technology

5 Tips on Selecting a Custom Software Developer

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Custom software helps companies set themselves apart from the competition. Outsourcing your development needs to a third party can help streamline processes, track workflows, and increase productivity.

You want a product on your terms that meets your requirements. There are certain things to look for in a software developer:

1. What experience do they bring?

This means not just how long they’ve been in the software business, but what kind of experience they have with the type of software you’re looking for. Quality development requires programming from the ground up, not just patching together code snippets behind a user interface.

There’s a lot involved in this, such as data integrity, security, error handling, and cross-platform compatibility. The more experience a development team has in customizing a certain type of system, the higher the quality of their product. Be sure to ask about past development in similar projects, as well as the experience of the programmers involved.

2. Do they understand your industry?

Outside developers also need to be familiar with your industry. They need to be aware of current trends, regulations, common service issues, and customer expectations. For example, the requirements for a healthcare system will be very different from those of a construction company.

Ask just how much industry knowledge your developers bring to the table. They should at least be willing to learn whatever information you can give them. Instead of being focused on the latest technology or flashiest interfaces, they should deliver a solution that supports your brand within your industry.

3. What do they recommend?

An experienced agency should have clear ideas on how to best meet your requirements. Their developers should determine quickly what frameworks, protocols, and platforms will deliver the best value. They should be able to explain to you the current technical standards, understand exactly what needs to be done, and outline the steps they’ll take to get there.

Be wary of developers who try to sell you an out-of-the-box solution without taking the time to understand your company and your needs. If you’re pressed for time and money, an existing solution with a few minor changes may work. But the best value will come from a software vendor with a solid grasp of your operations and your expectations.

4. Can they provide accurate price quotes?

The pricing for software development can vary widely, depending on the vendor, the scope of the project, plans for integration, or future maintenance. You want a developer that will give you a fair and comprehensive estimate of your costs. However, if there’s a chance that you’ll be initiating changes mid-project, you should be flexible on your budget.

Custom software can cost tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. You may run out of funds if the agency requires further compensation as projects become more complex. Both sides should be clear on the pricing structure.

5. What level of testing do they conduct?

Thorough testing is necessary to identify and avoid potential failures and security vulnerabilities. They should explore a variety of likely use cases. Checks, including user testing and real data, should be done at every phase to ensure you have the desired speed, capacities, and functionality.

This should include full documentation and accountability on all discovered bugs and fixes. Marginal or no system glitches are rare, and such claims should be viewed with suspicion if adequate testing hasn’t been done.

Even for smaller companies, customized software tools can provide a distinct advantage. Whether it’s a mobile app for customers or in-house analytic tools, only experience and careful attention will ensure that it fits your unique operations.

 

Top Business Solutions To Grow Your Home-Based Business

Top Business Solutions To Grow Your Home-Based Business

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According to research, a large percentage of employed people are either unhappy at their jobs or looking to quit. Having a job provides safety and security, but it can be intolerable due to the long hours, being underpaid, horrible bosses, and lack of freedom. Luckily, you don’t have to suffer forever. Starting a business isn’t as hard as it was. A home business could just be what you need to get emotional, personal, and financial freedom. However, to succeed, you need to come up with business solutions to give your home business that extra push to grow it faster and to generate more revenue. The following are a few tips that should help you get organized for your home-based business.

Have a Distinct Working Area

For your business to be successful, you need an environment that is peaceful and quiet enough to work in. Since you are working from home, there could be a lot of noises and disturbance expected from a home setting for instance from kids, neighbors, or guests. You need to find a way to work around that. You can sacrifice a room and convert it into an office where you can lock yourself in and get your work done at any time.

Get a Good Business Mobile Plan

You need to be able to communicate with clients at any time. To achieve this, you need to choose between the many available business mobile plans being offered by various telecommunications companies. There are many options to choose from depending on price, features of the plan, provider, among others. Before selecting a plan, go through its terms and conditions thoroughly to make sure you get the most minutes and data for the least price possible.

Stable Broadband Connection

In the modern world, most of life happens on the internet. The same goes for businesses. Many businesses are shifting their focus to the online consumer with some even closing down their physical shops and going online. Depending on the nature of your business, you need to have a reliable business broadband connection at all times in your home. This will help you find more customers and stay connected with your clients using social network channels. Communication with clients is also made easier, as you can receive orders, send emails, or invoices from your home.

Get an All in one Printer

When you are working from home, one of the major challenges you expect to face is inadequate space. You may be unable to fit all the equipment you need for your office in the small space available forcing you to embrace the minimalist life or find gadgets that do not take up too much space. Luckily, brilliant scientists were able to come up with a fantastic machine that combines a printer, fax, and scanner into one small device. In addition to saving your space, this machine also saves you the cost of buying the three machines separately.

Make use of Free Tools

There are so many resources especially on the internet that are free but can have a considerable impact on the success of your small business. These include networking sites, social media, or google docs. If you make use of them correctly, you can grow your business effortlessly. For instance, you can use social media to advertise your products to thousands or even millions of potential consumers for free. You can also use communication apps like Skype to interact with your clients in real time wherever they are.

Starting a home-based business does not have to be a scary decision. Many tools can help you get started and grow your business by unimaginable proportions. All you have to do is do your research and choose the best home-based business solutions that suit your unique business.

