Update 14JUN12: Sage ACT! found that one errant ical calender entry for a recurring meeting corrupted the database and rendered the synchronization functions and more unusable in ACT! I told them to take their time studying this problem and a possible fix to make ACT! (and me!) less exposed to this problem. They agreed. It didn’t take long to identify the problem which is really good. Sage ACT! takes this seriously–I’m happy for that. Too many companies are firewalling themselves off from customers in this day and age. Sage ACT! is not one of them!
Update 12JUN12: As a result of the blog post below, I’ve now been contacted by several people from SAGE ACT! and an independent consultant who works with SAGE ACT! SAGE ACT! has requested and will receive my full database offering them the possibility to understand what occurred to corrupt my database. I’m happy for this collaboration with them. SAGE ACT! is responding the way great companies should respond in this situation. I’m happy for them reaching out to me. I will update this post as the situation unfolds.
At some point during the past couple of months, my SAGE ACT! 2012 database became corrupted. As I have been in the process of moving from one laptop to a new laptop, I had stopped using ACT during this migration period.
What’s the impact? This corruption no longer allows for the proper synching of my ACT Database with Google Gmail, Calendar and Contacts.
ACT Support informed me that some (recurring?) corrupt calendar entry from Google Calendar corrupted my entire database. The impact is not that that record didn’t make it over to ACT–I can no longer schedule anything in ACT based on a specific time and can’t synch my ACT database with Google.
This functionality worked well for about 6 months. Now, poof—it’s gone!
I’ve been using ACT since the late 1990’s—I’ve been very dedicated to this solution. Until now.
I spent considerable effort this week rebuilding an updated ACT database that I can synch with Google again. But, should I?
The data integrity between ACT and Google isn’t bullet proof. As my good friend Dave Wilkinson of DataComCorp and I discussed, it isn’t a matter of “if” this will happen again, but, “when.”
And, to determine that it has happened means I will have to meticulously back up by date and time, set up tests to determine if everything continues to synch properly, etc. In other words, I have a lot of work to do to validate that the solution I paid for is working properly. That is too much effort in my book.
What’s wrong here?
- ACT should have better error detection and not accept records into it that can corrupt an entire database.
- ACT alleges that this problem originates within Google and I have to accept their representation that this is true—it’s too easy to blame a third party for problems in your product., particularly when that third party isn’t involved in trouble-shooting and problem resolution.
- ACT informs me that this issue is very rare. Can I bet my business that this “rare occurrence” that has already happened to me in the first 6 months of use won’t happen again? Simple answer: No.
I was told I could send my database into ACT to see, if, on a time and materials basis, they could determine where the problem occurred. No guarantees of success. No time or cost estimate.
Personally, I’d be happy to send my entire database to the ACT development team so they can look at it and determine what they need to do make their product more robust. No one asked for that. Blame has been assigned to Google. The matter is closed as far as ACT is concerned.
How many other customers have this vulnerability and don’t know this? How many other customers may be unaware that this has already occurred to them? After all, there is no error message being passed when this occurs. The functionality just stops working.
I really like ACT. I’m deeply disappointed that I can no longer use this product as it was intended. I upgraded my ACT version specifically for this integration with Google. My confidence is shot.
Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting
© 2012 Dave Gardner All Rights Reserved