Adware and Spyware have become familiar terms in the lexicon of Internet jargon. Their definitions range from helpful cookies that many people choose to have on their computer to programs that can actually steal your identity. That's a pretty big area. That's why any information of these important subjects needs to include definitions of exactly what actually encompasses both adware and spyware.Adware is software that provides advertising, usually in the form of pop ups, and gathers general information, by using cookies, through the user's Internet connection. Adware is often packaged with free downloaded programs. By definition, adware, by itself, is not dangerous, but can fall into the annoying category. Adware can generate constant pop up advertising when the downloaded program is running. It can also place cookies on your computer that will provide information about you when you click on the pop ups or log on to the original program download site. If users register the downloaded program, usually games, and pay the registration fee, the adware disappears. If you download a free program, there is a reasonable probability it will contain some form of adware. So far, that's not necessarily a bad thing. Many people happily trade payment for enduring a few pop up advertisements and don't care if their general Internet surfing habits are being tracked. The problem begins when they become intrusive. That's when adware becomes spyware.When adware is expanded to use your computer's resources to steal information, it becomes spyware. Spyware is like the Trojan horse that is discussed on our Virus article. Computer users who are installing a program or swapping files (i.e. music downloads) may also be installing a spyware program whose purpose is to monitor your computer activity and gather your private and confidential information. This includes e-mail addresses, user passwords and certainly any credit card numbers you enter when making a purchase on-line. They can also happily install other spyware programs, hijack your web browser by changing your home page and your browser's search engine. All the time it is sending back information to the bad guys, who will use it for their own advertising purposes, sell it to other bad guys or use it to steal your identity. To do all this, spyware uses your computer's memory resources and bandwidth. This can slow your computer to a crawl, especially if you use memory intensive programs. Spyware is not good.Do you have adware and/or spyware on your computer? The chances are absolutely outstanding that you do. This may not be a problem, but sometimes it could be disastrous. Some of the signs that your computer may be infected are:1. Your web browser looks a little different. New toolbars suddenly appeared. The search engine you use is different. A brand new home page suddenly appeared.2. Pop up advertisements that aren't related to the web site you are viewing are appearing with disturbing regularity. You click on links that go to nowhere. Ads for pornographic web sites start popping up on your computer. Your "new" search engine produces web sites unrelated to your query.3. Your Windows desk top takes longer to load than it did in the past. This is because lots of spyware programs have added themselves to the Windows start up procedure and load every time you turn on your computer.4. Your computer is running slower than normal.If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you probably are infected and need to take some action.There are hundreds of Spyware programs on the market. Most offer a free on-line inspection of your computer to see if any spyware is present. Since their scans always find something, it's a great way to market their product. However, it's probably a good idea to dig a little deeper before making a buying decision.Some anti-virus programs include adware and spyware elements as part of the basic program. Check yours and see if you have a spyware feature and if it is activated. If it is, and you still are experiencing problems, make sure you have downloaded the latest updates.At Jamison Software, we look at viruses and spyware as two different problems and have chosen to attack them with two different programs. When selecting a spyware program we looked at numerous reviews and tested several (they all have 30 day free trials) on different computers before making a decision. Spyware and anti-virus programs work basically the same way. They develop large data bases or encyclopedias of known adware and spyware. The computer is scanned against these data bases and the culprits are identified and deleted or placed in a quarantine folder where they can't continue to cause trouble. These data bases are constantly updated in order to keep up with the spyware developers. Good Spyware programs should do two things well. They should maintain great data bases and provide fast, proactive customer service.Why do we like two programs? Viruses and Spyware are cousins and sometimes there is a gray line between the two. With two data bases, we can sometimes stay ahead of the curve, finding a problem in one program that is actually solved by the other. Here's