Sunday, April 27, 2008

Office 2.0, do you need it?

We are working on an office 2.0 workspace was the sentence I was welcomed with a couple of days ago during a visit to a pub where a friend of mine was waiting to have some after-work drinks. My only reaction could naturally be, “euhhh nice I guess?”

Office 2.0 turned out to be all about employee 2.0 and company 2.0 and employer 2.0 and this is now all possible because of web 2.0 and the needs from generation Einstein… This was the explanation if was getting accompanied with a grin like “you must get it now”. Well it took me a little longer than this single sentence. Finally after some beers I was getting the point.

Office 2.0 is a new way of sharing information, and in this the point of comparing it to web 2.0 is quite correct. Web 2.0 is a new way of sharing and collaborating on the web. In the days of web 1.0, so to say, we received most of the information now we are creating most of the information ourselves and sharing this on wiki-pages, weblogs, websites, p2p networks, instant messaging networks and community networks like and Office 2.0 is where companies start understanding that sharing information within a company by using all those tools can be vital for success. The new generation of people who start to work today are used to having those tools and most companies do not have things like a wiki in place to share information.

So the sentence of “We are working on an office 2.0 workspace” was referring to building and deploying those tools on the company’s intranet to make the new generation of employees happy. Put this besides the fact that most employees have a laptop nowadays and have a mobile phone which they also can use to access data this can be a big advantage. Not having your own desk is in a large number of corporation’s normal, you get in find a free spot and plug-in your laptop.

Now, I have been thinking about a little more and I was thinking about how do I want to have my personal workspace, how do I want it now and how do I want it in the coming years, and I will give it some thoughts about how much do I want to company I currently work for spend on this…. Even more important, how much is the company, I currently work for, willing to invest into this. And is it needed?

Do I need a wiki to share things with my colleges? Could be, could be handy to share information and code. I might even think of installing one… in combination with CVS. Do we need a instant messaging tool?.... could be, however, we are already using MSN for this… now all those fancy other things… sorry do not need them. It might be handy if you are working for a large company where you do not know all the people in the company but for a small or medium sized business… send a e-mail every Friday morning stating that there will be a meeting with beers and some developers will show the latest tricks they found and you have your office2.0 completed. So you do not have to spend a large budget, at least we do not have to spend a large budget, we can just simply start a wiki and get going.

Now we can start talking about a good working environment… nice desks, fancy stuff….. Well currently I do have a great laptop, UMTS card, mobile phone, a Sun Netra server under my desk, fat-boy close-by and a football somewhere around my desk… a lot of junk and books around me… just the way I like it. I have to admit I hate clean-desk policy and stuff like that… To be honest I like a desk like the pictures below…. Just think about that… and no this is not my home-office desk or work desk… I will try to make some pictures about that for a upcoming post, just to entertain you guys.

(Above)Al Gore in his office (Steve Pyke for Time).

(above) Kevin Rose at his desk

(above) desk from Dave Bouwman from

Daily web finds 2.0

Windows XP service pack 3
Seven pages of secret internal Microsoft documentation have leaked discussing the internals of windows XP service pack 3. Like to take a sneak peak in the Microsoft documentation? Follow the link to find out what will be shipping to you in the coming time.

Macs Gaining a Bigger Role In Enterprise is running an article on the bigger share of Macs which are being found in offices around the world. Macs where already widely accepted in the printing industries where they where the number one choice in most cases. Today you see more and more “normal” users make use of a Mac instead of a “normal” pc platform. A great direction we are heading into. Mac’s are just sexier than normal PC platform computers by the look and feel they have and Mac OS X is a great operating system.

NASA researching 'nanosats' for orbiting 5G space network
NASA is looking for a way to build a space network by implementing “nanosats’. Teaming up with “Machine-to-Machine Intelligence Corporation”. The two organizations intend to develop swarms of spacecrafts weighing between 11 and 110 pounds, which will be placed in low Earth orbit to create a commercial telecommunications and networking system.

