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Open Contacts


System Requirements

  • PII or above, 128M
  • Windows 2000/XP/2003/Vista/Windows 7 
  • Latest Windows patches
  • Email clients such as Outlook Express, Netscape Mail, Mozilla, or MS-Outlook [Optional] 
  • Web browsers such as Internet Explorer, Mozilla, Netscape, or Firefox [Optional]
  • Windows Phone Dialer, Skype [Optional]
  • MS Excel [Optional]

To share the database in Local Area Network, a standalone Firebird database server should be installed on a host machine where the database file is saved.


Run "setup.exe" in the zip file and follow the prompts.

Generally, you need to be a power user or administrator to install the program files, or you may run the setup program as administrator on a normal user log on.

Open Contacts works on a working directory which contains your data files and templates. After installing the program, you may see that the installer created a shortcut called "New Open Contacts Book" on the desktop for all users. Open Contacts conforms to Windows security models, and after installation, users can use the program in LUA mode (as Windows normal users).


If you run "setup.exe" for updating existing program, please note that the setup program has no knowledge of working directories that you created after last installation. If the updated version introduces updated templates, you may need to manually update the Templates directory of your working directories with the Templates directory under ProgramDirectory\Dataset\Templates.


Go to [Control Panel -> Add or Remove Programs], select Open Contacts respectively, and click the Remove button. The program will then be removed.

Please note, the shortcuts created for working directories won't be uninstalled as they are not created by the installer. In addition, working directories of address books won't be removed, and you may need to manually delete them.

Portable Installation

If you prefer using Open Contacts on a portable storage like USB memory flash disk, you may use a special made package called and extract the files to a directory in the portable storage.

While Open Contacts was designed to be portable since day one, the package is optimized for PortableApps, which generally requires a proxy program. To install for PortableApp Menu, simply extract the files into a new directory for example OpenContacts under PortableAppsRoot\PortableApps and refresh app icons of ProtableApp Menu.

Even if you don't use PortableApps Menu, you may simply double click on OpenContacts.exe (proxy program) in the root which will eventually calls App\Program\OpenContacts.exe (actual Open Contacts main program). 

The proxy program simply asks Open Contacts to use PortableAppsRoot\PortableApps\OpenContacts\Data as working directory.

Twisting Portable Installation

As Open Contacts was designed to be portable, it is not compulsory to use a proxy program. You may, however, use an existing installation on your PC to make a portable installation:

  1. Copy YourPC\Program Files\OpenContacts with all program files to a directory for example "OpenContacts" in the portable storage.
  2. Go to the working directory, select all contents, and copy/paste them to the "OpenContacts" directory. Open Contacts will eventually use the program directory in the portable storage as working directory.
  3. In Main.INI located in the portable storage, make sure the value of field Database contains no absolute file path and value of DisableCOM is 1.


By default, Open Contacts will provide COM interfaces for other applications such as Google Desktop Open Contacts Plug-in to call. However, you might not want your program interacting with other programs of the host computer, so it is better to tell Open Contacts not to publish COM interfaces in advance. To do so, make sure in the INI file "DisableCOM=1". Without providing COM service, the memory footprint of the program will use around 300KB less.

With option DisableCOM on, Open Contacts will not write permanent data to Windows Registry.

To find out more about portable applications, please visit In particular, Open Contact can interact well with Portable Thunderbird.

In addition, if you don't want to run through these manual steps, you may download Portable OC Creator which will make a portable version of your locally installed Open Contacts. This program basically analyzes the shortcut through which you use launch locally installed Open Contacts in order to locate the program directory and the working directory, then copy the files of both directories to the destination directory with properly re-organized sub-directories.


  • Database engine: Firebird Embedded, or Firebird
  • Maximum database size: 2 or 4 GB
  • Numbers of data fields: unlimited
  • Length of field value: 128 bytes
  • Length of field name: 36 bytes
  • Numbers of sections: unlimited
  • Length of section name: 36 bytes
  • Levels of categories: unlimited
  • Length of category name: 64 bytes
  • Numbers of links between a contacts and others: unlimited
  • Length of relationship name: 64 bytes