Tuesday, November 20, 2007

TrialWorks v. 9.38b has been posted to the website.

We've posted the changes and files pertaining to 9.38b. It has a few adjustments form our original 9.38 release but anyone who has 9.38 should consider getting this quick upgrade. For most it will not include a database upgrade; prior version customers have to do the whole thing.

Our upgrade schedule will be limited over the Thanksgiving Holiday, so new requests scheduled through our Online Account Manager will be for next week. Keep in mind that if you are running 9.37 or higher you can automatically log into the account manager from TrialWorks's Help Menu.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Daylight Savings Time: Round 2

This is a reminder that the 'fall back' of the daylight saving time change this year is one week later than last year, as mandated by the Energy Savings Act of 2005. It will go into effect on November 4th.

As we advised you in the spring, unless certain Microsoft updates are applied to your computers, it is possible that the time zone settings for your system clock may be incorrect during this period. Note that Microsoft has made additional Daylight Savings Time and time zone changes since those released in January 2007. For full information, including directions to Knowledge Base articles, recommended preparation, and general sequence of update actions, see the Microsoft Daylight Saving Time Help and Support Center, at http://support.microsoft.com/gp/cp_dst.

Provided that you apply the applicable Windows updates to all your computers, TrialWorks products are not directly affected by this change. However, those who use TrialWorks third-party integrations that affect your calendar scheduling (like Outlook, Palm and other mobile devices) should ensure that they apply any patches or updates made available by those third-party vendors and follow their recommendations for avoiding appointment inconsistencies.
It is recommended that you check your TrialWorks appointments during the adjustment.

/Author: KJ

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

TrialWorks version 9.37b and Outlook Add-In Functionality.

TrialWorks 9.37b with the latest TrialWorks Add-In is available as of 10/24/2007. The package is a supplemental patch, and not a complete upgrade. Version 9.38 is expected in the next few days, so users are encouraged to wait for the next release. The version of the TrialWorksAddin.dll is

This version addresses a few e-mail filing problems which would have resulted in messages not being filed from the INBOX, under certain cricumstances. Issues related to this fix typically involved e-mail messages with attachments, but were not limited to that.

TrialWorks Add-In problems may result from an array of problems. Assuming that all other potential problems have been reasonable dealt with (such as WinWord as email editor, LoadBehavior, DisabledItems, Registration, and that users are running MSG functions) the next step is to examin the TrialWorkAddIn.LOG file for this error:

"Error in EmailFilerTimer_Timer:Object variable or With block variable"

IF the error is seen and all other potential failures have been eliminated apply this update immediatley.

Since it is crucial that OUTLOOK be closed during the install of the new add-in, in some cases it may be more efficient to deploy the patch using the Windows logon script than using our TrialWorks messaging option.

Here is a list of commands that may be helpful:

----[ open SBS logon script in notepad from RUN command]------

notepad file:////[servername]/NETLOGON/SBS_LOGIN_SCRIPT.bat

---[insert the text below to the logon script] ----

REM - TrialWorks Aoutlook Addin Update 10/24/2007
xcopy file:////[SERVERNAME]/TrialWorks/Temp/Binn/TrialWorksaddin.dll %windir%\system32\ /D /Y /C
%windir%\system32\regsvr32.exe %windir%\system32\TrialWorksaddin.dll /s

---- [ save the file ] ------

Ask the users to restart their computers. ASking them to Log off and back on can be misunderstood.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Defragment the Exchange Information Store after MSG Conversion

If you are the system administrator for a firm using TrialWorks Case Management Software, than you may have already switched to the Save as MSG function for the TrialWorks/Outlook Add-In available since version 9.36. Well, if you have than you may need to complete a few cleanup procedures to improve performance of your Microsoft Exchange Server.

After the TrialWorks Save as MSG Conversion you should be able to export the existing Public Folder to a PST file. After the folder is copied to a PST (or exported) you can delete it from Microsoft Exchange. However, you will notice that the Exchange Public Folder Store does not decrease in size after deleting the Public Folder. By the way, the expected change in size will likely be huge.

