How to kill a software developer: 2000 miles of cycling

Date:April 22nd, 2013 Author: Tags: , ,
Category: General Comments:3 ;

Ever see one of those charity events and think "Hey, I could do that. No problem." Then you think about it a bit harder and realise that it’s probably not a very good idea at all?

Well, I saw a charity ride raising money for the Alzheimer’s Society and thought "Hey, I cycle 4 miles to work, I could cycle 230 miles from London to Brussels. No problem." Then something very odd happened: My wife (destroyer of fads and disapprover of good ideas) said "Yes, you probably could." to the surprise and shock of all involved.

230 miles? That’s not too bad?

It works out at 75 miles each day, split over 3 days. But average folk like myself haven’t a chance in hell of getting up even the first big hill without training. 2000 miles of training, to be exact.Charlton Abbots

So every weekend I’ve been panting, sweating, and wheezing dozens of miles across the Gloucestershire countryside, in the hope that at some point I’ll miraculously turn into Bradley Wiggins.

My nice 4 mile commute into work is now a grinding 10 mile loop of hills and back roads, which will get longer and longer until the challenge itself in September, by which point I’ll be regularly doing a commute of 25 miles and a weekend ride of 70 miles!

But… Why?

I’ve asked myself that more than once, believe me. To be honest there are two main reasons: A selfless one and a selfish one.

1. With one in three people over 65 developing dementia, it’s likely we’ll all know someone effected by this awful condition. The Alzheimer’s Society help people with Alzheimer’s and dementia, while also funding research to prevent it in future.

2. It’s been one of my life’s aspirations to do such an event, so I thought I’d get off my bottom and do it.

Where do I donate?

The challenge’s minimum fundraising target is £1250, half of which is due in June. So any help towards that would be greatly appreciated by both me and the charity! Here is my page on Just Giving:Me

http://www.justgiving.com/Stuart-Pegg

If you live in the UK you can also donate by texting "STUU60 £2" to 70070

You can watch and/or laugh at my training progress on RunKeeper:

http://runkeeper.com/user/foriamstu/profile

Thanks for reading!

How to configure email alerts to review Documents in SharePoint

Date:March 13th, 2013 Author: Tags:
Category: General, SharePoint Reminder Comments:2 ;

I am going to walk through an example showing how you can use our SharePoint Reminder software to send out date based email alerts reminding authors to review and update old documents.

Perhaps you’ve got contracts that will expire at a certain time and need to be renewed. Perhaps you’ve got policies that need to be checked for accuracy at least once per year.

Reminder can help with this and many other scenarios requiring you to setup email alerts to be sent on certain dates – and it’s much easier than working with workflow.

Scenario 1 – Email to author asking for a document to be reviewed once per year.

In this simple example we’re just going to send out an email to an author if a document hasn’t been updated in a year.

Start with a standard SharePoint Document Library (or even a normal list with document attachments).

basic-document-library
(These screenshots are from SharePoint 2013 but Reminder can work with any on-premises version of SharePoint and if you’re using SharePoint Online / Office 365 then you can use our Reminder 365 product).

Create a new wiki page (or web part page if you’re using SharePoint 2007) somewhere in the same site. The location is not important as long as it’s in the same site.

Add a new web part to the page (Insert > Web Part > Miscellaneous > Reminder)

Edit the web part and in the toolpane (the settings on the right) configure it like this :-

Set the watch list to Documents (or whatever your document library or list is called)

Set the Email To : Created By

Tip – you don’t have to use the Created By column (who is the first person to upload the document) you could use

  • Use the Modified By column (the last person to edit the document)
  • Add a “Owner” field as a Person or Group field into the document library and set Reminder to send to that
  • Hard code a person or distribution address into Reminder such as “doc-reviewers@yourcorp.com”

reminder-config-watch-list

Setup a subject and message – remember you can include details from the document library such as [Name] and [Modified By] and any other metadata fields from the list. The email will also contain a link to the document record.

reminder-message-subject

Under Send When set the Reminder email to be sent when the Modified field is Overdue by 12 months – this will trigger an email when a document’s last modified date is a year old.
(If someone edits a document half way through a year the alert email will be ‘moved back’ to be a full 12 months since the last modification)
 send-when-modified
 In the Send Email section set this list to be checked at 7am every weekday (or whatever makes sense to your organisation).  send-when

And that’s it! In a years’ time the person who created the document will get emails like this – notice the ‘mail merge’ of information from the document library / list being put into the subject and message

document-review-email

Scenario 2 – Email to an Account Manager to ensure a contract is renewed.

Building up on the previous example we’re going to

  • Add an Owner field into the document library as who initially uploads a document may not be the person who is later responsible for it.
  • Add a Review Date field – just sending an email in a year’s time isn’t precise enough for our well organised office!

So add these fields using Library > Create Column

  • Owner is a Person or Group Field
  • Expiration Date is a Date and Time field and defaults to a Calculated Value of [Today]+365 so by default documents are due for review 1 year after they were created, but this can be changed

(Note – you can use [Today] in default values and filters, just not calculated columns!)

