Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The what, why and how of Microsoft Azure Stack

Microsoft Azure Stack is a new hybrid cloud platform which can be used to deliver Azure Services from the customers own datacenter. It is in preview now, which means you can try it for free after providing some of your information:

Read about the Azure Stack ecosystem

Watch this video which explains Microsoft Azure Stack at length:

You can learn more about Azure Stack at Microsoft Ignite at Atlanta, September 26-30.

Review the session stack here:

iPhone 7 earbuds and NFMI

You know Near Field Communication (NFC) but you you may not be knowing that NFMI is also hot. NFMI stands for Near Field Magnetic Induction. The iPhone 7 earbuds use NFMI so that they do not require a wire running between them. The company which specializes in NFC goes by the name NXP Semiconductors in Holland also makes the NFMI.

The NFMI chip uses less power than an equivalent Bluetooth Low Power device and its absorption by the body tissues is 10000 times less than Bluetooth makes it an attractive alternative. As a consequence of this low power operation its range is limited to about a meter making it just appropriate for connecting the two ear buds and of course it is tiny with a 10.4 mm sq area.

Ear is a very sensitive area of the body where other body functions can also be monitored and, of course it has very sensitive parts. Any thing to reduce damage from anything including RF damage is most desired. The new NFC chip also has a two-axis accelerometer embedded, another very desirable feature is, it is also water proof.

I have only summarized this excellent coverage of the article by Colin Johnson and I recommend you reading this article which appeared on EETimes.
Here is a short video of NxH2280 demonstration .

This schematic of the NxH2280 chip appeared in the article.


Thursday, September 22, 2016

Connectivity Options for Microsoft Azure SQL Database

There are many drivers and libraries that client programs can use to connect to Azure SQL Database or Microsoft SQL Server.

The following are the language options:

Java using JDBC on Windows

This enables developers to use their language of choice and appropriateness of thei application to choose.

ADO.NET related specifics here:

Microsoft JDBC related information here:

Microsoft Node.js driver for SQL Server here:

Connecting with PHP use Microsoft PHP driver for SQL Server here:

Connect using Python:
Get Python SQL Driver

Connect using Ruby:Get Ruby driver for SQL Server here;

I have described in detail with examples connecting to SQL Azure (as it was called then) using ADO.NET, Java and PHP in my book when SQL Azure was still in Beta:

Read more about the book here:

Oracle's purchase of NetSuite

When I read the news couple of days ago, I was interested in knowing why Oracle wants to buy NetSuite. Of course I guess there may be other reasons for this purchase.

I was interested in learning what unique features of NetSuite would make it attractive for a buyer. I just came across this site , > which seems to answer this question.

Guru's site described the features why NetSuite would be desirable:

Visibility with good dashboards etc
Browser and mobile accessible from anywhere
Adaptable and
Up to date with automatic upgrades with latest innovations

I did get the feeling that the same list things has been offered by other cloud vendors as well for quite some time. It just appeared to me like any other cloud vendor. I could be wrong, and perhaps I did not hit the right site to get answers.

Read more about NetSuite vis-a-vis Oracle buy

Video showing why BM Online chose NetSuite:

Azure SQL Database is also for Apps

It is certainly the most sought after cloud based database for enterprise applications, but it is also the managed cloud database for app developers. You can easily build and maintain apps with a high degree of productivity. The intelligence is built-in that learns and adopts to maximize performance, reliability and other metrics. It is indeed the excellent choice for app builders to rely upon.

If you like you can start for free here: <>

Why would app developers would go for SQL Database?

In addition to its long history you have these unique features:

Azure SQL Database learns and adopts to your unique app patterns


Scaling performance on the fly is easy


Build multi-tenant apps with customer isolation


Build apps with the development tool you like best


Build apps with data protection and security enhancements


 Read more here:

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Query SAP SQL Anywhere 17 using R

As previously posted you should have the RODBC package in your library. Once you have this it is very easy.

You also need to have an instance of SAP SQL Anywhere  or access to it on/from your computer. An installation of SAP SQL Anywhere 17 (latest developer version) also installs DSN's for accessing the sample database using ODBC.

