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Big changes behind the scenes in R 3.5.0

Latest Microsoft Data Platform News - Tue, 04/24/2018 - 15:00

A major update to R is now available. The R Core group has announced the release of R 3.5.0, and binary versions for Windows and Linux are now available from the primary CRAN mirror. (The Mac release is forthcoming.)

Probably the biggest change in R 3.5.0 will be invisible to most users — except by the performance improvements it brings. The ALTREP project has now been rolled into R to use more efficient representations of many vectors, resulting in less memory usage and faster computations in many common situations. For example, the sequence vector 1:1000000 is now represented just by its start and end value, instead of allocating a vector of a million elements as earlier versions of R would do. So while R 3.4.3 takes about 1.5 seconds to run x <- 1:1e9 on my laptop, it's instantaneous in R 3.5.0.

There have been improvements in other areas too, thanks to ALTREP. The output of the sort function has a new representation: it includes a flag indicating that the vector is already sorted, so that sorting it again is instantaneous. As a result, running x <- sort(x) is now free the second and subsequent times you run it, unlike earlier versions of R. This may seem like a contrived example, but operations like this happen all the time in the internals of R code. Another good example is converting a numeric to a character vector: as.character(x) is now also instantaneous (the coercion to character is deferred until the character representation is actually needed). This has significant impact in R's statistical modelling functions, which carry around a long character vector that usually contains just numbers — the row names — with the design matrix. As a result, the calculation:

d <- data.frame(y = rnorm(1e7), x = 1:1e7) lm(y ~ x, data=d)

runs about 4x faster on my system. (It also uses a lot less memory: running the equivalent command with 10x more rows failed for me in R 3.4.3 but succeeded in 3.5.0.)

The ALTREP system is designed to be extensible, but in R 3.5.0 the system is used exclusively for the internal operations of R. Nonetheless, if you'd like to get a sneak peek on how you might be able to use ALTREP yourself in future versions of R, you can take a look at this vignette (with the caveat that the interface may change when it's finally released).

There are many other improvements in R 3.5.0 beyond the ALTREP system, too. You can find the full details in the announcement, but here are a few highlights:

  • All packages are now byte-compiled on installation. R's base and recommended packages, and packages on CRAN, were already byte-compiled, so this will have the effect of improving the performance of packages installed from Github and from private sources.
  • R's performance is better when many packages are loaded, and more packages can be loaded at the same time on Windows (when packages use compiled code).
  • Improved support for long vectors, by functions including object.size, approx and spline. 
  • Reading in text data with readLines and scan should be faster, thanks to buffering on text connections.
  • R should handle some international data files better, with several bugs related to character encodings having been resolved.

Because R 3.5.0 is a major release, you will need to re-install any R packages you use. (The installr package can help with this.) On my reading of the release notes, there haven't been any major backwardly-incompatible changes, so your old scripts should continue to work. Nonetheless, given the significant changes behind the scenes, it might be best to wait for a maintenance release before using R 3.5.0 for production applications. But for developers and data science work, I recommend jumping over to R 3.5.0 right away, as the benefits are significant. 

You can find the details of what's new in R 3.5.0 at the link below. As always, many thanks go to the R Core team and the other volunteers who have contributed to the open source R project over the years.

R-announce mailing list: R 3.5.0 is released

Categories: Latest Microsoft News

Storage Replica Updates in Windows Server 2019 Insider Preview Build 17650

Latest Microsoft Server Management News - Tue, 04/24/2018 - 13:53

Heya folks, Ned here again. The folks over at Windows Server Insiders just dropped the new album: Build 17650. For those interested in having a job after a disaster strikes, there are three new Storage Replica options available::

  • Storage Replica Standard
  • Storage Replica Log v1.1
  • Storage Replica Test Failover
Storage Replica Standard

SR is now available on Windows Server 2019 Preview Standard Edition, not just on Datacenter Edition. When installed on servers running Standard Edition, SR has the following limitations:

  • SR replicates a single volume instead of an unlimited number of volumes.
  • Volumes can have one partnership instead of an unlimited number of partners.
  • Volumes can have a size of up to 2 TB instead of an unlimited size.

The experience is otherwise unchanged. You can still use standalone servers, cluster to cluster, or stretch clusters. You can still manage it all with Windows Admin Center or the built-in PowerShell. You can still pick between synchronous and asynchronous replication.

These limits are not decided. See below for feedback options. If you ask for all the unlimited Datacenter features in SR though, I will only nod politely.

Storage Replica Log v1.1

We made performance improvements to the SR log system, leading to far better replication throughput and latency, especially on all-flash arrays and Storage Spaces Direct (S2D) clusters that replicate between each other. To take advantage of this update, you must upgrade all servers participating in replication to Windows Server 2019. We’re not done here – we have an entirely new log we’ve been working on – but this optimization in the existing CLFS-based system makes big improvements. 

Storage Replica Test Failover

It’s now possible to mount a writable snapshot of replicated destination storage, in order to perform a backup of the destination or simply test your data and failover strategy. By grabbing an unused volume, we can temporarily mount a snapshot of the replicated storage. Replication of the original source continues unabated while you perform your tests; your data is never unprotected and your snapshot changes will not overwrite it. When you are done, discard the snapshot. For steps on using this, check out https://aka.ms/srfaq under section “Can I bring a destination volume online for read-only access?

Here’s a quick demo:

Please let us know how things go using https://windowsserver.uservoice.com or the Windows 10 Feedback Hub (Category: Server, Subcategory: Storage). We are very interested in your feedback, the sooner the better.

 

— Ned “Yes, you finally got Standard Edition, Aidan” Pyle

Categories: Latest Microsoft News

SQL Server 2016 Service Pack 2 is now available

Latest Microsoft Data Platform News - Tue, 04/24/2018 - 10:00

The SQL Server team is excited to bring you the second service pack release for SQL Server 2016. The service pack is now available for download on the Microsoft Download Center and will be coming soon to Visual Studio Subscriptions, MBS/Partner Source, and VLSC. As part of our commitment to software excellence for our customers, this upgrade is available to all customers with existing SQL Server 2016 deployments.

SQL Server 2016 Service Pack 2 (“SP2”) contains a roll-up of released hotfixes as well as multiple improvements centered around performance, scalability, and supportability based on feedback from customers and the SQL community. These improvements enable SQL Server 2016 to perform faster and with expanded supportability and diagnostics. It also showcases the SQL Server product team’s commitment to providing continued value into in-market releases.

SQL Server 2016 Service Pack 2 includes:

  • Performance and scale improvements for SQL Server, such as improved database backup performance on large memory machines and added backup compression support, which helps performance of almost all databases.
  • Supportability and diagnostics enhancements, such as improved troubleshooting and additional information about statistics used during query plan optimization.
  • New improvements based on Connect feedback items filed by the SQL Server Community.
  • Some improvements originally introduced in SQL Server 2014 SP2 and SQL Server 2012 SP4.

Find more information on SQL Server 2016 SP2 in our KB article and Release Notes, and download today by visiting the links below:

If you have a question or would like to make a suggestion, you can let us know through UserVoice. We look forward to hearing from you!

Categories: Latest Microsoft News

From Home Kitchen to Multimillion Dollar Business: hint&reg; Achieves Rapid Growth on NetSuite

Latest Oracle Press Releases - Tue, 04/24/2018 - 10:00
Press Release From Home Kitchen to Multimillion Dollar Business: hint® Achieves Rapid Growth on NetSuite NetSuite Helps Pioneering Healthy Lifestyle Company Innovate and Scale in a Crowded Market

SUITEWORLD18—LAS VEGAS—Apr 24, 2018

hint inc., a San Francisco-based provider of unsweetened, fruit flavored water, has grown from a family-run business to a multimillion-dollar company in just a decade with NetSuite. As its founder eyes growth targets of $1 billion, NetSuite will enable hint® to scale its critical business systems as it goes toe-to-toe with industry giants.

Started by Kara Goldin in the kitchen of her San Francisco Bay Area home in 2005, hint was inspired by Goldin’s personal health journey. To replace her 10-can-a-day Diet Coke habit and stay off the soda, Goldin wanted to make water more drinkable and started to experiment by adding fruit into pitchers of water. After rave reviews from her friends and family, and the failure to find a similar unsweetened flavored water in the market, Goldin pitched the idea to Whole Foods. An initial 10 cases sold out overnight and within six months, hint water was on the shelves of Whole Foods stores nationwide. To support this rapid growth, scale the business and ensure products are manufactured as close as possible to the point of distribution, hint selected NetSuite.

“I didn’t set out to launch a beverage company, but as I learned more about the options available to consumers, I realized that it was time to shake things up,” said Goldin, a former long-time AOL executive. “The market was ready, but it was still dominated by centuries-old stalwarts. To have our voice heard in such a crowded space, we needed to couple all of our startup energy and enthusiasm with business processes that allowed us to operate like a much larger firm. NetSuite has given us a platform to grow our business so that we can focus on delighting our customers.”

With NetSuite, hint has been able to avoid IT complexity as its business has grown by automating inventory and order management practices with financial and accounting processes from a very early stage. By adopting business process best practices of much larger organizations from the beginning, hint has been able to quickly capitalize on market opportunities. Building on this success, hint started selling direct to consumers in 2014 and B2C sales now make up a huge percentage of hint’s business.

“hint offers so many lessons on purposeful growth, from its very inception, to the way it continues to influence the industry,” said Jim McGeever, executive vice president Oracle NetSuite. “We are excited to partner with the hint team to help support its next stage of growth.”

Contact Info Michael Robinson
Oracle NetSuite Corporate Communications
781-974-9401
michael.s.robinson@oracle.com About hint Inc.

hint inc., the San Francisco-based company founded by entrepreneur Kara Goldin in 2005, is a healthy lifestyle brand known for its delicious unsweetened flavored water. hint® makes it easier and more enjoyable for consumers to live healthier lives. The company’s products have received numerous accolades, including Best Flavored Water (Health, Men’s Health, and SELF), Best New Product (Better Homes and Gardens) and the Silver Stevie Award for Best New Product. Since its launch, hint has been making water taste great without adding any sugar or diet sweeteners. hint’s brands include its flagship product, hint water, its sparkling product line, hint fizz®, and its lightly caffeinated line, hint kick®. hint recently expanded its product offerings into other health and wellness categories with the launch of hint sunscreen spray, a SPF 30 mist that is oxybenzone and paraben-free and scented with hint fruit essences. hint’s products are available nationwide in most major specialty and grocery stores and are available at drinkhint.com for delivery direct to your door. For more information, visit www.drinkhint.com..

About Oracle NetSuite

Oracle NetSuite pioneered the Cloud Computing revolution in 1998, establishing the world’s first company dedicated to delivering business applications over the internet. Today, it provides a suite of cloud-based financials / Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), HR and omnichannel commerce software that runs the business of companies in more than 100 countries.

For more information, please visit http://www.netsuite.com.

Follow NetSuite’s Cloud blog, Facebook page and @NetSuite Twitter handle for real-time updates.

About Oracle

The Oracle Cloud offers complete SaaS application suites for ERP, HCM and CX, plus best-in-class database Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) from data centers throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. For more information about Oracle (NYSE:ORCL), please visit us at www.oracle.com.

