Oracle Process Manufacturing (OPM) – Best Practices

This article Summarizes the Best Practices in a Process Manufacturing Industry, which can be achieved by implementing Oracle Process Manufacturing (OPM) Solution. OPM is part of Oracle E-Business Suite of Applications

Business Challenges in a Process Industry

business-challenges

The following two critical Challenges faced by a Process manufacturing organization and the ways to address them using OPM are dealt with.

  • Regulatory requirements
  • Operational excellence

How to address Regulatory requirements

Regulatory requirements in a Process manufacturing industry can be achieved by implementing the following best practices.

Track your Materials efficiently so that they can be recalled at any point in time during the manufacturing process. This can be achieved by leveraging OPM features shown in the figure below. These features not only enable your organization to track your Materials but also address your Regulatory and Compliance requirements.

opm-product-decelopment-solutions

Material Traceability

multi-level-material

Create precise control over the Inventory and Manufacturing Process

Achieve precise control over your Inventory and Manufacturing process by

  • Tracking the movement of the materials between your Inventory warehouse and your shop floor
  • Scale production batches up or down to meet the changing demand.
  • Update production raw material issue and inventory receipts in real time and track Inventory items precisely

Implement Detailed Classification of Item & location

quality-driven-product-attributes

Enable Lot Control on an Item for easy traceability

form

Enhance Real Time Data collection

Enhance your data collection on the formulations and recipes by adopting real time data collection thru RF hand held devices which can push data into your OPM system while you are

  • On the Shop floor
  • In the Warehouse
  • In the Loading Dock

Leverage Oracle Built-in Device capability and Operators Workbench

OPM Built-in Mobile Interface

built-in-mobile-user-interface

Manage Product consistency

Any Process manufacturer has to ensure that the product that is developed is consistent over its entire life cycle to meet Customer satisfaction. Any deviation in this will not only lead to customer complaints bus also compliance violations. Strict compliance requirements of products can be addressed by enhancing the quality monitoring procedures of your Product development. The following features (shown in the table below) of OPM solution can help you control the quality of Products manufactured by your organization and also meet your compliance requirements.

list-of-opm

Leverage OPM’s Integrated Quality Management

Integrate quality checks in production process using Automated sampling and approval workflow

workflow-driven-quality-management

How to Achieve Operational excellence

Achieve Operational excellence by maximizing Production efficiency

Use following OPM Process Execution and OPM Production Scheduler features (show in table below) to increase your Operations efficiency

oracle-process-execution-solution

opm-production-scheduler-1

Optimize Cost & improve margin by using following OPM Cost management features

oracle-process-manufacturing-costing

  • Capture precise product costs and monitor actual product costs
  • Optimize product cost structure by minimizing ingredient costs
  • Use Multiple cost methods and improve inventory valuation
  • Conduct detailed cost analyses for current and historical purchased material costs, applied resource costs and batch costs

Compliances for Process Manufacturing Industry

compliances-table

4 Strategies That Would Pave-Way for Your Customers to New Microsoft Dynamics AX Adaptation

micosoft-dynamics-ax

In a not so long distant future, it is expected from Microsoft to come out with the already available Dynamics AX Azure to be made available on private cloud and On-premise version. Give the recent developments in Microsoft approach and focus on cloud technology, shows us the long term strategy, which will be adapted for Dynamics AX as a product.

Thus from a service provider point of view it becomes even more important to advocate Dynamics users to consider upgrading from the current version being used. Here we are going to discussing some possible approach which can be adopted moving customers to the newest version of Dynamics AX. Four strategies or upgrade scenarios and beneficial tactics will be discussed, which would help in a seamless migration from the existing AX to New versions of AX.

1. For AX 2012 R3 Users, Choice between Cloud and On-Premise:

It is no secret that when it comes to business logic and Data Models of Dynamics AX 2012 R3 version and new Dynamics AX are similar. So making the upgrade from the AX 2012 R3 to new version would be fairly straight-forward. Thus a more standard approach is all that is needed. But the question which would linger around with both the client and the service provider is to either host the AX on the public cloud, private cloud or to choose On-premise.

The hosting in the initial stages of public cloud deployments of new Dynamics AX will be handled by Microsoft’s Dynamics Lifecycle Services (LCS) Deployment Services. For a better approach suggestion, it would be important for service providers to familiarise with the new Dynamics AX on Microsoft Azure, this can be achieved by gathering knowledge on LCS tools in order to estimate licensing cost and evaluate potential upgraded project risks, such as recognizing solution areas with the highest number of merge conflicts, etc.

