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..

Guest Posting on CompanionLink Blog

We publish guest posts on the CompanionLink Blog https://www.companionlink.com/blog/

CompanionLink DA 55 (SEOMoz), Blog pages on first post are running about PA 26. Google indexes our blog automatically every 4 hours.

We will publish up to five do-follow links per post. We also will do an Author biography and Author website do-follow link on request.

Guest posts must follow our general topic of Phone Apps for Small Business, Small Business Productivity, or PC and Phone Security.

We charge $70 per guest post. You send funds to paypal@companionlink.com. If you require an invoice, we will send one for $5 additional.

We will add a picture to each post. If you supply a picture you must indicate the source so we an be sure it is copyright free. We post using pictures from Pexels or Shutterstock (we have a Shutterstock account).

To publish a guest post send article to guestpost@companionlink.com.

We can generally post all articles within 24 hours. Google indexes them in a few hours so they are fully search-able within one day.

Google Calendar Down – How to sync Outlook without Google

Google Calendar and G-Suite Calendar is experiencing a worldwide outage.

This is a great time to remind people that “big data” has a problem. Google, Microsoft and Apple want to tie you into their corporate cloud ecosystem. The flaw is that it will put your business down if you depend on them.

There is an alternative.

CompanionLink is a vendor of non cloud-based tools. We have a cloud sync system, but it’s only role is to transport your data. With our tools your data is entirely contained on your PC, your Android Phone, your iPhone and your iPad. So when the data network is down, or when your internet is connected, you can continue to add, schedule, complete and make notes. When your phone connects later, the sync will “catch up” to all your devices.

DejaOffice for Android features Android Widgets that give a great preview of your day today.

DejaOffice for iPhone has a highly secure data model and lets you store hidden data in your database. This is great for password or other confidential information.

DejaOffice for PC offers an array of multi-user and secure options, as well as Live Windows Widgets that let you add events and notes without opening any App.

When you need to move data from Outlook to your Phone, keep in mind that CompanionLink and DejaOffice can do this without sharing your data with Google, Microsoft or Apple.

CompanionLink for Outlook
Average User Rating:
Average rating: 4.81 out of 5 based on 306 reviews.
Free 14 day trial. Price $14.95 3-Mo Subs - $49.95 One-time License.

Is Privacy a Luxury Good?

Google CEO Sundar Pichai recently opined that “privacy cannot be a luxury good offered only to people who can afford to buy premium products and services” (NYT – May 7 2019). This bears a look at whether privacy is free, or something to be paid.

Read the comments of the article to see through the statement. Google claims to respect privacy, at the same time as working hard to undermine it. No one is fooled when it comes to Google and Privacy; if you use their free services, you have no right to stop them from monetizing that service by selling your data.

Pay for Cloud, Pay for Privacy

At CompanionLink we offer DejaCloud as a paid service. As a paid service, our sole source of income on DejaCloud is the money that is paid. We also offer Software as a paid service. And our only source of income is what people pay to us.

The has come an expectation from some people that software should be free. Vendors like Google and Facebook push free service as a model. But they would not be corporations if they had no income, so you need to watch carefully where that income is coming from.

Apple and Microsoft are not far removed from the fray. Although Apple charges for their phones, they offer free iCloud service. There are serveral reports that Apple monetizes iCloud service by sharing your data with Google. Microsoft has also spoken clearly about monetizing Windows 10 by tracking your purchases.

At CompanionLink we have a simple love for how software used to work. You buy it, you own it. No one should have ulterior motives in selling your data. We make upgrades available and send marketing to our customers as a way to keep our revenue stream steady and provide needed support to our customers. When they get a new PC or new phone, they may not need to pay at that time for an upgrade. But the average of all upgrades has to be there for our team to be able to provide the needed products and services.

At least with CompanionLink and DejaCloud, your data is secure, and not being sold to the highest bidder. We hope through our basic product revenue to stay that way for the future.

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 306 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 306 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 306 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 306 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 306 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.