Friday, August 22, 2014

Simple Todo Item Costing with Basecamp

Basecamp by itself does not support levels of effort and hourly rates for people. Basecamp with IntelliGantt, however, most certainly does. We let you provide level of effort and hourly rate values for every person in your Basecamp project. Then, when you assign someone to a task, IntelliGantt will compute the cost for that task by multiplying the work * level of effort * hourly rate for that person. Combined with the cost rollup feature, you can quickly see how much a particular task is costing and even how much an entire project is costing. Here's how it works.

After you have allowed IntelliGantt to communicate with Basecamp and have chosen an account, you can select one or more projects to work with. When you select a project it gives you a quick overview of how much work and cost is involved for all the items in the project.

When you select a person in the 'People' dialog, you can quickly see how much work is assigned to that person and what their default level of effort and hourly rate are.

When you create or edit a task assignment, by default the values come from that users default level of effort and hourly rate. However, you can override this on an assignment-by-assignment basis, should you choose, with specific level of effort and hourly rate for that task assignment.

Put all this together and you can quickly see what the cost for both individual tasks are their rollups are.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Simple Task Costing with SharePoint 2013

The IntelliGantt App for SharePoint 2013 let's you extend the basic user profiles within SharePoint so that you can tracking costs with your Task List items. For each SharePoint person you can give them an hourly rate and a level of effort value that IntelliGantt reads. Then if you assign that person to a task, IntelliGantt will compute it's cost. That is, duration in hours * level of effort * hourly rate. Here's the simplest example to get up and running.

First we must make sure every user profile in SharePoint has an 'Effort' and 'Hourly Rate' field. To do that you'll need administrative rights to your site collection. With these rights go to the SharePoint Admin Center.

Click on the 'User Profiles' and 'Manage User Properties link.

We will want to add these two fields to the 'Custom Properties' of the User Profile field template. Here we've already added the two fields.

The key here is to make sure the field names and data types are exactly what IntelliGantt expects. 'Hourly Rate' should have a field name of 'HourlyRate' and a data type of 'float'. Similarly, 'Effort' should have a field name of 'Effort' and a data type of 'float'.

Now we simply plug in the actual hourly rate and effort values for each user. The administrator can do this our the users themselves by editing their profile information.

When the IntelliGantt App for SharePoint 2013 pulls in a Task List (or two or three) it will check to see if the person assigned to a task has hourly rate and effort information. If so, then you will see cost information calculated for you automatically.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Placing IntelliGantt Within SharePoint 2013

The IntelliGantt App for SharePoint 2013 can run both outside and inside of a SharePoint site. We saw how easy it is to place IntelliGantt for SharePoint 2013 on any web page using a single link. Now we will show how that same link can be used to embed IntelliGantt within a SharePoint 2013 page. This example will show us pulling data from the same site we are placing IntelliGantt, however, IntelliGantt's unique architecture will allow you to pull in data from any SharePoint 2013 source.

So here is a basic, out-of-the-box SharePoint 2013 site. In it I have created two task lists that we wish to view in our rich IntelliGantt UI: Tasks and Task List 1.

We will add a web part to this page, so let's go into edit mode.

Use the native tools to select the area you wish to add the web part. We will put it at the top in this example.

We will insert a Page Viewer web part, found under the media and content category.

OK, now we have a new Page Viewer web part on the page that is 100% empty because it's not pointing to anything. So we will edit the properties of the Page Viewer web part to point to IntelliGantt.

Though the URL is a bit long, it's always the same. Plug in https://www.intelligantt.com/SharePoint/application2.html for the URL value. Why application2.html? Because that is version 2 of our IntelliGantt App for SharePoint 2013. Major updates will increase the number at the end of 'application', but the previous versions will always be around so you can update on your schedule.

The other thing I like to do is specify how tall and wide to make the web part. Here we will plug in 500 pixels and 1200 pixels respectively. Also, let's update the title.

And here is our IntelliGantt App for SharePoint 2013! Though it is a bit empty.

This is because IntelliGantt doesn't know what to show yet. Remember earlier I mentioned that it can pull data from any SharePoint 2013 source? This is true, even for the current site! So we will add the current site to IntelliGantt's list of sources. Yes, this also means that IntelliGantt can pull in 1 or more task lists from 1 or more SharePoint sites-- within the same collection or from completely different sites and SharePoint servers altogether.