When it comes to integration with any third party application the new version of Dynamics AX should be easier to implement when compared to AX 2012 and earlier versions. But at this point-of-time you can only perform code upgrades as data upgrade won’t be available until Fall 2016 at the earliest. In addition, new Dynamics AX does not have any data upgrade scripts yet. And data migration scripts have to be created during the upgrade.

2. For AX 2009 Users, Upgrade to AX 2012 then new AX Version Transition Approach:

A larger number of enterprise takes time to migrate to new versions of Dynamics AX for a number of reasons such as time, resource, budget and on most occasions their familiarity to the existing system. Thus on many occasions enterprise skips versions. Even Microsoft has mentioned that for AX 2009 extended support will be provided till 2018, hinting Microsoft’s intent of wanting the AX 2009 users to upgrade at their own pace.

Transition of customers or users thus becomes an integral part of any upgradation activity. For a seamless transition it is better advised to transition the customers Dynamics AX solution to AX 2013 R3 CU8 on the first place. This might be the most secure and cost effective strategy while planning to move to new Dynamics AX from a version such as AX 2009. As mentioned earlier the new Dynamics AX is similar to AX 2012 R3 CU8 in terms of business logic and data model. So the exposure to the AX 2012 environment will help both the enterprise and individual users from the organization to adapt the AX environment, so making the transition straightforward when new Dynamics AX is adapted.

There are few reasons which has to be taken into account as a service provider to consider upgrade suggestion of AX 2012 R3 to be carried out in 2016 and later upgrade them to the new AX version at a later point of time.

    • Dispersal of Upgrade Costs & Risks Over Time – It has to be noted that jumping few versions to new Dynamics AX substantially increase upgrade costs and risks associated with upgrade project exponentially. So it becomes a more conducive approach to have smaller, well-planned, iterative upgrade steps.
    • Subsiding Upgrade Project Risk- one of the main reasons why an upgrade project is stalled or delayed is because of underestimating the project. There are many factors such as accumulation of unexpected cost and increased error rate. Not taking such factors into consideration would result in the migration project over shooting the project cost and leaves an unsatisfied customer.
    • Avoid the Big Leap- When an organization is running AX 2009 and migrating directly to latest version of Dynamics AX would refer to a big leap when it comes to user’s interface and processes of the system. This sudden change will create unnecessary strain, unease and confusion for users.

3. Full Upgrade or Re-implementation or A Mix Approach:

There are scenarios where as a service provider you might come across unsupported upgrade paths. During these situations we are left with a number of choices such as re-implementation or a combination of upgrade & re-implementation, these approach tends to be more efficient solution provided to the clients than a full solution upgrade.

Few notable situations when the suggestion of re-implementation has to be suggested are,

      • Level of customization which has been implemented in the current system. In case of customizations having conflicts with the new version of standard AX, would make the upgrade complex and costly.
      • Consistency of customer’s data in the existing Dynamics AX solution also determines the strategy to be followed.
      • The use of ISV or any third party integration tool which is not supported by the new version plays a role too.

Similarly, the situation when a mixed upgrade strategy for the customer needs to be suggested.

      • When the requirement for upgrade from the customer is to re-implement only specific Dynamics AX modules.
      • In situations when the customization is actually part of the new version of AX and those customizations needs to be removed, thus only migrates data.
      • If the need is full data migration and code re-implementation. This scenario mainly arises when there are multiple Dynamics AX version used for different businesses and wants to transition/merge them to one corporate solution.

In short to fix the implementation strategy a deep analysis of each specific case should be performed to determine which option is best for your customer. Cost efficient and time efficient options depends on data and customization in the current customers AX version that needs to be upgraded. To plan your upgrade strategy, service provider and the customer should deliberate a variety of factors such as,

      • Source System Version
      • Database Size and Quality
      • Customization and New Functionality
      • ISV Solutions and Integrations with Third Party Application
      • Budget, Timeline, Downtime Limitation and Resources

Thus an initial assessment to identify the discussed factors and in-turn helps in identifying which strategy to be followed for customer’s unique situations.

4. Small Customer, how about Going for NAV Instead

The situation completely changes when the customer or users of older versions of AX such as the AX 4.0 or older, seem to be struck and do not see an efficient means of migrating their existing solution to a new version. The less the 50 users the new version is not available since the limitation is a minimum of 50 users, making the new Dynamics AX too big.

In such situation rather than struggling with the approach or strategy, the simplest of solution are to migrate the existing AX system to Dynamics NAV. Migration to NAV from the existing AX is also made easy with number tools available which make migration easy.

