Additional virtualization tools

Not all organizations are ready to jump into enterprise-wide desktop virtualization, but they may have specific requirements that may be excellent candidates for limited centralized solutions. Furthermore, compatibility issues may arise when trying to assimilate older systems into a virtualized environment. Microsoft provides two solutions that help overcome these challenges—Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) and Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs (WinFLP).


VDI
VDI enables users to access virtualized instances of Windows desktops running in the datacenter from any network-connected Windows machine. Although VDI might look like a viable option for App-V or MED-V, it falls short of achieving the same business benefits. We do not recommend this solution for general enterprise desktop virtualization. Rather, it is a problem-specific solution.


WinFLP
WinFLP is offered by Microsoft so that you can enable legacy PCs to take advantage of a newer, supported Windows operating system functionality. Based on Windows XP SP2, WinFLP provides limited functionality. For example, PCs running WinFLP cannot run productivity applications like Office. What they can do, however, is run the following:

» Microsoft Remote Desktop Client, Citrix’s ICA Client
» Security software
» Management software
» Back-up and recovery software
» Terminal emulation software
» Web browsers
» Media players
» Instant messaging clients
» Document viewers (e.g., Office, Acrobat)
» .Net Framework
» Third-party Java Virtual Machine

WinFLP can enable older, irreplaceable PCs to take advantage of your virtualization framework. For more information, visit http://tinyurl.com/WinFLP.

Source of Information : Elsevier-Microsoft Virtualization Master Microsoft Server Desktop Application and Presentation

CENTRALIZED, OPTIMIZED DESKTOP MANAGEMENT

Datacenters are often what we think of when someone mentions virtualization. However, servers lined neatly in racks with resource usage optimized do not provide all the value possible with a comprehensive virtualization strategy. In fact, datacenter issues can often seem small in the face of managing hundreds or thousands of end-user PCs. Challenges include:

» Updating tracking—As the number of applications increases across a growing number of end-user computers, many organizations cannot effectively determine which systems are up-to-date. This is a significant issue when the untracked updates are either security patches or mandatory changes to a critical business application.

» Controlling help desk costs—Unless a standard image is deployed to all PCs, the number of help desk calls can be huge. Even when standard configurations are used, the pressure to allow user-provided applications causes many companies to provide local administrator capabilities to laptops and desktops for installation and desktop configuration purposes. Conflicts between these changes and business critical applications can result in significant costs in both lost productivity and IT support.

» Security patch cycles that seem to take forever—When vendors release security updates, the length of the PC update cycle mirrors the organization’s appetite for risk. Since most business managers are more concerned with business continuity issues than with “possible” security issues, cycle times can be rather long. And even when patching is approved, engineers face a time-consuming rollout—a rollout during which making sure every system is patched can be very difficult if not impossible.

» Application incompatibilities—In addition to potential conflicts when patches or PC software are installed, new applications mandated by management can also cause havoc when new or replaced operating system components cause failures in existing applications. Examples include dynamic link libraries (DLLs), Java versions, ActiveX controls, and other shared components or services. Add to these challenges the possible changes to registry controls, and you have conditions for widespread business disruption.

» Spread of malware—In today’s business environment where every device is connected to every other device, malware infestations are often able to run rampant across enterprise networks. Further, eliminating malware from end-user devices often means reimaging or replacing them with freshly imaged systems.

» Data leaks—Traditional fat client PC drives are often full of sensitive information. Local storage of information might be intentional or incidental to application execution. Intentional data storage results from users making a conscious decision to store information on their local disk. Incidental storage occurs when application information is cached locally to meet processing requirements. In both cases, information is liable to theft or loss.

» Controlling access to applications—Once an application is installed on a user’s computer, it can be all but impossible to remove access.

» Providing application/data access to mobile users—The problem here goes beyond access, which can be provided by many solutions, such as SSL VPN. Rather, maintaining mobile device patches and application updates can be difficult.

Microsoft offers an impressive set of solutions or solution combinations to ease these burdens, including:
» App-V
» App-V for RDS
» MED-V and Virtual PC

Source of Information : Elsevier-Microsoft Virtualization Master Microsoft Server Desktop Application and Presentation

Web Design Trends 2011 and Beyond

Today’s Web design landscape is dominated by one principle — design goes far beyond its traditional definition.

