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How to make Act! faster (improve loading, searching and processing speed) and reduce crashes

  1. Ram.

You should make sure that you always have more than 50% of your physical memory free, due to the fact that Windows will start swapping memory data if you exceed the memory usage of 50%. We strongly recommend installing the maximum possible memory of 6 GB on a 64-bit PC. You can also consider using an SSD for the swap file files. There are ways in which you could limit the data swap. You can also test the SSD first in a test environment before deploying it in your real environment. You can also, if you are using 32 bit Vista or Windows7, use Microsoft Readyboost.

For terminal servers, we recommend Performance Tuning Remote Desktop Session Hosts.

2. Defragment your hard disk.

Since Act is a database tool, Act! needs a lot of disk access, so a fragmented disk will slow down the process! Please use a tool like Auslogic Disk Defrag or similar regularly. Let the tool, also clean up the temporary files, because depending on your Act! usage, Act! may create many temporary files that may not be deleted.

3. Remove unnecessary DLL’s

When Act! boots, it loads all dll’s located in the folder

„c:\Program Files\ACT\Act for Windows\Plugin“.

every addon that is loaded by Act! is placed there. There are a few plugins that you can remove if you don’t need them.

Keyoti.RapidSpellMDict.dll  (spell checker)
Keyoti.RapidSpell.Net2.TXSupportv14.dll   (spell checker)
ACTSPE2005.dll  (Swiftpage Mailmerge is a useful tool, but do all your users need it?)
ACT.Survey.Plugin.dll  (Survey that appears a few weeks after installation.)
AccountingLinkConversion.dll   (if you use Act with your accounting, this DLL may be needed).

Act! v16 and higher recreates the DLL’s when you delete them. We have created empty DLL’s that are not overwritten by Act! You can download them here as 7z

or here as a .zip file.

We strongly recommend moving these dll’s and not deleting them. If you miss a feature after removing them, you can simply move them back.

4. remove all, completed activities

In Act! (Tools |-> Database Maintenance |-> Remove All Data), you can remove old activities, normally you would not need them anyway, as they are recorded in your history. There are rare cases where you might still need them, for those cases we recommend that you make a copy of your database (e.g. ACT2012, ACT2011, ACT2010, etc.) so that you can load the database when you want to check what you did on August 24, 2011.

You can use the task list to review all of your past open activities. If they are open on purpose, please check if you really need them. If they are just accidentally Open, close and delete them as described above.

5. remove unneeded histories

Act! creates many history entries that might be of interest shortly after creation, but do you really care about a history entry that shows an opportunity was created 3 years ago when you will see the opportunity anyway? With our Service|IT addon you can selectively delete history entries only certain history types older than (1 day-2 years). You can run this service once or daily.

6. reindex your database

Using the Act! scheduler, you can run a task that rebuilds the index files and runs a database fix. We recommend doing this at least once a week after making sure you have a backup.

7. limit recurring activities

Recurring activities can be scheduled for many days/years, so we strongly recommend setting an end date to avoid scheduling for the next „100 years“.

8. remove unneeded tools and programs from your memory (improve Windows performance).

Depending on your computer usage, you will find a lot of services running that you really don’t need. There are a number of websites that give a lot of hints/tips/tools. We strongly recommend doing this on a test environment first until you are sure you are not disabling any services that may need one of your installed programs.

If you do not use (we strongly recommend not to use) the contact and calendar synchronization with Google or Outlook, then you can disable the Sync.Service for this feature.

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9. consider using a faster hard disk.

Act! accesses an SQL database, thus your hard drive will face a lot of i/o. Depending on the number of users and the amount of work and how you use Act!, you may experience a significant amount of lag through your hard drive. (Latency)

SATA up to 150 IOPS

SAS up to 210 IOPS

SSD from 5000~ to 1 000 000~ IOPS

IOPS = Input/output operations Per Second


Depending on the type of hard drive you are using, the raid, if your raid system supports caching, you may experience a large delay just because you are using the wrong hardware product to store your data.

SATA drives are designed for DATA storage (not recommended for database use).

SAS drives are designed for databases and the more heads you have, the faster it will work (headcount).

SSD’s are the runners, they are fast but expensive and the lifespan of SSD’s is still not the same as SAS or SATA drives (it is getting steadily better though).

10. networks

Act! uses the network much more than an office application like Word or Outlook, because Act! needs to communicate constantly with the server (see 8.). Therefore, using Act! on a GB network will speed up responses, while using Act! over a WLAN will slow it down! The use of a GB switch or a HUB is strongly recommended. A wireless connection, however, is a „no go“ for performance. Try pinging your server (ping {server name}) and if you have a response and the delay shows more than 2 ms, then this is the cause of the delays when working with Act!