Trademarks

Oracle and Java are registered trademarks of Oracle and/or its affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Talk to a Press Contact

Michael Robinson

  • 781-974-9401

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Categories: Latest Oracle News

NetSuite Unveils World’s First Intelligent Cloud Suite

Latest Oracle Press Releases - Tue, 04/24/2018 - 09:45
Press Release NetSuite Unveils World’s First Intelligent Cloud Suite Artificial intelligence and machine learning deliver insights, automation and intelligent interactions

SUITEWORLD18—LAS VEGAS—Apr 24, 2018

Providing customers with the tools and insight required to meet rapidly evolving business demands, Oracle NetSuite today announced the world’s first intelligent cloud suite. By natively building powerful artificial intelligence and machine learning-based capabilities within its leading cloud business management suite, NetSuite can deliver the insight, interaction and automation customers need to grow their business.

“A pioneer in the cloud, NetSuite has long been a leader in providing powerful business intelligence across its suite,” said Jim McGeever, executive vice president, Oracle NetSuite. “With new artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities within NetSuite, we’re equipping our customers to understand not only what’s happened with their business, but what will happen in the future and how they can stay ahead.”

Businesses can no longer rely on backward-looking data or traditional business intelligence (BI) systems to successfully grow, scale and adapt to change. To provide the real time-insights businesses need today, NetSuite has built upon its existing native BI functionality by incorporating advanced machine learning and sophisticated data science within its unified cloud suite. The new intelligent cloud combines NetSuite and third-party data to enable businesses to make proactive and timely decisions and take action from right within the NetSuite application. 

“A future where AI drives new business models is quickly becoming the present,” said R “Ray” Wang, principal analyst and founder, Constellation Research. “Having business applications that can deliver predictive, prescriptive and automated outcomes is going to be an imperative for businesses that want to grow and succeed in the years to come.”

The new artificial intelligence and machine learning based capabilities enable businesses to glean better insights, drive efficiencies by further automating processes and determine the next best action with predictive actions. The intelligent cloud suite can deliver benefits to business users across the organization.

  • Finance and Procurement Professionals: AI and machine learning enables finance professionals to improve audit risk analysis, analyze past payment history with vendors and customers and enhance cash flow predictions, a key pain point for growing businesses.
  • HR Professionals: AI and machine learning enables HR professionals to create profiles of the best candidate based on existing top performers, predict high performers who might be a flight risk and better automate employee self-service by identifying what questions employees might have based on role, time of year or other factors.
  • Supply Chain Professionals: AI and machine learning offers supply chain professionals the potential to not only identify risks or potential upcoming problems in the supply chain but, as it learns, provide potential solutions.
  • Manufacturing Professionals: AI and machine learning helps manufacturing professionals optimize labor schedules in the warehouse based on past performance or predicted demand and identify machinery in need of maintenance before it becomes a problem.
  • Commerce Professionals: AI and machine learning helps commerce professionals significantly boost searchandising and improve online sales and conversions by serving up products customers are more likely to buy based on key indicators such as past purchases, search history and results of similar buyers.
  • Customer Services Professionals: AI and machine learning provide customer service professionals with more accurate results around total customer lifetime value by using predictions of costs to the support organization, anticipated satisfaction and information on a customer’s likelihood of renewal.
  • Marketing Professionals: AI and machine learning help marketers improve campaign optimization by identifying what type of campaigns lead to a conversion with what frequency and what type of sale based on demographics, a profile within the customer base, and activity on the website, at events or other available data points.
  • Sales Professionals: AI and machine learning for sales teams support intelligent interactions guiding agents through the sales process, personalizing it for the prospect, the product and upsell, and cross-sell opportunities.
 

“Data is the new gold. With NetSuite, we have real-time insights and visibility into all of our key performance indicators, enabling us to make lightning fast decisions,” said Tony Drockton, Founder and CEO of Hammitt, a Los Angeles-based luxury accessories brand. “Building in intelligence and automation will make using NetSuite easier and more powerful than it already is.”

Contact Info Michael Robinson
Oracle NetSuite Corporate Communications
781-974-9401
michael.s.robinson@oracle.com About Oracle NetSuite

Oracle NetSuite pioneered the Cloud Computing revolution in 1998, establishing the world’s first company dedicated to delivering business applications over the internet. Today, it provides a suite of cloud-based financials/Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), HR and omnichannel commerce software that runs the business of companies in more than 100 countries.

For more information, please visit http://www.netsuite.com.

Follow NetSuite’s Cloud blog, Facebook page and @NetSuite Twitter handle for real-time updates.

About Oracle

The Oracle Cloud offers complete SaaS application suites for ERP, HCM and CX, plus best-in-class database Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) from data centers throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. For more information about Oracle (NYSE:ORCL), please visit us at www.oracle.com.

Trademarks

Oracle and Java are registered trademarks of Oracle and/or its affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Safe Harbor

The preceding is intended to outline our general product direction. It is intended for information purposes only, and may not be incorporated into any contract. It is not a commitment to deliver any material, code, or functionality, and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decisions. The development, release and timing of any features or functionality described for Oracle's products remains at the sole discretion of Oracle.

Talk to a Press Contact

Michael Robinson

  • 781-974-9401

Follow Oracle Corporate

Categories: Latest Oracle News

NetSuite Enables Businesses to Launch an Online Store Within 30 Days

Latest Oracle Press Releases - Tue, 04/24/2018 - 09:30
Press Release NetSuite Enables Businesses to Launch an Online Store Within 30 Days New ecommerce solution gives customers the freedom to grow and evolve their online business

SUITEWORLD18—LAS VEGAS—Apr 24, 2018

Empowering businesses to quickly and efficiently deliver engaging online experiences, Oracle NetSuite today announced an innovative new ecommerce product. The latest release of SuiteCommerce enables businesses to launch a sophisticated online store within 30 days and provides the freedom to grow and evolve to meet the changing needs of shoppers. The first 1,000 customers to sign up for SuiteCommerce get implementation included for pre-defined themes*. To learn more about the offer, sign up here.

“With SuiteCommerce, businesses can quickly and easily launch, manage and enhance their ecommerce site. From day one, they get a single, unified solution that supports their entire business and will be the first and last system they will ever need,” said Jim McGeever, executive vice president, Oracle NetSuite. “Most importantly, our unique approach puts an end to long, costly implementations and allows customers to get the most they can from their commerce investment.”

To keep up with ever-evolving customer expectations, merchants need an ecommerce solution they can easily manage, extend and enhance without development resources. The new NetSuite commerce solution meets this need by providing themes, accelerated deployment, drag-and-drop site management tools and plugins to extend site capabilities. In addition, ecommerce is integrated with the NetSuite platform so businesses gain the advantage of having a single source of real-time order, customer and inventory information to create seamless omnichannel brand experiences and streamline business processes.

“SuiteCommerce is the perfect solution for us,” said Bob Sullivan, CEO and owner of DASH Medical Gloves, a leading supplier of high quality protective gloves for a variety of industries. “It’s amazing how much you can do without a lot of technical knowledge. The fact that we can go in and make changes to the site, add new products or run promotions with simple drag-and-drop tools is extremely valuable. The beauty of this approach is that we can continually evolve our website to meet changing customer needs.”

SuiteCommerce delivers:

  • Full-Featured SaaS Ecommerce: By supporting B2C and B2B ecommerce on the same platform, SuiteCommerce provides uniquely branded, relevant shopping experiences that drive online engagement and conversion. To help businesses further increase engagement, a selection of themes optimized for performance, engagement and conversion are available. All themes are fully responsive to provide a consistent experience no matter how shoppers browse the store.
  • Easy to Implement: Rapid site implementation enables faster time to value, increased business efficiency and greater customer satisfaction. By leveraging the knowledge, experience and best practices from thousands of ecommerce deployments, SuiteSuccess for SuiteCommerce enables customers to get a best-in-class B2C or B2B online store with commerce reports, dashboards and KPIs within 30 days.
  • Easy to Manage: Drag-and-drop site management tools allow non-technical users to edit pages and manage content. This gives business users the ability to update the look and feel of their site without the help of a developer. In addition, users can easily complete multiple changes to the site and then schedule them for future deployment based on business needs.
  • Easy to Extend: Business users can quickly and easily expand the capabilities of their stores with extensions. Extensions are designed to upgrade seamlessly with each release, allowing customers to enhance their site in a way that’s maintainable. To support developers, the NetSuite Commerce Extension Framework provides an API that makes it easy for developers to create their own extensions.
 

* SuiteSuccess for SuiteCommerce implementation service included with the purchase of SuiteCommerce
1. Offer applies only to webstores built with the purchase of NetSuite’s SuiteCommerce Module
2. Offer is available for the implementation of a single webstore hosted under a single domain
3. Offer is only available for implementation services that leverage NetSuite’s pre-defined theme templates for design and functionality of the webstore
4. Offer is valid for webstores that transact in USD only; are subject to a tax jurisdiction(s) within the United States; and display only US English on the webstore
5. Additional descriptions which define webstore functionality, the implementation services, & the provision of training services will be defined in a Statement of Work provided by NetSuite Professional Services
6. Promotional pricing is available for new and current customers who contract for subscription and services on or before 5/31/2018
7. Customers are required to complete the self-paced training class; Getting Ready for Commerce, which is provided at no additional cost, prior to the scheduled start date of any implementation services

Contact Info Michael Robinson
Oracle NetSuite Corporate Communications
781-974-9401
michael.s.robinson@oracle.com About Oracle NetSuite

Oracle NetSuite Global Business Unit pioneered the Cloud Computing revolution in 1998, establishing the world’s first company dedicated to delivering business applications over the internet. Today, it provides a suite of cloud financials/Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), HR and omnichannel commerce software that runs the business of companies in more than 100 countries.

For more information, please visit http://www.netsuite.com.

Follow Oracle NetSuite’s Cloud blog, Facebook page and @NetSuite Twitter handle for real-time updates.

About Oracle

The Oracle Cloud offers complete SaaS application suites for ERP, HCM and CX, plus best-in-class database Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) from data centers throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. For more information about Oracle (NYSE:ORCL), please visit us at www.oracle.com.

Trademarks

Oracle and Java are registered trademarks of Oracle and/or its affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Safe Harbor

The preceding is intended to outline our general product direction. It is intended for information purposes only, and may not be incorporated into any contract. It is not a commitment to deliver any material, code, or functionality, and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decisions. The development, release and timing of any features or functionality described for Oracle's products remains at the sole discretion of Oracle.

Talk to a Press Contact

Michael Robinson

  • 781-974-9401

Follow Oracle Corporate

Categories: Latest Oracle News

NetSuite Industry Innovations Help Businesses Accelerate Growth

Latest Oracle Press Releases - Tue, 04/24/2018 - 09:15
Press Release NetSuite Industry Innovations Help Businesses Accelerate Growth New industry-specific solutions, finance, HR, supply chain and data analytics transform and improve business operations

SUITEWORLD18—LAS VEGAS—Apr 24, 2018

Oracle NetSuite today announced a series of new innovations to help organizations across industries drive growth, reduce costs and quickly and easily achieve the benefits of cloud computing. The latest innovations within the NetSuite platform include new SuiteSuccess industry cloud solutions, enhanced financial management, HR and supply chain capabilities, new innovations for product and service companies, and a powerful new data analytics solution.

Successfully growing a business has never been harder. New technologies, rapidly shifting consumer expectations and evolving industry regulations continue to change the game. For business leaders, this can feel like a no-win situation, particularly as competition continues to increase and results are under the microscope. The latest innovations from NetSuite help business leaders navigate this change, overcome the barriers to growth and successfully scale by delivering industry best practices, new customer engagement models and business optimization methods, more than 20 major enhancements to core business applications and powerful data processing and visualization capabilities.