Microsoft Exchange Public Folders will not immediately decrease in size, by design, until you complete a Defreg (defragmentation) on that specific public folder store. To do so you must budget about two hours of Public Folder downtime. When you are ready to complete procedure, you will need to dismount the Exchange Public Folder Store and trigger a defrag from Command Prompt using the ESEUTIL.EXE utility available in Exchange. For more details please review the Microsoft Documentaiton on Exchange Defragmentation.


TrialWorks 9.37 Released

The TrialWorks 9.37a release has been available for about one week now. The majority of the changed focused on internal functions associated with the Outlook Plug-In for TrialWorks (using the new MSG functions). In addition, we have added a feature to streamline access to the TrialWorks Account Manager.

In regards to the TrialWorks/Outlook integration, 9.37 addresses several problems that affected ability to file certain types of messages. Primarily, errors that were caused by repeated opening and closing of previously filed e-mails (this item is locked error messages). In addition, it enahances the Public Folder to MSG Migration options with new procedures to verify the migration.

As far as the Account Manager is concerned, we have added a Help Menu item that automatically populates the firm's logon credentials. The Account Manager can be used to submit trouble tickets, view basic account information, and schedule/download upgrades.

Monday, August 06, 2007

What Every User Needs to Know About TrialWorks Add-In and the MSG Conversion.

As previously mentioned in our blog (http://trialworks.blogspot.com/2007/04/trialworks-version-936-is-now-available.html) the 9.36 release of TrialWorks supports a new e-mail filing feature that no longer depends on Microsoft Exchange Public Folders to file e-mails. We've been getting lots of questions and insight from our users about the change, and I wanted to take a minute to share with you some of the things that your office, your techs, and your users should know about the new feature.

In a nutshell, until version 9.36, the only way TrialWorks filed e-mails was by tagging case information to a message and moving it to the associated Exchange Public Folder. Last year Microsoft announced to do away with the legacy public folder system and introduced new functionality to Exchange 2007 that would boost functionality and completely replace the old-school system. As a side-note, due to the outcry from the Exchange community, Public Folders are still available in Exchange 2007 - but we moved on. So we introduced the Save as MSG function to TrialWorks. MSG is simply the file extension on Outlook Messages saved to the file system, instead of Exchange. They retain their e-mail properties but are saved outside of the e-mail system; Outlook is still used to open them.

  1. First and foremost, users have asked whether the change is necessary. Although we do not require any office to switch to the new Save as MSG format, our future developments of new Outlook E-mail integration are focused on the nonexistence of Public Folders, therefore firms that are still utilizing the legacy system may not benefit from new functionalities available to those that have switched to Save as MSG.

  2. What are the benefits of switching to Save as MSG, apart from future developments? There are several benefits to both users and server administrators, so I rather list them separately:

    Users: More reliable e-mail filing system that works better with larger e-mails (specifically those carrying attachments) and less problems associated with unfiled messages or add-in not loading that users have experienced, especially after the January 2007 Outlook Security Bulletin that affected add-in function. The upgrade to 9.36 coupled with the Save as MSG conversion will resolve outstanding add-in problems that may be a result of not having the latest TrialWorksAddin.DLL or Redemption.DLL (which we made available after the security bulletin).

    Server Administrators: Massive reduction in Exchange resource use as the Exchange Public Folder Store will contain minimal amounts of data. Although the Save as MSG Conversion will not delete the public folders, all server administrators are encouraged to backup exchange and move the existing TrialWorks Public Folder to PST and out of Exchange. The reason for keeping the PST and backup is simply to maintain all precautions. Furthermore, future server migrations will become far easier to manage as the TrialWorks SQL Server-2-Server Migration protocols is reduced to 2 stages, instead of 3.

