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Practical limits to number and size of attachments?

New Member
Posts: 12
Country: United States

Practical limits to number and size of attachments?

It took our company several years to achieve a 1.5 GB  backup file size.  In the 5 or so months since we went to Act! 2009 Premium, we have cleared 3 GB.

 

The primary reason for this is that with the enhanced Outlook integration, our sales guys are attaching pretty much all email to Act! contacts.  (Attaching, not simply recording message and subject in contact history).

 

They like to do this because then Salesman A can respond to an email written to Salesman B as if they were the original recipient (the customer can see the full email thread, etc.).  Our sales guys are highly resistant switching to simply recording the message and subject in the contact history.


So at this point, our attachments folder has over 42,000 files totaling almost 2 Gb of space, and rapidly climbing.  Backup takes hours, and sometimes fails.  Manging the archived backups is becoming a pain.

 

I have several questions:

 

-What are the practical limits to size and number of attachments in the folders?

 

-Are we putting data integrity at risk by creating so many attached files?

 

-If I wanted to purge older attachments, what is the best way to do this?


-Can I just delete raw files, which I assume would simply leave an orphaned file reference somewhere in the database, or is there a better way?

 

Thanks a bunch, maybe someone can help!

 

-dan 

Platinum Elite Contributor
Posts: 14,384
Country: Australia

Re: Practical limits to number and size of attachments?

I usually find there are some preformance issues with over 10,000 files in a folder - and all attachments, even shortcuts, are in the same folder.

 

I prefer to actually store the message body in the History (rather than as an attachment) - if that pushes the database over 4GB, you'll need to switch to MS SQL Standard

 

You might contact Ingo at http://www.crmaddon.com/ - he was working on a tool that splits the attachments into folders of 10K max and changes the link in the database. Not sure if he's released it yet

New Member
Posts: 12
Country: United States

Re: Practical limits to number and size of attachments?

Thanks Mike, so it looks like there isnt a data integrity issue as much as there is a performance issue.

 

Any idea how the slowness manifests itself?  Slow to save an email?  Slow to render a template email???

 

I still have the issue of massive backup files, but maybe something a solution like you describe below would help a bit.

 

-Dan 

Platinum Elite Contributor
Posts: 14,384
Country: Australia

Re: Practical limits to number and size of attachments?

The performance is an operating system issue... every time you reference the folder, it has the read the directory. So the items you meantion and even when lookin at History or Documents tabs.

 

Depending on the version of ACT!, you may have the option not to include Attachments in the backup and you can do them seperately.

New Member
Posts: 12
Country: United States

Re: Practical limits to number and size of attachments?

I had not considered this....sounds like if:

 

1) Ingo can hook me up with the utility you mentioned (already emailed him) and

2) I omit attachments from my backups (relying on my existing full-server backup)

 

Then I can let my users attach at will and run the thing up to who-knows how big. 

 

-dan 

Platinum Elite Contributor
Posts: 14,384
Country: Australia

Re: Practical limits to number and size of attachments?

Copper Contributor
Posts: 133
Country: Canada

Re: Practical limits to number and size of attachments?

We also store the entire email as an attachment for the same reasons already mentioned.

 

Mike, if we don't save emails as attachments then what is a best practice for dealing with the actual emails? Just store them in an Outlook folder?

 

Our original thought was that we might as well save all contatc information in ACT rather than looking for history in two places (ACT & Outlook) but now I'm concerned about performance based on you comment because we have over 12,000 files in our attachment folder.

Platinum Elite Contributor
Posts: 14,384
Country: Australia

Re: Practical limits to number and size of attachments?

The current versions of ACT! allow you to exclude attachments in the backups

Personally, I prefer to have the body of the emails stored in the ACT! database. ACT! 2011 uses SQL 2008 Express, which has a 10GB limit and you can remove this limit by upgrading to SQL Standard
New Member
Posts: 7
Country: Belgium

Re: Practical limits to number and size of attachments?

430 000 Files in the attachments folder for a whooping 32GB of data.

Platinum Elite Contributor
Posts: 14,384
Country: Australia

Re: Practical limits to number and size of attachments?

John,

I would speak to Ingo at http://www.crmaddon.com/
He was working on a utility to split the attachments folder into sub-folders of 10K each and adjust the database to the new locations.

Not sure if he completed it, but would be worth asking ... it should speed up the system quite a bit