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Microsoft Outlook tip: AutoCompletion of contacts

I recently installed my brand-new laptop and discovered something about Microsoft Outlook that was annoying and how to solve the issue.

What was the problem?

Well, when I migrated my .pst file, my contacts were also migrated, of course, but when I create a new email and started typing the name of my contact on the To box, AutoCompletion was not working anymore.

It seems that the AutoComplete file of Outlook is stored under [Your Profile]\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook , and it always saved as the profile name of Outlook with .NK2 extension. But I did not backup this file, so I cannot restore it on my new machine…

After a thinking investigation I thought to try something.

Whenever you send an email to a contact, the next time you want to send him an email, the AutoCompletion works. So, I created a new email and added all my contacts in the To box. Then I pressed CTRL-K to parse them and then I closed my new email, without sending it.

After that, AutoCompletion was working again J

This has nothing to do with Microsoft Dynamics NAV or SQL Server, but I thought I would share this tip anyway ;-)


Hug a developer...

Someone forwarded me this today, and for all the developers out there, I thought I had to post it...


Get into the Groove

Grooveicon Microsoft Office Groove is a peer-to-peer application targeted at teams with members who are usually off-line or who do not share the same network security clearance.

Groove is desktop software designed for the collaboration and communication of the members of small groups, developed by Ray Ozzie for the Windows platform. Note that this is not a "cloud service". So "Live Mesh" (see previous blog item) is a cloud service, while Groove is desktop software.

GrooveThe basic idea for Groove is a set of files to be shared plus some aids for group collaboration which is a shared workspace. A Groove user invites other Groove members after creating a workspace.

By responding to an invitation the person becomes an active member of that workspace and is sent a copy of the workspace that is installed on their hard disk drive. All data is encrypted both on disk as well as over the network, with each workspace having a unique set of cryptographic keys.

Members interact and collaborate in the workspace which is a private virtual location. All changes being made are tracked by Groove and all the copies are synchronized via the network in a peer-to-peer manner, almost instantaneously.

All the members are sent the changes made to the workspace by any of the users and the documents are updated automatically. The change is queued and synchronized to other workspace members, if that member is offline at the time the change is made, but the user's copy is updated when the member comes back online. The change is temporarily stored at the server, if Groove Server is used, which is relayed when the user is back online. Multiple copies are kept for the editors, when more than one person edits a document at the same time, who must agree which changes to save.

Microsoft office Groove operates by means of a client and two servers: Groove Server Manager and Groove Relay server.


You can use and deploy Groove in three ways:

  • as an unmanaged account (free version)
  • as a hosted account (hosted by Microsoft)
  • as an onsite account (setup and managed in your own infrastructure)

(Note: Microsoft Gold Certified partners are entitled to a hosted account for free )

A workspace exists out of tools. For each workspace you can decide which tools to use. For each tool you can assign rights. Some examples of tools are:

  • agenda
  • file sharing
  • discussions
  • forms (own Groove forms)
  • infopath forms
  • notes
  • Issue tracking
  • ... many more

You can also integrate Groove with Sharepoint (file repository). This brings us to an interesting subject. Why would you use and Sharepoint and Groove?

In a way, you could see Groove as an offline client for Sharepoint (certainly the upcoming version). Sharepoint users need an URL and security settings. For Groove this is not necessary. Groove can be setup much faster and easier when you work with external people. Groove is really interesting for field workers.

Can you store project emails in Groove and  sync a calendar?
At first the answer was no but with GrooveIT! you can. GrooveIT! is the way to take full advantage of Groove workspaces by linking them with your daily work tools.

GrooveIT! is a great tool for your Groove 2007 and Outlook environment. It will sync tour email from Outlook to Groove 2007. New for the 2.0 version is:

  • Share your RSS feeds
  • Transfer your Outlook tasks
  • Create GrooveIT! rules on calendars, tasks list, contacts list, RSS feeds
  • Discover improved Groove tools including support for Groove links, attachments management, filtering
  • Build discussion threads of your emails, avoid duplicates
  • Update calendar events, contacts and tasks already published in Groove

Use the Web as your File Sharing Hub with Microsoft Live Mesh

Live_meshMicrosoft recently unveiled a tech preview of its Live Mesh service. Have all your devices—PCs, and soon Macs and mobile phones—working together to give you anywhere access to the information you care about.

A clear example of a "cloud service", Microsoft believes in "cloud computing".  Live Mesh synchronizes and shares data across multiple machines — currently that means Windows PCs, but look for Windows Mobile as well as Mac OS X support to be added later this year. Mesh offers one-click sharing for desktop folders, remote desktop connections, web-based file access and a news feed to keep track of it all. Eventually Microsoft would like to add Xbox, DVR and other devices to the list of syncing/sharing possibilities.

In his first Channel9 interview, Ray Ozzie, Microsoft's Chief Software Architect talks about Live Mesh, a new technology and platform that enables synchronization and storage "to the cloud." You'll hear about the history of Live Mesh, how it has been influenced by Ray's previous work on products like Groove (more to come on Groove on this blog ...).

Key elements for Live Mesh are:

  • All your devices working together
  • Access from anywhere
  • Simple to share
  • Stay informed

Notice that this is quite a change for Microsoft and represents a significant step away from the desktop. Eventually Microsoft hopes, as Ozzie says, that “social mesh notions of linking, sharing, ranking and tagging will become as familiar as File, Edit and View.”

Some video's on Live mesh


Use Live search as your calculator

Did you know that you can use Live Search as your calculator?

In the search window enter a formula like 10*5, then press ENTER. The result is:



How to minimize the ribbon in Microsoft 2008 applications like Office ?

Are you also sometimes a little bit annoyed when working with Microsoft Office 2007 with the ribbon toolbar? Sometimes it just takes up to much space, don't you agree?

Well, when I was on a training this week I heard about a very nice feature that allows you to minimize this ribbon toolbar. I was following training about what's new in Microsoft Sql Server 2008, and in the new Report Designer for Reporting Services 2008, there's now also a ribbon, like in Microsoft Office. And when you double-click on it, it disappears and reappears again when double-clicking on it again. This seems to be a standard feature of all ribbons in Microsoft Office, Sql Server,…

This is how you do it. Just double-click on the toolbar menu and what do you see: It minimizes. When you double-click on it again, it reappears.

How cool is that?


Microsoft Milan Surface Computer

The latest trend in computer interaction is touch. From Jeff Han's now famous demo at TED where multi-touch user interfaces got their first big public airing to the impending iPhone launch, everyone's thinking of innovative ways to control their machines just using your fingers. Microsoft is no exception—today they've announced the first product from what they're calling their Surface Computing group, a tabletop computer for retail outlets that's been code-named Milan.

Ms_sc_front_view It's an acrylic table that's 22 inches high, with a 30-inch horizontal display. Inside, there's a PC running Vista, a projector, and an array of cameras that track objects and touch on the surface of the screen. With a little special programming sauce, it all comes together in a very slick experience.

For instance, you can take a digital camera that's Wi-Fi enabled, put it down on the tabletop, and the machine recognizes it and downloads the photos. Then, you can interact with them much like actual physical photos—you can pass them around the table, shuffle them into piles to sort them, pull on the corners to zoom in or out. It's intuitive, quick, and brings a fun social aspect to a task (photo editing) that can be the very definition of tedious.


See live demo:

Great interface for working out Business Intelligence results coming straight out of Microsoft Dynamics!

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