No longer are Web designers simply charged with choosing colors and images and ensuring the website looks “slick” or that buttons take users to the proper Web page. The job of a designer now includes everything from SEO to e-commerce. The increased demands on designers to create full experiences — not just Web pages — are what drive trends; trends that soon become standards.


Video and HTML5
Any designer or any person in general who might seek information about HTML5 will quickly discover that most of the buzz is about video. In short, HTML5 provides a means to display video in any format, using any browsing method. So, where operating systems such as that for the iPhone and iPad will not support certain video, HTML5 ensures the video will be seen — whether on a small screen or a desktop browser.

Why is this such a big deal? It’s simple — video is quickly dominating the user experience and adding tremendous value to businesses of all types.

A concern many businesses have about video, however, is that of resources. Most businesses don’t have big creative agencies at their disposal. The chances of developing the next Old Spice Guy series or “Most Interesting Man in the World” campaign are slim. But every business has opportunity with video simply because users are reading less and watching more.

JB Kellogg is Production Manager and Creative Director for MadWire Media, chosen as Big Commerce’s top design firm. He has seen the power of video. “We’ve lived it,” says Kellogg. After years without Web video on their site, MadWire finally incorporated a basic video that simply introduced viewers to the company and its services. “Our amount of leads from the traffic we were driving to our site increased by about 400 percent. Just that one video saved users the time of looking through our site. It gave the message to them in about a minute and a half; it was real quick, upbeat and cheery … that’s all they needed. They filled out the lead form right there and started moving forward with the Web design quote process.”

While the next great viral video hit might not be in your future, simple video — such as product demonstrations, company announcements or testimonials — can result in a big lift in sales, leads or readership. Accessible video — and therefore, HTML5 — is now a design imperative.


Typography and Fonts
Spending your valuable time concentrating on fonts, the actual appearance of words on a page, might sound trivial. But branding on the Web is a tricky business — because of the low barrier to entry, every industry is already competitive. Fonts, and a good designer, can be an important way to separate your brand from the rest.

The trouble with fonts in the past is that very few of them were “readable” by search spiders. In essence, if you wanted a coollooking design with fonts you had to sacrifice SEO. Not anymore.

“If you want to have a custom look, in the old days you had to use an image, which isn’t effective for search engine optimization,” explains Kellogg. “You still want that to be readable text by Google and Bing. Now, instead of using images to display a custom font, you can use a Web font — which search engines love.” Tools like Typekit allow designers to choose the fonts they want (even hand-written fonts) and Typekit will generate the search engine-readable text for your website.


Designing for Every Screen
One of big challenges facing designers now and for years to come is the complete lack of a standard screen size — smartphones, tablets, netbooks and desktop computers each have different screen sizes and often several variances within the same category. As such, it’s important to make sure designs are optimized for every visitor regardless of the device.

Minimalism
One of the hottest trends in website design is minimalism, using as few elements as possible while still achieving the goal. Varied screen sizes will continue that trend. From a user perspective, the less zooming, pinching or clicking on tiny page elements, the better. Another advantage of a minimalist design is the appearance of being user-friendly in previews, such as Google Instant Previews in search results. If a user hovers over a search result and the image looks cluttered with dozens of images and headlines and hordes of links, it’s an easy decision to move on to the next listing without ever visiting the website. However, be very deliberate when using minimal designs. It is crucial that the most important calls-to-action remain prominent.

Death of the Fold
“With so many different browsers and screen resolutions now … what is the fold?” asks Kellogg. “If [users] want to learn more about a product, rather than clicking something people are willing to scroll down.” Increasingly, “the fold” is disappearing from the design lexicon. Instead, the Web is seeing more single-page designs, often with slide anchor navigation or jQuery to automatically scroll down a page when the user clicks a navigation button. As with minimal design, it remains important to place important elements of a page — including calls-to-action and mission statements — as near the top of the page as possible.


Designing for Social
Social media has not only changed the way business is conducted on the Web, but design, too. It is rare to see a Web page that does not incorporate social sharing functions such as “tweet this” or “like this page on Facebook,” as well as widget that might display recent tweets or wall comments.