  3. What practices do you recommend for the migration? It is important to know that the actual Save as MSG Conversion is a 2 step process; the first step involves a check-box in Global Settings and the second is a single-click activation of the conversion process from TrialWorks. However, prior to triggering the migration all IT admins are encouraged to 1) backup exchange server and save the backups 2) backup SQL server and save the backups 3) change settings trigger the conversion 4) review and save the log files 5) disable user access to public folder for a few days 6) move the public folders out of exchange.

  4. What can users expect to see after the migration? The TrialWorks Choose A Case button will remain the same through 9.36, with new functionality in version 9.37 (currently in BETA). However, there are some changes that you should be aware of:

    Outlook Folder Button: no longer displays the Outlook E-Mail Window, instead opens with Windows Folder containing e-mails for that case. That screen does not offer a preview pane or message header information. You are expected to utilize the E-Mail Tab.

    "BackDoor" to Saving E-mails: historically users could Move to Folder any message they chose (or a number of messages) through Outlook. That feature is no longer available. Technically Save As function could be used, but it is too cumbersome. So no backdoor ability.

    Messages Are Now Indexed: As long as your Index Server is running, and it should be, your TrialWorks Catalog will collect all e-mail message information and include it in search results. This makes it possible to search all e-mails within fractions of a second.

    Messages Are Now in Deleted Items: After a message is "filed" to a case, it is also moved to Deleted Items in Outlook. Those messages will remain there for as long as the Deleted Items are not purged. This makes it easy to quickly reference filed messages without having to go to a case. Please remember that those are only COPIES of the messages you filed, but they are available for reference and we have received lots of positive feedback about that feature.

    More reliable E-Mail filing: The new feature resolves various issues since the Microsoft Security Bulletin. Although we addressed them in 9.35 and packed the fix in 9.36, the MSG function helps resolve outstanding problems by default.

    Windows Security Message When Opening E-Mails From TrialWorks: Windows by default will prompt with a security/caution message whenever you double click on an e-mail item in TrialWorks. You can change the behavior by going, inside of Windows Explorer, to Tools > Folder Options > File Types > MSG > Advanced and unchecking the "Confirm Open After Download" checkbox.

  5. Are There Any Known Technical Problems? The Save as MSG function had been in development and testing for over 12 months, but ultimately it is our users that help us notice potential problems and work towards a speedy solution. Just recently we have noted that in some instances messages that are opened from TrialWorks E-Mail Tab, then closed, and then opened again Outlook may randomly generate a "permission" error message (which pops under the active window, so you don't notice it until you minimize TrialWorks). We are working on resolving the issue for 9.37, which will be out soon. There is no reason to wait for the next release as the upgrade has many benefits and the reported problem is rare.

/KJ author.
/KJ updated on 8/8/07

Monday, July 30, 2007

WiFi (Wireless) Intel Pro Adapter in Dell Laptops and VISTA

Turns out that a large number of Dell Inspiron and Latitude notebooks are affected by a problem with the IntelPro Wireless Adapter in Microsoft Windows VISTA. Basically, the computer connects to the internet on the WiFi, works for a few minutes, and then quits. If you look carefully you can notice that the Wirless Network Connection is disabled, and you cannot enable it. More close examination reveals Error Logs in Event Viewer.

Well, although I am not sure of the precise cause of the problem, it appears to be an issue with the Intel Drivers used to operate the Wireless device. Fortunately, Windows Vista has available drivers for the adapter that seem to do the trick according to the Dell Forums.

To go back to Vista driver first Turn the Wi-Fi off (FN-F2). Then proceed to uninstall the Intel Driver (Control Panel, Uninstall a Program).

Next, go into Device Manager (right Click Computer, select Properties, then Device Manger on the left side, or Control Panel, Hardware and Sound, Device Manager). Expand Network adapters, Double Click Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG Network Connection. Click the Driver Tab.Click the Uninstall Button.

After vista uninstalls the driver, the adapter will be removed from Network adapters.Reboot immediately. Make sure the radio comes back on, while Windows is shutting down, hit the FN-F2 key combo to turn the radio back on. Upon reboot, Windows will install its own driver.My driver is by Microsoft, dated 6/21/2006, version

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

TrialWorks Integrates with Internet Explorer!

