19 September 2017

Drag Outlook Tasks to Kanban Board

Kanban Task Manager for Outlook logotypeThe Kanban Task Manager Outlook editions will soon have a new feature that many evaluators have asked for: a possibility to drag existing tasks to the kanban board. Next version will also give a possibility to modify Kanban Task Manager by using custom phases and captions.

Drag and drop tasks between phases
Kanban Task Manager uses standard Outlook tasks that have been given some extra dropdowns for tagging. As the work proceeds, the tasks are moved from one phase to another, and this visualization makes it easy to get an overview over progress, overdue tasks and bottlenecks.

In the next version of Kanban Task Manager, the phases can have any name you wish. Five phases with the Outlook status names are default, but soon you will be able to use your own phases instead. In the introduction demo below, you can see the default Kanban Task Manager with our example data.

Group tasks in lanes
The tasks cannot only be grouped in phases but also categorized by lanes. That is convenient when the team has many tasks on the kanban board. The lanes can be collapsed, to avoid excessive scrolling, and the next version of Kanban Task Manager will remember each user's collapse/expand status even when Outlook is restarted.

New user's feature
The feature to drag existing tasks to Kanban Task Manager has been requested by evaluators who already have many Outlook tasks and don't want to copy and paste the content of them one by one to new Kanban Task Manager tasks.

In the next version, these evaluators can just select all their standard Outlook tasks and drag them to the Kanban Task Manager folder. That will make them show up on the kanban board.

Kanban Task Manager comes in two Outlook editions, one for workgroups with shared tasks and settings and one for single users, and we will of course update both on them. I will soon come back with more information..

By Peter Kalmström
CEO and Systems Designer Business Solutions

14 September 2017

Team Calendar Options for Excel, Outlook and SharePoint

Most organizations need one or several shared team calendars to keep track of what people are doing and when they are available. We have products for such tracking, but today I will first show a simple Excel calendar that might work for companies who don't want to invest in a more advanced solution.

Excel calendar
Excel iconAn Excel file can be placed in a shared file folder and used as a calendar. Excel has many calendar templates to select from, but you can also create a custom calendar. That is what I show in the demo below, and a new Excel calendar article in the Tips section gives some more information.

SharePoint calendar SharePoint icon
SharePoint team sites have a default team calendar, so if the team shares information via SharePoint, the SharePoint calendar is a good option. It has several useful features, like version history and alerts, but its look is not very appealing.

Excel + SharePoint
If you just want a nice looking calendar that summarizes team member activities, you can insert an Excel calendar in a SharePoint page instead of using the SharePoint calendar. In the demo below, I show how to do that, and of course there is also a Tips article on how to insert an Excel calendar in SharePoint.

Calendar Browser for Outlook or SharePoint
Calendar Browser for SharePoint logoOne of my first products was a calendar solution for Outlook, and it is still sold and used. Today, after 17 years, it is of course much enhanced, and there is also a SharePoint edition. Calendar Browser was created to make it easy to book corporate resources, but the product can also be used to show people's Outlook or SharePoint calendars.

TimeCard for Outlook or SharePoint
TimeCard for Outlook has one more calendar product for Outlook or SharePoint: TimeCard. It is intended for time reporting directly from each user's calendar, but also future appointments/events can be reported.

TimeCard is not a team calendar, but it is a good solution for managers or other staff that need to see future planning for many people. The SharePoint edition even has a TimeCard summary web part that can be inserted into any page in the site collection.

By Peter Kalmström
CEO and Systems Designer Business Solutions

06 September 2017

SharePoint Workflow Actions and Conditions

SharePoint iconThe reason for creating and using a SharePoint workflow is that you want things to happen automatically. Therefore the two main building blocks in all workflows are actions, that decide what should be done, and the conditions for these actions to be taken.

In a new Tips article in my series on SharePoint automation, I outline how actions and conditions are used when SharePoint workflows are created.

An action is what the workflow should do when it has been triggered, and SharePoint workflows have many different actions to choose from. One very common action is to send an automatic e-mail with specific information.

