Encryption Key Management Best Practices

Data encryption is the bedrock of cybersecurity. Encrypted data remains worthless ciphertext without access to encryption keys; hardware security modules (HSM) are well-established means for securing those keys in on-premises data centers. Data security teams are well-versed in the process of purchasing, provisioning and managing those HSMs. However, the efficiency of that practice has been disrupted by an increasing number of enterprises moving their data and applications to the cloud.

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Scrollmotion

Scrollmotion helps companies create interactive content for touchscreen devices through our unique combination of software and storytelling. Our software platform, Ingage, is used by businesses to quickly create and share interactive mobile content for sales presentations, portfolios, trade shows and kiosks. Our creative agency, Scrollmotion Blue, works directly with clients to create custom interactive solutions to their unique business challenges.

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Software, Low-Code App Development, Application Development Platform

Friction to Flow: Solutions for Addressing IDE Challenges

Article | August 23, 2023

Venture into an in-depth exploration aimed at resolving prevalent IDE challenges and providing solutions, from refining debugging processes to achieving seamless UI/UX across diverse platforms. Contents 1. Introduction 2. Identifying Common Friction Points in IDE Usage 3. Overcoming the Challenges Encountered in IDE 3.1. Steep Learning Curve 3.2. Version Control Difficulties 3.3. Insufficient Debugging Tools 3.4. Plugin Dependency 3.5. Inconsistent UI/UX Across Platforms 3.6. Difficulties in Project Management 3.7. Security Vulnerabilities 3.8. Limited Testing Tools 3.9. Inefficient Remote Development Support 3.10. Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment Integration Complexities 4. Wrap-Up 1. Introduction Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) serve as the cornerstone of a developer's toolkit. These powerful platforms offer an integration of tools designed to streamline the coding, testing, and deployment processes. However, the challenges in modern IDEs present roadblocks that can hamper productivity, efficiency, and innovation. Developers face various obstacles, including learning processes, mastering new debugging tools, and managing projects to ensure consistent UI/UX across platforms. Moreover, the looming threat of security vulnerabilities and the limitations of testing tools further complicate the development workflow. This requires strategies for improving IDE performance in the development environment. This article on IDE solutions and challenges will lay out ten challenges, providing insights and actionable solutions to optimize the use of IDEs in software development projects. 2. Identifying Common Friction Points in IDE Usage Identifying and Addressing User Friction in IDEs 1. Understanding User Friction - User friction refers to challenges that hinder users from completing desired actions within a product. These arise from factors like poor UI design, confusing user flows, and resolving IDE performance issues. - Common causes of user friction in IDEs include generalized onboarding, unintuitive experience, outdated UI, product bugs, slow performance, and complex workflows. 2. Hierarchy of User Friction - User friction patterns fall into three main categories: structural friction, emotional friction, and cognitive friction, which are related to UI design, user feelings, and product understanding, respectively. 3. Diagnosing and Overcoming Friction Points - Employ empathy and observation to explore the IDE from a user's perspective, listen to user feedback, use product analytics to identify UI gaps, and implement in-app guidance to assist with navigation. 3. Overcoming the Challenges Encountered in IDE 3.1. Steep Learning Curve A lack of robust debugging tools may lead to prolonged debugging sessions, reducing overall productivity. Developers need visibility into code execution to diagnose and fix issues efficiently. Online courses or certification are the knowledge source for 40.39% of software developers. Empower with Debugging Techniques Invest in Strong debugging techniques for IDE include breakpoints, step-throughs, watches, and stack traces. Train developers to use these tools effectively through workshops and pair programming. Encourage a culture of logging and testing alongside debugging. 3.2. Version Control Difficulties Inconsistent version control leads to confusion and code conflicts. A small change to a source file can result in a different generated file, affecting the performance of the system. While the centralized server has a single point of failure, making copies of the repository is also difficult. In addition, IDE-generated files are usually user-specific. The version control system market size is estimated at USD 1.11 billion in 2024 and is expected to reach USD 2.39 billion by 2029, growing at a CAGR of 16.63% during the forecast period (2024-2029). Unifying Branching Models IDE optimization strategies involve adopting a streamlined version control system, and a branching strategy is crucial to solve the aforementioned complexities. Standardize on a version control system. Offer clear guidance for branching, merging, and naming conventions. Implement tools to integrate seamlessly with IDE. This extensively simplifies version control workflows. 3.3. Insufficient Debugging Tools The absence of effective debugging tools can lead to prolonged debugging sessions, thereby reducing productivity. IDE developers need visibility into the code execution to diagnose and fix issues efficiently. Development folks spend 90% of our time debugging! Empower with Debugging Techniques Addressing the challenge of insufficient debugging tools necessitates a comprehensive approach that includes evaluating existing functionalities, and integrating or developing advanced plugins and extensions. This ensures IDE compatibility troubleshooting with current systems. Discover and invest in strong debugging techniques for IDE, such as breakpoints, step-throughs, watches, and stack traces to avoid inefficiencies. Train developers to use these tools effectively through workshops. Pair programming encourages a habit of logging, testing, and debugging. 3.4. Plugin Dependency IDEs often rely on plugins for extended functionality. However, being overly dependent on plugins can lead to maintenance headaches and performance issues. These issues include performance degradation, compatibility issues, and security vulnerabilities. Plugin Curation Curate a set of essential plugins that cover the team's varied needs. Regularly review and retire outdated or underused plugins. Encourage developers to contribute to or maintain internal plugins where appropriate, ensuring they align with the team's goals and standards. Address compatibility issues in IDE usage and emphasize the use of plugins from reputable sources or the IDE's own plugin marketplace to significantly mitigate security risks. 3.5. Inconsistent UI/UX Across Platforms With IDE developers working across a variety of devices and operating systems, UI/UX inconsistency can be jarring and impede the fluidity of the development process. This is another difficulty among the IDE challenges and solutions. As of the most recent data available in 2023, the global cross-platform app development framework market was valued at approximately US$ 120 billion. Universal Design Language Ensure the IDE adheres to a shared design language across platforms. Utilize cross-platform design tools and component libraries to maintain a consistent look and feel. Standardize design elements and user interactions across all platforms, coupled with offering customizable UI options to significantly enhance consistency and user satisfaction. Provide the best IDE for development environment. 3.6. Difficulties in Project Management Issues such as lack of visibility, communication breakdowns, and struggles with version control can significantly impede project progress, leading to missed deadlines and decreased team cohesion. An IDE lacking proper integration tools makes monitoring project milestones and managing expectations difficult. This often results in duplication of efforts and confusion over code changes. 37% of projects fail due to the lack of defined project objectives and milestones. Project Management Integration Select IDEs that integrate well with project management tools, such as issue trackers and scrum boards. Encourage the use of version control to maintain visibility over code changes and work progress. Prioritize integration with project management tools. Incorporate version control systems directly within the IDE, such as Git streamlines code management. Facilitate collaboration with simplified error resolution. Troubleshoot common errors in IDE 3.7. Security Vulnerabilities Integrated development environment challenges include security vulnerabilities in IDEs posing significant risks, including data breaches and unauthorized access, as these platforms often have access to sensitive project files and personal information. An analysis of 1,700 enterprise applications revealed that, on average, they contained 135 third-party software components, of which 90% were open source. Eleven percent of those open-source components had at least one vulnerability. Fortify with Remediation A solid security posture is the proven solution for IDE to protect both the team and the project. Select IDEs with robust security features, such as built-in code analysis and integration with security tools. Implement regular security updates and patches. Integrate robust security features like two-factor authentication and encrypted data storage to mitigate these risks and safeguard user data effectively. 3.8. Limited Testing Tools An IDE with limited testing capabilities can lead to a disjointed testing process and an increased chance of releasing buggy code, potentially leading to bugs and inconsistencies in the final product. Only 40% of organizations use formal security rating tools to check open-source package safety. Testing Expansion Expand the IDE's testing capabilities by integrating comprehensive testing suites and plugins. Facilitate easy access to external testing frameworks to enhance testing efficiency and coverage. Foster a culture of test-driven development to embed testing into the coding process. 3.9. Inefficient Remote Development Support Ignoring accessibility in IDE design can limit the ability of some developers to engage with their work fully. This may lead to exclusions and frustrations among developers, thereby losing the talented acquisitions. Inefficiencies grow from inadequacies, and inefficient RDS can result in less efficient development. As per asurvey, companies outsource their development tasks for various reasons, including 26%, to gain access to talented professionals. Universal Design Approach Ensure that the chosen IDE utilizes universal design principles to make all features accessible to developers with various needs. Offer training on accessible development techniques and tools to create a more inclusive environment. Advocate for better accessibility features. Collaborate with developers with different needs and provide feedback to IDE developers. 3.10. Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment Integration Complexities Inadequate automation owing to poor integration, mental effort from frequent context switching between IDEs and CI/CD technologies, and visibility gaps regarding build state and deployment progress can drastically reduce efficiency. Tool incompatibility may require complicated workarounds. Manual pipeline interactions increase security concerns due to human error or data exposure. A study shows that organizations with CI/CD adoption practices have 25% faster lead times and 50% fewer failures compared to those that don’t. Integration Streamlining Choose IDEs with built-in or easily integratable CI/CD features. Ensure that these features support your team's chosen CI/CD practices and tools. Create clear documentation and provide training on CI/CD integration within the IDE to promote efficient development workflows. 4. Wrap-Up The problems and solutions in the IDE require adequate automation due to proper integration. The integration that seamlessly blends coding, testing, deployment, and monitoring within a single platform will likely include advanced support for artificial intelligence and machine learning to assist in code generation, error detection, and even automated optimization suggestions. As a result, it will significantly reduce development time and improve code quality. Furthermore, cloud-based IDEs will become more prevalent, offering IDE developers the flexibility to work from anywhere, collaborate in real time, and access powerful computing resources without the need for high-end hardware.

