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Data Entry ReFORMed
Data Entry ReFORMed

HTML-based data entry is a pain, both for developers and for end users. There's no way to sugarcoat it, HTML forms as used today are pathetic. Sure, there are new form specifications on the way, but they are not yet in use, browsers don't support them, and they are still unproven entities. Luckily, there's an option available right now; it's called Macromedia Flash MX.

The Forms Quagmire
Are HTML forms really that bad? Consider the following, first, from a developer's perspective:

  • HTML form controls are limited; you can't extend HTML with your own controls (simple things like date choosers or calendars).
  • HTML form controls provide almost no automatic validation (sure, you can validate text post-input, but you can't prevent the user from typing invalid characters in the first place).
  • There is no simple event model in form controls; basic form control that should be simple (things like graying out controls or making them available based on other selections) is anything but.
  • And one of the most annoying of all, because browsers cannot make round-trips to servers within a page, it is impossible to do things like creating side-by-side list boxes whereby options in one change based on selections in another. (We've all tried this one at some point.)

    To make up for these limitations, developers create multipart forms. These are not a feature of HTML, they are a hack born of necessity. Consider the following, this time from an end user's perspective:

  • Server-side form field validation is time-consuming and extremely annoying. Forcing a user to hit "Back" to make corrections is not user friendly.
  • Some browsers may even lose all entered data, requiring the user to reenter it all.
  • Users will often submit forms multiple times, or hit Back and Refresh repeatedly, creating multiple records or executing multiple requests (which they'll then e-mail you about later).

    And this is just the start of it. As a developer you've probably wasted countless hours having to accommodate for glaring inadequacies in HTML as it exists today.

    Which brings us to Flash MX.

    Why Flash-Based Forms?
    I am not going to sell you on the virtues of Flash - that's another column, and one probably better suited to be written by the Flash experts among us. For now, suffice it to say that Flash is readily available, can be very lightweight, is extremely portable, and (this is the most important part) can be used for more than animation, movies, and annoying popup ads.

    Not that I'm saying Flash should not be used for those things, it should be (well, maybe not for those popup ads that invade your screen, but for everything else). But Flash can also be used for building entire application clients or parts thereof, parts like forms.

    So why don't you see more Flash-based forms out there? There are a couple of reasons for this. First, until recently, Flash was rather inaccessible to developers (those of us who actually create forms); the tool was geared far more toward designers. And second, creating forms meant starting from scratch - actually creating form controls.

    Flash MX addresses both of these problems. It is far more developer friendly than any previous version of Flash, and it also comes with all sorts of form controls that you can literally just drag and drop into place.

    That alone makes Flash MX an ideal solution for building forms, but it gets better. Flash MX and ColdFusion MX can talk to each other with minimal work on your part, which makes creating forms that interact with back-end processing very easy.

    Still not convinced? I'll show you. Let's walk through an example together, in which we'll build a Flash-based form used to select an employee. For this example, we'll create the much-needed side-by-side list boxes. The left list box will display departments, and when a department is selected, the right list box will automatically update with the employees in that department allowing easy selection.

    The Back End
    ColdFusion MX and Flash MX interact in several ways, but one of the simplest is via ColdFusion Components (explained in detail in CFDJ Volume 4, issues 6, 7, and 10). So we'll start with a simple CFC which contains two methods: GetDepartment returns a list of all departments, and GetEmployees returns all employees (either in a specific department or in all departments. Here is employees.cfc:

    <!--- employees.cfc --->
    <CFCOMPONENT>
    <!---
    GetDepartments method
    Get all departments.
    --->
    <CFFUNCTION NAME="GetDepartments"
    ACCESS="remote"
    RETURNTYPE="query"
    OUTPUT="false">

    <!--- Get departments --->
    <CFQUERY NAME="Departments"
    DATASOURCE="exampleapps">
    SELECT *
    FROM tblDepartments
    ORDER BY DepartmentName
    </CFQUERY>

    <!--- Return query --->
    <CFRETURN Departments>

    </CFFUNCTION>

    <!---
    GetEmployees method
    Get all employees if no department
    specified, otherwise gets employees
    in specified department.
    --->
    <CFFUNCTION NAME="GetEmployees"
    ACCESS="remote"
    RETURNTYPE="query"
    OUTPUT="false">
    <!--- Optional department ID --->
    <CFARGUMENT NAME="DeptID"
    TYPE="uuid"
    REQUIRED="no">
    <!--- Get employees --->
    <CFQUERY NAME="Employees"
    DATASOURCE="exampleapps">
    SELECT *
    FROM tblEmployees
    <CFIF IsDefined("DeptID")>
    WHERE DeptIDFK = '#DeptID#'
    </CFIF>
    ORDER BY LastName, FirstName
    </CFQUERY>

