Sneaky Microsoft has done it again. I just installed Office 2003 Professional Edition. It has a slick, beautifully crafted user interface. Typical of the Office team’s attention to detail, it has ironed out all kinds of problems with the old product. Word now has a viewer mode that brings up documents in beautiful cleartype text. Outlook has a side-by-side preview window which uses the viewer. And it makes extensive use of semi-transparent windows for new message notifications and so on.
There was a little ditty in the box called Business Contact Manager which bills itself as an add-in to Outlook. Having just struck out on my own, I thought that a contact manager, a la Act, or Goldmine, might be helpful to me. So I installed it.
It didn’t seem to do much. I dragged a few contacts into the Business Contacts Window, and didn’t think much of it. Except that it was darned annoying now because for some reason I couldn’t resolve addresses against my old contact database.
A little while later, trying to shut down some other errant process on my PC, I brought up the task mangler and had a look through the process list. WTF? SQL Server?
And then I had a look at one of my contacts. Every last activity — email, note, appointment, etc made for any contact is being recorded in a SQL server database by Business Contacts Manager. No more filing emails…
What a Godsend! A database behind Outlook!