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Nan's Java Blog
Monday, 20 March 2006
BI - the new buzzword
BI is the new buzzword in the IT community. It has the promise to fulfill the decision-support needs of a business enterprise.

BI works behind-the-scenes. It sits on top of the enterprise’s relational databases and builds what are called OLAP cubes, which contain the business data that can be seen at once from several perspectives.

While enterprise database software like Oracle and SQL server provide BI tools out-of-the-box, they are highly integrated into their specific databases. They offer no help to those multitudes of enterprises that do not keep their data in these databases.

It becomes imperative, therefore, to build a BI tool that can work with any relational database. Building such a tool is not an easy task. In fact, it will be a very ambitious project, given the myriad database servers that are rampant in the industry today.

The open source community took the initiative in the BI space and has come up with a BI framework. It is called Pentaho and is now making waves in the industry.

Pentaho provides BI tools like analysis and reporting services, among a host of services aimed at the enterprise needs. Pentaho bundles these services in a way that each service is toolable independently of other services. These services may also be used together all in one, or in different combination of pieces thereof.


A business enterprise selling a myriad products in a dozen different geographical regions generating revenues every quarter and annually relies heavily on tools that can provide analysis on sale by type of product, quantity, region and time and generate reports that aid future decision-making.

Such analysis and report generation in a number of ways like pivot tables and charts has been traditionally linked to OLAP, online analytical processing. OLAP builds a multidimensional data grid that is centered on a fact table linked to an array of dimension tables around it in a typical star pattern. OLAP data comes from the traditional relational databases, which is sliced and diced according to the needs of the enterprise and presented in a manner that is most appropriate to decision making.

OLAP data is packed inside what is called a cube. The OLAP cube provides a multi-faceted view of the data, which can then be presented graphically via tools like Pentaho or BIRT. In this sense OLAP presents a Fast Access to Shared Multi-dimensional Information (FASMI), according to a generally agreed definition. Any tool that runs in the BI space must conform to these features.

Posted by nansoft at 1:53 PM
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Saturday, 6 September 2003
Online Coders
There is a new breed of developers who hire their services and get paid online.

This is fast becoming a succesful business venture for independent software vendors who make money on the World Wide Web, in addition to their regular work.

The Web now is teeming with facilitators of this kind who make it possible to bring the software buyers and sellers together through their web portals.

Leaders in this genre had begun modestly, mostly for free, and they are very popular - AskJeeves, AskMe and so on.

Now the new breed of facilitators like Kasamba and Rent-a-coder have successfully turned it into business opportunities for all concerned - facilitators, developers and buyers.

I myself have joined this band wagon, and I may say I have been successful in offering my services to my clients at Kasamba.

Check out

Posted by nansoft at 3:22 PM
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Friday, 13 June 2003
Java Mobile
The mobile API for java has been well received by the devlopers as well as device manufacturers. More and more devices are appearing with the capability to run java programs.

The mobile devices have been evolving rapidly from handling voice and text through color and images to delivering video content. The addition of multimedia API to J2ME was timely.

With the Web support for networking, it is now possible to connect from a mobile device to web servers across the Internet. This has made possible applications tailored to the needs of mobile workers.

Onward-ho! the mobile workforce!

Posted by nansoft at 1:10 PM
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Monday, 9 June 2003
Java IDE
We have java IDEs galore! but none that affords the simplicity and ease of use that we find in the Microsoft products like Visual Studio.

Every Java IDE comes with a bean API that you must be familiar with, and no two IDEs agree with each other in all respects.

Every java IDE is a mammoth, a software behemoth, and I have searched in vain for one that would just allow me to drag and drop basic components, and put them together the way I want them instead of worrying about layouts and all that.

If anyone has found a really simple java IDE, please reply to this post. Or, if anyone is willing to collaborate with me, please let me know.

Posted by nansoft at 5:51 PM
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Tuesday, 3 June 2003
JSR Watch
Java Specification Request is an offshoot of Java Community Process (JCP) that concerns itself with the development of the Java language to suit the different needs of the Java community.

Through JSR a company or a group of companies propose a specification describing a facility to be included in the Java language. Many JSRs have found their way into the language such as assertions and so on.

The latest among the JSRs in review stage is JSR 168 entitled Portlet Specification, submitted jointly by IBM and Sun Microsystems.

The specification's objective according to the JSR is:

To enable interoperability between Portlets and Portals, this specification will define a set of APIs for Portal computing addressing the areas of aggregation, personalization, presentation and security.

Posted by nansoft at 11:50 AM
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Tuesday, 27 May 2003
Visual J# - The new .NET mantra
In an attempt to wean developers away from Java, Microsoft launched Java User Migration Path (JUMP).

Inspite of bickering and browbeating between the industry's two giants over Java, once again the Java evangelists at Microsoft could not resist the ease and simplicity of Java programming. They came out with J# (pronounced J Sharp), which they say is neither based on Sun's JVM nor endorsed by Sun.

Java developers may find J# easy to develop and deploy, but alas! J# code can only run on .NET platform, and so defeats the very purpose for which Java was born - platform-independence.

Now you can find migration paths once again - convert your existing applets to run on .NET Framework.

Microsoft's development team is as much fascinated by Java as any honest developer worth his salt.

Posted by nansoft at 11:45 AM
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Monday, 26 May 2003
Java VS C#
When you look at a code snippet of C#, you can't help wondering how much it looks similar to Java code.

The similarity is not a co-incidence. It is the way an object-oriented program should look like. More than C++, Java seems to have influenced the development of C#, although Microsoft claims that C# has eveloved from C and C++, but fails to mention Java's contribution.

Nevertheless, C# must be treated as a language in its own right, for it is a free-standing, general-purpose object-oriented programming language.

You will find here similarities and differences between the two languages in future posts. So, keep looking!

Posted by nansoft at 12:17 PM
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