Pre-download questions

I have some pre-download questions. Before asking them, I need to give you some context.

I’m looking for accounting software to replace that used in my solopreneur business, and also for use in my wife’s new solopreneur business. She is using Windows 10 OS. My primary computer is dual boot (Win7 and Linux Mint) and acts as a peer-to-peer server for another Linux Mint machine (via SSH when the server is booted to Linux; via Windows Share when the server is booted to Win7). The primary computer’s Linux drive contains a partition for shared data. This common drive partition is NTFS formatted and is shared by the Win7 drive and both Linux drives.

I have already done a bit of research on your website, and have found a lot of the features needed in both businesses (my opinion so far is pretty positive). However, I have a few questions before I decide to download, install, and try Manager for myself.

  1. Just curious. I’ve noticed the word “Northwind” popping up multiple times on your website. As a veteran MS-Office Pro user, I recognize this as the name of the sample company and database created many years ago by Microsoft in MS-Access for use as a tutorial with their included accounting database application. Is this the origin of Manager – and if so, how is it usable with Linux (in other words, have the MS-Access database and program code been converted to some other format – or is this a different product altogether)?

  2. Is Manager raw data now accessible using external applications and techniques (export, ODBC, etc.)? There may be times when I prefer the ability to use an external spreadsheet program (such as MS-Excel or LibreOffice Calc), or an external relational database manager (such as MS-Access, Firebird, MySQL, etc.) to access raw data and create my own manipulations for reports, etc.

  3. Do you have, or would you be willing to provide, the ability in Manager to duplicate an existing transaction to a new transaction for modification and insertion into the database? This can help speed data entry in some cases, and also helps ensure consistency between transactions involving the same payer/payee, product/service, etc.

  4. I noticed in your documentation that the Sales Invoice data entry form has a list or combo box for Payers but the corresponding form for Receipts has only a text box. A combo box would help ensure both flexibility and consistency during data entry. Would you be willing to provide a combo box for Payers (and, by extension elsewhere, Payees) on data entry forms?

  5. As mentioned earlier, Win10 is used on a single, stand-alone computer. Win7 and Linux Mint are used on a dual-boot machine acting as a P2P server with a Linux Mint client. I understand the stand-alone version of Manager is not multi-user capable, but a) can the stand-alone version of Manager handle this variety of operating systems and b) will the stand-alone version of Manager allow either the server or client in my P2P configuration (regardless of OS) to operate on a single, common Manager database in single-user mode?

  6. In general, how often do you issue updates or upgrades to your stand-alone software?

  7. What is the current version number of your stand-alone software, and in what year was your stand-alone software first made available to your users (in other words, how mature is the Manager software)?

There may be other questions, but these are all I have for now. I appreciate your taking the time to read and answer this rather lengthy message.

It’s just a fake company demo to show the main functions of the software. Don’t know how much is updated. It has nothing to do with Access except the name.

Right now you can export everything in excel, access through specific JSON libraries or use custom reports. No ODBC.

Yes you can either clone function.

Since you can make payments without an invoice it would make things more complicated. A possible solution in line with what you proposed has been discussed and, as far as I remember, put into ideas.

You can share the dB file in a common folder and use with one of the clients at time. Keep in mind that all the clients should use exactly the same version of Manager.

Even daily

Look at the version history in the website and you will have answer to both your last questions.

Btw I’m not the developer but a long time user.

I would like to expand on OP question 5 (sorry if not allowable). I would be the sole user of our system, but have a front office computer where I do transactions with customer for one company, a “back” office computer, and a laptop I travel with. If I were to install the dB file in a network folder, is there any kind of “lockout” feature that won’t let me open it on one computer if already open in another? I would want to prevent multiple instances of it running so data is not different.

This is something more related to the operating system of were the file is stored than to Manager. Don’t know for example if Dropbox has this kind of check…

Based on your described usage, the server or cloud edition would be better for you. It sounds like you have the skills necessary to install and administer the server edition. You can download and install it free as a trial. Then, you can have multiple users simultaneously and limit who sees what.

All editions are almost always the same version. The only exception is that the cloud edition might be frozen during a major update to prevent chaos, while the early adopters among desktop users serve as the beta testers. (That’s one of the benefits or disadvantages of using the free version.) In five years I have only seen this happen once. Updates can happen several times per day, but most are not noticeable by users. Only those with detectable changes or bug fixes are announced in release notes. But current download version is listed, as @Davide already told you.

Thanks for the answers, Davide & Tut.

Davide, if I may, let me reply to your response concerning my “combo box” question. I disagree that this would cause things to become “more complicated.” Please let me clarify:

As I envision it, the text box would be replaced with a combo box. The combo box data source would be the Payer or Payee table, as appropriate for the data entry form. Using a combo box would improve consistency by allowing you to select an existing Payer or Payee from a list (or have hypertext auto-complete as you type), while allowing you the freeform ability to enter names not already on file (just as a text box does). As far as I am concerned, this would be a very minor change.

