08-27-2008 08:52 AM - edited 08-27-2008 08:57 AM
Like many other ACT support people, I have a ton of AddOns used by my customers who are switching to ACT 2008 Premium from ACT! 6.0. Customers who have custom stuff already for Symantec ACT (Legacy ACT 2000-2004).
So, rather than making heavy re-writes of all my VB6 apps under Dot Net, I thought I might take a much easier approach.
In doing that, I decided to create a way that any other software developer could also easily interact with ACT! with their existing plethora of software development skills and avoid the dot net headaches altogether.
Currently I am building a background "Timer Obj" for ACT Premium that will do a heap of different SDK tasks that can be "REQUESTED" from ANY OTHER APP with no mess and no fuss.
They will simply stuff their requirement into an ASCII text file and post a request byte to another file.
My so-called "MIDDLEWARE SDK for ACT 2008 Premium" is a simple PlugIn that is installed at the press of a button.
It will run transparently in the "background" whenever ACT is running - without using any huge system resources.
Currently, it just creates a new "Current Lookup" in ACT or Pops an ACT Record - INSTANTLY.
Today and over the next week, I am upgrading it to facilitate:
This means that somebody who knows how to write programs in a language OTHER than a Dot Net Language or who does NOT know how to use the ACT! 2008 Premium SDK will be able to do stuff in their own way.
Before I release this to the community, I am open to suggestions about what else may be desirable in this MIDDLEWARE SDK for ACT! and request that you email me with your ideas and comments or simply reply to this posting - as you prefer.
Thank you kindly folk.
V8Software.co.uk , London, New York and Toronto
CRM Solutions, Inc., New York
09-29-2008 07:27 PM
Thanks for the off-line suggestions good people.
My MiddleWare SDK for ACT is finished!
Enjoy it - it's completely Free.
New York, NY
10-07-2008 04:07 AM
I guess not or it will run into problems with concurrent accessing etc.
10-07-2008 07:45 AM
Ostensibly, it works with the actual ACT program the "Thick Client" Desktop app - but not directly with the thin ACT for Web browser client...
...having said that, you COULD (if you wanted/needed to) modify the backend ASPX pages to use the "Scripting.FileSystemObject" to work with many of the almost forty MiddleWare SDK functions - but to be fair - if you were already at that level, you would simply make the normal ACT for Web custom changes. :-)
Again - having said that - you COULD actually create Web Accessible data queries and/or custom FORMS in HTML that would call ASP pages (for back-end processing) for information supply and record changes/additions using MiddleWare SDK.
So, for example, you could create a Portal for ACT user's customers to log in and fill in their needs and wants ON-LINE that would either update a web-extensible database OR you could make it possible for user's customers to update Help Desk or Orders information straight into ACT.
HOWEVER - whilst you COULD do all of those things, the real reason behind MiddleWare SDK, is so that you can INTEGRATE 3rd party (corporate extensible data / systems) with ACT.
It's a universal LINK into ACT for programmers to LINK TO or INTEGRATE with ACT more than anything else, using whatever programming language they wish.
10-07-2008 07:56 AM
Does your SDK work on ACT! 2008 Standard Edition? or only available on Premium Edition?
Also can I use your SDK on the developer machine which does not install any ACT! application? If so, what files will I need to make your SDK works on the developer machine?
10-07-2008 08:11 AM
I now stand rather sheepishly looking at my computer monitor and really don't want to say "gee - I dunno"
Hmmm - you know what - if somebody has a standard version and could try that out - it sure would be neat to know.
I guess it should work.
Every single PC that can actually run ACT in our network and on ALL of the laptops - we have Premium installed.
And although we could uninstall premium and install the cheaper version - I always feel that the PC is no longer a "Virgin" and some enabling stuff may have been left behind.
Do you happen to have the standard (non Premium) version on any PC Yan?
If so - feedback would be greatly appreciated.
10-07-2008 08:14 AM - edited 10-07-2008 08:17 AM
<nods> Fair points although...
the real reason behind MiddleWare SDK, is so that you can INTEGRATE 3rd party (corporate extensible data / systems) with ACT.
which is basically what we are trying to do, the only difference being our 3rd party systems are not desktop apps but web apps (i.e. think "Web 2.0" rather than PC). We want to run Act for Web as a "Groupware" (server-based) app and interface to it with our (server-based) project management program(s).
i.e. Browser client accesses PM program which retrieves data from Act and sends it back to the client.
I know nothing about IIS/ASP/etc. (being a Linux developer) and was looking for an easy way to connect to Act from PHP. Guess I'll have to use OLE-DB
10-07-2008 08:18 AM
Yan - sorry, I didn't answer your second question.
MiddleWare SDK for ACT by Sage is installed from the website http://MiddleWareSDK.com
It also installs into the Program Files\V8Software\ folder, a program called CopyrightMessage.exe
If you want a version of the copyright message that does NOT show the examples button, I will be delighted to send you a version that only shows the Copyright message. No worries.
You could then build your own setup application if you wanted to do so and use the replacement CopyrightMessage.exe in your resources.
10-07-2008 08:27 AM
Hi again Dave,
If it's LIVE data - that's one thing - if you merely want to refresh database records (Contacts, Secondary Contacts, Companies Static Links, regular links, create Activities, Histories, New Groups or manage Group Memberships) then you could use JAVA on the server to do those things with MiddleWare SDk doing the actual ACT data updates/additions.
MiddleWare is especially useful in bringing LIVE collection of data ~ into ACT
However - you also mentioned OLE-DB.
ACTOLEDB is a SIMPLE READ ONLY beast for the creation of Data Dictionaries, Browsing and Reports and exporting through a translation engine into MS Access and Excel etc etc.
To actually CHANGE ACT data, you either need to use the ACT SDK or MiddleWare SDK.
10-07-2008 08:36 AM
you could use JAVA on the server to do those things with MiddleWare SDk doing the actual ACT data updates/additions.
But isn't that going to cause problems? AIUI communication with MiddleWare is via text files with pre-defined names... with concurrent web accesses how do I know that the reply relates to any given request? E.g. Threads 1 & 2 request some data and look in the result file for the response but how does the thread know the response relates to *it's* request (i.e. there's no transaction ID?). I can see the file contents getting corrupted (overwritten) by concurrent web accesses?