But social is not limited to content pages. Perhaps taking a page from the success of Groupon and other coupon sites, e-commerce websites are also getting more social. Kellogg gives an example of designing the “Thank You” page to increase sales by offering 10 percent off if consumers share the product page with their friends, even offering 10 percent of their purchases, too.

Trends come and go. But in the Web design industry trends drive transactions, impact SEO, dictate usability and generate profits. For these reasons it is important that a business’ Web designer is not only up on trends but is a partner in the planning stages of marketing campaigns and product development, and communication objectives so that every possible resource can achieve its maximum potential on the Web

Source of Information : Website Magazine for April 2011

SEO - The Modern Elements of Optimization

When it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), Web professionals have two choices – adapt their approaches and practices or sit idle and watch their websites disappear from view and their businesses become obsolete. Now more than ever, new demands have been placed on those responsible for the success of SEO campaigns by both consumers and the search engines; which are constantly evolving, and at a pace faster than any point in the industry’s history.

The good news is that today’s Internet and search marketers have an advantage over their predecessors. While many of the traditional elements of SEO are still useful, there are new elements that are relatively easy to deploy and can positively impact any SEO strategy. The result is more options and opportunities that make SEO as a practice much more approachable.

Still, businesses both online and off, and particularly those of the small and medium variety continue to struggle with SEO. Fortunately, one of the best ways to improve any website’s SEO is also one of the easiest.

Design platform SiteKreator’s Small Business Usage Study from early February 2011 indicated that there is a strong correlation between success and the level of the business’ engagement. Unfortunately, they also found that more than half (54 percent) of small businesses update their website just once a month. According to the study, even as few as five updates per month could increase Web traffic by 300 percent. Says SiteKreator Founder and CEO, Ivaylo Lenkov, “We see it over and over again; small businesses who are either disengaged online or not online at all do not grow at the same rates as those who have invested in an online presence.” Now, imagine the effect of going from 10 new content items each month to 100. What about 1,000?

That’s but one element of SEO success and has not changed much in the past decade —
content is still “king.” But what about new forms of content? What else moves your site up the search engine results pages (SERPs), and what should a business concentrate on for future success? Structure, Speed, Social Connections, Data … there are many. Keep reading.


New Approaches to Content Development
Every business needs a point person, a manager for SEO. But reporting to that manager should be a team of content specialists providing their expertise in producing video or audio, developing images and infographics, and even drafting sales and marketing material to use on Web pages, applications and everywhere else in every possible format. If there is one important organizational trend as it relates to SEO today, it is that every department within a company is responsible for SEO.

In 2007, Google (followed quickly by others, including Yahoo) rolled out universal search – breaking down silos of information and giving users more of what they want in one convenient location. What many organizations failed to realize is that alternate content like videos, images, news and other assets were also getting ranked and in many cases, ranked above the fold. “The algorithm changed but the organizations did not,” says Greg Jarboe, of SEO PR.

A customer service team might have a set of videos explaining how to use a product or service, or the sales department could have several infographics detailing how certain systems work. This information can be used to a positive SEO effect — but only if every team member and department knows that this valuable content exists and is made available.


Universal SEO
The most likely item to appear on the SERPs still remains an organization’s core website. But video, news, images and photos, blog content, local and real-time updates (social) are absolutely receiving their share of attention. Therefore, companies need to leverage their entire organization; bring in public relations and make them responsible for appearing in news and blog results, tap the customer service department to deal with external social forces (e.g. feedback or complaints on Twitter) and even sales to play an advisory role in content development.

The simplest way to minimize the inherent siloing occurring in any organization is to form a cross-functional team or appoint an individual (ideally someone knowledgeable about SEO) to manage the de-siloing process. If search engines are indexing and blending “all the world’s content,” individuals and departments in organizations must follow suit and work collaboratively, in order to meet the demands of search engine users hungry for a variety of content.


Video and Search
Video is one of those content assets that has a major presence on the search results page and its importance can no longer be denied by any department in the organization. How can video assets be leveraged to influence position and exposure on the SERPs? Greg Jarboe, author of YouTube and Video Marketing: An Hour a Day, provides some helpful insights.

He notes that if YouTube were classified as a search engine (instead of a video portal) it would be the second-most used search portal, behind parent company Google. In fact, YouTube has more searches than either Yahoo or Bing. Consumers don’t search YouTube in the same manner as they do Google or Bing, however — they use different search queries. Conducting research via the YouTube Keyword Tool will provide insights into the variance in search volumes for keywords and key phrases versus those same queries on a traditional search engine. Armed with this information, appending video meta data in titles and descriptions will increase the likelihood that your videos get seen.

