Google

18 September 2018

Flow for IM to Assigned

Flow icon SharePoint tasks lists are a good way to organize tasks within an organization, and it gets even better if you use a kanban board, like Kanban Task Manager, to visualize the tasks and the work process. When someone creates a task for another person, it is convenient to have a message about that sent out automatically.

Kanban Task Manager for SharePoint logotype In a new article in my SharePoint Flows series I show how to create a flow that sends a Skype message to a person who has been assigned a new task. This flow can be used whether you use the tasks list with Kanban Task Manager or not.

New task alerts
The SharePoint 'Alert me' command cannot be used to send notifications for new tasks to the assignee, but I have earlier published several Tips articles on how to use different kinds of workflows for e-mail alerts to the person who has been assigned a new task. Such automatic e-mails can also be sent automatically with a flow.

Sometimes an instant message is more efficient than an e-mail, and in the new Tips article I describe how to create a flow that sends a Skype message to the assignee. To make the flow more useful, I add a link to the new task in the message. Thus the assigned person just have to click on the link to reach the task.



Complex and simple flows
Flow is a versatile tool that can be used with a wide range of cloud based services, not only with SharePoint, to automate processes that need to be performed repeatedly. In some cases it can be rather complicated to create a flow, and I showed an example on that in the beginning of this month, when I wrote a blog post about a flow that sends e-mails based on list data and where attachments needed to be included.

Skype icon To create a flow that sends a Skype message when a new task has been created is a much easier process. If you have never before created a flow, this flow is a suitable one to start with. In my Tips article about the IM to assigned flow I have listed the steps as a further help to follow the demo.

By Peter Kalmström
CEO and Systems Designer
kalmstrom.com Business Solutions

05 September 2018

Flow that Sends E-mails Based on SharePoint List Items

Flow iconAs you probably know, the kalmstrom.com YouTube channel has many subscribers, currently nearly 15.000, and I am glad that my demos attract such great interest. I am often asked to create demos on specific topics, but I have no possibility to comply with all requests without charging for it.

However, a couple of days ago I read a question that really interested me: how to send e-mails from a shared mailbox with content based on SharePoint list items. If you don't allow e-mail attachments, this is easily managed with a flow that picks e-mail data from a SharePoint list item.

But this subscriber wanted to include attachments in the outgoing e-mails. That makes it a lot more complicated, and this is what intrigued me. I decided to find out how to manage the process the subscriber asked about – for my own sake! I began searching and found inspiration from several sources, but a blog post by Django Lohn put me on the right track. You can see the result in the demo below, and as usual there is also an article in the kalmstrom.com Tips section.

So, why did I find this question so interesting? It was not only that I did not know how to do it from the beginning. Letting users add e-mail data to a SharePoint list is in some cases better than letting them send from a shared mailbox:
  • Using a SharePoint list and a flow gives better control of what is sent.
  • The data of the outgoing e-mails is gathered in a SharePoint list, where it can be sorted, filtered, searched and displayed in different views – something that is more difficult to do in a shared mailbox.
  • You don't have to give a lot of people access to the shared mailbox. They only need permission to create items in the SharePoint list.
This demo is created for my upcoming book about SharePoint Flows, and it will be one of the most advanced ones. I have listed the Flow steps in the Tips article, so please give it a try!




By Peter Kalmström
CEO and Systems Designer
kalmstrom.com Business Solutions

31 August 2018

Pivot Explorer for SharePoint List Items Released

Pivot Explorer logotype Today I am happy to announce the release of a new kalmstrom.com product: Pivot Explorer for SharePoint Lists is a SharePoint add-in that helps users explore, analyze and visualize list data directly in SharePoint, without exporting it to Excel.

Explore SharePoint list data
Pivot Explorer for SharePoint Lists is designed for workgroups or organizations who store data in SharePoint lists. With the help of Pivot Explorer, users can visualize the list data online.

The Pivot Explorer add-in makes data exploration flexible, as it supports a range of multidimensional charts and tables.

For numerical data, various aggregate functions like count, average, percentage and more can be applied to get sum details for different parameters.


Save or export views
Users can save and load their favorite views with just a few clicks and make them available to all users of the site. The current view can also be exported to Excel, image or PDF.

kamlstrom.com Trial icon Trial and Documentation
If your organization is looking for an option to explore SharePoint data effectively, I recommend that you try Pivot Explorer. For evaluators who don’t want to use their personal data, we have given an Example list with some data you can play around with.