“Many companies are able to get their businesses up and running only to struggle when the time comes to reach the next stage of growth,” said Jim McGeever, executive vice president of Oracle NetSuite. “With continuous innovation, we give our customers the tools to overcome the barriers to growth.”

New Industry SuiteSuccess Cloud Solutions

To deliver faster time to value, increased efficiency and provide the flexibility to foster growth and customer success, NetSuite is introducing 14 new editions of SuiteSuccess. A unified, and pre-configured industry cloud solution, SuiteSuccess is built on industry leading practices, combining deep domain knowledge with pre-built KPIs and dashboards. The latest editions are designed to meet the unique requirements of micro-verticals and span a variety of specific industries, company sizes and maturity in the cloud ERP journey. The new SuiteSuccess editions include:

  • Starter: Designed for small and rapidly growing company needs, including finance and accounting, order-to-cash and procure-to-pay.
  • Commerce: Designed for retailers and other ecommerce-focused business needs, including website development and order management.
  • Technology Services: Designed for technology services provider needs, including project management, sales, order and financial management.
  • Consulting Services and Consulting Services Emerging: Two new editions designed for consulting services organizations at different stages of growth with finance and accounting, project and resource management.
  • Manufacturing and Manufacturing Emerging: Two new editions support manufacturers at different stages of growth with inventory, supply chain and order management.
  • Food and Beverage Manufacturer: Designed for food and beverage manufacturers, including features for demand planning, tracking and traceability.
  • Advertising, Media and Publishing: Three new editions designed for agencies, media and entertainment and publisher needs, including features for resource allocation, time and expense, and reporting.
  • OneWorld, Administrator and Accounting: Three new editions for existing NetSuite customers are designed to support global growth, enhance the capabilities and knowledge of NetSuite administrators and ensure accounting features within NetSuite are being maximized.

New Vertical Industry Functionality

To help customers accelerate growth while reducing costs, NetSuite has introduced more than 20 major enhancements to its core application. The enhancements include new industry-specific capabilities for product and services companies as well as innovative HR and financials functionality. The latest updates include:

  • Innovations for Product Companies: For companies in industries like manufacturing, wholesale distribution and retail, NetSuite is delivering new features that increase efficiency, deliver greater insights and improve the customer experience. The enhancements include new supply chain control tower, warehouse management, fulfillment, engineering change management, quality management system and landed costing capabilities.
  • Innovations for Services Companies: To help service companies improve profitability, resource management, revenue management and revenue recognition, NetSuite has introduced enhanced project profitability reporting, advanced revenue management enhancements, charge-based billing for ‘time-based rules,’ a new UI for weekly timesheets, a deferred expense waterfall report and new resource allocation grid filters.
  • Innovative Financial Features: To ensure customers have a leading-edge financials solution, NetSuite has reworked its cash management and bank reconciliation functionality in order to streamline the process and give companies better control of one of their key assets - cash. The latest additions include an enhanced online bank statement reconciliation and transaction matching engine, improved bank statement import record capabilities, full translation support for electronic payments and new multi subsidiary customer support.
  • Innovative HR Features: Building on the launch of NetSuite SuitePeople, an HR offering natively built on NetSuite’s unified cloud suite, NetSuite has introduced a range of new capabilities to help HR professionals attract, manage, train and retain talent. New capabilities include a mobile employee directory, payroll dashboard, headcount and turnover analytics, absence management enhancements and integration with Oracle Taleo Business Edition.
  SuiteAnalytics

To help customers make better business decisions, NetSuite has introduced new SuiteAnalytics capabilities, including a powerful consumer grade data exploration tool that brings rapid, secure and meaningful data exploration capabilities to non-technical users enabling them to gain real-time insight into the business without needing to wait for data warehouses to be updated, outdated reports to be written our moving large amounts of important company data to unsecure spreadsheets.

Contact Info Michael Robinson
Oracle NetSuite Corporate Communications
781-974-9401
michael.s.robinson@oracle.com About Oracle NetSuite

Oracle NetSuite pioneered the Cloud Computing revolution in 1998, establishing the world’s first company dedicated to delivering business applications over the internet. Today, it provides a suite of cloud-based financials/Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), HR and omnichannel commerce software that runs the business of companies in more than 100 countries. For more information, please visit http://www.netsuite.com.

Follow Oracle NetSuite Global Business Unit’s Cloud blog, Facebook page and @NetSuite Twitter handle for real-time updates.

About Oracle

The Oracle Cloud offers complete SaaS application suites for ERP, HCM and CX, plus best-in-class database Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) from data centers throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. For more information about Oracle (NYSE:ORCL), please visit us at www.oracle.com.

Trademarks

Oracle and Java are registered trademarks of Oracle and/or its affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Safe Harbor

The preceding is intended to outline our general product direction. It is intended for information purposes only, and may not be incorporated into any contract. It is not a commitment to deliver any material, code, or functionality, and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decisions. The development, release and timing of any features or functionality described for Oracle’s products remains at the sole discretion of Oracle.

Talk to a Press Contact

Michael Robinson

  • 781-974-9401

Follow Oracle Corporate

Categories: Latest Oracle News

Microsoft Authenticator Account Backup and Recovery: Coming soon to an iOS device near you!

Latest Microsoft Server Management News - Tue, 04/24/2018 - 09:00

Howdy folks,

Many of you have asked for backup and recovery for the Microsoft Authenticator app. We’ve heard that need, and that’s why I’m happy to announce that we’ve just released a backup and recovery feature for that app. Now, your Microsoft Authenticator app will keep your account credentials, so you won’t get locked out of your accounts when you move to a new device.

We’re launching this feature beginning with iOS first, and we’ve already released a private preview to our iOS beta testers. Over the next few weeks, we’ll roll this out to all iOS users. We’re rolling out to iOS first as building the app using iCloud simplified our development. But later this year, we’ll add this feature to the Android version as well.

Try it out!

If you don’t have the Microsoft Authenticator app yet, get it here. If you want to try this feature before it’s available to the general public, sign up here to become a beta tester.

If you’re already one of our beta testers, you can install the update (version 5.7.0) on your iOS device once it’s available to you.

Turn on Backup

In the Microsoft Authenticator app, go to Settings. Under Backup, turn the toggle to ON for Auto backups and follow the prompts.

Behind the scenes, this is how it works:

  1. We encrypt your backup data with your personal Microsoft account
  2. We then store the encrypted backup with your iCloud account

And that’s it! Your account credentials are now backed up in the cloud and will stay up to date when you add, delete, or edit your accounts.

Recover on a new device

To recover the app on a new device, sign in to the same iCloud account and personal Microsoft account as on your previous device.

After you sign in, the following options will be available:

  1. Your OATH verification codes for your third-party accounts and personal Microsoft accounts

  1. The ability to enable push notifications for your personal, work, or school Microsoft accounts

If you have additional questions, check out our Microsoft Authenticator docs. You can also use theMicrosoft Authenticator forum
to offer suggestions, ask questions, and talk with our support team and other fans of account security.

I hope you’ll take some time to check this mew feature out. As always, we would love to receive any feedback or suggestions you have.

Best Regards,

Alex Simons (Twitter: @Alex_A_Simons)

Director of Program Management

Microsoft Identity Division

Categories: Latest Microsoft News

Deep Learning for Emojis with VS Code Tools for AI

Latest Microsoft Data Platform News - Tue, 04/24/2018 - 09:00

This post is the first in a two-part series, and is authored by Erika Menezes, Software Engineer at Microsoft.

Visual content has always been a critical part of communication. Emojis are increasingly playing a crucial role in human dialogue conducted on leading social media and messaging platforms. Concise and fun to use, emojis can help improve communication between users and make dialogue systems more anthropomorphic and vivid.

We also see an increasing investment in chatbots that allow users to complete task-oriented services such as purchasing auto insurance or movie tickets, or checking in for flights, etc., in a frictionless and personalized way from right within messaging apps. Most such chatbot conversations, however, can seem rather different from typical conversational chats between humans. By using allowing the use of emojis in a task completion context, we may be able to improve the conversational user experience (UX) and enable users to get their tasks accomplished in a faster and more intuitive way.

We present a deep learning approach that uses semantic representation of words (word2vec) and emojis (emoji2vec) to understand conversational human input in a task-oriented context.


In this blog post, we show how to use embeddings created via deep learning techniques to build a recipe prediction model from any input containing text and/or food emojis by using Visual Studio Code Tools for AI.

Embeddings – What, Why, How?

Word embeddings have been exceptionally successful in many Natural Language Processing (NLP) tasks and are a building block for deep NLP models. Word embeddings transform sparse vector representations of words into a dense, continuous vector space that can encode semantic representations of words and phrases and identify similarities between them.

There are several ways to learn these representations. They can be learned implicitly as part of some task such as document classification or explicitly through an unsupervised process. The two most popular algorithms for unsupervised learning of representations are word2vec from Google and GloVe from Stanford. The main difference between these algorithms is that word2vec captures local context while GloVe tries to capture global context (a detailed analysis of these algorithms is beyond the scope of this blog post). The next section covers how we used the word2vec embeddings.

Word2vec

Word2vec is one of the most popular word embedding models developed by Tomas Mikolov, et al at Google in 2013. Word2Vec is famous for demonstrating local linear properties on analogy tasks like: King – Man + Woman results in a vector very close to Queen, showing that word vectors are surprisingly good at capturing the syntactic regularities in language and that each relationship is characterized by a relation-specific vector offset. This allows vector-oriented reasoning based on the offsets between words. You can read the paper here.

The Word2vec paper proposed two different architectures for learning embeddings:

  • Continuous Bag-of-Words (CBOW): Learns by predicting the current word based on its context.
  • Skip-gram: Learns by predicting the surrounding words given a current word.


Taken from “Efficient Estimation of Word Representations in Vector Space”, 2013

Google has published pre-trained vectors trained on a part of the Google News dataset (about 100 billion words). The model contains 300-dimensional vectors for 3 million words and phrases. You can download the pre-trained word2vec embeddings from here.

Emoji2vec

Most pre-trained word embeddings contain few or no emoji representations. Emoji2vec provides pre-trained embeddings for all Unicode emojis which are learned from their description in the Unicode emoji standard. These pre-trained emoji embeddings map emoji symbols into the same 300-dimensional Google news word2vec embeddings and can thus be used in addition with the word2vec embeddings. This work was by developed Eisner, et al at University College London (UCL) in 2016. They have made their pre-trained emoji vectors available here.

Emojis to Recipes 🥤

The most straightforward way to do this would be to use hand-crafted rules to understand individual emojis. This approach would require significant manual labor that would increase exponentially for inputs with multiple emojis. Can we do better? Yes! The answer = Embeddings. Using embeddings we can find a recipe that is most semantically similar to the input with emojis.

Emoji2recipe is a prediction model that predicts a recipe given a text input that may contain an arbitrary number of emojis. It uses word2vec and emoji2vec to create a semantic space of recipes. Below are step-by-step instructions.

Step 1: Get the Data

We found a great dataset of recipes that you can download from here. The recipes are in JSON format and contain the following fields: Recipe_URL (hashed), Title, Ingredients, Instructions as shown in the figure below.

Step 2: Get the Embeddings

We will be using pre-trained embeddings for words and emojis. You can download from here the Google word2vec embeddings that have been trained on the Google News Dataset (about 100 billion words). The embeddings for emojis are available here. We will be using the genism library to load the binary embedding files.

