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Connecting to ACT database without ACT

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New Member
Posts: 3
Country: USA
Accepted Solution

Connecting to ACT database without ACT

Hello,

 

I am new here, and not sure where this best goes.  In any case, we use ACT! for manging in office information and would like to be able allow this information to be presented on our website.  We would like to be able to connect ACT at various times and retrieve information for posting on our site. 

 

Can I connect to the MS Sql database directly and queue it or is there a better way to retrieve information? 

 

Few More Details:

We do have ACT network sync service, is this something useful?

 

The ACT pad files, are they openable and parse-able or are they proprietary  and using a separate language. I am a little lost and havent been able to find any docs on how to retrieve information from ACT in an automated fashion.


Accepted Solutions
Solution
Accepted by topic author returnedtosender
‎09-25-2015 03:20 AM
Platinum Elite Contributor
Posts: 14,384
Country: Australia

Re: Connecting to ACT database without ACT

You can connect to the ACT! database (read/only) via OLEDB or ODBC (Premium version only) without any additional add-ons

See: http://blog.glcomputing.com.au/2009/07/connecting-to-act-by-sage-data.html

The PAD file is just a Pointer to the ACT! Database (you can open it in notepad to see)

View solution in original post


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Bronze Elite Contributor
Posts: 2,546
Country: New_Zealand

Re: Connecting to ACT database without ACT

Connecting directly to SQL tables isn't the recommended nor very useful way to connect. ACT! has an SDK (software development kit) that allows developers to build plugins for ACT! Most useful if you are familar with .Net  and XML. Of course you need to have ACT! installed to load the plugin.

 

We have built a Web 2.0 API for ACT! that would work for your situation and you don't need to know your way around the  ACT! SDK. That would be ideal to pull information from ACT! for your website without having to have ACT! installed.     

Graeme Leo
Xact Software - consultants and developers
Follow us on Twitter and check out our Blog


Solution
Accepted by topic author returnedtosender
‎09-25-2015 03:20 AM
Platinum Elite Contributor
Posts: 14,384
Country: Australia

Re: Connecting to ACT database without ACT

You can connect to the ACT! database (read/only) via OLEDB or ODBC (Premium version only) without any additional add-ons

See: http://blog.glcomputing.com.au/2009/07/connecting-to-act-by-sage-data.html

The PAD file is just a Pointer to the ACT! Database (you can open it in notepad to see)
New Member
Posts: 3
Country: USA

Re: Connecting to ACT database without ACT

I read about using the ODBC connector for allowing access.  It seems like the best route to go right now.  How does ACT use the sql database? Does it work in the convential way most databases work, or is the setup different?

 

For example, can I select the database and query the database using usual MSQL statements?

Bronze Elite Contributor
Posts: 2,546
Country: New_Zealand

Re: Connecting to ACT database without ACT

Mike has suggested connecting via ODBC or OLEDB which is valid. However, presuming your ACT! database and the website are in different locations you will need to setup a VPN.

 

What we find is that customers once having implemented an OLEDB solution often want to write to ACT!, ODBC and OLEDB don't do that. You may not want to write to the ACT! database in this the case, but if so then an API is the logical and most efficient way to create a very flexible solution.  These technologies are sound in their own right but aging and inflexible in comparison with web technologies which ACT! needs to adopt to stay with it's competitors. 

You will see technologies like ODBC and OLEDB recede as the Cloud imposes more dominance by share popularity and convenience. The move to web based solutions has picked up remarkably in the last 18 months.

 

Web 2.0 and HTML5 will become increasingly important if not mandatory to stay competitive. A Web 2.0 API removes the need to have months if not years of experience with an applications SDK to become efficient with it, like that for ACT!. An API  makes manipulating ACT! more open to developers who understand HTML, HTTP request/response and XML. Equally you will see Sage's own Sdata concept make it easier for developers to write applications to connect to ACT!   

Graeme Leo
Xact Software - consultants and developers
Follow us on Twitter and check out our Blog


Platinum Elite Contributor
Posts: 14,384
Country: Australia

Re: Connecting to ACT database without ACT

[ Edited ]

The ODBC connection (only available for Premium versions of ACT!) does allow you to query the database (read-only).

New Member
Posts: 3
Country: USA

Re: Connecting to ACT database without ACT

Thanks Mike.
Tuned Listener
Posts: 21
Country: United States

Re: Connecting to ACT database without ACT

I found your reply to this post and wanted to pose my situation to you:

 

I have a small business that provides customer service i.e. reminders, product specific use suggestions, etc.

 

I want to create a website for customers to enter their own data and then have that data [imported] into ACT.

 

A good bit of the data will be standard throughout the customer base allowing for check-boxes.  Of course, customer name, phone, e-mail etc would be unique per customer and would require entering that information.

 

I would then like ACT to recognize it as new and unique and create Tasks based on their information i.e. a) schedule a phone call, b) upon completion of the phone call set up a series of merge e-mails specific to that client's data, etc.

 

I do not now have a website and use ACT 2011.  Statging from scratch, how would you suggest I proceed?  

 

New Member
Posts: 12
Country: India

Re: Connecting to ACT database without ACT

Hi,

 

I do have a similar kind of problem. I have been given a zip file saying that it would contain Act database. However, when I extracted, I got a file with .PAD extension and upon opening it on a notepad, I had found nothing but the following lines : 

 

<?xml version="1.0" standalone="no"?>
<!DOCTYPE ACTDatabasePADFile>
<!--This file represents a Pointer to an Act Database or [PAD]-->
<ACTDatabase name="DATABASE NAME" host="SERVER" location="C:\Actdatabase" type="Sql" />

 

Can you please let me know from where and how I can get the entire database existing on ACT! Either in SQL or csv formats (or any formats that would contain a visible data records). 

 

Thank You

Bronze Super Contributor
Posts: 1,679
Country: Australia

Re: Connecting to ACT database without ACT

Rather than extract it, 

simply open ACT!, File | Restore | Database and point that to the .zip file, it should extract out the db for you.