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Best Practices Question - Remote Databases

Copper Elite Contributor
Posts: 124
Country: USA

Best Practices Question - Remote Databases

I work in the financial services field and work at home as well as on the road.  I am in my office, and connected to the LAN, about 50% of the regular work day.

 

My questions revolves around the ACT/Outlook integration and sync.  When using the remote database (Remote.db) I must change the E-mail integration from the main database (Main.db) to Remote.db before loading Outlook and writing emails, etc.  When I am back in the office and connected to the LAN I must change the E-mail integration back to Main.db and remove Remote.db, again, before starting Outlook.

 

My question: Would it be best practice to use Remote.db as my primary database, even when in the office?

 

Pros:

1. No re-jiggering Outlook (and GMail) integration between databases each time I'm changing locations.

2. Remote.db would always be up-to-date (no more "Oops, I forgot to sync with Main.db before heading out").

 

Cons:

1. I'll lose the real-time updates to schedules and contacts made by other people in the office logged into Main.db.

2. While on the LAN I'll have to sync mutliple times during the day to keep Remote.db current with Main.db.

 

What has been your experience?

 

Thanks,

Greg

Platinum Elite Contributor
Posts: 14,384
Country: Australia

Re: Best Practices Question - Remote Databases

I usually find it's simpler to just use remote and use scheduler to sync more often when connected

But a possible third option... use the main db in the office, let emails stay with remote. When you sync, it sends the emails from remote and receives all data changes
Copper Elite Contributor
Posts: 124
Country: USA

Re: Best Practices Question - Remote Databases

Mike,

If I use Main.db when at the office, but have Remote.db integrated with Outlook, a sent email does not get recorded in ACT.  Wait, I see that when I log into Remote.db (I'm testing it at the office now) the email does get recorded into ACT.  I did not realize it would do that.

 

I'm still coming around to just using Remote.db and setting the automatic sync (as you recommended) as the simplest solution.

 

Paul Buchtmann had advised using the remote db as my primary, too.

 

Thanks,

Greg

Platinum Elite Contributor
Posts: 14,384
Country: Australia

Re: Best Practices Question - Remote Databases

Yes, as you've seen, the Outlook integration is not dependant on the database open in ACT! ... in fact, it will attach emails sent from Outlook even if ACT! isn't open

Depending on how fast the machines are, you don't want to sync too often.... but, by leaving Outlook, you can use the right db if you need to access info that's not in both.

Of course, use the scheduler to keep good backups of both
Copper Elite Contributor
Posts: 124
Country: USA

Re: Best Practices Question - Remote Databases

If ACT is not open and I send an email via Outlook, will the email be logged in ACT when I next load it?

 

Earlier today I opened Outlook but did not have ACT up.  The ACT db is kept in an encrypted TrueCrypt volume which was not loaded at the time.  Outlook complained that ACT was not correctly set up or was locked and asked if I wanted to set it up.  I declined and continued to send out a couple of emails through Outlook.

Now, when I load ACT (remote.db) it did not record the emails into the db.  I even manually ran Outlook sync and the emails did not come over.

 

Outlook is working fine now but I don't understand why the earlier emails didn't post.

 

Platinum Elite Contributor
Posts: 14,384
Country: Australia

Re: Best Practices Question - Remote Databases

The email gets looked in ACT! even if ACT! is closed.

SQL Databases shouldn't be encrypted or compressed
Copper Elite Contributor
Posts: 124
Country: USA

Re: Best Practices Question - Remote Databases

I must maintain data security via encryption pursuant to industry regulations. 

The problem was if I did not have the encrypted volume mounted then Outlook would complain, which makes sense given it would not be able establish a to link to the database.  The workaround is to make sure to mount the volume before running Outlook, even if I don't intend to start ACT.

 

Mike, thank you for generously sharing your wisdom and advice on the board.

Platinum Elite Contributor
Posts: 14,384
Country: Australia

Re: Best Practices Question - Remote Databases

I must look at TrueCrypt... the reason it doesn't usually work is that the SQL database is opened by the service - before you even log into Windows
Copper Elite Contributor
Posts: 124
Country: USA

Re: Best Practices Question - Remote Databases

TrueCrypt is a great, open source, encryption program.

 

My standard procedure is to boot, mount the encrypted volume, restart the SQL instance, then load ACT.  At boot SQL Server starts but since the db is locked inside the unmounted encrypted volume the db can't be seen and reports status as RECOVERY_PENDING (per ACTDIAG).  I run a batch file containing the commands to stop then start the ACT7 instance and the db comes online

.

Platinum Elite Contributor
Posts: 14,384
Country: Australia

Re: Best Practices Question - Remote Databases

You could set the SQL service startup to "Manual" ... if you wanted to avoid the error :-)