04-05-2011 10:22 AM
I am new to ACT! and I am looking for some guidance before embarking on that long and winding road of yet another learning curve. ;-)
I am a contractor working on the Linux side of the house, implementing an authentication server.
The customer database is in ACT!
I need to know if there is a way to customize ACT! so that it can trigger an update to a remote database on the Linux server?
I know of a few possible options, such as sending a web request to the server, populated with the data within the URL parameters. Or perhaps some form of inter-process communications over a custom port and protocol?
What I want to avoid is having to create a new parallel database on the Linux server, and do double data entry to keep them in sync. I only need a few fields to be sent over, and ideally, have some confirmation to the user that the change was successful. This can be done on the server side. I just need to know if there is a mechanism in ACT! that can support this.
Terms I have seen are add-ons, plug-ins, controls, and buttons...
Any hints on where I might begin my research journey would be most appreciated.
04-05-2011 12:31 PM
There are a couple of options that come to mind. The easiest is probably to purchase an addon that will export from ACT! to a file. You could then retrieve that file from your Linux server and update the database that way.
The second option is to either write an application yourself using the SDK (Software Development Kit) and have it write to a file or to an ODBC interface to your other database.
It really depends on your level of experience and how automated you want the solution to be.
04-05-2011 12:50 PM
Thanks for the reply.
Automation is the key. I do not want to retrieve the files manually, nor poll periodically via scripts.
The database on the Linux side can either be MySQL, or flat files. The data just needs to get there.
I wouldn't mind attempting to use the SDK, although I am most familiar with the Linux tools.
My time with the Windows environment is limited. But programming is programming.
I have written scripts, programmed in C, assembly, and have some knowledge of SQL.
In an ideal world, our support staff would bring up a customer's account in ACT!, make edits,
then submit the changes to the Linux server by clicking a button, or selecting a pull-down menu, or ...
A few selected fields would be transferred to the server and update database records there.
It would be less desirable to send entire files for every change, but that would work I suppose.
Are there any examples available for doing something similar?
Or does the SDK have reasonable documentation to guide me through this?
I need to get this working in a relatively short period.
I am willing to go through the exercise, I just don't care to start with ACT! 101.
Any additional insight would be helpful.
04-05-2011 05:19 PM
04-05-2011 05:39 PM
I think I am looking for an ODBC connection to the MySQL database on the Linux server from ACT!.
We have support personnel making changes directly into ACT! to update customer account records.
We do not want system administrators having to make the same updates manually to the MySQL database in parallel.
We also do not want to create a new single point of failure within the network, meaning, if the linux server is unable to query the ACT! database, that could prevent network access. By populating the linux MySQL database with just the fields it needs, the queries can continue, even if ACT! is unavailable. (Of course, if the linux server is unavailable, that is a different set if issues.)
How difficult will it be to customize ACT! to provide for add/change/delete capability on a handful of fields, and populate the MySQL database interactively?
04-05-2011 06:00 PM
04-06-2011 10:57 AM
All I was able to find was something about using the ACT! Reader.
Is there a better resource for finding out more about ODBC and how I would interface to it from the Linux side?
I believe the company is running ACT! 2010.
04-06-2011 12:36 PM
04-06-2011 01:25 PM