06-13-2011 06:21 PM
Recurring Activities: Did anyone at ACT! test them?
I am running ACT! Premium 2011, and the recurring activities are quite something:
1- Make a modification to the subject line, and a whole NEW series is created
2- Clear the master activitiy and a new uncleared activity is created
3- Clear an individual recurring activity and you can't access it anymore.
4- Clear an individual recurring activity and the modification date of the activity is the original, parent's mod date.
5- Field filtering system fails with recurring activities.
6- IsRecurring does not work for daily recurring events.
7- And much, much, more.
There are soo many bugs with the recurring activities that customers just stop using ACT!. A lot of attention is being paid into the wireless/ipad plugins into ACT! while the basic functionality is unbeliavably buggy. Are these issues going to be fixed on 2012?
I have been trying to write code to deal with recurring activities and it is an absolute nightmare. You cannot pursue newer, more exciting horizons when your core functiionality is not working properly. In today's Smartphone world, it is unnacceptable to have basic functionality this this fail.
Please forward this post to ACT! Development.
06-13-2011 06:53 PM
Having developed a few add-ons which deal directly with the activities and specifically recurring activities, I could not reproduce your issues. I tested them in the ACT2011Demo database.
Could your database be corrupted? Can you get these errors to happen on a new database?
I would love to reproduce and have ACT!/Sage fix since it would also effect many of my clients. At this time I have not received these issues from our end-users. Is this happening in code you developed or is it happening in native ACT!. If it's in code can you post an example?
-- Jim Durkin
06-13-2011 07:17 PM
My database is fine. It only has 3 contacts, it is brand new (for testing recurring events) . I'm also finding that the ACT! interface does not know how to deal with these issues. Just clear an individual recurring item and then consequently try to unclear it (you can't). Or clear the item and then erase the master recurring series (it leaves all these orphan, garbase items in the database). Or try to change an item (it creates duplicates). Try creating an individual cleared item from the series and you'll find that the Edit Date is the same as the master series (you need to create code to access the edit date).
The results is that the activities database becomes corrupt. I am just doing a 3 user database testing. I can't imagine this being deployed on a multi-user environment with users relying on Recurring Activities (a lot of them do).
This, of course, makes coding to this environment a nightmare because you are dealing with huge amounts of invalid in the ACT! database i.e. orphan activities, unlinked activities, etc..
06-13-2011 08:07 PM - edited 06-13-2011 08:10 PM
"Just clear an individual recurring item and then consequently try to unclear it (you can't). "
I am sorry for not following, it may be the hour but I could not reproduce your cleared/uncleared issue. Here are the steps I took from the monthly calendar view:
1) Right-clicked and created a 'meeting' that recurred every Thursday for four weeks starting on July 7th.
2) Right--clicked on the 'meeting' on the 21th the third in the recurrence pattern and selected "Clear Activity..." from the popup menu. Click OK to the "Clear Activity" window
3) ACT removes the activity on the 21st. If I change the option to "Show Cleared" is is now displayed with a strike-thru font.
4) If I right-click on the meeting on the 21st and select "Clear Activity..." again ACT! Informs me this activity is already cleared do I want to unclear? If I answer yes then the activity is marked as non cleared.
Now if I change the recurrence pattern to every Friday, ACT will move the original series including the cleared/uncleared activity to Friday.
It all seems to be working as designed. Can you give me the step-by-step to recreate your issues?
Could you possible have orphaned activities in the current database which could be causing a cascading error effect? Again I really want to recreate this issue since my end-users would be experience it also.
-- Jim Durkin
06-14-2011 12:18 AM
I used a daily recurring event instead of the weekly so that I could see it change on the same screen. You'll see that the IsRecurring flag does not work. If you clear the master series event, it creates a new recurring event the day after and from thereon nothing makes sense. If you have existing cleared events for the series, they become orphans and can only be removed if you use the database maintanence tool. Pretty ugly.
This is a fresh, new database with only 3 contacts where I create the Daily recurring event and then I start testing clearing different items, etc.. Also, I am using ACT! 2011 Premium Build 13.1.
I am testing all different recurring configurations and I started with the Daily recurring event first. I've been stuck there since. I've known that there are a few bugs with the Recurring events with ACT!, but this is a little bit too much. How can ACT! not handle daily recurring events properly!
06-14-2011 10:10 AM
To determine whether the activity is recurring is easy. However, the major problem is the
activity corruption on the Daily Recurring pattern i.e.:
1- If you clear an individual activity and then unclear it, you get the message "This activity has been deleted by its organizer. It cannot be unclered"
2- If you clear the series "FirstOccurence", it will create a new recurring activity the day after (which is not "FirstOccurence")
3- If you Erase the FIrstOccurence activity, the cleared daily activities are not uncleared or erased
This bug results in an activities database where recurring events are corrupt and their data is inconsistent.
Obviously there is something wrong if the ACT! interface does not know how to deal with it. My theory is that the failure of the IsRecurrence call for the event is causing the ACT! interface to misjudge what to do and consequently corrupt the Activities database. This should be fixed ASAP!
06-14-2011 11:09 AM
I tried to reproduce the first issue in this post and was unsuccessful, I was able to clear an activity and then unclear it both in the application and programmatically.
The second is what I'd consider the expected behavior. You've removed the FirstOccurence of the activity series, thus the next instance is now the first occurrence in this particular series. If you were to remove the series, then it would no longer be a first occurrence as there is no activity series associated with it.
The last issue I believe is also working as intended, the expected result from clearing a single activity in a series should not be for the entire series and future occurrences to also be cleared/erased.
06-14-2011 11:53 AM
I tried it again. And it works with simple clearings, etc.. And I then started playing with it i.e. clearing the FirstOccurence, erasing it, changing the subject line when clearing, changing the time of the clear, etc.. and not only do I get orphans, but I get duplication. I am just trying to emulate what a user would do.
I currently do not have time to make a video of it but just create a database with 3 contacts, 2 users and start with a single meeting with daily recurring items to all users and contacts and then do what a user would do: clearing an individual event, clearing the FirstOccurence event, editing the subject line, etc..
And besides the creation of orphans that can't be removed, you'll find that a simple date or mod to the regarding field generates duplicate items. Again, create a NEW database with 2 users, 3 contacts and do the testing. Schedule a daily recurring event to all of them and then start playing with the clearing/unclearing of items, modify the data of an individual clearing, modify the regarding field, etc..
I'll make a video of it later in the week when I have more time.
06-14-2011 01:19 PM - edited 06-14-2011 01:28 PM
I've created a video of it. It is a simple 7 min Youtube video. Check it out and tell me what is going on?
One thing about the current recurring event implementation is that once things start to go wrong, the calendar gets pretty messed up if you are a heavy calendar user and rely of a reliable implementation of recurring events.