About Wayland Bruns

Wayland founded CompanionLink in 1987 as The Jorf Company, a maker of shareware 4gl products. As a leading maker of CRM Add-On products, the company started with Sync Products in 1996 for the PalmPilot. As CEO of CompanionLink, Wayland strives to balance quality customer service, products with good value, low prices, and a positive workplace..

CompanionLink Express updated for Salesforce Outlook Sync

CompanionLink has updated CompanionLink Express for to better support Outlook Sync with Salesforce. Salesforce recently discontinued Salesforce for Outlook Sync. CompanionLink Express is a drop-in replacement for the discontinued product. The new solution from Salesforce is to use their Office 365 and Lightning Integration, which is not an option for people who use POP3, IMAP, or Standalone Outlook folders or who use a private Exchange server that cannot connect to Salesforce.

CompanionLink Express – Sync Salesforce with Outlook on your PC

CompanionLink has long supported Outlook to Salesforce Sync using our CompanionLink Professional product. Today we are moving this capability to our lower priced CompanionLink Express product, and re-launching our landing page for this product.

CompanionLink Express can synchronize Outlook 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019 and Office 365 with Salesforce. Contacts, Calendar and Tasks are synchronized. CompanionLink also synchronizes Salesforce Accounts to the Outlook Contact list (with the notation “Acct”) and Salesforce Opportunities to the Outlook Task list (with the notation “Oppt”). More information can be found in the setup guide.

This product is needed by people who use Outlook folders that are on Exchange, like POP3 and IMAP folders, or where the Exchange permissions on the folder are such that Salesforce cannot access it. In these cases, a PC side program is required.

CompanionLink Express costs $79.95 for a one-time purchase, or if you like a recurring charge $19.95 once every three months. You can download a 14 day trial from this page: https://www.companionlink.com/salesforce/outlook/

CompanionLink Express
Average User Rating:
Average rating: 4.81 out of 5 based on 274 reviews.
Free 14 day trial. Price $19.95 3-Month Sub - $79.95 One-time License.

Case Study: Android Outlook USB Sync causing Windows Sockets Error

A customer contacted us this week who had been using a competing Android Outlook Sync product. A Windows Update caused the sync to fail with a Windows Sockets error.

We recommended CompanionLink for Outlook, which can synchronize directly from Outlook to Android using a USB Cable. There are a number of Outlook Android sync products, but only a few companies will handle it like old Palm Hotsync from PC to Phone using a USB cable.

The customer was in a hurry, having already spent hours on the problem. So we recommended our RunStart service. With this service a technician logs into the computer to set up the software. The sync needs to match up the Contacts and Calendar items that are already on the phone, so it is helpful for an experienced technician to watch for any problems with duplicate data.

It is not uncommon to see duplicate data when switching from one sync product to another. The reason is that your data is already on both sides of the sync. So if there is any formatting changes, a computer product may not recognize similar contact and calendar data. CompanionLink 8 contains a dedupe utility that can quickly clear duplicates from Outlook and your Phone. There is no extra charge for this function.

CompanionLink offers a competitive upgrade for anyone who has purchased a product from one of our competitors. You can purchase the “Upgrade” price, even if you are buying from CompanionLink for the first time. Here is a link for a Competitive Upgrade to CompanionLink for Outlook.

Here is a link with added RunStart service, and an additional $10 off your purchase – total $78.95. With this service, you will be on a fresh new solution in just a few minutes, and ready to carry on your normal day’s business.

CompanionLink for Outlook
Average User Rating:
Average rating: 4.81 out of 5 based on 274 reviews.
Free 14 day trial. Price $14.95 3-Mo Subs - $49.95 One-time License.

WSJ Shockingly Good Phone article features Nokia 7.1

The Wall Street Journal published a great article this week called: Shockingly Good Smartphones You Can Get for $350 or Less (WSJ -Paywall).