Medical Technology On The Move

Medical Technology On The Move

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Digital innovations have made great advances in healthcare possible in an amazingly brief timeline. Until recently, the rapid forward pace of technology had limited impact on medical science, but now medicine is about to undergo the biggest changes in its history. In this new era of medicine, physicians can monitor vital metrics like blood pressure at all times while patients are asleep, at work, or in the throes of emotional crises.

Medical Technology On The Move

A few of the many innovations in medical technology over the past year:

  • NXT Health is updating hospital room design to eliminate redundancy and clutter and to integrate changing technology more easily with interchangeable parts easily adaptable to specific patient situations.
  • Roswell Park Cancer Institute and the University of Buffalo School of Engineering and Applied Sciences have created a robotic surgery simulator that eliminates the need for live patients for surgical training sessions.
  • The diagnostics firm Theranos has designed a way for clinical laboratories to perform their tests with microsamples of blood a thousandth the volume of traditional and typical, current samples. This innovation will improve patient experience and cut lab test costs.
  • With “clustered, regularly interspaced, short, palindromic repeats” (CRISPRs), scientists can edit genomes more precisely, efficiently, and flexibly than ever. They have created monkeys with mutations to prevent human immunodeficiency viral infections in human cells. Chinese scientists have applied the technique to nonviable human embryos in efforts to develop a CRISPR cure for any genetic disease.
  • The first successful mitochondrial deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) transplants occurred in the late ’90s, and now these procedures promise better treatment for genetically-related diseases. The process, in which parents contribute to in vitro fertilization and a third party contributes the mitochondrial DNA, is approaching perfection and indisputable utility.
  • With a new physician-referral service, referralMD, healthcare providers digitally create referrals that reach millions of patients and fellow providers searching for treatment options. Current, paper-based referrals fail 50 percent of patients, who never actually make intended doctor visits, a gap that causes them lose treatment opportunities and providers to lose money. The referralMD application is part of the new health informatics field, which collects, stores, and delivers health data in digital format.

Future Healthcare

Methods of sharing and storing medical records and data are changing as well. These cost-effective changes are technological advancements that improve medical professional abilities to diagnose and treat all medical problems. Three changes driving the future of healthcare are electronic health records, health information exchanges, and the tenth revision of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-10), a World Health Organization medical classification system.

Electronic Health Records

Medical billing and coding have transitioned from paper- to computer-based formats. Electronic health records make healthcare more efficient and less expensive and improve care by making patient medical histories quickly, safely, and easily accessible to all providers. Physicians access information on all care patients ever have had to identify and diagnose their current complaints with a streamlined process that contains costs.

Health Information Exchanges

Health information exchanges securely share patient medical histories among physicians of all specialties while patients also access data about their own health profiles. According to HealthIT.gov, new payment approaches that stress care coordination and financial economy drive the demand for health information exchanges.

ICD-10

ICD-10 is the latest innovation in diagnostic tools, essentially a global medical system of over 14,000 codes that bill patients and insurers for services with high specificity. In the United States, ICD-10 classification includes additional codes that raise the total to 76,000 ways of processing medical claims. Healthcare facilities must install new software and train staff in ICD-10 guidelines, another area in which skilled health informatics professionals are of high value. The new approaches to medical coding, health information exchange, and billing require specialized databases customized to meet the needs of each physician and medical practice.

Medical Practice Management

Medical practice management systems help physicians with patient demographics, billing procedures, reports, and appointment schedules. Practice management applications can improve clinical workflow efficiency dramatically and boost reimbursements from health care insurers and other providers.

Medical practice management systems are usually on-premises or in-house but may be Internet-based hosted services for regular, ongoing subscription payments while in-house systems usually cost more upfront with lower ongoing maintenance costs. These management systems in combination with electronic medical records comprise fully-integrated electronic medical suites. Cloud practice management software and Internet-based electronic medical records give providers and patients the ability to access patient and practice data from any computer with an Internet connection.

AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard 6.0 Review

AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard 6.0 Review

| Computers | No Comments

Many users may use the Windows built-in disk partition manager to organize their hard drives for better operation speed and performance. However, some advanced partition management is unavailable. So third-party partition manager software is still a great need. If you’re still hunting for free partition software for hard disk and partition management, the newly released AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard Edition from AOMEI Technology is a nice choice.

AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard Edition is an all-in-one partition solution and disk management freeware that offers pretty much all features the average user would need to manage their disks and partitions. Based on most users’ feedbacks, the AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard Edition 6.0 fixes the previous bugs perfectly, such as fixed issues: system is unable to boot after OS migration; display Code: 12 when performing partition operations under PreOS mode; display Code: 2 – failed to assign a drive letter; the program stuck at System Updating; progress display when performing partition operations from command prompt. Besides, more new features and functions added, some of which are chargeable in many other disk partition software, for instance, enhanced GPT to MBR disk conversion: support to convert a GPT disk that has more than 4 partitions to MBR disk. Fully clone system disk between MBR and GPT partition styles and ensure system is able to boot from destination disk (e.g. clone system disk from GPT to MBR, MBR to GPT, GPT to GPT, and MBR to MBR).

