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Course: ACCCCC  5 days   "ACT! Ace Course"
Add-on Creation, Customizations, Clean-up, and Converting from the Competition

"The seminar was great - especially the SDK using FoxPro!
 I can now do things with ACT! that were never dreamed possible." - Hong Park, LA

Course Updated for ACT! 7.0 (2005)

This course is designed to enhance the ACT! Certified Consultant's ability to serve existing ACT! customers.   A major purpose is to make ACCs as powerful in moving customers to ACT! as the certified consultants of other contact managers are in assimilating ACT! customers to Goldmine, Maximizer, SalesForce, Oracle SB, etc.

The course shares tools and techniques developed by ACT! consultants over the years to enable ACT! to transcend its boundaries, "clean up" data, and add special new features clients would like in ACT!  The students will learn to use additional tools, such as Microsoft FoxPro™, and Visual Basic™ to create add-ons and completely import data into ACT!

Instructor: Frederick Shaddock - Rick is a graduate of the ACT! Certified Consultant Class of 1992 (DOS), ACC Class of  November 2002 (Windows - taken voluntarily).   By necessity, he has become an expert and attained certification in all the major contact managers for small to medium sized businesses.  His focus is on creating programs to convert them to ACT!   Note: each Day of the course can be taken separately.

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Day 1 - ACT! Data Cleanup and Repair

Advanced Data Clean-up

* Using ACTSweep
* Creating your own custom sweeps to clean up data
* Initial Caps conversions - retaining caps on names like McDonald with a global replace
* Putting Mr. or Ms. in front of contact names automatically
* Combining and Separating data to and from fields -
   using AT(), Substr(), Left(), Right(), StrTran() and other functions
* Data type conversions - Ex. Character text to Numbers or Date format
* Replacing values globally to make the data consistent
* Analyze necessary field length to trim data files - FieldLen Program
* RealName - using this program to display the underlying field names through the layout
* DeDuplication techniques - ACT!'s, ACTdDupe!, SQL Select Distinct, ACT's DeDuper Utility

ACT! File Repair

* Understanding the DBF File header
* Using Data Doctor to fix a corrupted DBF file
* Norton File Fix

Understanding the BLOB

* Data tables that use the BLB file
* How the BLB is structured
* Fixed field length vs. non-fixed
* How to extract and insert information into the BLB while avoiding corruption

Using ZTree

* Using ZTree to change certain dialog labels in ACT!
* Exploring the file header - how it is structured, what everything means
* Editing user login information - lockout recovery

ACT! in the Registry

* Review of RegEdit
* HKEY settings
* What you can change, why, what not to touch

SQL Pass-thru Commands

* Integrating ACT! data with data in Oracle or MS SQL Server
* Understanding Open Data Base Connectivity
* Setting up a data source through ODBC
* Data exploration commands: tables, attributes
* Select, Update, and Delete commands

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Day 2 - Converting from the Competition

A Consideration of Other Systems

* Know the opposition - intelligence debriefing from a "double agent"
* How ACT!'s functionality compares and contrasts with other contact managers:
   Goldmine, Maximizer, Telemagic, Sharkware, Broker's Ally, Janna Contact
* Web based contact managers: Salesforce, SalesNet, Oracle Small Business
* How ACT! compares to personal information systems
   Palm, Outlook, Novell GroupWise, Lotus Notes
* Analogous and corresponding features
* How to find the data in various contact mangers: What folders and files are needed?
* Features that have no equivalent in ACT!
* Countering the competition's ability to convert from ACT! (Built in functions, ACT-Out!, etc.)
* Comparison of features - how this knowledge can help you sell the client on ACT!

Simple Conversions from the Competition - Quick Review

* Quick Review of Importing from Excel, dBase, Access, or other sources (covered in ICC's ACC Course)
* Using the .MAP files

Intermediate Importing Techniques - Maintaining the Relations - beyond the MAP

* How to turn spreadsheet or other data sources into an ACT! relational database
Example: The class will import several public domain flat (Excel XLS) data files on Congressmen, with relations to their Committees, and Staff members into an ACT! database, connecting Contacts and their Groups (committees).
* Using Rick's FieldMap Utility - for more control and featues while  importing data

Advanced Conversion - Complete Assimilation

Learn the secrets behind Shaddock's complete imports from the competition
* An end to the one-way conversion advantage over ACT!
* Getting to the data through ODBC and System Data Source Name
* The importance of getting all the activities, history, notes, emails, groups, and other details
* Converting Goldmine into ACT!
* Converting Maximizer into ACT!
* Converting Salesforce into ACT!
* Converting TeleMagic into ACT! (New - special for Sage consultants)
* Converting Sharkware into ACT! (now "belly up", an opportunity for ACT! to gobble up customers)
* Converting others: Broker's Ally, Janna Contact, etc.

