/ BLOG / Sage ACT! support

In general I try to stay away from most Sage software as much as possible, but today we were handed a call with regards to ACT throwing an invalid pointer. We’ve been told its an error caused by a firewall issue and that we’re to check it.

Needless to say, this has left me fuming. An invalid pointer reference occurs when a pointer’s value is dereferenced, and whilst changing internal firewall rules MAY sort this, I don’t feel its:

To be technical, one way to create this error is the following example; Take two char pointers (i.e char p, q; for this example). Say you do something with p, and q is left uninitialized. When the following is executed: p = q; pointer p will then become uninitialized as well, and any references made to p causes an invalid pointer reference. Hence this is called dereferencing pointers.

Either this error is giving a bad error message (i.e. its telling the user the wrong thing), or the program is poorly written and not checking for invalid pointers on reassignment. Either way, throwing this error message at a user and crashing the program is fucking terrible and shows the poor thinking behind the scenes, especially for a “corporate ready product”. I’m fairly sure it’s the right error message, and that doing a firewall change, somehow, bizarrely fixes it.

To further piss us off, said ACT! employee has linked to a KB article which requires a login (which we have no access to), and in the view of the customer called us basically fucking idiots because we don’t have access to read it. Nice one.