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Newbie - New database question.

New Member
Posts: 14
Country: Australia

Newbie - New database question.

I have a question in regards to creating a new database. The manual that came with ACT! gives me the impression that I'm suppose to edit the existing fields/labels provided to make my own personal contact detail form. The manual especially speaks about editing the user fields.. USER 1, USER 2 etc. Is this the norm? I would prefer to make my own from scratch. Is this recommended? How do I start with a completely blank form that I can use to create my own fields and layout from scratch? How about if I delete -all the fields- and everything from the existing form and rename it to whatever I like and do it that way and simply start again? Which is the best method for me to start with a clean slate? QUESTION 2 What is a primary field? Is it just so that a field gets duplicated when you duplicate a contact? I can't understand why someone would duplicate a contact which is why I'm a bit confused here Smiley Happy Could someone give me a real life scenario please? Smiley Happy -Frankie
Copper Super Contributor
Posts: 206
Country: USA

Re: Newbie - New database question.

I wouldn't suggest starting from scratch, much of what makes ACT easy to use is based on the template field structure for example the menu based lookups and an all of your reporting and communication templates. The "user 1-15" fields are provided for an easy method of customizing ACT however a good practice is to rename them (not just re-label) with an intuitive name for future refererence, or just create your own.
 
Primary fields are duplicated when copying an existing record for example when creating a new contact at an existing company. In standard database terminology "primary" would suggest that these fields are indexed for faster searching but I don't know that thats true for ACT.  
Brad Marquardt
realtimeACT, Inc
Colorado, USA
Platinum Elite Contributor
Posts: 14,384
Country: Australia

Re: Newbie - New database question.

New Member
Posts: 14
Country: Australia

Re: Newbie - New database question.

Hi Mike, thanks for the response.. I have a question. On your link that you provided I read this at the start: Important Notes * Once a new field has been defined, it must be added to a layout. -- Question 1: What happens if I define a field and don't add it to a layout as suggested above? Question 2: I'm going to firstly define some new fields that I want to use in my layout. Then, I'm going to save the default layout as a new name and start deleting/adding fields and tabs to my liking. So what happens to the left over fields from the default layout that I'm no longer using? Are they still part of the new layout somehow and just not visible or are they not there at all? Should I delete unwanted fields? The way I visualize it is that the 'Layout' is really the main database while the fields are just elements that I add and/or remove from this database. Does this sound right? The phrase above has confused me because it says that a field MUST be added. It's making me think that it's not good to have unused fields and when I alter the existing layout to make my own, I'm going to have plenty of unused fields. Or should I delete what fields I don't use? -Frankie
Platinum Elite Contributor
Posts: 14,384
Country: Australia

Re: Newbie - New database question.

1. Users won't be able to see or use the field on the Contact View. It will be there in the Contact List View if they add it. You can have different layouts with different fields if you needed it.
 
2. They are still part of the database.... just not on the Layout. You can also add the fields directly from the Layout editor, which can be easier than doing it in Define Fields first. But you need Define Fields to change or remove fields.
 
The Layout just shows the database fields in the order and structure that you want. Having a lot of unused fields can, in some cases, slow the database down. But you'd need a lot to notice it.
New Member
Posts: 14
Country: Australia

Re: Newbie - New database question.

So it's ok to delete fields I don't want? Let's assume I only want a database/layout with 4 fields. Date, Name, Address, Source. Can I simply go in define fields and make a new field for 'source' and 'date' cause they don't exist, then keep 'name' and 'address' cause it does exist, and simply delete all other fields? Then, go into a new layout and use my 4 only fields? Anything bad about doing this? -Frank
Platinum Elite Contributor
Posts: 14,384
Country: Australia

Re: Newbie - New database question.

You can't delete core fields in ACT! that it uses in it's code...
 
From this ACT! knowledge Base article - http://tinyurl.com/2bj366
 
ACT! limits the fields that can be deleted to the following:
    • Birth Date
    • Spouse
    • User 1 - User 10
    • Any custom fields that have been created