EuroIS/PraxIS Nov. 2001

Managing reality in Information Systems - strategies for success

Systems Modelling Ltd. http://www.sysmod.com

IN THIS ISSUE

Welcome - Eurois at YahooGroups

Euro features

The Euro in the news
More about printing the euro symbol
Twenty examples of good practice in euro usage
Update for Software Developers from BASDA London 3-Dec
OpenAccounts recommended for BASDA EMU Accreditation
SME Accounting package conversions
The perils of euro software testing
The euro book

Tech stuff

CSE Annual Software Conference 13 Nov
Macro Security problem In MS Excel/PowerPoint 
Windows XP - Xtra Problematic?

20 Web links in this newsletter

About this newsletter, Feedback, and Archives

Disclaimer

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WELCOME

As we run up to the final phase of EMU, I'd really appreciate your feedback on the newsletter so far. What has been most valuable to you, what you like to continue to focus on in 2002?

Because I am sending this out as plain text, I have given the web links in the text, after each article. You will also find them all in a convenient launchpad list on http://www.sysmod.com/index.htm 

Patrick O'Beirne, Editor


EURO FEATURES

Are you sure your software applications can support all the requirements for the business changeover to the euro? Get an independent assessment on their "compliance" or "euro-readiness" with our euro software certification service. 

The Euro in the news

I have added more links to recent news articles on the euro to my main EMU/Euro page http://www.sysmod.com/emu.htm 

http://www.wired.com/news/business/0,1367,47252,00.html 
Euro Stirs Y2K-Like Concerns 
"The challenge for companies will be detecting whether conversion mistakes have been the result of human error, a software glitch or deliberate fraud."

http://www.sunday-times.co.uk/news/pages/sti/2001/10/28/stibuibui01005.html
Euro shortage for Ireland's consumers Fiona McGoran 

RTE pours 000's and 100 hours into this weekend's euro changeover
http://www.sbpost.ie/story.jsp?story=WCContent%3Bid-29872 

http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/finance/2001/1019/fin20.htm 
Tech changes will be biggest cost of euro (John Cradden, Irish Times)
Survey shows a worrying degree of complacency on the amount of time and resources needed for the euro adjustment. "Get people to test the conversion now. You don't have to change over now but you can test now."


More about printing the euro symbol

If you haven't been visiting http://www.sysmod.com/eurosoft.htm  because it's too much trouble to remember to, you don't need to. NetMind will do it for you. Just visit that page and enter your email address into the red NetMind box.
If you haven't, you may have missed recent updates on how to get the euro symbol in DOS and legacy printers. A frequently asked question on the placement of the symbol is answered by IBM globalization expert Baldev Soor: "Monetary formats for the EURO"
http://wwwold.dkuug.dk/jtc1/sc22/wg20/docs/n573-Euro_Handling.pdf 

Twenty examples of good practice in euro usage

A Commission report identifies and recommends forty examples of good practice. Here are twenty examples deemed "very important" :
setting prices from now on in euros, along with the equivalent in the national currency unit; 
early changeover of bank accounts and non-cash means of payment; 
early changeover of main utilities bills; 
free unlimited exchange of national notes and coins for euros in early 2002 for customers at bank counters, subject merely to a period of notice for large amounts; 
free exchange of national notes and coins for euros in early 2002 for non-customers, up to a ceiling to be set by each bank; 
adapting cash dispensers to euros as early as possible; 
no charging of handling fees by banks for the return of national notes and coins by traders in early 2002; 
deferred debiting (in terms of the value date) of notes and coins sub-frontloaded to retailers; 
distribution to small traders of ready reckoners for calculating change; 
sending specialists on the spot to explain the changeover arrangements to traders; 
developing a dialogue on the euro within businesses between management and labour; 
giving check-out staff practical training in handling euro notes and coins in 2001; 
opening some or all bank counters on 1 January 2002; 
extending bank opening hours in early 2002; 
supplying small-denomination notes when household amounts are withdrawn at bank counters in early 2002; 
traders to give change exclusively in euros in early 2002; 
traders to comply with the commitment to overall price stability entered into by their representatives at European level; 
continuation of dual pricing at least until the end of the dual circulation period; 
provision of practical training sessions specifically for persons with sensory or mental disabilities; 
and organisation by local authorities and associations of grassroots information campaigns for vulnerable population groups (homeless people, elderly people living on their own, etc.). 
Twenty other examples of good practice are identified by the Commission as helpful. The whole report can be downloaded from 
http://europa.eu.int/rapid/start/cgi/guesten.ksh?p_action.gettxt=gt&doc=IP/01/1384|0|RAPID&lg=EN 

Update for Software Developers from BASDA London Dec 3, 2001

With the likelihood of a referendum in the UK and moves by both Sweden and Denmark to reconsider joining EMU, BASDA feel it is time to review their standard. There has been a lot of interest from software developers in preparing their software applications for the possible introduction of the euro. BASDA are therefore holding an EMU update seminar for our members on Monday 3rd December at the IOD, Pall Mall, London at 10.00 for 10.30am finish at 4.00pm, buffet lunch provided. At this seminar they will detail the specific requirements for software developers to prepare for the introduction of the euro and the conversion of historical data. Each delegate will receive a copy of the updated BASDA EMU Specification and Accreditation Standard. Seminar fee: 145 + VAT (members) or 295 + VAT (non-members).
www.basda.org

OpenAccounts recommended for BASDA EMU Accreditation

OpenAccounts 4.1.4 has successfully passed our euro certification tests for BASDA EMU Accreditation. They have produced two good guides to assist their users in the conversion: a project guide and a conversion and troubleshooting (auditing) guide. 
www.openaccounts.com

SME Accounting package conversions

OpenAccount's certification is an example of "Best Practice". Here are examples of good practice, lots of practice required, and practically useless.

