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Import attachments into existing DB with attachments

New Member
Posts: 10
Country: USA

Import attachments into existing DB with attachments

[ Edited ]

Hello.  I'm having a sync issue with ACT 2012 SP1.  Somehow all my remotes got off sync, so I tried to do a restore of the DB.  Apparently that made things worse.  I have a recent backup I'm able to use, but need halp understanding how to restore the attachemnts back to the original files.  I'll explain...

 

Apparently it was easy to setup all users as administrator users, before my time.  We finally got ACT up and syncing with remote DB's on about 25-30 PC's.  Worked great until one of them decided to remove old data...  Then most of the remotes synced, now had no data.  I discovered the issue and restored the DB to now have the data back.  OK, right?  NO.  Remember most if not all users are admin equvilents.  I've since fixed that...  So, now I have remotes fighting back and forth, Some that don't have the data will sync and delete it from the publisher, then the others that have it will put it back.  I'm going out of my mind...

 

So after much reading on here, I've killed sync with all users and are allowing them to use only the publisher DB via Citrix right now, no syncing involved or possible until I rebuild and replace their remotes.

 

My real issue is with the attachments.  I noticed the attachments folder has grown in size since I did the restore.  After investigating, I have many duplicate attachment files.  Some with only the filenames, then a duplicate with the filename+extra numbers.  Like 3-4 thousand duplicates.  I'd like to remove the duplicates, but the DB thinks some are the original filename and some are the new filename.  So, I would like to remove all the files in the attachment directory and copy the files to the restored DB as the original filenames.   Easy, right?  Sadly, again, no...

 

Apparenlty the DB has written some contacts with the new filename and some with the original filename, I tried importing them, but no luck.  I've found no KB atricle regarding importing attachments.  Any help please?

 

Is there a way to import the attachments from my good backup and have them replace any attachments that are currently in the DB with the original filename?

 

 

Silver Contributor
Posts: 1,813
Country: USA

Re: Import attachments into existing DB with attachments

Please consider asking an ACT Consultant.  What you are doing has several key decisions that must be made. The difference of which could mean several days of effort to put it back together.

 

Starting with your statement:  my remotes got off sync - what have you tried to save this? Major work if it can't be saved and we would try and avoid this at all cost.

 

Attachements can be part of a back or or of the original database.  However, again, using one of the most recent remotes or the original master is far better than the path you are choosing.

 

beyond this, you can do some things with attachments to bring them back in.  Give me a call if you wish, I'll be glad to offer some sugestions.

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

New Member
Posts: 10
Country: USA

Re: Import attachments into existing DB with attachments

[ Edited ]

Thank you for the quick reply.  Let me ask if this approach might be easier?  Since I'm a very new to ACT administration, a few months...  I 've never worked with a database that you couldn't choose to import specific items, and leave the rest of the DB intact.  For example, in this case, I just want to leave the DB alone, not modify anything, contacts, opportunities, notes, history, etc.  it's all good, but the attachments are out of whack.  I'd like to import all the attachments back as they were on 5/14/12.  I would think I could set to import to the current DB from the 5/14/12 DB and overwrite somehow the attachments.  I must be choosing the wrong criteria when I do so, because it's just not happening for me.

 

My DB is restorable back to 5/14/12 and everything would be ok, except for all that has been entered since.  I'd like to not lose anything from 5/14/12 if I can help it.  Is there a way grab any changes from 5/14/12 until now and put them back into the DB from my current DB if I were to restore back to then?

 

After that, I could recreate the remote DB's and send them out, turn sync back on and, well, as I understand be good again.  But maybe I missed something.  The users know as of their last sync to use on Citrix, so they should not be using the remote DB's to enter anything right now until they hear back from me, so I should be good on that front.

 

 

 

Silver Contributor
Posts: 1,813
Country: USA

Re: Import attachments into existing DB with attachments

I"m not sure what you mean by out of whack.  The attachments all have links within the database under documents, histories, notes, etc,  Are these links still there but hte attachements are gone ? if so, you can copy them in to the attachments folder.

 

Again, still much better to find the last good master database and repair that rather than try and go to the steps you are.

 

A remote that didn't sync all of the bad changes can be made the master and new remotes created from this.

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

New Member
Posts: 10
Country: USA

Re: Import attachments into existing DB with attachments

[ Edited ]

Thank you.  Attachments out of whack means that I had 3808 attachments as of 5/14/12.  I then tried to get the import utility to import anything (old data) that was missing from the issue we had with a user that deleted all the old data out of the master not knowing what he/she had done.  Remember most users were admin equivalents, since changed.  I included in the import process attachments, since I didn't know if any attachments were deleted as well.