What many also fail to grasp in terms of promoting on YouTube specifically is that instead of using links to determine relevance, YouTube uses the number of video views to determine placement on the results pages. Outside of increasing distribution, the quickest and easiest way to increase the number of views is to use the YouTube player, not your own video player, on your website and other pages as it counts toward the total number of views on YouTube.

Using these strategies and others, one of Jarboe’s clients (The Voyage Channel, Voyage TV) went from a paltry 1,500 views in more than nine months to well over one million views today. The care and consideration to keyword-focused optimization specifically for YouTube resulted in 40 percent of views coming from YouTube search and 20 percent from the “related videos” feature.


Agency Support of SEO (and SMO)
When the demands of SEO require greater collaboration between departments and individuals, don’t rule out those managing paid search advertising either internally or at an agency. They too can support your SEO campaigns, and rather effectively. How can using these agencies’ or departments’ insights and material support help?

“Using SEM to support social is a good way to drive traffic but it may only drive clicks and activity, not so much sales,” says Ben Kirshner of SEM Elite. “In the long term, however, it obviously gets [users] to the site, giving you longer term value.” In other words, using paid advertising to drive traffic and brand awareness can lead to increased interaction, and perhaps even a nice inbound link to a piece of content.

Kirshner provided a practical example of how his firm orchestrates marketing support for clients on both SEO and SMO campaigns. “Companies with social media followers and friends can ask their community to send testimonials for a chance to win a prize or sweepstakes.” Continuing, he says that the content from “ratings and reviews has helped boost the SEO efforts, for long tail keywords particularly.”


Keyword-Centric Content Optimization
You can’t execute a successful SEO campaign by turning a blind eye to the role that keyword-centric content development and optimization plays in search engine marketing — the website itself still provides the best possible opportunity to secure competitive SERP positions.

Most successful SEO relies on the presence of keywords — and why not? Keywords are a meaningful indicator of relevance. Visit a few high-ranking sites on your own today and it won’t take much mental processing power to understand, by and large, why those sites are ranked so highly — keywords, lots of them. Some variety in what those keywords are and how they are applied matters, too.

Based on Website Magazine’s review, the factor of greatest onsite importance is keyword use in the title tag. Most frequently advised is to include those keywords in the first few words of each title. Of less importance, but worthy of the same attention, is the use of keywords everywhere else – from the headline tags (h1 or h2) and using them in the first few hundred words of the HTML, to alt text and image file names. Keyword use in format tags (in bold or italics) also play a role, as does the use of keywords in meta tags (keyword tag and description tag).


Combination of Keywords and Links
You might be the best keyword researcher on the planet but even the right keywords mean little without links pointing to your website. Keyword-focused anchor text from external links remains immensely important. Of equal and obvious importance is the link popularity of those external sources, as determined by the number and quality of its own external link graph and its diversity; consisting of links from many unique root domains. When all is said and done, keyword use in external link anchor text is one of the top SEO factors, overall. In fact, you might even find sites ranking for competitive keywords without a single reference of the keyword on-page — simply because of external link text.

Based on rather frequent monitoring of the industry and the SERPs, it is safe to assume that many of the tried and true onsite optimization practices, such as accurate and descriptive anchor text, still play a positive role in positioning. How much they matter is difficult to tell but it is better to be safe than sorry.


Other SEO Elements of Ranking
We have successfully outlined a few of the most important factors in ranking but there are many others.

While perhaps indirectly related to how Google will score a domain and its pages for ranking, the following elements have been shown to carry some influence. In the end, the following suggestions could simply be considered a best practice to ensure an optimal user experience — something the search providers have been requesting from the community of Web professionals for a long time. Don’t think that search engines aren’t paying attention, in some way. At the very least, a quality user experience can result in obtaining quality inbound links. For example, sites employing intelligent, useful hierarchies for content organization (site architecture) will generate more page views and time on site. Those Web professionals paying close attention to the recent Google/Bing sting operation can draw their own conclusions about whether click stream data plays a role in ranking, but it is easy to see how it could. If the engines are following users from their search results (or via their toolbars), they are able to see the levels of interaction of those users. Not that they would, but it makes sense that this would be very valuable information, as they identify the site with the best user experience — as determined by the number of page views, time-on-site or the sites they visit next.

