Archive for the ‘SharePoint Planner’ Category

Google Chrome v43+ incompatibility – new version of Planner, PivotPoint and TeamTime available

Date:June 1st, 2015 Author: Tags: , , , , ,
Category: PivotPoint Web Part, SharePoint Planner, SharePoint TeamTime Comments:0 ;

New versions of Planner, PivotPoint and TeamTime are available that correct an incompatibility with Google Chrome v43+.

This incompatibility can cause the web part to be hidden when using the web part configuration toolpane (edit web part).

As Google Chrome is automatically updated it’s important that any customers who use Chrome update to the latest version.

You can download the latest trial version and upgrade by installing over the top – your existing settings will be saved and the License Key picked up to activate the full version.

Planner web part is now compatible with SharePoint 2013

Date:January 29th, 2013 Author: Tags:
Category: SharePoint Planner Comments:0 ;

Our Planner web part is now compatible with SharePoint 2013 as of version 2.8.1.

You can download and install the latest version and find upgrade instructions in the online manual.

If upgrading from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2013 simply perform the upgrade then install the latest version – your old settings and license key will be picked up.

SharePoint Planner

The following page will be updated as our other web parts are made SharePoint 2013 compatible.

Turn A SharePoint Task List Into A Task Master

Date:October 19th, 2012 Author: Tags: , , , , , ,
Category: FilterPoint Web Part, Highlighter, PivotPoint Web Part, SharePoint Alert, SharePoint Planner, SharePoint Reminder, SharePoint webparts Comments:0 ;

Here’s how you can turn SharePoint’s built-in Task list into a powerful task tracking tool, using Pentalogic products.

These are just examples to get you started – we’re only scratching the surface here of what’s possible with our range of flexible SharePoint web parts.

To start, just create a new blank site and add a task list. Here’s one I made earlier:

start

Now just follow our guide for each section (or just the sections you want):

Each section has step-by-step instructions and a screenshot of the configuration to compare against.

Task list: Priority and Due Date highlighting

Uses Highlighter

To make the high-priority and upcoming tasks really stand out, we’re going to add a couple of highlighter columns.

Here’s what you will see on the All Tasks view – coloured flags to show priority, a column showing how long we’ve got left to complete items and a red highlight for things that are overdue.

highlighter_result

hl_priority

Highlight Priority

  • Create a new Pentalogic Highlighter column
  • Name the column Task Priority
  • Choose the column type Highlighting
  • Choose Show Icons
  • Click the Default icon, then click Clear
  • Change Base on column to Priority
  • Select Replace ‘Priority’ on all views
  • Under Rules click the Auto-create button
  • Click OK

Due Date Countdown

    • Create a new Pentalogic Highlighter column
    • hl_countdownName the column Due
    • Choose the column type Countdown
    • Change the Start option to [Today]
    • Change the End option to Due Date
    • Select Add to default view, on the Right
    • Uncheck all the display options except Days
    • Under Rules click the Auto-create button

Home page: Task calendar overview and summary

Uses Planner

On your site’s home page we’re going to add an at-a-glance overview of your tasks: A view of the task list (highlighted, if you did the previous section) and a task calendar.

Here’s what your home page will look like once we’ve finished:

mainpage

List view

  • Edit the page and add Tasks from the Existing Lists category
  • Edit the web part
  • Change the Selected view to All Tasks (to ensure Highlighter columns are displayed)
  • Click OK

Task calendarplanner_config

  • Edit the page and add Planner v2 from the Miscellaneous category
  • Set the Style to By Category
  • Set the Planner Source to Tasks
  • Set the Start Date to the column Start Date
  • Set the End Date to the column Due Date
  • Set the Category to Assigned To
  • Set the Label to Title
  • Set the Progress to % Complete
  • Set the Period to Auto
  • Change Set colour by column to Priority
  • Assign appropriate Colors to the priorities (e.g. High – Red)
  • Optional: Set a Fxed width under the Appearance section
  • Optional: Set the Font size to Medium

Analysis page: Graphs and granular reporting

Uses FilterPoint and PivotPoint

Now we’re going to create an Analysis page to produce some graphs and reporting data from your task list.

