Trans/ACT ACT! Sync Tool for the Pocket PC Review

Product Requirements:
Device:
Pocket PC

General:
Act! is an information management tool
dedicated mainly to customers and customer relationships. It is ideally targeted
towards sales people and others that are mainly people focused. In the early
days of WindowsCE, Symantec had offered a mobile version of its popular Act!
database. With it you could synchronize with your desktop version and carry your
information with you. Since then, the product has been dropped and nothing else
has ever replaced it. Pinpoint tools
have addressed this with their latest release of Trans/ACT 2. With Trans/ACT,
you can now carry your complete Act! database, multiple databases, or filtered
copies. This review looks further into what it has to provide.

Installation:
The installation of Trans/ACT is pretty simple as it guides you through the
complete setup. Below are a few screen shots of the installation interface:

During installation, you are allowed to install the application to a storage
card as it takes up a whopping 9M of memory.

Once installation is complete, the sync tool is opened which allows you to
select your Act! database, history types and a few other preferred settings.

 

Usage:
Once the database is transferred, you can open up the application on the Pocket
PC. The Trans/ACT folder includes shortcuts to easily open up specific screens
within Trans/ACT. Launching the default "Trans/ACT" icon brings up the first
start screen allowing you to select your database as you can transfer more than
one. The last opened database is the default when you start Trans/ACT, however,
from Trans/ACT you can easily close it and open a different one.



Various views are available on the default installation of Trans/ACT. The
desktop application allows you to create custom screens depending on how you
have configured Act!. The default view installation is sufficient for those who
use Act! out of the box and do not customize it. However, if you do change the
views and fields of Act!, you can easily update the Pocket PC screens by using
the simple layout tool on the desktop. The layouts do not apply to the Calendar
views but only the contact views. Calendar views are supplied by a third party
tool called VO Calendar which is loaded during installation. VO Calendar
provides views for day, week, month and can even show both the Pocket Outlook
activities as well as the Trans/ACT activities. So if you keep your Act
activities separate from Outlook, you can see both. Here are some of the views
available to VO Calendar:




Left to right: Day, Week, Week (Tap and hold icon)

The views available for the contact portion include contact list, contact view,
task list, group list, group view, contact activities, contact history and a few
others. These are easily selectable from the left hand icon column.




Left to right: Contact View, Task List, Contact Activities

Depending on the current screen, tap and hold functions are available for
simple actions such as completing tasks.




Left to right: Editing Activity, New Contact Note, Contact Notes List

Trans/ACT allows easy lookups of various fields for quick searching just like
Act for the desktop.

Trans/ACT allows you to easily create new contacts, tasks, groups, histories
just as you could from Act! and are easily transferred back to the desktop
during synchronization. One thing that was strange was that you cannot use the
group views or create groups until the first group is created and transferred
from the desktop. I believe that this may be because the groups database is not
created on the Pocket PC until a group is transferred.




Left to right: New Task for contacts, New Group, Group View




Left to right: Group Notes, Group Membership, Group Contacts


Group Activities

The above views have just touched upon what is available. As mentioned,
depending on your preferences, you can easily change the views by using the
desktop layout configuration tool.

Conclusion:
Trans/ACT is a full featured applications that replicates Act! on your Pocket
PC. Although the user interface is not exactly the same as Act, it is very good.
For anyone needing to update their Act information on their Pocket PC’s, I
highly recommend you try this application for it will more than suit your needs.

Here is a list of a few issues and recommendations for the developer:

1.. When using tap and hold on contact list, the ability to create tasks and
appointments.
2. Some screens need a today value in the date drop downs. Although today’s date
is always the first option, a graphical display with a today’s option would be
nicer. When using the drop downs, you really have no idea what next Monday is.

3. When changing contact information in the contact view, opening the contact
list still has the old info. i.e.. Data is not refreshed until next sync.
4. When running on a storage card, the program is way too slow to startup.
Almost 50s on my iPaq 3850.
5. You can only create a new group from Trans/ACT after at least one is
transferred.
6. When creating a task for a group, the task is created for the last selected
contact, even though the contact may not be a member of the group.
7. There is no way of knowing from a task view that it belongs to a certain
group. This can be changed with the layout tool however.
8. When clearing an activity, the option to schedule a follow-up.
9. Ability to link a task to multiple contacts.