    <!--- Return query --->
    <CFRETURN Employees>

    </CFFUNCTION>

    </CFCOMPONENT>
    Create a simple ColdFusion script to test the component. The following code invokes GetDepartments and lists the returned department names:

    <CFINVOKE COMPONENT="employees"
    METHOD="GetDepartments"
    RETURNVARIABLE="depts">

    <UL>
    <CFOUTPUT QUERY="depts">
    <LI>#DepartmentName#</LI>
    </CFOUTPUT>
    </UL>
    The following snippet tests the GetEmployees method, again displaying returned data in a list:

    <CFINVOKE COMPONENT="employees"
    METHOD="GetEmployees"
    RETURNVARIABLE="emps">
    <UL>
    <CFOUTPUT QUERY="emps">
    <LI>#Lastname#, #FirstName#</LI>
    </CFOUTPUT>
    </UL>
    Assuming that the code worked correctly, you now have a CFC capable of accessing and returning data - a component that may be used by ColdFusion (as in this test code) and also by client-side Flash.

    Creating the Flash Movie
    Now fire up Flash MX. We're going to keep the Flash really simple - we'll ignore frames, layers, animation, tweening, etc., so feel free to close the TimeLine window (as I routinely do). The only windows you'll need open are the Actions window, the Properties window, and the Components window (as seen in Figure 1).

    Next, save the new (empty) Flash movie somewhere beneath your Web root (so that you can get to it).

    The form we'll create has two drop-down list boxes (actually called ComboBoxes), so drag two ComboBoxes from the Components window (make sure the drop-down list at the top of the window reads "Flash UI Components") onto the stage. We'll also need a Submit button so drag a PushButton component onto the stage as well. You now have three ready-to-use components on your stage (as seen in Figure 2).

    The next step is to name the instances of the components we just placed on the stage (so as to be able to programmatically script them). Make sure the Properties window is open, then click on each of the three components to access its properties:

  • Click on the left ComboBox and specify dept_cb as the instance name (as seen in Figure 3).
  • Click on the right ComboBox and specify dept_emp as the instance name.
  • Click on the button and specify submit_btn as the instance name and Submit as the label.

    Save the movie and then execute it. Either select Test Movie from the Control menu to run it right within Flash, or select Publish from the File menu to publish the movie so that it may be loaded in a Web browser. You now have a working (albeit rather useless) Flash-based form (as shown in Figure 4).

    ColdFusion-Powered Flash
    Now we need to get Flash to interact with the CFC. Open the Actions window (if it is not already open) and make sure the Actions for Frame 1 of Layer Name Layer 1 option is selected from the drop-down list above it, and enter the following ActionScript code (as seen in Figure 5):

    #include "NetServices.as"
    #include "DataGlue.as"

    // Init stuff
    if (inited == undefined) {
    inited = true;
    // Configure connection to ColdFusion
    var gwURL = "http://localhost:8500/flashservices/gateway";
    NetServices.setDefaultGatewayURL(gwURL);
    gw = NetServices.createGatewayConnection();
    employeeService = gw.getService("cfflash.employees", this);
    // Invoke the GetDepartments method
    employeeService.GetDepartments();
    }

    The first two lines of code are include statements (kind of like <CFINCLUDE> in CFML). The first includes support for Flash Remoting (the ability to interact with back-end systems like ColdFusion) and the second includes DataGlue, a series of functions that dramatically simplifies binding returned data to UI controls (as you will soon see).

    The next block of code is initialization code that needs to be run only once, as it checks to see if it, itself, has been run already (checking for a variable that is defined within the if statement).

    A variable is then declared to store the URL to the Flash Gateway on the ColdFusion MX server. The snippet shown here accesses a local ColdFusion MX using the integrated HTTP server, so the URL is localhost:8500. You'll need to change this to point to your own ColdFusion server as needed.

    The next few lines of code create a gateway connection, and then a local reference to a remote CFC. The path here is specified as cfflash.employees which points to the employees.cfc file in the cfflash directory. You'll need to change that path as needed so that it points to your own employees.cfc file.