KARYA Technologies’ Microsoft Dynamics AX Service Offerings

KARYA Technologies’ Microsoft Dynamics AX Services are aimed at helping our clients exploit all relevant base functionalities, scale-to growing business needs, integrate AX effectively with internal and external systems such as CRM, Legacy Systems, Mobile Applications and EDI Frameworks and enhance the BI/Reporting capabilities.

KARYA Technologies is a Microsoft Dynamics Certified Partner with a large resource base of experienced and Certified AX Professionals on board.

      • We have a proven record of excellence in Implementation / Upgrades and Production Support.
      • We help AX integrate seamlessly with other Enterprise Systems (like CRM), Web Portals, Trading Partners (like EDI), Microsoft Office Suite.
      • We practice and preach sure-step methodology.
      • We have experience with Localization and Globalization aspects of AX.
      • We can recommend and implement suitable Industry Vertical Add-on Solutions.
      • We have a strong Infrastructure team to support AX implementations.
      • We provide 24x7x365 Operational Maintenance and Production Support for your AX Environment.
      • We have an efficient Global Delivery Model.

To learn more about KARYA Technologies’ Microsoft Dynamics AX.

How To Use SIPOC For Hyperion Planning?

SIPOC

In process improvement, a SIPOC (sometimes COPIS) is a tool that summarizes the inputs and outputs of one or more processes in table form. The acronym SIPOC stands for Suppliers, Inputs, Process, Outputs, and Customers which form the columns of the table.

When we want to start some process management or improvement activity, it’s crucial to get a clear overview of the top level stages of the process. SIPOC helps provide a natural but structured way to discuss a process and get consensus on what it involves before drawing process maps.

SIPOC is often presented at the outset of process improvement efforts such as Kaizen events or during the “define” phase of the DMAIC process.

It has three typical uses depending on the audience:

  • To give people who are unfamiliar with a process a high-level overview
  • To reacquaint people whose familiarity with a process has faded or become out-of-date due to process changes
  • To help people in defining a new process

SIPOC is best accomplished in Team Work and Brainstorming Sessions. To conduct a successful SIPOC session, first provide participants a brief overview of the SIPOC Process, Purpose, Tools/Templates, and especially the keys to an effective SIPOC.

SIPOC Diagrams are very easy to complete. Here are the steps to follow:

  • Create an area that will allow the team to post additions to the SIPOC diagram. This could be a transparency (to be projected by an overhead) made of the provided template, flip charts with headings (S-I-P-O-C) written on each, or headings written on post-it notes posted to a wall.
  • Begin with the process. Map it in four to five high level steps.
  • Identify the outputs of this process.
  • Identify the customers that will receive the outputs of this process.
  • Identify the inputs required for the process to function properly.
  • Identify the suppliers of the inputs that are required by the process.

Here is a simple example of SIPOC for an Automobile Repair process:

In line with the above example, Oracle Hyperion Planning Application (a web-based Planning and Budgeting Solution that integrates Financial and Operational Planning Processes) is explained through SIPOC

Benefits of Using SIPOC Analysis

  • SIPOC is an effective visual tool for defining a process by identifying key activities, outputs and inputs of the process, which gives an overall view of the business scope and enables all team members to view the process in the same light.
  • It provides an understanding of the various process steps and process owners that make up the system for the stakeholders, project sponsors and team members, giving clarity on the scope of the process at an early stage in the project.
  • It associates together the suppliers and customers with the main process, to study and investigate as a whole body, thus analyzing and developing the system from a comprehensive view.
  • It quickly and easily captures the current state of the organization and processes in question, and defines the improvement efforts.

About the Author: Remesh Padmanabhan is a Senior Functional Consultant, Oracle Hyperion Platform, at KARYA Technologies. He is an Accounting Professional with more than 25 years of experience in serving various industry verticals such as Manufacturing, Automobile and IT. His specializations include Quality Control Measures like Six Sigma, ISO 9001 Standards and Business Continuity Management. Remesh is an avid reader and he likes to watch classic movies.

5 Myths About DevOps Busted

myths-about-devops

DevOps as a service complements the Agile Software Methodology by promoting the communication and collaboration between Development, Quality Assurance and Operations, thereby enhancing the IT Organization’s Capabilities in accommodating rapid changes to Production and Remediating Production Issues as they occur.

But, most of the time, the Core Principle about DevOps is not understood properly. Some of general Misconception/Myth that are associated with DevOps are:

1. Operations + Development = DevOps:

Combining team members from Operation and Development can establish a DevOps operation. This is just a myth. The fact is DevOps is a combination of Processes and Practices that are adopted for the entire delivery pipeline and covers various stakeholders, where two key practices are adopted such as Continues Integration (CI) and Continues Delivery (CD).

