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Cloud computing news digest – 7 Nov 2011

General Motors to Use Google Apps ow.ly/7iOrP

jQuery 1.7 released ow.ly/7iJ2Y

Development in the cloud with Cloud 9 IDE ow.ly/7iIMP

Yo! Sushi to Save 40% by moving to cloud computing ow.ly/7iIHx

Amazon SNS does SMS | Morgan Hill Consultants Ltd ow.ly/7i5Sv

Trinity Mirror chooses Google Apps over rival IBM and Microsoft cloud services bit.ly/rTaDJC

UK small businesses at risk of getting stuck in technology dark ages ow.ly/7hxzn

How to: Google Spreadsheets and external data | Morgan Hill Consultants Ltd ow.ly/7i5LO

GitHub Enterprise – Install GitHub on Your Servers ow.ly/7hG0P

What Happened to CouchDB’s Popularity? ow.ly/7hDW1

GoGrid : Dedicated and Private Data Center Interconnectivity ow.ly/7frnK

Custom Reporting using Google Analytics and Google Docs – The Ultimate Analytics Mashup ow.ly/7dWDi

Is Data Encryption a must have in the public cloud? ow.ly/7dSXC

Amazon SNS does SMS

AWS logo

Amazon SNS allows developers to send messages from applications and systems on a pay-what-you-use basis. As for pricing, sending via SMS is the most expensive option within Amazon SNS: although the first 100 SMS messages are free any subsequent messages are charged at a rate of $0.75 per 100, and data transfer charges also apply.

The addition of SMS to SNS brings the total numer of supported protocols to six:

  • Email
  • Email in JSON format
  • HTTP
  • HTTPS
  • Amazon SQS
  • SMS

Amazon SNS is still in beta so some restrictions apply.

How to: Google Spreadsheets and external data

For a generation, Microsoft Excel has been the de facto tool of choice for slicing and dicing numbers. Microsoft has constantly updated Excel to keep it ahead of its desktop rivals, of which there are now very few. As the internet evolved Microsoft added online capabilities to Excel to allow retrieval of external data, such as stock market information.

Continue…

Cloud computing news digest – 31 Oct 2011

The Chef, the Puppet, and the Sexy IT Admin – Wired magazine has determined that the emerging hybrid of DevOps is offically sexy ow.ly/7bPzc

SQS Director explains the importance of testing in the cloud bit.ly/sgnaDT

Enterprise Cloud Licensing basics bit.ly/vKr7Na

Getting Started with Amazon EC2 (For Free) bit.ly/viOlPW

Enabling Google+ in Google Apps administration ow.ly/7bIvH

Microsoft Lync overview and basic features | Morgan Hill Consultants Ltd ow.ly/7atcD

Twilio Launches in Europe, Opens Office in London ow.ly/79MNc

How to create alerts in Microsoft SharePoint 2010 | Morgan Hill Consultants Ltd ow.ly/79MBh

Oracle to Acquire RightNowow.ly/77Yzv

The dynamic enterprise: Evolve or face extinction from The HP Blog Hub ow.ly/77Xfv

Can Google+ Become A Biz Collaboration Tool? – InformationWeek ow.ly/77WvN

Interview and Book Review: Specification by Example by Gojko Adzic – InfoQ ow.ly/77Wmg

Social media trends that we should be aware of j.mp/uGM2N1

Notes on the SearchLove conference including SEO and social media j.mp/sdsLkw

Sencha releases mobile HTML5 cloud | Morgan Hill Consultants Ltd ow.ly/77V7Y

Okta Delivers Industry’s First Fully Integrated Single Sign-On and Strong Authentication On-Demand Service ow.ly/76Ito

Three myths clouding CIO judgmentow.ly/76GzX

The Reality of Budget VPS Services ow.ly/76H37

Microsoft Lync overview and basic features

Microsoft Lync logoMicrosoft Lync takes the idea of online communication, corporate security and client side software integration to a new level. Widely considered a corporate replacement for Microsoft Windows Messenger, it has a lot more to it particularly as far as security is concerned. Whilst communication is over the internet, internally Microsoft Lync clients communicate over a secure connection.

