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Take your daily dose of (only) relevant news, useful tips and tricks and valuable how to's on using the latest web technologies shaping the digital landscape. We're here to do all the necessary information sifting for you, so you don't have to, to provide you with content that will help you anticipate the emerging trends about to influence the web.

AI Expo North America: Can't-Miss Sessions to Add to Your Event Schedule
Be there or... be left behind! This is how your invitation to the AI Expo North America should sound like. It's the world's largest exhibition of next generation AI technologies and conference on artificial intelligence strategies to implement at an enterprise level. With 4 major AI conferences, sessions covering topics that range from:   enterprise AI apps to big data to analytics to virtual assistants to AI development And speakers from companies such as Google, Paypal, Uber, LinkedInb, AirBnB, Kia Motors... the AI-dedicated event in Santa Clara turns into disruptive technologies enthusiasts' and forward-thinking entrepreneurs' global gathering.   AI Expo Santa Clara: Why Attend? What to Expect? To answer your first legitimate question:   “Because all the market leaders and forward-thinking brands will be there to reveal to you, in case study-based sessions, how to (and which) implement AI techniques across your organization; how to use AI to market more intelligently and to fuel brand loyalty."   Now to give you a more convincing numbers-heavy type of answer: for its 4 AI conference tracks, its 30+ industry-leading speakers and its no less than 300+ exhibitors. And you should definitely attend it for all the mind-blowing exhibitions of the newest AI technologies that will be showcased at the Santa Clara Convention Center. Look out for:   the Iot Tech Expo the Blockchain Expo   What to expect, you say? Expect debates sparking around the advancements in the artificial intelligence sector and their impacts on the enterprise & and consumer sectors. Expect a global gathering of AI evangelists, start-ups and leaders from key industries ready to share with you their AI-centered success stories and, implicitly, some of their revolutionary AI-focused strategies.   AI Expo North America: AI in the Enterprise & AI for Developers (Nov. 29) On the first day of the AI Conference in Santa Clara you'll be given priceless advice on how to harness artificial intelligence's full potential across your organization. Along with information on the impact that AI will have on your workforce. And we're talking here about:   the applicability of AI strategies from an entrepreneur's, a business executive's perspective (the AI in the Enterprise conference tracks) implementing AI technologies from a developer's standpoint (the AI for Developers conference tracks)   Now if we made a must-attend sessions list, it would have to include the following talks:   AI-Powered Business intelligence: where you'll be learning how to build an AI-first strategy, discovering how capitalizing AI grants you new business value and why you should support your decision-making process on business intelligence analysis   Big Data: Creating Intelligent Data Models, with prominent speakers from PayPal, Tractica, Ancestry, LinkedIn and Airbnb   The Application of Deep Learning Within an Enterprise: discover how some of the world's most valuable brands are capitalizing machine learning within their companies   Connecting Deep Learning With the Internet of Things and Blockchain: learn all about AI technologies' impact on the financial sector and the overall tech system itself; find out why you should and when it's the perfect time to make the move from predictive analytics to deep learning (a session presented by the Vice President of product and strategy, machine learning and AI at BNY Mellon)   …. and our selection of must-see sessions at the AI Expo North America could go on with those covering topics such as next-generation cybersecurity and legal advice for avoiding big data discrimination.   AI Expo North America: AI in Consumer & Digital Transformation (Nov. 30) “Customer”, “AI-powered customer experience”, “hyper-personalization”, “predictive customer intelligence” will be the words on all speakers' lips on day 2. A day broken down into 2 major conference tracks:   AI in Consumer and Digital Transformation  Bot and Virtual Assistant Development    And we've striven to pick (not an easy task!) the sessions we would add to our own event schedule as a web development team from Toronto attending it:   the Geeta Wilson's (Humana) keynote on leveraging AI in digital transformation the panel on chatbots, presented by speakers from TGI Friday's, AIMA, MoneyGram and Foursquare the talk about the role of AI/ML in e-commerce, held by Wayfair’s Associate Director of Data Science the panel on taking customer experience to a whole new level through the use of the latest AI tools    Bottom Line  Expect a two-day marathon of:   attending inspiring case study-based sessions one where you'll strive to take a close look at all the exhibits struggle to assimilate as much insightful content as you can ...and to just... be there, joining the AI revolution, right from the center (at least for 2 days) of the world of artificial intelligence   No chance to get bored at the AI conference in Santa Clara, nor chance to leave “empty handed”! ... Read more
Adrian Ababei / Nov 16'2017
Come Meet Us and Greet Us At Web Summit 2017, in Lisbon!