Step 3: Pre-Process Data

We need to do some data pre-processing to extract the relevant (ingredient) information from the recipes. To run the pre-processing on the dataset you need to run “python preprocess.py”. The pre-processing steps are discussed in more detail below.


Step 3a: Parse Ingredients

The following pre-processing steps were applied to the ingredients information.

Eg: [“1/4 cup Mayonnaise”, “1 tablespoon Lemon Juice “, “1/8 cup Olive Oil”…]

  • Convert to lower case => [ “1/4 cup mayonnaise”, “1 tablespoon lemon juice “, “1/8 cup olive oil”…]
  • Remove punctuation => [ “14 cup mayonnaise”, “1 tablespoon lemon juice “, “18 cup olive oil”…]
  • Remove numbers => [ “cup mayonnaise”, “tablespoon lemon juice “, “cup olive oil”…]
  • Remove measurements => [ “mayonnaise”, “lemon juice “, “olive oil”…]
  • Remove stop words => [ “mayonnaise”, “lemon juice “, “olive oil”…]

Step 3b: Phrase2vec

We do a lookup on each phrase in the ingredients using phrase2vec. Essentially what this is doing is, for a phrase like “lemon juice” it will look up the word2vec (300 dimensional) vectors for “lemon” and “juice” and return the resulting average vector of the two vectors as the vector for “lemon juice”.

Step 3c: Average Vectors

Once we have the word2vec vectors for each individual ingredient we average this to get the recipe vector and store this in a new json field called Recipe Vector.

Step 4: Recipe Prediction Model

Given an arbitrary length input query of ingredients expressed by text or emojis we can predict a recipe by doing a lookup on the nearest recipe vector. Here’s how:

For each input token (emoji / word) we do a lookup for the respective embedding using emoji2vec and/or word2vec and then average the individual embedding vectors to compute the query recipe vector.

The model then takes this vector and computes the nearest recipe vector using Euclidean distance to measure similarity between vectors. To speed up this search, you can index the recipes and find the approximate nearest neighbor using Locality Sensitive Hashing (LSH). This is left as an exercise for the reader.


Getting Started with Visual Studio Code Tools for AI

Visual Studio Code Tools for AI is an extension to build, test, and deploy Deep Learning / AI solutions. It seamlessly integrates with Azure Machine Learning for robust experimentation capabilities, including but not limited to submitting data preparation and model training jobs transparently to different compute targets. Additionally, it provides support for custom metrics and run history tracking, enabling data science reproducibility and auditing.

Step 0: Install

First, install Visual Studio Code then install Tools for AI extension by pressing F1 or Ctrl+Shift+P to open command palette, select Install Extension and type Tools for AI.

Step 1: Create a New Project from the Sample Explorer

Visual Studio Code Tools for AI comes with a Sample Explorer via integration with Azure Machine Learning. The Sample Explorer makes it easy to discover samples and try them with only a few clicks.

Note: You will need Azure Machine Learning Workbench to be installed. See instructions at How to install Azure Machine Learning Workbench.

To open the explorer, do as follow:

  1. Open the command palette (View > Command Palette or Ctrl+Shift+P).
  2. Enter “ML Sample”.
  3. You get a recommendation for “Machine Learning: Open Azure Machine Learning Samples Explorer”, select it and press enter.


  4. You can browse different samples and get more information about them. Let’s browse until finding the “Classifying Iris” sample. To create a new project based on this sample do the following:
    1. Click install button on the project sample, notice the commands being prompted, walking you through the steps of creating a new project.
    2. Enter a name for the project, for example “emoji2recipe”.
    3. Enter a folder to create your project and press enter.
    4. Select an existing workspace and press enter.

The project will then be created.

Note:
You will need to be logged-in to access your Azure resource. From the embedded terminal enter az login and follow the instruction.

Step 2: Build Your Own Model

The code for this project is available here https://github.com/Microsoft/Emoji2recipe.

  1. Clone this repo and add copy the code over to your newly created project.
  2. Download the data and pre-trained word2vec and emoji embeddings to the same directory.
  3. Add the paths to the raw data and embeddings in config.py.
  4. To pre-process the data and store the result in JSON format run the following command in the Azure ML – Open Terminal (press Ctrl + Shift + P and search for Azure ML):
    az ml experiment submit -c local Emoji2recipe/preprocess.py
    Alternatively, you can run it with: python Emoji2recipe/preprocess.py 
  5. This is will preprocess the raw recipes and store the results with the recipe vectors in a JSON file recipes.json and store the model as a pickle file model.pkl. Add the paths of these files to your config.py.

Step 3: Scoring = Recipe Prediction

Now you can predict a recipe from a given input text by calling the run() function in score.py. The code for this is in Emoji2recipe/score.py. You can submit this as a job by right-clicking on score.py and selecting AI:Submit Job and then choosing the local compute environment. Alternatively, you can also run the following command in the Azure ML – Open Terminal (press Ctrl + Shift + P and search for Azure ML):

az ml experiment submit -c local Emoji2recipe/score.py


VS Code Tools for AI Commands

The VS code Tools for AI extension provides several commands in the Command Palette for working with deep learning and machine learning:

  • AI: List Jobs: View list of recent jobs you’ve submitted and their details.
  • AI: Open Azure ML Sample Explorer: Quickly get started with machine learning and deep learning experimentation by downloading sample projects you can run and modify to meet your needs.
  • AI: Azure ML – Set Subscription: Set your Azure Subscription to use for Azure Machine Learning experimentation.
  • AI: Azure ML – Open Terminal: Open Azure CLI terminal to access full Azure feature set.
  • AI: Add Platform Configuration: Configure Azure Machine learning compute target.

Summary

In this blog post, we showed you how to build a recipe prediction model using Visual Studio Code Tools for AI. This provides a framework for agile experimentation with fast iterations and provides an easy path for scaling up and out to remote environments such as Data Science VMs with GPUs.

This approach using embeddings can be applied to building conversational user experiences for language understanding in a task completion context. Here we show a recipe use case, but you can imagine this being applied for anything from booking a flight to shopping assistants for building chatbots that have been deemed as the “apps of tomorrow”.

In the next part we will look at how to operationalize this model using Visual Studio Code Tools for AI and Azure Machine Learning! Stay tuned J.

Erika

 

Acknowledgements

Special thanks to Ryan Lee for making the recipes dataset available; to Ben Eisner, Tim Rocktaschel and the team from UCL that made the pre-trained emoji embeddings available; and finally to Wee Hyong Tok for his guidance and for reviewing this article.

Resources

  • The code for this project can be found here.
  • Visual Studio Code Tools for AI docs.
  • Azure Machine Learning documentation.
  • Word2vec: Download embeddings from here.
  • Emoji2vec: Pre-trained emoji embeddings here created and made available by Ben Eisner and Tim Rocktaschel from UCL.
  • Dataset from here created and made available by Ryan Lee.
Categories: Latest Microsoft News

NetSuite Empowers Businesses to Capitalize on Opportunities Presented by World’s Largest and Fastest Growing Economies

Latest Oracle Press Releases - Tue, 04/24/2018 - 09:00
Press Release NetSuite Empowers Businesses to Capitalize on Opportunities Presented by World’s Largest and Fastest Growing Economies NetSuite OneWorld adds localized product capabilities and expands in-country presence for businesses in Germany, France, China, Japan, Brazil and Mexico

SUITEWORLD18—LAS VEGAS—Apr 24, 2018

Extending its commitment to helping businesses across the world grow, scale and adapt to change, Oracle NetSuite today announced localized product capabilities and customer support for businesses in Germany, France, China, Japan, Brazil and Mexico. With the new local capabilities and in-country teams, NetSuite further empowers customers to take advantage of one unified business platform to streamline the management of multi-subsidiary operations, achieve consistent processes across countries, support global compliance and gain real-time global insight.

“With ever-changing regulations and evolving customer expectations, it is getting harder for businesses to drive growth both locally and internationally,” said Jim McGeever, executive vice president, Oracle NetSuite. “With new native localizations and customer support, we are giving our customers a complete solution with language, currency, tax compliance and local support teams in six of the world’s biggest and fastest growing economies.”

Germany, France, China, Japan, Brazil and Mexico are among the top 15 largest and fastest growing economies in the world, but increasing competition, shifting customer expectations and constantly changing regulations mean it is harder than ever to capitalize on the opportunities presented by these economies. With the new localized product capabilities and local in-country teams, NetSuite empowers businesses headquartered or operating subsidiaries in these economies to quickly and easily leverage an integrated suite of modern business applications to drive growth, reduce costs and achieve the benefits of cloud computing. 

With customers now operating in 199 countries and dependent territories around the world, NetSuite is the proven cloud ERP business platform of choice for companies operating and growing internationally. The expanded global support further extends NetSuite OneWorld, a real-time, unified global business management platform that enables global businesses to streamline multi-subsidiary operations and achieve real-time visibility into key business metrics at the local, regional and headquarter levels. In addition, to help businesses across the world successfully grow, OneWorld supports 190 currencies, 24 languages, automated tax calculation and reporting in more than 100 countries.

  • Germany: NetSuite has achieved the local IDW PS 880 certifications necessary to validate NetSuite OneWorld for use by companies headquartered in Germany, and subsidiaries of multinational companies with operations in Germany. In addition, NetSuite OneWorld delivers country-specific features and functionality such automated period end closing entries, general ledger impact locking (Storno) and coming later this year, legal central bank reporting Z4/Z5a, fixed asset reporting – Anlagengitter, and bank and cash management updates.
  • France: NetSuite has achieved the first ever formal certification of NetSuite software in the market. OneWorld for French-based companies delivers period end close journals, FEC reporting, (Fichier d’écritures comptables), general ledger impact locking (Storno), Foreign Currency Gains/Losses variance postings (including custom rules), and coming in the next release support for Lettrage.
  • China: NetSuite customers can now open subsidiaries or new businesses in the world’s fastest-growing economy without the need for third-party products or extensive customization. Support for local Chinese requirements includes China-specific Reports and accounting as well as support for the China Golden Tax System.
  • Japan: NetSuite customers can now benefit from an improve user experience that includes enhanced Japanese summarized invoice support and automatic validation of closing and payment date. Summarized invoice support enables users to easily follow the general practice of sending a consolidated statement of all invoices, while automatic validation of closing and payment date capabilities enables users to automatically adjust the payment due dates on an invoice and credit memos if it falls on a weekend or holiday.
  • Brazil: NetSuite OneWorld can support services-based companies in Brazil, the largest economy in Latin America, with further plans to support product-based companies in the next 12 months. Support for local Brazilian requirements includes Brazilian-specific tax support, Nota Fiscal Eletrônica NFS-e (electronic invoices for services), electronic statutory reports and enabling Electronic Payments integrations to local banks.
  • Mexico: NetSuite customers can now benefit from native support for Mexican-based companies including the latest Electronic Invoicing requirements—CFDI 3.3—and Electronic Accounting 1.3.
Contact Info Michael Robinson
Oracle NetSuite Corporate Communications
781-974-9401
michael.s.robinson@oracle.com About Oracle NetSuite

Oracle NetSuite pioneered the Cloud Computing revolution in 1998, establishing the world’s first company dedicated to delivering business applications over the internet. Today, it provides a suite of cloud-based financials/Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), HR and omnichannel commerce software that runs the business of companies in more than 100 countries.

For more information, please visit http://www.netsuite.com.

