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Office 365 tops Salesforce as most popular enterprise service

A new report from Okta shows businesses picking up Microsoft’s office suite

Microsoft’s Office 365 has passed Salesforce.com as the most popular service among companies that use Okta’s device and identity management products, according to a new report released Thursday.

From November 2013 to June 2015, Microsoft went from being the fourth most popular service to passing Google Apps, Box and recently Salesforce.com to become the most-used app among the more than 2,500 companies that rely on Okta’s services. Those businesses range from large enterprises like Intel to smaller firms with fewer than 250 people.

Unsurprisingly, 74 percent of large businesses with more than 4,000 employees run only Office 365, while just 50 percent of businesses with fewer than 250 employees subscribe only to Microsoft’s office suite. It’s most popular in the U.S., Canada and Western Europe.
Office 365 vs. Google Apps
Okta

Percentage of businesses using Office 365 vs. Google Apps

The massive adoption of Microsoft’s new Office services has been driven by companies that want to use Exchange Online, according to Okta Chief Product Officer Eric Berg.

“I would say my street knowledge tells me that predominantly people are buying Office 365 for hosted Exchange,” he said.

In addition, Berg said that Microsoft has an advantage over other services like Google Apps because they don’t have to retrain employees who are already familiar with using Office for tasks like sending and receiving email through Outlook.

He went on to say that businesses implementing Office 365 will likely be rolling it out to many more users than something like Salesforce, since it includes applications and services like email that are applicable to most if not all of the users in an enterprise compared to something like Salesforce that’s tailored for one part of the organization.

While Office 365 is ascendant, those gains didn’t translate into user growth for Yammer, the enterprise social networking service that Microsoft bundles with many editions of its office suite. That service’s user growth flatlined over the past few months, even as other applications exploded in popularity.

Berg, a former director of product management at Microsoft, said that the company has added Yammer as a feature of many of its Office 365 plans to encourage adoption.

“I think what you see happening here in the data is that Yammer, as an entity, as a product, as a business has lost a lot of focus independently in pushing [itself],” Berg said. “And what they’ve been focused on is integrating into Office 365, and their bet is just as that hockey stick curve is going up on Office 365, that’s at least going to get everybody who buys that exposure to Yammer. Whether or not they actually use it, that’s another question.”

While Yammer isn’t showing massive gains, its quasi-competitor Slack has seen major adoption among Okta’s users, with its customer base growing 50 percent between April 2015 and June 2015 alone. Customers who want to use Okta’s tools with Slack have to pay for the service, to boot — there could be an even larger population of companies out there who are choosing to just use its free tier and not integrate it with Okta.

Overall, Berg said that the potential for new companies to come in and release a product that takes the business world by storm depends on what market they plan on entering. The enterprise collaboration world is still open to new entrants, but it’s going to be more difficult for other companies to shake Microsoft’s dominance with Office 365.


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25 years of Microsoft Office roadkill

25 years of Microsoft Office roadkill
Love it or hate it, Microsoft Office has torn up the competition, leaving all manner of software carrion in its wake

25 years of Microsoft Office roadkill
25 years ago, Bill Gates announced that Microsoft would smash together its three application programs — Word, Excel, and PowerPoint — offering them in a cohesive bundle known as Microsoft Office for Windows. When Office 1.0 arrived in 1990, the apps had very little in common and worked together only under duress.

The second version of Office (enigmatically known as Microsoft Office 3.0, comprised of Word 2, Excel 4, PowerPoint 3, and Mail 3) started carving out a new software category, defining by example the term “office productivity.”

By hook, by crook, FUD, and ruthless pursuit of market share, Office turned into the aging juggernaut you see today. This is our tribute to the many competitors that have fallen prey to the productivity Goliath.

Word processors: Early DOS word processors
Electric Pencil — Born: 1976; died: ca 1983, cause of death: neglect
EasyWriter — Born on the Apple II: 1979; ported to DOS: 1981; died of bugs
Volkswriter — Born: 1982, in response to EasyWriter’s bugs; died: ca 1989

Here’s to all of the pioneering commercial word processors, including Homeword, PFS:Write, Bank Street Writer, XyWrite, DisplayWrite, PC-Write, many more. They all flourished then fizzled. All were crushed by the time Office hit the stands.

Electric Pencil came first; its history as told in InfoWorld’s May 10, 1982 edition: “The original idea for the first word processor came eventually to Michael Shrayer … [who] had never worked in the computer field.” Shrayer grew bored keeping up with the word-processing Joneses, and Electric Pencil withered away.

Word processors: WordStar
Born: 1979; not quite dead yet

Of all the clobbered word processing programs from the DOS era, this one still has a measureable pulse.

WordStar’s primary claim to fame: It gets out of the way. No fonts. Control keys move the cursor. Couldn’t spellcheck its way out of a paper bag. As for formatting? That’s something you hire somebody else to do, right?

In 1984, MicroPro, the company that made WordStar, grossed $70 million, which made it arguably the largest software company in the world. By 1988, it was toast, but holdouts remain. George R.R. “What is dead may never die” Martin acknowledges that he uses WordStar 4.0.

WordStar for Windows, a rewrite of the word processor known as Legacy, never got off the ground.

Word processors: MultiMate
Born as WordMate: 1982; sold to Ashton-Tate: 1985; died when A-T was sold to Borland: 1991

Legend has it that the original MultiMate user manual was written by an old Wang pro, then programmers used the manual as the spec for WordMate.

Connecticut Mutual Life Insurance, a big Wang shop, bought PCs to replace the Wangs and hired W.H. Jones and company to build the software to support the move. The original group of five programmers kept the rights to the software, formed their own company, and the rest was history.

What, the keys on the IBM PC didn’t match those on the Wang? No problem. MultiMate shipped with stickers for the wayward keys, plus a big plastic template to tie it all together.

Word processors: WordPerfect for DOS
Born on Data General: 1979; ported to DOS: 1982; still on life support

In 1979, Brigham Young University contracted a group of programmers to build a word processor for its Data General minicomputer. The programmers formed a company, Satellite Software International, and started selling SSI*WP for a mere $5,500 a pop.

WordPerfect 2.20, the first DOS version, appeared in 1982. By 1986, WordPerfect 4.2 was by far the best-selling word processor. With LAN support (1988), pull-down menus (1989), WYSIWYG mode, reveal codes, styles, diverse printer support, and macro language, WordPerfect ruled the roost.

Then Windows hit, WordPerfect didn’t jump soon enough, and Word for Windows ate its lunch.

WordPerfect for DOS Updated continues under the caring eye of über-guru Ed Mendelson.

Word processors: WordPerfect for Windows

Born: 1991; stable release 5.2: 1992; became WordPerfect Office Suite

WordPerfect for Windows existed as a standalone product for a short time, ultimately becoming the backbone for various WordPerfect Suites (more later).

