The new MindPlan release 3.3 can be downloaded from the download areas of the MindPlan website (German / English link)!

The release fixes a few issues of version 3.2 and introduces one major new feature in the MindPlan application itself (Portfolio maps) as well as other additional functionality added to the combination of MindPlan and the Haus Weilgut eOffice CRM system.

Portfolio maps

Portfolio is the name of a new root node type. It enables you to create a kind of "meta map" that pulls project relevant information from linked projects, project deliverables and even single activities with the click of a button. This project data is stored permanently into the MindPlan link nodes of a portfolio map. It's visible in both Map and Gantt view.

To work with Portfolio maps, you need to upgrade to version 3.3 and then run the agent "1. MindPlan update 3.2 -> 3.3 / Add portfolio nodes" in the MindPlan configuration database (should be done only once by your Administrator):

Image:MindPlan 3.3 released!


The new root node type becomes available in the "New MindPlan" dialog after a restart of the MindPlan application:

Image:MindPlan 3.3 released!


In your new Portfolio MindPlan you then create MindPlan links to project nodes, deliverables or activities in the same database or even in a completely different one:
Image:MindPlan 3.3 released!


The project data is transferred from the linked nodes into the MindPlan links by using the action "Refresh portfolio" of the "Your next steps" sidebar panel:

Image:MindPlan 3.3 released!


There it is, your "one click multi project overview" in Map and Gantt view:
Image:MindPlan 3.3 released!

Image:MindPlan 3.3 released!


The red icon that you can see next to the link node title is a so called "due-date warning indicator". It is displayed when the linked node has assigned activities that are overdue.

The properties dialog of the Portfolio root node contains a few settings to configure the exact behaviour of the Portfolio analysis process:

Image:MindPlan 3.3 released!

With the option "Update of calculated values: Update target-nodes as well" you can make the portfolio process also write the project data into the linked node. This can be handy if you would like to display this data using classic Lotus Notes views.

New features in MindPlan / eOffice CRM combination

The following list is a translation of the German MindPlan 3.3 announcement which also includes presentation slides. Unfortunately, the announcement is not yet available in English language.

  • additional information in the project form: risk analysis, stateholder, project participants
  • Status reports for different target audiences
  • Automatation of standard processes by using workflows
  • Integrated helpdesk system: assign support requests to projects, synchronize progress between the two
  • close integration into Weilgut Document Management System (DMS) and into the Weilgut group calendar
  • activity synchronization and management with Weilgut ToDo Manager without media discontinuity
  • direct assignment of time records to MindPlan project activities

What's next?

It's a bit early for screenshots or official announcements, but let's say we are working on a pretty huge Eclipse based development framework for application development for standalone, web based and mobile applications, with data storage in Lotus Notes/Domino or any other database system... :-)

Karsten Lehmann | December 1st, 2011 09:16:06 | Comments (0) | Permanent Link

As an addition to the list of changes in MindPlan 3.2.2 that was posted last week, please also note that MindPlan 3.2.2 is the first release that is officially supported on Lotus Notes 8.5.2.
Earlier MindPlan releases might have stability issues with this new Lotus Notes version, which can lead to application crashes. The crashes were caused by some changes in Lotus Notes that caused code, that was running without errors in earlier Notes versions to crash in 8.5.2.

So if you are using Lotus Notes 8.5.2, please upgrade to MindPlan 3.2.2.
And if you are not using Lotus Notes 8.5.2, please also upgrade to MindPlan 3.2.2.

:-)

Karsten Lehmann | November 4th, 2010 10:05:36 | Comments (3) | Permanent Link

A few hours ago, the download areas of the German und English MindPlan websites have been updated. You can now download MindPlan version 3.22, which is a bugfix, stability and performance build.
That means, it does not contain many new features, we focused on customer feedback instead to fix some annoying issues of previous releases.

