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Sharing database breaks connection

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Copper Contributor
Posts: 10
Country: USA
Accepted Solution

Sharing database breaks connection

I'm trying to share an Act 2009 database with 2 other users on the LAN. All 3 PCs have Act! 2009 installed. I have exceptions in the firewall for SQLSERVR.exe and SQLBrowser.exe, as well as ACTSage.exe

 

The remote users are able to initially connect for awhile and work in the DB, then they can't connect with error: "The database contacts could not be accessed. In order to access this database, check your network connection and verify that your database server is available. It may be necessary to disable any firewall software on your computer or the server." The connection breaks even when no-one has used the host today.

 

I can manually drill down across the LAN to the contacts.pad file on the host, but still get this error. Rebooting resolves the connection, but it breaks again. And now the host is having the same problem on her own PC, and the DB is on her local drive!

 

Is there another exception for the firewall?

 

Thx


Accepted Solutions
Solution
Accepted by gmartin (Platinum Super Contributor)
‎09-25-2015 03:20 AM
Copper Contributor
Posts: 10
Country: USA

Re: Sharing database breaks connection-SOLVED

The tech did a remote to my PCs. Our network uses static IPs. He replaced the PC name with the IP, and voila! It must have been the DHCP dropping the host PC name. Maybe it checks every 10 min and hence the cutoff problem.

 

Thanks guys for all your help. I did learn a lot...OK more than I wanted but still a lot :-)

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Silver Contributor
Posts: 1,813
Country: USA

Re: Sharing database breaks connection

I'm assuming that your remote users are correcting directly to the master database over your vpn while they are outside of the office?  IF so, i'm not totally suprised that you may be getting this error.

 

Consider the following

1) sync databases

2) ACT for WEb

3) Terminal Services or Citrix as a method to view the data remotely

 

 

Test Drive Act! and Quickbooks over Citrix http://GoTryAct.com

Jon Klubnik| ActTrainer.com
(866)710 4228

ACT! Certified Consultant / ACT! Premier Trainer / ACT! Hosting Provider

Platinum Super Contributor
Posts: 5,275
Country: USA

Re: Sharing database breaks connection

Hello Craig1250,

Welcome to the Act! Online Community!

 

The first thing to check is that the service 'SQL Server (Act7)' is running.  This is done through Windows Start > select Run (use Search field if Vista or Win7) > enter the command 'Services.msc' > hit Enter.  Scroll through the Services to find the 'SQL Server (Act7) service and ensure that the Status is Started.  If it is not, right click on the service and select Start.  Once started retry opening your database.

 

If this is the case and since you mentioned that the connection is broken on a regular basis, look at your Windows Updates and if you find any updates for the SQL program, remove it/them.  Windows Updates cannot update the Act7 instance and will leave the service stopped.

 

 

Greg Martin
Sage
Copper Contributor
Posts: 10
Country: USA

Re: Sharing database breaks connection

SQL Server (Act7) is running on both the host and remote (remote inside office) and still no connection. When I said the connection is lost on a regular basis, I meant minutes, not days. We don't connect from outside the building, only inside on the LAN. I can connect to the host using the remote (inside office) PC, then try to reconnect in a minute and I get that error. My remote user says she was in Contacts and tried to do tasks and got an error saying she couldn't do that, then Act errors out and she gets the original error I put above.

 

Would a past Windows update allow an initial connection then kill it minutes later?

Platinum Super Contributor
Posts: 5,275
Country: USA

Re: Sharing database breaks connection

That is very strange.  A Windows update would only kill the connection (stop the service) at the time it attempts to update, only it were repeated trying to apply (every few minutes) would that situation apply.  Have you looked at the Event Log to see if there are errors or items listing the Sql service being stopped?

 

Since it happens in minutes, on the local machine, and the SQL service is still running - you may have been on the right path with the firewall/Anti-virus software exceptions.  Here is an article with additional exceptions to add: Adding Exceptions for Act!.  Perhaps the A/V software is running scans and causing your breaks.

 

Look for patterns to the disruption.  Are there certain times of the day that the connection breaks?  This could help point to an event or process that occurs. 

What operating systems are the computers running?

Greg Martin
Sage
Copper Contributor
Posts: 10
Country: USA

Re: Sharing database breaks connection

I'm running XP pro on all PCs. I checked the list of additional exceptions and the only 2 I don't have are actemail.exe (which shouldn't apply since I'm using Outlook) and act network sync (would I need that since I'm not syncing?).

 

I tried disabling the Windows firewall entirely on both the host and remote...no difference.

 

Norton could be running background scans so I'll check that when I get back to the office tomorrow. There's no pattern to this. I thought the pattern was logging off then back on until your comments got me to ask the remote user if she'd been disconnected during use (yes).

 

I have the remote PCs default DB target as the host's DB. Should I have the remote set to open her own DB, then manually connect to the host DB? They both want to use the host's DB, but the remote user also has her own DB.

 

Thx

Platinum Elite Contributor
Posts: 6,537
Country: USA

Re: Sharing database breaks connection

Hello craig1250,

You had mentioned that have added the .exe files for ACT! and SQL as exceptions to the firewall. Be sure to also add the SQL ports as well (TCP 1433, UDP 1434, SQL dynamic TCP port). To find out the SQL dynamic TCP port follow these steps:

- From the Start menu, type actdiag in the Search box (Vista, Win 7, Server 2008) or from Run (XP, Server 2003)

 - When ACT! Diagnostics opens, click Server, then Server Security

 - The dynamically assigned TCP/IP port will listed in the bottom half of this screen

 

Also add these exceptions to Norton (firewall and a/v scanner).

 

Greig Hollister

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

Copper Contributor
Posts: 10
Country: USA

Re: Sharing database breaks connection

Greig:

 

To add exceptions for the TCP/UDP ports in Windows firewall, it wants a name. Can I call it anything or is it looking for something specific?

 

For the SQL dynamic TCP port, is it added like the others, or do I do something different since it's dynamic?

 

Thx

Copper Contributor
Posts: 10
Country: USA

Re: Sharing database breaks connection

Greig:

 

I went ahead and added the ports to the host and named them, Default SQL server port, and rebooted the host. Nothing. The remote is still locked out.

 

Maybe the remote needs those exceptions also. I'll ty that and reboot the remote also.

 

How can a company create such a cumbersome product! This has become ludicrous and a waste of time!

Platinum Elite Contributor
Posts: 6,537
Country: USA

Re: Sharing database breaks connection

[ Edited ]

I certainly understand the frustration. From the information you have provided so far, it does not seem to be an issue with ACT! itself, but rather a connectivity issue or possibly a database issue.

 

Are there any other machines accessing the host machine besides the 2 ACT! users? In other words, are there any other connections to that machine that would put it over the 10 connection limit for Windows XP? Have you disabled Simple File Sharing on the host and fully shared out the database directory?

 

You also mentioned that the host was also getting the error trying to access the database locally. This could indicate a problem with the .PAD file or the database itself. Have you run repairs locally on the database using Tools > Database Maintenance > Check & Repair? You may also need to replace or modify the .PAD file. This and other suggested solutions can be found in KB Article 19640.

Message Edited by ghollister on 06-15-2010 05:51 PM

Greig Hollister

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