Just a glimpse at the list of speakers who'll be holding the stage at Web Summit 2017 and we get even more pumped up for it: OPTASY will be there, too! Practically all the titans of the web and... us, a Drupal and web development from Canada, will be at the MEO Arena in Lisbon, Portugal, from the 6th to the 9th of November.  As you can guess, we're already counting the days, literally overwhelmed with excitement! For it's not "just" leaders in the tech industry who'll gather in sunny Lisbon (Fortune 500 companies and wildly successful start-ups), but "the world's most disruptive technology companies". Leading “minds” and global tech innovators! And innovation is our own driving force as a company! It's what helped us grow from a pure web development company into a full-service software provider. It's our very own “guilty weakness” for emerging technologies the real “culprit” for OPTASY's transformation, over these years (since 2005), from a Drupal solutions provider into a company specialized in full-cycle projects. We now handle all the phases of complex web projects, ranging from:   site/app structure planning to custom modules development to creating new functionalities from scratch to theming and post-launch maintenance & support   All the talent and energy that we've gathered in our team, over these years, all the creative minds that came on board, speak best of OPTASY's efforts to create a culture of innovation in-house. And from all the innovation “addicts” (each one in its own field) in our team, it's Serge Karpiuk, our Head of Sales, Business Developer and Drupal Consultant, who'll be packing his bags for Lisbon (lucky guy!)! We, the rest of the “mortals” at OPTASY can't but secretly “envy” him and... relax. For we're 101%  that:   he'll be “absorbing” and mentally storing EVERYTHING; no groundbreaking news or announcement, no powerful tips or high-impact information shared during the talks will “escape” him (and don't worry, we're not selfish: we'll be sharing all the highlights with you right here, on our blog)   he's the perfect embodiment of OPTASY; in order words: in case you'll be attending the Web Summit 2017, too, you'll instantly get a clue of how we are as a company: open to change, open to ongoing learning, open to people (and he definitely is, so don't be shy to come out to him), highly passionate about what we do. ... Read more
Adrian Ababei / Nov 06'2017
Look Forward to It: Magento PWA Studio Coming... Soon!
Magento's about to step into... the third dimension of e-commerce!  As you well know, the other 2 are:   responsive e-commerce websites native apps   And the e-commerce giant is about to make its glorious entrance by launching its Magento PWA Studio! A suite of tools designed to empower developers to... develop (obviously!) online stores as progressive web apps.  That Magento has jumped on this trend is really no surprise at all. But the suite of tools that it's now developing is, for sure, a source of ongoing assumptions, skeptic feedback and expectations.  Here's what we know for sure, right from their post on Magento turning into a progressive web application platform:   that these tools are aimed to turn into “learning tools” for future Magento PWA developers  that they're designed to enable them to build blazing-fast PWA front-ends for their e-commerce Magento stores that it's a “toolset” which will help them build PWA components and extensions to be reused or even sold on the Magento Marketplace   But before we get into this, before we shed some more light onto Magento's new “baby” (that they're developing in collaboration with Google) we should answer the next question:   What's a PWA? “The “eraser” of all clear-cut differences between the mobile web and native apps”.  Now, in order to give PWAs a less... metaphoric definition, how about “dissecting” the term itself, “progressive web app”, starting from the back:   it's an app (not an applet!): since it installs and runs its code on the customer's own device (PCs here included)   it's a “web” app: an obvious advantage over native apps, since it's not closely “dependent” on one specific platform and on its specific language; it uses “plain” web languages such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript    it's “progressive”: meaning that it progressively loads assets and data as the user scrolls down a specific page in the store or goes from one page to another; so, there's no need for those “surfed” pages to reload, since changes and transitioning happen... gradually   Summing up, progressive web apps:   look like native apps (delivering the same app-like and lightning-fast digital shopping experiences) behave like responsive mobile websites, since they run in browsers and are written in standard web languages and yet... they're neither native apps nor JavaScript one-page apps   They're... progressive web apps (a no-brainer conclusion, no doubt about it). And it's those type of digital shopping experiences of the future that the Magento PAW Studio's tools will help developers create.   Progressive Web Apps vs Native Apps  It's a fact: native apps “rule” in terms of conversion rates and in terms of provided shopping digital experiences. The mobile web stands no chance to compete with that!  Yet, developing native apps does come with its inconveniences for players in the e-commerce arena (especially for small and medium-sized business):   they're expensive to develop potential shoppers only download and install the apps of those specific brands that they interact with most frequently   And here's how PWAs “dare” to challenge native apps' long-time supremacy:   they're more cost-effective to build since they're developed on open standards (and even so more now, with the Magento PWA Studio soon to be available) they're equally fast they run their code right in the mobile web browser, there's no longer a need for a separate installation   Progressive Web Apps vs Responsive Mobile Sites In short: how are any better (for both online store owners and their customers) than traditional responsive websites? Here's how/why:   they leverage open source technology they rely on the new API's, Service Workers, integrated now into web browsers, which allow JavaScript to run in the background: boosted speed + improved usability   And, deriving from this tiny “detail”, there's a plethora of features that make them a huge leap forward into the future of e-commerce. We've pointed out the most significant ones in this post here on PWA's and how they can benefit your business.   