Good practice: Sage Ireland is hosting euro 'clinics' in November and December where businesses will be able to have their data converted for them, from punts into euros. 
www.sage.ie 

Practice required: MYOB ("Mind your own business") have prepared instructions on how to convert MYOB data files to the euro currency. This is entirely manual as MYOB does not provide a converter.
http://www.myob.co.uk/service/myobtips/euroconv.htm 

Practically useless: Quickbooks from Intuit have no converter, although they kept on promising one. I have had a request for information : Does any reader know how to automatically convert files in Quickbooks (Intuit) from NCU to euro? Please share this with us if you know.

The perils of euro software testing

I'll be speaking at EuroStar in November, the European Software Testing Analysis & Review 9th International Conference Stockholm, Sweden, Nov 19 - 23. A software tester needs to be like a sculptor or diamond cutter looking for the flaw line where a small tap cracks the whole thing open. Good testers are 'nit-picking' and 'pedantic' people who are sceptical and love to break things. This presentation describes some real-life flaws found in accounting packages when tested for 'euro compliance'.
EuroStar: http://www.testingconferences.com

The euro book

"Managing the Euro in Information Systems: Strategies for Success", Addison Wesley 1999, ISBN 0-201-60482-5. The accompanying CD has software, fonts, web links, and europapers. The book is aimed at IT managers and business executives. It covers history, regulations, business strategy, I.T. strategy, project planning, conversion methods, and case studies. 11 chapters, appendices, 368 pages.
Book description and ordering: http://www.sysmod.com/maneuris.htm 

TECH STUFF

CSE Annual Software Conference 

"Standing out from the Crowd" on Tuesday 13th November at the Great Southern Hotel, Dublin Airport. 
Guest speakers are Annie Kuntzmann Combelles, Yves Trehin,  Suzanne and James Robertson, Simon Phipps and Brian Lawrence  and will cover topics such as inspections, Java/XML, CMMI and requirements. 
For further information: www.cse.dcu.ie  

Macro Security problem In MS Excel/PowerPoint 

Microsoft confirmed that Excel and PowerPoint macros can allow an attacker to do pretty much whatever they want on your system, if you download and open a spreadsheet or slide show containing a malicious macro:
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/ms01-050.asp 

Windows XP - Xtra Problematic?

You'll be getting all the blurb you want and more, from the magazines. You may be tempted given MS's statement that equipment sold within the last two years should be upgradeable. Just one tip: visit the Dell web site ( www.dell.ie ). Configure a system, and try some of the drop down list options. See how many are tagged "(Not compatible with Windows XP)". And this is for peripherals being sold NOW.

Fred Langa commented as follows on his LangaList:
"My take is that there's extremely little in XP to make it a 'must' upgrade for anyone... The problem isn't the basic hardware, but with a wide range of peripherals and essential software I use.
If you are using XP--- especially the Home version--- you ought to take a look at Steve Gibson's SocketToMe and SocketLock. There, you'll find information and tools that can help close a potentially serious hole in XP's internet
plumbing."
http://grc.com/dos/sockettome.htm  

The automatic error-reporting tool built into IE and XP asks if it can send Microsoft information about the problem for bug-finding purposes.Trouble is, the memory dump and system information that the reporting tool wants to send back may contain things like your passwords, encryption keys, and even some content of documents you may have been working on when the crash occurred.

The US DOE's CIAC has lots more info on the error-reporting problem, including info on how you can turn it off:
http://www.ciac.org/ciac/bulletins/m-005.shtml 


If you'd like to sign up for Fred's LangaList yourself, send a blank email to subscribe-langalist(at)lyris(dot)dundee(dot)net

PROJECT MANAGEMENT PROVERBS

(So far, these have been somewhat cynical. For a change, I'll quote some ideas passed on to me by Dave Butters of ComputaCenter UK www.computacenter.com )

People make a plan work, plans alone seldom make people work.

The better the staff get, the better the boss gets.


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Patrick O'Beirne

Copyright 2001 Systems Modelling Limited, http://www.sysmod.com . Reproduction allowed provided the report is copied in its entirety and with this copyright notice.

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Patrick O'Beirne, Editor

ABOUT THIS NEWSLETTER

"Praxis" means model or example, from the Greek verb "to do". The name is chosen to reflect our focus on practical solutions to IS problems, avoiding hype. If you like acronyms, think of it as "Patrick's reports and analysis across Information Systems".

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[ DISCLAIMER ]

This newsletter is prepared in good faith and the information has been taken from observation and other sources believed to be reliable. Systems Modelling Ltd. (SML) does not represent expressly or by implication the accuracy, truthfulness or reliability of any information provided. It is a condition of use that users accept that SML has no liability for any errors, inaccuracies or omissions. The information is not intended to constitute legal or professional advice. You should consult a professional at Systems Modelling Ltd. directly for advice that is specifically tailored to your particular circumstances.

Copyright SML 2001

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