Since Lync is primarily targeted to cater for the needs of the corporate world, it has the extra features that are the essential for the enterprise:

  • instant messenger
  • Voice over IP
  • video conferencing in high resolution
  • desktop sharing

The real strength of Lync lies in its ability to integrate with other client software from Microsoft. Providing a common set of core services not only improves the overall performance of the integrated services but also helps troubleshooting any issues that might arise.

The most impressive change in this context is the addition of real time multi-client collaborative software capabilities which allow working on the same document simultaneously without synchronization issues. Collaboration sessions replicate the concept of a conference where the conference organiser can add new members and define their respective privilege levels according to requirements. By using a familiar concepts, such as a conference, Lync aims squarely at the online communication experience needs of the corporate client.

Alerts in Microsoft SharePoint 2010

Microsoft SharePoint 2010 provides a notification service called Alerts.  Alerts can be used to notify user(s) of events happening on the SharePoint content. For example, Alerts can be set on the following content for the following events.

  1. When a new document is added to a document library
  2. When a document is deleted from a document library
  3. When a task is assigned to a user
  4. When a task is completed

Settings for Alerts to work

Alerts can be sent using Email or SMS.  SharePoint 2010 should be configured with out-going email and mobile account settings for Email and SMS to work respectively.
This is an administration task and can be done using the following steps:

Configuring email

  1. Open SharePoint 2010 Central Administration
  2. Select System Settings from the left panel
  3. Select Configure outgoing e-mail settings from E-Mail and Text Messaging (SMS)

    Alerts in Microsoft SharePoint image 01

  4. Type SMTP Server, From address and Reply-to address and click OK.

    Alerts in Microsoft SharePoint image 02

Configuring SMS

Configuring a mobile account in SharePoint 2010 requires a third-party service compatible with Office Mobile Service (OMS) protocol. Click on Microsoft Office Online link in Configure mobile account page (check the image in step 4) for a list of service providers and trial offers.

  1. Open SharePoint 2010 Central Administration
  2. Select System Settings from the left panel
  3. Select Configure mobile account from E-Mail and Text Messaging (SMS)

    Alerts in Microsoft SharePoint image 03

  4. Type URL, user name and password of the third-party service account and click OK.

    Alerts in Microsoft SharePoint image 04

Alert options will start appearing in the SharePoint 2010 user interface once outgoing email and SMS settings are set in Central administration. Whilst SMS setting is optional, outgoing email is required for Alerts to work in SharePoint 2010; obviously users of SharePoint 2010 should have valid email and mobile phone numbers stored in their respective profiles.
Now that outgoing email and SMS settings are set in SharePoint 2010. Let’s work on a user story that demonstrates Alerts in a real business situation.

User Story

Bob is a customer support manager at ABC Corp. dealing with computer sales. His team consists of the following members:

  1. Robert, customer support executive dealing with customer calls
  2. Andy, customer on-site support service executive
  3. Rebecca, customer support executive dealing with customer enquiries
  4. Ivan, sales executive

ABC Corp. has provided Bob and his team with a SharePoint 2010 team site that consists of the following document libraries:

  1. Customer complaints – managed by Robert
  2. Customer on-site support – managed by Robert and Andy
  3. Customer enquiries – managed by Rebecca
  4. Customer sales enquiries – managed by Rebecca and Ivan

Robert and Rebecca record support calls and enquiries as and when they arrive in SharePoint 2010. Because Andy and Ivan are field workers and out-of-office most of the time, they need some kind of notification to plan their support or sales call during field work.
Bob, as the head of the team, also needs to keep track on his team and its activities. He requests a daily email that will summarize all support and sales calls made by his team.

Solution

Solutions for this can easily be created using SharePoint 2010 Alerts feature. After analysing the user story, the following Alerts were identified:

  1. Notify Andy via SMS whenever there is a new customer on-site support call
  2. Notify Ivan via email whenever there is a new customer sales enquiry
  3. Send a daily email summary of all customer complaints to Bob
  4. Send a daily email summary of all customer enquiries to Bob

Step 1: Notify Andy via SMS whenever there is a new customer on-site support call

Follow these steps to create an SMS Alert:

  1. Open the Customer on-site support libraryAlerts in Microsoft SharePoint image 05
  2. Select Library tabs from the ribbon
  3. Select Set alert on this library from the Alert Me button
  4. The New Alert pop-up window appears
  5. Select Andy in the Send alert to, users box
  6. Select Text message (SMS) in Delivery method, verify the mobile number of Andy
  7. Select New items are added in Change type
  8. Select Send notification immediately in When to send alerts

The New Alert window should match the image below.