That's right, we integrate -sort of- with IE (and FireFox in a few day). As part of the nWeb effort (that's the catchy sign for our "New Website") we also developed the TrialWorks ToolBar. It is a plug-in for Internet Explorer, and FireFox, that makes life a little easier for the average TrialWorks user.

We add just a few small buttons, with menus, to your IE that make it quicker for you to access support, our website, and the Account Manager. It even has a nifty update feature that will alert you whenever something important happens - but don't worry, we will not send out the alerts too often. Mostly reserved for upgrade notifications.

And the best part is, this toolbar has no search plug-ins, no spy-ware, no ad-ware, well, nothing fun really. We made it small, simple, and convenient for our users. We hope you like it!

You can get the toolbar from http://new.trialworks.com/TWToolBar

/KJ author

TrialWorks nWeb - The New TrialWorks Website

We have been working on a new site for many months now and it is nearly complete. Web development is not overwhelming, but we do prioritize and many of the web projects were frequently put on the back burner as we focus on customer support. Well, we have aggressively pursued the completion of the new site, and it is done (well, more like version 1.0).

Apart from a fresh look and updated content we have added new features. For instance, the TrialWorks Labs section will slowly grow with quick Flash-based "How To" guides to TrialWorks. We are still working on adding the knowledgebase and updated documentation -- all that will come soon.

One of the largest new features is the TrialWorks nWeb Account Manager which consolidates upgrade distribution, trouble tickets, and customer features into one main site. In future releases of TrialWorks, starting with 9.37, users will be able to automatically log-into the site directly from TrialWorks, but for now QuickAccess links are easy to make and speed up the log-in process; it requires a serial and registration number.

Our trouble ticket system is back, and developed in-house. Traditional trouble ticket systems typically allow for submission and then dialogue between user and tech; we decided to limit the function only to problem submission. The rationale is that we find communicating by e-mail and phone are the two most convenient and effective wasy of dealing with issues, so the online ticket system is an expansion of the existing procedures. We encourage you to use the ticket system instead of e-mailing techsupport directly to make it easier to track messages.

We hope you enjoy new features and look forward to feedback.

/kj author

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Top 10 Reasons to Install Windows Server 2003 SP2

  1. Security Updates/Hotfixes
    Windows Server 2003 SP2 will get all of your Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP Professional x64 Editions up to date with the latest Security Bulletin updates and Hotfixes, ensuring the highest level of security, reliability, stability, manageability, supportability and compatibility.
  2. Deploy your operating systems more effectively
    Building upon our previous deployment solutions, Windows Deployment Services (WDS) offers customers a complete ‘out of the box’ provisioning solution. WDS provides organizations with manageable image store, remote booting, PXE boot support, and more; all in a greatly improved management interface. WDS also uses the new file-based Windows Imaging Format (WIM) which facilitates deployments on Windows Vista and Windows Server “Longhorn”.
  3. Improved networking performance
    Windows Server SP2 offers solutions to network traffic challenges in an era of the multi-Gigabit Ethernet. Increases to CPU resources required to handle high network traffic can potentially inhibit scaling and effectively reduce the performance gains that are possible with increased link speeds. Windows Server 2003 SP2 Scalable Networking Pack (SNP), introduces technologies that helps organizations cost-effectively scale network-based applications to meet growing demands. The Scalable Networking pack Increases network and application performance by freeing up CPU cycles and more efficiently using processor resources. More information on the Scalable Networking Pack can be found at www.microsoft.com/snp.
  4. Improved manageability for IPsec
    Server and Domain Isolation are key security benefits offered on Microsoft Networks. By using Active Directory, domain memberships and group policies, Server and Domain Isolation allows companies to logically segment their networks. This means that you can restrict non-domain computers which aren’t managed at a corporate level (lab computers, guests or other unsecure systems) from communicating with non- domain members. Service Pack 2 improves Server and Domain Isolation by reducing the IPsec filter set that needs to be managed from potentially hundreds of filters to as few as 2 filters. More information on Server and Domain Isolation can be found at www.microsoft.com/sdisolation.
  5. Utility improvements
    Making common tasks easier, SP2 introduces customer-driven improvements to the Domain Controller Diagnostics tool (DCDIAG) and MS Configuration (MSCONFIG) tool. SP2 also has an updated Access Control List (ICACLS) program to allow for greater flexibility when backing up Access Control Lists.
  6. Management tools made easier
    SP2 includes the Microsoft Management Console 3.0 (MMC 3.0). MMC provides a framework that unifies and simplifies day-to-day system management tasks on Windows by providing common navigation, menus, toolbars, and workflow across diverse tools. MMC tools (called snap-ins) can be used to administer networks, computers, services, applications and other system components. MMC does not perform administrative functions, but hosts a variety of Windows and non-Microsoft snap-ins that do.
  7. Single install experience
    It patches both the R2 and non-R2 versions of Windows Server 2003. This reduces the amount of patch management for an organization.
  8. Support for additional languages
    Service Pack 2 will be released in 9 additional localized languages for Windows Server 2003 x64 Editions including: German, French, Korean, Chinese Traditional, Chinese Simplified, Spanish, Italian, Russian and, Portuguese (Brazilian).
  9. Performance improvements
    Service Pack 2 offers performance improvements for Windows Server 2003 running as a Virtual Server guest under high Advanced Processor Interrupt Controller (APIC) rates. It also improves SQL Server performance under intensive workloads. Both of these improvements lead to more efficient data processing.
  10. Manage new wireless settings without the hassle
    SP2 provides the ability to manage the WPA2 protocol for wireless networks. This supports and simplifies the process of discovering and connecting to wireless networks in your home or on the road.

