26 June 2014

Drag SharePoint Tasks With Mouse, Keys Or Finger

Kanban Task Manager for SharePoint logotype Work with next version of Kanban Task Manager for SharePoint has begun, and today I want to tell you about some new features that are already in place. In the video below you can see how they work.

Task and project management in SharePoint
In the SharePoint version of Kanban Task Manager tasks are virtualized on a SharePoint page. This page reminds of the traditional kanban board with phases or stages for the work process, but it has many more features than the physical board – apart from the obvious advantage of being able to reach over the internet.

Instant Search 
One of the many advantages of a virtual kanban board is that you can search the tasks, something that is impossible in a physical board. Therefore the Kanban Task Manager board has had a search field with a button right from the first version.

Now we are taking the search feature one step further, by introducing the more advanced Instant Search. This means that Kanban Task Manager will start searching the tasks as soon as you start writing in the search field. The search button has been removed, as it is no longer needed.

Move tasks with keyboard or finger
In the current version of Kanban Task Manager we can select tasks either with the mouse or with the arrow keys, but to drag and drop tasks within or between phases you have to use the mouse.
Drag Kanban Task Manager tasks with a finger
In version 3 you can use the keyboard to move the tasks if you prefer that. Press the Control key + the arrows to move a task to a new position. For those of you who use a touch screen, we have also made it possible to drag tasks with a finger.

Zoom into tasks
Kanban Task Manager zoom iconKanban Task Manager has two sizes for the visualized tasks on the SharePoint kanban board,  but in the next version there is another possibility to adapt how much will be shown on the screen: the zoom.

You will be able to zoom in and out just like you can do with a browser page. Use the keys (Ctrl + the plus or minus key), or the new zoom icon on the kanban board.

More features
We hope to release Kanban Task Manager for SharePoint V3 in the fourth quarter of 2014, and before that we will add more of the features you can find on the Plans page. I will tell more about that in a later blog post.

The video above has been replaced with the finished version.

By Peter Kalmstrom
CEO and Systems Designer Business Solutions

24 June 2014

Resource Booking Outlook Add-on With New Design

calendar browser version 9 icon I am delighted to announce that we have now released a major update of our Outlook add-on for corporate resource booking. Calendar Browser V9 has a new design that gives the forms a more modern look and makes them quicker to load. We have also been able to enhance the Overview of resource bookings thanks to the new system design.

Book resources and supplies in the Outlook calendar
Calendar Browser is a Microsoft Outlook add-on for efficient booking of resources within an organization. The resources can be anything from meeting rooms to equipment, cars, projectors, persons etc.

This resource booking tool for the Outlook calendar even allows you to book supplies for the booking and specify the project for which the resource will be booked.

Quicker loading
The most important change in the new version is that Calendar Browser V9 is built with HTML5, something I wrote about in an earlier blog post.

Thanks to HTML5 it is now possible to book and manage the resources faster, as the forms open very quickly. Another reason for using HTML5 is that it these techniques will make it easier to develop a Calendar Browser for SharePoint.

Resource bookings Overview
HTML5 iconIn the Calendar Browser Overview all bookings can be studied in different ways, and it is also possible to book a resource directly from the Overview.

We have added several new features to the Overview, like filtering by resource calendar in the month view, arrows for date selection and date range display of the Appointments and Orders reports.

Easier evaluation
In version 9 of the resource booking solution we have also managed to make the first installation process even simpler for evaluators. No restarts are necessary, and the first Calendar Browser installation will be added to the Outlook calendar automatically.

Calendar Browser upgrade icon These are just two of several new features in Calendar Browser V9. If your organization is already using this Outlook add-on for booking of your corporate resources, the upgrade is free for you.

Calendar Browser evaluation icon Are you looking for a tool that helps your staff book resources in an efficient way? In that case you are welcome to evaluate Calendar Browser for Outlook for 30 days without any costs. I hope you will find that Calendar Browser V9 will make resource booking within your organization very easy.