With its magic features, you can resize/move, merge, split, copy, create, delete, format partition, align partition, hide partitions, convert between GPT and MBR, wipe hard drive/partition, and repartition hard drive without losing data or corruption. The built-in step by step Wizard Guides allow you to quickly and easily finish complex operations including copying partition, cloning entire hard disk, Extend Partition, Convert NTFS to FAT32, etc. All thanks to the stable partition recovery wizard, the lost and deleted partition is not your problem any more. The OS migration wizard empowers you to migrate OS to another hard disk including SSD and HDD without reinstalling OS and applications. Creating bootable CD wizard allows you to create bootable CD or USB flash drive in a few clicks only. You will not worry about the situation of OS crash any more. Moreover, with the Windows To Go Creator wizard, you can install your customized Windows 8 or 8.1 on removable USB flash drives and external hard drives to boot it from any computer on which you want to use Windows 8 or 8.1. You don’t have to buy Windows 8 Enterprise Edition to create a Windows To Go USB drive. The main interface as follows, is very clear and straightforward.

AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard 6.0 Review

Overall, as a personal experience with this tool, AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard Edition is an excellent freeware disk partition utility with good reputation among worldwide users. This freeware is compatible with both 32 bit & 64 bit versions of Windows operating systems, including Windows 10, Windows 8/8.1, Windows 7 (SP1 supported), Vista, XP, and Windows 2000 Professional. You can partition hard drive Windows 10 or resize Windows 10 partition at your choice with just a few clicks. To be on the safe side, you’d better make a backup of your important data before modifying your disk partition jus in case if something goes wrong.

The Best Technology Gadgets Of 2015

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Today we live in a technology era, where we love to spend more of our time with our most preferred gadgets and modern devices. The upcoming technology and gadgets have totally captured our mind and now we cannot imagine our life without them. If we look back into the past, we will realize that video cassettes have been replaced by the MP3 player and cameras by smartphones. Soon we will experience more wonders of this technology which will give us an experience of living in the fictional world. Most of the work will be done in less than a second and the day is not far when your newspaper will read the news to you, every morning. Such is the impact of technology that has made people smarter. Needless to say, soon we will enter into the robotic age where most of the work will be accomplished by robots, performing surgeries on humans being amongst one of the latest example clearly justifying the arrival of the robotic era.

The Best Technology Gadgets Of 2015

The most important and widely used device of this era is the smartphone. You must have noticed that almost all the people holding a smartphone gives them an opportunity to play games and interact with their far distant relatives through Skype or Whatsapp. With availability of efficient mid-range smartphones, many people can buy them as it falls under their expenditure budget.

These smartphones have enabled them to try most of the things which otherwise they wouldn’t have. They are able to shoot selfies and make videos of some events like immortal actions in their everyday life and then send them to other people, thus helping people become aware of mishaps, well in advance. One of the features worth mentioning is that it is your gateway to enter into e-commerce. By using it, you will be able to handle your business through this smart device.

Apart from smartphones, Windows phablet is seizing the world in its clutches with surprise. Phablets resemble small tablets meeting both the requirements of slate and a smartphone. In the market, excellent budget Windows phablets are available and one can buy according to his requirements. These phablets have a big screen with impressive display system.

Excellent budget Windows phablets have made millions of people enjoy the advantages of phablets and needless to say, with Windows support, they are able to explore and learn new things. It has brought entertainment in the life of people. You can expand its memory with an SD card. It also helps you in sharing files between the 2 devices.

Experience The New With Samsung Galaxy S7

Experience The New With Samsung Galaxy S7

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World, which we know is all about technology. When we talk about technology, the first things that come to our mind are Smartphones and tablet computers. Well, we have a lot of good smartphone companies around us but the one that have always set their standards apart is SAMSUNG. Gone are the days when Samsung’s Smartphones were inspired by Steven Hawking, great but do nothing. Now they have grown, and by that we mean matured.

We all remember the mighty GALAXY S2, whose likes are still present on the planet. Then they revealed the S3, which was so good, that even after 4 years of its debut, people are still buying that beauty. Their next device was bigger, but it failed the company’s hopes drastically as it was a total failure.

But at the same time, company was still in good business with their other models, like NOTE SERIES, GRAND SERIES, etc. But, they knew what should be their next device as they learned from their failure. And this brought the S5 into the market, which was a brilliant all rounder.

The S6 was launched in this year by the company, which was for the first time launched in two variants, S6 and S6 EDGE. The S6 is as brilliant as your normal desktop computer, but the S6 EDGE is something more to it, the future. Enough for the history, as of now the biggest Smartphone manufacturer on earth is planning to launch something really amazing in the next year. Yes, you guessed it right, the Samsung Galaxy S7.

Features of the Device-Galaxy S7

Samsung really has high hopes from their next flagship model, and that is why, the company has patented all its chips, of which LDDR4 chips which are really tiny. These chips will be developed as the 6GB RAM module, which means, poweerrrrrr. This will allow you to operate 6 instruction  taking processor, instead of the 3-instruction 64 bit processor, which is yet to be revealed in the S6. News is that the Smartphone giant may use flexi-display in the S7, but if not, a 4K will be the next thing that Samsung will launched it with. Performance and the octa-core snapdragon processor goes the same way and that is why, Samsung is going to marry this beauty with the OCTA-CORE SNAPDRAGON PROCESSOR 3 GHZ or the processor from the Iphone, exynos 16 core big.LITTLE. If you are all about photography, then this might be a perfect device for you because of its 20 MP camera, which can be used as the rear as well as the front camera, by rotating it. The S5 and S6 series already has a touch id security lock, Samsung has also upgraded it and also fitted a retina scanner which will also require the scan even when purchasing from Google play store. If this will make you think that battery might not be able to handle this much stuff, then guys, come on, it’s a Smartphone and it can give you a 50 percent charge in just 15-20 minutes through its fast charging technology the same as expected on Lg g5.

