Category: Database Management

 

Excel and Access applications to the cloud economically and safely with Amazon Workspaces

Recently there has been a major new development in cloud platform tools that allows your Excel and Access applications to the cloud economically and safely with Amazon Workspaces. This development by Amazon is truly standing them apart from other cloud providers at this stage.  We have tested and can verify excellent results with MS Access, MS Excel and other proprietary Software applications.Amazon Workspaces

So, let me explain to you, as a business owner, what this is, without the technical mumbo jumbo.

In short, Amazons new function, “Amazon Workspaces”, is a set of tools that will allow users to put their Excel spreadsheet, or MS Access application, or Word templates on to the cloud and allow all their staff to access this information.  This new feature also has backup option and security.  It allows the user to access this information via a login to the cloud on what is referred to a as a remote desktop (e.g. a window inside your operating system), so they can use whatever their business has loaded there.

It allows users to print locally where the user is located. In addition, the user has the ability to use programs and data that are remote.

Here’s a practical example of this

Last week, a client of Accede’s came to us to help them solve their dying server.  Logic dictated to move to the cloud.  They have a MS access application, a PHP based intra-web, and a proprietary software product loaded to their new Amazon Workspaces.  We loaded A few extra tools so that our client could handle

  • their shared documents and shared images,
  • auto backups,
  • photocopier/scanner document transfers
  • a range of other unique software applications.

My client uses Office 365 for all their Office Software and for their business outlook. My clients peripheral devices include Macs, tablets, hubs, printers, scanners and Windows PCs.  All my clients software and data has now been loaded to the Amazon Server, and all peripherals have been transparently  connected. As a result, all their staff can locally and remotely use this server.  We have turned off their old server locally (as this was dying and needed a full replacement or an alternative solution).

A lot of testing  has been performed on this new function and we have found that even though this client has no NBN and very poor ADSL he is getting good results from this cloud option.  This is because all of the processing and work is actually done on the server and by sending data up and down very poor internet lines.

Why Go to cloud?

Simply put; ease of use and it’s also very cost effective.  Many customers use Office 365 exchange simply because it works better.  So does this cloud feature.  It just works better, easier and has more flexibility than what most small business companies currently offer their own staff with their own servers and IT facilities; and it is so much cheaper.

I have often been asked about security.  You will find that security for exchange on office 365 is better than it was when exchange was on the average small business server.

What Amazon Workspaces offer is also more secure than what the average business offers.  So much so, that even the CIA has moved to Amazon purely due to its security.

Lack of security for cloud access is really an outrageous fear put into most business owner’s heads, due to IT people being afraid of loss of revenue.  I see this time and time again.

Cost Review of Amazon Workspaces

Based on a small business server, whose hardware, software and installation costs about 20K (this is a very average type server for say 8-15 terminals).  This 20K would be amortized over the average 4 year life span that technology and servers generally offer today.  So, the monthly cost excluding interest etc. would be $416 per month.  Plus, the average server of this type, costs about 5K per annum to maintain.  All up costs would be closer to $833 per month.

Now, if one used the Amazon Workspaces as their server, and Office 365 for their exchange one’s server maintenance is included.  On’s space, backups etc. is all included.  The monthly cost average for 10 users is just $275 per month.

The difference is clear, $833 versus $275.  Security is safer. The accessibility is easier.

Why are people not advertising how to use Amazon Workspaces?

Simply put – IT Technicians that advertise this will lose revenue.

Accede do not source their revenue from network or hardware maintenance as we are Software developers.  Our clients seek solutions to their particular needs.  Amazon really does offer a full solution for loading simple based applications to the cloud.  We continually review other cloud service providers, however Amazon is a clear leader in this area.

How could you test your Excel and Access applications to the cloud economically and safely with Amazon Workspaces without committing?

As Amazon offer this service on a monthly fee, customers can try this for a month and turn it off if it is not good enough for them.  We did this for the example I gave you at a monthly fee of about $60.  We have also loaded a single application for a client and given them access so they can test the viability of this before  investing in setting up their own virtual server etc. and this has cost the client just $40.

