Using ACT! Internet Mail client with non-standard ports

It has been an issue for some years that some ISPs have been changing to non-standard ports for SMTP (usually 25) and POP3 (usually 110). This is to provide some added protection against spam and hackers.

For ACT! users, this has usually meant having to use Outlook or Outlook Express as the ACT! Internet Mail email client doesn’t support changing these ports.

While most users who have access to Microsoft Outlook prefer this as the best email client for ACT! (even more so with the current versions that integrate more tightly into Outlook), not all users have it available.

Outlook Express has other issues – no HTML email and it’s not available in Microsoft’s Windows Vista.

For those caught in this position, there is an option. You need to use port redirector software so that you can call port 25 or 110 on the local machine (or network server) and have it redirected to the port the ISP is using on their mail server.

One such product to try for this is Steel Bytes' PortTunnel.

  • Set the In port to be 25 (for SMTP) or 110 (for POP3) – you may not need both
  • For each, set the Out traffic to the port and target that your mail server requires
  • Then tell ACT!’s Email client to use the machine with the service ( if on the local machine)

Give it a try and post a comment if it helps you.

First Certified ACT! by Sage SAGE

Experts-Exchange has given the first Sage Certification in their ACT! Zone to Mike Lazarus of GL Computing, who also won their annual Titan Award

According to Experts-Exchange, “The Experts Exchange Sage is celebrated for his or her vast wisdom, unfaltering judgment and years of experience. In the way that Obi-Wan Kenobi guided Luke Skywalker to Jedi awesomeness, the Experts Exchange Sage selflessly strives to lead all members to their maximum information technology potential.”

It is novel that this, the highest certification to be awarded so far in the ACT! Zone, make’s Mike the first Certified ACT! by Sage Sage.


Mike is also Sage’s ACT! Community Leader and the leading poster in many ACT! forums including those on itToolbox and Tek-Tips

How to Get Faster Technical Support for ACT! by Sage

As most of my regular readers and followers know, I do a lot of on-line technical support as well as providing support services to our resellers and ACT! Certified Consultants and one of the things I notice is that I regularly need to ask users the same questions to diagnose the problem and provide a solution.

This means that the support person’s time is spent asking these and so the incident takes longer to resolve and get the user up and running. So, I thought I would provide a basic list of items to include to help any support technician resolve an incident faster.

When asking for support via email or an on-line site, it’s much easier if you write your query and necessary information in short points rather than large paragraphs. They are easier to read and respond to. Also, if asking about multiple, unrelated issues, it’s often better to do each one separately.

I will probably update this list as other common items come to mind.

Not all of these will be relevant to all support calls, but the more you provide the more likely you’ll get a faster solution.
If running on a LAN, supply any relevant items for both workstation AND server.
While these are targeted for support of ACT! by Sage, many are applicable for other software products also.

Should Have:

These items are usually necessary for any incident:

  • Include the full version and build of the software. This is usually found under Help | About
    It is worth-while checking to see if there is an updated version available and, if so, applying it.
    Remember that every ACT! system sharing a database MUST be of the same build and Hotfix.
    If running a Premium version with a sync server, this includes the sync server.
    If related to ACT! connecting to a Microsoft Office product, also include the version for Office.
  • Include the operating system – also note the service pack and if it’s 32-bit or 64-bit
    In Microsoft Windows, you can find this by right-clicking on My Computer and selecting Properties
  • If you have an error message, include the full error.
    Hint: If sending the error via email or posting to a web site, don’t do this via a screen shot.
    For most Windows software, this is most easily done by clicking on the error box and pressing Ctrl-C.
    Then going to the email or web post and pressing Ctrl-V.
    This means you get the full error without having to re-type it and the technician can copy directly from it into any search engine they might need to access for information.
  • If you still think a screen shot will help to convey the problem, don’t paste it into Word.
    Open MS-Paint (usually in Programs | Accessories), paste it there and then Save As a JPG file.
    This makes the file smaller in size and easier for the technician to read.
  • If you can replicate the problem, include the EXACT steps you take.
    Identify what you expected to happen and what actually happens.
  • Did you first notice problem after an update to ACT!, Windows or anything else on your system?
  • Do you regard yourself as technical or not?
    This will help a good technician provide support at the right level for you.

