Attachment - Big thanks!

@ Lubos

Your arguments are clear, but what is wrong with local-storage. I think/assume that the majority of the desktop users prefer local storage. Is there any change that you create the possibility for local-storage?

Local-storage makes backup more complicated.

There is a Backup button which will backup your accounting data in .manager format. I don’t want this file to include all attachments because backups are compact (typically less than 1 MB). If you have attachments in it, the file could easily be 100 MB or 1,000 MB… based on how many attachments you have. This would discourage users to backup often.

So if local-storage would be supported, attachments would have to be in separate directory and users would have to remember to backup those files separately. Majority of users would struggle with this considering many people are not familiar with file systems.

Not to mention, if you transfer your accounting data to another computer (or edition), you have to copy your attachments separately to some specific folder where Manager would expect it. It’s no longer simple process where you have one file which has everything in it. Now you have to remember about some folder with attachments.

And how many users would get burned by all this. Clicking on Backup button, thinking they have backups. Then something happens, they recover from backup only to find out their attachments were actually not in the backup file and were on the hard-drive which was wiped clean. It’s just too technical for most users.

Now, when opening attachments from Amazon, Manager actually uses local storage. It mirrors whatever you have in Amazon so you should be able to open attachments even if you are offline. Only if the file is not mirrored (perhaps because you have transferred your backup file on another computer), only then the attachment will be retrieved from Amazon.

Also, nobody, not even Amazon, can see your attachments. The files are always encrypted and the encryption key is stored within your accounting file. It’s not stored in Amazon so it’s not possible to open attachments without your accounting file where these files have been attached.

I think what I came up is durable, secure and foolproof solution. It doesn’t assume users being technical and it doesn’t compromise privacy or security.


For me, this Amazon solution sounds just great… And reading about this “mirroring” solution makes it even better.

Do I understand this correctly that I will always (and automatically) have a complete mirror on my local computer, or is it only those attachments that I have “opened” from Amazon that are mirrored…?

And this is the same for the Manager Desktop edition as well as Cloud Edition…? (A logical follow up question: Would I be able to migrate from Desktop to Cloud edition with all attachment links being intact…?)

@lubos I absolutely love this attachment feature. With it, I will have virtually everything I need at my fingertips and without needing to resort to manual files, be it paper based or in some separate file system on my Computer or Server. It is simply brilliant…!

One small request: Could you please add the “Attachment” button also to;

  • Customers”. (It would be a great place to be able to store general documents for a customer, like in my case “Frame Contracts” and similar…)
  • Suppliers”. (Likewise, I would love to have the ability to store general contracts with my suppliers here…)


1 Like

I would just like to add to other users that local storage is the way to go. All you need in the program is to set where the attachments folder is. This can be displayed in the help/about. Then all you need in the data file and the backup is a simple link. I would never keep my attachments anywhere except under my own control locally. I can’t think that any large organisation would wish to place the integrity of their documents with a 3rd party. Why not have both options to please more people? Then the choice and management of it is left to the individual.

1 Like

Hi Lubos,

I want to weigh-in on this as it’s a feature I’ve been looking forward to for a long time and unfortunately I’m a little disappointed with the current implementation. Whilst I understand your reasoning for wanting to keep things simple and wouldn’t for a moment suggest backing away from the good work you’ve done so far, I think leaving it as-is does a disservice to those of us who are technically proficient and have our own backup processes in place.

Indeed, the key reason for me using Manager is that I can run it locally, with no data having to be sent to a third party nor having to rely on an internet connection (even partially) to access it. Having to use Amazon doesn’t fit with this ideal. Similarly, even relying on a large corporation such as Amazon does not absolve users of maintaining their own backups. Therefore, if I were to use this implementation, I’d still be maintaining my own local storage for files, incorporated in my own nightly backups, in addition to using the Manager/Amazon setup. Hence this actually creates more work with the only benefit being the link between the file and Manager.

To that end, whilst I’m happy enough to see Amazon as an option for those that want it, I feel local storage should also be an optional alternative by way of a root path being stored in settings under which Manager can manage attachments and the folders for them as necessary. By using a root path implementation, this would also accommodate users who want to use some other cloud storage providers should they have local synchronisation enabled.

To the backup matter, again I understand your point about not necessarily wanting to include the attachments folder but I think this is manageable. Hypothetically, when clicking the backup button, assuming the user has local storage enabled, they should be presented with a simple option screen to either include attachments or not. If attachments are included, a ZIP or TAR archive can be created with those attachments along with the usual database file. If attachments are not included, a notice can be displayed to the user warning of the case but otherwise proceeding as normal.

Alternatively, leaving the current backup implementation alone and simply warning users who enable local file storage that these files are not included in Manager’s backup routine and that users must make their own backup arrangements would also be sufficient in my mind. Anyone running any form of business should be aware of the need for backup policies for their data and these attachments would be no different. After all, most businesses would generate data unrelated to Manager which would need to be backed up as well.

The final point regarding sending data to an accountant is perhaps a fair one but being unable to send the database plus files altogether is no worse than the situation prior to any form of attachment system being in place. In actual fact though, the situation would be slightly better in that a technically proficient user can send across to the accountant an archive of attachments with the instructions to extract the archive to a chosen location and when opening the database, changing the root path in settings to reflect that location. As long as nothing is changed within the root path, Manager would then find the files as normal.

Once again, I don’t want to diminish the work that you’ve done implementing an attachments system so far and I applaud the progress. For my own use case though it’s not an implementation I can or will use in its current state and I feel it’s important that progress is made that little bit further as suggested above, so that all different situations are covered.