Here are some of the things that we were working on:

  • Windows version: loading of MindPlan maps is much faster now
    caused by new optimized C code that directly reads data from Lotus Notes (not via Java); Linux/Mac support for this not done yet, will be coming in a later release; complete performance gain requires updating the database template to the newest version
  • Resource selection box reimplemented
    names can now be sorted by lastname or firstname (configurable via File/Preferences); no more autocompletion while typing, replaced with a type-ahead box that supports fuzzy search queries
  • Performance in maps with many activity dependencies much better now
  • New memory diagnosis feature
    via "Help/Support request/Memory diagnosis" you can now analyze how much RAM MindPlan gets from your system and see what is already used/free; useful to track stability issues caused by out of memory errors e.g. in the Composite Application version, where the default heap size of 256 MB RAM is very low and should be increased for power users
  • MindPlan is now using the Standard Java runtime of Sun/Oracle
    improved stability and much faster startup performance than in previous releases; runtime is included in MindPlan program directory, can optionally be replaced by changing the config.ini file in the program directory; process mpui.exe is now integrated in the MindPlan.exe process (only one process in Windows Task Manager)
  • New standalone application installer
    caused by replacing the Java runtime environment (previous installer was part of the old Java runtime product); standards based MSI package for easier automatic deployment via software distribution; installation issues for Vista/Win7 fixed
  • Standalone version now also runs on Linux (still unsupported)
    as an alternative for the supported Composite Application build, the standalone MindPlan version can now also be used on Linux via the start script mp_start.sh
  • Dual display support
    application window handling now supports maximizing on the primary and secondary monitor and restores the window on the last used monitor
  • Fixed several other bugs and crashes

Karsten Lehmann | October 30th, 2010 11:19:20 | Comments (1) | Permanent Link

We have renewed the MindPlan build that is available in the download area of the MindPlan website. The new build version is MindPlan 3.21 build 201004031431. It contains stability fixes and two new features.

The first new feature is already described in an earlier blog posting. It's a customizable welcome tab.

The second new feature is an enhancement to the access control system of MindPlan:There is a new option in the "Access rights" tab of root nodes.


Image:MindPlan 3.21 released!

The option "Resources automatically have edit rights on their activities" is only visible, when the database version that you use is 3.2.1 or higher. We did this because we had to modify the design of the database to add a new author field to the nodes, which is used in activity nodes to give edit rights to the activity resource.
This new option makes working with the access control system a lot easier. Until now, you had to manually give edit rights to a worker to let him document his activity progress in the MindPlan node. If the option is activated, this step is not required anymore, access rights are granted automatically.

Please note that activity resources are allowed to change all the activity properties, as long as the activity status is "In design". After it has left this phase, e.g. to "In Implementation", the user can only edit the lower part of the activity properties.

Image:MindPlan 3.21 released!

Hint: The access control system does only work properly if the users have author access in the database's ACL. If a user has editor rights or more, he is allowed to edit all MindPlan data and the access control system is deactivated.


Karsten Lehmann | April 11th, 2010 23:25:50 | Comments (0) | Permanent Link

We're currently working in a customer project, implementing some new requirements for MindPlan.

One requirement is already my favorite one: customizable welcome tab images.

The customer did not really like the default MindPlan welcome screen. Maybe the smart MindPlan user was a bit too relaxed:


Image:MindPlan is sexy

The requirement was to have the welcome tab images configurable.

Well, and of course we tested our new feature...

Image:MindPlan is sexy

So, after more than five years of MindPlan development, the product has actually become sexy. :-)

How you can customize your welcome screen
Well, first of all, you need to have a MindPlan 3.2 build version that is equal or greater than 201003172155. That means the download that is officially available today will not work. Now that's a good reason to update when it is available. :-)

After upgrading to the new 3.2 build, you can define a few Notes.ini variables to set your own tab layout.
Here is the format:

$wMPCustomHomeTab_ < nr > =
     < ORIENTATION > , < STRETCHING > , < Z-INDEX > , < IMAGEURL >


For < ORIENTATION > you have the choice between CENTER, EAST, NORTH, NORTHEAST, NORTHWEST, SOUTH, SOUTHEAST, SOUTHWEST, WEST and TILE.

