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