/posted by KJ source: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windowsserver/bb229702.aspx

Friday, April 27, 2007

Exchange Server 2003: Is Yours About to Crash?

I don't want to scare anyone but networks where Exchange Server had been running for a while might have a potential problem. Basically the store databases are dismounted without warning or users cannot log on to their mailboxes in Exchange Server 2003 or in Exchange 2000 Server, because the Exchange uses transaction log files that are numbered sequentially. The first file name in the transaction log file sequence is "E nn 00001.log." The file names increase sequentially to "E nn ffff0.log."

Microsoft udpated their Knowledgebase Article 830408 on March 9, 2007 advising for this problem. Furthermore, just yesterday (April 26) they released the latest version of the debugging tools - which are used to correct the problem, if it happens to you.
Basically stores dismount but a defrag and scan of Exchange show healthy state - but the stores refuse to mount.

To work around this problem, reset the log sequence. To do this, you must move all existing transaction logs to another location. After you do this, a new sequence of log files that starts with 0x00001 is generated.Important Before you move the transaction logs, you must verify that all databases in the storage group are in a Clean Shutdown state. To do this and to reset the log file sequence, follow these steps:
1. Mark all the databases in the affected storage group to not mount on startup. To do this, follow these steps:

2. Kill the store to dismount the database that could not be dismounted.To download the latest version of the Debugging Tools for Windows package, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/devtools/debugging/default.mspx (http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/devtools/debugging/default.mspx)

3.Restart the store so that other storage groups can be mounted.

4.Run the ESEUTIL recovery on all the databases that are in the affected storage group.

5. Verify that the databases were in a Clean Shutdown state.

6.Move logs and checkpoint files to another location in case a recovery is required from an old database. The log files have the .log file name extension. The checkpoint files have the .chk file name extension.

7.Mount all the databases in the storage group.

8.Click to clear the Don't mount this store at start-up check box for all the databases in the affected storage group.

9.The storage group must be backed up when delivery settles down on this computer because you cannot recover log files past the new log file generation point.


Monday, April 23, 2007

TrialWorks Version 9.36 is now available!

The long awaited version 9.36 is now available. To get the latest feature information, your best choice is to go to Help > Check for Updates directly in TrialWorks. We have added many new features and fixes, but the biggest is what this blog is about.

