Act! CRM

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Act! Logo 2014.png
Developer(s) Swiftpage
Initial release April 1, 1987 (29 years ago) (1987-04-01)
Stable release
Act! 18.2 – July 2016[1]
Operating system Microsoft Windows
Platform  • Microsoft SQL Server
 • .NET Framework
Available in English, French, German
Type  • CRM software
 • Contact management software
License Proprietary

Act! (previously known as Sage ACT! 2010–2013) is a customer relationship management (CRM) software application which is used to keep track of client and prospect details in a single database that can be shared by multiple users. It integrates with Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, Google Contacts, Gmail and other popular applications in order to generate and track communications with the contacts maintained in ACT!. It is developed by Swiftpage and has a user base of over 2.8 million registered users.[2]

According to a 2013 CRM Switch survey,[3] Act! was the fifth-most-popular CRM software application amongst US businesses, and the fourth-most-popular amongst companies with less than 100 employees. It was also ranked as the second-most-popular CRM solution in Capterra's 2013 Top CRM Software Infographic.[4]

Act! is available in English (US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand), French, and German, and is sold through international resellers and Act! Certified Consultants.[5]


As of 2016, there were three editions of Act!:

  • Act! Pro, which is limited to ten active users and use Microsoft SQL Server 2014 Express.
  • Act! Premium (access via Windows or Web browser) is designed for small to medium-sized businesses, can handle much larger user numbers and can use more scalable editions of SQL.
  • Act! Cloud Essentials, a hosted version of Act! designed for smaller businesses with lighter CRM needs[6]

Act! Features include contact, company and opportunity management, a calendar, communication tools, the ability to track prospective customers, "dashboards", reports, and the ability to synchronize data from other applications or other Act! users over the web. The software allows multiple users to access the same data simultaneously and can interface with popular word processing, spreadsheet, and email software. It features a variety of "dashboards" which are graphical representations of key activity that allows users to spot new business opportunities, and can generate a wide variety of statistical reports.

Act! has hundreds of active certified consultants globally.[5] A number of third-party companies develop add-on products using Act!'s software development kit that expands the functionality of the software.[7]

Act! can be accessed from Windows desktops (XP and later)[8] with local or network shared database; synchronized to laptops or remote officers; Citrix or Remote Desktop; Web browsers (Premium only) with self or SaaS hosting; smartphones and tablets via HTML5 Web (Premium only); smartphones and tablets via sync with Handheld Contact[9][10]


The company Conductor Software was founded 1986 in Dallas, Texas, by Pat Sullivan[11] and Mike Muhney.[12] Its product, ACT!, was released in 1987. The original name for the software was Activity Control Technology then Automated Contact Tracking before finally just using the acronym.

The name of the company was changed to Contact Software International, and the company moved out of its original office in the "mustang building" in Las Colinas to a building off Freeport Parkway near DFW Airport. Contact Software International was then sold to Symantec Corporation in 1993, who then sold it to SalesLogix (later renamed to Interact Commerce) in 1999. Sage purchased Interact Commerce in 2001,[13] through Best Software, then its North American software division.

Beginning with the 2006 version, the name was revised to ACT! by Sage and later changed to Sage ACT!. In 2013, Swiftpage took ownership and re-branded it as Act! The current release is Act! 18. Development now happens in Scottsdale, Arizona, with regional offices in several countries.


  • Mike Muhney and Pat Sullivan founded Conductor Software in Carrollton, Texas, and developed QuotePro in Lotus Symphony.
  • Randy Haben and John Maurer were brought onboard mid-year to begin development of a project codenamed YES!. Prototypes were developed using an early release of Paradox along with dBASE and Clipper.
  • ACT! for DOS 1.0 (1 April) – previously codenamed "YES!" (a recursive acronym for "Yes, Everybody Sells!").

ACT! was also originally an acronym – first for "Activity Control Technology" and later "Automated Contact Tracking", before becoming just "ACT!"

  • Conductor Software renamed to Contact Software International
  • ACT! was rewritten from the ground up (for release in 1990). It was among the first wave of PC-based applications to be developed in C++.
  • ACT! for DOS 2.0 (August) – first version with network support
  • ACT! for Windows 2.0 – added network support for the Windows product
  • ACT! for HP 95LX – the first mobile version for PDAs
  • ACT!PAK! – first commercial add-on for ACT! developed by Oakhurst Systems
  • 1st ACT! – cut-down version for OEMs and single users.
  • Symantec purchased Contact Software International
  • First on-line support forums for consultants and users on CompuServe
  • ACT! for Apple Macintosh – compatible database with 2.0 for Windows
  • ACT! for Apple Newton[14]
  • ACT! Mobile Link – two-way synchronization for remote users
  • ACT! for Lotus Notes[15] Synchronization later sold to original developers, ErgoTech
  • (November) Synchronization ACT! 3.0 for Windows 95 and NT[16] – first Windows 95 product with added back-wards compatibility to run on Windows 3.1
  • ACT! 4.0 – added support for Windows 98 and Office 97
  • ACT! for Psion by Advansys
  • First Web browser support added from WiredContact
  • ACT! 2000 (5.0) – full Windows XP support added
  • Interact Commerce purchased by Sage Group Plc (Best Software in North America at that time)
  • QuickBooks Link for ACT! – the first accounting link FOR ACT!; developed by Terry McKiernan of PinPointTools
  • Handheld Contact adds support for ACT! on BlackBerry – first wireless PDA synchronization (later adds Windows Mobile 5/6, iPhone, iPad, Android)[9]
  • ACT! 6.0 (later ACT! 2004) – Office 2003 support added after 6.0.3
  • ACT! for Palm OS[21]
  • ACT! for Web 1.0 for ACT! 6.0 – originally by dbDynamics
  • ACT! 2005 and ACT! 2005 Premium for Workgroups published by Best Software SB, Inc. (a division of Sage). Product renamed later that year.
  • ACT! by Sage 2005 (7.0) – complete re-write with .Net 1.x and MS SQL 2000; product split into Standard (up to 10 users), Premium Ex (SQL Express) and Premium ST (SQL Standard)
  • ACT! by Sage 2006 (8.0)
  • ACT! by Sage 2007 (9.0) – changed to .Net 2.0 and MS SQL 2005
  • ACT! by Sage 2008 (10.0) – Vista and Office 2007 support. 10.02 added ability to add custom sub-tables via the SDK.
  • Launch of site (January) – much-improved communication between senior management and users[22]

