31 October 2010

Calendar Browser 7 with Support for Outlook 2010

Calendar Browser for Outlook - for efficient resource managementIn August we felt forced to share the news that Calendar Browser, our resource booking application for Outlook, would not be compatible with Office 2010. There were big problems with Calendar Browser and the Outlook 2010 Calendar. I know, problems are for solving and that is what our developers do all the time, but in this case the task seemed nearly hopeless. But only nearly, because now the problem is solved and we have begun developing Calendar Browser V7!

After many discussions and discarded ideas our CEO Peter and Lead Developer Jayant could find a solution that will not only solve the problem with Outlook 2010 but also make Calendar Browser strong for the future. The most important change in version 7 will be the removal of the folder homepage. During Calendar Browser's ten years on the market the folder homepage has been the main user interface in all versions. Now we will instead move that functionality to the Calendar Browser Client Tool, and the Microsoft Fluent Interface/Ribbon will display the needed buttons and fields.

In our efforts to solve the issue we discussed building a totally new resource booking software, to help all users of Calendar Browser who sooner or later would get problems because the application did not support Outlook 2010. We will probably still build something that uses SharePoint, just like we already have helpdesks for both Exchange and SharePoint. But when the immediate problem is satisfactory solved this can be allowed to take its time and  must not be rushed. This feels very good, and I congratulate Peter and Jayant who found the solution. I also congratulate the users of Calendar Browser. Now you can soon upgrade to the latest and best versions of both Outlook and Calendar Browser . I will of course come back with news in the blog, and we have also created a Plans page for Calendar Browser. Welcome to visit it!

29 October 2010

HelpDesk OSP Handles Proxy Server

HelpDesk OSP for Outlook and SharePoint/Office Live, an incident management product from Business Solutions
The issue tracking software that connects Outlook and SharePoint has been updated. Now HelpDesk OSP can use proxy settings, which is helpful for organizations who are using a proxy server for their internet connection. By default HelpDesk OSP reads the proxy host name and port from Internet Explorer, if proxy is enabled there of course, and makes the connection via the proxy server.

Another proxy server address and port may also be used. All proxy settings are done under the HelpDesk OSP Settings General tab. We thank our Lead Developer Jayant Rimza, who once again has created a new feature that has improved HelpDesk OSP for current and future Members of Community.

18 October 2010 Welcomes New Developer

Abhishek Sharma, Senior Developer at Business SolutionsThe team has been extended with a new developer, Abhishek Sharma. Abhishek is an expert of .NET development for Windows and web and of relational databases. He has already shown what difference he can make for our products, as he is the developer behind the third database alternative for PF HelpDesk, SQL Azure. It is not released yet, but Abhishek has already begun adding SQL Azure to TimeCard also.

Abhishek Sharma likes to counterbalance sitting in front of the computer with playing cricket and working in the garden. Cricket is nothing for me ‒ I walk instead ‒ but just like Abhishek I find gardening a perfect way to relax the brain and come closer to nature. I hope we get a chance to compare our gardens eventually.

Welcome to, Abhishek! We hope you will enjoy the work, and we are sure you will be a great asset to the team. Now we are even better equipped to meet the challenge of creating the best possible software for our Community Members.

13 October 2010

Use PF HelpDesk V11.1 With SQL Azure

Soon you may use PF HelpDesk with SQL Azur.

The team is currently developing version 11.1 of our Incident Management tool PF HelpDesk. It will be released now in October, and among the new features is a third database alternative: SQL Azure.

SQL Azure is Microsoft's cloud database, offered as a service and running in Microsoft datacenters around the globe. It is highly scalable, so you may either start small or serve a global customer base immediately. You only pay for what you use ‒ scale up when you need capacity and pull it back when you don’t.

PF HelpDesk has so far offered two database alternatives, Access and SQL Server. The Access database is free, but it  has security issues and only gives a storage capacity of 2 GB. This means that
you cannot handle large data requests, and if you are close to the maximum amount of data it will run slowly. Therefore we have often recommended customers to use an SQL Server database instead, and this is still a good alternative for big companies who need an SQL Server anyway. However, an SQL Server is not trivial to manage.

With an SQL Azure database Microsoft handles all maintenance. The environment is very secure and you don't have to think about backup and recovery. For a distributed team SQL Azure has another great advantage: you can reach it from any system. All you need is an internet connection!

Version 11.1 of PF HelpDesk will have more enhancements. Please refer to our Plans page and see what new features are "Under development".

07 October 2010

SharePoint Exam 11th MCP Certification for CEO

Peter Kalmstrom, CEO of Business Solutions, Outlook and now also SharePoint expert
Peter Kalmstrom, Outlook expert and CEO of Business Solutions, is a man of many talents. He loves to learn and is always eager to try the latest technologies on the market. Since he is also my son I feel very proud to tell you that he now also may call himself SharePoint expert. Today he has passed Microsoft exam 070-576 PRO: Designing and Developing Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Applications. This test was released in July this year, so you see Peter has been quick as usual.

According to Microsoft the typical candidate for this exam is responsible for designing custom code for projects that are deployed to SharePoint servers, including technology selection across the many ways to build code in SharePoint. He or she is leading a team of SharePoint developers and has several years of experience of SharePoint and ASP.NET development. Please refer to Microsoft for a full description of the skills measured and the tasks Peter had to handle to get the qualification.

In the team we use our SharePoint intranet extensively, and we also use HelpDesk OSP, which is the only SharePoint application we market ‒ today. I am sure we will have a resource booking product for SharePoint eventually, and more will probably come because SharePoint is a platform for the future. Congratulations to your achievement, Peter! It will benefit the whole team and many users of
our products.

04 October 2010 Welcomes New QA Expert

Alena Prokudina, QA Engineer at Business SolutionsThe team is happy to welcome a new QA Engineer, Alena Prokudina from Novosibirsk, Russia. Our former QA, Dina Romanova, has left us to study for a doctorate, but first she suggested that Alena should replace her. Dina was a very good tester, so she realized that we would
require a highly qualified person, and Alena has taken Dina's place in an excellent way. Her first task was the recently published HelpDesk OSP, and now she is testing and giving valuable input on the next update of PF HelpDesk.

Alena has a Master degree in IT and has worked for four years with Software Quality Assurance and Requirement Analysis. Besides her work Alena is interested in snowboarding, yoga, reading and cooking. Our team cooperation works great, in spite of the geographical distances, but unfortunately they mean that Alena cannot easily give us samples of her cooking expertise also!

We are glad to have Alena on board, and we wish Dina all the best in both life and studies!