Month: December 2018

The evolution EDI over the years

The evolution EDI over the years

Summary: EDI is a 50-year-old protocol that started with dial-up modems, and then moved on to VANS. Further evolutions in the technology led to its continued growth and its popularity will continue to grow as it adopts modern technology.

Electronic data interchange (EDI) is over 50 years old as a protocol. It is the primary method through which suppliers and customers exchange business and financial information. The technology and standards have evolved over the last few years. Let’s take a look at some parts of that evolution:

The original age of EDI is the period before the early eighties. Communication was very basic, with companies using modems to dial each other and exchange information. It was during this period that standards like EDIFACT and ANSI X12 were created. Because of the slow transfer speeds, information exchange was done in batches, with larger files taking minutes per file.

After the original age of EDI, starting in the mid-eighties, we saw the growth of VANS and the proliferation of EDI into other verticals. It was during this decade that desktop computers and the internet became available to smaller organizations. These small and medium sized businesses could now afford to use enterprise level software and services like EDI.

The growth of VANS opened up EDI to many different types of organizations. With a VAN, there were so many more options in terms of communication, speeds, protocols, and security. The ability to buffer data, waiting until the trading partner was ready, and the ability to split payment for the exchange of data were two of the reasons for the continued growth of the technology.

EDI has come a long way and will continue to evolve taking advantage of all the new technology and protocols.

Alternatives to Google Search Engine

Alternatives to Google Search Engine

Article by Pierre Zarokian.

Perhaps the term “wannabe” is too harsh to describe the following projects; but becoming Google killers is what they aspire to be and in that context they are wannabe’s and nothing less. Google enjoys the top spot in search engines and has not been faced with a decent threat… well, since its conception. Many have tried and failed to knock it off its throne and here are a few noteworthy contenders.

Bing –It was a ridiculous name to start off with; imagine responding to someone’s question with “just Bing it”? Microsoft determined that what the public wanted was a search engine with extras, a funky interface and a navigation menu. As usual, they got it wrong. After the initial buzz that was created, the website has been dropping in popularity with every passing day. The main problem can perhaps be traced to the fundamental point of a search engine – To search and deliver results quickly and effectively. Bells and whistles are nice for a while, but what people want is something that gives you results without taking up bandwidth or time or shoving unnecessary things in front of your nose.

Wikia Search – This project was conceived by Wikipedia’s co-founder Jimmy Wales and his Wikia Co-founder Angela Beesly. Wikia Search was inspired by the success of Wikipedia and the collaborative work that went towards making it a success. “Crowdsourcing” was deemed to be the next big way to power search results. The primary idea was to increase the relevancy of search results and make the process as transparent as possible so that no one would be able to “play the system”. With the transparency angle, the creators wanted everyone to be able to see who modified the search results, where and why. Sadly the project came to an end in March 2009. The economic recession took no prisoners and as a result the funding ran out for the project. Wikia Search has been put on hold indefinitely, but hopefully this innovative concept will return at some point in the future.

Cuil – Pronounced “cool”, Cuil was formed by ex-Google employees as well as several web veterans. The project’s goal was to take on Google head-to-head and come out as the winner. It hope to do this by using its own page rank system which gave merit to relevance rather than popularity (as Google does). So the engine would look for your search term on a web page and then look at the content in the page to see how relevant it was to the term. Search results would be filtered in this way and deliver better results to the user. Unfortunately, things did not work quite according to plan users were disappointed with the results they got. Rafe Needleman of CNET put it succinctly when he said Cuil launched in a blaze of glory which was followed by a collapse in a ball of flames.

Wolfram|Alpha – Technically Wolfram|Alpha is not a search engine in the same context that Google is. It was unfortunately portrayed to be a Google killer by the media and has never quite lived up to that expectation. But make no mistake Wolfram|Alpha could have dethroned Google as the portal to knowledge if things had gone according to plan. The idea behind the project was to have a verified repository of information which users could plunder in their search for facts. The “Coup de grâce” in some ways was its ability to understand natural language – to an extent. Both those features made it an excellent tool research tool, which could have become a premier source of information. However, the initial lack of data coupled with a lack of relevancy for a majority of users has seen it drop from public interest day by day. The project has been boosting its repository with more and more data every day with the hope that at some point the project will take off.



Keeping it Cool with Portable AC Units

Keeping it Cool with Portable AC Units

                Most companies and schools place all their computers in one designated computer room. Not only it is convenient for all the people in the office or school since there is only one place for them to go to in order to access a computer, but also it is a nice solution as multiple people can work together on computers at once with this configuration. The only main problem that arises from this is heat. With several people in the room and a ton of computers powered at the same time, heat is going to start getting higher. That’s when air-conditioning steps in. An efficient yet powerful air conditioner can do the job and successfully keep your computer room and everyone in it at a proper temperature to maximize productivity and minimize computer damage.

                Spot cooling is a more effective way of keeping your computers cool as some computers, especially ones being used, will heat up more than others. A normal air conditioning unit will keep the room at a certain temperature but not each computer. Potable air conditioning units can be used and directed at specific computers or areas for spot cooling. Proper cooling for your computer room can assure your computers’ lives will last long and will help your company achieve its goals. Rental portable air conditioner units are a viable option in case your company or school’s computer room does not always need spot cooling for intensive use of the computer terminals.

Why You Should Do Team-Building Activities for Work

Why You Should Do Team-Building Activities for Work

Summary: A company outing could help build comradery and boost employee satisfaction.

While a solid idea has the potential to get you far, it simply is not enough to help a business grow and succeed. A lot of work goes into running a business. Figuring out a business plan that is viable and executable is key. Finding employees who you can work with and getting an office space where they can work are among some of the other important aspects of running a business that you cannot overlook.

How your employees feel at work is very important. They are, after all, the people who will be helping you grow the company. When your employees feel comfortable, enjoy the work they are doing, and feel like their efforts are making a difference, they will produce the best work. In contrast, if your employees are sluggish, unmotivated, and look like they are simply counting down the seconds until they can leave for the day, it should come as no surprise that this will also be reflected in the work they do. Although getting paid is something most people enjoy at their work, they usually want to feel like they are part of a community they can relate to. Team-building activities are some of the most effective ways to help improve your office.

Forming Personal Bonds

When you think of team-building activities you probably think of trust falls in a park and other cliché activities that might not appear to be all that effective. The point of these activities is to get people out of the office and to give your employees the chance to interact with each other in a different setting. Rather than discussing work-related matters, your employees can talk to each other about other things going on in their lives.

The stronger the personal bonds your employees have with one another, the more engaged they will be at work. You might know how a particular coworker behaves at work and how well they do in the office but you might not know much beyond surface-level details. Going to the movies and out for dinner with your employees could help you go beneath this surface and learn more about where they are from, what their hobbies are, and so forth.

Get Creative

Doing team-building activities does not necessarily need to involve doing icebreakers in a park. You can get creative with what sort of activities you do. For instance, laser tag, go-karting, and virtual reality environments are all fun experiences that people will be excited to check out.