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Installing the SDK

Copper Contributor
Posts: 51
Country: United States

Installing the SDK

I have just downloaded what was advertised as being the ACT! SDK but which seems to actually be just documentation.  I can't seem to find out how to actually install the SDK itself so that its capabilities are available to an ASP.Net web application.  We are using ACT!'s server version and have a separate web server which will host multiple web applications which need to interact with the ACT! DB in various ways.

 

I assume that I need to do a copule of things:

 

1. Install the SDK itself on the web server

2. Determine the connection string to the ACT! SQL DB (or use the interface provided by the SDK)

3. Possibly create identities that will be used by the web applications and create permissions in ACT for these logins to communicate via the SDK.

4. Add certain SDK capabilities to individual applications using Imports statements (in VB, the language we will be using).

 

But I can't find a roadmap to these fundamental getting started issues.  I am pretty confident that once I can get this part up and running I can write the applications I need. 

 

Can anyone point me to this setup information?

 

Many thanks.

 

Larry

Employee
Posts: 1,163
Country: USA

Re: Installing the SDK

The very short answer is there's nothing to install.

 

Simply reference the necessary .dll's and off you go. Everything needed to start developing add-ons is included in your Act installation. The SDK download contains samples and references, but nothing that is required to get started.

Matthew Wood
Act! SDK Support
Community Moderator
Copper Contributor
Posts: 51
Country: United States

Re: Installing the SDK

Again, I appreciate the quick reply but I am puzzled. I have studied some of the samples included with the SDK as well as white papers and the Architecture Reference. In the sample code for ContactNameControl there are five Using statements (these would be Imports statements in VB) referencing ACT-specific functionality which is almost certainly not prepackaged with visual studio. This functionality has to be made available to both VS at design time and the application at run time. Please remember that the application will be on a web server which is different from the server housing ACT!.

Also, in other samples there are references to a .pad file which enables connectivity to the DB and which needs a login.

I am not building plug-ins. I am building a stand-alone application (which happens to be a web application) using .Net but which must communicate with the ACT! database.

Thanks in advance for any clarification you or anyone else can provide.

Larry
Employee
Posts: 1,163
Country: USA

Re: Installing the SDK

Just as a fair warning, running applications accessing the ActFramework will prove challenging on a box without Act installed. Throws a VersionMismatchException as a result of trying to references an registry entry. There may be a workaround for this, but I'm not aware of it.

 

Applications running outside of Act! typically only need to add a reference to Act.Framework.dll, though Act.Shared.Collections.dll and Act.Shared.Diagnostics.dll are also frequently used. Once the two assembly references are added you'll have access to the namespace within VS. 

Matthew Wood
Act! SDK Support
Community Moderator
Copper Contributor
Posts: 51
Country: United States

Re: Installing the SDK

Thanks again for the conversational responses.  My original question remains unanswered, though.  I need to find the guidance on exactly what needs to be installed on the web server (also hosting the application) to provide the ACT! program functionality to .Net. 

 

With respect to the error and registry problems, will they go away if we install ACT! on the web server even if we don't actually use any of its functionality on that machine?

 

I see multiple posts by developers doing mixed implementations.  Have they all done single-machine implementations?

 

Thanks.

Employee
Posts: 1,163
Country: USA

Re: Installing the SDK

The only thing that needs to be installed is Act!. Install the program and reference the .dll's in your project.

 

You can access databases on any machine, but a local installation, even if you never use it will help you avoid issues.

Matthew Wood
Act! SDK Support
Community Moderator
Copper Contributor
Posts: 51
Country: United States

Re: Installing the SDK

Several of the sample programs included in the SDK use code similar to the following as their jumping off point:

 

ActFramework ACTFM = new ActFramework();

ACTFM.LogOn("C:\\Documents and Settings\\Administrator\\My Documents\\ACT\\Act for Win 8\\Databases\\Act8Demo.pad", "Chris Huffman", "");

 

However I have yet to find any reference to the relationship of the .pad file to the actual DB but it is clearly important. 

 

1. In my multi-machine implementation will the .pad file reside on the external application machine (web server in my case) and point to the ACT! DB or does it reside on the ACT! server and I connect to the .pad using a network address?

 

2. Where is the documentation for setting up and configuring the .pad file?  I don't see it in the Architecture reference.  The SDK mentions this file but not how to configure it.

 

Thanks.

 

Larry

Employee
Posts: 1,163
Country: USA

Re: Installing the SDK

The .pad file is simply a pointer file created by Act! when a database is created. The pad file for the DB your wanting to access can either reside on the web server where your developing your application and you can point your logon method to it, or you can provide a network location to the logon method and access it that way. 

 

No changes or modifications should be required within the pad file, though opening it up in notepad will probably make clear what it does.  

Matthew Wood
Act! SDK Support
Community Moderator
Nickel Elite Contributor
Posts: 937
Country: USA

Re: Installing the SDK

[ Edited ]
You probably are already running with this but for future guests I'll try to answer directly:
 

1. Install the SDK itself on the web server

Allen - If you have the ACT! Premium for Web client installed on your web server you already have everything you need.  All SDK API's are contained in the ACT! install itself. 

 

2. Determine the connection string to the ACT! SQL DB (or use the interface provided by the SDK)

Allen - Typically you can use the .pad file reference to get a connection to a specific ACT! database - the sdk samples show how to log in referencing a .pad file.  the pad file can exist anywhere that your code can access (on a UNC path, same location as your custom .exe, etc...)

 

3. Possibly create identities that will be used by the web applications and create permissions in ACT for these logins to communicate via the SDK.

Allen - The SDK assumes that your code will use ACT! user credentials to log into the database (like using the .pad file) - you can have a user pass those credentials via your application or code them into your exe.

 

4. Add certain SDK capabilities to individual applications using Imports statements (in VB, the language we will be using).

Allen - You'll need to add a reference to your project of the Assembly itself which includes the methods/classes etc... that you'll be using in your using statements.  These assemblies are all located in the GAC (Global Assembly Cache) of your install and in some cases are duplicated in other areas of your install.  Do a look in this forum for GAC as there are some great short cuts to getting to these assemblies in the GAC.

 

 Hope this helps.

  
Message Edited by alduet on 05-25-2010 02:33 PM