You will have an Analysis page that looks like this – showing  charts for each persons workload.

analysispage

Creating the page

  • From Site Actions choose New Document Library (to put the page in)
  • Call the library Pages
  • Set Quick Launch to Yes
  • Set Versioning to No
  • Change the Document Template to Web Part Page
  • Click Create
  • From Site Actions choose More options…
  • Under Page choose Web Part Page
  • Call the page Analysis
  • Change the Template to Full page, Vertical
  • Set the Document Library to Pagespivotpoint_pie_config

Graph and Report: Priority skew

Let’s add a graph to show us if tasks are being raised too often as “High priority”:

  • Edit the Analysis page
  • Add the PivotPoint web part from the Pentalogic.net category
  • Edit the web part
  • Set Display to Both
  • Set List to Tasks
  • Under Columns set Field to Priority
  • Under Chart options set Chart type to Pie
  • Click OK

Graph and Report: Status by Personpivotpoint_stack_config

Next we’ll add a graph to show the status of tasks assigned to everyone. That’ll show us if we have any bottlenecks in the team:

  • Edit the Analysis page
  • Add the PivotPoint web part from the Pentalogic.net category
  • Edit the web part
  • Set Display to Both
  • Set List to Tasks
  • Under Columns set Field to Status
  • Under Rows set Field to Assigned To
  • Under Chart options set Chart type to Bar
  • Set Color mappings to Automatic colors
  • Click OK

Filteringfilterpoint_config

Lastly, let’s add a filtering web part. this will allow us to drill down into our data by selecting certain statuses and date ranges:

  • Edit the Analysis page
  • Add the FilterPoint web part from the Pentalogic.net category
  • Connect the other web parts via the menu (Connections -> Provide filter to)
  • Edit the web part
  • Under Filters click New
  • Change the Label to Status
  • Set the Style to Drop Down
  • Under Get the filter values select From a list
  • Still under Get the filter values, the list Tasks and field Status
  • Under Filters click New
  • Change the Label to Start Date
  • Set the Style to Date Range
  • Set the Field name to From the connected web part and select Start Date
  • Click OK

You can display the page on the Quick Launch menu via Site Actions -> Site Settings and selecting the Quick Launch option under Look and Feel.

Alert page: Configure “Overdue” alerts

Uses Reminder

The last step is to configure Reminder to send email alerts to us when tasks are overdue. You’ll need to create the Pages document library if you skipped the previous section, and then continue with the instructions:

  • From Site Actions choose More options… reminder_config
  • Under Page choose Web Part Page
  • Call the page Reminder
  • Change the Template to Full page, Vertical
  • Set the Document Library to Pages
  • Edit the page
  • Add the Reminder web part from the Miscellaneous category
  • Edit the web part
  • Set Watch list to Tasks
  • Under Email to select Assigned To from the dropdown
  • Under Email CC enter the manager’s e-mail address in the text box
  • Next to Subject click “” and enter the following into the popup box:Overdue task ([Title])
  • Next to Message click “” and enter the following:This task is overdue: Title: [Title]
    Due date: [Due Date]
    Priority: [Priority]
  • Under Send When expand Overdue and choose by 1 Days
  • Click OK

You should hen see the following on the page:

reminderpage

You can also setup email alerts to remind you when tasks are due in a few days.

Finished!

Your mundane Tasks list is now an all-singing all-dancing Task Master!

This is just one example of the many possible solutions that can be achieved with our products. Please feel free to browse the product pages below to learn more or take advantage of our 30 day free trial:

Date Range filtering with the new version of FilterPoint, PivotPoint and Planner.

Date:December 13th, 2011 Author: Tags: , , ,
Category: Filter, FilterPoint Web Part, PivotPoint Web Part, SharePoint Planner, SharePoint webparts Comments:0 ;

FilterPoint has had the ability to send Date Filters but a common request has been Date Ranges – like showing everything this month, last year or between two arbitrary dates.

