Archive for Styczeń, 2012

Samsung Apps Store experiences 210% growth quarter-on-quarter

By admin, 28 stycznia, 2012, No Comment

Q4 results indicate that the Samsung Apps Store is growing rapidly. Downloads have increased by 210% quarter-on-quarter and during the last three months of 2011, the Apps Store has grown from 80 to 110 developers on the Samsung network.

Adrian Lee, Mobile Content Lead at Samsung Electronics South Africa says; “This growth can be attributed to the organic expansion of the mobile handset space and the need for content, particularly locally relevant content. We have added an impressive amount of SA developed apps to the Samsung Apps Store in an aim to continuously meet the needs of our growing mobile users. This  also serves to reaffirm our commitment around offering developers a platform where they can upload their apps which is critical to driving growth in this market.”

The Samsung apps store boasts a range of applications ranging from sport, geographical, entertainment, and media applications to business and commerce. Through this range, Samsung offer applications fit for every lifestyle and of course will continue building on these apps into the future to develop content relative to the needs to the South African consumer.

In fact, this growth in application development and the latest achievements on our apps store comes after the formation of a dedicated content team for Samsung SA in June last year and the focus this team has put on engaging with local developers. In fact, according to Gartner¹, developers are expected to build at least 25% of new business applications by 2014 which certainly demonstrates the growth of developers within this space.

It is in line with this, that Samsung would like to encourage any local developers to contact them directly at http://developer.samsung.com/contact.do, in an aim to increase their developer community – creating opportunity for not only the developers but of course for the consumers in developing new and exciting apps.

“We will continue to seek partnerships with content providers,work closely with developers in the South African and African marketplace and ensure that we offer consumers and business a more convenient way to access the content and corporate data they want on their devices instantly and with ease,” concludes Lee.

For more information on the Samsung Apps Store and to view the complete list of applications, please visit www.samsungapps.co.za .

Your business needs one: the all new HP Pro 3400 Microtower Business PC

By admin, 28 stycznia, 2012, No Comment

When it comes to business, there are two things a PC needs to deliver: compact performance and a price point that won’t break the bank. The new HP Pro 3400 Mini tower PC from distributor Drive Control Corporate (DCC) hits the mark on both counts with its super compact form factor, the latest in processor technology and ultra-stylish efficiency priced to fit even the tightest of business budgets.

“While the pricing may lead you to believe this is an entry level desktop, the features speak differently. With the new Intel Pentium available right now and Core i processors available shortly offering dual cores and two threads as standard and the option of up to two cores and four threads, along with more DDR3 RAM and up to 1TB of hard disk space standard, all packaged in a brand new sleek and sexy piano black box at a starting price of just R5, 299.00 including an 18.5” HP monitor, what’s not to love?” says Deon Botha, HP Personal Systems Group and Magnetic Media Business Unit Manager at DCC.

“This PC is ideal for the home office, SOHO (small or home office) and SMB (small to medium business) user, providing all of the processing power and speed needed in a great looking, space efficient package that fits neatly into even the most crowded spaces at a conservative price point. You can even put the Mini tower on a shelf out of the way, and thanks to an intelligent design the USB ports and audio plugs are easily accessible on the front panel,” he adds.

If the stellar standard specs don’t meet your needs, HP Pro 3400 also comes ready to configure with extra memory slots, PCI Express (PCIe) slots and 3.5”/5.25” hard drive expansion bays and on-site warranty options. Optional wireless networking increases efficient space usage for a cable-free workspace – simply plug in the power cord and you’re ready to go. The HP Pro 3400 also comes with preinstalled software like HP ProtectTools and a trial Antivirus Suite, so you get a PC equipped to make an impact right out of the box.

“The HP Pro 3400 Mini tower PC offers all of the functionality you need and none of the superfluous things you don’t. This means that the price is right to give you the power you need to complete business tasks, without being inflated by fancy extras that have no application to your business. All of the tools and tasks your business needs, from email, word processing, Internet and multimedia to business tasks like multiple excel sheets and line of business applications like Pastel can run without a hitch, enhancing business productivity and keeping you in budget,” Botha concludes.

