Should Manager Desktop run in browser instead of standalone application

Manager is principally coded as a web server which provides the accounting functionality. That includes printing, email, PDF generation, language translation.

  • The own server version of Manager makes this code available to Manager customers

  • The NG Software cloud version puts that code an a network of servers with account login, access control, payment, backup and server update tools.

  • The desktop version runs the same code in the background (which is why desktop users can open a Manager link in a browser of there preference). The desktop version adds an installation application. It also adds a wrapper so when the user starts Manager they actually start two programs; the Manager server, and a web browser to render the user interface.

As a result once the installation type specific code is stable (which probably mostly uses third party tools) then updates the the core Manager code applies to all versions, as it is actually the same code.

Maybe desktop users should consider and adopt the process used by those running the server version… You only update the Manager product once you are confident by reading the forum confirming that there are no pressing issues that will impact your arrangement by upgrading to the new current version. We wait 2 to 3 months to find a good entry point where things in Manager are going smoothly and offering changes that are in fact meaningful.

I agree with you. IMHO The issue is not desktop vs server or mac vs windows. @lubos already told us that it doesn’t take time to keep all those “lines open”.

I think that the real issue is the fact that Manager is developed in a way that is like you are always installing a nightly version. It would be so much better to have some releases classified as stable and keep the line of nightly releases like we have today.

But this would imply to have a team of testers to establish which version should be considered stable.


Updating, entering hundreds of transactions, then finding something you rely on has been ‘broken’ is the big PIA. Especially when you can’t roll back to the last version you were happy with.
A stable version and the ability to roll back without losing day’s/weeks/months of transactions would be great.
As it stands every time you update you have to go through every type of transaction, report etc. to make sure something you rely on to run your business books isn’t broken.

The irony of my post is that I fully agree with you. I probably would not have started with Manager if they only had a cloud version. However, the existence of the server version would probably have tempted me anyway.

I fully agree with the complaints about a lack of a stable/development version.

In point of fact, I created a post specifically on that!

I actually think that you have hit on the solution! The issue of cloud/server/desktop is a bit of a red herring. The real issue is the need to add extra functionality for the desktop version to get it to work. When I install the Server - all I am really doing is extracting some files and creating a service to start the service. I don’t need to install webviewer etc. Why is this necessary for the desktop version?

@lubos would you not consider a solution that works similar to the server install for desktop users. You don’t need to “install” the program, nor worry about dependencies such as .net and webview. You have all the benefits of using the browser - eg open in new tab etc! The only thing that needs to be addressed is the install of a service like the server service.

I would highly recommend that the server version be tweaked a bit to make it easy for end users to install (the service and extract the files) and web shortcut to open in a browser and then have one product which works on cloud, server and desktop computers!

So don’t abandon the desktop version - rather merge it into the server version concept.

The Manager desktop version add things to decrease the barrier of entry for new users.
Maybe effort well spent for NG Software. Would have to know how much harder it would be for new users compared how must maintenance effort NG Software could save to know.

I think that Lubos has already answered the question. I know that the last month has been a little frustrating for many bugs but we were told that there were many changes in the engine underneath Manager.

Well all the server version actually is the following.

  1. You extract the files to a folder.
  2. You install another 3rd party program to create the Manager service and to start it on boot.
  3. You use something like IIS to run the webserver
  4. You open a web browser and type in the address of the Manager server.

All of the above could be incorporated into the desktop version and done automatically for the end user. This is not that difficult. Essentially you would be installing the server backend on the desktop computer and access Manager via a browser. This would reduce effort worrying about webview, Linux, Mac and Windows issues as it would all be browser based.

I think it’s doable.

The Free Desktop Edition is what attracted many of us to join this family. Some of the cloud users of today started on the desktop edition. Others also downgrade to the desktop edition because of financial challenges.

The Desktop Edition is the reason why people are leaving Popular accounting software for Manager.


I agree with you. I do understand the appeal of the desktop version. I myself was drawn to Manager for this very reason.

I have already suggested another direction in my above posts. I believe that abandoning the desktop is not the solution, but rather merging the desktop and server installation into one, but in a very user friendly way. This eliminates 3rd party requirements like webview etc. The Server version does not need this.

I believe the real reason why people are leaving other accounting programs and coming to Manager is partially cost (of the other providers), but also the lack of support and the bloat in other programs is driving people away. Some accounting programs you need a 2 day training course just to learn how to use the program never mind use if optimally! Manager is gaining users because of it’s simplicity.

Few of the desktop users would have the expertise to run a server version.

It is a little bit more complex to run than what you indicated above even if it is wrapped up in a package.

The most basic would be

  • install Manager on a desktop computer

To run

  • start local server
  • the open a web link to in the users default browser

The above process can be tried now by

  • instal Manger desktop
  • make a link to managerserver.exe in the program directory, then open it.
  • Make a link to save it in the same location as server link above. The open it


  • instal Manger desktop
  • make a link to managerdesktop.exe in the program directory, then open it then immediately minimise the window.
  • Make a link to save it in the same location as server link above. The open it

Btw @dalacor I have no objection to questioning the status quo, but actually changing it though requires much more stringent conditions :slight_smile:

You are not reading my post properly. I am not proposing that users install the server version. You are right - it is too hard for end users to do all that. What I am suggesting is that the server version be adapted to install in the same way that the desktop version installs (i.e. the user clicks on a setup file and the install does the installation, but instead of having a complete standalone app that Manager runs in, that Manager is run on the desktop computer’s browser be it Edge, Safari, Firefox or Chrome. Not IE!

I am simply suggesting that Manager desktop run by default on the default browser. It would simplify a lot of things for supporting desktop users and also make installing the server version on Servers just that bit easier.

I agree. If it does, it needs to be done properly to make it easy for end users to “install” and use. I think it’s doable. Manager already runs very well in a browser. Why does it need a separate app for the desktop version.

Cost structure of NG Software products. The desktop version is free but the server version is not.

That’s irrelevant. The desktop version of the server install can still have single user set for it. It does not require much programming to define single or multi user. Far less work than designing an independent application for the desktop version.

I sincerely don’t know how you can make this kind of analisys not being the developer of the software.

It is clear that the desktop version is just a wrapper of the server version and Lubos has already stated that it doesn’t take him so much work to keep this version updated.

So, if he is not a masochist, the way he uses to deliver desktop version is for sure the fastest and easiest.


This is how the very first versions of Manager were. Turns out people didn’t like it. Keep in mind, only small minority of users understand how Manager is technically put together and are not intimidated by it.

For most users, installing app, then seeing the app opening web-browser (aka “Internet”) is confusing. They don’t want it.

Why not force hide the toolbar/tabs? I bet the average joe wouldn’t know it’s a browser. :grimacing: