01-20-2009 04:39 AM
Has anyone else experienced this and can anyone suggest a cause?
We run ACT Premium 2008 (ST Edition) - v10.0.1.199 under Windows XP and link it to Outlook 2003 for email, with a mix of remote and direct users. We attach all our customer emails to their contact record - by attaching the entire email, using the Outlook addin. We typically the cut and paste any relevant email text into the history body.
On returning to the email attachment at a later date, we have all experienced instances where the attachment cannot subsequently be opened, even by the original user on his/her original remote database. This then means that, following synchronisations, the attachment is also unavailable to the Main database and to other remote users. ("Error opening attachment. It may have been deleted by ....etc"). We have established that, in fact, the relevant attachment email does not exist in the attachment directory, hence the error message.
Although we have moved up through the ACT versions (we go back to v6) most of the problems are with attachments of the form...
... which I understand are those created by ACT v10 (the first version where email sent status, time etc are recorded correctly in ACT). I've run the Actdiag 'Missing attachments' report and find I (a remote user) have over 700 such missing attachments (though curiously another remote user has around 600 missing).
I just can't get to the bottom of understanding what set of circumstances might cause an attachment to fail. It's only a small percentage of our total attachments but it is a real problem. Most seem to go missing at the time of attachment - we are in the habit of checking now to make sure - but one user has suggested that her's have gone missing AFTER being checked as openable.
This issue is driving us mad and causing us to lose confidence in the software - recording customer history is the most vital part of our methodology. I'm hoping that someone can point me in the right direction.....
01-26-2009 06:50 AM
The first thing I would suggest is to update your server all users/remotes to build 10.0.3. There were a lot of enhancements done to the sync process in this update. For information on this update, please see the following Knowledgbase article:
Note: Effective 6/1/13, Sage no longers provides support for the Act! software. This is now provided by Swiftpage.
01-26-2009 08:01 AM
Greig, Thanks for responding. It's good that stuff doesn't get forgotten when it goes below page 1! I guess you're right - I need to upgrade our team. The reasons why I haven't done so far are:
- indications that a substantial number of users have had problems when moving to v10.3. Is this still valid?
- thoughts that my problem is NOT a synchronisation one - because a user can test and fail to open his attached email straight after attaching it, in his own remote database.
- some suspicion that not everything listed as 'fixed' in 10.3 can be accurate. One instance I checked recently is that an inability to attached emails which are flagged for follow-up has been solved in 10.3. With my version, I've never actually had that problem - and we flag emails continually.
- worries about the workload involved. Can I get round having to roll out new remote databases for all the remote users if I apply this upgrade? Will the remote databases 'upgrade themselves' once their client software is upgraded?
Would be very grateful for any further advice.... Andy
01-28-2009 01:25 AM
Lost email attachments can be an issue in ACT! We see a lot of sync databases and we still have not figured out how these emails disappear. What we find is a common factor is that it is prevalent in databases that have been upgraded from earlier versions. e.g. 6.0 to 8.0 to 10.0. I haven't seen email attachments disapper on non synchronising databases. I have seen emails fail to attach but never seen emails disappear after being successfully attached in a non-sync database. My own view is that under synchronisation the appended GUID ( the long unique number after 'tmp') is the problem.
There were a lot of changes made in the 10.0.3 release. My advice is to uninstall 10.0.1 and install 10.0.3. The sync databases will survive the process, like always with a major change, backup all databases before proceeding. Make sure that you apply the dbfixer.exe as per Document ID 23406. I have yet to see if 10.0.3 solves the missing attachment issue. Be aware that much of the fixes and changes that are made in a service pack release are not documented in the publicly released information.
01-29-2009 06:45 AM
Graeme, thanks for the advice.
I now accept that I need to upgrade to 10.0.3 before I can go further on this issue. I've downloaded the ACT 10.0.3 update, the related hotfix and the dbfixer.exe. Having read the online Sage notes on this dbfixer program, I now understand that the 10.0.3 upgrade actually introduces problems we haven't yet seen, which need to be backed off by the fixer. Duh, life is hard sometimes!
I wanted to ask you about your recommendation of de-installing 10.0.1 before installing 10.0.3. As I said, I only have the upgrade currently (ACT1003PremUKUpdate.exe at 67Mbyte) and I would have to go back to our UK support to get full 10.0.3 software. It would also be a bigger hassle going round all the users doing a full deinstall/reinstall so I wondered if you or others could comment on any shortfall going down the simpler route of running the upgrade program?
01-29-2009 10:58 AM
The problem with data loss was introduced with the release of Hotfix 10.0.2.1 which was quite intensive in the fixes to sync. Unfortunately it introduced a problem of data loss in some primary fields as you have found. At the time of release of the Dbfixer.exe, Sage maintained that the problem was not applicable to a 10.0.2 or prior version, hence they built the Hotfix to be installed on versions 10.0.3 and 11.0. What they didn't say at the time was that they actually caused the problem in releasing 10.0.2.1. Hotfixes are released generally to spot fix a particular problem, not fix multiple minor problems in a software which is better left to the release of a service pack where there is a more lengthy and thorough testing period. Unfortunately 10.0.2.1 was rushed through and the problems created.
Our policy is not to run upgrades directly. It may work just fine, however in our experience with ACT! through the years there has been a better success rate with the uninstall/reinstall procedure. I can't comment on the likely success of doing a straight inplace upgrade for this particular inline upgrade as we don't do it. In the software world a short cut equates to higher risk. When you are doing an upgrade the demand on machine resources is substantialy greater. You only need extensive problems on one machine that requires a complete software rebuild of that machine to blow out the time well beyond taking the less risky procedure of complete uninstall and reinstall.
02-03-2009 04:34 PM
Random - tons of stuff goes missing with our network of ACT running PCs --- from contacts that get added to document attachments - another ACT mystery that we live with -- My ACT wont even save emails anymore - Im afraid to have something else fail if I try to get that working...
I have never had any other piece of software that needs so much work or attention to have it all work --
02-03-2009 04:45 PM
Do you have a question?
Is the database synchronised?
Please explain; "from contacts that get added to document attachments". All users? Type of documents? Do emails go missing?
What version of ACT!?
What version of Office?
What version of ACT! has the database been migrated from ( the family tree) ?