The HP Pro 3400 Mini tower Business PC is available immediately from DCC. Recommended retail price is R3, 955.00 for the Intel Pentium G530 with 2GB DD3 Ram and Windows 7 Home Basic. The Intel Core i3 2130 Processor with 4GB DDR3 Ram and Windows 7 Professional goes for R7, 272.00, including VAT. The HP 18.5” monitor sells from R1, 329.00 including VAT.

Business IT spend should be more than just investing in new technologies says Dariel Solutions

By admin, 28 stycznia, 2012, No Comment

According to research*, the South African IT services market experienced healthy growth throughout 2010, growing 8% year-on-year, with the IDC expecting this market to exceed $5 billion in 2012. While the figures are evident that IT spend is on the increase, post the economic recession, software development experts Dariel Solutions shed some light on what businesses should really be focusing on from a technology services point of view in 2012.

“Without a doubt IT spend is on the up, however, in my opinion, companies should remain frugal and ensure that IT spend in 2012 is not only about investing in new and innovative technology products and services, but rather, we strongly believe that businesses should pay attention to (and thus spend a larger portion of their budgets on) integrating their existing technology systems,” says Malcolm Rabson; managing director of Dariel Solutions. “Through the integration of technology, businesses can gain a clear understanding of which technology platforms are in place, what gaps currently exist in these systems, what as a result needs to be done to close these gaps and determine the required technology for their business models. This not only can save businesses costs, but also streamlines and optimises processes, where information is better consolidated through the use of technology.”

This can certainly be seen as a more viable and cost effective option when looking at technology investments for 2012 and considering all the talk around the possibility of another economic crisis, businesses still need to remain conscious around cost-saving and economic business management. Adds Rabson; “While certainly businesses cannot wait for the market to pick up to invest in technology, as this can result in being ‘left behind’, decision makers should audit their business from a technology perspective, weigh up the innovative technologies coming through (there are many) and decide on the course of action for that competitive edge.”

Dariel Solutions, recommend that businesses look at and pay attention to, the following technology trends that they feel will shape the year:

• Automated processes – 2012 will see more businesses turning to automated processes, as software becomes the electricity of an organisation. Such processes allow for the creation of a more efficient business, as well as save costs.

• Business Intelligence – in line with the trend of automated processes, 2012 will likely see more spend in areas such as Business Intelligence (BI), where businesses owners will be turning to data extracted from automated processes to make more strategic business decisions.

• The move towards everything as a service – although this was a prominent trend towards the end of 2011, it will remain a journey that the IT services industry takes throughout 2012. Yet it will be a technology concept that is evolutionary and not revolutionary as it is often projected. As technologies such as virtualisation and cloud computing continue to grow, so the industry will slowly start to migrate to everything becoming a service, however what will be important to take note of in 2012 will be the finer issues that arise as this concept sees growth, such as the impact it will have on business productivity.

“2012 will be a cautionary year for business in terms of spend in general, but it should also be a year that businesses look to invest in the right technology, to ensure their strategies align with the results they want to achieve throughout the year and beyond – especially given the competitive market currently. It is for this reason that businesses should now – at the beginning of the New Year – re-look at current technology infrastructures. Smart companies will do just this. It’s not always about new, but rather the integration of new and old – and this is the key to achieving continuous success,” concludes Rabson.

*IT spending to rise in South Africa, IT News Africa, January 2012, http://www.itnewsafrica.com/2012/01/it-spending-to-rise-in-south-africa/

The path to permanent enterprise efficiency

By admin, 25 stycznia, 2012, No Comment

As the global community unites to fix the CO2 mistakes of the last 50 years in the next 10, specialist in energy management, Schneider Electric South Africa, has a clear view of the energy challenge.

“We need new solutions, new thinking and new companies to lead us into an era in which we can truly do much more while consuming less,” says Gys Snyman, vice president: Energy Efficiency at global specialist in energy management, Schneider Electric South Africa.

The solutions to the energy challenge are multiple and complex. In most cases, they rely on a stronger and more efficient collaboration between key stakeholders, including facility and security managers, IT managers and machine or production managers. “Requisite levels of business efficiency involve system dynamics across platforms and providers like never before,” adds Snyman.

