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What BCM Professionals Need to Know about the Ebola Outbreak

 

August 27, 2014

The World Health Organization has recently issued a statement saying that all countries with Ebola cases should declare a national emergency. The recent outbreak of this virus in West Africa has raised concerns among BCM professionals. Although most experts say the probability of this outbreak spreading to Europe or the United States is unlikely due to the screening precautions already in place, concerns about containing the virus have caused many business continuity experts to question how they can prepare their own organizations.

BCM Pros Need to Know About Ebola
Image Courtesy Cynthia Goldsmith, CDC

Proper education can help to alleviate some of the fear and panic being instilled by the media. The Ebola virus can only be transmitted through contact with bodily fluids. Airborne contraction is not possible. Individuals can become infected if they come into direct contact with the blood or other bodily fluids of an infected person. Coming into contact with needles or other objects that may have penetrated an infected person’s skin is also a means of transmission. People infected with Ebola may begin having symptoms related to the common flu, that turn into more severe symptoms as days pass. The mortality rate of Ebola is extremely high, but can be significantly reduced if caught in the very early stages. An infected person can remain infectious as long as their bodily fluids contain the virus, which has been reported as long as two months after the initial onset of illness.

As a BCM professional, it's your duty to prepare your organization for the possibility of the virus directly affecting your business. One way you can prepare is to learn from other organizations' mistakes during past pandemics. Some of the things we’ve learned include:

Advising against non-essential travel to an infected region is recommended, but if your colleagues must travel to or near an infected area, make sure they’re prepared with all the facts and knowledge to handle any situation that may arise. As a business continuity expert, your colleagues will look to you to help guide them through necessary precautions. Some of the precautions employees who must travel could take include:

  • Monitoring the WHO and CDC websites for updated information
  • Contacting local health authorities for outbreak updates
  • Avoiding high-risk activities like coming into close contact with the infected
  • Maintaining proper hygiene while traveling
  • Being aware of other travelers who may be showing signs of illness, and reporting them to the proper health authorities
  • Avoiding medical facilities where Ebola cases are being treated

BCM professionals should monitor the spread of the disease on a daily basis. There are plenty of excellent resources like the WHO database that can keep you up to date on all of the latest information on outbreaks and preparedness measures. Advise your staff to use these resources.

BCM professionals are the best resource a company has to prepare for a pandemic, and being prepared is the number one priority for a BCM professional. Train and educate your colleagues properly, and your company will have a better success rate at continuing operations in the case of emergency or threat to the business.

-Teamstudio

 

Keep Reading: Tips for Using Social Media During Disaster Recovery


Getting Started with Teamstudio Continuity

 

August 22, 2014

Getting started with the Teamstudio Continuity application on your mobile device is a straightforward and seamless process. Once completed, you’ll have all your configured workflow actions, contacts, and business continuity management documentation replicated locally to your device for quick, efficient, and offline availability for when it’s most critically needed.

After purchasing Teamstudio Continuity, an administrator or business continuity management specialist would perform a few steps to prepare the environment. This includes creating and importing user accounts for individuals who will be using the solution, assigning specific roles to users, entering activities, content, and processes that adhere to corporate BCM best practices. As part of this setup process, they may also follow the Mini Configuration Guide as a reference that can be found in the web services console menu of the Teamstudio Continuity application.

Once the environment has been set up, here’s how to get started using the Teamstudio Continuity application:

 

Step 1: Activate your Business Continuity Management Account

To begin using the Continuity application, you must first activate your account. Go to the Teamstudio Business Continuity portal (https://cy.teamstudio.com) and simply select the “Activation” link at the bottom of the page (Fig. 1). After entering in your corporate email address and clicking send, you’ll receive an email detailing how to login to your web services console via the Teamstudio Continuity portal, as well as instruction on how to set your password. It’ll be this password, along with your corporate email address, that you’ll next use to setup Teamstudio Continuity on your mobile device once your account has been activated.

  Welcome to Continuity
Fig. 1


Step 2: Install the Teamstudio Unplugged Client

Next, you’ll want to download the Teamstudio Unplugged client onto your mobile device. Unplugged is the Teamstudio mobile application platform on which Continuity operates. You can find it within the app store for your specific mobile platform: Teamstudio Unplugged for Android or Teamstudio Unplugged for iOS. See Fig. 2.