When you have selected the action, you can specify how and on what data the action should be performed. For the "send e-mail" action, such details are the receiver of the e-mails and the e-mail content. I have given several examples of such workflows in my book SharePoint Online from Scratch and in the accompanying series of Tips articles.

Actions in 2010 and 2013 workflows
SharePoint Designer iconThere are two kinds of SharePoint workflows, 2010 workflows and 2013 workflows, and both can be created in SharePoint Designer 2013. Even if the SharePoint 2013 workflow is default, it is easy to instead select the 2010 type when you start creating a new workflow.

All of the included actions are not the same in the two workflow versions, so it is important that you choose the best option for the process you want to automate. The web service request is an example of an action that only exists in SharePoint 2013 workflows, while all "set permission" actions are among those that are only present in 2010 workflows.

An action can be performed each time the workflow is triggered, but usually the action is only performed if a certain condition is true. The condition defines the circumstances under which the action should be performed, and the action will only be performed if the condition is met.

You can, for example, set the condition to a specific value of an item in a SharePoint list, like I do in the demo below. Conditions are almost exactly the same in SharePoint 2010 and 2013 workflows.

Actions and conditions can be combined and added to workflows freely. Therefore you can make one workflow perform several actions, and you can limit the action(s) so that not only one but multiple conditions must be true.

I will continue publishing Tips articles about SharePoint workflows, so keep a lookout if you are interested in process automation.

By Peter Kalmström
CEO and Systems Designer Business Solutions

01 September 2017

Dream Fulfilled for Developer

Today I am happy to introduce a new member of the team: Software Developer Vaibhav Singh Chauhan. Vaibhav has been with us since the beginning of May and proved to be an appreciated and skilled colleague. Here is his own story: Developer Vaibhav Singh ChauhanEr. is a title used by qualified engineers in India, and ever since my early school days I have dreamed of an address plate with "Er.Vaibhav Singh Chauhan" at the entrance of my house.

I was born in a Rajput family in the greenery of the Indian Chambal region, and being a Rajput fills me with feelings of proud, courage, self-sacrifice and patriotism. My grandparents, parents and other close relatives used to tell me bedtime stories of valor and sacrifice and of kings like  Maharana Pratap  and Prithviraj Chauhan. With God’s grace, someday I hope to pass on these Rajput feelings to my own children and grandchildren.    

I come from a family of teachers. Three generations have dedicated their lives to students for the betterment of their future and consecutively played their part for our country. My grandfather was a headmaster and among the very few people who had a Master of Science at that time in Guna, the town where he lived.

My father is a Senior mathematics teacher, and he is the one behind my interest in the math stream that has shaped my engineering dream. I have also been teaching a bit, because in my final school year me and my friend started “Singh’s Classes”, where we gave lessons on “Indian History” and “Reasoning and Quantitative aptitude”.

Some of my friends are surprised to find me reacting calmly in unfavorable situations. For this, credit goes to my mother. She taught me the lessons from the old epic poems Ramayana and Bhagavad Gita that plays an important part in my character.

After my Bachelor's exam and a PG-Diploma in .NET Technology at National Institute of Information Technologies, a campus selection gave me a chance to work with Microsoft .NET Technologies with a Government organization. Here is where my real professional carrier started. Till now I have worked with various Microsoft technologies like C#, MSSQL, Reporting Services, WCF, WPF, MVC, ADO.NET, RAZOR  and non-Microsoft or open source technologies and platforms like HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, jQuery, Bootstrap, WordPress and MY-SQL.

Joining the team exposed me to Outlook add-ins, SharePoint and PowerShell. These were actually alien technologies to me, but gives a healthy learning environment with anytime team support, so now I feel comfortable with those technologies too even if there is much more to learn.
FolderHelpDesk icon                     Kanban TaskManager for SharePoint icon
Up till now I have played my part on our standard products Folder HelpDesk and Kanban Task Manager, and I have also worked on a custom project where we created a journey log system for a helicopter company. I really enjoy the tenor of my work here, and the team spirit is very good. Sometimes we do excursions together, like a trip to the nearby historical place Mandu. team members at Mandu

I am very interested in games, and in my spare time I love to play chess, football, table tennis, badminton and whatever I can. I also like to play and create video games. If you have an Android and like games, I have something to offer for free: I will place all my future games here, and whenever I have spare time I will add some more new games.