Course materials:
* Booklet will be provided
* Practice databases in various formats to practice converting
* Bring laptop with plenty of disk space
* 30 day demo versions of competing products, and conversion tools can be used if you do not have them.

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Day 3 - Making ACT! AddOns

This course features the

Using the ACT! SDK

* Overview to built-in functions to modify the appearance and behavior of ACT!
* Calling SDK functions from VBS scripts
* Using VBS to streamline installations
* Automatically adding Tool Bar Buttons with a batch file
* Note: This topic can be a course in itself.
Steve McCandlish and Duane Andersen have developed one, so this section will cover different topics

Creating Triggers using Visual Basic and Visual Studio

* Small EXE's that can execute upon entering or leaving fields
* Zip Code populator
* Field calculator

Creating Add-Ons

* Opening the necessary data tables -
* Creating a main menu
* Programming constructs: IF...Then...Else,   DO Loops
* Using functions
* Compiling a standalone EXE
* Creating an installation routine for distribution to customers

Creating Plug Ins

* Learn to create Visual Basic Scripts
* Example:

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Day 4.0 - Extending ACT! (1/2 day)

Accessing ACT! from Anywhere

* Why this is becoming increasingly important
* Competition that leverages the Web: SalesForce, Oracle Small Business, SalesNet
* Remote access technologies available for ACT!
* Using VNC - Virtual Network Computing (free utility from AT&T)
* Special speaker or Web demo: Wired Contact / ACT! WebAccess
* Wireless technologies and Web phones
* Special speaker or Web demo: UnWired Contact

ACT! with the Palm & SmartPhones

* Intellisync setup
* Issues when switching Intellisync Profiles
* Synchronization issues
* Best practices

ACT! Globally

* Making ACT! multilingual
* Customizing ACT! for non-supported languages
* Layouts, Templates and Reports
* Changing the menus, and updating the ACT! Registry


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Day 4.5 - Advanced Synchronization (1/2 day)

Synchronization Issues

* Setup from scratch - why this is the easiest.  A sure-fire system.
* Setup when they have been using ACT! at home office and decide to use laptops in field
* Setup when organization has grown from laptops in field to synchronize with a central office
* Setup when there is a mixture
* Synchronization with shared data versus individual groups
* Passing leads from one rep to another
* Fixing "Sync-Overflow"
* Detecting and resolving evil twins
* Common problems and solutions

Misc. Optional Topics (or an Optional 5th Day)

Report Writers for ACT!

* Using Crystal Reports with ACT!
* Using FoxPro's report writer
* Using R&R Relational Report Writer
* Using Access' Report writer
* Using Stonefield Query

Email Programs for ACT!

* CoolerEmail

ACT Sales and Licensing - getting more customers

* ICC policies
* Upgrade Insurance
* Volume Discounts
* Bundling

Better Training in ACT!

* Better teaching techniques for ACT!
* Using the Improved ACT Demo used by
* The 3x5 card technique for helping students understand synchronization
* Vision of the Whole diagram for seeing all the menus at a glance
* Main Points / SCI Points
* Teaching via WebEx or other remote access technology
* Using Videophones for training

Case Studies - Lessons from projects with ACT!

* British Embassy - worldwide rollout and synchronization setup - between various embassies and London
* World Bank - worldwide rollout and synchronization setup - between development offices and Washington
* Governing Magazine - synchronization issues with reps with separate databases
* Honduras Embassy - synchronization between 32 computers at 10 consulate offices with the Embassy in DC
* Stimson Foundation & Monterey Institutes - Goldmine conversion to ACT!
* Datum - Maximizer conversion to ACT!
* U.S. Information Agency - ACT! network setup
* Rolling Stones - converting from Panorama to ACT! for the Mac using FoxPro for the Mac

Handling Your Particular Issues with ACT!

* Bring in a project or problem

See ACT! for Administrators

NOTE: This seminar is not offered by or a responsibility of Interact Commerce Corporation and is an independent effort.

All ACT! AddOns discussed in the course are included in the course

Course content is flexible based on requests from the students.

Course Location - to be determined, depending on class size


3300 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA  22201

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1200 18th Street, NW
Washington, DC  20036

up to 6 - 8 students


11820 Parklawn Drive
Rockville, MD 20852

up to 10 students

After the Annual ACC Conference
September 15, 2001
09:00 - 17:00

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Doubletree Paradise Valley Resort

5401 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, AZ 85250-7090

Specific conference room
to be announced


™ - ACT! is a trademark of  Interact Commerce Corporation
FoxPro, Access, and Visual Basic are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation