A Year of IntelligentEnterprise.com
It has been a year since Intelligent Enterprise magazine went on-line
only. The last print issue, dated January 2007, came out last December. I thought I would miss the paper edition but now I see that, from a writer's point of view, the overhead of a print run, particularly for an IT publication, is a greater liability than may be justified by the extra value delivered.
Better Living Through Open Source: The Directory
A common question I hear when people want to make the jump to open source software as a standard -- either to step away from Microsoft or from proprietary software as a whole -- is this: "OK, what do I use now?" Sites like Open Source Living were built to answer that question.
VectorLinux: Save A PC From The Dumpster
From time to time I've mentioned Linux distributions specifically designed for low-end systems -- some of which I've used to save machines from the dumpster. This week I've got a new release of one such Linux distro: VectorLinux version 5.9.
Top Five Open Source Stories Of 2007
It's been a landmark year for open source, and in so many different ways that even a casual survey of the year's events will range far and wide. Here's a quick rundown of what to me were the top five open source events of the year -- not an exhaustive list, of course, but the things that best reflected how important and widely entrenched open source software (especially Linux) has become.
Campaign Visualizations: The Bad and the Ugly
I wrote last week about a set of New York Times campaign visualizations that caught my eye. They met my "good" criteria: data-appropriate, designed to communicate rather than (merely) show off. The good is often contrasted with the bad and the ugly. Let's check out examples and then look at a TIBCO-Spotfire demonstration site.
Miracle on Westgate Drive
I have a home office, so when someone pulled up in a Budget rental truck, my first thought was, "Wrong house. We're not moving."
Much to my surprise, it was the FedEx delivery person. How brilliant is that?
The First Chink In Microsoft's Linux Patent Armor
And so Microsoft has finally agreed to give the Samba Team the protocol information it needs to allow systems that use Samba to interoperate as completely as possible with Windows Server machines. Based on the information Groklaw has provided about the agreement, it looks like this might be the first of many solutions to Micros
Getting Up Close And Personal With The OSVDB
After my blog post about the revamp of the OSVDB, I was contacted directly by Jake Kouns, one of the OSVDB's project leaders. He wanted to clarify some of the project's goals and respond to some of the criticisms sent his way, and it turned into a deeply involving discussion.
Fire Low-Value Customers. No, Wait… Doh!
The reasonable-sounding CRM conventional wisdom is that you should "fire your low-value customers," but it turns out to be not so reasonable after all. The theory is that low (or negative) value customers are a drain on limited resources, so getting rid of them should raise margins and make the company more profitable. Except it doesn't, according to a recent study by two Wharton marketing professors.
Suing Over Open Source
After hearing about the developers of BusyBox reaching a settlement with a vendor that violated the GPL, and reading colleague Paul McDougall's post about a possible need for an open source compliance officer in IT departments, I couldn't help but think: Is the open source moment head
Songbird: An Open Source Music Mashup System
"I can't live without my radio," LL Cool J once declaimed. Me, I can't live without my music library: there isn't a day that goes by when I don't have Miles Davis or Brian Eno (or, when I'm feeling more ruminative, Merzbow) on the speakers. To that end I tried out Songbird, a Mozilla-derived open-source music player and web-sharing platform. In time it could be to WMP a
Campaign visualizations win my vote
I do admire a nice visualization, one whose composition suits the nature of the underlying data, one designed to communicate rather than as a means of showing off technology. Given these criteria, the New York Times delivered twice last Sunday with a pair of visualizations that nicely distill presidential-campaign themes and dynamics from what was otherwise a mighty big pile of words: debate transcripts. The Times's visualizations are useful in another way. They exemplify good design, especia
The Openness Of The Open Source Vulnerability Database
There are a lot of open source initiatives out there that aren't just software, but ways to get information into people's hands. Today an open source supplier of security vulnerability information, the OSVDB, just went live with a whole new revision to its service. The information it provides is free, albeit with some strings attached that have raised a few hackles.
Intelligent Enterprise Top-20 Blogs of 2007
As the year winds down I'm in a reflective frame of mind. Today I posted the list of IE's Top 20 Articles of 2007. It's an interesting indication of reader interest, but being measured in page views, the list doesn't do justice to all the single-page blogs we publish. Thus, here are the Top 20 Intelligent Enterprise Blogs of 2007:
Intelligent Enterprise Top-20 Stories of 2007
Trend stories, how-tos and reviews. Visitors to Intelligent Enterprise depend on all of the above, as proven by our list of the top-20 most-read stories of 2007. The roster includes perennial favorites, like the "Kimball University" series on better data warehousing, as well as forward-looking analyses, like Neil Raden's treatise on BI 2.0, and in-depth reviews, like Cindi Howson's tests of new BI products. Read on to catch the gems you might have missed.
Hey, IBM! Set OS/2 Free!
Talk about a blast from the past! The folks at OS2 World, led by Kim Haverblad, in conjunction with Adrian Gschwend's Netlabs, have petitioned IBM to release its venerable OS/2 operating system as an open source product. But there's more at work here than simple nostalgia.
Blog Away! Movable Type 4 Goes Open Source
As of yesterday, the content-management and blogging solution Movable Type officially went open source -- in other words, free for everyone to use for any purpose, business or personal. SixApart, the maker of MT, calls it "a milestone." I couldn't agree more.
Would We Need Antivirus For Desktop Linux?
The recent news about Symantec offering an antivirus suite for Mac OS X Leopard made me wonder: If Linux becomes at least as popular on the desktop as the Mac, would an antivirus solution be marketed for Linux, too?
