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29 May 2013

kalmstrom.com and Microsoft SharePoint

SharePoint 2013 iconMicrosoft SharePoint gives a lot of possibilities to any organization, so the kalmstrom.com development work has become increasingly aimed at this platform. Also my lecturing and development of custom solutions, as well as the kalmstrom.com Tips section, mostly involve SharePoint nowadays.

Outlook connection
When I first begun developing my software the brand name was kalmstrom.nu Outlook Solutions, and the main platform was Microsoft Outlook. As business grew ".nu" became ".com", and "Outlook" became "Business".

We are now developing more and more for SharePoint, but we keep up to date with the latest in Outlook and are happy when we find ways to combine Outlook and SharePoint, to take advantage of the best of both platforms.

HelpDesk OSP iconHelpDesk OSP was one of the first kalmstrom.com applications that connected Outlook and SharePoint, and last year came Kanban Task Manager.

KBase iconVery soon we will release a new version of KBase, the kalmstrom.com knowledge base. It will have SharePoint as a sharing alternative to a database, and the articles can be read in SharePoint as well as in Outlook.

SharePoint certifications
I love to explore what can be done with the SharePoint platform. I am proud that I have gained all the  Microsoft certifications available for SharePoint 2010, and I hope to take the SharePoint 2013 exams later this year.

Microsoft Certified Professional logotype

Future SharePoint additions
I plan to add a SharePoint connection to all my products. When that is done, TimeCard users will be able to reach their calendars from any smart phone device, so managers can get their time reports without having to worry about what operating system the users have. Resource booking with Calendar Browser will also be easier to do away from the office, and eventually Folder HelpDesk will be merged with HelpDesk OSP.

Custom solutions
After I left my position at Skype the kalmstrom.com team has taken on more comissions for custom solutions. In these cases I do not just design the applications but also take care of most of the coding. The kalmstrom.com team helps me with testing and documentation. Most of these solutions build on SharePoint, just like the SharePoint Quality Assurance application I recently created for a Swedish chemical industry.

For SharePoint entirely
Kanban Task Manager for SharePoint logotypekalmstrom.com solutions may also be used only inside SharePoint, without a connection to another platform, like Outlook. Today we have Kanban Task Manager for SharePoint already on the market. This version of Kanban Task Manager may be used together with the Outlook version, but several big organizations use the SharePoint version alone for their project and task management.

Document Tagger iconDocument Tagger for SharePoint document libraries is still in Beta, but we hope to publish the final version in June. On top of that I have some ideas for new products I hope to release later this year.

Lecturing
I use my knowledge of SharePoint as lecturer on advanced IT courses, and this spring it has been a stimulating task to teach IT professionals from various companies how to create SharePoint 2013 no-code solutions. I also introduced people from the Swedish Armed Forces to their custom version of SharePoint 2010.

The kalmstrom.com Tips section
The Tips section of the kalmstrom.com website has become very popular, and we now have many tips for the 2010 and 2013 versions of SharePoint. For some of the tips I have used material from my teaching. The kalmstrom.com YouTube channel has 15 videos in the SharePoint 2013 playlist, and all these are also shown in the kalmstrom.com Tips section, together with more information about the exercise in the video.

kalmstrom.com SharePoint usage
The kalmstrom.com team members have all achieved a good knowledge of SharePoint, by studies and by experience. Not only do we use a SharePoint team site but also three of our own SharePoint products: HelpDesk OSP for the support tickets and for publishing bug reports with embedded images, Kanban Task Manager for the tasks of the different development projects and for website changes and extensions and recently also Document Tagger for better management of our shared documents and presentations.

Apart from that I have created several apps that simplify our workflow, for example a Check e-mail solution that checks downloads and sends evaluator reminders and e-mails to Community Members.

I am always on the look out for new ideas on how to make further use of the SharePoint platform, and rest assured, I have a lot of them myself!

By Peter Kalmström
CEO and Systems Designer
kalmstrom.com Business Solutions