Please note that IntelliGantt will need your user login and password to communicate with SharePoint. IntelliGantt stores the SharePoint site information in your web browsers local storage. Should you choose to remember your username and password, IntelliGantt will store this in the web browsers local storage as well.

Now that IntelliGantt knows which SharePoint site to talk to, it will get all of its task lists and display them in a rich, interactive Gantt Chart visualization.

Try it today and let us know if you have any questions. Thanks!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Connecting IntelliGantt to SharePoint 2013 Online with a Single Link

Our new IntelliGantt App for SharePoint lets you access SharePoint 365 Online task lists with any modern web browser on any web page with a simple link. This means you can work with your SharePoint task data from within your SharePoint.com site or on any web page available on the internet. From a classic desktop PC, laptop, Mac, MacBook, Surface, iPad, Android tablet-- anything you can think of-- we make it easy to work with SharePoint.

So what is this magical link?

https://www.intelligantt.com/SharePoint/application2.html

You can access this directly by clicking on it, or embed it within an iframe to place it on any page. Once you do, it will look like this:

IntelliGantt for SharePoint is fully interactive both in UI feedback and its data connection to SharePoint. When you make a change, it's made on SharePoint as well. Let's start with a simple login so we can see some data. First click on the 'Sites' cog so we can add a SharePoint.com site to the list (yes, you can view more than one site and its task lists at a time).

Enter your SharePoint site information. IntelliGantt for SharePoint 2013 is designed out of the box to work with Microsoft's Office 365 cloud offering. If you are using SharePoint 2013 on premises, that will be supported as well, but takes additional configuration.

If you choose to have IntelliGantt remember your username and password by clicking 'Remember', this information is ONLY stored on your local browser. Once you are properly authenticated, IntelliGantt for SharePoint will find all the task lists in the given site and display their contents.

You will also be able to 'pre-select' the lists to show, which view to apply and other settings, but that is for future posts.

If you have any questions or want to make sure your needed feature is there, please visit our IntelliGantt for SharePoint forum.

Friday, February 21, 2014

How to add Duration and Work Fields

The IntelliGantt App for SharePoint 2013 introduces a huge improvement over its predecessor, the IntelliGantt Web Part for SharePoint 2010: Scheduling! Now you can have real duration and work values in your project plans, though we still try to keep things simple. We've created special in-place editors to handle these duration and work fields so that it combines the number and the unit of measurement together. In other words, a number field and a minute, hour, day, Week, Month, Year dropdown.

As your schedule is updated, IntelliGantt will update these fields for you as well. You can change the duration to make a task longer or shorter. Or drag the endpoint of a task in the gantt chart to see durations change. Summary tasks will use the least start and most finish dates to compute their duration. A kind of 'psuedo rollup'.

Work fields are in fact rolled up as a summation. The top level work field in your view is the sum of all work values in your view, so you can quickly see how much work a particular view of tasks contains. Also, the Work field number portion isn't editable, just the units. Instead, Work is computed to be (Resources * Duration). Each Work field starts out as 0 value. Add an assignment and you will see the Work field match the task's duration. Add another assignment and the Work field will be double the duration, and so on. Yes, Level of Effort is in the works, and that will be another blog post coming soon!

Of course, the basic SharePoint task list doesn't come with a Duration or Work field, so how do we add them? Simple, create a 'Single line of text' field named 'Duration' and a 'Single line of text' field named 'Work'. IntelliGantt will treat these as reserved words and, even though they are really text fields in SharePoint, display and interact with them as Duration and Work.

IntelliGantt in the Microsoft Store

Another milestone here at TeamDirection as we've made IntelliGantt for SharePoint available in the Microsoft Store for SharePoint. We intend to be flexible on pricing for IntelliGantt users so for the store we do a simple $1.99 per user per month. This should make it very affordable for small teams and provide a consistent revenue stream for support and new features. Microsoft has done a nice job integrating it into your SharePoint experience for Office 365 and its quite easy to install IntelliGantt for SharePoint and try it out. However, things are not set in stone as we're just starting off with the Microsoft Store for SharePoint.

The other option for you is to simply load our IntelliGanttApp.app file to your SharePoint server, be it in house or Office 365. Same tool and functionality, just a different way to acquire, license and deploy.

This one is priced by site collection at US$365 per year. This gives a medium sized company an easy way to license and deploy IntelliGantt for everyone at a very reasonable price. As many users and as many sites within the site collection as you like, one license for everything.

Finally, we have had customers who use site collections to organize smaller efforts of works, which means rather than 1 site collection with 365 sites, they have 5 site collections with 73 sites each. What we are thinking for that case is to introduce an 'instance' license. That is, up to 365 instances of IntelliGantt placed on a page in sites across site collections. Something like $365 per year again for 365 instances of IntelliGantt seems to make sense.

The last thing we want to do is make it difficult to figure out which license to purchase, but SharePoint is used in such a variety of ways that a 'one license fits all' strategy is too constricting as well. Let us know what you think!

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Custom SharePoint 2013 App Development for You

SharePoint 2013 represents a major shift in how Microsoft recommends businesses create and deploy the custom ‘glue’ that connects all your SharePoint data, and by extension your business processes. In the past custom Web Parts could be created and deployed to SharePoint using the traditional .NET environment on the server. Today and in the future, however, Apps are the way to go because they do not impact the server nearly as much, which means your SharePoint sites will be more stable, scalable and secure as they do less custom work.

To further encourage the use of Apps, Microsoft has made huge investments into management for SharePoint administrators as well with the new App Catalog. From users requesting Apps to administrators deploying apps to stakeholders purchasing or licensing Apps, Microsoft introduces a true usage lifecycle for each custom piece your business needs.

Finally, SharePoint 2013 Apps can be built with rock solid, proven web technologies like HTML and Javascript so that they can run on PCs, Macs, iOS and Android devices—anything with a modern browser—and support not just keyboard and mouse but touch as well.

We think this is exactly the right direction for Microsoft to take SharePoint custom development as we’ve been using this architecture (running as much as possible on the client) since SharePoint 2007. One reason so many people have appreciated our IntelliGantt Web Part is that it actually wasn’t much of a Web Part at all. Rather, it was a package that downloaded to the client PC, communicated with the SharePoint server but did all the work locally. Basically, we vetted the new SharePoint 2013 App approach for Microsoft and proved it works for custom development years ago.

Of course we’ve done IntelliGantt for SharePoint 2013 using the new App model, which is really second nature for us. We’ve heard is the marketplace could use our expertise with the SharePoint 2013 App model to migrate custom web parts to this new environment, something we are more than happy to do.

If you have a current web part or idea you would like to turn into a SharePoint 2013 App and:

  • Run outside of your production SharePoint Servers (stability and scalability)
  • Manage deployment and usage (security)
  • Access from any modern HTML device (ubiquity)
  • Have a friendly UI for keyboard, mouse and touch (usability)

We can make it happen. We’ve been doing it for years with our industry leading products, and now we can make the same skills available for you. Contact us at TeamDirection by email or phone let's get to work.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

IntelliGantt + IntelliTask + Google Sites = Revision 2

We received feedback from Google Site users that the IntelliGantt + IntelliTask combination wasn't as easy as it needed to be. So we took these findings to heart and made the interaction among our products and Google Sites even better. The cool thing is we were able to do this without changing the actual IntelliTask Gadget itself, just the underlying HTML the Gadget points to. This means if you've already installed the IntelliTask Gadget, you just need to refresh your web page to see the enhancements in your Google Site. Here's what it will look like:

The big changes here are twofold. First, we do the initial housekeeping for you: we now create your initial IntelliGantt Workspace and Project for you. This makes it easy when you visit IntelliGantt for Google to plan and schedule your project. Second, we put in a breadcrumb showing you the current workspace (which is the Google Site) and the current projects within the Google Site. You can see this if you click on the tab controls for 'Workspaces' and 'Projects'. These tabs help you identify the workspace and project we created. This makes it easy to find and then modify projects for this Google Site within our IntelliGantt for Google application. Though this example is simple, you will see the Google Site as a workspace when you start IntelliGantt for Google:

Click on the 'forward' arrow to go to the application where you can click on the Google Site's projects. Again, this is a simple example so you are just showing the single project created for you automatically, but you can have as many projects within a Google Site as you like.

Since this project was created by default when we went to the Google Site, it doesn't have any tasks in it. Here we will add a few tasks and assign one to 'John'.

Remember that the IntelliTask control is designed to show all the tasks assigned to the current user. That is, the active Google+ user. Since that happens to be 'John' here, when we go back to the Google Site and refresh the page, we see all of his tasks.

This makes it very easy to create a Google Site, drop in an IntelliTask Gadget, create an actual project with IntelliGantt and have everyone see their assignments in IntelliTask within the context of their Google Site.