Sunday, June 14, 2009

who has locked my account?

if you have to identify on which windows client / server a given account is currently logged on sysinternals utility "psloggedon" is your friend.

a simple "psloggedon account" identifies all computers the given account is currently logged on (and part of the same domain you start this command).

this tool is part of sysinternals huge amount of useful tools and command line helpers which helps to answer or identify common maintenance issues, like

  • does my application doesn't close all used handles
    Process Explorer
  • which resources (filesystem, registry, ...) does my application access
    Process Monitor
  • capture of debug output (traces using OutputDebugString, DbgPrint) without using a debugger
  • .....
and all utilities are free. the team creating and maintaining those utilities are now part of Microsoft. up to now this has any negative effect to utilities they provide beside there is no source code available anymore which prevents to see how certain information can be / must be retrieved to be on the safe side.

Friday, June 12, 2009

transform pdf to word / excel

online conversion from pdf to word / excel is available from you have to upload your pdf and will receive the converted word / excel file as long as the result is smaller than 12 MB. result looks good for most use-case. of course you have to manual rework based on the intension you have with the result but content, images and layout is converted and accessable for subsequent tasks.

i like that kind of advertising - a easy to use subset of the functionality is available for free and if i like the feature and want more enterprise features i will probably pay the price.

ux tools for windows

useful unix tools (e.g. grep / find) for windows are available here
advantage compared to cygwin you can use them right from the windows command line without any additional layer.

make usage of command line much easier....

Sunday, June 07, 2009

(re)use of content

(re)use of content is a common topic in almost each domain has to deal with content. the rational is obvious and easy: use of existing content is faster and cheaper than creating new one.

there are two major requirements to (re)use content:
  • you need a business object the content belongs to
    otherwise it is impossible to identify existing content and determine if this content is worth to use
  • you need a well defined information type the content belongs to
    only if you know what type of content you have to create allows you to identify if it may already exist
based on those two trivial requirements you can define rules in which case (re)use is possible:

if existing content is created for the same business object and for the same information type as the new content you have to create.

to extend this scenario you can deviate your content from existing one if either the business object or information type is also derivate from the content you intend to use.

to derivate a test case from corresponding use case is obvious and valid as long as the business object both belonging to are the same. if a certain engine exists in three variants each derivate from a common building block the corresponding content is obvious also valid to use and derivate.

as you see usage of content requires both knowledge and connection to the business and to the content itself.
because of this many (re)use scenario fails in the real world (look into your own domain -- do you satisfy with your content (re)use?)

if you look at the two dimension enables usage of content you might understand that in many cases the usage of content between companies might be higher than the usage of content within one company. in many cases competitors dealing with similar business objects and information types beside different departments within one company might not.

this means that if the information types are not critical for a certain domain cross domain usage of content will become a possibility once the information itself is interchangeable (thats a topic for its own).

usage of translation is one of the most obvious scenario for cross company usage. because translation becomes more and more a cost center but is also a business driver the usage of common translation memories between companies working in the same domain is of course thinkable. content already translated for nokia might be used by sony as well, same is true for BMW and Daimler.

the "Language Data Exchange Portal" shows how this might work. each member provides content and funding and can participate from the complete pool of data available. as better the content is classified as better the results each company has......more to come?

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Google Wave: backbone for real information collaboration

beside Microsoft still working on getting search on existing information done (last try Google tries to re-invent the creation, usage and collaboration of information with upcoming "Google Wave".

having a deeper look into the already available information the most interesting part of the design is that the complete architecture is based on hosted information transformation based on a group of humans and automated participants. the overall architecture looks clean and the demo provided here: looks promising.

such kind of infrastructure has the capability to be used in all kind information centric workflows especially those happens in the "cloud". creation and further development of engineering artifacts from customer requirements to user stories to design documents and testing artifacts up to the usage of the same information in technical docs created for them. such workflow always requires a information object centric architecture and in addition collaboration feature sets.

we have to see if Wave will succeed, means if developer comunity contribute and use the existing extension points if so, i'm looking forward to see what can be done with this promising infrastructure.....

in my point of view the future of information goes away from document paradigm and end up in the a more message oriented paradigm where a group of people work on structured / semi-structured information objects (messages / topics) and assemble them in a final stage in each business workflow to a document, web-page, calculation sheet, ..... this means a document is "just one output for one audience" and describe just one usage of the information at a certain time.

in those days search is still essential but just as one way to navigate through the specific information pool and only if the hits are relevant for further usage (try to search for "Microsoft" on and see if the provided hits are relevant enough for you.....)

see also:

CMIS resources

nice summary of background material about CMIS can be found here:
especially the list of available provides and consumers are useful for those try to further investigate into this new standard effort. sample code says more than thousand words....