Archive for the ‘Technology’ category

BI4Dynamics – new release. Wow! Ask Synergy Software Systesm

October 21st, 2014

Biggest BI4Dynamics release in the history includes:
• Smartest self-service Cube Wizard in the market
Easily create custom cubes in 4 simple steps. Download the Manual and watch How to Videos.
• BI4Dynamics SQL framework refactored and upgraded
o Improved performance (30 to 50% performance improvement with incremental processing).
o Faster and easier custom development (more than 50% less custom code needed when creating new modules).
o Improved logging in the SQL framework (more detailed execution information for each procedure are available).
o Easier debugging of incorrect data in custom development (data references that connect fact and stage records have been added).
• NAV2013 R2 multitenant and NAV 2015 support
• SQL Server 2014 support
• Log window improvements
Better and easier tracking of log entries

Note: BI4Dynamics v4 and v5 can run simultaneously in separate folders.

And of course you still get prebuilt dashboards and reports and direct access to your data for ad hoc reports and inquires from Excel -just pick the fields you need – tis that easy and very fast because the KPIs and total and summary calculations are already defined and processed in the underlying data warehouse. No other BI solution implements a s fast and no other provides anything like the same prebuilt content.

If you are either a Dynamics Nav partner, or a Customer then contact us – you must take a look.

Special cube and report pack also for NAV Retail.

Dynamics Ax ? Yes BI4Dynamcis is also available and updated content packs for 2012 R3 will be released shortly.

Ask about our special post Gitex offer. Invest in BI4Dynamics with us and also get a free training place on our 2 day Management Reporter course in November.

Gitex end – Synergy Software Systems. Dubai

October 18th, 2014

A very busy week – thank you to the many visitors vendors, customers, friends and the curious. Also a very tiring week and everyone ready for the weekend

Thank you to all the staff who manned the stand, the administrative tram behind the scenes, and those keeping the business going who covered work for their colleagues at the show.

A particular thank you to our partners Computime who joined us on the stand to help present BRSAnalytics for Banking regulatory reporting

For the many visitors from around all around the region interested in our solutions we will be in touch – but please be patient for a day or two there are a lot of you!

What’s next:
17th November 2014 at Microsoft Gulf Offices, we will be holding a morning seminar on BRSAnalytics and up to date information about the latest regional information on regulatory reporting. See for example regulatory reports in the regional Central Bank mandated formats.

In the afternoon we will be holding a Dynamics Ax 2012R3 seminar for the Construction and Property Management sector which will highlight Flex Property module, AEC BIM construction and tools, our localised GCC module for HR and Payroll, and our exciting offerings for BI (Management reporter new features, Atlas6, BI4Dynamcs and an incredible new cross platform app to visualise your Dynamics Ax (and other system) data

We will be running another Management reporter course soon – watch this blog for details.

In December we will also run our annual course on Year end closure for Dynamics Ax-there is always a high demand for this course so book early. New features in Ax 2012 and R3 for example budgets, and encumbrance accounting now also need to be considered.

Microsoft Sway

October 2nd, 2014

Sway allows anyone to create a beautiful website from just images and text without minimal effort- what you see is what you get (WYSIWYG) — a modern version of FrontPage. It will sit alongside the regular Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote apps as a rich content creation tool. Microsoft is billing this latest addition to its Office portfolio as a “way to re-imagine how your ideas come to life.”

The new Office app, released in preview on Wednesday, can be used to create a wide range of document types, such as: presentations and Web pages, as well as standard documents and reports. Components can include anything from text and tables, to photos, videos and animations.

Microsoft says Sway is designed to help users to quickly create and to share polished, interactive content. For example, a marketing professional could use Sway to craft a corporate brochure, or a do-it-yourselfer could share his woodworking expertise, complete with step-by-step video instructions.
More Than a Document

“A ‘Sway’ is the canvas you create using Sway, and it’s much more than a document in the traditional sense,” according to Microsoft. “It’s built from the ground up for the Web and devices.”

Microsoft said the new app adapts to fit any device, large or small. Sway is built for cloud computing, so users can just drop in their Sway is a cloud service, built on Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform, that stores all your data so you create, continue or finish any project either in a normal web browser (Chrome, Safari, Firefox or Internet Explorer) or through any desktop or smartphone app.

