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Appcelerator announced that it has updated its platform to allow applications built using Appcelerator to be deployed to the free new Google App Engine. Used together, the offerings give developers a fast route to developing, deploying, managing and scaling their applications. Appcelerator is an integrated platform that fuses RIA and service-oriented architecture (SOA). With Appcelerator, developers can assemble rich, interactive web applications without the need for JavaScript or player-based plug-ins. Web applications can be implemented on Java/J2EE, PHP, Ruby, .NET, Python and Perl. Appcelerator for App Engine runs on Python, the scripting language currently supported by App Engine. As Google expands support to other languages, Appcelerator for App Engine will follow suit. App Engine has generated so much interest since its April 8 introduction because it fundame... (more)

Top Five Tips for Choosing a Small Business CRM

When small business owners think of software, they think of email, file management, and…. CRM. Shorthand for “Contact Relationship Management,” CRMs help businesses organize their customers, leads and sales. Important stuff. Unfortunately, choosing a CRM isn’t easy. The Google Apps marketplace lists 90 of ‘em: GetApp has over 280. There are thousands more (and they all sound the same). How’s a business owner to choose? We review (and break) new CRMs every week, so we’re pretty confident when we spot a good one. Here are 5 tips for choosing your own CRM – hope it helps! #1 Choose a usable CRM Usability matters. A lot. As you try new systems, pay due attention to the experience. How intuitive is navigation? Can you find what you’re looking for? Will employees enjoy this? Does it make their job easier? It’s tempting to pick CRMs solely for their feature set, but reme... (more)

Direct RIA + Google App Engine = Simplicity + Scalability

Direct RIA is a robust and comprehensive rich Internet applications engine which turns any client (web browser, mobile device) into an efficient and engaging environment. Direct RIA maximizes developer productivity by direct access of user interface, database, and web services. Direct RIA minimizes the development cost by transparent and automatic synchronization between client and server. ZK is a Direct RIA framework to increase developer’s productivity by integrating frontend and backend of applications transparently to deliver rich, and engaging user experience. Watch Live Demo! ZK 3.6.2 supports Google App Engine, allowing you to run ZK in the Google cloud! For more details on the installation procedure please refer to this how to. ... (more)

Cloud Storage Flavors: Platform/Infrastructure and Service/Product

Take a look at the various data storage offerings called "cloud" and your head will start to ache. How can so many things all bear the "cloud storage" name and yet be so totally different? The answer is obvious to long-time industry observers: Each provider has tailored their offering to make it distinct in the market, and each supports different use cases Infrastructure versus Platform Although I am not one to tilt at windmills, especially when it comes to arguing the "rightness" of cloud-based marketing, I sometimes do hit upon a set of terminology that makes sense to me. Wading through the mess of "as-a-service" or "XaaS" names posted by my friend Greg Schulz the other day, it occurred to me that drawing a line between a platform and its underlying infrastructure is quite useful indeed. As Jeff Darcy points out, one can use this distinction to help make sense of t... (more)

Google Liberates Your Docs

In a note to the CCIF list, Sam Johnston informed us that Google too has continued on its promise to liberate our data as part of their Data Liberation Front project. This latest Google effort introduces a new feature that makes it much easier to get your content back out of the Cloud using a tool that lets Google Doc's users easily "Convert, Zip and Download." It's interesting to note that both Microsoft and Google released completing "open" initiatives today with Mircrosoft announcing they are opening the PST format for Outlook. It's great to see both companies actively battling it out for "Open Cloud" supremacy. In the Blog post earlier today Google outlined the ability to "Select one or more files and then click on "Export" from the "More Actions" menu. Next, pick the format (e.g. PDF, Microsoft Word, etc) you want for your exported files. Finally, click "Cont... (more)

Centerstance Joins Google Apps Authorized Reseller Program

Google News on Ulitzer Centerstance announced it has become an authorized reseller of the Google Apps suite of communication and collaboration tools. Google Apps brings simple, powerful communication and collaboration tools to all sizes of organizations. With Google Apps, users have access to applications such as Gmail webmail service, Google Talk instant messaging service, Google Calendar calendaring service, Google Docs program, Google Sites web application, and Google Video for business with their own domain to work together more effectively. Best of all, everything is hosted by Google, so there's no hardware or software to download, install or maintain. "It's a natural partnership," stated John Marshall, Director of Technology Services at Centerstance. "Centerstance is the Northwest's premier Cloud Computing consulting company and Google is a major player in both... (more)

