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Image Loading
Image Loading

As images come in different sizes and formats, image loading is often a complex and time consuming process. Image loading usually consists of fetching the image file, reading the header, decoding the compressed pixels' values, and then delivering the pixels. Java currently supports two types of images, JPEG and GIF. The loading mechanisms for these formats are already built-in. If other formats are involved, users will have to write their own loading programs.

Image loading may mean different things to different applications. Some applications may display images directly without explicitly using image properties or pixel values. In this case, image loading involves fetching the image as a single object. Image animation is an example of such an application. In some applications, pixels may have to be manipulated. Image loading for such applications will include fetching the image properties and pixel values explicitly, involving several stages. Image Analysis belongs to this category of applications. This article describes some loading issues, problems, and difficulties commonly encountered and a solution to some of these problems.

Asynchronous Loading
The Java environment, which is multithreaded, allows asynchronous loading of images. Whether it is from a network or local disk, it takes a finite amount of time to load an image; this duration is unpredictable. As an image is being loaded, the program which uses that image will require the loading status in order to proceed with its task. There can be two approaches to accomplishing this...polling and notification. In polling, the program that needs the image checks the loading status at regular intervals. In a multithreaded environment, this approach is inefficient because the program that waits for the images not only wastes CPU cycles but also hinders the progress of other tasks.

In the notification approach, the image loading program notifies the image user program as the image is being loaded. In this approach, CPU cycles are not wasted and the progress of other tasks is unhindered during loading. However, a proper synchronization mechanism is needed between the image loading and image using programs to trigger appropriate actions at different stages of loading.

The AWT imaging model facilitates image loading through notification. The image producer delivers the pixels to the image consumer asynchronously. The image observer monitors the delivery of pixels. The ImageObserver interface has just one method called imageUpdate(). Whether it is image loading or image drawing, whenever an asynchronous image operation is involved, the imageUpdate() method is invoked at regular intervals to notify the status of that image operation. Although the AWT component class has the built-in imageUpdate() method, it is often necessary to override the imageUpdate() method to provide a better control over the actions that are performed upon image loading.

A typical imageUpdate() method is shown in Listing 1. The arguments of the imageUpdate() method include the status flag, width, and height. The status flag is a bitmask with each bit in the flag representing an operation. If the imageUpdate () method returns false, the updates for that operation will not be notified further.

Image Loading Stages
As Java is used in a wide variety of applications, the loading requirements vary. For example, in image animation there is no need to explicitly extract pixels. In contrast, in image analysis it is a must.

Depending upon the applications, image loading can involve a number of steps. These steps can be grouped into the following three stages.

1. Fetching the Image Object
The getImage() methods in the Applet class or AWT Toolkit class will perform image fetching. Just the invocation of getImage() method does not force an image to load. Images are loaded only when they are needed. Thus, the getImage() method is just a request to load an image. Actual delivery of pixels takes place only when an image is required.

2. Fetching Properties
An image can be considered as a combination of raw pixel values and information about the image. This information may consist of geometrical parameters, viewing parameters, scanning parameters, ownership, image format, etc. The properties of an image can be obtained by explicit requests; i.e., by using the get methods in the Image class. There are three methods available for property fetching. The width and height of an image can be fetched by getWidth(ImageObserver observer) and getHeight(ImageObserver observer) methods respectively. The other image properties can be fetched by the getProperty(String name, ImageObserver observer). This method can be used to fetch any named property that is specific to an image format. All the properties may not be needed to view an image.

Getting the width, height, and other properties are asynchronous operations, which means that the properties requested may not be immediately redeemable if the image is not loaded. In such a case, these methods return a -1. As in any other asynchronous operation in AWT, an ImageObserver object monitors the status of the image property fetch. The ImageObserver receives updates about an Image operation through the imageUpdate() method. When the WIDTH bit is set, the width of the image is available; similarly, image height is available when the HEIGHT bit is set.

3. Extracting Pixel Values
When an image object is loaded, pixels are hidden within that object. In order to grab the pixel values, specific requests need to be made. The PixelGrabber class which implements the ImageConsumer interface is used for extracting pixels. A PixelGrabber object should first be created as:

PixelGrabber pg = new PixelGrabber(img, 0,0,width,height, pixMap, 0, width);

When the PixelGrabber object is created, resources are allocated to enable the pixel grabber operation. The actual fetching of pixels is done by the grabPixels() method, shown in Listing 2.