What does Amazon Workspaces and its setup cost?

Price varies depending on space, users, facilities etc.  If you are IT literate, you could do this yourself. However, as with any server setup, I suggest you use skilled IT people to do this for you.  An average application cost would be about $250, but a full server replacement cost, could be between $1500 and $5000, – about half the cost of a physical server setup in your office. This is really a great break through with Tools and options offered for Cloud Users.

So why not move your Excel and Access applications to the cloud economically and safely with Amazon Workspaces.

 

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Business Security Insights: Is your business safe using cloud technology, cloud data?

Cloud Uploading (Database)

“Data is the new oil? No: Data is the new soil.” – David McCandless

SOIL DATA
Grow your livelihood on, food, house etc. Grow your business with
Protect from external damage, e.g. pestilence, pollution, wind etc. Virus Protection
Protect from Theft with fences and security Security, firewalls, good IT practices, backups

This analogy is really quite apt once considered.  Therefore knowing how safe cloud technology is it is vital you plan to use this technology for your business.  Most companies have or are already using cloud technology due directly to the lower costs that are associated with this technology.

The answer of safety relies on legal and trust aspects in its response and generally this relates to the dollars invested and the federal laws that apply to your cloud based location.

In this article, I will explore some of the areas of Safety that you have control of.

In House Server, Rent Infrastructure, or Rent Space and Infrastructure?

Recently I chatted with a corporate IT manager, and we discussed the pros and cons of exactly this option.  Due to a company mandate, this companies board has selected that this company may not “rent” space on another company’s server.  They feel the risk is too high. Instead they have opted to have their own server – in house.  This has led to all sorts of bottle necking, as they simply do not have the internet resources to service their own needs.

So what to do.  They either need to invest in massive infrastructure – which frankly is a waste of money, or they can rent the infrastructure and still have their own server.  There are many companies that offer this, one of which is a new SA based company called YourDC.  The advantage of such a solution is that this is a halfway step.  You control your own server. You own your own data. You manage your server.  You have access to your server and you decide who else will have access.  Totally in your control.  The only part you are renting is the infrastructure to house the server and supply the access e.g. internet access to and from your server.  For this corporate company, this is the right way to go, based on the board decisions.  This is not a cheap option, as maintaining and caring for a server, costs quite a lot of money.

In short the infrastructure for this cloud solution is like a countries infrastructure.  You still own your own land, and you pay rent to use the roads, sewerage etc.

Now, if you elect to have your data Hosted, this means, that you are renting not only the infrastructure, but also the physical space for your data to reside.  If this is your option, you really ought to read on about other safety considerations.

How to select a Safe Hosting Solution.

We are all still reeling from the events in Paris on the 7th of November. Obviously the terrorist had an impact, and the governments stand against terrorism, has a direct impact on stored data.  So if you wish to have control of your data, the government rights over your data must be considered.  My recommendation is that you should locate your data in the country that your business head office resides.  E.g. if you work in the USA, your data should reside in the USA.  If you work in Australia your data should reside in Australia.

This statement has a cost associated.  It is initially cheaper to have data reside in a 3rd world country, but what are the long term costs.   The question is – what is the cost to your data if it is not residing in your own country.

So what if you have an international company, e.g. you sell or work in more than one location.  There are still solutions for you.

There are quite a few hosting companies that offer multi location servers. E.g. Amazon and Rackspace.  You can actually have multiple servers based in different countries.

In fact this is just 2 of the main players in this arena, there are literally thousands of such companies. This leads us to the issue of how to choose a safe company to be with.

How to choose a Safe Hosting Company?

I have learnt from years of experience as a business manager, that generally the old proverbs are true.   “You get what you pay for”. This scenario was almost tailor made for this statement.  I have used many hosting companies.  Some are really cheap and some are really expensive.  But each offers different levels of data safety and protection.

To give you a specific example.  As a database developer, I often need administrator level access to work on databases for my clients. One internet hosting company, once they provided this to me, I had access to ALL their clients’ data, not just my clients. I could have copied, shared and deleted data from any company.  All this access was given to me freely.  By the way, this company was an Australian promoted and located company based in Victoria.