That is all for now, because the company has its mouth sealed because the device will be launched in 2016 but looking at what we have got makes it difficult to wait to get hands on the S7.

Migrating To A New Cloud: Tips For Minimizing Your Downtime

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At some point in the current era of technology, it will become inevitable for your company to migrate its cloud system from one server to another, or to adopt a cloud strategy for the first time. That may entail moving completely to an external cloud, migrating from old to new hardware, or anywhere in between. Cloud migration is an essential part of keeping a business or company competitive, since migrating to better and more efficient systems can lead to faster and more convenient processes, among many other benefits. However, migrating a cloud system may still prove problematic, as an incorrect installation could lead to lengthy downtime and less reliability.

Knowing when a Migration is Needed

It’s important to recognize when it’s time to migrate to a new server, as migrating too early will not yield enough benefits to make the move worthwhile. One of the biggest reasons for migration is to replace legacy or otherwise old hardware with a state-of-the-art infrastructure. You’ll know it’s time for you to migrate to newer software if one of these situations occurs:

  • Your cloud has progressively gotten slower as a result of increased load due to newer, more resource-intensive software
  • Your cloud is struggling to keep up to date as a result of a lack of new features
  • It’s become too expensive to maintain legacy hardware
  • Security has improved and your business needs to ensure that only authorized agents can access the cloud

Migrating To A New Cloud: Tips For Minimizing Your Downtime

Being Aware of the Tasks Ahead and Possible Pitfalls

With the knowledge of why you would migrate a server, it’s important to balance the potential gains with the amount of work that will be required. As mentioned earlier, a server migration will usually involve a move to better-equipped or more suitable hardware, which would cut costs, help with scalability or both. Additionally, newer servers usually have stronger security features that are important for keeping your company’s information secure and private.

However, migrating your cloud involves a possibly long period of downtime while data and services are transferred to new hardware or a new location. During this time, your company won’t be able to access information, which would critically hamper company activity. In the current IT era, it’s critical for your company to be working at maximum efficiency for as long as possible, and a migration, despite the benefits, may ultimately be too detrimental for your business.

Beginning the Migration Process

To start a cloud migration, the first thing to take do is to keep backups and double-check processes. Nothing is more frustrating than realizing data was lost or deleted in a transfer. Taking some time to make backups and prepare the system thoroughly will save much more time and money in the long run as you maintain the new system, such as a hosted Windows cloud service. After the files are migrated to the new server, don’t immediately cancel or shut down the previous server until the new server is up and running. This will ensure that if problems occur, you’ll still be able to revert back to the working model.

Keeping these tips in mind, you’ll be well equipped to migrate your server to new and better hardware. In this day and age, it’s more important than ever to stay current on technology, and migrating your cloud will likely help your company maintain standards of efficiency.

CMS Options: How To Choose The Right One For Your Business

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Selecting the right content management system (CMS) for your business requires a little introspection. You’ll need to consider how your business will be using this CMS, how visitors to your website will interact with your content and what you future growth plans include. Take a close look at your business to find the answers to these questions. Once you know what you need, you can begin looking for the right CMS to meet those needs. Here’s a guide to help you find the right CMS to match your business needs.

Content Management System

A content management system is the software that helps you organize and present information on the web. This can be a blog, ecommerce site, traditional website or something else. A good CMS helps you create a cohesive front-end to present your content to the world.

WordPress

The most popular CMS on the web, WordPress is used by more than 19 percent of all websites. Using plugins and themes, it’s possible to modify WordPress to do almost anything you can imagine. It can be a regular website or blog, but it can also become a social network, video blog, photography portfolio, ecommerce site, classified ad site, blog network and much more.

Drupal

Another community-supported open-source project, Drupal offers a very robust CMS. These sites are commonly operated by organizations and groups that want a front-end to share with the world and a back-end that will help with group organization. It’s great for complex sites with lots of users.

CMS Options: How To Choose The Right One For Your Business

Magento

One of the best ecommerce content management systems is Magento. It’s very easy to set up a site, add products and start selling online. While other systems can do ecommerce, they don’t do it as well as Magento.

Business needs

Begin by looking at your own business needs. Start with your current needs and think about how the company will grow in the next few years. Do you need a blog? Social network? Ecommerce solution? After carefully considering your current and future needs, you can take a look at the features of any CMS under consideration to see if it meets your requirements. Keep in mind that WordPress, Drupal, and Magento are only three of the more popular CMS options available. There are lots of other CMSs to choose from when finding the right one for your business needs. Determine how you’ll host the site. Running your own server and maintaining a CMS can take a lot of time and effort that could be spent elsewhere. You might benefit from a hosted Magento, WordPress or Drupal solution, allowing you to focus on your content and user experience rather than the underlying technology.