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Strategic Approaches to DevOps Issue Detection and Tracking

Article | February 29, 2024

Identify strategic approaches and best practices for tracking and issue detection in DevOps to improve collaboration, streamline operations, and accelerate the delivery of high-quality software. Table of Contents 1. Executive Overview of DevOps 2. Fundamental Tenets of DevOps in Contemporary Business 3. Best Practices for High-impact DevOps Implementation 3.1 Agile Integration 3.2 Effective Use of Microservices Architecture 3.3 Enhance Container Orchestration 3.4 Embrace DevSecOps Integration 3.5 Foster Collaboration 3.6 Implement Test Automation 3.7 Incorporate Infrastructure as Code (IaC) 3.8 Adopt CI/CD 3.9 Deploy Chaos Engineering Methodology 3.10 Adopt Serverless Architecture 3.11 Version Control 3.12 Configuration Management 3.13 Application Performance Monitoring 3.14 Apply Lean Principles 3.15 Monitoring and Logging Metrics 4. Final Thoughts 1. Executive Overview of DevOps DevOps revolutionizes how software is delivered by integrating development and operations to enhance efficiency and speed. It is driven by principles like culture, automation, lean, measurement, and sharing. Successful DevOps adoption streamlines engineering departments and top management, leading to faster and simpler project completion. It's about bridging gaps between teams, focusing on continuous improvement, and connecting user feedback to development for agile market response. Adopting modern DevOps practices is critical for staying competitive, adapting swiftly to changes, attracting top talent, and building customer loyalty​​. 2. Fundamental Tenets of DevOps in Contemporary Business DevOps has emerged as a transformative force in modern business, driven by a set of core tenets that break down silos, accelerate delivery, and foster a culture of continuous improvement. The principles listed below emphasize on breaking down barriers, automation as a foundation, continuous improvement at its core, customer focus as the priority, and shared responsibility as a driving force. Automation Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) Collaboration and Communication Rapid and Reliable Delivery Monitoring and Feedback Quality and Security Scalability and Performance Optimization Agility and Flexibility Infrastructure as Code (IaC) Lean and Efficient Operations 3. Best Practices for High-impact DevOps Implementation 3.1 Agile Integration One of the most important aspects of Agile is its emphasis on continuous improvement and customer feedback. Integrating DevOps with Agile enhances value-delivery and streamline workflows, focusing on quick, iterative development and adaptive planning. Agile prioritizes incremental and iterative product delivery, allowing teams to maintain the flexibility and agility for responding to and incorporating stakeholder feedback. Agile follows these 4 core values: Prioritize people and interactions over tools and processes. Prioritize a working product over documentation. Prioritize customer collaboration over contract negotiation. Respond to changes over following a plan. 3.2 Effective Use of Microservices Architecture Being DevOps best practices in modern business, microservices architecture helps develop applications as a collection of small, independent services, and improves scalability and flexibility in development. This modularity allows for easier updates and maintenance, thus smoothening a faster delivery process and improved quality. Microservices enhance the dependability and robustness of systems by enabling the isolation and resolution of service failures without impacting the entire system. Container orchestration with microservices offers fine-grained environments for execution andthe ability to combine various application components into a single instance of an operating system. Microservices, containers, and orchestrators are an ideal complement to one another. 3.3 Enhance Container Orchestration Orchestration manages the lifecycle of containers using DevOps tools for issue detection like Kubernetes, providing automated deployment and scaling. It automates container scheduling, deployment, scalability, load balancing, availability, and networking. Docker introduced a paradigm shift towards distributed operating systems, streamlined software deployment processes, and enabled dependable application execution across diverse computing environments. By automating the deployment of multiple containers used to implement an application, this can be achieved more efficiently. The term used to describe this form of automation is orchestration. It is frequently employed to administer multiple containers through orchestration tools. In addition to mediating between applications or services and container runtimes, container orchestration manages resources, schedules and provides services. This ultimately helps handle the complexities of managing large deployments and reducing manual overhead. It automates provisioning, deployment, networking, scaling, and lifecycle management. 3.4 Embrace DevSecOps Integration Security practices in DevSecOps culture includes automated security checks for software security. It is an approach to automation that integrates security as a shared responsibility throughout the lifecycle entails DevSecOps. Password storage in private repositories for automation is on the decline due to the increasing threats with the development of technology. Therefore,implementing secure internal networks to isolate and track problems in CI/CD workflows is commendable for best strategy for implementing DevOps. One way to restrict exposure to hazards and enforce 'the principle of least privilege'is by utilizing VPNs, robust two-factor authentication, and identity and access management systems. 3.5 Foster Collaboration Encouraging open communication and teamwork across departments, fosters a healthy collaboration, and leads to efficient problem-solving and innovation. Cross-functional collaboration is essential for providing feedback loops and continuously improving work. This improves productivity and reliability. The primary objective of collaboration is to enable a sense of shared responsibility among development and operations teams. Embracing failure and continuous feedback can lead to a transparent and visible environment. Constant monitoring, measuring, and analyzing the software delivery facilitates iterative improvement. 3.6 Implement Test Automation One of the DevOps implementation best practices, this methodology combines operations and development operations in a single cycle. All parties involved in the software development process, including operations, quality assurance, and development, must work closely together. Testing enables constant monitoring of applications and infrastructure while providing feedback to improve development and operational activities. DevOps must establish a mature framework for automated testing that facilitates the programming of test cases. It is advised to start with simple, repetitive tasks and gradually expand coverage to build automation flows efficiently. Each test case should be limited in complexity for easy troubleshooting and built as independent, reusable components to minimize creation time and enhance efficiency. Maintaining separate, self-contained automated test cases also facilitates parallel execution across different environments. 3.7 Incorporate Infrastructure as Code (IaC) IaC helpsto recreate an exact environment subsequent to deployment due to the necessity of updating the systems it interacts with. It manages and provisions infrastructure through code, bringing speed and consistency to the whole environment setup.By eliminating the needfor manual infrastructure management, IaC mitigates the possibility of human error. Instead of relying on engineers to recall previous configurations or respond to failures, the entire system is composed of code and governed by thesource control system.Infrastructure as Code has further decreased cloud expenditures through the implementation of auto-scaling capabilities. 