    The last line of code actually calls the GetDepartments method. Flash knows that employeeService has been bound to a CFC on the other end of a connection, and so a call to employeeService.GetDepartments() is actually a call to the GetDepartments method in the service bound to employeeService. As soon as this last line of code is executed, Flash will have a query containing the list of departments.

    If you were to run the Flash movie now, it would look no different than it did before. Data is being retrieved but nothing is being done with it (think of it as a <CFQUERY> without a <CFOUTPUT>). The next step is to tell Flash how to populate the appropriate ComboBox with the retrieved data.

    When GetDepartments() is executed, results are returned. Flash automatically looks for a function named GetDepartments_Result(), and will execute it if present. So we'll need to create that function which will loop through the returned data, processing one row at a time and inserting them into the ComboBox. Fortunately you don't have to do that manually; that's where DataGlue comes into play. Here is the GetDepartments_Result() function:

    // Process retrieved departments
    function GetDepartments_Result(result) {
    // Populate dept_cb with results
    DataGlue.bindFormatStrings(dept_cb,result,
    "#DepartmentName#",
    "#DepartmentID#");
    }
    As you can see, GetDepartments_Result() is really simple. It calls DataGlue.bindFormatStrings() to bind the data in result to ComboBox dept_cb using #DepartmentName# as the label (display text) and #DepartmentID# as the value.

    While we're at it, add a similar function to process results returned by GetEmployees(), as we'll be needing that next:

    // Process retrieved employees
    function GetEmployees_Result(result) {
    // Populate emp_cb with results
    DataGlue.bindFormatStrings(emp_cb,
    result,
    "#lastname#, #firstname#",
    "#employeeid#");
    }
    If you save and execute the Flash movie, you'll now see that the left ComboBox is being populated by data returned by ColdFusion. So far, so good. Now for the left ComboBox. What we need is a way to force the left ComboBox to refresh each time a selection is made in the right ComboBox. First create a new function named employeesRefresh(). Each time this function is called, it invokes the GetEmployees method in the employees.cfc (which in turn triggers the GetEmployees_Result() function just created). In order to get employees for the currently selected department, the getSelectedItem() ComboBox method is used to get the current department ID, which is passed as a parameter to GetEmployees(). Here is the employeesRefresh() function:

    // dept_cb change handler
    function employeesRefresh() {
    // Invoke GetEmployees method
    employeeService.GetEmployees(dept_cb.getSelectedItem().data);
    }

    To actually get this employeesRefresh() function to be executed when a department selection is made, all we need to do is add the following code into the initialization code (you can put it right after the inited=true;):

    // Set change handler for first combobox
    dept_cb.setChangeHandler("employeesRefresh");
    This code sets employeesRefresh as the change handler for dept_cb (the left ComboBox), so that any time a change is made in dept_cb, employeesRefresh() will be executed and the employee list will be refreshed which in turn will force emp_cb to be updated.

    Try out your new form. You should see both ComboBoxes populated (as seen in Figure 6) and whenever a department is selected, the employees in that department will be listed automatically. This process makes round-trips to ColdFusion as needed, but it happens so quickly and efficiently (and without needing a page refresh) that you'd never even know.

    There is one last step needed. To actually submit the form, you need form processing code, something that will be executed when the submit button is clicked. Here is the code:

    // Process submit button pressed
    submit_btn.onrelease = function () {
    EmployeeID = emp_cb.getSelectedItem().data;
    getURL("action.cfm", "", "POST");
    }
    To post a form variable, you first need to create it, so the first line of code creates a variable named EmployeeID, and populates it with whatever the id of the selected employee is (again using the getSelectedItem() method). Then getURL is used to actually submit the form fields; here the action page is named action.cfm but you can name yours whatever you'd like. For a simple test you can create an action.cfm that contains the following:

    <CFOUTPUT>
    EmployeeID: #EmployeeID#
    </CFOUTPUT>
    And there you have it. That's all the code you need to create side-by-side ComboBoxes that do exactly what is needed without requiring a single screen refresh. Just to be on the safe side, Listing 1 shows the complete ActionScript code listing.

    Summary
    Creating Flash-based forms is not complicated once you understand the basic steps. Using the form components that are provided removes the need for UI work (where most of us CFers would have gotten stuck) and requires minimal ActionScript. The best part of it is that the form we just created is highly usable and is only 11K in size (yes, believe it or not, Flash need not be big and bloated).