2. Complete Automation is DevOps:

DevOps is all about Completely Automating the Build and Release Process. Automation in DevOps forms an integral part of the process, but implementation of Automation is not the only activity associated with DevOps. In DevOps, Process Automation is achieved by using tools such as Puppet, Chef, Ansible, Etc., which are available in the market. It has to be noted that Implementation of Automation should be limited to an extent where it remains under control. Implementation of Complex Automation Scripts in Complex Server can simply end up as a road block, rather than being a solution.

3. DevOps is a Tool:

Implementation of Configuration Management Tools is DevOps. Actually, DevOps has nothing to do with tools implementation. It is just part of the process and as said earlier it helps in Process Automation. Experts often feel that tools in reality undermine the DevOps potential. Automation and Tools form only part of DevOps and the core remains with combining and increasing end-to-end practices of collaboration with CI or CD.

4. No More Traditional IT Roles with DevOps

Each and every role needs to be handled by all the members of a DevOps Team Eliminating any Individual Roles. The real objective of DevOps is to Eliminate the collaboration barrier and not to ask everyone to work by adopting to roles. To make the Support Operation Effective, Specialized Skills and Traditional Roles are valuable for DevOps.

5. DevOps needs a Dedicated Team:

DevOps requires a dedicated DevOps team. This is not true and DevOps gives more importance to the processes rather than focusing on a dedicated team or dedicated role. There are some occasions when the mission of the DevOps team in not defined properly and having a dedicated team leads to more problems. There are even occasions when a temporary DevOps team makes more sense to help streamlining processes.

The fact remains that DevOps as a concept is still evolving and it is bound to get buried under myths. All efforts should be directed towards bursting these misconceptions and align organizational goals with the DevOps principles to maximise ROI.

KARYA’s DevOps Offerings:

Our versatile team of DevOps professionals include top-notch Architects, Automation & Integration Specialists, Application Architects, Open Source Technologists, Cloud Orchestrators, System & Database Administrators, Quality Assurance Professionals, Build / Release / Deployment Managers can help you improve Code Quality, Integrate Continuously, and Deliver Faster. To find out more about KARYA’s approach to achieve Continuous Software Delivery CLICK HERE.

(About the Author:- Praveen Kumar Rajendran works as a Senior Consultant- Presales at KARYA Technologies. He holds Masters’ Degree in International Business from La Trobe University and has wide experience in Business Consulting on various technologies. He loves to write on latest trends in IT and his areas of interest include Mobility, Cloud and Enterprise Solutions.)

How To Maintain Homeostasis Using Business Intelligence Alerts

How to maintain Homeostasis using Business Intelligence Alerts

What is Homeostasis?

Encyclopaedia Britannica defines Homeostasis as any self-regulating process by which Biological Systems tend to maintain stability while adjusting to conditions that are optimal for survival.

If Homeostasis is successful, life continues; if unsuccessful, disaster or death ensues. The stability attained is actually a dynamic equilibrium, in which continuous change occurs yet relatively uniform conditions prevail. An often cited example for Homeostasis is temperature regulation in humans and warm-blooded animals in general.

Key Components

The two important components of Homeostasis are Sensors and Effectors. Sensors monitor and detect changes in the controlled entity and provide the negative feedback for Effectors to carryout corrective measures and these corrective measures remain in motion until the deviation is reversed.

The effectiveness of Homeostasis is in its ability to trigger the corrective measure in real time while the controlled entity is alive, well and able to survive the deviation and also self-correct. It is borne out of survival instincts, the need to survive and perpetuate.

An organization is a controlled entity and in order to effectively monitor and regulate the various processes within it, it is worth investing in the Sensor and Effector Mechanism because they ensure its survival. Homeostasis is nothing new in the business world. Most manufacturing processes are monitored using Industrial and Engineering Control Systems that are self-regulating.

In IT Services the advent of DevOps is a direction towards a seamless response system for dynamic demand on Software, Services and Infrastructure. Machine Learning, Algorithmic Processing of events and transactions and Internet of Things are good examples of embedded Homeostasis in action. In the end, a living optimal entity is a result of an ever present Homeostasis.

Alerts and Sensors

Organizations can leverage their existing Business Intelligence Infrastructure to install Alerts. There is lot more emphasis on the need for On-demand Decentralized Reporting than demand for Auto-course Correcting Mechanisms that BI Alerts can facilitate. BI Alerts are the Sensors. Alerts trigger when certain pre-determined set points are deviated and provide the negative feedback necessary for the Effectors to kick in. These set points are commonly called KPIs but I would like to bring in measures for vitality instead of KPIs. I think Vitality and Homeostasis go together.

