Creating A Network That Works

Creating A Network That Works

by: Diane Hughes

Do you ever stand in awe of those people who seem to know everybody and everything? I know I do! Regardless of what you’re looking for, these people have their finger on the pulse of the กNet and know where to find it. Their network of resources and people is incredible! Yours can be, too. Itกs actually very simple to create a network that works to bring you business, offers feedback and provides those resources that we all need to have.
Make A Wish List
The first step in creating a network that works is making a list of what you want. Go ahead, think of the perfect situation where you would have anything you needed at your fingertips. For example, if you have a Web design business you might find it very helpful to create associations with people who offer services that compliment yours. Why? Because if these people are heavily involved with the process of getting a Webbased business up and going, they could send you many leads and that could turn into paying clients.
What else might you want? Perhaps free advertising or publicity to bring more business your way? Sure! Write it down on the wish list.
Making Wishes Come True
Now, the next step is to find the resources you need in order to make those wishes realities. Itกs not as difficult as it sounds. Just expand on your wish list a bit in the following way.
We mentioned needing associations with service providers that compliment our example of Web design. So write down companies that provide: Web hosting, merchant accounts, shopping carts, autoresponders, Internet checks, copywriting, graphic design and scripting/programming.
We also said we needed some advertising or publicity. So add to the list the following: ezine ad swaps, banner ad swaps, local newspapers, local TV and radio stations, Chambers of Commerce.
Finally, itกs time to go to work. The best way to start is to alert your friends and associates of what you are trying to accomplish. Itกs simple to send a quick email that states something to the effect of, กIกm in the process of expanding my resources and find Iกm in need of the following [provide the list]. If you know of anyone who you highly recommend in one of the above areas, please offer them my phone number and email address. I am interested in arranging a joint affiliation with them in order to increase both our businesses.ก
You can also send the same message to any lists or bulletin boards you frequent. Most people are more than happy to refer those they have had pleasant working relationships with.
Final Decisions
Lastly, once you get the results from your search back, contact the ones you feel most comfortable with. Again, honestly explain what you are doing and that you would like to create a joint partnership with them in order to exchange leads, prospects and services.
Even if someone does not suit your needs at the moment, enter them into your database for future reference. I once had a graphic designerกs email address and samples for 6 months before having a need for them. However, because I had already established contact, once my need arose it was smooth sailing!
When you are ready to begin your projects, just contact those on your list who can fill a need. Perhaps you want to advertise your Web design services. You can ask someone in your network (a Web host, a graphic artist, etc.) to participate in joint advertising with you. This will allow you to get excellent exposure for ½ the price because those costs are shared with your กpartnerก.
You can also set up a referral process. I have several arrangements with others in where we exchange referrals. Some do it for a fee, others just do it on a oneforone basis. You and your network member can decide what works best for you.
The results of this simple process are normally tremendous. The majority of small business owners are always looking for ways to expand their businesses. Exchanging leads with one another, creating joint affiliations and bartering are great ways to create a broad network that truly does work!
Copyright 2004 Diane Hughes

About The Author

Diane C. Hughes * ProBizTips.com

FREE Report: Amazingly Simple (Yet Super Powerful) Ways To Skyrocket Your Sales And Build Your Business Into A Tower of Profits! ==>> http://madmarketer.com/diane

This article was posted on May 31, 2004

by Diane Hughes

PIM Team Case Study: Creating Text Effects With PH

PIM Team Case Study: Creating Text Effects With PHP and GD

by: Bobby Handzhiev

See how you can create graphic effects on text with PHP and GD drop shadows, arcs, fonts and colors.

Problem

Atec Signs and Sraphics Inc. launched a web site with the idea to sell decals online. To achieve better customers ineterest the website had to integrate online decal builder. The company is offering also decals for vehicles which brought some specific requirements to the builder like having the decal text turning arround 4 types of arcs.

Goals

Provide users with preview area

Allow visitors to choose font and color

Allow adding drop shadow and selecting drop shadow color

Allow turning the text into arcs

Real Time calculating

Solution

Because of the need for increasing customers interest we had to think about not for perfect math formulas when showing the graphs in the preview area, but for the people who will look at them.

As we will reaveal below, there were few problems going arround human appreceptions for something กperfectly smoothก and the matchematical perfect figures.

Methodology

We were going to extensively use PHP GD library for the text effects. It provided easy changing of fonts and colors, adding drop shawdows and rotating the texts.

We had also to create color palletes which to appear when user click and disappear when color is selected (You can personally try the decals creating here). Using hidden layers and javascript was supposed to do the work.

The main problem in this site was to create 4 types of arcs so when the user selects one of them the text is created arround imaginary arc (like in the vector graphical softwares). We were going to study Bezieกs formulas and create these arcs with its help.

Implementation

PIM Team Bulgaria had the task to build the full functional online decals builder with the following features:

Decal background

Some users were supposed to have their decals placed on colored background. We had to allow the preview area to be painted in a selected background. First we created the image in temp folder:

// the name of destination image

$dest=กdecals/ก.time().ก.jpgก;

//the background

imagefilledrectangle ( $im, 0, 0, 590, 60, $colors[$_POST[กbcolorsก]]);

$colors array contains the available color which are stored by the administrator in the database.

Thus, when the visitor selects a background it is passed as parametter to imagefilledrectangle function.

Font selection

Users should be able to select fonts for their future decals. Knowing that we can’t consider all the fonts will be available on all visitorกs computers we had to upload them on the web server directory.

We allowed the admin to manage the fonts, adding their names and uploading files in admin area.