InfoWorld’s inimitable Ed Foster presided over a lengthy discussion of WordPerfect’s demise in his December 28, 2007, article “How did WordPerfect go wrong?”:

“WordPerfect was late with its first Windows version, and then the bundling of Word with Microsoft Office on many PCs resulted in WordPerfect’s sale — first to Novell, then Corel in 1996 — aimed at producing a competitive office suite. While retaining popularity in some markets, particularly legal circles, WordPerfect now generally gets little attention as a Word competitor.”

Word processors: Word for DOS and Mac

Born on Xenix: 1983; ported to DOS shortly thereafter, and Mac: 1985; last DOS version: 1993

Microsoft cannibalizes itself, too.

Programmer’s programmer Charles Simonyi started building Multi-Tool Word for Xenix in 1981, bringing in Richard Brodie to work on the p-code compiler that became key to Microsoft’s development of applications for more than a decade.

Microsoft distributed free copies of the renamed Microsoft Word in the November 1983 issue of PC World. You can download Word 5.5 for DOS, free.

Remarkably, Word for DOS was designed to be used with a mouse.
Word for Mac outsold Word for DOS between 1985 and 1989, when Word for Windows rolled over both.

Spreadsheets: VisiCalc
Born on the Apple II: 1979; ported to DOS: 1981; died: 1983, eaten by 1-2-3

VisiCalc was long dead before Office was a gleam in Charles Simonyi’s eye, but many of the VisiCalc constructs lived on, both in Excel and in other products that fell to the Microsoft juggernaut.

It’s hard to overstate how important VisiCalc was to the emergence of the computer industry. Dan Bricklin and Bob Frankston first released it on the Apple II back in 1979. Porting it to DOS was a mean feat, but VisiCalc for DOS shipped with the first IBM PCs in 1981. When Lotus 1-2-3 arrived in 1983, VisiCalc bit the dust. Lotus bought VisiCalc in 1985 and put the company out of its misery.

Spreadsheets: Lotus 1-2-3
Born: 1983; bought by IBM: 1995; died: somewhere in between

At one time the highest-flying application on personal computers, Lotus 1-2-3 failed to make a convincing transition to Windows. It continued to linger in various guises for many years.

Tied to the IBM PC at the feet and ankles, 1-2-3 (1=calculations, 2=charts, 3=database, get it?) compatibility became the bellwether for PC clone manufacturers. It was that important.

Lotus 1-2-3 was absorbed into the DOS-based Lotus Symphony (more about that product later), then moved to Windows in Lotus SmartSuite. The port to Windows in 1991 was a massive kludge, and 1-2-3 faded into oblivion.

Excel beat it to a pulp.

Spreadsheets: SuperCalc
Born on the Osborn I: 1981; ported to DOS: 1982; ported to Windows: 1984; died from neglect

Adam Osborn had SuperCalc built to ship with the Osborn I “luggable” computer. Widely held to be faster, more precise, more feature-laden than VisiCalc, it never did supplant VisiCalc in the market. As Lotus 1-2-3 ran over VisiCalc in the DOS market, SuperCalc remained in second place.

Other DOS spreadsheet wannabes (TWIN, VP-Planner, Javelin) never overtook SuperCalc.

Computer Associates bought Sorcim, the SuperCalc company, in 1984 and promptly shipped CA-SuperCalc for Windows. The product, which introduced a version of pivot tables, fell far behind Excel. In the end, Computer Associates — the second software company to exceed $1 billion in annual sales, after Microsoft — let it fade away.

Spreadsheets: CalcStar
Born: 1981; faded with its companion product, WordStar, ca. 1988

While luminaries like George R.R. Martin keep WordStar alive (or at least mention the product every few years), I don’t know anybody who admits to using CalcStar.

MicroPro bundled WordStar, CalcStar, the InfoStar report generator, and a glue program called Starburst to create what many consider to be the first Office-style productivity program suite long before the advent of Windows — and long before anyone would dare call a hodgepodge of programs a “suite.”

WordStar was once the epitome of word processing software. CalcStar was well regarded by some, but it never reached the level of popularity of 1-2-3.

Spreadsheets: Microsoft Mutiplan
Microsoft Mutiplan — born for CP/M: 1982; ported to DOS: 1983, Mac: 1985; died in a complex fratricide

Originally code-named “EP” for “Electronic Paper,” Microsoft built Multiplan for CP/M (!) using p-code (see the Word for DOS slide) to compete with VisiCalc. As 1-2-3 rolled over VisiCalc in the DOS world, Microsoft kept plugging away at Multiplan for DOS. By 1986, MS had sold a million copies of Multiplan. Bill Gates said that MS made more money on Mac Multiplan than on any other platform.

As Windows started unfolding, much thought was given to porting Multiplan over to Windows. For reasons that are still unclear, MS started all over with a new product, based on Multiplan, called Excel. Multiplan died from fratricide.

Spreadsheets: Quattro
Born to Borland: 1988; run over by an Excel truck

Quattro 1.0 was codenamed “Buddha” because it was expected to assume the “Lotus” position. Quattro, of course, is Italian for 4, as in 1-2-3 … 4.

Quattro started as a DOS program aimed directly at Lotus 1-2-3. Lotus sued Borland for copying its menu structure, claiming copyright. The case went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which split in a 4-4 decision. That split let stand a lower court, which ruled in Borland’s favor.

Quattro Pro — still for DOS — appeared in 1989, two years after Microsoft released its first version of Excel for Windows. The last DOS version shipped in 1995.

Spreadsheets: Quattro Pro for Windows
Born to Borland: 1992; sold to Novell: 1994; sold to Corel: 1996; lives on in Corel WordPerfect Office

With the Excel juggernaut rapidly rolling over Lotus 1-2-3, Quattro Pro, and even Multiplan, Borland knew it had a problem: DOS spreadsheets were rapidly being overshadowed by their Windows kin. Quattro Pro was rewritten from scratch for Windows.

Borland developed its own C++ compiler at the same time it built Quattro Pro for Windows. The two advanced — and crashed — hand-in-hand. QPW sold reasonably well when the price dropped to $49.

Novell bought both WordPerfect and Quattro Pro in 1994, hoping to meld the two and take on Microsoft Office. Corel bought them from Novell in 1996. Dreams die hard.

Presentations: Harvard Graphics
Born for DOS: 1986; ported to Windows: 1991; run over by PowerPoint

In the days of DOS, you just couldn’t beat Harvard Graphics. You could take data from Lotus 1-2-3 or Lotus Symphony, mix it with text, and come up with a vector-based presentation that looked great on a printer and only slightly weird on a screen. The company claims it was “the first presentation graphics program to include text, graphs, and charts.”

Like many DOS stalwarts, Harvard Graphics jumped to Windows too late, after PowerPoint — and especially Office — had already staked out the turf. In 2001, Serif acquired distribution rights to Harvard Graphics, and it faded away.

Presentations: Full Impact
Born for the Mac: 1988; euthanized when Borland bought Ashton-Tate: 1991

It’s hard to define “presentation” programs, but Full Impact arguably fills the bill. At least, it was marketed as a presentation program, something of a precursor to PowerPoint.

Ashton-Tate, which grew to fame and fortune on the back of PC-based dBase, paid for Full Impact’s development in exchange for marketing rights. A-T used Full Impact, a word processor known as FullWrite Professional, and dBase Mac to get a toehold in the Mac market.

