Salesforce Connect Simplifies Enterprise App Data Integration

Today's topics include the Salesforce Connect data integration system, VTech's admission that lax database security led to its recent hack, Microsoft Cortana's role in discovering Power BI insights, and Google's denial of an accusation that it collects student data.

Cloud computing giant, Salesforce.com, recently unwrapped Salesforce Connect data integrator in hopes of making it easier for their users to work with data from a variety of applications.

Salesforce is leveraging the trend toward open standards by supporting API standards, such as OData (Open Data Protocol), which let developers integrate data from disparate applications.

Brian Goldfarb, senior vice president of app cloud marketing at Salesforce, noted that seamless integration between apps is more common in the consumer space, but something that is harder to achieve in the enterprise software market.

VTech Holdings is now admitting to at least one of the root causes behind the data breach that exposed personal information on millions of children and parents.

In an update to its FAQ about the breach on Dec. 1, VTech now admits that its database security was lax. The database weakness is related to a class of security vulnerability known as SQL injection.

These vulnerabilities allow attackers to directly interact with a Website’s database and have been the source of numerous data breaches.

Power BI, Microsoft's cloud-powered business intelligence (BI) and analytics tool, is taking a step beyond typed, natural-language searches.

Now, as part of a public preview, users can explore Power BI data with the help of Cortana, the voice-driven virtual assistant technology bundled with Windows 10.

The new Cortana-Power BI integration "enables anyone to get answers directly from their key business data in a more helpful, proactive, and natural way," Marcus Ash, group program manager for Microsoft Cortana, announced on Dec. 1.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has accused Google of deceptively collecting and mining personal data of school children, a claim that Google vigorously denied Dec. 2.

In a complaint filed with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission this week, the EFF said Google collects, stores and analyzes data on the Internet sites that students visit, the search terms they use, the results they click on, the videos they watch and their passwords.

However, Jonathan Rochelle, director of Google Apps for Education, said the company remains confident that its tools comply with both its own student privacy pledge and the law.

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