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Horrible performance from version 9.0.1.162

New Member
Posts: 10
Country: USA

Horrible performance from version 9.0.1.162

My machine is a Dell Latitude D820 with 1 gig ram, and running XP Professional with Service Pack 2.
 
ACT! is extremely slow to load (I can live with that), is slow to move from field to field, crashes frequently and I get error messages and or the software crashes when I use the Lookup features.
 
I also have a permanent problem with my custom layout - somehow the fields and fonts have been blown up ( in size) and I can only see about 2/3ds of the screen at any one time.  I've tried changing my Windows settings to "Normal font size" and then re-saving the layout template but that hasn't helped.
 
Does anyone have a suggestion on how to improve?  I've used ACT! for many years but the change from 6.0 has been very painful.  I'm sure there is a way to fix this.
 
Thanks!
 
Mike
Copper Contributor
Posts: 97
Country: USA

Re: Horrible performance from version 9.0.1.162

Hi Mike,
 
On the layout issue... is only your custom layout affected?  If so, have you tried opening your layout file directly (using Notepad for instance) and examining the font properties?  Compare to the default layouts installed at C:\Documents and Settings\username\My Documents\ACT\ACT for Windows 10\Databases\MyDB-database files\Layouts\. 
 
The layout files are type ".ALY", ".CLY" and ".GLY" but are standard XML format which can be viewed and modified with any text editor.  Notepad has a handy Find-and-Replace feature (ctrl-h).  ;-)
 
The standard ACT! layout label (Company, Contact, Salutation, etc.) has the following font property:
        <Property name="Font">Tahoma, 8pt, style=Bold</Property>

Be sure to make a copy of your layout file before attempting to edit it directly!!!
 
As for performance... upgrade!  Performance is something ACT! has been focusing on and 10.x is MUCH better than 9.x.  Upgrade to 10 and be sure to get 10.02 as soon as it's available as it should be even faster and more stable.
 
HTH,
jason
 
Jason Sellers
ACT! Engineer 2000-2007
Platinum Elite Contributor
Posts: 14,384
Country: Australia

Re: Horrible performance from version 9.0.1.162

Mike,
 
If you haven't applied it already, also download and apply Hofix3 to your ACT!
 
Also, is this stand-alone or networked?
 
New Member
Posts: 10
Country: USA

Re: Horrible performance from version 9.0.1.162

[ Edited ]
Thanks for the reply Mike!
 
I'll download the Hotfix - I assume it's on ACT's website?
 
I'm running a stand alone version - and it really is bad or I wouldn't be spending the time running down the problem.
 
Mike


Message Edited by mmullin on 02-12-2008 10:10 AM
New Member
Posts: 10
Country: USA

Re: Horrible performance from version 9.0.1.162

[ Edited ]
Now that was somethign neat to learn!
 
Yes, it only appears to be my custom layout that has a problem.
 
I opened the .cly file of my custom layout and did in fact find a bunch of the font properties had been altered somehow - and it was consistent.  Each line is missing ..."Style=Bold..." Everything before and after that part is as you wrote.
 
I have not edited them yet.
 
Any guess as to why or how this code is being altered?  Am I doing something?
 
Also, I only have .cly and .gly versions of my custom layout - there was no .aly file. Is that a problem?
 
Thanks!


Message Edited by mmullin on 02-12-2008 10:10 AM
Copper Contributor
Posts: 97
Country: USA

Re: Horrible performance from version 9.0.1.162

Sounds like you've found your problem!  :-)
 
The .aly file is a Company layout... if you don't have one it just means you didn't custimize a Company layout.  .cly is a Contact layout and .gly is a Group layout.
 
As for why this is happening... good question.  Probably some obscure defect in the layout designer.  If you can detail steps to reliably reproduce the issue ACT! will try to fix it.  Doesn't seem like it happens very often however.
 
Hopefully modifying the files directly once will fix the problem once and for all...
 
jason
Jason Sellers
ACT! Engineer 2000-2007
New Member
Posts: 4
Country: USA

Re: Horrible performance from version 9.0.1.162

Mike & Jason,
 
Don't feel alone, we upgraded from ACT 6 to 9.0 to get the much purported performance increase, and it is buggy, slow, and quick to lock up and crash nightmare. We paid for additional Technical Support ($300) that amounted to repetitive uninstall / reinstall instructions (no real technical expertise) until they gave up and said we would have to completely remove and reinstall the OS and all applications on a particular offending PC. It is funny to me how a company sells a defective piece of software as an "upgrade" and it is the "next" version that is always the answer, or the next, or the one after that, until you get a version that works moderately well and in some fashion as the original "upgrade" version you were sold was supposed to. Did anyone from Sage tell you that 9.0 was lousy before you bought it? I doubt it, they sold it as the answer for all ills and improved performace, a pig in a poke. After 6 months use you will get an automated "How are We Doing" survey, all of our users slammed the new ACT version and the multitude of problems it has, no one from Sage has contacted us to date, I think those unfavorable responses get summarliy "filed" in the round file can. We do however get monthly 'Upgrade Now!!!" to 10.0!! The best ACT yet! What a crock. My advice, monitor the Knowledge Base and Forum as new users get the 10.0 version and see how many complaints and problems people are having with 10.0, that is the real litmus test, had I done this myself before upgrading to 9.0 instead of just using the trial version on a local PC, we would definitely have not "upgraded". We have had just about every problem the other 9.0+ users experienced, such as problems integrating Outlook, lost emails, missing file attachments, lock up, hang ups, etc....
 
Since Sage sold all of its' customers with 9.0 lousy software, how about a free "upgrade" to 10.0+? I won't hold my breath on that one, and if I took it to the owner and told him we were upgrading to 10.0 he would likely fire me. Thanks Sage!
 