My other interests are reading technical blogs and articles and contributing in technical communities like “code project”. I have a blog-website at You are welcome to visit it, and feel free to contact me.

Er.Vaibhav Singh Chauhan
 Software Developer Business Solutions

“Set thy heart upon thy work, but never on its reward”- Bhagavad Gita

30 August 2017

Enhanced Categorization In Kanban Task Manager SharePoint Editions

Kanban Task Manager for SharePoint logotypeToday I am happy to announce that the two SharePoint editions of Kanban Task Manager have been updated. The new versions make it easier to customize the kanban board and to keep and share filtered views.

Task Management in SharePoint and/or Outlook
Kanban Task Manager builds on the traditional idea with a kanban board where task cards are moved between phases as work proceeds, and it is our most popular standard solution. We have workgroup editions for SharePoint and Outlook and also a single add-in for Outlook tasks. The demo below shows the SharePoint sandboxed solution.

The physical kanban board normally has only one project, but the Kanban Task Manager board can show tasks from many projects. You can also group the cards in horizontal lanes.

In the new version, the captions "Project" and "Lane" can be changed into anything else in the settings. This enhancement was requested by a subscriber who wanted to use other words that better suits their organization, and we were of course happy to add it for them. To prioritize bigger enhancements we sometimes request a sponsorship, but this was done without any cost for the customer.

Now, maybe some users only want to see the "projects" they are working with? In that case, it is easy to filter the kanban board that way, and the filter is kept when the browser is restarted or the page is refreshed.

Such a filtered view has its own URL, so it can be shared and bookmarked like all other web pages. Users can for example send their filtered kanban boards to a manager, as a progress report.

Upgrade upgrade iconCurrent subscribers are welcome to upgrade their Kanban Task Manager installations without any extra costs. Upgrades are always included in the Subscriptions, and we recommend subscribers to always use the latest version.

Try download iconThe SharePoint editions of Kanban Task Manager have a free trial period of 30 days. The sandboxed solution is downloaded from the website, and the add-in can also be downloaded from

The add-in can also be downloaded from Microsoft's SharePoint Store, but then you may have to wait a few days for the latest version. As we don't control SharePoint Store ourselves, we have to wait for Microsoft's review, but they are usually rather quick.

Peter Kalmström
CEO and Systems Designer Business Solutions

24 August 2017

7 SharePoint Workflow Triggers

SharePoint iconAll kinds of workflows must have triggers that set them running. In a new Tips article in my series on SharePoint automation, I describe seven types of manual and automatic triggers that are available for SharePoint 2010 and 2013 workflows.

Execution order
A workflow trigger is some kind of action that sets the workflow running, so what kind of trigger to use is of course one of the first things to consider when you want to automate a process with a SharePoint workflow.

Manual or automatic
The trigger can be a manual action, which is the best option if you don't know in advance when the workflow needs to be started. When a workflow is set to allow manual execution, it can always be run from the list's or library's Workflows page.

If you know that the workflow always has to be started manually, it is quicker to add an execution button in the command bar/ribbon or under the ellipsis at each item.

A more common scenario is that the workflow starts automatically when a specified action is taken on a list or library item, on part of the item or at a specified time.

Create in SharePoint Designer
SharePoint Designer iconThe trigger, just like the workflow itself, must always be created in SharePoint Designer. When a timer is used, the time must be specified in the SharePoint list or library that will use the workflow.

In the demo below, I show different kinds of triggers that I hope you will find useful. If you are new to workflows, I recommend you to first study my earlier article about SharePoint Designer. Then you can just follow the forward arrow at the bottom of the page to reach the workflow triggers article.

I will continue adding more articles and demos on SharePoint automation to the Tips section, and I am also planning a book about the subject: SharePoint Workflows from Scratch.

By Peter Kalmström
CEO and Systems Designer Business Solutions

17 August 2017

SharePoint Designer Introduction In New Tutorial

SharePoint iconLast week I told you about the new book on SharePoint automation that I am planning, and today I can show the first article of the new "SharePoint Workflows" series in the Tips section. It is about SharePoint Designer.