Many organizations use Alerts and Notifications from their BI Systems, but not as Cohesive Mechanism for an Enterprise-wide Alarm System to stabilize operations and survive. Balanced Scorecards measure and monitor performance but do not help in keeping Homeostasis in the earliest available opportunity. In order to get to the deep green colour highlight on a Balanced Scorecard, Alerts are a must for course correction.

What must you sustain on a daily, weekly or a monthly basis to remain vital. If the answer is based on Average Foot Fall or Customer Complaints or Sales or Margins. A very simple example of Vitals calculated from these are;

Sales

Vitality of Sales = Inclination of Trend line of (Weighted Average YTD Actual Sales (Daily)) minus (Weighted Average YTD Actual/Budgeted Sales (Yesterday/Daily))
{Trigger Alert when Vitality of Sales < 0 degrees} {Stop Alert when Vitality of Sales >= 0 degrees}

Customer Complaints

Vitality of Customer Satisfaction = A Trend line of (Average YTWE NPS (this week) – Average YTWB NPS (week before))
{Trigger Alert when Vitality of Customer Satisfaction < 0 degrees} {Stop Alert when Vitality of Customer Satisfaction >= 0 degrees}

The Trends and Averages may be daily, weekly, monthly or some other period depending on how volatile your parameters are. The average chosen should iron out daily fluctuations and clearly show a trend upward, downward or steady state. Instead of a plain vanilla Average Calculation, a sophisticated Forecasting or other Statistical Models relevant to your industry may be used to calculate the trend and define the Alert set points.

Predictive Analytics to forecast a set point or a trend and thereupon issue an alert can be an effective red flag. Alerts may be graded to denote the significance of the deviation. Since we are talking about Homeostasis, we may also borrow the concept of Early Warning Score (EWS) used by the Medical Community to assess the degree of illness of a patient. In BI Terminology we know it as tolerance threshold in a Balanced Scorecard. Preventive Action kicks in when the Alert goes out in response to meeting an EWS.

‘The Alert System’

The Effectors are the organizational managers and their teams, who have the resources to diagnose the reasons for deviation from Vitals, take corrective measures. On-demand Reporting can be a great tool for Diagnosis. The alerts must be designed to facilitate Drill-through Action to deeper levels of data.

In fact, “Project Homeostasis”, cannot be a success without a robust Data Processing and Integration Infrastructure in place for Analytics. The beauty and the effectiveness of ‘The Alert System’ is in its ability to keep blaring its horns until the fire has been doused. There are no accessible buttons to push to silence the alarms. They can only be silenced by correcting the course of the Trend Line.

Knowledge about your Business, Industry in general and a Creative Imagination are the limits to how Alerts may be defined and implemented in your organization.

KARYA can help organizations design Enterprise-wise Alerts by leveraging your existing Business Intelligence Systems. To know more about KARYA’s Data Management Solutions please log on to http://www.karyatech.com.

(About the Author- Nagarajan Mahadevan works as Principal Consultant- Data Management Solutions at KARYA Technologies. He is a Techno-Commercial expert and has more than 2 decades of experience in Business Intelligence, Data Warehousing Technologies, Financial Accounting and Management Consulting. His areas of interests, apart from staying abreast on latest IT Trends and Technologies, are Yoga and Indian Classical Music.)

How Mobile Virtual Reality is Impacting Industries

How Mobile Virtual Reality is impacting industries

The Virtual Reality (Virtual Reality) Technology on mobile is gaining traction with many mobile hardware manufactures like Sony, HTC, Microsoft, Google and Lenovo launching Virtual Reality Devices and Headsets. The Gaming and Entertainment industry, the primary beneficiary of Virtual Reality technology, has been able to churn out cost effective and affordable Apps that is easily accessible by all, decreasing the dependency on bulky hardware and complex technologies. The interest in this segment is growing by the day and it is evident from investments made by some of the big tech giants, like Facebook’s investment of $2 billion for Oculus, Google’s $542 million into Magic Leap, Microsoft’s wonderful HoloLens.

Of late, companies across different industry verticals are planning to leverage on the Virtual Reality technology to minimise cost and maximise revenue. We will take a look at some of the industries that are poised to make the most out of the Virtual Reality Technology using Mobile Devices.

Education and Training Industry:

The Education industry is well-poised to take advantage of the Virtual Reality Technology using mobile. Education can be more effective if theory is combined with practicals. This is the primary reason why apart from books students take part in practical execution of knowledge. Thus e-Learning is gaining prominence where students are educated using videos and supplemented with practicals through Mobile App and Tablets. The education industry can use Virtual Reality effectively to impart education in the fields of Medical, Automobile & Machinery, Biology etc. This is a boon for NGOs who are trying to educate children at remote locations in the absence of books and other Educational Materials.