To that end and in light of the arguments and apparent support from other users, I ask and hope that you reconsider.




@BGPS, this is what Quickbooks is doing. All attachments are in separate folder called Attach. There is no end of complaining from regular users how backup in Quickbooks is not really a backup because it doesn’t include everything. So in order to use Quickbooks in durable way, you have to learn about these “levels” of backups.

How many people have lost all their attachments in Quickbooks because they didn’t know to backup some obscure Attach folder? This is a real problem.

So if Manager would support local storage, the backup button would have to include all attachments as well. That’s the only way to avoid problems Quickbooks users face.

1 Like

I too think a local storage option is reasonable. It is my responsibility to
back up manager and it would be my responsibility to back up my
attachments location also. I do not think it necessary
to have manager back them up.

Hi Lubos,

I don’t know QuickBooks so I can’t comment on their system or perceived issues that their users may face.

However, when it comes to Manager or any system for that matter, when we have a local offline application, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect that all aspects of that application remain offline (or at least have the option of remaining offline). So, whilst of course when using the cloud version of Manager, users should expect to be able to use online storage for documents, when it comes to the desktop or server versions, that is not the case.

And again, coming back to the technical proficiency of users, in certain cases I think you’re already expecting a degree of ability in some cases simply because you have the server installation option available. However straightforward it might actually be, setting up and maintaining a server isn’t something one would normally expect of someone who isn’t particularly IT literate.

Although I believe you’re against having a differing feature set for the alternative versions, perhaps this is something to be looked at? Why not enable local storage for the server version only, not only for the assumption that there a greater technical ability of the users choosing this option, but making it a premium feature for those that value local control of files. With the appropriate firewall/NAT rules in place, the server version can also allow access from an external accountant who would also be able to access stored documents, solving that particular issue.

I’m sure I’ve said before that currently I’m a desktop user but have been considering the server option for some time, even though I’m a single user. Currently there’s no real benefit for me using the server version though and I’ve held off from switching to it. This would be a nice premium feature which I’d be happy to spend the money for.

Again, when it comes to the backup issue, as long as sufficient warning is given when enabling local storage that users must make their own independent arrangements for backing up attachments then I think that’s fine. You could make it an acknowledgement prompt that users have to confirm they’ve read before the option is enabled. Then, if they have issues with their backups (or lack of) then it’s clearly their own issue beyond the remit of Manager and this forum.

Finally, you also mention that QuickBooks has an obscure Attach folder. As I said, I’m not familiar with their system but there’s no reason why this folder has to be obscure. Manager can clearly communicate to users where data is stored and indeed it already does so for the database file. You currently allow users to change that location should we want to put it somewhere more convenient/accessible/visible than the default location. There’s no reason why this shouldn’t be the same for attachments.



1 Like

Is there some reason why the backup can’t be split into two. Say Backup Manager as option one and Backup Manager and Local Attachments as option two so people can choose what they want to backup and are aware that the files are in different locations. Or a simpler way could be that you could have a dialog box that comes up after clicking backing that makes it clear to users that the local storage is not been backed up. Like a big WARNING MESSAGE.

The problem with Quickbooks is not that the idea is bad, but their implementation of the feature is poor if their users do not know that attachments are not being backed up.

I do agree with many users in that local storage for attachments is a really good idea or even better yet giving users the option as to where they want to store their attachments as they may have their own onedrive or icloud system. I think that a simple clear warning that the attachments are not backed up with the program would be sufficient as users do have to take responsibility for backing up their data as they are adults not kids.

Please do consider a warning dialog box as an option because I would really like to use the attachment feature, but like many I want it to be local as I don’t want confidential data online. Thank you. :grinning:

Hi Lubos, is the $19 storage package a monthly or yearly plan or a one-time payment only?
Does Manager provide an interface to upgrade the storage? Very interested with this feature. Thank you

I hate to repeat what is said before but let me just say I totally agree with @BGPS and @netconuk.
Why I love manager is because it’s run offline or in a private environment where I control who can access my financial information without relying on 3rd parties.

As an example, I like what Evernote does. When you add a file to a note, it copies the file to its own store. You still have the original file in the location you copied it from. But it also exists in the Evernote store, where it gets synced to their cloud. So it’s always available offline too.
1Password for example has a library file that you can store in a synced DropBox folder.
With both apps you can export all/some items in a number of formats.

@BGPS says everything sensible. It’s an interesting idea to allow ports to be opened so an accountant can also get to the attachments (obviously the path would have to be in URL format). Alternatively (and even better) - if the user directed the Manager.Attachments location to their local dropbox folder (or GoogleDrive or OneDrive), then the user need only have to share their dropbox folder to their accountant and the attachments would appear on his PC in the same place - voila. This also means you could run Manager on a laptop and use the same attachments whether connected on line or not - a very elegant solution.

From the comments thus received it sounds like the local solution is by far the most popular option. Surely any serious PC user who uses Manager, whether technical or not, must understand the importance of doing backups of their own data? You only have to have the manager.location under Documents and it all gets backed up without them having to change anything.

I also like the idea of asking the user if they want the attachments backed up into a ZIP file. It’s nice to offer people the options.

Several different ways of implementing this and IMHO all are better than the Amazon approach.

I agree on the basis that cloud storage sort of breaks the spirit of Manager which is to give users total control over their data. I’m currently thinking how to implement local storage for attachments.

1 Like

This is great Manager 16.10.70 supports Local storage of attachments, tremendous - Thank you.