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FAQ


Check this page on a regular basis for more Frequently Asked Questions

 

Standard Error Messages

SOLUTIONS ACCOUNTING / MICROSOFT ACCESS
STANDARD ERROR MESSAGES

The following are some of the common Microsoft-Access related error messages 
that users of Solutions Accounting may encounter.

#Name?

If you see #Name? in fields that would normally show name and address (such as on the main menu of Blue Link where you'd normally see your own company name and address) or in date fields, then there is a missing or incorrect reference on your computer.

The missing reference is most likely caused by one or more missing .dll files (or, those files being registered in an incorrect location).

Most recently, customers have experienced this issue when they are missing the Crystal Reports XI Runtime files.  And the problem can be solved by simply placing the correct files in the correct location and registering the .DLL(s).

The best thing to do when you encounter #name? is to call Blue Link's support desk: (905) 660-0599 Option 2 for Support.  They will quickly work through a list of things to check, and guide you to the appropriate files to download and register to solve the problem.

INVALID USE OF NULL

This error message, if displayed during a posting routine, means that the application encountered a blank (or missing value) where it expected to find information on which the code relied.

For example, when posting an invoice, if the customer's terms are blank, this could trigger this error message. If this error occurs, please check all the information for the transaction you are trying to post, as well as the underlying customer, vendor and/or inventory item for missing information.

Other types of missing information which may trigger this error would be name of the customer, vendor or inventory item, missing information in the sales tax authority, or missing general ledger account numbers in inventory classes, for a tax authority, etc.

OBJECT REFERRED TO IN EXPRESSION NO LONGER EXISTS

This error message usually occurs prior to previewing certain reports or documents. It is not a serious error message and can safely be ignored. Simply click on the "OK" button and continue with the print preview. 

UNABLE TO _______, ______ IS LOCKED BY ANOTHER USER...

On current versions of Blue Link this type of message is a very rare occurence since on most screens only one user is allowed to edit a record at a time (while other users could view that record in a read-only mode). 

There are however some configuration screens where if more than user tried to make a change, the first user to commit their change would have their change saved, while the next user would get a write conflict message and would have to abandon their change.

If this occurs frequently, please contact the Blue Link support desk.

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Terminal Server Frequently Asked Questions


Click here for the Blue Link Terminal Server Configuration Guide

Q. What are the benefits of Microsoft Terminal Server?
Microsoft Terminal Server enables remote offices to connect to and use Solutions Accounting over low-bandwidth connections such as the Internet or a dial-up connection to a remote office. Multiple users can access the system simultaneously. End users workstations don't have to be as powerful as they would otherwise have to be to run Solutions, since the program is run on the Terminal Server, not the users local workstation.

For more information, visit the Microsoft Terminal Server web site.

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Q. How much bandwidth do I need?

Microsoft recommends approximately 25kbps of bandwidth per user. The reality is that this number varies based on the number of simultaneously connected users.

For best operation, use broadband technologies such as Cable Modems, or ADSL.

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Q. How does Terminal Server handle printer re-direction - the ability to print to any printer remotely?
How does Terminal Server handle printer re-direction - the ability to print to any printer remotely?
Visit the following site for information on printer redirection:
www.microsoft.com/windows2000/technologies.

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Q. I am the system administrator for my company, how to I install Solutions for use on my new Terminal Server?

To run Blue Link on a Terminal Server or Windows Vista System do the following:

  1. Download the latest version of the BLAppLauncher from this location: http://www.bluelinkerp.com/ftp/bluelink.
  2. Log in as an administrator and do the following:
  3. Place that file in your C:\Program Files\Blue Link folder (or in C:\Program Files (x86)\Blue Link folder if you're running a 64-bit operating system).
  4. Right-Click and Edit the Blue Link Shortcut to have the following command line:

"C:\Program Files\BlueLink\BLAppLauncher.exe" "<PathToMSAccess.exe>" "C:\BlueLink\Master\EliteSQL.mde" /runtime

(Note: replace the <PathToMSAccess.exe> with the actual path to that file (which was already part of the shortcut you're editing).

From then on, when you double-click the Blue Link icon, a fresh copy of the app will be copied to the user's temp folder (old copies will be automatically deleted) and the app will be launched from there.  This ensures that every user gets a "clean" copy of the app from the master folder, and also allows the application to be run by users on machines such as Vista or Windows Server 2008.

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Q. Recommended Backup Procedure

SQL Databases can be backed up to disk (the default configuration for most Blue Link customers) and then to tape or other external media.  A SQL Maintenance plan, or scheduled batch file will take care of the backup to disk.  It is then your responsibility to back up those files to some form of removable media. 

