The Purpose of “Codes” in GoldMine CRM

Before I explain how to use “Codes” in GoldMine today, I want to provide a little history about them.

GoldMine software is one of the originators of the class of applications best known today as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. GoldMine goes back to the even before Microsoft Windows existed. Systems like GoldMine, and it’s primary competitors at that time such as ACT! and Maximizer, represented the dawning of the PC digital database age for marketing & sales people. My firm, First Direct Corporation, has been an Authorized Solution Partner since virtually the start of the company in 1989.

In the early days of computers, space for both RAM and hard-drive storage was extremely limited. In order to conserve space, programmers had to be creative. To limit characters, the developers and programmers of GoldMine came up with the clever idea of using shorter (3 character) fields to capture and store certain data. They allowed users to select from a “Lookup List” of those codes which displayed a longer definition of what each code stood for.

To help you understand what I mean, here is an example. Suppose you are scheduling an activity such as a call, appointment or action. Furthermore, suppose you want to categorize the reason for your activity for time management and reporting benefits. Let’s say that the activity was an appointment and you wanted to indicate that it was a “sales visit” versus let’s say a call to “follow-up on a quote.” You could “code” the first [SV] for sales visit and the later [QF] for quote follow-up.

Codes in GoldMine are essentially a means of categorizing certain data in your GoldMine database. GoldMine makes codes available for the following data:

  1. Activity Code (for all activities including Emails and Sales)

  2. Result Code (for all activities including Emails and Sales)

  3. Opportunity Code

  4. Email Addresses

  5. Project Code

  6. Merge Codes (print and email)

  7. Record Groups

  8. Custom Fields


There are several best practices to follow when administering and working with Codes:

  1. Limit codes to 2-3 Letters, but try to stay away from 1 character codes.

  2. Don’t use letter combinations that might be contained in another code.

  3. Work from the look-up list – //add definitions.

  4. Do not select “Force Validate” in Lookup List Set-up when you have one-to-many selection of codes.

  5. Lock down your Lookup List of Codes in the List Set-up so ONLY a Master Rights User (GoldMine Administrator) can manage the list.

It’s tempting to criticize GoldMine for holding to the 3-character database limitation now that such storage requirements are not an issue. But frankly, I still find the codes work rather elegantly.. It’s really not as much of a drawback as some IT Directors make it to be.

Unfortunately, many firms never ask for a good explanation of Codes in GoldMine and how to use them. Nor do managers or users typically understand the applications and benefits that they provide. First Direct Corp has provided this article to provide some basic awareness. But to fully appreciate the uses of Codes in GoldMine I encourage you to give me an opportunity to go into more depth with you one-on-one and to show you ways to apply GoldMine codes to your business processes.  Call me a set-up an 1/2 hour consultation and you’ll be well on your way to achieving greater results and return on your GoldMine system.