New Dashboard. Significantly improved Outlook integration and major improvements in stability, reliability, ease of install and speed. Added Vista x64 support and Safari for Mac users. Also free plug-in to provide links to social media such as LinkedIn.[23]

  • Sage repositions ACT! – moves from CRM group to Value group[24]
  • ACT! by Sage 2009 (11.1) – added Relationship Tab.[25]
  • ACT! by Sage 2010 (12.0) – more links to social media sites and accounting products as well as ability to share with other Sage solutions.[26]
  • Sage ACT! 2011 (13.0) – changed to .Net 3.5.x SP 1 and MS SQL 2008 R2. Product split into Pro & Premium.
  • Sage ACT! 2012 (14.0) – integrated with Google, plus included faster, more expansive search and a virtual notepad called Sage ACT! Scratchpad.
  • Sage ACT! 2013 (15.0) – changed to .Net 4.0. HTML5 access for mobile devices. Integration of social media sites Facebook, LinkedIn. Improved smart tasks with better triggers and offline capability.[27]
  • Sage announces sale of ACT! to Swiftpage (Feb 15)
  • Sage ACT! 2013 (15.1) – added basic support for Office 2013 and Office 365
  • Act! 16.0 – re-branding. Office 2013 and Office 365 (desktop install) support. Many user-requested enhancements. Improved web administration and mobile web

Act! v17 – new timeline feature introduced, fresh look with updated icons, lead capture from web forms and unlimited Browse users


Act! v18 – compatibility with Windows 10 and Office 2016, new e-marketing administrative features, and a new web API platform


For undisclosed reasons, the President and Founder, Bob Ogden, along with his son Dan Ogden, SVP of Customer Experience abruptly leave the company in late January 2017. They join another son and for a capital venture group. Swiftpage has not yet replaed him as Chairman

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "What's new by version"
  2. ^ "Sage ACT! CRM Updates".
  3. ^ U.S. CRM Market Share 2013
  4. ^ "Top Customer Relationship Management Software | 2014 Reviews of the Best Systems".
  5. ^ a b "Act! Certified Consultants".
  6. ^ "Swiftpage ACT Product Compare page". Swiftpage. Retrieved 11 June 2015. 
  7. ^ "Act! Addon Store" Archived 4 November 2013 at the Wayback Machine..
  8. ^ "Act! Compatibility Matrix"
  9. ^ a b "Handheld Contact".
  10. ^ "Mobile Solutions Comparison for ACT!" Archived 12 April 2013 at the Wayback Machine..
  11. ^ "Early historical Comments".
  12. ^ Mike Muhney
  13. ^ Greenman, Catherine. "Sage buys Interact Commerce". The New York Times. Retrieved 11 June 2015. 
  14. ^ "Symantec Expands Family of ACT! Platforms with Availability of ACT! for Newton".
  15. ^ Symantec Brings the Power of ACT! to the Notes Collaborative Environment
  16. ^ "Symantec Continues Tradition of Excellence in Contact Management with ACT! 3.0 for Windows 95 and NT".
  17. ^ "Symantec WinFax PRO 8.0 Update Available to Customers".
  18. ^ "Symantec Establishes Link with PalmPilot for Mobile ACT! Users".
  19. ^ "Symantec Introduces ACT! for the Windows CE Platform".
  20. ^ "Symantec Announces Completion of SalesLogix Acquisition of ACT!" Archived 27 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine..
  21. ^ "Best Software's ACT! for Palm OS Wins 2002 Product of the Year Award From Planet PDA Magazine".
  22. ^ "Identifying specific areas where improvement is necessary".
  23. ^ "Display LinkedIN, Google Maps and others in Tabs or Outlook in Dashboard".
  24. ^ "Sage repositions ACT! to value group".
  25. ^ "What Changes Were Made in ACT! by Sage 2009 (11.1)".
  26. ^ "ACT! 2010 new Features and Comparison to older versions".
  27. ^ "What's new in Sage ACT! 2013" Archived 21 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]