08-17-2011 01:00 PM - edited 08-17-2011 01:03 PM
After much searching via the KB, forums, Google, etc., I have yet to find an anwser to this question. I apologize if this has been previously answered, but I cannot find a solution.
We have been using ACT! for several years now, and have our companies setup with up to 4 contacts being assigned/bound to each company. Each contact has the following fields created/assigned on a per contact basis:
The problem that we have had since day one revolves around the <mailto hyperlink. For example, I want to send an email to Contact #3 in my list, whose name is Bill Gates (firstname.lastname@example.org). When I click the hyperlink, my mail client uses the name of Contact #1 (Steve Jobs) as the Display Name, rather than the name of Contact #3 (Bill Gates). This happens for both Contact #2 and #4 as well, as ACT! always assumes that the Display Name is Steve Jobs, rather than the actual Contact Name assigned.
I need a way to either:
Can anyone please help?
08-18-2011 07:42 AM
Welcome to the Sage ACT! Online Community!
I'm attempting to recreate the issue you have described, but unable to reproduce it with the information at hand. Can you post the specific steps you are performing?
Also include the email client you are using (ACT! email or Outlook)? If Outlook, which version?
08-18-2011 01:23 PM
Thanks for responding. Let me give you a little background.
We've been using ACT! since at least 2005 at our company, and the DB has gone through all of the "upgrade" processes as necessary when next years version was released. Since the beginning of time, we used the built-in "Contact" and "Email" fields for customer names within a company. When we click on the email address for a user, it opens a new email message, and the Display Name used is pulled from the "Contact" field.
We had also created fields in the DB long ago, called "2nd Contact" and "2nd Email". However, when clicking the email adddress for the 2nd email, it would open the mail client, but the Display Name used was from the "Contact" field, rather than from the "2nd Contact" field. We never found a way to change or force the binding, so we basically ignored the issue for some 6 years, manually copying/pasting the email address from ACT! into the email editor.
Well, we're now updating ACT! to have up to 4 different contacts listed per company. At this point, it is finally time to attack this issue.
In our database, we have defined fields in the DB, such as:
Long story short, I cannot find a solution and am hoping someone has encountered this and/or at least knows of a resolution. We've tried using Outlook 2003, 2007, and 2010 with identical results.
I hope this clarifies the issue.
08-18-2011 01:48 PM
I think I understand the issue... It seems that you are using a Contact record for a Company with names and email addresses for multiple people. Any email address you click on only displays the main 'Contact' field name. If this is correct, it is functioning as designed and there isn't a way to have it correlate the custom email fields with the custom contact fields.
If this is correct and although it would require some work - you may want to consider a new tactic. Create an individual contact record for each person and then create a Company Record (through Companies option) and link the contacts to that Company record. You will still have the relationship of the contacts to a single record, but that record will now be a Company record. It will also retain the individual contacts information separately in the Contact records. This might be a process you can use going forward and convert previous companies/contacts over time.
08-19-2011 07:05 AM - edited 08-19-2011 07:27 AM
1) Would there be a scripted or automated method we could employ, to perform a conversion from the old method we've used to something similar to what you have described? I have 19,000+ companies in the DB, and probably 3,000+ companies already have a secondary contact defined. An automated/scripted process would need to be employed here...
2) Would your solution also offer a way to then "map" a single contact to multiple companies?
3) I just recently designed a layout that incorporates multiple contacts on a single contact/company sheet. How would your solution work with a layout designed with these fields as you've proposed. See layout below:
4) We're also looking to perform a Contacts search against all companies. However, for the longest time, our "Secondary Contacts" would never be found when performing the search using default field/query settings. Would it then be possible to perform searches via "Lookup Contacts", without having to change the drop-down box that has the "Contacts" field pre-selected? Does your offered solution address this issue as well?
08-24-2011 06:39 AM
1. The only option I can think of for creating contact records from the additional fields you have added, is through the Export/Import process. You can export your contact list, including the additional contact fields, to an Excel file > then manipulate that file so that each set of contact info becomes it's own record (row). Once that is done, you can then import the file back into the ACT! database. I would highly recommend creating a copy of the production database (File > Save Copy As) and testing the process within that copy before updating the production database (also create a backup of the production db before updating it).
2. Contact records can be linked to multiple Companies (or Groups). From the Contact record, this will appear under the Groups/Companies tab. From the Companies view, it will be shown under the Contact tab. FYI: From the Company view, you can right click on a Company name and select 'Create Lookup'.
3. Using Companies to link individual Contact records, there would be no need for the additional contact fields you have created.
4. Since all contacts would have individual records, you will only be using the default 'Contact' field (your Lookup would not have to include your customized fields).
Since you already have a mature database (fully populated and customized fields), any change to the process will involve a lot of work. Tto get a better idea of how this setup will work in action, open the ACT! Demo database and take a look at it. It contains this type of process (Companies and Contacts relationships) and hopefully will make it easier to determine if this will work for your situation or not - before investing a lot of time.