I have also had very economic companies that really gave great value and service for money.  Once such company is Azure. This discounted option, is discounted because it is limited to servicing ONLY MS SQL solutions.  So in fact Microsoft have discounted this service as part of a marketing or promotion solution to promote their own products.

For Accede’s development we mainly use Amazon, however we have also used Rackspace for quite a few clients.  The reason we do this, is because these companies offer the best flexibility, safety and reliability that we can viably afford.  So why do we say Safety so easily and what do I consider when I say the word Safety.  Accede also use Azure for its MS SQL datbase solutions.

Safety with the hosting company consists of:

  • Security for your data
  • Is their server reasonably well protected – how easy is it to hack?
  • Do they invest in the security of their servers
  • What do they have to lose if they are hacked and it becomes public information
  • How easy is it to communicate with their technicians if we see or find an issue.
  • What country holds the server
  • What partners etc. are they linked with that may have an impact.

Now, these are the points that I review when considering were to allow our valuable data to reside.  All this information is quite easily available in reviews, company website, and general blogs.

Finally Protection

Most hosted servers, have one or more levels of firewall protection. Most also have virus and malware protection.  However, is that enough and what other options are available?

This is where data encryption, security certificates, and the server settings are vital.

It is so easy to allow anyone access to your data – in fact it is easiest.  But the issue then is that the data is public-ally available.  So getting your host initial set up established correctly is vital. Plus this is something that should be periodically checked, as upgrades, changes etc. all can affect your setups.

My suggestion, is that this should be reviewed regularly and reported on as part of your disaster recovery checks. Microsoft recommend this be done done monthly or at least quarterly.  With that stated, I suggest that if you care for your data then don’t defer this any longer than twice a year.

Level of Desire/Competition will increase your risk.

Many years ago one of my clients – involved in Manure Sales, was being targeted and regular hack attempts where being made our of India.  Reverse checks, showed that a competitive business really wanted the data, and this meant that they were paying others to “get” the data for them.  We increased the security and the problem went away.

If your data is desired, then expect that you will have to invest more in time and money to protect your data.  Realize that even the highest invested companies have been hacked.  So there is nothing, cloud or local that cannot be hacked.  What you need to do, is make it so hard to hack, that is just not worth the effort.

So often friends have asked me if I can “hack” their data.  Generally these businesses have no real lock on their firewalls, their password is often Password, date of birth or 123, and they have not altered their password in months.  This is not what I would call hacking, I really call this looking.  For these people the shock I see when they realize that getting to all their data is easy.   What is often not understood, is that when you can’t get your data, it is corrupt, locked, forgotten passwords, etc.  It is companies like Accede that get your data for you.   So I suggest you have some good IT standards, checks and backups in place.  Remember your backups contain your data, so security of these also matters.

Is my business safe using cloud technology, cloud data?

That depends on:

  • How you set up your cloud service
  • Desired level of security
  • Checking
  • Caliber of companies you partner with
  • And the level of desire your data holds.

I hope this article has given you an insight and areas to consider.  Remember as a manager, you don’t have to know all the answers, but you have to know who to ask, and the right questions to ask.

If you have any questions or comments. I am happy to not only receive them, but I will respond to them also.

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Are you sure your business data is safe?

Or is it just what you have been told?
Photo of Data backing up to the cloud

If I had a $1000 for each business that told me its data was safe, and then I found out that it was not, I would be able to buy a new house – Truly.

So why is it that your IT person says they have a backup and they can restore a file and it is all fine, and I am telling you here, it is not?  It is because for those of you who use a Database e.g. MS SQL , MYSQL, Dataflex, Oracle etc. these are Multi User databases.

A multiuser database has a unique method of backing up.  Most of these databases create a specific backup file e.g. a BAK file.   These files are created even if someone has the database open and is using the data.  Now here is where things become even more interesting.  Some people have really Old versions of databases, and their Bak Files need to be restored in their own version of the database, which may only work on certain operating systems etc.

So how do you make sure you are safe?

