Intuit - QuickBooks 2014
File Locking Errors
Despite the fact that the R5 release for QuickBooks 2014 (and Enterprise-14) was to have resolved a number of specific issues associated with ‘file locking’, QuickBooks users are still reporting that they are experiencing issues such as the message displayed in Figure 1 above.
When a database is in use, the ability to read and write to the database is controlled in part by independent “locks” of components of the database. Many database technologies apply locks at the database, page, table, or record value level. Write locks allow the user to read and to modify the database. Write locks almost always imply exclusive control of the database so that other users will not be allowed to have either active read or write locks as long as another write lock is operational. This methodology reserves the use of the data for access by one user at any one time to prevent the resulting anomalous database behavior when, for example, one user attempts to read or modify data in a record which is in the process of being modified by another user.
For years engineers at QuickBooks have chosen to apply locks at the ‘database level’ rather than at the page, table, record level. This effectively means that another user, even in multi-user mode, cannot create or make an edit at the exact same moment that a different user is creating or making an edit of an entirely different record. Intuit has used various methods (or triggers) for releasing these ‘database locks’ and has from time to time made programming changes to the application in an attempt to improve multi-user performance by reducing the amount of time involved with locking the database prior to removing the lock.
Over the course of time various programmatic errors relative to the locking and release of locks on the database, have crept into QuickBooks affecting user performance. In recent years more and more users have reported seeing messages like the one in Figure 1. Worse yet, in some instances these messages may result in users being unable to perform any further work, as apparently the database lock is never released in those cases until QuickBooks is completely closed by the offending user’s application, and in other cases, all users.
With a growing awareness of the frequency and severity of these problems, engineers at Intuit made several programmatic changes in Release 5 for the 2014 QuickBooks product line in an attempt to eliminate these ‘locking errors’. Despite the fact that R5 was anticipated to resolve the vast majority of these problems, users are continuing to report problems such as: Company File in Use - Another QuickBooks user (Unknown user) is currently performing a tack which must be finished before you can continue. QuickBooks will continue automatically when the other user’s task has completed.
Sorry, but there is no ‘magic answer’ for these file locking issues. When you receive one of these messages, press OK. In many instances you may be able to continue working; however, in other instances the massage may prevent you from working, in those cases have everyone log out of QuickBooks, and then log back in to see if you can continue working as before without the message. Hopefully, these remaining ‘file locking’ issues will get resolved in a future release.