A request to extract pixels values will also trigger the delivery of pixels.

Image Loading Problems
In this section, some of the problems and difficulties encountered due to Java's image loading are described.

1. Image Painting Problem
As mentioned before, images are loaded only when they are needed. This could cause problems if the paint() method is executed before the image is fully loaded. If double buffering is not implemented, you can see the image slowly unfolding on the screen as it loads. Even with double buffering, if the actual paint() or update() is executed before it is drawn on the off screen graphics, the screen will be blank.

There are many solutions to the image paint problem. One of them is to force the image to load in advance. The AWT component and the Toolkit classes provide the prepareImage() methods to force image loading. When an image is loaded in advance, some resources are tied up for a longer time. When a large number of images is involved, loading in advance is not desirable. The other solution is to use the imageUpdate() method to paint the image only after the image is completely loaded.

2. Animation Problem
Late loading can also result in slow animation as the images are being loaded. It may also lead to undesirable flashing. A solution to this problem is to load all the images in advance and then start the animation. Although prepareImage() methods can be used to accomplish this, it may involve some additional programming. However, the MediaTracker class which uses prepareImage() and imageUpdate() has methods to accomplish advance image loading and tracking. One problem with advance loading is that the viewing area in the applet/application will remain blank until all of the images are loaded. This may not be desirable if the loading times are larger. A progressive painting solution can be resorted to in such cases.

3. Loading Images for Non-Display Applications
Although MediaTracker is easy to use, it can not be used universally. The MediaTracker constructor requires an AWT component to be an argument. Moreover, that component has to be visible on the screen. This is not a problem in multimedia types of applications, as images are always displayed in some subclasses of the AWT component class. However, in Image Analysis types of applications in which computations are often performed before display, a dummy component may have to be made visible in order to use the MediaTracker class. There can also be applications in which graphical user interfaces are separated from the image loading classes. In such cases, MediaTracker will force the use of a GUI component in the image loading classes.

4. Difficulty with imageUpdate() Method
The imageUpdate() method has to trigger appropriate actions depending on the status. So, the imageUpdate() method becomes the center of control whenever image related asynchronous operations are involved. This may involve some programming difficulties in large and complex applications such as:

  • A number of actions may have to be performed in different objects when certain status information is available. Because of the asynchronous nature, these objects may be in different states. Managing these will be difficult because the state of the objects has to be known. This would require maintaining state variables in each object and triggering actions based on their state.
  • If several images are to be loaded together, it is often necessary to do different things with different images. For example, you may need to display a few images in an image set, but perform analysis on all the images in the set. This would require the imageUpdate() method to identify the image object and take appropriate actions depending on the object.
  • Typically, in an applet or a small application, a single object handles image loading and drawing. The ImageObserver interface is implemented in that object itself. In other words, the same object will have the imageUpdate() method. However, in a large application, loading may be performed by one object and drawing may be performed in another. The status notification may go to different objects and these objects will have to be aware of what actions are to be performed. A solution would be to create a separate ImageObserver object where the loading and drawing status related to an image is reported.

    5. Scattered Image Loading APIs
    As we have seen in the Image Loading Stages section, a number of APIs are required to load images. These are scattered over different classes in the java.awt and java.awt.image packages. This would mean a longer learning curve to understand image loading. What is desirable, therefore, is a single class that encapsulates all the image loading functionality. The next section describes such a class.

    A Multi Purpose Image Loading Class
    An image loading class called ScreenImage was developed to solve some of the problems discussed in the previous section. Unlike MediaTracker, it does not require a visible AWT component. The ScreenImage class implements the ImageObserver interface and its functionality centered around the imageUpdate() method. Clients can register with the ScreenImage class for callback and the imageUpdate() method will notify the registered objects at different stages of image loading. Because of this callback, the ScreenImage eases the programming difficulty involved in using the imageUpdate() method by allowing the clients themselves to perform appropriate actions.