Doing more with less is a familiar mantra at companies in South Africa and around the world, especially when it concerns energy use. Managers at all levels are looking for meaningful ways to permanently reduce energy consumption and boost performance for the sake of the environment as well as the bottom line.

“This is with good reason,” says Snyman. “Energy demand is expected to double by 2050, and some experts forecast the energy demand of the machine-to-machine Internet to be 100-times greater than the current human-to-human network. We are learning the hard way that the earth’s energy capacity is finite. You don’t have to be a scientist or economist to recognise the simple outlook for energy supply and demand. Simply put, energy is expensive today and it promises to become even more costly in the future.”
 
According to the World Energy Outlook 2009, IEA/OECD, as energy demands escalate from all aspects of commerce and culture, the most acute pain point is that due to intrinsic inefficiencies, 33 units of energy consumed at the point of use require 100 units of primary energy – the coal used to supply that energy unit. “It follows that the war on waste – a focus on ‘negawatts’, or watts not used – will deliver the best returns for business,” says Snyman.

He explains that those returns must come from all levels of an enterprise to be truly efficient. From point-of-use components to enterprise-level energy architecture, meaningful efficiency is a pervasive mandate.

“But before you can drive business efficiencies and save energy, you have to be able to see it – and that’s where solutions from Schneider Electric South Africa come in,” he says.

“Our EcoStruxure Active Energy Management architecture is Schneider Electric’s response to the energy challenge as it turns a business into an efficient enterprise. That is, the solution is our method to creating intelligent energy management systems that are simplified, save money, and most importantly, reduce waste by enabling guaranteed compatibility between five critical domains: power-, process and machine-, IT room-, building- and security management.”

By taking multiple, siloed systems and adapting them to an integrated solution, EcoStruxure reduces redundancy in equipment, software and personnel.

“It is a proven methodology that empowers organisations to identify potential savings with increased visibility to their energy consumption, electrical equipment benchmarking, and estimated ROI reporting. As the only comprehensive, integrated approach designed for the digital economy and delivers capital and operational savings of up to 30 percent,” says Snyman.

As consumers, businesses and entire economies become increasingly reliant on technology, they insist that devices become more intuitive, more efficient and more intelligent. “With EcoStruxure solutions, Schneider Electric South Africa encourages them to expect the same of their energy,” concludes Snyman.

Fagri Semaar joins Teleperformance as new MD of South Africa

By admin, 25 stycznia, 2012, No Comment

Teleperformance has announced the appointment of Fagri Semaar, a former call centre agent, as its new Managing Director for South Africa.

Fagri Semaar

Fagri Semaar

Teleperformance, the global leader in customer experience, employs 128,000 people in over 50 countries and has over 600 people working at its sites in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

Semaar has experienced a meteoric rise through the industry since his first job as a teleresources agent in 1999.  After progressing through various leadership positions, he joined a skills development organisation as an equal partner in 2004 and subsequently opened his own project management and IT consultancy company in 2008.

“I am very excited about this opportunity; Teleperformance is a global leader in the BPO and contact centre space and I have already started to see signs of potential growth in the, financial services, utilities, public and mobile telecommunications sectors, says Semaar. “Expansions of key accounts are also on the cards and I am confident that our operation will grow substantially by the end of 2012.”

Alistair Niederer, CEO of Teleperformance UK & South Africa commented that under Fagri’s leadership, he believes that Teleperformance in South Africa will continue to go from strength to strength and that he will be instrumental in driving the business forward. “I am delighted to welcome Fagri to Teleperformance and wish him a long, happy and successful career here.”

Alongside his own business interests, Semaar has been highly influential in driving foreign investment to South Africa; first as interim CEO of industry body BPeSA Western Cape and then as Chairman, a role he still occupies.

According to Gareth Pritchard, CEO of BPeSA Western Cape, Fagri is the perfect person for the job.  “He has an intricate understanding of both the local and international BPO sector and, as Chairman of BPeSA Western Cape, continues to play a key role in assisting us in attracting foreign direct investment.”