    Give it a try (and be sure to go to the Developers Exchange at www.macromedia.com to download additional form controls, including a complete calendar, a tree control, and even a data grid). You'll find that Web-page form nightmares are a thing of the past.

    About Ben Forta
    Ben Forta is Adobe's Senior Technical Evangelist. In that capacity he spends a considerable amount of time talking and writing about Adobe products (with an emphasis on ColdFusion and Flex), and providing feedback to help shape the future direction of the products. By the way, if you are not yet a ColdFusion user, you should be. It is an incredible product, and is truly deserving of all the praise it has been receiving. In a prior life he was a ColdFusion customer (he wrote one of the first large high visibility web sites using the product) and was so impressed he ended up working for the company that created it (Allaire). Ben is also the author of books on ColdFusion, SQL, Windows 2000, JSP, WAP, Regular Expressions, and more. Before joining Adobe (well, Allaire actually, and then Macromedia and Allaire merged, and then Adobe bought Macromedia) he helped found a company called Car.com which provides automotive services (buy a car, sell a car, etc) over the Web. Car.com (including Stoneage) is one of the largest automotive web sites out there, was written entirely in ColdFusion, and is now owned by Auto-By-Tel.

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    Reader Feedback: Page 1 of 1

    I noticed a small error in the instructions on naming the check boxes. It may throw you, especially if you are new to ActionScript. The article says to name the employee check box

    This book compares and contrasts the various technologies available for getting data off your web visitors and into your web-based application, including Flash-based forms:
    http://www.glasshaus.com/bookInfo.asp?bookId=60

    ... while, FWIW, _this_ book has an entire chapter on Flash-Accessability:
    http://www.glasshaus.com/bookInfo.asp?bookId=44

    Yes, I'll admit that I work for the company that publishes them, but I stil think they're good books. I hope I haven't infringed the rules of this forum.

    Excellent article, BTW, Mr Forta!

    If you scroll down past the original info on the link that Ian provided, you'll see an updated section from the author about improvements in Flash MX.

    whilst what Ben says may be true, the fact is that html forms, if designed right (and that's often a big _IF_), are accessible for visually-impaired users, whilst Flash-based forms are not, generally. And if the RNIB (Royal National Institute for the Blind) is right in saying that up to 10% of the (UK) population has some form of visual impairment (which seems a high figure, until you think about older people whose sight is failing), that's a _lot_ of users with a _lot_ of spending power.

    I know it's two years old now, but I'm sure you've all seen this:

    http://www.useit.com/alertbox/20001029.html

    and anyway, we've all been hitting our head against this particular brick wall for so long that there's a huge resource of hacks and workarounds. I wonder if Ben would be so keen on Flash if Allaire hadn't been bought by Macromedia? (OK, a cheap shot, but not entirely without merit, I feel, and no offence meant. I've got a lot of respect for BF)...

    Ian W


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    As many know, the first generation of Cloud Management Platform (CMP) solutions were designed for managing virtual infrastructure (IaaS) and traditional applications. But that's no longer enough to satisfy evolving and complex business requirements. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Scott Davis, Embotics CTO, explored how next-generation CMPs ensure organizations can manage cloud-native and microservice-based application architectures, while also facilitating agile DevOps methodology. He expla...
    @ThingsExpo Stories
    DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
    "Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
    SYS-CON Events announced today that Conference Guru has been named “Media Sponsor” of the 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organizers to pass great deals to gre...
    The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develop...
    In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
    "Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
    To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
    Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
    Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
    "Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
    "IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
    In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
    22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...
    "Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
    Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
    "MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
    Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
    "There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
    SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
    SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.

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    @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley All-Star Speakers Include

