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Using QuickBooks Remotely

Using QuickBooks data remotely via QODBC with RDS

This feature is for QODBC versions 8.0 and older. Newer versions use the QODBC Remote Feature.

QODBC has the ability to talk to a copy of QuickBooks running anywhere in the world over the Internet, or over a local area network using the Intuit Remote Data Sharing Server. This feature is built-in and requires no additional charge.

About RDS Service

QuickBooks Remote Data Sharing is software that allows an integrated application to communicate transparently with QuickBooks company files on another machine in a network (typically a LAN). The communication is transparent because the application itself is not aware that it is accessing QuickBooks remotely. 

The RDS consists of two components: the RDS server and the RDS client. The RDS server must be installed on a machine on which QuickBooks is installed. (QuickBooks need not be running, depending on the access mode selected at the RDS server.) The RDS client must be installed on the machine that is running your application and QODBC.

RDS Server’s Installation and Settings

  • Download RDS Server installer (RDS7ServerInstaller.exe)

  • Install RDS server software and set it up on the machine that runs QuickBooks

Double click the RDS Server Installation icon and install.

Click Next, Click Install and Click Finishto complete RDS server’s installation.

From your Start>All Programs>QuickBooks icon double click on the Remote Data Sharing Server to launch the Control Panel

RDS Server Control Panel

Functions of the RDS Server Control Panel:

  • Start the RDS server by clicking the Start button. When the server-side information is configured and the service is started, clients come through RDS server remotely to access the QuickBooks data.

  • RDS services can be terminated by clicking on the Stop button.

  • The default company file for remote access is set to the currently open file, to select specific company files to be used remotely use the Change Options button.

  • At least one RDS login and password must be created at the RDS server for use by remote applications, this is done through the Manage button.

Configuring RDS

Click Manage from the control panel and New Login to set up user information

Add a user login name and a password at least 6 characters long and confirm, click ok.

The user name has been added to the Login List, which can be edited or deleted at anytime.
Next, click on the Advanced Settings button.

The next step is to define the Sever Port and Communication Channel of RDS Server. The default port of 3790 is chosen in this example (if it is already occupied by other applications, users can choose another port that is not be used on the machine)TCP has been selected in Communication Channel. Click OK to save settings. Click Close to exit out of Server Manager and return to the Control Panel

Click on Change Options to specify the mode the company file will be accessed.

  • If you specify the open company file, then QuickBooks must be running on the same machine as the RDS server and a company file must be open. All remote applications must then use whatever company file happens to be open.

  • If you specify the following selected company files, QuickBooks does not need to be running and remote applications can access any of the company files that you add to the company files list. Click OK to close the dialog box.

  • The final step of setting up the RDS server is to make a connection to the QuickBooks company file. The open company file mode had been selected so QuickBooks must be running before RDS Server can be started. [Note: You must be logged into QuickBooks as Administrator before starting RDS] If RDS server is being run for the first time with the QuickBooks company file, permissions must be granted by QuickBooks for this access.

Click the RDS Startbutton, a QuickBooks dialog box like the one shown above will display. Select the Yes, always; allow access even if QuickBooks is not runningoption, Click continue and then done.

RDS Server is now waiting for the RDS Client to access it.

RDS running with no access by the client

RDS running with access by the client

RDS Client

Now that the RDS server with QuickBooks on it set up, the Client side needs to be configured to talk to it. On the Client side you have an ODBC compliant application that needs to access the QuickBooks company file which will need a “bridge” to talk to the data, besides just having a connection between the two computers. QODBC provides a standard ODBC interface that allows virtually thousands of ODBC applications to access QuickBooks data and communicate with it.

RDS Client Installation and Configuration

  • Download RDS Client installer (RDS7ClientInstaller.exe)

  • Install RDS client software and set it up on the machine that runs the application that will access the RDS Server with QuickBooks.

  • Follow the prompts during the installation, Click finish to complete the installation.[Note: If you receive any errors regarding the .Net Framework 2.0 during installation or running the Client RDS, see the end of this document for possible solutions]

Installation of QODBC

Download QODBC and run the QODBC.exe. Follow the prompts during the installation, if you have purchased QODBC enter the CDKey you were issued in the Activation screen when prompted for. If you are evaluating the product just Click next and finish following the screen prompts and then Click finish to complete the installation.

Configuring a Data Source (DSN)

Now that all of the components have been installed for Remote Data sharing you must configure QODBC and set up a DSN (Data Source Name). The easiest method to do this is to go to Start>All Programs>QODBC Driver for use with QuickBooks icon, select Configure QODBC Data Source from the dropdown and double click on it.

This will launch your ODBC Administrator

Next Select Add on the User DSN Tab to create a new Data Source

Select QODBC Driver for QuickBooks and Click Finish and the following QODBC setup screen will launch

On the General Tab type in a name for your new DSN and Click Apply

Note:On the RDS Server side “Use the company file that’s now open in QuickBooks” was selected so the same default is used here. If you named files on the Server side to be opened without QuickBooks running you need to select “Locate a company file” then click on browse and find the company file you intend to use. If you have multiple company files, individual DSN’s will need to be set up for each company file and each one be given a unique DSN name and path.

Next switch to the RDS Server Tab

Check Use RDS Client/Server box, then Click on Apply and OK

The new DSN is now configured for remote use.

Testing the Remote Connection to QuickBooks

Go to Start>All Programs>QODBC Driver for use with QuickBooks icon, select the VB Demo icon and double Click which will launch the VB program.

Click on Connections>Add New Connection


From the Select Data Source Machine Data Source Tab, highlight the remote DSN and Click OK. If the RDS Server is running and the VB Demo tries to access the QuickBooks data the following Integrated Applications screen from QuickBooks will pop-up.

Check“Yes, always, when server is available” and then input the RDS Server Username and Password: Your Current Connection should now show the remote DSN that was selected.

The default SQL statement in the VB demo is SELECT * FROM Customer, delete this statement and type in SELECT * FROM Company and Click Query which should return a record. Click Disconnect and close the VB Demo application. You are now ready to connect your application remotely using the QODBC DSN that has been configured for remote QuickBooks access!


Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 Error

The RDS Client needs Microsoft’s .NET Framework to run, if you receive any errors regarding the .NET framework you will need to install the latest server pack from Microsoft to correct the problem.

NET Framework 2.0SP1 Download Page


.NET Framework 2.0SP1 Download Link


RDS Server Error

It is possible that the information in the configuration files has been corrupted. To remedy the problem delete all the configuration files in "C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Intuit\RDSServer\v6", and then reboot RDS Server to reset user information and services. [Note: Backup all the files for deleting them]

QuickBooks Open Connection failed

The Reasons: Perhaps could be caused by the “DNS Server” of the RDS Client is inconsistent with the “DNS Server” of the RDS Server.

The solutions: Modify the DNS Server listed under your settings for your network connection to match. Ask your network administrator if you need help with this.