FilterPoint - Date Range Filtering

The good news is that we’ve added this in to FilterPoint as of version 1.2

The bad news is that this will only work with our other SharePoint products – Planner and PivotPoint – it won’t work with SharePoints built in List View web part (LVWP).

That’s disappointing!

Yes it is – it’s just a limitation of SharePoints filtering I am afraid, but all is not lost!

This page shows how you can do things like Month filtering using calculated columns and this blog article shows how you can setup “Current Month/Previous Month” views using nothing more than Calculated Columns and View filters.

Upgrading

As always you can upgrade without losing any settings by downloading and running the latest trial version and selecting “Upgrade” when prompted (don’t forget you need the a recent version of Planner (v2.6.9+) and PivotPoint (2.2.0+) to accept date range filters.

SharePoint Staff Vacation Planner Update – dealing with Public Holidays

Date:September 1st, 2011 Author: Tags: , , , ,
Category: PivotPoint Web Part, SharePoint Planner, SharePoint Reminder Comments:0 ;

Customers who use our SharePoint Staff Vacation Planner Toolkit often ask about the best way to deal with public holidays.  Public Holidays tend to affect the whole team.  So you want them clearly marked on your Vacation Planner dashboard, but you certainly don’t want to have to enter each public holiday for each team member as a separate event.  And you probably also don’t want to be firing off absence approval requests for each holiday either.

So here are our suggestions on the best way of handling Public Holidays within the SharePoint Staff Vacation Planner Toolkit.

First you need modify your list.  Go to list settings and open up your “Reason” field.  In addition to your existing reasons for absence add a new reason – Public Holiday.

Then open up the settings for your “Requested By” column and make sure you have “Allow Multiple Selections” checked.

Now you need to modify your Planner web part.

So, “Edit Shared Web Part” then, under your “Category”  picker, check the “split multiple selections box”.  This is key if you want to be able to create just one event for each public holiday but have it show up against each of your team members.

Now go down to the Planner Colors section of the Toolpart and update your color coding by column section to include an extra color code for your new Reason for absence that you created in your list – Public Holiday – I am going for a nice orange.

Now check your PivotPoint web part. For this to work you are going to need PivotPoint 2.1.4 or above.  Download it here if you don’t have it already (free to all PivotPoint v2 customers, or v1 customers with Premium Support). In the Toolpart make sure that in the “Split Multiple Values” dropdown you have chosen “Split Records”.  This will ensure that when we enter a 1 day public holiday for 4th of July, for example, 1 day gets entered against each team member in the pivot table.

Finally, before we start adding events, to ensure that we don’t accidentally fire off approval requests and notifications all over the place, access the Reminder web parts that you have set up and in the “Reminder Testing”  section at the bottom of the Toolpart enter your own email address so that any emails generated whilst you are adding the public holidays go to you.  This will be a better solution than simply switching the Reminders off as you work, as it will mean that if any “real” requests are submitted whilst you are working you will be able to redirect them, rather than them being lost.

Add a Public Holiday

So, from your Planner dashboard add a new item.  Let’s do 4th July. Set it up as an all day event.  Set yourself as “approved by”, you will need to approve the event before it will show up in people’s dashboards.  Now add your whole team to the “Requested By” field.  It’s easiest to do this using the Address Book.  Now ensure you have selected “Public Holiday” in your Reason field.  Approve the request.  Discard all the “Request approved” notifications that are redirected through to you.  And now you will see your public holiday, nicely marked against each of your team members.  Repeat as needed for all of your other public holidays, remove the redirect from your Reminder emails and then you can relax for another year!

I hope this helps you in using Vacation Planner.  If you have any questions or requests about the Vacation Planner we would love to hear them.

SharePoint Planner – New Version Release, every minute counts!

Date:August 25th, 2011 Author: Tags: , , ,
Category: General, SharePoint Planner Comments:0 ;

We were recently contacted by a customer who was going to be responsible for organizing a visit from a Very, Very important person. The visit would only last a couple of hours, but would involve many people and needed to be planned down to the minute.

The client wanted an easy to use graphical representation of the project, in SharePoint, for everyone to refer to and update as the event progressed.