CMS Checklist

Here’s a list of common features people look for when selecting a CMS. Tick off the features you want and count how many times WordPress, Drupal or Magento shows up on your list. The one that shows up the most is probably the right choice for your needs.

· Photography portfolio – WordPress

· Video blog – WordPress

· Classified ads – Other

· Social network – Other

· Customer Relationship Management (CRM) integration – Drupal & Magento

Some common features of WordPress, Drupal, and Magento include:

· Blogging

· Easy to edit (WYSIWYG)

· Asset management

· Search engine optimization (SEO)

· Customization

· Budget-friendly open-source option

· Open-source community support

· Premium hosting and support options

· Multilingual design and support

· Roles and permissions

· Support for multiple websites

The right content management system for your business is the one matches your business needs. Three of the most popular options are WordPress, Drupal and Magento. However, these are only a small fraction of the options available to you. The process of finding the right CMS begins with careful consideration of your own business needs and ends with a comparison of the features included with a wide range of solutions.

Tips For Site Migration

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Site migration can be a difficult process on both a technical and marketing level, but it can sometimes be necessary to further grow your company and your brand. Site migration that isn’t handled in the right way can have devastating effects on a company’s online marketing and lasting effects on a company’s growth.

What is Site Migration?

Site migration occurs any time a website is moved from one URL to another or from one host to another. It’s important to understand that site migration could occur on either a user level or a server level. A URL can change from one URL or another without any physical change to the location of the website’s files. At the same time, the physical location of the website’s files could also change without a change to the URL. Before committing to a site migration, you should properly understand the type of migration you require.

Tips For Site Migration

Why would you need to Migrate your Site?

Site migration can become necessary for a few reasons. You may be changing your company’s branding or you could be merging with another company. Both could necessitate the adoption of different domain names and a change in the structure of your website.

If you’re not changing the URL of your website, you may simply be changing hosts. Changing hosts can become necessary if your prior host no longer suits your needs. When changing hosts, many will offer seamless transitions that occur during your website’s slowest hours and do not affect your users at all.

How does Site Migration Affect your Company?

If you are abandoning your old domain, you may find that much of your search engine optimization will be lost. This can be extraordinarily detrimental to your online marketing strategy. To minimize this loss, ensure that all of your URLs from your old website redirect appropriately and make sure that everything on your website is functioning as it should.

When keeping your domain and simply migrating your files, your task is much easier. You simply need to ensure that you transfer your files correctly. If you don’t test your new website thoroughly, you could find unexpected issues that could cost you customers. You might even lose some data permanently if you didn’t backup your data from your old host properly.

The DNS transition from your old server to your new server may take as much as 72 hours, so you shouldn’t take down your old site immediately. Instead, you should transfer your old site to your new server and then thoroughly test the site on the new server. Once you are certain that all of the data transferred correctly, you can start the process that will send users to your new site.

How can you make your Site Migration Easier?

External hosting services can make the entire process of site migration much easier. External hosting services often offer features that will automatically transfer your website from host to host. This takes the burden off of you and your IT department and ensures that everything will transfer correctly, no data will be lost and your users may never even realize that there was a change. An external hosting service will be able to mirror your website from server to server, eliminating the potential for costly mistakes.

If you’re transitioning to a cloud server, make life easier for you and your IT team by switching to the same or similar operating system. For instance, if your servers all run Windows right now, find a Windows cloud host that has baked-in support for your platform so you don’t have to worry about compatibility issues.

Site migration is best done early on in a company’s online development. Once you begin to feel that you are outgrowing your current host or that you will eventually need more than your host can give, you should begin your migration. A preemptive migration will save you from larger costs down the line.

The When and Why Of Cloud Database Migration

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Your business is filled with server racks hosting everything from your email to your website, so you may be looking into cloud strategies to cut down on costs and improve your servers’ performance. A cloud database migration allows you to shift all or part of your servers off-site into a distributed hardware configuration that prevents you from being held hostage to a single point of hardware failure. The practical, day-to-day administration of a cloud database doesn’t differ greatly from an on-site setup, so your network administrators won’t be dealing with extensive retraining or a large learning curve.

Why Migrate to the Cloud?

When you use public cloud providers for your databases, you receive direct and indirect cost savings. The direct cost savings come from only paying for the database resources you need, when you need it. It also cuts down on the amount of software licenses you need to purchase, as the cloud database provider has bulk pricing on this. The indirect costs come from outsourcing the responsibility of maintenance, a majority of monitoring and troubleshooting, so you don’t have to put network resources to these tasks. The scalability of the cloud database servers is especially good if you have varying needs throughout the year or if you’re a business in the middle of a rapid expansion.

The When and Why Of Cloud Database Migration

Risks of Migration

One of the primary risks of cloud database migration is losing data during the migration process. This risk is mitigated by locking down the database or taking it down entirely during the process, so new data is not written to the server while the migration process occurs. It’s also essential to deduplicate as much of the database as possible so you aren’t copying over redundant records. The smaller the database, the easier it is to get it transferred over. In addition, clearing out the log files and caches of the databases also helps to reduce the size. Before making the cloud databases live to the public or your business at large, test it out for problems.

