The purpose of this article is to outline some of the best practices and explain some of the potential issues a user can run into when installing the Method Sync Engine on a Windows Server environment.
While the basic installation steps are essentially the same, the added features available in an Windows Server environment can inhibit the smooth installation and operation of the Method Sync Engine. This article will explain some of these issues and provide tips to help administrators tackle these issues.
This article is meant to assist administrators in installing Method in a server environment. It is the responsibility of the administrator to diagnose and resolve issues with regards to the installation and operation of the Method Sync Engine when installed on a server. Due to each server environment being unique with regards to permissions, profiles, and architecture, Method does not officially support server installations for end users.
The basic installation steps are the same as a regular Method installation. You can find the Method Installation guide in our Help Center: Getting Started on QuickBooks Desktop. There are a few additional things to keep in mind when installing the sync engine on a server:
- You must be logged in as the server administrator when installing Method.
- Make sure Quickbooks is running and is open to the correct company file.
- Be aware of your current Firewall and Group Policy settings. These may disrupt the installation and operation of the sync engine.
- If users are provided access via Terminal Services or Citrix virtualization, be aware that these environments come with their own set of challenges. Many of these issues will revolve around the Sync Engine not automatically starting when a QuickBooks company file is opened, or having the Integrated Apps certificate pop-up in QuickBooks every time a user opens their company file - whether they use Method or not.
- A server environment setup for load balancing will add to the complexity of getting the Method Sync Engine to run correctly. It is recommended that you do not install Method in a load balanced environment.
- If the Method engine does not install or run correctly, the Method Support team will only be able to assist with the basic installation setup. Troubleshooting the server environment is the responsibility of the Method End User.
Firewalls and Group Policies
When installing Method on a server, you may run into issues where your firewall or Group Policy settings block the Method setup file from installing its components. As server environments will vary from company to company, it will be the responsibility of the Method End User to diagnose and troubleshoot these issues.
We recommend that the user has a sound grasp of the networking, firewall, group policies and overall server environment. Some areas to look into if such issues arise would be:
- server permissions
- blocked ports on the network/firewall
- anti-virus/firewalls not allowing outbound TCP/IP connections and permissions as they relate to added layers of connectivity (Citrix, Terminal Services, etc).
To bypass some issues with firewalls and network security, the Method Sync engine can be customized to use a select port range. This will allow a network administrator to open up a range of ports on their network to communicate with Method Servers.
How to set a port range:
1. Search for and locate the Engine Log folder on your server.
2. Create an empty text file called “MethodPush.config”.
3. Put the following into the contents of the file, where 3000 is an example for the lowest port number in your IT manager’s desired range, and 3100 is an example of the highest port number in your IT manager’s acceptable range:
4. Save and close the file.
5. In the Method Integration Engine click Disconnect, and then Connect.
Method has partnered with two Hosting providers, Right Networks and InSynq, to provide a hosted Quickbooks and Method solution. These providers have spent many hours and resources configuring their server environments for Method to run successfully.
InSynq provides the ability to host Quickbooks Desktop on the cloud, giving you access to your Quickbooks files anytime, anywhere there’s an internet connection. To make things even easier, the InSynq servers are already configured for Method from day one. This allows you to get up and running with Quickbooks and Method in no time. More information can be found here: InSynq.
Right Networks is one of the top Quickbooks hosting providers. They use load-balanced servers, ensuring that your data is always online, available to you when you need it. The Method Integration engine is pre-loaded on the Right Networks server, so real-time synchronization happens 100% in the cloud. Your entire business system can be accessed anywhere with internet access, safely and securely, 24 hours a day. Additional information can be found on here: Right Networks.
Method Integration does provide two separate msi packages as an alternative to the one-click Setup.exe file. These manual installations can be used when a user has issues with the one-click setup file that they cannot overcome. The two msi packages include:
- MethodEngineMSI.msi - This component detects changes in Method and syncs them to Quickbooks.
- MethodIntegrationListener.msi - This component detects changes made in Quickbooks and syncs them to Method.
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for links to these files.
The manual install does have a number of disadvantages. These can affect the user experience of Method, and we recommend installing the one-click setup whenever possible. The disadvantages include:
- No automatic updates. Any updates made to the Method Engine will not be updated automatically. Users will not be able to see the latest and greatest from Method when Method releases them.
- The administrator will have to re-download and install each msi package after every update in order to update their system.
- Method does not release updates on a set schedule. The administrator will have to be aware of when updates are released and update their system accordingly.
- Method will only provide support limited to the basic installation of the .msi files.