Microsoft announced last year that Exchange Public Folders are being phased out; initially it was going to be in Exchange 2007, but that did not happen (although they are now optional). Fact is, starting with Exchange 2007, public folders are not useful. So to prepare for the future, we too changed our integration to deal with the lack of Public Folders.

As you may already know TrialWorks version 9.36 supports the ability to save e-mails as .MSG files. These files are stored in the E-mails folder in CaseFiles instead of using Exchange Public Folders. To use this feature a few things need to be done.
  1. Check the box “Store E-mails in CaseFiles” in the ”E-mail/Fax Settings” tab in Global Settings
  2. Save the TrialWorks Public Folder to a .pst file for backup and save it to \\\\MSGConversion\ (Manually create the folder MSGConversion)
  3. Back-up the SQL Database and save the .bak file to \\\\MSGConversion\
  4. Convert existing E-mails to .MSG files by running “Admin > Recreate Items > Save E-mails to .msg files for All Cases” . (This should be done after hours when no new e-mails are being filed. FYI this process took 6 hours on our system TWPDC01\TWCustomers which had a 3.4 GB public folder. The e-mails in the public folder will remain since we only save them to an .msg file without modifying the original e-mail )
  5. Save the log file from %appdata%\TWLogs\TrialWorks.log to \\\\MSGConversion\
  6. Search the log for entries that read “WARNING! Not all emails where saved as msg. (This entry means that for that particular case not all e-mails where saved to an msg file and there are more e-mails in the Public folder that in the new E-mail Folder in CaseFiles)

/jc + kj

Friday, February 02, 2007

You cannot use the Windows SBS 2003 client deployment tools to join a Windows Vista-based computer to a Windows SBS network

You try to use the Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003 (Windows SBS) client deployment tools to join a Windows Vista-based computer to a Windows SBS network. However, when you click Connect to the network now on the Network Configuration Web page, you receive the following error message even though you are already logged on as a local administrator:

  • "The Small Business Server Networking Wizard was not installed. You may not be a member of the local Administrators security group on this computer or your Local Intranet security settings may be set to High. Click Connect to the network now to try again and click Yes when prompted. If the wizard fails to install, contact the person responsible for your network"

Also, when you click Connect to the Network, and then you enable the ActiveX control when you are prompted by the Internet Explorer information bar, a dialog box is displayed that contains the following message:

Additionally, when you try to use the Outlook Profile Settings option in the Setup Computer Wizard or in the Assign Applications Wizard to configure Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 for a Windows SBS network, the settings are not applied.

The full resolution to the issue can be found in this Microsoft Article: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/926505;

Monday, January 29, 2007

Daylight Savings Time and Your Office

In August of 2005 the United States Congress passed the Energy Policy Act, which changes the dates of both the start and end of daylight saving time (DST). When this law goes into effect in 2007, DST will start three weeks earlier (2:00 A.M. on the second Sunday in March) and will end one week later (2:00 A.M. on the first Sunday in November) than what had traditionally occurred.

I've cut and pasted the contents of the article to my blog, so feel free to go straight to it: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/timezone/dst2007.mspx

This article summarizes the updates and tools that Microsoft is developing for its customers to address the DST change.

Microsoft is dedicated to working with customers to make this transition as seamless as possible for companies and organizations affected by these new time changes. Microsoft is further committed to working with others in the industry to address the broader challenges presented by this U.S. statute. Please check this page at least weekly to ensure you have the latest information available.

Change in daylight saving time:
Previously DST started on:
With the new law, DST will start on:
Previous DST ended on:
With the new law, DST will end on:

First Sunday of April
Second Sunday of March
Last Sunday of October
First Sunday of November

Would have been: April 1, 2007
Will now be: March 11, 2007
Would have been: October 28, 2007
Will now be: November 4, 2007

While the change in daylight saving time applies to U.S. and Canada, the change may affect users based outside of these countries.

• Mexico will not be following the new DST 2007 rules with the U.S. and Canada. Accordingly, systems configured to use U.S. time zones (for example, Pacific Time) will need to change their system configurations to use the new Mexico time zones.

