Mechanics LLC

Process measurements allow you to calculate statistics such as the total time spent within your department on each process, the value and/or return on investment of the process to the company, and which processes within your department take the most time and/or cost the most money.

Read More

Client Service

Six tips for maximizing courtesy, kindness, and effectiveness By Eric P. Bloom. President, Manager Mechanics LLC

As a manager, never forget the importance of teaching and emphasizing to your staff the importance of client service. Small acts of kindness, common courtesy, and remembering to follow up on client requests cost little — but can pay great dividends.

Read More

Business Analysis

How it can drive change, promote collaboration and inspire strategy By Nasser El-Batal. Lead Instructor, LearnQuest

When it comes to business analysis, lots of organizations are misinformed about what it is and what it does. Business analysis can be used to understand where things are in an organization, help identify problems and, best of all, lead the way to solutions. And people with many different job titles can perform business analysis, whether as an enterprise architect, a management consultant or a systems analyst.

Read More

Get the Message

Sterling File Gateway can benefit companies across industries By Raj Kumar. Senior Architect, Integration Management, Inc.

Your enterprise lives and dies by its communication. So if you’re a very large organization dealing with thousands of customers, suppliers and vendors, you’re potentially sending and receiving millions of messages a day across various platforms, protocols and databases. As part of B2B Integrator, Sterling File Gateway helps manage file transfer and provides oversight for all those missives flying back and forth.

Read More

5 ways to remain relevant
to the team you manage

By Eric P. Bloom. President, Manager Mechanics LLC

There is an old expression that says if you are not part of the solution then you are probably part of the problem. Being cognizant of the feelings, actions, and attitudes of those on your team — then acting in a way that steers those feelings toward the common good — will help make you relevant in your team members’ eyes and an asset to the company by those organizationally above you.

Read More

IBM Cognos BI

A powerful tool for reporting, querying and analyzing By Shane Bell. Practice Lead, IBM Cognos Business Intelligence, LearnQuest

You’ve just acquired IBM Cognos Business Intelligence software. Now, where do you go from here? Start by asking yourself about your intentions and goals, because your objectives may dictate which tools you’ll need. Then focus on three key studio functions that make this software powerful.

Read More

Web Content Manager

How to stay current with this invaluable IBM tool By Nicola Quinn. Principal Partner and Lead Architect, MicroDevelopment

Websites by definition need upkeep and constant updating — particularly for companies with an e-commerce presence or those that use the web for inter-organizational communications. In the IBM Digital Experience suite, Web Content Manager allows you to build a website, add pages, make time-sensitive components, and much more.

Read More

Strategic Thinking
and the Power of Diversity

By Eric P. Bloom. President, Manager Mechanics LLC

From a strategic thinking perspective, diversity in the workplace is a true blessing. A staff with great diversity provides a tremendous opportunity to analyze almost any issue from multiple perspectives. As a manager, you should take advantage of this diversity of people and their diversity of thinking when dealing with any issue of consequence.

Read More

Web Experience Factory

An IBM tool to create highly functional, user-friendly applications By Nicola Quinn. Principal Partner and Lead Architect, MicroDevelopment

My focus as an instructor has largely been on collaborative software — most recently, IBM’s Digital Experience suite. One of the most powerful tools included in Digital Experience is Web Experience Factory, which enables even those with little Java development experience to create highly functional, user-friendly applications.

Read More

IBM Control Center

Transparency and reliability for your business operations By Raj Kumar. Senior Architect, Integration Management, Inc.

Data Monitoring and Visibility are the two top concerns on everyone’s minds these days. Once your organization has adopted IBM Sterling B2B Integrator, there is a host of tools that can help you with ongoing monitoring and management oversight of this single, centralized portal. Chief among them is IBM Control Center.

Read More

Driving the Dashboard

Making Business Intelligence Intelligible for Users By Sara Ricketts. Principal Performance Management Consultant, Creative Computing

A business intelligence dashboard is only as effective as its design. In this week’s LearnQuest blog, we examine key questions to keep in mind when creating a dashboard.

Read More

IBM Sterling B2B Integrator

A unifying hub to streamline operations in a complex world By Raj Kumar. Senior Architect, Integration Management, Inc.

IBM B2B Integrator is a true B2B hub that can integrate your critical B2B processes, transactions and trading partner relationships. It is a single, flexible B2B gateway portal for all of your partners, customers, suppliers and web clients that can meet a wide range of B2B integration needs.

Read More

Security in the App Age

You owe it to your clients to perform vulnerability scans By James Sullivan. Principal Partner and Technical Lead, Arcisphere Technologies

If you’re developing apps and you’re not performing vulnerability scans, then you probably aren’t paying attention. Whether using malware or stolen passwords, hackers today are highly sophisticated and apps are a huge target. There’s so much complexity in app code that it’s very easy for badly intentioned people to get in and wreak havoc. Given the large-scale data breaches we’ve seen in recent years, there’s simply no excuse to not implement security testing.

Read More

Business Intelligence

Achieving design that is for the business, by the business By Sara Ricketts. Principal Performance Management Consultant, Creative Computing

What’s most important to a developer in Business Intelligence (BI) implementation: Data accuracy? Performance? Look and feel? The truth is, all three are important, but disproportionate weight is often given to the first two. This is a very common mistake in approaching BI design. As developers and modelers, we need to remember that the end result we’re aiming for is a satisfied, self-sufficient business user, not just a data model and some associated reports/dashboards.

Read More

Repository-based EA
Business Benefits

Lower costs and more efficiency are just the beginning By Ed Vail. Lead Instructor, LearnQuest

Repository-based Enterprise Architecture (R-b EA) has a great many capabilities. But what is of greatest interest to business owners and financial stakeholders is how this approach can improve the efficiency of an enterprise. The bottom line is always going to be the bottom line. So this week we look at how potential benefits break out.

Read More

More Effective Communication

4 additional presentation considerations for the IT professional By Doug Shimada. President, Ki Talent Research

Presentations Skills are crucial for anyone who has to speak or outline plans in public. In last week’s blog, I outlined some suggestions developed from my consulting and training practice and work with a technology deployment firm to provide training for sales and other customer-facing personnel. Here are four more suggestions for IT and technical professionals to help them create and deliver impactful presentations.

Read More

Effective Communication

Key presentation considerations for the IT professional By Doug Shimada. President, Ki Talent Research

When I began my consulting and training practice, my first significant contract was with a technology deployment firm to provide Presentations Skills training for the sales team and other customer-facing personnel. This included IT job functions involved in pre-sales support and technology implementation. From that experience, I developed these suggestions for IT and technical professionals to help them create and deliver impactful presentations.

Read More

Smart Shortcuts

Simplifying Report Studio with Object Libraries By David Pacific. Education Services Practice Lead, Creative Computing

Who among us doesn’t want to save time? Who among us wouldn’t want to know that there are shortcuts in the system they’re already using that could dramatically simplify their lives and level of effort? With Layout Component References, Cognos Report Studio allows you to reuse objects from other reports — and save days of editing and maintenance.

Read More

Choosing Your Career Path

The first step is to look within yourself — then find a mentor By Doug Shimada. President , Ki Talent Research

As a career transition advisor, I often meet people who are at a career crossroads: They have progressed through their organizations to the point where they are a manager of some technical job function. They may have a few people reporting to them, but they are also responsible for technical deliverables. As they gaze into their crystal ball, looking for career advancement, they feel they must select from two paths: leadership or a position closer to the “cutting edge” of the technology. For those facing such a career decision, here are some suggestions or considerations that seem to have helped my clients.

Read More

Road Map for R-b EA

Implementing Repository-based Enterprise Architecture for Success By Ed Vail. Lead Instructor, LearnQuest

Implementing Repository-based Enterprise Architecture (R-b EA) is a multiyear journey. It involves new EA team roles, new processes and new technology, as well as a series of new decisions the EA project team will have to make, such as choosing an EA methodology, framework or tool. So how can an organization get from Point A to Point B in terms of successful implementation?

