Several users on a single file issue: Hosting a multi user Quickbooks file on the WD EX4

Hello everyone.  This is going to sound like a super specific third party support issue - but there are some universal things going on here that may help others regarding multiple users of individual files on the EX4.

My company houses client and billing files on the EX4.  It’s all been well and good until we recently allowed multi-user access to our Quickbooks company file.  Of course the goal is to have multiple employees working on the file at the same time from different computers.  We purchased licenses for each - everything is on the up and up.

Whereas I could access the company file on the EX4 with no problems on my computer as a single user, now as soon as I turn on multiuser mode in QB to allow others to access the file on the EX4, the file becomes inaccessible. 

What do you guys think is happening where one user access to a file on the EX4 is fine, but multiuser access causes the file to be inaccessible?  How do you fix it?

Other thoughts, there doesn’t seem to be a limitation on the EX4 relating to multiple people accessing the same file - streaming the same song for example.  So why would a billing database file be any different?  Especially when the licenses and program allow that access.

Here’s more info, if I host the file on my desktop computer everyone can access it in multiuser mode over the network.   The limitation is the WD EX4.

What do you think is going on? 

(I’d appreciate any insight as I am talking to both tech support teams, QB and WD, this week.)

Hello there,

What error do you get exactly when multiple users try to access the files? Lets see if another user can share some information an tips on this matter.

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First, check this:

https://community.intuit.com/questions/768108-will-quickbooks-run-in-multi-user-mode-on-a-nas

…basically says you CANNOT do multi-user concurrent access when the file is stored on a NAS.

OpusKV626 wrote:

…why would a billing database file be any different? 

Databases are opened Read/Write with File Locking.  Music Players usually only require Read-Only access with no locks.

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Thank you so much for your response.  Yes.  I checked the forums you provided.  The general consensus is that the NAS is not recommended.  The more interesting thing is that it’s a known issue - and it only occurred after the 2015 version of QB came out.  Which is the version I only recently upgraded to.  The company line is, “This is a relational database and a NAS cannot manage conflicts and concurrency locks.”  It’s just somehow telling that many users say they had no problem with simultaneous multi-user access prior to the 2015 update.  So that makes me wonder more about what the software limitation might be.  The anecdotal evidence that it used to work on NAS suggests the limitation is not the NAS at all.

Some forum posts say that it is possible to have the company file in the NAS so long as you create a virtual windows drive location.  Other instructions suggest opening port ranges.  It’s all over the place - and I still would like to make it happen.

I really appreciate your response and any continued expert brainstorming. 

Thank you so much for your reply.  The error shows up when one switches to multi-user mode.  It states:

Error H101, H202, H303, or H505: when opening your company file

When you open a company file in multi-user mode, you see an error:

  • You’re trying to work with a company file located on another computer, and this copy of QuickBooks can’t reach the server on that computer (H202).

  • You’re trying to work with a company file located on another computer, and that computer needs additional installation and setup. (H101, H303, and H505).

  • It appears that the QuickBooks software on computer [server name] is set up to allow shared connections to the company file, but the QuickBooks software on your computer is unable to communicate with it. (H202).

Most often it’s an H202 error which suggests that the program can’t reach the server on that computer (NAS location).

Why would the NAS location become invisible / unreachable once multi-user mode is on? 

I really appreciate your expert brainstorm and ideas.

To allow multi-user access to the QB file, you require a lock manager to handle access to the file ffrom mutiple users.  All than any NAS can do is to lock the whole file when a user requires write access which of course will mean that multi-user access is a contradicition in terms.

The poiint of a datbase is to allow multi-user access with granulated access to a table, row or record.  If the core QB file dosen’t have this then you cannot offer the functionality to your users.

Mayne it’s time to migrate to Xero?

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Thanks Skiwi.  I appreciate your explanation.  That makes perfect sense.

The database manager app that QB offers is to be installed on a server to perform those locking and checking functions.  The NAS of course can’t do that. 

I hope QB finds a way to make this work someday (if it’s possible) because so many users on the forums explain that they have the exact same problem.  Many SMBs have a NAS and do not need a full server.

I’ve just migrated the company file to my desktop and host multiuser access from there.  I have set the backups of the file to be sent to the NAS so at least I have peace of mind and redundancy.

Thanks again!

RE: Xero and other online accounting options, our QB file is highly customized and the online programs don’t seem to allow the same flexibility… and in all honesty, we’ve been using QB for years.  It’s too hard to “steer a charging bull.”  i.e. we’re moving forward, a change would be too tough to implement… you know how that goes.