tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-24660531203389428932023-03-18T21:01:16.055+00:00The Matchpeg blogRelieve business frustrations and deliver results.Unknownnoreply@blogger.comBlogger37125tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2466053120338942893.post-37692616358737532802008-09-05T12:09:00.007+01:002008-09-05T12:31:05.069+01:00Matchpeg at the Business of Software conferenceIt'll come as no surprise to hear that Matchpeg is serious about software, and so one of the team attended the Business of Software conference earlier this week.This two-day event was organised by Joel Spolsky of Fog Creek Software (perhaps better known for the Joel on Software blog) and comprised a packed auditorium of 250 delegates and an outstanding line up of the best-of-the-best from the Unknownnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2466053120338942893.post-30294908245848879302008-08-22T18:18:00.003+01:002008-08-22T19:13:46.377+01:0033 changesWe've had a very busy summer - partly as a result of the terrible British weather keeping us at our desks.We're launching a major set of changes to the Matchpeg suite: improved navigation, even greater ease of use, and some major new functionality such as events (see item 6) and discussion of meeting actions (see items 22 and 23).Many thanks to all the customers whose feedback prompted these Unknownnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2466053120338942893.post-42502804565808115502008-07-06T09:42:00.001+01:002008-07-07T11:00:18.715+01:00Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Vanishing Advertising Budget(Part of an increasingly irregular series on matters technological. It beats doing real work.)The TV series Mad Men has recently finished its run in the UK. As in the States (where it won two Golden Globes), viewing figures have been small but the critical reception has been outstanding - "extraordinary" and "virtuosic" are pretty representative examples from the reviews.But why is anyone writingUnknownnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2466053120338942893.post-72811199680223771142008-07-06T07:18:00.009+01:002008-07-06T09:57:34.352+01:00Free tools for working with the Flexiscale platformWe've recently written about the fact that Matchpeg has moved its Disaster Recovery servers to Flexiscale's cloud-computing platform.In the course of trying out Flexiscale we did extensive work with their API to automate various aspects of our DR. We're now making these tools available for free for anyone who's interested:A console application for starting, stopping, querying etc Flexiscale Unknownnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2466053120338942893.post-38776586406084422252008-07-05T10:20:00.006+01:002008-07-06T09:42:59.637+01:00Matchpeg has a new Disaster Recovery siteMatchpeg has a new Disaster Recovery site: we have moved over to Flexiscale's cloud-computing platform, largely because it makes our DR superbly eco-friendly.Like alternatives such as Amazon EC2, Flexiscale makes it possible for us to start the DR servers automatically, transfer the latest customer data onto them, and then shut the servers down again. Instead of consuming electricity 365x24x7, Unknownnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2466053120338942893.post-66666531968841460512008-07-04T12:44:00.005+01:002008-07-04T17:50:11.682+01:00A minor cosmetic enhancementTo celebrate the 821st anniversary of the Battle of Hattin (or, if you prefer, US Independence Day), we've made a couple of minor cosmetic changes to the Matchpeg software: the menu bar now looks a little more slick, and the page border and background have been made slightly easier on the eye.As ever, you can still change any of the aspects of the user interface which aren't to your liking: from Unknownnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2466053120338942893.post-83721341290041378532008-06-29T08:00:00.004+01:002008-07-06T09:57:58.542+01:00Outlook plug-in now available for downloadingMatchpeg's plug-in for Microsoft Outlook has finished its beta period, and is now freely available for download.You can find further information on the plug-in at http://www.matchpeg.com/brochure/outlook/index.aspThe plug-in seamlessly integrates Matchpeg with Microsoft Outlook:Your meetings in Matchpeg are automatically added to your Outlook calendar.You can also choose to have the minutes of Unknownnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2466053120338942893.post-35222617345090526682008-06-03T14:20:00.003+01:002008-07-04T17:45:49.674+01:00NEW feature - guest access to workflow itemsYou can now include people outside your firm in workflows - in other words, you can send workflow items to anyone on the internet and have them approve things, add comments, send the item back for further work etc.When you choose who to assign a workflow item to, the pop-up list of users contains a new option (at the bottom) for entering the e-mail address of a "guest". This new option is Unknownnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2466053120338942893.post-85945435466046538042008-05-14T09:02:00.003+01:002008-07-04T17:45:37.206+01:00NEW feature - new participant roles in meetingsWhen adding participants to a meeting, you can now choose from additional "roles" which appear against each person's name in the minutes. (These roles don't affect the system's behaviour in any way, or what the participant is allowed to do. They're just for display purposes.)The new options which are available when creating a meeting/editing participants are as follows:Unknownnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2466053120338942893.post-32111752116095819732008-03-13T14:12:00.002+00:002008-03-13T14:17:22.418+00:00Outlook add-in now available for beta-testingMatchpeg now has Outlook integration available for customers to beta-test. This takes the form of an Outlook add-in which provides the following features:Your meetings in Matchpeg are automatically added to your Outlook calendar.You can also choose to have the minutes of meetings automatically filed against the Outlook appointment in PDF form.Actions from meetings are added to your Outlook task Unknownnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2466053120338942893.post-49152190792558158742008-03-08T19:07:00.001+00:002008-03-13T14:12:17.101+00:00NEW feature - meeting organisers marking actions as completeMeeting organisers are now allowed to mark action points as complete on a participant's behalf. The organiser opens the details of the action (e.g. by clicking on its link in the minutes), and can now mark the action as complete, or update the percentage-completeness, and add notes.This change is mainly intended to help out PAs who were complaining to us that they just couldn't get their Unknownnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2466053120338942893.post-39040067129752450702008-03-07T13:23:00.002+00:002008-03-13T14:07:26.812+00:00NEW feature - pre-population of workflow items from meeting actionsWe've improved the creation of workflow items from meeting actions (i.e. what happens when you open a meeting action and click on the "Create workflow item" link):The due date for the workflow item is copied over from the due date for the meeting action (provided that the action has a due date, and provided that the workflow definition asks for a due date).The start date of the action becomes theUnknownnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2466053120338942893.post-72795918353134541872008-02-29T08:00:00.002+00:002008-03-13T14:04:00.033+00:00NEW feature - improved minutes editingWe've made some changes to the agenda- and minutes-editing to make things more flexible, particularly when re-arranging agenda items which have been put forwards by other participants and automatically added to the agenda:Sub-items can now be moved from one top-level topic to another.A sub-item can be "promoted" to top-level.A top-level topic can be "demoted".All these actions can be carried out Unknownnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2466053120338942893.post-5350383875628793262008-01-28T20:18:00.000+00:002008-01-29T08:26:59.973+00:00NEW feature - participant status when creating meetingsWe've implemented a feature which a number of people had been asking for:You can set the status of each participant - present, absent, access to minutes only - when first creating a meeting. When you tick someone on your user list to add them to the list of participants, a new drop-down box gets displayed next to their name. This lets you set the participant's status.If you have "participants" Unknownnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2466053120338942893.post-72601545076655345692007-11-30T15:42:00.001+00:002007-11-30T15:54:00.046+00:00The Matchpeg Introducer scheme is now the Matchpeg Affiliate schemeWe've changed the name of our introducer affiliate scheme from Matchpeg Introducers to Matchpeg Affiliates. It turned out that users from outside the UK weren't familiar with the term "introducer", and too many people were missing the scheme's benefits because they never clicked on the link on the website.The scheme itself remains entirely unchanged, and very simple:Earn on-going commission by Unknownnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2466053120338942893.post-7593209789997970412007-11-12T16:18:00.000+00:002007-11-30T15:41:17.326+00:00NEW feature - bulk user creation from OutlookWe've added a new feature to the user administration area:Users of Microsoft Outlook can now download a small tool which automatically creates Matchpeg user accounts from contacts in Outlook.The software can be downloaded from the existing bulk user-creation page. It's a simple wizard-based tool which works as follows:You log into Matchpeg using your normal user name and password.You let the Unknownnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2466053120338942893.post-70099072594246435812007-10-28T11:14:00.000+00:002007-11-30T15:31:12.962+00:00NEW feature - extra workflow