Follow NetSuite’s Cloud blog, Facebook page and @NetSuite Twitter handle for real-time updates.

About Oracle

The Oracle Cloud offers complete SaaS application suites for ERP, HCM and CX, plus best-in-class database Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) from data centers throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. For more information about Oracle (NYSE:ORCL), please visit us at www.oracle.com.

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Safe Harbor

The preceding is intended to outline our general product direction. It is intended for information purposes only, and may not be incorporated into any contract. It is not a commitment to deliver any material, code, or functionality, and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decisions. The development, release and timing of any features or functionality described for Oracle’s products remains at the sole discretion of Oracle.

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  • 781-974-9401

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Categories: Latest Oracle News

SQL Server 2016 Service Pack 2 (SP2) released !!!

Latest Microsoft Data Platform News - Tue, 04/24/2018 - 07:30

The SQL Server team is excited to bring you the second service pack release for SQL Server 2016! The SQL Server 2016 Service Pack 2 (SP2) contains a rollup of released hotfixes as well as multiple improvements centered around performance, scalability, and supportability based on feedback from customers and the SQL community. These improvements enable SQL Server 2016 to perform faster and with expanded supportability and diagnostics. It also showcases the SQL Server product team’s commitment to provide continued value into in-market releases.

SQL Server 2016 Service Pack 2 includes:

  • Performance and scale improvements for SQL Server, such as improved database backup performance on large memory machines and added backup compression support, which helps performance of almost all databases.
  • Supportability and diagnostics enhancements, such as improved troubleshooting and additional information about statistics used during query plan optimization.
  • New improvements based on Connect feedback items filed by the SQL Server Community.
  • Some improvements originally introduced in SQL Server 2014 SP2 and SQL Server 2012 SP4.
  • All the fixes up to SQL Server 2016 SP1 CU8, including the security update for “speculative execution side-channel attacks”.

Following is the detailed list of improvements introduced in SQL Server 2016 SP2:

Performance and Scale
  1. Improved Distribution DB cleanup procedure – An oversized distribution database tables caused blocking and deadlock situation. An improved cleanup procedure aims to eliminate some of these blocking or deadlock scenarios.
  2. Change Tracking Cleanup – Improved change tracking cleanup performance and efficiency for Change Tracking side tables.
  3. Support for cancelling request through setting CPU time out in Resource Governor – Improves the handling of query requests by actually cancelling the request, if CPU thresholds for a request is reached. This behavior is enabled under trace flag 2422.
  4. SELECT INTO to create target table in the desired filegroup – Starting SQL Server 2016 SP2, SELECT INTO T-SQL syntax supports loading a table into a filegroup other than a default filegroup of the user using the ON <Filegroup name> keyword in T-SQL syntax.
  5. Improved Indirect Checkpoint for TempDB – Indirect checkpointing for TempDB is improved to minimize the spinlock contention on DPLists. This improvement allows TempDB workload on SQL Server 2016 to scale out of the box if indirect checkpointing is ON for TempDB.
  6. Improved database backup performance on large memory machines – SQL Server 2016 SP2 optimizes the way we drain the on-going I/O during backup resulting in dramatic gains in backup performance for small to medium databases. We have seen more than 100x improvement when taking system database backups on a 2TB machine. More extensive performance testing results on various database sizes is shared below. The performance gain reduces as the database size increases as the pages to backup and backup I/O takes more time compared to iterating buffer pool. This improvement will help improve the backup performance for customers hosting multiple small databases on a large high end servers with large memory.
  7. VDI backup compression support for TDE enabled databases – SQL Server 2016 SP2, adds VDI support to allow VDI backup solutions to leverage compression for TDE enabled databases. With this improvement, a new backup format has been introduced to support backup compression for TDE enabled databases. The SQL Server engine will transparently handle new and old backup formats to restore the backups.
  8. Dynamic loading of replication agent profile parameters – This new enhancements allows replication agents parameters to be loaded dynamically without having to restart the agent. This change is applicable only to the most commonly used agent profile parameters.
  9. Support MAXDOP option for statistics create/update – This enhancement allows to specify the MAXDOP option for a CREATE/UPDATE statistics statement, as well as make sure the right MAXDOP setting is used when statistics are updated as part of create or rebuild for all types of indexes (if the MAXDOP option is present)
  10. Improved Auto Statistics Update for Incremental Statistics – In certain scenarios, when a number of data changes happened across multiple partitions in a table in a way that the total modification counter for incremented statistics exceeds the auto update threshold, but none of the individual partitions exceed the auto update threshold, statistics update may be delayed until much more modifications happen in the table. This behavior is corrected under trace flag 11024.
Supportability and Diagnostics
  1. Full DTC support for databases in an Availability Group –  Cross-databases transactions for databases which are part of an Availability Group are currently not supported for SQL Server 2016. With SQL Server 2016 SP2, we are introducing full support for distributed transactions with Availability Group Databases.
  2. Update to sys.databases is_encrypted column to accurately reflect encryption status for TempDB – The value of is_encrypted column in sys.databases is 1 for TempDB even after you turn off encryption for all user databases and restart SQL Server. The expected behavior would be that the value for this is 0, since TempDB is no longer encrypted in this situation. Starting with SQL Server 2016 SP2, sys.databases.is_encrypted now accurately reflects encryption status for TempDB.
  3. New DBCC CLONEDATABASE options to generate verified clone and backup – With SQL Server 2016 SP2, DBCC CLONEDATABASE allows two new options:  produce a verified clone, or produce a backup clone. When a clone database is created using WITH VERIFY_CLONEDB option, a consistent database clone is created and verified which will be supported by Microsoft for production use. A new property is introduced to validate if the clone is verified SELECT DATABASEPROPERTYEX(‘clone_database_name’, ‘IsVerifiedClone’). When a clone is created with BACKUP_CLONEDB option, a backup is generated in the same folder as the data file to make it easy for customers to move the clone to different server or to send it to Microsoft Customer Support (CSS) for troubleshooting.
  4. Service Broker (SSB) support for DBCC CLONEDATABASE – Enhanced DBCC CLONEDATABASE command to allow scripting of SSB objects.
  5. New DMV to monitor TempDB version store space usage – A new sys.dm_tran_version_store_space_usage DMV is introduced in SQL Server 2016 SP2 to allow monitoring TempDB for version store usage. DBAs can now proactively plan TempDB sizing based on the version store usage requirement per database, without any performance overhead when running it on production servers.
  6. Full Dumps support for Replication Agents – Today if replication agents encounter a unhandled exception, the default is to create a mini dump of the exception symptoms. This makes troubleshooting unhandled exception issues very difficult. Through this change we are introducing a new Registry key, which would allow to create a full dump for Replication Agents.
  7. Extended Events enhancement for read routing failure for an Availability Group – Before, the read_only_rout_fail xEvent fired if there was a routing list present, but none of the servers in the routing list were available for connections. SQL Server 2016 SP2 includes additional information to assist with troubleshooting, and also expand on the code points where this xEvent gets fired.
  8. New DMV to monitor VLF information – A new DMV sys.dm_db_log_info is introduced in SQL Server 2016 SP2 to expose the VLF information similar to DBCC LOGINFO to monitor, alert and avert potential T-Log issues experienced by customers.
  9. Processor Information in sys.dm_os_sys_info – New columns added to the sys.dm_os_sys_info DMV to expose the processor related information, such as socket_count, and cores_per_numa.
  10. Extent modified information in sys.dm_db_file_space_usage –  New column added to sys.dm_db_file_space_usage to track the number of modified extents since the last full backup.
  11. Segment information in sys.dm_exec_query_stats – New columns were added to sys.dm_exec_query_stats to track number of columnstore segments skipped and read, such as total_columnstore_segment_reads, and total_columnstore_segment_skips.
  12. Setting correct compatibility level for distribution database – After Service Pack installation, the Distribution database compatibility level changes to 90. This was because of an code path in sp_vupgrade_replication stored procedure. The SP has now been changed to set the correct compatibility level for the distribution database.
  13. Expose last known good DBCC CHECKDB information – A new database option has been added to programmatically return the date of the last successful DBCC CHECKDB run. Users can now query DATABASEPROPERTYEX([database], ‘lastgoodcheckdbtime’) to obtain a single value representing the date/time of the last successful DBCC CHECKDB run on the specified database.
  14. Showplan XML enhancements include:
    1. Information on which statistics were used to compile the query plan, including statistics name, modification counter, sampling percent, and when the statistics was updated last time. Note this is added for CE models 120 and later only, i.e. is not supported for CE 70.
    2. A new attribute EstimateRowsWithoutRowgoal is added to showplan XML if Query Optimizer uses “row goal” logic.
    3. New runtime attributes UdfCpuTime and UdfElapsedTime in actual showplan XML, to track time spent in scalar User-Defined Functions (UDF).
    4. Add CXPACKET wait type to list of possible top 10 waits in actual showplan XML – Parallel query execution frequently involves CXPACKET waits, but this type of wait was not reporting in actual showplan XML.
    5. Extended the runtime spill warning to report number of pages written to TempDB during a parallelism operator spill.
  15. Replication Support for databases with Supplemental characters collations – Replication is now supportable on databases which use the Supplemental Character Collation.
  16. Proper handling of Service Broker with Availability group failover – In the current implementation when Service Broker is enabled on an Availability Group Databases, during an AG failover all Service broker connections which originated on the Primary Replica are left open. This improvement targets to close all such open connections during an AG failover.
  17. Improved parallelism waits troubleshooting by adding a new CXCONSUMER wait.
  18. Improved consistency between DMVs for same information – The sys.dm_exec_session_wait_stats DMV now tracks CXPACKET and CXCONSUMER waits consistently with the sys.dm_os_wait_stats DMV.
  19. Improved troubleshooting of intra-query parallelism deadlocks. This improvements includes:
    1. A new exchange_spill Extended Event to report the number of pages written to TempDB during a parallelism operator spill, in the xEvent field name worktable_physical_writes.
    2. The spills columns in the sys.dm_exec_query_stats, sys.dm_exec_procedure_stats, and sys.dm_exec_trigger_stats DMVs (such as total_spills) now also include the data spilled by parallelism operators.
    3. The XML deadlock graph is improved for parallelism deadlock scenarios, with more attributes added to the exchangeEvent resource.
    4. The XML deadlock graph is improved for deadlocks involving batch-mode operators, with more attributes added to the SyncPoint resource.
  20. Dynamic reloading of some replication agent profile parameters – In the current implementation of replication agents any change in the agent profile parameter requires the agent to be stopped and restarted. This improvements allows for the parameters to be dynamically reloaded without having to restart the replication agent.

Note that all the newly introduced Trace flags with SQL Server 2016 SP2 are documented and can be found at http://aka.ms/traceflags.

The SQL Server 2016 SP2 installation may require reboot after installation. As a best practice, we recommend to plan and perform a reboot following the installation of SQL Server 2016 SP2.

We will be updating and adding follow-up posts on the Tiger blog in the coming weeks to describe some of the above improvements in detail.

As noted above, SP2 contains a roll-up of solutions provided in SQL Server 2016 cumulative updates up to, and including the latest Cumulative Update 8 for Service Pack 1 – SP1 CU8, and the security update for “speculative execution side-channel attacks” released on January 2nd 2018. Therefore, there is no reason to wait for a future SP2 CU1 to ‘catch–up‘ with SQL Server 2016 SP1 CU8 content.

