Category Archives: News

Major Website Security Flaw Makes Vunerable One-Third of Websites

Experts have reported a major flaw in the security software used by millions of Web sites, including those of banks, credit card companies, e-mail and social media services. The flaw, dubbed “Heartbleed,” makes possible the exposure of users’ names and passwords, the content of their communications, and their data to anyone who knows how to exploit the weakness.

It’s as if your front door wasn’t locked. Someone could get in as long as it’s not fixed. We should be clear that this does not mean that anyone has already gained entry or that any of your information has necessarily been stolen. What it does mean is that your information and sites are vulnerable to access, theft and disruption until such time as a fix is applied.

What can you do about it?

The problem is related to software installed on servers. Fixes are available and being implemented by most web service providers. We here at DataPlex are providing advisory services, helping other companies to secure their websites as quickly as possible. Let us know if we can help you.

Once a website has been fixed, it may still be necessary to replace security certificates used for secured communications and change user passwords. We will recommend the extent these steps are necessary after the fix has been applied and we have been able to examine the servers in question.

We hope every server on the Internet gets patched, but, alas, that is not typical. Some servers will remain vulnerable, and the only way to tell is to run a test, such as the test available at filippo.io/Heartbleed/. Go to that site and type in the URL of the website you intend to visit, e.g. www.google.com (Google is safe, this is just an example). You should be concerned only about websites using https, also known as SSL and TSL or that are simply known as “secured websites.”

Our best, and we wish you a safe and productive web presence.

DataPlex Releases Generic Reporter for its AmpUp Platform

DataPlex is proud to announce the immediate availability of its web-based “DataPlex Reporter,” A powerful data reporting tool that integrates seamlessly with any of DataPlex’s AmpUp-based applications. AmpUp is a framework for developing web-based database management systems that many different types of businesses use to manage their unique workflows.

Typically, an AmpUp system contains several database tables that compartmentalize data, for example a customer table, vendor table, or transaction table. The DataPlex Reporter automatically taps into these tables in an intelligent way and presents a user with an organized list of fields and filter functions with which to prepare a report. Reports are first presented on the screen, after which they can be printed or exported to a spreadsheet program such as Microsoft Excel. Reports can be saved with an unique name and later recalled.

South Coast Botanic Garden gets FRONDS

South Coast Botanic Garden, located on the Palos Verdes Peninsula in California, is now running on our Fundraising and Operations Network Data System (Fronds) specifically developed for botanic gardens, zoos, museums and other arts and recreation organizations. Fronds combines many back office donor management operations with front office guest services such as ticket sales, membership purchases and class registration. Previously, South Coast was running on an established donor-management software package that did not provide the full range of capabilities that its staff needed.

Adrienne Lao Nakashima, CEO of the South Coast Botanic Garden Foundation, writes:

Faced with a tight deadline and having to transfer data from our old system, DataPlex was able to get our business and development offices as well as our Guest Services Center up and running on our new FRONDS system in less than one month. They walked-us through all the hardware setup and made it easy for us to seamlessly transition to an entirely new system that integrates development with membership management and operations. When we went live, the DataPlex team was always available to answer any questions and helped us make tweaks along the way. Now, we enjoy the equivalent of three separate systems all conveniently rolled up into one cost-effective package.

More information about FRONDS can be found on its informative fronds.org website.

DataPlex provides Data Integration for an Energy Company

An energy company had a dilemma — rush a new enterprise application into early service or attempt to breathe some more life into their existing Excel workbooks, utilized as part of the company’s sales workflow. The challenge was to integrate the existing Excel workbooks with disparate data systems located in different places on the Internet include a critical system operated by a financing partner. As most developers find out, Excel is not a good tool when it comes to web communications.

In a matter of weeks, DataPlex engineers devised a new server that the Excel workbooks could interrogate and get a highly structured and therefore reliable view of data from the remote systems. All instances of the workbooks communicate only with the new server, and the server, based on a powerful Microsoft .NET platform, takes the responsibility of communicating with the other data sources. The server itself is a multitasker, able to handle thousands of concurrent workbook connections at one time, more than enough to satisfy the energy company’s userbase.

