Enterprises have a trove of business resources and data that are often under-utilized – users, calendars, contacts, emails, tasks, documents and other files. Often there are redundancies between what users do with Office applications and other enterprise applications, and a painful lack of integration.
In prior posts, I discussed the compelling new Office 365 development platform and introduced Matter Center to demonstrate how integrating web-based add-ins directly into Office applications like Outlook can lead to productivity gains and happy users.
In this post we’ll introduce a sample application to show a practical example of how we can use these technologies to bring enterprise applications together with these valuable resources.
A few weeks ago, AIS’ Solutions Architect, Jason McNutt and Managing Director, Larry
Katzman spoke with Federal Tech Talk’s John Gilroy on Federal News Radio for a discussion around federal agencies moving to the cloud and to answer the question of “what happens once you get there?”
Listen to the interview.
John Gilroy states that “This is a critical question ask in the brave new world of the cloud. No human can conceivably be able to understand all the dependencies and updates that are needed for a complex cloud migration. This ability to manage the system is just as important once it is live. Jason McNutt talks about the capability of automation to be able to manage today’s complex systems.”
Federal Tech Talk looks at the world of high technology in the federal government. Host John Gilroy of The Oakmont Group speaks the language of federal CISOs, CIOs and CTOs, and gets into the specifics for government IT systems integrators. John covers the latest government initiatives and technology news for the federal IT manager and government contractor. Follow John on Twitter @raygilrar and hear more from Federal Talk Talk on federalnewsradio.com
Listen to the interview.
In my previous post, we looked at the exciting new possibilities of Office 365 as a development platform, including Add-ins implemented as independently hosted web applications and programmatic access to enterprise assets in Office 365 via APIs like the Graph API.
Today we’ll look at a rich example of leveraging the Office 365 platform: Microsoft’s Matter Center.
As a full stack software developer with a penchant for UI/UX, I must admit I was a little skeptical when recently tasked to investigate the Office 365 as a development platform.
What I found surprised and impressed me.
The Office 365 Development Platform
In tech we’ve gotten really good at spinning up web applications to help users solve problems and increase productivity. That’s great, but it can also leave users with all kinds of disparate applications and tools to interact with throughout the day. This contributes to a common productivity disrupter: context switching – that is, the need to frequently switch between different applications and user experiences.
Office 365 offers new compelling ways to integrate external services and custom functionality directly into the Office applications that people already use.
Imagine being able to perform many of your day-to-day tasks without ever leaving Outlook. Or accessing external content directly in Word, Excel or PowerPoint. Users can do more without having to Alt-Tab their way through the day, and developers can leverage a rich set of features and functionality without re-inventing the wheel.
What’s more, the functionality you add is available from anywhere on any device – Office 365 provides rich browser-based web apps as well as native apps for Windows, iOS, and Android.
The short answer is yes. Not only can it save your organization money, but can do so while delivering more functionality and freedom. AIS recently worked with a large machine-tooling company that had a machine optimization software solution that they wanted to re-platform in a lower-cost, more scalable and flexible way.
Their machine optimization system reports real-time and historical data on how cutting tools and machines are performing, and recommends improvement opportunities. However, it was built using traditional software development techniques and doesn’t take advantage of any platform-as-a-service (PaaS) capabilities and benefits.
They asked us to create a proof-of-concept (POC) solution utilizing Azure IoT and Analytics PaaS services. This POC would be used to prove that an Azure IoT and Analytics PaaS services-based solution could provide derived data results within +/- 10% of their current software solution and experimental results, as well as address a number of existing technical limitations and outstanding business needs.
Click here to read how we overcame this challenge.
Not surprisingly most of the workshops at the conference focused on Angular 2. A single session track ran on both Day 1 and Day 3 and you can find the YouTube videos for those sessions on YouTube at this link: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLOETEcp3DkCq788xapkP_OU-78jhTf68j. There were multiple concurrent sessions on Day 2 and not all of them were captured on video. I attended several that covered building components in Angular 2, TypeScript and unit testing.
