Make your own free website on Tripod.com
 
 
TBSC  -   The Blue Software Company
 Home Page  Order Information  Partners / Employmt.
 Products / Services  Freeware / Shareware  More ...
 Download Products  Resources / Links

Practical software, services and solutions for the small business
and the individual computer user - world wide !



 

Some of the features of  ...

"MyAddress & Contact Data"  ...

... an application for the individual computer user, small and medium sized business.
 



 

We have good reasons to recommend our software and hope that you will spend some time with it to explore the features. It is time well spent for the future of your business.

The most important reason is from our point of view that we focus on the "data" itself and what is really needed in the office environment of our target group. Our approach is different compared to other applications.

We don't spend much time with the computer itself (operating system, hardware, software etc.)  - we concentrate instead on the practical matters and why we use a computer in the first place.

It is in practice - and esp. for our target group (the small and medium sized business) - mostly irrelevant which operating system version they are using within a family of operating systems (for example within the family of 32-bit systems:  Windows 95, 98, ME  ...). The operating system itself has not much to do with the actual (office) tasks to be accomplished.

[ To keep us all “sane”: Windows 98 is more than enough to work with our applications. ]

We also don't want to bother you with analogies (there are already enough around)  - but it is really like carrying some items from A to B - "data" are the goods to be transported. The choice of transport medium (car, truck etc.) and the infrastructure (road conditions) are important - but only of secondary nature. Getting the goods from A to B is the overall goal !

Please keep in mind: we are talking here about the "usual" office tasks in small and medium sized businesses (not about a banking corporation where real time processing is required). In case goods are easily spoilt then "time" would also be a critical factor  - and has to be considered - to  bring the goods from A to B.
 



 

We have reviewed applications (address books, contact management tools etc.) from many countries to find out about their features and the possible benefits for our target group. We have learned about their features and then decided to focus on the underlying "data" itself (and let other applications complement our approach).

Our application is also not a piece of CRM (customer relationship management) software. Our target group knows best how to deal with their customers (otherwise they would not survive) - and they certainly don't need a piece of software to do it.

Nowadays we see it very often that there are attempts to cure "non-existing" business problems with IT; and then - sooner or later - the need to fix the cure itself arises to keep the business alive. “Customer relationship management” is done by any small business owner every day (and there is mostly no existing condition that needs a fix or a cure via a piece of computer software).

Most of the applications we have seen on the market collect relevant address data, but are - as far as the underlying structures are concerned - often only good for local usage (i.e. only in the USA or France). It often means that - even if a program is available in another language - the fields and what can be entered into them is only useful in a specific country.

Collecting data is one thing - but we also have to put the data to practical use.



 

In some countries the postal authorities and/or associated companies offer excellent new services for their customers by helping them to check the correctness of their address data collection(s) with reference files in official databases. A good example is POST DIREKT in Germany - please check out their web site for further information:

 http://www.postdirekt.de   (there is an English version of the web site available)

While these services are great - it is of course not yet possible to check out also your foreign address material against the reference files. But we are confident that this will come in the future as far as the EU is concerned.

We have checked out this service offer because we were interested to know if the address data collected with our applications  would also work as an input file for the run against their reference files. It worked fine if you are using the TOPSCAN utility we provide to export your address book file to a .txt file (comma delimited) and then use it as an input file in the format:

Text fix mit variabler Satzlänge

in their ADDRESSFACTORY application.

You could also use the TOPSCAN utility (download it from our web site at:   http://bluesoftware.tripod.com/ts.zip ) to choose only relevant fields in selected records - esp. with the country as the main selection criteria, put them into an export file without the fields which actually don't belong into an address format to create labels or a mailmerge file (the reference to a map file is a good example).

Our application takes care of that there may be country specific regulations, for example: how to enter a correct street address etc. - this usually differs from country to country.
 



 

About the practical use of address data  ...
 

Firstly, having (simple) ways to (re)use the data but also to create:

- mail merge documents

   http://bluesoftware.tripod.com/mailmerge.html

- labels

   http://bluesoftware.tripod.com/labels.html

- reports (see appendices about “Reporting”)

- perform queries (using SQL for example)

- re-use the existing data in and with other applications

If we look at this list of items then we see that they have actually not much to do with the always increasing pressure to take part in the hard- and software upgrade race (which is fairly irrelevant for our target group anyway). The output quality depends on the underlying data, the data processing and business management skills of the individual user.