3.8 Adopt CI/CD Continuous Integration is a development methodology that enables programmers to commit changes to a shared repository multiple times daily. Automated builds are utilized to validate the code. This helps the team in the early stages of development in DevOps issue detection and promptly resolving them. It streamlines the software development process by enabling more frequent and reliable updates through regular integration and testing of code. This leads to the early detection of issues and ensures high-quality outputs. Moreover, CI/CD promotes better collaboration among developers and accelerates the feedback loop from users. This is crucial for rapid adaptation to market needs. The automation of deployment processes further reduces errors and saves time, enhancing overall efficiency in software development. 3.9 Deploy Chaos Engineering Methodology Chaos engineering is an approach that aims to enhance the dependability of a system by deliberately introducing failures and atypical situations. Chaos engineers intentionally break the system under controlled conditions to gain a deeper understanding of its vulnerabilities and rectify them before the occurrence of significant problems. Chaos engineering integration into DevOps pipelines enables fault-tolerance and resilience testing to be executed. This helps to identify and address potential system vulnerabilities during the early phases of development. This reduces the time and resources required to resolve and detect DevOps issues after the product has been released. Incorporating chaos experiments into the CI/CD pipeline promotes a culture of ongoing development and knowledge acquisition by enabling teams to promptly observe the consequences of code modifications on the system's overall stability. 3.10 Adopt Serverless Architecture The serverless model allows users to build and run applications and services without managing servers, resulting in one of the DevOps deployment best practices. All infrastructure management tasks are eliminated by this method. These tasks include cluster provisioning, patching, operating system maintenance, and capacity provisioning. Developers are only responsible for bundling their code into containers for deployment. Adopting serverless computing enables developers to delegate the critical tasks of provisioning servers and managing resources to a cloud provider, focusing instead on deploying their code. This strategic approach to DevOps lets the provider automatically manage scalability and resource allocation. Also, it lets them adapt to varying demands efficiently. Function-as-a-Service (FaaS) concept is central to serverless computing, which plays a pivotal role in its functionality. With serverless architectures, developers enjoy enhanced flexibility and accelerated time to release. 3.11 Version Control It is a mechanism that monitors the advancement of code throughout the software development lifecycle and its numerous iterations. Version control assists in change management by maintaining a record of each modification, including authorship, timestamp, and additional pertinent information. Investing in software version enables DevOps teams to improve collaboration among teams. With this, it enables enhanced efficiency in their work. By enabling teams to monitor modifications made to the code base, version control systems facilitate effective collaboration and expedite error resolution. In addition, version management paves the way for deployment of new features and upgrades. Additionally, it guarantees system stability and diminishes the probability of errors that may result in system outages. These systems facilitate the automation of processes by development teams, thereby increasing the speed and efficiency of repetitive activities such as testing, constructing, and deploying. 3.12 Configuration Management Multiple environments are necessary for each phase of the development process. These include unit testing, integration testing, acceptance testing, traffic testing, system testing, and end-user testing. The complexity of these environments escalates as the DevOps testing strategy progresses toward pre-production and production settings. Automated configuration management guarantees that these environments are configured optimally. Inadequate configuration management in DevOps may lead to system outages, data leaks, and breaches. It's also worth noting that bad environments make for improper, incomplete, and shallow tests. 3.13 Application Performance Monitoring Monitoring application performance within the DevOps framework is critical, as it enables the detection and resolution of problems before they can affect the overall system's performance. Although the objective is comparable to that of network performance monitoring (NPM), there are significant distinctions between the two methodologies that render them equally valuable to implement. System and application performance metrics are crucial as they reveal the performance details of the application. For instance, they indicate if the system is too sluggish or if the TPS (transactions per second) SLA is being met. Additionally, they help determine if the system can handle the peak load in the live environment and how the application recovers from a stressed state to a normal state, among other things. 3.14 Apply Lean Principles Applying lean principles in DevOps is recognized as a best practice. The approach enhances efficiency and productivity in software development and delivery processes. It lays emphasis on value creation, waste reduction, and continuous improvement. It aligns seamlessly with DevOps objectives. This involves a thorough understanding of customer needs to define value accurately and then mapping the value stream to identify and eliminate non-value-adding activities. Strategizing a flow in the DevOps pipeline ensures a smooth and uninterrupted delivery process, eliminating problems in DevOps pipelines. The 'pull' system in Lean, adapted to DevOps, ensures that development aligns with customer demand. 3.15 Monitoring and Logging Metrics Organizations analyze logs and metrics to determine how application and infrastructure performance affects the end-user experience of a product. By documenting, categorizing, and analyzing data and records produced by infrastructure and applications, organizations can gain insights into the effects of updates or modifications on users. This facilitates the identification of the underlying factors contributing to issues or unforeseen changes. Active DevOps monitoring strategies become more critical as the frequency of application and infrastructure updates rises, and services must be accessible around the clock. Implementing real-time analysis or setting up alerts for this data enables organizations to monitor their services more proactively. 4. Final Thoughts Looking ahead, the future of DevOps promises even greater innovation and efficiency gains. We can anticipate the continued evolution of automation tools, machine learning, and artificial intelligence to optimize further and accelerate software delivery pipelines. Additionally, incorporating security practices in DevOps culture will enable DevOps to become increasingly vital in safeguarding digital assets. The importance of DevOps in achieving streamlined operations cannot be overstated. By reducing manual interventions, businesses can deliver high-quality software consistently. Fostering collaboration helps them respond to market changes rapidly and ultimately improve customer satisfaction. Moreover, reduced operational costs, faster time-to-market, and increased revenue potential all contribute to a significant ROI.