Read More

The Versatility of Flex Systems

Whichever you choose, you can grow your business sustainably By J. Peter Antonini. Lead Instructor, LearnQuest

As an out-of-the-box hybrid cloud infrastructure system, Flex systems give the customer the ability to change or grow their IT resources, and their sheer versatility makes them a winning option.

Read More

Leadership Training

Balancing technical skills with investment in ‘people’ skills By Doug Shimada. President, Ki Talent Research

Supplementing a technical employee’s abilities by enhancing “people skills” often has a multiplier effect. Technologies may change over time, but the manner in which our clients and colleagues like us to work with them remains more constant. The investment gained from developing “people skills” provides benefits on a wide variety of fronts.

Read More

Connecting the Enterprise Dots

The capabilities of Repository-based Enterprise Architecture By Ed Vail. Lead Instructor, LearnQuest

“Actionable architecture” is a big buzz phrase these days, and Repository-based Enterprise Architecture (R-b EA) is nothing if not actionable. Many practitioners have heard of R-b EA, but they’re not entirely familiar with what it does or how it works. R-b EA can integrate strategy and capabilities, reduce unnecessary duplication and improve profitability.

Read More

Entering InfoSphere

A comprehensive platform with a wealth of tools for users By Itzik Maoz . Director of Business Analytics Practice, Creative Computing

There is much excitement and interest in the new ways reporting and analytics can benefit organizations. But reporting and analytics cannot be perfected alone without quality, accurate and timely underlying data. IBM InfoSphere is an enterprise scale platform that allows for a comprehensive solution around data warehousing, data integration, master data management, data governance and more.

Read More

Implementing BRMS Using ODM

A primer for Business Rules Management Systems By Mike Pourkaviani. Lead Instructor, LearnQuest

Why does anyone need a Business Rules Management System (BRMS)?
The easiest answer is that business applications in general are getting extremely complex and in order to implement, manage and react quickly to market changes there is a need to change business rules, which are essentially an implementation of an organization’s operational policies.

Read More

Virtual Training

5 keys to making every encounter a successful one By Robert D. Mandarino. Lead Instructor, LearnQuest

Due to technical advances, virtual training has become the standard for IT course delivery. There are plenty of advantages to this approach. Yet virtual training can also be challenge, because it demands a unique approach to learning. A successful virtual experience requires discipline and the ability to do some key things.

Read More

Business Process Manager

Learning to love this toolset requires commitment, but is worth it By Howard Hughes. Lead Instructor, LearnQuest

The “choreography” of IBM’s Business Process Manager can effectively address a wide range of things that affect a business process. It can cover what organizational resources will be used, when they are used, under what circumstances they are used, what events drive that use, what events may occur during the execution of the process and what the inputs and outputs are from the tasks of the processes.

Read More

Implementing PureFlex

The system is remarkably easy to install and manage successfully By J. Peter Antonini. Lead Instructor, LearnQuest

Few systems have the adaptability of PureFlex, which combines computing, networking, storage and systems management. It’s also remarkably easy to install and implement. The system can arrive straight from Lenovo already assembled, factory tuned with x86 and/or POWER compute nodes and configured for the customer’s account so it’s very easy to install and integrate into the data center.

Read More

PureFlex

This cloud computing system truly lives up to its name By J. Peter Antonini. Lead Instructor, LearnQuest

After spending some time away from the classroom, I actually came back to teaching because of the PureFlex System. This relatively new computing system has so many advantages that I love talking to students about how they can leverage the technology. It can be used for computing, such as data analysis or data mining, for storage and for Internet transactions. And it is great for cloud implementation.

Read More

It’s Your Training

How to get the most out of the training classes you take By David Pacific. Education Services Practice Lead, Creative Computing

How can you make the most of a training session? In this week’s LearnQuest blog, instructor David Pacific offers a checklist of tips so that any student can make the most of time in a classroom. How to start? Know your expectations and be engaged.

Read More

Business Process Manager

Improving processes leads to better products and services By Howard Hughes. Lead Instructor, LearnQuest

Unless we understand concretely how a business does its work and creates its products and services, it’s very difficult to make changes in the organization to improve those processes. IBM’s Business Process Manager allows analysts and application developers to do just that—and much more.

