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Converting Your Older ACT! Database
How would you like a program that analyzes an ACT! 6 (2004) or ACT! 5 (2000) database and in a matter of a few minutes displays a Microsoft Excel worksheet describing the work that should be done prior to conversion? All projects turn out better when time is spent on preparation. Changing from the older database platform to the newer SQL/MSDE platform can present a few problem areas that are tricky to discover. So after you have run Scan and Repair, you will want to run Red Flags.
Red Flags analyzes an ACT! 5 or 6 database to determine any potential upgrade problems prior to converting it to the current version of ACT!. It starts by creating a backup of the existing database. It then performs a field analysis on the Contact and Group tables, displaying the list of database fields and their attributes in an Excel worksheet (Requires Excel 2002 or better). Any potential conversion problems are red-flagged for your review.
"Flags" potential problem areas
Red Flags looks for things like ...
Provides Usage Statistics/Removes Bad Dates
How many times have you seen a database with fields that are created as Character 50 and all the user ever entered was a Y or an N? Or perhpas there are some fields in the database that were created with good intentions, but no one ever entered any data in the field. Wouldn't it be great to clean those up prior to conversion! Red Flags can help you to identify those fields so that you can deal with them prior to conversion. The program lets you know...
Bad Dates... dates in date fields that are not legitimate dates (like "2/31/9"), can cause many problems both before and after conversion. When you get field useage statistics, if RefFlags encounters a bad date, it will remove it for you (they're useless anyway). A log will be kept listing these changes and you will be asked if you wish to view this log when the process is done.
Scans For, and Repairs UNKNOWN USERS
Notes, Histories, and contacts with unknown user IDs in certain fields can cause a conversion to fail. Red Flags will scan the ACT database tables for these entries and let you know if you have any. If the unknown user problem exists, Red Flags can replace them with an existing user of your choice.
Fixes Common Activity Problems
Activities with an end date earlier than the start date will cause failure during conversion. Recurring activities that go on too long (too many recurrences) have also been reported to cause problems. Red Flags will locate and list...
Identifies and Helps Repair ACT! Attachment File Problems
Finally the program will provide an analysis of the attachment items found in the Notes/History tab. Red Flags is capable of listing 130,000 attachments. Attachment analysis will let you know...
Knowing these problems ahead of time allows you to fix the paths in Excel and have them written back to the database prior to the final conversion.
Red Flags also provides two special purpose tools for dealing with Attachments.
The program (which sells for $150) allows unlimited usage. So you can use it to analyze as many databases as you like to outline the work you need to perform prior to conversion. This is an essential tool for all consultants.
My name is Susan Clark. I literally wrote the book on ACT! software. I'm the author of The Official ACT! Quick Study Guide.
In addition, I've been consulting with small to medium-sized businesses on their sales and marketing efforts for over 20 years (as well as with a Fortune 500 company every now and then). So, I know what works and what doesn't.
Other products by Cornerstone Solutions:
Sage ACT! QuickStudy Guides
Swiftpage E-Marketing QuickStudy Guide
ACT! 5 /2000
ACT! 6 /2004
Please be advised that redflags is not supported for Windows 8 and requires that excel be installed (as well as ACT! 6) on the computer you wish to run it on. Also, and this is very important! RedFlags was created as a consultant tool and assumes a good knowledge of ACT! 6 and it's workings. Support for the product will not be provided for free.