Teamstudio Unplugged
Fig. 2

 

Step 3: Get Continuity and Your BCM Data onto Your Device

Once you find Teamstudio Unplugged in the app store, download and install it. You’ll want to open the Teamstudio Unplugged client where you’ll then be presented with a “First Sync” option to either a) sync with a demo server, or b) sync with another server (Fig. 3). Select option “b” if you have a Continuity subscription. If you don’t have a subscription, but just want to see what Continuity looks/feels like on your mobile device, you can choose option “a” and Teamstudio Continuity will be downloaded with some example scenarios.

Unplugged First Sync
Fig. 3

If you selected option “b” to replicate with another server, you’ll now enter the continuity server address: cy.teamstudio.com, along with your username and password that you have already activated earlier. You may also set the option for SSL/HTTPS to “yes” to ensure you’re initiating a secure connection. Once you’ve entered your details, simply select “Sync with Server” (Fig. 4).

Unplugged Specify Server
Fig. 4

All of the BCM data provided by your Admin or BCM professional is now being replicated to your device. You’ll see a progress screen detailing the current sync replication. Once complete, simply select “close”.

 

Step 4: Examine Your BCM Data

Launch Teamstudio Unplugged on your mobile device and Continuity will launch automatically (Fig. 5). Feel free to explore the different features and content now on your mobile device. Continuity and all the data and features will continue to be available even if you’re offline. All of your critical business continuity management processes, contacts, roles, and events are readily available for you to review and take action.

Teamstudio Continuity Screenshot
Fig. 5 

-Teamstudio


Get a Demo of Teamstudio Continuity

 

Addressing the Needs of Disabled Employees in Your Business Continuity Plan

 

August 20, 2014

Addressing Needs in Your Business Continuity PlanThe ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) of 1990 requires an employer to provide "reasonable accommodations" to enable a disabled employee to do their job once he or she is hired. This includes a reasonable level of expenditure to make workplace adjustments to enable the disabled employee to do his or her job.

Furthermore, an employer must make reasonable efforts to include the needs of any employee with a disability in their business continuity plan. The ADA does not specifically mention emergencies, but the Act is generally interpreted by the Department of Justice to imply that provisions in business continuity planning must be made without discrimination for disabled employees.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, about 56.7 million people, or 19 percent of the U.S. population, had a disability in 2010. But disabled employees and their rights aren’t limited to just within the United States, of course. The need to provide accommodations for the disabled is recognized around the world, such as in U.K. with the Disability Discrimination Act.

A one-size fits all BCM approach won’t work since disabled employees are not a homogenous group and their needs vary. Whether a disabled employee is visually impaired, deaf, a wheelchair user, intellectually disabled, has a special need, or a combination of all of these, your business continuity plan needs to take into account a range of possibilities. The following tips will help a business continuity manager take steps to include accommodations for disabled employees in their BCM plan.

 

Start with Communication

A good place to start is by talking to those employees with disabilities. Request help from your HR department if necessary to first identify those in your organization who might have functional needs during and after a disaster. Ask these employees what the company can do to support them in the event of a natural disaster or business emergency. The type of support they will need will vary depending on the type of disaster event. Some employees may need access to medical supplies, equipment, and/or caregivers. Others may need assistance hearing, seeing, or understanding announcements due to visual, auditory, or English language proficiency limitations. Still others may need access to accessible transportation.

 

Modify Your BCM Messaging

After identifying your disabled employees’ needs, write any additions or changes into your plan. Also make an alternative and accessible format of your business continuity plan available, so that it can be communicated with all employees universally.

 

Educate and Inform

Make sure your disabled employees are aware of your commitment to their needs and have realistic expectations for the accommodations they will receive in the event of a disaster. Testing your business continuity plan with a planned drill is a great way to make sure all employees are aware of expectations.

 

These tips, along with overall awareness, will help ensure that the needs of employees with disabilities are fully integrated into the business continuity planning process. Understanding employees’ needs will take some time. Some employees with disabilities are able to care for themselves and won’t need any support at all during an emergency, while others may need considerable assistance. Communication is essential for all BCM planning, but especially for making your business continuity plan accommodating for disabled employees.

