Contact Management

Everyone seems to want to a chunk of the business that is managing all the contacts that people tend to keep these days.
You got your ACT, your Palm, your Pocket PC, your Entourage Address Book, your Outlook Address Book, your Netscape Address Book, your Mozilla Address Book, your Now-up-to-Date, your Lotus Notes, your Microsoft Exchange, your oh god knows what else. This is a list that goes on and on. To add to the troubles, there seems to be a new piece of software made by someone that comes and then some other piece of software that goes. It’s a tough deal, since people start to rely on all these things to keep track of all these people that they apparently don’t call that often, since they have to have a record of them in this system.
One of the biggest frustrations if probably ACT, since there were a lot of Apple users who used this heavily during its OS 9 incarnation and now there is no OS X version of the system, which is problematic to say the least. And think, that’s a big software manufacturer that did that. You can only imagine what some small thing like this Now-up-to-Date system that appeared around my system has been doing and where it may possibly go.
I don’t know if there is an explicitly good way to go about keeping track of all these things, but I think the best decision is to go Open Source, since A.) It’s free! B.) There’s usually a team of people that are working on it. C.) They’re usually cross-platform and work independently of any one specific operating system.
Ultimately Open Source solutions may seem self-defeating, but because they’re not working in one specific system or some proprietary database, you can modify the hell out of them and upgrade them as you may need to. So, what are some suggestions for this? Well, two of the most popular and practical ones that I’ve found have been egroupware and egs. You should check them out and see what you think. Their forums (at least as of the time of this writing) are pretty active and they’re well built. Of course, the added fact that they’re free certainly doesn’t hurt in the least as well.