Express Web Connect is BROKEN!

Drinkingbird
Drinkingbird Member ✭✭✭
For the last few months, anytime I restore a backup file or validate my file, all EWC and EWC+ accounts stop updating.  It says it is successful, but it goes way too quick, the Paypal 2FA prompt doesn't come up, and no transactions are downloaded even though there are ones there.  I've tried the steps in the help article to deactivate all accounts, validate, exit, go back in, and re-activate but it only helps some accounts.

What I have found is that if I sign out of my quicken ID, exit, then sign back in, 3 out of 4 of the accounts start working again.  But the fourth (Optumhealth Bank - HSA) now starts throwing a CC-800 error and gets the orange circle, even though it seems to be downloading transactions.  The only way to get rid of that error is deactivate online services for that account, validate, sign out of quicken ID, close quicken, open quicken, sign in to Quicken ID, then reactivate the account.  And sometimes when doing that, the other 3 accounts now stop working again because the validate broke them, so then you have to deactivate them all and start over again.

It should not take 30 minutes of frustration to restore a backup file or validate a file.  I suspect it may just be related to Optum as that seems to be the account that consistently has the issue after signing out/in so maybe that is where support needs to focus but whatever was done a few months ago (around the time Schwab was moved to EWC+) needs to be fixed.

All these bugs are getting very frustrating for software I pay a subscription for.  Ever since upgrading 2 years ago to the subscription version, even when maximized it does not take up the full window, you can click around the edges and it switches to (or closes) the program behind it.  And now recently under scheduled bills, sometimes you have to click to the left of the bill or buttons to actually do anything, it is like out of alignment or something.
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Comments

  • Sherlock
    Sherlock SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Intuit continues to have difficulty maintaining the Express Web Connect connection method for Quicken.  If you are not willing to accept the unreliability of this connection method, I suggest you use the Direct Connect or the Web Connect connection method if available instead.  If you haven't already, you may want to review: https://www.quicken.com/support/how-quicken-connects-your-bank
  • Drinkingbird
    Drinkingbird Member ✭✭✭
    Yes I've seen your reply on other threads.  These accounts do not support anything other than EWC.  I'd LOVE to use direct connect, I don't want stuff going through the quicken server and direct has always been faster and less prone to errors, but they are removing this support (such as with Schwab lately).  It appears everything will be going EWC or EWC+ at some point so they need to figure out how to maintain it and make it reliable.  And whatever was done recently that is causing it to break should be something they can find and fix.  Prior to a few months ago, EWC would error out sometimes but would resolve within a day or two usually.
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    @Drinkingbird If you looked oldest post in this forum, and then the oldest in the forum that came before that, and the forum that came before that, one thing that would be consistent throughout all of them is the reports of problems with Express Web Connect.

    It is a system that was create out of desperation, not of good design.

    The OFX/Direct Connect standard was only adopted by about 4,000 financial institutions, out of more than 35,000 in the US alone.  And that number has dropped to about 2,000 over the years.

    The bottom line is that the financial institutions in the US and Canadian (and many other places other than the EU) have never adopted any standard on how to allow personal finance programs download transactions.

    That is lead to "aggregation", which Express Web Connect is one form of.  Aggregators try to get "agreements" with the financial institutions on how to log in and retrieve the transactions.  And that varies wildly, some better methods, some worse.  And it has been worse the last 10 years because of all the attacks on financial institutions they have beefed up their requirements on what a user has to do to log in.  And since these aggregators are mostly treated like "users logging in", they have to go through the same processes, and they don't always have a human to interact and provide the "right answers".

    That is a very long-winded way to say, don't expect this system to get "fixed" any time soon.
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  • Sherlock
    Sherlock SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Yes I've seen your reply on other threads.  These accounts do not support anything other than EWC.  I'd LOVE to use direct connect, I don't want stuff going through the quicken server and direct has always been faster and less prone to errors, but they are removing this support (such as with Schwab lately).  It appears everything will be going EWC or EWC+ at some point so they need to figure out how to maintain it and make it reliable.  And whatever was done recently that is causing it to break should be something they can find and fix.  Prior to a few months ago, EWC would error out sometimes but would resolve within a day or two usually.
    If a financial institution only supports the Express Web Connect connection method and you're not willing to accept the unreliability of this connection method, I suggest you maintain the accounts offline or move the accounts to a financial institution that supports the Direct Connect and/or the Web Connect connection methods.
  • Drinkingbird
    Drinkingbird Member ✭✭✭
    Chris_QPW said:

    That is a very long-winded way to say, don't expect this system to get "fixed" any time soon.

