Questions and More Details

How long Does It Take?

We do a lot of this type of conversion, and have refined the process down to about 3-4 hours. We've put the data back and forth between ACT and Goldmine many times over the years.  Usually we do the job overnight, so people can leave off with Goldmine one day, and start with ACT the next day.

As different organizations use Goldmine and ACT! in different ways, we would like to have a phone number to call someone familiar with your database, just in case we have questions about unusual particulars during the conversion.

How do you send to ACTConvert the files to work on?

Your data should first be compressed, using a program such as WinZIP or PKZIP. This is to make the file small, so that it can be sent more quickly. It will be sent in the form of a GOLDMINE.ZIP file. When we are done converting your database, we will send you an ACT_DATA.ZIP database file to uncompress and use with ACT!

1. Upload to our Secure Server using our convenient, easy web based uploading form

2. If your company has an FTP site, we can download and upload it there.
You will need to supply us with a login and password.

3. By email to
but only if your GOLDMINE.ZIP is a small (under 1 megabyte) email attachment.

Either way, your data is kept in the strictest confidence.
When you tell us the project is complete, we delete all copies.

dataupload.jpg (159276 bytes)

Which files do I need to send?

A complete list is included at the above link.  A GoldZip.Bat file, placed in the Goldmine EXE folder, will get the proper files automatically.  Or, you can create a compressed "Zip" file on your own.  Please do not send the C:\GOLDMINE\MAILBOX\ATTACH folder, as this may have hundreds of Word processing, Excel spreadsheet, and PowerPoint files.  These do not need to be converted, and only make the Zip file larger.  This makes it take longer to send your files to us.

How do you receive the converted ACT! Database?

When we are done with the process, we will call and send you an email with the ACT_DATA.ZIP file attached (if it is a small database), or a link to download the file with your browser. For your security, this folder will be have an unguessable name. In addition, we will encrypt the ZIP file. We want zero chance that anyone else will get your data.

feb12_09.jpg (111234 bytes) 
We convert your files on fast pentiums, and monitor their progress closely from anywhere.

How much does it cost?  

Our Consulting Rates - Usually the job takes about 3-4 hours, for about US$ 200-300.   
The cost depends on several factors:

We can provide you an estimate at no cost or obligation.

For some clients, we do the conversion on a weekly basis at a substantial discount.  For example, a salesman who likes to use Goldmine, can send his database to his Sales Manager who uses ACT! for activity analysis.  This way they are both happy.

We can take a look at your file via GoToMyPC for an estimate, if you have special needs.

What are the limitations?

If you have more than 3 contacts associated with a particular record, you will need to create separate contacts for them for ACT! 6.0  But the new ACT! version 7.0 is free of this limitation.  ACT! 7.0 does have a Company table.
1. Go to the Contacts tab
2. Right click
3. Select Options
4. Select Convert to Record

Some features of Goldmine have no direct equivalent in ACT!  But we can discuss alternatives or ACT! Add-Ons for such features as:

What happens to the Goldmine Key Fields?

These five Key fields, Key 1 - Key 5, which appear on the top half of Goldmine, are basically User Defined Fields.  These will become ACT!'s User1 - User5 fields.   The other Goldmine User Defined Fields UserDef01 - UserDef10 and onward will become ACT's User6 - User 15 fields and onward.

What if there are errors?

We do a thorough check to make sure all the information that is possible, comes across from Goldmine to ACT! 
For example, we perform a Field Name Checking procedure
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  ACTFieldsScreen.gif (25804 bytes)

You will find an ACT Admin record used for this check.    But if we miss anything that we should have converted, we will do that at no additional cost, within reason.  Please keep in mind that the reason this conversion was not included in ACT! was that it is very difficult.

Can I just buy the conversion program?

We have worked  to develop a generic software package that "does it all."  But this has proven difficult as there are a surprising number of variations in the way people use Goldmine and ACT!   Sometimes people don't use it the way it is "supposed" to and come up with clever innovations.  Plus, the GoldMine data is not always in the right place and may require some cleanup preparation. It's the exceptions that require special data handling.

The process still involves a number of expensive different programming tools which must be bought from software companies.

This list does not include the all important special programs and scripts written to make the conversion work.  So it is best converted by a qualified database technician who already owns and has experience with these tools.  