 Since you will be querying from R, you have R installed on your computer.

Some relevant references to the above can be found here:
[Windows 10 ODBC :
 SQL Server 2012 ODBC DSN:
SQL Server 2012 Installation: 
Installing R: ]--------------------------------------------------------
You bring the necessary libraries with these statements in R Gui (x64bit):
> library(RODBC)
> ch <-odbcConnect("SQL Anywhere 17 Demo")
SQL Anywhere 17 Demo is a demonstration sample database. After installing SQL Anywhere you can find it in the ODBC Database DataSources window.

After defining the channel as shown above, when you run the above you will be presented with this screen.
The database name is 'demo' and type over the password field with the password 'sql'. Click OK and you get a prompt in RGUI.

Now you can query the database as shown here Only 6 six out of 60 shown):
> sqlQuery(ch, "Select * from Contacts")

   ID    Surname          GivenName    Title          Street                                City               State
1   1     Hildebrand      Jane                ma             280 Washington St.          Kanata         CA
2   2     Simmon          Larry              sa               343 Granville St.              Kitchener     TX
3   3     Critch              Susan             pd              457 Center St.                   Yale             WY
4   4     Lambert          Terry              ad               20434 Page St.                 Phillipsburg  CO
5   5    Sullivan           Dorothy          cs               541 Minuteman Dr.          Uxbridge      ME
6   6      Paull              Rose               fi                718 Bay St.                       Huntsville     AZ

However, a SELECT query such as the one shown below spawns an error. 

> sqlQuery(ch,"Select Surname, City, Country from Contacts where state='CA'")
Error in .Call(C_RODBCFetchRows, attr(channel, "handle_ptr"), max, buffsize,  :
  negative length vectors are not allowed

In fact any WHERE clause produces this error.

The trick is to start the connection as shown here,

 >chs <-odbcConnect("SQL Anywhere 17 Demo", believeNRows=FALSE)

Now if you run the query you will not get an error.

> sqlQuery(chs, "Select Surname, City, Country from Contacts where state='CA'")
       Surname        City        Country
1     Hildebrand    Kanata     USA
2     Lyman           Kanata     USA
3     Davidson       Kanata     USA
4     Pettengill       Kanata     USA
5     Romeo           Sheffield  USA

I am indebted to an answer to this error at stack overflow site:


a question here:

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Easy to transfer files using RavPower FileHub - Basic

RavPower Filehub has a number of functionalities in one small device. What I have is a model called 'Seabird', a middle range device in the File hubs. They have one called 'Combi' a low end device and 'Pon' a higher end device.

It can also be used as a standby battery charger which you can use it to charge your cell phone battery. When the RavPower is fully charged, it could charge my Lumia 950 from 7% to 96% in two hours.

I am basically interested in file transfers from my phones which have reached limits for storage and I would like to have files on my own device rather than in the cloud. I think this device would do it.

I have just started using it and perhaps in a couple of days I should be able to verify its full potential. This is just the basic set up and it is fairly easy to use as you can read from the post.

You need to download software (from for the device and they have software to go with the iOS, Windows, Android and Mac Platforms. Since I needed file transfer capability from both Lumia 950 and iPhone 6S, I downloaded the required files shown in this image.

FileHub Plus_V1.0.8.0.exe   Windows
FileHub Plus V2.0.024.ipa   iOS

Basic set up for file transfer:
  • Install the Windows version of FileHub Plus.
  • You connect your storage device to the Filehub with a USB Cable. The storage device in this case is the My Passport ULTRA from Western Dynamics.

  • Turn on the Filehub device and hold the power for the Wi-Fi indicator at the center of the device above the power button. In the beginning it will flicker and then becomes steady.
  • Now turn on your PC which is connected to a Wi-Fi network. Refresh the Wi-Fi Connections.


Run the downloaded executable (FileHub Plus_V1.0.8.0.exe) and the login window is displayed and hit the center REFRESH button. The device is discovered


Highlight the device in the above and click Log In button to display the FileHub Plus login screen. Just click Login as the password is empty (you can change it later if you wish to).


The password is blank and remove if any characters are in this field. If there are no errors then you should see this FileHub Plus dashboard.


Click on Settings and review the Settings menu.


The next image shows that I can connect to two of my windows devices on the Wi-Fi (from Network DNS Clients). One is a Toshiba Laptop and the other is a Toshiba Tablet.


The basic set up is very easy and with the dashboard which is nicely arranged you can test out the other file operations.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Sensity to be acquired by Verizon

Verizon to beef up its IoT inventory by adding Sensity. The deal is expected close in the fourth quarter (

Sensity with its NetSense, the next generation Light Sensory Network platform transforms street lights by incorporating distributed intelligence, capable of High_Speed, High-Bandwidth communication. Pretty neat as the core hardware is ready and standing to be exploited.


Sensity also safe guards privacy as it addresses privacy issues.

Watch this video:

Sensity has solutions for:
Retail Malls

The Applications include:
Lighting Management
Location Analytics and

NetSense has two kinds of NetSense Nodes, the Core and the Video Core.  Node EX is an integral part of the NetSense platform. It basically converts the LED fixtures into IP_enabled sensory node.


The Video node is also part of the NetSense platform. The video captures and transmits real-time video data. The video node also has computational power to process HD video and has streaming capabilities.

Read more on Smart Cities according to Sensity here:

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Google to acquire APIGEE

APIGEE has the right platform to manage, secure, analyze and help scale APIs, a core program which is at the center of connected solutions; mobile apps and smartphones.

It is widely used worldwide (some 30% of Fortune 100 Companies) to secure and share data and services across a variety of devices and channels.

APIGEE Platform products:

Looks like a very nice acquisition for Google

Sunday, September 04, 2016

SAP SQL Anywhere 17 on Windows 10

SAP SQL Anywhere 17 was announced in June 2015. It is a nice database and I always liked it, because it just works! I have written a number of articles on the earlier versions and of course I wanted to try this latest version.

This version comes with a lot of enhancements. I recommend this site where you can read lot more and focus on installing it on a Windows 10 machine.

Here is an excerpt from that site on developer related features of Version 17:

Developer Enhancements
  • OData Enhancements - The SQL Anywhere database server can act as an OData server.  This functionality replaces the OData Server utility.  In addition, the The OData producer now supports a greater subset of the OData Service Definition Language (OSDL). 
  • JavaScript external environment - SQL Anywhere now includes support for JavaScript stored procedures and functions.
  • Node.JS and Python drivers - The SQL Anywhere Node.js driver allows users to connect and perform queries on the database using JavaScript on Joyent’s Node.js Software platform.   In addition, the three SQL Anywhere python drivers are now available through PyPI, the official Python package index.
  • Consolidated db – MobiLink has support for SAP ( ASE, IQ, SQLA), Oracle, Microsoft, IBM, MySQL back-end databases.  We continue to add support for newer versions of these databases.  In v17, we added support for Oracle 12.1, ASE 16, SS 2014,MySQL 5.6.20, IBM DB2 10.5. 
  • HANA Integration – with our SAP HANA Remote Data Sync product, MobiLink becomes more tightly integrated into the HANA platform infrastructure (assigned port numbers, lifecycle management, name server integration, license management, monitoring integration).
  • SAP Passport support and NCSLib logging

You need to download the installation file from here after registering here:

You can download both SAP SQL Anywhere 16 which requires a key that you get after registering or SAP SQL Anywhere 17 which does not require a key. The product you get is a developer edition good for developing on your machine and not for production.

If you do not know about SAP SQL Anywhere may be this is a good place to start:

It is available for Linux as well as Windows. I downloaded the Windows version (x64 bit).
As the ad says, it just Works.

After installation you should be seeing these on your Windows 10 computer.

There are a number of built-in tools that you can use.

Get dozens of tutorial articles on Sybase/SAP SQL Anywhere from here.

It has a nice management interface called Sybase Central shown here: Protection Status