Another SEO element of success, of some debate of course, is the influence of domain names on rankings. Factors such as the length of the current domain registration, the domain’s registration history (how long it has been owned by the same entity and the number of times it has been renewed) are good if not classic indicators of how much a site could be trusted. The influence of domain names on rank or position remains questionable, as there are far better indicators of the degree to which a site can be trusted.

Factors that might indicate the particular relevancy of a domain and its pages could include signals such as inclusion of a site’s feed in trusted news sources and how often a site appears in local listings. Much like directories once provided a measurable boost to rankings, the distribution of links matters greatly today. That brings up the matter of user signals — a good, consumerdriven indication of how important a piece of content might actually be. Both Google and Bing have full access to Twitter and its presence is obvious — its impact even more so. Sharing content items on Twitter and other social destinations such as Facebook (and having those items shared by friends and followers) has been shown to guarantee inclusion in the major indices.


Getting Social for SEO
Social media activity helps search engines identify the quantity and quality of user signals surrounding your brand. Search engines are actively working to identify who tweeted or shared what and the public association between them. So how does one take a more social approach to SEO?

“The social media strategist in me tells me to provide content around what my followers are talking about, but the SEO in me forces me to ask what content can be included to address trending topics,” says Crosby Noricks, Red Door Interactive’s Senior Social Media Manager. The solution, according to Noricks, is to look for opportunities around a particular subject for which you have existing content then provide social access to that content.

Social media is not about content alone but the activity surrounding that content (how well content is distributed and the degree to which engagement happens). To spur this activity it is essential to include sharing options on your website.

“In terms of the actual strategy of getting visitors to share, make sure options including Facebook ‘like’ buttons and Twitter retweet buttons are available,” says Noricks. Too often, Noricks suggests, Web marketers elect to provide all possible sharing options which can be off-putting to site visitors. Instead, provide access to only a few (Facebook and Twitter, for example). Include any to which you are encouraging participation — for example, a niche such as fashion or design — only if it holds some value for users and is respected by search engines (indicated by its presence on the SERPs).

If you’re looking for a shortcut to SEO success there are no guaranteed strategies. What we do know from looking at the SERPs and conducting some competitive research is that the search engines are rewarding those sites that, over time, have created and established some authority (through credible link citations), that send and respond to user signals (social), and make every effort to create an experience as meaningful to the user, as much as it is designed to attract links and appeal to the search engines.

Source of Information : Website Magazine for April 2011

50 TOP E-MAIL SERVICE PROVIDERS

Attention-grabbing headlines aside, email is not dead yet. It’s true that text messaging, instant messaging and social networking provide an alternative means of communication to email for many.

Attention-grabbing headlines aside, email is not dead yet. It’s true that text messaging, instant messaging and social networking provide an alternative means of communication to email for many. Web-based email usage is actually declining, in fact, according to some recent data from comScore. However, most of that is due to the increase in mobile email usage. Smartphones have made email-on-the-go not only accessible but even convenient and practical.

Still, email is a top-performing marketing channel. A survey by Foresee Results examining the top 40 retailers over the 2010 holiday season found that 19 percent of respondents* visited a retailer’s website because of a promotional email. Compare that with just 8 percent who said the same about a search result. According to the study, “Only about 5 percent of online holiday shoppers report being primarily influenced to visit top retailer sites by social media channels…” But while email still drives traffic, conversions and brand loyalty, it is no doubt an evolving industry that demands attention from Web professionals.

Mobile email presents challenges, in the form of smaller screens and even smaller attention spans from busy users. Advertising within emails has become common, opening new channels for promotion. Email targeting capabilities are more advanced than ever. Even multimedia is making its way to email. In other words, email is no longer simply a message. Increasingly email is becoming a full interactive environment in itself, which is trackable, optimizable and directly attributable to a company’s bottom line.

All of this means that it is more important than ever to realize the full value in an email service provider (ESP). Today’s Web professionals need morethanaplatform, theyneedapartner. Website Magazine’s Top 50 Email Service Providers is here to help your business find that partner. You might think that all ESPs are the same. They are not. When evaluating potential providers be sure to ask plenty of questions – including how deliverability is optimized, targeting options and analytics capabilities. And one element in particular that should never be overlooked (but often is) is ease of use.

