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25 January 2016

Kanban Task Manager for Outlook V4 released

Kanban Task Manager for Outlook logotype I am proud to announce that we have released a update of the workgroup version of Kanban Task Manager for Outlook. The responsible developer, Jitu Patidar, will tell you about the development and the new features.

Task Management in Outlook and SharePoint
Jitu Patidar imageWith Kanban Task Manager workgroups can share and cooperate on tasks on a kanban board in Outlook or SharePoint, where the tasks are visualized as cards. The cards are color coded by project or responsible, and they are dragged between phases as work proceeds.

Status = phase
In version 4 the Status values of the tasks can be used as phases, and this is default for new installations. Current users may keep their custom phases or switch to the task status values.

WIP limits
In version 4 we have given a possibility to set Work In Progress limits on phases and lanes. The WIP feature does not stop more tasks from being added, as this might be a hindrance in the work process, but it adds red color to the number of tasks in the phase or lane to give users a warning.

SharePoint sharing
Kanban Task Manager for SharePoint logotypeThe Outlook version of Kanban Task Manager stores its settings in a database or in SharePoint. When SharePoint is used, the settings are found in the same SharePoint lists as the SharePoint version of Kanban Task Manager.  Many subscribers use both versions, as they synchronize.

We have now added a possibility to use the SharePoint built in "Assigned To" for the Kanban Task Manager Responsible, and from version 4 Kanban Task Manager can work with any SharePoint task list. These new features were first implemented in the SharePoint version, but from today they are present in the Outlook version too.

Major code changes
The development of version 4 has involved the most extensive changes in the  Kanban Task Manager for Outlook design ever, so it was a great challenge to manage it. To start from scratch with a new product or feature is always easier than making changes in existing functionalities. There are so many dependencies to consider and so many things that can go wrong.

However, just like my mates in the kalmstrom.com team I enjoy being confronted with difficulties. They teach me a lot, and bug fixing always gives a good knowledge about the code/working flow of the product.

In the image below I am discussing a tricky problem with Peter Kalmström, the systems designer of Kanban Task Manager and my developer colleague Arpeet Gujarathi. I also had good assistance from developer Ankit Rughavanshi and of course from our lead developer Jayant Rimza.
kalmstrom.com team members

Upgrade
After the release of Kanban Task Manager for SharePoint V4 we have given highest priority to today's major update of Kanban Task Manager for Outlook, because organizations who use both versions have not been able to upgrade their SharePoint installations to V4. The Outlook version was not compatible, but now it is. An e-mail with upgrade instructions has been sent to all current Medium and Premium subscribers.

Try Kanban Task Manager for Outlook
kalmstrom.com download icon We allow 30 days free trial of Kanban Task Manager, so if your organization needs a way to visualize the tasks in a work process you are welcome to download the Kanban Task Manager Outlook add-in. During the evaluation period my colleagues and I will give the same high level of support service as when you subscribe to one of our products. Please contact us if you have questions!

By Jitu Patidar
Senior Developer and Support Lead
kalmstrom.com Business Solutions