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Feb 23
CincyPASS- Data Integration in Hadoop with SSIS Meeting
​On Thursday, February 26th from 6:30pm-8:00pm Microsoft Corporation (4605 Duke Drive, Suite 800, Mason, Ohio) will be hosting the SQL Server User Group Meeting. 

Come meet our team members and learn how Hadoop and Big Data can integrate into your enterprise environment today!

We hope to see you there!
Feb 23
CINNUG Meeting Tuesday February 24, at 6:00pm
​Special guest speaker, Phil Japikse will host a talk on MVVM for WPF with a sprinkling of NUI.  The meeting will be hosted at MAX Technical Training in Mason, Ohio.  PIZZA will also be provided.
Additional Details....

Immediately following the main speaker and pizza, CINNUG will be holding another CINARC (Cincinnati Software Architecture Group). This session will feature more discussion on topics chosen the night of the meeting. The focus of the meeting will be to discuss issues of software architecture relevant to the members of the community.

Our SDS team members will be there!  Feel free to introduce yourself.  :)
Feb 10
Dayton .Net User Group
​SPOILER ALERT!  Our very own Mike Levy will be speaking at the Dayton .Net Users Group very soon.  We'll keep you posted with the date, time, location and topic(s) to be discussed.  We're looking forward to hearing what our Microsoft Practice Director has to say. 
Feb 10
Agile User Group Meeting- Cincinnati, Ohio

​Happy Tuesday!​

This week the Cincinnati Agile user group meeting is on Thursday, February 12.  See for more updates and information. 

A few of our team members will be there.  Make sure to go up and introduce yourself and of course if you're intersted in becoming a consultant of ours, we'll discretely take your information too.  :)
Jan 30
Strategic Data Systems New Website
Welcome to our new Strategic Data Systems website

Thank you for taking the time and looking at our new site.  I wanted to take the time and talk about how we created this Responsive site inside Office 365/SharePoint Online using BootStrap 3 as our front-end framework while still implementing core SharePoint features, even with anonymous access.

Everyone should now know that your website will need to be flexible for people accessing your information by laptop, tablet or mobile.  With responsive design you will have the same content working across multiple screen resolutions.  You can of course resize your browser to see the difference or look at the following image:


With new form factors (size of different devices) coming out every other month it would take too long to customize a site for each and every one.  We decided to target three different media queries with mobile first in mind:

@media screen and (min-width: 768px)
{ /* ... small devices... */ }
@media screen and (min-width: 922px)
{ /* ... medium devices... */ }
@media screen and (min-width: 1200px)
{ /* ... large/wide screen devices... */ }
Earlier I mention SharePoint features, one of the core benefits of using SharePoint is being able to use custom list for anything you need, blog posts, navigation, contacts, etc.  By calling the client-side object model (CSOM) I should be able to get a list by using a simple CAML query.  By now some of the Front-end SharePoint developers might be wondering how we are accomplishing this for anonymous access.  For the people who do not know, SharePoint Online (not on premise) blocks anonymous users from calling the CSOM to access list…

If you would like to know how this was accomplish, please look at our contact us page and reach out to us.  Also don't forget to follow us on social:

Jan 30
SDS New Website and Social Media Links!
​Our social media is finally in full swing.  Please look over interesting articles, company events and job postings!  There's a little something out there for everyone and we're looking forward to keeping these feeds up to date with current information.Here are the links:


Follow us ASAP and start retweeting!

Special Thanks to "Dave Botos" for helping me with the Twitter and Facebook designs! They look modern and very professional.
Jan 30
What characteristics make a great SDS consultant?
​One question I am frequently asked of me is "What does SDS look for in an employee?"  

The obvious answer is technical competence; however, that is not our primary decision maker when hiring a new consultant.  Soft skills are equally important.  There are a number of characteristics that we have identified over the years that let us know when we are on track for a great employee.  Some of these characteristics are identified below.

We look for curious people.  Curious people are learners.  They want to know how and why things work. They tinker.  They play with technologies.  They say, "Well that was cool!"  

We want passionate people.   Passionate people love what they do.  They want to start their day because they are excited about their job and what they can accomplish today.  They follow blogs.  They go to user group meetings.  They network with other passionate people.

We like risk takers.  Risk takers make great entrepreneurs.   They are willing to try something even though the odds are that they may fail.  Risk takers are the ones who will come to us and ask if they can try something new in the market place, and ask us for an investment to give it a try.

A person with great critical decision making skills makes a great consultant.  A person who can decide what is best for the customer even when that decision might result in less work for us… that's a person we want on our staff.   It was Henry Ford who said, "It is not the employer who pays the wages. Employers only handle the money. It is the customer who pays the wages."

Discipline is another pillar value.  Show up when you're supposed to be there.  Do your best work – all the time.  Meet the deadlines to which you commit.   Do your best to achieve the customer's goal at the lowest possible cost.  Be committed to your work and a high quality outcome.

We prize consultants who have great integrity.  We recommend the best solution for the customer, even when the best solution may not be the most profitable solution for us.

Lastly, we want people with vision.   These people have a plan and know where they want to go.  Success and vision are tightly coupled.  JC Penney once said "Give me a stock clerk with a goal and I'll give you a man who will make history. Give me a man with no goals and I'll give you a stock clerk."

These characteristics give us great employees.  
Jan 30
Java 8 Rocks
​6 months ago, I suggested to my client that they move to Java 7 because Java 6 was retiring. There was a lot conversation, testing, and concern, but ultimately everything went smoothly. Since it went well, I could suggest the move to Java 8. Java 8 is arguably the most important release since Java 5. There are a few important features that will help things, but the most important feature was the JVM and algorithm change.

The HashMap algorithm has been overhauled, which makes creation and access much faster. The permgen space has been removed and JVM improvements make garbage collection faster. These improvements were forecasted to be a 20% performance gain. After implementing Java 8 in production without any of the new features, my client saw a 20% performance gain on the server side. Upgrading to Java 8 did not have any problems, and the new features like the Stream classes, updated thread pooling, and Lambdas, should make our code easier to read, maintain, and run.