1. ConstantContact.com
2. icontact.com
3. getresponse.com
4. VerticalResponse.com
5. exacttarget.com
6. streamsend.com
7. ratepoint.com
8. campaigner.com
9. bronto.com
10. Benchmarkemail.com
11. lyris.com
12. topica.com
13. netatlantic.com
14. mailchimp.com
15. silverpop.com
16. mailermailer.com
17. myemma.com
18. interspire.com
19. mynewsletterbuilder.com
20. graphicmail.com
21. listrak.com
22. jangomail.com
23. resultsmail.com
24. aweber.com
25. bighip.com
26. icontactplus.com
27. cooleremail.com
28. lsoft.com
29. ipost.com
30. sendfree.com
31. massmailsoftware.com
32. eliteemail.com
33. yesmail.com
34. reachmail.net
35. knotice.com
36. boomerang.com
37. strongmail.com
38. arialsoftware.com
39. blueskyfactory.com
40. delivra.com
41. emfluence.com
42. responsys.com
43. easycontact.com
44. savicom.net
45. loopfuse.com
46. emercury.net
47. goldlasso.com
48. touchpointec.com
49. activetrail.com
50. mailworkz.com

Source of Information : Website Magazine for April 2011

Google Check-ins

This seemingly simple feature may have an enormous effect

Some recent announcements from Google have put companies such as Foursquare, Yelp and Gowalla on alert, while others including Facebook and Groupon are also watching very closely.

Google has been systematically maneuvering different pieces of its mobile, local and social strategies, and the way those pieces are lining up poses a significant threat to a number of Web businesses. One of the biggest and most recent moves has been the addition of checkin capabilities to Latitude, the social and sharing feature of Google’s location-based service Places.

Check-ins have long been an immensely popular feature for location-based services (LBS) because users can share their locations with friends via mobile apps when they arrive at local businesses and establishments. Companies like Foursquare, Gowalla and SCVNGR have built their check-in services around social rewards such as badges and stamps. Users check in to Facebook Places, Shopkick and Loopt to receive deals from participating businesses, and check-ins through apps from Yelp and others offer a platform for users to rate, recommend and review local restaurants and stores.

So despite being a latecomer to the checkins arena, Google can significantly alter the LBS space in a virtual heartbeat. According to a December 2010 Microsoft-sponsored study entitled Location Based Services Usages and Perceptions Survey, Google Places is the most widely used LBS ahead of Facebook Places — and that was before the addition of checkins. Also, Google’s new check-ins feature is unique in that it gives users the added options of setting notifications and checking out from a location. addition to the Web’s predominant search engine and the massive user base that goes with it, Google has something else that the other LBS do not — the rapidly growing Android mobile platform. Though an iPhone app for check-ins is said to be forthcoming, Google Places already has apps for the iPhone and Android devices that integrate with its other location-related services such as Google Maps and Navigation.

And Google also has its new HotPot local ratings and recommendations engine, for which it announced a global expansion shortly after the addition of check-ins. So, users can share their locations with friends, rate and review local businesses, all via Google’s services and across all mobile platforms. The only thing missing is a local deals component, right?

Wrong. That’s our guess, at least. Shortly after its $6 billion acquisition attempt was spurned by Groupon, word spread that Google was preparing to launch its own entry into the daily deals space — Google Offers. The company addressed the rumors by saying that it was exploring several new ways of connecting local businesses with mobile customers, and that a daily deals model was, in fact, one of them. But there were others.

Which brings us to Offer Ads, another mobileinitiativeofGoogle’sinwhichadvertisers send coupons to users through email or SMS to drive customers into their physical store locations. The combined synergy of all of these individual Google products is downright frightening, especially if your business relies on mobile apps — particularly for Android — to provide competing services.

Assuming for the moment that Facebook and Groupon can withstand the competition, what about Foursquare and Yelp? Gowalla and SCVNGR? Shopkick and Loopt? Or the dozens of other lesser-known services?

