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  1.    #1  
    Can someone share thoughts on using Business Connection Personal Edition vs. Exchange ActiveSync? I have an exchange server at work and I am using VersaMail. I'd like more. Can someone tell me the good and the bad of Sprint Business Connection. I know it requires that my desktop remain on but do I have to be logged in? I guess I could lock the screen. Are there advantages. I have it on my Vision plan. If I try it and don't like it can my treo be easily completely restored to it's current configuration email and all?
  2. #2  
    Quote Originally Posted by scsanden
    Can someone share thoughts on using Business Connection Personal Edition vs. Exchange ActiveSync? I have an exchange server at work and I am using VersaMail. I'd like more. Can someone tell me the good and the bad of Sprint Business Connection. I know it requires that my desktop remain on but do I have to be logged in? I guess I could lock the screen. Are there advantages. I have it on my Vision plan. If I try it and don't like it can my treo be easily completely restored to it's current configuration email and all?
    Sprint Business Connection works a lot like Blackberry, except for the fact that the agent runs on a deskop. You do have to leave it logged on for it to push your email. There is an easy way around this issue though -- you can remote desktop to the machine and then disconnect without logging off. That leaves your session running even if you log off the machine directly. The Sprint BC also alows sharing, so if multiple people need to use the service, you can use a single desktop to push the email to multiple different people. It's not perfect, but it works pretty well and it's nice not having to do manual syncs.
  3. #3  
    Also, if you try Sprint BC, be sure to download the client on your Treo. It's much, much better than trying to use the web interface, and it syncs your Outlook calendar as well.
  4. #4  
    I have BC running great right now, but I would also love to know what ActiveSync gets me.
  5. jda
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    #5  
    If you are happy with BC I would stick with it. BC is made by Seven and they are constantly improving the software so it will only get better.

    Exchange Server Activesync is tricky to set up so you would have make changes to your exchange server environment. If you are not using a front end/back end setup on your exchange network then you'll have to make a bunch of changes to your single exchange server, including adding SSL, to get it all working.

    The main advantages of Activesync is that you sync directly with the server so you don't have to keep a PC logged in forwarding your email. Also the email and calendar entries go directly into the default apps on the treo (Versamail and Calendar) instead of the BC client software. This lets you use any calendar software you want on the Treo. Also, I don't think BC lets you accept/reject meeting requests on the Treo but Versamail will let you do that. Last time I used BC you still could not enter new calendar appointments on the treo and sync them up to exchange. Activesync will let you do that.

    BC does let you access the Exchange GAL (company address book) so you can look up employee email adresses directly from the treo. Versamail does not support that.

    Finally versamail allows you to download email attachments and use them in Docs to Go. BC converts the attachments to text and displays them in it's own viewer. I have seen beta versions of BC changed this.

    That's all I can think of right now. Let me know if you have any specific questions.
  6. #6  
    BC isnt bad. My biggest problem is how it handles attachments-- you can d/l docs as read-only (but forget about a spreadsheet!), but unless I am mistaken there is no ability to save and open in, say, Docs-to-go. My workaround is to forward stuff to my personal acct and open with Versamail, but if I had to read and edit docs a lot, this would get old fast.

    My other small gripes with BC-- VERY slow to read contact info from the handheld (but lightning-fast reading from my company's GAL!), and no way to have an automatic signature on emails.

    One other small gripe- BC will 'ping' you whenever it makes a change during a synch- in other words, if you delete an email on the handheld, and it synchs and deletes it on the desktop back at the office, you get pinged. I should be able to customize this alert so I only get notified of new incoming email.

    Overall, its WAY better then I was expecting.
  7. #7  
    Great analysis, JDA. Thanks for the detail.

    Since I can't mess w/ my company's server, I'll stick with BC.
  8.    #8  
    I'm using VersaMail and Exchange (ActiveSync). I just noticed when I added an appointment to my treo's stock calendar it won't update on my PC's Outlook. I thought that when I chose to sync in VersaMail it would update my Outlook calendar. It does work the other way. If I add an appointment in Outlook and choose sync in VersaMail my treo's calendar shows the appointment. I did rom update #3 off of Shadow's site last night. I don't know if it worked before that or not? Help please

    Changed the download time frame in VersaMail Exchange Account preferences from 1 month to 2wks and it seemed to have fixed the calendar issue above.
    Last edited by scsanden; 01/14/2005 at 08:03 PM. Reason: I seemed to have fixed this
  9. #9  
    I am finding it is difficult to keep the BC desktop connection alive. Needs some constant care and feeding. The nice thing is that I can VNC into that box to restart the process when it goes down.

    Jeff
  10. #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by jeffgibson
    I am finding it is difficult to keep the BC desktop connection alive. Needs some constant care and feeding. The nice thing is that I can VNC into that box to restart the process when it goes down.

