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Surnames & Firstname values within ACT! are being swapped (reversed) unexpectedly - I think caused by the ACT! and Outlook contacts Sync feature

New Member
Posts: 12
Country: Canada

Surnames & Firstname values within ACT! are being swapped (reversed) unexpectedly - I think caused by the ACT! and Outlook contacts Sync feature

Hi All,

 

I just encountered a strange situation which I am trying to figure out what happened, why and what to do about it to

a) fix it and

b) prevent it from happening again.

 

Problem:

Contacts that were manually  entered and/or entered via importing data into ACT awhile ago have had their surnames and firstnames swapped.  For example, if the contact field stated Rick Jones where Rick was the firstname and Jones was the surname, now, for some unexplained reason, the contact will appear as Jones Rick. 

 

Looking that the names behind the contact they are now shown as Firstname "Jones" and Surname "Rick" even though I know that they were originally saved the other way around and that they had been that way and correct for months.

 

This problem is not isolated to just a few contacts.  It appears that this has happened to every contact (over 2000) that has a main email address completed. Every contact that does NOT have a main email address filled in remains correct in the Firstname and Surname fields as well on the displayed Contact field which reads correctly as Firstname Surname..

 

So my thoughts are that this is being caused by the syncronization with Outlook because our Outlook syncronization scope is set to sync based upon the Main email field only. (If there's a value there, it will sync the two applications. 

 

My Outlook settings for all users (9) were all set the same so that:

 

1) Outlook address books display  as Lastname, Firstname

2) the Outlook default fullname order was set to "Last, First"

3) the Outlook file as order was set to "Last, First"

4) the Act! Outlook sync preferences were set to only "Keep the ACT! contact" - and -

5) the ACT! Outlook sync preference was NOT set to "Add Outlook Contacts to Act! and syncronize changes"

 

I'm not sure how or why this happened by I'm thinking that the sync tool is the problem culpret or there is a clear association here. 

 

I'm guessing that if I change Outlooks setting to use Firstname, Lastname, that after syncing, things may go bak to where there were.  This would be good however trying to lookup an email address using the firstname in the search field is really tough compared to using lastnames.  remember that the Outlook search feature does not look within the text. it only matches to the exact text from position #1.

 

I can't find anything in the knowledge base on on the comunity forum on this matter.  Any help would be very much appreciated.

 

Other observations:

 

 

System Details:

Using Act  Premium version16.2.14.0 with ACT! databse schema version 16.1.198.0 (32 bit)

Using MS Office Professional Plus 2010 with Outlook version 14.0.7153.5000 (32 bit)

Using MS SQL Server 2008 - Express Edition (64 bit) - The private database is located on the server and not on the cloud.

The Sage database is installed on Small Business Server 2008. The Act! premium application is installed on on desktop computers running either Windows 8.1 or Windows 7.

 

 

 

 

 

Rick Walsworth
The Millar Corporation
Ottawa, Ont, Canada
Employee
Posts: 3
Country: United_Kingdom

Re: Surnames & Firstname values within ACT! are being swapped (reversed) unexpectedly - I think caused by the ACT! and Outlook contacts Sync featu

Hi Rick.

This is not something that we have come across before.

We would suggest to run a test by creating a new contact in Act with a first name, surname & Email address & then run another sync with Outlook. If the same thing happens with the new contact, this will confirm that the issue definitely relates to the Outlook sync & we can investigate this further.

Please could you also confirm if you sync Act & Outlook with anything else?

We look forward to hearing from you.

Thanks,

Kate Price
Act Technical Support
New Member
Posts: 12
Country: Canada

Re: Surnames & Firstname values within ACT! are being swapped (reversed) unexpectedly - I think caused by the ACT! and Outlook contacts Sync featu

Hi Kate,

 

Thanks for getting back to me and offering your idea.

 

An answer to your question, ... Not easy to answer. Basically, the initial answer I think would be a no. Neither Act nor Outlook are sync'd with anything else.  But to clarify....We do use Sharefile which has an outlook plugin on each desktop in order to encript and upload files for distribution through the cloud . And a couple of users on the domain have active sync turned on within active directory in order to sync their Microsoft Exchange mailboxes and contacts with their Windows phones.

 

I'm working with the existing data right now and have noticed that most, but not all contacts with main email addresses had their names swapped.  Here's the stats:

 

1) There are a total of 2071 contacts in our ACT databse.

2) Of those2071 contacts, 2026 were all created at the same time last May.

3) August 7, 2015 was the date that Outlook syncronization was setup across the office (9 PC's) and executed.

 

3a) On August 7th, 1266 contact were edited. I see entries by two users but primarily the bulk were done by one user. User 1 - 1264 contacts all happening at 11:45 to 11.48 am. User 2 had 2 contacts swapped at 12:20.  100% of the 1266 contacts had their their names swapped, regardless of user.  Both users had the same settings on their PC's and I suspect that I had pressed the manually syncronize command button at those times.

 

3b) On August 10th @ 12;20, user 2's PC swapped surname's and firstnames on two more contacts.

 

3c)

 

 

 

 

 

Rick Walsworth
The Millar Corporation
Ottawa, Ont, Canada
New Member
Posts: 12
Country: Canada

Re: Surnames & Firstname values within ACT! are being swapped (reversed) unexpectedly - I think caused by the ACT! and Outlook contacts Sync featu

previous post Continued'

 

On August 12 at 13:29 another contact was swapped by user 2

On August 12 at 15:46, another contact was swapped by user 2

On August 13 at 10:09, another contact was swapped by user 3

On August 17 at 11:18, another contact was swapped by user 3

On August 18 at 15:39, another contact was swapped by user 2

On August 18 at 17:27, another contact was swapped by user 4

 

and this contuines on a one by one basis, affecting 44 more contacts being swapped, up to August 24th at 14:08 (as recorded by entries for 6 different users.)

 

On August 24th, I changed all PC's so that the MS Outlook setting was to file contacts as First, middle then last name.

 

In summary, I have corrected the data (surname, firstname and contact field data for 65 existing contacts and recorrded these contacts.  These corrections were done on August 27th by 5:00 p.m.

 

More to follow when I see if any of these are affected.

 

thanks

Rick

 

 

Rick Walsworth
The Millar Corporation
Ottawa, Ont, Canada
Employee
Posts: 3
Country: United_Kingdom

Re: Surnames & Firstname values within ACT! are being swapped (reversed) unexpectedly - I think caused by the ACT! and Outlook contacts Sync featu

Hi Rick.

 

Thanks for the additional information.  We will continue to investigate this & wait to hear from you as to whether the corrected contacts are affected again.

 

Kind regards,

 

Kate Price

Act Technical Support