Simply, ask your IT person to do a restore and give you access to your data as it was yesterday.  Check that entries you have made this morning are not there, and that you can access, add and edit your data from yesterday.  Once you have done this – you are then sure that your data is safe.

What if you don’t have time for this idea?

Well, you are running a bit of a risk, but give these instructions to your IT person, and ask them to tell you what invoice ABC which was entered yesterday is for.  If they have the same information that you do, then you know the restoration was a success.  If not, then do not consider that the restoration worked, and get someone involved that does know about this style of database backup to review and check your backups.

What else do you need to watch out for?

UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply) are really necessary in Australia as we get such extreme heat, and regular power drop outs or interruptions.  So if you don’t know when you purchased your UPS, or if it is over 2 years old, it is time to get a new UPS.  They are no longer a huge investment, and frankly, if you don’t have laptops, you may want to have a couple of UPS’s so that you can keep your server and a terminal going during a power drop out.  These should really be replaced every about 2 years.

What about how long you could be down if the server is lost?

Cloud backups are great – until you need to get going in a hurry.  I know this personally and only too well. I really suggest you need a mix between local and cloud backup technology.  If you can restore local data and get up and going quickly, then you are only updating the changes that have happened since the last backup, and that means that you are not going to take a week to get your data back.  Getting data down from the cloud is generally faster than Up to the cloud, but even so, it could take days if you have a lot of data – and if that is the case, you can’t afford to wait days to get data back. So having a mix between the two is really necessary.

 

Remember – We only need a backup at the worst time.  Never are backups used when everything is going well – it is only necessary – just when you don’t need it.  So check that if you do need to use it – at least it will work.

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Excel and Access: Perfect Together

excel accessAs a frequent Microsoft Office user, we got Excel and Access to take care of our tables, charts, and data. Oftentimes, we don’t know which one to use since both of them are good to handle business information. The good thing however is that you can connect your Excel table to your Access database. You may be wondering how, so let me give you reasons why these two programs are perfect for each other.

  1. Easy to copy data from Excel to Access Copy and paste has never been easy with Access and Excel. You may notice that when you create an Access table and display it in datasheet view, the result closely resembles an Excel worksheet. Sometimes you might not need to create a table or open it in datasheet view. Access automatically asks you if your data has headers, makes good guesses at using the correct data type, and creates an Access table.
  1. Easy to link Excel worksheet to Access One of the best things Microsoft did to their Office package is the ability to link programs with each other. Take the case of Excel worksheets linking to an Access table. Users can do this in case they are planning to keep the data in Excel, but perform Access features such as queries, forms, and reports. Thanks to the Linked Table Manager Wizard that helps users to track, locate, and update the Excel worksheet. Note that you can only modify, add, and delete data from your Excel worksheet and not from your Access table. access excel
  1. Easy to import Excel data into Access If you don’t entertain the idea of linking both tables, you can simply import data from Access to Excel. In importing data, Access stores it in a new or existing table without changing the data existed in an Excel table. They have an Import Wizard that will help you to in the process and decide what data types and headers would you like to change or implement. Note that you cannot import formulas from Excel to Access, just the results of whatever formula there is.
  1. Easy to collect data using Access for Excel Analysis – Applicable in MS Office 2007 version, both Access and Outlook can work together thanks to the Data Collection Wizard. This feature generates and sends email messages with attached data entry form. Your recipients, sends them back, and then added to the appropriate table in your database as soon as the reply reaches your inbox, will fill this out. This is very helpful if you are conducting a survey, product research, status reports, and even events organization.
  1. Easy to combine Excel and Access with Sharepoint Both Excel and Access is capable of connecting to Sharepoint. The difference is Excel only supports read-only connection as compared with Access read and writes connection in linked Sharepoint lists. Seems like Access and Sharepoint works well together both online and offline. Users have the option of working with Access database locally and go online to update changes in the Sharepoint site.

This only proves that both Excel and Access might have differences and limitations, but working together will make your business data process easier. Imagine them like salt and pepper, so different but complements one another.

 

Source: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Top-10-reasons-to-use-Access-with-Excel-2a454445-13cc-4b39-bc2f-d27fd12ca414

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Accounting Software Packages Which way to go?