Read More

Change Management

Make sure you’re making changes in the most
accurate and efficient way
By Nasser El-Batal. Lead Instructor, LearnQuest

Every improvement is a change, but not every change is an improvement. The right change management process ensures that changes are assessed, authorized, prioritized, planned, tested, implemented, documented, and reviewed in a controlled manner.

Read More

TM1 Plus One

How you benefit by using TM1 with the Report Studio app By Christophe Impeciati. Lead Instructor, LearnQuest

With Cognos taking over TM1, users now have the benefit of using TM1 with the Report Studio app. With the help of a tool called Framework Manager we can build a package to use TM1 as a data source for reporting with Report Studio. A lot of people don’t seem to realize that these two products can be linked, but once they learn what they can do, they’re amazed and delighted with the results.

Read More

On Board with Dashboarding

How to make the most of this dynamic visualization tool By David Pacific. Education Services Practice Lead, Creative Computing

In business intelligence everything is trending toward the ability to gain quick insight — analyzing accessible data that allows you to make good decisions immediately. Enter the dashboard, a tool we are seeing more and more organizations utilize.

Read More

IBM’s Security Access Manager

What you need to consider before buying or upgrading By David Biondi. Lead Consultant, ESM Solutions, Inc.

IBM’s Security Access Manager is a product that has gone by many names. Originally Intraverse, it was renamed Policy Directory and then Tivoli Access Manager, before finally receiving its current ISAM moniker.
However you refer to it, there are important details you need to know if you’re considering purchasing this product or upgrading to a newer version.

Read More

Integration Information

Training provides the key to getting the most out of Cognos By Christophe Impeciati. Lead Instructor, LearnQuest

These days, “integration” is a big buzzword, especially with Cognos. And while the Cognos platform is, on the surface, fairly easy to operate, many people are happily using it without getting the maximum benefit from its products. This is where great training comes in.

Read More

Enterprise Architecture

Bridging the gap between today and tomorrow with best practices By Nasser El-Batal. Lead Instructor, LearnQuest

Enterprise architecture is one of those things that everyone knows they need to do but nobody really does it properly, or does not do it at all. Yet in terms of business structure, organization and strategy, it’s critical to have the appropriate IT services and strategies aligning with and supporting your business goals and outcomes.

Read More

Agile Programming

There’s good reason this approach continues to attract adherents By Howard Hughes. Practice Lead, Java and Open Systems, LearnQuest

The Agile approach continues to grow in popularity by helping programmers avoid the dreaded “Yes, But” and “Undiscovered Ruins” Syndromes. Agile avoids these because there is continual review of the process by users as the applications are being written and problems can be identified early, instead of at the end.

Read More

Coming of Age

IBM Cognos TM1 has gotten new DNA and is stronger as a result By Christophe Impeciati. Lead Instructor, LearnQuest

According to Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, only the strong and the most adapted survives, and that has certainly been the case with the new developments applied to Cognos TM1. Since merging with Cognos, the product has received new DNA and has grown stronger by being more integrated and more user friendly.

Read More

Dynamic Cubes

Vehicles for strong and agile Business Intelligence By MaryAlice Campbell. MaryAlice Campbell, LearnQuest

Dynamic Cubes were developed by IBM after its acquisition of Cognos. Their combination of security-aware, layered caching and aggregate awareness makes them very powerful and efficient, and an obvious choice for managing Big Data in an enterprise-scale system.

Read More

TM1 Cubes

A fluid, powerful solution for multidimensional analysis By MaryAlice Campbell. Lead Instructor, LearnQuest

Developed by Applix and acquired by IBM as part of the Cognos acquisition, TM1 seems to be the favorite among cubes at the moment. What differentiates TM1 cubes from PowerCubes are their in-memory capacity, fluid structure and write-back capability, all of which makes them a fast and very flexible cube source.

Read More

PowerCubes

Classic OLAP technology continues to deliver for analysts By MaryAlice Campbell . Lead Instructor, LearnQuest

The Cognos PowerCube is an “oldie but goodie.” PowerCubes originated as the workhorse of PowerPlay and remain fairly deeply embedded among Cognos solutions worldwide.There’s a great reason for that: PowerCubes are easy to build, relatively cheap to run and have brought powerful decision support technology to into the hands of business audiences.