GIOVE-B in space
ESA has launched the second satellite for the Galileo satellite which, when it is finished, should replace GPS for the European customers.

Worldwide RDBMS 2007 Vendor Shares

Carl Olofson, Research Vice President, Application Development and Deployment at IDC, has released the “Worldwide RDBMS 2007 Vendor Shares” report. And things are looking quite good for Oracle. Oracle is leading the RDBMS market (again) with 44.1% against a share of 43.7% last year. So the Oracle market share is growing, even more important it is growing more than that of the other vendors. Meaning that Oracle is not sharing the pie with other vendors in this market segment, Oracle has established a growth of 13% where all the other vendors have a 12.1% growth.

IBM is holding 13.3% of the market and Microsoft has gone from 18.4% to 18.3%. Quite interesting figures however I am not willing to pay enormous amount IDC is asking to download the report.

Derailleur gear

For some reason I always have trouble with a derailleur gear when fixing my bike (or the one of my girlfriend). For some reason I am always hassling on the question of how this thing in the name of St. Isidorus was ever connected to the rest of the bike. So now I will make a post on my weblog only for my personal interest mainly so I can always look it up on how this thing needs to be connected.

Installing a derailleur needs to be done as the picture below: This will save me a lot of trips down to my other bike to check how it is done there. (sorry for the people not interested in how a derailleur needs to be connected to a bike, this is a pure personal interest post for me…. Please forgive me). More information about the inner working? Look at the patent site, patent number: 3974707.

New downloads from Oracle

Oracle has some new downloads available on their website. Newly available are:
- Oracle Business Process Analysis Suite 10g (
- Oracle Database Vault 10g Release 2 ( for Linux x86-64
- Oracle Instant Client for Mac OS X (v10.2.0.4 Intel x86)

Oracle Business Process Analysis Suite 10g (
As the marketing text from Oracle tells you: “Oracle Business Process Analysis (BPA) Suite speeds process innovation by rapidly modeling business processes and converting them into IT executables. Oracle BPA Suite, based on the market leading IDS Scheer ARIS Design Platform, delivers a comprehensive set of integrated products that allows business users to design, model, simulate, and optimize business processes to achieve maximum operational efficiency. Now you can narrow your company's "strategy to execution" gap with Oracle BPA Suite.”

So meaning, it is a tool do your business process analysis and development based upon the ARIS design. ARIS is to complex and to vast to start explaining it in this post, however a good starting point is for example this PDF file from SAP or you can for example take a look here for another high level overview.

Oracle Database Vault 10g Release 2
Already for some time the release 2 version of Oracle Database Vault 10g was available for download however not fro Linux x86-64. Oracle Database Vault helps you protect your data within the database for people who have all the access to your systems. For example take a DBA who in principle will have access to all data within the database as part of his daily job. Now business compliancy programs like SOX will require that you protect some data even from those users like a DBA. The Database Vault will help you comply with for example SOX.

However, this can also be used for other purposes, let’s say you have to store very sensitive data in your oracle database like military grade information or medical patient records. You want this information available only to users who have access rights to it by their business role and not give access to it to people by their technical role they play in your IT department. Also in those cases you can use the Database Vault to make sure nobody can read data they are not supposed to be.

Oracle Instant Client for Mac OS X
Running Oracle software on your Mac. For times it was a big wish of myself to be able to run all Oracle products on a Mac, now we see that more and more software comes to the market which is capable of running on the Mac. We already had the developer tools on a mac and even the database and numerous other things from Oracle and now we have the Oracle Instant Client for Mac OS X (v10.2.0.4 Intel x86) available to download from the oracle website.

“Instant Client allows you to run your applications without installing the standard Oracle client or having an ORACLE_HOME. OCI, OCCI, Pro*C, ODBC, and JDBC applications work without modification, while using significantly less disk space than before. Even SQL*Plus can be used with Instant Client. No recompile, no hassle.”