Application Checking

When you transfer your databases, you need to make sure that all of your applications work in the cloud environment. If you’ve been running on older hardware, the applications may not work well or at all in the cloud environment. It’s possible that you may need to use a combination of older servers with cloud-based servers in order to avoid switching over applications along with databases or look into Software as a Service (SaaS) to fill in the gaps.

The types of databases that really benefit from a transfer to the cloud are those that are hardware intensive. Instead of purchasing servers every time you have a new influx of traffic or users, you can scale up the amount of cloud resources you’re using. This also helps to avoid downtime due to the configuration, giving you a high availability option that keeps things going strong for you.

Develop A Data Strategy Before Moving To The Cloud

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Taking advantage of the cloud is a smart business move. It reduces reliance on physical storage, leaves valuable data under the protection of professionals, and increases employees’ ability to work remotely. Each business will have its own reasons for moving to cloud storage, yet it’s critical that those in charge understand the advantages of a cloud database for their business, not just business in general. The following are the major issues to examine when building a data strategy to ensure you get the right price and package.

What do you already have?

In order to find the best solutions, it’s important to understand both the failings and achievements of your current system. Look into what you may still be able to support internally. Does it make sense to maintain your contact lists or move them to the cloud? What about page backups? Consider the people running the servers. You may need to do some retraining for the entire staff shortly after the new system is in place. Instead of daily system administration, the IT department will now take on the role of informed buyers, looking for the best vendor partnership. Take some time determining how equipped they are to handle that task and if they have the skills required for today’s IT responsibilities.

Develop A Data Strategy Before Moving To The Cloud

What do you need?

For some businesses, cloud solutions directly impact the customer. (For an obvious example, think DropBox.) In other cases, the cloud serves as a virtual server room, providing more space for internal storage as a priority. Your data strategy may also include running analytics on the database. For instance, you could compare a current database against historical trends to evaluate the likelihood of certain outcomes through a cloud computing tool known as predictive analytics, something four out of five businesses are planning to implement. By having a plan before the move, you’ll be more able to adapt as your needs grow.

Who do you need?

Once you have a team equipped to make a decision and a strategic plan for moving forward, the last step is to choose a vendor. There is no best provider; rather, the choice depends on your business needs. High-tech businesses may just want someone who can set them up and leave them alone, while a smaller, independent may prefer the convenience and ease of 24-7 support. A startup should look for a lot of flexibility, while an established company may just look at the bottom line. Be sure to ask a few questions, including a few in regards to security and safety no matter your business needs.

Creating a data strategy in advance is important, but ultimately you’ll only know the full extent of your needs once you’re working in the cloud. You may find you’re hardly using certain services or that competitors are leveraging a strategy you passed by. To improve your chances of success, discuss scaling with your cloud database provider. By adding storage or removing certain abilities to accommodate peak periods and new staff, you can design a custom solution that works for the long term.

The Hosting Question: Cloud Server or Dedicated Server?

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Cloud servers are great, but dedicated servers are still hanging on. If you’re considering which would be the best choice for your company’s needs, it’s tough to find information on cloud servers that isn’t glowing, but that’s for good reason. Virtual storage and virtual computing power are a huge step forward. In the last few years, companies of all sizes have been able to realize new efficiencies while saving money, and team members can now collaborate and share data on projects, regardless of where individuals are located.

If you do a comparison of cloud services versus dedicated servers, you could reach the conclusion that taking the cloud route can offer many more options, such as more choices for operating systems and faster provisioning speeds. So is the dedicated server on the way out? Is our future going only “to the cloud!” as the Microsoft commercials shout at us? Not necessarily, or at least not necessarily right now.

Dedicated servers definitely have appropriate uses, especially for newer, smaller companies that may not want everything that public or private clouds have to offer. Also, clouds aren’t perfect, and concerns still exist when it comes to access, security, and the challenges of downtime. Here we’ll examine a couple of snapshots of each option and discuss what works and what concerns exist.

The Hosting Question: Cloud Server or Dedicated Server?

Dedicated Server Breakdown

If you love control and don’t have traffic concerns, then a managed dedicated server will be best for you. All the hardware is right where you need it to be. You don’t have to worry about your system resources slowing because of other people’s traffic. You’re also the only one to access your server, a big plus for security fans. Plus, it’s also easy to upgrade physical hardware, such as memory and disk space, and to customize software to work exactly for your company’s needs, rather than a uniform upgrade through the cloud that needs to be tinkered with later.

Cloud Server Breakdown

Security is definitely a big reason why we can’t conclude that the cloud is the end-all, be-all. No matter how much encryption exists for your data, it may still have some vulnerabilities when it leaves your possession. Hackers also could try to access your system, actively steal or alter your customer’s data as well or just monitor your process.

On the other hand, companies going the cloud route can find it to be a definite cost-effective IT solution. You have a lot of redundancy, and you don’t have to pay for a lot of hardware and maintenance, although you will have to pay for extra bandwidth and hosting costs. For special projects, you may even find ways to access a virtual system and pay by the month.

Overall, do the advantages of the cloud outweigh the concerns, especially if you have active security protocols in place? As long as they match up with your business requirements. Clouds of any kind can connect with physical servers, and there isn’t a single point of failure as there might be with a dedicated server. Yet if your business wants to avoid any security uncertainties and ensure that your server is being monitored around the clock, a dedicated server may be the best choice to make.