Below is a list of recommendations for backing up your files to external media:

  1. Purchase a removable media backup device (Tape Drive, External Hard Drive, or similar high-capacity backup device).
  2. Purchase and implement backup scheduling software such as Backup Exec.
  3. Purchase a minimum of 6 pieces of removable media (tapes, external hard disks, etc.)
  4. Label the media with the names of the day of the week (Monday, Tuesday, etc.)
  5. Label the 6th, 7th, etc. tapes Friday 2, Friday 3, etc. (every "Friday" tape you add will add an additional week's worth of backup)
  6. Configure your tape backup software to perform an automated full backup of the appropriate data files every evening.
  7. Every Monday, take the previous Friday's tape off site. Every Friday, use the next "Friday" tape in the sequence.

Following these steps provides the following benefits:

  • Easy file restoration
  • Only one tape is required for a full restore
  • Off-site storage helps protect your data in the event of a disaster

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Q. Will Blue Link Elite work with the latest version of Office?

Yes, Blue Link Elite will work with Office 2013 / 2010 / 2007 / 2003 etc however you will need an update to some key files on your machine and to the registry.  Please contact Blue Link's support desk if you encounter #name? after upgrading your version of office.

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Q. If I upgrade my workstations to WIndows 7, Vista or server to Windows Server 2008 or Server 2008 R2, will my Blue Link products work?

YES! Windows Server 2008 and Server 2008 R2 are an excellent platform upon which to run any Blue Link product. Our tests with Windows 2008 and Server 2008 R2 have been successful.

Blue Link will also work on Windows 7 and Windows Vista, however certain administrative tasks such as updating the DLLs when there is a new application release will require elevated privilege.  Contact our Support desk if you need help configuring your Windows Vista or Windows 2008 server.

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Q. My fiscal year end is coming up ... what should I do to close the year?
Blue Link Elite allows you to close your fiscal year prior to the end of the "real" fiscal year so that you can post transactions into the next fiscal year. Once you've run the year-end routine, "next year" becomes the current year, and the current year becomes last year. You can continue to post transactions to the prior year until you modify the post from date. Please note: Depending on the speed of your hardware and network you may wish to delay closing the fiscal year until the bulk of the transactions for that period have been posted, as some additional processing time is required to close transactions posted to prior fiscal years.

The Blue Link Elite user guide includes a checklist of procedures to follow to close your fiscal year. A summary of these instructions are available from Blue Link by fax. Contact us, for more information.

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Q. How much training / implementation assistance will we need?
Most businesses require a degree of implementation assistance, which includes training and consulting. The actual amount of implementation assistance will vary, depending the nature and complexity of your business, and the level of experience in administration and accounting of your employees. In our experience, most implementations take between 20 and 60 hours.

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Q. Who provides technical support?
Support may be obtained from one of our partners, or directly from Blue Link.
In either event, you have the highest level and quality of support available.

Blue Link customers may submit requests for support online.

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Q. SQL2005 - Things you MUST DO if you move from SQL 2000 to 2005

Blue Link does support running your database on SQL 2005, however it is absolutely critical that if you move your database from a SQL 2000 server to a SQL 2005 server yourself that you do three things:

  1. Create a backup of the file.
  2. Detatch the file from your old SQL Server, move it to the new SQL Server, then attach the database on the new server.  (IMPORTANT: DO NOT use SQL Data migration tools to "live migrate" the data from one server to another.  Doing this will corrupt your data.)
  3. After the data has been mounted on SQL 2005, run the following command:
    ALTER DATABASE BL_DemoData SET READ_COMMITTED_SNAPSHOT ON
    Then test that the command ran successfully by running this query:
    SELECT [name] as DatabaseName, is_read_committed_snapshot_on FROM sys.databases
    and look for a "1" beside each of your Blue Link data files.

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Q. What do I need to use Crystal Reports XI with Blue Link?

Blue Link allows you to use Crystal Reports to produce and edit most of your customer and vendor-facing documents.  You can also create your own Crystal Reports and add them directly to Blue Link's central "Reports" module so that any user can access them right from within Blue Link.

To take advantage of this functionality however you need to have a site license for the Crystal Reports runtime.  To obtain that license, you must purchase one full (or upgrade version) copy of Crystal Reports XI Developer Edition.  That version of the software includes a site license for the Crystal Runtime that you need to be able to use this feature with Blue Link (or any other 3rd party software that uses Crystal).

Once you have obtained your Crystal Developer's license, fax proof of purchase to BlueLink at (905) 660-8973, with a cover letter requesting that the Crystal Component be activated.  Our support desk will then activate the component in your data file(s).

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Q. I don't have a Server can I run Blue Link on Windows XP Only?

A Windows XP peer-to-peer network is in no way shape or form a replacement for a real server operating system such as Windows Server 2003.  If your budget is extremely limited however, it is possible to run Blue Link on such a network.  The following is a list of theoretical questions and answers that may help you decide:
 
Q: Can Blue Link run with a Windows XP machine acting as the server? 
A: Yes.  You can install the free SQL Runtime that ships with the Blue Link application.
 
Q: Is there additional configuration required beyond what the Blue Link setup routine does for me when I have a Windows XP machine acting as the server?
A: Yes.  Windows XP’s firewall rules will have to be manually modified.  You may also need to change the file sharing mode from simple to advanced, and may also have to configure or disable any 3rd party Internet browsing / firewall products that could interfere with SQL Server.
 