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Software, Future Tech, Application Development Platform

From Development to Deployment: End-to-End DevOps Automation

Article | July 24, 2023

The seamless journey of DevOps automation in this article, from development to deployment leads to improved revenue, where efficiency meets excellence from initial development to seamless deployment. Contents 1. The Significance of Streamlining Development to Deployment 2. How Key Strategies for DevOps Success Elevate Revenue Generation? 3. Automating Development 3.1. Continuous Integration (CI) Essentials 3.2. Streamlining Continuous Deployment and Delivery (CD) 3.3. Efficient Version Control 4. Configuration Management 4.1. Role-based Configurations in DevOps 4.2. Dynamic Configuration Management (DCM) 5. Top Providers for DevOps Security and Collaboration 5.1. HackerOne 5.2. Teamwork 5.3. Embrace 5.4. Instabug 5.5. Nulab 5.6. Sonar 5.7. LogicMonitor 5.8. JetBrains 5.9. Perforce Software 5.10. Sentry 6. Exploring Emerging Technologies in DevOps Deployment without DevOps is characterized by a traditional, often siloed approach, typically following a linear and sequential 'waterfall' model. Development and operations teams, in such cases, work independently then lead to limited collaboration and communication. The process involves manual handovers, often with insufficient knowledge transfer, resulting in longer release cycles, making deployments riskier and more error-prone due to the bundling of numerous changes. Additionally, the feedback loop is limited, causing delays in implementing user or operational feedback. This is where streamlined deployment comes into the picture. For Example, Etsy, which grew at a regular pace, following the traditional waterfall approach, achieved 80 releases a day rather than deploying code twice a week, post-DevOps integration. 1. The Significance of Streamlining Development to Deployment The previously occurring Integration Issues can now be avoided by shifting the model to DevOps.For example, aligning and integrating the front and backend error-free is no longer tedious. Each developer has their local setup which can cause the infamous 'it works on my machine' syndrome when the code fails to run in different environments. This, ultimately, streamlines the end-to-end DevOps automation process flow. The traditional workflows, often lacking continuous testing and detection of errors, will eliminate costly delays and rework. Collaborating on code, especially in large teams, became a hassle with no shared tools or platforms. While DevOps management platforms enable teams tocollaborate and work together, DevOps collaboration tools and technologies manage work, improve team communication, and share expertise. The market size for custom software development was valued at $388.98 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow to $650.13 billion by 2025. 2. How Key Strategies for DevOps Success Elevate Revenue Generation? An effective DevOps approach prioritizes customers. Focusing on strong software justifies extended development and release timelines. It also ignores the most important factor: software users. Consumers want a good product that solves their problem rather than the process. A good DevOps approach puts the team in the customer's shoes. While 22% of rework time is minimized with DevOps practices, the deployment frequency of firms with DevOps as compared to those without DevOps is a whopping 200 times. Adit Modi, Cloud Architect and Community Leader at Digital Alpha reported that he saw a whopping 30% increase in developer productivity within the first month in a startup. Continuous Integration A robust approach for automating development operations is CI. CI automates code build and change integration. An end-to-end DevOps automation implementation method emphasizes fast, automated systems. Continuous integration lets developers integrate code more often and create and merge code. Implementing CI saves a lot of time in development. It reduces regression bug-resolving time while promoting code quality. A promising CI pipeline helps one understand the codebase and customer features. For example, as stated in Netflix Technology Blog, Titus is Netflix’s infrastructural foundation for container-based applications. It provides Netflix scale cluster, resource management, and container execution with deep Amazon EC2 integration as well as common Netflix infrastructure enablement. Infrastructure-as-a-code and Automation IaC is a compelling way to automate IT infrastructure management, provisioning, and configuration. Maintaining ideal infrastructure is the fundamental goal of IaC. Infrastructure-as-a-code practices in DevOps are utilized to administer the server, storage, and networking infrastructure of a data center. It is designed to facilitate configuration and administration on a massive scale and automatically handles and manages steady-state deviations. Implementing a DevOps automation guide is among the best DevOps strategies for companies seeking to increase revenue as it streamlines development and operations, leading to faster deployment cycles, improved efficiency, and, ultimately, a quicker time-to-market for new and innovative services that drive sales growth. For example, Kloudspot drastically reduced development and service management time by 50% while deploying its new end-to-end DevOps automation infrastructure via an automated system. Constant Delivery and Deployment Continuous delivery (CD) helps teams build high-quality software quickly. Continuous delivery pipelines provide software on time with minimal manual intervention. CD is an effective DevOps release technique for faster software development, testing, and deployment. In an interview with Clare Liguori, Principal Software Engineer for AWS container services, she emphasized that AWS just doesn't enforce automation onto its processes and hope for the best; its automated deployment practices are carefully built, tuned, and tested based on what helps them balance their deployment safety against deployment speed. Microservice framework Microservices are compact, deployable services designed in the style of intricate applications. They are merely an iteration of the Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) paradigm. In addition to being independent of technology, they exchange information using a variety of communication protocols. The noteworthy part is that one service does not crash or impact other parts of an application! For example, Uber's infrastructure exemplifies a commendable microservice architecture. Several thousand microservices comprise this component and communicate via remote procedure calls (RPC), as noted in their Domain-Oriented Microservice Architecture blog. 3. Automating Development Automated ecosystem orchestration is becoming increasingly important due to the proliferation of Kubernetes architectures, which have transcended the human capacity for management. Continuous integration and deployment are executed in four phases by the CI/CD pipeline: source, build, test, and deploy. Automation in DevOps is mission-critical to an organization’s ability to keep pace with customers and the rapidly changing market. Reducing toil and minimizing toolchain complexity through automation enables developers to focus on what they do best, delivering innovation that drives value for the business. - Hilliary Lipsig, Principal Site Reliability Engineer, RedHat 3.1. Continuous Integration (CI) Essentials A non-CI environment's communication overhead can result in an intricate and entangled synchronization task, thereby increasing project bureaucratic expenses unnecessarily. The manual coordination encompasses operations, the remainder of the organization, and the development teams. CI facilitates the expansion of engineering teams' headcount and output. By integrating CI,software developers are empowered to independently develop features in parallel. Product and engineering communication can be extraordinarily cumbersome. Continuous integration enables this engineering to estimate delivery times for requests when the risk associated with integrating new changes is uncertain. Thereby, CI helps quicken delayed code releases and minimize failure rates. The essentials for an efficient functional CI are: Automate tests to run for every change to the main repository. Run tests on every branch of the repository rather than just focusing on the main branch. Ensure that every feature that gets developed has automated tests. Get a CI service to run those tests automatically on every push to the main repository. Integrate changes regularly. Establish security early in pipelines before building artifacts or deploying. Scan built container images for vulnerabilities with vulnerability scanning for artifact analysis. Implement linting and static code analysis early in pipeline to avoid weaknesses like accepting raw inputs. Use binary authorization to prevent images that contain vulnerabilities from being deployed to clusters. Create pipelines to enable rapid iteration. Ideally, CI pipelines should run in less than 10 minutes. 3.2. Streamlining Continuous Deployment and Delivery (CD) Use GitOps methodology to review changes before they are deployed through merge or pull requests and help in recovery through snapshots in case of failure. Promote, rather than rebuild container images, to avoid minor differences across code branches. Consider using more advanced deployment and testing patterns according to business needs. These include Recreating a deployment, Rolling update deployment, and blue-green deployment. Use Separate clusters for different environments like development environments, pre-production environments (Staging or QA) and production environments. Keep pre-production environments close to production; while pre-production clusters should ideally be identical to production clusters, they can be scaled-down replicas for cost considerations. Implement a clearly defined rollback strategy to address any substantial issues that may arise throughout the deployment process, enabling users to swiftly revert to the previous version, thereby reducing the likelihood of any adverse effects. 3.3. Efficient Version Control Teams typically face these challenges when adopting CI/CD: Conflicts due to manual testing Downtime risk Inefficient resource utilization Kubernetes has the capability to resolve these issues. In a CI/CD pipeline, it decreases the time and effort necessary to develop and deploy applications. The model's effective resource management increases hardware utilization, automates management procedures, and decreases customer-detrimental disruptions. Cluster management, orchestrate deployment and provisioning, and declarative constructs are some specializations performed by Kubernetes. Efficient version control is demonstrated by Kubernetes through the below mentioned techniques: Kubernetes packages applications and their dependenciesthroughcontainers. Enabling consistent versioning of applications, this practice standardizes environments throughout development, testing, and production. DevOps delivery infrastructure considerations are minimized with Kubernetes, which also enhances application resiliency, automation, and scalability. Incorporating version control directly into the deployment process, Kubernetes enables the automated deployment of new application versions and permits a rollback to previous versions ifissues are raised. Kubernetes provides support for a range of deployment strategies, including blue-green and canary deployments. This support enables the gradual rollout and testing of new versions while ensuring the continuity of service. 