What Cloud Computing Means in Today’s World

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What Cloud Computing Means in Today’s World

Pete Chen | Manager, Hosting Services

The greatest misconception about the eruption of cloud computing is that it’s new. Cloud environments have been around for decades, just called something else. There’s no mystery behind cloud technology, no secret to making it better than on-premises solutions. The importance of cloud computing in today’s world is very much known. Your files don’t magically go up into the air and hover there in electronic form until you decide to pull it down with a spell. The only differences between the “clouds” of the past and those of the modern era are speed, security, and availability.

Simply put, cloud computing is a hosted environment. The same servers, hard drives, switches, firewalls, and routers exist. The same security protocols are used for physical access. When you store information in a cloud service, you are sending your data to someone’s data center. It is delivered through their firewalls and guided down the network path to the servers. The data is stored on hard drives similar to the hard drives in your laptop or computer.

Speed

Imagine going to your computer and uploading your photos to a cloud backup service. You click the upload button and see it’s going to take 10 minutes to upload each picture. If your folder contains 30 pictures, uploading those pictures will take 5 hours! The biggest difference between the data centers of the past compared to modern data centers is the speed with which the networks can send and receive data from the outside world. We live in a world where data transfer rates normally hover around 1Mbps, not Kbps. Faster data transfer rates mean you can send and receive data much faster than before. Storing a folder full of pictures takes less than a minute to upload and a similar time to download. The speed with which these actions can be done makes it possible for these services to thrive. Imagine the same scenario as before: uploading 30 pictures. This time, each picture takes about 5 seconds to upload. It now takes less than 3 minutes to upload, and you can get on with your life.

Security

Security is also very important. If you knew every item you uploaded to the cloud would be available to every internet user, would you still use it? Network security has always been available, but the sophistication of encryption has evolved over the years. Knowing your data is relatively safe from intruders is important not only for businesses, but also for keeping your personal data private. Cloud services have adopted strong security measures to ensure your data is protected. Users can rest assured the embarrassing pictures, or copies of their identification documents, are safe from prying eyes.

Availability

Availability of service completes the trio of improvements in cloud technology. While the concept is related to speed, it also includes the breadth of access points a user has to access their information. Having high-speed internet at work is great, but if that is the only place where you can quickly access all your files, it may seem impractical for home use. Furthermore, if employees of a company can quickly access work documents from abroad, it makes the service much more useful for business use. Having faster internet access at home, on a mobile device, and in the work place is vital for cloud services to work. The ability to access documents anywhere in the world on various devices helps to make people productive anytime, anywhere.

Cloud services are more than just a re-brand of an old concept; they’re also faster, safer, and more highly available than their predecessors. Managing infrastructure, whether it’s at home or in the work place, can get expensive and may not meet the same standards as a large cloud service provider. Knowing our data is safe and easily accessible makes cloud technology the perfect solution for many of our computing needs. Speed, security, and availability all are factors that help define the importancec of clou computing in toda’s world.

 

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Oracle WebCenter BPM Comment Scope & Actionable Emails

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Oracle WebCenter BPM Comment Scope and Actionable Emails

By: John Schleicher | Sr. Technical Architect

With the introduction of BPMN (Business Process Management Notation) workflow in the Oracle WebCenter portfolio the concept of BPM (Business Process Management) scope for user comments was introduced. This means that user comments with BPM scope will last throughout the workflow for any task within the BPMN process. If the application’s workflow maintains five independent tasks, then there is no need to pass the previous comments to subsequent tasks in order for these to be seen by the new task assignee. This contrasts to TASK scope, where the comment is only relevant to the single task and carrying these comments to subsequent tasks involves providing application level development to provide schema support within the process flow and assignment of these comments at the output of the tasks and again at the input of the new tasks. The overhead to maintain this inter-task capability is measurable and BPM scope speeds the workflow solution.

Actionable email is another workflow related capability which allows assignees to approve workflow tasks directly from their notification email without logging into the workflow system. The assignees get an email with a representation of the task form and can, as an example, select the Approve or Reject link in the email to relay their action back to the workflow system. As part of the capability, the user can enter comments to their activity. These comments are then associated with the task as if they were entered within the workflow system itself.

There is a wrinkle, however, with the combination of BPMN workflow scope and actionable emails.  Oracle actionable email comments haven’t evolved to the new BPMN paradigm and are defined as task-based. They will not show up in subsequent workflow tasks unless application programming passes them between tasks (copying them out to inter-task process flow on task exit and inserting into the tasks structure on new task input).

