Visualizing Resource Management (1)

Visualizing Resource Management – the art, the science and the power to visually plan and position the right resources, in the right places, at the right times.  Sounds like a fairly straight forward concept and should be wrapped into every ERP, Logistics and CRM related software consumed by any organization.

And that’s where the opportunity presents itself – most enterprise systems do not employ visual resource planning and scheduling. The complexities of visually representing multi-dimensional resource scheduling data is challenging and very rewarding when you get it right.  There are two products that have stood the test of various industries for the last twenty years and have got it right, every time.

Of course these products didn’t start out as they are today – through the course of your enterprise management demands and coding challenges, Studio Controls and Solutions Schedule have been influenced and have evolved significantly over the course of the last twenty years. To where we are at this time – the strongest most feature rich, natural user interface design controls available – consumed by commercial software companies for myriad industries around the world.

Welcome to 2016!  The next step in the evolution of Visual Resource Management, Natural Language Processing and Text Analytics.  We have a number of exciting new developments to share with you in course of the next number of months.  First, we’re going to start with a number of product updates, then shortly after that a whole new multi-faceted scheduling control and then the world of how we search, divine and consume information changes.

Contextually accurate summary meaning from any text – “Point of View”

What were the salient points from Martin Luther Kings’ famous ‘I Have a Dream’ speech – remember? We remember what the demonstration was about and the impact of that day in history – that speech – what were the quotable quotes?

In today’s hyper world of ‘Now’ – how would you find these key phrases? This is a great example of where the xAIgent (ex-ai-gent) key phrase retrieval system (RESTful Service) shines: The speech – six pages in length, comprising 1667 words, organized in 44 paragraphs, 7458 characters – What were the top 30 key phrases from his ‘I Have A Dream’ speech?

Let’s find out…

xAIgent Service Sample Online Demonstration
xAIgent.com – xAIgent RESTful Service Sample – Online Demo

Objectively and accurately, how can we discern the top 30 key phrases from Martin Luther King Jr’s ‘I Have A Dream’ speech in today’s impatient world of ‘Now’?

Simple – xAIgent RESTful Service *1 = http://www.xAIgent.com, here’s what it looks like:

• A – copy the text of the speech
• B – paste the copied speech into the xAIgent Demo Application
• C – Set the Key Phrase selector dial to 30
• D – Plug in the captcha auth code
• E – Click the ‘Run the xAIgent’ button

And the five step process is simply this…

A – copy the text of the speech

xAIgent RESTful Service Sample - Online Demo - I have a dream - Martin Luther King Jr.

– paste the copied speech into the xAIgent Demo Application

xAIgent RESTful Service - Online Demo - I have a dream - Martin Luther King Jr.

C – Set the Key Phrase selector dial to 30

xAIgent RESTful Service - Online Demo - I have a dream, Martin Luther King Jr.

D – Plug in the captcha auth code

xAIgent RESTful Service - Online Demo - I have a dream, Martin Luther King

E – Click the ‘Run the xAIgent’ button

xAIgent RESTful Service - Online Demo Example - I have a Dream, Martin Luther King

In a matter of milliseconds the xAIgent RESTful service sends your request to DBI’s hosted service and returns to you the top 30 key phrases from Martin Luther King Jr’s famous ‘I Have A Dream’ speech including highlights from the body of the speech that demonstrates why each keyphrase is important (in this example). Here are the results in descending order of importance*:

