Quickbooks 2014 Premier - Server Install or simply shared drive

THEN: On a older workgroup network, with a much older version of quickbooks (2005), I simply moved the company files to a shared drive on a "fileserver". and then multiple users could access the company file and even access at the same time in multi-user mode.

Fast forward to a AD domain - when the company converted to AD a year ago, nothing really changed.  There are still computers running that older version, pointing to the same network share.

Now, with an upcoming upgrade to Quickbooks 2014 premier, I see what looks like:

1. Stand alone
2. Host machine running quickbooks and other computers pointing to it.
3. Server install where quickkbooks program is not installed and all machines point to "server"

In prep for this I took copies of the company  qbw files and verified they would upgrade fine in 2014. no problem there.  But do I need some sort of "server installation" or would that give me what I already have.  Can I simply install Quickooks 2014 premier on the 5 computers we bought licenses for and then just point them to that share that is already in place, or do I really need to run some sort of server setup.

What will I gain that I do not already have? Multi user mode will still work, wont it. People can be in same file in QB 2014 the same way they were in 2005?  Or do I lose something?

Thanks
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MrSlithyAsked:
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
This will work just like your old system.

For the server installation, follow option 3 above. Install the server manager on the server. Your company file should be on the same physical partition as the server manager. When you get it installed, open the server manger and scan for the company file.

For workstations, follow option 1 above (not 2). Uninstall the old QuickBooks, install the new QuickBooks.

On the workstation, map the folder where the company file is. Do not browse for the folder, use Explorer, Map Network Drive or a script.

Open QuickBooks, open an existing company, navigate to the company file and open it. Use Multi User Mode so the other workstations can open the file at the same time.

It should all work more or less like it used to.
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MrSlithyAuthor Commented:
John,

Thanks.  This is a domain, and I don't want to set up ANYTHING like this on our domain controller or domain file server.  So, can I assume that "server" is being used loosely and I can set up EITHER???????

1. One of the client Win 7 boxes to be server AND also run the client
2. Set up the server on any other Windows 7 box - or XP but we know where that is heading.

I'd rather do the first, and store company files on that box and then make sure backup is happening. Of course computer would need to stay on for others to access file - no problem.
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MrSlithyAuthor Commented:
I guess I am just wondering also that if I already have networked drives and everything like it is now, do I even need the "server" setup?  Or maybe without i'd lose multiuser mode?
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I have a number of clients using QuickBooks on a domain. There is no harm in installing the QB Server manager on a domain. I do this a lot. This is the best way to go.

If you wish to use a computer to host the company file, forget about Server Manager and Multi User Mode.  Install QuickBooks on the computer, locate the company file there and set QuickBooks to use Host Multi User Access. This is DIFFERENT than Multi User Mode.  Then map other computer to this computer and other computers (only) will use Multi User Mode.

Server Manager on the server is really best.

You either need to use Server Manager (Server) or Host Multi User Access (separate computer). The new(ish) client server model is quite different than the old flat file model
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MrSlithyAuthor Commented:
So they are really installing the server manager on a domain controller or fileserver, or just another computer on the domain. Sorry to seem so piggish with this question. You have been very patient.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
The Server Manager is a small piece of software the installs on a Server (SBS, Regular, DC, etc). It can go an a file server (if that is a regular server). Just keep Server Manager and the Company file on the same physical partition.

I do not install the Server Manager on a regular computer. It is not designed for that.
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MrSlithyAuthor Commented:
OK.  I think I got it - Sorry, but I hear "server" as used by Intuit folks and it always sounds so "user-ish" and I dont know what they mean . So, either I go Server Manager route and put on fileserver where data is or I go Host Multi user access route.

So, when server manager is installed on server it is basically simply adding itself to the permissions for the company folder and setting up the files it needs to share access.  I currently don't even have a test server to try it on so I'm a bit learly about putting it on a production server in a large enterprise environment without knowing a bit more how it works.  And it seems either Intuit's documentation on this is very minimal or it's not really there at all.

I know there is also an enterprise level product but in this environment we have a large enterprise but only using Quickbooks in a very small environment within that enterprise.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Server manager works fine. If you have a server in your large enterprise that is not loaded down or too busy, server manager can go on it. You appear to have more than one server, so one of them can be use to run the manager.  

You do not need QuickBooks Enterprise for a small business segment. Server manager works with Enterprise or Regular QuickBooks.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
So, when server manager is installed on server it is basically simply adding itself to the permissions for the company folder and setting up the files it needs to share access.

It is also used to manage the client server data traffic.
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MrSlithyAuthor Commented:
John,

Thanks for all the help.  I have set it up on a Windows 7 box for now. Sorry, Intuit has a buggy record, and I realize things are different with the new database structuring but I just couldn't go there for now. Maybe now that I see how it all works and what it's doing we can ante up another server later. Now, all I have on this subnet is a file server and a domain controller. no thanks.

Only 5 users and only 2 will ever be in it concurrency, and the box hosting it is doing fine so far.

Thanks for the help!
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
@MrSlithy - Thanks for the update and I was happy to help.
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