Discover MLS

Archive for March, 2011

Best-of-Breed Integrations

Where should an MLS vendor draw the line on functionality?  Is a full-blown “CMA Package” really a core feature?  How about frame-able IDX search?

An MLS system, at the most primary level, consists of listing input (business rule enforcement), search, and reports.  Sure, I’m the first to push the envelope when it makes sense…but at Discover, our mission is to out-innovate the competition on the primary elements first and foremost.  Everything else is gravy.

These days, merely competing on meat & potatoes is a tall order.  So, when we see an arguably complementary product (or an entire niche) that’s already captured the hearts and minds of agents around the country, we do our best to avoid reinventing the wheel (er, uh, gravy).  Leveraging the strength of industry partners is a win-win-win: our users get great new tools, our partners gain traction (and over time, their products continue to improve as a result), and Discover stays focused on building a better MLS.

In recent months, two products really captured our hearts and minds.  Simply put, it was love at first sight.  Both products filled a void in our software that we were poised to fill/develop ourselves, but these products are so good that any reasonable person considering a “build vs buy” decision has an easy task.

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Firefox 4 is here!

No surprise, of course, but we can confirm that all features of Discover MLS work perfectly in Firefox 4.

When we say our software runs on every browser and OS, we mean it!

Adobe warns of Flash zero-day attack

Earlier this week, Adobe issued a security advisory for a zero-day vulnerability in Flash Player, Reader, and Acrobat.

What does this mean to you?

First of all, what is a zero-day vulnerability in the first place?  It’s a security “hole” in these programs, which a hacker can potentially exploit to install a virus or worm, access your sensitive data, etc…in short, to cause some grief.  The “zero-day” part is a techie term, stemming from the idea that when the developer (Adobe, in this case) becomes aware of the vulnerability, it’s considered “day zero” in their scramble to fix the problem.  In these scenarios, hackers who have already exploited the vulnerability on or before “day zero” obviously have a head start…which is why it’s worth coining a term in the first place.

Not much of a head start on this one, though, because Adobe is already “in the process of finalizing a fix”, expecting updated versions of the software to be made available “the week of March 21″.

When developers of Flash-based software (e.g.; Discover MLS) read the headline on a bulletin like this, it’s an immediate red flag that our users could be at risk.  However, based on the reported attacks, this new exploit has no bearing on a Flash application (or “swiff”, since the filename of any Flash usually ends with .swf) that’s used via a web page.  Instead, the malicious Flash software must be embedded inside a Microsoft Excel file.

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