As usual the team has done a great job. The development brought many challenges, especially with the Overview. I am happy that the skills and the excellent cooperation within the team have made this new release possible. I appreciate your efforts, dear colleagues!
Peter Kalmstrom
CEO and Systems Designer Business Solutions

10 June 2014

Custom SharePoint Workflow Button

SharePoint logoSharePoint workflows save valuable time when a particular sequence of tasks has to be performed often. These workflows can be run manually or automatically. I have described automatic workflows in several Tips articles on the website, but now we have also added an article on how to create a SharePoint ribbon button that executes a workflow.

No button – several steps
When there is no button to execute a manual workflow, users might get irritated with the steps involved in running it. Maybe these steps have to be performed again and again for every document and item inside SharePoint libraries and lists.

Button – one step
If you want to use a manually run workflow, the best way is to have a custom SharePoint button that executes it. Then users just have to press a button in the SharePoint ribbon when they want to start the workflow. Such a button can be created in SharePoint Designer.

Modify or create workflow
SharePoint Designer logoIn the Tips article on how to create a SharePoint workflow button, I walk through the process of how to first modify an existing automatic workflow and then use a custom action to add a SharePoint ribbon button that executes the modified workflow. You may of course also first create a workflow from scratch and then add a button that runs it.Create custom action window

Add button image
SharePoint workflow button To make the custom SharePoint button more attractive and easier to recognize, you can add an icon to it. This is the last step in the demo below, and in the Tips article about a custom SharePoint button you can find a step by step description of the whole process. I hope you will find it useful!

Peter Kalmstrom
CEO and Systems Designer Business Solutions

04 June 2014

Archive SharePoint Library Documents

SharePoint logo When you often need to move documents from one SharePoint library to another, it is useful to create a SharePoint workflow that handles the process for you. In a new Tips article on the website I describe how to create a workflow that moves expired files to an Archive library.

 Archive instead of delete
When you have used a SharePoint library for a while, it tends to be difficult to overview because the files have become too many. All of them probably don't have to be there, but maybe you don't want to delete them either. Then it is a good idea to archive files that are no longer used in a separate library. There they will still be available if needed, but they will not burden the library or libraries your team normally uses.

Libraries instead of folders
Generally I recommend subsites and SharePoint libraries instead of one big library with a lot of subfolders.
SharePoint search will work better that way, especially when you also use tags and metadata, and the navigation will be easier.

Archiving workflow
In the demo below, which is also included in the Tips article, I show how to create a SharePoint workflow that moves files in a document library to a separate Archive library.
Move Docs in SharePoint Workflow
The workflow is run automatically each time a file is changed, but the file is only archived when it has the status "Expired". In those cases the workflow will first copy the file to the Archive library and then delete it from the original library.

Archive list items
SharePoint lists are often filled even quicker than libraries, and as I told you in an earlier blog post we will soon release a tool that archives list items. Just as with library documents you may also archive SharePoint list items with a workflow, and I have earlier created two demos on how to do that.

The first  "Archive SharePoint list items" tutorial was published in the beginning of 2011, and it was of course intended for the 2010 version of SharePoint. Later I also recorded a demo for SharePoint 2013, and now they are both gathered in a Tips article about how to archive SharePoint list items.

Suggestions are welcome
HelpDesk OSP logotypeThe immediate reason for the first Tip about archiving in SharePoint was that users of the issue tracking solution HelpDesk OSP asked for it. HelpDesk OSP converts Outlook e-mails into SharePoint list items, and when there were many e-mails converted each day an archiving workflow was needed.

When subscribers of Solutions need demos we do our best to give them a solution even if the problem is not directly connected to our product. In those cases we add the tutorial to the Tips section of the website, so that more people can make use of it. banner

Currently there are 76 tips articles on the website, so this tip about archiving library documents is just one of many. You are welcome to browse among them!

By Peter Kalmstrom
CEO and Systems Designer Business Solutions