• Companies or organizations with operations, customers, or vendors based in the U.S. or Canada may be affected.

• Companies or organizations that interact or integrate with systems that are based in the U.S. or Canada or rely on date/time calculations may be affected.

• Users in U.S. areas that do not observe DST (see below) but who travel to or interact with people in locations that do follow DST will be affected and should install the Windows operating system update.

Areas affected by this change in daylight saving time:
All of the United States except:

Arizona, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and American Samoa

Canada and the United States share DST

Mexico will not be following the new DST 2007 rules

The change in DST will have an affect on many automated and technology reliant products. Individual consumers, small to medium size businesses, and large enterprises may be affected by the new change in time. Computer-system related issues include, for example:

• Calendar / scheduling applications

• Date / time calculations (current and historical)

• Transaction logging (UTC vs. Local Time)

• Tariff billing applications

In many cases, making the necessary changes to accommodate the new DST legislation will be a relatively minor task. Users may need to manually adjust the time on their devices when the change occurs.

In other cases, more substantial efforts may be required. In some cases, systems and applications may need to be updated directly, while in others, the application may simply inherit or "read" the date and time information from the underlying system that it resides on so the changes need only be made to that underlying system. Given the broad range of technology in use today-and the integration of systems between customers, vendors, and partners-business and IT managers should determine what actions should be taken to mitigate the affects of DST 2007 on their organizations.

/// posted by kj

Saturday, January 20, 2007

To Vista or Not to Vista? How about Office 2007?

I am taking a break from posting technical information to share with you some personal perspectives on Windows Vista and Office 2007. Without question, law firms will be faced with a decision to upgrade to these two products in the near future, but some of you may need a reason or two.

Let me start by saying that Microsoft has come a long way and introduced a suite of products that are phenomenal. I've been using both products for months and have nothing negative about them. However, there is a learning curve - about a month for moderate computer users - to get used to the changes and benefit from them, so is it worth it?

On the subject of Windows Vista - it is a significant upgrade. To run vista you should have a high-end processor, 2 GB of RAM, and a seperate graphics processor (GPU) with at least 256 MB of RAM to properly display the beauty (strictly appearence) of the new operating system. I would do it just for the looks alone. There are however vast security, performance, and usability changes that don't need the pretty face to improve your computing experience. However, I would not rush.

However, the Microsoft Office 2007 System - in my view - is worth thinking about right away. Apart from the new interface, the largest change is the new file format (eg: *.DOCX, *.XLSX, *.PPTX) which incorporates XML, and is NOT backwards compatible with Office 2003 and its predecessors. Not to say that it cannot be opened by older versions, because it can - using a plug in. To me, that may be enough to justify the upgrade, but not necessarily because of the technology.

Let's set up a hypothetical situation. Imagine someone just e-mailed a Word 2007 document to a basic computer user in your office. The person double-clicks to open it and is surprised by an incompatibility message. At that point they would click on OK, follow the prompts to the Microsoft Website, possibly clear validation, trigger the ActiveX component, download the plugin, and finally have the document in ReadOnly format. From there, they try to make a change, hit save, are prompted to Save AS. Find a spot... and so on. Granted, that only happens once per user - but let's think about it for am moment. When I asked people about this process I was surprised when most people elected to click CANCEL on the initial prompt, never getting past it to open the document. After all, we're all trained not to install stuff that pop's up.

The point is, dealing with the backwards compatibility may be too much for most users that are interested in opening MS Word and writing a letter. It interferes with productivity and may create scenarios that are simply an annoyance. Of course your network administrators can assist you in preparing for these situations, but is it worth the hassle?

I say, download the Microsoft Office 2007 trial that fits your needs. It will install everything but MS Outlook parallel to your existing install. Check it out. Once you feel comfortable call your software provider, ask them for Open Volume licenses of Microsoft Office, and schedule a deployment. Prepare your staff, and just get it done. It's worth it.