    I agree that EWC isn't great BUT this is nothing to do with the financial institutions or even the Quicken aggregators.  This is a bug recently introduced into the Quicken software where it breaks connectivity to the aggregator when you validate or restore a file.  If I can't expect this to get fixed anytime soon, why am I paying a yearly fee?  It was working fine, now it isn't.

    Financial institutions DID have a standard way of connecting.  It's called OFX.  MS Money used to use it.  Several online aggregators still do.  Quicken does not support it because they wanted to CHARGE banks a licensing fee for QFX.  This is why industry adoption was never very strong and has dwindled.  So blaming the FIs is not accurate.
  • Drinkingbird
    Drinkingbird Member ✭✭✭
    edited February 17
    Sherlock said:

    If a financial institution only supports the Express Web Connect connection method and you're not willing to accept the unreliability of this connection method, I suggest you maintain the accounts offline or move the accounts to a financial institution that supports the Direct Connect and/or the Web Connect connection methods.
    [Removed - Disruptive/Speculation] 
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    @Drinkingbird Sorry I misunderstood the problem.  Certainly if Validate or restoring a file is causing a problem, they certainly should fix that problem.


    Financial institutions DID have a standard way of connecting.  It's called OFX.  MS Money used to use it.  Several online aggregators still do.  Quicken does not support it because they wanted to CHARGE banks a licensing fee for QFX.  This is why industry adoption was never very strong and has dwindled.  So blaming the FIs is not accurate.
    QFX/Direct Connect is in fact the OFX standard with just a few extra fields.  And yes, they used it do charge the financial institutions (note this is Intuit, not Quicken Inc, Quicken Inc pays Intuit, and they probably still charge for Direct Connect, but note that is also for the support that they provide when things go wrong, or to get the financial institution setup/tested to make sure they have it working).

    But there are a couple of things to note.
    1. The financial institutions that supported straight OFX/MS Money weren't "much" larger than the ones that supported QFX/Quicken.  There was still a HUGE gap between the number that supported either and the number of financial institutions in the US.
    2. Microsoft dropped out of the market because they found it not profitable.  So, even though one might not like Intuit's practices on this, it probably is one reason that Quicken is here and MS Money isn't.
    3. I do blame the financial institutions for not creating/using a standard, or maybe even the fault of our "freedom from government regulations".  If the same was true of doing a transfer you wouldn't be able to do ACH and Wire transfers reliably.  The EU long ago forced their financial institutions to support one or both of two standardized methods for this.  And one of them is in fact OFX.  If this had been a standard, that would have eliminated one of the biggest roadblocks for competitors entering the market.  Not to mention right now the financial institutions want to "shared data" so that their sites can have consolidate views for their customers.  And they all have the same problem with the aggregation not being reliable.
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  • NotACPA
    NotACPA SuperUser ✭✭✭✭
    QFX, which Q uses,is a variant of OFX ... but that has to do with the download protocol/format.
    NEITHER has anything to do with how Q gets the data.  EWC uses "screen scraping" to create the QFX data file.
    Per the contract between Q/Intuit and the FI, the FI is expected to notify Intuit of any changes IN ADVANCE that would impact the "screen scraping":.  Many don't.  And it's their common customers that suffer.
    Q user since DOS version 5
    Now running Quicken Windows Subscription, Home & Business
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  • Fenzitter
    Fenzitter Member
    I'm a relative newbie and am encountering the same, frustrating lack of reliability of the Express Connect function. Dumb question: is it worth waiting an inordinate amount of time (my time to wait keeps going up, not down) waiting for support via chat?
  • Sherlock
    Sherlock SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 17
    Fenzitter said:
    I'm a relative newbie and am encountering the same, frustrating lack of reliability of the Express Connect function. Dumb question: is it worth waiting an inordinate amount of time (my time to wait keeps going up, not down) waiting for support via chat?
    Generally, you'll find there isn't anything Quicken Support will be able to do to resolve an Express Web Connect issue.  If the issue hasn't already been escalated to Intuit's Express Web Connect team, it's important some of the impacted users push the issue through to get it properly queued.   If the issue is already posted at https://community.quicken.com/categories/alerts, it has already been queued so there is no need to contact Quicken Support.   Otherwise, I suggest you first follow the guidance on the Quicken Support pages for the error and, then, any recent work arounds posted in the community on the issue for the financial institution.

