27 June 2017

SharePoint In The Mobile 1 - Inbuilt Options

SharePoint iconKeeping your information in SharePoint is generally a good idea. Security, flexibility, version control, workflows and flows all help to build a strong platform for collaboration.

The team are getting more and more requests from people who want to use SharePoint from their mobile phone or tablet, or from the computer when they are offline. They still want the same functionality, but less complexity and more touch ability and usability.

There are various options, 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 one together.

Here I will instead write a few posts about the options as I see them, and I will begin with the possibilities given by SharePoint itself.
  • The SharePoint App is available for Windows Phone, Android and iOS. It is confusing that the app sometimes switches over to the regular computer desktop web pages, but this app is evolving fast when Microsoft keeps adding features to it. Therefore it is getting more and more powerful.
  • The SharePoint Mobile Experience looks very clean, but so far the features are rather limited. SharePoint, especially SharePoint Online, detects when you browse a site using a mobile browser. You can also test this feature by putting an /m after the URL of your site, such as
  • SharePoint Forms display a cleaner user interface when you open a form in a mobile browser. However, that user interface does not load any web part modifications that you have done to the forms page. You can test this forms behavior by appending mobile=1 to the form URL. (You can also prevent a mobile browser from seeing the mobile form user interface by appending mobile=0 to the URL.)
  • SharePoint Mobile View Settings lets you decide how the view should be displayed in a mobile browser, such as how many items should be shown and if the view should be the default mobile view or prevented from showing in a mobile browser. I would recommend only using a few columns and items for a mobile view.
There are many more options, and several of them include using other apps and features supplied by Microsoft. That is what we will look at in the next blog post about SharePoint in the mobile.

By Peter Kalmström
CEO and Systems Designer Business Solutions

21 June 2017

Lead QA Becomes A Father On Father's Day

Vijayant Rimza's newborn daughter The team is happy to congratulate Lead QA Vijayant Rimza and his wife Monika to their newborn baby girl. The little princess was born right when Father's Day was celebrated in India, and we cannot imagine a better gift.

Reliable team member
I first met Vijayant when I attended his brother's wedding in 2010. At that time Vijayant was still studying for his Master of Computer Application exam, but the following year we could welcome him to the team.

Now Vijayant has been with us for six years, and he plays an important role in leading the QA team in the testing of new features and products. Vijayant is also an active member of the support team, as he often assists with the troubleshooting when a user reports a problem.
Peter Kalmström and Vijayant Rimza
Finally Vijayant makes sure that the solutions are user-friendly and fit well into SharePoint and Outlook, the platforms we build on.

In December 2015 I attended the wedding when Vijayant married his Monika. It was a wonderful party with more than 1000 guests, and I told you a bit about it in a blog post.

Next time I visited the team in Indore I was told that Vijayant and Monika were expecting a child, so it was no big surprise when they announced the birth of a baby girl this last Sunday.

Vijayant Rimza with his newborn daughterHappy family
The image to the right was taken at the hospital, and even if is dark I hope you can see Vijayant's happy smile when he for the first time holds his newborn daughter.

The Rimza family has given us two more team members. Now Jayant has become an elder father, or bade papa in Hindi, and Rituka is the baby's paternal aunt, bua. The bua is always a respected person, as she is the one who decides the name of the child.

The whole team wishes baby Rimza a bright future!

By Peter Kalmström
CEO and Systems Designer Business Solutions

07 June 2017

Enforce A SharePoint List Business Rule

SharePoint iconAll organizations have rules and guidelines for processes and procedures, and in an ideal world all employees follow them. In reality rules are forgotten, and in such cases it is convenient to have a reminder sent out automatically. When the business rule involves SharePoint, both can be done with a workflow.

In a new Tips article, I have described how a SharePoint workflow can reverse a forbidden action and send out a reminder about the correct process to the user who forgot the rule.

Tasks list
TimeCard for SharePoint icon I have taken a list in one of our products as an example. The default tasks list in Kanban Task Manager has no "Minutes worked" field, but new fields can be added just like in any other SharePoint list.

If a manager decides to add a "Minutes worked" field, it is probably important to have it filled out also – maybe so important that a task with "Minutes worked" set to 0 should be impossible to mark as completed. That is where the workflow come in.

Two conditions and two actions
SharePoint logoThe workflow that I create in the demo below has two conditions: the task status must be set to Completed and the "Minutes worked" value should be 0, which is the default value.

Two actions are performed when both conditions are met: the task status is reversed to In Progress and an e-mail with a reminder about the rule and a link to the task is sent to the person who last modified the task.

Even if I have used a tasks list in the demo and the Tips article, the workflow method can be used in many different ways. Regard my demo as an inspiration, an idea that you can adapt so that it suits your organization and its business rules.

Peter Kalmström,
CEO and Systems Designer Business Solutions