Do You Really Need Online Access for Your MYOB DataFile and Addons..?

Back in the old days with the Classic Version of MYOB, you only had the option of hosting your MYOB file on your own local computers. Making a connection to the MYOB data file was super easy with the ODBC Driver and making your own custom reports in Excel wasn’t too difficult to do.

Times are changing though with the current version of MYOB. When it was first released about 8 years ago the MYOB software was still installed on your local computer, but you had the choice of looking after the data file yourself on your own local computer or hosting the file with MYOB on servers in Singapore. With internet speeds in Australia back then and the very slow speeds between Australia and the Servers in Singapore it was not an ideal situation and the performance of files hosted online was not the most pleasant experience for many MYOB users.

In the last few years, suitable servers became available in Australia and thankfully the hosting of online files was moved from Singapore to Australia – But there are still issues with both internet speeds in Australia and the type of the database used in the backend to run MYOB.

We all know about the quality of Internet in Australia, so I won’t mention anymore about this… But I will talk a little about the database being used to run MYOB and why you may be better off hosting your MYOB file on your own local computer.

For those of us who where around in the days where your mobile phone could only make phone calls, send sms messages and play snake if you wanted to keep a digital version of your customers, contacts and phone numbers you would also carry around a palm pilot and it was on these type of devices that Microsoft in 2000 created a small easy to use and free database called SQL Server Mobile Edition (Now Called SQLCE).

For the purpose it was designed it was an awesome database, with most of the power of SQL database structures – Was extremely easy to maintain and super reliable.

Now take a quick guess about which database MYOB are using to run their premium software… If you guessed SQLCE, your absolutely right – A database that has not seen an upgrade from Microsoft since 2011, was depreciated in 2013 and as of July in 2021 will no longer be supported by Microsoft.

Now does this mean you should be jumping ship, absolutely not – All software has its faults and despite the database selection for MYOB – The main competitor to MYOB is limited in functionalty and requires spending some serious $$$$’s every month to bring it up to the same set of features and functionality as MYOB.

So the question to ask is ‘Do you really need to host your MYOB data file online’? – Yes, its convenient for your Accountant to be able to login at will, however sending your Accountant a manual backup via Dropbox is equally effective.

If you are the only person in your business using MYOB and your computer has a SSD drive you might want to consider just hosting the MYOB file on your local computer – You will notice a massive speed increase in entering transactions, especially if you need to enter Purchases or Sales with many lines of data (MYOB has a habit of timing out and losing your work when hosted online and entering Purchases or Sales with many lines of data).

If your business has a good quality server, it may be worth installing the server/network version of MYOB and hosting the datafile on your own server – It won’t be as fast as having the file on the same computer as the MYOB software, however in most cases you should still see a massive improvement in speed and reliability.

But what if you have become dependant on MYOB online only services such as Bank Feeds and SuperStream… You will need to take that into consideration before making this decision. I have some customers who just manually import their bank feeds and then restore the file online when its time to pay their super before taking it back offline again. It may seem like a hassle to do, however the amount of time it saves them on a day to day basis makes the process well worth the small effort.

The other thing to consider is if you are using any 3rd party add-ons. There are some absolutely brilliant add-ons that have been written for MYOB and each of them fall into different brackets in how they connect to MYOB…

Remember at the start of this blog, I mentioned the older Classic MYOB used an ODBC driver to retrieve the data for you. MYOB did at first release an ODBC driver for the newer MYOB AccountRight close to when it first came out, however it didn’t last long before it dissappeared. Now the only way to integrate with MYOB is via an API. I won’t go into depth in how it works, however you need a good solid background in JSON and a Programming Language – And it’s very slow, especially when extracting data from a datafile that is hosted online.

There are 3rd party products that are online only… The 3rd party product is online and it can only connect to online datafiles.

There are 3rd party products that can connect to both online and offline MYOB datafiles.

And there are 3rd party products that can connect to offline MYOB datafiles only.

So again, if you are using a 3rd party product you need to decide if keeping your MYOB datafile online is the best option for you instead of hosting your file locally.

Now I bet your wondering how AccountingPower connects to MYOB with our 3rd party reporting products? I made the decision a few years ago to only create our reporting add-ons that connect to files on a local computer – Plus, I do not use the API supplied by MYOB – Instead I created our own custom connector that is super fast. Now when I say fast, I really mean super fast. A simple Profit and Loss Report using the API in offline mode can take 5 to 10 minutes to extract the data required (Double that for Online Files – I’ve seen cases where it took 4 hours to do a complete MYOB extraction from an online data file). The same Profit and Loss Report using our own ‘Power Reports’ connector takes just seconds to extract the data.

This means if you are hosting your MYOB datafile online, you will need to make a backup of your file to your local computer first before using our Reporting Software… But its still quicker than attempting to extract data from an online file with the API.

Hopefully this blog post gives you some history on MYOB and how the newer version has developed over the years and why for some people it can run at below par performance, but hopefully also give you some tips on how to improve its performance by tweaking on how you host your MYOB datafile.

If you would like to have a chat – Visit the Contact Us Page – And I’ll personally give you a call.

Matthew Jones – Reporting Expert for MYOB
Excel, PowerBI and Tableau

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