To put it simple: a label looks the same way as it has always looked and if a business is "in the red" then the old DOS spreadsheet from the eighties shows the situation as blunt as the more recent version developed for a graphical user interface environment.

[ Apart from the mostly senseless upgrade race which has become a business problem in itself we see new approaches to squeeze more money out of the computer user ( ASP, new licensing schemes etc.). In general our target group can stay clear from most of the nonsense preached nowadays (by the way: my butcher doesn't need a high-powered server running behind the freezer room to conduct his business). He still has a 486 machine doing the job well incl. access to e-mail and Internet). If it all were true what we hear nowadays (and what is preached to be necessary to run your business) then we have to wonder how any major car manufacturer - take BMW or Daimler-Chrysler (Mercedes) for example - has been able to produce any automobile ever. ]

Going through major computer magazines - esp. those dealing with the web and e-commerce related issues - we have sometimes to ask ourselves: "Are they all out of their mind ?" - it is just incredible what users are submitted to. These negative trends cause world wide so much damage - it exceeds by far the true costs for the precautions taken in anticipation to cover for the so-called Y2K bug.
 



 

What distinguishes our application(s) from others ...

( 1 )

The comprehensive features to re-use data via "exporting" and/or ODBC

Also important: we are explaining ALL the implications for the end user in our descriptions and on our web site. It is simply not good enough just to say, that you can export your data to .csv. If there were export facilities in other applications then we have found mostly just one or two sentences regarding the subject (which is one of the most complex one when dealing with your data)

Please check out our web site at:

http://bluesoftware.tripod.com/exporting.html

and:

http://bluesoftware.tripod.com/odbc.html

for more details.

Of importance is of course the easy handling when "importing" your data into applications for performing label printing, mail merge, reporting, querying your data etc. The applications we recommend on our download and freeware pages have been all used by us and the tasks have actually been performed by us to test if it really works as claimed.

http://bluesoftware.tripod.com/freeware.html

Please visit also this page:   http://smbtools.tripod.com/tbsctools.html  with the latest tools.
 

( 2 )

Address data for example is used world wide, however there are from country to country, from language to language often differences which can make out the success of a mailing for example.
 

Example: (extract from one of our descriptions)

....  we want to make you aware of some important considerations related to the structure of our address book file.

FIELD 59 SALUT_LETTER

In this field you enter the FULL salutation you would use when you mail merge your address data with a word processing document in the language of your choice.

Examples:      Dear Mr. Miller
                     Sehr geehrte Frau Hendricks
                     Hello Michael

FIELD 60 SALUT_LABEL

In this field you enter the FULL salutation you would use on labels for mail outs in the language of your choice. This is quite different to the salutation you use in a personalized letter.

Examples:  c/- Mr. Simon Miller
                 z.H. Herrn Friedrich Heidenreich

In most address book applications, contact managers etc. we have found only a salutation field which allows for:  Mr., Mrs.  etc.

What we need is to address people correctly, individually and in their native language.

When you perform a mail-merge with a word processor you normally define also the following merge fields in your document:

SALUTATION   and   LASTNAME  -  for example ...

Dear <SALUTATION> <LASTNAME>     =    Dear Mr Miller            etc.
                                                                            Sehr geehrter Herr Miller   (in German)

If you print labels (based on the same underlying data) then you would have printed on your labels:

Attn. Mr Miller
z.H. Herr Miller      THIS IS NOT CORRECT in German - correct would be:  z.H. Herrn Miller

If we have a look at the German version we see that there is an additonal 'n' after the normal salutation in German ('Herr' stands for 'Mr'). There are many such small differences in various languages - this has made it necessary to have different formats for letters and labels:

Letter format:        Dear Mr Miller
                            Sehr geehrter Herr Miller        ( NO 'n' after 'Herr' )

Label format:        Attn. Mr Miller                   or:   Attention Mr Miller
                            z.H. Herrn Miller                or:   zu Händen Herrn Miller

When a mail-merge is performed you will always have the correct salutation applied:

Instead of using something like:

Dear <SALUTATION> <LASTNAME>

in your document template you could simply use the field:

<SALUTAT_LETTER>

when printing labels - you could just use the field:

<SALUTAT_LABEL>

You can use any language - as long as you are using a standard character set on your keyboard.