Excel for Mac stomped on its toe.
A-T sold out to Borland in 1991, and Borland immediately pulled the plug on Full Impact in favor of its own Quattro Pro.

Integrated suites: Context MBA

Born on the Apple III: 1981; ported to DOS: 1982; crawled to its demise by 1985

Widely regarded as the “first integrated package,” Context MBA had modules that covered word processing, spreadsheet, charting, database, and communications. Given the Apple III’s sales record, it’s a wonder the company didn’t go under immediately, but the port to DOS (and the $695 price tag) kept Context afloat.

The Achilles’ heel? Speed. While Context MBA sported all sorts of neat features, spreadsheet re-calcs measured in minutes didn’t help. It could take longer to scroll to the bottom of a report than it would take to re-type it. Blame UCSD Pascal, and Lotus 1-2-3/SuperCalc/VisiCalc, all of which succumbed to Office.

Integrated suites: Ashton-Tate Framework
Born: 1984; sold to Borland: 1991; sold to Selections & Functions: 1994; still alive and FRED kicking

Although Context MBA may have been first — depending on how you, uh, frame such things — Framework was among the first, and by many accounts the best integrated DOS suite. It was a windowed, DOS-only, combination of a word processor, spreadsheet, database, graphics, and outlining program.

By choosing from the “Apps” menu at the top (first use of the term “apps”?), one could switch among the programs. On a DOS screen.

FRED, a high-level programming language, came baked in.

Borland nearly let it die, but Selections & Functions bought it, ported it to Windows, and continues to nurture it.

Integrated suites: Lotus Symphony for DOS
Born: 1984; cloned to the Mac as Lotus Jazz: 1985; died: ca 1992

What do you do if you have a wildly popular DOS spreadsheet, but you want to create an integrated package? Why, you just strap on a word processor, and there ya go.

Lotus Symphony (not to be confused with IBM Lotus Symphony — described later — an entirely different suite) ran in memory. All of it. Symphony included a word processor, charting program, and database program, and it stored the data for all of the programs in spreadsheet cells. Pressing Alt+F10 let you switch among the different programs’ views of the same data.

By the time IBM bought Lotus in 1995, Symphony’s fat lady had already sung. And keeled over.

Integrated suites: Lotus SmartSuite/IBM Lotus SmartSuite
Born 1994; last release: 2002; support ends September 2014

Microsoft shipped Office 1.0 in late 1990, and finally hit a stable version, 3.0, in 1992. In the intervening two years, all of the major software companies watched, and many of them decided to take on Microsoft.

Enter Lotus. Armed with Lotus 1-2-3, it bought up the other pieces: Freelance Graphics in 1986; Ami Pro in 1990; Threadz — which became Lotus Organizer — in 1992; relational database Approach in 1994. Lotus SmartSuite 2.1 (the first version) included Lotus 1-2-3 Version 4, Ami Pro 3, Freelance Graphics 2, Approach 2, and Organizer 1.1.

In the early years, Lotus SmartSuite ran neck-and-neck with Borland Office (next slide), and behind Office in many ways.

Integrated suites: Borland Office for Windows
Co-joined with WordPerfect Corp: 1993; sold to Novell: 1994; morphed into Corel WordPerfect Office Suite (see next slide)

In early 1993, Borland’s Philippe Kahn — who had a spreadsheet and database to sell — and WordPerfect’s Alan Ashton announced the companies would work together to build a great Windows suite.

By all accounts, the apps didn’t hang together, they hung separately. Borland Office for Windows never escaped the pasted-together image.

In 1994, Windows users could buy a “suite” consisting of WordPerfect 5.2, Quattro Pro 1.0, and Paradox 1.0 for Windows, for $595. Lotus SmartSuite cost $795. Office 4.3 ran $899. In spite of the significant price difference, Office outsold the others by a factor of three or more.

Integrated suites: Novell PerfectOffice
Born, er, bought: 1994; sold to Corel: 1996; litigated: 1995-2014

To make several intertwined stories short, Borland Office for Windows 2.0 was reported as sold to WordPerfect in 1994, while in fact Novell bought WordPerfect in June 1994 and, in a separate transaction in October 1994, bought Quattro Pro and the right to sell up to a million copies of Paradox from Borland.

Whatever the lineage, Novell PerfectOffice (WordPerfect, Quattro Pro, Presentations, Envoy, Groupwise, Infocentral) hit the market with a thud. Novell became embroiled in a nasty antitrust suit against Microsoft, hotly debated to this day, which Microsoft won.

Novell sold PerfectOffice to Corel in 1996, but the final appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court was turned down just last month.

Integrated suites: Corel WordPerfect Office Suite
Bought from Novell: 1996; currently available

No discussion of the evolution of WordPerfect would be complete without an update. While Office certainly put a dent in WordPerfect’s sales, Corel has done a very credible job of keeping the product alive and up to date. It’s a success story. Not roadkill. Not at all.

WordPerfect Office X7 — including Version 17 of the venerable word processor — appeared just last month. With Quattro Pro, Presentations (with Flash), the WordPerfect Lightning digital notebook, PDF compatibility, WinZip, and remote desktop software for the iPad, it’s still a contenduh.

Integrated suites: IBM Lotus Symphony
Born: 2007, given away: 2012

Although the name “IBM Lotus Symphony” looks a lot like the name of the DOS suite “Lotus Symphony,” in fact the two have absolutely nothing in common. Nor is it related to Lotus SmartSuite. (Both are discussed in earlier slides.) When IBM bought Lotus in 1995, it bought the rights to the Lotus names. Reuse, repurpose, recycle.

The IBM Lotus Symphony products — imaginatively entitled Documents, Presentations, and Spreadsheets — never went anywhere, victims of the Office onslaught. IBM apparently brought the products to market when IBM Lotus SmartSuite hit the skids.

IBM has donated the source code to the Apache Software Foundation, turning over development to Apache OpenOffice.

Integrated suites: Corel Home Office
Born: 2009; last rites currently being administered

You have to wonder why Corel — which has a perfectly usable WordPerfect Office Suite — would dabble in yet another suite that has “fail” written all over it.

As best I can tell, Corel negotiated with Ability Software International (based in Horley, U.K.) to private-label a version of its Ability Office suite. It’s a modest company with modest goals: To make an inexpensive Microsoft Office-compatible word processor, spreadsheet, presentation program, and a database.

Unfortunately, the renamed Corel Write, Corel Calculate, and Corel Show can handle simple Office documents but fall to pieces on anything complex.

Corel Home Office: bug. Microsoft Office: windshield.

Integrated suites: Microsoft Works

Born for DOS: 1987; dumped in favor of Office Starter Edition: 2009

Few lament the passing of Microsoft Works, but in its day, it served an important purpose: To convince Microsoft customers that they should spend real money for the real Office. In my experience, not many people took the bait.