    The ScreenImage class has a number of APIs that help to load images, fetch properties, and extract pixels. It also provides the prepareImage() methods to enable the applications to load images in advance. In addition, it saves image properties such as width and height, and pixels' values if extracted. The client applications can monitor the progress in loading by checking the loadStatus variable. Thus, a number of related image loading functions is available under one class. The complete code listing for ScreenImage class is shown in Listing 3. A ScreenImage object needs to be constructed for every image that is going to be loaded. The client application is neither required to be of the type component nor is it required to implement the ImageObserver interface. However, it has to implement the Callback interface, which contains just one method called performCallback(int satus), shown in Listing 4.

    The registered clients receive a callback notification whenever the loading status changes. Unlike the imageUpdate() method, this method is invoked when a certain loading status is attained. Currently, it is invoked on the following occasions:

  • Height and width available
  • Image is ready for drawing
  • Pixel values are available
  • Error condition
    A Sample Application/applet.

    A sample application/applet was developed to illustrate the use of ScreenImage class. It is used to load images for three different types of applications. Figure 1 shows the Frame that runs the application/applet.

    It can display images in four tiled viewports, run animation, and extract pixels. Images can be selected using the ImageSelector Panel. Animation can be performed in any of the four windows. As the animation loop is running, it can be dynamically switched to other ports by selecting a desired viewport. The pixel computation can be performed without even displaying images. Some of the methods used in this application/applet are explained next.

    Displaying Images
    The method shown in Listing 5 can be used in any application to load an image. This method can be a part of the image viewing class. The imageTable variable is a HashTable which saves the ScreenImage and its id. This is a convenient way of keeping track of whether a ScreenImage object has been created for a given image. The fileList variable contains the list of image file names. In case of applets, the setUrlInfo() method can be used.

    Listing 6 is the program snippet to display an image. The actual image display takes place in a class called ImageCanvas.

    All the methods in Listings 7, 8, and 9 belong to the ImageCanvas class, which performs image painting. In the ImageCanvas class, scnImage is an instance variable. The method in Listing 7 sets that variable. This method first removes itself from the callback list of the previous ScreenImage and then registers with the new ScreenImage object.

    The imagePaint() methods shown in Listing 8 are used for painting images. The actual painting is done by the update() method. The drawOffScren() method, which is not shown here, implements the double buffering.

    The method shown in Listing 9 is called by the ScreenImage method to notify the image loading status. The action is performed only when an image is ready (or when there is an error, but not shown in the code).

    Extracting Pixels
    A method for extracting pixels is shown in Listing 10. Pixel values can be extracted without even displaying the image. The code is similar to the loadAnImage() method, except for the fetchPixels() method. In this method, a delay is added between load() and fetchPixels() method. Without this delay, loadPixels() will hang in some platforms.

    The method in Listing 11 is called by the ScreenImage object. It checks for the PIXELS_AVAILABLE status and invokes a method to generate statistics.

    Summary & Conclusions
    The asynchronous nature of Java's image loading may pose problems, including image painting and animation problems, and difficulty in using the imageUpdate() method. The ScreenImage class described here not only solves some of the problems but can also be used in a variety of applications. It encapsulates a number of image loading-related methods that are scattered over different AWT classes. In addition, it keeps track of image loading and saves image pixels. Just like MediaTracker, it simplifies the programming involved in image loading synchronization. If an application has a large number of images involved for simple viewing or animation, using the ScreenImage class may not be as desirable as it may result in unnecessary code overhead.

    References
    1. Cohen et al, Professional Java Programming, Wrox Press, September 1996.
    2. Graham, Jim, Image loading related articles posted to comp.lang.java. usenet group.
    3. java.awt and java.awt.image API Documentation.

    About Lawrence Rodrigues
    Lawrence Rodrigues is a senior consultant with Compuware Corp., Milwaukee. He has been developing Java applets and applications, is a contributor to the book "Professional Java: Fundamentals," by Wrox Press, and is also a judge at JARS. Besides Java, his current interests include Image Visualization and Analysis, Computational Geometry and Image Data Compression.

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    WebRTC Summit New York All-Star Speakers Include

    CLELAND
    HGST

    VASILIOU
    Catchpoint

    WALLGREN
    Electric Cloud

    HINCH-
    CLIFFE

    7Summits

    DE SOUZA
    Cisco

    RANDALL
    Gartner

    ARM-
    STRONG

    AppNeta

    SMALL-
    TREE

    Cazena

    MCCARTHY
    Bsquare

    DELOACH
    Infobright

    QUINT
    Ontegrity

    MALAU-
    CHLAN

    Buddy Platform

    PALIOTTA
    Vector

    MITRA
    Cognizant

    KOCHER
    Grey Heron

    PAPDO
    POULOS

    Cloud9

    HARLAN
    Two Bulls

    GOLO
    SHUBIN

    Bit6

    PROIETTI
    Location
    Smart

    MARTIN
    nfrastructure

    MOULINE
    Everbridge

    MARSH
    Blue Pillar

    PARKS
    SecureRF

    PEROTTI
    Plantronics

    HOFFMAN
    EastBanc

    WATSON
    Trendalyze

    BENSON-
    OFF

    Unigma

    SHAN
    CTS

    MATTELA
    Redpine

    GILLEN
    Spark
    Coginition

    SOLT
    Netvibes

    BERN-
    ARDO

    GE Digital

    ROMAN-
    SKY

    TrustPoint

    BEAMER
    GoTransverse

    LESTER
    LogMeIn

    PONO
    -MAREVA

    Google

    SINGH
    Sencha

    CALKINS
    Amadeus

    KLEIN
    Rachio

    HOASIN
    Aeris

    SARKARIA
    PHEMI

    SPROULE
    Metavine

    SNELL
    Intel

    LEVINE
    CytexOne

    ALLEN
    Freewave

    MCCAL-
    LUM

    Falconstor

    HYEDT
    Seamless

    WebRTC Summit Silicon Valley All-Star Speakers Include

    SCHULZ
    Luxoft

    TAM-
    BURINI

    Autodesk

    MCCARTHY
    Bsquare

    THURAI
    SaneIoT

    TURNER
    Cloudian

    ENDO
    Intrepid

    NAKAGAWA
    Transparent

    SHIBATA
    Transparent

    LEVANT-LEVI
    testRTC

    VARAN NATH
    GE

    COOPER
    M2Mi

    SENAY
    Teletax

    SKEEN
    Vitria

    KOCHER
    Grey Heron

    GREENE
    PubNub

    MAGUIRE
    HP

    MATTHIEU
    Octoblu

    STEINER-
    JOVIC

    AweSense

    LYNN
    AgilData

    HEDGES
    Cloudata

    DUFOUR
    Webroot

    ROBERTS
    Platform

    JONES
    Deep

    PFEIFFER
    NICTA

    NIELSEN
    Redis

    PAOLAL-
    ANTORIO

    DataArchon

    KAHN
    Solgenia

    LOPEZ
    Kurento

    KIM
    MapR

    BROMHEAD
    Instaclustr

    LEVINE
    CytexOne

    BONIFAZI
    Solgenia

    GORBA-
    CHEV

    Intelligent
    Systems

    THYKAT-
    TIL

    Navisite

    TRELOAR
    Bebaio

    SIVARAMA-
    KRISHNAN

    Red Hat
    Cloud Expo New York All-Star Speakers Included

    DE SOUZA
    Cisco

    POTTER
    SafeLogic

    ROBINSON
    CompTIA

    WARUSA
    -WITHANA

    WSO2 Inc

    MEINER
    Oracle

    CHOU
    Microsoft

    HARRISON
    Tufin

    BRUNOZZI
    VMware

    KIM
    MapR

    KANE
    Dyn

    SICULAR
    Basho

    TURNER
    Cloudian

    KUMAR
    Liaison

    ADAMIAK
    Liaison

    KHAN
    Solgenia

    BONIFAZI
    Solgenia

    SUSSMAN
    Coalfire

    ISAACSON
    RMS

    LYNN
    CodeFutures

    HEABERLIN
    Windstream

    RAMA
    MURTHY

    Virtusa