Let’s take a look at how the project might have looked in an out of the box calendar view:

Hmmm, don’t think that’s really giving us the kind of info we need.  We have 7 items here, scheduled over a 3 hour period from 12 noon to 3pm, items fall in to different categories and are assigned to different people.  We’re not really getting that from this view are we?

Actually, the view is quite misleading.  The first event “Close Streets to Traffic” looks as though it lasts for one hour from 12.00 to 13.00 right? Wrong, this is actually a 40 minute event, starting at 12 and finishing at 12.40.  This may not seem like a big deal but there are times when this kind of accuracy really matters – it’s easy to see how running 20 minutes late at a VIP event could lead to VIP tantrums!

So how about the out of the box Gantt Chart? OK, so we have access to a little more info on who is doing what, but now we can see nothing at all on timings.

We can zoom though, and this is what we get when we do maximum zoom.

Well it’s certainly an improvement, but it’s not great is it?  We are on maximum zoom here are it’s still quite difficult to see the detail of what’s happening when.

We thought we could do better.  So we added to SharePoint Planner the ability to set timescales to 10 or 15 minutes.  We think this gives a much clearer view for fast moving projects like this. Either in the classic Gantt view, most usually used for projects: Or in a category view for exactly what each of your team members should be doing at any one time:

The new 10 and 15 minute scheduling options allow you to schedule events more accurately and deploy resources more effectively.

This is a new feature in Planner version 2.6.6, so if you are using an older version of the software it would be worth upgrading now.

Or if you don’t yet use SharePoint Planner why not give it a try today with 30 day free trial?

SharePoint Planner Webpart – new version released

Date:September 1st, 2010 Author: Tags: , ,
Category: General, SharePoint Planner, SharePoint webparts Comments:0 ;

Just a quick note to let you all know that we have just released a new version of SharePoint Planner web part - v2.6.4.

The new version includes a couple of handy new features that might be useful for you.

The new Split Multiple Values option will be useful in resource planning in circumstances where you want to enter multiple category values into one list item, but still view each individual category’s activity as a separate line in your Planner view.  For example you might want to create a list item for a project meeting, with several people in attendance.  In a Gantt view of project tasks it would be appropriate to show this meeting as one item.

sharepoint planner gantt chart

But in a category view of staff availability/commitments you would want the meeting to appear as a separate item for each staff member involved. (more…)

SharePoint Staff Vacation Planner – DIY Guide part 5 – the system in action and Out of the box options.

Date:August 9th, 2010 Author: Tags: , ,
Category: PivotPoint Web Part, SharePoint Ideas, SharePoint Planner, SharePoint Reminder, SharePoint webparts Comments:0 ;

This is Part 5 of the SharePoint Staff Vacation Planner – DIY Guide

See the System In Action

So, now let’s reap the rewards for all of our hard work and see the system in action.

I need to book a day off for a hospital appointment on Friday 9th of July.  I can see all the absence bookings for my department and the number of days I have had off this year on the absence dashboards above. I’ve only had 1 day off for Medical Appointments so far this year and I am allowed 3 so that’s fine – but 3 people are off on that day already, it’s going to be tough, but I really need to go to that appointment.

So, as you can see, I can add a new item to the planner straight from the link in the webpart, I don’t need to go to the list.

Ryan receives the absence request email and from looking at his dashboards he can see that although I am well within my Medical Appointments entitlement approving this absence is going to leave him really short staffed on Friday – but he can’t face the thought of listening to me moaning about my in-growing toenail for another 3 months, so he approves the request.

Once the request is approved I get an email notifying me, and the status of the absence changes from “pending” to “approved” on the absence planner.

And for the final step in the process, is the email to Ryan on Thursday, to remind him that I am off the next day, giving him chance to make sure all my work is covered.

So now we should have no excuse for messing up staff absence planning ever again!

So Can’t I do this with SharePoint out of the Box?

Well some of it. Clearly, your basic list and filtered views are all set up in SharePoint out of the box.

When it comes to your dashboard views there are some limitations.

