29 July 2015

India As Knowledge Superpower - Goal For Former President And Scientist

A. P. J. Abdul Kalam "Do not declare a holiday on my death. Instead work an extra day, if you love me". The man behind these words was the former Indian president A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, who passed away Monday.

Abdul Kalam wanted India to become a knowledge superpower, and my impression is that his goal will be reached. There is a reason we have a Office in India! My Indian colleague Rituka Rimza will tell you more about this popular scientist and politician.

A. P. J. Abdul Kalam was born in 1931, and even if he was the president of India between 2002 and 2007 he dedicated most of his life to science. He studied physics and aerospace engineering and later became a leader of the Defence Research and Development Organisation. He also administered the Indian Space Research Organisation, which last year sent a spacecraft to Mars.

Internationally Abdul Kalam was well known and respected, and he received many awards for his work. In 2005, when Kalam visited France and Switzerland, the world's largest physics laboratory, CERN, declared 26 May to be a Science Day in his honor.

In spite of his fame, A. P. J. Abdul Kalam was a very simple person. In his childhood he used to sell newspapers to support his family and to afford his education. At that time he often ate at a small restaurant in front of which a cobbler used to sit on the road, and it is significant for Abdul Kalam that he did not forget the cobbler and the owner of the restaurant when he became president. Instead he invited them to be his guests in the presidential palace at several occasions. India 202 book

A. P. J. Abdul Kalam was not only a giant in his special field but also took an active interest in the development of other scientific areas than his own. In his book India 2020 he set an action plan to develop India into a knowledge superpower.

He realized that the whole of India must be included if this goal should be reached, so he let his salary go into a trust called Providing Urban Amenities to Rural Areas, which works for rural development in India.

During his presidency, Abdul Kalam was known as the "People's President", and his whole career was distinguished by his aim to improve conditions for the Indian people. He liked to teach, and he passed away while lecturing.

I am glad he did not have to suffer but instead died when fully engaged in a situation he enjoyed after a long, eventful life. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam will be remembered with fondness and gratitude.
Rituka Rimza image
Rituka Rimza
Sales and Marketing Assistant Business Solutions 

28 July 2015

SharePoint Kanban Solution Updated

Kanban Task Manager for SharePoint logotypeThe release of Kanban Task Manager for SharePoint V4 gives enhancements requested by evaluators who already use SharePoint for task and project management but want to have all the extras that Kanban Task Manager gives. Current users will instead appreciate that we have added a possibility to create Excel reports on task data.

Select task list
By default Kanban Task Manager uses a custom SharePoint list for the tasks that are visualized on the kanban board, but in the new version organizations can switch to another task list. When they do, the tasks in the selected list will be displayed on the kanban board. They will be color coded by project or responsible and possible to drag between phases and lanes just like the tasks in the default list.

Pick responsible from user accounts
The Kanban Task Manager custom lists for Phases and Responsibles can still be used, but from this version the default option is to instead use the Assigned To field, to pick the responsible for each task. The creator of the tasks is picked by default, so you only have to assign the task if you are creating it for someone else.

Phases = Status options in task list
Kanban Task Manager is now using the task list's Status options as phase names, but if you prefer the old way, with a custom Phases list that option is also possible.

The default SharePoint options for Status in tasks lists are Not Started, In Progress, Completed, Deferred and Waiting on someone else. These values may be changed in the list settings of the task list, but we also give a possibility to do it from the Kanban Task Manager Configure page.

Excel icon Excel reports
The Outlook version of Kanban Task Manager has had Excel reports from the first release, but it is a bit more complicated when you build on SharePoint.

Jayant Rimza photoHowever, our Lead Developer Jayant Rimza, who has been responsible for the development of the new SharePoint version, is an excellent problem solver. He never gives up, so now the SharePoint version of Kanban Task Manager also has Excel reports on how tasks have been handled.

Upgrade upgrade Subscribers have free upgrades, and we recommend current users to upgrade their installations. Just replace the .wsp file and reactivate Kanban Task Manager, and then you can continue working with your tasks. Refer to the Revisions page for a full list of enhancements and bug fixes.

You can continue using our custom lists for Phases or Responsibles, but if you want to switch to the SharePoint options described above you can do that in the settings.

Try it download iconIf you have not yet tried Kanban Task Manager for SharePoint, you are welcome to evaluate the solution. There is plenty of documentation on our website, and should you still have questions I hope you will contact us. We are here to assist you!

Peter Kalmström
CEO and Systems Designer Business Solutions

17 July 2015

Excel 2016 e-Book Published

Excel 2016 from Scratch cover Yesterday evening I finally published my first book: Excel 2016 from Scratch, an e-book built on my Tips series with the same name.

MS Trainer
I am a Microsoft certified Trainer and I have been teaching on advanced IT courses ever since I left Skype in 2010.

During these five years I have also created a lot of video demonstrations and other teaching materials, so it is a logical step to now also publish a book.

Book with demos and exercises
The e-book Excel 2016 from Scratch builds on the tutorial series with the same name, so the book has links to Excel 2016 Tips articles with video demonstrations and downloadable exercises.

I hope that the combination of book, demos and exercises will make the learning both efficient and entertaining.

From basic to advanced
Excel 2016 from Scratch starts from the very beginning, so that you can follow this course even if you never have used Excel before. If you know the basics of Excel already, just skim through the first chapter and start reading more thoroughly when you find something that is new to you.

Calculation and visualization
Excel 2016 from Scratch covers several areas where Excel is useful, but the focus lies on calculation and data visualization, where Excel really shines. I explain how formulas are designed and how Excel can help you creating the correct formula for each calculation, and I show how data can be visualized in many different ways.

For earlier Excel versions too
Microsoft has not made any dramatic changes in Excel 2016 user interface or features, so even if I call my tutorial series Excel 2016 from Scratch, it can be used for earlier versions of Excel. When I write this Excel 2016 has not even been published, so I used a preview version for my video recordings and screenshots.
Kate Kalmstrom image           Rituka Rimza image

Team work
Excel 2016 from Scratch is not only my own creation. Two other members of the team, Kate Kalmström and Rituka Rimza, have made major contributions.

Both Rituka and Kate have edited my video demonstrations and created the articles in the Tips section, and they have also enhanced the book.

Kate was a teacher for many years before she joined, and she has also written school books of her own. Therefore she could help me arrange the text in the most pedagogic way,

After that Rituka proofread the text and pointed out where the wording could be made clearer and easier to understand.Vijayant Rimza image

I am grateful to the dedicated work of Kate and Rituka, and I also want to thank Vijayant Rimza, who designed and created the winning cover for the book.

Creating an e-book was enjoyable and interesting, and I hope Excel 2016 from Scratch will be useful to many. Being the one I am, I have plans for the next book already, but that is something I will tell you about in another blog post.

Peter Kalmström
CEO and Systems Designer Business Solutions