-Teamstudio

 

Find out how a mobile app for BCM can help your business continue operations.


Defining an IBM Notes Strategy with a Design Specification Document

 

August 15, 2014

IBM Notes Design SpecificationDesigning how you implement your IT requirements is an important consideration. A design specification document defines a process that ensures sufficient resources are committed to thoroughly understanding requirements and constraints, and documenting a sound development approach. Accurate design specifications improve the efficiency of the IBM Notes development effort, the quality of the deliverables, and mitigate the risks that the product will fail to meet the business need.

The design specification document will be used to guide and measure the development effort, and is vital not only to the success of individual projects, but also to an organization’s ability to improve processes by identifying trends over time.

The risks for not adequately completing this step are high. There’s a large body of evidence suggesting that inadequate analysis of requirements and constraints is among the most costly of errors in software development, and increases the odds of a project failing altogether. Moreover, design specifications record the analysis undertaken with regard to topics such as security, availability, and retention, which may have significant impact on regulatory concerns.

Design specification documents should be produced for every development effort. The form that the specification takes is not significant — a single document or a collection of independent documents are equally acceptable so long as they are recorded and accessible to all stakeholders. It’s important that these documents live within a change control system. Any change to the specification should be recorded for potential application auditing in the future. Auditors will be looking for information about why the specification was changed, who authorized the change, at what point in the lifecycle the change was made, what was changed and by whom. 

As an initial step, a policy document describing the minimum requirements for each design specification document should be created and made readily available. This policy document should reflect the goals of the specification document and leave no doubt about what constitutes a complete design specification.

The level of detail required for particular specifications may vary depending on projects. For example, a new application may merit a complete design specification covering all elements in detail, whereas minor enhancements to existing applications may need only to have the functional requirement documented. The policy document should explicitly define handling of such situations.

The design specification itself should be a living document. It should be reviewed at regular milestones during the planning and development effort and updated as needed. A single person should be assigned responsibility for keeping the specification current, communicating changes, and requesting additional approvals when appropriate. Numerous templates are available on the Internet that would serve as a good starting point for developing an organization’s standard format. Suggestions regarding content for these elements follow.

 

Design Specification Elements:

  • Overview: objectives, scope, context, and dependencies of the project
  • Architecture: design strategies and overall structural organization
  • Functional Specification: end product success criteria
  • Non-Functional Specification: constraints including security, performance, scalability, and compliance concerns
  • Detailed Component Design: definitions of individual functionalities to be developed

 

The functional and non-functional specifications may be independent elements and/or incorporated in the detailed component design. When they are integrated, it’s important to maintain traceability of functionality-to-requirements for application auditing purposes and long-term process improvement. 

Be sure to give the process of design specification creation a visible “charter”. Stakeholders such as requesting departments and executives within the organization will be more receptive participants to the process knowing that the exercise adds value and that no development will begin without an approved specification. Finally, create, update, and track deliverables in a database, where they can be easily accessed and backed-up.

By building a comprehensive design phase into your application life cycle, the IBM Notes development team ensures that the development strategy is signed off early in the process.

-Teamstudio

 

Request a free demo of our suite of tools for IBM Notes:

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What You Need to Know About Mobile CRM Applications

 

August 13, 2014

Mobile CRM ApplicationsCustomer relationship management (CRM) is a term for the tools that help a company manage its interactions with customers. These tools are often procedures, software, and mobile CRM applications. CRM goals include understanding the customer, improving their overall satisfaction with the company, and increasing profitability. 

Instead of customer data like contact information and purchase history being spread out across email messages, sticky notes, and individual computers, CRM software and mobile CRM applications centralize information in one place.

This central location makes employees more efficient and improves customer service. Mobile CRM takes it one step further by making all that information available on mobile devices.

 

Why Mobile CRM is Important

According to Gartner, worldwide CRM software revenue totaled $20.4 billion in 2013, up 13.7 percent from $18 billion in 2012. Gartner also predicted that the number of mobile CRM applications available for download from app stores would grow by 500 percent to 1,200 by 2014. Mobile CRM puts businesses ahead of the curve in terms of convenience and customer service. It’s convenient for employees, improves the accuracy of data, promotes data security and good customer service, and helps salespeople achieve a 24-hour business presence by having access to customer data anytime, anywhere.