    Note:  The Express Web Connect connection method is inherently unreliable.  If you choose to use this connection method, don't be surprised when it doesn't work properly for weeks or months at a time.  There are just too many financial institutions being supported by too few Intuit employees to correct all the issues caused by the changes introduced at financial institutions.
  • Drinkingbird
    Drinkingbird Member ✭✭✭
    NotACPA said:
    QFX, which Q uses,is a variant of OFX ... but that has to do with the download protocol/format.
    NEITHER has anything to do with how Q gets the data.  EWC uses "screen scraping" to create the QFX data file.
    Per the contract between Q/Intuit and the FI, the FI is expected to notify Intuit of any changes IN ADVANCE that would impact the "screen scraping":.  Many don't.  And it's their common customers that suffer.
    Yes, I was just referring to direct connect and the lack of support (and dwindling support).  Not sure I'd call EWC "screen scraping", would fall more under web scraping or data scraping.  Essentially just using your credentials to log into a website or access an API and parse/convert the data into their format.  That is why it is so unreliable and buggy.  But apparently Quicken is moving more and more towards it.
  • NotACPA
    NotACPA SuperUser ✭✭✭✭
    "But apparently Quicken is moving more and more towards it. "
    INCORRECT.
    The FIs are moving towards it, because its cheaper for them.  Each FI decides independently,  how it wants to connect to Q/Intuit.  Q/Intuit can't force them to choose, or keep, any download method.
    And "screen scraping" is the customary description of how an EWC connection gets it's data from the website.  That's why changes to the website cause the unreliability of EWC.

    Q user since DOS version 5
    Now running Quicken Windows Subscription, Home & Business
    Retired "Certified Information Systems Auditor" & Bank Audit VP
  • Drinkingbird
    Drinkingbird Member ✭✭✭
    edited February 18
    Sherlock said:

    If a financial institution only supports the Express Web Connect connection method and you're not willing to accept the unreliability of this connection method, I suggest you maintain the accounts offline or move the accounts to a financial institution that supports the Direct Connect and/or the Web Connect connection methods.
    [Removed - Disruptive/Speculation] 
    [Removed - Violation of Community Guidelines]
  • NotACPA
    NotACPA SuperUser ✭✭✭✭
    Quicken CAN'T fix this ... until the FIs adhere to their contract and provide Intuit with ADVANCE NOTICE of website changes so that the scripts that do the screen scraping can be updated to accommodate.

    Q user since DOS version 5
    Now running Quicken Windows Subscription, Home & Business
    Retired "Certified Information Systems Auditor" & Bank Audit VP
  • Drinkingbird
    Drinkingbird Member ✭✭✭
    NotACPA said:
    "But apparently Quicken is moving more and more towards it. "
    INCORRECT.
    The FIs are moving towards it, because its cheaper for them.  Each FI decides independently,  how it wants to connect to Q/Intuit.  Q/Intuit can't force them to choose, or keep, any download method.
    And "screen scraping" is the customary description of how an EWC connection gets it's data from the website.  That's why changes to the website cause the unreliability of EWC.


    Well maybe if Quicken didn't charge them for supporting QFX protocol they wouldn't drop it, thus forcing Quicken to use EWC in order to keep their product attractive to customers....  But that's beside the point and just griping at this point.  This error is completely within the Quicken software on my computer, not on an aggregator or FI site etc.

    I was just saying that screen scraping isn't quite accurate but close enough if you want to use it.
  • mshiggins
    mshiggins SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Having a repeatable problem where EWC / EWC+ stops working after validate or restore seems like an issue Quicken would want to fix. 
    Quicken user since Q1999. Currently using QW2017.
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  • Drinkingbird
    Drinkingbird Member ✭✭✭
    NotACPA said:
    Quicken CAN'T fix this ... until the FIs adhere to their contract and provide Intuit with ADVANCE NOTICE of website changes so that the scripts that do the screen scraping can be updated to accommodate.

    Restoring or validating my file has nothing to do with the FIs.  This is a software error that seems to break the connection between my computer and the Q/Intuit aggregator.  I'm assuming something related to certificate, authentication, etc, since signing out and back in of Quicken ID fixes some accounts, and deactivating and reactivating EWC fixes others.