This is how your Vacation Planner Wall Chart looks out of the box:

or as a Gantt view:

We have lost all of our color coding, it’s not possible to show the name of the person who is absent, unless you make this the title of the event, and we have no way of distinguishing between approved and pending items.

For the “Absences to Date” and “My Absences” dashboards we can achieve something similar, if a bit clunky, out of the box.  From the settings tab in your Staff Absence Planner list, choose edit current view.

Head down to Group By and choose Requested By and Reason.  Then expand the Totals section and choose # Days Absence and sum.

 

 

This will give you a view like this:

The information is all there, but I have to work to get at it.  For example Ryan can see that I have had 11 days off this year, covering 3 separate occasions, but he is going to have to drill into each individual event and get his calculator out to figure out how many of my days off have been annual leave, training or Medical.

Then on to the workflow emails. It is possible to generate email alerts for the absence request and the request approval, but the solution isn’t perfect.  For absence requests an administrator can set the list up to email all line managers within your company or department, every time a new request is added to the list.  This means that managers will get absence requests from their own staff, but also from all other staff as well.  The only way to avoid this would be to set up a separate absence request list for each line manager.

For the request approved/rejected email the requester will need to set up an alert on each request as they create it, asking to be alerted any time anything changes on that list item.

When the alert emails arrive, this is how they look:

There is no way to edit the email, and give the recipient clues on what they are supposed to do with it.

The final “John Smith is off work tomorrow” email, cannot be generated in SharePoint out of the box, as it doesn’t do date based alerts.

You could do this with Workflow and Event Receivers, but that means having some technical knowledge and breaking out SharePoint Designer and/or Visual Studio.

So – can you build a staff absence planning system with SharePoint out of the box?  I guess the answer is “kind of”. It is possible to build a basic system but it’s going to lack some useful functionality and may now be enormously user friendly.

We hope you’ve found this useful.

If you would like to try the Vacation planning system you can download a 30 day free trial version here.

And as always, if you have any questions or comments, we would love to hear them.

SharePoint Staff Vacation Planner – DIY Guide part 2 – set up a “Wall Chart” Dashboard

Date:August 3rd, 2010 Author: Tags: , ,
Category: General, SharePoint Ideas, SharePoint Planner Comments:1 ;

This is Part 2 of the SharePoint Staff Vacation Planner – DIY Guide

So having set up our Vacation and Absence list yesterday, we can now apply Planner webpart, to create a vacation and absence dashboard like this:

So staff and managers can easily see who is off when, and when it will be possible to request leave.

(more…)

SharePoint Staff Vacation Planner – DIY Guide – Part 1

Date:August 2nd, 2010 Author: Tags: , , ,
Category: General, SharePoint Ideas, SharePoint Planner, SharePoint Reminder Comments:10 ;

SharePoint offers a great foundation for non-programming business people to build applications around our business processes, just the way we want them.  This guide will show you how to build your own SharePoint staff vacation and absence planning system.

Staff vacation and absence planning can cause trouble and strife in any organization.  The good old wall planner can work for staff who are all in the same physical locations . . .

. . . . until you approve an absence then forget to enter it on to the planner, and then allow someone else to book vacation at the same time, leaving your department under staffed.

. . . . .or until you forget that Sam has booked a week’s vacation and call him up furious on Monday morning asking why he isn’t in work.

. . . . . .or authorize Jenny’s week off in the Caribbean only to get a thorough ticking off from HR because you have allowed Jenny to exceed her annual leave entitlement.

I’ve been guilty of all these crimes in my time. So I was pleased to find that with SharePoint we can make things a little more organized, and using our PivotPoint, Reminder and Planner web parts together we can set up a slick little Vacation Planning system in just a few minutes.

So, what we are aiming for here is:

  • A dashboard “Absence Planner” display, which will be accessible to all staff via SharePoint.
  • A personal and managers “Absences to Date” dashboards.
  • An automated Absence Request approval system
  • An email reminder to line managers of imminent staff absence.

To be clear: this is not a ready made “Vacation Planning” template or application, its a guide showing how you could build your own system, using some of SharePoints built in features and then add a little pizazz with our web parts. Its going to take a little work to set this up for your organisation but then it should be a better fit than a packaged solution.

