20 November 2017

SharePoint Statistics Tool Soon to be Released

Pivot Explorer for SharePoint logotype Excel has an excellent statistics tool: the pivot table. Wouldn't it be superb if you could use data from SharePoint lists for business intelligence in the same way? When we release our new SharePoint add-in you will be able to do just that!

As Pivot Explorer for SharePoint Lists works in SharePoint Online, it has the scalability and sharing options of a web-based application. But Pivot Explorer also has the speed and flexibility that you are used to with your desktop Excel.

Understand data
When you have a lot of numeric data in a SharePoint list, for example sales figures, it can be difficult to interpret it. Maybe you want to show colleagues or customers all or some of the data, but for that you need a way to order the information to make it more understandable.

The traditional way to arrange data to make it easily comprehensible is to use an Excel pivot table or chart. This is however not optimal when you have the information in SharePoint. With Pivot Explorer you can instead just click a button in the command bar/ribbon and directly see the data in a pivot table. Another click gives you a choice of charts.

Save and share statistics
Pivot Explorer lets you manipulate the data like you are used to do in Excel. You can for example filter, sort and drill, to get the information you are interested in.

When you have achieved a view that displays the data in an illustrative way, you can save it and have it at hand for another occasion. You may also print the view, whether it is a pivot table or a chart, or export it to HTML, CSV, XLSX, PNG or PDF. Therefore, Pivot Explorer makes it is easy to share statistics with colleagues and customers.

I hope to come back soon and announce the release of Pivot Explorer for SharePoint Lists!

16 November 2017

New Voice In Customer Contacts

Today I have the pleasure to introduce Dipti Francis, Executive Assistant since July this year. We were looking for someone who could assist us in sales and documentation, and Dipti has proved to be just the right person for this. In addition, Dipti can also help with recruitments – an important enhancement of a team that is continuously growing!

Many of you have met or will meet Dipti in e-mails and chats, and here you have an opportunity to learn more about the person you are communicating with:

Dipti FrancisI wrote my first blog post for Business Solutions about an Indian planting campaign, and now I have been given this opportunity to officially introduce myself.

Family background
I was born in a nuclear family, and being the youngest one, I had the benefit of having all my wishes being fulfilled at once. My father always has a very practical and logical answer to my questions, whereas my mother always helps me to foresee the emotional side of a situation. I believe that the combination of these two personalities has added value to my decisions, because it helps me to look at both the sides of any situation.

I owe my life to my parents, because whatever I am today it is because of their sacrifice and unconditional support.

Educational and professional life 
I completed my Bachelors of Engineering in 2015 from Malwa Institute of Technology, Indore. I was a very introvert student in school, but with the recognition and appreciation from my teachers and friends in college I realized my other talents of sketching and singing.

I started my career as a US IT recruiter at a global staffing firm. The daily talks to different people who had diversified experience and gaining knowledge from them, were great experiences. We often worked under immense pressure, so this was where I learned how to manage myself under stressful situations.

The work also helped me to fling off my hesitation of talking to different people outside India, whether it was face to face or in a call or email. To reach somewhere, you need to leave from somewhere, so eventually I decided to look for another job.

Working with Business Solutions Kanban Task Manager for SharePoint icon
I joined the team in July 2017 as an Executive Assistant to the General Manager, and here I am gradually taking over the responsibility for sales emails, documentation and recruitments. I have now learned most of our products and updated the manuals for the new versions of the SharePoint products Kanban Task Manager and Templates Manager.Templates Manager for SharePoint icon

With Business Solutions, I get the chance to challenge my abilities in different areas, apart from recruiting. I work closely with Kate Kalmström and Rituka Rimza, who are my actual mentors in the company. They always help me to understand things in the best possible way, and I thank them for always keeping their faith in me. Working under these two guides, I believe that I can learn a lot and bring out the best in me!

Personal life and hobbies
In my spare time, I like reading books, playing keyboard, painting, singing and sketching. Sketching tops my hobbies list, because it makes me feel self-possessed. Below are a few sketches that I have made.
Sketch                 Sketch
Apart from this, I love spending quality time with my family and writing a diary.

Attitude of gratitude Executive Assistant Dipti FrancisI have always believed that being grateful for everything you have, is the key to happiness and abundance. Thus, I want to conclude this blog post by expressing my sincere gratitude to Peter, Kate, Jayant, and Rituka for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to be a part of the team. I want to specially thank Kate and Rituka for always being there for me whenever I need any help at my work place.

I get a very healthy working environment at, and all the team members are very supportive. I will continue to support the company's growth to the best of my abilities as an Executive Assistant or in whatever role I will work in the future. I look forward to having a great career with Business Solutions!

Dipti Francis
Executive Assistant Business Solutions

06 November 2017

Templates Manager For All SharePoint Document Libraries

Templates Manager logotypeToday we have released a new version of Templates Manager for SharePoint, the product that helps admins distribute templates to the whole organization and makes it easy for users to find the right template. Now Templates Manager User works on all kinds of SharePoint document library interfaces.