It makes a point that we tend to think of first-run phones as being $1000. But that there is a variety of Mid-Priced phones that are pretty effective.

The main recommendation is Nokia 7.1 which happens to be one of my favorite phones. As the Article points out, it is a good modern phone running Android Oreo 8.1, with a nice screen, good camera and is pretty free of the bloatware that comes on Android devices.

The other featured phones in the article are the Lenovo Moto G7, and the Xiaomi Pocophone F1.

For all the mid-range phones, you can download DejaOffice from the Android App Store, and easily set up CompanionLink for Outlook to synchronize Outlook to the phone. DejaOffice for Android features widgets for the Android home screen to show your calendar, Category colors on Calendar, and integrated Tasks and Contacts so your whole work desktop is in one place on your phone.

It’s great to see Nokia is back to making great main stream phones again!

CompanionLink for Outlook
Average User Rating:
Average rating: 4.81 out of 5 based on 274 reviews.
Free 14 day trial. Price $14.95 3-Mo Subs - $49.95 One-time License.

Case Study: Migrate from Microsoft BCM to DejaOffice PC CRM for Outlook

Recently we were approached by a customer who used to use BCM, and wanted a solution that worked with Office 365.

The customer had used Microsoft Business Contact Manager from 2013 to 2018. They had Contacts, Accounts and Communication History. This customer had tried a migration tool to move BCM contacts to Office 365 contacts. This tool was not successful. (CompanionLink Professional can move BCM Contacts to Outlook contacts using a folder-to-folder sync.)

At the time the customer contacted us, they had not used BCM for many months. So the BCM database was out of date.

Our new product DejaOffice PC CRM for Outlook adds certain CRM functions to Office 365 Outlook (Outlook 2019). Among these functions are History Also, DejaOffice can import from older CRM systems like Microsoft BCM which was discontinued in 2016.

The customer also purchased Premium Support, which is a service where our technician could log into his computer and set everything up.

What we did was Sync the old BCM database to DejaCloud. We moved the Accounts, Contacts and Communication History. Then on the new computer, the customer installed DejaOffice PC CRM for Outlook. In addition, the customer uses a Mobile Phone and DejaOffice has the complete database there also.

The entire operation of moving the old database to DejaCloud, and sync to the new PC took our technician about 30 minutes. Most of this time was checking the data each step of the way. The actual sync time was about five minutes for both sync phases.

Now, the customer can make a new contact from an Outlook email. When they look up a Contacts, they an see the communications history imported from the old PC. And they have Caller ID and History on their Phone.

Here is a link to order this same service – DejaOffice PC CRM for Outlook along with Premium installation and one year of support. Give us a call at (503)243-3400 to schedule an installation or talk about your needs.

DejaOffice PC CRM Standalone
Average User Rating:
Average rating: 4.81 out of 5 based on 274 reviews.
Free 14 day trial. Price $49.95



DejaOffice responds to Google Disruption

The high tech keyword for our century is Disruption.  Investors seek disruptive partners.

Disruption means an innovative company enters a stable market environment, generally with a low cost service, and knocks the current players out of the market by providing lower prices and better service. In this sense, Google has been disruptive to the Search Engine industry by providing a fast effective tool without visible advertising.  They have also disrupted the Cell Phone OS market, the Internet Browser market, and the Online News market. They have captured a firm lead in all these areas.

There is a second aspect to disruption that investors seek.  Once a company gains ascendancy over the competition, the disruptive company raises their prices to consumers so that the disruptive company becomes highly profitable. Consumers end up being worse off than they were before.

With Google, the profit motive appears to increasingly be made by isolated Silicon Valley based executives, with little feel for how they play out in the real world.  It is a sad truth that where Google once stood for innovation and low cost development tools, now they are nearly a constant headache to fend off their mistaken motivations and increasing prices.

