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Very frustrated with reporting tool

Tuned Listener
Posts: 113
Country: USA

Very frustrated with reporting tool

[ Edited ]

OK, I am beyond frustration.  I've written a lot of reports before and never had this much trouble.

 

 

1.  I can't link a subreport.  I've followed the instructions in the help by creating contactid field on main report and linking subreport on contactid.  Nothing happens.  The subreport doesn't print. 

 

2.  Why are all the fields not available when creating reports.  For example, I'd like to take the Group Summary Report and modify the notes section to include contact and company.  Contact is available but company is not,  WHY??????

 

3.  When using summary fields, the records do not compress.  For example, if I'm summarizing activities and a user had 50 meetings.  There are a number of lines after meeting before the next activity.  Not only is this not pretty, it's wasting paper.  Another person in this forum was kind enough to suggest editing the xml template.  I've played around with it for hours and can't get it to work right.  Why does the reporting tool not automatically do this?  It's not rocket science.

 

4.  I tried connecting using a ODBC connection as posted in the knowledgebase, but the Activity table does not appear to be available?  WHY?????

 

This is as SQL based application and data is data.  This reporting tool and the ODBC connectors are severely lacking in functionality. 

 

OK, I'm done venting Smiley Mad  Any suggestions are welcome.

Message Edited by ghollister on 07-18-2008 06:58 AM
Message Edited by ghollister on 07-18-2008 06:58 AM
New Member
Posts: 14
Country: India

Re: Very frustrated with reporting tool

If you want, please send me your report with the instruction for modification. Will customize and it and send it back to you.

 

Thanks and Regards,

Uniquestart Technologies.

uniquestart2008@gmail.com.

Thanks & Regards
Uniquestart Technologies
Tuned Listener
Posts: 113
Country: USA

Re: Very frustrated with reporting tool

That's very generous of you, but I don't want to bother you with this task.  I was just upset that the reporting tool is lacking in many ways.  I've purchased the reader and am able to create the queries that I need to run the reports.  Now I have to figure out how to best integrate this with ACT. 

 

Does anyone know if I can integrate a Crystal Report into ACT.  I notice that they both have the rep extensions.  Any suggestions are welcome.

 

 

Nickel Elite Contributor
Posts: 595
Country: USA

Re: Very frustrated with reporting tool

Crystal reports can access the ACT! database via OLEDB for all tables except the activity table. There is an addon available called Crystal Clear Provider available from http://www.adsprogramming.com/products.htm that provides access to the activity table.

 

Frankly, I find the ACT! report editor very capable. Learning how to build general reports is not particularily hard. Learning how the report engine itself behaves and getting a feel for how it works is more difficult. To extend the capabilities of the reports, you do need to get into the scripting and there an understanding of VB programming helps. The biggest limitation that I find is the built in data sourcing and the ACT! reports would be much improved if open data sourcing was provided. I've requested that And I hope that it becomes available in a future version of the ACT! program.

Roy Laudenslager
ACT! Certified Consultant
Techbenders
royel@techbenders.com
New Member
Posts: 2
Country: USA

Re: Very frustrated with reporting tool

I use Crystal Reports 11 and write some pretty nice reports from our ACT database using it.  My frustration is how to share the reports in ACT.  What good is it if I am the only one that can run the reports?  Does anyone know how to integrate the Crystal Reports into ACT so other users can run them?  You mentioned Crystal Clear Provider, have you used this software and does it provide that function? 

 

Greg

Tuned Listener
Posts: 113
Country: USA

Re: Very frustrated with reporting tool

[ Edited ]

After getting the ACT reader tool to work, I am also using Crystal Reports.  I'm having the same issue.  How can I integrate with ACT?  I am thinking I might just call the reports from a web page on our intranet site.

 

On the topic of why I started this message, I must respectfully disagree.  The reporting tool in ACT is terrible.  Because of the way the tool is designed, you can't do things like add a phone number to the Opportunity by Record Manager report.  I had originally thought it was similar to MS Access, but they just don't give you enough access to all of the tables in ACT.  The phone number is actually stored in a different table from tbl_contact (tbl_phone or something similar).  The point is that the reporting tool is extremely limiting.

Message Edited by ghollister on 07-18-2008 06:56 AM
Platinum Elite Contributor
Posts: 14,387
Country: Australia

Re: Very frustrated with reporting tool


sunnydd wrote:

OK, I am beyond frustration.  I've written a lot of reports before and never had this much trouble.

4.  I tried connecting using a ODBC connection as posted in the knowledgebase, but the Activity table does not appear to be available?  WHY?????

 

This is as SQL based application and data is data.  This reporting tool and the ODBC connectors are severely lacking in functionality.  Why has ACT made this so difficult? 

The ACT Reader utility will give you access to all if it.

You'll see why Activities are not in the OLEDB ... they consist of a lot of tables and link to most of the others.


 

New Member
Posts: 2
Country: United States

Re: Very frustrated with reporting tool

[ Edited ]
I am new to ACT and am running into the same frustrations.  Honestly, the simple fact that I cannot use fields from the Contact Data to create an Opportunity or Combo report is making my life very frustrating. I am a Global Sales Manager and need to manage the leads and Opportunities (Along with Leads Summary Info) in one Summarry Report for our globals sales team. Any help that I could get from you guys would be greatly appreciated.
Message Edited by ghollister on 07-18-2008 07:43 AM
Platinum Elite Contributor
Posts: 6,668
Country: USA

Re: Very frustrated with reporting tool

Crystal reports can access the ACT! database via OLEDB for all tables except the activity table. There is an addon available called Crystal Clear Provider available from http://www.adsprogramming.com/products.htm that provides access to the activity table. Stonefield Query has a wizard for creating simple to moderate templates but if you need anything beyond the capabilities of the wizard you have to switch over to their advanced mode which is very difficult to use.

 

Frankly, I find the ACT! report editor very capable. Learning how to build general reports is not particularly hard. Learning how the report engine itself behaves and getting a feel for how it works is more difficult. To extend the capabilities of the reports, you do need to get into the scripting and there an understanding of VB programming helps. The biggest limitation that I find is the built in data sourcing. The ACT! reports would be much improved if open data sourcing was provided. I've requested that And I hope that it becomes available in a future version of the ACT! program.

 

I do quite a bit of training on the ACT! report editor and the first thing that I make clear is that a report editor is not a word processor. What you are doing is writing a program to extract data from a database and format it in a particular manner. In other words, you are working with a programming language. Many of the simple report that you might need can be done simple by setting up the columns that you need in one of the list views, filtering for the records that you want and then printing the view.

 

Roy Laudenslager
ACT! Certified Consultant
ACT! Report Expert
Durkin Impact Report Designer
www.techbenders.com
royel@techbenders.com
541-343-8129
Copper Contributor
Posts: 69
Country: UK

Re: Very frustrated with reporting tool

[ Edited ]

I use Stonefield Query which has a friendly wizard-driven front end, allowing customised reports to be built up quickly.  I'd recommend it as an easy way to get to a certain stage with your report creation.

 

However, we've got Crystal Reports available within our company and I'd like to move on a stage in my abilities to use and manipulate the ACT data.  What I'd like to know is as follows:  Can anyone point me to a description or table which details the default database tables structure in ACT so that I can get my head around what is going on?  I feel that understanding its complexity will help me understand why things don't always work as I expect when assembling reports (even in Stonefield Query).

 

Many thanks,


Andy

 

Message Edited by gyroman on 07-18-2008 03:44 AM