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Sending low cost campaigns and newsletters using OfficeClip

by SK Dutta 7. May 2015 16:05
OfficeClip Campaigns module can be used to send campaigns and newsletters for free as long as you have a SMTP account to send emails. If you are not sending huge number of emails, you can use your company smtp account (or even a free account like Gmail). 

Bulk email providers like Elastic Email or Amazon SES are very cost effective for sending large number of emails. Make sure that when sending bulk emails, you should setup DKIM or other mechanism to authenticate yourself.

OfficeClip Campaigns module provides features for creating good looking html emails from templates. It can also track when the user received or open emails. Currently its feature set is not as extensive as other commercial providers where you pay anything between ten to hundreds of dollars.

Here is a video on how to create and send campaigns with OfficeClip, which I created while helping a customer on this issue.


How to create a staging server for OfficeClip

by SK Dutta 7. March 2014 12:03
Staging servers are needed when you do not want to put a new release directly into the production environment. You may want to make sure if some new feature needs some training, or your team may feel comfortable testing the new release before putting it in production.

This article provides a step-by-step walk-through of creating a staging server. It also explains how you can use a pre-configured amazon ec2 instance as staging server.



Two inexpensive ways to do Backup, File Replication and Synchronization

by SK Dutta 8. December 2009 11:32

Backup Disk

If you do a Google search on Backup, File Replication or Synchronization software you will see hundreds and thousands of hits. I want to share with you two tools we have been using effectively for sometime that a small business can use for little or no cost.

  • SyncBack - Allows you to sync your files from your computer to an ftp site. This is essentially a nice ftp backup utility with lots of options.
  • DeltaCopy - It can synchronize large files very quickly by sending differences between the files in small compressed chunks.

More...

Top 10 FREE Productivity Tools for IT Professionals

by SK Dutta 27. November 2009 23:06

Top 10 Productivity Tools Here is a list of my top 10 productivity tools that a small business can use. Although these tools are most suited for IT professionals, they are valuable resources for any small business. Although I use them in Windows environment, some of these works in other environments like Unix, Mac etc.

Given below are some of my thoughts on these tools. What is your most favorite tool?

More...

How to allow users to access OfficeClip from home

by Admin 10. May 2009 18:05

Many OfficeClip administrators (who have installed version of OfficeClip) have asked us how they can allow people to access the software from home (or anywhere outside their office). This article will discuss various ways of doing this.

OfficeClip works with the Internet Information Server (IIS), so it is a matter of making the machine with the IIS available outside your organization.

If your organization has a VPN connection

If your company already has a vpn connection, then you can use it to access OfficeClip.

If you are using DSL/Cable Internet connection

  1. Make sure you have a firewall rule on the OfficeClip machine that states that TCP/IP Port 80 is accessible outside your organization.
  2. Log in to your Dsl/Cable router and go to the port forwarding option.
  3. Open port 80 (TCP/IP) and forward all traffic to the IP address of the OfficeClip Server.

If you do not have Static IP Address

Get a free dynamic dns service. There are many free provider out there. We have tested it with a service called no-ip.com. This service allows you to use a real name (instead of the dynamic ip address) to connect to the OfficeClip server from outside your organization.

StyleFix - Automatically fix StyleCop violations

by Admin 16. February 2009 14:02

Microsoft StyleCop reports style violation in C# code. It helps standardizing codes throughout the enterprise and also makes reading, sharing and maintaining code much easier.

The only problem is that it reports more than 100 types of violations and so the number of violations that you see in a typical project may run into the thousands. Some of them may be easy to fix in the visual studio using macros and regular expressions but most of them take a lot of time and are hence not practical at all.

Microsoft blog suggests that the next release of the StyleCop will be automatically able to fix the violations. This is a welcome improvement! In the meantime let me give you a stop-gap approach that we are using here.


The following tools are useful:

  1. Ghostdoc - A automated documenting tool implemented as macros. Although I believe that automated (and syntactical) documenting defeats the purpose of documentation, this tool is a GEM!. You need to use it to see what I mean.
  2. NArrange - An open source project that does some things like rearranging the code to fix some stylecop violations of the code. However, it does not touch the majority of the violations.
  3. StyleFix - This is what we have written here to use it on our own code. It does a few things:
    1. Allows you to selectively choose files that will be processed by StyleCop.
    2. Automatically fixes many violations. This program is new and will be improved till anything better comes up on the horizon.

 

I am using StyleFix with some success. For example, for a small project with 8 files, the first time I ran with StyleCop, I got 1753 violations!!! After running StyleFix it reduced to 273 or so. Applying GhostDoc reduced it to 92. The rest of it, I had to do manually :-(

The executable is at: http://www.codeplex.com/StyleFix

The source code is at: http://www.codeplex.com/StyleFix/SourceControl/ListDownloadableCommits.aspx

If you are using it I would like to know what you think. If you want to contribute, let me know I will gladly share the svn access. *** This program is still in beta, so please make appropriate backups before using it. I am not responsible if it screws up your code ***

Sql Server Express Incremental Backup and Log Shipping

by Admin 3. July 2008 18:07

Many of our customers (with installed version of OfficeClip Suite) were asking us how to take backup of the database and how to avoid data loss if the server died. Most of our users run OfficeClip on Sql Express database and Microsoft does not provide Log Shipping for the Sql Server Express Edition.

So we decided to write a command line interface which would manage incremental backup and restore for our customer. Anticipating that this would be a useful solution for many other sql express users, we decided to make the source available free. Here are some of the features:

  1.  Full backup is taken every day (regardless of how often the program is run)
  2. Incremental backup is taken periodically (say 10 minutes) when the program is run
  3. It can keep the past backup history for a certain number of days
  4. Log file is created in HTML format so it is easy to read
  5. Backup can be restored using a single command that first restores the most recent full backup and then restores all the incremental backups in the correct order
  6. It is possible to use the Windows Scheduler and run the program periodically and save the files to a destination machine and restore periodically thereby simulating log shipping
  7. It can be run from a command prompt

 

      Notes:

  1. Before running this program on a database, you must change the database to “Full Recovery Mode” from the Sql Server Express Management Studio.
  2. For restoring the backups make sure that the sql server user name and permission should match in both database.
  3. The program is released under BSD License, so that you can also use it commercially without paying any royalities whatsoever.
  4. It is written in C# using .net framework 2.0 in visual studio 2005 but should run on any vs.net 2008 editions.
  5. If you are an OfficeClip customer, the same program is available in the distribution and it is called ocbackup.exe.

Download: Source Code | Executables Only

Usage:

To see all the options, run the program: OfficeClip.OpenSource.LogShipping.exe (from the LogShipping\bin\debug folder)

Examples:

The following command takes transactional backup every time it is run, takes full backup every day, keeps old backup for 7 days for the database called officeclip. The backup files are stored in the folder E:SqlBackups. It can be run every 10 minutes using the windows scheduler.

 OfficeClip.OpenSource.LogShipping -bd 7 -c backup -d officeclip -f “E:\SqlBackups” -s “Server=(local);Database=Master;Trusted_Connection=True”

The following command restores the backup to the database called officeclipR. The files are read from the folder E:SqlBackups.

 OfficeClip.OpenSource.LogShipping -bd 7 -c backup -d officeclipR -f “E:\SqlBackups” -s “Server=(local);Database=Master;Trusted_Connection=True”

License: BSD License

If you download and end up using this code, please leave a note. We would like to know who is using this code.

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