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Drupal Basics from Nashville’s Drupal Developers

A quick Drupal overview from Nashville’s Drupal Developers…

Drupal is free software, written in PHP, which has a wide and active community of users and developers who collaborate together in its improvement and expansion. Drupal is designed to be the perfect content management solution for non-technical users who need both simplicity and flexibility. This is achieved with a modular approach to site construction.  Unlike other CMSs, Drupal is not a prefabricated toy truck, but rather a collection of wheels, windshields, axles, frames, etc., that a toy manufacturer can easily assemble.

Drupal can be described both as a content management system and as a content management environment: a unified system that strives to have the advantages of both, without its shortcomings. In this way, if someone is looking to create a news site, an online store, social networks, blog, wiki, or something totally different, it is all about finding the right combination of modules.

This extension is possible because it is a modular system with a very consistent architecture, which allows modules created by any developer to interact with the core of the system and modules created by other members of the community. With Drupal, it is possible to implement a wide variety of websites: a personal or professional blog, a corporate portal, a virtual store, a social network or virtual community, etc … Directed to those people, with technical training or not, who want to start in the creation of Web Portals with Drupal. It is also very useful for companies or professionals who want to create their professional or personal web portal without external dependencies.

Drupal is an open source program, with GNU / GPL license, written in PHP, developed and maintained by an active community of users. It stands out for the quality of its code and the pages generated the respect of web standards, and a special emphasis on the usability and consistency of the entire system. Online help: A robust online help system and help pages for the ‘core’ modules, both for users and administrators.

Open source: The Drupal source code is freely available under the terms of the GNU / GPL license. Unlike other systems of ‘blogs’ or proprietary content management, it is possible to extend or adapt Drupal according to the needs.

Modules: The Drupal community has contributed many modules that provide features such as ‘category page’, private messages, bookmarks, etc.

Personalization: A robust personalization environment is implemented in the core of Drupal. Both the content and the presentation can be individualized according to the preferences defined by the user.

Friendly URLs: Drupal uses the mod_rewrite of Apache to create URLs that are manageable by users and search engines

GDPR: What Your Organization Needs to Know

man with computer

The European Union Parliament is set to enforce the most significant piece of European data protection legislation in 20 years. The General Data Protection Act (GDPR) goes into effect on May 25 of this year and could impact any organization that has or plans to have website/app visitors from the EU.

The GDPR replaces the Data Protective Directive of 1995 with the intention to harmonize data privacy laws across Europe. It is a comprehensive data law written to protect all EU citizens data privacy, and it applies to any organization that processes personal data of those residing in the EU, such as tracking their online activities. It does not matter if an entity does not have a physical location in the EU or is not based in the EU, if that entity is currently servicing people in the EU, or plans to, it must comply with GDPR.

Personal data applies to any information that can be used to directly or indirectly identify the person or subject.

Key Changes

The biggest changes that the GDPR incites are an increase in territorial scope and a change in consent laws

  • Territorial Scope: The GDPR encompasses a large amount of people as it does not matter where the company is located that is processing information as long as users reside in the EU.
  • Consent: The GDPR will strengthen the conditions for consent. Under the GDPR, conditions for consent must for given in an intelligible and easily accessible form. People need to know what they are giving consent for without having to decipher legalese. Explicit consent will be required for processing sensitive personal data, but for non-sensitive data unambiguous consent is permissible.
  • Data Protection Officer: A DPO is only required for public authorities, organizations that engage in large scale systematic monitoring, or organizations that engage in large scale processing of sensitive personal data.

Additional Rights

The GDPR also grants additional rights to data subjects, which includes:

  • The right to be informed. Data collectors must be transparent about how they are using personal data and must inform subjects of their data usage.
  • The right of access. This right improves data transparency and empowers the data subject to be informed whether a company is using their personal data, and how and why it is being processed.
  • The right of rectification. When possible and reasonable, data subjects will be allowed to have their personal data edited if they believe it to be incomplete or inaccurate.
  • The right to erasure. Data subjects have the right to have their personal data permanently deleted upon request. Reasons for deleting data include, but are not limited to, a withdrawal of consent or a lack of relevance of the data to the original request.
  • The right to data portability. Data subjects have the right to the data they have previously submitted concerning themselves, and the ability to resubmit that data to another controller.
  • The right to object. Data subjects are allowed to object to their personal data being used.

Steps to Prepare

To prepare for the implementation of GDPR come May 25, 2018, organizations should take the following steps:

  1. Determine where data currently comes from and resides. Figure out what is done with that data.
  2. Determine what data the organization needs to keep and what data no longer suits its needs.
  3. Put security measures in place to guard against data breaches.
  4. Review all privacy statements and disclosures to ensure they are in compliance with GDPR.
  5. Establish procedures for handling the new rights available to data subjects under GDPR.

