Sage ACT! supports importing data from a variety of sources, including Microsoft Excel, text files (delimited by commas, or tabs), other Sage ACT! databases, and Microsoft Outlook. When importing from another source, consider adding a custom field or column to the source data that identifies the source, prior to importing.
Creating Fields to Track the Import Source
Prior to importing data, you will need to create a custom field in your Sage ACT! database to hold the import source information. Then, prior to importing from another source like Microsoft Excel, add a new column to the spreadsheet, and populate it with the source identification information.
To create the field in Sage ACT!:
1. Click Tools > Define Fields
2. Verify Contacts is selected under “View fields for:”, and then from the Field Tasks menu, click Create new field.
3. In the “Enter field name and type” panel:
Type a Field name such as Import Source
Select Character for the field type
Select Allow Blank. This ensures existing records, andnewrecords will not require a value to be entered in this field.
(OPTIONAL) Selecting Generate History will enable you to record history when/if the field data changes.
(OPTIONAL) Selecting Use drop-down list will allow you to select a pre-existing list of values. For example, you may use the Define Fields tool to create a drop-down list with values such as “Outlook”, “Mailing List Vendor”, and so on.
4. Click Next until you reach the final screen, and then click Finish to save the field.
After the field has been created, you may import data to this field on future imports.
Modifying the Source File:
When you receive a Text, or Microsoft Excel file from a third party source, you can easily add an additional column of data to record the source of the data:
1. Open the file in Microsoft Excel.
2. Either insert a new column, or add a new column to the end of the column list, and label it “ImportSource”.
3. In the first field of the new column, type a descriptive name for the source, such as the name of the Mailing List vendor.
4. Hovering over the lower right corner of that cell, your cursor should turn from a white plus sign to a black cross-hair. Click your mouse and drag down to fill the additional “Import Source” cells with a copy of the text.
5. After populating the “Import Source” column with data, save the file and import it directly into Sage ACT!.
For more information about how to map data during an import of Microsoft Excel files, see the Sage ACT! help files, Sage Knowledgebase, or my earlier Fast Tip on the topic.