Virtual Reality for Sales and Marketing:

The Sales and Marketing division of companies are on constant lookout to use trendy and eye catching innovations to reach more people. Similar to Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality can also be the next big thing for Marketing.

Field Marketing and Sales Agents can use their mobile to display their products easily to their prospective clients to give them a hands on Virtual Experience. There is immense potential to market the product to users who can experience the product before they actually use it.

Therapy Using Virtual Reality:

Virtual Reality Technology is used in the medical field for treating patients with Depression, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Alcoholism.

Virtual Reality has been a part of treatment for more than a decade as an instrument for therapists to administer Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy (Virtual Reality ET) in an Environment that is safe and controlled. But during the earlier stages of Virtual Reality technology, the cost and technology limitations were huge, which made the treatment unaffordable. But with inception of mobile Virtual Reality headsets, there are newer avenues to be explored in reaching-out to more patients.

Museums and Art:

Museums have been safeguarding Artefacts and Historic relics, which is also displayed to public for imparting knowledge and teach what history is to general public in various parts of the world. But the very singular existence of many items in museums make them difficult to access. People cannot travel across to various cities just to visit museums making it difficult and sometimes impossible. Emergence of Virtual Reality on mobile is one way of solving the problem.

Speaking about the Entertainment Industry, companies are looking for different options to enhance the movie watching experience from their comfort of home using Virtual Reality Mobile technology. As mentioned earlier, the biggest benefactor would be the Gaming Industry, which has been striving over the years to provide a Live and Interactive Environment

With rapid improvement in Hardware and Software Technology, the Virtual Reality devices will become much smaller, lighter and cheaper. All these could make it more affordable and usable to many users.

KARYA Technologies Mobility:

KARYA Technologies has been carving its Enterprise Mobility Expertise in all dimensions. Let it be devising an End-to-end Mobile Strategy, developing a new Mobile Application or mobilizing an existing Enterprise Application and integrating them with other LOB Applications, we have been there, done that. With continuous investments, Research & Development in niche areas such as MDM, BYOD, IoT, Beacons and other related proprietary and Open Source technologies, we have been crafting and enhancing a perfect blend of competencies right from UI/UX Designers through Testers, Developers and Mobile Architects. To know more about KARYA’s Enterprise Mobility Services please log on to http://www.karyatech.com/mobile-services.html

The Future of SharePoint

sharepoint-future

Microsoft recently conducted an event “The Future of SharePoint” in San Francisco. In the event, Microsoft unveiled a new Cloud-first, Mobile-first Vision and Roadmap for SharePoint, along with innovations that empower People, Teams and Organizations to intelligently Discover, Share and Collaborate on content from anywhere and on any device. Microsoft also announced the general availability of SharePoint Server 2016. This included new hybrid capabilities that enabled On-premises customers to leverage the Innovations in Office 365.

The Vision and Roadmap for SharePoint Online in the Cloud and SharePoint Server On-premise according to Microsoft could be described as

  • Collaboration of file sharing on any device, keeping it simple and at the same time powerful.
  • Focus on Mobile and use of Intelligent Intranet, with Contemporary Team Sites, Publishing and Business Applications both on Desktop and Mobile.
  • Platform that evolves SharePoint extensibility to embrace Modern Web Development.
  • Focus on Security, Privacy and Compliance across Office 365.

Collaboration on Any Device

According to Microsoft their main vision is to make SharePoint a simple and powerful File Sharing Service. To attain this Unified Access and Intelligent Discovery for all of Office 365 files, making it easier than ever for users to Create, Share, Collaborate on and Manage Documents from anywhere, on any device. Microsoft has come up with Mobile Apps which are available in App Markets of all the major Mobile OS, which is in addition to the ability to experience an intuitive browser experience too. This helps the users to leverage access to file on-the-fly when on road, where Microsoft says it provides the users a rock-solid, selective sync between PC and Mac and offline files on user’s Mobile Device.

There are a range of rollouts, which has been planned in the present quarter and also before the end of this calendar year. Microsoft‘s following capabilities will be rolled out this quarter:

  • Access to SharePoint Online Document Libraries and Office 365 Group files using OneDrive Mobile App.
  • Documents from both OneDrive and SharePoint to be found using Intelligent Discovery.
  • Ability to copy from OneDrive to SharePoint in the OneDrive Web Experience.
  • Availability of OneDrive Universal Windows Platform (UWP) Application.