Minister for Economic Development and Tourism in the Western Cape Alan Winde, says the announcement of Semaar as CEO is proof that with hard work and dedication anything is possible.

“In 1999, Semaar grasped an opportunity that came his way, worked extremely hard, and has now become a leading figure in our call centre industry.  His achievement will hopefully encourage other young people to believe that anything is possible if they are willing to work hard.”

 

You may already be using unified communications

By admin, 25 stycznia, 2012, No Comment

By Bennie Langenhoven, Managing Executive, Tellumat Communication Solutions

Many companies and individuals already use a form of unified communications, whether rudimentary or quite advanced.

Basic dabblers

On the ‘basic’ end of the scale solutions take a wide array of forms, often entailing point products. Most small organisations or individuals dabbling in UC at this level are at an early stage of their adoption, and many are not completely aware of the potential of what they’re engaging in and where to next with the technology.

For organisations, it will be useful to start with an Internet Protocol-based (IP) PBX, which can form the basis of future add-ons. Begin by adding IP phones, which can be replaced by another vendor’s handsets, if need be.

Knowing what you want

At the next, more advanced level, the unified communications market is more settled and informed. Companies at this level already have an IP PBX, into which they can begin to integrate the UC elements that are right for their business. Since IP is a universal standard, the following components can be added piecemeal and be from different vendors:

• Unified messaging, such as voicemail-to-e-mail, fax-to-e-mail or fax from the desktop

• Desktop productivity integration, allowing the aforementioned unified messaging, and also identifying callers and responding accordingly

• Remote and home extensions, allowing staff to make and receive calls using their mobiles while appearing to be at their desk extension. With directory integration, they can even find colleagues on their smartphone directory and transfer calls to them!

• Presence management allows users to set their availability and location, and even to allow others to see their meetings, which helps with scheduling.

• Other than that, UC offers many exciting features, such as videoconferencing and instant messaging.

And finding it

But where to find it all? The advanced UC industry is contested by major enterprise communications and collaboration vendors, including Shoretel, Cisco, Microsoft, Avaya, Siemens and Mitel.

• Microsoft has the benefit of being pervasive in the enterprise, but suffer the drawback of vendor complexity in its UC environment. Should the customer want a voice gateway, IP phones or call centre platform, they will be referred to a third-party vendor. For the same reason, support is a cumbersome affair.

• Others like Cisco have the benefit of coming from an IP networking infrastructure background, with associated network application expertise for a fuller value proposition. But as with Microsoft, the complexity of a Cisco solution is difficult to manage, scale and replicate for redundancy.  The cost of maintaining a Cisco Solution is also often prohibitive.

• Traditional PBX vendors like Avaya and Siemens approach UC from the vantage point of a background in voice. But the conversion of their portfolio into Internet Protocol-based (IP) infrastructure, devices and applications has made for complexity of a different sort. Many add-on third-party components have been integrated into the mix, and are often charged separately.  The different components also mostly have different management interfaces, which makes it expensive and complex to manage and maintain.

• Digital natives like ShoreTel have shunned complexity by building pure IP-based communications systems from the ground up. Instead of charging for each piece of new functionality, the IP PBX and phones are part of the basic functionality while most of the Unified Communications features are included free of charge. With a uniquely simple distributed architecture, redundancy is a simple matter of adding another appliance for every new site. Unlike complex configurations, redundancy does not require replicating the entire system.  On top of that, all components of the entire Unified Communications solution are managed through a single management interface.

Where do you fit in?

So where are you on the evolutionary path to full UC? Are you ready to go beyond consumer-grade solutions? The answer to that is known only to you.

If you are, which of the abovementioned vendors is for you? There is no right or wrong, merely appropriate or inappropriate for your needs. Some customers prefer to go with Microsoft as an enterprise standard, in which case integration with Microsoft is a must for the add-ons this vendor doesn’t have. Other companies may trust a time-honoured brand, while others yet may go with hard comparisons concerning cost, features and technology – which may benefit disruptive newcomers.

Invite proposals from the vendors you would shortlist, read analyst reports and research the proper vendor selection criteria.

