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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.


WHAT’S HOT


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

  • Optimized for
    Windows Mobile 5.0 Pocket PC   
  • Contacts view
    enhancements
  • Projects
    enhancements
  • Tasks 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.

PROGRAM 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.


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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 AND
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 keys
  • Appointment duration time option for addition to project time
  • Addition of journal features
    equivalent to Outlook 2003
  • Editing of notes from
    note view
  • 3rd 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
Value
Ease
of Use
Features

Overall

OVERALL IMPRESSION

    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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