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Reviews

DeveloperOne Agenda Fusion v7.72

By Stephen Skarlatos January 17, 2006, 12:55 am

introduction

Microsoft's lack of attention to the bundled PIM applications has allowed third-party developers to innovate. Two of these third-party PIM applications have emerged from the pack as the leaders: WebIS' Pocket Informant and DeveloperOne's Agenda Fusion. Both of these companies have recently released new versions of their applications with an emphasis on support for Windows Mobile 5.0. pocketnow.com recently reviewed Agenda Fusion version 7.10 here and Pocket Informant 2005 release 4

here. Let's take a look at DeveloperOne's Agenda Fusion version 7.72 and see if it's a worthy upgrade to your stock PIM application.

POCKETNOW VIDEO OF THE DAY

whats-hot

Here's what changed over previous versions of Agenda Fusion:

Optimized for Windows Mobile 5.0 Pocket PCContacts view enhancementsProjects enhancementsTasks view enhancements

Setup

The installation is performed using a standard Windows setup application in conjunction with ActiveSync.

The Agenda Fusion installation routine provides two versions of the application, version 7.50 for Windows Mobile 2002/2003 and version 7.72 for Windows Mobile 5.0. A sample set of category icons can also be selected for installation.

The Agenda Fusion Pocket PC installation screens.

Programs & Features

Since pocketnow.com's last review of version 7.10, Agenda Fusion's core functionality and screens have not changed. This review focuses on new features and functionality that merit more detail.

The Agenda Fusion installation creates a "Fusion Utils" program folder with a collection of useful shortcuts. These shortcuts allow for the assignment of hardware buttons to open a specific view, or to switch to that view while Agenda Fusion is running.

The Agenda Fusion classic today screen with view tabs at the bottom, and a view pull down menu. It does not make use of the Windows Mobile 5.0 soft buttons.

The task view provides a quick entry bar, detail data, and a list of tasks grouped by the "complete" status.

The contact view displays the find bar, the navigation bar, the detail of the selected contact, and a list. A tap and hold on the contact list displays an action menu. The edit entry screen provides access to all contact fields.

A picture can be added to a contact.

The contact list can be set to a one or two line display and can sorted using one of 5 predetermined fields.

The contact view display elements, other than the contact list, can be selected from this popup menu.

The task view displays the selected note, however it can not be edited from this view.

The project view provides a hierarchical view of all items attached to a project. Agenda Fusion's project feature allows users to arrange and group similar items together. The purpose of this view is to give users the ability to create projects, assign appointments, tasks, contacts, and files.

A project's time usage and/or billing can be managed using the add time menu item or the project's property screen time tab.

Items such as tasks can easily be added from their defined views.

All project time usage must be added manually. This lack of functionality was identified in pocketnow.com's last review wishlist, but was not addressed in this version.

Help & Support

DeveloperOne's support provides a contact form here and a well attended forum here. I did not have any problems with the product and did not evaluate DeveloperOne's support responsiveness. There is an good .pdf manual here with a linked table of content, although the addition of an index would be useful.

System Requirements

Agenda Fusion version 7.72 is specifically designed for Windows Mobile 5.0. Windows Mobile 2002/2003 users use version 7.51 which currently offers the same functionality. The Windows Mobile 5.0 application requires 1420.5KB.

Bugs & Wishes

The application worked flawlessly. Agenda Fusion is touted to be optimized for Windows Mobile 5.0, but DeveloperOne did not implement any of the new user interface constructs such as the soft keys. Here are some features I'd like to see added:

Addition of WM 5.0 soft keysAppointment duration time option for addition to project timeAddition of journal features equivalent to Outlook 2003Editing of notes from note view3rd party integration with note applications such as Phatware's Phatpad

Purchasing

Agenda Fusion can be purchased for $29.95 here. A trial version is available here. Version 5 and 6 users may upgrade for $14.95 here and version 7 users upgrade for free.

Pros

  • Project item linking
  • Project time management
  • Access to all key function from tap and hold menus

Cons

  • No WM 5.0 soft keys
  • Appointment duration is not added to project time
  • Weak journal feature
  • No direct note editing from note display view
  • No integration with 3rd party note applications such as Phatware's Phatpad

Overall Impressions

Comparing Agenda Fusion to it's major competitor Pocket Informant, the basic PIM functionality are basically the same. Both provide extensive linking capabilities. However Pocket Informant takes the edge by the use of the WM5 soft keys and a user interface with extensive customization capability. Beyond the basics both of these applications differentiate themselves by taking two different directions. Pocket Informant has implemented advanced journaling functions while Agenda Fusion has implemented the basic concept of projects. Even though the project feature cannot be compared to the likes of Microsoft Project, it does provide a very useful mechanism to arrange and group PIM items together. For the mobile professional that needs to track time associated with different PIM items Agenda Fusion will fit that need well. The mobile professional looking for view customization and uses journals Pocket Informant is clearly the choice.

Agenda Fusion version 7.72 is an evolutionary step to insure that the application is fully compatible with Windows Mobile 5.0.0. I would have liked more Windows Mobile 5.0 UI integration, but DeveloperOne has built an excellent foundation for the future.

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