View Ravichandran J.V.'s profile on LinkedIn RJV 's Blog Tweet @ravichandranjv


Monday, 13 April 2015

Lovely day in Bengaluru

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Your trial expired - Calendar Pane

If the Calendar Pane is not visible, click the Manage my apps link in the My apps section.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Just awesome!

How many times have you wished for a simple way to enter dates into your Excel worksheets?

Here is a simple solution.

"Calendar Pane" for Excel 365.

Try it for free from the Office store. Calendars in Arabic, Chinese (simplified), English, Tamil.

You cannot say "No" to this because you need it to save you precious minutes at work.

Monday, 9 March 2015

Calendar for Excel - Try

Have you begun using this simple Excel must-have?

Now, try it for free for 15 days.

 Please note: The listed price is for per user up to 10 user license beyond 10 users it is free.

Steps -

1. Select the Insert tab in Excel 365.

2. Click Store and Enter 'calendar' in the search box.

3. In the search results list, click on "Try" the Calendar Pane app.

And you are ready to go!!

Also in Tamil, Chinese (simplified) and Arabic - Calendars only.

 Full version available in paid version.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

OMG, my Blog is a genius ! ;)

On 27th February, my blog had 203 visitors.

I frequently look at the stats of my blog and this stat seemed singular to me. So I decided to apply my mind a little to see what was it that could have generated so much interest on a particular day. I dwelt on my blogging style, the content and external factors like a new domain name, a new product etc. Here is what I discovered.

My blogging style

Somehow, I had adopted a practice not to ever blog on my personal life or write in a certain style that I use while writing an article or in a casual form.

I had maintained this blogging practice for over 7 years of blogging but since last year, I have noticed, on hindsight, that I have used that 'funny', descriptive tone in a few posts and not the bland, descriptive style that I use for technical/technological posts. I attribute this 'change' to either my recovering my health for over two years and due to which I have more myself as company or to working on my own and by myself.

The reason I mention this is so that I could share another fact that could not have been shared without this preamble.

The content

The reason I also want to mention this in such a tone is not to brag about it but because during this period, I had added a widget for my Calendar Pane app for Excel 365 without checking its size !

And I had 203 visitors to the blog to see such a great event, when without the over-sized (full size) image, the number would be in mid-20s !

It is remarkable that so many become so interested to make note of a 'deviation' than if the blog were in a perfect condition. It is quite likely that the 'sick' state of the blog was 'symbolically' represented to such visitors as a human being with an ailment, who people visited out of care and concern !

To elaborate on this rampant human trait nowadays, due to the 'comparison techniques of communication' - the 'like a' (just like 'is a' in Object-oriented terminology) style - that many adopt in their zest to be cleverer than others, a mouse enters a home and a nutcase landlord that believes he/she has a 'right' to disturb tenants living below randomly because they live in the building that they own (even if the other is a rightful owner or pays rent to some other landlord!) because they have heard that a mouse also lives in that house for which rent has not been paid because they have created some rent agreement with such a clause that no other living being must live in the house other than the registered names, the deviation is represented for certain crass people as a breach in agreement (unreasonable people is not the word to describe them, they are ridiculously insane people, who live because they have the money to indulge in whatever they want) but without making any charges.

To elaborate more in the same 'like a' way, the mouse is a deviation from what was agreed (not agreed is not what you can argue is their belief - such insanely unreasonable mindsets) in the tenancy so, in return, they believe that they can indulge in their psychotic pleasures.

It is no co-incidence but a serious fact that if addressed correctly can solve a lot of 'humane' problems that face us all in our daily lives.

Of course there is another reason why I found it necessary to share this fact, aside from the preamble that it afforded me, it also helped me draw a parallel to how my products have fared.

I have had more than one career (much like how many mention that they have had more than three wives and are in the process for more !) - one, as a software programmer, two, as a technical trainer, three, as a mentor/coach/evangelist in Agile and of late, as a consequence of my stint at recovering from the injury to my shoulder and arm, as a freelance software consultant and as a product specialist.