What Does The Magento PWA Studio Include So Far? Now that we've defined PWAs and that we've compared them to the other 2 online shopping channels, let's focus more on Magento's plan to turn into a progressive web app platform. In this respect, here's what this suite of tools includes for now:   application shell: a basic PHTML file, created in the early phase of the project, standing for the basis for the HTML responses (coming from all routes) API layer: working on a new style of API and on new API methods, that could provide lighter, more customized responses (compared to those of the REST designs) application framework: the resulting PWA will be interacting with the “headless” Magento store via API calls    Yet, from all the information that the Magento team shared on their blog, the one with the greatest impact has been that: it's React apps that developers will get to build using the Magento PAW Studio. It's React-powered front-ends that these apps will have. A great news indeed, for all front-end developers out there, since there's no point denying that React's riding huge waves of popularity these days. No wonder that the Drupal core committer team, too, is considering to use React JS for building their own administrative user interfaces.   What's In It for You, The Magento Store Owner? Ok, so we've pointed out how much more enjoyable Magento developers' work is going to be, that they'll be enabled to get their Magento PWAs up and running in no time, but... what about you, the business owner? Let us point out some key PWA features that easily translate into benefits for you:   PWAs are SEO-friendly: thanks to their JavaScript architecture PWAs are easy to crawl through (by search engines' bots); also, they're lightning-fast, which makes them SEO-optimized right from the start    PWAs run on desktop browsers, as well: that's right, they're not restricted to the mobile web since Service Workers run on desktop browsers, too   PWAs will run on Safari, as well: Apple's planning to “do the necessary” so that PWAs can run on Apple devices, as well, in the near future.   The END! For now, at least, since the Magento WAP Studio is still under development, tests are being run, developers' feedback is being collected and closely analyzed. Are you looking forward to it? What's your opinion on progressive web apps shaping the future of e-commerce? ... Read more
Adrian Ababei / Oct 12'2017
Using React JS for Drupal's Administrative UIs: What to Expect?
He proposed it: “... make some of Drupal's own administrative UIs more powerful and easier to use, I proposed that we add a modern JavaScript to core.” (Dries Buytaert's keynote presentation, DrupalCon Vienna) ... and stirred waves of enthusiasm, of unveiled skepticism and never-ending debates. What would using React JS for Drupal's administrative UIs mean for you? You, the site builder. You, the content creator? And this is precisely what we'll try to answer in this blog post as we'll be:   presenting you the context: why is integrating a JavaScript framework right into Drupal core even needed? pointing our Drupal's long way to becoming “ JS ready” highlighting the reasons why React's most likely to win this “popularity contest” over other JS technologies highlighting the challenges to expect and to plan out for (to overcome) if React is, indeed, the “chosen one” outlining the clear benefits that YOU will get if a JavaScript framework, more precisely if React does get integrated into Drupal core   3 Inconveniences for Currently Not Having a JavaScript Framework in Drupal Core While headless Drupal 8 has proven to be a powerful content repository for front-end apps, not having a JS framework integrated into its very core has been the cause of certain … limitations:   it kept putting off addressing well-known editorial and site-building UX issues it made it almost impossible to help Drupal core contributors realize how they could leverage certain JavaScript approaches and advanced practices; how they could transpose them into new modules and new Drupal features it has been a break on assimilating more JavaScript experts and JS expertise into the Drupal community    From Improving Its Web Services APIs to Being Ready for Integrating a JS Framework in Core You're closer than ever, as a site builder/content creator, to using React JS for Drupal's administrative UIs. Yet, this didn't happen overnight: first Dries Buytaert (Drupal CMS's founder himself) and his team decided to stabilize Drupal's web services APIs then to step up their efforts even more for improving them and it's just now that they've decided that Drupal's finally matured and 100% ready for this major integration    Meanwhile, Drupal users have done wonders leveraging Drupal 8's web services APIs:   front-end apps have been built alongside Drupal, which has been backing them up as their content repository … and modern, JavaScript frameworks have been used for powering these apps' front-ends, with no restriction, whatsoever, on the particular JS technologies that web developers chose to use   Now having passed the “decoupled architecture test” and having managed to adapt itself to all JavaScript frameworks used as front-ends, Drupal's ready to...  level up! To incorporate a JavaScript framework in its core. And, implicitly, it's time for the Drupal community, as well, to commit to a unique framework that will be used for its administrative front-end.   