Understanding Cloud Taxonomies and Security

XML Security at Cloud Expo OWASP AppSec DC 2009 had a compelling session that defined cloud taxonomies and the security implications associated with the cloud computing. The three taxonomies that have become part of our vernacular are: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): Set of virtualized components that can be assembled to build a application.  Amazon EC2, Rackspace, Opsource, and GoGrid are examples of IaaS where you can rent "virtual" hardware and software as a "pay-as-you-go" services.  If you need 5 Linux servers running MySQL Database for 3 months, you'd subscribe to an IaaS provider and using their REST or Web service-based API (or command line if you're too cool) to provision, de-provision and monitor your instance. Platform as a Service (PaaS): A runtime environment for application developer to deploy their applications in their desired programming environm... (more)

Cloud Economics – Amazon, Microsoft, Google Compared

Any new technology adoption happens because of one of the three reasons: Capability: It allows us to do something which was not feasible earlier Convenience: It simplifies Cost: It significantly reduces cost of doing something What is our expectation from cloud computing? As I had stated earlier, it is all about cost saving … (1) through elastic capacity and (2) through economy of scale. So, for any CIO who is interested in moving to cloud, it is very important to understand what the cost elements are for different cloud solutions. I am going to look at 3 platforms: Amazon EC2, Google App Engine and Microsoft Azure. They are sufficiently different from each other and each of these companies is following a different cloud strategy – so we need to understand their pricing model. (A word of caution: this analysis is as per the published data on 20th January, 2010 and ... (more)

Jobs Has a Few Words for Google & Adobe & They Ain’t Pretty: Reports

"We did not enter the search business. [Google] entered the phone business. Make no mistake they want to kill the iPhone. We won't let them...I want to go back to that other question first and say one more thing. This don't be evil mantra - It's bullshit." - Steve Jobs at an employee Town Hall the other day according to Wired, MacRummors et al although he may have said "load of crap" not "bullshit"; sources vary. Jobs reportedly means to use "aggressive updates" to stay way out front of the Android phone. Stevie also reportedly called Adobe "lazy." That it could do interesting things but just refuses to and that Apple doesn't support Flash because it's buggy and the chief cause of Mac crashes. Anyway, Flash is going to be superseded by HTML5 for web video and animation, he's quoted as saying. Apple Will Never Allow Flash Player Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch in a blog retor... (more)

Google To Kill Direct Google Phone Sales

Having alienated carriers like Sprint and Verizon by trying to sell its Android-based Nexus One phone direct to the consumer from its google.com/phone online store - Google's attempt to change the traditional cell phone sales model - it's killing the four-month-old store, describing it as merely "niche channel for early adopters," meaning its sales have been paltry. It swears it's because "many customers like a hands-on experience before buying a phone, and they also want a wide range of service plans to chose from." Google was trying to sell a Nexus One for $529 without a contract or a subsidized $179 with a two-year T-Mobile contract. T-Mobile was the only carrier to back Google's play. Although Verizon and Sprint canceled their Nexus One phones earlier this month, Google says it's going to push the HTC-made Nexus One through other people's retail stores and u... (more)

Google Fires First Shot in Brewing Codec War

Google fired a shot across Apple's bow Wednesday and considering the way things have been going Apple will probably seek to return fire in the not-too-distant future with an armor-piercing lawsuit. The latest fray started when Google got up at the Google I/O developers conference - like it was widely expected to do - and open sourced VP8, the video codec it got when it acquired On2 Technologies, the video compression house, in February for about $125 million. VP8 will try to displace H.264, the proprietary codec that Apple and Microsoft are invested in. VP8 is now part of a thing called the WebM project, which also includes the open source Ogg Vorbis audio format, and a container format based on a subset of the open source Matroska multimedia container. Needless to say, WebM is royalty-free and already has the support of the majority of the browser community: the Mo... (more)