The fonts in the select box came from the database. Selected font was passed in the call to imagettftext funtion which is drawing on the previously created image.

Color Selections

The color selections had to be a palettes which appear when user clicks and disappear when color is selected. The palette had to look as a table with colors and these colors are also defined in the

admin area so they had to come dynamicly. We had to seed a static javascript function with dynamic content.

We created a PHP cycle which was taking the colors from the database and then creating a string for HTML table. This table is then passed to a javascript function which creates the palletes with the help of hidden layers:

function showTable(table)

{

mouseX = window.event.x + document.body.scrollLeft+25;

if(table==กbackgroundก)

{

var content=กก;

var y=460;

}

if(table==กfontsก)

{

var content=กก;

var y=690;

}

if(table==กshadowsก)

{

var content=กก;

var y=810;

}

document.getElementById(‘tablerก).style.pixelLeft=mouseX;

document.getElementById(‘tablerก).style.pixelTop=y;

document.getElementById(‘tablerก).style.visibility=กvisibleก;

document.getElementById(‘tablerก).innerHTML=content;

}

Of course, once the user select the desired color we had to hide the pallette:

function setColor(elid,color,fromid,shc)

{

document.getElementById(elid).value=color;

document.getElementById(‘tablerก).style.visibility=กhiddenก;

}

Thus we created nice palettes which appear and disappear on a single click and don’t take much space on the screen.

Drop Shawdows

The decals offered has the ability to have a drop shadow added so we had to add this option to the online builder. PHP however didn’t offered a nice function for that. We created a procedure which draws the texts twice once the original 100% saturated text and once the shadow with a percentage of the color and appropriate displacement. Of course the shadow was drawn on the image before the main text.

@imagettftext($img, 20, $gr[$i], $x+$dx, $ys[$i]+$dy, $scolors[$shadowcolor], กfonts/ก.$_POST[กfontsก],$word[$i]);

Arcs

The main problem came when we had to กrotateก the texts thru arcs. First we created perfect Bezie funtion which to draw the curves and adjust the letter above them. But what a surprise the curves looked perfect alone, but when we adjusted the letters above them they seemed rough.

After studying this problem we realised that the rough screen resolution and the disability to antialise the images wouldn’t allow us to create nice arcs. We were standing against insoluble problem.

We decided to create few arcs with a graphical software (CorelDraw) and to see what could be wrong.

We noticed that Corelกs curves were looking great after they are manually adjusted. However you can’t just leave the program to create perfect curves automaticly. A human eye was needed to judge when a curve looks right and when not.

We got a totally different direction. There wasn’t an universal function to help us. The solution we found was to กmanuallyก adjust each letter. We created a procedure with cases which were adjusting each letter on the appropriate place and with appropriate rotation depending on how long was the text. It worked!

We created 2 arrays for each arc type one array with the positions and one array with the rotations.

The rest was simple:

if($arctype)

{

$start=(35$l)/2;

if($start%2) $start+=1;

$gr=array_slice($gr,$start,$l);

$ys=array_slice($ys,$start,$l);

}

if(!$arctype)

{

$ys=array();

$gr=array();

//making the arrays

for($i=0;$i

You can go on the atecกs site and try the arcs we achieved (http://atecsigns.com/decal/step_1.php).

Results

Now Atec Singsกs web builder creates perfect decals with graphs, calculates the price and allows you to add the decals to your shopping cart and chgeckout (the shopping cart software is also created by PIM Team Bulgaria).

The builder allows the visitor to create the desired decals with any color, dropped shadow, background and shape, to preview it and to calculate the cost for different sizes and quantities.

The website and builder were promoted with massive radio advertising company. At that time it was the only decal builder which allowed creating texts arround arcs.

Conclusions

Use GD to create text effects

Do not forget that you can create you own functions for what GD does not offer

Do not always search for math perfect formulas. The graphical effects are intended to the human eye

Load fonts in the server

Use javascript and hidden layers to achieve great flexibility

About The Author

Bobby Handzhiev is a senior developer in PIM Team Bulgaria

http://pimteam.net

admin@pimteam.net

This article was posted on November 02, 2004

by Bobby Handzhiev

How to Create Cheap PDFs

How to Create Cheap PDFs

by: Kane Deng

*Introduction

Do you want to create your PDF ebooks? PDF is the industry publishing standard, and most of ebook authors are using PDF as their ebooks publishing format. But the problem is the commercial tools, which can be used to create PDF documents, are very expensive, and this is a heavy burden for most ebook authoring starters.

Now good news is there are a few ways to create Adobe Acrobat PDF files without having to spend a lot of money…

*Cheap PDF tools

Microsoft Office doesn’t come with builtin PDF support, so if you want to convert an Office document into PDF you have to purchase Adobe Acrobat, use an online conversion site, or download and install a special program or printer driver. You can learn more about this at

http://www.aexx.net/Arcane/doctopdf/

Unlike Microsoft Office, Corel’s Word Perfect Office DOES support PDF creation straight out of the box. You can download a 30 day evaluation copy of Word Perfect at

http://corel.com

Of course, what started this whole journey into PDFland was a desire on my part to create PDFs cheaply. So buying a whole new office suite, even if that suite doesn’t carry the Microsoft logo, kind of defeats the purpose. There is a different suggestion: use OpenOffice. OpenOffice comes with a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation manager, and a drawing program. The latest version of OpenOffice – OpenOffice 1.1 – even comes with PDF and Macromedia Flash export.

Oh, and OpenOffice is completely free. You can download it at

http://www.openoffice.org

If downloading and installing a whole new office suite doesn’t sound too appetizing, fear not. There are many other PDF tools we recommend!

For online document conversion (a la Adobe’s createpdf.adobe.com), we recommend goBCL at

http://www.gobcl.com

and an entirely different Carnegie Mellon’s TOM Server at

http://wheel.compose.cs.cmu.edu:8001/cgibin/browse/objweb

Both services appear to be free, but Carnegie Mellon’s can be a bit flaky at times.

If you have Postscript files that you would like to convert to PDFs online, we recommend PS2PDF at

http://www.ps2pdf.com/convert/index.htm

If you’d rather download and install a PDF converter on your computer, you have a BUNCH of options. There is a free converter called ขGymnastข at

http://www.oakworth.demon.co.uk/gymnast.htm

The registration code is in the yellow box at the top of the page.

And, if you’re willing to ditch Windows together [or partition your computer so that you can run multiple operating systems], you can try Mandrake Linux 9.1, it comes with a builtin PDF printer driver. Other flavors of *nix may offer the same features. Check around.

*References

Links to PDF Resources:

http://www.geeyo.com/docs/pdf_resources.html

About The Author

Kane Deng

Bring to you valuable & fresh information on Internet business, and let you keep up with all the latest major Net business opportunities.

http://www.geeyo.com/ezines.html

kane@geeyo.com

This article was posted on January 04, 2004

by Kane Deng

Brainstorming! The Key To Wealth

Brainstorming! The Key To Wealth

by: Roy Primm

Advertising executive Alex F. Osborne first coined the word ขbrainstormingข in the early 1940’s. Since then literally millions of ideas, products, services and solutions have been created and improved on.

Every institution from Fortune 500 companies to Universities and Government agencies have used the principle of brainstorming. They’ve use it to create everything from new ad slogans, and medical breakthroughs, to how to get your child to eat more peas.

Fact: For every product in your home or office, chances are a person or group of people brainstormed about it. They brainstormed on how best to create, market, sell, manufacture, advertise, or distribute it. This is how powerful brainstorming is.

One of the best things about brainstorming is that it can be used by anyone. You don’t have to be a C.E.O or army general. You can gain from brainstorming if you’re a housewife, janitor, student or unemployed.

Yes, you can use the principles of brainstorming for the largest project or the smallest project. You can use it to plan a million dollar ad campaign, or use it to plan what you’ll have for dinner tonight.

If you simply follow and practice the following steps you will soon be amazed at the ideas and solutions your fabulous brain will give you.

Before we go any further lets discuss the 7 steps for effective brainstorming sessions.

The 7 Magic Steps For Powerful Brainstorming Sessions!

1. The brainstorming session can be done with one person or one hundred people. The rules are the same. The only requirement is the participants should know or know about the problem, business, product or subject of the brainstorming session.

2. Don’t use critical thinking. Critical or judgmental thinking slows down or kills the creative process at this stage. Because as hard as you may try, you can only think one thought at a time. When your creating you can’t judge and when you judge you can’t create.

3. Keep the session light, loose and free spirited. Humor has been known to help oil the wheels of our creativity. A large portion of our creativity is released through our humor. Watch a comedy, or tell a few jokes before you proceed.

4. Make sure you have a pencil and paper to write down any and all ideas, or if you’re in a group, designate someone to write down the ideas.

5. It’s best to set a minimum length of time or amount of ideas you want to get out of each brainstorming session. Setting a goal helps everyone to focus; it also helps everyone avoid wandering minds.

6. Write down the problem, the goal, or the subject at the top of a piece of paper. For example, ขWays To Attract More Customersข. Next number each idea you or the group comes up with. Write down every idea, the good, the bad, and even the ugly. Remember, the goal is to get as many ideas listed on paper as possible.

7. Next evaluate the most doable ideas and take action.

That’s the 7 tips for effective brainstorming sessions. Follow them and watch the ideas flow.

About The Author

Roy Primm (The NicheMan) has written hundreds of articles on how to create a moneymaking niche. Get the edge on your competition this year read his free report ก14 Ways To Create a Niche and Grow Richก go to NicheBrain.com

This article was posted on January 10, 2004

by Roy Primm

Become a More Creative Person

Become a More Creative Person

by: Granny’s Mettle

Used to be when we talk about generation gap, it almost always applies to the difference in thinking between the supposedly adult generation and the younger ones. Then, it was easier to understand because our parents used to say that itกs all about difficult teenagers. Period.

However, the principle of generation gap has evolved in a different meaning particularly in the workplace. The trend nowadays is to have a more vibrant and creative staff working for companies. And who best exemplifies creativity and fun? The young, fine arts degree holders, who else.

A person with a fine arts degree used to have trouble in getting himself employed. But now, itกs the companies who are getting as much as they can; recruiting young people with a fine arts background, believing that with creative staff aboard, they become more creative and innovative themselves. Especially that thereกs a growing belief nowadays that to stay ahead, companies should become more inventive, innovative and creative.

Nevertheless, you don’t need to be a fine arts graduate to get inside the best companies. Or you get your own fine arts staff for your own company. You just need to enhance your creativity to get a crack of the business you have chosen. As the author of Vivation said, the idea that a few people are creative and the rest are not is definitely a myth. All we need is to let some of our infinite creative power leak through from the unconscious so we can apply it to our conscious state.

Or, we could always rely on software and programs available in the market to help us produce a creative and innovative environment for our company and business.

There is a barrage of applications from Adobe, Microsoft, and other software developers, to help us create better and vivid media materials that enhance our corporate identity.