    MATTHIEU
    Octoblu

    MAHADEV
    Cisco

    MCCARTHY
    Bsquare

    FELICIANO
    AMDG

    PAUL
    VenueNext

    SMITH
    Eviot

    BEAMER
    goTraverse

    GETTENS
    goTraverse

    CHAMBLISS
    ReadyTalk

    HERBERTS
    Cityzen Data

    REITBAUER
    Dynatrace

    WILLIAM-
    SON

    Cloud
    Computing

    SCHMARZO
    EMC

    WOOD
    VeloCloud

    WALLGREN
    Electric Cloud

    VARAN-
    NATH

    GE

    SRIDHARA-
    BALAN

    Pulzze

    METRIC
    Linux

    MONTES
    Iced

    ARIOLA
    Parasoft

    HOLT
    Daitan

    CUNNING-
    HAM

    ReadyTalk

    BEDRO-
    SIAN

    Cypress

    NAMIE
    Cisco

    NAKA-
    GAWA

    Transparent
    Cloud

    SHIBATA
    Transparent
    Cloud

    BOYD
    Neo4j

    VANDER-
    MINDEN

    Flatiron
    Strategies

    JAME-
    NSKY

    Embotics

    KOCHER
    Grey Heron

    SPROULE
    Metavine

    BLACK
    SQLstream

    WARD
    DWE

    MILLER
    Covisint

    EVAVOLD
    Covisint

    MEINER
    Oracle

    MEEHAN
    Esri

    WITECK
    Citrix

    LIANG
    Rancher Labs

    BUTLER
    Tego

    ROWE
    IBM Cloud

    SKILLERN
    Intel

    SMITH
    Numerex
    @ThingsExpo New York All-Star Speakers Include

    CLELAND
    HGST

    VASILIOU
    Catchpoint

    WALLGREN
    Electric Cloud

    HINCH-
    CLIFFE

    7Summits

    DE SOUZA
    Cisco

    RANDALL
    Gartner

    ARMSTRONG
    AppNeta

    SMALLTREE
    Cazena

    MCCARTHY
    Bsquare

    DELOACH
    Infobright

    QUINT
    Ontegrity

    MALAUCHLAN
    Buddy Platform

    PALIOTTA
    Vector

    MITRA
    Cognizant

    KOCHER
    Grey Heron

    PAPDO
    POULOS

    Cloud9

    HARLAN
    Two Bulls

    GOLO
    SHUBIN

    Bit6

    PROIETTI
    Location
    Smart

    MARTIN
    nfrastructure

    MOULINE
    Everbridge

    MARSH
    Blue Pillar

    PARKS
    SecureRF

    PEROTTI
    Plantronics

    HOFFMAN
    EastBanc

    WATSON
    Trendalyze

    BENSONOFF
    Unigma

    SHAN
    CTS

    MATTELA
    Redpine

    GILLEN
    Spark
    Coginition

    SOLT
    Netvibes

    BERNARDO
    GE Digital

    ROMANSKY
    TrustPoint

    BEAMER
    GoTransverse

    LESTER
    LogMeIn

    PONO
    -MAREVA

    Google

    SINGH
    Sencha

    CALKINS
    Amadeus

    KLEIN
    Rachio

    HOASIN
    Aeris

    SARKARIA
    PHEMI

    SPROULE
    Metavine

    SNELL
    Intel

    LEVINE
    CytexOne

    ALLEN
    Freewave

    MCCALLUM
    Falconstor

    HYEDT
    Seamless

    @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley All-Star Speakers Include

