Sunday, January 21, 2007



Many users are concerned by the security of address book data. While security is essential to privacy of you and your contacts, it is more practical for you to understand what security level you need, and what resources available for security, while there are many security solutions around.

An SQL database can be secured when authentication mechanism is sound and the database files are kept in a safe place. If the files got stolen, the authentication mechanism will be lost. While it is not rare to encrypt data in a database, however, this will bring penalty to performance, and queries will be made difficult.

Data security is a big topic not likely to be discussed here in detail. Though Open Contacts does not provide built-in security, however, it is easy to use existing resources to introduce certain level of security to Open Contacts.

If you use Open Contacts in LAN environment, you may put the database file in a secured server. Client machines should not be able to access the database file directly, but through Firebird database server. Please work with your system administrator to improve data security. If the contact data contain linked files, the directories of these files should allow client machines to access.

If you use Open Contacts in desktop mode, you has better to run your account in LUA mode, and put the database files into a folder exclusively accessed by your account.

If you use Open Contacts in an external drive, you many consider to use an open source freeware program called TrueCrypt located at TrueCrypt also support green installation on an external drive. You may then put Open Contacts and related files to the encrypted storage managed by TrueCrypt. Please study the TrueCrypt website for more details.

Please note, we do not provide technical supports to general questions of Windows, LUA, encryption and TrueCrypt etc.

Letters about Security

Do you plan to add AES grade security to your contacts program?

Thanks Jim

As you might be aware, encryption inside database is not desired regarding to performance, especially about searching data.

From comprehensive point of view, you also need to protect other data. Are you going to ask all vendors of programs of these data to add encryption to these programs? Obviously not, an quick and easy and cheap solution is to use Truecrypt, which is freeware, easy to use. I used it in my usb memory stick. Truecrypt uses AES, and can provide a secure storage for all your sensitive data and programs. Using Windows LUA settings and TrueCrypt, almost all your security issues will be resolved. Please search Truecrypt for details.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Letters about Importing

When I try to import my MS Outlook contacts to Open Contacts it gives me the following message: EIntcastError – Interface not supported While importing from outlook

How do I solve this problem and import my contacts?

You had sub-groups in the contact list. Please download the latest version 3.7.6 or above to resolve.

Do you have any solutions / suggestions for sharing the contact data over the net? I like to synchronize my info at one source and have it accessible from any computer (Google contacts or Yahoo Addressbook for example).


Hi Scott

Currently you may use CSV for importing/exporting data with Google contacts and Yahoo addressbook, while we do have plan to sync. with them, however, it is up to them to decide whether to provide on-line sync interfaces with Open Contacts. Open Contacts does support vCard and SyncML for synchronizing with other address books and devices, so in long run, better supports for sync can be done, but not with Fonlow alone. As a customer, you may suggest Google and Yahoo to provide better sync interfaces.

I tried to make more sections than whats showing in the window but no links appears..

Hi Lars

OK. I just uploaded v3.7.3.390, which fixed some issues found by you. I also improve the importing of vCard, so the fields created from vCard and other data sources will also be translated as well. Please find the attached PO file which contain a bit more new strings, mostly for vCard importing. You may merge this PO file with your translated PO file, just make sure you backup the translated one first.

In addition,

In folder "Templates", there is file "ExportVCard.xml" for exporting records to vCard files. This XML file defines the mapping from Open Contact data fields to vCard data fields. The translation is straightforward generally, and you should pay more attention to these two lines:

<line type="a" s="Personal" a="map" vch="ADR;HOME" />
<line type="a" s="Work" a="map" vch="ADR;WORK" />

You may translate the section name, but leave a="map" alone. Open Contacts supports single-line address and multi-line address. So Open Contacts will just organize address fields of the "map" action type.


Very good application! Thanks for sharing it!

There is an useful option in the app Open Contacts v3.7.3.377

Option: Import/Export -> Exporting to vCard -> Multiple contacts in one vCard file

Possible Bug: The app freezes when importing a vCard file with multiple contacts in one vCard file.

Can you verify it?
Is it easy to implement/repair?



Though vCard standard supports multiple vCard in one file, so far most main stream PIM programs support one vcard per file, as mentioned in the hint.

You are not suppose to import vCard files exported by OC. Nevertheless, I will make OC to abort when getting such vCard file safely.

John Lloyd Davies wrote:

I love the idea of your program but am having difficulty in importing contact information from excel. Do I import persons first then re-import companies?