For both Publishers and Users
Templates Manager solves two problems: how to publish templates to the whole organization in one go and how to find and use the right template. Therefore the installation has two parts: Templates Manager Publisher and Templates Manager User.

When Templates Manager Publisher is activated on a site, a templates library that serves the whole farm or tenancy is created. In this library, administrators can upload, categorize, publish and remove template files. Templates Manager Publisher normally only needs to be activated on one or a few sites.
The Templates Manager Publisher ribbon group
Templates Manager User is intended to be used on many more sites, because this is the part that makes the templates available in document libraries. Templates Manager User allows the users to search or browse among all templates in a specified templates library and select the template that is best for each purpose.
The Templates Manager User Select Template button

SharePoint Online New experience and Office 365 Groups
Up till today, Templates Manager has only supported the classic experience interface. This was actually the only existing interface in all SharePoint editions when we released Templates Manager in 2015!

Office 365 logoAfter the release of Templates Manager, a lot has happened to SharePoint Online and Office 365. The new experience interface has been introduced in SharePoint Online libraries, lists and pages, and the Office 365 Groups have been much enhanced and are now used more widely than before.

Templates Manager supports all SharePoint editions, but many of our subscribers use Office 365 and SharePoint Online. Some of these organizations have kept the classic experience and others prefer to let their staff use Template Manager Client in their local Office applications.

However, our SharePoint products should never force any limitations. The easy choice of templates given by Templates Manager User should be available for everyone, even if they use the new experience interface and Office 365 Groups sites.

Templates Manager User Add-in The Templates Manager User Select Template button
It was not easy to find a solution that would support all SharePoint editions from 2010 and all kinds of document library interfaces. We decided to create an extra add-in for Templates Manager User, which only has to be installed by organizations who want to use the SharePoint Online new experience and Office 365 Groups.

Other organizations can just activate the sandboxed solutions of Templates Manager Publisher and Templates Manager User, as before. And if all users select templates with Templates Manager Client in their local Office applications, only the publisher part has to be activated.

Due to limitations in the new experience interface, the templates library can still only be used with the classic experience. We don't see that as a problem, as the publisher part is only used by a few people. What feels important now, is that we can offer a way to make Templates Manager User available in all kinds of SharePoint document libraries.

Upgrade upgrade Subscribers have free upgrades, and I recommend current users to upgrade their installations. The upgrade page has a description of the process, and if you are using Templates Manager in many sites we can give a PowerShell script that takes care of everything. Please contact if you have questions!

Try it! download iconEvaluators can try Templates Manager for SharePoint for 30 days without any obligations and with full support from the team. If your organization needs a smooth way to distribute document templates in SharePoint, welcome to have a look at Templates Manager!

Peter Kalmström
CEO and Systems Designer Business Solutions

03 November 2017

Kanban Task Manager SharePoint Editions with Checklists and Time Logging

Kanban Task Manager for SharePoint logotype I am happy to announce the release of the Kanban Task Manager SharePoint editions. In the new version, we have added several features that have been suggested by customers.

Kanban board with task cards
Kanban Task Manager adds a kanban board to SharePoint. Here all open tasks are represented by color coded cards, that can be dragged and dropped between the board's phases and lanes.

The cards can be searched and filtered in multiple ways, and each user can also have a "My Tasks" embedding on any SharePoint page. The demo below shows the sandboxed solution, but the add-in has nearly the same features.

Suggest, and we will do our best!
It is always a pleasure to hear comments from users of the products. People who handle our products on a daily basis know what can be enhanced, and we always listen to them. Then it is our job to find the technical solutions needed to make the suggestions real. We like such challenges, and I enjoy our discussions in the developer group!

We try to keep the additions free of extra charge for the customers who suggest them, but when the new feature that is time consuming to develop, we often ask for a sponsorship.

Time logging
Kanban Task Manager for SharePoint time logging Current users have also requested a possibility to register how long time has been spent on each task, just like they can do for tickets in our issue tracking products HelpDesk OSP and Folder HelpDesk.

A time logging feature has therefore been added to the next version, and it is managed in the same way as the subtasks: in the open task or in the details pane.

Each user enters the minutes he or she spent on the task, and the minutes for each entry are automatically added up and converted into hours. The hours per task, phase and responsible can then be studied in the Kanban Task Manager statistics.

A much requested feature among users has been a possibility to divide tasks into multiple to-do actions. When you get a task that requires multiple steps, it is helpful to list those steps and cross them out as work with the task proceeds. For simple tasks, you can just skip this procedure when it is not needed.

It has not been easy, but now we are happy to introduce a checklist for each task, where users can enter the steps needed to complete the task. The checklist can be managed in the open task or in the details pane, which opens when you right click on a task card on the kanban board.

Enable or skip
Both new features, checklists and time logging, must be enabled in the Kanban Task Manager settings before they can be used. Work groups that want to have a simpler task form and details pane can simply choose to not activate them.

Default values
The new version of Kanban Task Manager has default values for five of the fields in the task form: Responsible, Start Date, Due Date, Project and Priority.  These default values can of course be changed in the settings. We will soon release a demo that explains the default values, but it is already explained in detail in the manual.