1. FREEDOM
Score: 23.29412
Highlight: I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

2. NEGRO
Score: 15.141178
Highlight: This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice.

3. FREEDOM RING
Score: 12
Highlight: And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.

4. NATION
Score: 11.64706
Highlight: I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

5. DREAM
Score: 11
Highlight: And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream.

6. AMERICA
Score: 10.482354
Highlight: It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of color are concerned.

7. JUSTICE
Score: 9.317648
Highlight: And so, we’ve come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.

8. SATISFY
Score: 9
Highlight: Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.

9. MOUNTAIN
Score: 7
Highlight: we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope.

10. FAITH
Score: 5
Highlight: and this is the faith that I go back to the South with.

11. BROTHERHOOD
Score: 5
Highlight: I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

12. PROMISSORY
Score: 4.658824
Highlight: When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.

13. LAND
Score: 4.658824
Highlight: the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land.

14. MISSISSIPPI
Score: 4
Highlight: We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote.

15. RIGHTS
Score: 3.494118
Highlight: And there will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights.

16. PROMISSORY NOTE
Score: 3.494118
Highlight: When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.

17. LIVES
Score: 3.494118
Highlight: the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity.

18. INJUSTICE
Score: 3.494118
Highlight: This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice.

19. SLAVES
Score: 3.494118
Highlight: I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

20. HILL
Score: 3
Highlight: Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.

21. GEORGIA
Score: 3
Highlight: I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

22. ALABAMA
Score: 3
Highlight: I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of “interposition” and “nullification” — one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

23. SWELTERING
Score: 3
Highlight: I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

24. VALLEY
Score: 3
Highlight: Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice.

25. RISE
Score: 3
Highlight: Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice.

26. TRANQUILIZING
Score: 2.329412
Highlight: This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism.

27. URGENCY
Score: 2.329412
Highlight: We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now.

28. REFUSE
Score: 2.329412
Highlight: We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation.

29. INSUFFICIENT FUNDS
Score: 2.329412
Highlight: We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation.

30. CITIZENS
Score: 2.329412
Highlight: It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of color are concerned.

You will notice that key terms – Freedom and Nation are high in the ranking and draw emphasis from the same paragraph, however, in different context. The ability of xAIgent to discern Context, while accurately and objectively providing key term summary highlights is a unique characteristic of the xAIgent RESTful Service.

Also, ‘I have a dream’ is obviously a key element that appears later on in the speech and we see that relevance in the Key Phrases and their highlights – and how this theme is given contextual emphasis from different words used in the speech drawing specific attention.

This type of contextual accuracy is not possible using a referential-based system – to gain the currency of ‘Context’ along with objective accuracy – xAIgent is the only solution.

As a RESTful Service, xAIgent is very simple to implement in to a project – see how: Sample Setup Code

Subscribe to a full free developer evaluation here :: http://www.xAIgent.com – slide down to the 5th item in the list and click on the link.

xAIgent Today !

The Scarce Resource will be ‘Points of View’

“There will be more really great content too, but snagging it in an ocean of banal junk will be harder than ever.  It is this avalanche of content that will make context the scarce resource.”

The words of well known Futurist / Forecaster Paul Saffo.

And the conversation continues… context won’t really be the gold commodity of the time – “Point of view” will be.  ‘That quintessentially-human solution to information overload, an intuitive process of reducing things to an essential relevant and manageable minimum.’

Much like the 16th century proverb – ‘necessity is the mother of invention’, we are at a new point where technology can answer the current need – for context, and Point of View out of the growing ocean of content.  A solution with a narrowed focus, simplified implementation and the ability to quickly derive near perfect ‘Point of View’.

The necessity, the desire – distill content into contextually accurate ‘Points of View’ – in more common terms of this webified world  –  key phrases and keywords.  If only there were an easily consumable technology – a RESTful service for instance that answered the call.   There is – it’s called  xAIgent.

See how you can make your content relevant and manageable.    http://www.xAIgent.com

Strong Sector Growth From ERP, CRM… Software Companies

Do you keep half an eye on what’s happening in the global software market?  It’s interesting to note the strong sector growth for those segments that relate to the supply of goods and services and those that focus on ‘the relationship’ – and specifically the Customer Relationship Management. You’ve got it right, CRM, ERP, SCM, HMS / HIS, FSM and the like have all seen notable increases in growth worldwide this past year – ranging from 8% to 13% and the forecast from various industry analysts concur  continued growth will maintain at a similar pace through 2020.