Workflow tool
SharePoint Designer is Microsoft's traditional tool for developing SharePoint sites outside the browser. It is necessary when you want to create SharePoint workflows, and a lot of other SharePoint development is easier to manage in SharePoint Designer than it is in the browser.

SharePoint Designer iconHowever, Microsoft has not given us a 2016 version of SharePoint Designer, and I have a feeling that they consider the tool too difficult to use. Eventually we will probably get a replacement product, but we are not there yet.

We already have Flow, but even if it is a very useful product with some advantages over workflows, some processes can only be automated with a workflow. I have therefore decided to include SharePoint Designer in my next book.

To consider
The Tips article about SharePoint Designer contains two demos. In the first one, I give a background overview of the SharePoint Designer history and current status. I also list advantages and disadvantages with using SharePoint Designer, and I mention a few things you should consider when you decide if you should use the tool within the organization or not.

User interface guide
In the second demo in the Tips article, I explain how to open a site in SharePoint Designer. When that is done, I go through the SharePoint Designer user interface as it looks with the site I have opened. The main parts are of course the same for all SharePoint sites that are opened in SharePoint Designer.

I will continue adding more articles and demos to the Tips section, and many of them will also have their own blog posts.

By Peter Kalmström
CEO and Systems Designer Business Solutions

11 August 2017

SharePoint Automation In New Book

My books on SharePoint Online and Office 365 are popular, so I have been thinking about writing another one. If everything goes according to plan, my next book will describe different ways to automate processes in SharePoint.
Reiterated or neglected tasks
In all organizations there are tasks that need to be done repeatedly, and even more tasks that are never performed because they are tedious or because it is not cost-effective to have people doing them. That is where automation comes in, and in SharePoint there are several good methods you can use.

Automation platforms
The goal with my new book is to introduce and clarify the different automation platforms for SharePoint:
  • SharePoint 2010 Workflows
  • Microsoft FlowSharePoint 2013 Workflows
  • Microsoft Flow
  • PowerShell
  • Classic VBA automation with Excel and Access
SharePoint Workflows from Scratch will be available on Amazon as both paperbook and e-book, just like my other books.
All my books have links to pages with video demonstrations in the Tips section. These tips give an additional dimension to the learning process, and they are very appreciated by purchasers of my books. "I find the online tutorials very helpful in understanding and reinforcing key concepts.", as one of them wrote on Amazon.
Office 365 from Scratch cover SharePoint Online from Scratch cover SharePoint Online Exercises cover Excel 2016 from Scratch cover
We have recently hired more developers to meet the demand for new features in the products and the increasing requests for custom SharePoint solutions, so hopefully I will have time to write this book by the end of this year.

Until then, please contact us if you have comments or suggestions on the contents of SharePoint Workflows from Scratch.

By Peter Kalmström
CEO and Systems Designer Business Solutions

25 July 2017

India Beats Record To Fight Climate Change

Today, our new Executive Assistant, Dipti Francis, will tell you about an historic tree planting campaign that was held this month in India:

Planting a tree is a looking-forward action, because if we plant a tree today, we are saving the nature and the environment for future generations. It is a social responsibility anyone can take to save the earth. As said by John Keats: “A thing of beauty is a joy forever”, and such beauty are trees. That is why we must grow more and more trees, so that the beauty of our nature lasts forever.

Initiative to save Mother Earth
An environmental campaign was driven on Sunday 3rd July 2017 by more than 1.5 million Indian volunteers. They planted over 66.3 million saplings in 12 hours along the Narmada River in the central state of Madhya Pradesh.

The campaign was organized by the Madhya Pradesh government. The 24 best planting sites of the Narmada River basin were chosen to increase the chances of saplings’ survival, and the volunteers planted 20 different species of trees.
Indian tree planting record
Historic Day for India 
According to Guinness World Records, this was the second record set by India in planting trees. Volunteers from children to elders participated in the Sunday campaign. State Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan described the efforts as “Historic Day”.

The motive of the campaign was not only to preserve the state or country but the world at large, because everything we have comes from nature. Plants give us fresh air and water, so without trees we cannot survive.

