Enhancement request: Multiple Q files open at once (7 Merged Votes)

Donna5020
Donna5020 Member ✭✭✭
I would like to be able to have multiple Quicken data files open at once. Like the way I have multiple websites open in my browser, with tabs to switch back and forth. For me, this is because I use Q for our personal accounts, as well as for the small non-profit that I'm the treasurer of. Seems like a simple concept. Is there some kind of limitation in the Q architecture to make this difficult?
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  • Unknown
    Unknown Member
    edited October 2018
    Being able to run multiple instances of Quicken at the same time would be a great help.  For example, having a data file open for the kids as well as having our (parents) data file open at the same time. 
  • splasher
    splasher SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2018
    I know you entered this as an idea, but if you setup a virtual machine, you can do just what you are asking by running one instance of Quicken in the host OS and a second in the VM and you can have them side-by-side right now without waiting for Quicken to do anything. 

    I do it in testing all the time to see if the numbers are the same after a download.
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  • Unknown
    Unknown Member
    edited November 2019


    Yeah, I know, but it should be easier.  Think of how much a pain it would be if you could only open 1 excel file at a time without spinning up a vm.
  • Unknown
    Unknown Member
    edited November 2019


    Not to mention the fact that you have to pay for a license for each of those VMs. :-(
  • splasher
    splasher SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2019


    I was not saying it was a bad idea, I was just suggesting an alternative that can happen now without waiting for Quicken to make the change which is not, IMO, going to be easy or done quickly.
    -splasher  using Q since 1996 -  Subscription  -  Win10
    -also older versions as needed for testing
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  • splasher
    splasher SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2018
    I can see a lot of down sides to this idea.  Being in the wrong tab when you make a change means that the wrong records are changed/corrupted.  Remember, Quicken has NO change log to chase down problems caused by such an instance.

    While you might think that your example is a good one, I can't imagine why you would want to be looking at both your personal records and the non-profit's records at the same time.  I can't imagine anything that you would cut/paste between the two sets of records.  I wouldn't think that there would be any common data between them.
    Seems like a simple concept.
    Everybody always thinks that, but without knowing the structure of the program.

    But if Quicken wants to implement this, have at it.
    -splasher  using Q since 1996 -  Subscription  -  Win10
    -also older versions as needed for testing
    -Questions? Check out the  Quicken Windows FAQ list
  • Donna5020
    Donna5020 Member ✭✭✭
    edited October 2018
    I want it so that I don't have to enter passwords to go back and forth between files. So that I don't have to lose open reports when I switch files. Personally, I like to multitask. I may work on the non-profit for an hour then be waiting on info from someone. So I'll switch to my own file to get something done. Other examples of multiple files open at the same time: Word, Excel,... Perhaps Q is restricted by its legacy architecture, but there always comes a time when a product needs a restructuring in order to make substantive enhancements, instead of nits and lice that no one cares about. The old 80/20 rule.  
  • splasher
    splasher SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2019



    One alternative is to run Virtual Machine software and run Quicken in a Windows OS VM window.  Doing so, would actually allow you to have two separate instances of Quicken running independent of each other.
    -splasher  using Q since 1996 -  Subscription  -  Win10
    -also older versions as needed for testing
    -Questions? Check out the  Quicken Windows FAQ list
  • Hello All,

    This Idea seems to have fallen stagnant and due to the age of the request and lack of User Votes/Comments, it will be archived within the next 7 business days.

    If you would like to see this Idea kept alive and considered for possible future implementation in Quicken, be sure to add your vote and a comment explaining how this Idea would be beneficial for you.

    More information, including steps to vote and how to submit your own Ideas for future product features/improvements, is also available here.

    Thank you,

    Quicken Community Support Team

     
  • UKR
    UKR SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    I can see where sometimes it would be nice to be able to have two or more QDF files open within the same session, for example, to look up some historic transaction from an archive file from several years ago and then switch back to the current file and input a new transaction just like the old one.
    But I can also see where there would be the devil in the detail. How does one, under Windows or Mac, rewrite Quicken to be able to run two or more completely isolated from each other program and file environments so that work in File A cannot ever leak into File B?
    Have the programmers ever discussed the feasibility of such an undertaking?

    OK, so it's more like a cherry on top, but I would sure like to hear and see if it were possible to run Quicken with 2 or more open files.
  • smayer97
    smayer97 SuperUser, Mac Beta, Canada Beta ✭✭✭✭✭
    Since UKR brought it up, even though this is a QWin thread, on Mac it once was possible to run 2 instances of Quicken at the same time, up until the subscription versions. And the only reason it is no longer possible is simply because the preference and settings files are no longer differentiated by year in the name...BUT technically, it would not be difficult to re-implement.

    I say this because, I do not think that it would be easy for ANY version of Quicken run 2 or more files at the same time simply because of the nature of the number of possible windows that can be opened just for one file...the better and simplest solution is the ability to run 2 or more instances of QWin...but I am not sure how dependent on Windows resources Quicken is at this point to make that possible.

    Bottom line is, there are situations where being able to open up 2 or more files is needed and currently, there is no easy way. So some solution is still needed.