It’s no surprise that many of the software companies serving these market segments are long time DBI customers. Where the Solutions Schedule and Studio Controls product lines offer unique solutions for what can be extremely complex programming requirements.

For those in the midst of challenging some of these complexities using creative scheduling and UI design concepts we offer one more tool for your toolbox – and may be surprisingly to some – an open source .NET Warehouse and Shipments Scheduling Framework. Navigate to CodePlex and look for the ‘Warehouse Scheduling Framework’ – https://dbischedulingframework.codeplex.com

Enterprise Resource Management Software Trends

Do you keep half an eye on what’s happening in the global software market?  It’s interesting to note the strong sector growth for those segments that relate to the supply of goods and services and those that focus on ‘the relationship’ – and specifically the Customer Relationship Management. You’ve got it right, CRM, ERP, SCM, HMS / HIS, FSM and the like have all seen notable increases in growth worldwide this past year – ranging from 8% to 13% and the forecast from various industry analysts concur  continued growth will maintain at a similar pace through 2020.

It’s no surprise that many of the software companies serving these market segments are long time DBI customers. Where the Solutions Schedule and Studio Controls product lines offer unique solutions for what can be extremely complex programming requirements.

For those in the midst of challenging some of these complexities using creative scheduling and UI design concepts DBI is now offering one more developer tool for the Visual Studio toolbox – which may come as a surprise for some – an open source .NET Warehouse and Shipments Scheduling Framework. Navigate to CodePlex and look for the ‘Warehouse Scheduling Framework’ – https://dbischedulingframework.codeplex.com

The Dynamics of Scheduling

Scheduling :     for many of us scheduling is a common term for referencing a period of time allocated for an activity. That allocation may be contrasted against a vertical time-line (ruler) as is common with day timers, Microsoft Outlook and other appointment book presentations. DBI represents this type of functionality in the calendar and appointment scheduling controls found in Studio Controls.

An alternate perspective in scheduling may be termed as Gantt-style, a common reference in project management, where a value of time (time bar) is associated with a resource in relation to a horizontal time line (ruler). Gantt includes a definition where the relation of activities on a time line (ruler) may be linked or have affect to other activities/ resources along the same time line. The concept of Gantt in terms of scheduling resources (assets) allows a quick reference of availability which may or may not be directly related to other entities. The ability at a high level to see what a list of resources are doing, when, where, how and why. DBI represents this type of Macro Scheduling application functionality in terms of  Solutions Schedule.

TERMINOLOGY

There are three distinct perspectives to the term scheduling; Appointment Scheduling, Multi-Resource / Asset Management Scheduling and Project management. Project management incorporates an element of timeline scheduling, however, its true value is in managing a collection of required resources to complete a series of tasks in direct relation to each other, over a proposed period of time. Appointment scheduling focuses on an individual entity or entities over a series of hours or days. What may be termed as micro scheduling. Multi-resource and asset management scheduling on the other hand focuses on a list of entities (typically a Y axis presentation) and their status along a fixed or varying time line (an X axis orientation) which may include other relational information captured by an associated time bar. The concept of macro scheduling may be termed in this context.

In many scheduling instances macro (resource) and micro (appointment) scheduling views are needed to give end-users the right tools at the right time and to correctly present and interact with time-based relational information. For an in-depth discussion with Visual Studio sample code navigate to… Case Study

Welcome to Solutions Schedule .NET v6.0

ERP, CRM, MRP, SCM… there’s a full bowl of alphabet conjugations flavoured for and that speak to mining, production, processing, transporting… responding to satisfy our needs – consumer needs. Whether you’re at the beginning of the supply chain building systems that support the production of raw materials or at the end point of optimizing consumer service, each element along the way is skillfully managed.

Rarely do we stop to think of the logistic complexities, the simultaneous activities and the competing conflicts that go into supplying life in the twenty first century. As global markets expand and our appetites for ‘new’ grow – so too do our demands on: supply chain management, production planning, customer relations, field service management and enterprise resource planning.

