Archive for January, 2010

Software and Database Shapes for Microsoft Visio

January 30th, 2010

A set of Microsoft Visio stencils containing shapes for creating Express-G, ORM, Jackson, and ROOM notation diagrams.

Note: These shapes were included with Visio 2003 Professional and Visio 2007 Professional, so if you are using either of these versions, there is no need to download these.

Security and Authentication in Microsoft Dynamics CRM: Connectivity and Firewall Port Requirements in On-Premise Deployments

January 30th, 2010

This document provides guidance on the connectivity requirements between Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 and other systems to assist readers with proper firewall configuration in customer environments.

BIM ? 10 reasons why

January 28th, 2010

Top ten reasons to use 5D BIM.

Number Ten: Competitors already use it.(Page 33 of McGraw-Hill’s BIM SmartMarket Report cites that the most important benefit for Contractors is to market BIM capabilities to win new clients.

Number Nine: Owners are asking for BIM. (Page 34 of the same report states that “Owners who use BIM see a very high rate of ROI.”

Number Eight: The new genreation of engieers who will run your projects want to use it

Number Seven: Research shows that optimizing your schedule with Vico Control decreases schedule duration by 10% without exposing the project to any additional risk.

Number Six: Your CEO wants to win more business. With most GCs putting together a model for the bid, your firm can stand out from the pack when you explain to the owner that your model is not just for marketing – it will also drive the schedule and keep the project on budget.

Number Five: When a sub-contractor submits a bid, you can check their quantities against yours to ensure the labor assumptions and productivity rates are correct.

Number Four: Use unit prices from your subs that are loaded to the model and fill in the quantities and if you had a great and very exact model do quantity takeoff from it.

Number Three: Layout your MEP, as well as your concrete, formwork, and anything else using the robotic Total Station and LM80. Seismic bracings and hanger placement can be modeled, transfered to the LM80, and shot on-site with the Trimble Total Station.

Number Two: A flowline schedule to help you finish early. We’ve been talking this week in Helsinki to very large companies like NCC, Skanska, and Hartela. These are all very large construction firms that are all completely standardized on Vico Control. Flowline schedules really do run the projects there where scheduling is so important because of the long and deeply cold winter.

And Number One: The number one reason to really understand this stuff is you’ve got to win the project. There are many companies bidding for every single project and it’s very clear that companies that deeply understand BIM and can explain to the owner how they can remove risk from the project, how they will better manage the project, will win.

The proven difference between the winner and the loser is increasingly their ability to use and to bring to bear this 5D methodology to de-risk a project.

What is your reason for using BIM? Or why wouldn’t you use BIM?

Microsoft Dynamics Ax – Training

January 27th, 2010

What does a trained consultant look like in the GCC? See for yourself – here is the end of course photograph, Double click to see all the students in a fullsize photograph.

Gates, the philanthropist, on lessons learned (Q&A)

January 26th, 2010;leftCol

Microsoft’s chairman tells CNET about his philanthropic work over the past year, travels to Africa and India – an interesting interview with Bill Gates covering vaccines, male circumcision, his recent foray into Twitter and the launch of his Gates Notes Web site.

Sample quote;
“Innovation is often this hidden thing, because we can’t put numbers to it. And yet it’s the thing that defines the way we live, the things we’d like to have for everyone whether it’s health or education.”
–Bill Gates

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton – Internet freedom.

January 26th, 2010

These days there are multiple legal and commercial reasons why companies need to protect their networks from malware, or pornographic downloads, or time wasting and poor system performance, or data theft.

On January 21, 2010, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivered a speech on the topic of Internet freedom. Some quotes:

“We stand for a single internet where all of humanity has equal access to knowledge and ideas.”

“We believe it’s critical that its users are assured certain basic freedoms. Freedom of expression is first among them. This freedom is no longer defined solely by whether citizens can go into the town square and criticize their government without fear of retribution. Blogs, emails, social networks, and text messages have opened up new forums for exchanging ideas, and created new targets for censorship. “

“We do not tolerate those who incite others to violence.”

