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Need a Dropbox like solution for Quickbooks

Posted on 2014-02-12
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Have a substantial IT infrastructure, including VPN and many file share technologies integrated i.e. SharePoint and Box.

Problem is elusive in that the Chief accountant has poor internet capabilities in remote location.  She of course would like the desktop Quickbooks experience in remote office and in office.  Essentially same as a Box experience, where Quickbooks database files would be kept synchronized.  She's using Quickbooks online edition now, but prefers full blown desktop version for capabilities.

Can anyone suggest a synch. capability for desktop Quickbooks similar to a Dropbox experience?  I know there are risks to synching database files, etc. and Box for example doesn't even allow Quickbooks database files for this reason.  But surely there is a way to accomplish this?  All help appreciated...
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Question by:VirtualKansas
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John Hurst earned 500 total points
ID: 39853452
I use SyncBack Pro to synchronize QuickBooks company files to a Server or to my home office computer for backup. Syncing to either Server or Workstation works just fine. I use QuickBooks daily and want backups and availability for other people.

So the user could use QuickBooks in the remote office and, when complete, sync the files back to head office for use there. You just need a connection to head office.

All the above works - I use it.

Another alternative is to set QuickBooks up on a PC in head office and then use RDP or Logmein to use it. This also works and keeps the company file in head office. I have clients using this method.
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by:s3e3
ID: 39853536
Maybe you should try a SOHO NAS box as a proof of concept first. Check out QNAP or Synology. Both of them have software that lets you sync folders like drop box and keep the data in house.

I love it but don't use it with databases but it should be fine if both users don't open the same database at the same time.
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by:John Hurst
ID: 39853656
If you want multiuser QB, you cannot use a Sync solution, but I assumed single user since you wanted a sync solution.
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Author Comment

by:VirtualKansas
ID: 39853723
single user, yes; here is a simple scenario:
1) Place quickbooks data files on LAN NAS
2) Map network drive to desktop in LAN
3) Create VPN connection for remote office
4) Create mapped network drive for remote office
5) Users in remote connects via VPN uses quickbooks client with data files on LAN mapped drive
6) User in remote closes and exits VPN
7) User in LAN office opens and uses Quickbooks on mapped network drive

Sound right?
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by:John Hurst
ID: 39853750
NO.  You cannot remote into a file server and use QB remotely. That will break the database.

You need to sync the file back to the remote machine or use RDP or Logmein to use QB in a terminal server environment.

Either approach as I outlined earlier will work.
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Author Comment

by:VirtualKansas
ID: 39854154
RE: "NO.  You cannot remote into a file server and use QB remotely. That will break the database."

Not sure how to process this information.  A mapped drive in the LAN or connected via VPN is no different.  The VPN simply maps the drive same as the LAN would.

As long as the QB data files are allowed on a mapped network drive, then VPN or LAN is no different?
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by:John Hurst
ID: 39854531
then VPN or LAN is no different?  <-- From the point of view of (say) TCP/IP architecture, they are little different.

However (and a very big HOWEVER), VPN is slow and QB is chatty. It expects an answer back on a question quickly or not to be interrupted when processing a report. Users normally break these rules and as a result, the database gets corrupted in the middle of a transaction.

I have see this happen and it is not worth the risk at all.
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Author Comment

by:VirtualKansas
ID: 39854629
I can accept what you're saying about database transaction over a VPN.  QB being chatty does increase the risk.  

Really hard to accept in this day and age that a mature database wouldn't be more fault tolerant of network traffic interruptions.  We use access db front end/back end over VPN as a matter of normal course, without issue?

Not familiar with SyncBack Pro but doesn't look very main stream.  Couldn't find a true home page, but lots of freeware sites are pushing it.  What would be its advantage over a Dropbox in the scenario of Open -> Close -> Sync you described?
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by:John Hurst
ID: 39854645
SyncBack Pro is a highly robust and functional synchronization tool. There are others of course (like allway sync).

SyncBack Pro is at 2brightsparks.com. I have been using it for several years now. As I say, it is one, and there are others.

The key point here is that for a single user, either:

1. Use QB locally and sync the company files. You can use QB at either end so long as the user syncs in between times (so as not to orphan a file).

2. Terminal Server type operation as described above.
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by:John Hurst
ID: 39854653
What would be its advantage over a Dropbox in the scenario of Open -> Close -> Sync you described?

Sorry, I should have continued. Dropbox is great. But as you note, it does not support databases. So that is why I suggested a sync tool.

Yes, Open SyncBack, sync the profile and close. Done.
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Author Closing Comment

by:VirtualKansas
ID: 39870944
We did set the VPN but files are very big, so looks like we'll go the RDP route for now.  Verty fast & elegant that way.  TY
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by:John Hurst
ID: 39870957
@VirtualKansas  - Thank you and I was happy to help. Good luck with your project.
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Expert Comment

by:Lexie Stegemiller
ID: 41493983
If you are looking for a simpler way to collaborate and share Quickbooks files, I would highly recommend checking out Qbox. With Qbox, users continue to use the same desktop version of QuickBooks that they're use to, however, using Qbox they have a locally hosted copy of the file that is continually synchronized with their remote copy. In other words, no more sending QBW files back and forth, no more screen sharing, no expensive cloud hosting and no more downloading/uploading of QuickBook files.  With Qbox, there is also a neat locking technology that avoids the creation of conflicting copies.
Check out their website at www.qboxplus.com for more information.
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Expert Comment

by:Ana Brown
ID: 41808199
Sharing/syncing the company file is only good if there is only one user but when there are multiple users it fails a BIG time. Me and my business partners live in different cities and sharing the quickbooks data file was always a challenge, we tried sharing the file through dropbox but it was something not meant for us. We then leased a Windows server from www.techarex.net for our Quickbooks and MS Office applications and never faced any hassles again.
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