Setting up the Vacation Planner should take you about an hour if you have our webparts already, a little more if you need to download them.  So we have broken this guide up into 4 parts, which we will be publishing over the next 5 days:

Today – set up your Staff Vacation and Absences list and filtered views

Part 2 – set up a Staff Vacation Planner dashboard with SharePoint Planner webpart

Part 3 – Set up Absences to date dashboard with SharePoint PivotPoint Webpart

Part 4 – Set up a absence request and approvals workflow with SharePoint Reminder Webpart

Part 5 – see the system in action, and see how much of this you could achieve with SharePoint out of the box.

For those of you who can’t wait that long, you can download the full PDF guide and a 30 day free trial of the webparts here.

First set up your List

We are going to use a Calendar List, add some extra columns, and switch on Approvals.

So, from which ever section of your site you want choose select Site Actions from the top right of the page, then from the dropdown, select Create then from the Tracking tab, select Tasks.

Call your list whatever you want – Staff Absence Planner works for me, decide whether you want it to display in the quick launch menu  – probably no need as few people will need to access the list that way once we have our system set up.  Then select no in the Alerts option.  Click OK and you list is set up.

Now go to the Settings tab in your list and first of all choose Create Column. We are going to add a few extra columns to the list. Add the columns Requested By and Authorized By, the column type for both of these is “Person or Group” and you want them both to display in the default view. Make these mandatory fields by clicking Yes for Require that this column contains information. Now we are going to add a column to show the reason for the absence – annual leave, maternity leave, training, sabbatical, whatever.  The column type for this column is going to be Choice and again we are going to made completion of this field mandatory, and show the field in the default view. Finally a column for the number of days of each absence, we want this to be a number column, I have set the minimum value to 0.5 days and the maximum to 30 days, and again we want it to be a mandatory field.

Next let’s switch on Approvals.  Back in the Settings tab of your list choose List Settings and from the General tab choose Versioning Settings. In Content Approval click Yes and we are done with the list set up.

Set up Filtered Views

Now for the filters.  If you haven’t made much use of filters before it may be worth having a look at these resources:

SharePoint filter techniques articles

Filters can really enhance the power of SharePoint lists, and we are going to use 3 here in our vacation planner.

#1 – Approved and Pending Absences for Planner

We want our Planner to provide a dashboard display for all staff, showing absences requested and approved.  So that staff can see when it will be possible to book an absence and managers can decide whether they wish to approve a staff absence request.

Our list actually contains 3 approval status’s “Pending”, “Approved” and “Rejected” we don’t need to display absence requests that have been rejected on our Planner, so we are going to set up a list view to show just “Pending” and “Approved” requests.

Go back to Site Settings and choose Create View.  From the menu here choose Standard View. N.B.  This choice is very important – Planner only works on Standard views. In the Create View Page add a name for your view, we have used Staff Absences – Approved and Pending. In the Audience section be sure you have checked Create Public View this again is an essential for Planner to work.  In the column section choose the columns that you wish to display to people who are creating or entering a list item.  This will not impact of the Planner display.

We are then going to skip over the “Sort” section and from the Filter section choose Show Items only when the following is true.

Column Approval Status is equal to Pending OR column Approval Status is equal to Approved.  Click OK and we are done with the filter.

#2 – Approved absences for managers “Absences to Date” Dashboard

Set up of this is exactly the same as the last one, except we are going to call it “Absences to Date” and just show items where column approval status is equal to approved.

#3  – The Magical [Me] Filter, for “My Absences” Dashboard.

If you haven’t used this filter before you are going to love it!  It shows whoever is logged in just the list items relating to them, so its ideal for our “My Absences” dashboard view, but also has a whole host of other uses.

We need a Standard, public view again – yes even though it’s “My Absences” it’s still a public view or other people won’t be able to use it.  Call it My Absences then head down to the filter section and choose to show items where column Requested By, is equal to [Me].

So, now we have laid the foundations for our system by setting up the basic list and filters.

In Part 2 we will create a “wall chart” dashboard, using SharePoint Planner webpart.