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Fed up to the back teeth with ACT Synchroniszation

Astute Commentator
Posts: 13
Country: United_Kingdom

Fed up to the back teeth with ACT Synchroniszation

despite all the sterling work of our IT team, and having been persuaded on numerous occaions that we need to upgrade to the latest version of ACT because that will sort out all our problems (currently on Premium 2013 15.01.301.0 Hot Fix 1), we constantly have problems with ACT. We are a small company with head office based customer service and e-marketing teams and home based sales team of 5, all of whom who use ACT every day. We tried using ACT for Web but were constantly frustrated by lack of functionality available in the Desktop version, so reluctantly took the decision to install ACT on all the remote workers' PCs, which seems counter intuitive, given that we sell web-based solutions. 

 

As customer services receive incoming calls and talk to the same clients that we do, we all have to synch every day to have any chance of keeping records up todate.

 

I am one of those working from home. 6 months ago I bought a new laptop, ensuring the specs were well above those recommended by SAGE. I run and actively use ACT, Outlook, Xobni, Skype messaging, W Explorer and Dropbox all day ..... but everything is grindingly slow and I blame ACT. Today's experience is not unusual. Throughout the day periodically ACT and/or Outlook froze for 20 - 30 seconds. I started synch at 6 p.m. this evening and it is now 8.27 p.m. UK time and am currently on 689 of 43988 records updating. 77.31MB sent and received, 47.1 MB data shown as synchronising/updating.

 

That's only the start of it. Don't get me started on the work arounds we have had to put in place to make ACT work for us the way we want to. I'm about to take up a position as Sales Director and frankly if we don't get a better solution to this soon I'll be campaigning for a more sustainable solution.

 

I'll be interested in your comments. Am I being unfair in laying the blame at ACT's door for the slow performance of my PC? Should it be taking so long to synch on a regular basis? Should our Tech team really have to be spending hours every week running BAT files, reinstalling and a variety of other things in order to make it work at all?

Silver Contributor
Posts: 1,813
Country: USA

Re: Fed up to the back teeth with ACT Synchroniszation

In my opinion, the synchronization feature has been exceptionally reliable when properly maintained.  From the looks of things, I think your problems may be fixed with a minimum of difficulty.

 

ACT does require sufficient resources to run, and the better the system, the better it runs. Consequently, because of it's resources requirements, it will make a sick machine seem sicker and any problemw muich more obvious.  

 

Also, there are more options than just synchronization if you don't like that or ACT for web (virtual Hosted desktop being one of them.

 

It's hard to know for sure from your message, but the following KB may provide some insight into your problem (here)

 

It sounds like they have tried a lot of things.  However, I"m confident that the problem can be fixed.  Before you throw out the entire system, consider a specialist in all things ACT, (ACT Consultant).  Many times they extra training we receive can provide some of the answere your team may be lacking.

Test Drive Act! and Quickbooks over Citrix http://GoTryAct.com

Jon Klubnik| ActTrainer.com
(866)710 4228

ACT! Certified Consultant / ACT! Premier Trainer / ACT! Hosting Provider

Platinum Elite Contributor
Posts: 6,652
Country: USA

Re: Fed up to the back teeth with ACT Synchroniszation

What is the hard drive speed in RPM? How much RAM? What is the swap file size?

Roy Laudenslager
ACT! Certified Consultant
ACT! Report Expert
Durkin Impact Report Designer
www.techbenders.com
royel@techbenders.com
541-343-8129
Astute Commentator
Posts: 13
Country: United_Kingdom

Re: Fed up to the back teeth with ACT Synchroniszation

Jon, as I said in my initial posting, we've tried ACT for Web and were not impressed by the limited functionality. We also find ourselves regularly running the BAT files shown on the link you sent.

 

Roy, the laptop (Dell VOSTRO 3450 has 4GB RAM and 500GB 5400 RPM Hard Drive. No idea where or what the swap file size is. The laptop was bought following guidance from Sage as being suitable for running ACT.

Nickel Super Contributor
Posts: 1,254
Country: USA

Re: Fed up to the back teeth with ACT Synchroniszation

I would have a look at the Sync Preview report on the server (and the remotes). It will point out where the main transactions are. One of my clients had 99% of the activity in the "Group Membership" section. Turned out to be one of my add-ons. We turned off the auto-group populate option and all was well.

 

You did not say how old the database is (the db not the version of ACT). Often starting with a clean slate is a good idea because we are not privy to exactly what is causing all the transactions to be logged.

Steve McCandlish
Silver Contributor
Posts: 1,813
Country: USA

Re: Fed up to the back teeth with ACT Synchroniszation

We host the Full ACT Desktop product over Citrix. Citrix and Terminal server implementation both would allow you to deploy the full desktop product with having to configure synchronization.

Test Drive Act! and Quickbooks over Citrix http://GoTryAct.com

Jon Klubnik| ActTrainer.com
(866)710 4228

ACT! Certified Consultant / ACT! Premier Trainer / ACT! Hosting Provider

Platinum Elite Contributor
Posts: 6,652
Country: USA

Re: Fed up to the back teeth with ACT Synchroniszation

Suitable yes but the ACT! program is I/O bound and the difference between having a 5400 RPM or a 7200 RPM hard drive is significant. Setting up a swap file depends on the version of Windows you are using, don't use the recommended settings, use the max setting. 

Roy Laudenslager
ACT! Certified Consultant
ACT! Report Expert
Durkin Impact Report Designer
www.techbenders.com
royel@techbenders.com
541-343-8129
Astute Commentator
Posts: 13
Country: United_Kingdom

Re: Fed up to the back teeth with ACT Synchroniszation

Thanks for info - somewhere to start. Re age of database. Company is still relatively young but has used ACT from start in 2008.
Bronze Elite Contributor
Posts: 2,545
Country: New_Zealand

Re: Fed up to the back teeth with ACT Synchroniszation

As suggested the history of the upgrades, how the database is used and the maintenance of the database over its life are subject to a lot of variables. From experience and leaving aside machine or environmental factors (AV products, spyware, Outlook etc) the best way to determine where the problem(s) are is to spend a little time and setup ACT!'s own demo database with a few sync users and deploy them to see how performance is. You quickly will learn if it is your database that is the major problem or if it is environmental. Where things are significantly under-performing you have to take the trouble to isolate the source of the problems otherwise it becomes a series of random trial and error attempts at a fix that will be potentially frustrating if there are multiple problems exhibiting the same symptoms. ACT! consultant input, just from their experience is often worth the expenditure.     

Graeme Leo
Xact Software - consultants and developers
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Astute Commentator
Posts: 13
Country: United_Kingdom

Re: Fed up to the back teeth with ACT Synchroniszation

Gleo that makes sense - which would explain exactly who our tech team did exactly that on my machine about two months ago. For reference rather than the info on Sage's website. Given that that appears to give he minimum spec feasible presumably without the user actively using othe resources, what is the ideal spec for a desktop or ideally a laptop to cope with this? Having used great cloud based sales CRMs before I do find it bizarre that we as end users have to jump through so many hoops to make a commercial product useable. If I can come to a solution that works to reduce the time wasted through slowness/failure of the system I will consider sticking with ACT a little longer, provided someone can come up with some simple solutions to other issues, eg using the CRM to track real daily actvity completed rather than simply set, bu will post separately about hat rather than confusing this useful string (for me at least!)