Why oh why would you do things like this?


G

Guest

I have been struggling with BCM since shortly after the 2007 release and been
keeping a log of things that just don't seem right. Pardon the length of this
post, but there's so much that needs fixing. Please consider the following
thoughts for future releases:

- THIS IS A BIG ONE: I can’t understand why there isn’t a one-to-one
correspondence between appointments displayed under the Communications
History window and the (monthly) Calendar. What’s the point of deleting an
appointment in the Communications History window and having it stay on the
Calendar?? Or editing an appointment in one of these two places and not have
the changes appear IMMEDIATELY in the other. Recurring appointments seem to
be particularly prone to this lack of consistency. THIS IS A VERY SERIOUS
CONCERN – I bill my clients based on what I see in BCM, and I’ve already
suffered considerable invoicing embarrassment due to “one-sided†edits of my
schedule. I don’t care if the calendar is controlled by Outlook and the
Communications History is controlled by BCM…to not have these two important
sources of information be in total “sync†is simply nerve-racking,
inadequate, and unacceptable!! Alternatively, having to go to both the
Communications History and the Calendar to ensure synchronicity is a total
duplication of effort.
- Can’t seem to save a customized view (always goes back to default upon
re-opening BCM??)
- Why are dropdown lists (like the “Snooze†dropdown in the Reminders
window) setup to only show the first several choices, often requiring
additional mouse clicks to scroll down to select other available options?
- Why is it that when you have a recurring item and receive a reminder for
the current instance, if you delete the reminder (as in something that
doesn’t require the creation of a “historyâ€), the open reminder window
immediately launches a reminder for the next instance of the recurring
activity? These recurring reminders could be set to occur once a month, and
if they don’t require any lead time to complete or prepare for, why should
you have to now “snooze†this next instance of the reminder back to the date
for which it was originally intended?
- Building on the previous point, the recurring appointments in BCM are, for
me, unusable. I have clients who I see at the same day and time each week,
and in ACT! 6.0, I was able to setup an appropriate recurring appointment. In
BCM, when working with a recurring appointment, the client’s (i.e., Business
Contact’s) Communications History window only shows the last instance of the
recurring appointments, even though I may have placed unique information in
other occurrences of the recurring appointment (for instance, numbered them
so that I can determine when the client has exhausted his/her pre-paid
sessions and needs to renew…). Until I reach the last appointment in the
recurring series, there’s no indication in the Communications History window
that I have an ongoing commitment to fulfill. These customized intervening
recurring appointments should be displayed in the Communications History and
on the calendar as the customizations indicate that something unique and
meaningful will be associated with each of these appointments.
- As a workaround for the unusable recurring appointment feature (as
explained above), I’ve tried efficiently handling my recurring appointment
needs by simply creating a non-recurring appointment, saving it while keeping
the new appointment window open (i.e., not using “Save & Closeâ€), then
changing the date and making any other edits in the appointment details for
the next instance of the appointment, then saving, etc. This also results in
loss of appointments intermediate to the current and last instance of the
series…no help there!
- If you inadvertently use “Delete†rather than “Remove†in an attempt to
delete an appointment in the Communications History window, you end up
accidentally deleting the entire contact record. Although I now know that you
can retrieve the record from the Deleted Files folder, it totally escapes me
as to why there’s no “Are you sure you want to delete this contact†message
to help avert the disaster. If you want to delete an appointment (a much less
potentially destructive action), it asks you to confirm the delete…where’s
the consistency??
- For windows showing history items, the linked Contact’s name should be
visible on screen and his/her record accessible via a single mouse click. The
current way of getting to the Contact record is unreasonably circuitous. The
same point holds true for displays of Reminders.
- Importing Contact records from ACT!6 (in my case) can only be brought in
as BCM Contact records, not Accounts (the drop-down menu had “Accountsâ€
greyed-out). As a self-employed person in a service business, I’m going to
have to manually duplicate several hundred Business Contact records as
Account records to take advantage of Accounting Express-BCM billing/invoicing
synergy. It’s hard to see how this could overall be considered a
time-saver??? This was one of the features that I felt would make the
painfully laborious transition from ACT! to BCM worth it…
