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Understanding the ACT Synchronization Process - ACT Premium 2011 SQL

New Member
Posts: 28
Country: United States

Understanding the ACT Synchronization Process - ACT Premium 2011 SQL

Hello All. We have having LOTS of issues with our users syncing their remote databases with the main office. We are using ACT 2011 SQL. We have about 8,000 contacts. Each remote database has between 50-200 contacts with NOT a lot of activity. Please note, I added 2 lines to a dropdown field in the main act database - this is probably considered a database modification. It IS possible this change was made around 10/4/11 - unfortunately I can't confirm the exact time/date.

 

Anyway, I have taken some screen shots and want to see if someone can help me walkthrough the different steps that are taking place. Unfortunately I don't have a time stamp on each one of these but I will try to describe this as I describe each step. Please understand, I am simply trying to understand the process that ACT is going through here - how we are connected, operating systems, etc. Should not be relevant for this discussion.

 

These test were done around 10/5/11 at 11pm CST.

 

Screen 1
It shows 0 of 3871 files (50.21MB) - for the last 10 minutes its been counting the MB.

Questions: What are all the files for? I guarantee there are not that many files to sync. As you will see in the next step, its only going to sync about 88 of those files - so why are we waiting so long to count the size of the rest of the files?

 

Screen 2

Same as above - its just still calculating the size of the files (73.63MB)

 

 

Screen 3
Finally got done calculating the total size of something. Estimated time is probably about 20 minutes. It then did a pretty quick sync of the 88 files.

It then did a sync of the records (841) which was pretty quick.

It now says the Sync has completed. Please note the time. It says it is updated through 10/5/2011 11:03pm. BUT, it is currently 10/5/11 at 11:20PM. So why didn't it do a complete sync? It leaves the user thinking that it is done.

 

 

Screen 4

I knew better than to think it was done so I did another sync.
This time it didn't go through 3000 files. It did a pretty quick sync of 35 files. I can assure you those 35 files were NOT added in the last 10 seconds.

It now says the Sync has completed and is updated through 10/5/11 11:19pm - which is correct.

 

 

 

Screen 5

Sync completes - no updates - all is good.

 

FYI - I don't think this is related but we have tripled all the timeout settings on the server and workstations.

I'm going to open another post that is related to the problem we have before we even get to these screen.

 

Silver Contributor
Posts: 1,813
Country: USA

Re: Understanding the ACT Synchronization Process - ACT Premium 2011 SQL

I not sure that you have a problem.  The word files is misleading, these are not files in the sense you are used to.  Honestly, it's more confusing than not to have that statistic there.  I think one of the points you are making is the dialog box is a bit misleading. I"d agree with you there.  I believe they have changed this box a bit in the newer release.

 

ACT syncs accross changes, so the longer you wait to sync, the longer it takes.  The screen shots you sent reflect a normal sync.

 

If sync won't finish, keep trying until it does unless it errors off or just wont finish. Then the best practice would be to create a new remote.

 

You can set a sync schedule to sync the databases once an hour.  THat will speed up the sync process.  IF you sync 2-3 times a ween under normal use, i'd expect your sync to take a few minutes.

 

Without seeing the environment it would be hard to speculate more.

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New Member
Posts: 28
Country: United States

Re: Understanding the ACT Synchronization Process - ACT Premium 2011 SQL

Thanks for your reply. I'm not suggesting we are having an issue in this post. I'm just trying to understand the logic so I can better understand what is going on. I'm most curious about the following:

 

1. What are the 3000 files?

2. What is it calculating the size of and for? (I'm ok with a technical answer if someone has one)

3. What is it actually doing it to begin with? It makes it look like it has already established the number of files to sync so the MB calculation does not have any correlation.

4. Why do I have to do 2-3 syncs in a row to "actually' be in sync?

 

Just a note - if you check out the dates, you will see that the previous sync date was 10/4. So - its not like it had been awhile. It had been about 36 hours.

 

Thanks in advance for your time!!!!

Nickel Super Contributor
Posts: 352
Country: Canada

Re: Understanding the ACT Synchronization Process - ACT Premium 2011 SQL

I don't have fantastic answers for the first three, but I've got a pretty good understanding of #4.

 

Under most conditions, you only need to sync once to get caught up.

 

However, if you want to be absolutely sure you've synced everything (like before you're going to stop using your notebook and replace it), we tell people to sync twice.

 

Here's why:

 

When you start a sync, ACT! says "OK, it's 12:10pm and in this sync, I'm going to sync everything up to 12:10pm".  Even if the sync takes 20 minutes and halfway through someone adds a new record, it's only going to do up until 12:10pm.

 

If for some reason your sync does not complete (massive sync, lost connection, powered off, etc.) on the next sync ACT! will try to complete the aborted sync - so if it finishes, you'll only get changes up until 12:10pm, in our example.  That means you'll need to do one more sync to get up to date.

 

Long story short - if an ACT! sync is interupted half way, you need to do a sync to finish that one and then one more to get up to date.

 

Cheers,

Len

 

Len Kamerman
ACT! Certified Consultant

Act E-mail Marketing Trainining Course:

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