Thursday, May 13, 2010

Setting up a QuickBooks Enterprise 10 server

Recently our Finance people discovered that they had outgrown QuickBooks Premier’s abilities when it came to our ‘company file’ (data file). The solution for this was to upgrade to QuickBooks Enterprise, which could handle the larger amount of data. So, today I’ll be documenting what I did to setup their new system.

Prior to QuickBooks 2007 we didn’t have to do anything to ‘manage’ the QuickBooks files on the server side. However, with QuickBooks 2007 we had to install a piece called the ‘QuickBooks Database Manager’. This piece of software (in my experience) is somewhat quirky. So, when we went to upgrade to QuickBooks Enterprise edition I decided to create a separate fileserver for the QuickBooks/Financial data. This gives me the following benefits:

  • Removes QuickBooks/Financial management tools off of my primary fileservers
  • Allows me to segment the financial data from my normal file stores

QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions 10 has the following pieces (from what I’ve read):

  • QuickBooks Database Manager
    Provides ‘consistency checks’ on the QuickBooks files, and provides the ability for multiple users to access the same file(s)
  • QuickBooks Clients
    The software piece that the end-user uses.

I’ll be covering the server piece of QuickBooks Enterprise 10 setup, QuickBooks Database Manager. Next time I’ll cover the clients.

Setting up your server with QuickBooks Database Manager

I’ll be using Windows Server 2003 R2 x32 Enterprise Edition for my ‘Finance’ server. We’ll perform the following steps:

  1. Normal OS setup
  2. Preparing the server for QuickBooks Database Manager
  3. Installing QuickBooks Database Manager
  4. Configuring QuickBooks Database Manager
  5. Setting QuickBooks Database Manager to start as a service
  6. Firewall considerations and configuration

To start, I performed our normal Windows 2003 R2 OS setup:

  • Installed the OS
  • Ran the appropriate updates
  • Installed our standard software package: Antivirus, other tools
  • Performed our standard security configuration


Preparing the server for QuickBooks Database Manager:

QuickBooks Database Manager has the following requirements that we’ll need to add to our standard setup:

  • Storage location for the QuickBooks files. I don’t want them on the boot drive
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5

First, make sure you’ve setup the storage location for the QuickBooks files. You’ll need to make sure that the following settings are in place:

  1. You may not use a mapped resource on the server that houses QB Database Manager. QB Database Manager must exist on the same server that the file share does.
  2. Set the Share Permissions to ‘Full Control’ for ‘Everyone’
  3. Set the NTFS Security Permissions as you would like, but make sure that the users who will be connecting have ‘Full Control’

Next, let’s install .NET Framework 3.5
Note: Windows Server 2008 R2 includes the .NET framework 3.5; you have to perform an ‘add role’ to enable it.

.NET_framework_EULA

Accept the EULA and click Install. It installs

.NET_framework_Finished

Wow, that was easy! .NET framework is now installed.

I also installed the following patches & Service Packs:

  • 2.0 SP2 – KB958481
  • 3.0 SP2 – KB958483
  • 3.5 SP1 – KB958484

Make sure to verify that you’ve installed all appropriate patches & upgrades, along with rebooting when it asks. Microsoft Update is a good tool that will help you catch anything you missed.


Installing QuickBooks Database Manager

After you’ve opened your installer, you’ll see the following screen. It will cache any files for the install

QB_Ent10_installer1

Wait a bit, and then you’ll get the next screen

QB_Ent10_Installer2

Click Next

QB_Ent10_Installer3

Accept the EULA and click next

QB_Ent10_Installer4

Make sure to choose the 3rd option, ‘I will NOT be using QuickBooks on this computer. I will be storing our company file here so it can be shared over our network.’ After you’ve chosen the third option click next

QB_Ent10_Installer5

We’re happy with the default install location. Click next.

QB_Ent10_Installer6

This screen gives you a chance to print out any settings you’ve made before you start the install. When you’re ready click install.

QB_Ent10_Installer7

QuickBooks Database Manager is now installed. If you would like you can use the ‘Help me get started…’ tools, but I opted to skip them. Click Finish

Don’t forget to install any updates at this time if you have already downloaded them. They are available online and free to download.


Configuring QuickBooks Database Manager

Let’s configure QuickBooks Database Manager so our staff can access the company file (repeat this process for each folder that you will be using QBW files in)

First, open QuickBooks Database Manager. There should be an icon on your desktop.

