Using MoneyWorks Datacentre over the public internet

This article describes how to set up a MoneyWorks Datacentre server to make it available to clients connecting over the internet.

Requirements

MoneyWorks Datacentre v7.1 or later is strongly recommended. This version greatly reduces the negative impact of high latency connections compared to previous versions.

Most companies connect to the public Interent using an ADSL/VDSL, Fibre or Cable router. You will need a static IP address for your connection. Talk to your ISP about this. They should be able to tell you what your IP number is. A domain name for the IP is not required, but is useful.

Depending on their ISP, remote clients who want to connect may also need static IPs. Some ADSL providers rotate dynamic IPs frequently (e.g. every 30 minutes). This has the effect of hanging any open connections such as SSH sessions, or connection-oriented database sessions.

Setup

If your Internet router performs Network Address Translation (most do), you will need to configure it to allow the following ports to be forwarded to the server running MoneyWorks Datacentre:

Port       Purpose
6699       The MoneyWorks Datacentre service port
6700       The MoneyWorks Datacentre software update http service
6674..6698 Data Ports. One port for each data file that is active
6710       REST API port

The Datacentre ports can also be configured in the Datacentre Console. The data ports can be set individually in the Sharing preferences for each document, or you can specify a starting port in the Console. By default every document will try to share on port 6674, but if that port is already in use (usually for a document that is already being shared), then subsequent ports will be tried. For simplicity, it is best to forward the entire range 6674-6710 to the server.

Likewise if your server has a firewall, you will need to allow these ports, or the Datacentre executables, as appropriate.

Performance

The performance you will get is almost entirely dependent on the latency of your connection, rather than the bitrate (although an upstream bitrate from the server of at least 10Mb/s is recommended). Fibre connections generally seem to have lower latency than copper.

A latency of 30ms or less between client and server is recommended for acceptable day-to-day performance.

If you wish to run custom reports, be sure to turn on the Run on Server option in the Report Prefs of the report (on the client). This option is set for all standard reports supplied with MoneyWorks (as of v7), but will likely not be turned on for custom reports that were written prior to v7.1.4.

For best list view performance (especially with calculated columns), use v7.1.6 or later.

If performance is inadequate due to very high latency, you might need to consider a solution like Citrix, Terminal Services, Remote Desktop etc. These allow you to run your MoneyWorks client session on the same site as the server, and just transmit the user interface to you over the internet. Since the user interace info can be transmitted in big chunks instead of many small database requests, the effects of high latency will not be so evident.

Alternatively, if your client requirements are simple (e.g reporting only), you may want to use the supplied web apps instead of the full MoneyWorks Gold client.

Security

As of version 7.1, you can supply an SSL certificate and key to enable secure connections to the Datacentre. This is strongly recommended for any server that is open to the Internet.

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