fieldsWe've added another new feature to Matchpeg Workflow:You can now create two bespoke text fields and two bespoke number fields in each workflow definition. These can be used for any purpose you like - you simply give them an appropriate label.For example, you can use the number fields to record two extra items of numeric information about each purchase request. These fields show up in searches, Unknownnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2466053120338942893.post-92198782755804582842007-10-15T15:26:00.000+01:002007-11-30T15:31:51.244+00:00NEW feature - workflow descriptions and attached filesWe've added a new feature to Matchpeg Workflow:The description of a workflow item and attached files can now be marked as compulsory or not required.Previously, these fields were always optional. You can now insist that users supply a description of a workflow item, or attach at least one file.Unknownnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2466053120338942893.post-79112232692610019082007-09-14T19:43:00.000+01:002007-09-17T13:58:20.411+01:00And God said to Adam...(Part of a series on matters technological. It beats doing real work.)We've been interviewing recently. Before hiring people for software jobs, everyone reads Joel Spolsky's Guerilla Guide to Interviewing *. You must have read it - it's excellent. Well, mostly excellent.The bit we got stuck on is part 6:Part 6: the design question. Ask the candidate to design something. Jabe Blumenthal, the Unknownnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2466053120338942893.post-49997250285035073142007-09-10T19:34:00.000+01:002007-09-11T11:09:03.902+01:00NEW feature - guest access to meetingsWe've added a new feature to meetings:Action points can now be assigned to guests (i.e. people who are not on your firm's Matchpeg user list)Guests can log in to a simplified version of the meeting overview using a six-digit PIN. After logging in the guests are able to see the meeting details, and can update the status of any action points which have been assigned to guests.Two things to note:If Unknownnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2466053120338942893.post-74813121863746967912007-08-31T11:02:00.000+01:002007-09-11T11:04:13.431+01:00NEW feature - Skype names as meeting locationsWe've added a new feature for people who regularly run meetings over Skype: you can now enter a Skype name as the location of the meeting. The system then displays the location as a clickable hyperlink which fires up Skype.You simply enter the location in the form skype:name, e.g. skype:bobjonesUnknownnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2466053120338942893.post-87708375747491546922007-07-14T08:13:00.000+01:002007-09-11T11:16:41.402+01:00NEW feature - quick entry of new usersWe've added a new feature making it easier to set up meetings and brainstorming sessions: new user accounts can now be created from the pages for setting up meetings and sessions, without having to set up the users on the User List first.At the bottom of the list of attendees is a new hyperlink labelled "Create a new user". This asks for minimal information - e-mail address, first name, last nameUnknownnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2466053120338942893.post-74606836982272574842007-07-01T12:25:00.000+01:002007-07-23T16:13:15.266+01:00NEW feature - graphsWe've added several graphing options to the system, mainly on the pages for analysing search results:Analysis of meeting search results Analysis of action point search results Analysis of workflow item search results Analysis of workflow item progress Graphs are also available in one further place:Participant activity report for a brainstorming sessionIn each case, a graph icon is displayed at Unknownnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2466053120338942893.post-83932871310064604762007-06-15T11:52:00.000+01:002007-06-26T22:33:45.697+01:00Why is progress in computer software so glacial?It seems that we're still living out the tail-end of Romanticism. Nowhere is this more evident in the UK than in the popular obsession with cookery, and everything which appertains to it. Cooks, cooking, and cookery books dominate the bestseller lists and the TV schedules. It's the country's prime artistic medium and means of self-expression, and the public is infatuated with celebrity chefs and Unknownnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2466053120338942893.post-11270579368239543052007-06-11T11:57:00.001+01:002007-06-14T22:28:40.409+01:00Why doesn't web-based software make use of the right mouse button?A brief investigation of why it's so rare to see web applications which make use of the right mouse button. Yes, there are lots of reasons not covered here, and numbers #1 to #3 are pretty obvious. Part of an occasional series on matters technological. It beats doing real work.Reason #1: effortHandling the right mouse button in web pages is a bit fiddly. Some developers don't know how to, or Unknownnoreply@blogger.com