Easy Contacts - FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Last Updated: March 12, 2012
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- 1. What is Easy Contacts?
- Easy Contact Management (ECM) is a web based contact management information system. With ECM, you can manage the contacts for both individuals and organizations and associate persons with institutions. Each record has its own protection level (up to 6) and users have matching roles to protect sensitive data if any. Flexible search with csv export is available in addition to several pre-configured reports.
- 2. How to get Easy Contacts?
- A. Download ECM.zip - zip file, 2 MB (1,988,577 bytes, updated March 14, 2012), unblock it (right-click, properties, security section, unblock) and extract/unzip it to a temporary folder. Setup instructions are in the Easy Contacts Setup Guide (in PDF format). See question 5 for system requirements.
- 3. How do I register my Easy Contacts copy, and how much does it cost?
- A. If you decide to buy the full version of Easy Contacts, you provide us with your Client ID and get a license key.
You will find a link to purchase Easy Contacts online under the About tab (in your copy, not this demo - which will also display your Client ID).
Make sure you enter your Client ID carefully with your order (the Client ID box is on the checkout screen). Your license is sent immediately after you place your order.
See the screen shot to the right for the location of the Client ID, order link and where to enter your license key. After you enter your license key, you should see the word
(Registered) next to your Client ID and no further text shows. There is no user limitation on the license (for the same sub-web application).
Online (secure) orders of Easy Contacts cost $350 (one time payment, unlimited users). Payment options: credit card, PayPal or wire transfer.
Our e-commerce provider is FastSpring. Any applicable discounts appear on the orders page.
- 4. Do we need special hardware or software or Internet Connection or a public website?
- A. Short answer is no. You do need at least one computer with licensed operating system and enough disk space to store your database. Some additional updates may need to be installed (all are free). Easy Contacts works on a single computer, or over a network (local or public). If you want to share contacts outside a local network, you can host it on a public website.
- 5. What are the system requirements?
- A. Before installing Easy Contacts, you should have the target computer ready. This will include an installed copy of .Net Framework 4 or
later (release, not beta), MVC3 Framework or later (release), a copy of MS SQL Server Express 2005 or later with preference to SQL Server Express 2008 R2
(or your own licensed copy if you have one), SQL server user account with db creator role and a functioning (within your environment) default website
on IIS 7 or later or IIS Express. For the operating system, a 64 bit Windows server 2008 is recommended although Windows 7 Professional is adequate. You will
need enough hard disk space to store your files and your backups. There is no memory recommendation except that needed by the operating system. The frameworks,
MS SQL Server Express and IIS Express are free, you just need a licensed operating system (including client access for your users).
To check if .Net4 is installed, use the MS official article: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/318785/en-us (or check an application pool properties in IIS, the .Net Framework version drop down). For MVC3, unless you know already it is installed, you can just go ahead and install it (basically, the application will fail if it is not installed with an error that reads, in the message section (Parser Error Message), something like: "Could not load file or assembly System.Web.Mvc"). You may also see "404 - File or directory not found" based on the configuration file (default).
- 6. What are the limitations of the trial version of Easy Contacts?
- A. The trial version has full functionality, but it is limited to 25 contact records (individuals).
- 7. Where can I download the required updates?
- A. It is recommended to use the Web Platform Installer (http://www.microsoft.com/web/downloads/platform.aspx) first. This will make installation of other updates easier. Dot Net 4 is at http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?displaylang=en&id=17851 (web install) or http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/confirmation.aspx?id=17718 (download), IIS Express: http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=1038, MVC3: http://www.microsoft.com/web/gallery/install.aspx?appid=MVC3 (web install) or http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=4211 (download). Notice that MVC3 requires .Net4 to be installed already. For sql server express: http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?displaylang=en&id=26729 (SQLEXPRADV_x64_ENU.exe is the 64 bit and SQLEXPRADV_x86_ENU.exe is the 32 bit - get the 64 if your operating system is 64 bit).
- 8. I am using IE (Internet Explorer) or another browser/web agent and the interface looks awful. What can I do?
- A. Easy Contacts uses parts of the HTML 5 standard (working draft to be accurate). Earlier versions of IE do not have full standards support, but IE9 and later are fine. Easy Contacts does not have any preference in terms of web browsers and it is not enhanced to work with a certain browser. You just use browser of personal preference (unless your organization has browser policy). If you already have FireFox, you can use it instead (or upgrade IE). You may also use Chrome. We implemented a work-around to support IE7/8 and you may be able to use those versions as well.
- 9. Can we change the colors and/or logo?
- A. Colors and the user interface in general is controlled by a style sheet (EasyContacts.css). A few other styles are set in EasyContacts js files. You should not try to adjust the styles if you do not have enough technical experience (make a backup copy of the original files first). The logo.png is a 80 by 80 pixels image and you may replace it by your institution logo of same size. You can change the display name (Easy Contacts) under the logo by setting the OrganizationName key in the web.config file. Changing both logo and display name may violate the license terms. Issues arising from logo and style changes are not eligible for technical support.
- 10. We have our site (domain) hosted with a commercial hosting service and would like to use Easy Contacts online, can we?
- A. Yes (in most cases). This will depend on features enabled by your hosting provider or provided by your control panel or other self-service configuration interface. You will need access to MS SQL server (regular or express) and most Windows hosting providers offer either or both. You also need to make sure the server has the .Net framework 4 or later and MVC3 framework or later.
- 11. The font size, especially on my laptop, is very small and very large on a desktop. What can I do?
- A. Most browsers have a zoom in or magnify functionality. Try CTRL+ (CONTROL and + keys together) to increase font size and CTRL- to decrease it. You can do that several times to get the size you want. To reset the size back to default value, user CTRL0 (zero)
- 12. We use both Arabic and English or only Arabic. Does Easy Contacts support other languages?
- A. Although the user interface is in English, you can use Arabic as well. Other languages are supported, but we are using English as a standard language for communication at this time.
- 13. What is that Remember Me! checkbox on the login screen?
- A. usually, if you walk away from your screen or do not use the system for a while, your session will time out and you will be asked to re-login. With Remember Me! checked, you ask the system to keep you logged in for a longer period. You should determine whether or not to use this feature based on your security environment (ex. not if you log in from a public pc).
- 14. I can't get the application to install. I just get "500 internal server error" when I try to run the application
- A. If you have access to IIS manager, try to check (do not make changes) an item like Connection Strings under ASP.Net. You will be notified if the configuration file in invalid. Also, make sure the parent site is working correctly.
- 15. How do I know about updates to Easy Contacts?
- A. The download file ecm.zip in question 2 is the latest version.
If you have already downloaded and installed Easy Contacts 1.05, you can download the latest ecm.zip file and only replace the contents of the /bin folder in your web application. Occasionally, you will need to replace files in the /Content and /scripts folders as well. Make sure you replace these especially if you notice odd behavior in the presentation (make copies of any customized files first). No changes to the database unless explicitly specified here.
- 16. Can we customize the help system?
- A. The help files are static html files. You can edit or expand them (or even change the language) if you know how to work with html. It is recommended to make backup copies in case you break something (will not affect the application functionality, but the affected help file will not display correctly). Another easy option is to edit the EasyContactsDataEntryGuide.pdf file in the help folder for both guidelines and how to.
- 17. I still have a question (ex. having problems installing Easy Contacts)
- A. If you have any questions related to Easy Contacts, please feel free to contact us.
For setup help, please refer to the Easy Applications Setup Guide (detailed steps, with screenshots).
If your question is related to installation issues, please include relevant information (error messages, operating system, when error occurs ... etc.).