One installation per team
A subscription to  Kanban Task Manager allows an unlimited number of installations, and most organizations select to install the product on multiple sites, to be used by different teams. That way each team can configure their Kanban Task Manager in the manner that is most efficient to them. With a common top navigation, managers can easily have an overview over how projects proceed in the various teams.

Upgrade upgrade iconUpgrades are always included in the Kanban Task Manager Subscription, and we recommend current subscribers are welcome to upgrade their installations.

Try download iconKanban Task Manager has a free trial period of 30 days. Please download and evaluate the product if you need a good way to manage tasks and projects!

The Kanban Task Manager SharePoint Add-in has also been updated, but it takes a few days before Microsoft has approved it for SharePoint Store. In the meantime, you can always download the latest version of the add-in from the website.

By Peter Kalmström
CEO and Systems Designer Business Solutions

17 October 2017

SharePoint Approvals with Built-In Workflow

SharePoint iconLast week I described how approvals can be handled in SharePoint libraries without using a workflow. To achieve that, I enabled features that are already there, and today I will continue down the same path. In a new article in the Tips section, I show how to activate and use the built-in Approvals workflow.

 When you just enable the Approvals column and don't use a workflow, the people who should approve must go into the library to see and approve or reject the new or changed item. A workflow can make the process easier, and the quickest way to add an approvals workflow to a document library is to use the built-in one.

OOTB workflow creates review task
SharePoint only has a few workflows that can be used out of the box, but there is an Approvals workflow to use in document libraries where the Approvals column is enabled. This workflow creates a task for the approver, and from that task the approver can open the file in question and approve or reject it. The approving person can also select to suggest changes and to send the file to another reviewer.

The built-in workflow can create review tasks for several people and at multiple stages. There are several more settings, like due date and what will happen if the file is rejected by someone or is changed when the workflow is still running.

All this sounds just fine, but there are some drawbacks. It is not possible to specify workflow conditions, for example that the workflow will only run for a specific file type, and users who can start the workflow manually can also change the workflow settings. Another problem is that you cannot see who has approved the file without opening the workflow page. Tips
My Tips article about SharePoint approvals with a built-in workflow contains the demo above and also a demo that shows how to remove the workflow from the document library.

In my next blog post about SharePoint approvals, I will compare the built-in Approvals column with a custom column. Both have their specific advantages and disadvantages, so it is important reading!

By Peter Kalmström
CEO and Systems Designer Business Solutions

12 October 2017

SharePoint Approvals without Workflows

SharePoint iconSharePoint document libraries are good for storing and sharing company files, but often new or changed documents should be approved before they are displayed to all users. The approval process can be configured and managed in many different ways, and I have begun introducing some of them in my SharePoint Workflow series.

Gone are the days when you printed your document and walked over to the boss or manager to have it approved before you printed and distributed more copies. Nowadays SharePoint has given us more efficient methods for approvals and distribution, but I have not found a built-in method that is perfect for everyone.

I plan to publish several articles on how a workflow or flow can streamline approval processes, but I have started with a description on how approvals of documents in SharePoint libraries can be managed without a workflow. It is important to know, to fully understand the subsequent articles.

The Tips article contains two demos, and you can also see them here below. In the first demo, I create a new SharePoint document library for files that should be approved and change the default setting so that approvals are required before publishing to all users.

In the second demo, I show what happens if you also enable major and minor versions in the library settings.

In my next Tips article, I will describe how you can manage approvals using one of the few existing built-in SharePoint workflows.

By Peter Kalmström
CEO and Systems Designer Business Solutions

26 September 2017

Open Form with SharePoint Workflow

SharePoint iconIn a new workflow article in the Tips section, I describe how the SharePoint Designer Initiate Form command can be used to give end users a simple issue reporting form that feeds into a more advanced tasks list.

Give each group what they need
Helpdesk and support staff often use SharePoint lists to manage the reported issues. In some organizations the end users are asked to create new items in that list as a way of reporting problems, but that is not an optimal process. For proper issue tracking, the helpdesk staff needs to have more information in each item than what is given by the person who has the problem.

A better solution is to give the end users a simple form and let a workflow copy the data entered there into the more detailed item used by the helpdesk people. When the workflow is started manually, which can be done via link or button, the form is displayed and the entered values copied to a new item in the SharePoint list automatically. Then the support staff can take care of it and fill out the rest of the fields.

SharePoint tasks list
SharePoint Designer iconIn the demo below, I create a SharePoint 2013 site workflow in SharePoint Designer and use the "Initiation Form Parameters" command to build a form for the end users. It only has a title field and a description field, so it is very easy for the users to fill out.

Then I can build the workflow so that it feeds the text entered by the end user to the corresponding fields in a SharePoint tasks list that is only used by the helpdesk staff.

' Folder HelpDesk logo If you need a more advanced helpdesk solution, with statistics and a lot of good features, offers two products: Folder HelpDesk for Outlook and HelpDesk OSP for Outlook and SharePoint. Welcome to our website to learn more!HelpDesk for Outlook and SharePoint logotype

By Peter Kalmström
CEO and Systems Designer Business Solutions

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