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Reformatting Data in ACT Database Contacts View

New Member
Posts: 7
Country: USA

Reformatting Data in ACT Database Contacts View

Hello, 

 

Thanks to the help of some of the members here and tech support, I am using ACT to automatically send marketing campaigns to contacts on their birthday. I can do this because of smart tasks working in tandem with marketing and the contact's "Birth Date" field being in a date format. 

 

I would like to do this same process with contacts based on other criteria, such as their wedding anniversary, a home closing date, etc. Our database has this info recorded, but much of it is not posted in the correct date format. Instead, some of these fields have been saved as text fields. 

 

I suppose I need to grab all of this data and manually convert it to the date format. Does anyone have ideas for how I can accomplish this or a similar solution?

Platinum Elite Contributor
Posts: 6,541
Country: USA

Re: Reformatting Data in ACT Database Contacts View

I don't know of any fool proof way to solve your problem. I would try adding a field to the database with a data type of date. Then use Edit | Copy Fields to copy the data from the present date field to the new date field. You will likely get a warning about different data types and possible loss of data just O past the warning because the source field won't be modified. I believe that whenever possible the new field will have the dates in the correct format. This should reduce the number of records you have to correct by hand.
Roy Laudenslager
ACT! Certified Consultant
ACT! Report Expert
Durkin Impact Report Designer
www.techbenders.com
royel@techbenders.com
541-343-8129
Administrator
Posts: 3,154
Country: United_Kingdom

Re: Reformatting Data in ACT Database Contacts View

Hi Calvin,

 

Instead of using Date as the field data type, I would suggest using Annual Event, as this will make scheduling things for anniversary type activities much easier, as the year is essentially ignored.

 

For example, on a date set at 1/1/2017:

If the data type is set to Date, a smart task set to trigger when date is Equal to Today will trigger only on January 1st 2017.

If the data type is set to Annual Event, a smart task set to trigger when date is Equal to Today will trigger every January 1st.

New Member
Posts: 7
Country: USA

Re: Reformatting Data in ACT Database Contacts View

Hmm, so the problem I'm running into now is that when I go to copy the data from the previous field (incorrectly set as a phone number) to the new field (set as an annual event, also tried date), that new field does not show up in the list of options. Is there any other way to copy this data over? 

Bronze Super Contributor
Posts: 1,179
Country: United_Kingdom

Re: Reformatting Data in ACT Database Contacts View

You could try changing it to a Character field - this should now appear as a field you can copy into. Once the data has copied over change the field to Annual Event as Gary suggested. It will warn you about data loss and will then try to convert the data into dates. 

 

 

New Member
Posts: 7
Country: USA

Re: Reformatting Data in ACT Database Contacts View

Thanks, I have been able to get them moved to a character format, but I receive an error (shown in attached screencast) when I try to change any of these fields from character to annual events. 

 

I've called ACT! support over the phone several times but I keep getting told the the issue will be fixed and I will be updated within 24-48 hours. I'm even told that my issue will be placed on high priority. I usually don't get a response for a week, and the last update I received was an email saying that they couldn't duplicate my issue. I've tried using several different browsers and computers to no avail. Any further suggestions? Is the phone support giving me the run around? 

 

Thanks,

Administrator
Posts: 3,154
Country: United_Kingdom

Re: Reformatting Data in ACT Database Contacts View

Hi Calvin,

From the attached screen recording, I can see that the Define Fields window does not open after clicking on it's Tools menu option.

Can you let us know which web browser you are using? I would suggest using Internet Explorer, and ensuring that you have it configured with the settings recommended in the following Knowledgebase article: http://kb.act.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/38231

If this does not resolve the issue, please can you PM me any ticket numbers you've previously received from your support interactions on this issue?