DevOpsANGLE http://devopsangle.com Tue, 09 Sep 2014 17:45:55 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 CloudKit transforms document access & storage in iOS 8 http://devopsangle.com/2014/09/09/cloudkit-transforms-document-access-storage-in-ios-8/ http://devopsangle.com/2014/09/09/cloudkit-transforms-document-access-storage-in-ios-8/#comments Tue, 09 Sep 2014 17:45:49 +0000 http://devopsangle.com/2014/09/09/cloudkit-transforms-document-access-storage-in-ios-8/ Continue reading

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small__5960724578Just hours away from the expected launch of Apple’s iPhone 6 and not surprisingly all the talk is centered on the actual device. Few doubt that Apple’s CEO Tim Cook will have something pretty cool to show off when he walks onto the stage at today’s event, but for developers and business users alike, it could be the software rather than the hardware that has a bigger impact.

Along with the iPhone 6 comes iOS 8, and it’s promising to transform the way documents are accessed and stored on iOS devices. At least, that’s according to Mika Javanainen, product development executive at M-Files, who says iOS 8 could be a game-changer for the enterprise.

The key development is Apple’s introduction of a new storage extension protocol called CloudKit which radically changes the way iOS handles content. In a nutshell, CloudKit is a highly asynchronous storage provider extension service that adds or modifies over 4,000 APIs and also introduces Swift, a new programming language.

Javanainen told CMS Wire that Apple is fundamentally reinventing document storage and access with this new development. The problem its solving is that currently, mobile apps don’t share a common file system. They all live in sandboxes with their own data, and that can be problematic when trying to share documents between different apps.

“If you wanted to edit an M-Files document with MS Word for iPad, users would need to access the file in M-Files app and then select the “Open in Word” feature that technically copies the file to MS Word sandbox,” explained Javanainen. “When edits are done in MS Word, users would have to “open” the file in M-Files App and M-Files app would need to have logic to understand that the file is supposed to replace the old version instead of creating a new document.”

All in all it’s a pretty cumbersome and long-winded process and it all amounts to a poor experience for the use. People hate jumping in and out of different apps, and not only that but it’s also wasteful of resources too. Add to the fact that the process also duplicates data between each app sandbox and it all amounts to a real headache for developers, said Javanainen.

So what benefits will CloudKit bring? Javanainen explained that developers will be able to add a feature that allows documents to be copied into a common area that can be accessed by all applications. This means apps can modify files stored with other apps without making duplicate copies, thereby freeing up some of the clutter on our devices. For developers it’ll save them lots of time and hassle, but the bigger benefit will be felt by the end users.

“The biggest winner is the end-user as these enhancements remove the duplication of files and hence free up storage,” Javanainen explained.

photo credit: Key Foster via photopin cc

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Visual Studio Online hit by another major outage http://devopsangle.com/2014/08/15/visual-studio-online-hit-by-another-major-outage/ http://devopsangle.com/2014/08/15/visual-studio-online-hit-by-another-major-outage/#comments Fri, 15 Aug 2014 11:45:49 +0000 http://devopsangle.com/2014/08/15/visual-studio-online-hit-by-another-major-outage/ Continue reading

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small__8141392376Microsoft Corp’s Visual Studio Online service for software developers was hit by its second major outage in the space of a month yesterday, and was inaccessible to users for about four hours. Microsoft has since blamed the snafu on problems with its database.

Visual Studio Online was launched in November last year, coinciding with the general release of Visual Studio 2013. The service is hosted on its Azure cloud, and there are a variety of subscription levels available. The service also comes bundled together with several premium MSDN packages.

The program comes with several cloud-based enhancements, including a hosted build service, source code version control, a basic online code-editing environment, load testing and telemetry data that can be used to gain insights on app stability and performance.

Sadly, the stability of Visual Studio Online itself leaves a lot to be desired. The outage began at around 7.30am Pacific Time yesterday, which was when the first reports of users having difficulty accessing the service, and performance issues, were reported. Not long after, the Azure service status page revealed a “multi-region full service interruption” affecting Visual Studio Online.

