18 December 2014

SharePoint Kanban Board With Swim Lanes

Kanban Task Manager for SharePoint logotype In the beginning of next year we will release version 3 of Kanban Task Manager for SharePoint, and today I can demonstrate how the new swim lanes will work.

Group and filter tasks
Kanban Task Manager visualizes SharePoint Tasks on a virtual kanban board in SharePoint. The tasks can be filtered by Project, Responsible  and Priority. In each installation it is also possible to add a fourth, custom, parameter to filter by.
Filter Kanban Task Manager tasks
Version 3 of Kanban Task Manager for SharePoint will of course keep all the filter options, but it will also have a new way of grouping or sorting: swim lanes. These lanes are horizontal rows on the kanban board that help user group tasks. Each lane works independently, but when tasks are filtered, the filter will apply to all lanes.

The Kanban Task Manager swim lanes are created as standard SharePoint list items, and that means that you can give them any name and have as many or few as you wish. In the demo below I have used the example data for evaluators, which has five lanes.

Drag and drop tasks
We have always given a possibility to drag and drop tasks in Kanban Task Manager. The first version could drag and drop between phases, and in version 2 we made the sequence stick when you drag and drop tasks within a phase.

In the third version of Kanban Task Manager it will also be possible to drag tasks between lanes, so now we give three drag options: between phrases, within phases and between lanes. When dragging between lanes you can drop the task in any phase you wish and on any place within that phase.

The video has no sound

More news
I have shown some more new features in an earlier blog post: Drag SharePoint Tasks With Mouse, Keys Or Finger. Please read it if you want to know more about dragging tasks on a SharePoint kanban board or about the new Zoom possibility and the enhanced Search.

After the release of  Kanban Task Manager for SharePoint V3  we will start updating the Outlook versions with the same features, so I will have reasons to come back to Kanban Task Manager!

By Peter Kalmstrom
CEO and Systems Designer Business Solutions

16 December 2014

Find Unique Values In Excel Columns

Excel icon There are several ways to learn how many unique values an Excel column contains, but I have a favorite. In a new Tips article I am showing how to find unique Excel column values by creating a pivot table.

Keep duplicates
The method I use does not remove any duplicates, it just tells me what distinct values there are in a column. In a staff list, for example, you probably have many duplicates in the department column and of course you want to keep them.

Two button clicks
Excel format as table button If you need a list of all the unique deparment names, this can be achieved with advanced filtering or with a formula, but I find it quicker to first insert all the cells in a table and then create a pivot table from it.

This is done with two button clicks, one for the table and one for the pivot, and then I only have to drag the departments column (or any other column I want unique values for) to the ROWS area to see the unique values. The method works for all Excel versions.
Excel summarize with pivot table button
23 Excel-tips
The Excel tip on finding unique column values is the 23rd Excel tip on The tips are divided into four groups – Charts, Formulas, SharePoint and Various – so that it will be easier for you to find what you need, and they range from basic to advanced.

The tips were primarily created for Subscribers, as most Solutions have integrated Excel statistics reports where users can study how resources have been used, how time has been spent, how issues have been handled and so on, depending on product.

Welcome to browse!
Even if we introduced the Tips section for our subscribers, anyone may read and share them, and we see that they are used far beyond the Community. There is often a video demonstration, like the one below, and an instruction that step by step explains how to do what is shown in the video. For a more general discussion around the subject we refer to a blog post, like this one. 

Peter Kalmstrom
CEO and Systems Designer Business Solutions

12 December 2014

Responsive Web Design In Solutions

Nowadays most of us use several different devices. I myself have a couple of laptops, a desktop, a tablet and two smartphones. This creates problems for some software, and in these cases the answer is responsive web design.
Responsive web design

Adaptable layout
A responsive design makes forms and websites adapt to different screen resolutions. The adaption can be a size change or a change of placement of certain elements. For most Solutions there is no need for responsive design, but when a responsive web design can enhance a product we will certainly implement it.

Folder HelpDesk comes first
Folder HelpDesk logo The Solution for issue tracking in Outlook will be the first to get a responsive design. Folder HelpDesk converts e-mails into tickets that have all necessary information
for structured cooperation and follow up.

We hope to release the new version as soon as next week. Below is a short video that shows how the responsiv design works in a Folder HelpDesk ticket with the default layout. (The video has no sound.)

The responsive web design is an enhancement, but Folder HelpDesk has been on the market for 14 years with static tickets and it has still been one of our most popular solutions. When it comes to our new product under development: Study Manager for SharePoint, the situation is different. Here the responsive design makes a big difference.

Adaptable layout in Study Manager
Study Manager for SharePoint logotypeIn Study Manager teachers can add self correcting study material to SharePoint, and their students work in SharePoint with exercises and tasks. Each exercise can have many different tasks,
shown one after another together with the exercise.

Both exercises and tasks can be of different sizes, because the responsive design makes the parts adapt to each other. For example, if the exercise is narrow the tasks are displayed beside it. A wide exercise will instead show the tasks below the exercise.

Without the responsive design we would have to considerably limit what teachers could add to Study Manager. With the responsive design we don't have to set limits, because we can still give students with small screen sizes a good user interface with no horisontal scrolling.

Kanban Task Manager with new design
Kanban Task Manager for SharePoint logotypeNext version of Kanban Task Manager for SharePoint will have responsive design in the kanban board. That will prevent phases from going down to a second row when
there are too many phases to fit the screen size. The responsive design will also make it possible for us to add a zoom feature to the tasks.

Responsive web design is something new, an invention triggered by the the smartphone revolution. The team did not invent it, but we are certainly taking advantage of its benefits. We are always diving into new teqniques, and sometimes we find a pearl!

Peter Kalmström
CEO and Systems Designer Business Solutions