31 October 2012

Booking Of Corporate Resouces In Outlook

Calendar Browser logoA month ago I told you about the development of Calendar Browser for Outlook V8, and now this tool for booking of resources within an organization is coming together nicely.

The actual new development of Calendar Browser V8 is now finished, and the testing phase has begun. Our QA team is busy trying to book resources and use the new version in all thinkable ways and with different configurations and languages. and in that process they find a number of bugs. This is normal in all development and nothing to worry about.

Some of the bugs are major or even blockers, while other are minors or mere enhancements. All bugs are reported in a SharePoint list, where all details are easily filled out or selected.

The developers are just as busy fixing the bugs, so that not the users will be disturbed by them. Most of them are quickly corrected, but once in a while the testers find an issue that takes more time to solve.

In such cases our CEO Peter, who created this resource booking tool twelve years ago, and Lead Developer Jayant join forces, and with their combined knowledge and sharp minds they always find a way to avoid the problem. At least they have so far, and I have no doubts about the future!

Outlook calendar


While the technicians are refining the build, I am updating the Calendar Browser documentation. The Sales and Relations Manager, Siret, is also helping with that, and as we are trying the new version we both report our findings to the technicians.

This is a good way to learn the products, and we can give useful input. You should not have to be at technician to book resources with Calendar Browser, and we are closer to the every day end user when it comes to technical know how.

I think this non-technical angle is an advantage when creating the documentation, because I have seen manuals written by developers that have been impossible to understand for "normal people". And the technicians are very patient and kindly answer all our questions about resource booking with Calendar Browser.

When you go into the Outlook Calendar to book resources you want to be met by a nice user interface. Outlook is pretty good, and Calendar Browser makes use of as much Outlook functionality as possible. But we also have our own dialogs, and for the new version Graphic Desginer Jitendra has given them a face-lift.

The new design can be seen in the V8 slideshow below. When the new version has been released it will be possible to download the slideshow from the website, but for now an Issuu presentation will have to do.

Jitendra has also re-designed the installer, but to see that you will have to wait for the release of Calendar Browser V8, which will hopefully happen in November. Then it will also be possible to download this slideshow from the website.


Many companies and organizations use Calendar Browser for booking of their resources, and some of them have been with us for a long time. The other day we got a testimonial from a Swedish organization: who actually sponsored version 4:  "Within Sensus we have been using Calendar Browser for more than 9 years, for booking of our classroms, and we appreciate the simplicity and stability of the software. We also like the possibility to generate different kinds of reports. The support is quick, efficient and positive", says Håkan Damberg, IT Coordinator, MCSE, at Sensus (translated from Swedish).

We are always grateful for testimonials from users of the applications. They are very encouraging and we remember them when we work to improve our products.

29 October 2012

The Kingdom of Crystal – a fascinating outing

MapSometimes my husband, Sigge, and I need a break from the work at the computer, supporting and documenting the Outlook and SharePoint applications. We have two favorites for outings: nature walks and art experiences, and we have plenty of opportunities for both on Öland, the island where we live and work. However, last Saturday we took the bridge to the mainland and “Glasriket”, The Kingdom of Crystal.

VaaseInternational fame
It was a strange situation to frst drive through the Småland woods, seeing only trees and here and there a lake or a small cottage and then stop at Kosta, the biggest visitors center of The Kingdom of Crystal. When we left the car we found ourself surrounded by people from many countries, all here to see the glassworks.

English, German and Chinese were spoken nearly as much as Swedish. Tourists milled around to see the blowing at the furnace, eat the typical “hyttsill” (hot-shop herring) and of course make bargains in the shops.

Emigrant country
In a blog post about Swedish emigration I told you about the many Swedes who moved to the United States during the 1900th century, because of poverty and oppression. Many of them came from Småland, the part of Sweden which The Kingdom of Crystal belongs to.
Glassworks and woods
Others stayed in Sweden, and some of them sought their livelihood in the growing glass industry. For manual manufacturing of glass you need a lot of wood, and that was something they had plenty of in Småland – and still do. From the 18th century and through the 19th, many small glassworks were founded in what has now become known as The Kingdom of Crystal.
Glass Blower
Meeting places
As the furnaces had to be burning around the clock, the glassworks became welcome places of rest for vagabonds. They brought with them news from the outside world to the glass workers, and in the evenings they all gathered around the furnace, ate herring, told stories – and discussed politics!
Målerås – a success story
Today some of the glass works have become famous all over the world, like Orrefors, Kosta and our favorite, the small but prestigious Målerås. You can find both everyday glass and world-class art glass at the glassworks, and the art glass is what interests Sigge and me the most. It is fantastic to see the wonders created in co-operation between glass blowers and designers.