The links to my email client and skype are wonderful but I need my import to work.
What detailed information would you like? I am running XP Home, Office 2003.
If your contacts are in an Excel files, save them to CSV first. The create a mapping file in XML to map CSV fields to Open Contacts fields, then import the CSV with the mapping. Please read the manual for detail. Though the job is not easy, this is just one-off.

Letters about Importing CSV

That’s just the thing though—the preview shows it as ok but the import breaks it. I also tried reimporting it with just my name written over and over, plain text- quite a simple process with no special characters. It gave an error, and now in the notes field it shows:

azim azim azim azim azim azim azim azim azim azim azim azim azim azim azim azim a5D25F in module 'OpenContacts.exe'. Read of address 00000000

It seems that there is some buffer overflow when it does the actual import, as it seems to “break” and truncate the text at the same point no matter what the text is—about 80-85 characters into the text.

That's right, around 80 characters for each field.

As I said, CSV is not solid. MS Excel can not handle your csv file well. The thing I can do is to make the error message more meaningful.

If you want to import legacy data, better to export them to XML file of Open Contacts' schema.

I am trying to import information from an Excel spreadsheet into Open Contacts. I have the Excel spreadsheet saved in CSV format. I go through the process to import it into Open Contacts. I have a template, I import the CSV file, and then when I actually try to import the data, I have a problem. I can only import data from the very first row from the Excel spreadsheet – it will not let me select any other row. When I do try to pick another line, it diverts back to the first line and tells me that I have a duplicate record, and when I tell it to skip and continue, nothing happens. I still cannot pick another row.

I think your program is great – and it would make my life so much easier if I could import from Excel.

Help! Tell me what I need to do!!


Ellen McWhirter

So far you have done well following the manual. However, there are some limitation of importing, comparing with other advanced database import utilities.
1. Import only all data in the CSV file. You can't pick any line, so you have better tailor your csv files first.
2. The csv data shown in the Import window is for your reference to make some temp changes. The UI is not for you to pick any line to import

Don't worry that the template is not yet perfect, you can undo the last import as long as you keep the import window open.

Tomas D. wrote:
Thank you very much the answer - I managed to define the template and
export the data into CSV file (though all the data conected with the
particular contact are just in one box...I am not quite sure if that
is the proper result) but I still encounter the problem with exporting
the data into excel file - while doing that I first open the tempalte
XML file and then when trying to save the Excel file the error warning

"default.xlt could not be found. Check the spelling of the file name,
and verify that file location is correct.
If you are trying to open the file from your list of most recently
used files on the File menu, make sure that the file has not been
renamed, moved or deleted"

I do not quite understand this message because I creating the Excel
file for data export for the first time, so there should not be any
such message.
I checked the manual but could not find any clue.

Thank you very much for your help

2006/9/2, Support :
Tomas D. wrote:
> Dear Madam or Sir,
> I am very satisfied with the Open Contacts software, but I do
> experience one very serious problem. When I want to export the contact
> data into Excel (REPORTS-EXPORT TO CV/EXCEL-TO EXCEL - XML File with
> export template) at the end of this procedure I always encounter the
> Error Message saying that:
> Object: TactionMainMenuBar EdomParseError The system cannot locate the
> object specified. Line 0
> In this way I cannot export and subsequently store my contact data. I
> will be very grateful whether you could advice me in which way I could
> solve the problem.
> Thank you very much
> T.Danhel
The XML file is a template for mapping Open Contacts fields to CSV/Excel
fields you desired. After you design the template, you can export
selected contacts to CSV files. Please read the user manual for details.

Hi Tomas

Yes, creating a mapping is not an easy job. Fortunately this is one time job.

Regarding to Exporting to Excel, this is a bug. We will fix it soon. And, actually you may use Exporting to CSV, very much the same effect. Most data management programs can handle CSV.

You can export multiple sections of each contact. If you keep consistent naming convention, the exporting should be able to transferring almost all data.

As Open Contacts gives you much flexibility in organizing data, the sack back is that I can not give you a unified answer for exporting. You have to try a few times to get clues, and the learning curve is worthy. Have fun.

Dear Sirs,

I thoroughlly followed your import instructions to import a CSV file from "LotusAgenda" [or something...] but after defining the XML template and following the 3 steps, it imports NOTHING although it seems to have parsed the file, as you can see in the attached "status" screenshot. And even pressing CLOSE button does not do anything.

Importing from CSV to any other program is always a very technical issue. Apparently the mapping definition in the XML failed to impress the import engine. If you find it is still too difficult to make a proper mapping, you might consider to export the data into vCard files first, then import them.