Consider Adding:

Which items from the following list are necessary will depend on the type of problem you have:

  • Include hardware specs like RAM, Processor and, if known, Hard Drive speed (in RPM)
  • Include database specs like number of contacts and file size
  • If the problem is related to emailing from ACT!, include the email client you are using:
    Outlook, Outlook Express, Lotus Notes, Eudora, Internet Mail (POP3/SMTP) – include the version
  • If running any add-ons or plugins for ACT!, name them if they might be related (or if not sure)
  • If for an issue with a PDA or Smart Phone, include the operating system and version
  • What brand of anti-virus or firewall are you running?
  • If your problem causes a crash or other error, see if there is anything logged in the Windows Event Viewer or ACT!’s logs. For instructions to do this, see: Tools for Viewing Error Logs
  • If the problems seems database specific, have you tried to repair it? For instructions, see either of: ACT! by Sage Database Rebuild and Repair Procedures or ACT! 5.0 or 6.0 Database Repair Options

What Have You Tried:

You should also include anything you might have tried to resolve the problem. Some items you might try doing, depending on the type of problem could include:

  • Have you checked the ACT! Knowledge Base?
    This should be your first port of call as finding an answer there will take less time and get you up and running faster, especially for common questions and errors.
  • Does the problem happen with another database? Try opening the demo database and testing.
    Hint: The login user for the ACT! demo database is “Chris Huffman” with no password
  • If running on a multi-user database or network:
    Does the problem happen when logged into ACT! as a different user or from a different workstation?
  • If related to a template, report or layout, does it happen with other files?
  • If a connection issue, have you tried disabling the firewall and anti-virus for a test?

Other Tips:

Remember that the best and fastest support option for ACT! by Sage is by working with an ACT! Certified Consultant. They are not only well trained, but can personalise their support to better suit your specific needs and can look at your environment and business needs to suggest improvements in ACT!’s operation, design and usefulness to your business

If you don’t need an answer urgently and are more technically capable, these are some useful on-line forums that you can get peer-based support: ACT! Community Site, Experts-Exchange and itToolbox

For better web searching of ACT! related information, links to support and other useful sites as well as updates on ACT!, please download the ACT! Fanatics Toolbar

To keep informed with the latest information, join both of these:
If you are on LinkedIN, I also recommend joining the ACT! Fanatics Group
If on Facebook, Like the GL Computing Page

Please feel free to add a comment with any suggestions you might have to improve this list.

New ACT! by Sage YouTube Channel

Sage has created a channel on YouTube where they have started posting videos. At this time, there are some nice case-study and user interviews.

I’m not sure what the plans are for this channel, but hopefully they’ll add more product demonstration and basic training videos like the ones I linked in this previous blog post - Free ACT! by Sage video training.

For now, have a look at these:

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Connecting the Pieces of Social Media

This is a first version of a new presentation I’m working on to help businesses get into social media. As uses of CRM products realise the volume of business intelligence that can be gained from these technologies, the vendors will move to incorporate them into the products.

Having access to the information in community forums, blogs, Facebook, LinkedIN and Twitter is powerful both for gaining information about customers and products as well as providing information to the market, reviewing and protecting the reputation of your brand.

Please feel free to add any comments or suggestions that you would like added.

Social Media -- Marketing “Campaigns” or Collaborations

This is a reply to a post on the ACT! Leadership Blog

It seems to be a common error that those new to social media make... they want to know how it will help in sales or marketing, but it's neither of these.

I think it's really important to note that with Social Media, you need to look at ROI as Return on Involvement.... but there doesn't seem to be a way to determine the success metrics. Maybe Google or some other innovator will design a way to compare good comments Vs bad ones?

However, this is where the new wave of consumers are looking for their information as I discussed in this previous blog post. Additionally, you can't set up accounts on these sites and hope it will help you.

It's necessary to actually be involved and engage with your contacts in a way many companies are uncomfortable with. The need to reply quickly and personally can be seen as anathema to organisations used to having their marketing message cleared by several levels of management and the legal department. There is the justifiable fear that confidential content may be (intentionally or not) released prematurely.

On the other hand, it may result in these organisations having to become more nimble and responsive to issues raised by consumers to prevent a viral PR headache. An example of this was shown recently when a user had spent over a month getting delays with a mortgage from an Australian Bank. After a post on Twitter, she was contacted in just over an hour by a senior manager who offered to help in resolving the issue. Personally, I have experienced similar benefit when I had an issue with my ISP and a post on Twitter was acted on faster than calls to their support centre.

It is good to see large companies that are typically conservative like Sage working to embrace this new media – both in utilising it for bi-directional communications and in encouraging open discussions with users to request suggestions in how to best incorporate these technologies in their products. This has involved a cultural change that I believe has been very positive for Sage’s partners and users.

If there is truth to the proverbial curse “may you live in interesting times”, I’d say they are here.

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ACT! by Sage 2009 (11.1) Hot Fix 1 – available now

From ACT! Knowledge Base Article 24343

This Hot fix now replaced by ACT! by Sage 2009 (11.1) Hot Fix 2

This documentation describes Hot Fix 1 (11.1.) for the following versions.

  • ACT! by Sage 2009 (11.1)
  • ACT! by Sage Premium 2009 (11.1)
  • ACT! by Sage Premium for Web 2009 (11.1)
  • ACT! by Sage for Real Estate 11.1
  • ACT! by Sage Premium for Real Estate 11.1
  • ACT! by Sage for Financial Professionals 11.1
  • ACT! by Sage Premium for Financial Professionals 11.1
  • ACT! by Sage Network Sync 11.1
  • ACT! by Sage Internet Sync 11.1
Do not apply this hot fix to any other versions or products. This hot fix applies to all international English locales.
NOTE: To determine the version of the product you are using, see the version number in the Help About box. After the hot fix has been installed, the version number will read " Hot Fix 1".