WolfOne of the most well-known artists is Mats Jonasson, owner of the Målerås glassworks. He has gathered a group of capable people around him, and today Målerås is one of the most successful glassworks, represented all over the world. Sigge and I especially like Mats Jonasson’s glass casts with animals in crystal, and we are the happy owners of the howling wolf you see here to the right.

On the way back to Öland we made our last stop at Boda, where there is a grand exhibition of glass, with art works by many famous artists. We saw a lot of interesting pieces, and we promised ourselves to come back soon. Imagine, people coming from all over the world to visit The Kingdom of Crystal, and we only have to cross a bridge!

25 October 2012

Windows 8 Tile Interface – Will It Be Used?

Tomorrow Microsoft will release the gold version of Windows 8, an operating system with a totally new user interface that is great for touch screens – if you have one. But I wonder how much it will be used with today's laptops and desktop computers? Even though the new tile interface is the first thing you see in Windows 8 it is probably not the most important change.
Win 8 screen

Compatibility issues
For many years Microsoft has used a desktop inspired interface that we have all grown accustomed to. In version 8 we see a radical change that some will have difficulties to get used to. The Microsoft designers of course knew that, so they gave us two user interfaces instead of one in Windows 8 – the new tiles and the old desktop interface.

But the new look is not the only problem with the tiles. A more serious one, at least for now, is the compatibility with the applications we are already using.

Windows 8 logotypeAll the products are compatible with Windows 8 – but you have to use the desktop interface. Most other products also require the desktop style user interface, so it seems that Windows 8 users will have to either use only the desktop interface or switch between the two interfaces. I wondered how people will like that, so I read some articles and made a poll within the team.

Analyst advice – use Windows 7
In a Gartner Webinar 26th of September the two analysts Steve Kleynhans and Michael Silver argued that organizations who are still on Windows XP should upgrade to Windows 7 – not to Windows 8. They meant that the tile user interface is too different and does not bring enough added values, and they predicted that Windows 8 will never be commonly used within the corporate world but rather be a parenthesis in the Microsoft development, like Windows Vista.

Even Win 8 fans prefer Win 7
A survey made by the Windows 8 help and support forum showed that even among these early Windows 8 users 53 % preferred Windows 7 and 20 % preferred Windows XP. Windows 8 only got 25 % of the votes.

In this case the new user interface does not seem to be the biggest problem, though. Instead the participants pointed out the high upgrade price, difficult systems requirements, incompatibility issues and freequent freezing and crashing in the Preview version of Windows 8.

Only 18% of the 50 000 participants mention the tile interface as a problem, but of course these are people with a positive attitude towards Windows 8 from the start. They knew they would be confronted with something totally new and were eager to try it. Square LogoBoth UIs in the team
I asked my colleagues about their use of Windows 8 and what user interface they prefer, and it seems that this group of highly skilled computer users have a more positive view on Windows 8 than we see in the webinar and survey mentioned above.

Most of the team members use Windows 8, but for development there is no tile interface so for that they mostly use Windows server 2008. Some team members like the colorful tile interface, while others say it is only suited for touch screens and is difficult to navigate when you have many applications open.

None of the managers are using the tile interface ‒ including me. I always need to have many programs open at the same time, and I like to have the small icons for them on the right hand of the screen, which I can get with the Windows 8 desktop interface. tile development
Kanban Task Manager logotypeIn spite of all doubts we also see that some products can be easier to use with a tile based user interface, and the developers have some ideas for such applications. Even if there is no development tool with a tiles interface today, they can very well build a tiles solution.

Kanban Task Manager, especially, would greatly benefit from a touch-based user interface, and the team has done some prototyping towards that goal already. This will be a third Kanban Task Manager version, and as it can cooperate with the two others we will really give something for all tastes!

Other benefits
The team members who prefer Windows 8 mostly do that because of other features than the tile interface. They like the Hyper-V, the picture log-in, the Explorer interface that resembles the Office 2010 ribbon and the newTask Manager.
Windows 8 Explorer
The Windows 8 speed was also commented on, both by my work mates and in the Forumswindows8 survey. The fast boot and shut down was the enhancement that most of the participants (56 %) in the poll liked best in Windows 8. Compare that to the tiles user interface, which was best liked by only 22 %.

