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Sage ACT! 2013 - Custom Contact Record Types and Views

Posted on 2013-01-09
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Last Modified: 2013-01-14
Long time GoldMine user trying out ACT!.  I actually worked some with ACT! several years ago, but this version (Sage ACT! Pro 2013 Version 15.0.301.0) is a lot different.
 
So what I'm trying to figure out is if ACT! 2013 can do something that I used a lot in GoldMine - namely different record views for different record types.  For example, a database for an implement dealership could have a client contact record type and a tractor contact record type.  I know a tractor isn't a person, but the dealership may want to link documents to the tractor, track a history of service appointments, etc. on the tractor as well as just track a lot of different information on the tractor.  So in GoldMine there was a key field that was a record type field.  Changing that field between client and tractor would change the view of the record.  A client record had all the usual people info fields like address, phone number, etc. while a tractor record would have fields displayed like make, model, serial #, engine, etc.
 
I haven't spent a ton of time yet searching in ACT! 2013 but it's not immediately obvious and spending a little time search is coming up fruitless as well.  If anyone can give me any information or point me in the right direction to read up on it, I would greatly appreciate it.  Thanks
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Question by:jtgerdes
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Accepted Solution

by:
GMGenius earned 167 total points
ID: 38759802
I know what your refering too here, the fields could be hidden or renamed depending on a field that had your record type, hence the name Record Typing and was managed from the RecordType administration area.

I do not believe you can do this in ACT, at least not from what i last saw and that was only a few versions ago.
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Author Comment

by:jtgerdes
ID: 38759812
Oh how I miss the $200 GoldMine license!
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Expert Comment

by:GMGenius
ID: 38760159
yeah, so do many other original GoldMine standard users. if only they could consider a cheaper license that only allowed GoldMine to work on SQL Express instead of the full SQL product...
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Assisted Solution

by:Mike Lazarus
Mike Lazarus earned 167 total points
ID: 38761792
There are a range of ways to do this in ACT! ... possibly using Groups or Opportunities

My preferred way is with custom tables using TopLine Designer:
http://www.actaddons.com/products/2005/topline-designer.asp?cc_AID=953896411_1097853525
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Author Comment

by:jtgerdes
ID: 38763052
I don't think groups or opportunities is the way to do this as these items (again a tractor for example) are more like people than anything.  That is, a tractor is bought new buy one person, then sold to another, then another, etc.  The tractor has a "life" of it's own regardless of who owns it.  All the history, linked documents, etc. need to stay with that tractor regardless of who owns it.  In fact, in this example, we're tracking a whole lot more information on tractors than on people clients.

One thought I had is to basically just transform the Contacts into Implements (tractors) and then use Companies to track info on the people clients.  It's not a perfect scenario, but it would let me link tractors to clients and move them between clients when they are sold.  Ideally, I'd still like to use Contacts for people as well, but the issue is I can't find a way to change the view based on if the contact record is a person or a tractor.

Maybe this clarifies it a bit and will jar loose an idea from an ACT! expert?
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Assisted Solution

by:50cal
50cal earned 166 total points
ID: 38769045
As ACT! Doesn't support custom entities out of the box (without using the sdk/plugins) you would have to adapt native functionality.

There are a number of ways you could possibly achieve it (although no ideal), a couple of potential solutions are:
1.
Use the opportunities entity (if you are not already using it for the sales process) and design the layout with custom fields that relate to a tractor. This will give you the ability to track documents/histories etc against the record as you request and also track field information as per your requirements
2.
Create a second layout for contacts that contains all the tractor fields.
Also create a 'record type' field that specifies if the record is a contact or a tractor, this will allow you to isolate records using lookups and Create dynamic groups to pull in the relevant information.
ACT! Won't automatically change the layout for you to show the appropriate fields but you can do that will a couple of clicks of the layout button, you should know what layout to use based on the 'record type' field.
 
Hopefully that gives you some ideas.

50cal.
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LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:Mike Lazarus
ID: 38769832
I would keep the Contacts as people (you can't email to other record types) ... I would think that either Companies or Groups could be the items ... or, if that's not enough, TopLine Designer (as I linked above) should do it for you
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Author Closing Comment

by:jtgerdes
ID: 38774845
I appreciate the feedback from you all.  Although I didn't get the answer I was hoping for I got some good information so points for everyone.
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