The service pack is now available for download on the Microsoft Download Center and will be coming soon to Visual Studio Subscriptions, MBS/Partner Source, and VLSC. As part of our commitment to software excellence for our customers, this upgrade is available to all customers with existing SQL Server 2016 deployments.

Find more information on SQL Server 2016 SP2 in our KB article and Release Notes, and download today by visiting the links below:

Thank you,
Microsoft SQL Server Engineering Team

Categories: Latest Microsoft News

Using encryption in Office 365 to help protect data and meet your compliance needs

Latest Microsoft Server Management News - Mon, 04/23/2018 - 10:30

With digital data growing exponentially, and threats becoming more advanced, laws and regulations are evolving to protect individuals and their personal information.

Encryption is one method that can be used to help ensure the confidentiality of certain sensitive information, reduce the risk of data compromise and help you meet your compliance needs.

When organizations use Office 365, they can expect customer data to be encrypted both in transit and at rest by default. Additional encryption capabilities can be added for increased protection. The following encryption technologies are available in Office 365 to help protect your data:

  • TLS: Encrypts data as it moves across the network to prevent snooping or man in the middle attacks.
  • BitLocker: Encrypts the physical disks that store customer data in the Microsoft data centers to reduce risk of data compromise due to lapses in access control or hardware recycling.
  • Service Encryption: Encrypts data more granularly at the application-level to provide defense in depth when used in concert with BitLocker to protect data at rest.
  • Office 365 Message Encryption: Encrypts data even more granularly on a per email basis while in transit, and provides defense in depth when used with TLS.

For customers who have data security or privacy requirements that are driven by compliance, Office 365 offers flexible encryption key management options to further help organizations meet their compliance needs as they move to the cloud.

  • Service Encryption with Customer Key: In addition to the benefits of service encryption, Customer Key enables customers to provide and control their own encryption keys in Azure Key Vault.
  • BYOK with Azure Information Protection for Office 365 Message Encryption: in addition to the benefits of Office 365 Message Encryption, this feature enables you to provide and control your own encryption keys in Azure Key Vault.
  • HYOK (Hold Your Own Key) with Azure Information Protection: This feature encrypts data using your keys that are stored, managed and controlled in an on-premises environment.
  • S/MIME: A certificate-based encryption solution that allows you to both encrypt and digitally sign a message.

When it comes to data security, you cant be too careful. Whether from a malicious attack or an accidental leak, compromised data can be dangerous and costly to your reputation and your bottom line. And in the complex world of regulations, laws and other internal compliance obligations, meeting these requirements is critical to maintaining business continuity and achieving your business goals. By informing yourself about the various technologies that can help address these challenges and by using Office 365, youre taking a good first step toward protecting your data and meeting your compliance needs. Read more about this topic in our white paper.

Categories: Latest Microsoft News

Making Sense of Replication Schedules in PowerShell

Latest Microsoft Server Management News - Mon, 04/23/2018 - 08:39

Hi all! Jan-Hendrik Peters, PFE, here to talk to you today about using PowerShell to view replication schedules. Automation with PowerShell is a part of our daily life. However, there are certain things that are for some reason not achievable with PowerShell out of the box. One of them is getting useful output for replication schedules in Active Directory.

We all know this problem. You are enjoying PowerShell and its great features and want to automate everything. Sooner or later, you are encountering issues with the default output format and resort to the way things used to be: Using a GUI.

If you are interested in finding out about scripting, read on. If you are pressed on time: https://gist.github.com/nyanhp/d9a1b591b5a69e300f640d53a02e0b44

To test what I did, I always make use of AutomatedLab. AutomatedLab is an open source project I am contributing to that can set up lab environments on Hyper-V, Azure and VMWare for you. You can find the script I used for my lab there as well: https://github.com/AutomatedLab/AutomatedLab/blob/master/LabSources/SampleScripts/Workshops/PowerShell%20Lab%20-%20HyperV.ps1

All sample scripts are part of the module, which you can install from GitHub or from the PowerShell Gallery by using Install-Module AutomatedLab.

One of my colleagues recently came to me with an issue his customer was facing. They simply wanted to get the replication schedule for their sites. While this sounds like a very easy task, the outcome was not what they desired.

This does not look right. What is an ActiveDirectorySchedule, and how can I use it? We wanted something like this:

To get rid of navigating to Sites and Services, finding the right schedule and viewing it in a nice calendar I will show you step by step how to get from unusable data to nicely formatted data. On the side we will also learn how to properly create a PowerShell function.

This blog post will show you how to make sense of normally unusable output and teach you PowerShell function design.

What are we dealing with?

The first, crucial point when dealing with these disappointments is finding out what we are up against. So, I would like to elaborate a little on an underrated tool that we all have access to: The cmdlet Get-Member.

We all know that PowerShell is an object-oriented shell that is built on the .NET framework. Being object-oriented means that we are dealing with classes that define how the objects, or instances of a class, look like. Get-Member harnesses this power and can show you all the .NET parts of the objects (i.e. the output of cmdlets) like properties and methods.

Properties are readable and, in many cases, writeable properties of an object that contain additional information. These additional pieces of information are of course also objects with more properties and methods.

Methods are pieces of code that can be executed to achieve certain results and may use the object’s properties to do so.

How does this look like with our little cmdlet?

As you can see, there are methods and properties of our site. The property we are most interested in in this example is called ReplicationSchedule.

Hmm. So our ReplicationSchedule is indeed a more complex object. We can use simple datatypes like datetime, timespan, int, string, bool, array and hashtable without issues. However, when it comes to more complex data types we must apply a little more elbow grease.

To make matters worse, there is no method or property to simply get the schedule in a readable format. The output of Get-Member revealed a property called RawSchedule, which sounds promising. Using this, we hit another brick wall:

Our property RawSchedule has the datatype bool[,,] – a three-dimensional array. Wow. This is where we need the online documentation. A quick search on MSDN for “System.DirectoryServices.ActiveDirectory.ActiveDirectorySchedule” reveals the documentation of the underlying .NET class. Luckily RawSchedule is well documented there at least.

Our array is encoded, so that the first index refers to the number of the weekday, the second index to the hour (0 – 23) and the third index to the 15-minute interval that the replication is active in. So how does that help?

Adapting

In our script we now must find a way to tie the Boolean entries to a tuple of weekday, hour and interval. The first idea that comes to mind is using loops to get to the desired result.

The first thing we need is our weekday indices. These are quite easy to come by. Remember me raving about Get-Member? Let’s pipe Get-Date to Get-Member. In the output you can see a property called DayOfWeek. Displaying this property returns a string – not what we need, right?

Wrong. While we certainly do not need a string, the object type is called DayOfWeek. DayOfWeek represents something that developers know as enumeration. It is simply a zero-based list of entries.

To see all available values of an enumeration we can use a so-called static method. Why static? Because this method does not need an actual object to perform its task. The .NET class Enum possesses the static method GetValues, that lists all values for an enumeration.

[System.Enum]::GetValues([System.DayOfWeek])

Casting the integers from 0 to 6 to a DayOfWeek quickly shows: 0..6 | Foreach-Object {[System.DayOfWeek]$_}

The hours are far easier, as they range from 0 to 23 in our zero-based three-dimensional array.

From these bits and pieces, we can finally cobble together a couple of loops that iterate over the array and return the Boolean values for each time slot.

Reusability

By now, we have rather unstructured code that is not easily reusable. I cannot tell you how many variations on the theme of ‘Set ACL on a folder’ or ‘Get something from AD’ I have seen up until now. In many companies there still is no centralized code repository that everyone can use, and most people are happily reinventing the wheel day-in, day-out.

In PowerShell, reusability is achieved by defining functions and by placing those functions in modules. Those modules can then be used by anyone and not only a select few.

Placing our code in a function is not that exciting. The keyword function and a script block would be enough. We could use $site as a parameter and be a bit more flexible. As you might recall however, using Write-Host is evil (http://www.jsnover.com/blog/2013/12/07/write-host-considered-harmful/). We would much rather use proper objects that we can then format at our leisure, export to CSV and so on.

Since we are building something good here, why not add some proper validation and pipeline support as well? While this sounds like a daunting task it is rather simple.

Pipeline input is achieved by using entire objects passing through the pipeline as well as using only certain property values. In our case we will start with property values.

[CmdletBinding()]
param
(
[Parameter(ValueFromPipelineByPropertyName = $true, Mandatory = $true)]
[System.DirectoryServices.ActiveDirectory.ActiveDirectorySchedule]$ReplicationSchedule,
[Parameter(ValueFromPipelineByPropertyName = $true, Mandatory = $true)]
           [string]$DistinguishedName
)

By using the ReplicationSchedule as the parameter name and setting this parameter up for pipeline input by property name, we can now simply pipe our culprit from the beginning of this post in its entirety to our new cmdlet, Get-ADReplicationSchedule.

Get-AdReplicationSitelink
-Identity
“Munich – Abidjan”
-Properties
ReplicationSchedule
|
Get-ADReplicationSchedule

Get-AdReplicationSite
-Identity
Toronto
|
Get-ADReplicationSchedule

The full function then looks like this:

You might notice a couple of changes in the final code as well. For instance, I replaced the Write-Host statements entirely and am now simply creating objects for each site or site link that is piped to the cmdlet. In the script, the proper data types are used as well.

The resulting cmdlet is very flexible:

Filter it with Where-Object, format it with Format-List and Format-Table, view it in a GridView, whatever you fancy. Write-Host never generates useable output, which is something you should keep in mind at all times.

This concludes my first post on ASKPFEPLAT. I hope you have learned something new today and even if not: Enjoy the little script and make it your own!

Categories: Latest Microsoft News

BPM LLP Helps Clients Achieve Rapid Growth with NetSuite

Latest Oracle Press Releases - Mon, 04/23/2018 - 07:00
Press Release BPM LLP Helps Clients Achieve Rapid Growth with NetSuite Top 50 Accounting Firm Joins NetSuite Business Process Outsourcing and Solution Provider Program

SUITEWORLD18—LAS VEGAS—Apr 23, 2018

To address fast-growing demand for cloud business management software, Oracle NetSuite today announced that BPM LLP, one of the largest California-based public accounting and advisory firms and a top 50 firm across the U.S., has joined the NetSuite Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) Program and Solution Provider Program. Founded in 1986, BPM combines its technological expertise in financial advisory/ERP with its long history of leadership in tax assurance and advisory services to deliver NetSuite solutions that equip small and midsized organizations to achieve rapid growth.

“NetSuite’s flexible, cloud-based platform has become the choice for organizations seeking a solution that can scale with their growth, while streamlining processes and delivering real-time information for informed decisions,” said Bryan Rhody, Director of BPM’s Technology Solutions Practice. “We wanted to partner with the leading cloud ERP solution that gives us the flexibility to deliver rapid implementations and agile solutions that scale as our clients grow.”

BPM handles NetSuite financials/ERP, CRM, ecommerce, HR and PSA, with industry-specific implementations based on the NetSuite SuiteSuccess methodology. For businesses executing carve-out transactions and other M&A-related activity within the private equity/venture capital sector, BPM is developing NetSuite solutions to provide rapid implementation, accelerate value and streamline transitions. In addition, BPM implementations of NetSuite OneWorld equip fast-growing businesses with the scalability and functionality needed to expand through new subsidiaries and geographic locations far faster than would be possible with on-premises systems.

“BPM delivers a compelling combination of accounting, strategic and technology expertise to help midmarket organizations achieve their growth objectives,” said Craig West, NetSuite Vice President of Alliances and Channels. “We look forward to a close and prosperous partnership that helps joint customers capitalize on the power of cloud ERP to transform business performance.”