What Plugins Are Helpful For Business?

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WordPress is a valuable tool that businesses can use to create a blog or even a website. However, the most basic version of WordPress doesn’t provide all of the features a business needs to create a fully functional website. In order to create a more advanced website, businesses can install some of the many plugins WordPress offers to increase functionality.

What Plugins Are Helpful For Business?

Beneficial WordPress Plugins

Some of the WordPress plugins that are most helpful for businesses include:

· Broken Link Checker: Checks the website for broken links and images.

· WordPress Live Chat: Adds a live chat box to the site that the business can use to communicate with users.

· WPtouch: Transforms a desktop website into a mobile version in a matter of minutes.

· 404 Redirected: Eliminates 404 pages from the website by redirecting users elsewhere when a page isn’t functioning properly or doesn’t exist.

· ShareBar: Incorporates a toolbar on the page that allows users to share content via social media websites.

· Contact Form 7: Allows users to contact the business using a simple online form.

· Ninja Pop-Ups: Allows a business to create its own pop-ups that will appear to users at times the business designates.

· Google Analytics: Keeps track of search traffic, page views and other valuable information the business can use to gauge the effectiveness of its website.

· Related Posts by Zementa: Places a footer on the webpage that directs users to related articles or pages on the site.

Are these Plugins Necessary?

The plugins listed above may not be appropriate for every business website. However, by incorporating a selection of these plugins, a business can transform a basic WordPress blog into a full-service website with a professional appeal. For example, the incorporation of WordPress Live Chat and Contact Form 7 make the site more engaging to users by encouraging them to connect directly with the company. Likewise, social plugins like ShareBar encourage users to share website content with friends, which increases their level of involvement and invites other users to visit the site. Furthermore, adding other plugins like Google Analytics allows the business to evaluate and increase its website traffic, while plugins like 404 Redirect and the Broken Link Checker can be used to prevent malfunctions and keep the site running smoothly.

The importance of a Good Foundation

Although adding these plugins to a website can increase its appeal to users, the site won’t be a success unless it’s built on a solid foundation. Websites that malfunction frequently become inaccessible on a regular basis or load slowly will drive users away before they have a chance to enjoy the benefits of any installed plugins. For this reason, it’s essential for businesses to choose a reputable Web hosting company capable of managing all of the site’s traffic with minimal downtime.

To thrive in today’s world, businesses need a high quality, professional website capable of answering users’ questions and encouraging them to connect with the company. By building a WordPress site on a solid foundation and adding the right plugins, businesses can enjoy all of the advantages of a full-service website.

Why Investing In A Dedicated Server Makes Sense

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When it comes to web hosting, enterprises must make two major choices from the get-go. The first is the choice between a dedicated or shared server, and the second is whether to opt for a managed server or one handled by a firm’s own IT team. While selecting a shared server managed by an in-house IT team may appear to be the less costly choice at the onset, it can end up costing an enterprise far more in the end.

Why Investing In A Dedicated Server Makes Sense

Managed Dedicated Server Explained

Managed dedicated servers are servers devoted specifically to an individual firm. The company does not have to share its server with the any other companies, which automatically makes the server more secure, more effective and better able to handle large volumes of content. Adding a management team to the equation means someone else handles all the daily maintenance, operations and troubleshooting for the server, leaving the in-house IT team to attend to other tasks.

Top Strengths of Outsourcing Server Infrastructure

Business Intelligence

Outsourcing server infrastructure creates opportunities for business intelligence for any size firm. It gives smaller firms the same high-level data collection and analysis capabilities only enjoyed by firms with vaster resources, namely the IT labor to perform the collection and analysis.

Outsourcing ensures the team is in place without sacrificing any in-house staff and it ensures the team is always at the ready. Larger enterprises benefit by not having to wait until their own IT team is freed up from other duties to tackle business intelligence needs, providing rapid implementation to keep up with the smaller firms’ newfound capabilities.

Support

Outsourcing server infrastructure provides continuous IT attention and support for any infrastructure needs, Business2Community reports. A managed server offers technical support for any number of issues that can crop up any given time. It also means the troubleshooting headaches no longer fall on the shoulders of in-house IT staff. Ongoing support results in high network availability and less risk of downtime that can cripple a business.

Flexibility

Server management agreements come in a variety of flavors, so to speak, with various options available for companies of various sizes and requirements. This allows enterprises to handpick a plan that fits their needs as well as their budget without paying too much for excessive services they may neither need nor use.

What a Managed Dedicated Server Does for IT Efficiency

One of the greatest benefits of opting for a managed server is the boost it can give to IT efficiency. Instead of focusing on the daily duties of infrastructure management and maintenance, the IT team can instead focus its efforts on improving the overall efficiency and power of the enterprise.

The IT team can do this by using its freed-up time for the maintenance and updating of company software pieces. Software is what allows a company to stand out and thrive, and putting the IT team on software maintenance puts company resources where they matter most. With mundane infrastructure maintenance, troubleshooting and support no longer on the IT team’s agenda, the team can play a more vital role in growing the business rather spending all its energies maintaining it.