4. Configuration Management Unit testing, integration testing, acceptance testing, load testing, system testing, and end-user testing are all critical components of a development infrastructure. As testing advances production environments, the complexity of these environments escalates. The role of automation in DevOps ensures that these environments are configured optimally through configuration management. DevOps configuration management automates routine maintenance tasks and frees up development time for the actual programming. 4.1. Role-based Configurations in DevOps Role-based configuration management in DevOps plays a significant role in managing infrastructure updates and creating organized systems. Roles, for example, bundle and organize automation tasks and configurations in a reusable manner, making it easier to handle complex workflows. These roles promote teamwork and efficiency in development​​. Role-based configurations are a sophisticated strategy for delineating access and operational privileges within the CI/CD pipeline tailored to the specific responsibilities of team members. This paradigm leverages identity and access management protocols to automate the enforcement of security policies, reducing the risk of unauthorized changes that lead to system vulnerabilities or compliance breaches. Organizations can create a more secure, stable, and efficient delivery environment by employing a granular control mechanism. As a result, this facilitates a higher caliber of software releases, optimized resource allocation, and an acceleration in delivering value to customers, which in turn can drive revenue growth and competitive advantage. 4.2. Dynamic Configuration Management (DCM) DCM addresses the entire lifecycle of an application. Top organizations implement dynamic configuration management because they recognize its criticality in enterprise-grade platforms. It addresses the limitations of static configuration management, which may hinder developer and Ops productivity. DCM uses a workload specification to create configurations, reducing the number of configuration files needed and simplifying the deployment process. This approach can significantly reduce configuration file numbers, improving overall business performance​​​​​​​​​​​​. For example, an app with ten services and dependencies is deployed across four environments. Assuming an organization deploys three times a day every 21 working days, a typical cloud native setup would be 300 to 600 configuration files with up to 30,000 versions a month. That is up to 95% fewer files than the static approach. 5. Top Providers for DevOps Security and Collaboration 5.1. HackerOne Being the frontrunner in human-powered security, HackerOne outperforms cybercriminals, employing human ingenuity to identify the most critical security vulnerabilities across any attack surface. Integrating cutting-edge artificial intelligence with innovative human intelligence, HackerOne's Attack Resistance Platform mitigates risk throughout the software development lifecycle. Facilitating the identification of novel and illusive vulnerabilities via bug bounties ensures that organizations meet compliance requirements through penetration testing. HackerOne's elite community of ethical hackers empowers businesses to transform themselves confidently. 5.2. Teamwork Teamwork provides a platform that combines user-friendly project administration with industry-leading client operations, which teams adore. It helps you deliver work on time and budget, eliminate client chaos, and understand profitability all in one platform. It provides a single solution for all client operations challenges. Delivering profitable projects, streamlining client operations, and delighting clients help optimize the recurring revenue from retainers. Teamwork.com integrates all the tools a company uses, hence making the company more accessible to manage all in one place. 5.3. Embrace The organization develops and defines a performance management platform for mobile applications that aid in the detection and resolution of any user-impacting problems that may arise within the applications. The mobile environment presents mobile teams with a singular challenge:they must now consider the infinite variety of user and environmental variables across millions of autonomous devices. Embraceliberates the value by ingesting one hundred percent of the time-based technical and user behavior session data.With the help of Embrace, product and engineeringteamshave access to real-time observability while marketing and BI benefit from automated analysis of transformed and usable datasets. 5.4. Instabug Instabug provides a mobile application performance monitoring (APM) platform, offering advanced services that enhance app performance and user experience. It features efficient bug and crash reporting systems, which help quickly identify and resolve app issues, ensuring stability and user trust. With a robust infrastructure supporting over two billion devices, Instabug ensures scalability and reliability. Its simple SDK integration and full visual reproduction tailored for mobile app development challenges make it an essential tool for developers focused on optimizing app functionality and user satisfaction. 5.5. Nulab Nulab is an expanding software company that provides teams of all sizes with online collaboration tools. It places a premium on forward-thinking, collaboration, and trust as an organization to unite groups through technology securely. Its platform provides project management, version control, and bug tracking. Providing Integrated tools to support collaboration at every stage helps in tracking real-time progress. Nulab provides solutions from UX & DEsign to marketing and Quality assurance to plan and strategize beforehand. 5.6. Sonar One of the DevOps security providers, Sonar's market-leading solution empowers development teams and developers to write clean code and automatically remediate existing code, allowing them to concentrate on their favorite tasks and increase the value they deliver to organizations. Its commercial and open-source solutions are compatible with thirty programming languages. SonarLint is a complimentary IDE extension that preventscoding errors. SonarCloud provides straightforward resolution guidance for any Code Quality or Security issue it detects and integrates with existing cloud-based CI/CD workflows. SonarQube is the preeminent instrument developed teams utilize to audit their codebases' code quality and security in real-time and provide direction during code reviews. 5.7. LogicMonitor LogicMonitor's developments demonstrate the company's dedication to a unified monitoring experience based on layered intelligence and hybrid observability. These innovations aim to proactively enhance IT infrastructure and avert issues through quick-to-deploy, SaaS-based automated tools for infrastructure, applications, and business services, focusing on innovation and reducing remediation. A notable advancement is integrating Airbrake error monitoring with LogicMonitor, enabling streamlined usage of both platforms via a single interface. The combined capabilities of LogicMonitor and Airbrake improve visibility and control in IT environment monitoring and management, marking substantial progress in IT operations optimization. 5.8. JetBrains JetBrains core is coding, with its mission to create the most robust and efficient developer tools available. Its tools accelerate production by automating routine checks and corrections, allowing developers more time to develop, explore, and innovate. Regardless of the size of any team, its products provide a seamless experience throughout the process of code development, work planning, and collaboration. YouTrack, a developer tool of JetBrains, is a project management tool that helps deliver efficient products, use agile boards, assist in planning sprints and releases, maintain a strong knowledge base, work with reports and dashboards, and create workflows that follow business processes. 5.9. Perforce Software Perforce Software is an industry leader in DevOps and development solutions that are scalable and optimized to facilitate intelligent testing, dynamic growth, boundaryless collaboration, and risk management. It collaborates with businesses to reduce risk and accelerate time to market in environments where failure has a high cost. Its global specialists provide companies in various industries like automotive, semiconductor, financial services, game development, virtual production, and amusement. Its primary objective is to facilitate solutions that enable its clients to generate innovations rapidly and on a large scale. Perforce is mainly concerned with scalable DevOps by eliminating obstacles to collaboration and productivity. 5.10. Sentry Sentry's performance monitoring eliminates the need for developers to speculate to identify the source of application performance bottlenecks. Rather than delving into performance metrics, Sentry provides the precise lines of code that impede the performance of applications, allowing us to locate the underlying cause. It helps enable notifications before most businesses' users are impacted by performance issues to identify, designate, and resolve within the workflow. It consolidates runtime errors and mobile application malfunction reporting into a single view and provides a real-time, comprehensive assessment of the application's health. By associating errors with releases, identifiers, and devices, one can efficiently resolve issues, reduce customer attrition, and enhance user retention. 6. Exploring Emerging Technologies in DevOps The future of end-to-end DevOps automation promises even greater innovation and efficiency gains. We can anticipate the continued evolution of automation tools, machine learning, and artificial intelligence to optimize further and accelerate software delivery pipelines. Additionally, by incorporating security as a core DevOps principle, DevSecOps will become increasingly vital in safeguarding digital assets. The importance of DevOps’ latest technologies in achieving streamlined operations cannot be overstated. By reducing manual interventions and fostering collaboration, businesses can consistently deliver high-quality software, respond rapidly to market changes, and ultimately enhance customer satisfaction. Moreover, the impact on ROI is substantial, with reduced operational costs, faster time-to-market, and increased revenue potential.