Designed for companies that provide Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) or Business Process as a Service (BPaaS), the NetSuite BPO program is the industry's first and only BPO program that provides partners with a unified cloud-based ERP solution to support clients of any size ranging from small businesses and fast-growing start-ups to mid-market organizations and beyond. As a NetSuite Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) partner, BPM provides outsourced accounting and C-level strategic advisory services to clients. To learn more, please visit: www.netsuite.com/bpo.

Launched in 2002, the NetSuite Solution Provider Program is the industry’s leading cloud channel partner program. The program delivers unprecedented benefits that include highly attractive margins and services that range from business planning, sales, marketing and professional services enablement, to training and education. As a NetSuite Solution Provider, BPM gains new flexibility to provide a full range of services that address diverse needs of clients in industries that include technology, financial services, fintech, life sciences, consumer goods and private equity. For more information about the NetSuite Solution Provider Program, visit www.netsuite.com/partners.

Contact Info Michael Robinson
Oracle NetSuite Corporate Communications
781-974-9401
michael.s.robinson@oracle.com About BPM LLP

Founded in 1986, BPM is one of the largest California-based public accounting and advisory firms and ranks as one of the 50 major firms in the country. With six offices across the Bay Area – as well as offices in Oregon, Hong Kong and the Cayman Islands BPM serves emerging, mid-cap, and closely-held businesses, and high net worth individuals in a range of industries. From financial services, technology, life science and consumer business to real estate, nonprofits, wine and craft beverages, BPM is committed to the success of its clients. To learn more, please visit www.bpmcpa.com.

About Oracle NetSuite

Oracle NetSuite pioneered the Cloud Computing revolution in 1998, establishing the world’s first company dedicated to delivering business applications over the internet. Today, it provides a suite of cloud-based financials/Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), HR and omnichannel commerce software that runs the business of companies in more than 100 countries. For more information, please visit http://www.netsuite.com.

Follow Oracle NetSuite’s Cloud blog, Facebook page and @NetSuite Twitter handle for real-time updates.

About Oracle

The Oracle Cloud offers complete SaaS application suites for ERP, HCM and CX, plus best-in-class database Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) from data centers throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. For more information about Oracle (NYSE:ORCL), please visit us at www.oracle.com.

Trademarks

Oracle and Java are registered trademarks of Oracle and/or its affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Talk to a Press Contact

Michael Robinson

  • 781-974-9401

Follow Oracle Corporate

Categories: Latest Oracle News

Blu Coffee Distributors Brews Success in the Philippines

Latest Oracle Press Releases - Mon, 04/23/2018 - 06:30
Press Release Blu Coffee Distributors Brews Success in the Philippines B2B Distributor of Premium Italian Coffee and Equipment Achieves Rapid Growth with NetSuite OneWorld

SUITEWORLD18—LAS VEGAS—Apr 23, 2018

Blu Coffee Distributors, an importer and distributor of premium Italian coffee and equipment in the Philippines, has implemented NetSuite OneWorld to support its rapid growth. With NetSuite, Blu Coffee Distributors has been able to capitalize on soaring demand for premium coffees across the Philippines by streamlining its business processes.

Founded in 2013, Blu Coffee has expanded from a two-person startup into a thriving business that has roughly doubled its revenue every year and now has more than 50 employees and a reported PHP 100M ($1.92 million USD). To continue to take advantage of soaring demand for premium coffees across the Philippines, where consumption of roasted coffee grew nearly four-fold between 2010 and 2017 and is expected to increase another 72 percent by 2021, Blu Coffee needed to eliminate the complexity created relying on QuickBooks and Excel as its business management system. After evaluating different solutions, Blu Coffee selected NetSuite OneWorld over SAP Business One.

“The coffee market has really taken off in the Philippines,” said Rolando Villanueva, Blu Coffee Distributors founder and CEO, who also owns gas stations, a realty company and other business interests. “I saw this as an exciting opportunity to bring the experience of premium Italian products to coffee lovers across the country. Today we supply more than 1,000 hotels, cafés, restaurants and other businesses. We knew that as we grew and established showroom branches all over the Philippines, we would need a more scalable solution in the cloud.”

With NetSuite, Blu Coffee Distributors manages an expanded footprint of four showrooms in Baguio City, Angeles City, Cebu City and Davao City, along with its headquarters and showroom in Quezon City. Time needed for monthly financial close has been reduced by about 300 percent, while the company now has the insights needed to easily track expiration dates of perishable coffee beans. To further streamline processes, Blu Coffee Distributors is implementing NetSuite SuiteCommerce to provide a B2B commerce portal that will allow customers to order products online. Blu Coffee Distributors worked with NetSuite Solution Provider PGE Solutions to implement its NetSuite solution.

Building on its success, Blu Coffee Distributors has upgraded to the NetSuite OneWorld global business management solution for two reasons. One, it lets Blu Coffee easily transact in the Euro and U.S. dollar with its international suppliers. Moreover, NetSuite OneWorld is scheduled to be rolled out at Panville Unique Distributors, a parent company headed by Villanueva that’s comprised of Blu Coffee Distributors, gas stations, a newly formed bagel distribution company and other interests. With OneWorld, Panville will be able to treat its multiple businesses as subsidiaries for seamless financial consolidation, supporting improved efficiency, visibility and continued growth.

“Companies like Blu Coffee Distributors that identify an opportunity and move quickly to capture the market are increasingly turning to NetSuite to support that growth,” said Hazel del Rosario-Lee, managing director, Oracle NetSuite Philippines. “We’re excited to see their success and look forward to continuing to support them as their business grows and evolves.”

Contact Info Michael Robinson
Oracle NetSuite Corporate Communications
781-974-9401
michael.s.robinson@oracle.com About Blu Coffee Distributors

Established in 2013, Blu Coffee Distributors (BCD) was born to be the premier channel partner of highly acclaimed and globally trusted brands of Italian coffee machines and coffee beans in the Philippines.

About Oracle NetSuite

Oracle NetSuite pioneered the Cloud Computing revolution in 1998, establishing the world’s first company dedicated to delivering business applications over the internet. Today, it provides a suite of cloud-based financials/Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), HR and omnichannel commerce software that runs the business of companies in more than 100 countries. For more information, please visit http://www.netsuite.com.

Follow Oracle NetSuite Global Business Unit’s Cloud blog, Facebook page and @NetSuite Twitter handle for real-time updates.

About Oracle

The Oracle Cloud offers complete SaaS application suites for ERP, HCM and CX, plus best-in-class database Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) from data centers throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. For more information about Oracle (NYSE:ORCL), please visit us at www.oracle.com.

Trademarks

Oracle and Java are registered trademarks of Oracle and/or its affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Talk to a Press Contact

Michael Robinson

  • 781-974-9401

Follow Oracle Corporate

Categories: Latest Oracle News

Russian Retailer O’STIN Turns to Oracle to Keep Shelves Stocked at the Speed of Fast Fashion

Latest Oracle Press Releases - Mon, 04/23/2018 - 06:00
Press Release Russian Retailer O’STIN Turns to Oracle to Keep Shelves Stocked at the Speed of Fast Fashion Partner Veltio Parlays Data Science and Oracle Demand Forecasting to Automate Manual Inventory Fulfillment Process

Redwood Shores Calif—Apr 23, 2018

- Today, Oracle announced that O’STIN has deployed Oracle Retail Demand Forecasting, Oracle Retail Planning & Optimization and Veltio APX Supply Chain Planning to create a product replenishment program that proactively anticipates customer demand. With the Oracle Retail and Veltio integration O’STIN sought to improve the effectiveness of inventory fulfillment across 700 stores throughout Russia to better meet customer demand while protecting profitability. Veltio, an Oracle Partner Network Platinum Partner, drove the implementation resulting in a more accurate planning process that can anticipate consumer demand.   “Disparate silos of customer information, store and product performance prevent retailers from having accurate inventory forecasts,” said Chris James, Vice President, Oracle Retail. “Without this holistic perspective brands risk significant decreased margins by having to continually discount inventory to make room for new seasonal merchandise.”   Prior to the upgrade, O’STIN merchants personally managed a 90,000 line product matrix that included the store, style and color. O’STIN management would manually calculate stock levels for each SKU at every store for the previous four weeks, magnifying a scalability problem as the brand operated at the speed of fast fashion.   “The most effective stock level decisions are based on product performance and stock position. The combined Oracle Retail Planning & Optimization complemented by Veltio APX empowers our planning team to better forecast consumer demand and increase their productivity through automation and exception-based reporting. Now we can rely on data science to predict and automate replenishment based on future sales forecasts,” said Prosvirnin Nikolay, Head of Allocation and Replenishment teams, O’STIN.   “By tuning the high-level replenishment parameters, we optimized inventory to hold the right amount of safety stock to meet consumer expectations and manage the end of season inventory,” said Grechin Sergey, Assortment and Planning Director, O’STIN. “In 18 months, we have rolled out the solution to all stores in Russia, Belorussia and Kazakhstan with Veltio.”    “With the ability to directly integrate with Oracle solutions like Oracle Retail Assortment Planning and Oracle Retail Demand Forecasting in a single deployment, Veltio provides clients like O’STIN with an easy-to-use tool that offers increased automation to help predict product lifecycles, size and store split, and initial allocation quantities to feed the supply chain,” said Costas Malamas, Managing Partner, Veltio.   Implementation Benefits:
  • Oracle Retail's Planning and Optimization suite empowers planning teams to combine disparate data sources, including performance, market, and vendor, and leverage retail science to drive intelligent and localized assortments without the increased overhead of full-time data scientists.
  • Oracle Retail Demand Forecasting allows retailers to centralize demand forecasts for their omnichannel enterprise — from operations and vendor collaboration to planning and optimization to marketing and insights — accurately and efficiently.
  • Veltio APX Supply Chain Planning is a set of Oracle Retail Predictive Application Server components developed that provide advanced allocation, replenishment and execution functionality.  Exclusive to Veltio, this cutting-edge retail science can allocate stock to stores using simple or complex packs while optimizing ROI. Veltio APX calculates order quantities at multiple tiers of the supply chain and can create purchase orders at all tiers to be executed by downstream systems. 
Contact Info Matt Torres
Oracle
4155951584
matt.torres@oracle.com About O’STIN   O’STIN is European fashion apparel brand, offering products for women, men and kids. O’STIN operates more than 700 stores in Eastern Europe, Russia and Asia. O’STIN is a vertically integrated business that controls the whole value chain across product design production and retail sales. This allows us to assure high product quality at reasonable prices and to keep a direct communication with our customers. For more information about O’STIN, please visit ostin.com.   About Oracle Retail: Oracle provides retailers with a complete, open, and integrated suite of best-of-breed business applications, cloud services, and hardware that are engineered to work together and empower commerce. Leading fashion, grocery, and specialty retailers use Oracle solutions to anticipate market changes, simplify operations and inspire authentic brand interactions. For more information, visit our website at www.oracle.com/retail.   About Oracle   The Oracle Cloud delivers hundreds of SaaS applications and enterprise-class PaaS and IaaS services to customers in more than 195 countries and territories while processing 55 billion transactions a day. For more information about Oracle (NYSE:ORCL), please visit us at oracle.com.     Trademarks   Oracle and Java are registered trademarks of Oracle and/or its affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners. Talk to a Press Contact

Matt Torres

  • 4155951584

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Categories: Latest Oracle News

Bronto Makes Product Recommendations Personal Across Channels

Latest Oracle Press Releases - Mon, 04/23/2018 - 06:00
Press Release Bronto Makes Product Recommendations Personal Across Channels Integrated Product Recommendations Solution Helps Marketers Quickly and Easily Grow Engagement and Revenue

SUITEWORLD18—LAS VEGAS—Apr 23, 2018

To help marketers increase consumer engagement and revenue, Oracle Bronto, a leading cloud-based email marketing vendor to the Internet Retailer Top 1000, today launched an innovative new product recommendation solution. Integrated within the Bronto Marketing Platform, Recommendations Web enables commerce marketers to leverage a combination of custom business rules and predictive models to automate dynamic, personalized product recommendations for ecommerce websites, without the need for extensive technical support.