The discussion on this topic has just begun, and I am really looking forward to seeing what the future holds for Windows. Will the tile interface become the next beloved tool, like the desktop style  has been for so long? Or will we hang on to the desktop interface? Or  maybe will we soon have something totally new?

My earlier blog posts about Windows 8:

September 2011:
 The first pre-Beta is launched
Comments on Win 8 from the team

29 February 2012
Release of the Preview version, presentation of features

23 October 2012

SharePoint Quality Assurance Project

The products are the backbone of our company, but Kalmstrom Enterprises AB also develops custom solutions. One of those is our current project for the Swedish chemical company Perstorp OXO AB.

Quality Assurance tracking
Perstorp OXO AB is Swedens’s only plant for oxo synthesis, a process for production of aldehydes. These aldehydes can then be converted into secondary products as alcohols, acids and plasticizers.

Perstorp OXO is currently realizing a major investment project in Stenungsund on the Swedish west coast, and and the quality control in the project must of course be rigorous. Around 2000 parts have to be approved 17 times, which gives 34 000 approvals, and all this must be handled and documented in an efficient way. The task of managing all these approvals is not an easy one, and that is why Perstorp OXO turned to our CEO, Peter Kalmström, for assistance.

Microsoft Certified Professional logotype

SharePoint solution
Peter is an expert on SharePoint , with all the available Microsoft certifications for SharePoint 2010. When the Perstorp OXO challenge had been presented to him, he could suggest a sandbox solution which is easy for the approving managers to use and which can be built with only standard SharePoint features.

Perstorp OXO will build part of the solution, while Peter helps with the parts where his expertise is needed. His task is of course only a small portion of the big building project. Yet it is important. It will not only make the work easier for the approving managers, but it will also minimize the risk of errors.

Development ‒ Programming ‒ System Design
Do you also have an idea or a problem that you would like to discuss with an expert? Peter is a specialist on Office and SharePoint, and he has a group of skilled developers and testers assisting him. You are always welcome to contact us. I am sure Peter and his team will find a solution to your problem or find ways to realize your idea!

18 October 2012

PamFax Online Faxing Tool Updated Twice

PamFax, the online fax application, has come with two new versions within seven days: first an update for iOS6 last Wednesday and then a bigger release yesterday.

No machines
PamFax bannerIt was a relief the day we could get rid of the fax machine and start using PamFax online faxing instead. Now members of the team can send faxes from where ever we are, as long as we have an internet connection, and we can read the faxes we recieve to our number with our local area code from anywhere, directly in the computer.

PamFax 3.5
Yesterday's new version of PamFax has several new features. I especially like the possibility to import address information with fax numbers. I can for example upload my Outlook contacts to my PamFax Portal, and then I will have them available to select from a dropdown when I want to send a fax. Another useful new feature is the possibility to upload my own cover page templates with the logo. In the new version of PamFax I can also drag files I want to fax from Windows and drop them into PamPax. The earlier method to upload files via a button is still available, but this is so much easier.

PamFax updated for iOS6
We mostly use PamFax with Windows, but there are apps for several operating systems, like MacOX, Android and iOS, and also for Salesforce and Facebook. Last week a new version of PamFax for iPad/iPhone was released. It adresses some issues related to iOS6, but it also has some new features. partner
PamFax is not a product, but we still have a strong interest in it. When our CEO, Peter Kalmström, was product manager at Skype he helped develope the first version of this excellent tool for online faxing. Later I and my daughter in law, Sales and Relations Manager Siret Kalmström, have translated all the PamFax phrases into Swedish and Estonian. And that is a ongoing process, because with each new version of PamFax phrases are changed or added.

No upgrade
PamFax banner 2As we are talking about online faxing here, I did not even have to upgrade to get the new version of PamFax. It was just there when I opened my PamFax Portal yesterday, curious to see the news after having read the PamFax blog.

Even in this age of e-mails, chats and sms you need to send a fax now and then, and PamFax is the perfect tool for it! You don't pay for more than you use, so it is not a big investment - just something that is good to have.

If you have not tried PamFax yet, I recommend you to send some free test pages to see how online faxing works. I am sure you will like PamFax!

16 October 2012

Name Days Calendar Apps Updated for 2013

The popular app iNameDays and its free counterpart NameDays have both been updated to include the name days for 2013.

iNameDays in calendar

Name days in the calendar you use
iNameDays logotype iNameDays is a cheap little app that adds the name days for the country of your choice to the default calendar of iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. We also offer week numbers, which is commonly used in Sweden. The name days and week numbers are added to the default iOS calendar, the one you normally use, so you don't have to enter a separate calendar to see them.