* Tellumat is the South African distributor of ShoreTel systems.

ContinuitySA launches IT Service Continuity training course

By admin, 25 stycznia, 2012, No Comment

Africa’s largest Business Continuity service provider, ContinuitySA, has enhanced its Complete Continuity Training Academy to include a new course, IT Service Continuity.

The two-day course is targeted at IT and Business Continuity Management (BCM) professionals responsible for the continued uptime of IT services within their organisations.

“Effective BCM focuses on ensuring companies have the ability to restore and continue critical business operations no matter what happens,” says Millington Gumbo, GM of ContinuitySA’s Advisory Services. “In today’s technology-intensive business environment, the ability to ensure IT services are available as and when required is non-negotiable.

“Yet, despite their best intentions, few operational experts are able to implement an effective BCM service without the appropriate training and insight into the world of Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery. This is where the Complete Continuity Academy plays a crucial role.”

Key elements of the IT Service Continuity Course include:

• The link between BCM and IT Service Continuity Management;

• The evolution of IT Service Continuity;

• The latest concepts and trends in IT Service Continuity;

• Conducting an Infrastructure Impact Analysis;

• Formulating and implementing cost effective IT Service Continuity strategies to meet business requirements;

• Security management in IT Service Continuity;

• Testing the IT Service Continuity framework; and

• A Continuity-as-a-Service case study.

Attendees will not simply be bombarded with theory, but will be taught skills proven in the real world by active BCM practitioners with MBCI (Member of the Business Continuity Institute) certifications. The course is based on the Good Practice Guidelines of the BCI and complies with the British Standard BS 25999 to ensure it is on par with international best practices.

“Effective Business Continuity will only become a reality in Africa once business leaders and managers have the requisite skills and understanding to drive the implementation of workable BCM solutions,” notes Gumbo. “The IT Service Continuity course is another step in ensuring companies on the continent are capable of implementing BCM plans that meet the highest standards, ensuring their companies are ready for any emergency.”

The IT Service Continuity course will be held on the following days:

• 21st – 22nd February 2012 (Johannesburg)

• 24th – 25th April 2012 (Cape Town)

• 23rd – 24th May 2012 (Johannesburg)

• 6th – 7th August 2012 (Johannesburg)

• 27th – 28th September 2012 (Cape Town)

• 3rd – 4th October 2012 (Johannesburg)

For more information contact training@continuitysa.co.za, or call +27 (0)11 554 8000.

MTN Business completes one of the largest live infrastructure enhancement projects in the Southern Hemisphere

By admin, 25 stycznia, 2012, No Comment

The MTN Business Gallo Manor data centre has undergone a major retrofit that will see it aggressively expand its Managed Cloud services in alignment with its ICT strategy going forward

MTN Business is proud to announce the complete enhancement of its Gallo Manor data centre, situated in Johannesburg. The business recently undertook a comprehensive expansion and technology refresh of its main data centre to further cement the company’s competitive hosting environment for businesses.

The magnitude and capability of the Gallo Manor data centre has always been a key highlight for MTN Business, with the hosting infrastructure being amongst the first for the South African market, when initially launched over a decade ago.

“This facility has been instrumental in driving our business model of excellence and will continue to do so into the future due to, amongst other things, its location, infrastructure magnitude and size,” says Angela Gahagan-Thomson, Managing Executive at MTN Business. “Of course, looking at technologies such as cloud computing, virtualisation and convergence, and the important role that these will continually play on the operational utilities of business today – a substantial upgrade investment into Gallo Manor was a key objective of ours in 2011, to ensure our customers can take full and immediate advantage of technology innovation. Therefore, given the critical nature of this data centre, we chose to undertake a complete live refresh.”

From a technical standpoint the state-of-the-art the data center has been engineered and built around uptime and TIA-942 standards without compromising the use of innovative technologies and best practices to support efficiency, high availability and the highest level of physical security.