At the TypoTechnica 2005 conference, Quark Inc. introduced QuarkXPress 7, an updated version of their page layout program. The program fully supports both Unicode and OpenType. With QuarkXPress7กs support for Unicode, it provides a new feature called Font Fallback that allows users to specify a fall back and alternative fonts when a specified font does not contain a full set of glyphs for nonRoman characters. Furthermore, the program will support a total of around 23 OpenType features, including standard and discretionary ligatures and swashes.

On the other hand, Adobeกs Creative Suite boasts having a complete design environment for print and Web publishing. They add that users will be able to create and publish content for print and the Web faster, more easily, and more affordably. The application has tools for creating artwork, editing images, creating photo compositions, and drawing vector graphics.

Then thereกs Microsoftกs Digital Image Suite 9 and Digital Image Pro 9 that comes with wizards and tutorials that walk you through the process and help you get started right away. The software includes thousands of design templates to help you create projects not only for your business, but also for the home.

There are a lot of ways and means to let our creativity flow. We just have to use our minds to imagine fresh ways or put together already existing ideas and innovate, to make our company click with our target clients. And with new technology to help us, business life is simpler and easier.

About The Author

Grannyกs Mettle is a 30something, professional web content writer. She has created various web content on a diverse range of topics, which includes digital printing topics, medical news, as well as legal issues. Her articles are composed of reviews, suggestions, tips and more for the printing and designing industry.

Her thoughts on writing: กWriting gives me pleasure… pleasure and excitement that you have created something to share with others. And with the wide world of the Internet, it gives me great satisfaction that my articles reach more people in the quickest time you could imagine.ก

On her spare time, she loves to stay at home, reading books on just about any topic she fancies, cooking a great meal, and taking care of her husband and kids.

For comments and inquiries about the article visit http://www.ucreative.com

articles@ucreative.com

This article was posted on March 07

by Granny’s Mettle

The Psychology of Urgency: Make Them Want It Now!

The Psychology of Urgency: Make Them Want It Now!

by: Scott Moldenhauer

ขI’ll think it over and get back to you.ข ขSure, we’ll do that someday.ข ขI need to check with my colleagues.ข ขGive me a call next month, then we can set a date.ข

Tired of excuses? Looking for a more successful way to get others to take immediate action?

For the last century, psychologists have been studying simple persuasion tactics that will allow you to motivate people and get the results you desire. This article focuses on using the psychology of persuasion to create a sense of urgency in your customers.

The Psychology of Limited Resources

The first strategy for getting people to take immediate action is to present yourself or your product as ขlimited,ข ขscarce,ข or ขin demand.ข

Why? People want what they can’t have. Repeatedly, psychologists have shown that human beings find more value in things that they have a hard time obtaining.

If you tell people that they can’t have something, they end up wanting it more! You may have experienced this in your own life. Have you ever found yourself interested in a home or a car and then discovered that someone else may try to buy it first? If you’re anything like me, the item becomes even more valuable to you. You are more motivated to get it.

Do You Want It? You Can’t Have It!

This is an important point for sales and marketing purposes. Car salespeople are quick to let us know that, ขThis is the last model of its kind available on the entire lot—after it goes, that’s it.ข Newspaper and television ads constantly remind us that the ขsale ends soon,ข that ขsupplies are limitedข and that ขtime is running out.ข

Some retail stores create motivation by putting ขsoldข tags on merchandise that they have a hard time selling. When customers see the ขsoldข tag, they become more interested in buying the item.

Infomercials place a ticking clock at the end of the advertisements. They say, ขOrder before the clock runs out and you will also receive a free set of knives.ข

Getting Immediate Results

When I first started speaking and consulting, it was hard for me to get business. I made the error of telling potential customers that I would be available whenever they were ready to hire me. Big mistake.

It wasn’t until I became so busy that I had to start turning customers away that I was able to charge what I am worth. When they felt as if they couldn’t have me, they wanted me more. When I was inaccessible, they became anxious and assigned more value to my service. This sense of urgency has had a huge impact on my business.

Here are three steps that you can use to create a sense of urgency in others:

1. Set a deadline. People are natural procrastinators. Without a deadline—and the potential risk of losing something—people will wait until they collect more information, talk it over with their spouses, or save more money. By setting a deadline, you create an inner drive helps them take action.

2. Remind them that your offer is ขlimited.ข Always present your opportunity as being limited with regards to time or quantity. If someone asks you whether you have a certain product in stock, don’t say, ขOh, yeah, we have tons of them.ข The better approach is to say, ขYeah, we have some, but they go fast.ข

3. Play hard to get. Remember, people want what they can’t have. By sounding too available, you’re diminishing your value. By sounding somewhat unavailable, you’re greatly increasing your value. Never say, ขOh, yes, I’m available any day next week.ข Instead, use the more powerful and persuasive approach by saying, ขHmmm, I’m very busy next week, but I might be able to squeeze you in.ข

About The Author

You have the permission to publish this article electronically or in print, free of charge, as long as the bylines are included and all links remain active.

Byline:

Scott Moldenhauer is considered an expert on consumer behavior and persuasion. In addition to his speaking and consulting engagements, he has taught persuasion at the University of Arizona and the University of Phoenix. For more free information on the psychology of persuasion, visit www.persuasionconsultants.com.

scott@persuasionconsultants.com

This article was posted on January 27

by Scott Moldenhauer

Information Products For Profit

Information Products For Profit

by: Matt Bacak

It is no secret that the internet has created the new generation of millionaires in only a few short years. Every few seconds a person starts a home business somewhere around the world, and the amazing thing is that the market does not seem to be getting saturated anytime soon! Business is booming, and for quick easy cash people are turning to the internet.