Welcome back to work and 2015. I get this question so often, and this year is no exception, that I have decided to blog about this. The question I get, We are reviewing our accounting and have heard about, what you think about this?

In the Market place there are many Accounting Packages and they all target different style businesses. What I will focus on here is the Small to Midrange business size packages that are most popular in the market.

Here they are… Accounting packages for your Business

xero4Xero  This is a relatively newer product to the market place. Xero I have found to offer a wonderful cloud based solution for small to mid range businesses. If you have fair to reasonable internet, then this product is one that is definitely worth investigating. I have found that their speed to do jobs, e.g. invoice, remit, pay, reconcile is excellent for a cloud based product. They have a good backup option and data can be easily exported. Disadvantages, if a business wants more or the business needs change, then you will probably end up having to change product suppliers. This product was specifically created for the small to mid cloud based accounting market. It is very good in this area in terms of performance and usage. Xero created a developers area and this is dynamically growing. Xero is definitely the leading kid on the block. This product is now being taught at most Major Tafe colleges and WEA, but as yet, this is not big in the schools area.

myob2MYOB MYOB was a little slow in getting a good cloud based solution for the small to mid business range, but it has that now. The reason it was a little slow, is due to a massive advantage that Xero does not offer. That being that MYOB has a lot of other products in its range. For example if you have MYOB Account Right Premier and are supported, you automatically get the cloud version included in your support free. You can upgrade to MYOB Enterprise if your business grows. They purchased the accountants version of Sol6, a document manager (not so good for accountants), and a range of other accountant tools that automatically integrate with MYOB Account right, Essential or Enterprise. So in truth, MYOB has the range and accountant support. MYOB also has a great developer range. This is a set of products that developers have created that plug into MYOB to make MYOB do so many other things e.g. Subscriptions, Onsite Technician and auto billing, Pricing there are many options with MYOB and if you want flexibility and expect growth MYOB would be the tool to look at. This product also handles all the Australian Payroll rules.

MYOB is also the product most taught with WEA, Tafe, Schools so getting qualified users or temps is really easy.

quick4Quicken This is not as popular in Australia as Xero or MYOB, but World Wide, this is a top seller for small to mid range accounting. One of the best features of Quicken is its ease of use and terminology for Non Accountant Managers. Quicken just makes sense to Managers and Business owners. Quicken is one of the oldest accounting products and really started as a cashbook based product so it came from the perspective of managing a business not the Accountants perspective. Quicken Cloud is fast and stream lined, but not so nice to develop applications with. This area is still a limited in flexibility. I have also found that this is not as Australianised in respect to reports, payroll and changes in legislation. This is rarely taught in Tafe, WEA or schools, so generally you are seeking people that already have experience or you have book keepers that are able to learn this product via on line courses.

So Cloud or Not?

In short this is a money question. Today if you have a non cloud based system, your only cost is support. If you wish to go to cloud, you will have a monthly fee. Cloud however is the way to go if you are new to an accounting product and yes there is a fee so be prepared to pay, but you will have no purchase fee and that is the benefit of cloud based. In the end you will find the pricing is pretty similar.

Cloud is the way to go. However for some total cloud is not an option as yet due to speed, product performance, etc. However if a business is not using cloud for backup, storage and other base functions they really need to review their IT and the costs of their IT.

So how do you decide?

Start by asking your accountant what they use and they suggest. Accounting costs are huge and if using the same product as them will save you money do it. Look at your business plan, model, developed products, costs. See what your competitors use and what they think of their tools. Finally read the above I have no affiliation with any product. I have customers using all of these products and I therefore see these products from quite a different perspective. In short they will all do book keeping. But which is the best product for you, well in the end you need to decide this, but don’t be surprised if with experience you change products.

 

Cate Schafing is a successful Australian business woman in the IT field serving as CEO of Accede Holdings Pty. Ltd. makers of Ezymeetz, ICE and Virtual Gym. She develops innovative new technological products as a programmer and entrepreneur. In gratitude for her success her company supports NFP’s by donating $5000 per month in programming time for NFP’s requesting work.

