Tips on speed issues when using a network

Article ID: 117030
Category: General
Date Added: 11/9/2006
Date Updated: 8/9/2021

Helpful Tips

The speed of ShoWorks when using across a network among more than one user, is affected by both the state of ShoWorks at startup and network hardware.

Tip: For larger fairs or if you are experiencing speed or stability issues over a network and the items below do not rectify the problem, or those who need to use ShoWorks over long distances, you can use an alternative networking process called Remote Desktop. This option requires network administrators to have access to a Windows Server and a basic knowledge of setting up Remote Desktop. Please see the following article "How to use ShoWorks in a Remote Desktop setting" (article number 115004).

Startup of ShoWorks

Most speed concerns are at the startup of ShoWorks.  When starting ShoWorks while your data file is already in use by other users on a network, you will experience a delay in startup time of up to 4 minutes. This can be avoided and reduced to under 20 seconds if all existing users exit to the main menu of ShoWorks. Once ShoWorks is loaded, speed and performance should not be significantly affected.

Network Tips
  1. Compact your Data File :
    • Speed improvements can be made by simply compacting your data file on a regular basis.  Go to File (Office Button), then Utilities, then Compact Data File.  Note: you should make a backup of your data before compacting.
  2. Router or switch:
    • Your network must be using a router or switch and not a hub.  Using a hub will slow your speed down as more users are added and as your data file grows with data entry.
    • To prevent data corruption, you should not use more than one switch due to the limitations of the Microsoft Access architecture.
    • You must be on a local area network (LAN) and not a wide area network (WAN).  Some county offices map a drive to a remote location that is off-site.  This will not work, as the connection is too slow and to many switch points exist in the network structure.  Make sure that the location of your shared data file is within a thousand feet of your client machines. Cloud data file hosting such as Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive, etc. are not supported.
  3. Wired network versus Wireless:
    • ShoWorks is not supported over Wi-Fi (wireless) networks. File sharing systems like ShoWorks such as QuickBooks, transfer a relatively large amount of data across the network and routine network collisions, more prominent over Wi-Fi, interfere with the syncronizing of the data file among clients resulting in a high risk of data corruption. Therefore, all networking among ShoWorks computers must be wired. To avoid accidental Wi-Fi connections, it is recommended that you disable the Wi-Fi radios on all clients prior to ShoWorks operation.
    • Your wired network you must be using 100Mbps or faster (10Mpbs is too slow). This must be true for all components of your network.  For example, if your computer network card is only 10Mbps then your speed will be too slow, even if the router or switch is may be 100Mbps.  All computer network cards and router/switch should be 100Mbps or faster (or 1Gbps - see below).
    • Though a 100Mbps network is acceptable, we have seen a significant performance increase among fairs who upgraded to a 1Gbps (gigabit, or 1000Mbps) network, now the more common speed among newer computers. This results in speeds that are almost 10 times faster and almost all speed issues are resolved, regardless of the size of your data file. Usually, this is only needed for large fairs, however the cost in upgrading your network to 1Gbps is very inexpensive (about $25 for a new 1Gbps network card for each computer and $100 for a basic 1Gbps switch). CAT 5e or CAT6 Ethernet cables are required.
  4. Data file Location:
    • Your shared data file should reside on a relatively fast computer. Though this typically is not a concern and even older computers can be used to host your shared data file, many may not have a fast enough hard drive. Using a laptop as the primary hosting computer that holds your data file is not recommended due to slower hard drives found in laptops. Cloud data file hosting such as Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive, etc. are not supported.
  5. Server Configuration:
    • If your data is hosted (shared) on a Windows Server machine, check the security settings on the server to ensure that Windows Server is running at optimal settings based on the type of clients and their operating systems.
  6. Using Remote Desktop as an alternative:

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