Alerts in Microsoft SharePoint image 06

That’s it; Andy will start receiving SMS soon after the Alert is saved.

Step 2: Notify Ivan via email whenever there is a new customer sales enquiry

  1. Open the Customer sales enquiries libraryAlerts in Microsoft SharePoint image 05
  2. Select Library tabs from the ribbon
  3. Select Set alert on this library from the Alert Me button
  4. The New Alert pop-up window appears
  5. Select Ivan in the Send alert to, users box
  6. Select Email in Delivery method
  7. Select New items are added in Change type
  8. Select Send notification immediately in When to send alerts

The New Alert window should match with the image below.

Alerts in Microsoft SharePoint image 07

That’s it; Ivan will start receiving Email soon after the Alert is saved.

Step 3: Send daily email summary of all customer complaints to Bob

  1. Open the Customer complaints libraryAlerts in Microsoft SharePoint image 05
  2. Select Library tabs from the ribbon
  3. Select Set alert on this library from the Alert Me button
  4. The New Alert pop-up window appears
  5. Select Bob in the Send alert to, users box
  6. Select Email in Delivery method
  7. Select All changes in Change type
  8. Select Send a daily summary in When to send alerts
  9. Select at what time the email should go daily, in this case 7:00 PM
  10. The New Alert window should match the image below.
  1. Alerts in Microsoft SharePoint image 08

That’s it; Bob will start receiving emails soon after the Alert is saved on a daily basis.

Step 4: Send daily email summary of all customer enquiries to Bob

The process is the same as Step 3, except instead of the Customer complaints document library we use Customer enquiries instead. The finished New Alert window should match with the below image.

Alerts in Microsoft SharePoint image 09

Guidelines for using SharePoint Alerts

Though Alerts is a great feature of SharePoint 2010, over using it can result in a performance penalty on SharePoint 2010 server, the email server, and related services. Follow these guidelines to use Alerts more effectively:

  1. Use Alerts only when necessary
  2. Try to create alerts for a group of users instead of creating individual alerts for each user.
  3. Use summary options for sending alerts wherever possible instead of using the send immediately option.
  4. Use the Manage my alerts option to check how many alerts are currently running. Remove alerts that are not required anymore.

Summary

Alerts is a great feature of SharePoint 2010. Just by using few clicks, end users can create alerts for themselves and their team that will send email or SMS to notify them of important events happening to their content. The options available in the Alert me dialog box are self-explanatory.

  • Alerts can be added to one or multiple users at the same time
  • Alerts can be an email or SMS to the user’s mobile number
  • Events can range from all changes to new items created, items deleted etc.
  • Tracking changes such as someone has modified an item or document created or modified by a specific user
  • Frequency of alerts, e.g. immediately on changes or on a daily or weekly basis

Sencha releases mobile HTML5 cloud

Sencha.ioThe maker of the front-end Javascript frameworks Ext JS and Sencha Touch, Sencha, has made available its Sencha.io cloud platform for beta testers. Sencha.io provides mobile web application developers with a set of cloud computing services that aid development and help overcome limitations of mobile devices.

The beta of Sencha.io consists of four services:

  • Sencha.io Data lets a mobile application store data on a mobile device and then sync it with the cloud, if available. This means that other users with access to that data will also be able to see and make changes to that data.
  • Sencha.io Messages allows mobile applications to send one-to-one or one-to-many messages.
  • Sencha.io Login handles registration and authentication to protect data.
  • Sencha.io Deployment is a service to allow deployment of mobile applications to the sencha.io domain.

Developers can register at http://developer.sencha.io to create teams and download the SDK.

Sencha.io offers similar services to Strobe, StackMob and Parse, but given that the Sencha Touch mobile application development framework has been available for some time and that Sencha has announced $15 million of funding, this may just propel Sencha to the forefront of HTML5 mobile development.

Cloud computing news digest – 24 Oct 2011

We’re trying out a more compact news digest from this week onwards with succinct descriptions and links to the source material.