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Daily web finds 2.0

Data Visualizations blog is running a fun item on data visualization, some topics like twitter and the Google Visualization API( are addressed. A fun read and it might give you idea on how this great API can be used in combination with things like, Google Earth, for example the way twitter is working with it.

RFID in your glove
German researchers from the Fraunhofer Institut für Fabrikbetrieb und -automatisierung (IFF) have devised a RFID reader in a glove. Order pickers can have those gloves when picking orders. Every item they get in their hands will be registered and so one can construct a item list of items picked without the need of scan the RFID tag. By picking them item it is scanned automatically.

Google street view in Europe
Google has started recording the streets of its first non-US city for its Street View service. Google vans with mounted cameras have been spotted on the streets of Rome and Milan.Street View is the project which allows Google users to see photographs of any street in a surveyed area and even travel through the city, frame by frame.
It has been controversial because of the privacy implications of publishing images which inevitably contain people or private property. A lawsuit was filed in the US earlier this year which alleged that images on the site invaded one couple's privacy.Europe has stricter privacy safeguards than the US, which could impact on the service once it has been put into operation.

Google maps, driver game
Did you know you can use google maps to play a race drivers game? No you did not now that? Check out this link and drive your car on google maps.

IBM and web2.0 with iDataPlex
IBM introduced today an entirely new category of server uniquely designed to address the technology needs of companies that use Web 2.0-style computing to operate massive data centers with tens of thousands of servers.
Companies that operate massive scale-out data centers spend 10 to 30 times more on energy costs per square foot than a typical office building. The energy powers both hundreds of thousands of servers and the air conditioning needed to cool them. The exponential growth of such data centers will continue as streaming video, online gaming and social networks spike Internet traffic, requiring companies to build ever vaster pools of computers that devour energy resources to operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The IBM "iDataPlex" system leverages IBM's blade server heritage to build a completely new design.

Google Developer Days 2008
“a set of one-day developer events, are back and will take place in locations around the world. We've designed these events for developers with strong coding backgrounds, so that we can discuss our APIs, developer tools and applications.” The coding days will be given in the following cities around the world: Yokohama, Beijing, Taipei, Sydney, Mexico City, Sao Paulo, London, Paris, Hamburg, Madrid, Milan, Prague and Moscow. I am currently thinking about attending a Google Developers Day in Paris.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Oracle 10g Grid Control

Today Oracle released Enterprise Manager 10g Grid Control Release 4 ( for Linux x68-64. You can download the latest version for this platform from the oracle website.

Daily web finds 2.0

Today I like to introduce a new kind of topic on my weblog. Normally I post quite randomly things I encounter on the web. Interesting things, fun thing, etc etc…. However this is somewhat disturbing the main interest fields of this weblog, for the people who are already confused this is Google, Oracle, Linux/UNIX and SQL coding. Now I like to introduce a new topic I for which I like to post a daily post named “Daily web finds 2.0”. The “daily web finds” part I do not have to explain I think, the 2.0 part is because I have had a “service” like this before which I send out via e-mail to a select list of people a couple of years back. Now I like to restart this by making a post of it on my weblog.

I hope to maintain this on a daily basis however it can happen that I sometimes do not have the time or that the idea sounds fun at this moment however will become a pain within time which will mean I will stop posting the “Daily web finds 2.0”. So here is number one and this will set a example of what I want it to be… this can however change during time.

Global Enterprise Web 2.0 Market Forecast: 2007 To 2013
Forrester research today released a research paper by Oliver Young named Global Enterprise Web 2.0 Market Forecast: 2007 To 2013.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Enterprise spending on Web 2.0 technologies will grow strongly over the next five years, reaching $4.6 billion globally by 2013, with social networking, mashups, and RSS capturing the greatest share. In all, the market for enterprise Web 2.0 tools will be defined by commoditization, eroding prices, and subsumption into other enterprise collaboration software over the next five years; it will eventually disappear into the fabric of the enterprise, despite the major impacts the technology will have on how businesses market their products and optimize their workforces.