You can simultaneously collaborate with multiple authors on a single project.
content from their cloud storage, their individual devices, or their social networks. Users’ Sways are stored in Microsoft’s Azure cloud and the photos used to create their sways are stored in OneDrive, Microsoft’s storage app. Microsoft will use the company’s powerful Azure cloud servers to suggest page layouts and to quickly render content on the fly.

Sway will format pictures and text in a way that its algorithm feels is appropriate, even picking colors from photos to apply to the site. Although the end result is on the web as a site, it’s actually a complex new format that’s stored on Microsoft’s cloud servers. Sways will render differently based on device type, but they’re not traditional responsive design as Microsoft simply creates separate views on the backend.

Sway’s built-in design engine makes it easy for users to format their various pieces of content by integrating those into cohesive layouts. Users can easily adjust their designs to create something that reflects their unique styles. “This means from the first word, image, Tweet, or graphic you add, your Sway is already being formed for you,” Microsoft explains. As you add more of your content, Sway continues to analyze and arrange it based on built-in algorithms and design styles. You can then easily adjust and customize the format as needed.

Users can share their content with others even if they don’t have the Sway app installed via links as well as on certain social networks including Facebook and Twitter. You can also embed Sways in websites

Microsoft plans to add more business -specific features. A few examples include OneDrive for Business and SharePoint connectivity, integrating the Office Graph, and capabilities for information protection and IT management.

http://blogs.office.com/2014/10/01/announcing-office-sway-reimagine-ideas-come-life/

https://sway.com/

New Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella talks often about positioning the company for a “mobile-first, cloud-first world,” and Sway is another step in that effort. The goal is to make products like Office, Outlook and Skype staples for individual customers regardless of the device they’re using, and to transform Windows from a desktop operating system to cloud computing platform that can be accessed from anywhere

Forget Windows 9 – Windows 10 is announced

October 1st, 2014

Microsoft Corp will skip a numeral in naming its next operating system, opting for “Windows 10″,

Maybe trying to put some distance between the new platform and the Windows 8, which met with little enthusiasm from enterprise and consumer users. Early adopters felt that the touch-optimised OS was ill-suited to productivity tasks. There was also widespread condemnation of Microsoft’s decision to abandon the Start button,

In a prototype of the new OS, two modes are provided, one for touch operation and one for traditional keyboard-and-mouse use. Windows still runs on the vast majority of desktops and notebooks, but on only 14% of devices, according to Gartner figures cited by Reuters.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in an effort to win mobile users has acknowledged the shrinking PC market by steering the firm towards a single mobile-and-cloud strategy.

EASA says O.K. to mobile devices on flights

September 27th, 2014

Personal electronic devices including mobile phones can be left turned on — and not just in ‘flight mode’ — during all phases of a flight, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has ruled. The agency said it is satisfied that personal electronic devices do not pose a safety risk when used on aircraft.

It is now up to airlines to conduct their own safety tests, to the satisfaction of EASA, before implementing the change, although each airline may decide to put in place its own policy.
The announcement means passengers could soon be able to make/take phone calls when inside an aircraft.

Of course, it will not be possible to get a reception while flying high in the air.
At the moment, passengers can use handheld devices during taxiing, take-off and landing, as long as ‘flight mode’ is switched on.

Windows 9 ‘Threshold’

September 23rd, 2014

Windows 9, currently codenamed ‘Threshold’ at Microsoft’s headquarters, could be making its début in April 2015.

Windows 9 will try to be completely different to Windows 8 and 8.1, both of which were greeted with mild hatred from its user base

So expect the return of the beloved start menu- lack of a start menu was one of the most disagreeable non-features of Windows 8, and it has long been rumoured that it will make a comeback

The 2015 release date, as is a short release cycles for another new operating systems IT professionals will have to support multiple versions of Windows, as well as a number of different platforms and devices.

This means IT staff will have to stop managing devices and platforms at an OS level and start look at ways to manage users, data and applications no matter what the device.

Windows 9 will be the first major release under VP Terry Myerson, who led the Windows Phone group in his previous position at Microsoft. Updates for the Xbox One and Windows Phone will also be released under the new operating system.

