Inside Sage ACT! Scratchpad #SageACT

by Administrator on ‎09-06-2011 04:44 PM (6,824 Views)

One of the many new features of the Sage ACT! 2012 is the addition of Sage ACT! Scratchpad.

This feature exists for both the standard and premium product and also supports web only client users of premium web server setups.  I would like to detail some nuances of the different versions as well as any tips or general help I can provide.


First of all let's talk about the user interface, some functionality tips, and why certain functionality works as it does:

  • Tip - Use cut/copy/paste: 
    • It works for copying or pasting to and from clipboard for both windows and web setups.  (windows’ standard keyboard shortcuts work also (CTRL+X/CTRL+C/CTRL+V)
  • Tip - Use Plain text:
    • RTF (Rich-Text-Format) data is not supported in the client.  Therefore pasting data from other rtf client will automatically strip out any formatting of the string you are pasting such as text color, bolding, justification, etc.
  • Tip - Put contacts in manually when “Send(ing) to Sage ACT!”: 
    • When moving data over from sage scratchpad to sage act you will need to make sure that a contact is placed in contact field of the note, history, or activity. 
      • Why does it work this way?
        • Significant time was spent on the decision to leave this blank for manual input - including extensive user testing.  Basically the problem is that using any default for the contact field caused users just to always choose the default.  The problem is that many users would get frustrated later when they could not find or did not agree with the default contact assignment we used.  We originally put the “Current Contact” into the field automatically – but many users felt it should be the logged in user or someone's name in the line from scratchpad itself.  Therefore, due to these results, we ultimately decided on requiring the end user to make a conscious choice here.


Now onto some differences with windows and web client users:


Windows Users:

  • In order to “Send to Sage ACT!” you must have act running on the same machine as Sage ACT! Scratchpad.
  • If you want to get the local data file that Sage ACT! Scratchpad store it’s data in
    • %APPDATA% \ ACT\ACT Data\ SageACT!Scratchpad.xml
      • Note: %APPDATA% is a windows specific path variable in you windows environmental settings – you can use this string directly from Start->Run and it will open in your xml browser of choice – usually internet explorer.


Web Client Users:

  • If you want to get the local data file that Sage ACT! Scratchpad stores it’s data in
    • %APPDATA% \ ACT\ACT Data\ SageACT!ScratchpadWeb.xml
  • In order to have Sage ACT! scratchpad installed on your system you must install it from within the web client
    • Run Tools->Install Sage ACT! Scratchpad
      • Technical notes:  When install occurs on web client user’s system it will send over encrypted data containing the logged in users name and password for ease of setup.
        • Implications of this are you can “Send to Sage ACT!” and it will launch web browser and navigate to proper server and login to database using those credentials
        • The caveat here is that if you change your password in Sage ACT! (web client), Sage Scratchpad will not be aware, and therefore you will be prompted for login again
        • You can get around this by changing password in Sage Scratchpad by going to Tools-> Preferences and making those changes as well as the ability to change database name and user name.

I hope some of this information helps you though some of the ins and out of using this new feature and gives you a feel for some of the inner workings of the product and decision making that goes into it.