“Those who use the internet to recruit terrorists or distribute stolen intellectual property cannot divorce their online actions from their real world identities.”

“These challenges must not become an excuse for governments to systematically violate the rights and privacy of those who use the internet for peaceful political purposes.”

“We must work to advance the freedom of worship online just as we do in other areas of life.”

“States, terrorists, and those who would act as their proxies must know that the United States will protect our networks.”

“Countries or individuals that engage in cyber attacks should face consequences and international condemnation.”

“The freedom to connect — the idea that governments should not prevent people from connecting to the internet, to websites, or to each other.

Good ideas but tough to implement and little to do with the internet’s orignal purpose. Maybe Google’s recent battles with China had some influence on the message. There is a lot of speculation that Google’s tracking of users was utilised by government and law agencies, and that the spat with China is because they had cracked Google’s security and were able to exploit the same search features to find out information about people. The press largely seemed to suggest Google withdrew it services because China was applyifn censorship to its citizens use of the intenret So is the intrusion into web activity any different in the USA than in China one has to wonder? Where does that leave the UAE? Is is wrong for an Islamic country to try and stop access to porn sites? What about sites like Skype, or banned blogs that are mildly critical of government policy? Who decides? and how can this be done globally when governments can’t even agree two years running on global warming? How will such internet controls impact a company’s views about putting their business systems and data on the cloud? There is a long way to go to action some of the quotes above I fear.

Meanwhile for companies who are concerned about protecting their networks, data and internet usage we provde very specialist solutions and services to support your information security and compliance policies.

Call Kamlesh on: 009714 3365589

Microsoft Word tip – remove formatting

January 26th, 2010

There’s a simpler way to strip all formatting from Word text:

Select the text you want to strip of all its formatting.
Press Ctrl+Spacebar

This is an all or nothing solution–you can’t pick and choose the format you delete. Pressing Ctrl+Spacebar removes all the formats previously applied to the selected text.

Sql 2008 R2 Pricing and features

January 25th, 2010

SQL Server 2008 pricing has remained flat since 2005, with new features and functionalities included out of the box for no additional charge

Microsoft recently announced that increases in the pricing of the processor licensing of SQL Server 2008 R2 when it launches in the first half of calendar year 2010. There will be :
– a 15% increase in the processor pricing of SQL Server 2008 Enterprise Edition
– aa 25% increase in the processor pricing of SQL Server 2008 Standard.
– There will be no change to the Server/CAL licensing model of SQL Server.

New features inlcude; Master Data Services, Stream Insight, Power Pivot, and data compression. Microsoft is the only major database vendor who does not alter price per core for multi-core processors. .

What’s New in SQL Server 2008 R2 Editions
Built on SQL Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 R2 delivers higher mission-critical scale, more efficient IT, and expanded reporting and analytics through self-service business intelligence.
SQL Server 2008 R2 introduces two new premium editions to meet the needs of large scale datacenters and data warehouses.
SQL Server 2008 R2 Datacenter Edition and SQL Server 2008 R2 Parallel Data Warehouse Edition

Advanced ERP training

January 24th, 2010

Microsoft Dynamics Ax Advanced Training Course  January 2010The Advanced Microsoft Dynamics Ax 2009 Production Master Scheduling course is hotting up! Students created complex Bills of Material with both measurement dimensions and configurations, and then started delving into mrp. The course will continue with Forecast planning today and move on to work with complex routes and finite scheduling.

Payroll on time

January 24th, 2010

Another 2 companies (a leadign Supermarket and a 5 stat hotel) went live this month with their first payroll runs, following tight deadline implementations. The Wage Protection interface implemented at sites last month was also deployed successfully. We even helped resolve payroll issues for a major company in the Philippines. Congratulations to all involved. Our solution and implementation successes were proven many times last year and there are many new inquiries so our HR and payroll team is now one of the largest in the region.