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Fast Tip Friday: Gathering Information About Your Database #SageACT

by on ‎06-10-2011 08:46 AM (1,343 Views)

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Have you ever wondered what hotfix level your current database is at, or how much space activities are taking up in your database? Anytime you get news of a new update, or are curious whether maintenance should be performed on your database, these questions become critical. The answers to these and other questions are just a couple clicks away in the Help > About ACT! window. This week we’ll look at exactly what information can be gleaned from this important tool.


Using the About ACT! Window to Gather Information 

To access detailed information about your database, click Help > About ACT!



In the About ACT! window, basic details are displayed such as your:

  • Build: displays the build number of your installation of ACT! (the build number follows the text "Version")
  • Serial Number: displays the serial number for your installation of ACT!
  • Number of Licenses: displays the total number of users that may access the Database with this serial number.

This information is helpful when it comes time to apply a hotfix, service pack, or when preparing to upgrade. For example, after you apply a new hotfix or service pack, you can look here to verify it was applied successfully and has updated this information. Additionally, when you synchronize databases, you should verify all databases share identical build numbers to ensure smooth sync.


Clicking the Database Information button displays detailed database information. Information is displayed in three major sections:


Database User Information:


Information about the path to your .PAD file (shortcut file that opens the database), user name, role and number of licenses is displayed.


Database Settings Information



Several details about various properties of your database and server are displayed. Some of the more significant items to note include:

  • Database Backup: indicates when the most recent backup of the Database was created.
  • Database Checkup: displays when the Database was last Checked and Repaired.
  • Schema Version: indicates the schema version. This is useful if you want to ensure databases involved in sync share the same schema version.
  • Schema Date: indicates the date the current schema was created.
  • Previous Schema Version: indicates the previous schema version.
  • Original Schema Version: indicates the original schema version. This is useful in determining if the database was upgraded from a prior version.
  • Supplemental File Location: indicates the location of the Database's supplemental files which include templates, layouts, and queries. If you are interested in copying or moving these to another database, it’s important to know where to find these files!
  • Database Product: displays what SQL server is installed.
  • Database Product Version: displays the version of the SQL server.
  • Database File Location: displays the path to the Database .ADF file. If you need to re-create the .PAD file or are opening a database without the .PAD file, you’ll need to know this location.
  • Sync Enabled: indicates whether Synchronization is enabled.
  • Sync Role: Indicates whether this machine is a Publisher (server hosting data).
    When troubleshooting why clients can’t connect to a sync server, you may refer to these two sync related properties to verify the server knows it is publishing data and has sync enabled!


The Database Size (MB) and Record Sizes (MB)




The size (in MB) of each of the database files is displayed. The “Database” information includes the amount of space that Microsoft SQL has set aside or reserved for database storage (“Resv”), and also how much space is actually being used.


The Record Sizes table is valuable if you want to determine which types of records are consuming the most space in your database. If for example, Activities or Histories are consuming a lot of space, you might consider using database maintenance tools to remove old activities and histories.


on ‎06-11-2011 01:30 PM

What would be really useful is if the Help | About screen also displayed (to Administrators ONLY and not on Remote Subscriber databases) if there was an update (Service Pack or Hotfix) later than the one installed.


If one exists, it should also have a link to the KB with the changes and download link, but provide a warning that ALL systems sharing a database (LAN or Sync) need to be at the same build.


The "Check for Updates" and "Toaster" popup no-longer do this ... and for good reason. It had serious consequences if a user applied an update before Admin/IT were ready to apply to all users.


But now, we have the issue that users are using builds with issues that they don't realise have been resolved unless they regularly trawl the KB or forums.


I hope there will be more patches rolled out for issues like:

If so, it will need an easier way for users to know when a patch is available.


Mike Lazarus
ACT! Evangelist
GL Computing, Australia

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