Morgan Hill Consultants will be talking about cloud computing for non-techies presentation at the IT in Housing Conference and Exhibition 2011 ow.ly/73bsq

phpcloud.com by Zend is a Platform-as-a-Service to develop, deploy and manage PHP applications in the cloud ow.ly/73a5T

A list of social media marketing tools, including Facebook, Linkedin and StumbleUpon j.mp/phZRIF

The Nielsen report 2011 on social media, showing interesting facts and figures http://t.co/v300oqoo

Google Apps update alerts: A fresh start for Google Presentations plus more than 50 new features ow.ly/71RaD

Morgan Hill: Dropbox raises $250 million funding ow.ly/71R5Y

Google deal with L.A. sours: City wants out ow.ly/71rEA

Cloud computing: implications for IT support : BusinessWings.co.uk ow.ly/70E8n

Google Apps v Microsoft 365 – Google Apps wins according to Cloud Sherpas ow.ly/70Cvw

Morgan Hill: EU firms increase investment in innovation ow.ly/70Fgz

What’s behind Iceland’s first major data center? | ITworld ow.ly/70ChE

Shopify Raises $15 Million in Series B Funding ow.ly/6ZtAX

Consumers in the cloud by The Guardian ow.ly/6ZqpP

Reference architecture for private cloud computing from Microsoft TechNet ow.ly/6Zqi7

SafeNet unveils simplified identity federation for cloud apps ow.ly/6Zq64

IT in Housing Conference and Exhibition 2011

Morgan Hill Consultants will be speaking at the National Housing Federation IT in Housing Conference and Exhibition 2011, which will be held on the 22 – 23 November 2011 at Olympia Conference Centre, London, UK.

We will be providing an overview of cloud computing for non-technical managers. We will explain what it is, where and why it can be used, data security and the financial case.

Dropbox raises $250 million funding

One of the leading consumer cloud storage companies Dropbox has raised $250 million in funding. Dropbox uses the freemium pricing model to offer easy backup and sharing of documents, with software clients available for most desktops and mobile devices. With more than 45 million users and one billions files saved every three days, Dropbox will use the new funding for growth, acquisitions and partnerships.

One of Dropbox’s main rivals, Box.net, recently raised $81 million for expansion but both services will be looking nervously over their shoulders at Apple iCloud as it gathers momentum by virtue of being included in latest version of iOS 5.

Latest Posts

Cloud computing news digest – 7 Nov 2011

General Motors to Use Google Apps ow.ly/7iOrP

jQuery 1.7 released ow.ly/7iJ2Y

Development in the cloud with Cloud 9 IDE ow.ly/7iIMP

Yo! Sushi to Save 40% by moving to cloud computing ow.ly/7iIHx

Amazon SNS does SMS | Morgan Hill Consultants Ltd ow.ly/7i5Sv

Trinity Mirror chooses Google Apps over rival IBM and Microsoft cloud services bit.ly/rTaDJC

UK small businesses at risk of getting stuck in technology dark ages ow.ly/7hxzn

How to: Google Spreadsheets and external data | Morgan Hill Consultants Ltd ow.ly/7i5LO

GitHub Enterprise – Install GitHub on Your Servers ow.ly/7hG0P

What Happened to CouchDB’s Popularity? ow.ly/7hDW1

GoGrid : Dedicated and Private Data Center Interconnectivity ow.ly/7frnK

Custom Reporting using Google Analytics and Google Docs – The Ultimate Analytics Mashup ow.ly/7dWDi

Is Data Encryption a must have in the public cloud? ow.ly/7dSXC

Amazon SNS does SMS

AWS logo

Amazon SNS allows developers to send messages from applications and systems on a pay-what-you-use basis. As for pricing, sending via SMS is the most expensive option within Amazon SNS: although the first 100 SMS messages are free any subsequent messages are charged at a rate of $0.75 per 100, and data transfer charges also apply.

The addition of SMS to SNS brings the total numer of supported protocols to six:

  • Email
  • Email in JSON format
  • HTTP
  • HTTPS
  • Amazon SQS
  • SMS

Amazon SNS is still in beta so some restrictions apply.

How to: Google Spreadsheets and external data

For a generation, Microsoft Excel has been the de facto tool of choice for slicing and dicing numbers. Microsoft has constantly updated Excel to keep it ahead of its desktop rivals, of which there are now very few. As the internet evolved Microsoft added online capabilities to Excel to allow retrieval of external data, such as stock market information.

