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Making Act! faster

 

There is a bunch of tuning features that can speed up Act!, some are related to the OS and some are to Addons.

 

1. RAM

you should assure that you allways have more then 50% of your physical memory free… due to the fact that Windows is starting Swapping memory when you go above 50% memory usage. We strongly recommend to have the maximum possible memory installed 3.5 GB on a 32bit PC, and at least 6 GB on a 64Bit PC, only if you consider upgrading to 64bit, pls check upfront if all drivers like Tapi, Printer, scanner etc, are able to provide a driver that works with 64Bit. you might also want to consider to use a SSD for swaping and Temp files, there are tools to limit the swaping, you might want to test them in a test enviroment before using them in your „real world“
you can also, if you are on 32 Bit, and Vista or Windows7 use a technic, called Microsoft Readyboost.

 

1a. RAM

The Keystroke MemFix utility helps users increase the memory that a program or service can utilize. By default, most 32-bit applications are limited to 1024MB of RAM, but our MemFix utility increases that to 3072MB, which often can be the difference between a program crashing, and continuing to run. Useful for applying to Act and Netsync.  Memfix download

 

2. Defrag your Harddisk.
As Act is a Database tool, act needs a lot of Disk-access, so a fragmented disk will slow down act!. Please use a tool like Auslogics Defrag regulary, also let the tool clean up the Temporary files, depending of your act! usage, act can create a lot of Temporary files, that might not be deleted. If you are using a SSD, you may want to ask your Vendor if a defrag is considerd as Helpfull. In the case of SSD´s a TRIM may be more helfull

3. Remove unneeded DLL´s
when act! is booting, it is loading all Dll´s that are located in the  c:\Program Files\ACT\Act for Windows\Plugin folder
any addon, if meant to be loaded by act! has to be placed there. there are a few plugins, that you might want to remove if you are not using them

Keyoti.RapidSpellMDict.dll  (Spell-Checker)

Keyoti.RapidSpell.Net2.TXSupportv14.dll (Spell-Checker)

ACTSPE2005.dll (Swiftpage Mailmerge a usefull tool but do all your users need it?)

ACT.Survey.Plugin.dll  (Survey that will pop a few weeks after Install)

AccountingLinkConversion.dll (if you use Act with your Accounting this dll might be needed)

Act! v16 and above is creating the dlls new, if you delete them. We did create empty dll’s which wont be overwritten by Act!.
You can download them here as 7z or here as .zip file.

we strongly recommend to move this dll´s, and not to delete them, if you are missing any feature after the move, you can just move the files back and everything will be as before.

4. Remove outdated cleared Activitys
in act! Tools|Database Maintenance|Remove Old Data Database maintenance you can remove old Activity data, normaly you would not need them as they are listed in your history anyway. There are rare cases where you might still need them, for this cases we recommend to make a Copy of your database, (i.e. ACT2012, ACT2011, ACT2010 and so on) so you can load the  Database if you would like to check what you did on the 24.August 2011

you can check with the task List all your Past open activities. if they are open by purpose, please check if you really need them. if they are just „forgotten to close“ Close and delete them as described above.

5.Remove unneeded History
act! is creating a lot of history Entrys that might be of interest shortly after it happend, but do you realy care about a history entry that a opportunity was created 3 years ago, as you will see the Opportuntiy anyway? with our addon Service-It you can delete history entrys selective (only specific history types older then (1day-2years) and you can run this once or daily

6. Reindex your database
via the act! scheduler you can freqently run a Task that is rebuilding the index files, and running a Database fix. we recommend to run this at least once a Week after you ensured that you have a backup 

7. Limit Recurring Activitys
recurring Activitys may be scheduled for a lot of days/years, so we strongly recommend to set an end-Date to avoid planing for the next „100 years“

 

8.Remove unneeded Tools and program´s from your Memory (improve Windows Performance)

depending on your computer use, you will find a lot of services Running that you really do not need there are a bunch of websites that give a lot of hints/tips/tools and we strongly recommend to do this first on a test environment untill you are sure that you do not touch services that maybe one of your installed programs might need

 

if you are not using the Contact & Calender sync with Google or Outlook (we strongly recommend not to use them) then you can also disable the Syncservice for this feature

 

some recomendations on how to´s

Microsoft

TechRepublic

addictivetips

Tools that we recomend

CCleaner

Auslogics

System-Mechanic

TuneUp

8. Consider to use a faster Harddisk
act! is accessing a SQL Database, there for you are facing a lot of i/o on your Harddisk. Depending on the amount of users and the Workload and the way you are using act!, you may face a lot of Delay caused by your Harddisk.  (latency)

speed of disks

SATA up to 150 IOPS
SAS up to 210 IOPS
SSD from 5000~ to 1 000 000 ~ IOPS

IOPS = I/O per Second

so depending on the kind of used Harddrive, the Raid, if your Raidsystem supports Caching you may face a huge lag just because using the false Hardware Product to store your Data.