Google Calendar API – Batch Endpoints Change

In March 2018, Google Announced that their Batch Endpoint for many API commands was changing.  The current API URL is to be deprecated March 25th 2019.  Somehow, Google figures that every customer with an API dependent software tool created before March 2018 will update their tool within this year grace period.  Clearly Google Management has no idea how long software cycles are.  We still have customers using Windows XP!  No one likes to change software versions.  More information is available here: https://www.companionlink.com/support/google-batch-endpoint-advisory.html

Google Geocoding API – Whopping Price Increase

In June 2018, Google announced that their website Geocode API was going to increase their pricing.  Geocoding is what is used when we look up an address, and replace it with a Logitude/Latitude value for map purposes.  Google Geocoding also includes location pictures and mini-map.  We use this in DejaOffice for iPhone, DejaOffice for Android and DejaOffice on the PC.

The price for a basic lookup changed from $0.005 per lookup to $0.02 per lookup.  What this means for DejaOffice is that our service in map lookups changed from being under $100, to suddenly becoming a $2000 per month bill.  This is for a free APP on the App store!  We quickly changed our Android and IPhone map lookups to the new Mobile Maps API, which was suggested by Google as an alternative. Customers saw this change go into place in November, and it seems to be a good drop-in replacement.

Google Geocoding API – Whopping Price Increase – Redux

So in February, Google announces that they “improved” the Mobile Maps API.  We have a six month window to switch to the improved version.  The improved version will change $0.02 per lookup.  Just Wow!

First we have a required App change, and second, we get our $2000 bill back.

So in DejaOffice you can count on mapping changes again in the next four months.  It is likely we will add an in-app tool to add funds for people who use a lot of mapping features.  Also we will be adding more location info to our sync, so once you map a contact or calendar event, you do not have to look it up again, thus avoiding a chargeable item.  Isn’t Disruption fun!

Google READ_SMS and READ_CALL_LOG Permissions

In November 2018, Google informed us that they would be removing all apps that used READ_SMS permission on Android.  In DejaOffice, we use these to add SMS text to Contact History.  We also use READ_CALL_LOG to add call followup information, and DejaOffice Caller ID.

Google’s handling of this issue is largely machine based, and heavy handed.  We have requested an exception.  However, DejaOffice does not fit into their set list of apps that are allowed these permissions.  They will remove DejaOffice from the App store if we do not remove these capabilities from the App.  We have applied twice, but can’t get by their machine blocker (probably named HAL – Open the Bay Door, Hal!)

So in February 2019, we have been forced to remove a number of DejaOffice features from our Android product:

  1. Read SMS Text to Contact History
  2. Identify incoming calls using DejaOffice Contact list
  3. Follow up on inbound calls to add a Contact History item

We are seeking another external tool, maybe Whatsapp, which may allow us to restore this functionality through that tool.  But obviously, Google Android is wanting to limit our access, and cannot be flexible because an innovative product does not fit their rigid expectations.

Google is a great technology partner.  But these moves show they clearly are going the path of IBM, then Microsoft, then Apple, then Google.  An innovative Disruptor, upon market dominance, becomes an intractable barrier to innovation.

An Ode to Ecco Pro

As we begin the rollout of DejaOffice PC CRM, some of the pioneers of small business Contact managers are on my mind.

A caller this week mentioned Ecco Pro, which was a very popular program back in the mid 1990s.

Ecco Pro as I recall was built on a foundation of an outline manager. Originally it was only an outliner. As it grew, there was a Contacts, Calendar, Task and Notes application. Originally published by Arabesque software, the company got purchased by NetManage in Seattle.

I don’t recall that it was very expensive at the time. Maybe $99 or $59 or something like that. I never used it. At the time we were working primarily with TeleMagic (DOS) and GoldMine (DOS). Both TeleMagic and GoldMine used dBase II format files, an so it was easy to make add-on products. Ecco had a proprietary file format.