Continue…

Cloud computing news digest – 31 Oct 2011

The Chef, the Puppet, and the Sexy IT Admin – Wired magazine has determined that the emerging hybrid of DevOps is offically sexy ow.ly/7bPzc

SQS Director explains the importance of testing in the cloud bit.ly/sgnaDT

Enterprise Cloud Licensing basics bit.ly/vKr7Na

Getting Started with Amazon EC2 (For Free) bit.ly/viOlPW

Enabling Google+ in Google Apps administration ow.ly/7bIvH

Microsoft Lync overview and basic features | Morgan Hill Consultants Ltd ow.ly/7atcD

Twilio Launches in Europe, Opens Office in London ow.ly/79MNc

How to create alerts in Microsoft SharePoint 2010 | Morgan Hill Consultants Ltd ow.ly/79MBh

Oracle to Acquire RightNowow.ly/77Yzv

The dynamic enterprise: Evolve or face extinction from The HP Blog Hub ow.ly/77Xfv

Can Google+ Become A Biz Collaboration Tool? – InformationWeek ow.ly/77WvN

Interview and Book Review: Specification by Example by Gojko Adzic – InfoQ ow.ly/77Wmg

Social media trends that we should be aware of j.mp/uGM2N1

Notes on the SearchLove conference including SEO and social media j.mp/sdsLkw

Sencha releases mobile HTML5 cloud | Morgan Hill Consultants Ltd ow.ly/77V7Y

Okta Delivers Industry’s First Fully Integrated Single Sign-On and Strong Authentication On-Demand Service ow.ly/76Ito

Three myths clouding CIO judgmentow.ly/76GzX

The Reality of Budget VPS Services ow.ly/76H37

Microsoft Lync overview and basic features

Microsoft Lync logoMicrosoft Lync takes the idea of online communication, corporate security and client side software integration to a new level. Widely considered a corporate replacement for Microsoft Windows Messenger, it has a lot more to it particularly as far as security is concerned. Whilst communication is over the internet, internally Microsoft Lync clients communicate over a secure connection.

Since Lync is primarily targeted to cater for the needs of the corporate world, it has the extra features that are the essential for the enterprise:

  • instant messenger
  • Voice over IP
  • video conferencing in high resolution
  • desktop sharing

The real strength of Lync lies in its ability to integrate with other client software from Microsoft. Providing a common set of core services not only improves the overall performance of the integrated services but also helps troubleshooting any issues that might arise.

The most impressive change in this context is the addition of real time multi-client collaborative software capabilities which allow working on the same document simultaneously without synchronization issues. Collaboration sessions replicate the concept of a conference where the conference organiser can add new members and define their respective privilege levels according to requirements. By using a familiar concepts, such as a conference, Lync aims squarely at the online communication experience needs of the corporate client.

Alerts in Microsoft SharePoint 2010

Microsoft SharePoint 2010 provides a notification service called Alerts.  Alerts can be used to notify user(s) of events happening on the SharePoint content. For example, Alerts can be set on the following content for the following events.

  1. When a new document is added to a document library
  2. When a document is deleted from a document library
  3. When a task is assigned to a user
  4. When a task is completed

Settings for Alerts to work

Alerts can be sent using Email or SMS.  SharePoint 2010 should be configured with out-going email and mobile account settings for Email and SMS to work respectively.
This is an administration task and can be done using the following steps:

Configuring email

  1. Open SharePoint 2010 Central Administration
  2. Select System Settings from the left panel
  3. Select Configure outgoing e-mail settings from E-Mail and Text Messaging (SMS)

    Alerts in Microsoft SharePoint image 01

  4. Type SMTP Server, From address and Reply-to address and click OK.

    Alerts in Microsoft SharePoint image 02

Configuring SMS

Configuring a mobile account in SharePoint 2010 requires a third-party service compatible with Office Mobile Service (OMS) protocol. Click on Microsoft Office Online link in Configure mobile account page (check the image in step 4) for a list of service providers and trial offers.

  1. Open SharePoint 2010 Central Administration
  2. Select System Settings from the left panel
  3. Select Configure mobile account from E-Mail and Text Messaging (SMS)

    Alerts in Microsoft SharePoint image 03

  4. Type URL, user name and password of the third-party service account and click OK.

    Alerts in Microsoft SharePoint image 04

Alert options will start appearing in the SharePoint 2010 user interface once outgoing email and SMS settings are set in Central administration. Whilst SMS setting is optional, outgoing email is required for Alerts to work in SharePoint 2010; obviously users of SharePoint 2010 should have valid email and mobile phone numbers stored in their respective profiles.
Now that outgoing email and SMS settings are set in SharePoint 2010. Let’s work on a user story that demonstrates Alerts in a real business situation.

