12 March 2018

High Fashion Engagement for Manager

The 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.
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 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 Business Solutions

21 February 2018

Fifth Edition Of "SharePoint Online From Scratch" Released

SharePoint Online from Scratch cover SharePoint Online develops very fast, and to keep up with Microsoft I have to update my book SharePoint Online from Scratch often. The book is intended for administrators who are new to SharePoint, so it is important that the book describes what they actually see on the screen!

Book and e-book in five editions
The first SharePoint Online from Scratch e-book was published on Amazon in March 2016. The first paperback edition came a month later, and after that there have been several updates. The new edition, published last week, is number 5 already!

Modern interface
Most of the latest update concerns the SharePoint modern interface, which is developing very fast. As Microsoft has promised to keep both the classic and the modern interface side by side, it has been important to me to show the differences and explain when each interface is to prefer.

Manual with progression
Microsoft has a lot of SharePoint instructions online, but they have no real course or manual with a progression. That makes it difficult for beginners, because how can you search for something when you don't even know that it exists? You have to know the possibilities and what things are called, before you can start looking for more information online.

That is where my book comes in. By explaining how SharePoint Online works and how everything is connected, I can give a good base for further exploration online. I also give examples on how you can use your knowledge to enhance typical business process, something that I hope will encourage readers to creative thinking when it comes to their own organizations.

Video tutorials
Variation is important in all learning, and to explain things in a different way I have added links to my own articles with video demonstrations in SharePoint Online from Scratch. I believe this combination of textbook and video is a good way to explain things.

SharePoint Online from Scratch is used in IT training courses, together with the articles. This combination, book + demos + teacher explanations, sounds perfect to me and will surely produce more SharePoint nerds like me!

Practical use
SharePoint Online from Scratch focuses on no-code, hands-on instructions and explanations on how to practically make use of a SharePoint tenant for collaboration within an organization.

But even if I have this practical approach, I also want SharePoint Online from Scratch to give a real understanding of why things are done the way they are. If you have that understanding, it will be easy to figure out how new SharePoint versions work.

E-book or paperback?
If you are interested in my book I recommend that you read more about SharePoint Online from Scratch on the website. There I have also gathered some reviews that I am very proud of.

The actual content of the e-book and paperback is the same, but if you buy the digital copy, you will have all images in color and clickable links to the articles.

The paperback of SharePoint Online from Scratch has 430 pages, so I decided to not use color here. That way I can still sell it at a reasonable price. In a hard copy you can give a better layout than in an e-book, which has to fit many formats, so in my opinion the paperback still looks better! And the paperback edition is actually selling even more than the e-book each month.

The best option is of course to buy both editions! If you buy the hard copy from first, you will be offered to buy the digital copy at a very low cost via the Amazon Kindle Matchbook offer.

By Peter Kalmström
CEO and Systems Designer Business Solutions

14 February 2018

New QA And Support Technician

Today I want to introduce our QA Engineer Mayank Gharewal. He works at our Indian office and has proved to be a skilled colleague with many talents. Here is his story: QA Engineer Mayank GharewalIn 2016 I completed my Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Science Stream from the CDGI college in Indore. After completing my graduation, I continued with a course of Diploma in Software Testing, and then I started my career as a Game and Software Tester.

Five months ago, I joined the team. I applied for a position here because I wanted more responsibility and a more challenging work environment. Now I am expected to continuously learn new things and sharpen my skills, and I like that. I also believe in team work as the path to success, and I found that here at the Indore office. Kanban Task Manager for SharePoint icon

My primary work is of course testing. This is an interesting and varied task, especially as offers both standard and custom solutions. So far I have tested all the Kanban Task Manager editions and our new Outlook add-in Kanban E-mail Manager. Kanban E-mail Manager for SharePoint iconI have also made sure that several custom SharePoint solutions meet the buyer's requests as well as our own standards.