    Anyway, just some thoughts on the matter.
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  • I track personal & business finance. I've done it for years as a sole proprietorship, but the company recently incorporated (so I need to track it separately). I'd like to have both Quicken files open at the same time because some transactions involve both personal and business finances.
  • jdm212
    jdm212 Member
    Allowing two (or more) instances (with two different files) to be opened at the same time would allow easy comparisons or transfer (i.e. cut/paste) of specific information from one file to another. Currently have to write down or print out data that needs to be entered in another file.
  • Jim_Harman
    Jim_Harman SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    This would certainly be nice, but I can imagine a whole host of issues with moving transactions from one file to another. For example:

    -- What if the Category does not exist in the other file? Do you create a new one, mark the transaction Uncategorized, or what?

    -- What if the transaction is a transfer to or from another account but the account does not exist in the other file?

    It is more complicated than it might seem.

    QWin Premier subscription
  • Frankx
    Frankx SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Seems to me that this idea is rife with problems. 

    Quicken and pretty much any other financial recordkeeping application, after all is said and done, is a database.  By its very nature it is meant to be THE source not a source.

    Just my view...

    Frankx

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  • Sherlock
    Sherlock SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    A work around is to use another machine (virtual or otherwise).
  • rich
    rich Member ✭✭✭
    edited September 3
    at a minimum, allow the "primary" file to be opened with edit possibility, and the "secondary" file to be opened READ ONLY.  It is a HUGE PAIN to have only 1 file open, make screen shots or notes and go back and forth.  Just like I can have 2 Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Notepad, Paint, etc files open at the same time.
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    Frankx said:
    Seems to me that this idea is rife with problems. 

    Quicken and pretty much any other financial recordkeeping application, after all is said and done, is a database.  By its very nature it is meant to be THE source not a source.

    Just my view...

    Frankx
    Actually this isn't where the problems would be.

    The actual Quicken data file is quite independent, there isn't any real reason why different data files can't be open.

    But there are two main sources of problems, one that has been around since the start of Quicken and the another possible one has come about since Quicken started "syncing with servers".

    Note, that I don't see anyone suggesting that they can copy and paste between the two or such.  Only they need to view/work on two different ones at the same time.  Transferring data between them would be another source of problems.

    The first problem is just how Quicken stores configuration and such information.  People don't realize it but some preferences are stored in the data file, some in files in C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\Quicken and some in C:\ProgramData\Quicken.

    Mainly it would be the files that Quicken updates in C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\Quicken that would be causing problems.  There might also be some similar entries in the Windows Registry.  These files were never setup for multiple instances running at the same time.  The reworking of this might be pretty complicated.

    The second problem is that now the data files are being connected to services on different servers.  This can cause problems, especially if one has two copies of the same data file open (as in a backup copy) since they would both have the same unique Id and therefore be confused when talking to the servers.

    A read-only mode might medicate the problem, but I seriously doubt that the Quicken Windows developers could pull of such a mode without messing up other things.  Quicken seems to contact different servers a lot in and as such it might not be easy to isolate and block such communications.
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  • UKR
    UKR SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    In other words, trying to start working on this would be a huge process, requiring lots of manpower and time and opening a huge
    I'd rather see time and money spent on redesigning Quicken from scratch, based on latest Windows programming tools including a new database file structure, replacing the old, obsolete and limited Zip file system currently in use.
  • smayer97
    smayer97 SuperUser, Mac Beta, Canada Beta ✭✭✭✭✭
    I know this is a Windows thread and I know the problems are in part related to the way that QWin depends on MS Windows components but I just want to point out that on Mac this is a trivial issue, as it not only used to be possible, it still is possible to run a beta version and a production version at the same time, even though it is a moot point here. But it only requires the will of Quicken developers to re-implement this for QMac.
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  • rich
    rich Member ✭✭✭
    I didn't say in my 3 Sep post that I wanted this capability today or that I think it can be implemented by next week, or any other specific time frame.  I merely stated what my desired capability is; and since (as I stated) many other Windows programs can have multiple files opened at the same time (to include Microsoft  Access which is a database), I don't think it's unfair or unrealistic for me to want Quicken to have the same capability.  If, as UKR above suggests, that "fixing" (or "changing" or "updating" or whatever other word you want to use) the current Quicken will be too hard \ timely \ expensive (or whatever other word you want to use), then I definitely agree that "I'd rather see time and money spent on redesigning Quicken from scratch, based on latest Windows programming tools including a new database file structure, replacing the old, obsolete and limited Zip file system currently in use."  Please make Quicken once again a "standard" Windows app that follows *all of the standard rules* (windows title bar, resizing options, multiple file usage, etc).

  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    The problem with @UKR's suggestion (which is in fact already submitted as another Idea people can vote on) whereas changing Quicken to allow multiple instances of Quicken running at the same time is "very difficult and error prone", starting from scratch is impossible.

    Quicken Mac restarted from scratch in 2006, and someday they might even get up to parity with what they had in 2006!

    What's more for something like 10 years of that time Intuit was getting little to no revenue from Quicken Mac because no one would pay for it.  It lacked too many features.

    If Quicken Inc started this they would have to do this in parallel for many years with zero extra revenue, and still have to maintain the existing Quicken Windows development.  And if they made the mistake like Intuit did and introduced it too soon they would end up with so low of revenue they would probably go out of business.
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  • ERed
    ERed Member ✭✭
    With all of the recent problems with Quicken overwriting / losing categories on transactions, Chase connection problems, Cloud problems, this additional functionality of allowing multiple Quicken windows open on the same computer would be very useful for fixing the errors introduced by Quicken. Imagine being able to do true side by side comparisons of the same reports or the same accounts. Then being able to move around the data to get a true comparison.

    I want to 'up-vote' on this suggested functionality.