< STRETCHING > tells MindPlan how the image should be scaled: NO_STRETCH, STRETCH, STRETCH_KEEP_RATIO, STRETCH_X and STRETCH_Y.

The < Z-INDEX > is the paint order, which is starting with 0 and the < IMAGEURL > can either be a relative URL (e.g. to use our internal standard images) or an absolute one, both file:// and http:// protocol do work.
< nr > is an index starting with 1.

So here is an example that just displays the standard tab images:

$wMPCustomHomeTab_1=
     NORTHWEST,STRETCH,0,images/systemimages/home/Skyline_33pcnt.png
$wMPCustomHomeTab_2=
     NORTHEAST,NO_STRETCH,3,images/systemimages/home/Logo_60pcnt.png
$wMPCustomHomeTab_3=
     SOUTHEAST,NO_STRETCH,1,images/systemimages/home/Typ_40pcnt.png
$wMPCustomHomeTab_4=
     SOUTHWEST,NO_STRETCH,2,images/systemimages/home/freeyourmind_60pcnt.png


The concept is more powerful/geeky than you might think, because we also added @formula support:

$wMPCustomHomeTab_3=
     formula://_rnd:=@Round(@Random*1);"SOUTHEAST,NO_STRETCH,1,"+
     @If(_rnd=0; "file:///c:/angelina.png";
     "images/systemimages/home/Typ_40pcnt.png")


A calculated image line is ignored if the formula just returns "-".

So by using formulas, you can even calculate the images dynamically and have a surprise each time you start MindPlan. :-)

It's a bit difficult to test the tab image definitions right now. The easiest way to recreate the welcome tab is to go into "File/Preferences", deselect the "show welcome-tab" option, hit "Apply" and then select it again.

Karsten Lehmann | March 18th, 2010 16:30:52 | Comments (0) | Permanent Link

The standalone version of MindPlan 3.2 for the Mac is now available in the official download area of the MindPlan website.

Please note that you need at least a Lotus Notes 8.5 client, Leopard operating system and preinstalled MindPlan databases to use this version.

You can use the installation database that is available in the Windows section to install the required databases. Just select the sample databases, online help and design templates from the list of installation components (and deselect the MindPlan windows application).


Image:Mac version of MindPlan 3.2 officially released and supported

Karsten Lehmann | March 6th, 2010 19:06:22 | Comments (1) | Permanent Link

The Standalone and Composite Application versions of MindPlan 3.2 are now available in the download area of the MindPlan website!

The Mac standalone version and the MindPlan version that does not require an installed Lotus Notes client (technical name "MindPlan DOLS") will follow in the next 7-10 days.

Karsten Lehmann | March 5th, 2010 17:10:29 | Comments (5) | Permanent Link

Yesterday evening, the final release candidate of the MindPlan 3.2 standalone and Composite Application was published to a group of testers.

Karsten Lehmann | February 26th, 2010 10:25:18 | Comments (0) | Permanent Link

There is a last minute feature that found it's way in MindPlan version 3.2: critical path method (CPM) analysis in the Gantt view!

We have added a new toolbar, right below the Map/Gantt tabs, for this purpose that you can use to activate Map and Gantt specific features. There can you find the button to activate the CPM visualization.
In our sample project, it looks pretty colorful ;-).


Image:Critical Path analysis in MindPlan 3.2

In red, the critical path is highlighted. Those are activities that are critical for the final deadline of the project (as final deadline we take the latest milestone or activity). The green and yellow bars indicate the earliest and latest possible date for an activity, based on their predecessor/successor position in the project to not extend the final deadline.

