AccountEdge for Mac Speed Issues
Macintosh Multi-User Speed Issues
Operating System Issues
AccountEdge Network Edition relays on the Apple Bonjour protocol which is sometimes updated with new release of Macintosh OSX. For this reason it is especially important that all workstation running AccountEdge Network Edition are on the same version and build of Macintosh OSX to prevent any updates to Bonjour from impacting AccountEdge.
We have two distinct software products designed for OSX. AccountEdge Pro is our single-user software. If you are using AccountEdge Pro you should always be storing your data on a local machine - not on a different server or in dropbox.
AccountEdge Network Edition is the product that is designed for Multi-User access on the Mac. With AccountEdge Network Edition one (Mac) machine acts as the host and the other computers connect to that host machine through a local area network.
Software Version Consistency Issues
As with the operating system, the same is true for your AccountEdge software, we publish new versions of our FileConnect protocol from time to time with updates to the AccountEdge Network Edition. FileConnect can only communicate with its own version so if clients and the host machine get out of sync in terms of being updated it will prevent AccountEdge Network Edition from functioning.
To prevent this from becoming an issue you can set your AccountEdge to automatically check for updates. To do this:
- With your AccountEdge Software open at the top of your screen open the "Preferences" menu
- From that drop down select "Preferences"
- Navigate to the "System" tab of the Preferences window
- The first option in that window will be "Automatically Check for Updates"
Check this option off on all AccountEdge Network Edition workstations including the host to ensure they remain on the latest version.
You can also check for updates manually at any time.
- With your AccountEdge Software open at the top left of your screen open the "AccountEdge NE" menu
- From that drop down select "Check For Updates"
Information Hosted on Local Machines
The host machine for Account Edge Network Edition requires a distinct static file hierarchy that is configured at installation to be able to consistently access and server data to client machines on the network. However only the data file should be stored remotely on the host machine everything else should be installed and run locally on client machines. AccountEdge asset files such as custom forms, invoices and checks should all be distributed to all client machines to be locally accessible.
AccountEdge Network Edition achieves networking through FileConnect which uses a Macintosh routing protocol known as Bonjour, this vastly simplifies the process of establishing a TCP/IP connection. The computer running FileConnect acts as the host or center point of the AccountEdge network, thus it should be running on the strongest and fastest computer on the network. That is the computer where your data file will be hosted and broadcast across the network to all client workstations.
FileConnect works by constantly sending and receiving data packets across the network to confirm connectivity with client workstations. To prevent this data from becoming overwhelming for the network and consuming valuable resources ensure that only one machine is actively running FileConnect and broadcasting on the network.
AccountEdge Company File Factors
Data File Size
Many of AccountEdge's operations (running reports, bringing up lists, etc) look through vast portions of your datafile or even the entire file. The size of your Data File directly impacts how long it takes to run these processes.
A normal file size is between 80-100 MBs. While it is possible to use AccountEdge and have a larger file size - anything larger can contribute to a drop in performance. There are several tools in AccountEdge that can be used to reduce the size of your company file.
Starting a New Fiscal Year and Purging Data
AccountEdge's primary method of reducing your company file size is closing out your fiscal year and purging data. The idea behind closing the fiscal year aside from the accounting implications is to separate a company's records into a current file and historical legacy records. Most businesses do not frequently (Daily) access records from more than a year or two prior.
Our solution to this is wrapped into the Starting a New Fiscal Year process; the first step of which is to create a backup of your company file. This is to be the Legacy data file. After the Start a New Fiscal Year process is run on the main copy of the file prior years data will be purged. This should create a history of Legacy copies in which old data can still be looked up easily and readily, but it keeps that historical data separate from current data (the current and maybe one or two years prior depending) allowing AccountEdge to run quickly as smoothly.
Additionally, you can purge information without going through the Start a New Fiscal Year process. This article has more information regarding this.
Audit Trail Tracking
Of the records purged by default one to note is the Audit Trail Tracking purge, which is selected by default. Audit Trail Tracking creates an entry in AccountEdge for every transaction that it keeps track of, essentially double entering everything in terms of space usage. By electing to not purge your Audit Trail you risk letting your company file become extremely large.