However faced with the fact that many of us do not have a product to sell, nor do we have the infrastructure set up or the manpower necessary to distribute products. Nevertheless a growing group of people are selling products right out of their home office or their kitchen table; how? Information products! Now regular bookstores and music stores are getting serious competition from our very own neighbors. The technology available to all of us makes it extremely easy to create your very own information product; whether that is a book, a music CD, a course, you name it! All you need is a computer and an internet connection, some time and virtually no investment!

Here are some products that you can create right now!

Ebooks

Ebooks are electronic books; it is like a regular book but they can be read on your computer, or printed out with a regular printer. Because you do not produce a ขphysicalข product you also do not have any printing costs! So therefore, you can already guess, you will keep 100% of the profits you make. Even more powerful however is the fact that you can sell unlimited numbers of your book, and do not need any inventory. Nor will you be stuck with piled of unsold books. You create something now, and you can profit from it forever! You can write about anything you are knowledgeable about, or anything you would like to research further. If you do not feel comfortable with this you can easily hire a ghostwriter who will do it for you.

CDกs

The only thing you need is a CD burner and the sky is the limit; you can publish your ebook on CD, or a collection of books. You can also record you own music CD or publish a course. If you know how to write simple programs you can even make your own software. Or again; all you need is a good idea because you will easily find a professional willing to develop your product for you!

Audio Cassettes

These go along the same lines as CDกs; you can sell a product people can listen to in their car, on their way to work. You can even publish an ebook and a cassette version of the same product to maximize profits! Generally all you need is a tape recorder that can produce good quality tapes, and preferably one with two tape decks so you can easily reproduce the initial tape you made. Audio Cassettes are a bit more labour intensive than CDกs, but if you truly want to reach your entire target market, they are a must.

Special Reports

These are relatively short ขbooksข, or just a collection of pages on a particular topic. Remember those reports you wrote back in school? Think a few of those bunched together, on a topic people want to learn more about.

Self Help Products

All the products above can be used in this category; people are always hungry for information, regardless of the state of the economy. In fact; when there is an economic downturn sellers who specialize in books on how to save money or make money see their profits grow faster than normal! Knowledge is profit; and you are unique like anyone else.

How to Create a Product

You more than likely possess enough knowledge to create hundreds of information products; however because you are unaware of the fact that there are people out there who do not know what you know, you are more likely to think you do not know anything special or worth selling. Think again! Have your friends ever asked you for advice or help on something? Whether in a hobby, at work, or a relationship? Are you good at your job? Or extremely involved in a special hobby? This little brainstorming session should already give you plenty of ideas that you can put to work right now!

The next step is to think of topics you want to know more about. Itกs likely that if you are interested in something, other people are too. Now all you need to do is some research and then develop the product of your choice; you will be doing all those other people a favor by presenting them with a solution to their ขproblemข without having to do any research themselves.

About The Author

Matt Bacak became ก#1 Best Selling Authorก in just a few short hours. Recent Entrepreneur Magazine’s eBiz radio show host is turning Authors, Speakers, and Experts into Overnight Success Stories. Discover The Secrets http://promotingtips.com.

This article was posted on August 08

by Matt Bacak

Microsoft CRM integration: Oracle database access

Microsoft CRM integration: Oracle database access from MS CRM

by: Boris Makushkin

Today’s article topic is customization possibility demonstration for user web interface of Microsoft CRM. As an example we’ll use MS CRM integration with ASP.Net application, accessing customer data access, when customers are stored in Oracle 10g database. Let’s begin:

1. First, let’s create the table to store customer information in Oracle database. We’ll use web application iSQL for table metadata manipulation:

2. Table is now created and contains four fields: CUSTOMER_ID, FIRST_NAME, LAST_NAME и ADDRESS. Fill it with text data:

3. Now we’ll work with data access to Oracle database from ASP.Net application. We should download from Oracle site http://www.oracle.com Windows Instant Client. We don’t have to install it – just unpack all the files in the directory of your choice, for example c:\oracle and set environmental variable TNS_ADMIN, pointing to this directorty.

4. In c:\oracle directory (or where TNS_ADMIN point out) create file tnsnames.ora as following (change host and service names):

ORCL1 =

(DESCRIPTION =

(ADDRESS = (PROTOCOL = TCP)(HOST = oraclehost.youtdomain.com)(PORT = 1521))

(CONNECT_DATA =

(SERVER = DEDICATED)

(SERVICE_NAME = ORCL1)

)

)

5. Make correction to windows registry to have MS SQL Linked Server work properly withOracle OLE DB Provider. In the hive KEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\MSDTC\MTxOCI make these changes:

OracleXaLib = กoracleclient8.dllก

OracleSqlLib = กorasql8.dllก

OracleOciLib = กoci.dllก

6. Now let’s create Linked Server in MS SQL Server 2000:

Note: in the Security tab we need to use security context with the credentials, having valid access to Oracle Database.

7. Linked Server is ready – let’s test it functioning – open table list. We should see customer table there:

8. Now we’ll create stored procedure for Oracle data access:

SET ANSI_NULLS ON

SET ANSI_WARNINGS ON

GO

CREATE PROCEDURE MyCustomersList AS

SELECT * FROM OPENQUERY(ORACLE, กSELECT * FROM Customerก)

RETURN

9. Next step is customizing Microsoft CRM using interface. We’ll add customer list button into Quote screen toolbar. Edit isv.config:

Change Url to your host name.