According to Microsoft, after the initial 1 month adjustment period, you can see a 20% productivity increase in moderate computer users. How? Well, 8 years of studies revealed that users spend an enormous amount of time looking for things... not files.. but things. The save button, the table button, the font, the format, the spacing, etc... All the things that take a precious 4-5 seconds to locate. Well, Microsoft believes that by changing the interface they actually reduce that time. Think of all the money you can save....

//posted by KJ

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Update: TrialWorks HOTFIX for Microsoft Security Bulletin MS07-003.

Microsoft has released security bulletin MS07-003. The security bulletin contains all the relevant information about the security update for Microsoft Office Outlook 2003. The included update has an adverse effect on the TrialWorks Add-In for Microsoft Outlook. Customers running TrialWorks version 9.35 you may need to download an additional TrialWorks HotFix. TrialWorks users on versions lower than 9.35, must Schedule Upgrade if they have the problem.

  • For simplicity you can download the above mentioned exe file from our FTP and run it on any user machine with TrialWorks 9.35 and with KB924085 installed. The exe will copy and register the two DLLs. Both TrialWorks and Outlook need to be closed prior to running the exe.

  • This fix is exclusively designed to ONLY fix the issue with the TrialWorksaddin caused by installing the Outlook Security Update KB924085. The machine MUST be on version 9.35, if you do not have the version, go to our website and Schedule Upgrade. The issue is that after filing an e-mail it will not move into the corresponding e-mail folder for the case.

  • If you are a user having the problem

    Self-Install Download Link for Client:
    If you have TrialWorks 9.35 you can use this file .
    Click here to download the TW935 HOTFIX for the Add-In Problem.

    Download the above file and run it from it's location, only after you CLOSE TrialWorks and Outlook. For best results, save the file to your desktop, log-OFF and back ON to the computer, and then run it. This will ensure all applications closed.

  • If you are a network administrator, you may choose to deploy network wide using our built in upgrade scripts in TrialWorks.
    Manual Deployment file for Server - Download Link: ftp://files.trialworks.com/FTP/public/TrialWorks%20SQL/Upgrades/TW935_TrialWorksAddIn_KB924085_HotFix.ZIP

    Download the above file and extract it's contents to [servername]\TrialWorks\temp\Binn
    Overwrite the existing files.
    Use the BAT file to update all computers.

Previously posted under: http://trialworks.blogspot.com/2007/01/trialworks-outlook-addin-stops-working.html

For more information:

/posted by KJ.

New Remote Desktop Client, version 6.0

On December 8, 2006 Microsoft Released the Remote Desktop Connection Client, version 6.0. This is an upgrade from the previous 5.0 version available in Windows XP. The new client bring in new fetures designed to work with Windows Vista and Windows "Longhorn". The client is installed automatically by computers set for Automatic Microsoft Update.

The new functionality has been problematic by some users. Because of new Authentication procedures, many have found the new features to be slightly frustrating. In addition, we have discovered that in some - not yet fully investigated cases - 3rd party printing software, like TriCerat Simplify Printing - cause errors in the Remote Desktop Connection.

If you are using TriCerat Simplify Printing you may wish to roll back to RDP Client v. 5.0. To do so, follow these directions:

* Control Panel -> Add/Remove Programs
* Check the "Show Updates" box at the top
* Scroll down to Windows XP - Software Updates
* Remove "Update for Windows XP (KB925876)"

KB Article and Downloads: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/925876

/Posted by KJ.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

TrialWorks Outlook Addin Stops Working: Microsoft has released security bulletin MS07-003.

Microsoft has released security bulletin MS07-003. The security bulletin contains all the relevant information about the security update for Microsoft Office Outlook 2003. At the present time the security update is preventing users from filing messages from Outlook to TrialWorks. This is true for TrialWorks versions 9.35 and below.

As a temporary fix to the issue, you can remove the Security Update:

  • Go to Control Panel
  • Go to Add/Remove Programs
  • remove: Security Update for Outlook/Office KB924085
    remove: Security Update for Outlook/Office KB925938
For more information: