29 August 2011

A Microsoft Surprise

Microsoft Silver Partner plaque
Last Friday Sigge and I were pleasantly surprised, when we received a delivery from Microsoft. As I told you in my latest blog Business Solutions has earned a Microsoft Partner Silver Competency ‒ Independent Software Vendor. However, we thought we would receive all the benefits over the Internet and had no idea that we would also get some physical proof of our accomplishment. It felt like Christmas when we opened the package and found a plaque in form of a beautiful glass sculpture to hang on the office wall.    

The text on the plaque is signed by Steven A. Ballmer, Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft Corporation and Jon Roskill, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Group. This is their message: "For your commitment to creating and delivering innovative customer solutions and services based on Microsoft technologies, we proudly recognize your dedication to excellence."

The package also contained a Microsoft Partner banner, which we will display at our Indian office, and license and access keys that Peter and our developers are happy about. This Silver Partnership is an encouragement to us all, but it is also a responsibility we will do our very best to live up to.

24 August 2011 Business Solutions Has Achieved Microsoft Silver Partnership

Today I can write a much happier blog post than yesterday, because now I have good news to share with you: Business Solutions has become a Silver Partner to Microsoft. Only 5 % of all Microsoft Partners reach this level, so it really makes us stand out on the market.

To be Silver Partner we had to show Microsoft:
  • That our products are good enough ‒ by passing certain Microsoft tests
  •  That we have the sufficient knowledge in the team ‒ by passing certain Microsoft exams
  • That our customers like the products ‒ by giving references to Microsoft Business Solutions has reached Silver level as Independent Software Vendor. Maybe you ask why it is not “Software Developer”? That is due to Microsoft’s definitions: a “software developer” is someone who sells code and all rights to it. We instead maintain the legal rights to our products and sell licenses for use, so “Software Vendor” is the correct term for .

I have now placed the Silver Partner logo on our homepage, so all visitors can see that Business Solutions is reliable and experienced at working with Microsoft technologies. It is a security for new visitors to know that we hold a high standard, and we hope it will further increase the demand for our products and services. The Silver Partnership also gives the team other advantages, like access to more Microsoft resources. This will be useful in our future development work.

We are very grateful to the Community Members who gave us references, and I also want to say a big thank you to the team members. You should all feel proud and take credit for our joined achievement!

23 August 2011

Ugly Wrapping At

Even though we always recommend download of our products from the website, we also present them at other sites. This is done to reach more people, and since the download links still are ours, we can be sure that downloaders get what we want to give them.

However, the well known cnet site requires that they host the download file themselves, so that the products are downloaded from their site. We have accepted it because this is one of the major download sites, and we wanted our products to be seen there. It worked well for many years, except that they did not always had the latest version of our products. Now it does NOT work well anymore, and we have decided to remove all our products from

The reason for this drastic decision is that we cannot trust anymore. They have started to wrap other downloads into installers, which is totally unacceptable to This means that you cannot be sure that you will only get what you want if you download a software from You might also get other programs that you don't wish to use or are even aware of. These programs may make unwanted changes to your system, and they may also be difficult to get rid of.

This sounds like a violation of developer rights, but cnet has cleverly avoided it by the wording of their terms of service. They can also claim that they have notified developers about the wrapping, even if it was just in one sentence a bit down in a newsletter and not in very clear words! Business Solutions will never accept that our installation files give users anything else than a clean, genuine version of the software. Therefore we asked to remove all our products from their site immediately.

We also advice against downloading from My guess is that the wrapping in the end will be fatal for In the long run you cannot fool people  they are too smart for that and turn to other, more trustworthy sites.

19 August 2011

HelpDesk OSP For Outlook And SharePoint - Version 3 Released Today

Today has released a new version of the incident management tool for Outlook and SharePoint, HelpDesk OSP. I have written about the new design and the Blank ticket options earlier, so here I will concentrate on another important improvement  ‒ the facilitation of the login to SharePoint from Outlook.

That the login to the SharePoint site is easy is of course essential for users of HelpDesk OSP, so version 3 has several enhancements to simplify it. For example, HelpDesk OSP now tries to load the default network credentials for authentication and only asks for credentials if there is no success. HelpDesk OSP V3 will also correct the path if a user writes the list URL instead of the site URL when selecting SharePoint site. Our support staff has seen that error quite often even though we have done our best to inform about the correct way to do it. For use with Office 365 we have added a new authentication type: Claims-based Authentication.

Please refer to the HelpDesk OSP Revisions page for a full list of enhancements and bug fixes. Community Members are welcome to upgrade, but you will need a new registration key this time. Contact me, and I will send it to you.

If you are new to HelpDesk OSP, I recommend you to try it! You may evaluate the add-on for 30 days without obligations, and remember that it works with all SharePoint sites and templates. HelpDesk OSP is a very versatile tool for any kinds of publishing from Outlook to SharePoint.

16 August 2011

HelpDesk OSP For Outlook And SharePoint - See The New Design

Soon Business Solutions will release a new version of HelpDesk OSP, and today I can show you the new slideshow for this incident management tool. Most screenshots come from Outlook 2010 and a SharePoint 2010 site on Offce 365. It might take some time for the slideshow to load, so I suggest you read this blog post before you take a look.

Version 3 has a new design, which we hope will make it very user friendly. After listening to input from Community Members, we have also decided to change the captions on two of the Outlook buttons, to better explain what it is all about. "Create ticket" has become "Convert e-mail", and "New ticket" is "Blank ticket" in V3.

The Blank ticket button now gives the alternative to create a totally new ticket, without picking  caller info from the Outlook Contacts or GAL. Also this feature comes after a request from a Member organization, where people wanted to use HelpDesk OSP for entering new list items to the company's SharePoint intranet directly from Outlook.

More new features have been added to the new version of HelpDesk OSP, and I will tell you about them when I announce the release. We have just a few small adjustments left, so it might even be this week!

11 August 2011

New Version Of PamFax Supports Scheduled Fax Sending

PamFax banner The Partner PamConsult GmbH has updated its popular Fax service PamFax. When our CEO Peter worked for Skype he helped designing the first version of PamFax, and he is happy about the enhancements the continued development has brought to the product.

PamFax lets you send fax messages at a low cost online, via your browser or via an application for Windows, OS X, Linux, Android, iPhone, iPad or webOS. With the latest version of PamFax you may even schedule the sending to a specific day and hour. This is useful if you for some reason want to delay the reception of a fax ‒ for example, if you don't want it to arrive in the middle of the night.

You may also receive faxes with PamFax, and in many countries you can have a fax number with your own area code. South Africa and Portugal have recently been added, so now this possibility is offered in 31 countries ‒ including all with several Members of Community! You will get a message by e-mail, sms or Skype-chat each time a fax has arrived.

Sent and received faxes are stored and easily reached by all you have invited to use your company's PamFax portal. When you don't want to keep faxes anymore you can remove them more easily with the new version, as it supports deleting of multiple faxes. A third addition is a spam filter that allows you to tag incoming faxes as spam if needed.

Welcome to try PamFax for free! I am sure you will like this secure and convenient way of faxing.

08 August 2011 Uses, Resells And Develops For Office 365

The team is geographically distributed, so our intranet is a vital place for sharing and cooperation. It simply must work, and therefore only the best is good enough. We begun using SharePoint very early, and as our CEO Peter is a Microsoft certified SharePoint specialist he has been able to configure the site to make the most of it.

When Office 365 was introduced Peter saw the advantages of this cloud based service, which also has SharePoint 2010. A subscription was necessary anyway, because we need to test our products with Office 365, but Peter decided that we should use Office 365 for our internal purposes too.

We manage our support e-mails with our own product HelpDesk OSP, and today we have it running all the time on a server, automatically converting e-mails from our OWA on Microsoft Business Productivity Online Standard Suite into tickets on our SharePoint site in Office 365. We will however soon start testing our new HelpDesk OSP Azure. It will run on Windows Azure and convert e-mails received in our Office 365 Outlook into list items on our Office 365 SharePoint site.

As you understand the team has a deep understanding of Microsoft's cloud-based platforms. It was a logical step to apply for authorization to resell Microsoft Online Services. We were granted this right in July, and we have already sold Office 365 to one company after advising them on what subscription and configuration would suit their needs. Always feel welcome to contact us for consultation!

02 August 2011

New Trainee Helps In .NET Framework Project

As I told you a couple of weeks ago has decided to take on more trainees, and today I am happy to introduce Sunil Patel. He is Master of Computer Applications, which is a three-year Professional Master's degree in Computer Science awarded in India, and he joined the team in the beginning of July.

Sunil already had experience from several projects where he worked as a developer/programmer when he chose to become a trainee at to learn more. We appreciate his ambition and believe our cooperation will be good for both parties.   

During his first weeks Sunil has transferred the PF HelpDesk web form code into ASP.NET, a Microsoft server side scripting technology which enables scripts embedded in web pages to be executed by an Internet server. Sunil's work is part of our long-time plan to make more extensive use of the .NET Framework environment. Our youngest application, HelpDesk OSP, was built on the .NET platform from the beginning, but our other products still use some older technologies that we need to replace. This transfer will give us great possibilities for future development of our products.    

Sunil has of course also participated in the study sessions that Peter and Jayant have held with the younger team members. Ongoing education has always been important for, but we have now taken it a step further and set apart certain work hours for common studies and discussions. I am sure this will reflect in the products and benefit our Community Members in the long run.

Sunil is very interested in cricket. During his studies he was a member of the college team, and now he plays for for the Star Cricket Club in Indore. Welcome to the Team page, if you wish to read more about Sunil and the rest of us.