11. firewall

Microsoft Firewall (enabled on server and on PC’s) slows down Act! even if you have already made exceptions. Our strong recommendation is to disable the firewall on all devices where Act! is installed as long as you are in the local lan. If you have notebooks that work in the lan and from outside, you should still consider a firewall.

12. indexes

Do you use the search in the upper right corner? If not, you can disable the indexing service „ACT! Service Host“. If you use a shared database, you can also disable it on the local PC or on your terminal server, provided that the terminal server does not host the database.

13. smart tasks

If you do not use the Smart Tasks, then you can disable the „ACT! Smart Task Service Host“ service. If you use a shared database, you can disable it on the local PC’s or on your terminal server, provided that the terminal server does not host the database.

14. remove obsolete syncsets.

When you have synchronization set up, Act! creates additional tables that are maintained and updated with each update that a user performs. We have seen installations where sync was set up a long time ago but never used, or where remote databases are no longer used. We strongly recommend removing any remote database that is no longer being used, and if you are no longer using the remote databases, then disable this feature, this will reduce in- and out-puts.

Once you set up synchronization, Act! creates additional tables that are maintained and updated with each update that a user performs. We have seen installations where the syncsets were set up a long time ago but never used, or where remote databases are no longer used but the syncsets are still there. We strongly recommend removing any remote syncsets that are no longer in use. If you don’t use the remote databases anymore, then disable this feature, this will reduce the in- and out-puts

15. SQL Server

Depending on the number of users, and the number of contacts/companies/groups/histories/notes/opportunities, you may also consider using a standard SQL instead of the SQL Express that comes with ACT.

It would still be useful to have an ACC to install/configure your standard SQL. -> In the right column you will find all information about all SQL versions under „Scale Limits“.

16. slow Outlook

If you see that Outlook slows down once Outlook integration is installed/configured, you might want to look at our KB.

KB entry Outlook is loading very slow since Act! is installed.

17. VPN

Recently we have seen some installations where users try to access ACT via a VPN. This can be a reason for speed problems. ACT! (SQL) consists of several parts where a large number of packet streams go back and forth (from client to server and back again). Try pinging your server (ping {server name}) and if you have a response and the delay shows more than 2 ms, then this is the cause of the delay in working with Act!

We recommend the following ways to work with Act! when using a VPN.

Access via WEB (only ACT Premium with Act! for Web installed).

Access via Sync (with a local database and synchronization of changes via VPN)

18. lean Outlook

We always see some Act! users with thousands (up to 100,000) of emails in Outlook. If you want to integrate Act! with Outlook, we strongly recommend a clean and lean Outlook. We recommend Mailstore as a solution that minimizes the mails stored in Outlook and brings you speed, search capabilities and fewer problems between Act! and Outlook.

19. disable Outlook synchronization for contacts & appointments.

Act! uses the standard Outlook SDK interface to synchronize ACT! contacts and appointments with Outlook. Unfortunately this works, usually only in very clean environments. However, since most users have many other tools installed and this causes Outlook to sync back to other devices (such as phones/tablets), you will likely experience duplicate appointments, loose appointments, duplication of contacts, and loss of contacts.

We strongly recommend disabling synchronization with Outlook. Swiftpage is aware of this issue and we look forward to it being resolved in one of the next hotfixes, service patches or new releases.

If you want to synchronize Act! with your cell phone, we recommend Act for Web (HTML5 client) or Handheldcontact , with both solutions we have never faced data loss or duplication.

20. exclude Act folder from antivirus scan.

Some antivirus scans activate on every hard drive access and this can slow Act! down, for a first test disable your antivirus and check if the performance changes. If yes, then you should exclude all folders, at the antivirus, that contain Act programs/data.

21. remove the Act.Web.API on the client computers.

If Act! is running on a client computer and not on a server, it helps to uninstall all Act.Web.API components. This will improve the performance/speed of your computer and Acts! You can uninstall Act.Web.API from the control panel of your computer.

22. WLAN

As mentioned in „9. Network“, it is not recommended to use Act! with a WLAN connection. The reason for this is the occurrence of collisions in a WLAN network. Therefore, if possible, please use a LAN connection when working with Act!

23. DNS

Using a slow DNS can also be a reason for slow loading of Act! If you connect to your database using the name of the server entered in your PAD file, it may take a few minutes to load Act! and your database. To make sure this does not happen again, you have two options.

Enter the IP of the server into your Hosts file.

(How to edit your Hosts file in Windows 10).

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

24. updating the drivers

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

One tool we recommend for this purpose is DriverMax.