Free subscription options
NameDays logotype If you prefer to have your name days in another calendar, Business Solutions have a free application also: NameDays. From the beginning it was created only for the Outlook calendar, but now we have a subscription system that may be used for other calendars as well, such the iCal, Yahoo! or Google Calendar. If you subscribe to NameDays the name days - or week numbers - will be placed in a separate calendar.

Outlook calendar optionsOutlook icon
Outlook users have two alternatives for NameDays. They may either subscribe to the name days and get them in a separate Outlook calendar, or they can import the name days/week numbers to any Outlook calendar. Both options are free of charge!

Automatic updates
When iNameDays and NameDays are updated the name days and week numbers for previous year are removed. The current year is kept, and instead of previous year the coming year is added. For iNameDays and for the NameDays subscription alternative this process is automatic and users do not have to do anything to get the new data. If you have imported the data to your Outlook calendar, you must repeat the import to get the new name days and/or week numbers.

14 countries
iNameDays and NameDays currently gives a choice of name days for fourteen countries: Bulgarian, Czech, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, Russian, Slovakian, Spanish and Swedish. There is a separate file for each country, so it is very easy to update them and to add name days from more countries to the list.

Do you want the name days or week numbers in your own calendar? Welcome to buy iNameDays for only one U.S. dollar at App Store, or download NameDays for no dollar at all from the website.

14 October 2012

Windows XP And Office 2003 Support Stop

Last Friday Microsoft announced that the company will stop supporting Windows XP SP3 and Office 2003 by April 8, 2014. Peter and Jayant, CEO and Lead Developer at Business Solutions, had a virtual meeting and decided to do the same.

Upgrade doubts because of Vista
HelpDesk OSP iconWindows Vista, the operating system that was meant to replace XP, had a number of bad solutions and problems, and therefore many users decided to stay with XP, which worked fairly well. I think this situation also made people hesitant to upgrades in general, which affected the much better Windows 7 and made users avoid upgrading. Now it is soon time for Windows 8, and after it is released Microsoft obviously does not want to bother about XP anymore.

KBase iconWhen it comes to Office, the introduction of the ribbon in Office 2007 and the more extended use of it in Office 2010 make the 2003 version feel very old. When Office 2013 has been released the difference to 2003 will be even more pronounced.

IDC White paper
Making organizations leave Windows XP will probably be more difficult than to get them to upgrade Office. Introducing a new operation system is a bigger step, and because of the Vista failure the resistance is bigger. Maybe it is therefore Microsoft has sponsored an analyze on the consequences of keeping XP made by IDC (International Data Corporation).

Folder HelpDesk iconNot surprisingly the ICD report "Mitigating Risk: Why Sticking with Windows XP is a Bad Idea" can be used by Microsoft to persuade doubtful XP fans. IDC draws the conclusion that staying with XP means serious disadvantages and higher costs for support. “Organizations that continue to retain a Windows XP environment not only are leaving themselves exposed to security risks and support challenges but also are wasting budget dollars that would be better used in modernizing their IT investments.”

History of backward compatibility
Document Tagger icon Business Solutions software has always had a good backward compatibility. We are aware that all users do not upgrade when Microsoft releases a new version, and as most of our products are licenses with a subscription system it is important to not only sell new products but above all to keep the customers we already have. But when the giant Microsoft stops supporting its own products we see no reason to continue doing it.

Kanban Task Manager iconWelcome decision
Today all our applications can be used with Windows XP, and Calendar Browser, our resource booking tool for Outlook, is the only one which does not support Office 2003. However, for the developers and QAs the decision to follow Microsoft and stop supporting both Windows XP and Office 2003 is welcome news. This means that they can concentrate more on making the applications compatible with new versions of the Microsoft products they build on.

TimeCard iconWindows 8 is not a big issue for the products, and most of them are already compatible, but Office 2013 will require some rebuilding. Our developer team has already begun preparing for Office 2013, and then it is a relief not having to consider Outlook 2003.

Long transfer period
For the development the decision means that major new versions of our applications will not be tested with Windows XP or Office 2003, and when products are rebuilt we will no longer make sure they can be used with XP and 2003.

Calendar Browser iconWe appreciate that Microsoft made their decision public so far in advance of the actual stop date. This will give users plenty of time to upgrade. If you are using one of our products with Windows XP and/or Office 2003, you are welcome to contact us with any questions about compatibility and upgrades. We will do our very best to make the transition as smooth as possible.