The team congratulates the Indian volunteers for taking such a beautiful initiative and showing extraordinary efforts to save our earth. We wish all of them, best of luck for their future campaigns.

Dipti FrancisI want to conclude this post with a very simple request: let each one of us understand our responsibility to preserve the beauty of nature and start this from our personal level. Let us try to plant at least one tree whenever and wherever we can, so that our coming generations can experience the beauty and benefits of our Mother Earth. It is a small thing that makes a difference.
Dipti Francis
Executive Assistant Business Solutions

20 July 2017

10,000 Subscribers To The YouTube Channel!

YouTube iconYesterday the YouTube Channel reached 10,000 subscribers, which is very good for a specialized learning channel like ours. It centers around SharePoint and Outlook tips and products and has no music, no cute animals and very few funny jokes!

One million Solutions
TimeCard for Outlook We have found YouTube demos to be a good way of introducing and explaining our Outlook and SharePoint products. The manuals have an abundance of screenshots and give all details, but with video demonstrations SP Attach icon we can actually show how to do things.

Many users of our products are of course subscribing to the channel, but they are not the only ones.
Study Manager for SharePoint icon
Tips articles
Another group of YouTube demonstrations are tutorials about Microsoft Excel, Office 365 and SharePoint. Each of these demos Calendar Browser for SharePoint icon has a Tips article on the website, where you can get a description of the demonstration and more information about the subject.

KBase icon The Tips section started as an assistance to subscribers but has now grown to an important marketing channel. People who contact us for the first time often refer to the online tutorials.

Kanban Task Manager for SharePoint icon Books
I have written several books on my specialties: SharePoint, Office 365 and Excel. These books have links to the Tips articles with the YouTube demos, to give readers another angle HelpDesk OSP icon on what I describe in more detail in the books.

My books are popular, and they of course contribute to the high number of views for the channel: 2.5 million views right now. Templates Manager for SharePoint iconThe numerous comments to the demonstrations also show that people have actually studied and learned from them.

Team work
Folder HelpDesk icon Obviously the demos cover subjects that many need to know more about, and as SharePoint and Office are my special competencies I am happy to share my knowledge. Being an experienced lecturer, I also know how to organize the information in a good way so that it becomes easy to understand.
SP Archive icon
But I am not alone in the creation. My colleagues Bhupendra, Kate and Rituka have recorded some of the demos, and they also edit my demos before we publish them. Their work is very important for the result you see on YouTube.

ShareTask icon We will continue to publish demos and write Tips articles for the website. Welcome to have a look! Hopefully you will find a product you need or a tip you can make use of.

By Peter Kalmström
CEO and Systems Designer Business Solutions

18 July 2017

SharePoint In The Mobile 3 - Office And Custom Solutions

SharePoint iconIt is secure and flexible to store and share information in SharePoint, and there are many ways to use SharePoint in smart phones and tablets.  In two earlier blog posts I have talked about mobile options that are inbuilt in SharePoint and about Microsoft apps that are suitable to use with SharePoint and mobile devices.

In this last post, I will mention some other ways to use SharePoint in the mobile. Microsoft Office gives a few possibilities, and you can of course always have a custom solution, created by yourself or by the team.

Office apps
Microsoft Excel iconExporting to Excel is the simplest way of getting data in a mobile format. It works well on SharePoint lists, but it is a one way communication. You cannot change the data in Excel and have it updated in SharePoint.

SharePoint document libraries with the classic experience interface, have a Microsoft Outlook icon “Connect To Outlook” button, which allows you to synchronize the library with Outlook. When you do that, you can view, edit, delete and create files in Outlook even if you are offline. Whenever you do a Send and Receive, the SharePoint files will also be synchronized. This method handles conflicts as well as check-in/check-out.

Custom solutions
ShareTask logotypeIt is possible to create customized mobile web pages in SharePoint, with full touch, drag and drop etc. The ShareTask app is built in this way. All data, as well as the code, is stored in SharePoint, but for the users it looks like a dedicated app.