Why React JS? We'll start by answering the “Why React JS over Angular or Ember?” question: “Because of its component-based nature.” And there's a growing “trend” among web developers to create user interfaces by putting together reusable component libraries. Luckily, React makes it easy to build self-contained components and to simply “assemble” them in big-sized apps. Therefore, the other 2 JS frameworks (focused on MV* specific workflows instead), are off the table. And now, let's list other reasons for using React JS for Drupal's administrate UIs:   it's backed up and constantly updated with new libraries, new tutorials etc. by a worldwide, active community of developers   it powers large-scale web projects such as Facebook, Airbnb, WordPress, The New York Times    it's this community itself that bundled up an ecosystem of no less than 16.000 libraries around it   its different approach to virtual DOM (Document Object Model): it “detects” precisely those virtual DOM objects that need to be updated and it's strictly those parts of the real DOM that it updates (instead of updating the entire DOM tree); a major performance boost indeed   it poses no problems working with it thanks to its rather straightforward programming approach   it “plays well” with all the other JS frameworks   licensing issues reported in the past have been resolved   it's widely used by the JavaScript developers    Expected Challenges of Working With React JS For there are challenges that the Drupal's main contributors are planning out for when it comes to using React JS for Drupal's core. And so should you:   modularity, itself, will turn out to be a major challenge to plan out for Drupal will need to “keep up with” React's much more alert release cycle  Drupal theming for decoupled UIs will never be the same again: React's approach will prevail   Using React JS for Drupal's Administrative Interfaces: What's in It for You? For adopting a JS framework for Drupal's own administrative UIs (and React seems to be the winning “competitor), does translate into key benefits for you, as well:   whether you're a Drupal site builder or a content creator, using Drupal will get much easier (talking about addressing its old UX issues right?) in a reversible, incremental way   building modern UIs will get a lot more streamlined when you have a modern, JS toolbox right at hand... in Drupal core!   a JavaScript framework would automatically speed up (“app-like speed”) content modeling, configuration tools, content listing   if you're a Drupal developer, you can stay reassured that your Drupal expertise will stay relevant in a JavaScript technologies-centered web   ... that, your future React-focused sills will be future-proofed (thanks to this JS technology's high popularity among web developers)   What do you think? Do you find adding a JavaScript framework to Drupal core a good idea or not? And what about using React JS for Drupal? Would you have gone for another JS technology instead if you could have chosen the one to power your administrative UIs from now on? ... Read more
Adrian Ababei / Oct 09'2017
Headless Drupal and Node.js: Easily Build JavaScript Apps on Top of Drupal!
Remember when websites used to be the only type of content distribution channels? Hardly, right? For it's been “ages” since we got to “deliver” content alongside entire “constellations” of digital channels: digital signage, kiosks, mobile... And so, this proliferation has made managing all these access channels increasingly challenging. But the Acquia team came up with a solution: they've added Node.js support to their Acquia Cloud. That's right, now Acqua Cloud, the one providing a cloud-based interface for Drupal developers to use, incorporates Application services for Node.js.  This means that:   your development team can leverage the now fully-decoupled Drupal platform using it as a robust apps repository … in order to distribute content across an entire “network” of new digital channels (without the need of a replatform, just by simply leveraging Drupal 8's in-built capabilities and API-first architecture) … by using lightning-fast Node.js for scripting, for building interactive app-like digital user experiences   Headless Drupal and Node.js: Let Their Powers Combine! … and help you build real-time, network JavaScript apps alongside your robust, scalable Drupal CMS faster than ever. They're equally popular for building enterprise-specific digital experiences, they're both open source technologies. And now each one of them is a valuable integration of the Acquia Cloud. Teamed up, they enable you to build and to run your JavaScript apps on top of Drupal.   Drupal   brings in its impressive scalability as a CMS; it turns into that robust shared repository that you'll need for all your future apps is already “turbocharged” with multiple decoupled apps: headless Lightening, Reservoir, Contenta etc. if none of the pre-built distributions suits your needs, Drupal 8's content-first architecture empowers you to build your own custom one!   Node.js   a blazing fast JavaScript framework enabling you to build scalable network JS apps supporting a wide range of front-end frameworks (Angular.js, Meteor.js, Ember.js, Backbone.js)   * “Why JavaScript?”, you might wonder. Because it's designed with usability in mind! With their powers combined, headless Drupal and Node.js:   enable your development team to easily build decoupled apps with lightweight JavaScript front-end design and to extend them across an “ecosystem” of access channels … all while leveraging Drupal's content management services (which is robust enough to support your “cluster” of real-time, responsive Node.js apps)   It's your users that will benefit from this “data and content marriage” in the end: they'll enjoy some interactive digital experiences.   Content and Data Under the Same roof: What's In It for You? For this new way of interacting with your Drupal CMS (exposed as a set of content services now), while leaving the scripting part to Node.js, does translate into key benefits for you and your team:   Toronto developers within your team get to leverage the advantage of a “single” database, a shared source of content supporting an entire “network” of apps (content and data under the same roof!)   they gain access to various parts of your CMS (content management, search, security) available to them as a set of APIs now when headless Drupal and Node.js join forces   developers no longer need to build a Drupal site first and then to separately handle a server for the Node.js app's functionality: the two different environments working in parallel, one for data and one for content, merge into one single development track    your development team(s) get to “fully exploit” this new architecture model, by easily mapping the content model to the API, and thus to speed up the whole data-driven apps development process!   Overall: you get to leverage Drupal's robustness as a CMS-repository for all your apps! It's there that all the content management and content authoring happens and it's from there that content gets distributed to your entire maze of real-time apps, to the whole network of distribution channels. The more complex your data-driven app infrastructure gets, the more powerful your repository has to be! Luckily, managing content and, moreover, scaling itself to an increasing overload of content are Drupal's “specialties”!  And this is how headless Drupal and Node.js, with their powers combined in Aqua Cloud, will help your development team create decoupled application experiences across multiple digital channels! How about putting this “happy marriage” of data and content to a test now? ... Read more
Adrian Ababei / Oct 03'2017
Alfresco Digital Business Platform: Go With the Digital Flow 
“But am I not there yet? Haven't I already implemented digital transformation within my organization?" The Alfresco Digital Business Platform's release does make you wonder. Well, now that we've planted “the seed of doubt”, ask yourself these key questions:   Is your current business platform agile enough to quickly pivot when you need it to, to promptly meet all your changing business needs? Are the programming tools that you're currently using “tying” your business to long development cycles? How fast is your current proprietary business process/enterprise content management system capable to put together workflow applications? Are you currently using the power of task automation to the fullest? How “accessible” is data within your company? Are you leveraging your current digital technology to make information easily accessible? Are people within your company enabled to access integrated data (anywhere, anytime), use it and share it with the utmost ease?    Just be honest with yourself! Then you'll find out whether you're right there: at the peak of your digital transformation or at the bottom of the hill, still... And this is precisely what the Alfresco Digital Business Platform helps you with: take big leaps ahead towards digital transformation!   What Is The Alfresco Digital Business Platform Exactly? Well, you could take it as a business process services and an open-source content management system “combo”, topped with a new App Development framework! Or, simply put: a digital business platform, as its name says it, enabling you, as an enterprise, to create and to deliver digital content experiences via perfectly automated workflows. In short: Alfresco, once exclusively an ECM (Enterprise Content Management), provides you with an open and agile platform perfectly equipped for enabling fast app development and reiteration!   But Which Are the Issues That This New Platform Comes to Address? Or the “customer needs”, if you prefer, that this new Alfresco release is built to meet? Here are a few challenges that they (business owners) had to cope with:   long development cycles that were no longer feasible difficulties in connecting multiple departments and in automating tasks  non-agile content/business processes management systems that wouldn't (or hardly) get “tweaked” in order to adapt to their users ever-changing business needs and goals   In short: it's precisely the lack of adaptability and time-efficiency of the “traditional” business process/content management systems that led to the Alfresco Digital Business Platform release. And it's built to give you a push “push forward” on your path towards complete digital transformation, a path paved with... digital efficiency. Here are a few goals of the “mission” that its development team invested it with:   to help you create content at high speed by leveraging the due technology to help you “tailor” automated digital business processes, automated workflows fast to help you develop governance apps at high speed, providing you with a dedicated App Development Framework   Overall, the platform's built to help you:   do things quickly around your organization by automating all the business processes, tasks, and workflows achieve that ideal “digital flow”   … where data's easily accessible to everyone involved (both workers and customers), multiple teams are interconnected and you're free to change this entire “infrastructure” of processes, people, and content to your liking whenever you need to   Alfresco Digital Business Platform: 5 Tools and Improvements Worth Your Attention 1. Alfresco App Development Framework (ADF) The new platform's ultimate goal is to help you speed up app development within your organization! In this respect, this dedicated framework's supercharged with:   reusable Angular 2 components Google Material design   … to easily “live up” to its goal: enabling your development team to quickly create workflow apps featuring responsive user interfaces adapted to all the devices used across your company!   “But I was already able to build my own apps on top of the Alfresco platform. What's changed now?”   A valid question, indeed! Apart from a faster app development process, now you get to actually put together your own engaging and nonetheless responsive UI using the web technology of your choice on top of Alfresco! Remember how you used to be “tied” to Alfresco's own UI? One that, it's true, you could adapt to your own needs, yet... you still depended on it? Well, not anymore: not only that it empowers you/your team to actually craft your own user experiences on top of the platform, but it also takes most of the heavy work off your developers' shoulders, speeding up things tremendously!  The framework provides you with a set of:   development tools testing tools   … along with other new Alfresco tools to add to your handy toolbox for speeding your apps' development! 2. New Open RESTful APIs That's right, you get a whole new set of APIs along with the Alfresco Digital Business Platform! They're built to handle:   nodes renditions versions   … and to perform search queries, as well, and all this DIRECTLY. Practically people in your organization get to easily access the services they're developing on top of the Alfresco platform. It's all about them being able to quickly access, to use (even use it to innovate) and to share the data flowing within your company, remember? The new platform just plugs in, via its open RESTful APIs, all those content and office productivity services into your internal workflows. It enables department collaborations and adapts the workflows to those specific environments that your workers prefer. And when we talk about API integrations, the list of third-party apps is a.... never-ending one:  MicrosoftOutlook, Salesforce, Google Docs, CRM, SAP etc. Moreover, it gets easier for you, the platform's user, to fully exploit all of the new open RESTful API's capabilities using the API Explorer! 3. Alfresco Search Services  Digging through the “pile” of search improvements brought to the Alfresco digital business platform we can't but mention a few “highlights:   it runs on Solr 6 it comes with a search term highlighting tool it includes category faceting, document fingerprinting, multi-select facets it enables users to index multiple versions of a document  it's got significantly improved sharding: you get to shard your index by date, DBID, ACL...   Do your users have multiple search requirements? This new Alfresco platform comes with multiple search tools so that you can comply with your customers' specific sets of requirements! Note: probably one of the biggest search services-related news is that they're no longer “piled up” in a WAR file. They make a STANDALONE SERVICE now! 4. Admin Improvements There are 2 handy new features that will streamline your Alfresco deployment's management and troubleshooting workflow:   Trashcan Cleaner, which turns the whole cleaning out of Alfresco deleted items into an automated task Support tools, ranging from profiling, sampling, gaining easy access to changing log settings and viewing logs, thread dumps, active session monitoring   5. Amazon AWS Optimized Deployment The Alfresco team has optimized the new platform so that it should run smoothly on Amazon AWS. And their efforts revolve around “valuing” your time even better, as they've included Alfresco Quick Start, turning Alfresco deployment from a matter of days into a matter of... minutes!   So, have we, at least, managed to stir your curiosity? To at least make you... question yourself whether you're currently embracing digital transformation at the right pace? To make you question yourself what you could do better in order to go from digital to digital efficiency? To shift to automated workflows? ... Read more
Adrian Ababei / Sep 29'2017
News Alert : Google Chrome Now Displays “Not Secure” Warnings for HTTP Pages
The harvest season, no doubt about it! Autumn (the month of October to be more precisely) is taking us... “Google Chrome novelties” picking! Starting next month Google Chrome will be displaying new “Not Secure” warnings for HTTP pages. We're talking, in fact, about two additional situations where these discouraging alerts get triggered in users' address bars:   when the user is asked to enter his/her credit card information or his password on an HTPP page (so when he's presented with an HTTP form having sensitive input fields)     when the user loads an HTTP page in Incognito mode   Note: speaking of the second scenario, the “Not Secure” warning will show up on ALL HTTP pages surfed in Incognito mode. Take it as Google Chrome's next level in its “campaign” of pushing the web on the HTTPS side. A plan structured into multiple gradual steps aimed at discouraging users from “venturing” on non-encrypted websites. And, implicitly, at “forcing” website owners to do the necessary: move to sitewide HTTPS.   HTTP vs HTTPS: Is A Migration Really Worth It? But first: which are the HTTP protocol's drawbacks? Those that Google Chrome warns users about through its new “Not Secure” warnings for HTTP pages? Basically an HTTP connection:   is a non-encrypted one gives visitors no guarantee that once they access a web page they're literally interacting with the “right” website  provides visitors with no protection, whatsoever, against man-in-the-middle attacks, eavesdropping, data modification    On the other hand an HTTPS protocol page:   is one where the user-website communication is an encrypted one, protecting the former against cyber attacks. keeps data protected from third parties   And now to answer your legitimate question, whether switching from HTTP to HTTPS is really worth the resources (of time and money), let us just imagine this scenario here: “A user walks into a/lands on your website and is ready to make a purchase. A payment form is presented to him and he is about to enter his credit card information when... he gets a warning, in his address bar, that your site is not secure...”   