    SCHULZ
    Luxoft

    TAMBURINI
    Autodesk

    MCCARTHY
    Bsquare

    THURAI
    SaneIoT

    TURNER
    Cloudian

    ENDO
    Intrepid

    NAKAGAWA
    Transparent

    SHIBATA
    Transparent

    LEVANT-LEVI
    testRTC

    VARAN NATH
    GE

    COOPER
    M2Mi

    SENAY
    Teletax

    SKEEN
    Vitria

    KOCHER
    Grey Heron

    GREENE
    PubNub

    MAGUIRE
    HP

    MATTHIEU
    Octoblu

    STEINER-JOVIC
    AweSense

    LYNN
    AgilData

    HEDGES
    Cloudata

    DUFOUR
    Webroot

    ROBERTS
    Platform

    JONES
    Deep

    PFEIFFER
    NICTA

    NIELSEN
    Redis

    PAOLALANTORIO
    DataArchon

    KAHN
    Solgenia

    LOPEZ
    Kurento

    KIM
    MapR

    BROMHEAD
    Instaclustr

    LEVINE
    CytexOne

    BONIFAZI
    Solgenia

    GORBACHEV
    Intelligent
    Systems

    THYKATTIL
    Navisite

    TRELOAR
    Bebaio

    SIVARAMA-
    KRISHNAN

    Red Hat
    Cloud Expo New York All-Star Speakers Included

    DE SOUZA
    Cisco

    POTTER
    SafeLogic

    ROBINSON
    CompTIA

    WARUSA
    -WITHANA

    WSO2 Inc

    MEINER
    Oracle

    CHOU
    Microsoft

    HARRISON
    Tufin

    BRUNOZZI
    VMware

    KIM
    MapR

    KANE
    Dyn

    SICULAR
    Basho

    TURNER
    Cloudian

    KUMAR
    Liaison

    ADAMIAK
    Liaison

    KHAN
    Solgenia

    BONIFAZI
    Solgenia

    SUSSMAN
    Coalfire

    ISAACSON
    RMS

    LYNN
    CodeFutures

    HEABERLIN
    Windstream

    RAMA
    MURTHY

    Virtusa

    BOSTOCK
    IndependenceIT

    DE MENO
    CommVault

    GRILLI
    Adobe

    WILLIAMS
    Rancher Labs

    CRISWELL
    Alert Logic

    COTY
    Alert Logic

    JACOBS
    SingleHop

    MARAVEI
    Cisco

    JACKSON
    Softlayer

    SINGH
    IBM

    HAZARD
    Softlayer

    GALLO
    Softlayer

    TAMASKAR
    GENBAND

    SUBRA
    -MANIAN

    Emcien

    LEVESQUE
    Windstream

    IVANOV
    StorPool

    BLOOMBERG
    Intellyx

    BUDHANI
    Soha

    HATHAWAY
    IBM Watson

    TOLL
    ProfitBricks

    LANDRY
    Microsoft

    BEARFIELD
    Blue Box

    HERITAGE
    Akana

    PILUSO
    SIASMSP

    HOLT
    IBM Cloudant

    SHAN
    CTS

    PICCININNI
    EMC

    BRON-
    GERSMA

    Modulus

    PAIGE
    CenturyLink

    SABHIKHI
    Cognitive Scale

    MILLS
    Green House Data

    KATZEN
    CenturyLink

    SLOPER
    CenturyLink

    SRINIVAS
    EMC

    TALREJA
    Cisco

    GORBACHEV
    Systems Services Inc.

    COLLISON
    Apcera

    PRABHU
    OpenCrowd

    LYNN
    CodeFutures

    SWARTZ
    Ericsson

    MOSHENKO
    CoreOS

    BERMINGHAM
    SIOS

    WILLIS
    Stateless Networks

    MURPHY
    Gridstore

    KHABE
    Vicom

    NIKOLOV
    GetClouder

    DIETZE
    Windstream

    DALRYMPLE
    EnterpriseDB

    MAZZUCCO
    TierPoint

    RIVERA
    WHOA.com

    HERITAGE
    Akana

    SEYMOUR
    6fusion

    GIANNETTO
    Author

    CARTER
    IBM

    ROGERS
    Virtustream
    Cloud Expo Silicon Valley All-Star Speakers

    TESAR
    Microsoft

    MICKOS
    HP

    BHARGAVA
    Intel

    RILEY
    Riverbed

    DEVINE
    IBM

    ISAACSON
    CodeFutures

    LYNN
    HP

    HINKLE
    Citrix

    KHAN
    Solgenia

    SINGH
    Bigdata

    BEACH
    SendGrid

    BOSTOCK
    IndependenceIT

    DE SOUZA
    Cisco

    PATTATHIL
    Harbinger

    O'BRIEN
    Aria Systems

    BONIFAZI
    Solgenia

    BIANCO
    Solgenia

    PROCTOR
    NuoDB

    DUGGAL
    EnterpriseWeb

    TEGETHOFF
    Appcore

    BRUNOZZI
    VMware

    HICKENS
    Parasoft

    KLEBANOV
    Cisco

    PETERS
    Esri

    GOLDBERG
    Vormetric

    CUMBER-
    LAND

    Dimension

    ROSENDAHL
    Quantum

    LOOMIS
    Cloudant

    BRUNO
    StackIQ

    HANNON
    SoftLayer

    JACKSON
    SoftLayer

    HOCH
    Virtustream

    KAPADIA
    Seagate

    PAQUIN
    OnLive

    TSAI
    Innodisk

    BARRALL
    Connected Data

    SHIAH
    AgilePoint

    SEGIL
    Verizon

    PODURI
    Citrix

    COWIE
    Dyn

    RITTEN-
    HOUSE

    Cisco

    FALLOWS
    Kaazing

    THYKATTIL
    TimeWarner

    LEIDUCK
    SAP

    LYNN
    HP

    WAGSTAFF
    BSQUARE

    POLLACK
    AOL

    KAMARAJU
    Vormetric

    BARRY
    Catbird

    MENDEN-
    HALL

    SUPERNAP

    SHAN
    KEANE

    PLESE
    Verizon

    BARNUM
    Voxox

    TURNER
    Cloudian

    CALDERON
    Advanced Systems

    AGARWAL
    SOA Software

    LEE
    Quantum

    OBEROI
    Concurrent, Inc.

