Question by Ted: Can the program “ACT” be used over an internet connecting so different locations can share data?
We own a small business and we have a several locations. I want the managers to all be able to access and edit the same data ( customer prospects, sales records, etc) from an internet connecting. In other words, even if it is a desktop program, can it pull data from a server so that multiple users can all see and edit the same stuff?

if not, what CMS system can do this? We are at different places but all need to access and edit the same data. For instance if a new lead comes in at one location, they add the info to the cms system and then the other locations can see and update the same data.

We do have a web hosting account that supports mysql etc. and full ftp access, if this helps to determine what we can use.

Best answer:

Answer by Andy
Yes, it is possible. I have done it! However, possibly not with your setup. ACT! uses a file-based database and you must specify the location of the database within its settings, and this location must be local to the PC. There is a synchronization setting within ACT! that allows your local ACT! database to sync with another. This is the feature that makes it possible. What you will need to do is to setup a central server that will share/host the database, setup the individual computers with their local database, then synchronize the local database with the central database. This way, each user may use ACT! when they’re not on the network because they have a local copy. When they return to the office, they can sync and everything will be updated.

In your setup, you have several locations with, i’m assuming, some mobile users. This central database can only be in one location. The best way to accomplish this is to put the server in your central office, connect each office to the centra via a VPN connection (which allows each remote site to directly access the server on the LAN and still allow them to sync), and configure and install software VPN clients on your remote workers’ computers so they can sync on the road.

In short, each client will synchronize with the central database (which is the company working copy), and in turn receive updates from everyone who is syncing to it.

I set this up for a client who had a central office and a remote office in a differeny city and it worked like a charm!

Complicated setup, but it is possible.

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