    There are numerous threads about this issue I'm having, there is even a special error message and icon placed next to the account for "this may have happened if you restored a backup file".  The articles about fixing this error do not work as they don't mention the need to log out and back in to your Quicken account (at a specific point in the process).  The fact that at first you get no hint at all that something is broken (it says everything updated successfully) means you might go days or weeks thinking there are no transactions.  Basically, all EWC griping aside, this is an issue with the Quicken software that was introduced sometime last year and needs to be fixed.

    I'm curious about the claim that FIs have contracts with Intuit.  I'm sure many do, but I've had interactions where they basically imply that nobody even asks them, Intuit just sets it up on behalf of the users.  Optum even blocked them for several months, and the fact that there is a specific error code for "financial institution has blocked us from connecting" tells me this isn't always an agreement.  Several large FIs warn you that if your credentials are compromised through the use of an aggregator that you are not covered for fraud etc either.  It seems to me a lot of FIs don't want anyone connecting in this way, but also look the other way to keep their customers happy.


  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    NotACPA said:
    QFX, which Q uses,is a variant of OFX ... but that has to do with the download protocol/format.
    NEITHER has anything to do with how Q gets the data.  EWC uses "screen scraping" to create the QFX data file.
    Per the contract between Q/Intuit and the FI, the FI is expected to notify Intuit of any changes IN ADVANCE that would impact the "screen scraping":.  Many don't.  And it's their common customers that suffer.
    Yes, I was just referring to direct connect and the lack of support (and dwindling support).  Not sure I'd call EWC "screen scraping", would fall more under web scraping or data scraping.  Essentially just using your credentials to log into a website or access an API and parse/convert the data into their format.  That is why it is so unreliable and buggy.  But apparently Quicken is moving more and more towards it.
    One of the fundamental problems with Express Web Connect is the lack of transparence in exactly what is being done for any given financial institution.  It can certainly range all the way for an API to try to read the web page/screen scraping.

    I definitely agree that actual "screen scraping" would be used as the very last resort.  But the very fact that you can get an error message that tells you to log in and dismiss a popup window implies that this isn't a "pure API access" either.

    If you take the original "intent" of "Express" I think you can get a feel for what most of this is.
    Web Connect is you downloading a QFX file (which BTW is the "response side" of a OFX request for the transactions).  So "Express" has always been stated as Intuit servers trying to log in and download the QFX file.  Now it isn't much of stretch to realized that not all of the financial institutions will provide a QFX file.  So, modify that to "get a file in some known/agreed format".

    But there is one fundamental problem with even this idea.  Logging in.  What a human takes for granted, a "script" can't.  If the financial institution alters the login, then it can easily trip up the Inuit servers.  And along the same lines.  If the URL for where the file with the transactions changes, it is going to mess it up.  Not to mention changing the format of the file, or if the user/script has to do something like submit a form to get account A's information....

    And on this last part.

    But apparently Quicken is moving more and more towards it.
    They do seem to be "embracing" it, but I think they have little choice, because what little support there is from the financial institutions, they are "embracing" aggregation.

    Express Web Connect + is Intuit's/Quicken Inc's answer to the financial institutions pushing the aggregators to FDX, which is a API for them to access the data.  And as you can see both Capital One and Schwab are at the top of the list of the members:
    https://financialdataexchange.org/FDX/The%20Consortium/FDX/The-Consortium/Members.aspx?hkey=362ecd23-b752-48aa-b104-a99e916276c8

    In theory FDX should make aggregation better and more secure than what came before it.  But that is of course in the context of the other aggregators were using, not Direct Connect.

    With this "push" one has to ask a few questions.
    1. Will the financial institutions all adopt it?  Doubtful they didn't all adopt OFX.  I see no reason they will all adopt FDX.
    2. Will there be a painful learning curve with the new protocol.  Yes, that is already true.
    3. Are the problems really all centered on this part of the process or is Intuit's implementation of the process really what it causing problems?  I personally think that Intuit, and the most recent adding in of Sync to the Quicken Cloud data set to get the information into Quicken are part of the problems.
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  • Sherlock
    Sherlock SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Sherlock said:

    If a financial institution only supports the Express Web Connect connection method and you're not willing to accept the unreliability of this connection method, I suggest you maintain the accounts offline or move the accounts to a financial institution that supports the Direct Connect and/or the Web Connect connection methods.
    [Removed - Disruptive/Speculation] 
    Apparently disagreeing with the moderators is Disruptive and Speculative (my post was neither).  Ironically I'm not the one basically telling people that Quicken's product is useless junk, I'm just asking that they fix the bug within the Quicken software, not even complaining about EWC overall and its various other issues. 