For the company, mobile CRM apps mean improved sales, enhanced marketing formulated to fit the customer’s needs, and an up to date database of clients in a system that’s accessible on the go. For the customer, mobile CRM apps mean improved tech support, superior customer service, and time-savings with improved response times from salespeople.

 

The Benefits of an Offline Mobile Solution for CRM

Mobile apps with offline capability solve significant problems that have plagued mobile computing. One of the biggest problems with traditional mobile apps is the need to have uninterrupted connectivity to the network in order to be used. This problem never presents itself in an office or home where a network connection is readily available, but anytime a user steps onto an airplane, into a hospital, or goes through the subway, an app without offline capability stops working. An offline mobile solution allows a user the ability to run the app regardless of network availability. This allows the on-the-go salesperson to save time entering data into a CRM app while out of the office. Even if your workforce spends the majority of their time in a place with a network connection, an offline mobile solution gives users the ability to stay productive when a network connection is poor or lost due to travel or unforeseen circumstances.

 

Users have come to expect the convenience of using mobile devices to conduct both personal and business endeavors. Today, a mobile business app for CRM is as much a necessity as email and telephone. Mobile CRM apps are quickly becoming one of the most powerful tools for increasing sales, and are putting those who adopt this technology ahead of their competitors.

-Teamstudio

 

Get a free demo of our offline capable mobile CRM application!

 

Improve Security and Audit Compliance with Teamstudio Build Manager

 

August 8, 2014

Getting your application from development to production shouldn’t be an adventure. Teamstudio Build Manager provides a framework for organizing, managing, and automating the build process so that every build is consistently efficient, secure, and predictable. Build Manager improves the security of your promotion process by providing safe, automated database signing, and design rollback for when things go wrong. The audit trail of actions it provides ensures compliance with internal policies and external regulations.

 

Build Manager Security

To satisfy all types of secure environments, the Build Manager security controls can be extremely granular. They’re tight enough to satisfy the most secure environment, yet flexible enough for smaller, less secure environments. Build Manger optionally allows you to store and use a “Promotion ID” to promote the code across environments into production. This allows developers, or designated individuals, the ability to use the process to create master templates and refresh the design of databases on servers where their individual IBM Notes ID cannot. The underlying code will switch to that ID automatically and then back to the users when finished, requiring no user intervention for this to happen. Whatever security measures are in place, it’s considered best practice to have a ‘Promotion ID’ to allow proper security to be put in place. 

Let’s explore how Build Manager achieves this in more detail.

The Promotion ID is securely stored in Build Manger and access is controlled by a role in the ACL. This ID should be in the Domino administrators group (LocalDomainAdmins) and be allowed to run all types of LotusScript. It will also need to be in the ACL of all databases being developed/promoted through Build Manager. I have seen development applications where only the server and developer have access. If the Promotion ID can’t access a database, it can’t promote it. 

You can control access to the following:

  • Who can edit documents
  • Who can delete documents
  • Who can promote databases
  • Who can promote databases to servers
  • What servers you can refresh the design of databases on
  • Who can access stored ID’s

This allows strict segregation of duties, and removes the need for developers to have extended access to databases in templates outside of the development environment. Typically, developers are allowed to promote to the template registry only. The QA team is allowed to promote and refresh code only in the QA/test environment. The administrators are the only groups allowed to promote to production. There also could be an external deployment team used to promote code. They would not need any extensive knowledge of Notes/Domino to be able to do this and can be regular IBM Notes users, not administrators or developers.

 

Audit Trail

Many organizations have regulatory requirements such as SOX or BaFin, and as such, have to provide audit trails of design changes to applications as well as ensure role segregation to guarantee no developer can make changes in production. Reliable audit trails are most easily achieved through automation, and if the build process is efficient and reliable, then developers can have their designer access to production removed because they know even emergency changes can be pushed live quickly and easily.

Documentation of segregated duties and all changes to code need to be logged. Teamstudio Build Manager tracks who initiated the promotion and if they are authorized to promote the database. It will track the Promotion ID being used (if one is) and define every step in the promotion path.