QB_DB_Mgr01

You’ll see a few tabs. Choose the one called ‘Monitored Drives’

QB_DB_Mgr02 QB_DB_Mgr03

In our configuration we don’t need to monitor the boot drive. We have the dedicated drive (F:) for the QB data. Uncheck C: and make sure that our data drive, F: is check-marked.

QB_DB_Mgr04

Click on the ‘Scan Folders’ tab.

QB_DB_Mgr1

Now we need to tell it where on the drive the files are. Click on the ‘Add Folder’ button.

QB_DB_Mgr2

Navigate to the folder where your QBW files will be (on the second disk drive you created earlier on the server). Choose ok.

QB_DB_Mgr05

Back at the main screen it lists the folder you just specified. Click on the ‘Scan’ button. This will search the directory and find any QBW files.

QB_DB_Mgr06

It should list any QBW files that are in that directory.

Now the meat of our configuration is done. But we also need to make sure that the Database Manager starts even if the computer restarts.


Setting QuickBooks Database Manager to start as a service

  1. Open up the Services management console
    • Start –> run –> services.msc
  2. Locate the ‘QuickBooksDB20’ service
  3. Right-click on the service, and choose properties
  4. Under the ‘Startup Type:’ drop-down, choose ‘automatic’
  5. Click ok
  6. Done!


Firewall considerations and configuration for the QuickBooks Database Manager server

If you call QuickBooks support and ask them for firewall suggestions, they’ll point you to this KB article, which lists the following exceptions in our config:

note: if you are using the ‘server’ as an installation of QB you will have other exceptions you need to address. I’ve only listed the exceptions that apply to our configuration.

Programs:

  • DBManagerExe.exe located in C:\Program Files\Intuit\QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions 10.0
  • QBDBMgrN.exe.exe located in C:\Program Files\Intuit\QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions 10.0
  • QBCFMonitorService.exe located in C:\Program Files\Common Files\Intuit\QuickBooks
  • QBServerUtilityMgr.exe located in C:\Program Files\Common Files\Intuit\QuickBooks

TCP ports (bi-directional): 80, 8019, 56720, 55338 through 55342

To setup these firewall exceptions:

Open up the firewall (Start –> Control Panel –> Firewall)

QB_Firewall1

Click on the Exceptions tab.

QB_Firewall2

This lists all current exceptions. You should have a list there already (I removed them for this guide).

Click on the ‘Add Program…’ button

QB_Firewall3

Choose ‘QuickBooks Database Server Manager’ from the list and click ok (if it isn’t listed, you’ll have to browse to it)

QuickBooks Database Server Manager is now listed as an exception

 QB_Firewall4

Now we need to add the other programs to the exception list.

Use the following method to add the other programs:

  1. Click on the ‘Add Program…’ button
  2. Click on the ‘Browse…’ button
  3. Navigate to the directory that the exception is located in, and choose the appropriate executable.
  4. Click OK (which should return you to the exceptions list)

Repeat this process for each of the following executable’s:

DBManagerExe.exe located in C:\Program Files\Intuit\QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions 10.0
QBDBMgrN.exe.exe located in C:\Program Files\Intuit\QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions 10.0
QBCFMonitorService.exe located in C:\Program Files\Common Files\Intuit\QuickBooks
QBServerUtilityMgr.exe located in C:\Program Files\Common Files\Intuit\QuickBooks

You’re done with adding the programs. Now you need to add the ports.

Use the following method to add port exceptions:

QB_Firewall5

  1. Click the ‘Add Port…’ button
    QB_Firewall6
  2. Type in a name for each port exception. I just named all of mine ‘QuickBooks-Port#’ with # being the port #
  3. Type in the port number for the exception.
  4. Click OK

Repeat the process for the following ports: 80, 8019, 56720, 55338-55342

When you’ve added all ports and all program exceptions, click OK and that will close the firewall preferences machine

Reboot the server. This step is optional, but I highly suggest that you reboot to check your work.

Then check to make sure that the ‘QuickBooksDB20’ service is set to ‘automatic’ and ‘started’:

  1. Open up the Services management console
    • Start –> run –> services.msc
  2. Locate the ‘QuickBooksDB20’ service
  3. Under the ‘Startup Type:’ drop-down, verify that startup type is set to ‘Automatic’ and that the status is ‘Started’
  4. If all of your settings are correct, then you should be done

 

If you have any experience with this process or suggestions, please let me know!