Works went through a zillion versions (we’re talking Microsoft here). The final version, 9.0, included Word 2003 (yes, the full version of Word 2003), a spreadsheet program that created files legible to Excel (earlier versions of Works didn’t make Excel-friendly files), and a flat-file database program that produced files Office wouldn’t even try to open.

We’ll miss you, Works. Not.

Microsoft Office pushed, nudged, winked, cheated and bludgeoned its way to the top
Some of the programs that fell in its wake didn’t deserve to die. Others simply succumbed to a better way of working.
Even the old-timers — the Electric Pencils and VisiCalcs — held on for many years past their prime, only to be swept away as Windows and Office cleared out the clutter. George R.R. Martin notwithstanding, Office has raised the bar.

Now we’re in uncharted territory. Office has credible competitors on all sides, on all platforms, and all of them are out to snag some of Clippy’s billions. Could happen.

Did we miss your favorite trainwreck? More Office-fried crispy critters? Tell us in the comments.


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13 useful add-ons for Microsoft Excel and Word 2013

For some reason, Microsoft has taken to calling the mini-programs that you can install into their Office applications “apps.” Functionally, though, most of these are similar to web browser add-ons — in the sense that they add to or enhance the feature set of the main program. Here are the most useful ones for the latest versions of Excel and Word.


Britannica Researcher for Word 2013
This official app provides access to the online version of Encyclopedia Britannica. With it, you can search through over 80,000 article entries in the Britannica library, and view their respective images. You can even insert these images, and citations and references, into your document.
 

 

 

 

 


Bubbles for Excel 2013
This app takes selected data in your spreadsheet and represents it in a chart as bubbles — the size and color of each is based on the number of times a certain value appears. Data from two tables can be “bubbled” so you can compare their differences with this whimsical model.


Gliffy Diagrams for Word 2013
If you don’t have Visio, here’s an alternative. This toolset lets you design flowcharts, mind maps, organizational charts, and other diagrams. Paid options are available offering extras like larger storage space in the cloud, and more shape libraries. But you can still use the app for free to create an unlimited number of graphics.


 

 

Gauge for Excel 2013

This app is exactly what its name implies — a chart graphic that displays what looks like a gauge. Imagine embedding a virtual tire pressure gauge into your spreadsheet to get a reading on whether sets of values are “too low” or “too high.”


Geographic Heat Map for Excel 2013

A model that takes selected values in your spreadsheet that are based on location and generates a map showing their ranges for corresponding regions of it in various colors. The current version features a map of the United States.


Lucidchart for Word 2013

Like Gliffy Diagrams, Lucidchart is another option for easily and quickly making flowcharts and other such process diagrams within Word 2013. It’s a free service that also offers paid plans where you get additional features that include larger online storage and more shape libraries.


Merriam-Webster Dictionary for Excel 2013 and Word 2013

Microsoft offers its own Bing-branded dictionary app for Office 2013, but an appealing alternative is by one of the respected names in the dictionary biz. With the official Merriam-Webster app installed, you can right-click on a word and choose “Define,” and a definition entry for it will appear in a panel to the right of the Excel 2013 or Word 2013 application window.


 

Mini Calendar and Date Picker for Excel 2013

This app lets you embed a mini calendar into your spreadsheet that will make it easier for you or others to select a date to enter into the spreadsheet. The calendar can be customized to highlight specific dates, given different theme colors, or resized.


Radial Bar Chart for Excel 2013

Another colorful chart generator by the author of Geographic Heat Map, this model takes your spreadsheet’s selected values and creates what is essentially a horizontal bar chart that is curved into a circular rainbow graphic.


 

TaskIt for Word 2013

TaskIt is a basic to-do list app that runs alongside Word 2013. Just enter into its textbox a simple description for a task you need to do, adding more one-by-one to build a list of them. Then click the checkmark box beside each task after you actually complete it.


 

WordCalc for Word 2013

Here’s a tool that could be helpful if you are going over math formulas in documents. You can select a mathematical expression in a document or manually enter one into this app’s textbox, and its answer/resulting value will be shown.


WordCloud for Word 2013

This app turns your text document into a tech-marketing and typography cliche: a “word cloud” where certain words that the app determines are most significant are displayed larger than others. Supposedly, if you put your document online, these words are latched onto the most by search engines and used as keywords.


Suite of Excel 2013 feature enhancements by Tyrant Ventures

Tyrant Ventures has developed five apps that add new functionality to Excel 2013, so we grouped them into one. Together they can help ease editing and re-formatting spreadsheets that may not have been created originally on Excel 2013. The suite includes Change Case, which lets you easily change the letters in selected cells to app caps, lower case or proper case.


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Office 365 email conks out twice within a week

Office 365 email conks out twice within a week
Antivirus issue, infrastructure failures to blame

Microsoft’s Office 365 service has suffered two email outages within a week of each other that affected some customers in North and South America that stemmed from different causes but ended in the same result: failed email delivery.

The first outage Nov. 8 stemmed from an overwhelmed antivirus engine and the subsequent backup that caused the service degradation. The second on Nov. 13 resulted from the failure of unspecified network elements, routine maintenance and increased load that combined to degrade service, according to the Office 365 blog posted by Rajesh Jha, the corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Office division.

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He didn’t say how many customers were affected or where they were located other than somewhere on the two continents. Both outages affected just Office 365 Exchange Online mail services.

Affected customers are entitled to a service credit. Jha apologizes and promises a post mortem on the outages as well as an update on how the Office 365 service level agreement was affected.

The Nov. 8 incident started when an antivirus engine bogged down as it processed emails that the engine determined carried a particular virus. That delay processing emails led to retries that further bottlenecked email flow including legitimate emails, he says.

The issue was resolved by intercepting the tainted messages and quarantining them directly.

To head off similar problems down the line, the company has set a lower threshold for diverting problem emails and implementing faster remediation tools. It is also adding unspecified safeguards that automate remediation of this type of problem, Jha says.

The second incident Nov. 13 started with some scheduled maintenance that required shifting some of the load out of those data centers undergoing maintenance. During this work unspecified network elements failed but sent no alerts of their failure, he says. And finally the entire infrastructure was handling more traffic from new customers, all of which resulted in some customers being unable to access email services.

Traffic for affected users was shifted to healthy data centers while the issues were dealt with.

Jha says the company is in the midst of increasing capacity and is automating how equipment failures are handled to speed up recovery time.

In addition, the company is reviewing its processes to head off future outages.

“As I’ve said before,” Jha blogs, “all of us in the Office 365 team and at Microsoft appreciate the serious responsibility we have as a service provider to you, and we know that any issue with the service is a disruption to your business – that’s not acceptable. I want to assure you that we are investing the time and resources required to ensure we are living up to your – and our own – expectations for a quality service experience every day.”


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Microsoft re-releases Office for Mac 2011 upgrade after fixing bugs

Five days after yanking SP2 from its auto-update servers, Microsoft reissues patched version

Computerworld – Microsoft yesterday re-released Office for Mac 2011 Service Pack 2 (SP2) after fixing a bug that wormed into the original update.