Microsoft’s DevOps engineers spent about an hour rooting around to try and find the cause of the issue, before deciding to roll back some changes made to Azure’s infrastructure in the previous 24 hours. That’s apparently put everything ship-shape again, although Microsoft still isn’t sure exactly what caused it.

“The actual root cause is still under investigation, but initial investigation is indicating a contention in our core database seems to be causing blocking and performance issues in the services,” it wrote on Visual Studio Online service blog. “Our DevOps teams have identified a couple of mitigation steps and currently going thru validations.”

Visual Studio Online was last hit by a significant outage on July 18 which lasted for around 90 minutes. In that case the problem proved easier to find, with Microsoft blaming it on an Azure SQL database glitch. Back in February, Microsoft Technical Fellow Brian Harry blogged about the growing pains being experienced by the service, which included a run of “bad” deployments that led to “unacceptable” downtime.

As of this morning, Visual Studio Online appears to be working normally.

photo credit: Several seconds via photopin cc

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Cisco rolls out another developer program: “Same same” but different http://devopsangle.com/2014/07/22/cisco-rolls-out-another-developer-program-same-same-but-different/ http://devopsangle.com/2014/07/22/cisco-rolls-out-another-developer-program-same-same-but-different/#comments Tue, 22 Jul 2014 16:10:36 +0000 http://devopsangle.com/2014/07/22/cisco-rolls-out-another-developer-program-same-same-but-different/ Continue reading

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small__8450075522Cisco has taken another shot at attracting third-party coders into its embrace with the relaunch of a rebranded developer program.

Keen followers will remember this isn’t the first time Cisco has tried to encourage others to write apps and functions for its platforms. It’s also not the first time its chosen to name its program as the “Cisco Developer Network” either. It did so back in 2009 when it named its first developer program as such. Later, that program was renamed as the Cisco Solution Partner Program, and now its been reborn with the shortened version, “DevNet”, which is essentially the same thing.

But while the name is old, the new program will be slightly different. This time around, the aim is “to enable an open community of software developers – including ISVs, customers and Systems Integrators/Channel Partners – to help them easily and rapidly build Cisco-enabled applications to sell and use, on top of Cisco APIs to enhance or manage Cisco networks and platforms,” said Susie Wee, Cisco’s VP & CTO of Networked Experiences. “Cisco is encouraging the adoption of APIs across our products and fostering integrations with third-party products.”

To help encourage this, Ciscos is allocating resources including “engineering platform APIs, SDKs, ready-to-use code samples, a developer sandbox, developer support, and community management”, adds Wee.

So why has Cisco jumped back on the developer bandwagon? Most probably, it has something to do with emerging platforms like OpenFlow, OpenStack and NFV, which are beginning to threaten anyone involved in networking. Wooing developers to aid its cause is but one way Ciscos thinks it can head off these threats. Whether or not it will be able to convince developers that its easier, faster and more profitable to work with Cisco remains to be seen.

But Wee seems to think it can, and has promised more than 100 APIs will be made available to get the wheels rolling. She adds that Cisco will make APIs for SDN, IoT, collaboration, mobility and security. It’s also going to work with Mulesoft to make accessing these APIs easier, and it’ll provide a developer’s sandbox, to remove “the cost and time of acquiring lab equipment and the technical staff to maintain it.”

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Beep, beep! Make way for Linux on connected cars http://devopsangle.com/2014/07/03/beep-beep-make-way-for-linux-on-connected-cars/ http://devopsangle.com/2014/07/03/beep-beep-make-way-for-linux-on-connected-cars/#comments Thu, 03 Jul 2014 11:25:35 +0000 http://devopsangle.com/2014/07/03/beep-beep-make-way-for-linux-on-connected-cars/ Continue reading

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14322802670_292c30d847_zMove over Apple, Windows and Android – Linux is making its own play to become the default operating system for smart cars with the release of downloadable code from its Automotive Grade Linux project.