For businesses that use Google Places to build awareness for their products and services, the convergence of these services creates the perfect storm of mobile, local and social marketing. Between check-ins, coupons, ratings and reviews, merchants have everything they need right on the Google homepage — not to mention Google Analytics to gauge the individual performances of each service.

All that’s going to be hard to beat.

Source of Information : Website Magazine for April 2011

BlackBerry App World licensing models

One thing that you must think about while creating your application is how it will be licensed when you do go to sell it. The App World portal supports four different licensing models that you can use for your application. They offer some flexibility for securing your application and to prevent copying. You should understand each model and choose the right one for you before submitting your application.

• Static License: A static license model is the same as having no license key at all. The user doesn't have to do anything at all except start running the application. It is the easiest for the user, but using this method also doesn't do anything at all to protect your application once it is downloaded by the user.

• Single License: The Single License model supports the use of a license key, but uses the same license key for every user that downloads and installs your application. This model is more secure, but if the key is leaked out and the application is shared, it would be impossible to know who the responsible party is. It is easy to maintain however because you supply only a single key.

• Pool of License: This method randomly retrieves a key from a pool of keys that you had generated and uploaded previously. This model allows for each user to get a unique license key when purchasing your application. As each sale returns a new key, there is more maintenance required by you to make sure that the pool of keys is stocked with enough keys. This model is very effective when combined with a network-based registration model that returns the key along with user information back to you.

• Dynamic License: A dynamic license eliminates the need for maintaining a pool of license keys by making an HTTP request to a URL that is specified by you, each time a purchase is made and a license key is required. It requires more work in setting up the server that will be used to process the requests, but the long-term benefits may outweigh the upfront work needed for this model to work. It would also allow for the possibility of generating keys which contain a timestamp and could time-out if not used right away. Personally, this seems overkill, but the possibility is there.

There is one model which is not supported by any of these licensing models, and that is a way to create a device-specific key. By using a unique value from a specific device, such as the PIN, it is possible to create a license key that would work for that device only. This model is not supported for good reason though. A user expects to use the same software they had previously purchased each time they upgrade and get a new device. The BlackBerry App World does allow this by maintaining a list of all of the software purchased and downloaded through BlackBerry App World. A device-specific licensing model would prevent this support.

Source of Information : Packt - BlackBerry Java Application Development Beginners Guide 2010

Distributing your application through BlackBerry App World

Now that we have everything coded, tested, polished, localized, and signed, we're ready to do what we set out to do from the very beginning, GET PAID! In order to do that, however, you have to sell the application to somebody. There are several avenues through which you can do this, but one of the best is to use the BlackBerry App World store. Now, this isn't to say that there aren't other great services out there. You should sell your application through as many different channels as possible. The BlackBerry App World though offers many advantages that make it easy for a user to use and purchase an application through, so we will focus on that first.

It does have one major disadvantage though, and that is the $200.00 that it takes to get registered. The fee is actually $20.00 per application that you submit, but they require that you purchase a package of ten at a time so once your vendor account is set up, you will be able to submit ten applications to the store. Hopefully, your applications sell well enough to recover that $200.00 investment!

To get started we must sign up and register as a vendor with the BlackBerry App World at https://appworld.blackberry.com/isvportal/home/login.seam?cid=2 5 0514 by clicking on the sign up link or the Get Started button on the page. In true RIM fashion, you have to go through two legal agreements, both of which have scripting that forces you to scroll to the end of the agreement before you can check the I agree checkbox on that page. The first is a Research In Motion agreement but the second is for some other company called Digital River—a company that handles all of the sales transactions, so if you don't plan to sell your application, you don't need to complete the second agreement.

The next two pages are standard forms to collect your information and create an account. The page after that is where things get interesting. Just like any retail website, the next page is where you provide payment information followed up by a confirmation page. The payment information must use the PayPal service and no other methods are supported. This is because the PayPal account is used to both pay your fees and also to deposit any monies collected through the sale of your applications. PayPal has its own set of fees as well, but eliminates the need for any kind of credit card merchant accounts or for you to share bank account information with anyone else as well.

Once the vendor application is submitted it can take a few days to get set up, but the process is usually done in less than the ten days they suggest. You will also receive an e-mail asking for legal documentation that will need to be faxed as well. Overall, the process is pretty easy though.

Source of Information : Packt - BlackBerry Java Application Development Beginners Guide 2010

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