Contacts Cleaner Review – A Must Have Says BlackberryCool.com

July 3rd, 2011

Kyle McInnes, popular blogger and company founder, gave us a tremendous compliment this past month. In his blog on BlackberryCool.com, he says, Contacts Cleaner “ was one of the best app purchases I have ever made”.   He goes on to say that Contacts Cleaner found over 35,000 entries and 15,000 duplicates in his address book. These duplicates were ruining his address book and came from the fact that he has around 15 Google Apps accounts connected to his device.  With the use of Contacts Cleaner, he was able to remove the duplicates easily and with positive results.

He outlines how using Contacts Cleaner is one of the simplest experiences one could ever have with a BlackBerry app and that it is a must-have appliation for anyone who has duplicate contacts. He contacted us and told us that Contacts Cleaner is so valuable that he would have paid $10.00 for the app as opposed to the listed 99 cents.  It is really rewarding to receive this type of feedback from a well-respected individual in the industry!

Amazon Event Notification Web Service – Java SDK ivy dependicies

April 3rd, 2011

Event Notification Web Service (ENS) is an interesting Amazon API.  It was launched in 2007 and seems to have a mixed history.  It is really not clear if this is supported or not.  The published documentation is minimal:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/ref=hp_bc_nav?ie=UTF8&nodeId=200122950

The forum has no Amazon folks in sight:

http://www.amazonsellercommunity.com/forums/forum.jspa?forumID=31&start=0

Some of the older APIs that have been abandoned clearly state that fact in the forum.   For example, the Amazon Inventory Management (AIM) API is superseded by MWS:

http://www.amazonsellercommunity.com/forums/forum.jspa?forumID=30

I think this API has been abandoned without such a post.  This API seems to be supported by folks from Seller Ceneteral and not AWS.  Maybe this is a relic of a internal power struggle with ENS getting the short end of the stick.

In any case, a java SDK can be downloaded as an eclipse project from here:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/ref=hp_rel_topic?ie=UTF8&nodeId=200125000

The main issue with getting the project to compile is that the required jars are not included.  Here is a ivy dependency list that worked for me:

<dependencies>
<dependency org=”commons-httpclient” name=”commons-httpclient” rev=”3.1″ />
<dependency org=”org.apache.axis” name=”axis” rev=”1.4″/>
<dependency org=”javax.xml.ws” name=”jaxws-api” rev=”2.0″/>
<dependency org=”com.sun.xml.ws” name=”jaxws-rt” rev=”2.1.3″/>
<dependency org=”com.sun.xml.ws” name=”jaxws-tools” rev=”2.1.3″/>
<dependency org=”xalan” name=”xalan” rev=”2.7.1″/>
<dependency org=”org.apache.cxf” name=”cxf-bundle-minimal” rev=”2.2.3″/>
<dependency org=”commons-discovery” name=”commons-discovery” rev=”0.4″/>
<dependency org=”javax.xml” name=”jaxrpc-api” rev=”1.1″/>
</dependencies>

The one other issue is that the source code refeers to:

javax.xml.bind.annotation.AccessorType

in a few places.  Change this to:

javax.xml.bind.annotation.XmlAccessorType

and you should be off to the races.

Beaver Creek Consulting’s App Makes top Five

February 7th, 2011

Contacts Cleaner, our Blackberry App, made InMov.com’s Top 5 Paid App list. The author said that he is always on the lookout for the best Blackberry Apps on AppWorld and greatly enjoyed our $2.99 App which cleans your address book.

He is basing his short list based on reviews and his own experience. The other apps that we share the spotlight with include: Personal Assistant Premium, Conservative Survival Pocket Guide, BuzzOff.

You can read more on InfoMov’s site.

Contacts Cleaner News Roundup

January 30th, 2011

Our BlackBerry app for removing duplicate contacts, Contacts Cleaner, had a couple of notable mentions this week.  We had a mention on the dummies website!  That is dummies as in Brilliant BlackBerry Apps For Dummies, which is part of the dummies book series.  Here is the link to the dummies review of Contacts Cleaner:

http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/blackberry-apps-for-maintenance-tasks.html

Contacts Cleaner was also mentioned in a forum post on how to remove duplicates from your address book:

http://www.blackberryforums.com/general-9700-series-discussion-bold-2/244173-my-contacts-appears-3-times-each-how-can-i-fix-problem.html

The final piece of news is that we have a new and improved online help and support center for Contacts Cleaner:

http://beavercreekconsulting.com/contacts-cleaner/help-and-support.html

Amazon Integration Services – The Technology Stack

January 27th, 2011

I just finished up an Amazon integration project for FBADirect.com.  The client does a large volume of business on Amazon and also uses Amazon FBA for fulfillment.  We created a web based application where our client could create Amazon listing.  The application creates bulk listings and also schedules shipments into FBA.  We provided the entire solution from requirements and analysis to deployment on Amazon’s EC2 cloud.

I wanted to talk a little bit about the technology I used.  I picked grails since time is money, I’m a JEE developer and I like Perl.  Okay, so I use groovy now instead of Perl so grails seemed like a nice choice.

Grails rocks.  I built a mid-sized domain model with about 20 tables (Items, Skus, Orders, Inventory, Customers, etc) and let grails generate the rest of the application. The default CRUD web application solved 90% of the customer’s needs.