Announced on Monday, the project is built on the Tizen operating system that was originally conceived as a rival to Android and iOS on mobile phones. According to the press release, Automotive Grade Linux adds “key applications developed in HTML5 and JavaScript into a single open source reference platform”.

A new wiki devoted to the project says that a few key additions have been made to Tizen, notably the middleware packages and the user interface. A number of images have been posted onto Flickr that show screenshots of the interface, plus some mock ups of how it might display various functions like maps, car status, climate controls, entertainment and so on.

“The current web runtime is Webkit but Tizen will migrate to Crosswalk within the next couple of months,” states the wiki. “Crosswalk is a more modern web runtime environment based in Chrome and Blink. It is also better performing than Webkit.”

The documentation also notes that Automotive Grade Linux is not meant to be a production user interface, but rather a demo to illustrate how applications are developed, and to excerise the underlying operating system stack components and middleware.

“Using AGL means the industry benefits from the stability and strength of a common Linux distribution, Tizen IVI, at the core while bringing their own unique applications and functionality to market faster,” said Rudolf Strief, director of embedded solutions, at The Linux Foundation.

“Collaborating within the AGL community helps the industry avoid fragmentation that can waste time and R&D resources that could be put to better use innovating on safety and reliability for drivers.”

Some of the common components include CarIndicator, call handling, voice recognition and text-to-speech, application configuration and theming, and a global settings user interface.

The rest of the code pertains to the home screen, climate control, dashboard, Google Maps, news and media components, audio controls, Bluetooth and SmartLink device integration.

Image credit: Linux Foundation via Flickr.com

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Google opens Gmail to developers in bid to replace IMAP http://devopsangle.com/2014/06/26/new-gmail-api-makes-it-super-easy-for-devs-to-peek-at-your-inbox/ http://devopsangle.com/2014/06/26/new-gmail-api-makes-it-super-easy-for-devs-to-peek-at-your-inbox/#comments Thu, 26 Jun 2014 11:00:53 +0000 http://devopsangle.com/2014/06/26/new-gmail-api-makes-it-super-easy-for-devs-to-peek-at-your-inbox/ Continue reading

Google opens Gmail to developers in bid to replace IMAP is a post from: DevOpsANGLE

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origin_3901849292Google has decided to lift the lid on its Gmail service, allowing every man and his dog to write apps that can access your inbox, so long as you agree to let them in.

Hailed as a replacement for IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) by some observers, the new Gmail API probably won’t achieve that distinction for some time, but it does offer some interesting opportunities for developers. According to Google, which outlined the new API at Google I/O yesterday, the release of the spec is a first step in transforming Gmail into a kind of goodie bag for devs who wish to leverage the content of your emails to build better apps. For example, a travel app might scan Gmail for booking confirmations and use these to build an itinerary for you. Alternatively, a finance app might dig into your inbox looking for receipts and file them into a budget plan.

Tapping into email contents isn’t a new idea. Some apps already do so if users allow them to. What’s different is that Google has built a new API to replace IMAP, a ubiquitous but dated and inefficient way to tap into email services. IMAP is complex and doesn’t work well with modern web communication tools such HTTP, and that limits the functionality of apps that work with Gmail, says Google.

“IMAP wasn’t really designed to do all of the cool things that [developers at Google IO] have been working on,” Google’s Eric DeFriez explains in a blog post.

The API makes it easy for devs to send HTTPS calls to a user’s Gmail inbox so they can receive JSON, XML of Google Protobuf responses without the need for a TCP socket. According to Google, this makes the API accessible from numerous cloud environments that don’t support IMAP.

Privacy concerns

 

This all sounds great for developers, but privacy advocates may have issues. While the API doesn’t touch everything, it’s far more comprehensive than IMAP. Upon being granted access to a mailbox (and who really reads those permissions, anyway?), an app will be able to create or delete messages, and even insert messages into the inbox without the interim step of sending them from another email address. That latest feature is similar to what Google now does with Gmail inbox ads.