That sample MindPlan is actually more complex than it might look like. It's more obvious when you take a look at the map view :-)

Image:Critical Path analysis in MindPlan 3.2


This feature is brought to you by "Mr. Critical Path" Tammo Riedinger. :-)

Karsten Lehmann | February 26th, 2010 10:06:00 | Comments (0) | Permanent Link

As already adumbrated elsewhere on the web, something was going on in MindPlan land this summer.

Yesterday, at the Notesusertage conference in Karlsruhe, Germany, we officially announced the upcoming release of a brand new MindPlan version.

In the past years, there were two questions that customers kept asking us over and over again:

1. My company is not using Lotus Notes. Do you have a version that runs without a Lotus Notes client?

2. How can we include external project co-workers in our MindPlan team that don't have Lotus Notes?

Today we're proud to announce that a new MindPlan version will be the answer to both questions.

The DOLS edition
Our internal technical name for this development project was "DOLS version".
For those who are not familiar with the word "DOLS": it's the short form for "Domino Off-Line Services", a technology that was originally built by IBM to take Lotus Notes web applications offline and provide replication features comparable to a normal Lotus Notes client.

Well, with a little bit of magic, this is not the only use case for DOLS any more. DOLS now is the perfect runtime environment for the MindPlan application.

So, MindPlan is still NSF-based, which means that we continue to store data in secure and reliable Lotus Notes databases, but as a user of this "MindPlan DOLS edition", you don't see anything of it! It's a complete background technology.

Easy setup
This new MindPlan edition will ship as a standard Windows installer package (MSI file), that does not require the existence of an installed Lotus Notes client.
Three easy steps are required to work with this edition:

  • install it
  • start it
  • enter your name
Then you're done and MindPlan is ready to use.

It also does not interfere with an installed normal MindPlan application or Lotus Notes client. All the data is kept in separate directories.

Real team work
Although you don't see the Lotus Notes user interface, we still provide nearly the full range of features of the normal MindPlan edition:
  • full support for data replication with Notes/Domino to work in a team with others
  • the replication can be initiated directly from within the MindPlan application
  • work online on a Domino server or offline in a local replica
  • You can offer hosting of MindPlan databases for your customers
  • as an alternative to team work with others, MindPlan can also be used in a single user scenario
    (in this case, MindPlan automatically generates the necessary Lotus Notes ID file and databases for local use)
One caveat - richtext is read-only
For this very first release of the MindPlan DOLS edition, we had to limit one feature, which is caused by the lack of a graphical Lotus Notes user interface:
We can only offer the richtext of a MindPlan node in read-only mode, because we do not have a proper editor in Java that produces round-trippable Notes richtext (to be able to heavily exchange Richtext contents between DOLS and Standard users without data loss).
But you have full support for file attachments and you can of course use the title/description of a MindPlan node to enter your text.

In a future MindPlan version, we will provide our own graphical text editor that can be used as an alternative to Notes richtext and that stores its data in parallel to the Richtext in the node (e.g. in HTML or RTF format).

Interested in a beta version?
The first MindPlan partners received an alpha code drop of this new MindPlan edition in August 2009. We have already reached the beta stage by now. So if you don't want to wait until January 2010 (hmm... I think there is an IBM conference in January; might be a coincidence ;-) ), just send us an email at

support @ mindplan.de

with a subject like "I want that MindPlan DOLS version now!" to participate in the beta program. :-)
Please also add some information about your system (this is Windows only, so tell us about the Windows version you use and the basic hardware setup).

P.S.: The normal MindPlan 3.2 editions and the first officially available MindPlan Mac version will also be released at the end of January 2010.

P.P.S: Well, now it's finally clear why we added the richtext preview panel and the replication support. :-)





Karsten Lehmann | November 6th, 2009 15:53:22 | Comments (0) | Permanent Link
MindPlan┬« is a registered trademark of Haus Weilgut GmbH Computer Conception | ┬ę 2009