Welcome to the New IntelligentEnterprise.com
"As you may know, Intelligent Enterprise ceased print publication with the January 2007 issue, but rest assured that the mission lives on and is being reinvigorated here at IntelligentEnterprise.com… "
I posted these words nearly a year ago, and I'm happy to report that we've delivered on what we promised - up to a point… What we haven't delivered - that is until today - has been the promised "cleaner, more engaging Web site."
High-Def On Linux: Hurry Up And Wait
My new PC arrived over the weekend -- a Dell XPS Studio 420. Sadly, one of the things I bought it for forces me to use Windows: the Blu-ray Disc drive. Right now, as far as I know, there is no legal way to play a commercially recorded Blu-ray disc -- or for that matter, a commercially recorded HD DVD disc -- in Linux. I really hope it doesn't stay that way.
In the early days of BPM, everyone thought BPEL was the BPM standard, at least for runtime execution. Not long after, the importance of business-friendly process modeling came to the fore, and BPMN emerged as the standard for that... Then the BPM Suite included process modeling, executable implementation, and BAM in an integrated toolset that promised the improved business-IT alignment and agility needed to cope with ever-changing business requirements. No problem, said the BPEL vendors...
Verizon Vs. The GPL
And now Verizon seems to have run afoul of the requirements of the GPL, although I'm betting this won't play out anywhere nearly as smoothly as Asus's kerfuffle with the Eee PC's source code.
Expert Perspective: What We Need to Get to Operational BI
Current technologies aren't suitable for embedding business intelligence within applications and Web interfaces. What's needed is a developer-friendly split between query and data access that will lead to more pervasive use of BI.
Kimball University: Handling Arbitrary Restatements of History
How do you cope with an executive's request to "bring back a time series of activity for all subscribers who were in platinum status as of X date," or "show me a time series of orders by sales region according to the sales organization as of Y"? Here's how data warehouse pros can cope with the common requirement to look back in time.
Top-Ten Secrets of Successful BI Revealed
My first Christmas present arrived the other day: a copy of "Successful Business Intelligence: Secrets to Making BI a Killer App." Author Cindi Howson sent it to me in part as thanks for this site's help in getting more than 500 BI professionals to complete a 30-question survey that provided insight into the best practices detailed in the book. True to its name, it's a guidebook that will steer beginners and veterans alike toward success.
Get (And Give) The Gift of Open Source
This Christmas I decided to give a few gifts to people in the open source community. I'm making donations to the maintainers of some of my favorite and most widely used software projects. They've earned some payback!
More On Vista's New Social Copy Protection
After the flood of comments on my original post about Microsoft's radical changes to Windows Vista's copy protection, I thought I'd clarify my points. Let's get one thing out of the way first: I'm not advocating that anyone run Vista without buying a license key. No, not even if you have it in for Microsoft.
ECM and Enterprise 2.0: Zealotry of the Apostate?
At the Gilbane Conference keynote today, execs from ECM vendors Alfresco, Oracle, IBM, and Adobe focussed on - perhaps inevitably - Enterprise 2.0. The overall gist was: enterprises should focus on sharing information rather than just controlling it... but while the ECM vendor talking heads get excited about their new religion, their companies are actually praying to different gods...
Why Integrate Business Processes and Rules?
Michael zur Muehlen of the Stevens Institute of Technology spoke about business processes and rules at the recent IIR/Shared Insights BPM conference. He started out with the bottom line on why you want to integrate process and rules: 1. simpler processes 2. higher agility 3. better risk management. Who wouldn't want this? Well, it turns out users don't like processes...
Introducing Windows Vista, Freeware Version
After hearing that Microsoft has decided to finally do away with Windows Genuine Advantage, I realized there was one enormous repercussion: It puts Windows Vista and Linux on a far more even footing than ever before. And it essentially makes Vista into freeware, but that's just a handy side effect.
Performance Management or Measurement Tyranny?
In "Measuring and Managing Performance in Organizations," Dorset House Publishing, 1996, Robert Austin made a very clear case that performance measurement often leads, paradoxically, to distortion and dysfunction instead of improvement. According to Austin... measuring an indicator of a performance raises the risk of making things worse. How can that be?
When Bad Things Happen With Good Software
If you create a piece of open source software and discover that it has been put to use in a way you find personally distasteful or immoral, what would you do about it?
ParAccel Lowers the Cost of High-Performance BI
ParAccel announced top TPC-H benchmark numbers with Sun at the end of October, beating out the former leaders in both the price and price-performance. Not by a little, but by four times in performance with a big drop in cost. The fact that a little startup like ParAccel can enter the market with a database to support BI that beats the TPC-H results of all the major vendors should wake people up.
Business Intelligence in 2008
Facebook is good for something (beyond wasting time)! It brought me to a BI 3.0 discussion thread started by Darren Cunningham, prompted by his LucidEra colleague Ken Rudin's blog entry, "What's in Store for Business Intelligence in 2008." LucidEra does interesting enough work, but that blog entry of Ken Rudin's is mighty solipsistic. My own BI 3.0 hot/heating-up list additionally includes, in rough order of 2008 significance...
Want To Try KDE 4 Now? Go Live
There's been more than a bit of buzz circulating in the Linux community about the upcoming release of KDE version 4, and there's also more than one way to try out the release candidate -- such as a live CD.
Pick the Right Content Management Approach
Do you need enterprise content management, Web content management or a portal with built-in content management capabilities? Take this scenario-based approach to set priorities and choose the right technologies.
BPMN Training Revisited
When I launched my course "Process Modeling with BPMN," I discussed why so many people beginning to "do" business process management (BPM) were looking for training in modeling, and why that was especially needed for BPMN. Now, having delivered the training, I have a better appreciation of Business Process Modeling Notation's strengths and limitations, and what students really need to know about BPMN modeling.