It will look something like this :-

modified-document-library
The setup for Reminder is almost identical to the previous example but

Email To : Owner

Subject : The document [Name] is due for review on [Review Date]

Send When : Review Date is Due Soon within 5 days.

 

review-date-due-soon

And you’re done! 5 days before the Review Date comes around an email will be sent to the Document Owner.

Further ideas

  • You can have multiple Reminders for different time periods, e.g.
    • The first email 6 months after it was created, the second 24 months after or
    • One email 2 weeks before a review date saying “Due Soon” and another email once the Review Date has passed by a month saying “Overdue – get on with it!” – let the  computer be the team nag!
  • Email CC – perhaps the ‘due soon’ email can go to just the document owner but the “overdue” email can be cc’d to the team leader
  • Dynamic Review Dates – perhaps HR documents need to be reviewed every year, but health and safety documents very 2 years. You can set different rules and emails by setting up Views to filter different types of documents and setup different Reminder web parts for different views.

Download the free 30 day trial and get started today!

Reminder web part is now compatible with SharePoint 2013

Date:March 7th, 2013 Author: Tags: , ,
Category: General, SharePoint Alert, SharePoint Reminder Comments:0 ;

Our Reminder web part (which gives date based “Due Soon” and “Overdue” email alerts) is now compatible with SharePoint 2013 as of version 1.8.0

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. Full instructions for upgrading Reminder to SharePoint 2013 are in the online manual.

SharePoint Reminder - date based email alerts

Reminder is the last of our commercial web parts to be made SharePoint 2013 compatible.

Reminder 365 – Overdue alerts for Office 365

Date:March 6th, 2013 Author: Tags: , , , , , , ,
Category: SharePoint Alert, SharePoint Online / 365 / Cloud Comments:0 ;

banner

Reminder 365 is now in beta! Sign up now to try it for free:

Customisable and data-based alerts for Office 365 / SharePoint Online

What is Reminder 365?

Our new hosted product for Office 365 (aka SharePoint Online) that allows you to send alerts for:

  • Items that are due soon: Send a daily nag e-mail to task assignees
  • Overdue items: Let managers know what’s gone overdue this week
  • All items on a view: Get summaries every month of new documents

There’s no installation: Just sign up on the site and you’re good to go.

How much does it cost?

Reminder 365 is free during beta. Final pricing has not yet been decided.

How long will the beta last?

We intend to run the beta for between 3-6 weeks. So the sooner you start, the better!

Are there any perks to being a beta tester?

You get a chance to shape the product before it’s released to the general public. We’re not ruling out discounts for active beta testers, but since we haven’t finalised the pricing we don’t yet know what we’d be discounting!

I’ve got an idea, request, or bug I need to tell you about!

Please do! You can contact us at: support@pentalogic.net

 

Join the Reminder 365 beta!

The Ultimate Flexible CRM solution for SharePoint

Date:March 5th, 2013 Author: Tags:
Category: FilterPoint Web Part, General, Highlighter, Partners, PivotPoint Web Part, SharePoint Reminder Comments:0 ;

The Ultimate Flexible CRM Solution for SharePoint

SharePoint is the platform millions of organizations use to manage various facets of their businesses.  However, in many cases, SharePoint’s built-in functions do not provide the ease of use and advanced functions that users need to work efficiently and effectively.

Some SharePoint consulting firms will recommend custom-built web parts to provide the necessary functionality required.  Before going this route, companies would be wise to evaluate pre-built applications and web parts to save significant time and money!  Evaluating and sourcing the right products however can be an overwhelming task – and falling prey to vendor hype a common outcome.  This is particularly true with CRM technology (Business/Customer Relationship Management).

Benefits of a 100% SharePoint- based CRM application:

A system that is designed to be highly configurable and evolve with the business’s ability to embrace change is the key to a successful implementation and a higher than average level of user acceptance.

  • Single point of user login where all business related information is stored
  • Maintenance of  sensitive customer data inside a controlled environment
  • Leverages existing technology investment

sharepoint-crm-dashboards

manage-leads-in-sharepoint

sharepoint-crm-outlook-plugin

Designed exclusively for SharePoint, SharePoint CRM by LookOut Software revs SharePoint up with dynamic, flexible and powerful features out of the box – yet is easy to personalize, scale, and upgrade as needed.

Rather than reinvent the wheel, LookOut Software partnered with one of the top Web Part developers in the industry to provide powerful, yet optional, enhanced functionality for its CRM application.

Pentalogic’s Filter Point, Pivot Point, Highlighter and Reminder  web parts enhance and further empower SharePoint CRM with easy to use, flexible and comprehensive interactive Charts, Graphs, Filters, Alerts and more.

Some examples:

filterpoint-sharepoint-filtering pivotpoint-sharepoint-crm-charting
highlighter-sharepoint-color-coding reminder-mini-workflow-sharepoint-crm

SharePoint CRM and Pentalogic’s simple- to-use and effective add-on web parts combine to create the ultimate Flexible CRM Solution for SharePoint.