Read More

Choose Your Cube

How to assess which cubes you need, their strengths & their differences By MaryAlice Campbell. Lead Instructor, LearnQuest

As a Business Intelligence Specialist and Training Strategist with a depth of Cognos experience, I’m passionate about getting the most out of business data. Yet, with so many cubes available — Powerplay/ Transformer, TM1 and now Dynamic Cubes — it can be a challenge to figure out the right one for your business needs.

Read More

IBM Cognos BI

By Shane Bell. Practice Lead, IBM Cognos Business Intelligence, LearnQuest

It’s all the RAVE these days, the new Rapidly Adaptive Visualization Engine, which was first introduced last year and extended this year to provide advanced visualizations of vast amounts of data in consumable ways. What sets RAVE apart from other visualization techniques is its “declarative language” approach.

Read More

IBM Insight

Key improvements coming for IBM Cognos Business Intelligence By Shane Bell. Practice Lead, IBM Cognos Business Intelligence, LearnQuest

This year’s IBM Insight gathering was a perfect example of how IBM listened and continues to listen to its customers. Key new enhancements extend the three basic principles of IBM Cognos BI — those being “Accuracy,” “Performance” and “Usability.”

Read More

Smart Shortcuts

Who among us doesn’t want to save time? Who among us wouldn’t want to know that there are shortcuts in the system they’re already using that could dramatically simplify their lives and level of effort? With Layout Component References, Cognos Report Studio allows you to reuse objects from other reports — and save days of editing and maintenance.

Read More

Cognos Analysis Studio

In Business Intelligence (BI), you always want to have the most appropriate tool for the job. Analysis Studio, which is part of IBM Cognos BI Suite, is designed to be that tool for working with multi-dimensional data. The great advantage of Analysis Studio is that it allows you to see the big picture first, then analyze later.

Read More

Project Management

In today’s world, project management is no longer just an option — it’s a necessity. With a multitude of people working together to execute a project, someone needs to coordinate activities. Otherwise, you are leaving the success of the project to chance.

Read More

Best Practices

There are many tasks involved in designing and deploying a database. To be successful, designers need an ability to work with relational data, the skills required characterize business data into smaller units (entities) and knowledge of how to define various objects in DB2. First and foremost in importance is data definition.

Read More

Keeping Apps on Track

In software or application development, testing is everything. No one wants to discover problems at the last minute before release, or even worse, when a product is out in the world. That’s why continuous build and release management is an important component of any app development strategy.

Read More

IBM Cognos Workspace Advanced

In business, you’re only as good as your data. One of the best business intelligence tools out there right now is IBM Cognos Workspace Advanced, which incorporates the most common features of Query Studio, as well as some of the more advanced concepts of Report Studio.

Read More

Business Analysis

Business analysis begins and ends with requirements — they set the stage for everything that’s important in a project. There are many different techniques for eliciting requirements. When choosing a technique, it’s important to consider which one might be most effective for the particular project situation and the stakeholders involved.

Read More

IBM’s SPSS Modeler

IBM’s SPSS Modeler is an extensive predictive analytics platform that allows business people who don’t necessarily have any statistics background to perform powerful analytic processes and integrate these processes with their decision management.

Read More

Competitive Advantage

Business analytics help organizations achieve many different strategic objectives. Whether we’re aware of it or not, we’re seeing business analytics at work on a regular basis in our daily lives — from market basket analysis of the things we buy, to the comments we make on social media, to the “churn” rate at which we cut ties with products or organizations.

Read More

Stored Procedures

One of the holy grails of application programming is developing routines that can be used in multiple contexts. When the routine involves DB2 table access, one of the best ways to enable code reuse is by developing and using stored procedures — or a set of commands saved on the database server.

Read More

Which Java Framework?

The flexibility and versatility of Java is well known, and that’s why it’s one of the most popular programming languages in use. Yet many developers still debate which Java framework to use. I teach all three of the most common Model View Controller (MVC) frameworks, and there are distinct pros and cons to each.

