Samba: Working Around QuickBooks 2006 Incompatability
PLEASE NOTE: This HowTo does not address multi-user mode. If multi-user mode is essential to you, I'm sorry I wasted this much of your time, but please don't let me take up any more.
This HowTo addresses the incompatability that QuickBooks 2006 has with Samba-based file-sharing (the Linux de-facto standard for domain control and file sharing).
Summary: Create a new user, group and share. Access the QuickBooks files via the new user by logging onto the share with its credentials.
Symptoms: After upgrading to QuickBooks Premier 2006, User A opens the QuickBooks file for Company XYZ, and gets access. User B tries to open the QuickBooks file for Company XYZ and finds that the program seems to stall for 15 to 30 seconds, then receives a non-helpful error message that may eventually lead to a web page where Intuit states they don't support Samba file sharing. If User B opens the file first, the situation is reversed.
Research (Net): I'm fairly good at researching problems on the internet, but I couldn't find one post that made it sound like it was even possible to get this type of setup working. (Thus I'm writing my first HowTo - be gentle folks, I'm just trying to give back.)
Research (Server): Checked QuickBooks data files and found that they were owned by the linux/samba user who first opened the file (this gave me my first glimmer of hope).
False Starts: Tried to use Run As to run the .exe as the quickbooks user: didn't have access to network drives after program start and generally played havoc with my domain log-on.
Possible Alternative: Use a native Linux mechanism to change ownership of files when they are needed (ie. bash script)
Determination: QuickBooks uses a file-locking mechanism that is not compatable with Samba because it involves changing file ownership. Shame on you, Intuit.
Providing multi-user access does not seem possible at this time, since it depends on the server to cooperate.
Disclaimer: This worked for me, but it could erase all your data and expose your deepest, darkest secrets to your mother-in-law. I'm just trying to help.
Thanks to: The Mandriva folks and Altoid, who got me started in Linux; the Samba folks for a very solid product; the Webmin folks for making my life easy; all the contributors who make using Linux a possibility; the folks at Winders for keeping me in business :)