10. To create ASPX page we’ll use RAD for ASP.Net WebMatrix:

11. Create new page for data access:

12. Change it’s code to access our data:

Sub Page_Load(Sender As Object, E As EventArgs)

Dim ConnectionString As String = กserver=(local);database=Albaspectrum;trusted_connection=trueก

Dim CommandText As String = กEXEC MyCustomersListก

Dim myConnection As New SqlConnection(ConnectionString)

Dim myCommand As New SqlCommand(CommandText, myConnection)

myConnection.Open()

DataGrid1.DataSource = myCommand.ExecuteReader(CommandBehavior.CloseConnection)

DataGrid1.DataBind()

End Sub

13. Now we’ll test our web application by calling it from MS CRM:

Happy programming, implementation, customization and modification! If you want us to do the job – call use 16309615918, 18665280577, Europe: +49 231 4387600! help@albaspectrum.com

About The Author

Boris Makushkin is Lead Software Developer in Alba Spectrum Technologies – USA nationwide Oracle, Navision, Microsoft CRM, Microsoft Great Plains customization company, serving Chicago, California, Arizona, Colorado, Texas, Georgia, Florida, New York, Canada, Australia, UK, Russia, Europe and internationally ( http://www.albaspectrum.com ), he is Oracle, Unix, Microsoft CRM SDK, Navision, C#, VB.Net, SQL developer.

BorisM@albaspectrum.com

This article was posted on February 21

by Boris Makushkin

Tap the Ultimate Source of Abundance: How to Put M

Tap the Ultimate Source of Abundance: How to Put More of YOU into Your Business

by: Amanda Murphy

Corporations ignore consumers’ real needs…Company leaders engage in questionable business practices…Business owners and employees do work they don’t enjoy simply to pay the bills…such is the state of today’s business world.

The key to bringing the world back to life will also bring you abundance in your business. The world needs people who are vibrantly alive and ready to build a new kind of business. We need businesses that express our missions as human beings and make a contribution to the planet – and thrive in the process.

You will create a magnetic attraction when your vision, your values, and your vocation are perfectly aligned. When planning a business, very few people take the time to look inside, to align their unique natural gifts, talents, and desires with the product or service their business provides.

Answering the following questions will help you attract abundance through your business. When you have done this, you will thrive in ways you cannot imagine.

1. Why do you do the work you do?

Most owners are in businesses because they saw an opportunity or because they have some professional experience they can conveniently sell. Their business is simply what they do and does not necessarily reflect their greatest talents or passions.

However, if you take the time to examine your gifts, your talents, and the particular message you have for the world, you will discover inspiring ways to earn money by sharing those talents. When your business expresses who you are, clients instinctively recognize that you are sincerely and personally committed to their happiness and success. No one can fake true concern.

2. With whom do you want to work?

Most business owners have customers or clients they dread dealing with, yet they continue to do business with them month after month. Whether you realize it or not, your customers know what you’re thinking about them.

Therefore, it is in everyone’s best interest for you to be proactive and ขfireข clients who are not a good fit for your business. This will free you to focus on the people you care about. When you do business with people you like, they will naturally bring out your best work and inspire you to become better at what you do. Your better efforts will attract more perfect customers who will inspire you further. From there, your ability to thrive is unstoppable.

When the right prospective customer crosses your path and you can clearly and simply describe exactly what they are feeling, they are captivated. They feel understood and validated, and they will trust you to take care of their concerns.

3. What do you do for your clients?

Generally speaking, a customer’s primary concern is to find someone who can solve their problem and make their pain stop. Therefore, you need to see your business from your customer’s perspective.

For example, instead of saying, ขWe provide accurate, professional bookkeeping services,ข say, ขWe make sure you have the precise financial information you need, when you need it.ข Rather than making a statement of fact, such as, ขWe are attorneys who specialize in small businesses,ข present your service through their eyes, as in, ขWe take the mystery out of protecting what you’ve worked so hard to build.ข Make a list of the benefits your customers will receive as a result of working with you or buying your products. Make sure each one is stated in specific terms a client can identify with, and then market this to your customers.

4. How do you set yourself apart?

Becoming an expert in your field is the best longterm way to attract abundance. You don’t need to have all the answers to be an expert; in fact most experts rely on many other professionals in and out of their field. What makes you an expert is your will, your drive, your passion, your confidence, and your ability to create solutions for your customers’ needs.

Remember, people draw conclusions about things and about each other within a matter of seconds. You may have 20 seconds to convince a potential client or customer that you are the solution to his or her problem. After that, you become lost in a current of information overload. So set yourself apart from the crowd, and watch your business soar.

5. The Final Key To Building an Abundant Life: What Permission Do You Need To Give Yourself?

You already know deep down what you want to do. You have an idea what changes you need to make in your business. You know what’s not working.

You may be holding yourself back from taking the actions you know you need to take. Somewhere in your subconscious you may be following harmful ขrulesข you’ve made for yourself. You may believe you don’t deserve wild success. You may believe that work can’t be fun. You may believe that you owe it to those around you to maintain the status quo.

When you identify your restrictive beliefs, you can decide to let go of them. Be truthful with yourself. What permission do you need to give yourself to make all of your dreams a reality? Some examples may be: ขFire (or hire) those three people,ข ขTake only the jobs/assignments that I would enjoy,ข or ขMake more money than anyone I know.ข Be specific.

