Written by   |   Jan 31 2019   |   Read 4375 times

Your Act! database can grow very quickly when you’re adding new contacts, adding/clearing activities and attaching emails and documents on a daily basis. Over time you might notice that the database performance is deteriorating or you start seeing error messages or worst of all, you can’t even open your database!

Don’t worry, it is usually an easy process to resolve these issues and there are preventative measures that you can take to avoid them occurring altogether. Here are some signs that your Act! database might need a repair and how to resolve them.

1. Overall slowed performance

When you rely upon a CRM to help run your business, you can’t afford to have it running at anything but peak efficiency. Not only does a slow database reduce your team’s performance but it is frustrating. If you find that your Act! views take longer to open, lookups/queries take longer to run, and it generally takes longer to do tasks within Act!, these are signs that your database needs some attention. Running regular maintenance on your database will improve the speed of Act! and help to avoid this situation in the future.

2. Task List and Calendar Views are slow to open

Elaborating on the above point, if you notice that accessing your task list views and calendars is slower than usual, it might be due a long list of activities from the past still sitting in the database. When you clear an activity, the details are recorded in the contact’s history and the activity disappears from your Task List (unless you have the filter set to show them). The old activity still remains in the database however as it can be useful when running history reports e.g. show how much time you have spent meeting with a customer. After a period of time, these old activities build up and can start to slow down your database. It’s quite a simple process to purge this old data but we do strongly suggest that these steps are performed by your in-house Act! Champion or an Act! Certified Consultant. See How do I remove old data from my Act! Database?

3. Someone accidentally deleted contacts

Unfortunately, it is quite common for users to accidentally delete one or more contacts. Perhaps they intended to delete one duplicate contact and inadvertently deleted an entire lookup? This can create a very sick feeling and cause beads of sweat to form on your forehead. If you know which contacts were deleted, you can open up a backup and export the contacts into the current database. This needs to be done with care however as it may overwrite current data and cause you more grief. Again, we highly recommended that your in-house Act! Champion or Act! Consultant performs these steps. If you don’t know who was deleted, it gets a bit trickier. Ideally, you would just restore the latest backup however you need to consider what you are going to gain compared to what you will lose as restoring a backup might overwrite content added to the database since the last backup. To avoid this potential disaster…make sure your Act! users have the right training.

4. You have old Act! Users

By this I mean you have Act! Users in your database that no longer work for the business, not the ones with grey hair. Reassigning their activities to other ‘active’ users can assist in cleaning the database and improving performance. Additionally, it means that your current users can actually see the tasks that need to be completed! Find out how to reassign multiple activities from one user to another user.

5. Hard drive/system failure

Failures to a hard drive or within your system can cause your database to become corrupt. The quickest way to resolve this issue is to restore your latest backup. If you auto run your backups nightly (after close of business), it will mean that you can quickly restore last night’s backup without losing yesterday’s work.

6. You can’t login to Act!

If you have multiple users in Act!, it’s possible that one of the profiles may become corrupt which prevents that user from logging in to the database. This is not a common issue but if this happens to you first thing in the morning on a busy day, its good to know what to do. If you are unlucky enough to experience this situation, try logging in as a different user to check if this is the problem. If this is the case, or in fact no one is able to login, submit a support ticket and we can help resolve the problem and get your team working again.

When should you backup Act!?

To avoid data loss at any time, we strongly recommend that you perform daily backups of your Act! database and associated data. Backups should also be completed prior to running any maintenance or making changes to your database. Additionally, make sure that your backup is reliable by restoring it occasionally to another location. There is nothing worse that thinking that you have a backup of your data when a crisis occurs only to find out that your backup process hasn’t been working or that your backup itself is actually corrupted.

How to manually back up and restore an Act! Database 
How to automatically back up your Act! database

How often should I run database maintenance?

Any database needs to be periodically cleaned to maximise performance. How often should maintenance be performed in Act! is a regular customer question. The answer is different for every database as it depends on the size of the database, the number of users accessing the database and the years of data that have been captured. A good standard of practice is to run database maintenance at least once a week (on a Sunday perhaps?). How to automatically perform database maintenance

The Act! Scheduler

Act! makes it easy to manage your maintenance processes. Using an in-built tool called the Act! Scheduler, you can automate the backup and maintenance to run each night after business hours to alleviate disruption. Performing regular maintenance can also minimise time for in an in-depth repair.

The Act! Diagnostic tool

If you think that your database might need repair, you can use the Act! Diagnostic tool to run a few repairs/checks to see if you can isolate the problem. See Act! Diag User Guide. Again, we can’t stress enough the importance of having a reliable backup of your data prior to running any of these steps. If you get stuck, we can always come to the rescue but if you don’t have a backup, sometimes it can mean the worst case scenario…lost data!

Expert Database Repair

A clean, healthy database will give you better performance and peace of mind. If you need advice or assistance on maintaining or repairing your Act! database, call us on 02 9431 2222 or speak to your Act! consultant.

Michael Bryant

Michael Bryant is the Founder of Act Today. Michael’s vision for Act Today was born from his realisation of the importance of businesses having a deep and strong relationship with their customers. 

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