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Category: Act! Tips
Written by Ken Quigley
April 19 2024

On July 9th, Microsoft will officially retire SQL 2014, ceasing all support for the software. Users of this SQL version will face increased security risks due to the absence of future patches and updates. We’ve previously communicated this, but it’s crucial to understand the consequences to our Act! customers, especially those utilizing third-party hosting providers.

For Third-Party Host Users: This advisory primarily targets Act! subscribers employing third-party hosting solutions, not Act! Premium Cloud (APC) users. APC runs on SQL 2019, ensuring the safety of its subscribers who must use SQL 2019 or a newer version for synchronization.

Security Risks Post-Deprecation: Post-July 9th, SQL 2014 users may be susceptible to malware, viruses, and internet bots. Third-party hosts typically separate application and database servers, with only the application servers exposed to the internet. This architecture means that the offline database servers, updated manually, can continue using SQL 2014 without direct internet risk exposure.

Synchronization Process: The Act! synchronization process relies on the master database operating on the lowest SQL version. An upgrade by the hosting provider to SQL 2016 without a corresponding client update would break the sync process for many users. Thus, clients should proactively upgrade their SQL to version 2016, so they can mitigate risks and maintain compatibility.

Act! users on 32-bit systems, namely all versions up to v23, must consider their options carefully. The advisable actions are to either upgrade both Act! and SQL, upgrade only SQL, or remove both applications. No other safe alternatives exist. Microsoft’s 10-year product lifecycle makes these end-of-life events critical. Keystroke suggests transitioning to Act! Premium Cloud to avoid these issues, benefit from the latest updates, and ensure continuous safety with either web-only access or fully supported software. 


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