Simples vacances

This years vacation project Restful web and Sqlite. For some reason I never done any serious web development. Last week i decided to learn what restful is all about. I started with RestServer and it actually turned out to be very simple to use. I also had to learn how to use Composer, that to turned out to be very simple to use once you know you have to include the Composer bootstrap vendor/autoload.php, it took me some hours to figure that out. Just for the hell of it I added Sqlite for data storage, I never used it before, very simple to use, a lean mean SQL machine. Now I’m armed with with new tools waiting to be used. Simple tools to use but powerful. I have some ideas how I can use my new skills.  
For once what I thought should be a simple project actually was simple, Normally I’m confused in the beginning, I am not a good reader of documentations I just crack on with things,often that’s not a good strategy but for once it was. 

The Sqlite manual in my lap was simple to read, that’s why I look so happy :)  
Somewhere in France 2015, Montpellier? No it was Gignac.


The Cake is shut down

The Cake (2007 - 2015-07-03)

The Cake a.k.a. Kakan (deliberate mistranslation) a cost and revenue analysis Data Warehouse application  fell quietly asleep today.

The Cake was a brilliant piece of software put together in record time by me and my former colleague Ulf Davidsson, he did most of the work and then a Qlikview app on top. With the Cake marketing could in detail compare the revenue of sales with cost of production. The key factor to the success of the Cake was the understanding of Sales, nevertheless the original users have since long ascended up the career ladder and their replacement didn’t use the Cake. The last year of its life, the cake was not much used, the dead was anticipated and natural.
The Cake is replaced by SalMon a Sales analysis application used throughout the enterprise.
At next after work with the DW, we should have a funeral feast for the Cake.

Vacation again

Finally Summer is here, yesterday we had +25C in Stockholm, today it will be somewhat hotter and that is hot here, temperatures over 30C is still very rare despite global warming. So far this spring and summer has been unusually cold. Today is the first day of my vacation and next week I’m going down to France, this time without a computer! It is probably the first time since 1991 I do not carry a computer on my vacation, I think it was that year I bought an IBM P70 a  suitcase like portable with a huge 120MB hard disk, it costed my employer at the time a fortune. This year I only carry my Samsung Galaxy S4.


Stolen PC

My PC was stolen yesterday evening. This is not fun. I hope the perpetrator will rot in hell.
I had a presentation for tomorrow with many slides and a Data Warehouse reference architecture two third done which I had not backed up. I probably had a lot of other documents there not backed up. Fortunately I didn't have any sensitive info on the PC, at least I hope so.
These days you should save all your stuff in the cloud, not on the PC. Either in the cloud or on other servers.


Midsummer eve

Today it’s midsummer eve, it’s almost a sacred holiday in Sweden. We who live in Stockholm go out into the archipelago in the Baltic outside the town. Stockholm is almost empty, and the sun is up the entire days night.This year is different, the weather is unusually bad, rain rain dark clouds making it looks more like a day in the fall. For the first time in many years I’m alone in the city. I’m happy not being out in the islands this year.

Last year I rebuild the Linux system in the ETL server of the Data Warehouse on midsummer eve morning in an attempt to connect ODBC to Iseries DB2 systems. In the middle of this my siblings called me and told me they were waiting on me going out to the countryside. I stopped my rebuilding sure my tinkering could not possibly intervene with the normal operations of the ETL server. Of course it did, it killed all ETL jobs for the entire holiday. The guys responsible for the Data Warehouse had to work two days repair the damages, and they made me promise never to do ANYTHING  next midsummer eve or ever any midsummer eve after.


The Funnel

The Funnel a.k.a. Tratten (1976 - 2015-06-02)

The funnel a landing zone for program to program communication was conceived around 1976. This brilliant piece of software has served the company well for almost 40 years. It started it’s life as simple PDS store with a few simple API’s (store and get) later revamped into a full-fledged integration platform with a DB2 data store running. We were some that contributed to the funnel over the years, but there are three who deserves to be mentioned by name:
Ulf Nordin
Per-Erik Dahlberg

If some survivors can be assembled, we should have a funeral feast for the old workhorse.

Year 2000 a project started to replace the Funnel, and the plug was pulled 2015-06-02, unfortunately not without some hassle. Some purchase order flows were still going via the funnel. Those are now ported to the new integration platform.


Mobile Business Intelligence

The Data Warehouse is conceptually divided into one ETL backend, and frontend viewers. One of those viewers are Qlikview. We run Qlikview as web apps. The Qlikview web environment is device sensitive or adoptable, which means that you can run QV apps on a 27 inch hi resolution screen or a smartphone, you just need a web browser. Of course the user experience is much better on a 27 inch screen, but Qlikview does a good job of right scaling the app. We had the infrastructure for mobile BI in place for years but little or no interest from the users. But this is changing, lately mobile BI has got a lot of traction in the company.
How useful a BI app in a smartphone is remains to be seen. I feel it is more a gimmick than serving a useful purpose, the screen is too small. But for a dexterous person with small hands it might come handy on the road. My prediction is most likely wrong, in just a few years we all will run a lot of apps in our smartphones actually I’m doing it already. One thing that surprises me is how performant the Qlikview apps are in my smartphone, with 4G I have really good response times.

Security is a big concern for mobile BI.

As you can see below I pixelated parts of a smartphone BI screenshot, BI information is trade secrets, I have chosen a ‘harmless’ app, but I hide some of the information just to be on the safe side. BI is to analyse and compare the business, going outside of the firewall with this kind of information is not without risks. Curious guys are on the net fishing for information. National organisations like NSA, Unit 61398 or FRA, all such organisations are probably involved in industrial espionage to some extent, not to mention competitors and criminal organisations. You should protect BI information as the confidential business assets they are. Going mobile is a risk, and you should be aware of that.

A Qlikview small device screenshot:

Mobile BI - in action on my Samsung Galaxy S4