for October 2020
Here is a quick run-down on what you will find in this bulletin:
These topics will be dealt with in more detail throughout this
November 2, 2020 - Term4Sale Bump Week Starts
Every PC subscriber to Compulife can have up to 3 local zip code listings at term4sale.com (standard license subscribers can have up to 6).
A local zip code is special for 2 reasons:
1. Local zip codes cost less than "additional" zip codes which are $18 per year each. Local zip codes are only $12 per year each.
2. You can use your local zip codes, within 20 miles of your physical location, to BUMP out agents who are in better zip codes than you have. This assumes that the agent you are bumping is NOT using one of their local zip code listings in that zip code. We allow bumping to ensure that EVERY PC subscriber to Compulife gets a chance for at least one good contact from a local consumer from the term4sale website each year. If you can convert that contact into a sale then you should have more than enough money to pay for your subscription to Compulife. And if you don't get at least one contact for the 3 zip codes, you get those zip codes for FREE for the following year.
We are reminding you to mark this date and time into your calendar:
November 2, 2020 (12 noon EST)
If you have not previously BUMPED to get the best local zip codes you really need to do this.
If you have previously bumped into better zip codes, then the 3 local zip codes you have are your's for as long as you are a subscriber and continue to renew the software and zip codes.
You can only lose local zip codes if your subscription lapses.
Latest GOWIN.EXE From Latest Language Compiler
As we prepare to launch into CQS.EXE development work, our programmer Chris decided it was smart to upgrade to the latest version of the language compiler for the language that we use to produce GOWIN.EXE (and the other programs that go with our PC software product.
Our previous attempt at upgrading to the previous newest language compiler did not go well, in that we ended up with a program that had peculiar results on some older operating systems. On that occasion we were forced to revert back to the older version of the compiler and have been using it.
This time the GOWIN.EXE created by the latest compiler did not result in ANY bugs or problems. The testing during September went without problems, and so we have switched to using the new compiler. That is great news. It means as we embark on the new CQS.EXE program we will have the newest tools and capabilities available to us.
Creating Synergy Between Web and PC Versions
Our ultimate goal in creating CQS.EXE is to create a new interface for the Windows PC version of Compulife that can be closely replicated in our web based quoting tool for agents. Our current web based quoting product that our subscribers can use is called "Compulife Basic". Those who use Compulife Basic AND the Windows PC version of Compulife know that Basic is called Basic because it is very "basic". It does not do all the stuff that the PC version does. It also looks and works differently from the PC version.
Long term that is going to change. Our objective is to eventually offer all the same features and functions in the web based version of Compulife as we offer in the PC version of Compulife. With that in mind, the goal is to make both the PC and web versions of our software have a user interface that is as similar as possible. That way, whether you are using the PC version of Compulife or the web based version of Compulife the organization of menus and functions will be the same.
Building web based applications is much more limiting than Windows PC software. We just don't have the same control over options that a Windows program gives us. We will never be able to give the web version all the neat functions that we current have in the PC version. The most striking example is the right click mechanism that we use to file products to Pick 12. The ability to "right click" is NOT something we can do with a browser based program. In order to accommodate filing to Pick 12, we will need to come up with a new method for doing it, and the new Windows PC version will eventually be modified to replicate and use that same method.
IMPORTANT: That does NOT mean that the right clicking in the PC version will go away, it just means there will be two ways to do the same thing.
Making the PC and web based program do things the same way will make it easier for new users to learn the new method, which will then work the same for PC and web based software. At the same time, existing users who like and prefer to right click will be able to keep doing that just as they do now.
Reviewing Web Page Java-script Generators
Once again, the limitations as to what we can and can't do will be determined by what we can and can't do with the web based version. Chris has come to the conclusion that we need to get deeper into the Java-script programming language which many sites now use for their websites and page. He has already done that with the new term4sale pages which now employs Java-script in conjunction with our new API. That's been working well for the last couple months. The only issue we have encountered is with those using browsers where they BLOCK Java-script from working (that is a rare situation). Given we now need to go deeper with Java-script, Chris has decided to take some time and research programming tools for web page development that we hope can take us to a new level of web page sophistication.
As a result of this Chris has found the tool that Facebook developers use to design Facebook's pages and he thinks it may be the best tool for us as well. To learn more about it he is now taking courses to find out what that new tool can do. While that education process is a bit of a delay (they don't call it research and development for nothing) it is important to gain access to the best tools that we can get now, so that the programming foundation that we establish will last for as long as possible. The current development system we use for GOWIN.EXE has been around for well over 20 years which has been a very good run. We can only hope that what we come up with for the new CQS.EXE and web based software will last half that long although with the pace of change today that may not happen.
The other thing we need to think about is how the web based version looks and works when used on a desktop or laptop computer with a full monitor, versus a smaller device such as a phone which has a limited amount of screen space. Many companies have phone "app" versions of their websites or programs that look and work VERY differently from their PC versions. To the greatest degree possible we want to avoid that in the new design. We want the website version of Compulife to work as much like the PC version of the web software as possible, and for the phone variation to be a variation of that.
It's early but one of the things that I am told is that phone users like is to have all their action choices (buttons) to be on the bottom of the screen. Actually, the more I have thought about that, that's also true for PC users when you think about the "task bar" which appears on the bottom of your computer screen. That task bar on the bottom of the screen is a series of buttons/tabs that show all the programs that you currently have open on your computer. Using the bottom of the screen you can click on those buttons/tabs to switch between the programs you have open. Why not do the same within our program?