Photo Tuning Techniques For Professional Looking Portraits

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A portrait is essentially any representation of a facial expression or a simple face either in the field of photography, sculpture or painting. Portraits are made to display the mood and personality of the model or the person. In order to give the portrait more interactive feel, the subject looks directly at the painter or the photographer.

Photo Tuning Techniques For Professional Looking Portraits

Portrait Photography

The portrait photography is rapidly gaining popularity in the case of commercial industry. This is no surprise as people love having their portrait in the house or keeping a portrait that will remind them of a special event like a graduation or wedding. In the beginning the portraits were made by seating the subject against a plain background. Nowadays the photographic techniques allow various backgrounds outside the classical studio.

The Beginning Of Retouching Techniques

As the portrait photography began to emerge, together with it the portrait retouching industry has developed as a useful tool. Because photography can be considered art, it needs special attention to detail so that the personality and character of the subject are conveyed with extreme depth. Retouching is not as easy as it seems because this complex process needs to preserve all the details in the portrait and enhance them as well. With the help of computer technology, the specialists have created a number of tools totally useful. The Portrait+ program is an example of all the advantages that retouching can bring to an average looking photo.

Advantages Of Retouching

In the beginning of this process, you have to identify what elements you want to retain and to eliminate. This will show you the right way to actually bring the best out of the portrait. In this process the natural features of the person are enhanced and accentuated in order to give the best out of it. It seems to be clear that a waiter’s portrait will be different in approach from a baby’s one. During retouching distractions or blemishes are eliminated so that the skin will not have any scars or wrinkles.

The features like eye color or skin complexion are highlighted. The role of light is crucial in this case. The subject gets its own individuality by allowing even some flaws where art asks for it. Nevertheless the main goal is to give the portrait life and to make it look as realistic as possible.

It is important to make sure that you have all the tools that you need. Of course the initial photo needs to be of good quality and have enough elements of distinction. Together with this the retouching is merely the process of enhancing the portrait. The photographer needs to be careful to get a good picture out of the camera. Some realization flaws are totally hard to conceal even with the most advanced retouching. It is not that difficult to have professional looking photos and it is everyone’s duty to actually turn the average photography into art. This requires a lot of care and patience while paying attention to all the details of the photo.

Emma More writes for several websites and companies including Arcsoft. She writes on topics that relates to gadgets, social, and technology.

Why You Should Develop With Joomla

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Why You Should Develop With JoomlaJoomla! is an award-winning content management system (CMS) with more than 35 million downloads, thousands of extensions and designs built on an open source platform. With advantages like that, it’s easy to see why the software is so popular.

A major advantage to using a CMS is the ease-of-use. There’s almost no technical skill required to build Web sites and powerful online applications. The software is incredibly user-friendly and mobile ready, and since it’s open source, makes a great solution for almost any business, from the largest corporate enterprise to the smallest personal web page.

Joomla can be used for almost any type of web site: corporate Web sites or portals, corporate intranets and extranets, online magazines, newspapers, and publications, e-commerce and online reservation systems, government applications, small business web sites, non-profit and organizational web sites, community-based portals, school and church web sites or personal or family homepages.

As Rackspace’s Joshua Hatfield says, “You can customize Joomla into anything that you need it to be. There are thousands of templates, components, plugins and modules that help you make your site unique. Whatever you need to do, you have the ability to do it.”

Who uses Joomla in the real world? Joomla is behind businesses of every size, shape and kind, from MTV Networks to IKEA, eBay, General Electric and Citibank to McDonald’s restaurants to Outdoor Photographer magazine.

Joomla is designed to be easy to install and configure, even for novice users. Many Web hosting and cloud services providers offer a single-click Joomla installation option, which can help get your site up and running in no time.

“Whether you run a Windows or Linux environment, you are able to deploy Joomla. Within a matter of minutes you can get your Joomla site up and running, ready to serve up your content to your users,” Hatfield said.

And since Joomla is so easy to use, it can significantly shorten the sales and delivery cycle for Web designers or developers whose clients need a site fast.

Joomla also offers a wide variety of specialized functionality, most of which are free under the GPL License. You can check out the list of available extensions here, in the Joomla Extensions Directory.

Since Joomla is based on PHP and MySQL, you can use it to build almost any kind of applications, from inventory control systems, data reporting tools, application bridges, e-commerce systems, reservations systems, powerful communication tools and more. And since the framework is open, anyone can use, share, and support the software. To find out more information on leveraging the Joomla framework, visit the Joomla Developer Network.

Joomla also has a proven history. It branched off from the Mambo project in 2007 and has been steadily growing and attracting its own devoted following ever since. “In that time it has evolved into a very advanced and stable CMS that is used in schools, corporate intranets and small businesses, among others,” Hatfield said. “If you need a website, Joomla will be there for you.

And if you’re worried about support, consider this: Joomla has a dedicated, passionate community of users and developers who are constantly working to improve the software, offer support, and add new and improved functionality. Should the free support not meet your business’s needs, there are paid support services available from third-party consultants, developers, and designers.

Joomla is the most popular open source CMS currently available as evidenced by a vibrant and growing community of friendly users and talented developers. Joomla’s roots go back years and, with over 200,000 community users and contributors, the future looks bright.

Sharon Florentine is a freelance writer who covers everything from holistic veterinary care to data center technology and occasionally blogs for cloud provider Rackspace Hosting.