    BOSTOCK
    IndependenceIT

    DE MENO
    CommVault

    GRILLI
    Adobe

    WILLIAMS
    Rancher Labs

    CRISWELL
    Alert Logic

    COTY
    Alert Logic

    JACOBS
    SingleHop

    MARAVEI
    Cisco

    JACKSON
    Softlayer

    SINGH
    IBM

    HAZARD
    Softlayer

    GALLO
    Softlayer

    TAMASKAR
    GENBAND

    SUBRA
    -MANIAN

    Emcien

    LEVESQUE
    Windstream

    IVANOV
    StorPool

    BLOOM-
    BERG

    Intellyx

    BUDHANI
    Soha

    HATHAWAY
    IBM Watson

    TOLL
    ProfitBricks

    LANDRY
    Microsoft

    BEARFIELD
    Blue Box

    HERITAGE
    Akana

    PILUSO
    SIASMSP

    HOLT
    IBM Cloudant

    SHAN
    CTS

    PICCIN-
    INNI

    EMC

    BRON-
    GERSMA

    Modulus

    PAIGE
    CenturyLink

    SABHIKHI
    Cognitive Scale

    MILLS
    Green House Data

    KATZEN
    CenturyLink

    SLOPER
    CenturyLink

    SRINIVAS
    EMC

    TALREJA
    Cisco

    GORBACHEV
    Systems Services Inc.

    COLLISON
    Apcera

    PRABHU
    OpenCrowd

    LYNN
    CodeFutures

    SWARTZ
    Ericsson

    MOSHENKO
    CoreOS

    BERMING-
    HAM

    SIOS

    WILLIS
    Stateless Networks

    MURPHY
    Gridstore

    KHABE
    Vicom

    NIKOLOV
    GetClouder

    DIETZE
    Windstream

    DALRY-
    MPLE

    EnterpriseDB

    MAZZUCCO
    TierPoint

    RIVERA
    WHOA.com

    HERITAGE
    Akana

    SEYMOUR
    6fusion

    GIANNETTO
    Author

    CARTER
    IBM

    ROGERS
    Virtustream
    Cloud Expo Silicon Valley All-Star Speakers

    TESAR
    Microsoft

    MICKOS
    HP

    BHARGAVA
    Intel

    RILEY
    Riverbed

    DEVINE
    IBM

    ISAACSON
    CodeFutures

    LYNN
    HP

    HINKLE
    Citrix

    KHAN
    Solgenia

    SINGH
    Bigdata

    BEACH
    SendGrid

    BOSTOCK
    IndependenceIT

    DE SOUZA
    Cisco

    PATTATHIL
    Harbinger

    O'BRIEN
    Aria Systems

    BONIFAZI
    Solgenia

    BIANCO
    Solgenia

    PROCTOR
    NuoDB

    DUGGAL
    EnterpriseWeb

    TEGETHOFF
    Appcore

    BRUNOZZI
    VMware

    HICKENS
    Parasoft

    KLEBANOV
    Cisco

    PETERS
    Esri

    GOLDBERG
    Vormetric

    CUMBER-
    LAND

    Dimension

    ROSENDAHL
    Quantum

    LOOMIS
    Cloudant

    BRUNO
    StackIQ

    HANNON
    SoftLayer

    JACKSON
    SoftLayer

    HOCH
    Virtustream

    KAPADIA
    Seagate

    PAQUIN
    OnLive

    TSAI
    Innodisk

    BARRALL
    Connected Data

    SHIAH
    AgilePoint

    SEGIL
    Verizon

    PODURI
    Citrix

    COWIE
    Dyn

    RITTEN-
    HOUSE

    Cisco

    FALLOWS
    Kaazing

    THYKATTIL
    TimeWarner

    LEIDUCK
    SAP

    LYNN
    HP

    WAGSTAFF
    BSQUARE

    POLLACK
    AOL

    KAMARAJU
    Vormetric

    BARRY
    Catbird

    MENDEN-
    HALL

    SUPERNAP

    SHAN
    KEANE

    PLESE
    Verizon

    BARNUM
    Voxox

    TURNER
    Cloudian

    CALDERON
    Advanced Systems

    AGARWAL
    SOA Software

    LEE
    Quantum

    OBEROI
    Concurrent, Inc.