User Story

Bob is a customer support manager at ABC Corp. dealing with computer sales. His team consists of the following members:

  1. Robert, customer support executive dealing with customer calls
  2. Andy, customer on-site support service executive
  3. Rebecca, customer support executive dealing with customer enquiries
  4. Ivan, sales executive

ABC Corp. has provided Bob and his team with a SharePoint 2010 team site that consists of the following document libraries:

  1. Customer complaints – managed by Robert
  2. Customer on-site support – managed by Robert and Andy
  3. Customer enquiries – managed by Rebecca
  4. Customer sales enquiries – managed by Rebecca and Ivan

Robert and Rebecca record support calls and enquiries as and when they arrive in SharePoint 2010. Because Andy and Ivan are field workers and out-of-office most of the time, they need some kind of notification to plan their support or sales call during field work.
Bob, as the head of the team, also needs to keep track on his team and its activities. He requests a daily email that will summarize all support and sales calls made by his team.

Solution

Solutions for this can easily be created using SharePoint 2010 Alerts feature. After analysing the user story, the following Alerts were identified:

  1. Notify Andy via SMS whenever there is a new customer on-site support call
  2. Notify Ivan via email whenever there is a new customer sales enquiry
  3. Send a daily email summary of all customer complaints to Bob
  4. Send a daily email summary of all customer enquiries to Bob

Step 1: Notify Andy via SMS whenever there is a new customer on-site support call

Follow these steps to create an SMS Alert:

  1. Open the Customer on-site support libraryAlerts in Microsoft SharePoint image 05
  2. Select Library tabs from the ribbon
  3. Select Set alert on this library from the Alert Me button
  4. The New Alert pop-up window appears
  5. Select Andy in the Send alert to, users box
  6. Select Text message (SMS) in Delivery method, verify the mobile number of Andy
  7. Select New items are added in Change type
  8. Select Send notification immediately in When to send alerts

The New Alert window should match the image below.

Alerts in Microsoft SharePoint image 06

That’s it; Andy will start receiving SMS soon after the Alert is saved.

Step 2: Notify Ivan via email whenever there is a new customer sales enquiry

  1. Open the Customer sales enquiries libraryAlerts in Microsoft SharePoint image 05
  2. Select Library tabs from the ribbon
  3. Select Set alert on this library from the Alert Me button
  4. The New Alert pop-up window appears
  5. Select Ivan in the Send alert to, users box
  6. Select Email in Delivery method
  7. Select New items are added in Change type
  8. Select Send notification immediately in When to send alerts

The New Alert window should match with the image below.

Alerts in Microsoft SharePoint image 07

That’s it; Ivan will start receiving Email soon after the Alert is saved.

Step 3: Send daily email summary of all customer complaints to Bob

  1. Open the Customer complaints libraryAlerts in Microsoft SharePoint image 05
  2. Select Library tabs from the ribbon
  3. Select Set alert on this library from the Alert Me button
  4. The New Alert pop-up window appears
  5. Select Bob in the Send alert to, users box
  6. Select Email in Delivery method
  7. Select All changes in Change type
  8. Select Send a daily summary in When to send alerts
  9. Select at what time the email should go daily, in this case 7:00 PM
  10. The New Alert window should match the image below.
  1. Alerts in Microsoft SharePoint image 08

That’s it; Bob will start receiving emails soon after the Alert is saved on a daily basis.

Step 4: Send daily email summary of all customer enquiries to Bob

The process is the same as Step 3, except instead of the Customer complaints document library we use Customer enquiries instead. The finished New Alert window should match with the below image.

Alerts in Microsoft SharePoint image 09

Guidelines for using SharePoint Alerts

Though Alerts is a great feature of SharePoint 2010, over using it can result in a performance penalty on SharePoint 2010 server, the email server, and related services. Follow these guidelines to use Alerts more effectively:

  1. Use Alerts only when necessary
  2. Try to create alerts for a group of users instead of creating individual alerts for each user.
  3. Use summary options for sending alerts wherever possible instead of using the send immediately option.
  4. Use the Manage my alerts option to check how many alerts are currently running. Remove alerts that are not required anymore.