The biggest challenge was integrating with Amazon’s  Market Place Web Service and FBA Web Service interfaces.  I used the Amazon Java client which seemed to be a straight forward web service binding.

Other parts of the tools set  included the SpringSource Tool Suite and a several grails plugins such as quartz for batch job scheduling  and for the spring security core for user management.

The one bump in the tool chain was a database version tracking.  Next time I’ll use the grails liquibase plugin.

App Gets a Section on New Book – Now Sold on Amazon

January 10th, 2011

We just received three copies of a book that highlights the Contacts Cleaner App. We received a whole section in a newly released book called Brilliant Blackberry Apps by Corey Sandler. It is part of the Dummies series which has been a huge hit since 1991 and has over 200 million books in print.

Contacts Cleaner in Brilliant Blackberry Apps Book

Brilliant Blackberry Apps - Contacts Cleaner

Contacts Cleaner received a section and sits along-side of prestigious apps such as LinkedIn, Weatherbug, Skymall, Time Magazine, Sports Illustrated, CNN Money, Bank of America Mobile,Google Maps and Paypal.

This book is on sale at Amazon or on the Wiley site for $18.99.  You can, also, download this onto your Kindle.  Overall, this book is great resource that lists the all of the best apps for a BlackBerry user to try out and make the most of his/her SmartPhone and we’re excited to have a section that outlines our Contacts Cleaner App!

Amazon Integration Services – The details

December 31st, 2010

We recently completed an Amazon integration project.  I suspect that “integration project” might leave you wondering what exactly we did.  So here are the details of the solution we provided.

The client needed to list a lot of products on Amazon, i.e. a couple thousand products at a time.  We wrote a web-based application where the client could upload an inventory file.  The file described each product with a UPC or ASIN a SKU, price, quantity, etc.  Our application then creates the listing on Amazon for each product.

Our application automates the steps an Amazon merchant goes through at seller central to upload an inventory file.  Our solution makes uploading inventory an easy process and will scale up to thousands of products.  This helps the merchant to avoid the pain of using the clunky Amazon interface which is time consuming and manual.  Also, we can create a custom adapter that pulls the products from your database or whatever back-end system  you use.

Our client was also using Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA).   As part of the same system we automated  the assignment of Amazon fulfillment network identifiers (FN SKU), notification to FBA of inbound shipments and checking for shipment receipt at the Amazon FBA warehouse.

If you are finding yourself fighting with a large number of products and your IT system is not up to the task of maintaining your Amazon listing, contact us for a free evaluation.

Amazon Integration Services

December 16th, 2010

We are happy to announce that we are now offering Amazon integration services.  If you are doing business on Amazon and need to connect your back office system to Amazon we can help you out.

For our most recent project we automated the business processes of a mid-sized book wholesaler.  The wholesaler’s biggest challenge was that inventory tended to spend too many days in the warehouse.   This had a direct impact on the bottom line as space utilization and turnover rates are key metrics for the business.

Some of the delays were due to a complex re-packaging and labeling process.  The majority of the delays were in communication and coordinating with external parties involved in the transaction.

In conjunction with the wholesaler we analyzed and re-engineered the business process.  The net result was an 80% improvement in utilization and turnover rate.

The key features our system provides are automated listings on the Amazon market place and seamless integration with Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA).  We have a solution that automates communication with third parties and provides bar code labeling for shipments.  Our integration services can help Amazon sellers to have seamless back office processes which, fundamentally, will impact their bottom line!

Groovy Corner – Software Solutions Designed by Beaver Creek Consulting

December 16th, 2010

The world of buying books is an ever-shifting landscape.  A company called Groovy Corner has partnered with Amazon and I noticed that they always seem to have the cheapest prices on popular book titles.

They are using a software system that allows for instant communication with their third party vendors.  It, also, provides for immediate labeling which allows a book wholesaler to ship to an Amazon shipment service.   The particular software, that accomplishes this task, works behind the scenes in order to compete with other vendors in terms of pricing and positioning.  Groovy Corner seems to be one of the few vendors that has this service right now, but I’m sure that other retailers will begin to compete very quickly.  Inevitably, the end result will be cheaper products delivered to us which is what the smart shopper continues to seek.

I have become a loyal buyer of Groovy Corner only because it seems as though they are at the top of any category of items that they sell within Amazon in terms of quality, price and ratings.  The benefits of automated software keep getting better and better for an end user like me and I wanted to share this tip while it’s current!

Beaver Creek Consulting Launches its Forum

December 8th, 2010

There are over 35,000 users of Contacts Cleaner and all have arrived during the first 10 months of its launch. Because of this, Beaver Creek Consulting has chosen to create a forum in order to address the community’s questions. We are committed to uniting our customers by opening up this platform to share tips and tricks. Built for the iPhone and the Blackberry, Contacts Cleaner addresses people who have a cluttered and confusing address book. Since each smartphone operates in a different manner, we encourage the community to share, learn and grow together.

2010 has been a phenomenal year for Beaver Creek Consulting and we are happy that we have created a product that is in high demand. It is our desire that this new forum will benefit our customers and that it answers your needs.

We invite you to share your ideas and thoughts with other community members at beavercreekconsulting.com/forums.