While researching an old install for an upgrade system
requirement compliance, I discovered that I b=need to validate which Linux
version was installed. So, here is a
quick note on the command I used to validate which version of Linux was
Over recent years, business
enterprises relying on accurate and consistent data to make informed decisions
have been gravitating towards integration technologies. The subject of
Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) and Extraction, Transformation &
Loading (ETL) lately seems to pop up in most Enterprise Information Management
From an architectural perspective,
both techniques share a striking similarity. However, they essentially serve
different purposes when it comes to information management. We’ve decided to do
a little bit of research and establish the differences between the two
EAI is an integration framework that
consists of technologies and services, allowing for seamless coordination of
vital systems, processes, as well as databases across an enterprise.
Simply put, this integration
technique simplifies and automates your business processes to a whole new level
without necessarily having to make major changes to your existing data
structures or applications.
With EAI, your business can
integrate essential systems like supply chain management, customer relationship
management, business intelligence, enterprise resource planning, and payroll.
Well, the linking of these apps can be done at the back end via APIs or the
front end GUI.
The systems in question might use
different databases, computer languages, exist on different operating systems
or older systems that might not be supported by the vendor anymore.
The objective of EAI is to develop a
single, unified view of enterprise data and information, as well as ensure the
information is correctly stored, transmitted, and reflected. It enables
existing applications to communicate and share data in real-time.
Transformation & Loading
The general purpose of an ETL system
is to extract data out of one or more source databases and then transfer it to
a target destination system for better user decision making. Data in the target
system is usually presented differently from the sources.
The extracted data goes through the
transformation phase, which involves checking for data integrity and converting
the data into a proper storage format or structure. It is then moved into other
systems for analysis or querying function.
With data loading, it typically
involves writing data into the target database destination like data warehouse
and operational data store.
ETL can integrate data from multiple
systems. The systems we’re talking about in this case are often hosted on
separate computer hardware or supported by different vendors.
ETL and EAI
Retrieves small amounts of data in
one operation and is characterized by a high number of transactions
EAI system is utilized for process
optimization and workflow
The system does not require user
involvement after it’s implemented
Ensures a bi-directional data flow
between the source and target applications
Ideal for real-time business data
Limited data validation
Integrating operations is pull, push,
It is a one-way process of creating
a historical record from homogeneous or heterogeneous sources
Mainly designed to process large
batches of data from source systems
Requires extensive user involvement
Meta-data driven complex
Integrating operation is a pull,
Supports proper profiling and data
Limited messaging capabilities
Both integration technologies are an
essential part of EIM, as they provide strong capabilities for business
intelligence initiatives and reporting. They can be used differently and
sometimes in mutual consolidation.
Personas and roles are
user modeling approaches that are applied in the early stages of system
development or redesign. They drive the design decision and allows programmers
and designers to place everyday user needs at the forefront of their system
development journey in a user-centered design approach.
Personas and user roles
help improve the quality of user experience when working with products that
require a significant amount of user interaction. But there is a distinct
difference between technology personas vs. roles. What then exactly is a
persona? What are user roles in system development? And, how does persona
differ from user roles?
Let’s see how these two
distinct, yet often confused, user models fit in a holistic user-centered
design process and how you can leverage them to identify valuable product
Vs. Roles – The Most Relevant Way to Describe Users
In software development,
a user role describes the relationship between a user type and a software tool.
It is generally the user’s responsibility when using a system or the specific
behavior of a user who is participating in a business process. Think of roles
as the umbrella, homogeneous constructs of the users of a particular system.
For instance, in an accounting system, you can have roles such as accountant,
cashier, and so forth.
However, by merely using
roles, system developers, designers, and testers do not have sufficient
information to conclusively make critical UX decisions that would make the
software more user-centric, and more appealing to its target users.
This lack of
understanding of the user community has led to the need for teams to move
beyond role-based requirements and focus more on subsets of the system users.
User roles can be refined further by creating “user stand-ins,” known as
personas. By using personas, developers and designers can move closer to the
needs and preferences of the user in a more profound manner than they would by
merely relying on user roles.
In product development,
user personas are an archetype of a fictitious user that represents a specific
group of your typical everyday users. First introduced by Alan Cooper, personas
help the development team to clearly understand the context in which the ideal
customer interacts with a software/system and helps guide the design decision
provide team members with a name, a face, and a description for each user role.
