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E-Mail Posting to Contact History

Copper Contributor
Posts: 85
Country: USA

E-Mail Posting to Contact History

E-Mail Posting to Contact History has been problematic since day 1.

 

Attached are explicit details, to include reasons why this functionality as represented by Swiftpage pre-sale was relied upon by me in my decision making process to pay Swiftpage my hard earned money.

 

I request a final resolution, not a work-around, because I do not make money facilitating work-arounds on software.

 

I like ACT but I have to figure out how to make it easier to use, much, much, much easier to use with confidence.

 

Thank You.

Bronze Super Contributor
Posts: 1,544
Country: United_Kingdom

Re: E-Mail Posting to Contact History

Have you tried Act4Outlook - https://keystroke.ca/category/Product/act4outlook 

 

I've found this to be a good Act! Add on. 


David Shaw
Act! Certified Consultant since 2001
Office:    +44 (0)1483 714507
Mobile: +44 (0)7977 567 318
E-Mail:    dshaw@act4u.org 
Bronze Elite Contributor
Posts: 1,410
Country: United_Kingdom

Re: E-Mail Posting to Contact History

I agree with David regarding the add-on but also agree that you should not need to purchase an add-on to resolve the problem.

 

The link David posted is not working, the correct link is https://keystroke.ca/apps/act-verticals-menu/act4outlook

Administrator
Posts: 4,024
Country: United_Kingdom

Re: E-Mail Posting to Contact History

Hi princeedwardh,

 

If you are experiencing issues with emails not being reliably recorded to Contact History in Act!, it would be necessary to look in more detail at the particular affected system environment, and perform troubleshooting steps, such as checking history recording queue for errors, or reasons why the email was not attached. This is most effectively done by calling our support team and speaking to a technician.

It's requested that you have specific examples of emails that have failed to record to the Contact History when calling.

Copper Contributor
Posts: 85
Country: USA

Re: E-Mail Posting to Contact History

The thing is that I do not know that emails are failing to post.  If emails are failing to post then I would have to stop earning money and do the non-revenue task of figuring out yet another failure of ACT.

 

I only know of the observations that I made.

 

I am beginning to think that ACT is just too delicate and is prone to countless failure, unlike any other software that I have owned since 1979.

 

It took over 90 hours of ACT Technical Support Level 2 and higher to install ACT onto a brand new desktop computer such that it would work as represented pre-sale.  That was 90 hours that I was not earning money.  I just don't know if I can afford to call into technical support.

 

Anyway.............sigh.............

Copper Contributor
Posts: 85
Country: USA

Re: E-Mail Posting to Contact History

Thank You for the Reply!  It is greatly appreciated.

 

ACT represents pre-sale that it syncs with Outlook, and vice versa.

 

I have missed numerous revenue generating appointments because of the failure of this functionality, all conveniently excused away by Swiftpage of why it is A-OK Fine, Peachy Keen and Hunky Dory, even after 20 man hours of their technical support level 2 and higher resources deployed to fix the problem.

 

So they said that I needed to buy CompanionLink.

 

And, now I need to buy another software package because another feature of ACT does not work as represented pre-sale?

 

These are two features of Managing a Customer Relationship, the whole reason for paying our hard earned money for CRM software and these two ACT features do not work, or are not reliable.  Is this a correct assessment?

 

How do you keep your customers from going bankrupt having adopted ACT?

Copper Contributor
Posts: 85
Country: USA

Re: E-Mail Posting to Contact History

Could anyone outline at a high level how Swiftpage's ACT software code for emails posting to ACT Contact History from Outlook is supposed to work?

 

It happened, again, this morning, first thing right out-of-the-gate.

 

I sent two critical emails today, neither of which were posted under ACT Contact History during the active ACT session.

 

Restarting the device was the only way that I could verify that the emails were posted under ACT Contact History.  I cannot restart my device every time that I send emails as to verify that this software that I bought and paid for operates correctly.

 

So, the ACT software is doing half of its job.

 

ACT software code executed, putting the content of those emails somewhere on my device, but the ACT software code did not successfully complete as to post the email into ACT.  Shutting down and restarting ACT did not result in ACT software code executing as to complete this posting functionality.

 

Upon restarting the device and beginning an ACT session, ACT software code executed, retrieving the content of those emails, from wherever they were on my device, and posted those emails under ACT Contact History.

 

So, it's like Swiftpage employees driving to work on the freeway and some functionality of their automobile just stops operating, like the electrical system.  An employee would be forced to pull over and restart the car as to get that critical functionality operational again.  No one at Swiftpage would buy a car on that basis.  The employee would like some idea of what's happening because, no doubt, taking the car to the garage the mechanic would say, "I can't get it to do that."

 

The recommendation that I received to call into tech support, I believe, would result in, "I can't get it to do that."

 

Perhaps if I understood how Swiftpage designed and tested its software code and if I had some understanding how the code is supposed to work in theory then I can stop earning money and try to fix ACT again.  I just do not have the energy to continually fix ACT.

