25 November 2015

Keep Track of Name Days for 2016

iNameDays has a little cheap app that is updated with new information each year: iNameDays. This app gives you name days in your standard calendar, where you have your other information, so with iNameDays you can delight relatives, friends and colleagues by remembering their name days.

iPod, iPad, iPhone
iNameDays support mobile devices with the iOS operating system, which means iPods, iPads and iPhones. You can buy it from the iTunes App Store for the reasonable cost of 0.99 US dollars.

No extra calendar
There are many name days apps on the market, but unlike the other apps iNameDays gives you the name days in the calendar you normally use. You don't have to open a separate calendar to see the name days.

13 countries
Name days are not celebrated in all countries, but so far iNameDays has the name days for 13 countries. For Swedish users we have also added the Swedish week numbers, which are commonly used when you plan time in Sweden.

App for consideration
iNameDays iconYou cannot build a company on a name days app, but I like iNameDays. The other Solutions make a difference for companies and organizations, while iNameDays reminds each individual of a cause for celebration.

iNameDays gives a reason to be extra kind to another earthling, so I find it a highly sympathetic app.

Peter Kalmström
CEO and Systems Designer Business Solutions

24 November 2015

SharePoint Tips For Issue Tracking Lists

SharePoint icon SharePoint lists are often used to share tasks and helpdesk tickets. In my tutorial series SharePoint Online from Scratch I have now published some articles on how Tasks and Issue Tracking lists can be enhanced. I call them helpdesk lists, but I think my tutorials are suitable for any SharePoint team site lists.

My intention has not been to give a recipe on the perfect helpdesk list. Instead I wanted to point to various options, so that each team can make the modifications that suit them best.

Tasks or Issues?
SharePoint provides two templates that both can be used as helpdesk lists, so I start with comparing them. Both have their benefits and drawbacks, but I decided to use the Issue Tracking template as a base and modify and enhance it in various ways.

Efficient work
The list design is crucial for work efficiency, so in the following articles I suggest how the basic helpdesk list should be created, how to reach the edit mode as quickly as possible and how to edit multiple items at the same time.

Example data
When you try different solutions it is convenient to have example data that shows how the list behaves in various scenarios. In two tutorials I show how to open the SharePoint list in Microsoft Access to create example data for an Hours Worked column and for Assigned To, Priority, Title and more.

Analyze list data
When you have worked with the list items for a while, you probably want to study the data. What kind of issues takes most time? How many issues have been solved for a certain period? By exporting the list to Excel you can both analyze data and visualize it in charts.
SharePoint landing page with web part
Landing page
When you have many list views you cannot see all of them at the same time. That can be solved with a landing page, and I show how to create such a landing page with the views and an Excel chart to the right and the list items to the left on the page. I also show how to make the list link point to the landing page.

Convert e-mails to list items
HelpDesk OSP logotypeIf your team often gets request, questions or error reports by e-mail I suggest you have a look HelpDesk OSP, and Outlook add-in that converts e-mails into list items. You can connect HelpDesk OSP to any SharePoint list, and with HelpDesk OSP you can also create new list items directly from Outlook. My helpdesk tips are of course also suitable for the SharePoint lists you use with HelpDesk OSP.

Peter Kalmström
CEO and Systems Designer Business Solutions

23 November 2015 Lead QA Gets Married

Peter and Vijayant Vijayant Rimza, our Lead QA, will marry in the beginning of December. I will attend the wedding, of course, so I will soon be leaving Sweden for India.

Technical expert
Vijayant has been with for nearly five years, and he has a deep knowledge of our products and the Office and SharePoint platforms they build on. Therefore he is not only a skilled tester but also a technical all-round expert who can take care of most tasks at the office. Now he is going to be married to his fiancée Monika, and I am really looking forward to meeting them both.

Vijayant and his future bride are Hindus, and Hindu weddings often have many ceremonies. This past weekend the families celebrated Lagun, which is held 15-20 days before the main wedding day. After the Lagun everyone gives special attention to the bride and groom.

At the Lagun ceremony the bride’s family declares in front of their relatives that their daughter is getting married. A priest writes a beautifully adorned letter confirming the wedding plans, and that letter is then read aloud by a priest at a ceremony in the groom's home. In the photo below, Vijayant is sitting at the priest's side while he is reading.
Lagun ceremony
The second ceremony will take place next week. At this occasion family members apply a paste made of turmeric, sandal wood powder and rose water on the skin of the bride and groom, so that it will look sparkling on their wedding day.