The Gallo Manor expansion sees the total footprint size of the data centre at 2000m2 with another 500m2 already earmarked for expansion, thus allowing for seamless growth for colocation customers, when required. With 6 main data centres and 11 third-party hosting sites, Gallo Manor is geared towards becoming the flagship facility for hosting and Cloud Services for MTN Business. “This enhancement talks to MTN Business’ rapid expansion initiatives in support of our growing managed hosting product offerings,” adds Gahagan-Thomson. “We understood the need to provide a facility that is not simply viewed as a data centre, but rather a technological ‘launch pad’ for our value added services to ensure customers can scale their business technology innovation as necessary – all while benefiting from improved cost efficiencies, greener functionality and unsurpassed service and maintenance excellence.” 

To ensure that MTN Business delivers the highest power availability and uptime to customers an additional redundant diesel generator set has been installed, should the entire feeder grid fail for an extended period of time. Furthermore, all racks are being fed power from 2(N+1) UPS sets, with sufficient battery backup. As a result, the facility has been designed to meet the ever increasing power requirements of modern IT equipment, and provides customers with optimal power usage management functionality. Moreover, MTN Business is now able to have a more accurate view of high consumption and impact areas, which allows for more precise measurement and overall enhanced management of the facility.

Additional notable changes include, but are not limited to, the following; 

• Enhancements to the power and cooling redundancies and efficiencies – replacement of the old chillers plant with new cooling towers. These are now Hybrid towers that use little or no water but are rather air cooled.

• Improvements to the security and Building Management Systems (BMS) – the new system has a 24 hour monitoring station that includes new CCTV and access control monitoring.

• Upgrades to A and B feeds across the whole data centre.

• A new fire protection system has been put into place.

• A new staging area has been added to the facility.

• And on the look and feel side of things, the reception has been upgraded and refurbished.

“Growth; corporate governance policies; as well as carbon reduction are becoming key aspects for businesses consideration today and smart organisations understand this. MTN Business continues to proactively move with these changes to assist customers in reaching such goals within the telecommunications environment. This enhanced Gallo Manor facility will provide our enterprise customers with a fully Opex Pay-per use Model, 24/7 managed hosting environment with specific power and data usage efficiencies management capabilities and of course, all this backed by a highly acclaimed customer service excellence experience.”

Concludes Gahagan-Thomson; “Congratulations to our dedicated and highly skilled project team who worked alongside our strategic MTN Business’ partners to ensure the successful completion of this large-scale project which allows us to confidently state that we can offer customers the best service, functionality and latency times across Africa.”

Soarsoft delivers support and services for simple, high speed migration to the cloud

By admin, 25 stycznia, 2012, No Comment

Soarsoft Africa, specialists in archiving migration, messaging and collaboration, is further gearing itself for the business requirement to migrate to the cloud. The company has expanded its tool box of technology and services enabling organisations to migrate critical functions quickly to the cloud without disruptions to business, facilitating a smooth transition.

Soarsoft Africa aligns itself with technology partners that specialise in archiving, migration and messaging whilst delivering the services, skills, experience and expertise that underpin the success of these projects.  These partners include Autonomy, Metalogix and TransVault to mention a few but the company has bolstered its offering with additional solutions and technologies that can assist with migrations to cloud platforms. This has been cemented with the recent partnership announcement with Binary Tree, a software vendor that delivers solutions for migrating enterprise messaging users and applications to on-premise and cloud based versions of Microsoft’s platforms.

Says Chris Hathaway, Director at Soarsoft Africa, “Cloud services have arrived and although South Africa is slightly behind the curve in comparison to its international counterparts, businesses will increasingly look towards cloud and hosted platforms as an alternative for various functions. The benefits are unquestionable; reducing capital investment and leveraging a pay-as-you-use model enabling companies to scale as and when they require – with ease.  There is a distinct gap in the market for companies that can assist with these migrations, which can be complex and require mitigation of risks such as disruption to business.  Understanding the complexity, integration with other business functions, risk and cost of the transition, is often a ‘show-stopper” when it comes to adopting cloud services.”

Further driving this requirement is the imminent launch of Microsoft Office 365 in South Africa, a suite of collaboration and productivity tools delivered through the cloud.  