Last Friday, three days after it first issued Office for Mac 2011 SP2, Microsoft yanked the upgrade from its automatic update service when it acknowledged a bug had corrupted the Outlook database on some machines.
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In a post on the Office for Mac blog yesterday, Microsoft said the revised SP2 “fixes a number of issues,” including the database corruption problem.

While SP2 offered improvements for several applications in the suite, most targeted the Outlook email client bundled with the upper-end retail edition, Home and Business, as well as the academic and enterprise versions.

The new SP2 will repair any databases corrupted by the original upgrade, said Microsoft in a support document, which also spelled out tips for migrating AppleScript and Autocorrect lists to new folder destinations.

Although Microsoft’s support forums do not yet include messages from users who have applied the SP2 re-release, customers have not been shy about commenting on last week’s gaffe.

“I’m really upset with this SP2 update,” said someone identified as “ggruda” in a message added to a long support thread Tuesday. “Who has the time to go through all the BS to get their database rebuilt and get Outlook running again? I’m looking for an alternative.”

All Office for Mac 2011 users will be offered the revised SP2, including those who had downloaded the original April 12 version.

Microsoft has been forced to yank, then re-release, updates before. The most embarrassing blunders in recent years were in February 2010 when it stopped serving a security update to Windows XP PCs that were crashing with the notorious “Blue Screen of Death,” and two years earlier, when Microsoft shut down an update for Windows Vista that crippled systems with endless reboots.

Office for Mac 2011 debuted in October 2010, and is available in two editions for the general public, as well as others for academic and enterprise customers.
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Internationally Awarded Training Company Offers Online Computer Training

International award winning training company, Certkingdom, is now selling online computer certification training classes.

Certkingdom has announced that it will now be offering online computer training classes. We has been an international computer and IT security training and certification leader. Over the past few years We has received major international awards for the quality and volume of training that it provides to people all across the world. Within that time, computer and IT certification training online has grown steadily each year. Although We promotes the benefits of hands-on, interactive computer training, they also recognize the abundant need of online training for people who do not have the ability to dedicate classroom time to their training.
“We are excited about the launch of this side of our business. Given our industry presence, we had clients asking for a product of this type for some time. We wanted to make sure that we reached a point where we could focus on the success of this launch, as opposed to just offering anything. We feel like we have the right solutions in plWe.”
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Certkingdom has dedicated a large portion of company resources for their launch of the online products. So far, the company has launched their platform which includes authorized certification training such as the live Certified Ethical Hacker online and the computer based CCNA certification. Other classes online that We considers to be much in demand include the CompTIA Security+, Microsoft Office and the MCITP. We has set up a specific phone line and a direct link on their website where interested people can purchase their online computer training classes. Most of the online computer training classes come with e-courseware and certification exam preparation study guides. Most of these self-pWed classes are instructor-led and are designed into modules that break the material down in logical lesson that accompany live demonstrations of labs.

This announcement comes on the heels of We have second straight EC-Council ATC of the Year Award, which is given to the leading provider of EC-Council certification training classes (like the CEH) in the world. With We being positioned as an international training leader, the launch of the online / computer based training products should be a success, especially with the market for this type of training expanding so steadily. “We are excited about the launch of this side of our business. Given our industry presence, we had clients asking for a product of this type for some time. We wanted to make sure that we reached a point where we could focus on the success of this launch, as opposed to just offering anything. We feel like we have the right solutions in Corey, Director of Marketing.

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Microsoft – MB2-184 – Q & A/ Study Guide

Microsoft CRM Installation and Configuration V.1.2
Microsoft – MB2-184

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QUESTION 1
What business framework was Microsoft CRM developed upon that allows it to be integrated with
virtually any system in the world?

A. Windows NT4.0
B. Microsoft NET
C. Web Net
D. SQL Server 2000

Answer: B


QUESTION 2
The integration between Microsoft CRM and Microsoft Outlook uses which technology that allows
users of the Sales for Outlook Client to see their contacts, leads, activities, opportunities, tasks,
appointments, and e-mail?

A. MDAC 2.7a
B. Microsoft Message Queuing
C. XML Web Services
D. UDDI

Answer: C


QUESTION 3
Microsoft CRM Version 1.2 can be installed in both Windows Server 2000 and Windows Server
2003 environments. In either of these environments, how many Primary Domain Controllers are
installed in a single domain?

A. One Primary Domain Controller is always required
B. At least one Primary Domain Controller and as many Backup Domain Controllers as needed
C. None. All Domain Controllers are considered peers in both Windows Server 2000 and
Windows Server 2003 environments
D. None. Domain Controllers are not required in a Windows Server 2000 or Windows Server
2003 environment running Microsoft CRM

Answer: C


QUESTION 4
Which advantage does the Active Directory domain architecture provide for companies that have
deployed Microsoft CRM Version 1 .2 in a Windows Server 2003 domain?

A. It provides a single point of management for user accounts, computers, and applications in
the Windows Server 2003 domain
B. It meets the messaging and collaboration needs of small organizations, large distributed
enterprises and everything in between.
C. It enables structured data exchange and data transport
D. It enables an unprecedented level of software integration through the use of XML Web
Services.

Answer: A


QUESTION 5
Which technology allows Microsoft CRM to share data and invoke capabilities from other
applications without regard to how those applications were built, what operating system or
platform they run on, and what devices are used to access them?

A. Application Programming Interfaces
B. XML Web Services
C. UDDI
D. Microsoft Exchange

Answer: B


QUESTION 6
XML Web Services are invoked over the Internet by means of industry-standard protocols
including which of the following?

A. SOAP
B. ASP.NET
C. Microsoft NET
D. UDDI

Answer: A


QUESTION 7
Microsoft CRM is tightly integrated with which of the following technologies for the purpose of
validating access level security upon each user request?

A. SQL Server 2000
B. Active Directory
C. Internet Information Server (lIS)
D. Exchange Server 2000

Answer: B


QUESTION 8
Which software component must be installed on the same machine as your Exchange 2000
server(s) in order to enable the e-mail functionality of Microsoft CRM?

A. E-Mail Router
B. Deployment Manager
C. Outlook Rich Client
D. Workflow Monitor

Answer: A


QUESTION 9
Which technology render the web pages used by Microsoft CRM and allows organizations to host
and manage web pages on the Internet or on their internal intranet?

A. DHTML
B. XML Web Services
C. UDDI
D. IIIS

Answer: D


QUESTION 10
Microsoft CRM uses which of the following technologies to display its web forms via the browser
application?

A. XML Web Services
B. SOAP
C. ASP.NET
D. Open Database Connectivity (ODBC)

Answer: C


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Free Microsoft 70-293 Q & A / Study Guide

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QUESTION 1
You work as a desktop technician at Certkingdom.com. The Certkingdom.com network consists of an Active
Directory Domain Services domain named Certkingdom.com. All servers on the network run Windows
Server 2008. The client computers run a mix of Windows XP Professional and Windows 7 Enterprise.
The company is planning to roll out Windows 7 Enterprise throughout the network. Users that
require legacy applications will be able to run them in Windows XP Mode virtual machines on their computers.
You are conducting some testing with Windows XP Mode virtual machines (VMs). You have two
Windows XP Mode VMs on your Windows 7 client computer.
You want to configure the networking options for the two VMs so that they have network
connectivity to each other but not to your host computer or the rest of the Certkingdom.com network.
How should you configure the VMs?