We think it makes sense that our software move to a menu system that puts menu options on the bottom of the page. Think of this as the "task menu" for the app. Those of you who already use Compulife Basic know that after you click the "Compare Now" button there is a blue option bar that appears on the bottom of the screen. We plan to build on that concept and work toward putting the menu options on the same bar on the first screen, and then replicating that with a similar menu system in the new PC version. That way you are looking for the same option symbols on the bottom of the screen, whether you are running the PC version or the web based version.
With the wider screen on the PC version, that bottom task menu will be expanded into a left hand menu column on the page. If you are on a phone, and the screen is too narrow to display the left hand menu, you can click on a menu button to display that menu over top of your current screen.
For example, if you are in Windows, and you click on the start button in the lower left corner of your screen, you get a menu. That will be where we locate the menu button in our program (in the bottom left corner of the window). The menu button will be the same as most website's now use and it is fondly called the called the hamburger button and looks like this:
In Compulife, when you click on that button a menu will appear as a left hand column of menu options, that starts from the bottom and goes up. I you want to know what I mean, try "right clicking" on your Windows start menu, and you will get a single column of options that appear on a menu. That menu will look something like this:
Now we don't care for the white letters on black background, I am I am just trying to help you see how conceptually it is going to work.
Actually, the menu I am thinking of will look much more like this:
Imagine in that example that this is NOT the bottom of your windows display, but this is the bottom of the Compulife program screen. In the bottom left hand corner of Compulife's page you will NOT see the Windows 7 start button but the hamburger menu button (which will be above the start button within our program). To the right of that, across the bottom of the page, will be the action icons for the Compulife menu. You will have buttons for single product display, comparison, Pick 12, etc. In the menu (if/when displayed) you will see the same icons with a description of the function of each icon displayed. You can click the icons on the bottom of the screen, or from the menu on the left.
Another web page that shows this concept is www.youtube.com. If you go there in the very top left corner of the page you will see the hamburger menu button. If you click it a menu appears on the left of the page. In our software that menu button will be at the bottom of the screen, although we may put a duplicate in the top left. Regardless, when you click the button the menu will appear. If you are on a PC desktop with a large display screen, and you have made your Compulife window wide enough, the menu can remain open. However, when you run this on a narrow screen like a phone, the menu will not appear automatically or remain open. You screen will have the menu button in the bottom left corner, and if you want the menu you just click the hamburger button. Otherwise, if you know what icon you want, you can click on that icon on the bottom of the program window and you will get that function.
Once again, to the right of the hamburger menu button will be other, popular menu options such as comparison, single product display, pick 12, etc.
The same structure will appear whether you are using the PC or web based software, and whether you are running the web based software on a phone or a PC with a larger display.
And we should mention that it's early days and these ideas may change before they are finalized. If you have any thoughts or concern about this new menu concept, now is the time to let us know. You can call Bob at 888-798-3488 or send us your thoughts by email at:
CQS.EXE Will Replace GOWIN.EXE
CQS.EXE will be the new program that will feature these changes for your PC computer. CQS.EXE replace GOWIN.EXE but you will have both for a period. CQS.EXE and the future web based version of Compulife will look, feel and function the same way.
One thing Compulife is NOT going to do is to offer "apps" (computer programs) for devices that are not Windows PC compatible. There will be no Apple or Android apps. Those using devices that are NOT Windows PC, will need to use the web based quoting software. As we have stated, the long term goal is to offer what we have for a PC in a web based application that you can run online using your web based device. That will naturally include all non-Windows hardware such as Mac computers, Android notebooks, etc. If you have an internet connection, and a browser, you will be able to run that version as you can run CQS Basic now.
The changes to CQS.EXE will not be all encompassing. What we will be doing is replacing the two initial windows, the Red Menu and the Client Entry window, with a new single window that reorganizes the client screen, the menus and sub menus such as "Manage Product Database" and "Options". All those things will be accessible from buttons at the bottom of the Client entry window. All of the functions and options that you have now will be preserved, you will just have a new way to get at them. Once again, the look, feel and functionality of the new client entry screen will be based upon what can and cannot be done with a browser based version, so that they will be as close to being the same as possible.
As explained in previous bulletins, rolling out a new CQS.EXE before the data restructuring is done is to give you more time to play with the new system, to learn that system and to provide feedback and suggestions that can be implemented well in advance of the data conversion which is the next job. You will have BOTH GOWIN.EXE and CQS.EXE for a transitional period, and so those that like the old program, or who get stuck on something with the new program, will be able to swap back and forth.
Eventually CQS.EXE will be pointed from old data files to the new data files. We have talked about the need for the data conversion in previous bulletins, and have reached the point where that needs to be done. Once that job is accomplished, we will be able to expand and improve the say we are able to quote.
After the new file system is introduced, we will offer both new and old for a transitional period. GOWIN.EXE will use the old data files, CQS.EXE will then use the new data files. Eventually, when we are certain that there are no issues with the new system, the old system will be ended.
Our Current Programming Plans for 2020
The following is the current order for new work that we will be doing in 2020:
Introduction of New PC Version: CQS.EXE
Overhaul Of Current Product Data Files
Introduction of Compulife Basic Plus (with Pick 12)
Anyone with questions about any of these upcoming projects can call Bob Barney to discuss:
Please don't email me essay questions, just call. If I'm not in, email me your phone number, I'll call you.
These planned objectives will easily consume our programming time during 2020. The good news is that once the product data files have been converted, and we have introduced the new CQS.EXE, and upgraded our internet engine to use the new data files, Compulife will be turning it's full attention to our web based, Compulife Basic software. The long term goal is to have a web based product that does everything our PC based software does.