 

SATA drives are meant to Store DATA (not recomended for the use of Databases)

SAS Drives are built for Databases and as more Heads you have as faster it will work (Headcount)

SSD are the Runners, but still costy when using the fast ones, and costy depending on the size, and the lifetime of SSD´s are still not the same like SAS or SATA drives (getting better)

 

 9.Networks

act! is utilizing the network much more as a office Application like word or outlook, as act! needs to communicate with the server all the time (see 8.). so using act! on a GB Network will speedup the Responses while using act! via a WLAN will sure slow down act!.  Having a GB Switch is strongly recommended and using a HUB or a Wireless connection is a nogo for Performance.  try to ping your server (ping {servername} and if you have a response that shows a delay higher then 2 ms, then this is the cause for delays when working with act

 10. Firewall

the microsoft firewall (enabled on Server an on PC´s) slows down act, even when you include exceptions. our strong recommendation is to disable the Firewall on all devices where act is installed as long they are in the local Lan. if you have notebooks working in the lan and from outside, you should still consider a firewall.

 

11.Indexes

are you using the search in the upper right corner? if not you may want to disable the indexing service „ACT! Service Host“  if you are using a shared Database, you can disable it on the local pc´s or on your terminal Server, if the terminalserver is not hosting the database

12. Smart Tasks

if you are not using the smart-tasks then you want to disable the Service „ACT! Smart Task Service Host“ . if you are using a shared Database, you can disable it on the local pc´s or on your Terminalserver, if the terminalserver is not hosting the database

 

 13. Remove outdated Syncsets.

when you did setup synchronisation, act is creating additional Tables that will be maintained and updated with every update that is made by any USER. we do see installations where the sync was setup a long time ago, but never used, or where Remote Databases are not used anymore. We strongly recomend to remove any Remote that is not used anymore, and if you do not use the remote Databases, then disable this feature, this cuts down the io´s

 

 14. SQL Server

Depening on the ammount of users, and the amount of Contacts/Companys/groups/History/Notes/opportunitys you may also want to consider to use a Standard SQL instead of the SQL-Express that comes with ACT.
you may want to consider to have a ACC to install/configure your SQL Standard.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc645993.aspx -> Cross-Box Scale Limits you can find all informations about all SQL versions.

 

 15. Slow Outlook

if you see our outlook slowing down, as soon the outlook integration is installed/configured, you may want to follow our KB OUTLOOK IS LOADING VERY SLOW SINCE act! IS INSTALLED

16. VPN

Recently we did see some installs, where users try to access ACT via a VPN this is a nogo for speed. ACT  (SQL) has several parts where a huge amount of packet flows are going back and forward (from the client to the Server and back again)   try to ping your server (ping {servername} and if you have a response that shows a delay higher then 2 ms, then this is the cause for delays when working with act

we recommend the following ways to work with act, when using a VPN

  • access via WEB  (only ACT Premium with installed Act for Web)
  • access via Sync  (have a local Database, and sync the changes via VPN)

17. have a slim Outlook
recently we did see some act! users with thousands (up to 100.000) emails in outlook. If you want act! to interact with Outlook we strongly recommend a clean, slim Outlook. We recommend Mailstore as a solution that will reduce the mails stored in outlook to a minimum and you will gain Speed, search features, and less issues between act! and Outlook. 

 

18. disable outlook sync for Contacts & Appointments

act! is using the standard Outlook SDK interface to sync ACT Contacts and Appointments with Outlook. Unfortunately this normaly only works in very clean environments. As most users have a lot of tools installed and often then sync outlook again with other devices (like mobile phones/tablets) you will probably see double appointment, or loose appointments, or you will probably see a duplication from Contacts, or again loss of contacts. it also messes up your database.

we strongly recommend not to enable the sync with outlook. Swiftpage is aware of this problem, and we are in a good mood, that this problem will be solved in one of the next Hotfixes or SP or new versions.

If you want to Sync your act! with your mobile phone, we recommend Act for Web (HTML5 client) or Handheldcontact, with both solutions we did never face any dataloss or duplication.

 

19.Exclude Act folders from Antivirus scan

some antivirus scan every Harddisk access and this can slow down act!, for a first test, disable your antivirus and check out if the perfomance changes. if so, then you should exclude all folders containing act programs/data

20. Remove the Act.Web.API on the client computers

If Act! is running on a client client computer and not a server it will help to uninstall all components of the Act.Web.API. This will improve the performance of your computer and Act! itself. You can uninstall the Act.Web.API by uninstalling it from the control panel of your computer.

21. WLAN

As mentioned in „9. Network„, it’s not recommended to use Act! with a WLAN connection. The reason for this is the appearance of collisions in a WLAN network. So if possible please use a LAN connection on your device when working with Act!.

22. DNS

Using a slow DNS can also be a reason for a slow loading Act!. If you connect to your database with the name of the server entered in your PAD file it may take up to a few minutes to load Act! and your database. To make sure this wont happen anymore you have two options.

1. Enter the IP of the server in your „Hosts“ file (How to edit your hosts file in windows 10)

2. Change the name of the host in your PAD file to the IP address of your server

23. Updated drivers

Sometimes drivers can also be a reason for a slow Act!. Please take care of your drivers. For example the drivers of your network card on your server can slow down all the devices working with the Act! database.

A tool we recommend for this purpose is DriverMax.