    HATEM
    Verizon

    GALEY
    Autodesk

    CAUTHRON
    NIMBOXX

    BARSOUM
    IBM

    GORDON
    1Plug

    LEWIS
    Verizon

    YEO
    OrionVM

    NAKAGAWA
    Transparent Cloud Computing

    SHIBATA
    Transparent Cloud Computing

    NATH
    GE

    GOKCEN
    GE

    STOICA
    Databricks

    TANKEL
    Pivotal Software


    Testimonials
    This week I had the pleasure of delivering the opening keynote at Cloud Expo New York. It was amazing to be back in the great city of New York with thousands of cloud enthusiasts eager to learn about the next step on their journey to embracing a cloud-first worldl."
    @SteveMar_Msft
    General Manager of Window Azure
     
    How does Cloud Expo do it every year? Another INCREDIBLE show - our heads are spinning - so fun and informative."
    @SOASoftwareInc
     
    Thank you @ThingsExpo for such a great event. All of the people we met over the past three days makes us confident IoT has a bright future."
    Yasser Khan
    CEO of @Cnnct2me
     
    One of the best conferences we have attended in a while. Great job, Cloud Expo team! Keep it going."

    @Peak_Ten


    Who Should Attend?
    Senior Technologists including CIOs, CTOs & Vps of Technology, Chief Systems Engineers, IT Directors and Managers, Network and Storage Managers, Enterprise Architects, Communications and Networking Specialists, Directors of Infrastructure.

    Business Executives including CEOs, CMOs, & CIOs , Presidents & SVPs, Directors of Business Development , Directors of IT Operations, Product and Purchasing Managers, IT Managers.