SharePoint Community Partner

Date:February 12th, 2013 Author: Category: General Comments:0 ;

Mark over at Collboris has setup a SharePoint Community Partnership group for companies and individuals who are experts and active in the SharePoint community in some way – and we’re privileged to be invited to join.

(Collaboris produce some interesting Policy Management software for SharePoint – for companies that need to distribute paperwork and policies and ensure they have been read and acknowledged)

If you like our free tools or products, show your appreciation with a quick click to give us an upvote!

The goal of this list is to make a definitive reference of SharePoint blogs, products, conventions, and communities. Just click the tags to show each category: The most popular (by votes) will rise to the top of the list.

TeamTime 1.5: 2013 and more

Date:February 1st, 2013 Author: Tags: , , , , ,
Category: SharePoint TeamTime, SharePoint Timesheets Comments:0 ;

To start with: TeamTime is now compatible with 2013, at last! To upgrade to the latest version, just download and run the new installer: Download

As you may have noticed, TeamTime is the product we can’t help but keep polishing and shining as we hear more from our customers. So here are a few little tweaks to help make TeamTime that little bit nicer.

In order of everyday to technical:

Everyday folks

Just use TeamTime for logging time? The punchcard now shows the time logged so far without refreshing the page. Just click Start and watch it run.

Admin Gurus

You know how the menu shows all the different options to all users? Then does the whole “permissions denied” thing when they try to access them? Well now users will only see the pages they can use.

This means only Managers will see pages like the Team Overview and Analysis (unless you’ve allowed users to see Analysis), and the Settings page will only be shown to you.

There have also been a number of minor performance improvements: For those of you that have hundreds of Projects and Tasks, you’ll notice that this version is considerably faster to load the My Dashboard page.

Designer-people

TeamTime no longer has it’s own custom Master Page, and won’t reset it during upgrades. When you install this version it will switch back to the default Master Page.

In short, this means you can use your own customised/themed Master Pages in TeamTime, so it fits in with the rest of your organisation. Add your own CSS, JavaScript, or logos to make it your own.

Want more?

Tell us! We get all kinds of interesting requests and suggestions from our customers. Once we get enough requests for the same feature, it gets shoved to the top the queue for the next version.

Of course, sometimes we have to say “No, sorry” or “Not quite yet”, or very occasionally “I’m not sure that’s physically possible”, but you’ll always get a good reason at the very least. So drop us a mail: support@pentalogic.net

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.

Highlighter is now compatible with SharePoint 2013

Date:January 25th, 2013 Author: Tags: ,
Category: Highlighter Comments:0 ;

Highlighter is now compatible with SharePoint 2013 as of version 1.7.3.

You can download and install the latest version here.

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.

This page will be updated as our other web parts are made SharePoint 2013 compatible

Is Conditional Formatting in SharePoint 2013 dead?

Date:January 25th, 2013 Author: Tags: , ,
Category: Highlighter, SharePoint Development Comments:1 ;

With the release of the controversial new SharePoint Designer 2013, has the ever-popular Conditional Formatting option died a death?

Why is SharePoint Designer 2013 controversial?

The bee in everyone’s bonnet is SPD 2013’s lack of a Design View; one of the staple tools of every Designer user. The place to get up to speed on this topic is Marc Anderson’s article: SharePoint Designer 2013’s Missing Design View

How does this effect the Conditional Formatting option?

I asked the same question myself, so I installed SPD 2013 and gave it a try. After clicking, selecting, choosing, and swearing at pretty much every component I came to the conclusion that I was clearly missing something.

I posted on SPSE expecting a quick helpful pointer. Instead I was met by a resounding silence. After a suitable pause, I reposted onto MSDN, only to find that Conditional Formatting on list view web parts doesn’t seem to be supported anymore! Please feel free mock me mercilessly if this isn’t the case.

Of course it’s still possible to use it for other purposes, but formatting list views is the major purposes of that feature; it seems kind of pointless without it.

Is SharePoint Designer 2013 dead too?

It may still be early days, but when initially searching around for an answer, I was struck by how hard it was to find any blog posts about SPD 2013 (other than complaints about the Design View). For comparison, with the release of SPD 2010, the community was positively frothing over with articles and praise.

The same was true when posting on the forums: I leapt into the middle of the mainstream SharePoint 2013 river, expecting to be swept away by all the keen Designer users already trying out all the features. Instead I found myself sat in a rather shallow puddle.

So how can we apply Conditional Formatting in 2013?

Instead of wildly speculating on the popularity of SharePoint 2013’s tools, here are a couple of methods for working around the problem:

XSLT: It’s possible to create your own XSLT template by customising the default main.xsl, and then assigning it to the LVWP. I’ve searched high and low for a guide on how to apply conditional formatting using this method, with no success. Please let me know if you’ve seen such a thing.

Buying a solution: Inevitably the vulturous SharePoint software vendors have swept down on SPD 2013’s dying form, hoping to profit from its misfortune…

Oh! On an unrelated note; did I mention a new 2013-compatible version of SharePoint Highlighter has just been released? 😉