A. You should navigate to the Networking node in the VM Settings and configure the network
adapter to use the Internal Network option.
B. You should navigate to the Networking node in the VM Settings and configure the network
adapter to use the Shared Networking (NAT) option.
C. You should navigate to the Networking node in the VM Settings and configure the network
adapter to use the Bridge Mode option.
D. You should configure the Bridge Connections option in the Network Adapter properties in
Windows XP on each VM.

Answer: A

Explanation:


QUESTION 2
You work as a desktop technician at Certkingdom.com. The Certkingdom.com network consists of an Active
Directory Domain Services domain named Certkingdom.com. All servers on the network run Windows
Server 2008 R2 and all client computers run Windows 7 Enterprise.
The network includes a Windows Server 2008 R2 server named ABC-Deploy1. ABC-Deploy1 runs
the IIS Server role and is part of the company’s Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MEDV) environment.
Your Windows 7 client computer is named ABC-Tech1. The MED-V Management console is
installed on ABC-Tech1.
You are configuring the Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V) environment to
deploy MED-V virtual machines to several client computers.
You have configured a MED-V image with the required applications. You run Sysprep on the
image and upload it to ABC-Deploy1.
Which two of the following steps will ensure that computer names following a specified naming
convention are generated when the VMs are first run after the deployment? Choose two.

A. In the Workspace settings, navigate to the VM Setup tab and configure the computer name pattern.
B. In the Workspace settings, navigate to the Deployment tab and configure the computer name pattern.
C. Add a Script Action to rename the computer.
D. Run the Setup Manager Wizard and configure the computer name pattern.
E. Add the computer names to Sysprep.inf.

Answer: A,C

Explanation:


QUESTION 3
You work as a desktop technician at Certkingdom.com. The Certkingdom.com network consists of an Active
Directory Domain Services domain named Certkingdom.com. All servers on the network run Windows
Server 2008 R2 and all client computers run Windows 7 Enterprise.
You are in the process of configuring a Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V) environment.
You need to configure a central image repository for client computers to download images from.
You install a Windows Server 2008 R2 member server named ABC-Deploy1. You create a folder
named MEDVImages on ABC-Deploy1.
What should you do next on ABC-Deploy1?

A. You should share the MEDVImages folder.
B. You should install the IIS Server role and configure a virtual directory to point to the MEDVImages folder.
C. You should install the FTP Server component of IIS and configure an FTP site to point to the MEDVImages folder.
D. You should install an SSL Certificate.

Answer: B

Explanation:


QUESTION 4
You work as a network administrator at Certkingdom.com. The Certkingdom.com network consists of an Active
Directory Domain Services domain named Certkingdom.com. All servers on the network run Windows
Server 2008 R2 and all client computers run Windows 7 Enterprise.
Certkingdom.com runs a Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V) environment. A Windows
Server 2008 R2 member server named ABC-Deploy1 is configured to run Microsoft Enterprise
Desktop Virtualization (MED-V) Server and hosts the central MED-V image repository.
You notice that the disk space on ABC-Deploy1 is running low due to the MEDVImages folder
taking up a large amount of disk space.
You open the MED-V Management Console and note that there are several versions of the MEDV
Workspace virtual machines (VMs).
How can you minimize the disk space used by the MEDVImages folder?

A. By deselecting the “Workspace is persistent” option.
B. By configuring the image update settings to keep a limited number of images.
C. By configuring the image update settings to select the “Clients should use the Download
manager when downloading the images” option.
D. By manually deleting old image files.

Answer: B

Explanation:


QUESTION 5
You work as a network administrator at Certkingdom.com. The Certkingdom.com network consists of an Active
Directory Domain Services domain named Certkingdom.com. All servers on the network run Windows
Server 2008. The client computers run a mix of Windows XP Professional and Windows 7 Enterprise.
You are in the process of migrating the Windows XP Professional client computers to Windows 7 Enterprise.
You need to design a solution to resolve application compatibility issues. You are planning a
desktop virtualization solution that will run legacy applications on virtual machines (VMs) running
Windows XP Professional.
You want to deploy Windows Virtual PC 2007 and a virtual machine image to the client computers
when they are migrated to Windows 7 Enterprise.
How can you create a single installation package that includes both Windows Virtual PC 2007 and
a virtual machine image?

A. By using the Packaging Wizard from Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V).
B. By using Package Manager (pkrmgr.exe) from the Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK) tools.
C. By using a template created using Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) 2008 R2.
D. By using Windows System Image Manager from the Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK) tools.

Answer: A

Explanation:

 

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Five Outlook Nightmares (and How to Fix Them)

You use Microsoft Outlook to manage your email, your appointments, your contacts, and your to-do lists. In other words, you use it to manage your work life. So when this program doesn’t behave the way it’s supposed to, you have a nightmare.

 

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PC World — You use Microsoft (MSFT) Outlook to manage your email, your appointments, your contacts, and your to-do lists. In other words, you use it to manage your work life. So when this program doesnt behave the way its supposed to, you have a nightmare.

Im here to help relieve you of those waking bad dreams. Following are solutions to five common but serious Microsoft Outlook problems. Ill tell you what to do if your data set has grown too large and cumbersome. Ill explain why you seem to be spamming your friends. Ill help you check your mail on more than one computer. And Ill show you how to back up and restore your Outlook data, as well as how to make Outlook contacts display the information you want to see.

These tips are for Outlook 2007 and 2010, although in their generalities–if not their specifics–theyll work with earlier versions, too.

Your Outlook Data Suddenly Vanishes

Lets nip this nightmare in the bud, before it happens.

You keep a lot of information in your Outlook data file–including your email messages, your contacts, and your appointments. If something destroys or corrupts that file, youre in trouble. And since Outlook handles its data files in its own unique way, your regular backup routine may not be protecting its data. (You do back up regularly, dont you?)

So you need to make sure that youre backing up your Outlook data. But first, you have to find that data.

You can do so in the Account Settings dialog box. To open it in Outlook 2007, select Tools, Account Settings. For version 2010, click the File tab, and then select the Info option in the left pane, followed by Account Settings, and Account Settings again. (Yes, I know that’s redundant.)

Once youre in the dialog box, click the Data Files tab. Select your data file (probably Outlook.pst), and then click the Open Folder button (version 2007) or the Open File Location button (2010). Windows Explorer will open to your Outlook data folder.

With Outlook closed and the folder open, copy the contents of the folder to a safe location, such as an external hard drive. Better yet, make sure that your regular backup routine includes this folder.

When the nightmare hits and youve lost your data, heres how to restore it:

1. Reinstall Outlook and go through the setup wizard. This will create a new but empty data file.

2. Once Outlook is up and running, launch the Import and Export Wizard. In Outlook 2007, select File, Import and Export. In Outlook 2010, click the File tab and then the Open option on the left, and choose Import.