Good luck with your 9.0 issues, after 8 months of use, I can tell you first hand, your problems will never completely go away, it will remain slow, and unreliable. I'm sorry, customers shouldn't have to buy another version to fix the one previously sold to them.
 
 
Gary
Copper Contributor
Posts: 97
Country: USA

Re: Horrible performance from version 9.0.1.162

Hi Gary,
 
I'm sorry to hear of all the problems you've gone through.  I'd encourage you to read Larry Ritter's blog entry at:
 
http://community.act.com/blog?blog.id=Blog_CRM_Dev
 
He notes that "From a performance standpoint, it takes today’s ACT! longer to start-up than v6" and lists some of the advantages that come with the disadvantages, while stating the company's commitment to improvement.
 
After working directly with the ACT! product release for the last several years I can tell you without a doubt that there are a number of intelligent, caring people working feverishly to resolve the issues you mention. 
 
They do consider every piece of constructive feedback even if they don't reply to each directly.  And it's in every employees best interests to produce a product that satisfies the end-user such that they will pay for an upgrade and hence a raise for the employee. ;-)
 
However, complex software with a wide array of users and uses is impossible to perfect, especially when relying so heavily on Microsoft for the ever-changing Windows OS and SQL database. But the team tries, quite hard, to best address the most pressing issues during each product cycle and you can't blame them for thinking each iteration is the best yet.  In most ways each is.
 
Again, sorry to hear about the problems. 
jason
Jason Sellers
ACT! Engineer 2000-2007
New Member
Posts: 4
Country: USA

Re: Horrible performance from version 9.0.1.162

Dear Jason,
 
Thank you for the diligent response. In all fairness, I should have also stated that the User Forum is a valuable technical resource for ACT users, I appreciate the efforts I have gotten from various technicians, engineers, and consultants in attempts to resolve our technical problems with our latest version of ACT, 9.0. My lamentation of our ACT experiences was not intended as a personal attack on Sage employee's. However, I was a bit taken back by your post regarding ACT 10 is a focus of performance improvement, and upgrading would fix the problems with 9.0. I think I can dig up some marketing materials sent regarding 9.0 that used similar vernacular. Should we have to buy two versions to get the promised results from the first one? Would I have to purchase 11.0 to fix the problems in 10.0? When Sage steps up and fully address the issues in the versions they sell before they try to "upgrade' me again I may regain some of my lost confidence in their products. On a scale of 1 to 10, I give ACT 9.0 a 1 or 2 at the very best, it really fails to deliver on most of the performance issues so highly touted. If it was flawed, and Sage surely knew it was prior to release, perhaps Sage should have taken a more cautious approach prior to releasing it.
 
We have a new server, the latest Microsoft Small Business Server software, ACT is on a dedicated hi RPM disk, all of our PC's have been recently upgraded, those PC's using ACT have 1G - 2G RAM, we have a T1 pipe for internet. I can wait a minute or longer for a simple lookup to load, or for a note dialog box to open in a contact record, that is if it doesn't lock up and have to be restarted. We run ACT Diag, we keep our network optimized, nothing has made any appreciable difference in improving ACT 9.0 performance. Making me pay $300 to get "technical support' that amounted to doing the same things I had already done myself (repetitive uninstall / reinstall) was adding insult to injury, it is neat that they can log into my PC and monitor the process and software environment, but it was not benefical.
 
Without a doubt, this new version of ACT 9 and 10 are very large and much more complex pieces of software than their predecessors, and it is not inexpensive for small businesses such as mine. The 9.0 performance would suggest that Sage is not capable of delivering enterprise level / multi-user software solutions on the first attempt. I truly hope 10.0 does fix the problems in 9.0 for the benefit of those persons whom purchase 10.0. Unfortunately, spending another $1,000+ to change to new or different problems in 10.0 after 8 months of 9.0 would be a career limiting move for me. Just my bad luck that I believed the information sent out with 9.0 when it was new, and running stand alone on a dedicated PC it did perform as advertised.
 
Thanks for your time to respond to my original post. Good luck to those customers that are undoubtedly waiting for an answer from you for their issues. The 9.0 customers that is, 10.0 fixes everything and is bug free, right? Smiley Happy Sorry, I couldn't help myself, gotta keep a sense of humor about these things.
 
Regards,
 
Gary
Copper Contributor
Posts: 97
Country: USA

Re: Horrible performance from version 9.0.1.162

Not a problem Gary!
 
I can't speak for the marketing folks but I should point out that I'll never claim any version to be the be-all and end-all, or a bug-free release.  My experience has taught me that each and every release will have it's own improvements as well as likely some new defects, just the nature of the game. 
 
What I can say is that v10 has had a focus on performance improvements which will continue through 10.02 (very soon) and onward.  I didn't say it will fix any or all of your specific v9 issues... only that it should be better/faster/more stable.  My personal experience is that 10.x is much better than 9.x in terms of performance and reliability.
 
Since the rewrite in .Net for ACT! v7, I do believe each subsequent version, in general, has improved in terms of performance and reliability.  Of course there are specific defects that cause certain areas to digress.  But I also know that Sage is well aware of and highly focused on the performance issues, especially when compared to v6.
 
One nice thing about each new release of ACT! is that it has a 30-day fully-functional trial that you can use to evaluate its performance in your own environment before making the decision to upgrade.
 
Of course my own personal code has zero defects but we can't all be perfect, right? Smiley Wink  (Yes, a sense of humor is a must when dealing with software!)
 
Best,
jason
Jason Sellers
ACT! Engineer 2000-2007