The Sky is the Limit

You now have the tools to develop a business strategy that capitalizes on your unique abilities and interests. Since many people are unable to objectively observe themselves, if you have difficulty answering any of these questions, brainstorm ideas with a business partner or a business coach. This is important, because the sooner you incorporate these abilities into your business presentation, the more prosperity you are able to attract. You will know what you have to share with the world, and this knowledge is your single most powerful wealthattraction tool.

Any of your competitors can read the same business books and articles you do, but none of them can duplicate your heart and soul. Find the right answers to these five questions and you can be certain your prospects will say, ขI have GOT to work with you!ข

‘reprinted from Create the Business Breakthrough You Want: Secrets and Strategies From the Worldกs Greatest Mentors © 2004 Mission Publishing, a division of The Mission Marketing Mentors, Inc., www.missionpublishing.net or www.missionmarketingmentors.com.ก

About The Author

Amanda Murphy is coauthor of the new bestseller กCreate the Business Breakthrough You Want: Secrets and Strategies From the World’s Greatest Mentors.ก To find out how Amanda can help you create the breakthrough you want, visit www.AmandaMurphy.com

This article was posted on August 26, 2004

by Amanda Murphy

Create A Flash Presentation For Free With Open Off

Create A Flash Presentation For Free With Open Office

by: Steve Howson

The intentions of this short tutorial are not to teach you how to use Open Office, but rather to show you a quick and dirty way to create presentations and tutorials that can be exported as a Macromedai Flash file.
What is Open Office? It is a free, open source, cross platform office suite that has a lot of the same features as popular commercial suites.
Being that itกs cross platform means it can be compiled for just about anything, Windows, Linux / Unix, Mac, etc..
Using Open Office Presentation
Basically, if youกve ever used Microsoft Powerpoint, youกve pretty much used Presentation. Itกs a slide show (or presentation) creator that lets you create any style slide show you want.
You can have text, graphics, charts, etc… or any combination
It does not take much to figure out Presentation. You can add text or picture boxes, add designs, add tables and pretty much anything you can think of.
After you have created the presentation, hereกs where you convert it to Flash:
You simply go in to the กfileก menu and select กExportก.
A กsave asก dialog box will come up where you can choose the file name, location and the format you want.
From the pull down box you will see the กMacromedia Flash (SWF)ก option, thatกs the one you want.
Select the format, pick your location, name the file and press the Save button.
Thatกs it.. you now have a Macromedia Flash version of your presentation that you can include on your website.
Why whould you want this?
Macromedia Flash is pretty much a standard for multimedia on the web, as a result there is a plugin for almost every browser and most people already have this plugin.
This gives you the chance to put Flash content on your site without having to play for the Macromedia Suite.

About The Author

Steve Howson is the Webmaster for SG Network Technologies web hosting company.

http://www.sgnettech.com

This article was posted on May 31, 2004

by Steve Howson

Why Have An Article Website?

Why Have An Article Website?

by: George

Know the fact
Presumably, you already knew what internet is all about. Its all about content. With free quality content, you can easily attract the masses. Some may consider this as an investment while some may treat it as a hobby.
If you are wondering, why some may treat it as an investment. What are there to invest in? Well basically, having your own article website can often be the most powerful marketing weapon. You can increase your product sales or even attract many advertisers to place advertisement (Banners, text links) at your website should the site grows. Visitors will stay at your web site longer because there are lots of articles to read. This gives you additional opportunities at getting more click throughs to your affiliate programs. You could feature links to your affiliate programs on each page you have articles.
While for hobby purpose, some just want to share their knowledge.
In either case, you as the writer, will be treated as a professional by the public within your article categories range.
Now you have a brief idea of benefit in having an article website so how do you go along creating one? Letกs imagine in the case where you have establish a very popular article resource site, consisting of some excellent graphic designer and some awardwinning writers. How can you make sure each of the individual does their job well and focus on only their section of professionalism? For example, most designers ensure that your article website content looks great. This is what they do best. Writers on the other hand, write excellent articles but can’t draw well or build websites.
Hence, you need to allow everyone to concentrate on what they are best at and bring their output together to provide the website a pleasant place for your visitors. The answer? Vezine Content Management application software is what you need.
Brief introduction to Vezine
As you may already have referred to Vezineกs website, it is an online content management software that helps you create a full article website easily. Vezine allows you, the owner or administrator (as you call it) manage not only articles, but also allows you to handle your writers, designers and files or images uploaded for any individual articles well.
In addition, Vezine recognizes that Search Engine Friendly Optimization is especially important. Without optimization, your listing in the search engine will not be in a good position.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can be easily enhance within your Vezineกs administrator panel. The most common optimizing options are friendly URL and meta keywords and descriptions for each individual articles. You can already see an example here in this site.
So as earlier on, we are talking about having individual professionals to each handle their own job well. For this, Vezine allows you create multiple Groups. For example, you may want to create a Writer group. Allow this group to access only the Articles Management section and throw all writerกs account into this group and have them login into the admin panel. Once login, they will be restricted with a limited access. Allowing them to only create articles but not tamper with the website templates and designs.
Of course, do the same by creating a Designer group, whereby you should only allow them to access the Templates Management section of the administrator panel. This is how and what you should consider if you want to create a successful article resource website.
There is more to it than meets the eye for this application, hence it is out of the scope for this article to provide a detail explaination for each feature. Check out: http://www.vezine.com/features.php for more information that may surprise you.
Having a successful article website
Now, if you have decided or have already run an article resource website, you will most likely want to stand out among other popular site within your categories.
The most obvious point you should bear in mind is to, keep your article content fresh and updated. Using free content available in the market are not advisable. Try to come out with something unique and perhaps do some comparison, like what interesting or popular topics your competitors do not have as you can consider creating for your site. You can easily know this by doing some market research in various community forums. Just remember, quality content is king!
Another point to note is to spice up some interesting RSS feeds to the public. RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. It is an XMLbased format for content distribution that contains a list of items, each of which is identified by a link. Each item can have any amount of metadata associated with it. RSS allows the user or their trafffics to see your site topics without going out of their way to visit it. While this seems bad at first glance, it actually improves your siteกs visibility; by making it easier for your users to keep up to date with your site allowing them to see it the way they want to itกs more likely that theyกll know when something that interests them is available on your site.
You can easily do so with Vezine, create as many feed as you want. An example can be found here in this site, located at your right hand side (Latest News). Once someone click on the topic title, s/he will be redirected to the site where the original content is (Full Story).
Of course, in order to attract audience to use your feeds on their website, you will need to convince them with fresh and updated content often as mentioned above. Hence, whenever new articles are being publish by you or your writers, your audienceกs website who are using your feeds will also have the latest articles topic listed. This is one of the benefit of RSS.
Optionally, have designers to design a nice professional looking theme for your Vezine. Navigation usuability do play a big role in this, so choose someone who you are sure they have knowledge in this. Refer to The Art Of Vezine for an idea on how to design themes for your Vezine.
Conclusion
Now that you have got a brief idea on what are the benefits of running an article resource site, and an overview of Vezine. You can start right away now. Get yourself a Vezine license and pick up experience as you go and be patient.
Try to focus more on the qualities of your article content instead of giving too much attention to your SEO. Remember, word of mouth by the public is also another way to booast your web siteกs reputation.
If writing articles is not within your professionalism, try and get a few writers for help. Perhaps pay them even (Remember I said investment?). Or, you can take this chance as a challenge and write a few articles about what you know or do best in.
No matter what, should you have or decided to run an article resource site, do remember the points stated herein this article. There are lots of great articles or tutorials here in Vezine.net, supplying you various tips on using Vezine and how to do job faster.
Read them up and best of luck!