You can of course mix and match expressions in different languages in one (mail merge address / label). For example: a label or an address printed in English but with a correct salutation in Spanish might look very professional under certain circumstances.

The approach we take is unique and many people have confirmed that it is the first time they have seen such a approach to deal with the facts accurately.

End of extract !

....
 

( 3 )

VISUAL VERIFICATION of your data  ...

This is something which has been really welcomed by our target group. It is an easy way to detect errors in the postal details of your address data, esp. as far as the PO Box, the street address, the house / flat no. and the actual delivery (postal) address are concerned.

Screenshot:
 


 

[ If you can't see the screenshot then it is attached (screenshot_address_verification.jpg)].

Our mind works different to a "query" tool and/or a complex SQL query we might want to apply. Let's be honest: to discover the irregularities in the screenshot via a query or an SQL statement is not impossible (however I want to see the guy who can construct the SQL for each and every situation shown here which is obvious to any human being in the fraction of a second). At the end of the day: it all comes back to our excellent "natural" computer facilities - the brain given us, how we use it and how we see things in context. The computer is only part of a whole system comprising the organisation and the people involved.

Using the VISUAL VERIFICATION facilities in our application is not only useful for the small business but also the bigger ones can benefit.

Example:

I sometimes request further information about software products through a computer magazine publisher. Every time I fill in the form on paper or "on-line" I give my address details and the postal location where I want to receive the information by "snail-mail". However - and this happens to everyone - there are mostly slight differences how I fill in the address details (see the examples below): the first name is abbreviated, I add the suburb, I use a hyphen instead of a slash or vice-versa etc.

The address details are going around (and are sometimes used or sold to third parties). I'm aware of this!

But then - my letter box is filled up with several envelopes (containing the same information in printed form) directed to:

Mr Joe Miller, 8/265 Karanga Road, Westville 12345
Mr Jonathan Miller, 8/265 Karanga Road, Westville 12345
Mr Joe Miller, 8-265 Karanga Road, Westville 12345

etc.

What a difference the hyphen ( " - " between 8 and 265 ) can make (see last record) !

This is one of the problems we have solved with our approach. The world wide losses because of the postage waste are going into the billions of dollars every year because no one has cared about this subject.
 

( 4 )

DATA PRESENTATION in "Browse" screens and "Tree" structures

"Browse" screens

It is a representation of your address data in "list form" on screen containing most of the important fields from your files and by clicking on the tabs you can switch to different sort orders, eg. by Name/Company, City etc.

There is also a lot of colour coding to make the user aware of specific criteria or situations.

[ see the examples on our web site or use the evaluation copy ]
 

"Tree" structures

They are another form of "data" presentation on screen and show you for example your address data in a tree like structure similar to Windows explorer.

Example:

Business Category
-----------------------> Address 1
-----------------------> Address 2   etc.

Computer Software Suppliers
-------------------------------> Healer Ltd.
-------------------------------> WeTo Software Specialists

[ see the examples on our web site or use the evaluation copy ]
 
 

( 5 )

We offer a huge range of SUPPORTING FILES, esp. useful for use with address data from several  language environments - SALUTATIONS in several languages are one example.
 

( 6 )

Unlimited allocation of OBJECTS to address data (documents, graphics, video, sound and more)

Often we have the situation with our target group that so fairly everything is stored in a folder "My Documents" or similar on the hard drive ( c:\My Documents ). There is in such cases no "logical" connection between the address data and what belongs to them.

Example (Real Estate Business):

Vendor Address  ---->  sales agreements, photos

Here it is possible with our application to allocate the sales agreements, photos etc. to the  right vendor address.
 

( 7 )

Tools like data backup, floppy disk formatting, graphics viewer and processing, query tools and many more complementing applications are in direct access and available from the menus within the application. Most of these applications are FREEWARE and can be downloaded from the Internet (see our "Download" and "Freeware" pages for more information).

Read also at our web site, in the documentation about the installation and in the set up procedures about these supporting applications and tools.
 
 
 



 
TBSC  -   The Blue Software Company
 Home Page  Order Information  Partners / Employmt.
 Products / Services  Freeware / Shareware  More ...
 Download Products  Resources / Links

Practical software, services and solutions for the small business
and the individual computer user - world wide !