It’s that time of year again to think ahead… but this time I shall not pretend that this is a list of predictions anymore… it is of course a private wish list. So, if I could choose … the StreamServe year ahead for 2014:
Increased Communication Channels
Although technically possible today with custom code, I would like to see standard connectors for generating:
- Web Service calls to help post/collect with CAD / Library / Web / Archive systems
- Advanced Email options with tracking ID’s built into headers, and other custom settings available for future proofing email development.
- SMS’s with assured delivery and the possibility to handle customer responses
- Google Docs (public or private) as an archive alternative – especially useful when prototyping
- Command Queues, generating a list of commands to be carried out at some predefined trigger. Useful for batching file operations such as print shop payloads, file merging, status emails for admins etc…
All of these would reduce development time and cost.
Monitoring and Error handling
This is a biggie – If OpenText does not have its own set of monitoring tools then it should source some. Connecting a professional tool to watch for errors, provide visuals to show event impact, operational statistics, automatic correction, suggestions to solve issues, provide links to possible solutions and (my favourite), automatic re-run options. Just imagine if your SMTP server goes down for 1 hour and the system would automatically resend all unsent emails when the email server came back on-line. Marvellous – and no need to pay for IT staff to trace issues.
StreamServe configurations often come in 3 sizes and it would be a great cost saver if the underlying framework could detect and automatically provide tuning profiles for:
1) Once a day/month big batch operations for Print & Post,
2) High volume continuous small transactions for SMS & Email & Label printing,
3) Medium size payloads for all channels (ERP Systems)
Improved Development / Prototyping / Release Control
There are many areas that StreamServe could improve in order to ease the pain of parallel changes in configurations. The biggest one is for any database structures for document types used in Composition Center, Post Processing and Archiving.
Rapidly adapting to market changes, technical requirements and administrative routines is still dependent upon multiple development environments, down times with manual steps and a high skill level for the individual performing the steps.
HTML is displayed differently on each and every device and operating system. It is an insanely difficult task for a simple developer (like me) to provide an easy email design that works generally the same across all of the mobile devices available within the market today. I would therefore like to see improved templating (CSS) options on outbound HTML email.
This would allow organisations to link the benefit of their web site developers and graphical artists to StreamServe.
Printing over the cloud, improved XML tools, intelli-sense, and the rest of my previous predictions (2012, 2013) of course go into mix.
Well I hope this has given you some food for thought and as always – your own desires and comments are most appreciated.
Written by Vyv Lomax
Big thanks to Halfdan, Andrew, Mikael and Kirstine for pushing me forward in 2013.