 

Since I imported and got everything back, notes, histories, activities, etc.  I now have 7247 attachments with most of them duplicates of the originals, except now they look like this for instance...

 

2012 Century Bldg Envs.doc

2012 Century Bldg Envs.8460228a-4e16-a936-61ae581fda27.doc

 

If you look in the DB at an attachment it shows the filename and location.  Most now have the second name in my example listed, so I'm working off the new names, not original.  I haven't looked through all 6700 ish contacts to check 3800 ish attachments.  I'm just looking for a way to revert them back to the original names and delete the extra unnecessary files.

 

I understand that if a user attaches the same document to the DB the 2nd document is created by ACT and in some cases we have legitimate attachments like that.  However, In probably 80-90 percent, I now have documents that are listed like the second example that I would like to delete and revert to the original.

 

So, I would like to delete the 7247 attchments from the attachments directory and replace them with the original 3808 attachments from my restore and somehow link them back properly to the DB.  It would cut down on the disk space taken up by the additional files, clean up the DB to it's original state regarding attachments, and all would be right in the world again...

 

I would think I could restore the attachments using the import utility to their original state, however I'm not having any luck.  Either the settings I'm using on the import are not right, or it just can't be done for some reason.

 

So, my premise of  restoring everything back to the 5/14/12 DB would work ok, except now I have about 2, almost 3 weeks now of user data entry that has been made.  Can I more easily import/merge the data that has been entered since 5/14/12 back into the restored copy and call it good?   I'm sure it can be done somehow, just looking for the right direction if possible.  Thanks.

 

Silver Contributor
Posts: 1,813
Country: USA

Re: Import attachments into existing DB with attachments

It does sound like a bit of a mess at this point.  I think i would revert back to the one that is most correct.  then in hte new one tha thas been used for the past few weeks, do a lookup, advanced, contact activity to find the records that have been changed and only try and export those records back to the original database, then recut your remotes and redeploy.

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

New Member
Posts: 10
Country: USA

Re: Import attachments into existing DB with attachments

Yes.  That's my thinking.   If anyone can offer details on how to accomplish this, I would appreciate.  I'm running another import test behind the scenes right now, using the edit date of contacts and using a lookup of anything on or since 5/14/12.

 

Here's where I need help.  I'm not sure how the records comingle if that makes sense.  Do the attachments follow contacts or opportunities or companies, or ???  I'm also guessing I need to run a lookup of companies, opportunities, etc. and export the same?  I don't know the details of how ACT works, so I'm looking for some direction here.  I just want to grab everything since 5/14/12 and plop it into my restore.  Thanks.

New Member
Posts: 10
Country: USA

Re: Import attachments into existing DB with attachments

No help or technical docs out there?  I'm just looking to import or merge data from a working DB into a restored DB from a few weeks ago.  Each day I can't figure this out, more data to find and merge.

 

I'm looking specifically to be able to capture any and all records that have been added or modified since 5/14/12 and import or merge them back into a DB that I can restore from then.  I can't believe I can't find a tech article that meets my criteria and accomplish this.  Just looking for direction to help accomplish my task.  Thanks.

Platinum Super Contributor
Posts: 5,275
Country: USA

Re: Import attachments into existing DB with attachments

Here is an article with information about importing/exporting from database to databse: KB Article 17539

 

Basically to capture a time frame:

- In the updated database, perform a Lookup > Contact Activity > select Changed - since date...

- Once the Lookup is done, use the File > Export option > Current Lookup

 

Note: Always make a backup of the target database before importing, in case the results are not as expected (File > Backup > Database).

Greg Martin
Sage
New Member
Posts: 10
Country: USA

Re: Import attachments into existing DB with attachments

Couple of questions...

 

Should I export as database file or Text del?  Reason I ask, I've tried both ways and don't get the results I'm looking for.  The database file looks the best, and my fields are all the same between the two db's, so it should be a clean export into my existing db and back to good, BUT...

 

I guess it updates the records in the new DB and changes the edit date so it's hard to compare the now 225 records that have changed in our db since 5/14/12.  If I do the text del, then it keeps the edit dates the same, but I'm not sure how it updates the attachments, notes, history, etc. if at all.

 

Also, I'm looking for some help that on an actual procedure or direction for such to pluck my 225 records out and merge them into my restored db.  Thanks in advance.  I've been trying different settings and ways to accomplish this, but not getting the results I expect each time I run the restore.