Teamstudio Build Manager Audit Trail

If the build fails for some reason, the log will have detailed information on the issue. The template will be rolled back to the version it was prior to the promotion so the existing code will not be updated.

In summary, once Build Manager is properly configured, you select the build/promotion path for the database you wish to promote. Click on promote database action, and go get a coffee. In most cases when you come back, the code will have been promoted and all associated actions completed. If successful, you can be sure all tasks that needed to be done to the code during promotion were done. One click builds. Nice!

-John Coolidge, Technical Consultant, Teamstudio

 

Get a free demo of Build Manager

 

Tips for Using Social Media During Disaster Recovery

 

August 6, 2014

Social Media for Disaster RecoverySocial media can be defined as user-generated content that’s distributed with the intention of being shared. This content is distributed through various tools such as RSS feeds and video sharing, and networks such as Facebook and Twitter.

The world’s Internet users are increasingly turning to social media for news and updates during natural and manmade disasters. Enterprise employees are no different. Social media users turn to Twitter and these other tools seeking more localized information than what the mainstream media can provide. It’s a way to find out what’s happening in their immediate geographical area, or with a user’s friends, family, and acquaintances in real-time.

Social media channels are fast-paced and have the ability to be extremely helpful, but also pose inherent risks during an emergency, including:

  • Disclosure of confidential information
  • Regulatory violations
  • Damage to a brand’s reputation
  • Misinformation 

Business continuity managers need to educate their employees on these risks, and form a solid crisis communication plan that outlines social media policies. This plan applies for both external disasters so that employees can understand how their workplace is being affected, and for internal emergencies for better business recovery.

The following tips will help your employees get more reliable information from social media, and will improve your disaster recovery efforts.

 

Control Misinformation

It’s easy to spread false information when it’s so easy to share. Ask your employees to follow verified, reputable emergency relief and government organizations such as The American Red Cross and The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office for accurate information. If you’re looking for more localized news, check to see that the account in question has been active for a longer period of time than just since the news story broke. Also check to see what kinds of people or organizations are following them for a good indicator of reliability. And always, always crosscheck information.

 

Track a Relevant Hashtag

Hashtags are a great way to accumulate all information on a particular topic in one place. Just make sure the information you read or reuse is from a reliable source, as mentioned above. If you’re not sure what hashtag to use or follow, check the “trends” area on your Twitter account. By default, this area will show you trends that match topics you’re interested in. You can easily customize this feature by location if you prefer to see what’s trending in your area. Twitter has a great FAQ on how to use this feature.

 

Limit Access

Only designated, trained employees should have the ability to post messages using your company’s social media accounts. This will not only limit the risk of a security breach in the event of a disaster, but also ensure proper guidelines are followed to keep confidential information confidential, avoid inappropriate statements, and help to provide a clear message. Other employees should also know to not use their personal accounts to communicate work related emergency information, and to state in their bios that any opinions they express in connection with your company are their own.

 

The world of social media is constantly evolving, and your business continuity plan should too. Stay on top of the trends and use these powerful tools and networks as gateways to create stronger relationships with your clients, and as instruments for recovering quickly after a disaster.

-Teamstudio

 

Learn how to pass your business continuity drill!


Implementing a Request Management Strategy in IBM Notes Enterprises

 

August 1, 2014

IBM Notes Request ManagementRequest Management is the process of managing all products, applications, and projects across an IBM Notes organization that will support the business strategy, drive efficiency and effectiveness, manage risk at acceptable levels, and achieve regulatory compliance. The purpose of having a Request Management policy is to outline a strategy for ensuring the products, applications, and projects providing the highest value to the organization are funded. Your company may or may not have all three types of requests.

Request Management is the responsibility of the senior management team. Depending on the organization, this group could be called the Product Committee, Steering Committee, or even the Board of Directors. The critical point is that this team is made up of senior managers in the company, and it has responsibility for all products, applications, and projects across the entire IBM Notes organization.

Request Management includes the following:

  • Defining and maintaining an enterprise business strategy
  • Defining and maintaining an inventory of all initiatives
  • Aligning initiatives with the business strategy
  • Evaluating and approving/rejecting business cases
  • Providing oversight control and decision making for all initiatives
  • Ensuring business ownership of all initiatives

The guidelines below will take you from a range of business requests to a prioritized list of authorized requests that are fundable.

