09-04-2008 10:00 AM
Here's what I have to work with:
Goal: Create a Sales Contacts database for a sales/CSR force of about 25 people. Have this database be used as an address book in Outlook. Do NOT allow sales folks to update this "master" database (because they screw it up all the time! ). Instead allow them to create a personal database. Then, update those personal databases to a temp DB. Massage the data in the temp DB to be as standard as the Master DB. Then update new items in the Temp DB into the Master DB. Do this updating on a quarterly basis. Have a common layout in all databases.
Assets: One IT guy (That's me!). One sorta ACT! power user. A handful of copies of ACT! 2007. One 2003 application server. Client access by terminal server and some PCs. (please ignore training issues for now... that's a whole other ball game!)
You'd think this wouldn't be rocket science, but I am having all kinds of little issues getting ACT! to do this. It seems ACT! likes to make copies of itself to be used remotely and then synchronize(that works... which is great), but that's not what we're looking for here. Based on old attempts at ACT!, that model resulted in a lot of garbage in garbage out issues; many duplicates, missing field info, bad displaying of data due to some using one layout over another.
I've come close to what I've been asked for by creating some remote shared databases off the app server, but it all seems way to much hassle for the amount of productivity gained. In others words, the IT guy (that's me) would end up being the "ACT!" guy. That's all fine and good, but I have 50 other projects I am trying to get involved in and complete! I need this to work so someone else who is not a IT person can take it over (the sorta power user.... I hope...).
If anyone has any good thoughts on how one would address this type of issue, I'm all ears! I just don't have a good, easy, reliable, and effective way of approaching this.
Thanks much in advance for any help!