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Empowering Industry 4.0 with Artificial Intelligence

Article | February 12, 2020

The next step in industrial technology is about robotics, computers and equipment becoming connected to the Internet of Things (IoT) and enhanced by machine learning algorithms. Industry 4.0 has the potential to be a powerful driver of economic growth, predicted to add between $500 billion- $1.5 trillion in value to the global economy between 2018 and 2022, according to a report by Capgemini.

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Spotlight

Scrollmotion

Scrollmotion helps companies create interactive content for touchscreen devices through our unique combination of software and storytelling. Our software platform, Ingage, is used by businesses to quickly create and share interactive mobile content for sales presentations, portfolios, trade shows and kiosks. Our creative agency, Scrollmotion Blue, works directly with clients to create custom interactive solutions to their unique business challenges.

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Deloitte Strengthens ERP Efficiency via AI Integration in SAP BTP

Deloitte | October 13, 2023

Deloitte integrates Generative AI into SAP BTP to optimize ERP services. The Clean Core + Edge Innovation strategy streamlines cloud development and AI in SAP BTP. Deloitte's AI commitment evident in training 120,000 professionals, recognized by SAP. Deloitte's latest move involves an expansion in its practices for the SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP) by incorporating generative AI solutions for its clients. The integration of these advanced technologies aims to streamline processes and provide data-driven insights, ultimately enhancing the value delivered to clients within the enterprise resource planning (ERP) domain. Deloitte's strategy, known as Clean Core + Edge Innovation, emphasizes the fusion of cloud application development and AI capabilities within the SAP BTP framework. The goal is to enable clients to derive tangible business outcomes while minimizing technical complexities. By leveraging SAP BTP's capabilities in conjunction with Generative AI, Deloitte anticipates delivering tailored solutions optimized for cloud-based ERP platforms. Chip Kleinheksel, Enterprise Performance Generative AI Leader and SAP Chief Technology Officer at Deloitte Consulting LLP, reportedly emphasized, Our efforts to drive innovation and value for clients remain at the forefront of our strategy. Expanding our SAP BTP practices is the next step in our journey, bolstering our AIOPS.D micro-solutions and enabling SAP AI Services to facilitate autonomous processes within industry-specific cloud solutions. [Source – CISION PR Newswire] Juergen Mueller, Chief Technology Officer and Executive Board Member of SAP SE, highlighted the significance of SAP BTP in fostering generative AI-powered applications across various business functions. He reportedly stated, Deloitte's Clean Core + Edge Innovation approach can accelerate opportunities for transformation through generative AI, particularly in conjunction with SAP S/4HANA and SAP BTP. This expansion highlights our commitment to continuously innovating and unlocking new value for customers. [Source – CISION PR Newswire] Furthermore, Deloitte's Clean Core + Edge Innovation approach aims to reduce technical debt and facilitate agile innovation through SAP BTP's capabilities, such as low-code application extensions and API-driven integration. The integration of generative AI applications, including agent-based simulation, virtual assistants, predictive analytics, computer vision, and natural language processing, seeks to bolster enterprise productivity and expertise. Deloitte's commitment to advancing its generative AI capabilities is underscored by its investment in training over 120,000 professionals through the AI Academy, as well as its substantial financial commitment to global technology learning and development initiatives. With the recent recognition from SAP through the SAP Pinnacle Award and the Premium Supplier Designation for Cloud Managed Services, Deloitte remains dedicated to delivering innovative solutions to its clients, solidifying its position as a leader in the professional services landscape.

