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Create sync set by group?

Copper Super Contributor
Posts: 55
Country: United States

Create sync set by group?

Apparently, ACT! 11 (2009) Premium will not allow sync sets by group. The workaround is to create a custom user field for each group, which is completely impractical and unworkable for all but the simplest situations. 

 

This situation is amazing since syncing by groups was simple with ACT 6 and earlier.  SQL was supposed to advance data manipulation, not put it back to the stone age.

 

And why do I have to buy the Premium version just to sync over the internet? 

 

I have wasted time and money trying ACT 5, then 7, and now 11.  I am going back to 6, again!

 

- mike 

Copper Contributor
Posts: 69
Country: UK

Re: Create sync set by group?

Just yesterday, for the first time, I had the need to create a sync set.  I run ACT Premium 2008.  Like you I assumed I could use a group as the criterion for selection, but was told that it had to be based on a contact field - I too ended up creating a Yes/No field based on the Group lookup.

 

A pain, but I just assume that is the way things work.....


Andy

Silver Elite Contributor
Posts: 3,353
Country: United_Kingdom

Re: Create sync set by group?

As you rightly point out you can't select a Group when creating a Sync  set but what you can do is to use the same criteria to create the sync set as you would use to create a dynamic group. In other words, if you created a rule to define which contacts are in a Group you can use the same rule to define which Contacts are in a sync set. (Define Sync Set Criteria).

 

Jeff

Jeff Granger
UK ACT! Specialist and Trainer

ACT Training Throughout The UK
www. bigbluemarketing.co.uk
Copper Super Contributor
Posts: 55
Country: United States

Re: Create sync set by group?

Thanks for the prompt reply.  Perhaps there is a reasonable solution.  Here are my concerns:

 

The majority of our groups are created without a field-searchable rule or criteria. 

 

For example, the list of contacts to sync with my wife includes an assortment of friends and family plus trade and business contacts.  These contacts accumulate over the years without any discernable pattern.  Without using groups, there is no way to search for this complete list without first modifying the database first. The situation is the same for every other user.

 

The only solution ACT! 11 offers is to create a new, unique 'Contact User Field' for each user to be synced.

For example, 3+ new fields with labels "Wife sync", "VP sync", "East Coast sales sync", etc. that would be filled in "Yes" or "No".

It's not possible to use a single new sync field to be filled from a pull-down list of all the sync users, since the contacts overlap between the users.

 

So this presents problems and questions:

1. How many new Contact User Fields does ACT! 11 allow? Is ten the limit?  If so, what if one has 15 (or 150) users to sync? What if these 10 fields are already in use?

2. How does one enforce consistency? If a user creates a new contact, can their 'sync field' be automatically filled? Or can the 'sync field' be set to require the user to fill from a  "Yes-No" drop-down list before the contact can be accepted?  If neither is possible, then it seems like this will be a problem to maintain.

3. Regarding 2. above, if the sync fields must be filled each time a new contact is created, is it true that the user have to fill all the sync fields, not just his own?

4. Suppose a Subscriber user receives a sync that contains a contact they don't want. If the Subscriber clears their 'sync field' for a given contact, and then syncs, will the contact simply not sync back to the Subscriber from then on, as desired? Or will the contact somehow be deleted?

5. Suppose a Subscriber actually deletes a contact and then syncs. Is this contact deleted from the Publisher's database, or can the contact be protected somehow?

 

Thanks again,  - mike

Silver Elite Contributor
Posts: 3,353
Country: United_Kingdom

Re: Create sync set by group?

Mike

 

I have some sympathy for your situation but the reality is that at this moment in time you can't base a sync set on a Group per se. You might want to suggest it as a feature request.

 

However, you don't have to create lots of fields to set up a dynamic group, you can base a rule on a single field with a Multi-Select Drop-down, as you have for example in the ID_Status Field. You put "Wife sync", "VP sync", "East Coast sales sync" as items in the drop-down list and then you can select one or more of the check-boxes. You can now set up your both Groups and Your Sync Sets based on the contents of that field. (Do you actually need a "Sync Group" at all?).

 

Picking up some of your other questions:

 

1. How many new Contact User Fields does ACT! 11 allow? Is ten the limit?  If so, what if one has 15 (or 150) users to sync? What if these 10 fields are already in use?

 You can create as many new fields as you wish, but with the method above you won't need them.

 2. How does one enforce consistency? If a user creates a new contact, can their 'sync field' be automatically filled? Or can the 'sync field' be set to require the user to fill from a  "Yes-No" drop-down list before the contact can be accepted?  If neither is possible, then it seems like this will be a problem to maintain.

 Both options are possible and can be set up in Define Fields. To force a field to be filled in. clear "Allow Blank".

 

3. Regarding 2. above, if the sync fields must be filled each time a new contact is created, is it true that the user have to fill all the sync fields, not just his own?

Only one field to fill out. 

4. Suppose a Subscriber user receives a sync that contains a contact they don't want. If the Subscriber clears their 'sync field' for a given contact, and then syncs, will the contact simply not sync back to the Subscriber from then on, as desired? Or will the contact somehow be deleted?

If a subscriber changes the contants of the "Sync filed" this change will be transferred to the Publisher database when they next sync. Therefore that contact won't be included in future syncs to that person since the will no longer be in the Sync Set. 

5. Suppose a Subscriber actually deletes a contact and then syncs. Is this contact deleted from the Publisher's database, or can the contact be protected somehow?

Yes, the contact goes from the Publisher database as well. You can change the users permissions in Manage Users to prevent them from deleting contacts if it is a problem.

 

Jeff 

 

Jeff Granger
UK ACT! Specialist and Trainer

ACT Training Throughout The UK
www. bigbluemarketing.co.uk
Copper Super Contributor
Posts: 55
Country: United States

Re: Create sync set by group?

You suggest:

"However, you don't have to create lots of fields to set up a dynamic group, you can base a rule on a single field with a Multi-Select Drop-down, as you have for example in the ID_Status Field. You put "Wife sync", "VP sync", "East Coast sales sync" as items in the drop-down list and then you can select one or more of the check-boxes. You can now set up your both Groups and Your Sync Sets based on the contents of that field. (Do you actually need a "Sync Group" at all?)."

 

However this won't work because, as I mentioned earlier, contacts are not exclusive to one user.  In other words, several users, but not all, may want to sync a given contact.  To ensure that each sync user can receive all the contacts he needs, but no more than that, a unique field for each sync user is required.

Copper Super Contributor
Posts: 55
Country: United States

Re: Create sync set by group?

I stand corrected.  You are right -> If it's possible to select only several names from among the complete pull-down list, then a single new field will work.

 

(I read too quickly and overlooked this option.)  Thanks again. - mike