The idea of third-parties helping themselves to the content of people’s inboxes could scare off developers enough to limit the Gmail API’s potential, but Google is betting that most users won’t care or notice. It says permissions will address that problem. it’s concerned about privacy of course, and that’s why the API provides different levels of permissions. “If your app only needs to send mail on behalf of a user and does not need to read mail, you can limit your permission request to send-only,” wrote DeFriez.

There are four permission classes for apps, according to Google’s documentation:

  1. Request full access to the target account;
  2. Request access for everything except the ability to delete messages or threads;
  3. Read access, but no write or delete rights; or
  4. Access only to create and send messages and their associated drafts.

“Your app should use the most restrictive scope that meets its requirements,” the documentation says, but in a world where even basic wallpaper apps seem to demand nearly full device control, it’s questionable whether developers will obey.

photo credit: Truthout.org via photopin cc

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IE Developer Channel offers ‘sneak peek’ at Microsoft’s next browser http://devopsangle.com/2014/06/18/ie-developer-channel-offers-sneak-peek-at-microsofts-next-browser/ http://devopsangle.com/2014/06/18/ie-developer-channel-offers-sneak-peek-at-microsofts-next-browser/#comments Wed, 18 Jun 2014 10:12:15 +0000 http://devopsangle.com/2014/06/18/ie-developer-channel-offers-sneak-peek-at-microsofts-next-browser/ Continue reading

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small__2631072309Developers can now get their mitts on a special version of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser offering previews of forthcoming capabilities and features.

Called the Internet Explorer Developer Channel, the special edition browser is much like the beta versions of Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, giving the curious a chance to test new updates before they hit the mainstream.

“IE Developer Channel can run alongside and independently of IE11, and has all of the browser features that you love in IE11, as well as the latest platform features we’re working on,” wrote Jason Weber of Microsoft’s IE Team in a blog post.

The new developer edition of IE is already available to download, and comes with various tools for devs including improved analytics for the browser’s memory, a better debugger tool with support for event breakpoints and UI responsiveness profilers. A second blog post by Microsoft explains the new features in more detail.

Another feature of IE Developer Channel is support for WebDriver, an API that gives developers the ability to simulate users interacting with various web apps. First developed by Selenium, the WebDriver API is now a work in progress of the World Wide Web Cosortium (W3C). A second W3C standard that’s included is the Gamepad API, which allows users to interact with the browser using video game console controllers.

UI responsiveness tool in IE Developer Channel

UI responsiveness tool in IE Developer Channel

Besides the new feature, Microsoft has been working to improve IE’s overall performance. The prototype browser has achieved a 94 percent score in the Khronos WebGL Conformance Test, beating the 89 percent score attained by IE 11 (note that Google Chrome scored 99.9 percent in this test).

This is just the first IE Developer Channel release. Microsoft says it will be constantly adding new technologies and features to the channel, just as Google and Mozilla do with their own beta browsers. Developers can access a full list of APIs either being tested or considered for inclusion in IE at this website.

photo credits: ieteam via photopin cc; screenshot via Microsoft IE Blog

IE Developer Channel offers ‘sneak peek’ at Microsoft’s next browser is a post from: DevOpsANGLE

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Salesforce rigs up Heroku into its cloud http://devopsangle.com/2014/05/14/salesforce-rigs-up-heroku-into-its-cloud/ http://devopsangle.com/2014/05/14/salesforce-rigs-up-heroku-into-its-cloud/#comments Wed, 14 May 2014 12:45:47 +0000 http://devopsangle.com/2014/05/14/salesforce-rigs-up-heroku-into-its-cloud/ Continue reading

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salesforceQuite a few people were scratching their heads when Salesforce.com added Heroku to its list of acquisitions. After all, why on earth would Salesforce with its Force.com SaaS platform feel the need to buy up a PaaS platform like Heroku?

Now, it seems we finally have our answer, with the release of a new Heroku Connect tool that connects Heroku’s cloud application platform to Salesforce’s own database offering. The idea is simple enough: Salesforce wants enterprise app developers to do their work on Force.com, while consumer app developers will use Heroku.

