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Archive for April 2011

Let’s find out how good can get agile development methodologies, using cloud-based resources

Agile, the great enabler

Agile is a style of software development that places new capabilities right there in the hands of users, as and when they need them, and usually almost just about as rapidly as they need them. It does this by stripping the project requirements down into achievable component parts and then focusing on each part individually, single-mindedly, full of intent, energy and drive. As each part is developed so it becomes‘iteration’; a release of useable software that can be made available to users instantly. And while they start using it then the development team moves onto the next step, the subsequent iteration. At every step of the way there is an overt emphasis on collaboration between developers and users. Nobody goes off behind screens or departmental smokescreens or politics or excuses; everything is transparent to the client and the users. And one of the most magical aspects of all is that no functionality is built in which users are not going to use.

Put Agile together with Cloud and it’s a case of ‘now you don’t see it, now you do’.

Cloud computing, the great provider

Cloud and Agile are suddenly almost synonymous, in IT-speak. Perhaps the best way of summing up the benefits of Agile development methodologies is to refer you to the actual word itself, or the broad definition thereof: able to move quickly, with skill, and control. The Cloud can catalyze the development process. It’s just like the weather, in fact; it’s everywhere. This means that new applications can be made available to users instantly, the very second a development team has completed them. There is no need for drawn out distribution procedures, the risks of down-time thus entailed, patches and reinstallations. Users can jump straight in and start using. Integration issues are overcome, change management is minimized and risks are minimized.

Putting Agile together with Cloud accelerates an organization’s pace of improvement. Bear in mind also that the working style of Agile is very much tied up with user involvement, drawing users’ right into the heart of the development process. Functionality is developed as they want it, how they want it. As developments move along in cumulative steps (iterations) the features and benefits can be rationalized and reprioritized as each project unfolds. No waste, either of time, or money. And just as soon as everybody agrees that the application is where it needs to be, off it goes into the cloud and everyone can start using it.

The prospects for the organization, in any sector, are breathtakingly exciting; Agile, working via the Cloud, now gives greater control over process innovation and more strength to the competitive edge than has ever been the case before.

BR,
Kristina
Altabel Group

Google is said to be working with MasterCard and Citigroup to deploy NFC technology inside of Android phones to allow mobile payments. Apple is expected to deliver NFC on its next iPhone, which could create critical mass for mobile payments…

Still consider, believe it or not? :)

Think of a Smartphone as a very small laptop or netbook. People wouldn’t think twice about banking with either of these devices so a Smartphone should be thought of in the same way. In fact what is the difference between a mobile phone and website purchases in terms of security?

Before starting to use online banking via your Smartphone, there are some major considerations that need addressing. The first thing to consider is something that applies to any website you use that requires a log in. Never allow your Smartphone to remember these passwords as, if you are unlucky enough to have your phone stolen, your account is wide open and is likely to be emptied by a phone thief who has hit the jackpot. Most banking sites employ a secondary identification system where you need to answer supplementary questions but if you have allowed your phone to save these also then you really are asking for trouble.

Performing transactions via your Smartphone could also be risky but, as long as you are careful and pay full attention to the screen. It is all too easy to press the wrong key on your Smartphone, especially if it is a touch screen design. This means that if you were transferring money between accounts or paying a bill, you could easily find yourself paying either too much or too little.

To summarize, using your Smartphone for payments is a great tool providing it is used properly. It will give you up to date information whilst you are on the move and maybe even allow you to make difficult cash flow decisions without having to wait until you are back at a desktop PC, thus saving time.

BR,
Kristina
Altabel Group

Within the past couple weeks; we have had two major Web browser releases. Microsoft unleashed Internet Explorer 9, and Mozilla officially launched Firefox 4. Each browser had millions of downloads on its inaugural launch day. Bellow you may find some quotes from people who have already tried both of browsers and shared their opinions.

«I’ve installed both IE 9 on a Vista SP2 VM and Firefox 4 on my Mac Book Pro running 10.6.7, I have to say that I like both a lot; both are very clean browsers in terms of the user interface and both feel very quick in their operation. Firefox 4 is a major re-design in the product; I feel that IE 9 is a very nice re-working of IE 8. I will use both over the coming week more and I’ll see how both really compare.»
Neil Hobbs

«I haven’t even bothered with IE 9. Stopped using MSIE years ago and haven’t looked back. I really like the new FF4 interface. The customizability, and usability and most importantly, the amount of real estate they’ve cleared up make it a better browser. I like the available personas (doesn’t affect performance, but is a nice touch) and I can’t wait for more new themes.»
Mike Greene

«I just recently upgraded to Firefox 4 and I love the new interface, which surpasses even previous versions of its own browser. I am one of the seemingly growing numbers of folks who detest ALL versions of IE and frankly Microsoft should have a great deal more development on IE8 before it was released. I haven’t tested IE9 yet, but if what was true about IE8 is also true about IE9 I think I’ll be one of those who waits a long while before getting any newer version than 7.0 that I now use, and I only use that when some sites tell me they don’t work the way they should on some browsers. Otherwise, I use either Firefox or sometimes Safari, which is Apple’s browser.»
Matthew Booker

«Frankly, I wouldn’t ever consider IE in any version. I have no faith in what M$ tells me about it. I’m using Firefox 3.6.16, the last before FF 4. I downloaded FF 4 this morning and it behaved badly with respect to my add-ins, so I was forced to uninstall it and fall back. So much for early adoption.»
Brian C.

«I have not used IE since about version 6 back when it was *new*. However having tried IE9, I was pleasantly surprised at the progress Microsoft have made. I would recommend trying it out before passing judgment.»
Darren Cresswell

«For me the answer is Chrome – although I now have Firefox 4 also loaded, and apart from a few plug-in missing it seems to be pretty complete. Chrome just feels cleaner, simpler, and I am finding more and more sites now experimenting with HTML5 for video and better UI. What is crucial is the number of old corporate (and a few personal) PCs still running IE6 – they have to move forward. So many web sites have to cater for its quirks and even Microsoft has stopped supporting it for key systems like SharePoint 2010. If you look at browser version numbers, interesting that Chrome are already on version 10 – expect to see more and more developments in this area as the functionality wars really start to heat up.»
Brian Merritt

«IE 9 is one step beyond: clean and essential design, great usability, top performance. It lacks compatibility since can’t be installed on XP. The netbook I bought last year was equipped with XP home edition, to install Seven I needed to buy the OS license, double the RAM and performing a tricky installation (since no optical unit on this PC). Normal people won’t do this, neither will change their PC every year, that’s way FF4 that runs on every platform will be their best choice.»
Roberto Pellegrinelli

In my opinion, Firefox 4 wins over its Microsoft arch-enemy. But that does not mean Internet Explorer 9 is bad. Far from it. Firefox 4 and Internet Explorer 9 are going to be great browsers once released. If you’re a Firefox user, no need to abandon your favorite product. It’s still the good old stuff that made the difference and broke the monopoly. If you’re an Internet Explorer user, now you truly have a good browser, which you can use and be proud of.

Have you tried them both and decided on a winner or are you still thinking about which one is the best?

BR,
Kristina
Altabel Group


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