Verify Your Version of ACT!:
Use the following steps to determine your installed version of ACT!:
  1. Launch ACT!
  2. Click the Help menu, and then click About ACT!.
  3. The About ACT! dialog box appears. The version number appears near the top of this box.
Who Should Install This Hot Fix
Hot Fix 1 for ACT! version 11.1 may resolve your issues if:
  • You are experiencing compatibility issues with eGrabber or other 3rd party products.
  • You are seeing date/time on template names after a database synchronization when there isn't any file conflict.
  • You are an ACT! for Windows® or ACT! for Web user seeing a "No records found" message after sorting on a custom filed in the Contact, Group, or Company List view.
  • You are upgrading from any of the following versions of ACT!: 3.x, 4.x, 5.x (2000) or 6.x (2004) to an International English version of 11.1, and have not yet converted your database.
  • You are an ACT! Premium for Web user and all of your activities do not appear in the task list.
  • You are an ACT! Premium for Web user and have problems loading list views.
If you are using version 11.0 and have recently performed an ACT! Update, check your Help About box. You may already have this hot fix installed.
If you are already using ACT! 11.1, AFRE 11, or AFFP 11, you must manually install this hot fix by following the steps in this document.
The following table list the areas affected by the hot fix, description, and the effect of the hot fix for each known issue.
Area Description What the Fix Does
Contact Records In databases upgraded from version 3.x, 4.x, 5.x (2000) or 6.x (2004), the create date on Contact records changes to the current date instead of retaining the original create date. Prevents the create date from being changed if the hot fix is applied before the database is converted
Column and spillover tables Error Message "No records found" displays when the user sorts on a field. When the user sorts on a field, the sort displays the correct data.
Synchronization File synchronization is adding a date/time stamp to file names, even when there is no conflict. Layouts, queries, and reports will not be renamed after synchronizing.
ACT! for Web list views If the user has more than 10 activities, all may not appear in the task list. Also, the loading icon remains on the screen Allows the correct number of records to be shown in the list views.
SDK SDK 11.1exceptions resulted in third party programs encountering errors Ensures compatibility with eGrabber and other 3rd party products.

Applying the Hot Fix 1 for 11.1
This hot fix requires version 11.1. Do not apply this hot fix to any other version of ACT!. To determine the version of the product you are using, see the version number in the Help About box. After the hot fix has been installed, the version number will read "11/1.183.0 Hot Fix 1".
Apply this hot fix to all machines that share a database to avoid issues surrounding renaming layouts, queries, and reports. This is especially important if your environment includes synchronization.
Caution: If you are upgrading from any of the following versions of ACT! : 3.x, 4.x, 5.x (2000) or 6.x (2004), you must apply this hot fix before converting your database.

  1. Log onto to your computer as an Administrator.
  2. Copy the hot fix to your computer.
  3. Close ACT! and all Microsoft Office applications (Word, Excel, and/or Outlook).
  4. Click the ACT1110HotFix.exe file. The Unpacking ACT! progress indicator briefly appears followed by the Disclaimer dialog box.
  5. Review the disclaimer, and then click Apply.
  6. The installer verifies your Windows rights and ensures that no open programs will conflict with the hot fix installation. If any of these conditions exist, the appropriate message will appear. Please follow the on screen instructions.
  7. The ACT! - Applying Updates window appears while the hot fix is being installed.
  8. When finished the ACT! dialog box appears.
  9. Click Ok to complete the installation.
  10. For all Windows Vista® users with UAC enabled, you will see a Program Compatibility Assistant dialog box. Click This program installed correctly to complete the installation.
Verify the Hot Fix Has Been Applied Correctly:
Use the following steps to verify that the ACT1110HotFix.exe was applied correctly:
  1. Launch ACT!
  2. Click the Help menu, and then click About ACT!.
  3. The About ACT! dialog box appears. The version number at the top of the dialog box should read " Hot Fix 1".
Changes To Your Installation
    Installing hot fix 1 applies to the following files.
    Network Sync Server
    The following assemblies are updated:
    • Act.Data.Resources
    • Act.Framework.dll
    • Act.Framework.Synchronization.Service.UI

    3.x, 4.x, 5.x (2000), 6.x (2004) Conversion
    The following assembly is updated:
    • Act.UI.Designer.Conversion.dll

    Internet Sync Server
    The following assemblies are updated:
    • Act.Data.Resources.dll
    • Act.Framework.dll

    AFFP and AFRE
    The following assembly is updated:
    • Vertical.Framework.dll

    ACT! for Web
    The following assemblies are updated:
    • Act.Web.Framework.dll
    • Act.Web.dll
    • Act.Web.Controls.dll