By 1997 Ecco Pro had about a million users. Inexplicably, NetManage closed down the entire program. There were rumors for years that someone would buy it, but no on ever did. Ecco died a corporate death; sold to a company that did not know what they had.

Douglas P. Rice has a great writeup about being hired by NetManage just before the big fccollapse.  We don’t often think about how software was sold before the internet was commonly used, and it’s funny to read that they did not ship product updates online.

More resources:

James Kendrick – Memory Lane – Ecco Pro

Wikipedia – Ecco Pro

EccoMAGIC – EccoMagic Forums

A decade after Ecco went off the market, the Ecco User’s Group approached CompanionLink to write a sync to Phones at that time (BlackBerry, Pocket PC).  I was staunchly against it. First, there is no API. Second, the user base could not grow; only shrink. The CompanionLink Meme is to provide free telephone technical support to our customers. Some call this foolish, but I feel that many people need the help from time to time. But I don’t want to get caught getting unlimited phone calls for an unsupported product.

For those that wanted Ecco Pro to be a Contact Manager, we finally have a new product for you. DejaOffice PC CRM Standalone will handle Contacts, Calendar, Tasks and Notes, and synchronize them easily to Android and iPhone. At $49.95 we hope it can be a worthy successor to this industry pioneer.

DejaOffice PC CRM Standalone
Average User Rating:
Average rating: 4.81 out of 5 based on 274 reviews.
Free 14 day trial. Price $49.95

Google Sync for Outlook – Competitive Upgrade for Batch Endpoint Move March 2019

A year ago, Google announced a change to their Batch Endpoint URL  Batch enpoints are used by any application that wants to update a number of records in a Google API.  One can hardly have an efficient Google Sync if you do not use the batch endpoints.

The announcement states that the old endpoints will cease working on March 25, 2019.

Free update for CompanionLink Customers:  CompanionLink Customers with software purchased after January 1, 2014 (a five year period) will get a free update for their software.  Purchases from 2014 through 2016 can update CompanionLink 7.  Purchases from 2016 through 2018 are current with CompanionLink 8.  Please download your update from our updates page.

$29.95 update for customers using Competing Products:  CompanionLink extends our upgrade pricing to competitive products.  Upgrade to CompanionLink 8 like you are one of our family.  The upgrade price for CompanionLink for Google is $39.95 and we offer a $10 discount.  Click here to purchase it for $29.95.  You can also purchase CompanionLink for Outlook for the same price, which offers direct support for sync from Outlook to Android/iPhone using USB, Wi-Fi or DejaCloud sync.

DejaOffice PC CRM – Beta Released!

Having spent nearly 6 months developing this, it is a great moment for us.  The first time we can show what we have been working on!

Download to try it out yourself:  https://www.companionlink.com/downloads/download-dpc.php

Setup guide:  https://www.companionlink.com/support/kb/DejaOffice_PC_CRM_Sync_Setup_Guide

This is a 14 day demo but we are happy to extend the demo.  We are looking for feedback and ideas.

Tech Support:  (503)243-5200 hours – 7am-3:30pm
or Email:  support@companionlink.com

Sales (503)243-3400 – sales@companionlink.com

Forums:  https://www.dejaoffice.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?36-DejaOffice-PC-CRM-(DPC)-for-Windows

Video:

 

Thank you all for your support!

 

DejaOffice PC CRM Standalone
Average User Rating:
Average rating: 4.81 out of 5 based on 274 reviews.
Free 14 day trial. Price $49.95

DejaOffice PC CRM – Dec 2 Update

Here is a new video we made.

We are now feature complete.  As you can see from the video, moving from screen to screen is working well.  Pinned windows are awesome. Most features are working well.

What is not working currently is that auto-sync is brand new, and still a bit bumpy.  Sometimes the app stops while sync is in background.  There are still some crashing behavior for advanced operations  like Add task, then add category within the add task view.

We are going to have a first-launch wizard for settings and I don’t think that is done yet.  That’s at least a day’s worth of work.