 

Price: $99.99

Pros: 

Configurable layouts
All information from Act can be transferred
Ability to create notes, histories, groups, contacts, activities etc. from
Pocket PC.

Cons: 
Launching application slow
Price
Application Size

 

Product Information

Price:99.99
Manufacturer:Pinpoint Tools
Pros:
  •  
  • Configurable layouts
  • All information from Act can be transferred
  • Ability to create notes, histories, groups, contacts, activities etc. from
  • Pocket PC.
Cons:
  •  
  • Launching application slow
  • Price
  • Application Size
Posted in: Windows Phone

{ 7 comments… add one }

  • Judie December 10, 2002, 1:30 am

    Post your comments here on the Seidio Data Power Package.

    http://www.the-gadgeteer.com/seidio-data-power-package-review.html

    Just click the POST REPLY button on this page.

    1
  • ndokiman December 10, 2002, 12:17 pm

    I bought the Data Power Package about 5 weeks ago for my Clie NR70/V. Since I received the package, the connection between the emergency power charger and the universal connector for the Clie has been tentative at best. Recently, it stopped charging by Clie despite both telltale lights indicating a current from the outlet to the emergency power charger. I think that the “universal connector” is poorly made and have requested that Seidio replace my order with the G2 (generation 2) Data Power Package – reviewed here.

    2
  • Judie December 10, 2002, 1:38 pm

    Thanks for sharing your experience – please let us all know how it turns out.

    Judie :0)

    3
  • Warbucks57 December 10, 2002, 10:08 pm

    I bought the Seidio Data Package last August. It’s very useful to me on trips — I can carry just the one package and charge my m515 lots of different ways. Frequently, in not-so-modern motel/hotel accomodations (where there are no readily available wall sockets!) being able to recharge from a 9v battery is most useful.

    Recently I have been having trouble with the wall socket to m515 charging connection. I sent a message to Seido Support using thier website, received a same-day reply, did some debugging with them, and they’re going to replace my USB cable, at least for a start. They said they’d replace whatever I wasn’t happy with, but thought the cable was the problem. That was my diagnosis too, so we’re going to try that. They sent me an RMA number on a one day turnaround — not bad!

    I’m not too happy with the case (Judie liked it!). It’s got that funky curve to it, so it doesn’t max-pack in my suitcase. Still, it’s stylish, I guess. I’d prefer rectangular.

    All in all: Good product, good people!:D

    4
  • eichin December 10, 2002, 10:29 pm

    Hmm, this would be a good kit to put the boxwave minisync into… you’d just have to take the “USB is power” focus instead :-)

    5
  • madkins007 December 20, 2002, 5:36 pm

    I got a ‘USB’ version of the G2 kit, and I am returning it.

    a.) The case shown in the Gadgeteer case is the case it comes with- it is a pretty big case! Plenty of room for other accessories if desired, but too big for packing in my gear bag.

    b.) In order to sync and charge my families PDA’s (Sony T665, Sony N710, Visor Neo, Visor Solo), I need the basic kit, PLUS a hot sync cable for the N710 and Visors, AND an interchangeable ‘head’ for the 9v charger for the N710. Besides the $50 for the 5 piece kit, I need to spend another $50 for the other necessary parts. Yuck.

    It is not a lot better to get the ‘standard G2 kit- the only sync cable there is a shortie with a molded in head, so you still need an assortment of cables.

    c.) The new 2-in-1 charger feels a bit ‘toy-like’ to me and is awkward in some plugs.

    I am also getting frustrated over contacting the company- no response to some e-mails, no one answering the phone, and not returning voice mails.

    My 2 cents worth!

    6
  • BoxWave January 7, 2003, 10:50 pm

    Hey : ),

    Give us an email at customerservice@boxwave.com. We’d like to work something out for you : ).

    Best wishes,

    PR, BoxWave

    7

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