    HATEM
    Verizon

    GALEY
    Autodesk

    CAUTHRON
    NIMBOXX

    BARSOUM
    IBM

    GORDON
    1Plug

    LEWIS
    Verizon

    YEO
    OrionVM

    NAKAGAWA
    Transparent Cloud Computing

    SHIBATA
    Transparent Cloud Computing

    NATH
    GE

    GOKCEN
    GE

    STOICA
    Databricks

    TANKEL
    Pivotal Software


    Testimonials
    This week I had the pleasure of delivering the opening keynote at Cloud Expo New York. It was amazing to be back in the great city of New York with thousands of cloud enthusiasts eager to learn about the next step on their journey to embracing a cloud-first worldl."
    @SteveMar_Msft
    General Manager of Window Azure
     
    How does Cloud Expo do it every year? Another INCREDIBLE show - our heads are spinning - so fun and informative."
    @SOASoftwareInc
     
    Thank you @ThingsExpo for such a great event. All of the people we met over the past three days makes us confident IoT has a bright future."
    Yasser Khan
    CEO of @Cnnct2me
     
    One of the best conferences we have attended in a while. Great job, Cloud Expo team! Keep it going."

    @Peak_Ten


    Who Should Attend?
    Senior Technologists including CIOs, CTOs & Vps of Technology, Chief Systems Engineers, IT Directors and Managers, Network and Storage Managers, Enterprise Architects, Communications and Networking Specialists, Directors of Infrastructure.

    Business Executives including CEOs, CMOs, & CIOs , Presidents & SVPs, Directors of Business Development , Directors of IT Operations, Product and Purchasing Managers, IT Managers.

    Download Cloud Expo Show Guide
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    Join Us as a Media Partner - Together We Can Rock the IT World!
    SYS-CON Media has a flourishing Media Partner program in which mutually beneficial promotion and benefits are arranged between our own leading Enterprise IT portals and events and those of our partners.

    If you would like to participate, please provide us with details of your website/s and event/s or your organization and please include basic audience demographics as well as relevant metrics such as ave. page views per month.

    To get involved, email Patricia Henderson at patricia@sys-con.com.