For more information regarding the Start a New Fiscal Year process you can consult this knowledge base article. http://support.accountedge.com/kb/general/new-fiscal-year
As you keep track of your business in AccountEdge over the course of years it is likely that you will accumulate outdated contacts, obsolete products, and discontinued recurring transactions. This clutter can accumulate in your file and cause certain things to take longer than necessary such as processing reports or calling up select from lists. Deleting these old records can help to increase file performance.
AccountEdge's Reminder Log is another area that obsolete data can accumulate unless it is regularly purged. Old reminders that are no longer relevant are not automatically deleted. These can build up and hinder performance as they can slow down AccountEdge full data polls.
To Purge Your Reminder Log
- In your AccountEdge program select the "Card File" module
- At the top of your screen select the "File" menu
- From that drop down select near the bottom "Purge Reminder Logs"
- We strongly recommend creating a backup before purging any records as indicated in the first window of the Purge process
- Indicate the how far back you would like to keep logs in the second window and which type of logs you would like to purge
Optimizing the Company File
As AccountEdge is used day to day data is constantly being written and rewritten to various parts of the datafile. Sometimes data is not written optimally as a result of circumstances within the program. While this is not bad or threatening to the integrity of the data, it can complicate when the program searches for data which can cause performance to drop.
To combat this AccountEdge includes a tool, the Company File Optimizer, that operates in a similar way to defragmenting a hard drive, which rebuilds a fresh copy of the AccountEdge database with your data in the most efficient and streamlined file structure possible. This can help reduce file size and increase performance with large company files. It should always be run after purging data or Starting a New Fiscal Year.
AccountEdge is a software designed for small to medium businesses. As your company grows it is possbile to outgrow AccountEdge as a software. When running into speed problems you want to make certain considerations:
- How many users are using AccountEdge? 5-10 users is generally a reasonable amount, more then that, especially when combined with different large lists might mean that it's time to look towards Enterprise software.
- How large are you lists: How many items do you inventory? Cards do you have? Jobs do you track? Generally, AccountEdge functions well at a limit of about 6500, more then this and you will most likely see performance problems.
- How many transactions are you doing in the course of the day? If you are doing hundreds of transactions every single day - you may need to look for a software package that is designed to manage this sort of volume.
Multiple Network Connections (Ethernet and Wi-Fi)
If you are using an Ethernet connection to connect to your network you should disable your Wi-Fi connection. If both connection types are available to you this can cause problems where you may actually be using your slower Wi-Fi connection rather then your faster Ethernet connection. You can disable your Wi-Fi by going to Apple > System Preferences > Network and then choose to "Turn Wi-Fi Off."
Wired vs Wireless
We recommend using a wired network for both Mac and Windows environments planning to utilize AccountEdge's networking capabilities. Wired networks perform orders of magnitude faster than even the most current wireless technologies. They also are far more stable and can help minimize network drops and keep your business running more reliably.
If you are running AccountEdge in a wireless networked environment and are experiencing latency or reliability issues, looking into your options to switch to a wired configuration is your first and best step.
Countless factors contribute to speed at which AccountEdge performs in a networked environment. Everything from the cables used to wire the network to the hardware in each individual computer can affect network performance for all participants. A network is only as fast as its slowest link.
Generally, hardware factors should be the last thing you consider. Hardware upgrades are expensive and while you do need to meet the minimum system requirements we suggest tackling the problems addressed earlier in this article before going out and buying an expensive server.
SSD Drives vs Standard Hard Drive
Computers have been using Hard Disk Drives almost exclusively for the last (few) decades; however, SSD's or Solid State Dives, have become available in recent years. Solid State Drives can access and write data simultaneously at speeds incomparable to all but the fastest specialized Hard Disk Drives.
Upgrading your computer from an HDD to a SSD or if you already have one moving your Company File to the SSD can be a big factor in speeding up AccountEdge in a Network Environment.
If using a wired network to run AccountEdge in a network configuration, the actual wires used play a large role in performance. If all the wires in a network are brand new CAT6 cables but even one segment is still an old CAT5 the entire network can be bottled necked by that outdated cable.
If you recently upgraded your network hardware, but are not seeing any increase in performance, ensure there are no bottlenecks holding you back.
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