Q: Will any functionality within the Blue Link application (that impacts end-users) be noticed by running with a Windows XP machine acting as the server?
A: No, but the Exchange Server related features will not be available if you do not have an Exchange Server.
 
Q: Will app performance suffer by running with a Windows XP machine acting as the server?  If so how?
A: Yes performance will suffer due to issues with the way that Windows XP manages file share resources.  However to what degree performance will degrade is highly dependent on the quality of your hardware and network.
 
Q: Are there any limits imposes by running with a Windows XP machine acting as the server?
A: Yes, Windows XP has a hard-coded limit of 10 network users.  Since Blue Link needs to be able to read from at least the configuration file on the server to obtain the list of databases, the limit to the number of Blue Link users would therefore also be 10 assuming that you don’t use the Windows XP machine hosting Blue Link for ANYTHING ELSE.  If that machine shares files or folders for other users or applications you may not be able to get to the 10th user in Blue Link.
 
Q: What are the other benefits of running Blue Link on a Windows 2003 server with Active Directory?
A: There are too many benefits to list here, but those that impact Blue Link users most obviously are:
 
Performance:
o   Integrated authentication tends to out-perform SQL authentication.
o   File access will be better.
o   Printing will be better.
Security:
o   Less work to configure users with Active Directory
o   Central control over file system security / printing, etc.
Stability:
o   Server operating systems tend to be more stable
o   Server hardware tends to be much more stable
Scalability:
o   If you ever want to upgrade to a better version of SQL Server you’ll need to be running a Server operating system.
o   Put differently, you cannot install SQL Server Workgroup or Standard edition on a Windows XP machine.
Logging:
o   SQL Server can log information about the users when running with integrated security (only possible if running with a domain) which can help Blue Link technicians troubleshoot problems should they occur.
In summary, if you can afford a Windows 2003 Server you should buy one.  If this is your first server, then we HIGHLY recommend purchasing Microsoft Small Business Server Premium.  With SBS Premium not only do you get a great server, you also get Microsoft Exchange Server for e-mail, Microsoft SQL Server (the full version) for running Blue Link, ISA Server (firewall) and great management tools that make it easy to configure and manage the users and computers on your network.
Visit: http://microsoft.com/sbs for more information about Small Business Server.

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Q. In Windows 7 the Blue Link app looks like a registry icon in the task bar - why?

In Windows 7 there is a known issue that results in Microsoft Access applications losing their assigned icons and instead displaying a different icon that is not part of Microsoft Office.  Most often, users will see a Registry Editor icon instead of the Blue Link icon. 

When you click on the Blue Link application however, the window that appears does have the correct icon.

This issue has been reported to Microsoft, however unfortunately as of this writing there is nothing that can be done.  The bug is actually with Microsoft Office 2003 and 2007 running on Windows 7.  Microsoft has informed us that the bug will be fixed as of Beta 2 of Office 2010.

In the meantime, there's nothing to worry about.  The application will continue to normally. 

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Q. How do I make performance on Windows 7 or Vista same as on XP?

Scenario:  Your network does not have its own DNS server (you're not running a domain), or you are running a domain, but are letting your Internet router assign the IP address and DNS information.

Running IPConfig /all reveals that your DNS Servers are External DNS servers (i.e. they are not part of the same IP range as the computers on your local network).

When using external DNS servers with Windows 7 or Windows Vista , Blue Link applications, and all ODBC Clients in general will be VERY SLOW.  The reason is that any request going to the server, first goes out to the Internet to be resolved.  It then times out before a local broadcast is done to "find" your server.

For some reason, when a Windows XP machine does that, it seems to remember the internal IP address found, and just uses that IP for subsequent communications.  However on Vista and Windows 7 machines, EVERY request has to go through this process -- dramatically slowing down the Blue Link -- and all other ODBC applications.

This problem does not occur in domains that are properly configured using the internal Windows DNS Server with a forwarder.

This problem also goes away if you change your configuration file in Blue Link to point to the IP address of the server instead of the name of the server.

To solve the problem permanently, you need to change whatever device is assigning IP addresses to the comptuers on your network to assign your internal DNS server as the ONLY DNS server.

For example, if you're currently using your broadband router to assign internal IP addresses, it is also likely assigning external DNS servers as the DNS server for your network.

To fix the problem, disable the DHCP feature of your router, and instead install and configure DHCP on your windows server.  In the DNS Settings, make sure the only DNS IP assigned is the IP of your Windows server's DNS server.

In the DNS Server configuration, open the properties of DNS, go to the forwarders tab, then enter your external DNS IP addresses there.  When you do this, all internal request will be resolved first, and any requests for Internet domain names will be handed off to the forwarders.

The result will be an instant boost in performance -- usually 10 to 100 times faster than prior to setting DNS to using your Internal DNS.

If you need help, contact the Blue Link Support desk, or your Network Service company.

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