After the Haldi ceremony the couple cannot meet until the wedding day, according to tradition, but I have heard that many couples sneak around and make memories :-)

The ceremonies continue, and I will tell you more when I come to India. Vijayant's sister, Rituka, have helped me with information and the photo for this blog post, and I will rely on her for the future wedding reports also.

Peter Kalmström
CEO and Systems Designer Business Solutions

20 November 2015

New App Gives SharePoint Tasks In Mobile UI

ShareTask icon Do you often work with SharePoint tasks in a mobile or tablet? Then you know that the SharePoint user interface is not the best for smart devices. Soon you can use our new app ShareTask to manage your tasks while travelling, waiting for the dentist, seeing a boring TV show ‒ you name it! ‒ and have a user interface that is adapted to mobile devices.

Connect to SharePoint list
ShareTask can connect to all SharePoint lists that are built on the Tasks or Issue Tracking templates and also to the Kanban Task Manager default list, KTMTasks. After login, ShareTask takes the information from the SharePoint list and displays it in a mobile friendly user interface.

Edit tasks
With ShareTask you may add, edit and delete SharePoint list items directly in your smartphone or tablet. You can change status, add comments, assign priority and assign tasks to users or groups.
ShareTask will work on the three dominating operating systems for smart devices: Windows Phone, Android and iOS.

For subscribers
HelpDesk for Outlook and SharePoint logotype We hope that current Subscribers will appreciate ShareTask, especially HelpDesk OSP and Kanban Task Manager users.

Kanban Task Manager for SharePoint logotypeHelpDesk OSP converts Outlook e-mails to SharePoint list items, and Kanban Task Manager lets users manage tasks and projects on a color coded kanban board. These two solutions can of course be combined, and we have a subscription level that includes both of them.

For anyone
Even if we were considering what Subscribers might need when we decided to develop the ShareTask app, it is an independent product. It does not require anything more than a smart device, SharePoint and an internet connection.

I am sure many will discover and use this ingenious little app, which gives users an advantage that we so far not have seen on the market.

Peter Kalmström
CEO and Systems Designer Business Solutions

17 November 2015

SharePoint E-mail Alerts With And Without Workflows

SharePoint iconSharePoint is a platform where several people share and work with the same files and list items, so the possibility to have automatic e-mail notifications when something has been changed or needs attention is a valuable feature. It can be done in various ways, with more or less customization and control, and I show some examples in my new demos in the SharePoint Online from Scratch series.

Alert me
SharePoint Alert iconSharePoint libraries and other lists have an Alert Me button for e-mail notifications on either all items or singular items. These e-mail alerts can be somewhat customized, because you can decide at what time they should be sent and for what changes. The site collection administrator can set alerts to be sent to other users, and each user can also set his/her own alerts.

Tasks and Issues alert
The Alert Me button is easy to use, but SharePoint lists that build on the Tasks and Issue Tracking templates have another option that is even quicker to set. These lists have a radio button for e-mail alert to users when they have been assigned a task.

This notification cannot be customized at all, and once the radio button is selected an e-mail is sent to every user who is assigned a new task. There is no control over when the e-mail is sent out, but normally it is sent within a few minutes after the assignment.

SharePoint Designer 2013 iconWhen you create a workflow in SharePoint Designer, you can customize the e-mail and decide to whom and under what conditions it should be sent. SharePoint Designer 2013 lets you create both SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2013 workflows, and I show both options in my demos.

Visio 2013 logoI also show how to use the SharePoint 2013 workflow Visual Designer view, which can be used if you have Microsoft Visio installed. The Visual Designer view gives a picture that explains the workflow's conditions and actions, and you can add your own comments to it. This makes the workflow easy to explain to users and customers.

Open the item in edit mode
The workflow I use to introduce the Visual Designer view and to show the difference between the SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2013 workflows is simple and just gives the assignee a link to the list where a new high priority item has been created.

In the last Alert articles I describe how to create more advanced workflows. One of them gives the assigned person a link to the exact item and opens it in edit mode. This saves a few clicks and is of course the most efficient way to receive the alert. I also show how to add a CC to an alert and how to send an e-mail when a task is overdue. HelpDesk for Outlook and SharePoint logotype

Use with SharePoint Solutions
These tips articles are useful for all, but we have especially created them for subscribers to our solutions HelpDesk OSP, which converts Outlook e-mails to SharePoint list items, and Kanban Task Manager for SharePoint logotype Kanban Task Manager for SharePoint.

I use a helpdesk list in most of my demos, and in a later blog post I will come back to this list and show ways to enhance such a list. All these Tips articles and demos are part of the SharePoint Online from Scratch series, which already has 132 articles and will contain more before it is finished. Welcome to browse!

Peter Kalmström
CEO and Systems Designer Business Solutions