As for Heroku Connect, this is what links the two together. It’s useful because Force.com remains the place for custom app development, while Heroku takes care of all the work that goes into delivering web applications at scale. And now with Heroku Connect, this allow for the quick and easy transfer of data between the two platforms.

It’s actually always been possible to move between the two, noted Salesforce’s Scott Holden in an interview with TechCrunch. However, it wasn’t always an easy process, and one that required going through APIs. The problem is that Salesforce is built on Oracle software, while Heroku uses its own variant of Postgres, and so the two platforms each offer developers a very different environment. Heroku Connect simplifies the previously complex process of linking the two, allowing anyone to connect them without the assistance of an experienced development team.

One of the big advantages, according to Salesforce, is that Heroku Connect allows developers to feed customer-generated data into business apps more easily, enhancing its overall value proposition.

Essentially, what Salesforce has done is throw in a nice piece of middleware to connect two very divergent aspects of its platform – something that’s common enough with most major IT tech giants. Over time, Salesforce may integrate Heroku further into its other offerings, but for now at least developers finally have a way to connect the two worlds more easily.

Salesforce rigs up Heroku into its cloud is a post from: DevOpsANGLE

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IBM Impact DevOps Round Up: IBM expands DevOps portfolio with new cloud, IoT and mobile offerings | #IBMimpact http://devopsangle.com/2014/05/13/ibm-impact-devops-round-up-ibm-expands-devops-portfolio-with-new-cloud-iot-and-mobile-offerings-ibmimpact/ http://devopsangle.com/2014/05/13/ibm-impact-devops-round-up-ibm-expands-devops-portfolio-with-new-cloud-iot-and-mobile-offerings-ibmimpact/#comments Tue, 13 May 2014 20:03:35 +0000 http://devopsangle.com/?p=5171 Continue reading

IBM Impact DevOps Round Up: IBM expands DevOps portfolio with new cloud, IoT and mobile offerings | #IBMimpact is a post from: DevOpsANGLE

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ibm-logo-big-blueDuring the IBM Impact 2014 event, the big blue company introduced an expansion of its IBM MobileFirst Application Development portfolio and Cloud Marketplace. Offerings which include new tools and resources to help organizations easily create, test, and deploy mobile and cloud applications. These new products complement IBM SmartCloud and IBM MobileFirst portfolios.

Cloud and mobile have grown considerably in the world of IT–PaaS vendor EngineYard predicts 1 billion smartphones in 2014, and with the cloud will the engine to drive that consumption. Cloud and mobile provide a constantly changing market with this growth, as cited by EngineYard over 1 billion Android apps are downloaded a month, and this will only increase as more apps are developed. As a result, businesses are required to provide and use mobility software and cloud more quickly and consistently than before.

The key to this change is DevOps. The goal of DevOps is to ensure continuous software deployment. This allows companies to take advantage of market opportunities faster and better meet customer requirements. The IBM DevOps portfolio helps companies to address the entire life cycle of software development that is independent of the developed application.

Cloud business transformation

The improvement of the development processes for cloud applications is important as organizations seek business through higher value opportunities with the help of big data analytics and cloud integration, as well as the Internet of Things.

With the acquisition of SoftLayer, IBM has made cloud hosting an anchor to build many of their PaaS and developer solutions on top of cloud-based functionality. During the event, IBM announced BlueMix Garage, a collaborative space for developers, startups and large companies to work side by side with IBM to rapidly develop innovative applications. The goal of BlueMix Garage is ​​to give developers a way to build cloud applications quickly whether they are with IBM, a third-party or open technologies.

Moreover, IBM announced 30 new services for BlueMix including the BlueMix DevOps Continuous Integration services and Cloud Integration service that intend to support agile approaches with a common software delivery approach regardless of the type of application being developed.

With these initiatives, IBM is building the strategy with development capabilities and provides tools to enable companies to deploy better applications faster and at lower cost. In addition to saving time, businesses can also save costs with deeper integration to back-end IBM services without requiring those systems to be in place.