Lately I have joined the support team and thus been given even more variation and responsibility. As a support technician, I get a good understanding of how customers use our products and what problems they encounter. I form a link between our customers and my colleagues in the QA team and can discuss enhancements with a better insight.

My area of interest is in sports like cricket and in video games. Before my graduation I actively participated in video game competitions and also hosted a PlayStation 2 event at a Techno management festival.
Mayank with friends

I also like to travel with a group of friends. The image above is from a trip to Lion's point, a mountain peak near the hill station Lonavla in Maharashtra. The sunrise and sunset views from here are mesmerizing. When we were there, the clouds were low and it was a light rain, fog and an icy drizzle. But the sun-rays on the clouds gave the sky a beautiful reddish color.

I am looking forward to testing more products and meeting more customers via our support!

Mayank Gharewal
QA Engineer Business Solutions

01 February 2018

Kanban E-mail Manager for Outlook released

Kanban E-mail Manager for Outlook logotype Today, I am happy to announce the release of a new product: Kanban E-mail Manager for Outlook. This add-in is intended to help single users visualize and work with e-mails on a kanban board.

Kanban View
We have earlier developed another Outlook add-in, Kanban Task Manager Single which visualizes Outlook tasks on a virtual kanban board and converts e-mails into tasks. Therefore, it was not a big step to also create a kanban board for e-mails inside Outlook.

Show Kanban View button logotype Kanban E-mail Manager adds a "Show Kanban View" button in the Outlook ribbon. Select any Outlook e-mail folder and click on the button, and the e-mails in that folder are visualized as cards on a kanban board.

Main features
Kanban E-mail Manager gives the possibility to organize the e-mails in different phases. By default, the phases are called Unhandled, In Progress, Deferred and Handled. You can drag and drop the e-mail cards between these phases as your work with the e-mail proceeds.

You may also create new e-mails or reply to e-mails from the kanban board.

Another main feature of Kanban E-mail Manager is that you can filter and search the e-mails based on category, sender, priority/priorities or any word or phrase.

Outlook built-in categories
Once you have installed Kanban E-mail Manager, it will automatically take the Outlook built-in categories and display the e-mails with the category colors on the kanban board. The category for any e-mail can be set both from the kanban view and from the Outlook e-mail view.

Work efficiently with e-mails and analyze your work with an Excel report
Checklist icon Kanban E-mail Manager has other features, like Checklist and Time Logging. To work smoothly with a complex e-mail, you can break the work into small tasks by adding a checklist to the e-mail card.

Time Logging icon The Time Logging option helps you keep track of the time you have invested in an e-mail. When you record the minutes worked on e-mails, you can analyze the time spent in the Kanban E-mail Manager Excel reports.

Kanban E-mail Manager also generates several other Excel reports, where you can study statistics on the work done. Each time you generate a report the most updated data is included.

Trial and Subscription download icon If you wish to try Kanban E-mail Manager before you decide to subscribe to it, you are welcome to download the full version of the solution and evaluate the solution for 30 days. We provide full support during the evaluation period.

Community icon You can subscribe to Kanban E-mail Manager on monthly as well as yearly basis. My colleagues and I at the Sales department are always here to assist you if you have any queries regarding the subscription.

Documentation and Support
The Kanban E-mail Manager manual gives a detailed description of the product. We also have a slideshow, where you can have a quick overview of Kanban E-mail Manager.

Finally, I would recommend that you watch the video demonstrations, where our CEO, Peter Kalmstrom, explains how to get started with Kanban E-mail Manager.

Should you need any further assistance, the Support team is always here to help you.

Dipti Francis
Executive Assistant Business Solutions

24 January 2018

Create Surveys With Microsoft Forms

Office 365 Forms icon Microsoft will soon roll out an Office 365 service for surveys, quizzes, and polls for all commercial users. It is called Microsoft Forms, and I introduce it in a new Forms  article in the Tips section.

