Sunday, January 22, 2006

Installing Business Contact Manager...

Can't be done.

Just kidding. I am sure it can, but I gave up. The Microsoft Business Contact Manager is a COM Add-In for Outlook 2003. I used the original BCM for a while in the summer of 2004 and I kinda liked it. It is a nice way to manage your customers and your correspondence with them. However, Tim had built some add-ins for Outlook also and they conflicted with BCM and BCM uses MSDE and was fairly slow. The Beta 2.0 Framework also caused it to barf often, so I uninstalled it.

Anyway, Microsoft has recently released an update to the BCM so I figured I would give it a try to see the new features and hoped it was faster. Here is what happened...
  • Downloaded the BCM update and installed it.
  • Seemed to go pretty smooth until I restarted Outlook. The BCM wizard took me through creating a new database etc. Then, Outlook started and I could not see the BCM add-in anywhere, so I shut down Outlook and restarted it. I think my Google search in Outlook conflicted with it somehow, but that was the error I got, so I uninstalled Google Search. Upon re-opening Outlook, I received an error that Outlook could not start without disabling the BCM add-in? What the heck?
  • So I called Tim to ask if uninstalling Outlook would be a good idea and he said 'why not, just make sure you save you Office settings'. So he showed me how to save my OPS file and I continued on.
  • The next phase of my quest continues every possible installation/uninstallation of the following products: Outlook 2003, BCM Update, MSDE, and the original BCM which I have on CD. Each time changing the order of installation etc. But I never saw the BCM menu or tools in Outlook.
  • I then looked for help online and discovered others have had trouble with it too, mainly involving the presence of 2.0 Beta, but I had already uninstalled that a while back.
  • So then I thought that SQL Express 2005 may have been causing a problem so I get rid of that too, still BCM didn't work.
So I have got my computer exactly the way it was before I started. If you are planning to install the BCM Update...good luck. If you need help, Alexander Gorlach knows his stuff.
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