Welcome to Thought Asylum a place for me to share my thoughts, ideas and experiences with the rest of the world.  I try to post reasonably regularly and if you like the content consider subscribing to the site feeds.  If you're trying to find something specific try the search, otherwise just have a browse.


SuccessFactors Q3 Update: Platform & Technology

Every quarter SAP update their SuccessFactors product line and here is my review for the updates to the platform and underlying technologies.

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SuccessFactors Q3 Update: Employee Central Service Centre

Every quarter SAP update their SuccessFactors product line and here is my review for the updates to the Employee Central Service Centre module.

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PowerShell: Sorting and Encoding Problem

Recently I was working on processing a file of data and in order to deduplicate and sort it, I decided to employ Windows' PowerShell scripting functionality. It's a very powerful tool-set and perfectly suited to what I needed to do, but I ran afoul of a small detail that caused me some confusion at first but that I resolved in the end. Just in case anyone else comes upon such an issue I thought it might be useful to write up the problem and the simple solution.

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TextExpander Wants

The cloud-based cross-platform release of TextExpander has been around for over a year having launched in early April 2016. Whilst there has undoubtedly been a lot of progress on the apps (the Windows version in particular) the promise of the cloud platform I still don't think has been realised and there's still a lot of scope for improvement.

In this post, I'm offering up a handful of ideas of where I'd like to see an improvement or offering from TextExpander. Most of these have already been shared with TextExpander, but the more consumer interest in a feature the more likely they'll be to implement it and the sooner they'll consider doing so.

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Word - Refresh All Fields

In my work, I write a lot of documents. A surprising amount in fact, probably equalled only by the number of spreadsheets. The majority of these (Microsoft Word) documents are produced for clients and I like to ensure as, best I can, that they are not only accurate but well presented. However, in order to simplify document production I make judicious use of templating and Word's fields functionality. I use not only standard fields but also custom ones as well to update content in multiple places simultaneously on refresh.

Refreshing is as easy as selecting all (CTRl+A) and then pressing my PC's F9 key ... or rather it's that easy for fields that are in the body of the document. Unfortunately, I also use fields in headers and footers where this update does not work automatically.

But there is a better way...

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Workflow: How to Share a Workflow

Workflow is a fantastic automation app for iOS that allows you to build sequences of actions to achieve some sort of repeatable 'workflow'. This has benefits in saving you time, providing consistency and in some cases simply providing you with a way to actually do something that you otherwise wouldn't be able to with the tools at your disposal. Whilst there is a synchronisation service available to keep workflows aligned across your iOS devices and there is a gallery of workflows available through the app it can be useful to share workflows directly with others. In this post, I'm going to quickly cover the primary options you have.

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Employee Central Service Centre Q2 2017 Release

For the first time in our quarterly SAP SuccessFactors release reviews we're including a look at the functionality of a solution known as Employee Central Service Centre; an HR service desk solution that incorporates the employee support functionality of the SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer with a SAP Cloud deployed Portal solution known as Ask HR. These elements integrate with SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central to provide a unified solution for employee support.

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Batch Generating Worksheet Hyperlinks in Excel

In my work I often find myself building spreadsheets to carry out calculations, manage sophisticated processes and capture information. These spreadsheets can often extend to covering many worksheets and as a result it can be awkwardly slow to navigate to particular worksheets just by paging back and forth with the navigation buttons.

In this post I'm going to illustrate a couple of useful techniques to help you navigate around.

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Duplicating Tabs in XYplorer

XYplorer is my preferred file manager on Windows. It contains a large number of features that are just too enticing for someone like me to pass up so it came as little bit of a surprise to me when in its tab based interface I couldn't find a way to quickly duplicate a tab. However XYplorer is a scriptable file manager so it was a pretty easy to create a solution.

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Why I Stuck With TextExpander

Around a year ago Smile released their new version of TextExpander. This new version created quite a bit of 'heated debate' in the Mac community and whilst many eschewed the update I chose not to. I'm glad I did and I thought others might find it interesting to get some idea of why that's the case.

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