    @CloudExpo Blogs
    SYS-CON Events announced today that Synametrics Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Synametrics Technologies is a privately held company based in Plainsboro, New Jersey that has been providing solutions for the developer community since 1997. Based on the success of its initial product offerings such as WinSQL, Xeams, SynaMan and Syncrify, Synametrics continues to create and hone innovative products that help customers get more from their computer applications, databases and infras...
    Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo have announced the conference tracks for Cloud Expo 2018. Cloud Expo will be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, and November 6-8, 2018, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DX Expo within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of busin...
    A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, which can process our conversational commands and orchestrate the outcomes we request across our persona...
    To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to show how companies develop, deploy, and dynamically update these applications and how this data-firs...
    Our work, both with clients and with tools, has lead us to wonder how it is that organizations are handling compliance issues in the cloud. The big cloud vendors offer compliance for their infrastructure, but the shared responsibility model requires that you take certain steps to meet compliance requirements. Which lead us to start poking around a little more. We wanted to get a picture of what was available, and how it was being used. There is a lot of fluidity in this space, as in all things cloud. The fact that DevOps Security plays into the cloud compliance model – particularly in dynamic ...
    The “Internet of Things” is an exciting area of tech, one in which industry experts estimate there will be more than 30 billion connected IoT devices by 2020. IoT is the inter-networking and instrumentation of physical devices – everything from streets, cars, factories, power grids, ice caps, satellites, and clothing to phones, microwaves, milk containers, planets, human bodies, etc. IoT creates an opportunity to measure, collect and analyze an ever-increasing variety of behavioral statistics. That being said, data, and more importantly insight into the data, is key for enhanced business val...
    Gaining visibility in today’s sprawling cloud infrastructure is complex and laborious, involving drilling down into tools offered by various cloud services providers. Enterprise IT organizations need smarter and effective tools at their disposal in order to address this pertinent problem. Gaining a 360 - degree view of the cloud costs requires collection and analysis of the cost data across all cloud infrastructures used inside an enterprise.
    The goal of Microservices is to improve software delivery speed and increase system safety as scale increases. Microservices being modular these are faster to change and enables an evolutionary architecture where systems can change, as the business needs change. Microservices can scale elastically and by being service oriented can enable APIs natively. Microservices also reduce implementation and release cycle time and enables continuous delivery. This paper provides a logical overview of the Microservices Reference Architecture that highlights various sub systems needed to support Microservic...
    The notion of improving operational efficiency is conspicuously absent from the healthcare debate - neither Obamacare nor the newly proposed GOP plan discusses the impact that a step-function improvement in efficiency could have on access to healthcare (through more capacity), quality of healthcare services (through reduced wait times for patients) or cost (through better utilization of scarce, expensive assets).
    In a recent post, titled “10 Surprising Facts About Cloud Computing and What It Really Is”, Zac Johnson highlighted some interesting facts about cloud computing in the SMB marketplace: Cloud Computing is up to 40 times more cost-effective for an SMB, compared to running its own IT system. 94% of SMBs have experienced security benefits in the cloud that they didn’t have with their on-premises service
    "Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
    The 22nd International Cloud Expo | 1st DXWorld Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, to be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY, brings together Cloud Computing, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal today!
    The high barrier to entry prevents many companies from tapping into the full potential of machine learning. But what if you could make it more accessible? We’re in the midst of a data explosion, with today’s enterprises amassing goldmines of information (25 quintillion bytes of data every day, according to some reports). But what exactly are they doing with this data? Considering the volume of data being collected is quickly becoming unmanageable, now is a good time to shift from manual machine learning to a cognitive approach. This enables businesses to better capitalize on their data and fa...
    Blockchain offers impeccable security with its cryptography-based decentralized system as well as the plethora of possible uses retailers could exploit in the near future. In a world of increasing cyberattacks, internet fraud and online hacking, blockchain comes as a breath of fresh air. With its encrypted data and decentralized network system, it's a thorn in every hacker's side. Generally being associated with the finance sector, blockchain is now taking retail by storm. It's on a course that will change the retail industry as we know it. But how exactly is it going to achieve such a feat?
    In an attempt to put the patient first in healthcare, Congress and President Obama in 2015 approved a bipartisan bill for United States healthcare reform. The bill is known as “Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015,” or MACRA. Among the major provisions of MACRA is the Quality Payment Program. Under the Quality Payment Program, physicians and nurses receive positive, neutral or negative Medicare payment adjustments based upon a “Patient Satisfaction Score,” that is, patient satisfaction scores have a direct impact on how physicians, physician assistants, nurses, and hospital’s g...
    While Artificial Intelligence (AI) may not be a new concept, its contribution to automation may just change the face of business. AI's conception dates as far back as 1950, when Alan Turing proposed the Turing test in order to evaluate a machine's ability to exhibit intelligent behavior. Fast-forward a couple of decades and research led to the creation of well-known theoretical tools such as Fuzzy Logic, Bayesian Networks, Markov Models and Neural Networks. Concurrently, new types of programming languages such as Prolog, LISP and Smalltalk set the scene for most of the modern interpreted langu...
    Most of us understand that artificial intelligence (AI) offers opportunities for productivity improvements in the form of speed, automation, standardized actions and responses, plus the opportunity for continuous improvements via machine learning. These opportunities are enabled by data inputs that are analyzed and processed through AI algorithms that execute a desired decision and action. For all of the great capabilities and benefits that AI can provide, there is also a potential dark side. AI solutions can easily codify our prejudices, bias, gender stereotypes and promote injustices intenti...
    Gone are the days when application development was the daunting task of the highly skilled developers backed with strong IT skills, low code application development has democratized app development and empowered a new generation of citizen developers. There was a time when app development was in the domain of people with complex coding and technical skills. We called these people by various names like programmers, coders, techies, and they usually worked in a world oblivious of the everyday priorities of the business world. However, with the passage of time, this scenario is much more democr...
    It’s conference season and, as you might expect, Jason and I have been on the road covering a bunch of them. It’s always great to see what the disruptive players in the market are doing — and this year did not disappoint. But there is one thing that repeatedly happens that just gets under my skin: transformation-washing. As Jason explained in a Forbes article over a year ago, ‘washing’ is when a vendor (or pundit) applies a buzzword loosely in an overt attempt to attach themselves to its buzz. And transformation-washing is rampant.
    Networks have become large, complex entities that are increasingly difficult to manage and control. Security, audit, risk and compliance professionals know that their organizations rely on them for effective risk management, control and governance processes that are essential to the safety of their network environment. Yet compliance and security are more challenging than ever before as additional layers are added to this environment. One of the challenges lies in the fact that there is an ongoing, huge access gap in network security and compliance – and it has been residing within the enviro...