“Seeing what the recommendations tool has done for our emails, I cannot wait to get Recommendations Web live,” said Matt Grimm, director of ecommerce at RST Brands, a manufacturer of premium outdoor furniture. “Having a tool like this live on our NetSuite SuiteCommerce site will change how we interact with our site visitors. The Bronto team has put great thought into how this solution works, and we couldn’t be more excited to launch it.”

Consumers increasingly expect a personalized and relevant shopping experience whenever and however they interact with a brand. To help commerce marketers meet these rapidly changing expectations and maximize conversion and engagement, Recommendations Web makes it easy to provide a seamless transition from email to the web by ensuring consistent branding and appearance of product recommendations across channels - all while helping to guide customers down the path to purchase with tailored recommendations. The user-friendly solution enables marketers to quickly and easily create business rules and personalize content to maximize conversion and engagement.

“Recommendations Web is game-changing for our customers,” said Bronto General Manager, George Moser. “Our goal has always been to help merchants maximize engagement and drive revenue by elevating the omnichannel shopping experience. The launch of Recommendations Web is another example of how we’re helping our customers stay ahead of increasing expectations and achieve their business goals.”

Recommendations Web is part of the Bronto Marketing Platform, a sophisticated marketing automation platform that powers personalized multichannel content to generate higher shopper engagement to maximize revenue opportunities. An extension of Bronto’s recommendations offerings for email, Recommendation Web empowers marketers to easily and quickly add dynamic, personalized product recommendations anywhere on their ecommerce website.

Unlike other marketing automation platforms that offer integrated web recommendations, the Bronto Marketing Platform makes it quick and easy for marketers to select the predictive rules or customize the display layout. Third-party providers often also require marketers to add custom code to every page where the recommendations appear. With Recommendations Web, the same set of recommendations can be used on multiple pages, minimizing the need to update or implement custom code when recommendations rules or designs change.

Recommendations Web is available now as an extension of Bronto’s email recommendations solutions.

Contact Info Michael Robinson
Oracle NetSuite Corporate Communications
781-974-9401
michael.s.robinson@oracle.com About Oracle Bronto

Oracle Bronto arms high-growth retailers with sophisticated marketing automation to maximize revenue opportunities. The Bronto Marketing Platform powers personalized multichannel content that generates the higher engagement needed for retail success. Keenly focused on the commerce marketer, Bronto continues its longstanding tradition as a leading email marketing provider to the global Internet Retailer Top 1000 and boasts a client roster of leading brands, including Rebecca Minkoff, Timex, Lucky Brand, Theory, Brooks, Ashley Homestore and Christopher & Banks. For more information visit bronto.com or follow Bronto’s blog, Facebook page and @Bronto Twitter handle for real-time updates.

About Oracle

The Oracle Cloud offers complete SaaS application suites for ERP, HCM and CX, plus best-in-class database Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) from data centers throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. For more information about Oracle (NYSE:ORCL), please visit us at www.oracle.com.

Trademarks

Oracle and Java are registered trademarks of Oracle and/or its affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Talk to a Press Contact

Michael Robinson

  • 781-974-9401

Follow Oracle Corporate

Categories: Latest Oracle News

AI, Machine Learning and Data Science Roundup: April 2018

Latest Microsoft Data Platform News - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 06:23

A monthly roundup of news about Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Data Science. This is an eclectic collection of interesting blog posts, software announcements and data applications I've noted over the past month or so.

Open Source AI, ML & Data Science News

An interface between R and Python: reticulate.

TensorFlow Hub: A library for reusable machine learning modules.

TensorFlow.js: Browser-based machine learning with WebGL acceleration. 

Download data from Kaggle with the Kaggle API.

Industry News

Tensorflow 1.7 supports the TensorRT library for faster computation on NVIDIA GPUs.

RStudio now provides a Tensorflow template in Paperspace for computation with NVIDIA GPUs.

Google Cloud Text-to-Speech provides natural speech in 32 voices and 12 languages.

Amazon Translate is now generally available.

Microsoft News

ZDNet reviews The Future Computed: "do read it to remind yourself how much preparation is required for the impact of AI".

Microsoft edges closer to quantum computer based on Majorana fermions (Bloomberg).

Microsoft’s Shared Innovation Initiative.

Azure Sphere: a new chip, Linux-based OS, and cloud services to secure IoT devices.

Microsoft’s Brainwave makes Bing’s AI over 10 times faster (Venturebeat).

Improvements for Python developers in the March 2018 release of Visual Studio Code.

A review of the Azure Data Science Virtual Machine with a focus on deep learning with GPUs.

Azure Media Analytics services: motion, face and text detection and semantic tagging for videos.

Learning resources

Training SqueezeNet in Azure with MXNet and the Data Science Virtual Machine.

Microsoft's Professional Program in AI, now available to the public as an EdX course

Run Python scripts on demand with Azure Container Instances.

How to train multiple models simultaneously with Azure Batch AI.

Scaling models to Kubernetes clusters with Azure ML Workbench.

A Beginner’s Guide to Quantum Computing and Q#.

A "weird" introduction to Deep Learning, by  Favio Vázquez.

Berkeley's Foundation of Data Science course now available online, for free.

Find previous editions of the monthly AI roundup here.

Categories: Latest Microsoft News

Manage Storage Spaces Direct in Windows Server 2016 with Windows Admin Center (Preview)

Latest Microsoft Server Management News - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 10:59

Hi! I’m Cosmos. Follow me @cosmosdarwin on Twitter.

At Microsoft Ignite 2017, we teased the next-generation in-box management experience for Storage Spaces Direct and Hyper-Converged Infrastructure built on Windows Admin Center, known then as ‘Project Honolulu’. Until now, this experience has required an Insider Preview build of Windows Server 2019. The most consistent feedback we’ve received by far has been to add support for Windows Server 2016.

The Hyper-Converged Cluster Dashboard in Windows Admin Center, version 1804.

Support for Windows Server 2016

Today, we’re delighted to announce it’s here! With the April update of Windows Admin Center and the latest Cumulative Update of Windows Server 2016, you can now use Windows Admin Center to manage the Hyper-Converged Infrastructure you already have today:

Windows Admin Center brings together compute, storage, and soon networking within one purpose-built, consistent, and interconnected experience. You can browse your host servers and drives; monitor performance and resource utilization across the whole cluster; enjoy radically simple workflows to provision and manage virtual machines and volumes; and much more.

The over 10,000 clusters worldwide running Storage Spaces Direct can now benefit from these capabilities.

Get started

To get started, download Windows Admin Center, the next-generation in-box management tool for Windows Server. It’s free, takes less than five minutes to install, and can be used without an Internet connection.

Then, install the April 17th 2018-04 Cumulative Update for Windows Server 2016, KB4093120, on every server in your Storage Spaces Direct cluster. The Hyper-Converged Infrastructure experience depends on new management APIs that are added in this update.

For more detailed instructions, read the documentation.

Feedback

Windows Admin Center for Hyper-Converged Infrastructure is being actively developed by Microsoft. Although the Windows Admin Center platform is generally available, the Hyper-Converged Infrastructure experience is still in Preview. It receives frequent updates that improve existing features and add new features.

Please share your feedback – let us know what’s working and what needs to be improved.

6 tutorials in under 6 minutes

If you’re just getting started, here are some quick Storage Spaces Direct tutorials to help you learn how Windows Admin Center for Hyper-Converged Infrastructure is organized and works. These videos were recorded with Windows Admin Center version 1804 and an Insider Preview build of Windows Server 2019.

Create volume, three-way mirror
Create volume, mirror-accelerated parity
Open volume and add files
Turn on deduplication and compression
Expand volume
Delete volume

For more things to try, see the documentation.

Let us know what you think!

Categories: Latest Microsoft News

SQL Server 2017 on SUSE Enterprise Linux Server offer

Latest Microsoft Data Platform News - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 09:00

This post is authored by John ‘JG’ Chirapurath, General Manager, Azure Data.

Since SQL Server 2017 on Linux was made generally available on October 2, 2017, we have seen tremendous growth in adoption. We’ve had ~ 5 million Docker pulls for SQL Server 2017 on Linux and are seeing strong affinity with our customers who are on other database systems running on Linux as well as customers consolidating on Linux as their operating system. Additionally, we’ve had a great response from the open source developer community.

SQL Server 2017 is supported on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES), and Ubuntu. It is also supported as a Docker image, which can run on Docker Engine on Linux or Docker for Windows/Mac.

In the path forward to deliver choice, today Microsoft and SUSE are announcing some great offers for our mutual customers both on-premises and on Azure to adopt SQL Server 2017 on Linux as their database of choice.

Microsoft and SUSE have a decade long relationship, powering enterprises focused on interoperability and high-performance solutions. With SQL Server 2017 running on SUSE Enterprise Linux Server, we are bringing the most cost-effective path for our customers. If you combine the industry-leading database with the Enterprise Linux OS supporting Persistent Memory that can turbo-charge your analytics performance, you are looking at a winning combination for all your high-performance workloads.

Recently, Microsoft, SUSE, and HPE announced a new record-setting performance benchmark thanks to Persistent Memory support in SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12SP3.

  • HPE’s new world record 1TB TPC-H benchmark result showcases the first enterprise-class “diskless database” leveraging persistent memory and the ability to deliver > 5x performance on analytic queries directly against storage at up to 50 percent of the cost.
  • This incredible price/performance is achieved by combining the power of SQL Server 2017, HPE’s scalable persistent memory, and SUSE Linux Enterprise 12 SP3 Persistent Memory Support.

Customers can receive all the benefits of SQL Server 2017 running on SUSE Enterprise Linux Server with limited time pricing offers to help with upgrades and migrations. For a limited time, SUSE is offering customers a self-service promotional code to drive cost savings for SQL Server on SUSE Linux providing a 100% discount on the software cost of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12SP3 including free patches and maintenance for 1 year – qualified customers are also eligible for up to 100% discount on 24×7 or 12×5 phone support by working with a SUSE sales rep. Avail the offer through SUSE’s self-service portal.

Microsoft is also offering discounted SQL Server Licenses to lower your TCO even further. Customers can avail up to 30% off SQL Server 2017 through an annual subscription. Customers can get enterprise features for their Linux workloads, backed by Microsoft security and support. Please check out our page to learn more about the offer.

In addition to discounts on SQL Server and SUSE Enterprise Linux, all of this is backed by joint support from Microsoft and SUSE. Learn more about this offer, plus how SQL Server and SUSE work together for performance and reliability at low TCO by talking to your local SUSE or Microsoft seller today!

Please download the brochure to learn more about the joint offer.

Want to build an app using SQL Server? Get started with SQL Server on macOS, Linux and Windows today!

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