It is as the product developer that I am more concerned with, which because of not making me money, puts me in a different light, probably a spot (pun unintended)!

The fact is, I started developing products way back in 1994 under the label of GREYcells and although it found mention in PCQuest and in the form of a press release, it never made any money. The possible reasons were not sufficient financial backing nor the required marketing thrust or help.

Then recently, I developed a few Android apps and put it on the Google Play Store.

Again, I was under duress, but this time, due to the injury. Again, as previously, I turned to jobs (!) as a means to earn money and now, for the third time, as I hit the market, with a product for the Microsoft Online Store, I find that I have not got the response that I was looking for although, a lot better than what the predecessors got, I find a rather simple phenomenon (of course, there are humans involved, too.

External factors

For instance, if a certain practice (angry retaliation or spite would be a more appropriate description) is adopted in a city or town or village, where every mistake committed by a government or an official or a superior, is replicated as another mistake of the same kind, elsewhere, to not only serve as a reminder but as also a form of revenge in a fit of jealousy then people in the 'replicated' city or village would not know it is a vengeful act but only as it was in the other context, a mistake or incompetence) that explains why many problems, social and political, seem the same within the same country or region.

The problems are not because of laws or regulations but because of people and their attitude.

And it is here that the parallel that I wished to draw with the 203 visitors visiting my blog to see a ill-placed image, when the blog had been doing well for more than 7 years !

Some people associate themselves in a certain way to life and so expose themselves to be manipulated in a certain way (like Greenpeace in India) that they become a 'representation' of a certain stereotype, of a 'curse' even, and who, due to years of doing the same things, and without having the 'varied' windows of different careers or different talent as a 'contrast', don't even get to know how they have become a 'curse' !

In India, many would know it from historical reference, where caste-ism used to expose such people; it is known as discrimination in today's world.

Incidentally, it was around the same dates that I suffered the brain hemorrhage that caused injury to my right shoulder and arm and around the same date/month, that another member of my family had a similar but more fatal injury. 

I must be more careful around the month of February because it seems during this month, as astrologers put it in India, 'Shani' hovers over me, in the form of  some factors that make people confused between 'something wrong' with a thing (a blog) - it was the Television that blew up smoke ('phook gaya' is also used in the context of the brain and the car), when I got injured - and 'something wrong' with a person ! :D 

Does it mean that around this month 

(and why only February? Maybe the person visits India or near my house or known to me? Or some psycho who knows me more than I do), 

somebody takes special interest in me and says, "Ok so tell me what is he doing nowadays?" or "how is he?"

Be what may, many 'prejudices', 'religious misgivings' (for example, "Lord Siva is calling you" !)) is likely to get solved by simply co-relating Google Search (SEO) or web marketing/network and human networks and word-of-mouth gossip or vendetta mercenaries. ;)

Friday, 13 February 2015

Calendar Pane for Excel 2013

Some good news !

My first Office App - "Calendar Pane", for Excel 2013 will soon be available at the Windows Store.

Keep out an eye for it. In the meanwhile, if you want to preview it for a limited period, free of cost, email me - ravjv2013 at gmail dot com

 Calendar Pane

 Calendar Pane

 Calendar Pane

The cost, $9.99, is per user for 10 users.

If your organization has more than 10 users, say 1000, the cost still remains the same as for 10 users.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Testing my Office App for Excel

If you are interested in testing this simple task pane for Excel 365 (Excel 2013), please drop an email to : ravjv2013 at gmail dot com for instructions on how to use. 

Please do not use anonymous/bogus Ids.

The input cell can be formatted to any format as it is basically pre-formatted as a Date cell.

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

A note - Authenticating user credentials to a Sharepoint Online Web resource

When using the ClientContext class, add the Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.Runtime dll otherwise many members inherited from the ClientContextRuntime class will throw compile time errors.

Monday, 2 February 2015

Apps for Office 365 - Calendar Pane for Excel

My previous post on Office 365 and Sharepoint Online was meant for any user with a SharePoint Online account.