Read More

Keeping Applications Secure

The need for application security has never been greater than it is right now. With mobile phone apps so widely used now, we should all be concerned about our privacy and safety. This is especially true for companies — nobody wants to be the next article in the newspaper — the next major retailer whose system gets hacked. That’s why organizations need to be extra vigilant about the apps they’re producing and using, and have protocols in place to protect all interests.

Read More

Process Improvement

Businesses are always changing, looking to have positive impacts on their bottom line, and they should always be considering improvements to the underlying processes. Good process improvement practices are necessary to ensure the most effective results with both customers and users. To start, get stakeholders to take a hard look at their current situation.

Read More

The Buzz in Big Data

Instead of looking in the rearview mirror for analysis of what has happened, many companies now want to be able to look forward, understand what they see and predict what’s going to happen next, with an increasing degree of confidence. They’re looking at “Big Data” for answers.

Read More

DB2 and You

Since its inception in the 1980s, DB2 has provided easy, flexible access to complex sets of information. At the heart of efficient access to data in DB2 is the presence of indexes. These enable DB2 to get to categories of information directly, without having to sift through categories that are not desired.

Read More

Cognos Active Reports

One of the most rewarding aspects of teaching students about Cognos Business Intelligence is to witness their enthusiasm when they grasp the software’s possibilities and power. I’m especially excited about Cognos’ ability to produce active reports. This unique format lets you create dashboards for a comprehensive view of multiple aspects of your vital information, and you can see it on your tablet, Android smart phone or computer.

Read More

The Case for Use Cases

As a developer you’re tasked with assembling information about what to build and how exactly it will be used. If you’re working in Agile or Unified Process-based development, you’re probably writing use cases. And if you’re not, you should consider adopting this practice.

Read More

BlueMix and the Cloud

At the 2014 Innovate Conference, IBM introduced the next generation cloud platform called BlueMix. This platform leverages the best capabilities of the cloud — speed, flexibility and cost savings — which gives it great appeal to developers.

Read More

DevOps in Action

The DevOps software development approach is the methodology being used to deliver the innovation everyone wants. Designed to encourage communications and integration between developers and other IT professionals, the practice has become especially popular with the advent of mobile computing and applications.

Read More

Agile Programming

The Agile approach continues to grow in popularity by helping programmers avoid the dreaded “Yes, But” and “Undiscovered Ruins” Syndromes. Agile avoids these because there is continual review of the process by users as the applications are being written and problems can be identified early, instead of at the end.

Read More

Strategies for Change

At the 2014 IBM Innovate Conference this spring, participants heard again and again about the importance of delivery speed, lean and agile software development and how they can make us more competitive in the marketplace. These are excellent goals, but how do we achieve them? Get to know DevOps and Continuous Engineering.

Read More

MessageSight

When we use the Internet for any function, we count on getting a reliably fast response, but with an ever-increasing number of Internet devices — and an ever-increasing number of people connecting — that reliability may be jeopardized by the sheer number of transactions. MessageSight ensures a reliable transfer of vast amounts of information in a mobile environment.

Read More

Preserving Message Integrity

IBM developed the MQTT protocol to protect the integrity of messages being sent by people using mobile systems with limited memory, bandwidth and storage capability. It’s a “lightweight” version of the WebSphere MQ system for message queuing, and this week’s blog explains how it’s gaining wide use.

Read More

Welcome to OAuth

The interconnectedness of Internet systems and services can create a nightmarish tangle of authentication and authorization issues. OAuth, which is shorthand for “Open Authorization,” is a significant advance over earlier security systems because it allows you to grant limited access to your private resources on one site for use on another site, without sharing your identity.

Read More

The Internet of Things

There was much to take away from the IBM Impact 2014 Global Conference in Las Vegas this spring — not the least of which was Kevin Spacey’s incisive talk about risk taking. But one of the most significant themes spotlighted the challenges posed by the notion of “pervasive computing,” also known as “the Internet of Things” (IoT). The basic concept is that everything we do is increasingly linked through the Internet, and it goes well beyond computers and cell phones and tablets. This a great advance, but also problematic, because all this interconnection poses threats to security, integrity and performance.