Even if we were able to create one conversion program, you would probably only need it for a one-time run. The program (and possible technical support) would cost more than our service work to do it, anyway.  You might not use these database tools again and they would sit on your shelf gathering dust.

We take care and run cross checking routines to verify that the data has converted properly.  We know what to look for. For example, all files are pre-checked with Duane Anderson's ACTDiag.exe ACT! diagnostics program.

The process is getting better and more refined just about every day.  So you benefit from the latest refinements.

MigrateAdmin <license>

What about the software MigrateAdmin*?

Steve McCandlish and Duane Anderson are great guys and programmers, and we wish them well with their software.  But ACT! migrations are a one-time operation for most companies.  Then who needs the software to sit on the shelf? 

If everyone used Goldmine the same way, and the way it "should" be used, an all-purpose conversion program could be made.  But we receive databases to convert, from customers who found creative and unanticipated ways of doing things with Goldmine.  Plus, we accommodate all versions of Goldmine - even version 1.0 through the latest version.  We know what to look for in error checking, while an end user would miss some details.

A conversion software is yet another program the customer must learn.  They will generally not have more than one experience with it.  They may notice mistakes in their use of the program days or weeks later.  By then, people have updated the data, and it is too late to do a re-conversion.  We find that database conversions of this type are best done as a service.  We are always on the lookout for ways to improve out procedures. With software, you can't do that easily, plus updates will be too late for most customers to benefit from.

* MigrateAdmin is a trademark of ASDS Computers

Do you have any references?

We sure do. Please Click here (Please call us at 202-829-4444 for password).

We also have received very positive feedback from ACT! Certified Consultants and commendation from Interact Commerce Corporation senior executives from around the world.  This has "evened the playing field" with Goldmine, which was long able to convert from ACT!   Before Goldmine was able to assimilate ACT! files, but not vice versa.  Now ACT! can convert from Goldmine equally well.

Why doesn't ACT! include a better Goldmine importer with the software?

That is a good question.  If ACT! did, we would not have bothered developing the procedure. 

For one thing, it takes a number of different software packages to accomplish the job:'s dBase 7.5 , Redstone Softbase's GoldBox, Sequitter Codebase, Microsoft Visual Studio and ZedTek's ZTreeWin.  This would be too expensive.

It may come down to one word: "BLoB."  ACT's BLB file stands for "Binary Large oBject."  This is where the Notes, Email addresses, Attachment paths, Passwords, Usernames, etc. are stored.  Blob is a good name for it.  It is a complex file, and one wrong byte corrupts it.  So special care must be taken to ensure the information from Goldmine goes into the right place.

The conversion process takes more than a simple MAP file.  Other programs, such as Outlook, can be easily imported.  It is just a matter of matching the fields from one data file into ACT!'s structure.  But Goldmine's data structure is not that simple.  

Another reason is Goldmine's unusual field use.   Goldmine uses its fields in quite unusual and let us say, creative ways.  For example, in Goldmine's CONTSUPP.DBF file, the Address and City fields are sometimes are used for secondary contacts.  But at other times, these fields are used for the "address" of a linked document template!  At other times, for an email address.  This is too inconsistent for standard import procedures.  We are familiar with such idiosyncrasies, and take care of them in our conversion process.

Another obstacle is the date format used in ACT! Instead of storing March 15, 2001 as "03-15-2001", ACT! stores this as "ZJ1D!" This was done to save bytes of storage space while storing the date as well as the time of day. So simple field mapping cannot be used, and a special conversion function must be used. So it may come down to another word - ZJ1D!

We are working to develop something that could be included in the ACT! product.   But it would have to be compact enough, easy to run, and fit well into the ACT! menu system.  That is a challenge in itself.   So, for now, it is a special process.

Who developed it?

It took someone knowledgeable and determined (stubborn) enough to pave a "golden path" for many frustrated Goldmine users to move in to ACT!  Rick Shaddock is an expert in contact management databases and database design.  He has used both ACT! and Goldmine since they hit the market in the early 1990's. He has performed various experiments on the products, such as importing over 1 million records to see if it will blow up ACT! (It didn't, but ran very slowly.)

As our Chief Contact Converter, he has been both an ACT! Certified Consultant (1992 - 2001) and Goldmine Certified Professional. He has achieved certification in other contact managers, and as a Microsoft Certified Professional.  He has proven himself in the field, handling hundreds of clients, taken the required advanced seminars, and passed the exams with the highest marks.  