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AI Applications

Adobe's Creative Cloud Revolution: AI Magic in Photoshop and More

Adobe | September 15, 2023

Adobe has introduced a groundbreaking AI-powered Creative Cloud release, integrating generative AI capabilities into its suite of creative applications, including Photoshop and Illustrator. The company has also launched Adobe Express Premium and the Firefly web application, along with AI enhancements in Premiere Pro and After Effects. These additions aim to enhance creativity and empower users to explore new creative avenues. Since the beta launch of generative AI features in Illustrator and Adobe Express, users have generated over two billion creations using Firefly-powered technology. These capabilities are now accessible to both free and paid Creative Cloud members. Starting immediately, Creative Cloud paid plans include the Firefly web application, which serves as a creative playground for AI-assisted expression, and Express Premium, a comprehensive creativity app featuring new generative AI Text to Image and Text Effects functions. These features streamline asset import, editing, and synchronization across applications, facilitating quick content creation for social media and scaling brand content creation. Ashley Still, Senior Vice President of Digital Media at Adobe, emphasized that AI innovation empowers creators and signifies a new era of creativity with AI integration across Creative Cloud applications. Adobe has also introduced Generative credits, a credit-based model for generative AI across its offerings. These credits allow customers to transform text-based prompts into images and vector creations in Photoshop, Illustrator, Express, and Firefly. Generative credits are now included with Firefly, Express Premium, and Creative Cloud paid plans. The latest AI-powered Creative Cloud releases feature generative AI capabilities in Photoshop and Illustrator, offering functions like generative fill, generative expand, and generative recolor. Premiere Pro boasts new AI features such as automatic filler word detection, noise removal from voice recordings, and improved editing speed. After Effects introduces a 3D workspace for seamless integration of 3D models and an AI-enhanced Roto Brush for precise object removal from footage. The Firefly web application provides creative generative AI modules for generating images, applying styles or textures to text, recoloring artwork, and supporting text prompts in over 100 languages. Adobe Express Premium now offers Text to Image and Text Effects features for easy access to and editing of creative assets from Photoshop and Illustrator, along with PDF import and enhancement capabilities. To support this new AI-driven ecosystem, Adobe has revised its pricing structure, with price increases scheduled for specific Creative Cloud plans in select regions starting on November 1, 2023. Free Creative Cloud users will also receive monthly Generative Credits, with the option to upgrade to a paid plan for $4.99 per month once their initial allocation is depleted. The integration of AI in Adobe's Creative Cloud may lead to concerns about overreliance on automation, potentially reducing the human touch in creative work. Some users might also worry about increased subscription costs due to the introduction of generative credits. On the flip side, AI integration opens up new creative possibilities, making it easier for designers to experiment and innovate. It streamlines workflows, enhances productivity, and provides access to powerful AI tools, ultimately empowering users to achieve more in their creative endeavors.

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Software, Future Tech, Application Development Platform

Lucid Software Launches APIs and Developer Platform

iTWire | August 21, 2023

Lucid Software, the leader in visual collaboration software, today announced the launch of its latest APIs and developer platform, which will enable Lucid users and partners to better streamline their workflows by creating, publishing, and distributing their apps and integrations within the Lucid Visual Collaboration Suite. Top partners utilizing the APIs and developer platform at launch include Salesforce, Slack, ServiceNow, and Notion. “Our APIs and developer platform empower users and partners to build and deliver powerful, customized solutions for their teams and customers, further increasing efficiency and reducing context switching across apps,” said Dan Lawyer, chief product officer at Lucid Software. "Today’s teams need solutions that cut through the complexity and work where they work. By utilizing our latest APIs, users and partners will be able to leverage Lucid to strengthen existing workflows with the power of visual collaboration, enabling them to more quickly achieve alignment and accelerate innovation and productivity." Users can customize Lucidchart and Lucidspark to their use cases and bring visualization into their workflows by using the developer platform to build, test and distribute apps and integrations to their teams. Users will also be able to tap into the vast resources of Lucid's extensive worldwide user base, which boasts over 60 million users, by easily sharing their apps and leveraging the creative output of other users. The newest iteration of APIs will allow developers to create custom shape libraries, bidirectional data integrations and auto-visualizations to accommodate a wide array of use cases. This update builds upon already available functionality, such as embedding Lucid docs in other applications and managing access to docs and folders. Users can also import their own assets into Lucid (like links, photos and videos) to clarify complexity. Examples of ways partners are already leveraging these features include: Salesforce: Users can easily customize templates, charts and projects in the Salesforce shape library in Lucidchart to standardize documentation across the company. Slack: Slack’s open and extensible platform makes it easy for users to quickly create, access and share Lucid visuals without ever leaving Slack. ServiceNow: Users can automatically generate Lucidchart diagrams from their ServiceNow® Application Portfolio Management (APM) data to quickly visualize and understand areas for optimization across an application portfolio. Notion: Lucid documents can be directly embedded, viewed and shared in Notion so that teams can keep their visuals and context all in one place. Headroom: Users can hold AI-powered meetings directly in Lucid to transition from brainstorming to decision-making without leaving the platform. Streamline: Users can access Streamline's extensive library of icon and illustration sets directly in Lucid to add beautiful and consistent imagery to boards and diagrams. Rewatch: Rewatch videos can be shared directly into Lucid documents so users can capture, share and retain knowledge asynchronously. The launch of Lucid’s new APIs and developer platform, along with powerful data-driven visuals and existing advanced customizations and integrations, further enables users and developers to quickly build advanced workflows for their teams and get more done faster. To learn more, visit lucid.co/developers. About Lucid Software Lucid Software is the leader in visual collaboration, helping teams see and build the future from idea to reality. With its products—Lucidchart, Lucidspark, and Lucidscale—teams can align around a shared vision, clarify complexity, and collaborate visually, no matter where they're located. Top businesses use Lucid's products all around the world, including customers such as Google, GE and NBC Universal. Lucid's partners include industry leaders such as Google, Atlassian and Microsoft. Since the company's founding, it has received numerous awards for its products, business and workplace culture. For more information, visit lucid.co.

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General AI

Deloitte Strengthens ERP Efficiency via AI Integration in SAP BTP

Deloitte | October 13, 2023

Deloitte integrates Generative AI into SAP BTP to optimize ERP services. The Clean Core + Edge Innovation strategy streamlines cloud development and AI in SAP BTP. Deloitte's AI commitment evident in training 120,000 professionals, recognized by SAP. Deloitte's latest move involves an expansion in its practices for the SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP) by incorporating generative AI solutions for its clients. The integration of these advanced technologies aims to streamline processes and provide data-driven insights, ultimately enhancing the value delivered to clients within the enterprise resource planning (ERP) domain. Deloitte's strategy, known as Clean Core + Edge Innovation, emphasizes the fusion of cloud application development and AI capabilities within the SAP BTP framework. The goal is to enable clients to derive tangible business outcomes while minimizing technical complexities. By leveraging SAP BTP's capabilities in conjunction with Generative AI, Deloitte anticipates delivering tailored solutions optimized for cloud-based ERP platforms. Chip Kleinheksel, Enterprise Performance Generative AI Leader and SAP Chief Technology Officer at Deloitte Consulting LLP, reportedly emphasized, Our efforts to drive innovation and value for clients remain at the forefront of our strategy. Expanding our SAP BTP practices is the next step in our journey, bolstering our AIOPS.D micro-solutions and enabling SAP AI Services to facilitate autonomous processes within industry-specific cloud solutions. [Source – CISION PR Newswire] Juergen Mueller, Chief Technology Officer and Executive Board Member of SAP SE, highlighted the significance of SAP BTP in fostering generative AI-powered applications across various business functions. He reportedly stated, Deloitte's Clean Core + Edge Innovation approach can accelerate opportunities for transformation through generative AI, particularly in conjunction with SAP S/4HANA and SAP BTP. This expansion highlights our commitment to continuously innovating and unlocking new value for customers. [Source – CISION PR Newswire] Furthermore, Deloitte's Clean Core + Edge Innovation approach aims to reduce technical debt and facilitate agile innovation through SAP BTP's capabilities, such as low-code application extensions and API-driven integration. The integration of generative AI applications, including agent-based simulation, virtual assistants, predictive analytics, computer vision, and natural language processing, seeks to bolster enterprise productivity and expertise. Deloitte's commitment to advancing its generative AI capabilities is underscored by its investment in training over 120,000 professionals through the AI Academy, as well as its substantial financial commitment to global technology learning and development initiatives. With the recent recognition from SAP through the SAP Pinnacle Award and the Premium Supplier Designation for Cloud Managed Services, Deloitte remains dedicated to delivering innovative solutions to its clients, solidifying its position as a leader in the professional services landscape.

