We will periodically get calls from customers complaining that ACT syncs run forever or their ACT database is running too slow. Before killing the computer, as the graphic alludes to, instead it’s better to look at what is the root cause of the problem. Usually, at this point we ask a couple of questions then we logon to their database and start checking a few things. One of the things we look at is the size of the ALF file.
An ACT database is a SQL database and is really two files – one is an ADF and one is an ALF filetype. The ADF is the main database core and the ALF is a log file. When you have a syncing environment, meaning remote databases (think of them as children of the master database) are in the field, ACT needs to keep track of changes to send out to those remotes when they request a sync.
Ok, that’s cool. But what happens a lot of times is people will not clean up old remote databases that are no longer in use or which have expired. Case in point – recently a client called and said remotes were taking over an hour to sync. When we logged onto their server, there were only 4 active remote databases but there were over 20 expired or obsolete remotes that ACT was keeping track of on a daily basis. So their ALF file had grown exponentially over a course in time. The backups were running longer, the database was slowing down. All sorts of nasty things were going on. It was time to clean house.
The proper thing to do is to disable and remove any ACT remote database from the Master so that it no longer keeps trying to keep track of all that information. After doing that, run a check and repair and the size of the ALF shrinks dramatically. Syncs run faster. Backups run faster. The database runs faster. Happy clients all around.
Take care of your ACT database and it will take care of you. Database maintenance is important no matter what CRM or application you are using. All of them have some method of doing maintenance – look into it. Even your Windows computer likes it when you defrag your hard drive. Keeping your computer house nice and tidy means improved performance.