By using personas, you’re typically personalizing the user roles, and by so
doing, you end up creating a lasting impression on the entire team. Through
personas, team members can ask questions about the users.
The Benefits of
Persona development has
several benefits, including:
They help team members
have a consistent understanding of the user group.
stakeholders with an opportunity to discuss the critical features of a system
Personas help designers
to develop user-centric products that have functions and features that the
market already demands.
A persona helps to
create more empathy and a better understanding of the person that will be using
the end product. This way, the developers can design the product with the
actual user needs in mind.
Personas can help
predict the needs, behaviors, and possible reactions of the users to the
What Makes Up a
Once you’ve identified
user roles that are relevant to your product, you’ll need to create personas
for each. A well-defined persona should ideally take into consideration the
needs, goals, and observed behaviors of your target audience. This will
influence the features and design elements you choose for your system.
The user persona should
encompass all the critical details about your ideal user and should be
presented in a memorable way that everyone in the team can identify with and
understand. It should contain four critical pieces of information.
1. The header
The header aid in
improving memorability and creating a connection between the design team and
the user. The header should include:
A fictional name
An image, avatar or a
description/quote that best describes the persona as it relates to the product.
Unlike the name and
image, which might be fictitious, the demographic profile includes factual
details about the ideal user. The demographic profile includes:
Age, gender, education, ethnicity, persona group, and family status
Occupation, work experience, and income level.
User environment. It
represents the social, physical, and technological context of the user. It
answers questions like: What devices do the user have? Do they interact with
other people? How do they spend their time?
Attitudes, motivations, interests, and user pain points.
3. End Goal(s)
End goals help answer
the questions: What problems or needs will the product solution to the user?
What are the motivating factors that inspire the user’s actions?
This is a narrative that
describes how the ideal user would interact with your product in real-life to
achieve their end goals. It should explain the when, the where, and the how.
For a truly successful
user-centered design approach, system development teams should use personas to
provide simple descriptions of key user roles. While a distinct difference
exists in technology personas vs. roles, design teams should use the two
user-centered design tools throughout the project to decide and evaluate the
functionality of their end product. This way, they can deliver a useful and
usable solution to their target market.
denodo 7.0 saves some manual coding when building the ‘Base Views’ by performing some initial data type conversions from ANSI SQL type to denodo Virtual DataPort data types. So, where is a quick reference mapping to show to what the denodo Virtual DataPort Data Type mappings are:
ANSI SQL types To Virtual DataPort Data types Mapping
ANSI SQL Type
Virtual DataPort Type
BIT VARYING (n)
CHARACTER VARYING (n)
DECIMAL (n, m)
NUMERIC (n, m)
TIMESTAMP WITH TIME ZONE
VARCHAR ( MAX )
ANSI SQL Type Conversion Notes
The function CAST truncates the output when converting a value to a text, when these two conditions are met:
You specify a SQL type with a length for the target data type. E.g. VARCHAR(20).
And, this length is lower than the length of the input value.
When casting a boolean to an integer, true is mapped to 1 and false to 0.
Every day, businesses
are creating around 2.5 quintillion bytes of data, making it increasingly
difficult to make sense and get valuable information from this data. And while
this data can reveal a lot about customer bases, users, and market patterns and
trends, if not tamed and analyzed, this data is just useless. Therefore, for
organizations to realize the full value of this big data, it has to be
processed. This way, businesses can pull powerful insights from this stockpile
And thanks to artificial
intelligence and machine learning, we can now do away with mundane spreadsheets
as a tool to process data. Through the various AI and ML-enabled data analytics
models, we can now transform the vast volumes of data into actionable insights
that businesses can use to scale operational goals, increase savings, drive
efficiency and comply with industry-specific requirements.
We can broadly classify
data analytics into three distinct models:
Let’s examine each of
these analytics models and their applications.
Analytics. A Look Into What happened?
How can an organization
or an industry understand what happened in the past to make decisions for the
future? Well, through descriptive analytics.
Descriptive analytics is
the gateway to the past. It helps us gain insights into what has happened.
Descriptive analytics allows organizations to look at historical data and gain
actionable insights that can be used to make decisions for “the now” and the
future, upon further analysis.
For many businesses,
descriptive analytics is at the core of their everyday processes. It is the
basis for setting goals. For instance, descriptive analytics can be used to set
goals for better customer experience. By looking at the number of tickets
raised in the past and their resolutions, businesses can use ticketing trends
to plan for the future.
