[17.4.0] Phasing out "Application Data" folder in desktop edition

In the latest version (17.4.0), Manager will no longer use “Application Data” folder to store its data. What it means is that your *.manager files can be anywhere whether it’s your desktop, my documents folder or dropbox/onedrive folder. If you are using desktop edition, you should probably have your *.manager file(s) in Dropbox, OneDrive or Google Drive anyway to have automatic backups.

To accommodate for this change, the interface is slightly different.

Instead of Add Business and Remove Business buttons. There are new buttons simply called New … and Open …

  • New … button will take you to file dialog where you can select where to create new Manager database and what to call it. Previously all new businesses would be placed in “Application Data” folder under cryptic filename.
  • Open … will take you to file dialog where you can select an existing *.manager file to open. Previously to open existing business, you’d have to use Import Business option which would copy your business to “Application Data” folder and save it under some cryptic name. This option is no longer needed as “Open…” button will open the file in its directory without moving it anywhere.

It’s pretty much the same concept as if working with spreadsheet documents, photos, videos etc. Your Manager files can be anywhere on your hard-drive (or USB key) and Manager will open them wherever they are without insisting on placing them into its internal “Application Data” folder.

When you create or open a business, Manager will keep memory of files you have opened so the next time you don’t have to click Open … button to find the file again.

You will also notice that top bar is gone.

  • Back button functionality is preserved by making small arrow show in top-left corner instead.
  • Preferences have been used to change language, date format and number format.
    • Language can be changed by clicking on the link at the bottom of each screen.
    • Date format and number format can be set under Settings tab within the business.
  • About Manager was mostly used to show version of the program. The version is now visible in top-right corner.

If you are upgrading …

If you have used Manager previously, you already have data in “Application Data” folder. When you install the latest version, Manager will look into your “Application Data” folder and will rename your existing business so they carry recognizable names but it will leave them in “Application Data” folder.

You are encouraged to move them elsewhere and leave “Application Data” folder empty. Good ideas would be to move your accounting file(s) to Dropbox, OneDrive or Google Drive for automatic backups.


2 posts were split to a new topic: Manager does not open after upgrade

Hi Lubos
a) the back up button does not work any longer, the error shows as " illegal characters in path", how do we resolve this in the current update?
b) Deleting option is not available

  1. Could you show screenshot in which context do you see the error?
  2. Deleting option is not essential even though I’ll probably add it anyway. The list basically shows recent businesses which have been open in Manager. If you delete the business or move the business elsewhere on your hard-drive, it will disappear from the recent list in Manager too.


When implementing this upgrade to move all the a4667xxxx files to a backup folder within the folder where the data is stored. I like the new file naming format - much easier to see which file is which.

I have no issues using the backup button - maybe OS specific - he is using Windows 10, I am using the upgraded version of Windows - i.e. Windows 7! :grinning:

I would recommend having the delete option to delete a businss in the recent business history.

I am wondering whether your open concept will work well. What I can see happening is people saving a file to a memory stick or the desktop and opening the file on the memory stick from within Manager or they save the file into their documents folder etc and then open the file from there. What this means is that they are more likely to forget where they saved the file for backup purposes etc and it also raises the likelihood that business a is saved in the downloads folder, business b is saved in my documents and business is in the dropbox folder. For people who know what they are doing on a computer, this would be beneficial as they may have reasons for that specific arrangement, but a lot of people who have no idea what they are doing on a computer, I can forsee them saving the manager file on the desktop, they cannot login and the computer technician that they call in, wipes the user profile without backing up the desktop folder - which wipes the desktop and thus the manager file which naturally was not backed up!

Or they decide to delete all their documents in the documents folder and don’t notice that one all important manager file in the documents folder.

I like your reasoning in trying to make manager more like open and save word documents type structure, but I am not sure that you have thought through the ramifications. You have no idea how many people save data on the desktop and then cry when the repair guy does not backup the desktop before deleting the corrupt user profile.

One problem with the open documents concept is that its now a two setp process - one to copy the file to the folder location where you want the data to be stored and two to open the database to show it in Manager. Not to mention the fact that you have to go to the actual folder to delete the business. With import, by clicking on import, this copies the file to the manager data folder and shows it in Manager.

Just my thoughts.

P.S - there are also folders within the Manager data folder - one for each business. They still have their generic numbers name. Would recommend renaming them to match the new manager names.

Those sub-folders are now redundant and can be deleted, perhaps as Manager created those sub-folders, Manager should also delete them as the user has no idea what they are about.

This was main reason behind having “Application Data” folder in the first place. To abstract away folders and files. But people still don’t do backups and they still lose their data. “Application Data” folder was hurting power users and didn’t really protect computer beginners.

Doesn’t have to be. The latest version registers file association for all *.manager files so you can just double-click on the Manager database itself to open it in Manager. This works so far on Windows only. I will implement this on Mac and Linux too.

Migrations are always risky. I don’t have any code in the program which deletes files (just in case so I don’t delete something by accident).

The app data folder should contain only the ‘recent’ and ‘size’ file then?

@novica, yeah. recent file contains recent businesses. size file contains window size at which Manager was closed last time (this is so Manager retains window size when closing and opening the program). Both files can be deleted. Manager will just recreate them.

I will make a backup of the manager data folder and then delete the old folders and old numeric files and check everything works.

Oh that is very forward thinking - so essentially it works like a word document now. It might be a good idea to highlight that in your documentation above as this will encourage people to save the database in the correct location and click on the file to open it.

I can see your line of reasoning - people just don’t backup their data, so they still lose it. But I just wonder if the new method will not actually cause more data loss as far too many using a computer should not be allowed near one!

1 Like

If data files can be in any location and users do a complete uninstall and reinstall - then they need to know where they located the files previously to re-open them - which could have been a year or more ago.

In using the “Open”, will it contain an optional search function where the user could put in “.manager” to locate files of forgotten location. Currently it is easy to guide users to the application folder in assisting with situation - how is that guidance applied in the future if there isn’t a “home” folder ?

Open file dialog is provided by operating system so I have no control over it. If people “forget” where is their .manager file, I guess, they can use search function in their operating system to find all files with .manager extension.

But that’s the same issue when people “forget” where they saved that spreadsheet file. They can search for it by file extension.

Content of Application Data folder wasn’t that helpful as filenames were cryptic and it wasn’t possible to identify which file represented which business.

1 Like

With the new scheme, there is no access to the New and Open buttons or the list of recent businesses without using the back arrow to go all the way back to the splash screen. Or you must close the program and re-open.

This is a very serious shortcoming for people using more than one business.

Perhaps a Home button would be the answer, @lubos.

@Tut, you can click X button next to business name which will close the business and will take you to the “home” screen.

You are halfway there. When a new version of the data file for a business is double-clicked on a Mac, the following appears:

But when you click OK button, you are taken to the home page and all recent businesses are there and everything works normally.

I am seeing a weird company after doing the upgrade, have also deleted all cryptic file names from data folder. I am on Mac

I saw that, too, although the numbers might have been different. I removed it without affecting any real company. As you will see if you select it, it’s a default new business, with just the four minimum tabs and default expense accounts.

1 Like