We give full support during the 30 days free trial, so you don’t have to hesitate to contact our Support team whenever you need assistance. Please also study the Pivot Explorer manual, which explains the features and functionality in detail.

Subscription
You may subscribe to Pivot Explorer on a monthly or yearly basis. Our subscriptions include free support and upgrades, and on top of that, an unlimited number of users and installations without any extra fees.

Welcome to contact our Sales Department in case you have any queries regarding the subscription.

By Peter Kalmström
CEO and Systems Designer
kalmstrom.com Business Solutions

27 August 2018

Flow Alerts With Links To SharePoint Items

Microsoft Flow icon In an earlier blog post, I announced a new Tips article about links in workflow generated e-mail notifications. Now I have created a similar links article for Flow.

Flows versus workflows
Microsoft Flow is a cloud based service, part of Office 365, so currently it cannot be used with SharePoint on-premises. Workflows, on the other hand, are created in SharePoint Designer and can be used with all SharePoint editions.

Enter in e-mail body
In the demo below, I create a flow that sends an e-mail notification when a new document is created in a SharePoint Online library. I paste links to one specific document in various modes into the e-mail body, and then I replace the specific parts of the link code with dynamic fields that can be selected in the flow editor. This way, the links will always point to the new document.

You may of course also write in the links and directly click on the dynamic fields you need, to insert them in their proper places in the link code. I had some trouble getting them in the right place with my method!



Beware of name changes
If you are using a link with the dynamic field "File name with extension", which I do in one of the links, you should be aware that the link will stop working if the filename is changed after the notification e-mail has been sent. Name changes of documents are especially common when users create new documents directly in the SharePoint document library. That document will automatically be named as "Document", "Presentation" and so on, depending on file type.

Hopefully users have learned to rename the document into something more descriptive, but if they are allowed to create new documents and not just upload them, the flow must be given a delay before it runs. That way users will have time to re-name their documents.

I hope my two tips about links in workflow or flow generated e-mails have been useful! People might forget or ignore notifications without links, but if they can interact with a new document by just clicking on a link, there is a much better chance that it is actually read.

By Peter Kalmström
CEO and Systems Designer
kalmstrom.com Business Solutions

13 August 2018

Add Links to SharePoint Workflow E-mails

SharePoint iconDo you use a workflow to send e-mail notifications about changes in a SharePoint list or library? In that case, you might be interested in my new Tips article where I show how to add various links to the e-mail body.

Built-in alerts
Automatic e-mail notifications are useful when you want to draw attention to changes in a SharePoint list or library. Microsoft has given an Alert feature for such e-mails, and it is very easy for users to turn on such alerts for themselves. However, these alerts give no possibility to customize the body of the e-mail.

Custom alerts
SharePoint Designer iconMany organizations prefer to create their own notification workflows, to have better control over when and to whom the e-mails are sent. A workflow also gives many options for customization of the e-mail body.

You can for example add links in the e-mail, so that the recipients quickly can reach various kinds of information. It might however be complicated to get these links to work as intended, so I hope my article in the kalmstrom.com Tips section will be helpful.

Workflow generated e-mail with links
Link code examples
In the demo below, I show how to build different links that might be useful in automatic e-mails. The demo is included in the Tips article, and the article also has all the link codes so that you can study them more easily.



In a later article, I will give examples on how to add links to e-mails that are sent by a flow. Flows are easier to work with than workflows, but they only support SharePoint Online and they also have some other limitations.

By Peter Kalmström
CEO and Systems Designer
kalmstrom.com Business Solutions

26 July 2018

E-mail Converter for Azure and SharePoint Works 24/7

E-mail Converter logotype Last week I told you about the update of E-mail Converter for Outlook and SharePoint, the add-in that creates SharePoint list items from e-mails. Now we will soon release E-mail Converter for Azure and SharePoint. The Azure edition will convert e-mails automatically 24/7.

HelpDesk OSP on a sever
E-mail Converter was earlier called HelpDesk OSP, and under that name it has been sold as an issue tracking tool to organizations all over the world. It has worked excellently for companies that only uses the add-in for manual conversion and for creating new SharePoint list items from Outlook.

For automatic conversion, the solution has been less perfect, because E-mail Converter for Outlook and SharePoint requires that each user has the add-in installed and that one of the Outlook instances is running. When customers want the conversion to take place even if no user has Outlook open, we have so far recommended them to install the add-in on a server where Outlook is running all the time.