Some everyday applications of descriptive analytics include:
Reporting of new trends
and disruptive market changes
Tabulation of social
metrics such as the number of tweets, followers gained over some time, or
Facebook likes garnered on a post.
Summarizing past events
such as customer retention, regional sales, or marketing campaigns success.
To enhance their decision-making
capabilities businesses have to reduce the data further to allow them to make
better future predictions. That’s where predictive analytics comes in.
Analytics takes Descriptive Data One Step Further
Using both new and
historical data sets predictive analytics to help businesses model and forecast
what might happen in the future. Using various data mining and statistical
algorithms, we can leverage the power of AI and machine learning to analyze
currently available data and model it to make predictions about future
behaviors, trends, risks, and opportunities. The goal is to go beyond the data
surface of “what has happened and why it has happened” and identify what will
analytics allows organizations to be prepared and become more proactive, and
therefore make decisions based on data and not assumptions. It is a robust
model that is being used by businesses to increase their competitiveness and
protect their bottom line.
analytics process is a step-by-step process that requires analysts to:
deliverables and business objectives
Collect historical and
new transactional data
Analyze the data to
identify useful information. This analysis can be through inspection, data
cleaning, data transformation, and data modeling.
Use various statistical
models to test and validate the assumptions.
predictive models about the future.
Deploy the data to guide
your day-to-data actions and decision-making processes.
Manage and monitor the
model performance to ensure that you’re getting the expected results.
Predictive Analytics Can be Used
campaigns and reach customer service objectives.
Improve operations by
forecasting inventory and managing resources optimally.
Fraud detection such as
false insurance claims or inaccurate credit applications
Risk management and
Determine the best
direct marketing strategies and identify the most appropriate channels.
Help in underwriting by
predicting the chances of bankruptcy, default, or illness.
Health care: Use
predictive analytics to determine health-related risk and make informed
clinical support decisions.
Analytics: Developing Actionable Insights from Descriptive Data
helps us to find the best course of action for a given situation. By studying
interactions between the past, the present, and the possible future scenarios,
prescriptive analytics can provide businesses with the decision-making power to
take advantage of future opportunities while minimizing risks.
Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), we can use prescriptive analytics
to automatically process new data sets as they are available and provide the
most viable decision options in a manner beyond any human capabilities.
When effectively used,
it can help businesses avoid the immediate uncertainties resulting from
changing conditions by providing them with fact-based best and worst-case
scenarios. It can help organizations limit their risks, prevent fraud,
fast-track business goals, increase operational efficiencies, and create more
Bringing It All
you can see, different big data analytics models can help you add more sense to
raw, complex data by leveraging AI and machine learning. When effectively done,
descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive analytics can help businesses realize
better efficiencies, allocate resources more wisely, and deliver superior
customer success most cost-effectively. But ideally, if you wish to gain
meaningful insights from predictive or even prescriptive analytics, you must
start with descriptive analytics and then build up from there.
Occasionally, I need to update the windows hosts files, but I seem to have a permanent memory block where the file is located. I have written the location into numerous documents, however, every time I need to verify and or up the host file I need to look up the path. Today, when I went to look it up I discovered that I had not actually posted it to this blog site. So, for future reference, I am adding it now.
Here is the path of the Windows Hosts file, the drive letter may change depending on the drive letter on which the Windows install was performed.
Information Technology (IT) Skill badges are becoming more prevalent in the information technology industry, but do they add value? I will be in the past I have only bothered with certifications where my clients or my employer thought they were valuable. At some point in your career experience should mean more tests and training. So, perhaps is time to consider the potential value of IT Skills badges (Mini-certification) and the merits behind them.
What Are Information
Technology (IT) Skills Badge?
IT Skills badges are recognized as
mini-certification, which are portable. IT Skills badges are achieved when an
individual completes a project, completes a course, or make a distinguished
contribution towards code repository on either GitHub or elsewhere. When a
person earns this kind of certification, the IT Skills badges can be stored in
a digital wallet. An individual can use it by either including it to his/her
LinkedIn profile or website. The issuer has the authority of editing the
badges. This feature is designed to bolster credibility.
Research shows that many IT job
applicants show badges as an added advantage in his/her skills. IT skills badge
are not a sure bet in job hunting that an applicant will land on that
particular job because most job recruiters don’t focus on them.
Many IT industries want validated skills
before hiring an applicant. IT Skills badges are complementary to certificates,
but IT Skills badges can’t in any way replace certifications. Individuals with
convectional certifications have high chances of landing on premium pay. As a
result, badges don’t ensure the owner a pay boot in his/her job.