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Microsoft Raises Exam Prices

Effective July 1, the price of many of the Microsoft certification exams is increasing. This is the first increase Microsoft has made to the program in nine years and the amount of change depends on what category candidate you happen to be. For example, a non-student U.S. resident will see prices change from $125 to $150 (a 20 percent increase), while student rates go from $60 to $83 (a 38 percent increase). The difference in percentage increases are all over the board — in the United Kingdom, there is only a 12.5 percent increase, while exam candidates in Mexico face a 25 percent increase. The price change does not affect MTA, MCM, MCA or MOS exams.

 

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All exam vouchers issued prior to July 1 will continue to remain valid until their expiration date, so it is possible to purchase vouchers up to June 30 at the current rates. All Microsoft exams are given through Prometric testing centers worldwide. A FAQ about the price change can be found here http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/cert-pricing-FAQ.aspx


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5 ways to make your keyboard easier to use

How to use a keyboard might seem academic, but there’s more to typing than just tapping the keys. For most people, the keyboard is the primary computer input and control device—that’s why it’s important to leverage the features and shortcuts that keyboards offer. Read on for tips to maximize ease of use, comfort, and efficiency.


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1. Get to know your keyboard

Whether your keyboard is just out of the box or it has seen years of use, it may have features you don’t know about. Take a moment to review the literature that came with your keyboard, visit the manufacturer’s product website, and familiarize yourself with the layout of the keys. Knowing your keyboard’s capabilities and limitations—and where to find time-saving keys—can make it easier to use and can even increase your productivity.
2. Customize keyboard settings

After you’re familiar with your keyboard, customizing just a few basic settings can further improve your efficiency and accuracy. For instance, you can adjust:

The pause before a character starts repeating.

The speed at which characters repeat, which can help you avoid typing errors.

The rate at which the cursor blinks, which can enhance its visibility.

You can make these changes right now:

Windows 7

Windows Vista

Windows XP

3. Take shortcuts

Even if you’re a genius with the mouse, keyboard shortcuts can still save you time. They’re called shortcuts for a reason—they reduce multiple clicks to a single combination of keys, like hitting a chord on a piano. They also economize hand and arm motion.

Using keyboard shortcuts for the things you do all the time, like saving or closing files, can make computing much easier and faster. So whether you want to work more easily and efficiently in Internet Explorer, streamline your Microsoft Office Home and Student 2010 experience, or key international characters into your emails, you’ll find scores of shortcuts to speed you on your way. The table below offers only a few common standard-keyboard shortcuts, many of which work across Office applications—from Outlook to Access, from Visio to PowerPoint, from Word to Excel. You can find a more complete list of built-in keyboard shortcuts for a particular application by searching in Help for keyboard shortcuts. You can even peruse keyboard-shortcut lists:

Windows 7

Windows Vista

Windows XP

Press this

To do this

F1

Open Help

F7

Check the spelling of titles or words in any Office application with the Spelling & Grammar checker

Windows logo keyWindows logo key

Open the Start menu

Alt+F4

Quit a program

Alt+Tab

Switch between open programs or windows

Ctrl+N

Open a new (blank) document

Ctrl+A

Select all content in a document, window, or text box

Ctrl+S

Save the current file or document (works in most programs)

Ctrl+C

Copy the selection

Ctrl+X

Cut the selection

Ctrl+V

Paste the selection

Ctrl+P

Print a document or webpage

Ctrl+Z

Undo an action

Ctrl+Y

Redo an action

Ctrl+F

Find text in a document

Ctrl+H

Find and replace text in a document

Ctrl+B

Boldface text

Ctrl+I

Italicize text

Ctrl+U

Underline text

Ctrl+G

Go to a page, line, or bookmark in a document

Windows logo key Windows logo key +F1

Display Windows Help and Support

Esc

Cancel the current task

Application key Application key

Open a menu of commands related to a selection in a program (equivalent to right-clicking the selection)
4. Make it easier to press multiple keys

If pressing Ctrl+Alt+Del seems an acrobatic feat, you can set up Sticky Keys. The Sticky Keys feature lets you hit shortcut keys one at a time rather than all at once. You can even set Sticky Keys to make a noise so you know it’s working.
All together now

You can set up Sticky Keys:

Windows 7

Windows Vista

Windows XP

(Tip: In Windows 7 and Windows Vista, Sticky Keys has a keyboard shortcut—press Shift five times in a row.)
5. Find a comfortable keyboard

Keyboards come in many shapes and sizes, and the Natural Ergonomic Keyboard your coworker swears by might feel downright awkward compared to the Comfort Curve 2000 you covet. Keyboards come in a variety of colors and key styles, too, not to mention with and without wires. And some keyboards are definitely louder than others. All Microsoft keyboards are carefully designed to balance form and function with comfort. Test drive a keyboard or two to find the right one for you.

Although using the right keyboard can really make a difference, ergonomics also play a key role when it comes to typing comfortably.
Tips for using your keyboard ergonomically

It is essential to use good ergonomic practices to help prevent or reduce soreness or injury to your wrists, hands, and arms. It is particularly important if you’re in front of your computer for long periods.

Here are some ergonomic tips for a safer, more comfortable computer session:

Position your keyboard at elbow level, with your upper arms relaxed at your sides.

Center your keyboard in front of you. If it has a numeric keypad, use the Spacebar as the centering point.

While typing, use a light touch and keep your wrists straight.

When you’re not typing, relax your arms and hands.

Take a short break every 15 to 20 minutes.

Type with your hands and wrists floating above the keyboard, so that you can use your whole arm to reach for distant keys instead of stretching your fingers.

Avoid resting your palms or wrists on any surface while typing. If your keyboard has a palm rest, use it only during breaks from typing.

How you use the keyboard is up to you. But by taking the time to adjust a few settings and to follow the guidelines above, typing on it can become easier, faster, and even safer.


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Getting data from Outlook Address Lists into Excel

The Outlook Object Model
Before I get started on the topic of this article – how to get outlook address list data into Excel – a few words on Outlook. Unlike some other proprietary software, Outlook has been constrained by the need to be compatible with the rest of the world, to be forever backwards compatible, and yet to be moving forward with other application in the same Office Family. This means that over the years its object model has become labyrinthine, and difficult to navigate. Certainly new capabilities are continually added to give the developer new choices, but whilst all the old choices are still there too, we are both overwhelmed by the multiplicity of methods of doing the same thing and also frustrated that most are only partially implemented, leaving unexposed properties. This has led to a multitude of techniques to get the same information – as well as the use of other approaches like Redemption Objects and CDO to fill the gap. All in all, it’s alphabet soup.

 

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Getting Data into Excel.
I had a need to get data into Excel , so that I could do some visualization work on various subsets of the global address list. Since I already have the capability to create Google Visualizations straight from Excel I figured I could do a one shot, “create visualizations straight out of Outlook” type of solution. First though, I needed to generalize and abstract data matching from Global Address List to Excel. As usual there is a downloadable example of this finished project for your use and comment.

