Serving Quickbooks Miulti-User company data files from Windows Server 2012 R2

Hello Quickbooks Network Experts -

We have a working multi-user Quickbooks 2014 environment with Company Data files being served by a Windows XP machine running only the database manager with the files in a network share.  All QB workstations are W8.  For obvious reasons we want to retire the XP machine.  The only reason we have it is when we bought Quickbooks in 2011 the database manager would not run on our ancient Windows 2000 SB Server.

Now that W200SB Server is history.  We are running Windows Server 2012 Essentials R2 in it's place.  We also plan to upgrade to QB 2015 which does not support XP as a database manager. I attempted to migrate the data files to a share on our 2012 server. I installed the database manager from QB 2015 in anticipation of our upgrade. I did have some problems with the QB install as it didn't seem to like the server version of .Net, but eventually I got a good install.

All went well with my test using a W8 client and a QB 2015 client install.  A few days later I moved the live data to W2012 and attempted opening 2014 files from the new share on 2012. This worked fine with a user who was in Single User mode, but as soon as a user tried to access a file in Multi-User mode they got a H202 Error message that the 'host is not set up for Multi-User access'. Then the user who was able to access files tried changing to Multi-User mode and got an H505 complaining that the 'location needs additional set up'.

We have a support contract with Intuit so I called this in. They said I can't serve 2014 files with a 2015 DB manager and suggested reverting to the 2014 version of the DB Manager. This made no sense to me as 2015 can't connect to the 2014  manager, so how could 2014 files be upgraded to 2015 (rhetorical - don't answer :) ?

I humored them and did what they asked - Stopped the QB Sservice, Uninstalled QB DB Manager 2015 and installed QB DB Manager 2014. As I suspected, it made no difference. Same errors at both stations.

Unable to keep my accounting department off-line for any more time I reverted back to the XP hosted DB Manager and all was well.

So here are the questions ---

1. Are they correct that the 2015 (Version _25) of the DB Manager can not host 2014 data files in Multi-User Mode?

2. Is the 2014 (Version _24)  of the DB Manager compatible with Windows Server Essentials 2012 R2?

If answer #1 is No OR #2 is Yes, why then did I fail?

If you were planning this migration what would your steps be?

Should I copy only the .QBW files to the new location and let the QB re-build the rest including the search folders?  

Thanks!
BRT-TechAsked:
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
In answer to your questions:

1. Normal not. The next higher version of Server Manager will work with the prior version of QuickBooks. I have done this.

2. Server Manager works with Server 2012 (I have done this), but I do not know about Server Essentials. This is a different server operating system. I have Server Manager 2015 running on Server 2012.

Here are the steps I use:

1. Make sure ALL QuickBooks clients have Host Multi User Access turned OFF.
2. Close any open company files. Be sure to do this.
3. Close all QB clients.
4. Install Server Manager on the Server. .NET Framework needs to be completely up to date.
5. Move the Company Data File to the Server in the same partition where Server Manager is installed.
6. Download and run Intuit Network Diagnostics. Make sure the Firewall is not blocking any access. I have had to do this.
7. Open the Server Manager and scan for the company data file.
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8. Start a QuickBooks client. There should be a large window to manage files. Be sure this is true and all company files are closed.
9. Use the Company Open button and navigate to the server folder where the company file is. Make sure you are using Mapped drives and not Browsed drives.
10. Turn Host Multi User Mode ON (This is different than Host Multi User Access). This should be working.
11. Now go to the next QB workstation and get it going the same way.

Please let us know if this works for you.
BRT-TechAuthor Commented:
Thanks John -

Thanks for the clarification on the Server Manager compatibility. I was pretty sure that was the case.

I will not have a chance to test this until next week sometime. I am still chasing down a few glitches migrating the clients to a new domain. For now they are OK using the XP server.

A also found a thread  (  http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/Financial/QuickBooks/Q_27981105.html  )  that mentions the Server Manager service not being run by a user that had permissions to the data files.  This is definitely true on my server, so I will add that user to the share before re-doing any of the other steps.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
We run the Server Manager and scan the files by a Server Administrator. This always works and only has to be done about once a year (at QB upgrade time). This is because the Server Administrator must install the Server Manager. Once done, any QB user can access the company file (of course they need permissions to the data file folder but that is normal).
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BRT-TechAuthor Commented:
This could be an Essentials thing?  Essentials will not allow log-in as Administrator, but forces you to create a user with Administrator rights when you first start it up.  I called mine Admin. I installed the Quickbooks Server Manager and created the share and did the scan as Admin.

After seeing the thread mentioned above I looked at the properties of the service, and sure enough it is being run by a user created by Quickbooks on install.

I won't be checking back here until next week.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
You could also make user: QuickBooks a member of the admin group. That should work. If it needs a password, make it a very strong password so no one but an Administrator can use it.

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BRT-TechAuthor Commented:
I have not had a chance to test this and may not be able to get to it for several weeks.  Based on the other thread I have every confidence that your answer will work.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
@BRT-Tech - Thanks. I was happy to help and you should be good to go with the information posted here.
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