And before the end of calendar year 2016:

  • Document Analytics surfaced in OneDrive to offer visibility into Document Usage, Reach and Impact.
  • Synchronization of new OneDrive Sync Client with SharePoint Online Document Libraries and Shared Folders.
  • Mobile access to SharePoint Document Libraries using On-premises Environment.
  • Move and Copy files between OneDrive and SharePoint in Web Experiences.

Covering the space of Intelligent Intranet and Mobile Space of SharePoint:

In an organization the Intranet acts as the Central Nerve System of Data Access and this space has been catered to by Microsoft’s SharePoint. SharePoint is now leveraging the user’s Intranet more by providing accessible on the go, more intelligent, and more personalized. This according to Microsoft is based on users’ activities across sites, the people user work with, the content user work on and the business processes user drives.

Microsoft has mentioned that this month it will be rolling out the new SharePoint Home Page in Office 365, which would give users Unified Access to all of their sites—Online and On-premise, all available to be navigated seamlessly over the Intranet.

Microsoft has a clear Roadmap chalked out when it comes to Mobile and for Intelligent Intranet,

  • Implementation of Morden Document Library
  • SharePoint Apps for iOS, Android, Windows
  • SharePoint Home to be made available in Office 365 Groups and Integration of SharePoint Sites
  • Improved experience in Morden List
  • Site Content Page to contain site activity and insights

Expectations for Modern Team Sites Users:

Microsoft’s Team sites have always been at the nerve centre of collaboration with SharePoint. All the content, the information and the Apps you rely on are connected with users and their team. Enabling sharing and communication within the team and across the organization.

Microsoft is bringing the power of SharePoint Team Sites and Office 365 Groups together, which provides every group a team site, and giving team site the benefit of groups of simple management of membership across Office 365 Services. The users of modernized team site, would experience an engaging Home Page personalized by the intelligence of Office Graph. Microsoft is going to introduce a new page authoring and publishing experience that allows you to create attractive, feature-rich pages that are responsive, mobile and easy to share with your team and the organization.

New Services of Microsoft Flow and PowerApps Integration:

To access Data, Share and Collaborate with Structured Data onto SharePoint by the team and individual users are done by SharePoint Lists. It is also a common practice by users to regularly to bring data onto other systems into SharePoint list, which helps them in supporting the Business Processes. So to add more arsenal to the users Microsoft has announced Microsoft Flow. A new service which has being tasked to Automate Workflow across the ever expanding Apps and SaaS Services that are been extensively used by business users. The Microsoft Flow helps in exchange of Data onto SharePoint, Microsoft and other Third Party Services, storing the Modified Data onto SharePoint.

Another major announcement was about Microsoft preview of Power Apps, which is a New Enterprise Service which has been specifically developed targeting Innovators to Connect, Create and Share Business Apps universally on any devices.

Few other Notable Updates from Event:

There were some other notable updates which have come out of the event.

SharePoint Framework:

One being SharePoint Framework, which points towards Microsoft’s evolution around Mobile First-Cloud First Approach. The Framework which incorporates page and part model that enables fully supported Client-Side Development, Easy Integration with Microsoft Graph and provides support for Open Source Tooling. The SharePoint Framework adapts the tools, Frameworks and Open Source Initiatives and it extends ability to provide solutions that can be built on SharePoint, in the Cloud and On-premises.

Security, Privacy and Compliance:

Microsoft has come put with Dynamic Conditional Access Policies in SharePoint that judiciously define access based on who the user is, the App or Device users are using and Network location. Other Security Supports which are provided by Microsoft for SharePoint are Customer Lockbox, Data Loss Protection (DLP) policies, Mobile device (MDM)& Application Management (MAM) and Whitelist and Blacklist domains for external sharing.

To Summarise the event, Microsoft has clearly defined the Future Strategy to revolve around Cloud and Mobile approach. The primary aim seems to be the ability to provide documents to all from their hand held devices, thus improving the efficiency. Also the Cloud and Open Source push shows the willingness of Microsoft to reach out to larger users with empowering individuals and organizations.

Microsoft SharePoint is a proven and an effective tool that seamlessly Integrates & Collaborates your Enterprise. KARYA Technologies provides comprehensive set of services on Microsoft SharePoint that meets your requirements through Architecture, Administration, Development and Integration.

Learn more about KARYA’s Microsoft Sharepoint Services at www.karyatech.com. You may also email us at info@karyatech.com.

(About the Author:- Praveen Kumar Rajendran works as a Senior Consultant- Presales at KARYA Technologies. He holds Masters’ Degree in International Business from La Trobe University and has wide experience in Business Consulting on various technologies. He loves to write on latest trends in IT and his areas of interest include Mobility, Cloud and Enterprise Solutions.)