Of course, you could go a bit further (which I would prefer) and have the combo box object also show the account number associated with the Payer or Payee name – then save this information in the text field of the sales receipt data table. Forcing the text box to do double duty might help eliminate the need to revise the data table for the additional field. In essence, you would store the account number and name, separated by a delimiter, in the same text box. You could then split this text based on the delimiter when creating reports (I’m thinking particularly of a “Revenue by Customer” type of report that would combine both customer invoices and sales receipts. That gets a little more complicated, but not much.

Since we are brainstorming, a second option would be to replace the text box with a list box, modify the list box SQL statement to include both name and associated account number in the list box display (you could even give the user the option to sort on either field to facilitate searches), add a field to the table for the account number associated with the Payer or Payee, and have users create a dummy “catch-all” account number for “Other” or “Miscellaneous” Payers or Payees for whom further tracking is unnecessary. This would make data selection and aggregation for consolidated “Revenue by Customer” reports more standardized and less complicated. A slightly more complex solution – but probably the better approach of the two – and not that much more complicated.

The reason for my question is simple. In my case, the same payers may pay by invoice or sales receipt, depending on the specific situation. Having the ability to quickly select the name on file reduces the chance of inconsistencies and thereby improves selection for reports. Storing both the name and the associated account number, as described above, enhances the ability to run reports that consolidate revenue by customer.

My preference for the second option is based on my perspective as a CPA, as a coder and a databaser, and as a user. Your mileage may vary. :slight_smile:

Hope this better explains my reasoning.

You are focusing on design of the user interface. The reason there is no payer/payee selection capability on receipts/payments is that there are no subsidiary ledgers associated with the payers/payees. Invoices, on the other hand, post to Accounts receivable or Accounts payable. Customers and suppliers are subsidiary ledgers of those control accounts.

So the question is not one of a simple redesign of the form, but major restructuring of the database and hard-coded interactions with it.

Perhaps the problem is my lack of experience with Manager and its terminology, and my expectations based on other accounting software packages. So let me ask questions a bit differently:

In this case, my comment was based on an expectation that Customers (Payers) and Vendors (Payees) are set up in individual tables that are referenced during data entry. (We will ignore Payroll for this discussion.) For instance, the Customer (Payer) table would be referenced during Sales Invoice data entry. That same table could then be referenced for the list box during the Sales Receipt data entry. Question: Where does Manager store lists of Payers and Payees with pertinent details such as address, sales tax information, etc.? – because those are the lists to which I am referring.

Inside the payments/receipts themselves. They are not SQL linked table but text fields populated or by hand or from external tables.

If I understand you (and by extension, Tut) correctly, when you enter a Sales Invoice, the Payer list box is populated by querying the Sales Invoice transactions themselves. Is this correct?

If so, why couldn’t the same (Sales Invoice) transactions be queried for the Sales Receipts Payer form control? Instead of a list box, you would then use a combo box and query the Sales Receipts data as well (a Union query would be used to merge the two results sets for the combo box list). Am I still missing something?

It can be done but it’s not what the programmer wants to. And I agree with him. You can receive/make a payment without the need to register a counterpart in a list. The software needs to be flexible for many different users. And implementing what you are asking would make it very plastered.

Btw you don’t need to explain Mr. Lubos, the programmer, what a union query is. He has developed Manager all alone and I think that he doesn’t need a lesson of SQL…

Let’s be clear, Davide. I was not attempting to explain anything to Mr. Lubos (I wasn’t even aware I was addressing anyone but you and Tut). I realize terminology can sometimes be used differently by different people and different applications, and I was trying to be as clear as possible to make sure we were communicating.

Let me ask you one more question – and maybe I should have asked this first. How do you get a “Revenue by Customer” report in Manager that aggregates both Sales Invoices and Sales Receipts?

As I tried to explain before, there is no connection between customers and payers. Nor is there any connection between suppliers and payees. Customers are subsidiary ledgers underneath the accounts receivable control account. Suppliers are subsidiary ledgers underneath the accounts payable control account. Payers and payees are not stored in any database. As a result, you cannot produce a report for a customer or a supplier that includes both credit transactions on invoices and non-credit transactions via receipts or payments.

Thank you, Tut. Your explanation hasn’t changed much, but it makes more sense to me now.

If the sales receipts pay sales invoices, you can have all the reports that you need. Otherwise you cannot.

Reading through this conversation so far, I’d encourage you to download the free version anyway @lkjcpa - and play around with it. It will answer most of your current questions, and perhaps prompt new ones, but the end result is that you’ll have a much better understanding of what is possible and how things work at the moment… and that will assist you in your decision to use or not use Manager.

Referring back to Davide’s comment, I think that having the DB file in Dropbox is only useful for backups and occasional work on two machines.

Continuous work on two machines with Dropbox would mean you have to check for the Manager version all the time and download/install new versions.

I agree with you. It is a very borderline management of the database.

I think you might want to look at server edition to avoid database issue. Another way to manage. is Backup Versioning instead sync it is highly recommended to upload the backup version to separate device storage.

2 for sync, 1 for backup to dropbox (so if the sync has issues like redundancy? or corruption you still have versioning backup to restore.

I would say, solve your issue by purchasing the server version and support the developer at the same time…
I am running the server version on several workstations with the server on-premise and it is very stable and reliable.

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