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The Relevance of Data in our Life

This may seem an odd question as our society becomes more and more reliant on data. However even as a highly skilled analyst who lives in the world of data I have recently been on the end of a totally useless decision because it was based on poor data.

 

Let me give you 2 outcomes to the same scenario and let us analyse our business options

Scenario The sale of a house. For most people this is a major asset and therefore they want to take the best advice and need to review the mode of sale, the best representative etc.

 

The best way to make decisions would be based on data available such as:

 

  • What are similar houses selling for in your area and look at this is a date based review, and compare this to market movement e.g. is the market going up or down in your area as a standard.
  • Company: the sales company you are using, what is their expertise in selling your style of house in your area, and the person representing you, what experience do they bring to the table.
  • Marketing: When other properties have sold that are similar to yours in your area, how were they marketed, and which style do you think you are best to follow.
  • Sales Mode: Once again review houses in your area and look at how they were sold, Auction or Direct Sale. Put a price on the advertising or not. Make a choice.

So now you your research you are ready to put the property on the market. Quite often the sales companies will present this research to you if they are a quality company. If you are lucky you will get an offer and quickly for your home, but if not, you are now reliant upon making decisions based on direct data regarding your property.

 

fast_data_brain_treeThis is where my question above starts to take effect. Up until now, as a vendor you are make choices based on firm factual decisions. E.g. actual sales and actual facts. Now you are asked to make decisions by the Sales Company based on what they present.

 

So let’s look at what is collected as data.

Is the collection of data based on set standard responses, or is this purely notation which has been interpreted by one or more employees of the Sales Company? Measure for Data Quality Note only by client 70% value, Note only interpreted by Sales Company to fit a standard 50% value.

 

If the above is factual, how many of these notes are from prospective genuine realistic buyers, e.g. those looking in the area for a home similar to yours. Do this as a percentage, e.g. if you had 20 people through look at how many considered offers, ask questions of the land agent etc. for each one that does, that could be considered a prospective genuine realistic buyer, the rest are not. So this percentage will have a major impact on your information. For the sake of this exercise, we imagine 50% of the people are genuine.

 

Finally, how many actual offers have you received? How many people that your sales company has met and shown your house have been interested enough to put in an offer? If this is zero, then you need to go back and review your marketing, sales mode, and Sales Company. Review if the data presented to you or gathered for you was correct.

 

So my conclusion to Data. There was an old statement I once heard Garbage in, Garbage out, and this is true. If the data you collect is Garbage then the information you give is Garbage and using this for making decisions is really not the wisest of choices. Look at the data, review its worth, and then elect the path to your decision. This path may change nothing, it may be to review an initial decision and make a different choice. Don’t however ignore data, and don’t put full weight in the data if the data is of poor quality.

 

This scenario is not the only scenario of this type. There are many business decisions made on a daily basis based on data. Your job is to get the best possible data and for you to critically analyse the data given to make the best possible choice.

 

Cate Schafing is a successful Australian business woman in the IT field serving as CEO of Accede Holdings Pty. Ltd. makers of Ezymeetz, ICE and Virtual Gym. She develops innovative new technological products as a programmer and entrepreneur. In gratitude for her success her company supports NFP’s by donating $5000 per month in programming time for NFP’s requesting work.

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SQL versus NoSQL – The Battle of Database Management Systems

SQL-noSQLWith the enormous amount of data among us, it drastically changed the landscape of how we will store and process structured or unstructured information. This calls for an innovative approach to address the need for scalable and improved performance brought about by database management challenges.

We can’t deny the sudden emergence of SQL and other forms of relational databases to solve this issues but a new player comes with a much better options to offer – as they call it NoSQL. NoSQL offers aggregating oriented databases (Key-Value, Document and Column-family data models), graph databases and the Hadoop ecosystem, which is known as an open-source software framework for storage and large-scale processing of data-sets horizontally. The Hadoop ecosystems also do this processing of data in parallel to clusters of commodity hardware making database management systems running smoothly with minimal errors. We can say that somehow NoSQL addresses issues that relational databases can’t work with while offering a robust ecosystem and standards that matches the capabilities offered by relational databases such as SQL.