Read More

AI Applications

Adobe's Creative Cloud Revolution: AI Magic in Photoshop and More

Adobe | September 15, 2023

Adobe has introduced a groundbreaking AI-powered Creative Cloud release, integrating generative AI capabilities into its suite of creative applications, including Photoshop and Illustrator. The company has also launched Adobe Express Premium and the Firefly web application, along with AI enhancements in Premiere Pro and After Effects. These additions aim to enhance creativity and empower users to explore new creative avenues. Since the beta launch of generative AI features in Illustrator and Adobe Express, users have generated over two billion creations using Firefly-powered technology. These capabilities are now accessible to both free and paid Creative Cloud members. Starting immediately, Creative Cloud paid plans include the Firefly web application, which serves as a creative playground for AI-assisted expression, and Express Premium, a comprehensive creativity app featuring new generative AI Text to Image and Text Effects functions. These features streamline asset import, editing, and synchronization across applications, facilitating quick content creation for social media and scaling brand content creation. Ashley Still, Senior Vice President of Digital Media at Adobe, emphasized that AI innovation empowers creators and signifies a new era of creativity with AI integration across Creative Cloud applications. Adobe has also introduced Generative credits, a credit-based model for generative AI across its offerings. These credits allow customers to transform text-based prompts into images and vector creations in Photoshop, Illustrator, Express, and Firefly. Generative credits are now included with Firefly, Express Premium, and Creative Cloud paid plans. The latest AI-powered Creative Cloud releases feature generative AI capabilities in Photoshop and Illustrator, offering functions like generative fill, generative expand, and generative recolor. Premiere Pro boasts new AI features such as automatic filler word detection, noise removal from voice recordings, and improved editing speed. After Effects introduces a 3D workspace for seamless integration of 3D models and an AI-enhanced Roto Brush for precise object removal from footage. The Firefly web application provides creative generative AI modules for generating images, applying styles or textures to text, recoloring artwork, and supporting text prompts in over 100 languages. Adobe Express Premium now offers Text to Image and Text Effects features for easy access to and editing of creative assets from Photoshop and Illustrator, along with PDF import and enhancement capabilities. To support this new AI-driven ecosystem, Adobe has revised its pricing structure, with price increases scheduled for specific Creative Cloud plans in select regions starting on November 1, 2023. Free Creative Cloud users will also receive monthly Generative Credits, with the option to upgrade to a paid plan for $4.99 per month once their initial allocation is depleted. The integration of AI in Adobe's Creative Cloud may lead to concerns about overreliance on automation, potentially reducing the human touch in creative work. Some users might also worry about increased subscription costs due to the introduction of generative credits. On the flip side, AI integration opens up new creative possibilities, making it easier for designers to experiment and innovate. It streamlines workflows, enhances productivity, and provides access to powerful AI tools, ultimately empowering users to achieve more in their creative endeavors.

Read More

Software, Future Tech, Application Development Platform

Lucid Software Launches APIs and Developer Platform

iTWire | August 21, 2023

Lucid Software, the leader in visual collaboration software, today announced the launch of its latest APIs and developer platform, which will enable Lucid users and partners to better streamline their workflows by creating, publishing, and distributing their apps and integrations within the Lucid Visual Collaboration Suite. Top partners utilizing the APIs and developer platform at launch include Salesforce, Slack, ServiceNow, and Notion. “Our APIs and developer platform empower users and partners to build and deliver powerful, customized solutions for their teams and customers, further increasing efficiency and reducing context switching across apps,” said Dan Lawyer, chief product officer at Lucid Software. "Today’s teams need solutions that cut through the complexity and work where they work. By utilizing our latest APIs, users and partners will be able to leverage Lucid to strengthen existing workflows with the power of visual collaboration, enabling them to more quickly achieve alignment and accelerate innovation and productivity." Users can customize Lucidchart and Lucidspark to their use cases and bring visualization into their workflows by using the developer platform to build, test and distribute apps and integrations to their teams. Users will also be able to tap into the vast resources of Lucid's extensive worldwide user base, which boasts over 60 million users, by easily sharing their apps and leveraging the creative output of other users. The newest iteration of APIs will allow developers to create custom shape libraries, bidirectional data integrations and auto-visualizations to accommodate a wide array of use cases. This update builds upon already available functionality, such as embedding Lucid docs in other applications and managing access to docs and folders. Users can also import their own assets into Lucid (like links, photos and videos) to clarify complexity. Examples of ways partners are already leveraging these features include: Salesforce: Users can easily customize templates, charts and projects in the Salesforce shape library in Lucidchart to standardize documentation across the company. Slack: Slack’s open and extensible platform makes it easy for users to quickly create, access and share Lucid visuals without ever leaving Slack. ServiceNow: Users can automatically generate Lucidchart diagrams from their ServiceNow® Application Portfolio Management (APM) data to quickly visualize and understand areas for optimization across an application portfolio. Notion: Lucid documents can be directly embedded, viewed and shared in Notion so that teams can keep their visuals and context all in one place. Headroom: Users can hold AI-powered meetings directly in Lucid to transition from brainstorming to decision-making without leaving the platform. Streamline: Users can access Streamline's extensive library of icon and illustration sets directly in Lucid to add beautiful and consistent imagery to boards and diagrams. Rewatch: Rewatch videos can be shared directly into Lucid documents so users can capture, share and retain knowledge asynchronously. The launch of Lucid’s new APIs and developer platform, along with powerful data-driven visuals and existing advanced customizations and integrations, further enables users and developers to quickly build advanced workflows for their teams and get more done faster. To learn more, visit lucid.co/developers. About Lucid Software Lucid Software is the leader in visual collaboration, helping teams see and build the future from idea to reality. With its products—Lucidchart, Lucidspark, and Lucidscale—teams can align around a shared vision, clarify complexity, and collaborate visually, no matter where they're located. Top businesses use Lucid's products all around the world, including customers such as Google, GE and NBC Universal. Lucid's partners include industry leaders such as Google, Atlassian and Microsoft. Since the company's founding, it has received numerous awards for its products, business and workplace culture. For more information, visit lucid.co.

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