Am I *TOOL* dependent?

One of my colleagues struck me by saying “you are tool dependent”.   From the very moment he said that to me, I agree deep within – although I never answer or loudly answer YES.  I know what he means by that and now I’m asking myself that very question.  In order to answer that question, lets define first what being tool dependent is?

  • Explores a lot of tools, recursively
  • Is lazy
  • Yet is ideal
  • The goal is to produce or optimize things with very little effort
  • Does not focus on the subject matter but instead focuses on the tools to accomplish the problem or the subject matter
  • Kills time for tool exploration
  • Plays alot with the tools
  • Spends time doing boilerplate codes
  • A tool slave – relies on the tools very much
  • Always buying time or always lacks time
  • Never get things done
  • Couldn’t get things done without the tools
  • Having a hard time controlling oneself
  • Does not have self-discipline
  • Have an attention deficit disorder
  • Easily persuaded by tools
  • Jack of all trades, master of none
  • Critical thinker
  • Creative thinker to the point of once a problem occurs, the solution instantaeneously pops out of the brain and then performs research about what tool accomplishes the problem instead of analyzing the problem first and then acting after.
  • An action man without thinking first
  • You overly submit oneself to that way
  • Has a lot of options because of the result of finding a lot of possible tools and solutions to solving a particular problem.
  • Always planning to escape being tool dependent but cannot
  • Tends to over-analyze things

From this definition alone, I would say I am.  Well, I just made up this definition from what I understand to be a tool dependent.

Upon reflecting, here I think are ways to escape from being a tool dependent person.

  • A determination to change
  • An everyday re-assessment of goals if it gets done
  • Focus and focus on solving the subject matter by not relying from the tools
  • Organize
  • Follow up
  • Focus on personal development – by not using those tools
  • Have a general sense of whats happening – have a birds eye view
  • Think first before acting
  • Always rely to oneself.  Don’t be dependent to things – and don’t escape the situation
  • Develop a sense of independence
  • Believe in your own competency
  • Gain personal mastery and self-control

Systematic way of tackling tool dependence.

  • Being dependent on things means holding on desperately to things to give life a meaning or direction.  In this case, to give you a desired solution to the problem you are tackling.
  1. Be willing to let go of the tools.  Begin by resenting those tools that can keep you back from all that you are capable of.
  2. Have the ability to self-initiate and lead oneself.
  3. Limit the tool selection to just 3, so that at least you have the options.
  4. Don’t over-analyze things for your pleasure.
  5. Practice, practice, practice.  From what I’ve heard, all it takes to acquire a habit is to perform it for two weeks consistently.  For example, if you are lazy to brush your teeth everyday – and you want to do something about it; train your mind and *do* it for two weeks and it becomes a habit.
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Open source trading platforms

While searching for my life-long dream of developing a trading platform, I found these to be fully matured.  All are Java based.

  • Eclipse Trader is an Eclipse Rich Client Platform (RCP) application focused to the building of an online stock trading system.
  • Humai Trader Platform is a free, open source stock technical analysis platform built on pure java. The project was renamed to Blogtrader.
  • jrobotrader is a simulation platform for automated stock exchange trading.
  • ActiveQuant open source java trading libraries and the former version ccapi2.
  • TA-Lib: Technical Analysis Library is now also available as a pure java library.
  • Rmetrics Software for Financial Engineering and Computational Finance (not Java!).
  • Open Java Trading Platform is meant to be a common infrastructure to develop stock trading systems.

EHCache and Spring, Terracotta Integration reference

Caching the result of methods using Spring and EHCache

AOP Cache
Add Object Caching Using Spring, AOP, and Ehcache
Ehcache with Spring
Declarative Caching using Spring, Ehcache and Java 5 Annotations
Hibernate Caches
Speed Up Your Hibernate Applications with Second-Level Caching
Spring/Hibernate Query Caching
Spring – Hibernate – EHCache – Web App
Consistent Cache Configuration: Spring, Hibernate, EhCache, JSecurity, et. al.
Configuring EhCache with Spring
Larger application (spring/hibernate/ehcache) running on Terracotta
EHCache simple example

Opensource ERP to consider worthy

Here’s the list of Java-based Opensource ERP that I would like to consider in my upcoming retail biz that uses inventory (any suggestions are welcome):

My criteria would be:

  1. Readiness to use
  2. Has a huge client base
  3. Flexibility in development if I would like to extend
  4. Architecture or design of the tool, and
  5. Scalability and adaptability as your biz grows.