Another option is to host the app on your own server. When you do that, you can use server-side code and interact with non-SharePoint services, and you can develop in C#, Python, Java or whatever server-side language you want, really! The possibilities are endless, but there is also the added complexity of authentication and doing all SharePoint-integration through REST calls.

Need assistance?
In three blog posts I have given a summary of useful options when you want to use SharePoint in the mobile, but maybe you need advice on which solution is best for users in your organization? I would be happy to assist you. Services icon We offer services on several levels, from workshops to discuss your goals and how to reach them to very advanced custom solutions. Currently we have ongoing custom projects for organizations in Egypt, Sweden and USA. Welcome to contact us, you too!

By Peter Kalmström
CEO and Systems Designer Business Solutions

13 July 2017

Nature As Inspiration For Problem Solving

“If there is a problem, there must be a solution.” These words could be my own, but I am actually quoting another problem solver: Senior Developer Kapil Patel, who joined the team at the beginning of this year. Here he will tell you more about himself and what inspires him.

I read my first program flow chart when I was 12 years old, and it took me 12 more years to write production level code. That happened when I started my software engineer journey in 2013, in an IT start-up in Indore. Senior Developer Kapil Patel
Technical background
I am an engineering graduate in computer science stream from MIT, Indore. During my studies I learned basic logics and got hands on experience of software development. Among other things, I created a calculator application in VB.Net, and it helped me understand the complex coding that is hidden even behind a simple calculator app.

Before joining the team, I worked on different technologies, for example ASP.NET MVC, Win forms, JavaScript and some other open source technologies.

India is a big, beautiful country, and when possible I like to visit its various parts. The image above is from India Gate in Delhi, a memorial to the 82 000 Indian soldiers who died in the First World War. The image below is from Dona Paula Beach in Goa. Senior Developer Kapil Patel

Mother Nature
I always search for ways to be in the lap of Mother Nature. Therefore I am an active member of a group that makes day and night treks to dense forests. Recently I went on an adventurous night trek, and I enjoyed watching the midnight moon and walking alone in the forest to overcome my fear. Senior Developer Kapil Patel at camp fire

Hard work always pays!
Instead of just avoiding problems, I love to solve them. My attitude is “If there is a problem, there must be a solution”. I am thankful that I have had to face scary challenges. Even if I feel scared sometimes, I accept them and in the end they make me stronger.

When I have optimized a web based application used by thousands of people at the same time so that it works faster, I feel really proud. For such a task I have to make changes in the whole technology stack: JavaScript, SQL queries, database and database server.

SharePoint programming
Kanban TaskManager for SharePoint iconIn the team I got the opportunity to work with several interesting tasks. I added a few features to the SharePoint editions of Kanban Task Manager, where we recently released major updates.

I have also worked with a custom shopping cart for a US construction company. Here we used jQuery Mobile, SharePoint services and PowerShell scripts.

It’s a very good experience to be a developer. I get job satisfaction here, and I hope that I am performing as expected.

Kapil Patel
Sr. Software Engineer Business Solutions

11 July 2017

Customize And Share The SharePoint Kanban Board

Kanban Task Manager for SharePoint logotypeOur two SharePoint editions of Kanban Task Manager are used by organizations in many countries, and with all these users we of course get valuable input and enhancement suggestions. In the next version, we will implement a few good ideas that were first given to us by customers.

Rename Project and Lane
Kanban Task Manager is a solution for task management. As the work proceeds, the tasks are moved from the first phase, where the task is planned, to the actual work phases and then into the completed phase.

Often the tasks belong to a project, and in all earlier versions we have had a Project column where admins can enter the different projects that the team works with. But even if this is the most common user case, the term "Project" does not suit all organizations. Now it will be possible to change this caption in the Kanban Task Manager tasks list.

The tasks can be arranged in groups, which are shown on the kanban board as horizontal strips. So far these groups have been called "Lanes". With the new versions, organizations can choose the caption that is most suitable for each installation of Kanban Task Manager.

Keep the filter
The kanban board can be filtered by "project", responsible and/or priority. The filtering is done by each user, just like other SharePoint filtering, and currently it disappears when you refresh or restart the browser.

