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It’s not what he meant. He didn’t really hate the cloud

A potential customer vented his dislike of “the Cloud”, saying “it’s just a server in a data centre instead of in your office”. Technically he is right. It is often even less than that and often mis-sold. It might be a shared conventional server. It might also be a massive environment like Amazon Web Services.

At its best it is a cloud based application that you don’t have to host. It is backed up. It has redundancy built in. It is auto-scaleable and uses content delivery network. It is accessible from a browser from anywhere. Local installation or maintenance is unnecessary. Web apps can connect to other systems using web services. I the customer’s dislike of the misuse of important technological or scientific names for cheap marketing. It spoils it for the very clever people who bring us these major advances. It spoils it for us when we try to convey the importance of being able to maintain content in one part of the world and use it in another. We connect applications using the cloud.

We have built a web app, Geni-Sys, that uses the best of cloud technology. In our day to day development most of what we do is made possible using cloud based services. The way we deploy updates and distribute large images for print, which could not be done without the cloud. We could not connect data sources and applications. We now use common data interchange methodologies like JSON and XML that connect different applications, technologies and platforms that was impossible before. Services we use include GIThub, AWS (Amazon web services), FAYE messaging. Some of the most successful companies have been built using the technology, including Salesforce, Basecamp from 37 Signals and of course GIThub. The customer was complaining about the misuse of the term but may not realise how much of what we do from day to day depends on it.

Machine to Machine cloud services
Machine to Machine cloud services

Major Enhancements to Geni-Sys

Today we have deployed some important enhancements to Geni-Sys page automation. A simple drag and drop process lets users change the position of a group of products on a page without access to dtp. Users can now auto-paginate a DataChannel (collection of grouped products) and then quickly review the layout and adjust in on screen without the need for DTP skills or software. Any modifications made are automatically transferred to InDesign or Quark XPress the next time the page is published.
Users can also change the look of a product group and the space it takes on a page by selecting a group template from a drop down. The system automatically paginates with full control over back fill or knock on.
We have also deployed new tools to configure complex product tables where simple rows and columns are insufficient to present the products in their clearest form, which will please those with complex technical products. The tables format can be defined in Geni-Sys and the correct table format will be built in InDesign or Quark XPress, automatically.