We will be doing advanced inhouse testing December 3-8.  We will know in a week whether we are on schedule for the beta test December 15th.

Other Schedule Changes:

Act! Assistant is moved up due to changes in the Act! community.  We finished some Act! Specific features like History and Opportunities so they will be available in the December beta release.

Outlook Plugin – moved the date out a bit so our Programmer can have a Christmas break.

Hoping to get to beta Dec 15th.

If you have not opted in already – do it here.

DejaOffice PC CRM – Nov 9 Update

Welcome to everyone who is interested in this product.

When we first started this in July, I had hoped to have a beta released by October. Our dates have obviously slipped a bit. We are still going to deliver this product. It will be GREAT!

Pictured here is DPC today.  The main screen you see shows a contact list and contact view.  In the background you can see “Pinned” windows for Month View, Day View, Tasks and Contacts.

The pinned windows can stay on your desktop.  This has become the main feature of DPC.  The reason is that they are so darn handy. You can size them small but when you need to add a new record, or look up a contact, just one click and you are “live”.

Click on a contact list, type a name “bob” and all records matching that name are shown.  Hit down arrow and hit enter, and you see all the details.  Hit enter again to edit the record.  All popups show in under one second, and you can fully navigate without a mouse.

Using your mouse you can click on the calendar, move the month forward to see next months schedule, click for a day view and schedule an appointment.  All popups under one second.  Schedule and save is under one second.

Our toolkit is built on Microsoft’s Fluent Design framework.  In addition to being very fast, it allows some very nice transparent effects.  We use the transparency and some nice pictures to make a pleasant workspace  This is an app that really shows how Windows 10 is supposed to make life better.

DejaOffice PC runs on Windows 7 and Windows 8 also.  However, the transparent effects are not available on those platforms.  We can’t support Windows XP.

Q. If I switch from Palm Desktop and don’t like it, can I go back?
– We call this a migration, and the migration App is INCLUDED in DPC, not superseded by it.  So setting up DPC will connect Palm Desktop/Outlook/IBM Notes to the DejaOffice App, and keep it fully up to date.  This is real-time sync.

Q. How does this work with DejaOffice on my Phone.
– In addition to migration, DPC has built in sync to DejaOffice on Android and iPhone.  You can use Wi-Fi, USB or DejaCloud sync.

Q. Does this replace CompanionLink for me?
– If you use CompanionLink for Outlook, Palm Desktop or Google then DPC effectively replaces the product.  That is; you will not need to use CompanionLink any more. You can always go back though.  This product does not remove CompanionLink settings or modify them in any way (except to turn them off).

Q. Will there be an Outlook Add-In?
– DPC Standalone will sync with Outlook.  In addition, DPC for Outlook will have an add-in for Outlook that allows you to launch, view, and modify DPC from inside of Outlook.  Using the Add-in is optional, but it will extend the features of Outlook.  For instance, in Outlook 2019, with IMAP folders, Color categories are not available.  DPC will allow you to set categories for calendar events, tasks and contacts.  Outlook will show the colors.

Q. What about Act! and GoldMine
– DPC from the start will be able to show data from Act! and GoldMine.  But we anticipate adding more specific features in those products in 1qtr 2019.

Right now, development is centered on the myriad of small features we built into DejaOffice for Android.  Address lookup, selecting multiple categories for a record, We are allocating about three more work days for our current sprint.

Our in-house alpha test will start Mid-November.  If this goes well, the DejaOffice PC CRM should be in open beta by December 1st.  Development on the Outlook Plugin will start then, and we are hoping to release that to beta by the end of December.  So we are looking at a January 2019 release date for the full product.

Right now, December 1 for release to beta testers.  Thank you for your interest.

If you have received an email from us, you are signed up for our beta.  If you have not signed up for the beta please do it here:

https://www.companionlink.com/dpcx-opt-in.php