The kalmstrom.com support team has used HelpDesk OSP/E-mail Converter this way on a virtual computer for many years, and it has worked fairly well. It has however not been a perfect solution, as there were downtimes when the VM had to be restarted. Now we have solved this issue by developing E-mail Converter for Azure and SharePoint.

Lower cost and better performance with Azure
When the QA team found E-mail Converter for Azure and SharePoint ready for it, we started to use the new edition for the kalmstrom.com support e-mails. Our callers have not noticed any difference, of course, but for the company it has meant improved operation and better economy, compared to using a virtual machine.

Azure icon
We are using a free plan for the E-mail Converter for Azure and SharePoint web site on Azure, so we only have to pay for the Scheduler, which is EUR 12 or USD 14 per month. That is only a fifth of the cost for the VM we used before!

During the month we have used E-mail Converter for Azure and SharePoint in production there have been no downtimes, and we don't expect any such issues to happen in the future. We have thus managed to combine increased performance with lowered cost, something that always makes me, as a business owner, feel very content :-)

For auto-conversion only
E-mail Converter for Azure and SharePoint can of course only be used for automatic conversion of e-mails. That is what we need for the support mail, E-mail Converter for Outlook and SharePoint icon but we will continue using the Outlook edition of E-mail Converter for manual conversion and to create SharePoint list items from Outlook. Both editions have their benefits and range of application.

E-mail Converter for Azure and SharePoint will be published in a few weeks, and we will of course announce the release here in the blog.

By Peter Kalmström
CEO and Systems Designer
kalmstrom.com Business Solutions

16 July 2018

HelpDesk OSP Becomes E-mail Converter

E-mail Converter logotype An update of the kalmstrom.com add-on that connects Outlook to SharePoint has been released. This time, the product has been renamed from HelpDesk OSP to E-mail Converter. As it can be used to create SharePoint list items from all kinds of e-mails, we found the "helpdesk" name too restricting. Changing product name is not something you do easily, but in this case we found it justified.

Convert e-mails manually or automatically
When HelpDesk OSP was first built, it was sponsored by a customer who was already using Folder HelpDesk for Outlook but wanted to have the helpdesk tickets in SharePoint instead. That influenced us when we named the new product, but later we have seen that customers find the product useful for other purposes than helpdesk and user support.


Finally we decided to change the name to better reflect what the add-in actually does, and the new name is E-mail Converter. With this product, users can convert e-mails manually and place them in any SharePoint list that has been added to the E-mail Converter.

E-mail Converter can also convert e-mails to SharePoint list items automatically, by monitoring an Outlook folder. An Outlook rule can direct certain e-mails to that folder, and users may of course also drag e-mails they want to convert to the folder. It is a good idea to use several monitored folders and let them convert e-mails to different SharePoint lists.

Create blank tickets
With E-mail Converter installed, users can also create totally new SharePoint list items from Outlook. They don't need to have SharePoint open, because the item will be shown in Outlook so that the details can be filled out.

When a helpdesk team uses E-mail Converter, they can either fill out the details for the person who reports a problem or select the caller from the organisation's global address book.

Everything is kept
If the e-mail has attachments or embedded images and links in the e-mail body, this is transferred to the list item. Converting an e-mail with E-mail Converter is actually a good way of getting embedded images into SharePoint list items. To add them directly in the item is more complicated.

Auto-upgrades
The fifth version of HelpDesk OSP - or the first of E-mail Converter - has more news than the name change. A big part of the code has been updated to work better in the future and make further enhancements possible.

A few improvements have also been added, for example the automatic upgrades. Once users get version 5 installed, they will no longer have to download new versions from the kalmstrom.com website. Instead E-mail Converter will give an upgrade prompt when there is a new version.

kalmstrom.com Upgrade icon If your organization has subscribed to HelpDesk OSP, you may upgrade it to E-mail Converter by downloading the setup file from the kalmstrom.com website.

Trial and Subscription
kamlstrom.com Trial icon Would your organization benefit from a solution that converts e-mails to SharePoint list items? In that case, I suggest that you try E-mail Converter. You may evaluate the solution for 30 days without any obligations. In case you need assistance during the evaluation period, do not hesitate to contact our Support team.

E-mail Converter can be subscribed to on a monthly or yearly basis. My colleagues at the Sales department are always here to help you, if you have any questions regarding the subscription.