Summary

Alerts is a great feature of SharePoint 2010. Just by using few clicks, end users can create alerts for themselves and their team that will send email or SMS to notify them of important events happening to their content. The options available in the Alert me dialog box are self-explanatory.

  • Alerts can be added to one or multiple users at the same time
  • Alerts can be an email or SMS to the user’s mobile number
  • Events can range from all changes to new items created, items deleted etc.
  • Tracking changes such as someone has modified an item or document created or modified by a specific user
  • Frequency of alerts, e.g. immediately on changes or on a daily or weekly basis

Sencha releases mobile HTML5 cloud

Sencha.ioThe maker of the front-end Javascript frameworks Ext JS and Sencha Touch, Sencha, has made available its Sencha.io cloud platform for beta testers. Sencha.io provides mobile web application developers with a set of cloud computing services that aid development and help overcome limitations of mobile devices.

The beta of Sencha.io consists of four services:

  • Sencha.io Data lets a mobile application store data on a mobile device and then sync it with the cloud, if available. This means that other users with access to that data will also be able to see and make changes to that data.
  • Sencha.io Messages allows mobile applications to send one-to-one or one-to-many messages.
  • Sencha.io Login handles registration and authentication to protect data.
  • Sencha.io Deployment is a service to allow deployment of mobile applications to the sencha.io domain.

Developers can register at http://developer.sencha.io to create teams and download the SDK.

Sencha.io offers similar services to Strobe, StackMob and Parse, but given that the Sencha Touch mobile application development framework has been available for some time and that Sencha has announced $15 million of funding, this may just propel Sencha to the forefront of HTML5 mobile development.

Cloud computing news digest – 24 Oct 2011

We’re trying out a more compact news digest from this week onwards with succinct descriptions and links to the source material.

Morgan Hill Consultants will be talking about cloud computing for non-techies presentation at the IT in Housing Conference and Exhibition 2011 ow.ly/73bsq

phpcloud.com by Zend is a Platform-as-a-Service to develop, deploy and manage PHP applications in the cloud ow.ly/73a5T

A list of social media marketing tools, including Facebook, Linkedin and StumbleUpon j.mp/phZRIF

The Nielsen report 2011 on social media, showing interesting facts and figures http://t.co/v300oqoo

Google Apps update alerts: A fresh start for Google Presentations plus more than 50 new features ow.ly/71RaD

Morgan Hill: Dropbox raises $250 million funding ow.ly/71R5Y

Google deal with L.A. sours: City wants out ow.ly/71rEA

Cloud computing: implications for IT support : BusinessWings.co.uk ow.ly/70E8n

Google Apps v Microsoft 365 – Google Apps wins according to Cloud Sherpas ow.ly/70Cvw

Morgan Hill: EU firms increase investment in innovation ow.ly/70Fgz

What’s behind Iceland’s first major data center? | ITworld ow.ly/70ChE

Shopify Raises $15 Million in Series B Funding ow.ly/6ZtAX

Consumers in the cloud by The Guardian ow.ly/6ZqpP

Reference architecture for private cloud computing from Microsoft TechNet ow.ly/6Zqi7

SafeNet unveils simplified identity federation for cloud apps ow.ly/6Zq64

IT in Housing Conference and Exhibition 2011

Morgan Hill Consultants will be speaking at the National Housing Federation IT in Housing Conference and Exhibition 2011, which will be held on the 22 – 23 November 2011 at Olympia Conference Centre, London, UK.

We will be providing an overview of cloud computing for non-technical managers. We will explain what it is, where and why it can be used, data security and the financial case.

Dropbox raises $250 million funding

One of the leading consumer cloud storage companies Dropbox has raised $250 million in funding. Dropbox uses the freemium pricing model to offer easy backup and sharing of documents, with software clients available for most desktops and mobile devices. With more than 45 million users and one billions files saved every three days, Dropbox will use the new funding for growth, acquisitions and partnerships.

One of Dropbox’s main rivals, Box.net, recently raised $81 million for expansion but both services will be looking nervously over their shoulders at Apple iCloud as it gathers momentum by virtue of being included in latest version of iOS 5.