R3 is coming, R3 is coming
BREAKING NEWS: Intuit has withdrawn the R3 maintenance release update for QuickBooks Point of Sale 12.0. There were two problems identified with this update, and they pulled it down that users were not negatively impacted. Intuit is indicating that a future patch (we must assume R4) will be released that will include the R3 fixes and the solution to the R3 problems. We will attempt to keep our readers advised as soon as we have any updates.
QuickBooks Point-of-Sale 12.0 - R3 is available for web download and contains quite a few fixes, especially related to the <Ctrl-Tab> functionality to move between open windows.
Editor's Note: Just as we were publishing this, we became aware that Intuit maybe delaying the 'push-out' of this new release due to a potential software bug. While the release is still available for manual download, it may not go out (this week) as would normally be the case, while Intuit Engineers attempt to resolve the problem(s).
(The complete set of release is included here.)
The biggest change is an upgrade of the database engine to a newer version. This is done primarily to ensure the database engine that QuickBooks Point of Sale Desktop uses is a supported version because support for the old database engine was about to be discontinued. And just as when Microsoft stopped supporting Windows XP on April 8, 2014 and therefore XP machines are no longer supported, the database engine will stop being supported, therefore Intuit needs to make this change. (Hopefully, You have made sure all of your client’s moved off of XP, right????)
What QB-POS ProAdvisors need to do (or coordinate with their clients).
The patch is currently available for web download and is scheduled to be pushed out via the normal update process to the community at large shortly. (See the Editor's Note Above) You need to aware that it will take some time to upgrade the database. As the knowledgebase article states: "The company file will be upgraded to a more reliable and faster Database, this process can take some extra time when you open the file for the first time in after installing R3."
So once the R3 patch is downloaded, it will upgrade the database. It does let you know the progress of the update but “a while” may be a bit vague. I tested the update on several files. The smallest file took a few minutes, but a 450 MB file took 25 minutes for start to finish. And this was on a machine with an I7 processor and 16 GIG of RAM. While the program warns not to stop the process during the update, what you need to understand is that while there is a backup done into the default location before this process and although during Intuit’s extensive testing they didn’t run across any problems, it doesn’t mean that there will not be problems.
Our recommendation is that you control the process for your clients. Inform them about the upgrade, maybe even help them download and install it from the web and most importantly advise them to make a backup immediately before downloading and installing R3. Stuff CAN and DOES happen, there could be a power outage, the hard drive crashes, WHO KNOWS!!! Better safe than sorry I say. The problem is that if something does happen and the process is stopped, the database is unrecoverable and the only option is to restore a backup and while there is a backup available, I always feel better when I have a backup on my trusty thumb drive. Upgrade the server first and then immediately upgrade the client machines, if any. In a multi-store installation, you must ensure all of the store are updated, starting with the server workstations and then the clients.
Again, I believe that this upgrade will cause very few if any problems, however in the words of our beloved Ronald Reagan, "Trust but Verify" or in this case the more backups, the better.
Another recommendation is that, while the update is very good at telling you where you are at in the process, bring up Task Manager in windows and watch the CPU usage for the POS program. To start task manager, right click on the time/date in the system tray and choose Start Task Manager. As long as you see CPU usage by qbpos.exe and QBPOSShell.exe leave well enough alone and wait for a long time before ending either program. Again, I will say it again, Intuit and a select group of users have tested the update with NO PROBLEMS, but unless there is a good backup to restore from if the unthinkable happens, I don’t feel safe downloading and installing R3 and since it will be pushed very soon, I wanted you to be among the first to know so that you can communicate and prepare.