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How to change a Contact Database to a Company Database with customized fields and tabs

New Member
Posts: 8
Country: USA

How to change a Contact Database to a Company Database with customized fields and tabs

We have ACT 2011 version 13.1.111.0 hot fix 1.  We have customized the Database to reflect additional tabs and fields to assist us with our customer and prospects. We want to start using the ACT e-marketing function from swift page but need to change the database to Company based instead of Contact based.  We have 5 extra email address fields but that won't work with Swift page for the email marketing abilities they require the emails to be in the primary email field.  So we need to move to a Company Based Database with individual contacts so their emails can be placed in a primary email field.

I know that we can export all the field information to an excel spreadsheet and import that into the new Company Database fields (after we create the layout with those customized fields) but how can we import the notes, history and activities to the new DB.  

We have a contact database of 3600 plus contacts which are really companies with 5 emails for each.

 

 Are their any special things we need to create the company layout. The customized fields and tabs are working well for our needs. I know if needs to be a .aly file instead of a .cly file.  Is there a way to take the existing .cly file and save as an .aly file.

 

Has anyone done this before?  Any helps, things to watch for and tips would be very much appreciated.

Platinum Elite Contributor
Posts: 6,537
Country: USA

Re: How to change a Contact Database to a Company Database with customized fields and tabs

[ Edited ]

Hello Char,
Welcome to the Sage ACT! Community. So you have contacts that are actually companies with several email addresses each - are you now looking to split those into individual contact records (people), each with their own primary email?

Greig Hollister

Note: Effective 6/1/13, Sage no longers provides support for the Act! software. This is now provided by Swiftpage.

New Member
Posts: 8
Country: USA

Re: How to change a Contact Database to a Company Database with customized fields and tabs

Greig,  your summation is correct.  The companies are actually in a contact database.

 We have a highly customized layout (.cly file) and we want to keep that layout ( I am guessing I will need to change it to a .aly file and need to know how to do that) then I need to import everything into the new Company database including the notes, history and activities.

Platinum Super Contributor
Posts: 5,275
Country: USA

Re: How to change a Contact Database to a Company Database with customized fields and tabs

If I understand correctly, this may help answer your questions:

The ACT! database is by design contact centric. The Swiftpage integration will only pull from a contact record primary email field, it will not pull from a Company field.

You can create Company records from contacts and 'link' them, but to send to a 'Company' will require a contact record with the company information (company name as contact name, and email address). You could then have a 'Company' record and attach/link the appropriate contact records to it.

Note: You cannot convert a contact layout to a company layout. The fields must be created as Company fields, and the Company layout customized.

Greg Martin
Sage
New Member
Posts: 8
Country: USA

Re: How to change a Contact Database to a Company Database with customized fields and tabs

Greg, I am creating a customized company layout to resemble our customized contact layout. my plan is to export from the contact layout to the company layout and the fields can be matched up. I do have a few questions though if you could respond I would appreciate it. 1. is there a way to bring over the notes from the contact DB into the Company DB? 2. in the new company layout that I am creating is there a way to have that pull up automatically when I open the company DB? right now I have to select view companies to see the new layout. 3. Do I also have to have a customized contact layout for this new DB since the first window that opens is a contact view? 4. The reason that we are making this change is that we want to use the swift page emarketing capabilities in our old contact DB the emarketing tab was already there do I have to add that tab to the new Company DB and will those applicable fields be there? Is there any way I can talk to you on the phone?
Platinum Super Contributor
Posts: 5,275
Country: USA

Re: How to change a Contact Database to a Company Database with customized fields and tabs

Unfortunately, communication will need to be done through the Community.
1. Notes from a contact to a Company: There isn't an option for importing notes into a Company.

2. Startup in Company view: This isn't an option in 2011.  It has been added in 2013.

3. If you are working mainly in the Company view, you will still need a contact layout - but it doesn't have to be customized, it can be the default layout.  

4. I think I understand what you are attempting, but the Swiftpage integration will only work with Contact records.  It sounds like you want to create Company records (Company view) and send mail blasts using those Company records.  

You can't add a Marketing Results tab to a Company layout.

Greg Martin
Sage
New Member
Posts: 8
Country: USA

Re: How to change a Contact Database to a Company Database with customized fields and tabs

Greg, thanks for the feedback. What would you suggest so that we can use swiftpage integration. We have the company set up in the contact record with 5 customized fields where we have email addresses. Swiftpage integration uses the primary email field and we need to be able to use the multiple emails.
Platinum Super Contributor
Posts: 5,275
Country: USA

Re: How to change a Contact Database to a Company Database with customized fields and tabs

The only way you can send to all 5 email addresses in a single email blast will be to have individual contact records for each email address.
Assuming these email addresses are for individuals at a company, you'll have 5 contact records. You could then link the 5 contact records to a 'Company' record for continuity.
Greg Martin
Sage
New Member
Posts: 8
Country: USA

Re: How to change a Contact Database to a Company Database with customized fields and tabs

Greg, thanks for your patience. So does this mean that I have to create a layout for Company and for Contact that is the same so I can link multiple contact records to the Company layout.
Platinum Super Contributor
Posts: 5,275
Country: USA

Re: How to change a Contact Database to a Company Database with customized fields and tabs

The use of a Company record is simply to make an association with the different Contact records. It doesn't have to be customized.

When the Contact records are linked to the Company record, all of the contacts' history/notes/activities will display in the Company record tabs - giving you a single view for all of the interactions (opposed to having to go to each contact record).

If you want the Company record to push information down to the Contact records (ex: address), there are already some fields linked that will do this. If you have a custom field in the Contact record that you want to push from the Company down to the Contacts, you may want to create a custom field/custom layout for the Company also.

You may want to open the Demo database and take a look at how the Companies and Contacts are linked and the effect of being linked. It is a great example.
Greg Martin
Sage