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Problem Updating Linked Contacts with Blank Data

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New Member
Posts: 4
Country: USA
Accepted Solution

Problem Updating Linked Contacts with Blank Data

We are having a problem updating linked contacts where we are trying to replace existing data with blank data. The contact updates, but the old data remains. 

 

For example, if we have a company that has

Address 1: 123 Main Street

Address 2: Suite 200

 

Those address fields are linked to address fields on the contact level. Then, that company moves and no longer has a suite; their new address is  

Address 1: 145 Main Street

Address 2: 

 

When we enter the new address and update all the linked contacts, the Address 1 will pull through, but the Address 2 does not. The result is 

Address 1: 145 Main Street

Address 2: Suite 200

 

This is obviously wrong, and extremely problematic, as companies move all of the time. I was told by our support team that there is no way to fix this, and that ACT won't replace existing data on the contact level with null data. They told me I'd have to go to each contact and manually change the address (which seems to defeat the point of having linked fields). Has anyone else experienced this and have any ideas or workarounds?

 

We are using Act Premium V21 Update 4

 


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Solution
Accepted by topic author Rooster752
‎01-30-2020 08:35 AM
Copper Contributor
Posts: 32
Country: United_Kingdom

Re: Problem Updating Linked Contacts with Blank Data

The message prompt when updating linked fields does say "The current data in all linked fields if not blank will be copied to all Contacts" so it's working as designed, although I can see why you could find this an issue.

 

All you can do is ensure the linked fields are populated with something even if just a "-", you could even use define fields to not allow blanks for those fields.

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Solution
Accepted by topic author Rooster752
‎01-30-2020 08:35 AM
Copper Contributor
Posts: 32
Country: United_Kingdom

Re: Problem Updating Linked Contacts with Blank Data

The message prompt when updating linked fields does say "The current data in all linked fields if not blank will be copied to all Contacts" so it's working as designed, although I can see why you could find this an issue.

 

All you can do is ensure the linked fields are populated with something even if just a "-", you could even use define fields to not allow blanks for those fields.

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New Member
Posts: 4
Country: USA

Re: Problem Updating Linked Contacts with Blank Data

You know, I've read that message a thousand times and never noticed the "if not blank" clause. Thank you for pointing it out. This is clearly how it's supposed to work. 

 

I'm curious as to how other people handle this issue. Is it uncommon to list the address on the contact level? Do most people not deal with companies that tend to move a lot (or have changes in the number of address lines)?

 

You suggested using Define Fields to not allow blanks for the fields. That seems like that would be the opposite of what I'm looking for, unless I'm misunderstanding? 

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Copper Contributor
Posts: 32
Country: United_Kingdom

Re: Problem Updating Linked Contacts with Blank Data

The issue is blanks are ignored during a link update which is the main issue you outlined. Therefore blank fields should be avoided at all costs to ensure a link with a Null does not exist. If you are updating an Address 2 which previously contained data you need it to contain something (anything) and not allowing blanks would force this. 

 

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New Member
Posts: 4
Country: USA

Re: Problem Updating Linked Contacts with Blank Data

Thank you. I understand now. 

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Copper Contributor
Posts: 32
Country: United_Kingdom

Re: Problem Updating Linked Contacts with Blank Data

Not a great solution but it's something that would avoid the scenario in your example.

 

You could also just perform a lookup of the Contacts within the Company and use Edit > Replace function to quickly update the Address 2 field for each Contact to be blank.