Developer uptake has been strong with upwards of 360,000 developers who are active on the Angular 2 site. Several enterprise partners that have started using Angular 2 were present, including Capital One, Fidelity Investments and the Weather Channel. Read More…
In Part 1 of this blog series, we outlined the case for a Service Catalog driven approach for Enterprise DevOps. At AIS, after having worked with several of our Enterprise clients with their DevOps journey, we harvested our learnings in the form of a fully managed service catalog – AIS Service Catalog. AIS Service Catalog is a Microsoft Azure focused SaaS offering that is designed to jumpstart your DevOps efforts by bringing you the benefits of the service catalog driven approach.
A Service Catalog for Microsoft Azure
In Part 1 of this blog post series, we identified four key features of a Service Catalog that are fundamental to establishing DevOps in an enterprise. Let us briefly talk about how AIS Service Catalog realizes these features using Microsoft Azure specific building blocks. Read More…
By now, DevOps is well established within web companies, unicorns, and product companies—and especially among companies targeting the cloud. To spare you the lengthy introduction, DevOps brings “dev” and “ops”together as a moniker for company-wide collaboration to improve business agility. The key DevOps traits are:
- Involving Ops teams in early stages of development
- Focus on automating all aspects of IT life cycle
- Continuous improvement
- Maturity of self-service model
Enterprise DevOps Challenges
Despite its success within smaller companies, implementing DevOps in large enterprises has proven to be more difficult. Rachael Shannon-Solomon writes in The Wall Street Journal that DevOps is perhaps better suited for startups at the current time than for enterprise IT. Regardless of whether you agree with her article, it does raise some important points related to siloed structures, organizational change and affecting cultural change at a large scale. The issue is not that enterprises aren’t adopting DevOps (just look at the latest State of DevOps report for evidence to the contrary); it is the unique set of challenges that large enterprises face that makes it harder for DevOps to succeed. Let’s take a closer look: Read More…
AIS is proud to announce the selection of Steve Suing, Practice Manager for our Durham, NC office, for the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Patriot Award.
ESGR, a Department of Defense office, was established in 1972 to promote cooperation and understanding between Reserve Component Service members and their civilian employers and to assist in the resolution of conflicts arising from an employee’s military commitment. The Patriot Award reflects the efforts made to support Citizen Warriors through a wide-range of measures including flexible schedules, time off prior to and after deployment, caring for families and granting leaves of absence if needed.
This award was presented in recognition of Mr. Suing’s support of Colonel Stephan Iacovelli who has worked with AIS since 2013. Colonel Iacovelli enlisted in the Army in 1984 and was commissioned as an Engineer in 1989. He has served in various leadership and staff positions over his 32-year career and is currently the Commanding Officer of an Initial Entry Training Brigade stationed at Ft. Jackson, SC. Read More…
AIS is EXCITED to sponsor SharePoint Fest – DC on April 27-29th. Join other SharePoint practitioners from around the DMV to attend technical classes and workshops – taught by Microsoft Certified Trainers, Microsoft engineers and Microsoft MVPs – covering Enterprise Content Management, Power Users, Social SharePoint, Business Value, Implementation/Administration, Office 365, Workflow, Business Intelligence, Special Topics & SharePoint Development. Choose one complete learning track or mix & match based on what content best meets you and your organization’s current needs!
Seven Great Reasons to Attend SharePoint Fest – D.C.:
- The technical classes and seminars at SharePoint Fest are focused on practical techniques and practices you can put to work today!
- Our expanded three-day SharePoint conference allows for more topics and additional expert speakers from the community!
- Get answers to your questions in the classroom, or as you mingle with speakers and peers at coffee breaks or at the evening cocktail reception!
- Bring a group of developers, IT pros and business teams to improve your whole organization’s skills – and get a discount to boot! Contact us for group registration discounts!
- Attend the SharePoint sessions that work best for you. With more than 80 classes and workshops to choose from, you can make SharePoint Fest your own custom SharePoint training event.
- See how the Microsoft SharePoint ecosystem is growing and evolving by speaking with technical experts from the local Microsoft field and diverse channels within the Microsoft Partner Network all in our exhibit hall!
- Learn from the brightest minds in the SharePoint universe! Many of our speakers are either Microsoft engineers or have achieved Microsoft MVP or MCM status based on their in-depth knowledge of SharePoint.
Register today and remember to use coupon code Applied25 to save 25% off.