Companies and organizations as such are facing a big decision of choosing which to choose among the two. However, we can determine what solution to use to solve the problem through knowing the capabilities and weaknesses of each tool.

Here are our top choices to answer the problems of data organization. We dissected them for you to further understand which solution is best for your business:

 

  1. Relational Databases are based on a fixed schema in which data is stored in rows and columns of tables in normal fashion so that when someone accesses it, they will provide ACID properties for database transactions. SQL (Structured Query Language) is mostly used to interact with the stored data. It is due to the fact that SQL is an adopted standard by RDBMS vendors and it allows portable use of applications and skills.

This approach solves the problems of dynamic structured data. Dynamic data is interconnected to the context of each other. Over the years, data relationships became vital as the data itself so the role of relational database is to traverse relationships using joins. A join is a search key to use in another table which can be improved by indexing the other keys. The downsides however of this approach is slower data manipulation (add, edit, and delete functions).

  1. just-say-nosqlHadoop Databases is an open-source framework for storing and processing large-scale data that is set in parallel horizontally. Specifically designed to scale clusters of machines while doing local computation and storage. Data is loaded or attached to the Hadoop Distributed File System or HDFS that is designed to handle large clusters of commodity servers. This system accepts data in any format regardless of their schema as queries and batch read operations can then be executed against these data sets.

 This system is manufactured to scale out data horizontally using MapReduce technology that splits up the problem and send it to servers for them to process it in parallel. The results derived from each servers are aggregated and then get resolved as compute and storage functions co-exist in the same server. Technically-speaking, Hadoop is not considered a database system as it does not support transactional processing unlike relational databases.

 

The Verdict:

Both of them offers great evolution and solution as far as data management is concern. Both of them are best at keeping data storage and retrieval optimized and smooth-operating. It’s hard to distinguish who will be at par because both of them are superb. Let the developer decide which one to use as it will always depends on the situation and need of the business. Both SQL and NoSQL databases can improve their capabilities by offloading the ingress, processing and egress of large volumes of data to Hadoop, allowing them to focus on their true capabilities and use case.

 

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Why Use MS Access

I am writing about this question, because I would be asked this question hundreds of times in a year. So here are the reasons.

MS Access was a really intelligent product that Microsoft added to its professional office pack. The reason that it is intelligent is really due to what it can do for an office.

Here are business accepted facts:

  1. Data is vital and essential for a business.
  2. Quality Data leads to better decision making information, and hopefully better decision making
  3. Successful business use their data to their advantage.

MS Access is a Data tool shed. I will clarify this by stating what is in MS Access.


Database Tables
. This is actually a very simple part of MS Access. It can create a database structure very simply and easily. Sometimes too easily, as

Instructor with Students in Computer Lab --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

Instructor with Students in Computer Lab — Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

many people create databases, that actually don’t understand databases or what the client needs now and possibly in the future, it is the lack of understanding that has given MS Access the poor reputation, The database is also only for smaller amounts of data, e.g. 20Mb. However, what is brilliant about this area, is the ability to easily link to larger databases e.g. MS SQL.  This means you have the power, speed and ability of MS SQL, and can link this to a simple tool like MS Access.

Form Generator. The form Generator in Access, is quite a powerful tool. There are automatic form creators, and many standard forms that a person can down load, plus it is really easy to create a form from scratch, with very little training. Normally if writing in another language, a lot of programming time is spent creating the forms and the functions of the form. This is a very GUI based form generator.

Report Generator. There is a report generator included in MS Access. For many products they recommend other report generators e.g. Crystal report writer, or you write all your reports almost from scratch. The report generator is GUI based and very easy to use, with far more flexibility and options that a product that is only a report generator.

Queries. This is the way a user can ask a question of the database without being a programmer. So with its GUI the user can easily ask questions. Queries however can also do many functions, information displaying etc. The queries can also run stored procedures from remote databases. This is really brilliant if you want speed and access to data as well.


Visual-Basic-TutorialProgramming Language.
MS Access uses VBA or Visual Basic as is base programming language. The MS Access product can be compiled, and
there are many off the shelf packages that have been totally written in MS Access that users are not aware of.

So, in answer to the question “Why use MS Access”. The answer is simple, It is a main stream Microsoft product. It has loads of features and the cost is unbelievable. It is free for users to use an application written in MS access, and only the developer of the application needs a licence, that is about $99.00 or included in the Professional pack.

If you are considering a new product, this creates the fastest and cheapest RAD (Rapid Application Development) application to prove and test your theories. So without spending huge funds on a potential idea, MS Access will prove if it will work, and then the chance of success has just increased.

They state the 90% of Database Applications fail.  This is generally because of poor specifications, lack of budget, poor programmers etc. By developing a RAD first, the limitations of a spec are instantly found and can be resolved. Without huge time or money expenses, you can check your idea will work, and you can even run trials from the MS Access version. Plus, you have not only a specification, but also an actual working prototype to base your product on.

The question really should be, Why aren’t more people using MS Access.

 

Cate Schafing is a successful Australian business woman in the IT field serving as CEO of Accede Holdings Pty. Ltd. makers of Ezymeetz, ICE and Virtual Gym. She develops innovative new technological products as a programmer and entrepreneur. In gratitude for her success her company supports NFP’s by donating $5000 per month in programming time for NFP’s requesting work.

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How MYOB Can be an Easy Timesaving Tool

selectExploreSampleCompany.96.RGBMYOB is a great value accounting package. However for most of us, accounting is the way of recording the financial transaction although it really does very little to increase sales.

When selling, we are generally looking at 2 options:

1. Selling more to existing clients.

2. Getting new clients.

Due to this fact, most of us end up double entering data. We keep some combination of accounting software, including a database, excel spread sheets, a website, MYOB and for some of us a freight system. This means we could re-keying the same information up to 4 times.

MYOB recognised this and have timesaving solutions. One solution is that they have MYOB ODBC and MYOB Developers. Accede is one of these developers. In addition to this, they offer add on solutions for businesses. Find out more at both:
1. www.myob.com.au/addons/
2. www.accede.com.au/our-services/myob-database-development-integration/

Star Track Express, also has an automatic interface between databases and MYOB and Star Track. So without even making a call – your freight can be collected.

These timesaving options mean that the following is possible.

WEB ORDERING MODEL

A client enters an order in your web.

You bring this to your local database and import to MYOB when you are ready to invoice and transfer to your freight system when ready. A business who does this, is using this timesaving technique and making headlines in the world of online sales Oz Trampolines, and is based in Geelong – Victoria. Oz Trampolines has been able to use this extra time to give better price options, support, product choice and options. A real leader in Trampoline sales in Australia.

Another option is a CRM MODEL

You Enter your data into your Call Centre area, follow the CRM Progress of your client, transfer the invoice to MYOB when ready to invoice and dispatch with your freight system. This model also allows auto reminders from your database to resell to existing clients. A business offering the CRM solution is Utter Gutters. By using these options, Utter Gutters has established a business that is devoted, with more staff to support consumers, provide installation and frequently update their Q&A, bringing them into a leader position in their market.

WHAT IF I DON’T USE MYOB?

MYOB is popular but not the only financial accounting system. The same options are used in most accounting solutions. What you need to ask your accounting package people is “Do you offer an ODBC import facility?”  It is very rare that this is not an available option today. If the answer is yes, then the above options are available to you – today.

The end result is YES, you can do this with as little as NO data entry or single data entry. Wasting time and money in administration today is really wasted money. Use your company time to give you better results, not to do tasks that can be automated. Your company, by working smarter, not harder can become known for its support, innovation & customer service.

 

Cate Schafing is a successful Australian business woman in the IT field serving as CEO of Accede Holdings Pty. Ltd. makers of Ezymeetz, ICE and Virtual Gym. She develops innovative new technological products as a programmer and entrepreneur. In gratitude for her success her company supports NFP’s by donating $5000 per month in programming time for NFP’s requesting work.

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