About The Author

George as a Web Designer has been involved with numerous server side programming with PHP and MySQL in the past and current. Visit Vezine Articles for more info.

This article was posted on June 04, 2004

by George

How To Create A Brand That Sticks

How To Create A Brand That Sticks

by: Eileen ‘turtleก Parzek

Most people, when they hear the word branding, think logos but in fact, branding is really much more than that. A brand involves blending the image, purpose, and focus of your business, with your core marketing message, and coming up with something which will stick in the minds of people who encounter it. As a business or an independent professional, it is who you are and what you do, packaged neatly, clearly, and memorably. A logo is only a tangible representation that works to reinforce a brand.

So what kind of personality does your business have? Is it conservative and solid? Outgoing and fun? Or robust and strong? And, what is your business focused on doing? Whom do you want to work with? How does your business differ from the competition? And what makes it so special, after all? Do not try to name every special quality or unique selling point you can actually build a brand on just one unique quality! Once you can answer these questions, you can begin to create your brand. The question is what you want YOUR brand to leave behind in peopleกs heads.

Practically any business or professional can benefit from a strong brand. But branding is even more important for micro businesses and independent professionals because they face tighter competition. A well executed brand and identity can help them compete on a larger playing field, appear more professional, and stand out from the hordes of competitors.

Once you determine how you want to be remembered, your image and your message will need to communicate that. The image can simply be a consistent look used in all your correspondence, a logo that marks everything that comes from your business, and the identity you use on your web site and brochure. The message can be a tag line, your 30 second กelevator speech,ก and woven through the content on your web site.

A logo is only one manifestation of brand identity, used to create a memorable impression, but it is useless if you have not clearly defined your audience and the focus of your business. There are plenty of clearly branded businesses using only consistent fonts or colors in their marketing collateral. But whatever you decide chose one image to stick with through all your business communication, and make sure that image is professional. In other words, if you do not have the resources or finances right now to have a professional image developed for you, work with less, rather than using badly formatted clipart or a layout that makes you look amateurish or cheap. That approach can only hurt your business and your brand, so find the level that Works for you without a negative effect.

Once you determine what brand you want to create, and have developed an identity to accompany it, the work has just begun. You will need to vigilantly reinforce your brand every moment you are in business. Your brand needs to affect everything your business does, everything you and your employees say, and every bit of information that comes out of your office. Letterhead, invoices, proposals… these should all consistently promote your brand. In your voice mail, in your email sig, and every time someone says, กWhat do you do?ก your brand should come out to shine. Domain names and web site content should, again, reinforce your brand. Everywhere you use your brand with consistency, you are communicating with the voice of your company.

Be aware, though, that this does not happen overnight your brand will need to build over time. Develop a strong brand, and use it consistently, and more and more often, your brand will pop into peopleกs minds when they have a need that you can provide.

Eileen ‘turtleก Parzek (c) 2003 All Rights Reserved

About The Author

Eileen ‘turtleก Parzek is a veteran web designer and an online marketing & communications consultant who has been working from home and virtually since 1995. You can subscribe to her free monthly newsletter called Increase Your Reach: Infuse Your Marketing with Technology at http://www.sohoitgoes.com

NOTE: You’re welcome to ขreprintข this article online as long as it remains complete and unaltered (including the ขabout the authorข info at the end), and you send a copy of your reprint to ezine@sohoitgoes.com

This article was posted on September 05, 2003

by Eileen ‘turtleก Parzek