By Peter Kalmström
CEO and Systems Designer
kalmstrom.com Business Solutions

20 June 2018

SharePoint Online Exercises With A Modern Approch

SharePoint Online Exercises Cover My book SharePoint Online Exercises has been updated with a new chapter on modern sites, where I include many tips for use of these limited but easily created communication and team sites. The new chapter has a link to a kalmstrom.com Tips article with the demo below, which I hope will be a useful complement to the more detailed information in the book.

Visio Web Access deprecated
SharePoint Online Exercises was first published in January 2017, but frequent updates are necessary as Microsoft develops SharePoint Online rapidly.

Microsoft also removes things from SharePoint Online, and that is what will happen to the Visio Web Access web part on 30 September 2018. I had an exercise with this web part in the earlier versions of the book, but now it has been replaced with a modern sites exercise.

Modern sites
Apart from the classic team site, which all SharePoint users have come to know, Microsoft has recently introduced a modern team site that is very easy to create. The modern team site is created from the SharePoint home page, so it doesn't require access to the SharePoint admin center. A modern communications site can also be created from SharePoint home.
SharePoint modern site options
The modern sites have limitations, compared to classic sites and subsites, but there are also advantages apart from the easy creation. They adapt well to mobile devices, and an Office 3565 group is created automatically when you create a modern team site.

Modern SharePoint sites are mostly used for short-term cooperation and announcements, for example around a specific project. It is however also possible to create a simple intranet with modern sites, and in the new exercise I show how you can get the navigation to work when there is no hierarchy and how you make it easily available to all users.


Confusion and assistance
Modern sites have no support for SharePoint add-ins and sandboxed solutions, so the kalmstrom.com SharePoint products can only be used on classic sites. The kalmstrom.com support team has however noticed a certain confusion among evaluators who are not clear about the difference between classic and modern team sites.

For new users SharePoint can be overwhelming, but the kalmstrom.com support team is always there to explain and assist. Apart from the product development, we also help organizations to build and manage their SharePoint systems.

Use with SharePoint Online from Scratch
SharePoint Online Exercises can very well can be used stand-alone by readers who already have some knowledge about SharePoint, but for a more comprehensive learning I recommend to combine it with my book SharePoint Online from Scratch.

While SharePoint Online Exercises contains a number of hands-on step-by-step instructions on how to create specific business solutions, SharePoint Online from Scratch explains in detail how SharePoint is built and how it can be used, from the very basic to advanced features.

Peter Kalmström on Amazon.com Both books are sold through Amazon, and they are available in paperback as well as Kindle e-book format.

By Peter Kalmström
CEO and Systems Designer
kalmstrom.com Business Solutions

05 June 2018

SharePoint Kanban Board - Sandboxed or Add-in?

Kanban Task Manager for SharePoint logotype Kanban Task Manager is a kalmstrom.com solution that helps a workgroup manage their projects and tasks on a virtual kanban board. Apart from the Outlook Workgroup and Single editions, Kanban Task Manager comes in two SharePoint editions: sandboxed solution and add-in/app. Here I will discuss benefits and drawbacks of the add-in as compared to the sandboxed solution.

Sandboxed solution and Add-in/App
We have chosen to develop and market two SharePoint editions of Kanban Task Manager, a sandboxed solution and an add-in. Even if nearly all the features are the same, there are some differences that made us decide on two editions. I will mention a few of the differences here, and you can find a full list on the kalmstrom.com comparison page.

If you are using SharePoint 2010, the Kanban Task Manager sandboxed solution is the only option, because add-ins were not introduced until SharePoint 2013. However, if you are using a later SharePoint on-premises, or SharePoint Online, you may use either edition.

Different installation
Some organizations prefer the add-in edition of Kanban Task Manager, because it is easier to install. The sandboxed solution must be uploaded to each site collection's solutions gallery and then activated there and on each site where it should be used. Kanban Task Manager SharePoint Add-in, on the other hand, can be added to a SharePoint site directly from SharePoint Store, and it can also be published to the farm's or tenant's App Catalog and then added to a site with the "add an app" command.


Add-in limitations
Even if there are a few less clicks to install Kanban Task Manager SharePoint Add-in, it has some limitations, like all SharePoint add-ins. These depend on the fact that the add-in architecture creates another SharePoint site to contain the app, what is called the "app web". The communication between the "host web" and the "app web" is constrained both by the way the SharePoint API works and by browser security limitations.