What You Should Know About Android Studio 2.0

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The aggressive Mobile Application Development throws open a very intense market which needs to be best in its class. Thus to stand out in this competitive market the developers need an Integrated Development Environment (IDE), which is an all-in-one solution that can provide the required Source Code Editor, Build Automation Tool and Debugger in one Single Platform. Open Source Platforms play a major role in helping developers to develop Software quickly.

There are only two major Mobile OS (Android & iOS) which dominate the device market on which most of the Mobile Hardware Platforms are running. Out of the two major OS, Android is the most widely used Operating System. For such a widely used OS Platform Android (Google, Inc comes up with an IDE, the “Android Studio” which is also the best in its class when it comes to covering the entire Software Development Lifecycle for Android APPs. Android Studio provides the fastest tools for Building Apps on every type of Android-run devices.

World-class Code Editing, Debugging, Performance Tooling, a Flexible Build System, and an instant Build/Deploy System all allow developers to focus on building unique and high quality Apps, rather than waste time shifting between Development Platforms. Android Studio is based on JetBrains’ IntelliJ IDEA Software and is specifically designed for Developing Android Applications only. It was brought in to primarily replace the Eclipse Android Development Tool.

Android Studio offers even more features that enhance your productivity when building Android apps, such as:

  • A flexible Gradle-based Build System
  • Build variants and multiple APK File Generation
  • Code Templates to help you build Common App Features
  • A rich layout editor with Support for drag and drop theme editing
  • Lint tools to catch Performance, Usability, Version Compatibility, and other problems
  • Code shrinking with ProGuard and resource shrinking with Gradle
  • Built-in support for Google Cloud Platform, making it easy to integrate Google Cloud Messaging and App Engine

New and Stable Version

The next stable release from Google for its Android Studio is the 2.0 version which was released recently. Android Studio 2.0 the new and stable version of Android Studio has Fast Build Speeds and a Fast Emulator with Support for the latest Android version and Google Play Services.

Android Studio is built in Synchronisation with the Android Platform and supports all of the latest and greatest APIs. The most recommended IDE if an Android Application is being developed using Android Studio 2.0. The IDE is available to be downloaded freely or update on the stable release channel.

Highlights of Android Studio 2.0

  • Speed and Agility for Faster Build Speeds:

    It enables the Developer to make changes and see them appear Live in their Running App. With many Build/Run Accelerations ranging from VM Hot Swapping to Warm Swapping App Resources, Instant Run will save you time every day.

  • Speed and Performance:

    It has been mentioned that the new Emulator is termed to be running ~3x faster than Android’s previous Emulator, and with ADB Enhancements, Developers can now push Apps and Data 10x faster to the emulator than to a physical device. The physical device would consist Google Play Services and similarly the official Android Emulator also includes Google Play Services Built-in. This would enable Developers to test more API Functionality. Lastly, something notable in the new Emulator is the rich new features to manage calls, battery, network, GPS, and more.

  • Testing Process :

    “Write once, run anywhere” is the mantra followed in this Platform. Enables the developer to improve the quality of Developed Apps by quickly and easily Testing on a wide range of physical Android Devices in the Cloud Test Lab right from within Android Studio.

  • Indexing Support :

    Would endorse the visibility for Developed App in Google Search for users. This is achieved by adding Auto-generated URLS with the App Indexing feature in Android Studio. Developers with a few click can add Indexable URL links and in-turn can test all within the IDE.

  • Debugger:

    For those Developers developing OpenGL ES-based Games or Apps, Developers can now see each frame and the GL state with the new GPU Debugger. Uncover and Diagnosis GL Rendering issues by capturing and analysing the GPU Stream from Developer’s Android Device.

  • IntelliJ 15 Update -

    Android Studio is built on the world-class Intellij Coding Platform.

KARYA Open Source Exponents:

KARYA’s Open Source Service offering is tailored to meet the demands of today’s Organizational Requirements. We have immense expertise in Open Source Development from working with several clients across domains.

KARYA Mobility Services:

KARYA provides Enterprise Mobility Services with all dimensions of Native App Development and Open Source Applications Development. KARYA services all the OS Platforms for Application Development. KARYA utilises the Android Studio as part of its five most-utilized Mobile Application Development Platform for its clients across all spectrum of Enterprise Mobility.

(About the Author:- Praveen Kumar Rajendran works as a Senior Consultant- Presales at KARYA Technologies. He holds Masters’ Degree in International Business from La Trobe University and has wide experience in Business Consulting on various technologies. He loves to write on latest trends in IT and his areas of interest include Mobility, Cloud and Enterprise Solutions.)