- Why does there have to be so much ledding between printed lines on the
monthly calendar? You can’t fit more than 4 appointments on for a given day
without printing in 6-point type size or smaller, an eye strain nightmare!
Even at 6-point type, you can only fit 6 appointments, which isn’t an
extraordinary number of commitments to have for a single day…
- Can’t seem to save a toolbar setup (Adobe Acrobat-related buttons keeps
coming back, taking up a whole horizontal line of screen space…)
- If you open a recurring reminder and choose “Delete†within the new
window, it asks if you wish to delete the entire recurring series or just the
current instance of the series. If you simply right-click the same recurring
reminder in the pop-up Reminders window, and choose “Delete,†the recurring
reminder is deleted with no choice as to whether you wish to delete that
instance of the reminder, or the entire recurring reminder series. Which one
was it? I still don’t know. I don’t understand these inconsistencies…
- In the “Activity by Contacts†Report, it would be much more helpful if the
“Comments†field included word-wrap so that a hardcopy of extensive notes
could be created. As it stands now, any lengthy notes are cut off, the
missing part represented by “…â€
- Reinforcing a recent thread in the BCM Discussion Group: BCM needs an
easy, reliable means for backing up ALL of the important data in ONE step.
Having to backup E-mails separately because they’re “under Outlook†is
totally absurd…and an accident waiting to happen (I’m still not totally
secure that I’m backing up all of my irreplaceable information should my hard
drive fail…)
- Reinforcing another recent thread: The data conversion from Act! and
Goldmine?) is marginal at best it took me WEEKS to restore the fields that
were supposed to come over, but didn’t. I’ll NEVER be able to restore all of
the correct dates for past appointments that were reset by BCM to the date I
did the data conversion…
- There’s been mention in the Discussion Group that E-mail addresses aren’t
“blind†when doing E-mail marketing campaigns. If that’s true, then the lack
of blinding renders the E-mail campaign function unusable.
- Reinforcing a recent thread: The BCM Discussion Group thread notification
system need to be fixed! For me, when I see a question mentioned that I’d
like to follow, despite having registered with “Windows Live†and used the
proper IDs and passwords, when request to be notified of replies, I get the
error message, “Notification failed. Please try later.†At the request of
the Microsoft Help representative, I spent an hour and a half documenting
this bug, complete with the requested screen shots of the problem. And how
was I rewarded for my work? The return E-mail explained that Microsoft is
aware of this problem and is working on it. That was five months ago…
- Some “fixes†proposed by Microsoft in the BCM Discussion Group talk about
editing XML and Visual Basic code – how is that accessible to the average end
user??
- How are “built-in†fields like “Gender†to be used if you can’t add them
to the BCM Contact Form?
- Why does the Contacts window always default to Outlook Contacts (and not
allow setting Business Contacts or Accounts as the default?
- How can Microsoft call BCM and Accounting Express “integrated†when only
invoices and not debits are available using the BCM-Office
Accounting/Express link?? Furthermore, I bill my Business Contacts/individual
clients, not Accounts/corporate entities, so the “integration†isn’t
appropriate and sensitive to the needs of numerous small business owners,
especially those in personal service industries like I am (despite the fact
that BCM/Accounting are marketed heavily to small businesses…)
- Why can’t the BCM windows remember the last size they were at (e.g.,
maximized) rather than having to resize them every time they’re opened?
- There doesn’t appear to be a way of printing detailed notes on a Contact
(fields on printed forms don’t word wrap??). Except for the Comments field
(and notably excluding Business Notes, which would seem to be the appropriate
place to be able to do this), you can’t display long notes on screen, either.
- Inconsistent use of the terms “Remove†(the button on the left) and
“Delete†(when you right click a specific task/entry) in the Communications
History window. They seem to do the same thing…why not use the same phrase??
After all, “Delete†and “Remove†could have different effects, but that
doesn’t appear to be true in this case…
- The default selection in the Reminders window is at the bottom of the
list. If you have a lot of reminders due, this means you need to scroll to
the bottom of a long list in an already “shallow†(i.e., only allows you to
see several entries at one time) window. Why the wasted time? Why not default
to the top of the reminders due list? Also, why are there two different ways
by which the reminders are highlighted (i.e., a pale vs a bright highlight
bar)? They seem to respond the same, but this causes unnecessary
inconsistency.
- Finally…since the software industry has abandoned use of manuals, it’s
true that for some of my concerns, there may be answers…but how is the user
to know?? The BCM online Help is mediocre at best.