2 Updates to Run on Your Site to Avoid The New “Not Secure” Warnings for HTTP Pages  1. Simply Get to The Root of the Problem and... Resolve It How? Making sure that Google Chrome will label as “of secure origins” all the:   inputs marked as credit card fields  all the fill-in forms on your website incorporating <input type=password> elements   “Of secure origins” meaning that both the top-level page and the iframe (in case the user needs to enter his/her data in an iframe) need to display the HTTPS protocol. In other words: if your HTTPS login/payment form is presented to your users in an overlay on top of an HTTP page, then you'll need to either:   switch all your web pages to HTTPS redirect it to an HTTPS web page on your website containing that specific login/payment form   Taking the “shortcut”, placing an HTTPS iframe in an HTTP top-level page, is not a solution! 2. Go HTTPS! Switch to Using It Side-Wide Instead Since the new “Not Secure” warnings for HTTP pages that Google Chrome will be rolling out this October are nothing but another step in its “macro plan” to label ALL HTTP websites as not secure. So, why waiting for the inevitable to happen? Why should you “mend” when you can go for a long-term, in-depth solution? When you can make the move now and migrate your Drupal website to HTTPS?   Bottom Line  Take Google Chrome's new “Not Secure” warnings for HTTP pages as a new step in its whole master plan towards an HTTP-free web! It's a plan they first launched in November 2016 and which they're implementing gradually. So that the users grow more and more aware of the risks they expose themselves to accessing HTTP web pages, as the Google Chrome security team confirms:   “Studies show that users do not perceive the lack of a “secure” icon as a warning, but also that users become blind to warnings that occur too frequently. Our plan to label HTTP sites more clearly and accurately as non-secure will take place in gradual steps, based on increasingly stringent criteria."   There's no way of knowing, for the time being, when precisely Google Chrome will mark all HTTP sites as non-secure. When it will label them all with the red triangle currently indicating broken HTTPS pages.  What we do know is that this is the ultimate goal of their strategic plan. So, instead of waiting for the confirmation of the date in the calendar, why not gradually prepare your website for this move? ... Read more
Adrian Ababei / Sep 25'2017
Shopify Launches Shopcodes: Scannable, Trackacle Codes for You to Use
First the launching of Shopify Pay, now this! It's more than obvious: Shopify's constantly striving to enrich its merchant customers' toolset with new and new features. And this time it's all about easy-to-scan, easier to track QR codes. In other words: Shopify launches Shopcodes, a free app downloadable right from the e-commerce platform's store, an app playing the role of a QR codes “generator”. What does this launch mean for you? Well, it means that you, the Shopify store owner, get to easily create QR codes (just generate them and then download the graphic files) and then link them to any product page or shopping cart page that you want. This way you'll be:   enabling your potential shoppers to get extra info about various products while they're in your physical store (they just scan the QR codes attached to your products and voila: they'll be taken right on the products' dedicated pages in your Shopify online store)   interconnecting your customers' offline and online shopping experiences   streamlining the whole checkout process (the code can also take your customers right to the checkout page, skipping all the other time-consuming steps to take)   delivering your clients their desired products without having to keep an inventory on hand; so even if you own a popup store and you're constrained by the lack of space   … and the list of benefits can go on and on. Now let's delve even deeper into details on how to create and place these codes on your products/marketing materials, details on various use cases and on the multiple benefits:   How Do You Create These Codes and Place Them on Your Products/Marketing Materials? Generating these QR codes, then linking them to your product/checkout pages and downloading the graphics files (SVG, PNG) to be placed on your marketing materials /products is nothing but a simple 4-step process:   just get the Shopcodes app from the Shopify App Store and have it installed use the app to generate your first QR code  link the QR code to the product or the shopping cart page of your choice print the graphic file to place on your offline marketing materials!   Once your offline customer enters your physical store and uses his/her iPhone to scan the printed code added to a certain product he/she can:   learn more about it, visiting your online shop and heading straight to the product page that he's interested in get straight to the shopping cart page and complete the checkout process, purchasing that specific product!   OK, Shopify Launches Shopcodes: But How Do They Work Precisely? First of all, we need pointing out 2 particularities that set these QR codes in Shopify apart from the “traditional” ones (since QR codes have been around since the 90's):   you can generate them exclusively within your Shopify store they can be used exclusively for shopping purposes   OK, now that we've set these key details straight, here's how they work and also how you, the seller, get to harness their full spectrum of functionalities:   we've already briefly mentioned how they work from the user's perspective: he/she uses his Apple phone to scan the code and gets a screen with additional info about the given product or with a “buy” button instead if you, the seller, will have linked that code to a checkout page   you, the Shopify merchant customer, get to track down and to monitor those codes (they're not just scannable, but also unique and easily trackable), each transaction made by your customers, right from your Shopify Analytics dashboard; so you'll get a crystal clear picture of where traffic/sales on your online store are coming from    you, again, even get to harness a whole set of features aimed at enriching your toolset as a seller: to add discounts to those QR codes (thus encouraging your offline customers to purchase online), to make changes via your Shopcodes app's dashboard (e.g. to add extra information or promotions)   Convenience for your customers (and for you, too, since you have your dashboard as your control panel at hand) and a bundle of benefits for you, the Shopify customer!   