Collect information
The name of the new Office 365 service can sound a bit misleading, but it is not a replacement for InfoPath. Instead Microsoft Forms is a basic app that helps you to quickly collect information via surveys and quizzes.

Use Forms to conduct customer surveys, question trainees or applicants, ask team members about their opinion, yes, anytime when you want formalized input from several other people.

What Forms replaces is rather the SharePoint Survey app. Forms is easier to use and the poll form is more mobile friendly than the Survey app.

Nice interfaces
With Forms you can create a survey and then invite others to respond to it via any web browser. The surveys look good and is easy to answer even on mobile devices. The surveys can be shared with a link or be embedded in a web page or blog.

As people submit their answers, the results are displayed in a graphic interface where you can evaluate them. The results can also be exported to Excel for further analysis.

Soon released for all
Forms became available in Office 365 Education subscriptions as early as in June 2016, as an answer to teacher requests for a tool that would help them assess student progress on an ongoing basis.

The preview for commercial First Release users came one year later, and from 15 February 2018 Microsoft will start rolling out Forms to all tenants. By default, Microsoft Forms is turned on for everyone in the organization, but admins can turn Forms off and then on again for specific people.
Office 365 from Scratch cover
In the demo above I show how to create two different kinds of surveys, how to share them, how to reply to them and how to see the results. The next version of my book Office 365 from Scratch will of course include more information on Microsoft Forms.

Peter Kalmström,
CEO and Systems Designer Business Solutions

17 January 2018

Customize a List Form in PowerApps

Microsoft PowerApps iconThe PowerApps button in the modern SharePoint interface has a new option: to customize list forms in PowerApps. I have recently published a new Tips article where I show how this option can be used.

PowerApps for new views
When Microsoft first introduced the PowerApps button in SharePoint lists, it was to create a mobile friendly PowerApp from the data in the list. From a user perspective, such a PowerApp can be regarded as a new list view for the data that the PowerApp is connected to. I have earlier described how to do that in my books SharePoint Online from Scratch and Office 365 from Scratch, and there are also some Tips articles on PowerApps creation in the Tips section.

PowerApps for forms modification
From October 2017 Microsoft started to roll out a new option for PowerApps users: customize a SharePoint list form. With this possibility, PowerApps has become a browser based alternative to InfoPath for modifying SharePoint list forms.
The PowerApps command in SharePoint
The PowerApps button in the modern interface now has two choices: 'Create an app' and 'Customize forms'. This means that it is very easy to start modifying a SharePoint list form. Just select the customize option, and the form of the current list will open in the PowerApps studio online.

More options than SharePoint
When you create a new list app in SharePoint, you will probably make the possible modifications directly in SharePoint. However, for more extensive customization it is better to use PowerApps. It gives more options, such as coloring a field, making a field read only and organize the fields in multiple columns.

Import of Excel data
In my Tips article I describe how to modify a "Customers" list form in PowerApps. The demo below, which is included in the article, begins with an import from Excel to SharePoint. Such imports often give lists that need to be modified, so it is a good starting point for a tutorial.

The upcoming new versions of my books will include more details about forms modification with PowerApps, but for now I welcome you to my new Tips article about SharePoint list forms customization.

Peter Kalmström,
CEO and Systems Designer Business Solutions

08 January 2018

Knowledge Base for Outlook

KBase for Outlook logotype If you are looking for a solution that adds a knowledge base to your Outlook, the add-in KBase is the right choice.

The knowledge base KBase, helps you create and search articles in Outlook. KBase is configured inside an Outlook folder, and the articles can be shared via an Access database, an SQL server database or a SharePoint site.

All the Outlook features like editing, text search, spell check, HTML code and attached files can be used in the KBase articles.

KBase categories and types, custom fields and full text search
The KBase articles can be grouped in categories and types, which is visualized in a tree hierarchy and in Outlook. You can add, edit or remove categories or types directly in the tree view.