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    @ThingsExpo Blogs
    This is the time of year when everyone makes his or her predictions for 2018. I have my predictions as well, but wanted to do something a bit more fun. So I thought I’d look backwards to the state of technology 50 years ago to gain some insights that we can use to make projections about 2018. That is, what “predictions” made in the 1950’s might tell us about 2018. However, it’s really hard to find predictions about the future made in the 1950’s. There was no Internet or Social Media or Reality TV, so I found the next best proxy…sci-fi movies! I decided to review the most popular sci-fi mo...
    Our cities have been connected since the dawn of urbanization in the Indus Valley and on the plains of Mesopotamia nearly ten millennia ago. Cities exist to gather and connect people, bringing us together into communities and joint ventures that need complex networks of communication. But in recent years the connected city has come to mean something more. Today and in the future, the connected city will not just be about people connecting with people, but people with machines, people with people via machines, and perhaps most importantly, machines with machines.
    The time of year when crystal balls get a viewing and many pundits put out their annual predictions for the coming year. Copying off since 2012, rather than thinking up my own, I figured I’d regurgitate what many others expect to happen. Top 10 Cyber Security Predictions for 2018 – Infosec Institute kicks off this year’s Top 10, Top 10 list with a look back at their 2017 predictions (AI, IoT, etc.) and dives head first into 2018 noting that Ransomware will be the most dangerous threat to organizations worldwide; cryptocurrency will attract fraudsters looking to mine; cloud security will (ag...
    The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the development process, accelerating application delivery times, and ensuring that developers will become hero...
    A strong declaration from a historically antagonist foe should put chills in the hearts of Americans preparing themselves for the world ahead: Russian President Vladimir Putin says the nation that leads in AI will be the ruler of the world [1]” … The ruler of the world! From the article (with some modification to avoid political landmines), we get the following: “The development of artificial intelligence has increasingly become a national security concern in recent years. It is China and the US (not Russia), which are seen as the two frontrunners, with China recently announcing its ambi...
    This month, an AI (artificial intelligence) system passed a medical exam in China for the first time. I wonder how its bedside manner will be? In addition, Saudi Arabia granted citizenship to a robot named Sophia. With all these rapid advancements, I think it is time we explore the spiritual life of robots. Up till recently, programmers coded and configured algorithms, AI, automation and machine learning system and took personal responsibility for all the code. Today, however, AI has escaped the confines of human oversight and has been empowered and employed to self-program, self-optimize, ...
    Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) have been the subject of much discourse in the last several years. They were widely anticipated in the gaming and entertainment industries, but in marketing and corporate settings, the benefits were murky at best. Today, these technologies are becoming more of a reality in all areas of business. For example, the new IKEA® shopping app leverages augmented reality to help shoppers determine how certain popular items will look in their homes – no trip to a crowded megastore necessary. Marriott® deployed virtual reality for customers to see its hot...
    "Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
    As we end 2017, I’m tired of writing “lecturing” blogs about what organizations should be doing to master data monetization in order to power their business models and achieve digital transformation. While the objective of every organization should be to master big data and data science (artificial intelligence, machine learning, deep learning) to drive “data monetization,” let’s take a breath and have some fun. My recent ankle surgery afforded me the opportunity to binge watch “Game of Thrones.” As I watched the impending battle between the White Walkers and humanity, I couldn’t help but ...
    For better or worse, big data has irrevocably altered the digital landscape. The explosion in variety, velocity, volume and value of information presents an abundance of previously unimaginable opportunity. But it also creates a number of challenges that need to be successfully navigated. This reshaped technical world poses the following question to organizations: do you risk presenting, stale, incorrect or erroneous data to your customers? Because, with 2.5 quintillion bytes of data now being created every day, finding a way to manage and harness such potential is a new experience for everyo...
    Net Neutrality rules were originally enacted to ensure that all Americans would have equal access to a free and open Internet. We can argue about what Net Neutrality rules did and did not accomplish in a moment, but now I want to explore the most sensational of all the post–Net Neutrality fears: the death of the Internet. If you’re still reading, you know that the FCC voted to repeal Net Neutrality rules (aka the Open Internet) and replace it with the “Restoring Internet Freedom” order. The outcry from the Open Internet camp has been loud, hyperbolic, hypothetical, and mostly based on the fun...
    When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be looking at some significant engineering investment. On-demand, serverless computing enables deve...
    “Why incur the expense of generating and collecting all of this IoT data if you’re not going to monetize it?” Organizations are racing to embrace the Internet of Things (IoT) as the pundits create “visions of sugar-plums dancing in their heads.” McKinsey Global Institute released their study “The Internet of Things: Mapping the Value beyond the Hype” in June 2015 that highlighted the staggering financial value that IoT could create! (See Figure 1.)
    Recently I read somewhere this statement – As we end 2017 and look ahead to 2018, topics that are top of mind for data professionals are the growing range of data management mandates, including the EU’s new General Data Protection Regulation that is directed at personal data and privacy, the growing role of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning in enterprise applications, the need for better security in light of the onslaught of hacking cases, and the ability to leverage the expanding Internet of Things.
    There is a war a-brewin’, but this war will be fought with wits and not brute strength. Ever since Russian President Vladimir Putin’s declaration that “the nation that leads in AI (Artificial Intelligence) will be the ruler of the world,” the press and analysts have created hysteria regarding the ramifications of artificial intelligence on everything from public education to unemployment to healthcare to Skynet. Note: artificial intelligence (AI) endows applications with the ability to automatically learn and adapt from experience via interacting with the surroundings / environment. See the b...
    What's disruptive innovation, and why does it matter to leaders in the C-suite? It's how the savvy non-conformist will target market opportunities. How does this happen, when established companies seem to have the advantage? Creative software developers can quickly apply new technologies and digital business models to capture untapped demand.

    Moreover, the most disruptive new companies will eventually reshape entire industries, swiftly pushing aside the legacy incumbent players -- it's a form of Digital Darwinism. The global networked economy will blossom, thanks to the pervasive In...
    "IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
    In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to iterate use cases, bring understanding to those seeking to explore complicated technical concepts and ...
    22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterprises are using some form of XaaS – software, platform, and infras...
    So data warehousing may not be cool anymore, you say? It’s yesterday’s technology (or 1990’s technology if you’re as old as me) that served yesterday’s business needs. And while it’s true that recent big data and data science technologies, architectures and methodologies seems to have rendered data warehousing to the back burner, it is entirely false that there is not a critical role for the data warehouse and Business Intelligence in digitally transformed organizations.