The information in this topic refers to databases in Act! versions 2005 (7.*) and later.

In Act!, there are several main entities, such as contacts and companies. There are also several detail types, such as histories and notes. Items in each of these detail types can belong to one or more of the main entities. For example, a particular history item might belong to a particular contact, or to a particular contact and a particular company.

In the Act! database, there is a table for each of these main entity types and each of these detail types. There is a CONTACT table, a HISTORY table, and so on. Because records in the detail tables can belong to records in any or all of the main tables, there are many ways to join a given set of these tables together for a report. This means that without more information, Reporting4Act! would need to simply guess which method of joining the data tables is correct.

For example, consider a report using fields from the CONTACT, GROUP, and HISTORY tables. There are several reasonable ways data from these tables might be used on a report:

  1. Show some set of groups, show the contacts belonging to each group, and show the history items belonging to those contacts.
  2. Show some set of contacts, show the groups each contact is a member of, and show the history items belonging to those groups.
  3. Show some set of groups, and show the contacts and history items belonging to each group.

To help with this issue, Reporting4Act! includes several versions of each detail table in its list of available tables for creating reports. Instead of a single HISTORY table, there are separate Contact History, Company History, Group History, and Opportunity History tables available. These tables all retrieve their data from the same HISTORY table in the database, but they all connect to different main tables. When deciding which of these tables to use in your report, consider how you want its data to be related to the other tables in the report.

It is almost never necessary to use two of these tables for a particular detail type on a single report. For example, Company History and Contact History should generally not be used together on a report. If you attempt to add more than one of a set of such tables on a report, you will often receive a warning; running a report with such tables included is unlikely to produce useful results.

Using the CONTACT, GROUP, and HISTORY example from above, the tables used in the three cases would be:

  1. Group, Contact, and Contact History
  2. Contact, Group, and Group History
  3. Group, Contact, and Group History, although this case would likely be better suited to a group report with contact and group history subreports.

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