If I can be of any service in clarifying any of the above points, I'd be
happy to assist. Thanks.

--
David

----------------
This post is a suggestion for Microsoft, and Microsoft responds to the
suggestions with the most votes. To vote for this suggestion, click the "I
Agree" button in the message pane. If you do not see the button, follow this
link to open the suggestion in the Microsoft Web-based Newsreader and then
click "I Agree" in the message pane.

http://www.microsoft.com/office/com...-055a5b271ef2&dg=microsoft.public.outlook.bcm
 
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C

Charles W Davis

DavidR,

I suggest that you break this post into one post per issue that you are
experiencing. Few will be able to address all issues, but many can address
individual posts.
 
G

Guest

Charles,

I created this long list of suggestions more as a consolidated note to
Microsoft rather than expecting the Users to suggest solutions. For the most
part, I don't believe there are any solutions or reasonable work-arounds to
the issues other than re-designing BCM. My hope is that Microsoft will
entertain some of these thoughts during the future releases that they've
promised are forthcoming as discussed on the BCM Team Blog. Thanks for your
input.
 
G

Guest

DavidR,

Thank you for raising all these points, no aggravations, with BCM. I am only
just learning that my purchase may have been a waste of money.

The 'bug' that I want to raise, is the why, oh, why would MS put the save
and the delete button right beside each other without, as you say having a
check box appear, or at least an 'undo' option available.

It took me a while to realize that I had not saved a contact, but actually
deleted it! Bingo. Gone. And I didn't even know it. When I think about how
much information I store in my contacts, it makes me want to weep.

Thank you for letting me know about the deleted files option. Never thought
to look.

Jan
 
G

Guest

Compiling my list of "why, oh why's" took an awfully long time, and it's
unclear if any of them will ever be addressed (or have even been acknowledged
by those who could do something about them...). So, I'm glad to hear that at
least one person has found something that may make things better...

Let's hope that sometime not too far down the road, we can conclude that BCM
was worth the time and expense...
 
M

mrtimpeterson via OfficeKB.com

David R.,

I would not look to any recently posted comments from the BCM Team Blog for
much hope of change anytime soon. They are still busy toasting each other
with pride and congratulations for finally getting a BCM synch conduit
released after so many years and ironically, what was eventually released has
the lamest of the lame, dated 1990's limited functionality!

I have had a front row seat to this BCM Circus fiasco for almost 4 years now.
I don't like to MS bash but it really is embarrassing how the bureaucratic
Redmond empire continues to churn out such substandard stuff as BCM. There
is a clueless disconnect between what BCM is and what it could be. I am
being kind in stating this.

-THP


Compiling my list of "why, oh why's" took an awfully long time, and it's
unclear if any of them will ever be addressed (or have even been acknowledged
by those who could do something about them...). So, I'm glad to hear that at
least one person has found something that may make things better...

Let's hope that sometime not too far down the road, we can conclude that BCM
was worth the time and expense...
[quoted text clipped - 169 lines]
 
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J

JoeM

Good to know I'm not alone in my hopeless efforts....

BCM is a dog. And I too, try not to MS bash, but as a developer myself, I
can't believe that giant released such a mess as this.

