U Of Miami Found IBM’s Servers To Be The Best

ibmsBack in 1997, IT managers at Miami University set out to make their system Y2K compliant–and their technology overhaul snowballed shortly thereafter.

“We realized that the amount we were willing to invest for Y2K could bring us a whole new system that would grow with our future technology needs,” says Kristin Froehlke, associate provost for computing and information services and CIO at Miami University. “We knew it was time to seize the moment.”

Their first need was for a more robust software solution to handle the school’s many administrative duties. They had been operating with a patchwork of commercial, custom and homegrown legacy systems and applications running on an IBM 9672 R21 mainframe under OS/390 MVS and CICS.

“We had a hybrid of homegrown and vendor-supplied …

So How’s Your Privacy Doing?

pvpIF YOU THINK YOUR PRIVACY IS PROTECTED, GUESS again. Anyone with access to a computer and certain online services can dig up more about you in one afternoon than an old gumshoe could track down in a week. In just 10 minutes, for example, we found out Vice President Al Gore’s and House Speaker Newt at Gingrich’s home addresses and phone numbers, their lengths of residency, the value of their homes, and their estimated incomes, using the PeopleTracker database. PeopleTracker also provides another choice bit of information: The names, addresses, and phone numbers of Gore’s and Gingrich’s neighbors.

Fame and fortune, however, are not criteria for disclosure. Depending on the state you live in, other CDB Infotek services and databases, such as Nexis, might provide personal …

SQL 7 Was A Database Money Shot

The newest version of Microsoft’s flagship relational database, SQL Server 7.0, will be a hit with small and medium companies, say industry analysts. But few are willing to say if it will score at the enterprise level, one of its intended targets.

“It’s an amazing suite of products,” says Teresa Wingfield of the Giga Information Group in Santa Clara, Calif. “Data transformation services, a repository, an OLAP server, a query tool and a database at very low cost.

“It’s going to create a new market that doesn’t exist” – affordable data marts and data warehouses for small and medium sized companies, she adds.

Even companies making database front ends are enthusiastic. “The services market is going to reap tremendous rewards from this release,” predicts Ron Spencer,

Getting That Data Back!

rhddAFTER WEEKS OF BURNING THE MIDNIGHT OIL, you’re finally wrapping up an important project. While envisioning yourself stretched out on a tropical beach with a Mai Tai in your hand, you click on File/Save, and make a note to call your travel agent in the morning.

A screech jolts you back to reality, followed by an alarming crunching noise and a sickening thud as your hard disk grinds to a halt. You threaten, cajole, and beg your PC to come back to life. Just when you think things couldn’t get any worse, you remember what else is entombed on that disk–your customer database, accounting records, marketing materials, and more. Do you know what to do next?

Data disappears from our desktops for a variety of reasons: According to Hard Drive Recovery Group, an Irvine, California-based data recovery service (www.harddriverecovery.org), 44 percent of data is lost to mechanical failures, 32 percent to human error (which includes fire), 14 percent to software problems, 7 percent to viruses, and 3 percent to natural disasters. While the best defense against data loss is regular backup, backups aren’t foolproof, nor can they protect your data against physical damage to your hardware.

Our data recovery guide introduces software tools and services that can bring your data back from the dead, offers strategies for recovering lost files, Continue reading →

Portable Code And You!

As handheld devices and network computers compete with traditional PCs as targets for application development, defining the goals of portable software requires more careful consideration.

Portable code is not, in itself, a novel achievement. The Ada language, for example, ensures that a given program will compile and run according to specification on any combination of computer and operating system for which a validated Ada compiler has been written.

Note well, however, the distinction between running according to specification vs. running identically from one platform to another. An Ada program, for example, lets a programmer specify that numbers shall have a certain minimum precision in decimal digits, but an optimizing compiler might provide more precision than required if this is a free side effect of using …

Are Global Directories Even Relevant Anymore?

On average, an employee’s name appears 16 different times across myriad corporate systems. It’s more than likely Joe Doak’s payroll records, human resource dossier and travel preferences are all completely separate. Each instance of Doak’s name is unaware of the others. If Doak’s name appears 16 times inside the company, imagine the havoc wrought by a simple change of address.

We all know what happens. The address gets changed in one or two places, with the other records trailing by years or, worse, never catching up. And the likelihood of all records ever containing the same basic information is slim to none. What’s the answer? The Holy Grail, of course–global directories.

No one disputes the huge advantage of global directories, doing no less than what IBM’s …

Outstanding Business Planning!

obpThere’s a mystique to the term business plan that makes it sound like you couldn’t possibly do one without an MBA or two, but much of what makes up a bona-fide blueprint is probably already in your head. A business plan is a part-words and part-numbers profile of where you are, where you want to go, and how you plan to get there.

The words describe your company, its products and services, competitors, customers, management, operations, marketing and sales plans, industrial outlook, and long-term goals. The numbers estimate your cash flow, income and expenses, balance sheet (what you have and what you owe), and a break-even analysis. There aren’t too many people not intimidated by both numbers and words, but once you break the plan down …