act database maintenanceBack in the days of ACT! 6 (was that really ten years ago?) my telephone message asked callers if they had recently “Compressed and Re-Indexed” their database.  Back then, there was no way to automate this process although a reminder could be set to prompt a user to run maintenance.  Unfortunately, many ACT! users either ignored the prompt – or didn’t know how to set it to begin with.

Fast forward to the modern versions of ACT! which come equipped with the ACT! Scheduler.  The ACT! Scheduler is a handy tool that can be set to automate routine ACT database maintenance procedures including re-indexing a database, creating a backup, and even performing a synchronization if you use a remote database.

At Tech Benders we specialize in database maintenance and pride ourselves on the fact that there has never been a database that we haven’t been able to recover.  When ACT! users call us to repair a corrupted ACT! database they generally have three things in common:  they haven’t been doing routine maintenance, they don’t have a recent backup, and they are terrified that they might have lost years’ worth of precious data.  I try my best to alleviate their anxieties, all the while wondering why they never bothered to take advantage of the ACT! Scheduler.

I recommend running routine maintenance once a week and creating a backup on a nightly basis.  Both of these procedures can be automated using the ACT! Scheduler.  Database Maintenance helps to ensure that your database will run at its optimum level.  Nightly backups ensure that your data is safe in the event of database corruption or server failure.

Many ACT! users feels that they are properly protected because their entire system is being backed up on a daily basis.  This may or may not be true; many 3rd party backup utilities are unable to create a backup of your ACT! database because the data files are “open” in SQL.  My recommendation is to let ACT! create a nightly backup in a location that is in turn part of your system backup.  After all, creating an automatic ACT! backup doesn’t cost you anything so why not make sure you have ample protection?

Should your database start to “act up” (pun intended) we’re always here to help.  After all, I’d rather teach you a few cool new ACT! tricks than have to bail you out of a bad situation!