Unfortunately, posts like this may somehow leave MS dropping the project and
leaving us with it and our list of customers and histories locked inside.

But then, I have given my share of 'atta boys' too, so don't blame me and my
post if BCM is pulled from this season's programming. :)

Good to know I'm not alone anyway....... pout...sniff...

mrtimpeterson via OfficeKB.com said:
David R.,

I would not look to any recently posted comments from the BCM Team Blog
for
much hope of change anytime soon. They are still busy toasting each other
with pride and congratulations for finally getting a BCM synch conduit
released after so many years and ironically, what was eventually released
has
the lamest of the lame, dated 1990's limited functionality!

I have had a front row seat to this BCM Circus fiasco for almost 4 years
now.
I don't like to MS bash but it really is embarrassing how the bureaucratic
Redmond empire continues to churn out such substandard stuff as BCM.
There
is a clueless disconnect between what BCM is and what it could be. I am
being kind in stating this.

-THP


Compiling my list of "why, oh why's" took an awfully long time, and it's
unclear if any of them will ever be addressed (or have even been
acknowledged
by those who could do something about them...). So, I'm glad to hear that
at
least one person has found something that may make things better...

Let's hope that sometime not too far down the road, we can conclude that
BCM
was worth the time and expense...
[quoted text clipped - 169 lines]
If I can be of any service in clarifying any of the above points, I'd
be
happy to assist. Thanks.
 
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G

Guest

DavidR, THP, and JoeM,

Sigh.

I bought Office Ultimate a week ago Monday. Was wildly inputting, playing,
experimenting, etc. etc. only to run into 'these' snags, and eventually turn
to this group, only to find out that I could have save myself some cash.

But it was a good learning curve. As of this morning, I have 'put back' all
of my contacts into regular-old-Outlook, have added some new columns to keep
track of, and plan to copy and paste to BCM when I want to do reports, a
marketing campaign, or some other fancy thing.

There seems to be no other way to make sure that data stays put, to have
fields be consistent, and to keep everything in one place. It was getting a
bit mindboggling. Now where did I update that information?

I haven't done any copying and pasting back into BCM yet. I will have to
cool off, and get a bit of work done first! Good thing it was a summertime
diversion. As far as I know, no one noticed that I had taken my little BCM
vacation into the unknown.

Jan


JoeM said:
Good to know I'm not alone in my hopeless efforts....

BCM is a dog. And I too, try not to MS bash, but as a developer myself, I
can't believe that giant released such a mess as this.

Unfortunately, posts like this may somehow leave MS dropping the project and
leaving us with it and our list of customers and histories locked inside.

But then, I have given my share of 'atta boys' too, so don't blame me and my
post if BCM is pulled from this season's programming. :)

Good to know I'm not alone anyway....... pout...sniff...

mrtimpeterson via OfficeKB.com said:
David R.,

I would not look to any recently posted comments from the BCM Team Blog
for
much hope of change anytime soon. They are still busy toasting each other
with pride and congratulations for finally getting a BCM synch conduit
released after so many years and ironically, what was eventually released
has
the lamest of the lame, dated 1990's limited functionality!

I have had a front row seat to this BCM Circus fiasco for almost 4 years
now.
I don't like to MS bash but it really is embarrassing how the bureaucratic
Redmond empire continues to churn out such substandard stuff as BCM.
There
is a clueless disconnect between what BCM is and what it could be. I am
being kind in stating this.

-THP


Compiling my list of "why, oh why's" took an awfully long time, and it's
unclear if any of them will ever be addressed (or have even been
acknowledged
by those who could do something about them...). So, I'm glad to hear that
at
least one person has found something that may make things better...

Let's hope that sometime not too far down the road, we can conclude that
BCM
was worth the time and expense...
DavidR,

[quoted text clipped - 169 lines]
If I can be of any service in clarifying any of the above points, I'd
be
happy to assist. Thanks.
 

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