Approach
In a sheet with column headings that match an abstracted view of the Outlook Address Book, one of the columns is going to contain the ‘key’; (The unique item that is going to be used to find the contact information for each row in the table, for example the email address or the alias or some other outlook field). An inital sheet will look like this, in this case using the alias field as the key field to match on, and the task will be to populate the other columns from our exchange global address list.

Getting the data
In any VBA project, I generally abstract the sheet data from its physical location by using these Data Manipulation Classes. This abstraction of the worksheet is what will be used by the outlook classes. Another advantage of this is that changes are only made to the sheet at the very end, and are not committed if there was a problem during execution. Using this abstraction therefore makes rollback easy (actually unnecessary), and avoids messing around with application.screenupdating.

Creating a class to access outlook
To abstract the outlook address data from its underlying object model, I will create 2 new classes, cOutlookAddressBook (to perform the lookup and populate a cDataSet with matched data from the Outlook address book) and cOutlookApp (to kick off an outlook session). The code for these is below

‘cOutlookApp
Option Explicit
Private pWasClosed As Boolean
Private pOutlookApp As Outlook.Application

Public Property Get OutlookApp() As Outlook.Application
Set OutlookApp = pOutlookApp
End Property
Public Function Init() As Boolean

Set pOutlookApp = GetObject(, “Outlook.Application”)
‘if it wasnt already running, create one
pWasClosed = pOutlookApp Is Nothing
If pWasClosed Then
Set pOutlookApp = New Outlook.Application
End If
Init = True

End Function
Public Sub Destroy()
Set pOutlookApp = Nothing
End Sub

‘cOutlookAddressBook
Option Explicit
Private pAddressBook As Outlook.AddressList
Private pOutlookApp As cOutlookApp
Private pDirty As Boolean

Public Property Get AddressBook() As Outlook.AddressList
Set AddressBook = pAddressBook
End Property
Public Function Init(oa As cOutlookApp, sBook As String) As Boolean

Set pOutlookApp = oa
‘ open the requested address book
Set pAddressBook = pOutlookApp.OutlookApp.Session.AddressLists(sBook)
Init = True

End Function
Public Sub Destroy()
‘nothing to do
End Sub
Public Function Populate(ds As cDataSet, target As String) As Boolean

Dim e As Outlook.AddressEntry, ex As Outlook.ExchangeUser, sh As String
Dim sl As String, dr As cDataRow, dc As cCell, sa As String, ltoGo As Long
‘ this is the target key
sl = LCase(target)
ltoGo = ds.RowCount
‘ clear out any existing data, except for key
For Each dr In ds.Rows
dr.CustomField = False
For Each dc In ds.Headings
If LCase(dc.toString) <> sl Then
dr.Cell(dc.Column).Value = vbNullString
End If
Next dc
Next dr

‘ since it takes a while to retrieve exchaneguser, we’ll make that outer loop
For Each e In pAddressBook.AddressEntries
If ltoGo <= 0 Then Exit For ‘ if all done lets leave
Set ex = e.getExchangeUser
If Not ex Is Nothing Then
sa = LCase(getValue(e, ex, sl)) ‘ the key for this record
For Each dr In ds.Rows
If Not dr.CustomField Then ‘ used to determine whether we’ve been here already

If sa = LCase(dr.Cell(sl).toString) Then
‘ we have a match- we’re using the custom field to track completion
dr.CustomField = True
ltoGo = ltoGo – 1

‘ need to fill in the lookup fields
For Each dc In ds.Headings
sh = LCase(dc.toString)
‘ not the key
If sh <> sl Then
dr.Cell(dc.Column).Value = getValue(e, ex, sh)
If pDirty Then Exit Function
End If
Next dc
End If

End If
Next dr
End If

Next e
Populate = True

End Function
Private Function getValue(e As Outlook.AddressEntry, ex As Outlook.ExchangeUser, colName As String) As String

getValue = vbNullString

Select Case colName
Case “alias”
getValue = ex.Alias
Case “firstname”
getValue = ex.FirstName
Case “lastname”
getValue = ex.LastName
Case “officelocation”
getValue = ex.OfficeLocation
Case “stateorprovince”
getValue = ex.StateOrProvince
Case “streetaddress”
getValue = ex.StreetAddress
Case “department”
getValue = ex.Department
Case “email”
getValue = ex.PropertyAccessor.GetProperty(“http://schemas.microsoft.com/mapi/proptag/0x39FE001E”)
Case “country”
getValue = e.PropertyAccessor.GetProperty(“http://schemas.microsoft.com/mapi/proptag/0x3a26001e”)

Case Else
MsgBox (colName & ” data not implemented”)
pDirty = True
End Select

End Function

Execution
To get a field filled in from outlook, just create a column with the name of the abstracted field. You will see from the code above it is pretty straightforward to add additional Outlook fields if they are not yet implemented in the example. Note that use is made of the exchangeUser object as well as the propertyAccessor method and that the column headings should exactly match the case statements in the getValue function, whose purpose is to abstract their Outlook Object model location away from the column data required.

The application procedure
Below is an example of an application that uses these classes (you can download from here) . It expects to execute on the active sheet, and the function, getLikelyColumnRange will assume that everything on the sheet is subject to lookup. You would also probably amend od.Populate(ds, “alias”) to identify which is they key field to use for lookup.

Option Explicit
Const sBook = “Global Address List”
Public Sub getOutLookData()
Dim od As cOutlookAddressbook
Dim oa As cOutlookApp
Dim rData As Range, dSets As cDataSets, ds As cDataSet
‘ kick off an outlook session
Set oa = New cOutlookApp
If oa.Init Then
‘ get the required addresslist
Set od = New cOutlookAddressbook
If od.Init(oa, sBook) Then
‘ you could replace this with a dialogue to get the range to be processed
Set rData = getLikelyColumnRange
‘create a cdataset of that range
Set dSets = New cDataSets
With dSets
.Create
.Init rData, , “data”
End With
Set ds = dSets.DataSet(“data”)
‘ now populate – will only actually commit to the sheet if all was well
‘ using the alias field/column as the key
If od.Populate(ds, “alias”) Then
ds.Commit
End If

od.Destroy
Else
MsgBox (“Couldnt open address book ” & sBook)

End If
‘ clear up
oa.Destroy
Set od = Nothing
Set oa = Nothing
Else
MsgBox (“Couldnt start outlook”)
End If
End Sub

Summary
Finding data in the outlook object model was the most time consuming activity in all this. No doubt I (or you, if you make use of this code) will want to extend the getValue function to pick up more data from the address list, which could involve the use of PropertyAccessor.GetProperty() for properties normally unexposed in the Outlook Object Model. I had a lot of trouble finding definitive documentation on where to find what uses what, and reading this ‘explanation’ from Microsoft along with all the references in other articles to DASL,DAV ,Proptags, schemas and so on, made my head ache, so if anyone knows where to find something complete, simple and defintive – meaning a list of how to get every field displayed by the method ExchangeUser.Details, please comment on this article, or post it here.

Comments, improvements, discussion welcome as usual, and downloadable stuff related to this article is here. In a future article I will probably cover connecting all this to google visualizations right out of Outlook.


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