Not much is known of Windows 9 at the moment, but if it rights the wrongs of the current flagship OS, the Windows 8 could end up becoming the next Windows Vista; an expensive lesson.

Dynamics Ax lifecycle – Ax 2009 and Ax 2012

September 23rd, 2014

Dynamics AX 2012 mainstream support was recently extended by two years to October 2018.

Please be aware that Dynamics AX 2009 will go into Extended Support in April 2015. This means support is only provided if an extended support agreement is in place and deliverables are limited to security updates and non-security hotfixes (specific bug fix for a critical issue).

Therefore, the goal of the Servicing strategy should be to keep all products within their mainstream support.

Servicing Windows: Review all windows security patches bi-weekly and push update accordingly. Service pack and major update need to be tested before applying to production.

These patches shouldn’t impact AOS however it is recommended to first run sanity check on User Acceptance Test (UAT) environment. Any major update (.Net Framework and Windows SP) may impact system so put in place a control windows update using Windows Server Update Service for all servers in Production.

Servicing SQL Server: Our recommendation is always to keep the build up to date in regards to the latest CU available of the latest Service Pack officially supported.

For example, as of August 2014, SP2 was strong>not yet officially supported with AX 2012.

Lifecycle of SQL Server 2008 is now in extended support since July 2014

Windows Server 2008 and Visual Studio 2010 mainstream support will end in January 2015.

Patch tuesday 5 Sep 2014

September 5th, 2014

Internet Explorer needs another critical patch. If left unpatched, the browser is subject to attacks that execute malicious code on victim machines, so getting the updates to patch it is important.

In addition to the threat posed by the vulnerabilities that the patches correct, these critical browser updates will be challenging for IT organizations. Installing the updates requires system restarts and the browser in all its versions is widely distributed among organizations.

Vulnerable versions include IE 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11 running on desktop Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 as well as Windows Server 2003, 2008 and 2012.

The bulletin about the Internet Explorer problems is likely to include a roll-up of fixes for any number of vulnerabilities found over the past month

Microsoft Migration Accelerator for Azure

September 5th, 2014

Microsoft recently acquired InMage, which has a hybrid cloud product to help migrate computing assets into, or back from, or in between, either public or private cloud infrastructures with ease,

It helps you also to replicate with a real-time sync with premise assets to leverage the cloud for: dev, test, analytics, and more; and helpesyou to recover and back up your physical and virtual assets ,whether on premise, or in the public/private cloud

Microsoft announced yesterday :

Spawned from the technology of Microsoft’s InMage acquisition announced July 11, the MA is designed to seamlessly migrate physical, VMware, AWS and Hyper-V workloads into Azure. It automates all aspects of migration including discovery of source workloads, remote agent installation, network adaptation and endpoint configuration. With MA, transitions into Azure can occur in mere minutes!

MA changes the cloud migration paradigm by offering:
Heterogeneity: With MA you can migrate workloads running on a broad range of platforms such as VMware, Microsoft Hyper-V, Amazon Web Services and/or Physical servers within your environment. MA can support workloads running on Windows Server 2008 R2 sp1, Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2 operating systems.
Simple, Automated Migration: The MA portal allows you to automatically discover your enterprise workloads, remotely from the cloud. With a few clicks, you can configure end-to-end migration scenarios. MA allows you to test your workload in the cloud without impacting the existing on-premise production workload, offering the ability to validate workload functionality before a cutover is performed.
Migrate Multi-tier Applications: MA boasts the unique ability to migrate a multi-tier production system with application level consistency, orchestrated across tiers. This ensures multi-tier applications run the same in Azure, as they ran at the source. Application startup order is even honored, without the need for any manual configuration.
Continuous Replication, Least Cutover Time: MA for Azure provides full-system replication including the OS and application data. This continuous replication and in-memory change tracking reduces the cutover time to mere minutes, minimizing impact to production workloads.

MA offers an unprecedented level of automation to provide seamless migrations of heterogeneous assets, into Azure.

