06 June 2011 Goes Cloudy

As you might have understood from previous posts in this blog, we are very excited about cloud-based services in general and  Microsoft´s offerings in that area in particular.

We just released a new version of  PF HelpDeskthe issue tracking tool for Outlook, and it has support for the cloud-based SQL Azure database. This is not because many have been asking for it yet, but because we felt the urge to learn the new technology. We attempt to stay ahead of the curve and understand what our customers want before they even request it!

Now Community Members and Evaluators are asking if our applications work with Office 365 every day. The answer is that HelpDesk OSP and TimeCard already supports Office 365, and we will very soon update PF HelpDesk and Calendar Browser to support it too. However, they still work on the client-installed Microsoft Office applications we all know and love - not directly from a cloud-based service. That is where we are heading, though. We will of course continue to use and support client-based technologies, but we will expand into cloud-based services also.

One experiment-project we just concluded was a synchronization-engine between the cloud-based Office 365 and the likewise cloud-based ERP-system Fortnox. We used the Exchange Web Services and Fortnox´s API to enable synchronization between the ERP system and an Outlook Contacts list in Office 365. This was exactly what the Swedish building company Melander Bygg AB needed.

We will continue to build upon this experience to enable a variant of our other issue tracking product, HelpDesk OSP, to run entirely in the cloud, converting e-mails received in Office 365 to tickets in a SharePoint ticket list. We will of course retain the control of how the e-mails are converted, support for custom fields  in SharePoint and more. I will come back with more info about this product later on.

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