Imtech reports 90 million for datacenters
Imtech reports that is has received orders to build and or upgrade datacenters in Europe for a 90 million euro in the upcoming time. Imtech is one of the leading datacenter builders in Europe and analysts see this figure a key indicator for the continuing grow in the Europe’s IT land.

Motorola gets part of VirtualLogix
Motorola today announced it is investing into VirtualLogix. VirtualLogix is specialized in creating virtual machine solutions for mobile platforms. A good working mobile virtual platform would enable a mobile phone to run custom code in a save box on top of the host operating system. This would isolate custom code from the original code of the vendor and makes running custom downloaded application on your mobile phone a lot safer.

A work in progress
Steve Ballmer today admitted that Microsoft Vista is not finished and certainly was not finished when it hit the market. Today he called it “A work in progress” meaning there is still work to be done before it is completed. Most likely Microsoft decided to launch the product because Microsoft stock was going down because the release was postponed and again postponed. Service pack 1 is to be released and should solve most critical problems however would not solve all problems.

IBM press release
IBM Launches Mobile Web Initiative to Transform Consumer and Business Experiences. This is the title of a new IBM press release. At the 10th anniversary commemoration of IBM's India Research Lab, the company today unveiled a new initiative to bring even more features and functions to mobile devices as they continue to rival the PC as the primary tool for Web-based business, education, communication, entertainment and more.

The new IBM Research program will entail a number of efforts to bring simple, easy-to-use services to the millions of people in the world who have bypassed using the personal computer as their primary method of accessing technology, and are instead using their mobile phone to access the web, conduct financial transactions, entertain themselves, shop and more.

"The world is entering the 'Era of the Mobile Web.' In many countries, the mobile phone has become an electronic wallet, the window to the World Wide Web, an education device and more, and globally, mobile devices outnumber PCs, credit cards, and TVs," said Dr. Daniel Dias, Director, IBM India Research laboratory. "Today, we are launching projects that will make a mobile device an even easier to use than the PC, allowing you to do everything you can with a PC and much more.", 25 leading-edge IT research projects is running a story on the 25 leading-edge IT research projects. While companies like Google and IBM are showing with new developments universities are conducting also very nice research and having great results. Now here is a gathering of the top 25 research projects which are evenly cool as the once promoted in a big way.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Oracle Deal Management

14-April-2008 Oracle unveiled Oracle Deal Management which is designed to help companies increase profit by giving sales professionals a tool enabling them to optimize the deal process, control price erosion and consistently make better pricing decisions on every negotiation. Oracle Deal Management is a part of Oracle Fusion Middleware and will be interacting out-off-the-box with for example Oracle's Siebel CRM 8.0, Oracle E-Business Suite 11.i.10 and Release 12.

For more information about Oracle Deal Management check out the product website on the oracle site.

Server availabilty report

The Yankee Group has released his “2008 Server OS Reliability Survey” in which they show the average server downtime per operating system. As you can see from the figures of this report, Windows is absolutely not the most reliable operating system for your business critical systems. Even do this is already a known fact for some years you can see still in the webserver market that Microsoft is still getting more and more servers.

However I personally do have a strong feeling that this trend will stop in the upcoming months and Linux will also into his area start gaining market share again at the cost of Microsoft inc.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Oracle Critical Patch Update April 2008

E-mail from oracle:

The Critical Patch Update for April 2008 was released on April 15, 2008. Oracle strongly recommends applying the patches as soon as possible.

The Critical Patch Update Advisory is the starting point for relevant information. It includes the list of products affected, pointers to obtain the patches, a summary of the security vulnerabilities for each product suite, and links to other important documents. Supported products that are not listed in the "Supported Products and Components Affected" section of the advisory do not require new patches to be applied.

