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[SOLVED] Remote database "Could not authenticate" error from some computers and not others

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[SOLVED] Remote database "Could not authenticate" error from some computers and not others

[ Edited ]

I've been digging through the forums here for the past several hours and, while there have been several similar issues posted, I haven't found anyone with exactly the same problem as me. Apologies if this question has already been dealt with elsewhere.

 

I'm fairly new to ACT!--I just started a few weeks ago as the IT guy at a company that previously had no IT, so there's really nowhere for me to turn to ask questions. We're running ACT! 2009 (v.11) with 10 users on a remote database hosted on our fileserver. We're not using Network Sychronization Services, which I'm told is a non-standard setup, but no one can tell me how or why. 

 

I'm attempting to set up a few new machines with access to the database, and I've followed all the written instructions to the best of my ability--right down to sacrificing a chicken at midnight under the full moon--but no matter what I do I can't get any user to authenticate on any of the new machines. These are all username and password combinations that work fine on all the old machines running the same version of ACT! with the same hotfixes installed, so I know there's gotta' be something obvious I'm missing.

 

At the risk of a post so long that no one will read it, I'll attempt to walk you quickly through my steps so you can point out my glaring and obvious oversight and send me on my merry way.

 

1. Installed ACT! 2009 from the disk provided.

2. Ran ACT! in Windows XP SP2 compatibility mode in order to install the hotfix, then turned off compatibility mode again.

3. Followed the written directions given to me outlining how to set up access to the remote database, reproduced below for your reading pleasure:

 

"To avoid having to always synchronize, anyone not using ACT remotely can link to the shared parent database. This can be done by sharing the parent database and then copying the parent database file to the remote locations and launching that file from ACT. To make sure that the data in the old remotes has been integrated, changed records can be imported into the master database file or do the conversion immediate[sic] after synching[sic] the old db."

 

Those directions might as well be written in Swahili for how helpful they are to me, but I followed them to the best of my abiltiy and have had no success. I've copied the database file (newactdb.pad) from the server to my local machine, and then attempted to open it from ACT!. Every time it gives me the authentication error. Sage customer support was about as helpful as you might expect, so I'm hoping one of you has the time, experience, and kindhearted nature to get me out of what is proabably a very stupid jam.

 

Thanks for your time.

Nickel Super Contributor
Posts: 352
Country: Canada

Re: Remote database "Could not authenticate" error from some computers and not others

I couldn't gather from your somewhat lengthy (but fortunately humorous) description for certain whether these are users who need remote / synchronizing databases or not, but I think if I read it right you're just sharing the database over the network.  If that's the case, then you have no need for Network Sync Sevice, as that's intended for synchronizing a database rather than sharing it out.  Anyone who tells you that not using NSS for sharing out a database over a network is perhaps more confused than you are.

 

Also, those instructions that you received were fairly horrible.  They're ambiguous and I think they were meant for you to take a user who is currently using a synchronizing database that no longer syncs and make them a user who shares over the network.  Assuming the user still needs access to ACT! from off the network, that's like trading in your delivery van for a bicycle because you think gas is still expensive.

 

I'm guessing that one of two things is going on, but there could be more without further investigation:

-> you need to configure the firewall

-> you didn't share the DB from the server via the Tools menu, Database maintenance (off hand I think that's where it is)

 

I would check out this KB article if you haven't already:

http://kb.sagesoftwareonline.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/13878

 

Hope that helps,

Len

Len Kamerman
ACT! Certified Consultant

Act E-mail Marketing Trainining Course:

http://actsoftware.training
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Re: Remote database "Could not authenticate" error from some computers and not others

Thank you! That is more helpful information in one place than I've been able to glean from anyone/anywhere else so far.

You are correct in assuming that we're just sharing a database over the network, and that Knowledge Base article outlines our situation perfectly, but--unfortunately--there are no steps there that I haven't already taken.

I, too, thought it was a firewall issue, but the workstations I'm setting up are unable to authenticate even with their firewalls turned of completely. Do I need to create an exception in the server firewall for every workstation that needs to access the database? That seems a bit excessive.

As for sharing the DB from the server via Tools-->Database Maintenance, I'm assuming that's already been done because we have close to ten other workstations that can access the database just fine--it's only the new machines that can't. I don't need to share the database again for each new machine, do I?

Sorry for all the newbie questions--I was plunged headfirst into a situation where the database had already been implemented (poorly) and no one knows how or by whom, so my learning curve looks more like a brick wall.
Nickel Super Contributor
Posts: 352
Country: Canada

Re: Remote database "Could not authenticate" error from some computers and not others

Hrrmm... OK, that's good to know that there are workstations that are accessing it just fine...

 

I'd grab a copy of the same .PAD file that the other machines are using - although we usually put one PAD file on the server and then share out that folder so you end up with \\server\actdb or something like that (if you're really security conscious, you don't put that in the same folder as the .ADF and .ALF files since only the server needs access to those).  It could be there's an issue with the .PAD file.

 

Also check out that the users have permissions to the share where the supplemental files are.  If your DB is called WHYMEWHYNOW then it'd be a share called "WHYMEWHYNOW-database files".

 

That's about all I can think of without actually seeing the machine - thank goodness we have remote support tools now and the telephone support days are over.

 

If you're not getting any further along and need some help, $250 guarantees your problem solved and one of us at Hero can get on it, just PM me.

 

Cheers,

Len

Len Kamerman
ACT! Certified Consultant

Act E-mail Marketing Trainining Course:

http://actsoftware.training
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Re: Remote database "Could not authenticate" error from some computers and not others

OK, you're gonna' laugh at me. 

 

Turns out I've been beating my head against this for almost a week because the username/password combination I was given to set up ACT! accounts was wrong. I even thought of that and asked for another username/password combo to try out and was given, unbeknownst to me, ANOTHER incorrect set.

 

I figured it out when I asked one of the sales guys to show me how he logs into ACT! to see if I was missing any steps and it just worked for him because he used his own username and password.

 

Thanks for all your time and help. It's encouraging to know there are knowledgeable, helpful people out there even when the issue is totally PICNIC.