Connections Online Creates Web Services
So Connections Online Users Can Share Data
Across Different Applications and Platforms
Cleveland, OHIO — March 23, 2010 — Move over traditional technology, there’s a new web-based service entering the landscape. Connections Online 4.0 (COL4), has complemented its strategy execution tool, COL4, with a new online program called Connections Online Web Services. Web Services will commence client alpha testing in April 2010, will give IT departments and third-party developers direct access to push or pull data into or out of Connections Online that support the four standard CRUD functions: Create, Read, Update, and Delete. As a result, if a user has access to the information in Connections Online, the same access will be given through COWS – no matter the application or platform being used.
According to Jim Cardwell, CEO of Cardwell, today’s Business Performance Management tools need to be more value-added. That said: the benefit of COWS opens up the user interface for Connections Online to be anything a user can imagine (and develop). It could mean new reports, dashboards, quick entry screens, or even a full-featured replacement for the default Connections Online user interface.
“The old way of software vendors dictating what customers need and use is a dinosaur. The philosophy behind COWS is to give customers the tools to create an information environment – regardless of technology platform, which fits the users’ needs to understand their business better and make changes accordingly,” Cardwell explains. “In the past, any custom changes took forever and cost a fortune. Using new, web-based tools like COWS makes these types of changes quick and cheap.”
Advantages of COWS web services:
- Provides interoperability between various software applications running on disparate platforms.
- Uses open standards and protocols. Protocols and data formats are text-based where possible, making it easy for developers to comprehend.
- Utilizes HTTP to work through many common firewall security measures without requiring changes to the firewall filtering rules.
- Allows software and services from different companies and locations to be easily combined, providing an integrated service.
- Allows the re-use of services and components within an infrastructure.
“Basically people don’t have to have our code to build an application module that works with Connections – with web services, they can create their own,” Cardwell says.
Examples of tasks users will be able to do with COWS:
- Create custom reports from pulled COL4 data (such as a performance appraisal form)
- Populate data into COL4 from other application sources – i.e. auto filling in metrics from other data sources, or “rolling up metrics” within COL4
- Create custom interfaces/applications that work with COL4 (like many people have done for Salesforce.com – the Microsoft Outlook “connector” would be an example of this)
- Combine data from programs (such as exchange data from a project task application with COL4)
According to Cardwell President, Karla Norwood, when users implement COWS, they are able to share information across applications. The platform also doesn’t matter as long as users can get to the data within the applications. Users can also share/aggregate/report on information across the enterprise. For example, they can grab data from any data source and populate information in COL4. They can also pull information from COL and create unique reports. Users can actually create their own COL4 apps.
“With COWS web services, we can make the Microsoft Outlook connector much faster now that it’s available,” Norwood says. “We can turn on RSS feeds, we can use RTF capabilities, we can create forms to fill in data, and we can do all kinds of reporting and more.”
About Cardwell and Connections Online
Based in Cleveland, Ohio, Cardwell is a software development and management-consulting firm that helps clients succeed by improving organization-wide alignment and cross-functional collaboration through its Connections Online strategy execution tool. Jim Cardwell and Karla Norwood, the firm's current CEO and President, founded Cardwell in 1983 as a leadership development and management process consulting firm.
For more information about Connections Online, call (800) 395-1410 or visit our new web site at www.connectionsonline.net.