26 February 2014

Simplified User Installations

I am happy to tell you that the Solutions will be easier to deploy for many users, thanks to a new possibility to use Active Directory to define the path to the database used with the solution.

Public folders "de-emphasized"
When Microsoft first announced that they wanted to direct users from public folders to SharePoint, I begun researching alternative sharing options for the Solutions. I understood that we could not only offer SharePoint instead of public folders. We needed more options, so that all current users would be happy to continue using our software even if they had not implemented SharePoint.

A shared mailbox was an alternative that already existed. It works well for smaller organizations but is not a good options for organizations with many users. We needed a sharing method that could use as well SharePoint as more traditional databases.

KBase iconNew sharing method
I found a method that the technicians developed and refined, and it is now used in our knowledge base, KBase, and in Kanban Task Manager for Outlook.

Kanban Task Manager icon In these solutions the sharing options are a SharePoint site, an SQL Server database and an Access database. No public folder or shared mailbox is necessary, and a network folder is only needed for the Access option.

TimeCard icon TimeCard Workgroup also uses the same method, even if the SharePoint option remains to be added, and the new sharing options will eventually be implemented in Folder HelpDesk and Calendar Browser too.

Install on each client
The Outlook Solutions should be installed on each PC that will use the solution. This installation can be made centrally via Active Directory for all users but the first one – which is most often the administrator. When the admin installs one of the products that has the new sharing method, he or she also defines what sharing option should be used.

Always correct sharing info
Earlier the sharing options dialog was opened the first time each new user opened our solution, and the user had to give the same sharing option as the admin had defined. From now on, this will only be necessary for the SharePoint option. When a database is used for sharing, the path or connection info can be given for all users via Active Directory before the actual user installation. How this should be done will be described in the manuals.
TimeCard clock
TimeCard update
We will soon release a new version of TimeCard Workgroup, the add-on that lets you report time and expenses from inside the Outlook calendar. It will be the first solution where we have added the new possibility to set sharing option centrally – an important enhancement, especially for some Premium subscribers who have several hundreds of TimeCard users within the organization.

The new version of TimeCard Workgroup will also have another new, sponsored feature, but I will tell you more about it when I announce the release. Or take a look at the Plans page, if you are curious!

By Peter Kalmstrom
CEO and Systems Designer Business Solutions

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