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Sage Act! 7 (2009) installer is incompatible with SBS 2003

Act! is a fantastic CRM/Contact database program.   The newest version runs on SQL.  SBS 2003 also uses SQL for many of its advanced features.

Installing Act! on SBS so that it will contain and manage the database is a logical choice.  However, Act! won't install properly.  You get a dreaded "Failed to open a connection to the database" message. 

Sage doesn't help.  Go to Act's knowledgebase, choose Act! 2007, install/uninstall, enter SBS and you get 0 results.  Search for "Small Business Server" and the results are useless...two entries that aren't applicable.  Search  "Failed to open a connection to the database" and get nothing.

The problem is all over the Internet.  Customers are reporting that Act! consultants and Sage engineers are solving the problem by removing all SQL products and reinstalling Act!.  It will fix the Act! problem, but it is a remarkably stupid solution because it breaks the core services of Microsoft Small Business Server.  These same customers then find out that SharePoint and Company Web (and WSUS in R2) are now broken and, in some cases, not fixable without reinstalling the entire server.  Then, the customers are blaming Microsoft for Act!'s lack of documentation and idiotic decisions.

JK Tech solved the problem by adding an SQL instance for Act! 7.0 into the Small Business Server SQL engine.  The answer is almost impossible to find.  The answer is on Sage's website, but you have to understand the problem and already know the answer in order to find the instructions.  To maker matters worse, Google can't find the directions, even if you paste the error into the search engine.  Additionally, the actual php link is a 1/2 of a page long.

Here's the easy way to fix this problem.  First, make certain that SQL is working properly and that it hasn't been mangled by working on the problem.  Second, install the ACT! 7 SQL instance.  To find those instructions, go to the Act! knowledgebase here and search for Answer 19386.  We've cut and pasted their article into a PDF, in case they remove or change the instructions on their server.  Click here for our PDF of their website.  The Microsoft wizard may be different than the boxes displayed on the instructions as SQL 2005 Express has been updated, but it's easy to see what to do.   Then, install Act! 7 and use the database password that you typed.

Sage should:

         Acknowledge and document the problem on their website and

         Write specific instructions for SBS 2003 and SBS 2003 R2. 

         Have a webpage that says that under no conditions should anyone remove SQL from SBS 2003.