Key Highlights:
Automated asset discovery and migration – MA portal orchestrates the discovery and migration of workloads from a single pane of glass.
Migration cutovers to Azure in minutes – continuous replication and in-memory change tracking significantly reduce cutover time.
Self-provisioned target Azure VM’s — Target VMs are dormant during synchronization saving compute cost and are then automatically provisioned during cutover.
Heterogeneous platform support – support for broad range of environments and platforms.
Continuous replication – lightweight agents on the source servers continuously replicate all changes to target ensuring near zero downtime during migrations.
Multi-tier application support – migrate your multi-tier production system with application level consistency orchestrated across tiers.
Target VM Network and Endpoint Adaptation – support for automated network adaptation and endpoint reconfiguration.
Integrated compression, encryption and bandwidth management.

Faster web with new html element for images

September 3rd, 2014

The Web will get much faster very soon.

A current problem is images. – the size of the average page in the top 1,000 sites on the Web is 1.7MB. and Images account for almost 1MB of that 1.7MB.

With a fast fiber connection, that no problem but on a mobile network, that huge image uses up limited bandwidth. When you’re using a mobile device is you still get images intended for pc monitors loaded . It’s a waste of bandwidth delivering pixels you don’t need.

Modern Web browsers speed up page load times by downloading images before parsing the page’s body. The browser starts to download the image before it knows where that image will be in the page layout or how big it will need to be.

As of today, the Picture element will be available in Chrome and Firefox by the end of the year. It’s available now in Chrome’s dev channel and Firefox 34+ (in Firefox you’ll need to enable it in about:config). Here’s a test page showing the new Picture element in action.

Lawson of Opera first suggested that a new html element might be in order. The breakthrough for Picture came from Opera’s Simon Pieters and Google’s Tab Atkins. They made a simple, suggestion—make Picture a wrapper for img. That way there are not two separate elements for images on the Web (which is confusing), but there would still be a new way to control which image the browser displays.

After evaluating the various rules, the browser picks the best image based on its own criteria. This is anice feature because the browser’s criteria can include your settings. Future browsers might offer an option to stop high-res images from loading over 3G, regardless of any Picture element on the page . Once the browser knows which image is the best choice, it loads and displays that image in a n img element. Prefetching still works and there’s no performance penalty. When the browser doesn’t understand picture, it falls back to whatever is in the img tag.

So Picture wraps an img tag. If the browser is too old to know what to make of a element, then it loads the fallback img tag. All the accessibility benefits remain since the alt attribute is still on the img element.

Opera, also based on Blink, will support Picture in the near future. Apple appears to be adding support to Safari through the backport to WebKit, though it wasn’t finished in time for the upcoming Safari 8. Microsoft has likewise been supportive and is considering Picture for the next release of IE.

Azure cuts prices from 1 Nov 2014

August 30th, 2014

In April, Microsoft introduces some new service tiers and phased out some.

This week, announced some price reductions and improved service level availability. The changes are just ahead of general availability of the new tiers in September. Microsoft is cutting prices on the Azure SQL Premium and Standard tiers by 50 percent from previously published pricing.

Basic tier pricing will remain the same as previously published.

Microsoft also is moving Azure SQL Database to hourly billing for the new service tiers, according to a blog post last week about the new changes.

Microsoft will add a new s0 (s-zero) performance level in the Standard service tier as a lower-cost entry point for Standard. The 99.95 percent availability in its service level agreements (SLAs) for the new tiers, will be increased to providing 99.99 percent availability, Microsoft officials said.

The current Web and Business service tiers will be retired in April 2015.

Fo more information on prices see www.microsoft.com/blog/2014/08/26/new-azure-sql-database-service-tiers-generally-available-in-september-with-reduced-pricing-and-enhanced-sla/

Dubai Construction – BIM mandate – Synergy Software Solutions, Dubai, has the answer

August 2nd, 2014

We introduced BIM to the region back in 2008.

Dubai Municipality has mandated the use of BIM for architectural and MEP works for :
According to this important document (number 196 – dated Nov 18, 2013), Dubai’s Municipality formally informs all design and construction companies operating in Dubai that it has decided to mandate/dictate BIM for architectural and MEP works for
(a) all buildings 40 stories or higher;
(b) facilities/buildings that are 300,000 sqft or larger;
(c) all hospitals, universities and other similarly specialized buildings; and
(d) all buildings that are being delivered by/through an international party.