This post, however, is strictly for the developers. So, let me re-run the Sharing your Developer site for external users well before so that at the time of publishing your App for Office 365, you do not get any error.

After creating your Developer Site in your Sites Collection (Please refer to the previous post for help in creating one), click on the newly created Developer site (after it has been provisioned, of course) and check the Let External people access...check box so that your new site that you will use to develop Apps for Office 365 so that the apps can be shared with a public link.

Alright, now for the basic requisites. You need Napa or Visual Studio with Office 365 API installed in your computer. The former is like a dream come true. All you need to do is browse to your newly created Developer Site and click Build an App 

and you are ready to program for Office 365 from your browser !!

'Napa' on Cloud is the coolest feature of Sharepoint Online!

Once you have decided to build an Office 365 app, that is clicked on Build an app, a new page will urge you to Add new project to the Napa cloud.

The next step is to select the app type and give it a name for your Office 365 app to be created on the cloud !

Let me show you a Task Pane app for Excel that I created.

When I used to work on employee data that had date columns that had to be individually typed, I sometimes used to embed the Calendar object to refer to for the dates. But to be able to input date directly? That required VBA Macros and Macros that made the screen flicker and the Sheet sometimes refresh could be annoying and was obviously not the best solution.

So, as soon as I saw the Task Pane template, I got excited.

Yes, this is what is needed - simpler than an Add-In, more reliable than a Macro and more efficient to distribute across the organization via Sharepoint !!

Below is a Task Pane for Excel that allows you to input date from a calendar !

All you now need is to select the date from the calendar and set the date to the Excel cell!!

Try the Calendar Pane for Excel -> Click here.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Working with Sharepoint 365 - share a document

Working with Sharepoint online and collaborating with Site Collections can be tricky if you have not administered Sharepoint Server previously.

Let me just give you a quick jump start on how to collaborate your Office Documents with external users

Go to the Admin page of your Office 365 Online ( - it will read Office 365 Admin Center. 

Expand the Admin link, right at the bottom of the left menu bar, and click "Sharepoint". This will land you on the Sharepoint Admin Center.

Click the Apps option on the left menu bar (as shown, circled, in below figure).

Select the Site Collection from the list on the right of the Admin page (list is the square box).

If you have not yet created a site collection, click the New button above the square box and create a new site collection.

Select the appropriate template from the tabs.

Set the time zone, an administrator and the storage size (above 110 MB) and click Ok.

Wait for a few seconds for the new site collection to get created and appear in the list as a hyperlink with a New callout.

Once the new site collection is created, browse to the url (copy/paste the link, if you can think of nothing else, on to a new browser window/tab).

Click the Site Contents link and in the subsequent, landing page, click Add an app...

In Apps to add, select Document Library, give your document library a name and click Create.

Your new document library will appear on the right. Click it to navigate it to the library. 

Click the Distribute apps for Office box and upload any office document from your computer to this new document library.

Obviously, you have uploaded this document to share and collaborate with your team or colleagues or management plus you may also want to access it from home for which you may not have access to the company's Private Site Collection (unless it is a public site), so how to share it?

By default, in Sharepoint Online, the Everybody user group means everybody in the authenticated users of the Sharepoint site except external users.

To overcome this restriction, you can give access to your site itself (Of course, you may need to be careful with the contents that you do not want to share.).

A Sharepoint site is quite simply part of a site collection that has a name. 

Browse to your sharepoint url - with a /sites/ and the site name and click Share your site and enter the email id.

Now, your site has been shared via email to an external user but what about the document?

One last step. Add a hyperlink on the page. That is it. When the Share link is emailed to the recipient, the recipient can be instructed to click the hyperlink to view/edit the Powerpoint/Excel/Access/Word document.

And voila!

There is another disarmingly simple way to share through the Office 365 Admin Center's External Sharing menu option but that is for the techno-savvy Sharepoint administrators. For the normal user, the above steps serve better.