Not complying with the GDPR will result in fines of up to 4 percent annual global turnover or $25 million, depending on which is higher.

Matter Center: The Productivity Tool Your Legal Team Needs

legislative building

Microsoft partnered with CELA (Microsoft Corporate, External, & Legal Affairs) back in 2015 to bring productivity tools to law firms and departments with security and seamless integration being some of its goals.

Dedicated to helping consumers work smarter and not harder, Microsoft Matter Center combines the best offerings from Office 365 and Microsoft Azure (a secure cloud network) for a legal department’s needs.

Matter Center integrates directly with Outlook meaning that users can get the same functionality of shared calendars and email communication with additional security encryption for the most sensitive of cases.

Matter Center also incorporates key functionality specific to law firms/departments. For instance, Creation of Matters lets users create cases in Office 365 and add notes such as the case description and case conflict verification. These notes can be uploaded and managed from Office 365 through Matter Center. Matter Center also streamlines the process of tracking information for cases. It provides a centralized information tracking mechanism for people to work on cases individually or as a group. Users can share notes and discuss the case at length over the document.

Matter Center is the easiest tool to incorporate into daily practice. It serves as a central location to upload documents and allows employees to work remotely with ease by providing access to all the case information online.

Atiba is a leading Microsoft Partner able to provide expert level consulting services on many Microsoft products, including Matter Center. Reach us at 615.353.1921 or info@atiba.com for assistance in switching your legal department to Matter Center today.

 

 

 

Atiba Is A Google Fiber Tech Partner

Google Fiber Tech Partner logo

There has been a lot of buzz around Nashville over the last few years about the arrival of Google Fiber. There are T-Shirts, Twitter posts about fiber being installed in neighborhoods, and a general excitement about the potential what this high-speed network option has to offer.

Some small businesses can get overwhelmed at the thought of setting up a new network for the office, especially if they have been using the same provider for years or decades. Questions about data security and cloud computing hang in the air, and many businesses don’t know where to look for help.

That’s where the Google Fiber Tech Partner program comes in. Google has authorized small to medium sized businesses with IT capabilities to officially help businesses to make the most of their new Google Fiber connection. Google Fiber Tech Partners can help with:

  • VoIP
  • Virtualization
  • Email hosting and spam protection
  • Cloud computing
  • Enterprise IT architecture
  • Virtual data centers
  • Disaster recovery
  • Help desk services
  • General hardware consulting

Atiba is a proud Google Fiber Tech Partner. In fact, we were the first company in the greater Nashville area to be named to the program. If you need help or guidance setting up your Google Fiber network, call us at 615.353.1921, drop us a line at info@atiba.com, or fill out the Nashville Google Fiber Partner form online and we’ll let you know how we can help.

Should You Consider CIO To Go Services?

speed

Many established businesses that don’t provide technology services have an on-site IT team out of necessity. As a company grew, there were enough desktops, laptops, servers, networks to maintain that an IT staff was necessary to keep everything up and running smoothly.

However, times are changing, and with more and more computing and storage being moved to the cloud, some companies are finding themselves with fewer IT situations to have to keep up with. That’s where CIO To Go services come in.

arrowOutsourcing your IT services can be far more efficient and effective than having a dedicated full-time staff. There is little to no up-front investment involved, and no salaries and benefits to keep up with.

With CIO to go, you don’t necessarily have to completely eliminate your IT department if you don’t want to, but you can use a third-party company to handle specific aspects of your tech needs, and only pay for the time that you use. For example, if you have legacy systems that are still critical to your operation, you could keep maintenance and updates to that in-house and outsource everything else.

As you add new processes and start using the cloud more, outsourced IT services may begin to make more sense. Your CIO To Go service provider keeps up with the latest technology and trends, and can guide you and keep you up-to-date on all your technology systems.

It takes time to transition to a CIO To Go, also know as It as a Service (ITaaS), and it can create a cultural shift in your company, so weigh your options carefully. If you’re thinking of switching, call us at 615.353.1921 or send an email to info@atiba.com and we’ll be glad to go over your options.

WordPress Vs. Drupal: What’s The Right Choice For Your Business?

overhead of docked boats with some empty slips

Drupal and WordPress are both excellent Content Management Systems (CMS) to use as a foundation for a business website. But there are differences. If you are looking to build a new business website, you might be wondering which platform is right for you.

man looking at his phoneWordPress started as a blogging platform and is a great choice for most basic websites that need robust content and navigation, need to look good, and might need to be updated by you or a non-technical team member at your company quickly and easily. Good examples are tourist attractions, law firms, non-profits, event websites like music festivals or a beauty and fashion website. Those are just a few examples. Most basic businesses that need a website to get information out about what you do should consider using WordPress.