Does this mean that workflow designers using actionable emails are relegated to using the old paradigm of TASK-based comment scope? No, but they do have to accommodate comments in the schema to pass the TASK-based comments from one task  to the next (when those TASK-based comments exist), and they have to be ready to filter BPM scope comments out before new task input (when BPM-based comments are part of that set). If BPM scope comments are passed between tasks, they will appear as new BPM scope comments and be repeated. It becomes a bit of a design consideration on how to best handle the BPM versus TASK scope of comments which can impact the user experience within the Oracle BPM Workspace or BPM Worklist.

As a personal preference, I like to leverage BPM scope comments when I can, allowing the UI comment data entry to specify BPM comment scope and provide a filter task on output. The filter task can even go to the extent of resetting the scope of the TASK-based comment scope to BPM which has the potential of eliminating further management of comments if no further actionable email interactions occur. I have applied the following transform to post TASK scope processes to filter existing BPM scope comments and then re-apply BPM scope to further processing:

The transform that processes outbound comments looks like this:

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Logically, every comment that comes in with a commentScope of “TASK” will be passed through to output (and allowed to be inserted into the next task) and its scope will be reset to BPM. Also the taskID is cleared to ensure it can be appropriately processed by a new task.

Another option of course is to leave all commentScopes as TASK and maintain the pre-BPM scope paradigm through-out. This will definitely impact process schema, inter-task passing of comments, and the overall testing of those touchpoints.

Finally, be aware of the actionable email paradigm and incorporate the appropriate handling in your design when integrating with BPM scope comments. I have offered my integration technique and have managed to successfully integrate the two options when using BPMN with actionable email tasks.

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Press Release: Oracle Corporation Awards TekStream the 2016 Top Partner for Digital Experience

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Press Release: Oracle Corporation Awards TekStream the 2016 Top Partner for Digital Experience

Atlanta, GA (August 8, 2016) – Oracle Corporation, the leading provider of comprehensive and fully integrated cloud applications and platform services recognized TekStream Solutions with the Oracle 2016 North America Partner Achievement Award in Digital Experience. This award represents outstanding achievement in driving adoption of Oracle cloud solutions focused on helping organizations deliver next-generation digital experiences with contextual and targeted information to their users and enable employees to access information and applications through intuitive portals, composite applications, and mash-ups.

“One of the reasons TekStream’s revenue has grown the way it has is because we’ve strategically increased our investment in Oracle on-premises and specifically their Cloud platform,” stated Judd Robins, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “We’re excited about continued growth in the coming years as Oracles Cloud solutions rapidly become more widely leveraged,” he added.

Over the past few years, Oracle has been making a shift to cloud based technologies. With the introduction of Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), TekStream has developed strategies to help customers take full advantage of these new innovations. “TekStream has always had a focus on creating solutions to address common business needs. With the addition of Platform and Infrastructure cloud offerings from Oracle, TekStream is in a position to provide even greater offerings to our customers”, says Troy Allen, Vice President of Solutions. “There has always been a hurdle with configuring and customizing traditional on-premises applications to meet the changing needs of the business in a timely manner. Oracle Cloud’s technologies allow us to create solutions, including Contract Management, Digital Asset Management, and Campaign Management, that meet the needs of business now and can be quickly extended to meet growing business needs without having to rely on traditional development processes.”

About TekStream Solutions

TekStream Solutions is an Atlanta-based technology solutions company that specializes in addressing the company-wide IT problems faced by enterprise businesses, such as consolidating and streamlining disparate content and application delivery systems and the market challenges to create “anytime, anywhere access” to data for employees, partners and customers. TekStream’s IT consulting solutions combined with its specialized IT recruiting expertise helps businesses increase efficiencies, streamline costs and remain competitive in an extremely fast-changing market. For more information about TekStream Solutions, visit www.tekstream.com or email Judd Robins at judd.robins@tekstream.com.

About Oracle Corporation

From the data center to the cloud, Oracle is eliminating the complexity that stifles business innovation. By simplifying the IT environment, Oracle enables its customers – 400,000 of them across a wide variety of industries in more than 145 countries to innovate faster and create added value for their own customers.

For more information about TekStream Solutions or this exciting partnership, please visit www.tekstream.com or email Shichen Zhang at shichen.zhang@tekstream.com.

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