28 February 2010

Export Appointment Data to Excel With TimeCard for Outlook

With TimeCard you can export time report data to Excel

TimeCard Single
has been updated with the same new features as big brother Workgroup received last week. The possibility to export the first 255 characters in the appointment body to Excel will give great possibilities to Single Users. With the appointment body alternative checked in Personal Settings, you get more data to the Excel spread sheet and do not have to go into the database to get the extra info you need.

With TimeCard you report time and expenses directly from inside the Outlook Calendar. Welcome to download the updated TimeCard Single. Support customers may upgrade their installation without extra cost, and evaluators have as much as 60 days to try TimeCard.

24 February 2010

Time Reporting Tool for the Outlook Calendar Updated

Time reporting directly from the Outlook CalendarThe Workgroup version of TimeCard has had a facelift with both new features and some enhancements and bug fixes. Most of them have been made after we were contacted by Community Members or Support Customers, who had a request they needed our help with. And our skilled developers found solutions for them, as they nearly always do.

Of course we cannot add just anything to our standard product because a customer needs it, but if it is a good feature that might benefit more users, we will do our best to find a way to develop it. If big changes are needed, we usually ask for a sponsorship, but in this case we could make it on our own.

Two customers asked for a possibility to export also the appointments body to Excel, so now this is possible if you check a new box in Personal Settings. It is unchecked by default. We will soon update TimeCard Single with this feature also.

A Premium customer wanted the users to have all metadata and not select the ones they work with in Personal Settings. This gives very long lists, and since the ribbon in Outlook 2007 does not support more than 1000 items in a drop down we had to make another solution, which was developed in cooperation with this customer.

For a full list of the changes, refer to the TimeCard revisions page. We are grateful to the users who have  suggested ways to improve TimeCard!

Issue tracking tool HelpDesk OSP made even more user friendly

Co-operate on issue tracking and user support with Outlook and SharePoint/Office LiveThe issue tracking application for Outlook and SharePoint, HelpDesk OSP has been updated today. Our developers have removed a few causes for irritation among some users. We have received much praise for this application, but with the update I hope all users will feel even more happy with HelpDesk OSP.

One of the earlier issues was that users could not have list column names with an apostrophe. Now it is possible to use names as ”Caller's email” without getting any errors.

Another problem was that HelpDesk OSP prompted for enter login and password even if the path to the SharePoint site was misspelled or wrong in another way. Now HelpDesk OSP feels that the site does not exists and gives the user another chance instead.

Have you not tried HelpDesk OSP yet? Welcome to download and try it! HelpDesk OSP is especially useful if you have a dispersed group, connected only by the Internet. Then SharePoint gives you a great platform for cooperation.

22 February 2010 Developer Microsoft Certified

A year ago Business Solutions hired a new developer, Jayant Rimza. There was a reason we choose him among the over 200 applicants, of course. He did not only have the education and experience we required but also showed a good problem solution capacity in the test we gave him.

It soon became clear that we had made a lucky decision when we took Jayant into the team. He learned our products quickly – not an easy task! – and has been the master behind several ingenious solutions in our applications.

During his year with us he has also studied for Microsoft certification in his free time. Now we are happy to congratulate Jayant to another exam, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Database Development, which he passed Saturday. This means that he is now a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS). Next step will be Active Directory and Exchange Server.

Add to all this that Jayant is dedicated, nice and funny, and you can understand that we look forward to a long lasting relation!

15 February 2010

PF HelpDesk fully supports Unicode

Issue tracking and user support in Outlook with PF HelpDesk from kalmstrom.comAs you might have heard we are working on version 11 of Public Folder HelpDesk, (which also can be installed in a shared mailbox). That release will hopefully come this spring, but in the meantime we also make some improvements to the current version of this popular issue tracking application.

We want all our products to fully support Unicode, and today most of them do – also PF HelpDesk after today’s new release. The Unicode support for PF HelpDesk proved to be a real challenge, but as usual our Lead Developer Bahrur Ipham managed to solve the problems.

