Can Quicken or MS Money work over a home network?
January 5, 2004 6:22 AM   Subscribe

Can Quicken or MS Money work over a home network? I have many PCs in my house and it would be nice to be able to enter a transaction from anywhere. More inside.

Intuit Doesn't support the use of their product over a network and Microsoft, as usual, is no help. I'd like to be able to put my data file on a shared folder (ideally on a Samba share on a Linux server I'm putting up) and access it from anywhere in the home. I wouldn't need to have the same file open on two PCs at the same time.

I suppose I could just put the data file on a network drive and see what happens but given the nature of the data I really don't want to play with something so critical.

Has anyone done this? Does it work? Any tricks to it? Does Quicken store everything in the data file, including on-line banking info, etc? Would this cause a problem for automatic program updates on the different PCs?

I'm open to alternative products as long as they support on-line banking and my non-power-user wife would be willing to switch. Gnu-Cash is not a viable alternative.
posted by bondcliff to Work & Money (5 answers total)
Also, web-entry is not an option due to security/privacy concerns.
posted by bondcliff at 6:31 AM on January 5, 2004

At work I keep all of the accountant's Excel, Quickbooks, etc. data on a SAMBA share. It would be a bad idea for two people to simultaneously write to the file, but besides that it works just fine.
posted by cmonkey at 7:35 AM on January 5, 2004

One option to consider, if nothing else works, is something like vnc, or if every box is winXP remote desktop, or PCAnywhere, or other similar software.

There are security concerns, but with VNC at least you can encrypt your session and you can setup your firewall to only allow access to that particular point from inside the network, stuff like that.
posted by cCranium at 9:29 AM on January 5, 2004

Data coruption may occur besides too many networks to support, no.
posted by thomcatspike at 10:54 AM on January 5, 2004

You don't say what sort of server you plan to store the data file on, but assuming it is SMB-compatible (a la Windows file sharing) its locking policies are the most critical component of this setup. If you use Samba, configure it for the most pessimal locking policy, and make sure to use a filesystem that has good locking support (ext2, ext3, and ReiserFS all do; I can't speak to others).

If you're planning to do this with native Windows filesharing, I'd suggest you skip it. There are a ton of horrible file locking bugs in NT & XP, as well as in NTFS, that make using a shared file database (with the possible exception of Jet databases, which are designed around Windows' shortcomings) very scary.
posted by majick at 5:50 PM on January 5, 2004

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