Installing multiple years of QuickBooks on a server

CompProbSolv
CompProbSolv used Ask the Experts™
on
I'm upgrading to a new server at an accounting firm and had a question about multiple years of QuickBooks.

In the past, I've always set up the server with each year of QuickBooks configured as the database server only.  There's no need to actually run the application on the server.  Because it is an accounting firm and some clients have older versions of QB, they need to be able to access the different years.  With my old approach, there are multiple instances (different years) of the QB service.  While this doesn't appear to cause problems, I generally like to simplify when practical.  I'm thinking that a simpler approach may work.

They don't need multi-user access for any of the files except for some current (QB 2018) ones.  My thought is that I don't have to install the database server for the older years.  If someone opens the file, their local copy of QB can manage it as a single user with no issues.  If this is the case, I can just install the QB 2018 database server and leave the other years alone.

Am I on the right track or do I really need to install the older ones?
Comment
Watch Question

Do more with

Expert Office
EXPERT OFFICE® is a registered trademark of EXPERTS EXCHANGE®
The database would be needed for multi-user access for any year, not just the current one. Otherwise, clients' data files can, as you say, be accessed on the server by a local copy of QB although of course only one user at a time can open the file.
I don't know how QB manages previous years, but presumably it either converts the file to the latest format like Sage does, or is able to work with the file as is. The latter is preferable as your clients won't be forced to update their QB version in order to open their data files subsequent to any changes made by the current version.

Failing that, I would assume that your organisation has multiple versions of QB to accommodate the various data file versions.
Business Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018
Commented:
Normally a mildly older version of QuickBooks will run with the newest Database Server Manager.

You can test this by removing all but the newest Manager. Scan for all the QB Files and then see how far you can go back opening file from the client QB application.

Encourage clients to keep up to date.

For good clients, I keep ALL years of data in the same Company File. Makes life easier.
"... will run with the newest..."
I had read otherwise in the past, but never really tested it.  I had concerns about it appearing to work but creating problems later.

"... keep up to date"
I agree, but this is more complicated than that.  The accounting firm has many clients, not all on the latest version of QB.  They can try to encourage them to update, but there will be many that won't.

For the most part, each of the firm's clients has a single QBW file.  Each client has their own folder holding their data.

Based on your suggestion, I'll just install the latest DB manager and go from there.

Thanks!
Why Diversity in Tech Matters

Kesha Williams, certified professional and software developer, explores the imbalance of diversity in the world of technology -- especially when it comes to hiring women. She showcases ways she's making a difference through the Colors of STEM program.

JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
I have run This Years QB and Last Years QB with the newest DB Manager on the server. This is to facilitate upgrade transitions. So I know at least 2 years work. DB differences are not all that great so it is worth a try to see how far back you can go.
That steered me in the right direction.  Thanks!
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
You are very welcome and I was happy to help you.

Do more with

Expert Office
Submit tech questions to Ask the Experts™ at any time to receive solutions, advice, and new ideas from leading industry professionals.

Start 7-Day Free Trial