Read More

IT Career Growth

It may sound premature to start thinking like a CIO early in your career, but it will help you begin to notice things you would otherwise miss. This phenomenon is best described using a totally non-technical example. Think of a highway that you drive on all the time. It could be to and from work, to and from a loved one’s house, or to and from your favorite activity. With

Read More

The Evolution of Big Data

It’s been very interesting to watch Big Data mature in the last few decades. With so many new products and approaches now available, it’s no longer a one-size-fits-all game. In fact, you’ll lose in this industry if you commit yourself to only one. If you want to stay current, you need to understand all of these different technologies and find a combination that works best for your business.

Read More

Continual Service Improvement

If you don’t improve your services, and the people, processes and technology that enable them in your organization, then you can bet that the next company is going to do a better job — and eventually, take your market share away from you. No matter what the core competency of your business is, Continual Service Improvement is an absolute must.

Read More

Hadoop Stakes a Claim

The biggest shift in Big Data right now is the fact that companies realize that they no longer have to store their data in a single place. They have a wide variety of options, depending on their specific needs, and one of the best is Hadoop.

Read More

Rational Software Modeler

Today’s systems are much more complicated than they ever were before. Teams of people write applications made up of hundreds of “bits and pieces” that run on a cluster of machines. Managing all of those artifacts and files as systems age is exceedingly complicated. That’s where Rational Software Modeler, a visual modeling tool based on the Unified Modeling Language (UML), can be extremely helpful.

Read More

Scope Creep – When the Project Goes Rogue

In the broad world of business, operating in the position of project manager has a wealth of benefits and can be extremely fulfilling. Like any other jobs, however, confusion and complications in the workplace inevitably arise. The threat of Scope Creep, for example, is one of the major issues that plague project managers on a daily basis. Combating scope creep is a difficult task that can often feel impossible, but

Read More

Enterprise Architecture

One of the challenges for IT in any organization is figuring out how to structure services to specifically serve a company’s business processes, and to align those services more closely with the organization’s current and future objectives. Enterprise Architecture looks at four domains — business, data, application and technology. When you can align these domains, you can create a holistic view of your organization’s strategy.

Read More

Teradata

Since its inception, Teradata has been a dominating force in data warehouse technology, and for the past two decades this company has had a monopoly on parallel processing data analysis systems, even through the darkest hours of the recession. In my view, Teradata products have never been better, so the fact that the stock price recently slipped immediately piqued my interest. In particular, what kind of change does the stock drop signal for the industry?

Read More

Rational Software Architect

One of the difficulties in the development of contemporary systems is that there are a lot of different ways to do the same thing and contemporary systems are made up of many “bits and pieces” – the artifacts of the system. Managing the design of the systems and these many artifacts is where companies often run into trouble. IBM’s Rational Software Architect is a premier tool to help you design, implement and test your software, but also specify the relationship between the requirement documents and the bits and pieces of the system.

Read More

IT Service Management

A lot of organizations do what they know and follow a familiar path over time, but they don’t always have the best IT Service Management (ITSM) structure in place to make their processes as effective and efficient as they might be. IT Service Management is the art of governing, controlling, architecting and managing IT services, and ITSM is supported by a number of best practices and tools available out there. They should be used in an integrated fashion to achieve best results and reduce duplications and reworks.

Read More

Soft Skills Required

In the “olden days” of computers, the primary job of IT Managers was either to build software in-house, install and customize purchased software, and/or provide production support for previously built or customized software. In today’s world, the addition of cloud-based products has made additional “soft skills” a core requirement for IT Managers, not just a “nice to have.” Skills like Business Thought Leadership, Vendor Management, Negotiation and Leading Without Authority.

Read More

Rational Products

We live in a world of continual app upgrades, and the need for speed has changed the way application software is developed, built, tested, implemented and maintained. Today’s Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) incorporates intense collaboration, continuous release, software development methodologies — particularly Agile, which follows an iterative approach punctuated by milestones — and even an application’s retirement. IBM Rational Requirements Composer, taught in a two-day class, supports the best practices pertaining to software requirements.