However, many users have a favorite filter, so in the next version of Kanban Task Manager we will make it easier for them and preserve the filter. This way, users no longer need to set the filter again when they have refreshed or restarted the browser.

Filtered view URL
Now when the kanban board filter is kept, you can also bookmark the filtered view and share its URL with other users who have access to the same Kanban Task Manager installation.

Every user can, for example, send a manager the path to a filtered view that shows only his/her own tasks. If this is done regularly, it is easy for the manager to track each team member's progress.

These are the three most important new features in next Kanban Task Manager update, and I hope to come back soon and tell you about the release!

By Peter Kalmström
CEO and Systems Designer Business Solutions

04 July 2017

SharePoint In The Mobile 2 - Microsoft Tools

SharePoint iconStoring and sharing information in SharePoint gives many benefits when it comes to security, flexibility and version control. But how do we best use SharePoint in mobile devices? We want to keep the functionality, but with less complexity and more touch ability and usability.

There are various options when you want to use SharePoint in a smartphone or tablet, more or less advanced and suitable for different needs. When we develop custom SharePoint solutions, we of course discuss the alternatives with the customer and find the best option together.

Here I have instead started a series of blog posts about the options as I see them. In an earlier post I summarized the mobile possibilities given by SharePoint itself. Today I will continue with a list of Microsoft apps and tools that are helpful when you want to use SharePoint in the mobile.
  • Microsoft FlowFlows can be used in several ways.The most important thing you can do with a flow is to connect your information and events to any other service. If the service has a mobile app or interface, you can get your SharePoint information in that mobile context. Furthermore, it is possible to create, trigger and modify flows in the Microsoft Flow app, allowing for true mobile SharePoint automation. We are finding it useful, although not 100% stable yet, to call a REST service from a Flow and then run PowerShell scripts based on that in an Azure Function. Combining mobile usability of Flow with enterprise scalability in Azure opens a lot of interesting possibilities.

  • SharePoint Designer icon2010 and 2013 Workflows may be used from a mobile device. The workflow can either distribute selected information to users via e-mail or be triggered from a mobile device to have interesting things happen on the SharePoint side. A 2013 workflow can interact with web services and a 2010 workflow could be used to set item level security per business rules.

  • Office 365 Teams iconTeams is a rather new collaborative app built on top of SharePoint. The mobile app allows sharing of documents, a calendar and also a range of third party apps.

  • The OneDrive App for mobiles allows browsing of documents and folders on SharePoint sites and on the personal OneDrive for Business. With this app you can also upload documents from your mobile, including images from your device camera. The app does not synchronize your files to your device,Microsoft OneDrive icon but you can select individual files that should be available offline.

  • The OneDrive for Business desktop app is not really a mobile app, but it is certainly relevant for being “on the run”. If you find yourself totally offline, most of the other apps in this list will not work. You need something that keeps the files on your computer in sync with the files on SharePoint. I have encountered some major problems with this app, so I am hesitant to recommend it. However, Microsoft has been promising rewrites, performance-improvements and better cache-handling so I will certainly give the new version another chance to prove itself. The desktop app only works with libraries and does not handle metadata at all, just folders.

  • Office 365 Delve iconThe Delve mobile app is intended for keeping track of the latest changes in personal or shared content stored on SharePoint sites of all types as well as files stored in OneDrive for Business.

  • Microsoft PowerApps iconWith PowerApps you can build customized mobile apps that connect to SharePoint, Flow and other services. Such an app can be deployed within the organization or Office 365 tenant and also shows up as a semi-view when using a desktop browser. There is both a Windows app and a browser-based development environment. Unfortunately there is no possibility to code behind PowerApps. Instead all customization is done by selecting options in the development environment. For me as a developer, this PowerApps environment feels limited and constraining, but I hope that I will learn to love it soon ;-)

  • Microsoft Office 365 VideoThe Office 365 Video App is a very basic little app that allows browsing existing videos and channels as well as uploading videos to a channel from a device.
There are even more alternatives, because you can use Office apps and create custom solutions. Those are the options I will point to in my next blog post about SharePoint in the mobile.

By Peter Kalmström
CEO and Systems Designer Business Solutions