Therefore, it is not possible to move tasks between different kanban boards or to show tasks from multiple boards in "My Tasks", when you use the add-in. With the sandboxed solution of Kanban Task Manager, users can do this if enabled in the settings.

Another add-in limitation is that the task form does not support attachments, videos and inline images in the description field, something that works well in the sandboxed solution. To solve that problem, we have given the add-in a Kanban Task Manager App Part with another task form. This form works in the same way as in the sandboxed solution.

When you are using the sandboxed solution, you can save a site with a Kanban Task Manager installation as a template, and that is not possible with the add-in.
SharePoint groups
The sandboxed solution also supports all kinds of SharePoint groups, while the add-in only allows you to select a person or a permission group as responsible for a task. However, we have an idea on how to make the add-in also support all groups, and we hope to include this enhancement in the next version of Kanban Task Manager SharePoint Add-in.

Add-in support for modern team sites
SharePoint Online has two kinds of team sites: the classic team site that is created in the SharePoint Admin center and the modern team site that all users by default can create from the SharePoint home page. I have discussed the differences in a kalmstrom.com Tips article about modern and classic site collections.

The modern team site is more limited than the classic one, so the sandboxed solution of Kanban Task Manager cannot be used with these sites. The add-in, on the other hand, works well with both modern and classic team sites.

Trial and Subscription
kamlstrom.com Trial icon If you have not yet tried Kanban Task Manager, you may download the full version of the sandboxed solution or the add-in and evaluate it for next 30 days. We provide full support during the evaluation period. The kalmstrom.com Support team is always here to help you if you should need any assistance.

You can subscribe to Kanban Task Manager on monthly as well as yearly basis. In case you have any queries regarding product subscriptions, please do not hesitate to contact our Sales department.

Peter Kalmstrom
CEO and Systems Designer
kalmstrom.com Business Solutions

17 May 2018

New version of Kanban Task Manager for Outlook Workgroup Edition

Kanban Task Manager for Outlook logotype We have successfully released version 7 of the Kanban Task Manager for Outlook Workgroup edition. Among the new features we can find more views (in addition to the kanban board), a checklist option, time logging and default values. From version 7, the Workgroup edition also has automatic upgrades.

Outlook Add-in
The Workgroup edition of Kanban Task Manager for Outlook is an Outlook add-in that adds a kanban board to Outlook. It is intended for organizations and teams who cooperate on tasks and projects. Data and settings are shared via a database or a SharePoint site.


With Kanban Task Manager, the team members can manage their tasks together on a shared kanban board. New tasks are easily created and tagged with important info selected from dropdowns. E-mails can be converted into tasks with a ‘Convert’ button, so the team members can generate tasks for any e-mails related to a project. The task will be visible to all users who have Kanban Task Manager for Outlook installed.

Default Values
To make the task creation even quicker, the new version of Kanban Task Manager gives default values for some of the parameters that the tasks are tagged with. These values can of course be changed in the settings, and there is also an option to not use default values at all.

Simplifying the work
The kalmstrom.com developers have added a checklist feature to version 7 of Kanban Task Manager, to help users work more efficiently with tasks. When a task is complicated, users can make sure they don’t miss anything by adding a checklist to the task. The checklist can be managed from a details pane on the kanban board.

Supervise and control
The new version of Kanban Task Manager, gives more options for managers to control how the work with projects and tasks is proceeding. There are two new views, Daily Trend and Day Report, and we have also added a time logging feature.
Day Report image
When users register how much time they spend on a task, managers will have a good overview of the work process. Each time a team member works on a task, he/she can enter the time in minutes in the details pane. The total time will be automatically converted into hours, and the hours per task, phase and project can be studied in the Kanban Task Manager Excel reports.

kalmstrom.com Upgrade icon Upgrade
If your organization is a subscriber to the Kanban Task Manager for Outlook Workgroup edition, you can upgrade your solution by downloading the setup file from the kalmstrom.com website.

Next time the upgrade process will be automatic. Users will receive an upgrade notification whenever we release a new version of Kanban Task Manager for Outlook. They just have to click on the ‘Upgrade’ button to upgrade the installation. All data and settings will be kept.

kamlstrom.com Trial icon Trial and Subscription
If you and your team are looking for a solution to manage tasks and projects together, I would recommend you to try the Workgroup edition of Kanban Task Manager for Outlook. You can evaluate the solution for 30 days without any obligations. Our Support team is here to help you, whenever you need assistance during the evaluation period.