an example.We use and highly recommend Spysweeper by Webroot software. One feature of Spysweeper is that it identifies new programs that will start when Windows starts. If no new programs are being installed, this means only one thing-spyware. When that happens, an alert screen appears and there is an option to remove the offending program. Sometimes that procedure is successful and the problem is resolved. However, occasionally the program reappears all by itself in a second or two. We have a virus. That information can be passed on to AVG Anti-virus Systems, our Anti-virus software provider, and within hours an update removing the offender is downloaded and implemented. This happened several times on our test computer (we did not use a firewall to attempt to create just this scenario) and we were very pleased with the results. We also found that Trojan horse files with a .pif suffix were the main culprits.If you are concerned about spyware, we recommend Spysweeper. We found the data base very thorough and up to date and their customer service team responsive. When we had to upload suspected spyware for their review, they provided detailed, easy to follow instructions.Buy and Download Software Online - Free Trials Available
Whenever a valid SQL statement is processed Oracle has to decide how to retrieve the necessary data. This decision can be made using one of two methods: Rule Based Optimizer (RBO) - This method is used if the server has no internal statistics relating to the objects referenced by the statement. This method is no longer favoured by Oracle and will be desupported in future releases.Cost Based Optimizer (CBO) - This method is used if internal statistics are present. The CBO checks several possible execution plans and selects the one with the lowest cost, where cost relates to system resources.An oracle CBO will have a knock on effect if an oracle init parameter optimizer_index_cost_adj is set to a wrong value. I came across this issue while working with a media client using SAP CRM/BW applications on top of oracle database layer. The total database size was in excess of 4 tera Bytes.I have picked up a worst performing SQL for analysis here. A view ""VBAP_VAPMA" is based on VBAP and VAPMA tables, VBAP listed in top wait segments consistently. I could see optimizer_index_cost_adj is favouring index scans even if they are worst performer over FULL table scan. I have done some calculations to prove the point.SELECT "AEDAT", "AUART", "ERDAT", "ERNAM", "KONDM", "KUNNR", "MATKL", "MATNR", "NETWR", "POSNR", "VBELN", "VKORG", "WAERK", "ZZAD_LINE_STATUS", "ZZCDO", "ZZCDO_P", "ZZKONDM_P"FROM SAPR3."VBAP_VAPMA"WHERE "MANDT" = :a0AND "AEDAT" > :a1AND "AUART" = :a2AND "KONDM" = :a3AND "VKORG" = :a4AND "ZZCDO" >= :a5Current value Optimizer_index_cost_adj is set for 10. Setting "Optimizer_index_cost_adj=100 changes execution plan from index "VBAP~Z3" to Full table scan.Optimizer_index_cost_adj=10SELECT STATEMENT Optimizer Mode=CHOOSE 2 313894 TABLE ACCESS BY INDEX ROWID SAPR3.VAPMA 1 49 .4 NESTED LOOPS 2 206 313893.8 TABLE ACCESS BY INDEX ROWID SAPR3.VBAP 3 K 174 K 312568.2 INDEX RANGE SCAN SAPR3.VBAP~Z3 15 M 100758 INDEX RANGE SCAN SAPR3.VAPMA~Z01 1 3Optimizer_index_cost_adj=100 (Oracle recommended Default Value)SELECT STATEMENT Optimizer Mode=CHOOSE 2 577409TABLE ACCESS BY INDEX ROWID SAPR3.VAPMA 1 49 4NESTED LOOPS 2 206 577409 TABLE ACCESS FULL SAPR3.VBAP 3 K 174 K 564153 INDEX RANGE SCAN SAPR3.VAPMA~Z01 1 3I will do simple calculations on how Oracle is estimating execution costs here. Please note these are not precise formulas.Approx Full Table Scan Cost : 484,193 UnadjustedCost here is calculated as "IO + CPU/1000 + NetIO*1.5" but a simple formula would be (No of blocks/DB_FILE_MULTIBLOCK_READCOUNT)(No of blocks/DB_FILE_MULTIBLOCK_READCOUNT)= 3,873,549 blocks/8 = 484,193How to drop execution cost : Increase DB_FILE_MULTIBLOCK_READCOUNT to 32 + Reorg of table , cost of "FULL Scan" will drop to 82,000 giving 5 fold increase in IO.Cost of an Index Scan : 149,483 is Adjusted valueIt is using a non-unique index "SAPR3.VBAP~Z3" defined on columns MANDT, ZZBU_DIR, ZZBU_EDITION.There are only 160 distinct values on this index out of 15.9 million rows - "select MANDT, ZZBU_DIR, ZZBU_EDITION from SAPR3.vbap"Index Range Scan Cost = blevel + (Avg leaf blk per key * (num_rows * selectivity))= 1,188,451 (Actual Value) > than FTSWe have set Optimizer_index_cost_adj=10 so real cost we set is = 1,188,451*10/100= 118845.1 which is 10% of actual overheadFinal value of index cost must include efforts for accessing data blocks =Previous Cost + (Avg_data_blks_per_key * (Clustering_fact / Total Table blks))= 149,483Conclusion:We need to let oracle optimizer decide a best path for execution than forcing it to choose indexes all the time. Putting default value for "optimizer_index_cost_adj" must be followed with up-to-date stats as cost based optmizer is heavily dependent on right stats.http://OracleDbaSupport.co.uk is a blog site of Sagar Patil, an independent oracle consultant with a great understanding of how the Oracle database engine & Oracle Applications work together.
Why do so many software systems fail? Corporate leaders often wonder what went wrong. Did they choose the wrong software? Should they have checked more references? Scheduled more demos? Part of the process of introducing new software or new software use is getting people on board for the technology change. No one enjoys change and it is often feared. People are afraid that they will make mistakes, have a lack of understanding, have to do more work and quickly learn something new. People that are comfortable with their work habits know that change means putting forth more effort and energy, at least at the inception.Leaders of the organization must take charge of the change. Its easy to blame a failed system on those people who refused to conform or bad software. Ultimately though it is the responsibility of the manager to build a good user team and encourage proper use of the software. Without a team that is willing and taught to work together, any system is bound to fail.System success is heavily reliant upon:
- Communication of benefits and how the system will be used
- Support from senior executives and managers illustrated by their own behavior
- A fostered learning environment to introduce the software into the corporate culture
- Provision of adequate training to all users
- Engagement of users with information sharing and exchange of success stories about the software
Whenever I am beginning a new software development project the clients first questions are: what is it going to take? and how much is it going to cost?. These are two very big questions and normally take a lot of system analysis work to derive. This can be done in various ways and everyone has there own preference. I normally put together a project scope document that lays out many of the fundamental parts of the development effort.So far my largest project scope document has been 14 pages, but I have also done small ones that fit nicely into emails. The length of the document is largely dependant on the size and complexity of the system you are implementing. It usually takes anywhere from 3 hours to 2 days to gather the required information and I dont charge anything for the analysis. This is kind of like requirements gather, but not as detailed. I usually jot down a few key requirements that will largely impact the scope.When doing this analysis you need to gather what kind of architecture would best fit the company. If the company has plans for rapid growth an Object Oriented or Service Orient Architecture would probably fit best. Also gather as many functional requirements to accurately estimate the development effort. Also jot down as many business entities as possible such as: sale, order, product, customer, etc. The business entities will be used as database tables and classes at implementation time. It is also curtail that a technology platform is defined in this phase of the project. This may be common sense, but a Windows Forms application would not work well on a Linux operating system. All of these factors will largely affect the scope of the project.The main purpose of a project scope document is to ensure that the clients view of the project is inline with the consulting companys view of the project. Normally I go through two or three drafts with the client before I assemble the final document. The project scope document should:1.Level set project expectations.2.Address time and costs.3.Provide executive management and other stakeholders with a clear understanding of what the project entails.4.Layout risks and benefits of the new system.Here is the general format that I use:I.Project CharterStates the project name and purpose. This should clearly layout the description of the project and the anticipated outcome. If existing systems will be effected by the new system then list effected systems in this block. Also indicate the technology platform that has been selected for this project. Last but not least list what it is going to take to make this project successful.II.Project ContextIn this section state the problem(s) with the current system. And explain how the new system will remedy the problems.III.Project ExpectationsThis section requires extensive business knowledge and involves participation from all parties that are affected by the application. List out all expectations from each department within the organization.IV.Project ApproachList the methodologies and approaches that will be used to ensure a successful implementation. Also introduce how the standard development lifecycle will be used within each phase.V.Project Risks/RewardsList the risks and rewards of the project implementation here. Give each risk or reward an impact rating of high, medium, or low.VI.Resource NeedsDefine the roles that will be needed along with a brief description for each role.VII.CostLayout a cost for each role, development environment, and hardwired.VIII.Key Stakeholder Sign-offDefine the key stakeholders and get signoff.Remember the project scope document is the gateway to the project, so make sure expectations are set up front and that there are no surprises. Please contact me and let me know what you think. Also visit my companys website sharpsoftwaresoltuions.com.