The form for new KBase articles has a right pane for the article and a left pane where the creators select category and type. For additional metadata, KBase also gives the possibility to add custom fields to the default KBase form.

Moreover, the KBase articles can easily be searched by any word or phrase. KBase makes a full text search in the articles and lists all the articles which contains that word or phrase.

Share KBase articles outside Outlook
KBase gives options for sharing the articles outside Outlook as well. You can publish all or specific KBase articles to a website. This creates a contents pane and one web page for each article. Another option is to export the articles to Excel, which creates an Excel datasheet with the KBase articles.

KBase articles can be seen in Outlook Web Access also, but they can only be read, not edited there. When you use the SharePoint sharing option, the KBase articles can be both seen and edited in SharePoint.

KBase with Folder HelpDesk
Folder HelpDesk for Outlook logotype KBase is really helpful when used with Folder Helpdesk. Folder HelpDesk is another of product, which is completely integrated in Outlook. It converts e-mails with support cases or other issues received at the helpdesk into tickets.

When you use KBase with Folder HelpDesk, you can save the solutions to interesting issues as KBase articles before closing the tickets.

Trial and Support download icon To experience the features and functionalities of KBase, you are welcome to evaluate the full version of KBase for 30 days. The team provides full support to subscribers as well as evaluators.

To get the best out of the solution, I recommend you to read the KBase manual. You may download a Word or PDF file from the KBase product page. Should you still need any assistance with the product, you are welcome to contact our Support team.

Community icon KBase can be subscribed to on monthly as well as yearly basis. If you are a Medium subscriber to Folder HelpDesk, you may choose KBase as an additional solution without extra cost. Our Sales department is always here to help you, should you have any queries related to product subscriptions.

I hope my blog post has given a valuable review of the KBase features. I am looking forward to writing more such blog posts on the products. Last but not the least, your feedbacks and suggestions on KBase are always appreciated!

Dipti Francis
Executive Assistant Business Solutions

03 January 2018

Kanban and SharePoint Plans for 2018

As usual at the beginning of a new year, I want to inform about our plans and expectations for the coming twelve months. Much of what we anticipate includes a kanban board, because products with this possibility to visualize and manage work has become very popular. We will of course also continue developing for SharePoint.

Product updates
Most important for all subscribers is of course that we will continue enhancing the Outlook and SharePoint products and make sure that they make use of all the new features that Microsoft develops. Among the most important are:Kanban TaskManager for SharePoint icon
Custom solutions
Some of our subscribers also trust their custom development projects to us. During 2017 we have had such commissions going on all the time, and we also have a few small ones right now. We hope to get more in 2018, because those kind of projects have been mutually beneficial in the past. They of course provide business value for our customers, but the team is also learning a lot from them.

New products
In 2018 we plan to release several new products that are currently in development:
  • Pivot Explorer iconPivot Explorer: works as Excel pivot tables and charts, but you can use this SharePoint add-in directly inside SharePoint Online lists.
  • Kanban E-mail Manager iconKanban Email Manager: an Outlook add-in that gives a kanban view of the emails with drag and drop, e-mail statuses and project tagging.
  • Document Tagger iconDocument Tagger: analyzes and adds keywords to SharePoint library documents and presentations – but not until you have had a chance to review the suggestions and discard the ones you don't want.
  • Site Manager: creates SharePoint site collections for projects or similar.
When those products are up to our quality requirements, we will document and release them as soon as possible.

More colleagues
We are always looking for new, creative team members, and we hope to find some really inventive people this year. What we need is not mainly experience. As our business area develops rapidly, it is crucial to have a capacity to learn quickly and to find good solutions to the problems that inevitably will arise.

The whole team is looking forward to meet new customers and colleagues and to have an eventful and prosperous 2018. I wish all blog readers the same!

Peter Kalmström,
CEO and Systems Designer Business Solutions