Can you imagine what management systems would be like without an intuitively interactive, functional and visually appealing interface! There is a reason why Solutions Schedule is the choice of enterprise software developers. Welcome to Solutions Schedule .NET version 6.0!

Kanban – Logistics – Process – Visualization

Kanban is a common development strategy with software development teams today, helping to optimize requirements, resources, experience (skills) and process. The concept, to visualize the elements involved in software development allowing for dynamic involvement and fluid outcomes. In other words, manage all of the resources – visually and in a way that is responsive to incremental change without over-stressing anyone of the key elements along the way.

Kanban has evolved into six primary practices for successful outcomes. Not surprisingly, the first practice involves visualization and identifying the primary elements of work flow, which then steps into managing Work In Progress for optimizing resources. The third and fourth practices involve Flow Management and Explicit Policies which provide mechanisms for monitoring activity transitions and the rules for moving the project along (the business rules for your implementation of Kanban). Operational review and collaborative process improvement round-out the primary practices – the methods by which continuous improvements are realized.

What’s interesting about Kanban is that its origin lies at the heart of Toyota automobile production systems. A lean, just in time logistics production planning / scheduling system (lean manufacturing) developed by an intriguing individual by the name of Taiichi Ohno. His goal was to produce a system that optimized the logistics of production based on a pull strategy – along the lines of supermarket operations.

Whether your view is production line, outbound resource planning, global logistics or development process – the key is creating a visual presentation that is responsive, intuitively descriptive and malleable so it can be consumed in multiple implementations, supporting your primary principles – Solutions Schedule.

What to use for Desktop Development…

Line of business application development isn’t going away. How you look at current enterprise development requirements and future needs may indicate a code base strategy that follows very closely inline with XAML. Windows Presentation Foundation – WPF – has become a default for Windows desktop development and as Microsoft infuses new feature support into the IDE, including greater compatibility across Visual Studio assets, the underlying structure – XAML, helps solidify a path going forward.

From strong graphical solutions expected by line of business application users built on WPF to mobile fluent front-line workers consuming a mix of WPF, Silverlight and others, WPF answers an immediate need for business systems while incurring a knowledge base that carries forward to Silverlight and mobile app development spurred on with Xamarin.

Enterprise resource planning and scheduling starts with the heavy lifting being done on the desktop, where the detail and calculation intensive work is efficiently maneuvered using multiple displays that present multiple views of enterprise data. When it comes to desktop and more mobile Enterprise Resource Planning and Scheduling needs – DBI has you covered.

This month, we’re pleased to be releasing DBI Calendar WPF version 2.0!

In the segments that follow we will introduce the significant changes that have been made to Calendar WPF and the new features including full MVVM support that you have all been asking for – enjoy!

What’s Your Flavour of Scheduling ?

Scheduling has many names and terms of reference; often having starting points with Calendars and date pickers and quickly advancing to Day Minders, Rosters, Appointment scheduling to Enterprise Resource Planning and production scheduling.

Each has its own characteristics for presenting a type of appointment, task … in general terms a commitment that has a specific start time and an end time and usually presented along a timescale. The orientation of the timescale will imply a type of scheduling  – for instance, a vertical timescale is often viewed as appointment scheduling similar to a day timer or Outlook style of scheduling. In contrast, a horizontal timescale will imply resource planning, project management or resource scheduling. 

The complexities of scheduling have not diminished – if at all, scheduling has become even more complicated as we account for organizations with operations around the world accommodating a more sophisticated work force and advanced customer.

Taking these aspects in account, DBI has evolved its core set of components allowing developers to effectively manage the global nature of business and life today including the growing complexities of scheduling.  To the point, where today we look at managing many to many relationships that are associated with arranging appointments with resources from around the world.  A good example might be a video conference call, where resources from around the world are scheduled.