    Jeff
    Check if there are any updates. I had the same problem awhile back. I checked for updates and there was one. Once I updated, I have not had a problem at all. It's been a couple of months now. I'm not sure what version I am running. I'm not at my office where the client is running. We do run Exchange and I don't have to keep Outlook open on my desktop.
  11. #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnH59
    Check if there are any updates. I had the same problem awhile back. I checked for updates and there was one. Once I updated, I have not had a problem at all. It's been a couple of months now. I'm not sure what version I am running. I'm not at my office where the client is running. We do run Exchange and I don't have to keep Outlook open on my desktop.
    I DL'ed the latest version before I did the installation. I think the problem I was seeing was related to my VPN settings and not BC. I am running Microsoft's VPN on the PC. Once I disabled "Use Default Gateway on Remote" in the general tab of advanced network settings (Win2K) everything worked very well.

    Jeff
  12. #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by JDA
    I don't think BC lets you accept/reject meeting requests on the Treo but Versamail will let you do that.
    BC does let you accept/reject meeting requests on the TREO
    I'm running BC version 6.3.1.506 on the TREO. The meeting request have a tiny little clock icon instead of envelope for meeting.

    BC will also let you grab files from a pre-selected directory (or network drive) and email it or view it (viewing limited to the their text stripping viewer) so I just use the trick of mailing to Snappermail to read/edit with Docs-to-go [of course you can do similar send-yourself-a-file with Win-Hand. Better yet you can open/read/edit it on your pc using Win-Hand - no sending it to yourself to use Docs-to-Go].

    I don't see difference in GAL vs. contacts speed - they're both a little slow. I get a lot of mail so I just turn off all the alerts - so don't have annoying ping for new mail or deletes.


    BTW, at the TREO roadshow in chicago, I talked with SEVEN, they claimed they have a version that works with Docs-to-GO; however it is up to the carrier (Sprint) to roll out. So that probably means next year
    Palm Pre and a nice collection of Treos: 755p, 700, 650, 600, 300 and Palm Pilots, Visors, and Sony Clie
  13. #13  
    David, how many contacts do you have on your Treo? I have about 2000, and the speed difference vs. GAL is dramatic
  14. #14  
    For automated BC operation, I have Macro Express launch my VPN client as well as BC so all I have to do is the turn the machine on in the morning and it runs through all the logins and launches necessary to start sending mail. It's great when I'm out of town; I just ask one of my kids to just turn on the machine.
  15. jda
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    #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by davidrmay
    BC does let you accept/reject meeting requests on the TREO
    I'm running BC version 6.3.1.506 on the TREO. The meeting request have a tiny little clock icon instead of envelope for meeting.
    Good, I'm glad they added that feature in. Can you now create appointments on the Treo?


    Quote Originally Posted by davidrmay
    BTW, at the TREO roadshow in chicago, I talked with SEVEN, they claimed they have a version that works with Docs-to-GO; however it is up to the carrier (Sprint) to roll out. So that probably means next year
    Yes, I did use a beta version of SEVEN at one point that let you dnload attachments directly into Docs-to-Go. I worked very well. The last Sprint BC client I used did not have that feature yet.
  16. jda
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    #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by scsanden
    I'm using VersaMail and Exchange (ActiveSync). I just noticed when I added an appointment to my treo's stock calendar it won't update on my PC's Outlook.
    I would run into this problem from time to time. When it happened I would just reconfigure Versamail on the Treo so it would re-download all of the messages and appointments. That would usually do the trick. I never could figure out what would cause the initial problem.
  17. #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by mc2714
    David, how many contacts do you have on your Treo? I have about 2000, and the speed difference vs. GAL is dramatic
    good point. I have about 700. The lookup in contacts was faster on Treo 600. Now with Treo 650 lookup to contacts is slower. For me, the lookup to GAL just takes time, too. However, it is nice to get distribution lists, etc. that cannot be kept in contacts. I tend to use them both and I wish they were both faster (especially since the processor doubled - it seems the vaunted new memory has too many downsides to speed for the one not so needed feature of 'not losing anything when you drain battery' - sorry I digress).

    I guess the best feature (since I find both above too slow) is that the address lookup in BC remembers your looks up and builds a hotlist of all past used addresses you find and used from either method. So after while, I find I use that and don't have to use either lookup method.

    (Just to repeat that because bit confusing ... if you go to the GAL & put in Smith that returns 5 people with Smith, the one you actually select and use will then be on the hotlist. The hotlist is a mix of addresses find & used from the GAL and Contacts)
    Palm Pre and a nice collection of Treos: 755p, 700, 650, 600, 300 and Palm Pilots, Visors, and Sony Clie
  18. #18  
    I'd have to agree w/ pretty much everything David said (I haven't had my Treo long enough for the BC hotlist to be well populated yet though)

    I'm a bit dubious about blaming the slow lookup speed on NVFS, though. Versamail accesses the same contact db about 10x as fast!
  19. #19  
    Quote Originally Posted by mc2714
    I'd have to agree w/ pretty much everything David said (I haven't had my Treo long enough for the BC hotlist to be well populated yet though)

    I'm a bit dubious about blaming the slow lookup speed on NVFS, though. Versamail accesses the same contact db about 10x as fast!
    I thought that contact lookup went off to the website to get the information (all be it in the background). That's why I thought it was slow.

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