You can subscribe to Kanban Task Manager for Outlook on monthly or yearly basis. In case you have any questions regarding the subscription, you may contact me or my colleagues at the Sales department.

Dipti Francis
Executive Assistant
kalmstrom.com Business Solutions

02 May 2018

Default Tags and New Views in New Kanban Task Manager Single

Kanban Task Manager for Outlook logotype Today, I am happy to announce the release of Kanban Task Manager Single V7. In the new version, we have added several new features which will help users to work more efficiently with their tasks and projects. The design of the kanban board has also been improved.

Outlook Add-ins
Kanban Task Manager is a kalmstrom.com solution that helps users manage tasks and projects on a virtual kanban board. It comes in two Outlook editions: Workgroup and Single. Kanban Task Manager Single is intended for one user, who wants an efficient method to manage professional and/or personal tasks. In the Single edition, the tasks cannot be shared.


The Workgroup edition is intended for a team, who wants to cooperate on tasks and projects. We will soon release a new version of Kanban Task Manager for Outlook too.

Checklist and Time Logging
The new version of Kanban Task Manager Single, has several good features. Two of them are the Checklist and the Time Logging. Both features can be managed in the Details pane to the right on the kanban board.

Checklist icon You can simplify work with complicated tasks by adding checklists to them. Check the box at each step you have completed as your work with the task proceeds. The task card on the kanban board will display the checklist count.

You can change the sequence of the checklist items by drag and drop. If you want to remove or delete a checklist, just drag it out of the Details pane.

Time Logging icon The time logging feature helps you keep track of the time you have spent on a particular task and is especially important for users who charge for their tasks. Each time you work on a task, enter the time in minutes in the details pane. The minutes will be added automatically, and the total time will be shown in hours. You can also study the time in the Excel reports.

Default Values
The new version of Kanban Task Manager Single, has default values for the task parameters, Start date, Due date, Project and Priority. You can change the default values in the settings or select Empty to not use default values at all. The ‘default value’ options are:
  • Start Date: the current date
  • Due Date: the current date plus one
  • Project: the first project in the list
  • Priority: Normal

New kanban views
We have added two more views in the new version of Kanban Task Manager: the Daily Trend and the Day Report. The Daily Trend displays the status of all tasks from the last 30 days in a line chart. The line chart is updated at each time a task is modified.
Daily Trend image
The Day Report shows the number of tasks that were created, open, closed, delayed and modified on the selected date.
Day Report image

Upgrade
kalmstrom.com Upgrade icon If you are already using Kanban Task Manager Single, you are welcome to upgrade your solution. This upgrade will be the last time you download the setup file from the kalmstrom.com website. Next time the upgrade will be automatic.

From the next time, whenever we release a new version of Kanban Task Manager Single, you will get an update notification on your PC. You just have to click on the update button, and your installation will be updated. All your settings and tasks will be kept.

Trial and Subscription
kamlstrom.com Trial icon If you are looking for a way to manage your tasks, I would recommend you to evaluate Kanban Task Manager Single. We provide a 30 days free trial of the full version. Don't you hesitate to contact our Support team if you should need any assistance.

You can subscribe to Kanban Task Manager Single, on monthly or yearly basis. In case you have any queries regarding the subscription, you may contact me or my colleagues at the Sales department.

Dipti Francis
Executive Assistant
kalmstrom.com Business Solutions

27 April 2018

Bye Office 365 Video, Welcome Microsoft Stream

Microsoft Office 365 VideoLast year, Microsoft released a new corporate video-sharing service, Microsoft Stream, that will eventually replace Office 365 Video. Therefore, my book Office 365 from Scratch had to be updated with a new chapter, and the kalmstrom.com Tips section needed a new article.

As you might have seen earlier, the new edition of Office 365 from Scratch has been on the market for a while, and a new article and demo have also been created.

Office 365 E3 edition
Microsoft Stream is intended for video sharing within an organization, and it can be used both stand-alone and integrated in Office 365. There are different Plans with more or less features, but in the demo below I am using the Stream edition that is included in the Enterprise E3 Office 365 subscriptions.

Transition from Video
Office 365 Video was launched as late as 2015, so it is also a fairly new product. Despite this, Microsoft decided to create another video service. Microsoft has promised a smooth transition from Video to Stream, but the deprecation of Video will of course still create problems for users and administrators.

Even if Microsoft can transfer all content from Office 365 Video into Stream and make sure that existing Video embed codes and links will redirect to the Stream content, people have to re-learn after so recently having gotten used to Video. The process will be easier if users see that Stream is better than Video, and in my opinion the switch is worth the trouble. Stream has several benefits.

SharePoint groups
Office 365 Groups
Stream is much more than just a password-protected version of YouTube. In the demo below I just show the basics, but in Office 365 from Scratch I describe how Stream is connected to Office 365 Groups. This means that Stream has two ways to categorize videos: channels to organize them by content and groups to limit access to certain videos.

Auto-generated transcripts
Stream can generate a transcript when the video sound is in English or Spanish. I am sure Stream transcripts will support more languages in the future, because even if you should edit the transcript to make it perfect this is a very useful feature.

The Stream search feature uses the transcripts, so editing them is important also to optimize the search. It is easy to edit the transcripts, as they are shown beside the videos and you can follow the audio and text closely.

Share videos
Stream makes it easy to share videos and channels within Office 365, and the permissions are kept in the sharing. You can for example:
  • Embed a video in a SharePoint Online wiki page.
  • Use the Stream web part to insert a video or channel in a modern SharePoint page.
  • Add a tab with a Stream video or channel in a Teams channel.
  • Paste a Stream video link into a Yammer conversation.
  • Paste a Stream video link into a OneNote page.
  • Embed a Stream video in a Sway.

You can find much more information about Stream and other Office 365 services in my book. Office 365 is being enhanced continuously, and new features are added each month. With Stream, Microsoft has given us a powerful tool for internal video sharing – I just wish that it had been published instead of Video from the beginning!

Peter Kalmstrom
CEO and Systems Designer
kalmstrom.com Business Solutions

16 April 2018

Enhanced Checklist And New Views In Updated Kanban Task Manager

Kanban Task Manager for SharePoint logotype A few months ago, we released a new version of the Kanban Task Manager SharePoint editions. It had several new good features, and we got positive customer feedback for the enhancements.

Now we have released an update of Kanban Task Manager, giving more possibilities to these features. Two new views, the Daily Trend and the Day Report, have also been added in this version. At this time, we have only released the sandboxed solution, but we will release the add-in very soon.

Kanban Task Manager
Kanban Task Manager is among the most popular kalmstrom.com solutions. It helps a workgroup visualize and manage their tasks or projects on a virtual kanban board in SharePoint.

There are two SharePoint editions of Kanban Task Manager: sandboxed solution and add-in/app. The sandboxed solution is uploaded to the solutions gallery in the root site of a SharePoint site collection, while the add-in can be installed from SharePoint Store to the site where it should be used. The add-in can also be downloaded from kalmstrom.com website to the organization’s App Catalog and installed from there.


Enhanced Checklist feature
Checklist icon One of the useful Kanban Task Manager features is the Checklist. Once you enable this feature, you can add a checklist to any complicated task and keep track of the work done in a simple way.

In the new version, the kalmstrom.com developers have enhanced this feature and made it more user friendly. Now the task card displays the checklist count if you have added a checklist to that task. Also, by dragging and dropping the checklist items, you can change their sequence or even remove them.

The New Kanban Views
Kanban Task Manager has various views where you can study the tasks from different aspects, and we have now added two more views: the Daily Trend and the Day Report. The Daily Trend view displays the statuses of all tasks from the last 30 days in a line chart representation. The line chart shows the number of tasks that are open, closed or have been created each day.
Daily Trend image
The Day Report shows task activities on a specified day. You can select the date of your choice and view the tasks that were created, open, delayed, modified and closed and also see which people or groups worked with them.
Day Report image
Upgrade
kalmstrom.com Upgrade icon Our subscriptions include support as well as upgrades. If your organization is a subscriber to the Kanban Task Manager sandboxed solution, you are welcome to upgrade it.

Trial and Subscription
kamlstrom.com Trial icon If you have not yet tried Kanban Task Manager for SharePoint, you may download the full version and evaluate it for next 30 days. We provide full support during the evaluation period. Our Support team is always here to help you if you should need any assistance.

You can subscribe to Kanban Task Manager on monthly as well as yearly basis. In case you have any queries regarding product subscriptions, please do not hesitate to contact me or my colleagues at the Sales department.

Dipti Francis
Executive Assistant
kalmstrom.com Business Solutions

05 April 2018

Office 365 from Scratch Updated and Expanded

Office 365 from Scratch coverMy book Office 365 from Scratch is now published in a second version. During the year this paperback and e-book has been for sale on Amazon, Microsoft has made many important changes to their online platform. An update was necessary, and in the process I have also added 60 pages with more detailed information.

Purpose
Office 365 has become a huge topic, and everything cannot be covered even in an expanded version of my book. For one of the included parts, SharePoint, I have published a book of its own, SharePoint Online from Scratch, and I could do the same with Power BI, PowerApps and several other services that come with an Office 365 subscription. Maybe I will!

My aim with Office 365 from Scratch is instead to help decision makers and administrators to learn what possibilities the platform gives, to introduce the different parts of Office 365 and specify the right words for the features in apps and services.

Office 365 Sway iconWith such basic knowledge, you will know what things are called and which features are interesting to your organization, so that you can continue your exploration online if needed.

Another goal with Office 365 from Scratch is to describe how different Office 365 apps and services build on or enhance each other. SharePoint is for example used in Office 365 Groups, which in turn is heavily used in Planner, Teams and Stream.

Office 365 Teams icon Online complements
In some cases the book gives links to Microsoft information, but most frequent in the book are the links to my own articles with video demonstrations on kalmstrom.com. I hope these articles will enhance the information in the book.

The articles have been updated as much as my time has allowed it, but I have made the book a priority. All text and all screenshots in Office 365 from Scratch are valid for the latest version of Office 365, and sometimes I also mention Microsoft's future plans for the apps I describe.
Office 365 Sway icon
When I first published Office 365 from Scratch, Teams was just in preview and Video and Sway was very recently launched. Now, one year later, Microsoft has improved Teams and Sway considerably – and decided to withdraw Video!

Microsoft Office 365 Video A new service, Stream, will replace Video, so the Video chapter in my book has of course been replaced with a chapter about Stream. The Teams and Sway articles and demos on kalmstrom.com have been updated, and there is a short Stream article. I will create a Stream demo as soon as possible.

Office 365 Forms icon
Microsoft Forms is another new service, which did not exist at all when I wrote the first edition of Office 365 from Scratch. Now Forms has its own chapter in the book, where I describe how you easily can create and distribute surveys and quizzes and study the results of them.

Thanks to my colleagues
With all work, designing custom solutions as well as updated features in the kalmstrom.com standard products, I would not have had time to update Office 365 from Scratch by myself. My mother Kate has made considerable contributions, and Rituka and Dipti have proof-read everything and given important comments on both language and content.

SharePoint iconThese three did also assist me in the recent update of SharePoint Online from Scratch, so even if I am the author and responsible for all content, my books have been written as a team work. Now we will take on new challenges!

By Peter Kalmström
CEO and Systems Designer
kalmstrom.com Business Solutions

12 March 2018

High Fashion Engagement for kalmstrom.com Manager

The kalmstrom.com team congratulates General Manager, Rituka Rimza, who recently was engaged to Nicky Karamchandani. The engagement, in Hindi called ‘Sagai’ or ‘Mangani’, is one of the pre-wedding rituals in India, where two people exchange rings and formally accept each other in front of family and friends. Below is the happily engaged couple.
RitukaNicky
The engagement was held one day before Rituka’s birthday, so there was another celebration at night after 12am.

The beautiful story begun when these two soul mates met through one of their mutual friends. They shared a good bonding, so the initial few days of friendship were quite enough for them to decide that they could move ahead and turn their friendship into a relationship. After a few meetings with the families, the two were a couple.

Nicky is a professional Fashion Designer, and Rituka is a fashion freak. Isn’t that a perfect combination? 😉 A faithful companion, good understanding and a reliable relationship – what else can anybody need to spend a life in beauty?

RitukaNicky This engagement was one of the most special events in the Rimza family, as Rituka is the youngest and the only sister to her two brothers, Jayant & Vijayant, and now will be married soon. The engagement party was organized at Hotel Bee Town in Indore, where friends and families gathered to celebrate the auspicious occasion. After the ring ceremony, Rituka and Nicky cut the engagement cake. Both the families exchanged gifts, best wishes and blessed the beautiful couple.

The kalmstrom.com team congratulates Rituka and Nicky and wishes them the best of luck for the future.

I hope to be back here in the future with the most exciting stuff from their wedding. Stay tuned!

Dipti Francis
Executive Assistant
kalmstrom.com Business Solutions