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View Full Version : Best Announces ACT! Link for Pocket PCs

Janak Parekh
04-07-2003, 08:00 PM
<div class='os_post_top_link'><a href='http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/030401/latu072_1.html' target='_blank'>http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/030401/latu072_1.html</a><br /><br /></div>This is not a full ACT client for your Pocket PC, but it's a step-up as far as I can tell...<br /><br />"Best Software today announced ACT! Link(TM) for Pocket PC, which enables ACT! users to synchronize their critical contact data to their Pocket PC device. ACT! data is synchronized with Pocket Outlook so users always have access to their contacts, calendars, to-do items, and notes and histories on each contact record when they are away from their desk or out of the office."

04-08-2003, 09:13 AM
I've been using ACT! Link for a few days now... At this point, I haven't been very happy with it:

1) It can be buggy to synchronize it. Twice, I had to clear the replication file so that ACT! synchronizes correctly with my Contacts database on the PPC.

2) When you send an e-mail to a contact via the Contacts application, it doesn't record that in ACT!

3) If you don't use the 'First Name' 'Last Name' fields when entering a new contact on the PPC, you may not be able to find the contact when you do a search on the P.C., though the contact will actually be there.

4) ACT! Link has locked the database so that I couldn't synchronize my laptop database. I had to completely turn off the p.c. with ACT! link/PPC dock installed, then synchronize my laptop database with the database on the server.

5) When you delete contacts on the PPC, it doesn't delete them in ACT!. That really stinks.

I like how appointments, calls and meeting show up without any issues on the PPC applications. You get the details with all of those functions and you get History data now with your contacts. There are some positives.

I will continue to use ACT! link because it is better than using Pumatech Intellisync software. I wish it was a full-blown client that would replace the default applications that come with PPC. I had DREAMS of this happening, so this is a HUGE let-down when ACT! Link came out. If ACT! had a Pocket Informant-like interface and you could synchronize with your ACT! database, I would be in Heaven!

The PPC gots the power and storage to have a full blown ACT! client on it. I don't see the problem. The money I paid for ACT! Link should've been for a client, not a 'Link'.

04-08-2003, 02:56 PM
Pinpointtools.com has just released an ACT! program for the PPC, Trans/Act 2.0. It is fully customizable and supports two way syncronization. I haven't installed it yet though.

I was a full blown ACT! user until I purchased a PPC and then went to Pocket On schedule so I could have full sync capabilities with separate programs on the desktop and the PPC. I have not been altogether happy with it though. I am looking forward to the possibility of switching back to act with this product.

04-08-2003, 06:56 PM
I have installed and tested both ACT! Link for Pocket PC and the new pinpointtools Trans/ACT 2.0. They are both decent steps in the right direction, but nowhere close to being usable products for interfacing with ACT! data on your Pocket PC.

First, the ACT! Link for Pocket PC works exactly like it says it will. It syncs over 30 fields from ACT! to your Pocket PC in Pocket Outlook (has a very difficult time getting user defined fields). However, record changes rarely get synchronized back to ACT! Also, you cannot delete records on the PPC and have them be deleted in ACT! Additionally, you cannot clear an activity on the PPC (Held, Not Held, To Do Done, Not Done, etc.). However, it does work whenever you ActiveSync, which prevents you from having to run another app (like CompanionLink) each time to sync up ACT! data. This solution is cheap, like CompanionLink, in that you can get it for approximately $20-25 on the street or the net.

Second, Trans/ACT 2.0 is, as its' predecessor, SLOW on the PPC. The sync is a true two-way sync, but does not work if you are connected to an IPSec VPN, since it appears to be relying on TCP/IP protocol over the ActiveSync connection to transfer data (would confirm, but pinpointtools is not providing telephone support for this product or returning phone calls). The sync works, though, both ways, which is pretty nifty, and the customization of the user interface on the PPC is fantastic. The only (and major) downside is the speed of the application on the PPC. It takes over 30 seconds just to start up, and switching between the contact and calendar view takes over 10 seconds!!! :mecry: This is an eternity when you are waiting in front of a client to find an open date. The speed alone makes this a stay away from product for the PPC (also, the price is steep at $79+ :deal: ).

For now, I am sticking with CompanionLink because I don't see any reason to switch to either of these products. They either don't do anything new (ACT! Link) or they are way too slow (Trans/ACT). Also considering the switch to a Compaq Tablet PC to just use ACT! all the time.

04-08-2003, 07:40 PM
Yes it takes the same amount of time to start POS and switch between calendar and contacts. I have 3000 contacts. How many do you run? The problem with POS is that it is not very customizable and after a year of use, I am still frustrated with the interface. I'm sure there is more I can do with the program, but the documentation is poor and POS does not seem to be very user friendly.

If Trans/Act is the same speed, but more user friendly, and I get to go back to the desktop version, (which is where most of my data entry is anyway) I will be happier. Another reason I will go back to ACT! is that another one of our offices use it and I need syncing capabilities, so want it on my desktop anyway.

I am expecting one problem though, getting my notes to import into act! I have tried opening the POS database in Access, then exporting as a comma delimited file, but the notes don't all show up. Just the most recent entries. I don't want to lose 8 years of notes! I had the POS guys work on my database a while ago and it came back with a separator symbol in place of the spaces in the notes field. These notes export fine, but any notes with actual spaces do not come over entirely????

04-09-2003, 12:44 AM
The times I am quoting for Trans/ACT are for only 302 contacts, 49 activities, and 52 tasks. If you have 3,000 contacts, I shudder to think how long this would take. Unless you have some specialized fields you need access to in ACT!, I'd switch back to desktop ACT! and CompanionLink. This seems to be the fastest and most reliable solution to date.