Unlocking the value of development community

As part of ongoing efforts to support the global development community, IBM also unveiled the first cloud service marketplace for the enterprise, a single place on the IBM Cloud where customers can see all the SaaS, major infrastructure pieces and developers’ tools available on IBM SoftLayer.

The marketplace includes IBM’s Bluemix Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), SoftLayer Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), IBM’s 100-plus SaaS services and other tools and aims to address customers a one-stop-shopping destination for cloud services. The marketplace will bring the full power of “IBM as a Service” and the entire ecosystem to the enterprises and developers and help them very quickly set up new services in areas such as analytics, mobile, integration or even marketing and e-commerce.

In addition to developers who see the Bluemix PaaS environment the necessary services and APIs for their tasks, IBM Cloud marketplace offers tools for big data and analytics requirements, disaster recovery, and managed security services or for the management of hybrid cloud environments.

Among the new enhanced services, IBM has released standardized, customizable IBM Ready Apps for customers in major verticals including a range of tools for developers to create, deploy and manage mobile apps, on-premise or in the cloud. One such tool is the new version of IBM Worklight that allows enterprises to support both native (via SDKs) and hybrid development models, as well as add new capabilities such as the USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) protocol for mobile money solutions in emerging markets. Combining with BlueMix, IBM Worklight tends to be a perfect place for developers to build applications and deploy into IBM SmartCloud using IBM Worklight technology.

IBM Impact DevOps Round Up: IBM expands DevOps portfolio with new cloud, IoT and mobile offerings | #IBMimpact is a post from: DevOpsANGLE

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ServiceNow DevOps Round Up: Empowering the service-oriented enterprise with DevOps | #Know14 http://devopsangle.com/2014/05/08/servicenow-devops-round-up-empowering-the-service-oriented-enterprise-with-devops-know14/ http://devopsangle.com/2014/05/08/servicenow-devops-round-up-empowering-the-service-oriented-enterprise-with-devops-know14/#comments Thu, 08 May 2014 19:24:17 +0000 http://devopsangle.com/?p=5172 Continue reading

ServiceNow DevOps Round Up: Empowering the service-oriented enterprise with DevOps | #Know14 is a post from: DevOpsANGLE

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devopsWith the rise of DevOps applications in the cloud, gaining extensive knowledge and control of applications has been a challenge for IT. The combination of growth in volume of data and the proliferation of automation tools has led to confusion, inconsistency, and ultimately a loss of confidence in IT.

At this year’s Knowledge14 conference, the annual global IT conference for CIOs, IT professionals, system administrators, and developers, ServiceNow focused on exploring how to transform the way work gets done across the enterprise with automation. Rather than adopting old school style standards, organizations can use the cloud and DevOps to make the application deployment process more efficient.

Cloudification requires IT to evolve

The influence of cloud computing has become the major focus area for every other part of the enterprise. Frank Slootman, president and CEO of ServiceNow, said in an interview that enterprises as institutions have become completely cloudified and deliver themselves to their customers and through their core audiences as a cloud service, means that IT plays a very different role.

One of the primary values, according to Slootman, is ServiceNow’s expertise in migrating IT department across the rest of the enterprise. ServiceNow revealed its strategy for increasing automation as focusing on innovation, mobility, and consolidation within IT and across the entire enterprise. To make its presence known, the company introduced ServiceNow Share, the online platform that allows ServiceNow customers and partners able to run applications developed using the ServiceNow Service Automation Platform to upload and download applications and development data. Share offers developers the ability to build on existing content, share the content and accelerate the development of new applications.

ServiceNow’s Vice President of Marketing, Shane Jackson, said Share users can leverage ideas from others in the community and do not have to rebuild similar functionality from scratch. “Share is a way to accelerate the ability for others to build apps on ServiceNow,” Jackson said.

ServiceNow Share offers a wide range of applications including HR Policy Tracking, Legal Request Tracking System, Health and Safety Incident Management, Communication and Marketing Services and Vulnerability Management System. Developers use the ServiceNow platform to make a positive contribution to the way a company works solutions and with Share they can make this process more efficient and quicker to perform.

Building evolving tools as per customer requirements

ServiceNow believes the big opportunity for management strategies rests with enterprise service management. The company supports these initiatives with App Creator, a tool that allows business people without any knowledge of programming to develop self-services program.

Fred Luddy, Chief Product Officer for ServiceNow, discussed the company’s strategy saying that App Creator is a simple way to make a set of database tables that interact with each other to create applications. “We look at the market very differently. We think about the problem to be solved and build the proper technology to solve it. We want people to do programming without realizing they are doing it,” he added.

The Service Creator being the next step in that evolution, most of which were centered around improving the processes they were already running on the platform. Craig McDonogh, Senior Director of Product Marketing for ServiceNow, said that you no longer need to be an IT professional to work on the Service Creator platform. “You just need to know your process you are trying to execute. You just drag and drop it onto a form,” he said.

ServiceNow DevOps Round Up: Empowering the service-oriented enterprise with DevOps | #Know14 is a post from: DevOpsANGLE

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Google’s Project Tango finds a new territory: the NASA Space Station http://devopsangle.com/2014/04/21/googles-project-tango-finds-a-new-territory-the-nasa-space-station/ http://devopsangle.com/2014/04/21/googles-project-tango-finds-a-new-territory-the-nasa-space-station/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 18:49:49 +0000 http://devopsangle.com/?p=5145 Continue reading

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nasa-logoGoogle’s technology will soon enter into new territory: space.

NASA has announced plans to take advantage of Project Tango on board  the International Space Station to guide SPHERES robots’ navigation within the facility. SPHERES are zero-gravity autonomous machines that are being developed to serve as robotic assistants to help astronauts and independently perform tasks on the ISS.

Until now, the small automata have been equipped with sensors capable of detecting their position thanks to the interaction with the sounds emitted from the speakers on the walls. It is a complex system for localization using triangulation and limited to an area equal to a little more than 6 cubic meters.

For almost a year, ATAP has been working with a team at the NASA Ames Research Center to integrate a Tango prototype into robots that work inside the International Space Station.

The project, initiated by Google, allows researchers to create a 3D map of the environment surrounding via infrared, allowing the robot to move around and avoid obstacles in their path without having to constantly correct trajectory. As the robots use CO2 jets to control movement, the less carbon-dioxide emitted into the confined space the easier it is for astronauts to control oxygen levels.

More importantly, with this project update the SPHERES unit shall not be bound to a defined space, but will be free to move anywhere, thus greatly extending the usefulness for the crew.

According to the Google ATAP team, for the first time in history of space program, this program will enable autonomous navigation of a floating robotic platform 230 miles above the surface of the Earth.

“The development that we’re doing is just getting started. And this is the first device that we’ve built,” said Joel Hesch, an ATAP software engineer. “If you can do sensor fusion and perception on a mobile phone, you can enable so many use cases that can be used on other devices like SPHERES, that benefit the lives of people, that can really impact in a way that wasn’t possible before.”

In the future, the same technology behind Google’s Project Tango can also be used with different automata, as pointed out by the project manager Chris Provencher. Robonaut for example, a robot with human features, could assist astronauts during exploration missions or dangerous interventions on board or outside the space station.

Project Tango

Google unveiled Project Tango in February, showcasing a prototype smartphone with sensors that can identify and manage areas and volumes, thus obtaining a prominent role not only for geolocation but also for finding positions in indoor environments.

The project opens the door to professional developers willing to push beyond their own opportunities. The project enables developers to create assistance systems for the blind, new augmented reality solutions, new types of gaming, analysis systems for environments interior designs, measurements, and more, and applications to locate a product in a supermarket. The space program by NASA is just the start of a new beginning.

Google’s Project Tango finds a new territory: the NASA Space Station is a post from: DevOpsANGLE

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