12 October 2012

Nobel Peace Price winner – The European Union

In Sweden this week has been a week of announcements, when the different committees in The Nobel Foundation have made public to whom they have selected to award the prestigious Nobel Prizes. Today it was time for the last one, the so called Peace Prize, and to my surprise and joy the winner was the European Union, EU.
EU flag
Fortune on dynamite
The Nobel Prize was founded by the Swedish inventor and business man Alfred Nobel, who made himself a fortune on iron and steel products. He held many patents, and his most famous invention is the dynamite.

In his testament Nobel declared that he wanted his fortune to be turned into a foundation, that each year should be used to award distinguished men and women in different fields, without distinction of nationality. The first Nobel Prizes were awarded in 1901, and today price winners can be found all over the world.

Peace price to make up for war material
Alfred Nobel owned the company Bofors and reshaped the former iron and steel producer into a modern cannon manufacturer. He probably suffered from bad conscience because his money came from arms, and that is why he decided to give a price to the person or organization who had contributed to harmony and peace in the world.

At the time of Nobel’s death Sweden and Norway were a union, and therefore the Peace Prize ceremony is held in Norway and a Norwegian committee decides to whom the price should be awarded.

EU – a peace union
The European Union was founded after Europe had experienced two terrible wars that spread over big parts of the world, the First and Second World War. Many felt that this should never be allowed to happen again, and this was the main reason for creating the union.

The European Union has had many problems on the way, and I think that is to be expected when so many countries try to co-operate, but the union has succeeded in the most important respect – we have had no war among the EU countries.

The motivation for the award is “The union and its forerunners have for over six decades contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe.”

European citizens
The Kalmström family has always been in favor of EU. Spain is our second home country and the latest family Member, Siret, is from Estonia, so we feel like Europeans more than anything else. We hope that the Nobel Price will remind people about the reason for the creation of EU, and we congratulate everyone who is striving to make Europe a great place to live in.

09 October 2012

FAQ Articles For Outlook, SharePoint, Excel And Web With One Tool

KBase logotype
With KBase you can stop asking "who remembers how
that issue was solved?". This knowledge base application from Business Solutions can be used for FAQ or for any other kind of documentation and sharing of information. Now it will soon come in a new version, KBase V3.

Goodbye to public folders and shared mailboxes
For many years KBase has been running totally inside Outlook, and you have had to use a public folder or shared mailbox to share the articles within the workgroup. Now Microsoft is planning to cut down on support for public folders, and shared mailboxes also have their disadvantages.

Therefore the developers are doing a rebuild of KBase, and version 3 will instead have a local installation that loads data from both Outlook and a source outside Outlook. This source can be an Access database, an SQL Server database or a SharePoint site. The change will make it possible to support Office 365 and both the 32- and the 64-bit versions of Outlook 2010 and 2013, and it also gives very good future development possibilities.

Knowledge base in Outlook
Outlook iconIn KBase V3 the knowledge base articles will be saved in Outlook in the same way as e-mails and appointments. An article is an Outlook post item that has been given two hierarchic dropdowns, one for Category and one for Type. Many Types can be associated to each Category, and when a category is selected the Type dropdown will be populated with the associated types. The default view for the KBase Outlook folder shows the articles, or FAQ, grouped first by Category and then by Type.

Text can be written or pasted into the articles, and images, links and attachments may be added. As the articles are Outlook post items all the Outlook tools, like format text and spell check can be used.

Several options for reading KBase articles
The KBase knowledge base articles cannot only be watched in Outlook. Several more options are given. Each team can choose the option(s) that suits the team members best. For a geographically distributed team the SharePoint or website options will probably be best, but it is also possible to show the knowledge base articles in Outlook Web Access. Other teams may prefer having the knowledge base in Outlook or Excel.

Export to Excel
Excel iconTo export KBase articles from Outlook to Excel you just have to click on a button in the Outlook ribbon, and you are asked if you want to export all articles or only some of them, if you wish to include attachments and if you wish to show the articles in HTML in the Excel datasheet. KBase will remember your choices and show them as default the next time.

Export to webpages
With a click of a button all or selected articles can be exported to the website of your choice. A table of content may be generated automatically, and the articles can be grouped by Category and Type. Below you can see how the default user interfaces will look for content page and article page.
KBase on the web 1
KBase on the web 2
For a broader use of KBase articles, outside a workgroup, the website option is the obvious choice. Create for example FAQ pages with KBase in Outlook and then export them to the website.

Create new articles in SharePoint
SharePoint iconIf you prefer to use SharePoint, the knowledge articles may be embedded in a SharePoint site. In a future version we will create a nicer user interface for embedded KBase articles, but it works fine even with the current version.

If the SharePoint option is used for sharing and storage also, version 3 of KBase will give a possibility to create knowledge base articles directly from SharePoint. You can use formatting and add attachments to the articles, just like when you create them in Outlook. Therefore the SharePoint alternative is a good option for FAQ articles on a company intranet.

KBase is used as a complement to Folder HelpDesk and HelpDesk OSP by many Community Members, but we also sell KBase as a stand alone product. Iam sure all these users will be happy about the new version.

04 October 2012

Outlook 2013 Support Interesting In September Blog Posts

On the last day of September the much awaited update of Kanban Task Manager was released, so it is only natural that the articles I wrote about this new application for project management with Outlook tasks had many readers during the month.

Product news Kanban Task Manager logotype
As there are so many earlier blog posts about Kanban Task Manager I will not talk much about it here. Please read earlier articles or visit the Kanban Task Manager Revisions page for details. Here I will just mention that the add-on is now fully compatible with both the 32- and the 64-bit versions of Office 2013.

Calendar Browser icon
Now it is time to update more products to support the 64-bit versions of Outlook 2010 and 2013, and the developers have already started working on the application for booking resources, Calendar Browser for Outlook. The blog post about Calendar Browser V8 will surely be followed by more, and I hope to soon be able to describe the new Excel reports on past resource usage.

JavaScript Tips still most popular
Among all the blog posts about Tips the one about JavaScript in SharePoint was the single most popular in September too, just like in several earlier months. Our CEO, Peter Kalmstrom, is a SharePoint expert who has a lot of knowledge to share, and he will gradually create more tutorials on how to use JavaScript with SharePoint.

Among the more personal articles the appeal against software wrapping was the most popular. I can understand it, because most of us have experienced that we got unwanted software when we downloaded something we needed. Now we have hopefully learned to look out and read the installer text carefully! People
In September I also wrote some articles about members of the teamPeter and Siret travelled to live in the family's apartment in Spain for the winter and the yearly Ganesha festival for friendship and harmony was celebrated with a ceremony at the Indore office. I also paid attention to QA Engineer Neha, when she had been with us for one year.

I hope my blog readers like the mix I am creating, but you are very welcome to suggest subjects you would like to read about. If I know them, I promise I will try to write something interesting!

02 October 2012

Vikings at the Öland Harvest Festival Business Solutions has its head office on Öland, an island off the Swedish south-eastern coast. On Öland we celebrate Sweden's biggest harvest festival each year, and this year one of the villages had a Viking theme.
Harvest festival Photo 1
Important Viking Era port
Köpingsvik is a small village with 600 inhabitants, situated just north of the town Borgholm and the head office. Nowadays it is most known for its wonderful beach and the camping sites near it, but it has not always been that way. During the Viking Era, when Nordic Vikings travelled trrough Europe and beyond as tradesmen or warriors, the village had an important port. At that time the name was Köping, and the port was a well known trading center for several hundred years.

Viking theme
The Harvest festival is celebrated all over the island, but in Köpingsvik the activities were more extensive than usual this time. Köpingsvik had been appointed "Öland village of the year", so the grand opening of the festival was held here. In remembrance of the glorious centuries around the year 1000, the villagers decided to give their contributions to the festival a Viking theme.
Harvest festival Photo 2
Viking ship
In the center of the festivities was a newly built replica of a Viking ship. When the festival opened last Thursday afternoon there was a parade of people in clothes similar to those worn during the Viking Era, and at the head of them came the ship drawn by a black and white horse.

Viking chief funeral
To wind up the festival and give the Viking theme a dignified prorogation, a mock funeral of a Viking chief was staged. Now the ship was used again, because it was launched to the sea and set on fire. In the old times this was how dead Viking chiefs were sent on their journey to Valhalla, where the men who died in combat could enjoy an eternal banquet.
Harvest festival Photo 3
Sigge and I of course took part in the festivities, but unfortunately we could not take any photos. Therefore I have borrowed images from two Facebook pages, Skördefesten i Köpingsvik and Klinta Camping. We say thank you to the photografers and to everyone else who made the Öland Harvest Festival a success!