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  • Adempiere – I dont know how it got me into this, but most likely this will be the one that I will use and extend if the functionality is insufficient.  For one, Adempiere is previously Compiere (the pioneer in open source ERP).  Having said that, it has all the functionality of Compiere, uses Application Dictionaries (model driven), uses business rule engine through callbacks (and one can plugin a bash code as a biz rule).  It also is UI agnostic – create additional customization and it will exist as both in Swing and DHTML (AJAX).  This model and flexibility suits me best.

Adempiere lacks a good website and organize documentation.  Its forums and source codes are quite messy and needs a divine intervention.  Resources are many and tend to spread out.  Has books develop for it.  Has a straight one month learning curve.  Posterita (POS) is integrated as much as its client POS.

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  • Openbravo ERP – is an open source ERP solution designed specifically for the SME (small to midsize firm). Developed in a web based environment, it includes many robust functionalities which are considered part of the extended ERP: procurement and warehouse management, project and service management, production management, and financial management. Additionally, this same application seemlessly integrates the rest of the areas, starting with a management scope directly helping clients with its CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and BI (Business Intelligence).

In comparison with Adempiere, Openbravo has a very clean interface, organized workflows, and easily extensible.  But Adempiere is more complete and more business focus.  Also, although they claim that the POS is integrated in the Openbravo ERP, it relies on a third party application, and is not fully integrated.  The business intelligence and reporting tool is top of the class and exceeds any opensource ERP.  Has a huge user and client base.

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  • Apache OfBiz – Apache OFBiz is a foundation and starting point for reliable, secure and scalable enterprise solutions. Use it out-of-the-box (OOTB) or customize to suite even your most challenging business needs. With OFBiz in place, you can get started right away and then grow your operations as your business grows, without the huge deployment and maintenance costs of traditional enterprise automation systems.

OFBiz is more leaning towards e-commerce, has a huge client base, and designed from the ground up to be customizable (but not easily for me).  They have a good and organized documentation, no restrictions of the license, and provides a good architecture for its development; but it lacks user friendliness and readiness to use; it is very huge and requires a massive amount of hardware resources.  Bottomline – OFBiz is a good ERP oriented towards big enterprises that is willing to implement its own IT.  In my case, I am a small one. =(

Here are others that I think did not pass worth considering:

  • JFire – is an opensource (LGPL) ERP Framework, build with technologies like J2EE 1.4, JDO 2.0 and Eclipse RCP 3.2. It is designed to be highly customizable and the core framework can also be used for other purposes then ERP.  However this lacks functionality and readiness of use.
  • JAllInOne – is an open source ERP/CRM java application having a Swing front-end. It is a Rich Internet Application so the front-end can remotely comunicate with the server-side layer of JAllInOne via HTTP protocol. Main features: Sales, Purchases, Warehouse, Bill of materials and production, Accounting, Agenda, CRM, Customers and contacts hierarchies, Callouts and appoinments management, Document management, Users and roles management, database schema management, grids and forms customization, reporting solution based on Jasper Report, reports customization.
  • EBI Neutrino – is a Framework for Enterprise Resource Planing (ERP) and Customer Relation Mangement(CRM) software solution that combines power of distribution, inventory, E-Commerce, accounting and workflow.
  • Wavelet EMP – is a web-based ERP built on J2EE framework that caters for the needs of franchises and chain stores. It includes CRM, Point of Sales, Inventory Management, Warehouse Management, System Administration, Accounting, Finance, Supply Chain, Distribution & Logistic, Trading modules, etc.
  • Opentaps – a fork of Apache OfBiz.

[not completed]