28 April 2011

Microsoft Versus Apple In OS Sales

Yesterday Lead Developer Jayant drew my attention to an interesting chart from SAI Chart Of The Day. It shows sales for Windows 7 and iOS, and you can see it here to the left.

We have heard a lot about Apples fantastic success with iPhone and iPad, but fact is that Microsoft has had an even bigger success with Windows 7. Microsoft has sold around 350 million licenses of Windows 7 since it was launched, while Apple during the same time "only" sold around 150 million iOS units.

Of course both Win 7 and iOS are strong operating systems that dominate the market, and Business Solutions wants to build on both. We have developed add-ons for Microsoft products for more than ten years, and in October 2009 I could write this in a blog post: "Congratulations to Microsoft who released their new operating system Windows 7 this week! All our products are of course compatible with both the 32-bit and the 64-bit version, and also with the server counterpart Windows Server 2008 R2."

iOS, on the other hand, is a new system to We published the first app, iNameDays, early this year, and we will soon release the second one. ShareTask will make it easy for SharePoint users to manage their list items directly in iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. Welcome to read more about both apps on the new iOS page at the website. In a few days I hope I can tell you about our third project for iOS, so keep in touch!

27 April 2011

Nokia Fires 4000 But Microsoft Partnership Gives Hope For Better Times

As Swedes we have followed the rise of the Finnish communications corporation Nokia. The company has existed in our neighboring country since 1865, but it was not until the 1980s it became well know to all of us. That was the time for the first mobile telephones, and Nokia was a fierce competitor to Swedish Ericsson. Eventually Ericsson grew strong on providing telecommunication and data communication systems while Nokia developed into the world's largest manufacturer of mobile phones.

During the last year Apple and their iPhone has taken a considerable part of the mobile market, and today we heard that 4000 employees have been dismissed from Nokia because of that. Further 3000 will go to another employer when Nokia leaves its operating system Symbian.

We feel sorry for the people who loose their jobs, but we don't think the downgoing trend will continue. In February Microsoft and Nokia announced their partnership, and now Nokia really can take up the fight with Apple. Nokia will use the Microsoft operating system Windows Phone as platform for advanced smart phones, and I am sure this competition will be good for the whole market. Both parties will try to exceed each other, and hopefully we will all benefit from their rivalry.

26 April 2011 CEO Takes All Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Exams

Once again the team is happy to congratulate our CEO to an achievement. Peter has now passed all four exams for Microsoft SharePoint 2010, which means that he is certified as BOTH Administrator and Developer. This also means that he is eligible to become a SharePoint 2010 Master, and hopefully he will find the time to go through that 3 week training course at Redmond in the future!

With today's exam Peter has 15 Microsoft certifications. In the team we benefit from his knowledge on a daily basis, and it is of course evident in the  products and services. However, it feels good that Peter also has the proper exams to certify his skills.

19 April 2011

ShareTask Icon Ready For App Store

ShareTask iconWork continues on ShareTask, and today I can show you the application icon. ShareTask is the app that will make it possible to handle SharePoint lists in iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. You may use any list and view with ShareTask, and you can add, edit and delete items and also upload photos to SharePoint directly from the camera in your smart phone. 

 I hope you agree that the ShareTask icon is nice to look at and easy to recognize. It also says something important about the app ‒ reach your SharePoint lists where ever you travel around the globe and manage them with a finger. The globe is the same as the one we use for the new HelpDesk OSP icon. I am glad that we have such a memorable icon to use for the presentation on iTunes App Store and on the website.

A team of three, QA and designer from and a programmer from, work closely together on this app. The rest of the team is also more or less involved, in everything from design discussions to programming assistance. We all look forward to seeing this second product for iOS on the market!

11 April 2011 Website Enhancement Continues - Learn About Services And iOS Apps

The website is continuously improved, and now we have two new pages and a new homepage for the English section. On the homepage we tell about the most important part of the business: our standard products built on Microsoft Office, Exchange and SharePoint. The new pages instead describe the company's two other "legs". Business Solutions was born when Peter worked as a consultant and created custom solutions for his clients. When others wanted something similar he begun selling standard products also. This was more than ten years ago, and the custom solutions have been with us all the time. Welcome to visit the Services page and learn how you can take advantage of our expertise on Outlook, Excel and SharePoint!

