08 September 2011 Develops Cloud-Connected Outlook Add-ons

To stay strong and be able to meet future development requests, the team has taken on a task that will change our products profoundly. User's don't have to worry, because they will still recognize the product they like and are used to, but the architecture behind it will be much different. The reason for this long term investment, is of course the technical development of the products we build on but also general changes in the business world. We see a future where teams continue to get more mobile and geographically dispersed, and therefore we want to re-build all of our applications for more web-based usage.

All of the Outlook add-ons have relied heavily on Outlook public folders or mailboxes for information sharing. This still works well in most organizations, and we will continue to support that usage. However, if we stand still, keep the current architecture and only add new features to our products, there will come a time when they have become old-fashioned. We don't want to wait for that day to make the necessary changes, because then we will prevent Member organizations from meeting and embracing the future. Members of Community deserve better! The products from must always be a help to make business more efficient.

Our developers have started with the comparatively simple application KBase. This is a knowledge base that is totally integrated in Outlook. The articles may also be embedded in a SharePoint site or OWA or be published to web pages with just a click of a button. The new KBase will have an ASP.NET MVC back-end and an SQL database, which will contain all of the tickets. We will supply this database for free if the user organization does not have an in-house or hosted SQL server or uses SQL Azure. Version 3 of KBase will have both a fully featured web interface and also, of course, an Outlook-interface. In addition, we will also make the web interface fully mobile and touch-friendly.

The new technique will also mean that our products will support the 64-bit version of Office 2010. Some Member organizations have asked for this, but we think most users will stay with the 32-bit version anyway. There are very few add-ons on the market that support the 64-bit version of Office, and the 64-bit version is only needed in special cases. However, for those who need it we want to give that support also.

The developer team has been working with this project for over a month, but I did not want to tell about it until we knew that the brilliant ideas of our CEO Peter was possible to realize. His understanding of how different techniques can be combined to create something new is the basis for Business Solutions, and now he has once again proved his skill.

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