Monthly Archives: August 2013

OnePlaceMail at the HP Autonomy Information Governance Forum 2013 (IGF2013)

The theme of IGF2013 in Melbourne Australia was “Addressing the cost, compliance and complexity of big data”.

The main news out of HP Autonomy was unveiling their new electronic document and records management solution HP Records Manager 8.0. This represents the merge of HP TRIM, Autonomy Records Manager and Meridio Records Manager into a single product.

OnePlaceMail has had a long relationship as a companion product for those using the HP Trim for SharePoint module. OnePlaceMail effectively adds drag/drop capture of email and attachments and also provides access to electronic document and records directly from Outlook and other Office desktop applications.

My favourite tweet during the conference came from @goodgord

@goodgord: OnePlaceMail seems to provide the integration between SharePoint and Outlook that Microsoft probably should have built. #hpigf

Here are some photos from James Fox presenting “Microsoft Outlook integration with SharePoint and HP TRIM – encourage end user adoption”.

How to set the height of a WinForms CheckedListBox to fit to dynamic contents without scrollbars

I recently encountered a problem trying to get the Windows Forms CheckedListBox control to resize it’s height to exactly fit it’s contents (items) without showing scrollbars.

Initially I looked at using the obvious PreferredHeight property, but it quickly became evident that the preferred height didn’t give me a useable value. It was out by a few pixels over ten items and when I got up into hundreds of items it was way out.

I also had to contend with the fact that this code was going to be run across XP, Vista, Window 7/8 and potentially across multiple DPI settings (100%, 125%, 150%).

In the end the solution wasn’t too bad.

// Explicitly set height to fit options
checkBoxCtrl.ClientSize = new Size(checkBoxCtrl.ClientSize.Width, checkBoxCtrl.GetItemRectangle(0).Height * checkBoxCtrl.Items.Count);

 

The key concepts here as:

  • Set the ClientSize property rather than the Size property. ClientSize is just the internal area the items populate so you don’t have to worry about padding and border widths applied via VisualStyles
  • All items in my list are the same height so I can just measure the height of the first item and multiply by the number of items in the list
  • The GetItemRectangle property returns the height of an item in the list taking into account different DPI settings and the padding/margin between items in the list. Note: this is much simpler than trying the measure the graphic (checkbox glyph) or Text of an item and the padding/margin between items.

New Exchange Public Folders Support in Outlook Web Access (OWA)

I’ve just been reading Tony Redmond’s article on one of the new features introduced in Exchange 2013 CU1. The ‘new’ public folders are now available within Outlook Web Access (OWA).

outlook-web-access-exchange-public-folders-owa-cameron-dwyer

Here’s Tony’s full article and is well worth a read – Interesting approach to public folder support in Outlook Web App 2013

My main take aways are:

  • New Exchange 2013 Public Folder’s are now accessible in OWA
  • Unlike previous Public Folder (in Outlook and OWA) you don’t get the full hierarchy. Rather the user selects which folders (from anywhere within the hierarchy) to add to there Favorites.

I like the approach to not showing the full public folder hierarchy in the Outlook navigation. It’s an area we spent a great deal of time researching a designing when developing OnePlaceMail and exposing SharePoint locations within Outlook. We made the decision not to show the full SharePoint hierarchy directly within the Outlook navigation. I agree with the approach for the following reasons:

  • The UI get’s unusable for large hierarchies
  • Public folders can only have one set structure, but that’s not necessarily how every user sees it and often it exposes a lot of ‘clutter’ that the user is not interested in. Having the user select their favorite locations removes the clutter.

I would like to see the favorites area enhanced so that the user can categorise (or add levels of categories) to their favorites. This way the user can organise and structure favorites in a way that makes sense to them. This gets away from the issue of the old Public Folders where everyone must see the hierarchy in the same way. Allowing users to make up their own hierarchy of favorites allows them to organise the world how they see it and how it makes sense to them. I find this freedom is what keeps users happy and productive. Users are familiar with this in Outlook… take your common mail folder structure (i.e. inbox and subfolders the user creates). This works because users create mail folders ad-hoc and how it makes sense to them and what they are working on day to day. Allow them to categorise and move around shared Public Folders in the same way and everyone is happy. It’s an approach we’ve been using in OnePlaceMail to allow users to organise their SharePoint locations in Outlook for years, and it works.

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