 

 

Administrator
Posts: 4,024
Country: United_Kingdom

Re: E-Mail Posting to Contact History

Hi princeedwardh,

 

There is some useful advanced information and troubleshooting tips in this Knowledgebase article. I'll summarise this below along with some basic troubleshooting steps for the Act! history recording features.

 

When you integrate Act! with Outlook, Act! sets up a service called Act.Outlook.Service.exe. This service records histories and attaches Outlook email messages to the contacts in the database. The email files are temporarily stored in the HistoryQueue folder while waiting to be processed by the Act.Outlook.Service.exe. By default, the folder is located in C:\Users\[USER]\AppData\Roaming\ACT\ACT Data\HistoryQueue.

 

Checking this service is running is the first step of troubleshooting the integration. It appears in Windows Task Manager under the Processes tab, as the service is not a true Windows service. In Act! v19, there may be two versions of this running. 32-bit Act.Outlook.Service and Act.Outlook64.Service.
If the service isn't running refer to this Knowledgebase article, under the section heading "Act.Outlook.Service.exe is not running or did not start properly".

 

The user interface for the Act.Outlook.Service.exe is called the "Attach to Act! Contacts Progress" Window. An icon will appear in the system tray when unattached emails are present. The icon looks like this: Taskmgr_2017-03-16_10-45-292.png

To open the window, right-click on the icon and selecting Show Progress. This window shows the attachment progress for sent and manually recorded (quick attach) emails, a list of not attached messages, and some advanced settings, in their respective tabs.

 

Checking in the Progress and Not Attached Messages tabs for emails which haven't attached to Act! is the next troubleshooting step for finding out why emails aren't being recorded in Act!.

 

Let me break down how an email gets processed by the service:

Messages sent from Outlook are saved as a .msg and a .xml file in the HistoryQueue folder. The message appears in the Progress tab in the service window.

  • If the message is successfully attached, a record of this is saved in the logs/successfulhistories.xml file, and the .msg and .xml files are deleted from the HistoryQueue folder.
    • This log is cleared periodically as per the value in days on the Advanced tab.
    • When this log is cleared, it removes the records from the table on the Progress tab.
  • If the message is not attached (for example if the contact does not exist in the database), then it will remain in the Progress tab and retry to attatch based on the rules declared in ACTHistoryErrorHandlers.xml.
    • Once these rules have been followed (for example for a NoContactsFoundException, it will remove the message after 1 attempt, or after 1 day), the message will be removed from the Progress tab and added to the Not Attached Messages tab.
    • When this happens, the .msg file remains in the HistoryQueue folder, but the message .xml file will be moved from the HistoryQueue folder into the Holding folder. A message .xml.error file will also accompany the message in the Holding folder. 
    • Once the messages are in the Not Attached Messages tab, the service no longer tries to attach the message to the database unless the Retry Attach button is clicked.
    • We're currently investigating the expected purging behaviour for the logs/nothandledmessages.xml log file, as well as the .xml and .xml.error files in the Holding folder, and the .msg files in the HistoryQueue folder.
Copper Contributor
Posts: 85
Country: USA

Re: E-Mail Posting to Contact History

This is great information!

 

I will re-read and digest this information to make sure that I understand it.

 

I don't think you addressed this instance: ACT just stops posting, for all contacts, during a session, even with valid contacts with valid emails.

 

This morning an important email was sent to two contacts with valid email addresses in both ACT and Outlook.  Numerous emails to these two people were posted to Contacts History in the past.

 

So, ACT just stops posting emails to Contacts History for valid contacts with valid emails and the only way they post is to restart the device.  

 

To be clear, my emails are posting to Contacts History, as evidenced by Attach To ACT! Contacts Progress.  That is clean.  I cannot find an email sent to a valid contact with a valid email address that did not ultimately post to Contacts History.  But, it can take rebooting the device to complete out the posting process.

 

 

My concern is that I don't know whether or not this feature will ultimately fail, and I don't know that it has failed with any number of emails not posting and being lost to the ether.  QUESTION HERE:  If the posting feature absolutely fails (restarting the device does not result in posting), is the Attach to ACT! Contacts Progress feature a 100% fail safe, storing all unposted email until they can be posted manually or otherwise?

 

Thank You, Sincerely.

 

Copper Contributor
Posts: 85
Country: USA

Re: E-Mail Posting to Contact History

Ok, to beat this horse a bit more..........................

 

Here is a new observation.

 

I sent 4 emails this afternoon to one fellow to whom I send emails all the time.

 

They all posted to Contacts History, beautifully well.

 

However, Attach to ACT! Contacts Progress in the Progress tab is showing that it is "Now processing message 1 of 1...", of the 4 emails that it already posted.

 

Does this sound right?  Shouldn't Attach to to ACT! Contacts Progress in the Progress tab be empty?  They all posted.