The announcement also states that this decision to mandate BIM is based on the (proven) ability of BIM tools and workflows in improving construction quality, enabling collaboration between project participants across project phases, lowering costs, reducing time, unifying specifications/standards, facilitating QTO and cost planning.

It also stated that this decision is preliminary – stage 1 to come into force on January 1, 2014. Finally, the document states that consultants – architects, engineers and similar,( no mention of contractors) – are legally responsible to fulfil this dictate.

Dubai’s BIM mandate comes in the wake of increasing global adoption of BIM.
- – The EU made BIM a mandate in January 2014.
- In Singapore, BIM is mandatory for all public housing projects.
- IN U.K. government contracts will mandate BIM from 2016
- It has had widespread adoption in Scandinavia and the USA for many years.

Once International Construction companies adopt BIM in one country they will soon rollout to other countries and that factor will also force an increase adoption here by all contractors, architects etc.

Construction is one of the few industries where productivity has decreased almost year on year for the last 40 years. More congested cities. tighter planning and Health and Safety legislation may be contributing factors but the low adoption of enterprise IT relative to other industries is the major factor. This reflects an industry that often thinks on a project basis, and this has a high labour turnover which discourages long term investments and training. This e with longer term vision are reaping the rewards of BIM.

Design out mistakes before they reach site, integrate plans across the supply chain, and the savings are obvious yet BIM offers much more. Collaboration from the outset between all of the design disciplines – the client, contractor, specialists and suppliers – is fundamental to ensuring the best design, construction and operating solution and the BIM models and BIM workflows help to achieved this “right first time”.

According to the 2012 McGraw Hill North America BIM SmartMarket Report, the percentage of companies using BIM jumped from 17 per cent in 2007 to 49 per cent in 2009 and to 71 per cent in North America 2012 with 74 per cent of contractors now using BIM compared to 70 per cent of architects.

BIM solutions were used in iconic projects such as Shanghai Tower in China, Freedom Tower in New York. However BIM has also been successful in recent regional projects of various scale and size such as::
- the King Abdullah Sports City complex in Jeddah,
- Masdar’s headquarters at Masdar City,
- Al-Mafraq hospital in Abu Dhabi,
- the Midfield Terminal Building – Abu Dhabi International Airport (MTB-ADIA),
- the museum projects at Sadiyaat island

In all projects BIM adoption ensures that projects are completed more quickly, more accurately, more safely and at less cost than comparable non-BIM projects. A recent study from McGraw-Hill Construction found that BIM adoption is growing dramatically by contractors and that more investment is planned.

Two UK academics, Prof Nashwan Dawood and Dr Mohamad Kassem from Teesside University, have been awarded a grant of $940,000 to lead a research project aimed at developing “a whole life cycle information flow approach enabled by BIM protocols and technologies” for Qatar’s construction industry. The two UK academics will work with Qatar University and HOCHTIEF ViCon to deliver the project. The project research team has been collecting data and interviewing engineers and project managers on some of the major projects underway for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The project will seek to identify the root-causes of poor information flows and the approach undertaken will be industry and client-led. There is an ambition to develop Qatar as the centre of excellence in the Gulf for advances in the management of information in construction projects.

A recent NBS BIM survey, reveals that 95% of construction professionals are now aware of BIM and usage among those professionals will jump from 54% to 93% within three years. However a recent ITP BIM breakfast meeting few attendees were willing to raise their hands to indicate that they had a full understanding of BIM.

Contractors, who particularly benefit from BIM, are beginning to insist that their consultants — including architects — must also work with BIM. This trend will accelerate due to government pressure to reduce costs, and energy consumption and to improve health and safety, and on-time completion and competitive pressure will force smaller contractors to adopt BIM. Many of those contractors will similarly insist that their supply chains also use BIM.

There is the feeling in Dubai that after years of fairly lax regulation on project management – which had undoubtedly resulted in a large amount of substandard projects, not to mention delays and budget overspends – the use of BIM can only serve to benefit Dubai’s construction industry

Understandably many are put off BIM adoption because of the anticipated costs, or perceived complex technology issues and the culture change needed to maximise the benefits. So ask about our AEC Construction solution that is an end to end solution that also encompasses estimation tendering and operations as well as BIM and at an affordable price with fast deployment.

The Solution

1. The construction industry needs integrated system support for challenging processes from project bidding to completion and client billing with dynamic project cost and time analytics to support a timely, high quality, decision making process.
2. To take control of the project management and stabilize the business you need controls and accountability around the clock.
3. AEC Engineering Apps, integrated with: Auto CAD, STAAD Pro and Microsoft Project facilitates the full construction lifecycle: plan, estimate, budget, and schedule, design and execute your projects with works accounting.
4. Rapidly make world class Bar Bending Schedules and designs.
Don’t take our word for it try a LIVE Trial on any of our 11 modules at
5. AEC’s proven applications help you to undertake the key construction business functions: drawings, planning, budgeting, procurement, inventory, equipment management and operations.

Find out for yourself – call Yudhi – 0097143365589

Microsoft in the cloud – more free space, lower costs

July 11th, 2014

Last week Microsoft more than doubled the amount of free cloud storage users get with its OneDrive service (formerly known as SkyDrive). The 15GB offer puts Microsoft on par with Google Drive, and OneDrive is notably cheaper than Dropbox and Box — for now. (Box offers 10GB of free storage while Dropbox offers 2GB.)

It also cut prices for additional space in the cloud by about 70 percent.

In a related move the company also unveiled a new offer for subscribers to its Office 365 service: 1TB of free storage.

These updates will take effect in the next month and current subscribers will automatically be moved to the lower prices, according to Microsoft

Microsoft also made it easier to use the cloud service by integrating OneDrive with its latest Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 OS releases. Having a smooth interface between OneDrive and the Office 365 service is another and more significant advantage.

Azure – new back up solution – Azure Site Recovery (ASR)

June 28th, 2014

No backup data center?

Microsoft Azure Site Recovery will keep applications and services running on the cloud should disaster strike.

Microsoft cloud-based disaster recovery is coming with Azure Site Recovery (ASR)).

Abhishek Hemrajani, a Microsoft program manager,in the company’s official blog announced new capabilities that enable disaster recovery (DR) in the cloud. Enterprise and small and midsized businesses (SMBs) “can now protect, replicate, and failover Virtual Machines directly to Microsoft Azure.”

In short, a cloud-based DR site that can span multiple geographies.

ASR, formerly Hyper-V Recovery Manager, provides a guaranteed safety net, whether customers “enable Disaster Recovery across On-Premise Enterprise Private Clouds or directly to Azure,” said Hemrajani.
He added that “virtualized workloads will be recovered accurately, consistently, and with minimal downtime.”

Businesses no longer need to view cloud-based DR with suspicion, according to Microsoft’s Brad Anderson, corporate vice president of Windows Server and System Center. “If you’re an enterprise that has viewed previous cloud-based DR solutions with skepticism—brace yourselves for the details of this announcement,” he said in a statement. – See more at: http://www.eweek.com/cloud/microsoft-previews-all-cloud-azure-disaster-recovery-service.html#sthash.kdl092Uw.dpuf

Health data on the internet – good or bad?

June 28th, 2014

The new “Google Fit” health data tracking service will compete with Apple’s recently announced HealthKit data collection services, according to a report.

Google will debut its plans for a new health data tracking service called “Google Fit” at the upcoming Google I/O developers conference as part of its recent push into high-tech wearables. – Google has also been working recently on other device-related health projects, such as experiments unveiled in January with special contact lenses that are equipped with miniaturized sensors that can analyze the tears in the eyes of diabetes patients to determine when their blood sugar levels need to be adjusted. – See more at: http://www.eweek.com/cloud/google-reportedly-unveiling-health-data-tracking-service-at-io-conference.html#sthash.Avl42QSp.dpuf

It seems perverse coincidence to read on the same day that possibly 1.3 million records were stolen when hackers broke into Montana’s health care system presumably with the intent of identity theft. , Montana has taken the steps necessary to shore up security. Government officials have confirmed that the personal information of 1.3 million people has been hacked. State of Montana officials are now notifying potential victims that hackers broke into a Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) computer server