He did his graduate work and dissertation on relational database modeling theory. He is proficient with the programming tools needed to develop the process:  ACT SDK, CodeBase, dBase - Borland Database Engine, Open Data Base Connectivity (ODBC), Structured Query Language (SQL), Microsoft Access and Microsoft Visual Studio - including Visual Basic and Visual FoxPro.

Why did you do it?

In order to accurately and objectively advise our clients which is best, C I Corporation puts its own company database in one or the other, when a significantly new version comes out in ACT! or Goldmine.   We want to keep on top of the latest features of all the major contact managers, and be able to compare and contrast them.

This way we can speak from years of daily hands-on experience. Clients asked "Why is ACT! better than Goldmine?"  We wanted to be able to give an experienced answer.   Some consultants can only offer advice about the one program they are certified in.  At C I Corporation, we do our best to try all the major options, and compare and contrast them, in order to call ourselves consultants.

Like you, when it is time for a switch, we want to retain all our precious notes, groups, and history records. The conversion procedures included in Goldmine and ACT! do not completely convert their competitor's format. A lot gets lost in the translation.

So, out of necessity, we have developed programs and procedures over the years to help us convert quickly and completely. We are experts in what is happening at the deep file and table relationships level.

Since 1992, we were quite satisfied with ACT! and may never have tried, much less mastered Goldmine, except for a temporary disagreement years ago with Symantec Corporation, which used to market ACT! But it proved to be a fortunate thing for ACT! that we looked in to competing products and developed conversion processes.

Which is best ACT! or Goldmine?

ACT! and Goldmine each have their strengths and weaknesses.  They are suited to a particular type of user or organization - playing to different audiences.  They are both good for different reasons.  With each version they each expand in their capabilities.  (Is that statement political enough?)  But we find that 99% of clients we find want to convert from Goldmine to ACT! - instead of the other direction, due to ACT!'s user-friendliness.

Goldmine has more features, but is generally considered is harder to learn than  ACT!  Some organizations have found the the users do not use those features anyway.   If they features aren't used, they don't really exist for the user.  ACT is a program that a person new to computers could easily use.

Here is a comparison from Interact.   Here is one from PC Magazine.

How is this different from what Intellisync does?

Intellisync can convert most of the contact data, and activities for Palms, and other simple rolodex systems.  But, unlike Intellisync, we also retain the relationships - the way a contact relates to the activities, groups, histories, and notes.  After an Intellisync conversion, the contacts, activities, groups, histories, and notes are separate entities.

Can we convert to ACT! without having to pre-define the user fields in ACT!? 
Is there anything we need to do beforehand?

We take care of creating the User Defined fields in ACT!, based on the User Defined fields in Goldmine. There is no limit to the number of UDFs. We migrate the fields in the order that they were in Goldmine, using the same names.  So, you do not need to do any special preparation other than make sure the names are correct in Goldmine, or deleting any you don't need any more.  Once the data is in ACT!, you can use Edit, Define Fields and the Tools, Layout Editor to refine the way they appear.

What about the other direction - ACT! to Goldmine conversions?

Goldmine pretty well has that taken care of with its own menus.
Tools, Import/Export Wizard, Import Contact Records and Process Monitor

We can do ACT to Goldmine conversions as well.

What other services do you offer?

We offer training and consulting in contact management and other popular business software.

Please click on the following links, or feel free to call with any questions.

Can I see a sample of a Goldmine database converted into ACT!?

Sure!  Please click here for a variety of sceenshots of past conversions from ACT!  We can also provide a demo file comparison.

  Before in Goldmine
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 After in ACT!
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FREE Goldmine.CLY

Click on this link to download into your ACT\Layout folder.

When you select it as your Screen layout (see button at the bottom of the ACT! screen, you can see your data in a similar way to the Goldmine screen format.


Word Document from ACT!
Comparing and Contrasting GoldMine

Click to download a Microsoft Word document written by Symantec, 
comparing and contrasting the capabilities of Goldmine versus ACT!

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Can you tell me more about the details of the conversion process?

Sure (for programmers)



new.gif (116 bytes) Now our procedure is multi-user, so it can run on multiple computers to divide the job between processors and save hours of time to convert!  One job that would take 60 hours was cut down to 10 when done on 6 machines.