Quickbooks is undeniably a poor excuse for client/server software, but if you know how to set it up and manage it, it really isn’t bad.
- Install the host only on the server, latest update, and reboot the server. If you had any old versions of it, make sure you removed and REBOOTED the server BEFORE installing. Also there should be no QB service users in AD users or old QB Database services left in services.msc prior to install.
- Map a network drive to where the files are, with full permissions to users who will be using quickbooks. You cannot use DFS. Server name, like \server\quickbooks only. No \domain.local\dfspath\share stuff, it won’t work.
- Ensure Windows firewall is off / configured properly on the server to not block the needed ports for the QB database manager and SMB.
- Place the QB files in the new network location. Add the (local server folder, not mapped share) path in QB manager to the Quickbooks files and Scan them with the database manager, then open the .ND file with notepad and make sure they point to the servers IP v4 address. If they don’t, this is where a lot of connectivity problems are. It will pick up IPv6 and some workstations may not connect to that correctly because you don’t have IPv6 setup on your network. Disable IPv6 on your server if your not using it. If your .ND files don’t point to the right stuff on your server it’ll never work right. You can delete the .ND files and hit scan to recreate them if you want.
- Install workstations, making sure to not select the option to host files, just you will use QB on this PC. Update it to the latest update. Reboot. If it had old quickbooks you better have removed it all and rebooted before hand too, and checked for left over crap like you did on the server install.
- Ensure no A/V software or firewall is disrupting communication to the server.
Now open the QB file from your mapped network drive. You should be in business. Make sure you open in multi user mode or switch to it! If you are getting errors switching to multi user mode, either the workstation can’t talk to the server QB database manager, or the .ND file has wrong server info.
As for maintenance:
- Always install the update R## release on the server when clients update. Often times end users will install their updates when prompted, causing the server to stop hosting. Update the damn server, reboot, scold users for not telling you they updated, fix your .ND files (delete, rescan) and you should be back in business. The idiot end user probably also selected “alternate setup” when prompted with issues switching to multi-user mode which made their workstation the host, so go disable QB hosting on their workstation too.
- Have users frequently run the built in “backup” feature. This is important, it purges the transaction log file (.TLG file) which grows huge and slows QB to a fucking crawl. Most QB speed issues can be solved by running backup or just deleting the TLG file when no one is in QB. (Backup is the officially supported way, so I didn’t say to just delete the TLG file!!)