 

Defining the Business Strategy

Before Request Management work can begin, the business strategy must be defined to the Board and communicated throughout the organization. For example, the company may decide that they are going to expand their market into South America, focus on organizational excellence, or provide world-class customer support. Each of these strategic initiatives will be aligned with proposed projects to ultimately determine which projects receive funding and which do not.

 

Application Inventory

Before beginning to review new requests against the business strategy, you must first determine what you already have. New and existing requests must be considered together in order to make the best decisions. An accounting of all requests across the organization in the form of an application inventory is an essential step in Request Management.

 

Application Alignment with the Business Strategy

During the annual planning cycle, each current and new request should be evaluated to determine which requests match strategic objectives. As part of this evaluation, a process must be established that will allow for an “apples to apples” comparison of disparate requests that includes the application inventory. Participants in this process should include the heads of each business unit or their designate, as well as the CIO.

 

Risk Assessment

In addition to the above considerations, a technology risk assessment should be done to determine the likelihood of success. The risk assessment should include the hardware cost, software costs, and integration points required, as well as the ongoing support of the application after the initial development has been completed. This assessment should also include the number of people impacted by the application, the magnitude of that impact, and what training or retraining would be required.

 

Prioritization

Most IBM Notes organizations cannot fund all their requests. Prioritization is necessary in order to select the best requests.

 

Request Management provides a number of benefits to an IBM Notes enterprise. However, there are a number of challenges created by implementing a Request Management strategy. First, there is the human element. Request Management requires a commitment from the business and IT in order to work together effectively. Request Management requires a group consensus for moving projects forward. This means that the process of request management requires an additional time constraint in order to work effectively. However, this process should result in significant time savings in the future. Second are the realities of the business. Business priorities change over time. In order to react to market change, request status for all requests must be updated on a regular basis. 

Implementing a Request Management strategy where one does not already exist can be a daunting task. Despite the challenges, steps should be taken to begin the process as soon as possible, and improve upon that during each subsequent planning cycle.

-Teamstudio

 

IBM Notes Tools and Enterprise Mobilization Education

 

jQuery Mobile: An XPages Mobile Option for Domino Developers

 

July 30, 2014

jQuery Theme RollerIf you’ve been keeping up with our blog, you’ve seen our previous two blog posts in this series on options for XPages mobile development in the enterprise: IBM Dojo Mobile Controls and the Unplugged XPages Mobile Controls. This post will explore a third option: the jQuery Mobile Controls.

 

A Brief History

jQuery Mobile (JQM) is an extension to jQuery, the most popular JavaScript library available today. jQuery itself is a help framework, per se, in that it doesn’t do anything in and of itself. jQuery Mobile is a layer on top of jQuery, similar in concept to jQuery UI. This Web framework creates responsive websites and apps with Ajax navigation. JQM is targeted toward mobile devices, but it will still run on desktop browsers. It’s open source and continuously updated.

 

How to Use jQuery Mobile

The way we integrate jQuery Mobile into our XPages applications can get a little squirrely since we use Dojo as the JavaScript framework in XPages. Having the two of those working together on the same page used to be no problem at all, but now you’ll end up with JavaScript errors if you drop them onto the same page. Therefore, you have two options for installation: you can either make a small change to the source code of jQuery Mobile, or utilize the XP head tag to load JQM and jQuery on the XPage before Dojo. Once you’re done with the installation process, using JQM in XPages is fairly straightforward.

 

The Pros of jQuery Mobile

A huge benefit of jQuery mobile is that because it’s so popular, there’s a vast amount of add-ons, resources, and documentation out there to get you going, including demo applications and examples of sample code. 

Another pro is that when you download the source files from the jQuery Mobile website, you’re able to use their custom theme builder. Rather than just downloading the default colors, you can apply your corporate style guide to the source code that you’re going to download, and it will make it look like it’s a custom designed application for your environment.

JQM works both online in the browser and offline using Teamstudio Unplugged. With simple HTML and JavaScript, it’s really very simple to get going with jQuery Mobile.