Read More

Turn to the Cube

The high volume of data collected by today’s enterprises has created massive untapped amounts of valuable information. All this data, often located in multiple databases, may simply sit there like a crowded closet unless there is a means to organize, summarize and analyze it. Enter IBM Cognos, a Business Intelligence platform with an integrated set of tools that ranges from data collection, through reporting and analysis, to predictive analytics. Especially useful is the Cognos Dynamic Cubes technology.

Read More

Guiding your Business toward Success in Today’s Market

Entrepreneurship is an admirable endeavor and one that is open to anyone with an idea. However, the pathway to such success can be a razor-thin line. If you try to set prices too far below that of the competition or restrict quality in favor of quantity, you may end up bankrupt before you even begin. Still, it is important to remember that success is possible with the right attitude and

Read More

Ask and Learn

Requirements Elicitation is an importance part of the software development process, because it can be a challenging to understand business requirements from each business case to case. LearnQuest offers five-day training events in Business Analysis that help analysts understand and identify each customer’s business needs in order to provide the best solution for each business problem.

Read More

DataPower

If you follow the news these days, it’s likely you hear about security attacks almost every week. There are reports of denial of service attacks that crash websites, SQL injection attacks that allow people to steal information or phishing attacks that compromise a system by installing a virus. DataPower is designed to thwart these threats — and people need training on how to use it effectively.

Read More

Which Option?

When developing software, manually collating and inputting data on an individual basis is cumbersome. Developers need a central repository for all the artifacts — everything from diagrams and design documents to risk assessments, project plans and business cases.
For many companies, Rational is the solution. The question on many minds, however, is whether to use Rational’s ClearCase or the newer Team Concert.

Read More

Reskilling

No matter where they work, experienced programmers want the chance to learn new skills to keep up with the constant change within the technology industry. In the Java Reskilling Boot Camp, they get the opportunity to gain the skills and practical experience they need for challenges they may face in their job and industry.

Read More

Update for Agility

Communication is obviously important, for people and for businesses. But when communication is electronic, it can often be complex. When IBM introduced Message Broker, it reduced that complexity dramatically by giving people a way to convert messages into different formats in transit and simultaneously examine the content to see where it should be delivered.

Read More

A Flexible Format

Executives who want to view a range of information all at once on their computer screen often turn to “dashboards.” IBM Cognos 10.2 Workspace allows users to create dashboards and to customize them as well. Using Workspace is easy and does not require extensive training or deep technical knowledge. Attending a short training session, however, will accelerate your learning and understanding.

Read More

The Agile Approach

The lightweight “Agile” method for software development delivers greater clarity, stronger teaming, faster delivery time and better software product quality. Because the flexible methodology has smaller milestones and faster iterations for updates – weeks or months instead of years – changes can be made on a much more manageable scale.

Read More

Streamlined Integration

Rational RequisitePro is a popular tool that enables business teams to organize and manage project requirements, write use cases and share information in real time with other teammates in a way that other tools can’t. This tool makes communication easy because you can save a document and access it remotely through a web interface while tracking changes as you edit and collaborate. In the past, teams doing business analysis might

Read More

Making Magic

In entertainment or teaching, it’s important to create a little magic to keep people interested in your presentation. As a professional magician as well as a teacher, I’ve literally done that, using card tricks to make points in the classroom and keep the room focused. When teaching a topic like WebSphere MQ, I don’t have to create the magic artificially — it often comes from interest in what the product

Read More

Possibilities and Power

One of the most rewarding aspects of teaching students about Cognos Business Intelligence is to witness their enthusiasm when they grasp the software’s possibilities and power. They don’t need to be IT professionals to learn how to extract vital information, analyze it and create meaningful reports. I’m especially excited about Cognos’ ability to produce active reports. This unique format lets you create dashboards for a comprehensive view of multiple aspects

Read More

IT training
BLOG POSTS

Business Training
BLOG POSTS

vendor training
BLOG POSTS

  • Adobe
  • Apple
  • CA - Computer Associates
  • Cisco
  • HP
  • IBM
  • Microsoft
  • Oracle
  • SAP
  • SAS
  • TeradataG
  • VMware

Authors
BLOG POSTS