How Do IT Skills
Badges Differ From A Certification?
Certifications are considered evidence
by many of an individual’s skills. Does this mean that any other credential
systems aren’t necessary for proving your skills? IBM’s study shows that
technology is growing at a faster rate in areas like artificial intelligence,
big data, and machine learning and the updating and creation of certifications
can lag because of the time required to update or developing certifications is
Another difference when it comes to
comparison between IT Skill Badges and certification is that certifications are
seen to be more expensive to both employers and employees. It is costly to
achieve certification, and a lot of study time and books may be required. An
in-depth done survey shows that employers are willing to pay a good portion to
the right certification. Certificate value is drastically increasing value
yearly as compared to badges.
Clients of IT companies consider
engaging in a contract with the company after making sure that the company has
a specific number of employees with specified certifications. IT Skills badges
are at a disadvantage for hiring consideration. Most hiring managers, the likes
of Raxter Company, don’t know the benefit of badges or even what IT Skills
badges can do with IT Skills badges. IT Skills badges are new in the market;
hence, most employers have little information about IT Skills badges. For
instance, an applicant who in the past years has worked for IBM Company
presents an IBM badge to Raxter interview panel, and the panel will not know
what it means.
In the case of Grexo Technology
Group’s CEO, Bobby Yates, IT services Company in Texas doesn’t know the
apparent value of IT skills badge. He further challenges it by saying that most
applicants have presented the badges to him. But he surely doesn’t know the
importance of them towards his requirements from the applicants. He further
says that he doesn’t consider badges as a valuable hiring tool as compared to
Dupray’s Tremblay, on the other hand, seconds the elimination of badges as an essential tool for hiring by saying that he will not know if the applicant is cheating to him. As a result, he values the certification as a real prove of skills towards IT.
How To Obtain IT Skills Badges
Most Companies’ hiring panels
consider IT Skills badges as nothing towards job requirements. But some
companies’ managers like O’Farril and others challenge them by finding them
worthy when it comes to IT workers investment. CompTIA’s Stanger, on the other
hand, backs badges by referring to them as a complement to a basket of
certifications, good resumes, and real-world towards job experience. He adds by
saying that it is a form of strengthening the education chain. Raxter on his
personality considers IT Skills badges as a selling point. As a result, IT
Skills badges are essential to present to some recruiters.
The following are
the top five tips that will aid an individual towards his carrier advancement
in getting the most in IT skills badges.
1. Avoid listing badges which are
easily obtained. Anything that can take less than 40 hours to complete it is
unworthy of mentioning it in your professional resume.
2. Always consider those courses
that directly aline with the type of jobs for which you are applying. IT skills
badges that directly complements to your job requirements are worth taking.
Irrelevant badges may, to an extent, reduce the chances of being recruited.
3. Make sure to pair the badges
attained with your education or real working experience.
4. Don’t insist on the importance
behind your badges. Not everybody will like to hear. Real work experience
always takes the lead.
5. If you can’t defend your knowledge,
experience, and skills or hiring managers will consider unqualified. ITSkill
badges and certifications show that you had enough knowledge to pass the qualifications,
but employees want people who can and will excel at doing the work as part of a
Do IT Skills badges have value in the hiring process?
IT skills complement IT certification and act as an added advantage in hiring panel, mostly when your certification is almost similar to the other candidates. IT Skills badges add some value towards a good resume, real job experience, and certifications. Some recruiters consider IT Skills badges worthy when it comes to the hiring process. Recruiters think them as a selling point.
So it’s essential to take IT Skills
badges that relate to your job application to spice your application form.
Remember to keep in mind the top five tips when you decide to have one. In
other words, IT Skills badges are somehow worthwhile to consider in IT workers
IT skills badge from a social media perspective
Social Media badges are virtual
validator of successful completion of a task, skill, or educational objective. IT
Skills badges can either be physical or digital depending upon what other
people in a particular community value or market. IT Skills badges are more
prevalent in a collaborative environment, and social media as well as portals
and learning platforms, including team participation, certification, degrees,
and project accomplishments.
In conclusion, many IT skills are
available for your earnings. To gain more on IT Skills badges, you can visit
IBM, Pearson VUE, a global learning company, and others who have partnered in
offering IT Skills badges. You will be able to find a range of IT Skills badges
from which to choose.