 

The Cons of jQuery Mobile

Performance is the biggest downside. jQuery is historically quite slow due to being heavy on processes. This could be less of an issue if your users are running newer devices. But for older, lower processing speed devices such as an iPhone 4 or a 2-3 year old Android device, performance will be an issue. Loading pages that have a lot of data can be troublesome, and you could end up running out of memory if you didn’t tailor your page structures accordingly with smaller numbers of view entries. You must know your end users, and understand what devices they’re going to be using in the real world.

Your users are going to be downloading jQuery, JQM, and Dojo, so if they have a slow network connection such as 3G, then they’re going to have slowness issues. To fix this, you can (inadvisably) disable Dojo across the entire application, but you’ll lose the functionality of features like buttons, and at that point you’ll lose a lot of the benefits of using XPages.

Integration into Domino and co-existence with Dojo is problematic. However, if you’re on a version of Dojo older than 1.8, this won’t be an issue and everything will work well.

 

Whether or not jQuery Mobile is your best option depends on the specific needs of your organization and the nature of your applications and environment. A few other frameworks for creating XPages mobile Web applications include:

-Teamstudio

 

Watch our webinar replay on jQuery mobile, here.

 

Improve End User Mobile Business Application Adoption with iOS 8

 

July 25, 2014 

Mobile Business Application Adoption with iOS 8The success of the mobile business application you develop depends, in part, on how well you are able to exceed your users' expectations with a good user experience. Apple's iOS 8 mobile operating system, set to release this fall, will give mobile developers never-before-seen tools to make their mobile enterprise apps more useful than ever. According to Apple, this release is the biggest for developers since the introduction of the App Store. It will include over 4,000 new APIs and deeper access to iOS capabilities.

Utilize the following iOS 8 features in the next mobile business app you develop, and you’ll exceed your end users' expectations and improve end user adoption.

 

Touch ID

In iOS 8, the Touch ID feature will be extended to work in third party apps. Touch ID is a fingerprint reader on the home button. It reads the user’s fingerprint, stores it securely, and unlocks functionality when enabled. This feature will allow developers to build an app that lets end users sign into their mobile business apps using only their fingerprint - no password required. The user’s fingerprint data is secured and never accessed by unauthorized parties. After last year’s widespread security breaches, keeping information secure should be top of mind. The Touch ID feature could be useful in any app, but especially useful in business apps that send or receive sensitive information.

 

PhotoKit and Camera API

With PhotoKit, developers can enable their apps to edit photos directly in the device’s camera roll instead of having to import them into the enterprise app first. With this feature, developers will be able to provide to their users photo manipulations such as filters. PhotoKit will be helpful in any mobile business app that uses the camera feature. Additionally, mobile business apps that use the device’s camera will be able to have precise control over settings such as aperture, focus, and white balance.

 

CloudKit

CloudKit is a data transportation feature that sends and receives data between Apple’s iCloud Drive servers and a user’s device. It eliminates a developer’s need to write server side application logic. Using CloudKit, developers can use the full power of iCloud Drive in mobile business apps, and enable users to sign in with their Apple ID. Apple is providing CloudKit for free as long as a user doesn’t surpass certain usage limits.

iCloud Drive allows users to easily drag and drop files to iCloud on one device, then access the file from any device that’s running iCloud. In the enterprise setting, IT Departments will be able to set up rules for controlling which apps can open documents from iCloud Drive. Apple announced that iCloud Drive will integrate with third-party cloud services. It’s speculated that Box may be one of these services, but we won’t know for sure until the operating system launches this fall.

 

For more general use, the new mobile operating system comes with beefed-up enterprise security and productivity features like:

  • Ability to enable S/MIME controls in each mail message
  • Ability to see colleagues’ availability when scheduling a meeting in Calendar
  • Easier access to corporate documents with AirDrop
  • An interactive notifications feature that lets users quickly respond to a notification like a new calendar invite without leaving the app they’re in 

iOS 8 is a huge release, both for developers and everyone else. The new features add flexibility that helps developers write better apps for their users. Each new feature is considerate, and will give users a more customized experience. Take advantage of these new features to make your end users happier and more productive, and to ultimately improve end user adoption.

-Teamstudio

 

Keep reading: How Mobile Application Developers Can Achieve a Flexible UI

 

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