The third leg is new ‒ because the possibility is new! has begun developing apps for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, and it will be interesting to see where they will take us. We started with, iNameDays, which is a very simple app. Everything went well, and soon we are ready to release a more advanced product that lets you manage SharePoint list items in your iOS device. You can find more info about ShareTask on the iOS page.

As always we welcome comments: on the website, the documentation, the products or anything else that we can influence. Your input is important and helps us in our ambition to reach even higher levels.

08 April 2011 Tip: Ideas For Better SMS Management CEO Peter is a man full of ideas, and many of them develop into useful solutions. Here is one of them, still under development but very interesting, I think:

"I have long been irritated at the way the SMS services work and is paid for. I have many requests that are not fulfilled with the current packages.
Don´t like having to pay a per message fee to get a message across to friends and collegues.
Don´t like paying extra-ordinary roaming charges when outside my native Sweden.
I would like to have the same control over my SMS messages as I have of my email messages. In fact, I would like to have inbox rules, automatic forwarding and the ability to write macros to handle my SMS messages.
In addition to all that I would also love to be able to type the messages on any device, not just the one that currently has my SIM card in it.

Sounds like a rather tall order, doesn´t it? Well, I have actually done all that for myself now, after having failed to find packaged service (in Sweden) for all that. Actually no packaged service even comes close to offering all that! I am quite far from being able to give this as a packaged service for mass consumption yet, but I thought I would share some notes on how I did it:
  • Signed up for a SIM card with a local provider here in Sweden with a reasonable SMS plan. Halebop offers 3000 messages per month at roughly 6 EUR.
  • Bought a USB Broadband modem - 20 EUR - Bought a SMS ActiveX-control that I can script against
  • Signed up for a Windows Live account
  • Put the SIM-card in a USB-modem and installed that modem into a computer that is always on.
  • Installed Outlook 2010 and the ActiveX-control on that computer.
  • Wrote some 50 lines of VBA script to handle both outgoing and incoming sms messages.
  • Done :-)
Next step is to write a variant of this for a construction company in which I have some interest. That will also include logging both incoming and outgoing SMS messages to the MS Dynamics CRM! More on that later ... "

06 April 2011 Matriarch - 93 Years Old And Loves Her iPad

Today I want to introduce you to the Matriarch. Ingalill is my mother, Peter's grandmother and Oliver's great grandmother ‒ and just as keen on IT as the rest of the family.

Ingalill is now 93 years old but still going strong. As soon as the first iPad was released in the US Peter bought her one. Nowadays she gets a bit tired sitting at the computer, but the iPad suits her like a glove! Welcome to see more in this video from Swedish television.

Apology For Bad Newsletter

Yesterday I sent out my monthly newsletter to more than 12 000 Members and Evaluators. We see from the answers and the visits to the website that these newsletter are very popular, but I am afraid many were disappointed this month. Due to a mistake when the e-mails were sent out, most of them got a bad design.

I am so sorry for this error and hope that you could still read and enjoy the content. If not, you can always find the latest newsletters at our website also. There they have the correct design!
Peter Kalmstrom
CEO, Business Solutions

04 April 2011

How To Archive SharePoint List Items

SharePoint gives great customization possibilities, but sometimes it might be difficult to know what can be done and how to do it. All are not SharePoint experts, like CEO Peter Kalmstrom!

We of course want to do our best to help users get the most out of our products. Therefore we were happy to document how to archive old helpdesk tickets, when a Community Member who uses the application HelpDesk OSP asked about it.

Now we have added instructions for archiving to the HelpDesk OSP Workflow Manual, and we have also published a new video demonstration on the subject.

Since an archiving workflow can be useful for all SharePoint users, not only if you connect Outlook to SharePoint with HelpDesk OSP, we have also added a description in the website Tips section.

Addition in July 2013: Now we also have this demo in a SharePoint 2013 version!

By Peter Kalmström
CEO and Systems Designer Business Solutions

Addition, Nov. 2014: For customized archiving to an Access or SQL Server database, use the new Solution SP Archive!