Microsoft Navision is localized and translated into Brazilian Portuguese to be efficient MRP/ERP/accounting solution for Brazilian enterprises as well as for subsidiaries or manufacturing facilities of multinational corporations and companies, participating in international business. We plan to inform potential customer about the situation on Brazilian ERP market and particularly in Sao Paulo, based on our consulting practice experience. We also plan similar publications on Axapta, SAP Business One, Oracle E-Business Suite (also often referred as Oracle Financials, or Oracle Applications)So Paulo Economy. Being largest South American megapolis, Sao Paulo and the state provide approximately 75% of nation output in machinery, rubber, electrical products & goods. Heavy industries include motor vehicles, electrical equipment, computers, chemicals. Consumer goods: textiles, food processing, china & pottery, household utensils, furniture. State production centers. Campinas, Sorocaba, Jundia, Cubato, and Ribeiro Prto last couple of decades production facilities moved out of city of Sao Paulo to other locations in the state. The city of Sao Paulo has traditional businesses: banking centers, finance, corporate headquarters, etc. The city also serves a rich agricultural hinterland, one of the most productive agricultural areas in the nation. Soybeans and especially coffee are of great commercial significance. Navision. Microsoft Business Solutions has several ERP applications "Microsoft Navision" , Great Plains, Axapta, Solomon, Microsoft CRM, etc. Microsoft is on the way of so-called Project Green realization and you may of heard the new names: Microsoft Dynamics NAV (Navision), Microsoft Dynamics AX (Axapta), etc. Navision Software was purchased by Microsoft in earlier 21st century and before that Navision had very strong positions in Europe, especially in Manufacturing MRP & corporate ERP market. In our opinion Manufacturing module implementation is critical for Sao Paulo market. Localization. Microsoft probed several applications on Brazilian market: Solomon (2002-2003), then Great Plains (our company was chosen as official partner for Brazilian version localization), but later on the final decision was made on Navision (Axapta will be also available in it localized version in 2006). One of the challenges for ERP localization for Brazilian market is unique tax code. Unique tax code probably supports strong positions of local ERP packages, such as Microsiga, RM, etc. Customization. Navision has its own proprietary language C/Side and currently Microsoft recommends MS SQL Server as the database platform. Plus the future customization directions will be focused on XML web services and developers will be deploying Microsoft Visual Studio.Net Integration. Considering MS SQL Server platform software programmers have all the spectrum of integration technologies: ODBC, JDBC, Microsoft will be moving more functionality to business portal where Navision logic will be called through the sets of stored procedures and be exposed through SDK. Open MS SQL Server technologies gives you SQL based reporting, you can deploy such industry standard tools as Crystal Reports, MS SQL Server Reporting services, etc. You can always appeal to our help and expertise in our Sao Paulo office we have all Navision expertise, plus Microsoft CRM, MS Great Plains, Axapta, SAP, Oracle, Lotus Notes Domino. Please give as a call So Paulo 55-11-3826-3449, USA 1-866-528-0577, 1-630-961-5918! email@example.com