Which Are the Use Cases for These QR Codes? “Practically you get to use Shopify QR codes wherever you advertise offline”:   place them on your product packaging; this way your customers can just scan them through and get more detailed information about your products by visiting your online store or go to the checkout page directly   display them in your brick and mortar shop's storefront window, alongside other products; this way, even with closed doors, after or before your shop's working hours, your customers can still engage in shopping: in online shopping on your Shopify store instead!   use them in your popup store (or at the events that your company participates to), where you face multiple constraints, such as lack of space and a limited inventory on hand; your visitors can still scan these QR codes and have their favorite products delivered to their homes instead   In short: rely on Shopify's QR codes whenever/wherever you're conducting offline marketing campaigns! Use them to stir your offline potential customers' curiosity, turning them into your future online shoppers!   Why Should You, The Shopify Store Owner, Be Excited About This App? “What's in it for you?” In what way does Shopify deliver you, through the launch of its Shopcodes app, (even more) value?  Let's sum up your benefits and outline the answer to your question:   it enables you to turn first-time customers into loyal customers thanks to a much more streamlined checkout process (they just scan the QR codes... land straight on the checkout pages... hit the “buy” button... and that's it!)   it helps you turn various limitations (of space, of inventory on hand, etc.), that you might need to deal with, into favorable contexts for directing your potential shoppers to your online store instead   from package inserts to storefront windows, to offline ads... practically any offline marketing material can serve as a QR code support, turning itself into a “tool” for your customers to gain quick and easy access to your Shopify online store    What do you think about these QR codes' comeback that Shopify orchestrates? Do you plan to incorporate them into your own future offline marketing campaigns?  ... Read more
Adrian Ababei / Sep 21'2017
Selling on Amazon via Shopify Just Got 7 Times Easier
If the Amazon-Shopify partnership was looking so promising already, things just got better! Better for you, who runs an e-commerce business on this platform! Practically from now on by selling on Amazon via Shopify you'll get a major boost in reach. With the 7 new product categories (that's right, they did get bumped up from 1 to... 7!) you'll be “drastically” increasing the number of Shopify items that you can sell on Amazon's massive marketplace. And speaking of these newly added categories:   Health and Household Beauty and Personal Care  Home and Kitchen Patio and Garden Sewing Arts and Crafts Sports and Outdoors Toys and Games       There's more! The Shopify-Amazon integration expansion comes “packed” with better support for Amazon's Brand Registry, as well! Basically, if you're currently Brand Registered on Amazon, you won't need to leave your Shopify dashboard to list your Brand Registered products. You can create them right there! Better said: selling on Amazon via Shopify just got a whole lot more convenient and more advantageous for you!   “Specifically, What Do I Gain Out of It?” “… out of this Shopify and Amazon's strengthened and expanded integration?” Let us point out, in specific terms, how it benefits you, the store owner using the Shopify platform:   you'll get to list 7 times more products on Amazon right from your Shopify shop    you'll get a significant boost in reach: a new distribution channel, with a loyal and nonetheless massive audience (no less than 300M users only last year)   you will never have to leave your familiar Shopify dashboard for adding your Amazon brand registered products; just create and manage your listings right there, in your store    you'll no longer need to use UPC/EAN codes as an Amazon Brand Registered merchant   you'll create your product listings on Amazon even easier as a brand owner    Selling on Amazon Via Shopify: One Shortcoming and A Few Predictions For this sales channel does present a shortcoming: for now, only U.S. Shopify store owners get to leverage the newly expanded integration. Still, (and here we disclose a key prediction), the Shopify team's already put it on the roadmap.  They're currently working on giving merchants selling in other regions, as well, the chance of seamlessy selling on Amazon via Shopify. Of creating and managing Amazon listings, of fulfilling orders, managing inventories and so on without (ever) having to leave Shopify. A challenging task to carry out, if we consider that Amazon operates with separate, per-regions websites and that the Shopify team will need to work closely with all of those teams!  Moreover, analysts predict that this recently expanded Shopify-Amazon partnership is just one “brick in the wall”, the “wall” being their whole strategy of minimizing friction between storefronts. A strategy that will continuously strengthen these 2 e-commerce giants' influence in the e-commerce platform sector.  This being said, allow us to end our post with the optimistic statement coming from Shopify's Product Support Network : “... we've got a full roadmap for growth opportunities with Amazon! Stay tuned :)” ... Read more
Adrian Ababei / Sep 11'2017