DataPlex engineers participated as part of the internal team at the energy company put together to manage the project which had company-wide workflow and business considerations. Because of the fast response required, DataPlex used a form of Agile software development with periodic releases and client reviews.

DataPlex engineers are skilled in designing and implementing custom software designs. Let us know how we can help you implement a solution to your custom set of requirements.

DataPlex designs Website for The American Monorail Project

In preparation for the December 2011 MonorailEX trade show in Las Vegas, DataPlex has developed a full-featured website for American Monorail, Inc., a 501(c)(3) education organization. The goal of the American Monorail Project website is to make the public aware of the benefits of modern monorail systems particularly when compared to other much more expensive forms of mass transit.

The American Monorail Project website can be accessed at:
http://www.theamericanmonorailproject.com/

The website has over 200 pages with information, editorial, maps and videos about mass transportation systems and monorails. It is outfitted with a custom-designed home page that provides a slideshow of pictures that automatically convert to videos and play when clicked. Following its educational mandate, the site allows public comments on virtually every page which are moderated by website administrators.

The website demonstrates some state-of-the-art features such as social media connectivity on every page, rich menu drop-downs, and the use of a special scripted font for artistic flair that works in all modern browsers.

DataPlex now consulting for Microfabrica

Microfabrica gear microassembly
DataPlex is pleased to announce that it is now providing technical consulting services to Microfabrica, Inc. of Van Nuys, California. Microfabrica develops and manufactures micro-scale devices and systems for medical device, electronics, and defense applications. The company utilizes proprietary, patented technology for manufacturing clinical and tissue removal and suturing instruments, subsystems and components for imaging and sensing devices, radio frequency devices, semiconductor wafer probes, inertial and timing devices, and precision, self-assembled miniaturized metal parts.

New Venture – Viderics

Along with Prof. Jesse Yen of USC and Mr. Richard Koffler of Koffler Ventures, DataPlex CEO Harry Tarnoff is co-founder of Viderics, Inc., a medical start-up advancing miniaturized medical ultrasound technology.

DataPlex opens Downtown Los Angeles Office

We have opened a Downtown Los Angeles office, in the Financial District, to be closer to our Downtown customers and to be better positioned to utilize the Internet hub for the Pacific region as the Internet transitions into its “video” phase. The downtown address will serve as our primary mailing address, and our website’s contact information has already been updated. Please update your records.

For your convenience, our new corporate mailing address is:

DataPlex, Inc.
545 South Figueroa Street, Suite 1236
Los Angeles, CA  90071

Our new phone numbers are:

1-213-814-4680
1-800-650-5140

The existing 818 phone number will continue to work and will ring our engineering lab in the San Fernando Valley.

Being a major business hub for over a century, Downtown Los Angeles has recently undergone a significant revival in terms of both business and entertainment to return to a vibrant city center appropriate for a 21st Century world-class city. We are proud to be more involved with the “new Downtown.” Let us show you around on your next visit!

DataPlex Readies Release of Law Enforcement Enterprise Application

DataPlex, Inc., along with its partner firm The Juran Company, is putting the finishing touches on an electronic field reporting system (EFRS) for use by police officers. This enterprise system is highly tailored for busy police departments and other law enforcement agencies that would like to make their officers, agents and staff more efficient in completing incident reports. By using DataPlex’s new AmpUp rapid development tool, DataPlex EFRS conveniently ties together the front office, the back office and mobile platforms by allowing the use of wireless tablets and integrating with emergency 911 and emergency alert systems.

DataPlex web designers update caterer’s website

Our professional web designers updated the web site for Cynthia Brooks Catering of Pasadena, California. We replaced their Flash-based slideshows with ones based on Javascript so that they website is viewable from smartphones and the new iPad.

Cynthia Brooks Catering webpage