December 12th 2015 saw the release of the new version of Act!
Whilst there are few new features to shout about, a vast amount of work has gone on to improve Act! beneath the bonnet giving us the most robust version of Act! to date.
Much of the development has gone into re-aligning the product for the brave new world of software subscription and a payment model. This has already been introduced in the USA and will be available in the UK in 2016. This new version also makes Act! compatible with Windows 10 and Office 2016.
It’s worth mentioning here that in the Act! world, “subscription” simply refers to the payment model and in fact increases the options available to the end user. You can still own the software outright, or at a lower cost simply “rent” the software licenses. Either way, technical support and regular upgrades will be included in the package.
The first phase of this implementation is the availability of Act! Premium Cloud in January 2015. This is Act! for Web but hosted by Swiftpage on Amazon servers in Belgium. This will probably appeal to the smaller implementation as it is quick and easy but lacks the facility to remote on to the shared server to do configuration changes or install add-ons. For that, our own Act! Hosted service is still the product of choice.
Other changes include…
•Windows 10 is fully supported
•Certified to work with Office 2016 (32-bit)
•Act! Premium Web components have been upgraded to support Chrome and Internet Explorer 11 (without Compatibility Mode). It’s worth just mentioning here that if you have been using Act! for Web V17 on Internet Explorer, you will have set your browser to us “Compatibility Mode” for your Act! database. If you now upgrade to V18, you should now change this setting do that Compatibility mode is OFF when using Act!
Act! emarketing has been greatly improved for Team use. As an administrator, you have greater control over who can send emarketing messages.
•Call List Filters
•AEM Permissions for Send and Smart Tasks
The appearance of Act! for Web when viewed in a browser has had a major overhaul, and certainly looks more modern, but is it easier to use? I my opinion the jury is still out on that one.
•Upgrade the same serial number – one serial number for life!
•Manage your subscription from within Act! viaHelp > About Act!
•Updates to Act! Update to entitle subscription users to service packs or new major versions
What’s a “Web API” you may ask. Well, it’s a way of linking applications and services on the internet together so data can be passed around. An example would be using something like Zapier to put a link between a package that allows you to design web forms (surveys, sign up to newsletter, that sort of thing) with Act! for Web. So the prospect or client sees a link to the form, they fill it out and submit it. The information in the form then magically appears in your Act! database. This can in principle also work the other way around so you can extract data from Act! and use in in an on-line business intelligence analysis package, for example.
Expect to see a number of “links” appear over the next few months.