In version 11 we will try to redesign the templates and notifications settings, because the current design is not optimal. Today it has been a bit better, though, since we have added a template for the alert 'Automatic email to responsible on reply received' and a checkbox under the Others Settings tab for enabling it. The alert is sent to the responsible staff when an email reply from the caller is received by the helpdesk, if the box is checked and some text is added to the default template. The manual is updated with this new information.

As usual Community Members and Support Customers are welcome to upgrade your installations. And if you have not tried PF HelpDesk yet but need a good way to cooperate around support cases within Outlook, you are welcome to download and try PF HepDesk for 30 days.

13 February 2010 Community after three months

On the first of November last year Business Solutions launched Community, a new model for the relation between the team and our customers. Instead of buying organizational licenses of Calendar Browser, HelpDesk OSP, Public Folder HelpDesk, SP Attach and TimeCard Workgroup, the Community Members pay a monthly (or yearly) fee and have the right to full support and free upgrades without neither part having to worry about a special support contract. At the same time we released all those products for an unlimited number of users within the Member company or organization, and we also decided to allow Members to use other products without any extra costs.

That was a bit more than three months ago, but with the December holidays and with all evaluators that had begun testing with the old system and maybe already had that purchase approved, it actually took until the beginning of January until we really felt that the transfer to the Community model was finished.

How about some statistics for these first three months? We today have Community Members from all over the globe, but 54 % comes from Europe, 38 % from North America and only 8 % from other continents. I am sure we will get more Members from other parts of the world now when our products get full support for Unicode.

What has surprised us is that as much as 80 % of the Members only use one of our products, but that might also change later. For now it seems as if the new Members follow our advice to only implement one product at a time, but that is not the whole explanation, since nearly half of the Member organizations are old customers. It will be interesting to see if there will be an increase in the number of products per Member. Today only 15 % use two products and 5 % use three products. The possibility to use more products does not seem to be an important factor for most of the Community Members. Instead they have probably opted to be a Member because they liked one of our products and wanted the security a Membership gives. And even if you use only one product "The $150 fee is an outstanding value!" (Jeff Sandy, Dunlap Industries, USA).

We are of course very grateful for the confidence the Community Members show us. We will do our outmost to make you all feel that it was a good decision to invest in a long time relation with Business Solutions.

02 February 2010

New Manual for HelpDesk OSP and Demos for Calendar Browser

Resource management in Outlook with Calendar BrowserGood documentation is essential to give users a chance to understand the software they are working with and avoid problems. Therefore we always do our best to present our information in ways that are appealing and easy to understand. Now we are happy to present our new video demonstrations for Calendar Browser, updated to version 6.1. Some more will be added, but the most important ones are there. Welcome to click any Demonstrations link in the Calendar Browser See also boxes, or go directly to, where we host them.

Co-operate on issue tracking and user support with Outlook and SharePoint/Office Live Also HelpDesk OSP has new documentation, a manual for administrators who want to use SharePoint workflows to enhance HelpDesk OSP. In this manual we describe how to use Microsoft Office SharePoint Designer, a free product nowadays, to create workflows for sending automatic notifications and for keeping track of time spent on each ticket. Welcome to download it from the HelpDesk OSP manuals page!

Calendar Browser Resource Management Tool Improved Again

Resource management in Outlook with Calendar BrowserTwo weeks ago Business Solutions published an update of Calendar Browser with many improvements. However, there were still some things we wanted to make better, so today we had another release of our resource management software.

New in this version is info about Date in the Orders and Appointments lists in the Calendar Browser Overview, which is useful if you select a period of several days. Furthermore it is no longer necessary to restart Outlook after certain changes in the Calendar Browser Settings, and when an appointment is made with the calendar icon it will no longer show today's date but the day selected for the booking.

We have all been working intensely with Calendar Browser during the last few weeks. Not only has the application itself taken a step forward, but we have also new video demonstrations. Even the slide show has had a face lift. Welcome to enjoy the enhanced Calendar Browser!