Drupal is the platform to use if your website is going to do a lot of heavy lifting. If your site is going to be very complex with a lot of content, like an eCommerce marketplace with a million items (SKUs), Drupal is probably the choice for you.

Similarly, having individual users on your site can be a very complex management task, especially if the user base is expected to be large and will need to be sorted by many different data points for different functions.

A lot of enterprise projects use Drupal, like government and school websites, because you can program several different sites (for different departments) with different databases, but still use the same Drupal base code.

This is a simple explanation to get you started thinking in the right direction. If you’re unsure, talk to a company like Atiba, with experts on staff in both WordPress and Drupal, to find out the best way to build a site for your business.

World Backup Day

satellite dishes

lighthouse in a stormIt is estimated that 32% of all critical data loss is because of human error and 44% is from hardware or system malfunctions. No on expects massive data loss, and it can happen at any time and bring your business to a standstill.

Since 2011, March 31 has been declared to be World Backup Day. Now, we obviously recommend you backup your business data more often than once a year, but having a yearly reminder of the importance of backing your data up is never a bad thing.

If your data is stored on some type of hard drive, back it up to a separate physical drive, preferably in a different location, and as an additional safety measure, use a cloud based backup service. Also, you might consider migrating to the cloud entirely, where a company like Atiba that offers Network Management Services will make sure your data is always secure and available.

Atiba is Hiring: Sharepoint

Atiba is looking for a top Sharepoint developer to join our team. If you have experience in Sharepoint programming, email an inquiry to info@atiba.com.

Five Key Attributes To Look For In A Custom Software Development Company

There are a variety of reasons people seek out a custom software solution for their business, and it is sometimes the biggest decision a business might make. The most common reason is that there is no software solution that solves the problem(s) they are trying to solve. It could be that there are software solutions, but they have poor functionality or just don’t fit exactly what they’re trying to do. It could be that there is a solution out there that is prohibitively expensive with many features the company would never use. If you find yourself starting on the journey to find a software development company, here are five thoughts to keep in mind as you get started.

1) Communication Is Key

Rare is a software development project that doesn’t require consultation and advice along the way. Look for a software development company that has been around a while and has the battle scars to prove it. And make sure they are good communicators so that if you request something they have tried in the past and found doesn’t work, they will not hesitate to communicate that experience to you. They should also be able to  recommend ways to solve your specific requirements. If you lay out your vision and come away thinking, “I have no idea what they are talking about, I guess I’ll just have to trust them,” you’re setting yourself up for possible trouble down the road.

2) Experience Counts

hands typing on a laptop keyboardIf you’re looking for a custom software solution, you’ve probably reached your last nerve trying to deal with all the available product that don’t quite solve your problem. That means you need software that will do exactly what it is you want it to do. This is where experience is an advantage for a software development firm. A company with leadership who have solved a variety of problems over the years bring institutional knowledge and wisdom to the table that greatly increase the chances that your new software will be successful. They don’t necessarily have to have already built exactly what you want for someone else, but they may have experience with some of the components and processes you are requesting. Plus, if they’ve been around, it shows that they’ve encountered plenty of problems and been able to come up with solutions.

3) Look For A Strong User Experience Development History

A user-friendly interface is vital to your new software’s success. The backend can function beautifully, but if users can’t figure out how to use it, the software is useless. Make sure the software development company you choose places an emphasis on user experience (UX), which includes rigorous quality assurance (QA) all along the development cycle.

4) They Have A Clear Support Policy

You’re getting a software solution that is being built from scratch, so you need to expect some bugs and quirks upon deployment. Make sure the company you choose gives you a clear picture of what support is included, and how much support that is not included is going to cost.

5) Check Their Work

A good indicator of future success is a rich history of past success. Take time to have them show you custom software development projects they’ve done in the past, explain the process and problems they went through, and, if possible, show you the end result. Not only is this an important step in your due diligence, it will give you peace of mind moving forward that your project is in the right hands.

Your email is an easy target for hackers — here’s how to secure it…

In this week’s USA Today / Tennessean column, Atiba founder JJ Rosen provides tips on how to secure your email.

http://www.tennessean.com/story/money/tech/2017/05/15/email-easy-target-hackers-dont-make-easier-them/319953001/

Contact info@atiba.com as needed for your security needs.