Adds Hathaway, “Our technology partners have already geared themselves for this solution, which has been available in the US and Europe for some time, but only recently became available in our region.  This is evident with many of our product principles such as Metalogix and Binary Tree announcing general availability of Microsoft Office 365 support in their migration solution offerings. This requires stringent security and design requirements to be met and a significant investment to enable Exchange and SharePoint ‘cloud” migration to the Microsoft data centres.”

“Local companies can soon leverage the benefits of Office 365 such as productivity, reliability and scalability and Soarsoft is further able to assist companies to migrate to these services from ‘non’ Microsoft platforms such as IBM Domino / Lotus Notes and major ECM platforms to a Microsoft based cloud service.”
 
The core requirements during the transition are to analyze, co-exist and migrate, while also reduce the time to migrate significantly, provide better forecasting and planning, not to mention cost savings.
 
With more than a decade of experience in this niche area of IT, Soarsoft Africa understands the intricacies that exist within migrations and how to best tackle them.  The company will also be announcing a new development soon that will bring local “cloud” based migration solutions to South African businesses, providing choice and price competitiveness.

New Joomla! 2.5 Released; Open Source Content Management + Application Framework

By admin, 25 stycznia, 2012, No Comment

Joomla, one of the world’s most popular open source content management systems  (CMS) + Application Framework used for everything from websites to blogs to Intranets, today announced the immediate availability of Joomla 2.5. Along with new features such as advanced search and automatic notification of Joomla core and extension updates, Joomla for the first time includes multi-database support with the addition of Microsoft SQL Server. Previous versions of Joomla were compatible exclusively with MySQL databases.

Joomla’s newest version includes multi-database support with addition of Microsoft SQL Server compatibility.

“Multi-database support is a huge step forward for Joomla, which is already powering more than 1.6 million websites worldwide. It ensures companies and organization, both large and small, will save even more money and time by adopting Joomla,” said Ryan Ozimek, president of Open Source Matters, a non-profit created to provide organizational, legal, and financial support to the Joomla project.

“No longer will Joomla developers be tied down to a particular database or have to spend more money and time integrating other software to get Joomla to communicate with their database. This enhances Joomla’s scalability immensely.”

Other key features in Joomla 2.5 includes:

Automatic notification of Core Joomla updates and Extensions – When logged into the control panel, site administrators will instantly have access to new notification buttons that allows them to see and act on the latest updates. In addition to updates for the Joomla CMS, a second button offers third party extension notification updates.

Natural language search engine – A better natural language search engine to the Joomla core. Complete with auto-completion and stemming (for example if you type “running” in a search field you also see run), it is faster and more versatile than the standard search.

Database Fix button -  A new feature was added that will check to see that your database is up-to-date with any database schema changes added during upgrades. If they are out of date, you can press the Fix button to apply the needed changes.

CAPTCHA in the core -  CAPTCHA uses scrambled text to prevent robotic spammers from submitting forms. Joomla 2.5 gains an API that lets you use CAPTCHAs in your forms.

Images and URL Fields to Create Simple Standardized Layouts – You will be able to specify an image for the introduction and an image for the full article, as well as 3 links. This means that your content creators won’t have to fuss with an image in the text (you can even disable the image button in the editor) and your article format will be cleaner and more consistent.

“We literally received thousands of pieces of input at ideas.joomla.org into what functionality should be added to Joomla 2.5, and overwhelmingly enhanced notifications and more elegant search topped the list,” said Mark Dexter of the Joomla Production Leadership Team. “In fact, the automatic notification for core and extension updates received the most votes for a feature that people wanted in 2.5. But we didn’t stop with just those two. Joomla 2.5 is a major overhaul with more than 24 new features that we have highlighted at www.xyz.com.”

Joomla 2.5 adheres to Joomla’s six-month release cycle that began with the release of Joomla 1.6 in January, 2011. Downloading the latest version of Joomla is the best way to ensure organizational and personal security needs are being met since it will have the most recent updates to protect against the latest security threats.

Joomla 2.5 is truly a collaborative community-driven software project developed with the feedback gathered from more than 2.5 million Joomla forum posts, 530,000 Joomla forum members and data from more than 8,700 Joomla extensions. To download Joomla 2.5, go to http://www.joomla.org

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