Also, it is essential to review the Critical Patch Update supporting documentation referenced in the Advisory before applying patches, as this is where you can find important pertinent information.

The Critical Patch Update Advisory is available at any of the following locations:

Oracle Technology Network:

Oracle, PeopleSoft and JD Edwards products:

The next four Critical Patch Update release dates are:

July 15, 2008
October 14, 2008
January 13, 2009
April 14, 2009

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Google infrastructure

Ever imagined how your website or web application would perform when it could be run on the Google infrastructure? Well now you can, Google starts hosting your applications in their datacenter on google servers and most likely running on the Google OS.

“Google App Engine enables you to build web applications on the same scalable systems that power Google applications.”

As google states:
What Is Google App Engine?
Google App Engine lets you run your web applications on Google's infrastructure. App Engine applications are easy to build, easy to maintain, and easy to scale as your traffic and data storage needs grow. With App Engine, there are no servers to maintain: You just upload your application, and it's ready to serve your users.

You can serve your app using a free domain name on the domain, or use Google Apps to serve it from your own domain. You can share your application with the world, or limit access to members of your organization.

App Engine costs nothing to get started. Sign up for a free account, and you can develop and publish your application for the world to see, at no charge and with no obligation. A free account can use up to 500MB of persistent storage and enough CPU and bandwidth for about 5 million page views a month.

During the preview release of Google App Engine, only free accounts are available. In the near future, you will be able to purchase additional computing resources.

I have tried to get a first account,… however…. I have been put on the waiting list because to many other people have applied for a developers account.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

The future of the browser

Years ago when I connected to the internet for the first time I was quite happy for some time working with all kind of applications without having a browser installed. There was no immediate need for a browser, working with sendmail, telnet, ftp, gopher, usenet and IRC was providing me more than enough information. Then I started to use browsers to explorer the World Wide Web part of the internet, text based browsing and my first graphical web browser Netscape which I received from a friend at the computer department of the University of Utrecht.

From that moment on the World Wide Web got into a rollercoaster ride. Today most applications do have a web interface build in or can be applied to it as an extra. Browsers and browsing itself becomes more and more a second nature. One of the downsides of using a browser on a specific client which always annoyed was that you have all your browsing information locally, tools to synchronize between several clients are available however this is always a pain to maintain and run.

Now Mozilla labs is working on a project called Weave which should easy this pain. The Weave project makes your browser talk to a central point to store information like bookmarks, browsing history and such where you store this. When working on another, for example home, client you will have the same bookmarks and other information as at your work. Mozilla-hosted online services will take care of storing this information and possibly more. This would also make Mozilla an ideal partner for Google so they can incorporate a lot of Google applications from the start, get even tighter with the Mozilla development teams and give Mozilla the change to make use of the extensive knowledge and infrastructure of Google. So in my opinion it is only a matter of time that Google incorporates Firefox.

An other project currently running at Mozilla is Prism, an XULRunner based browser that hosts web applications without the normal web browser user interface. Prism is based on a concept called Site Specific Browsers (SSB). An SSB is an application with an embedded browser designed to work exclusively with a single web application. It doesn’t have the menus, toolbars and accoutrements of a normal web browser. Some people have called it a "distraction free browser" because none of the typical browser chrome is used. An SSB also has a tighter integration with the OS and desktop than a typical web application running through a web browser. Also here we see already a lot of Google bundles for applications like Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs, Google Groups, Google Analytics and Google Reader. However there are also bundles shipped for Facebook and Twitter. These are the bundles shipped by Mozilla, there are also numerous User Contributed Bundles for a long list of services including Google and NON-Google services. Google Page Creator, Google Webmaster Tools and Google Notebook are included alongside bundles for for example rememberthemilk, Anywhere.FM and SeeqPod.