    I'm willing to deal with the occasional EWC outage when the FI reformats something on their site (not like I really have a choice) but having to go through a huge convoluted process just because I want to restore a backup or validate my file is absurd.  I'm not the only one having this issue, there are other similar threads.

    I've been around the forums for a few years and Sherlock used to post a lot of useful information, workarounds, etc.  Not sure what happened.  Guess this post will probably get censored too.
    Perhaps you no longer find my posts provide a lot of useful information, workarounds, etc. precisely because you've been around the forums for a few years.  It's not like much has really changed.  Generally, the information and work arounds I've provided are still accurate and functional.  Perhaps it's simply that information isn't new to you.

    Note: I didn't see your response before it was censored.  I know maintaining an account offline or moving an account to another financial institution shouldn't be necessary but it really isn't that difficult and it is so much less frustrating.  I try not to respond to posts regarding the Express Web Connect connection method simply because we don't use it.  I just thought you might want to consider alternatives.
  • Drinkingbird
    Drinkingbird Member ✭✭✭
    Sherlock said:
    Perhaps you no longer find my posts provide a lot of useful information, workarounds, etc. precisely because you've been around the forums for a few years.  It's not like much has really changed.  Generally, the information and work arounds I've provided are still accurate and functional.  Perhaps it's simply that information isn't new to you.

    Note: I didn't see your response before it was censored.  I know maintaining an account offline or moving an account to another financial institution shouldn't be necessary but it really isn't that difficult and it is so much less frustrating.  I try not to respond to posts regarding the Express Web Connect connection method simply because we don't use it.  I just thought you might want to consider alternatives.

    Just seemed odd that you would respond something to the effect of "too bad" - seems like a case where it would be better to not respond at all.  But I'll drop that aspect of the conversation.

    Unfortunately in my case I now have 5 accounts using EWC (now that Schwab has moved to EWC+) so manually downloading that data every day, I might as well stop paying for quicken and reinstall 2017 or use Excel.  One of my main uses for Quicken is to monitor my accounts for any fraudulent transactions etc, and if I were to start manually updating, I would do that much less frequently and potentially miss something.  I think trying to justify the issues with EWC is counterproductive and letting Quicken "off the hook" for their portion of the problems (which understood, it is not always their fault).

    I see two problems with EWC:
    It takes Quicken and/or Intuit too long to update their scripts/code when the FI makes a change.  I'm assuming they are understaffed, like pretty much any company owned by Venture Capital.  One of my FIs was down for 3 months last year, and I escalated it pretty high with the FI and got to a guy there that actually works this with Quicken and he said they had given them months of notice and had also provided them code to update their scripts but it just wasn't happening.  Sometimes an account won't work for a couple days, not a big deal, but the extended outages are a real problem.  It isn't frequent, but when it does happen it is unacceptable for a subscription based product that advertises that your firms are supported before you buy it.

    Issues between the client and the aggregator (Quicken or Intuit or whoever runs it) - this is in the client software and/or on the aggregator and is well within the control of Quicken to avoid causing issues in the first place, or roll back/fix issues quickly.  That is where my current issue lies.
  • jmill0307
    jmill0307 Member
    I had similar problem where I could make all of the financial institution connection but data was pulling back. Quicken had me provide logs and do many deactivate / resets. It turned out the my credit union changed account access to a longer account # versus short account number and didn't tell Quicken. After about a month they made their fix. I finally got all working on Monday, reconciled and today it broken again and won't pull down data. Usually CC-900 error first time and then no errors. Today there were big circles with line across for each account from my credit union. Of course Quicken support hours keep growing shorter so they are not available to assist with Premium account support on this issue.
  • Sherlock
    Sherlock SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Sherlock said:
    Perhaps you no longer find my posts provide a lot of useful information, workarounds, etc. precisely because you've been around the forums for a few years.  It's not like much has really changed.  Generally, the information and work arounds I've provided are still accurate and functional.  Perhaps it's simply that information isn't new to you.

    Note: I didn't see your response before it was censored.  I know maintaining an account offline or moving an account to another financial institution shouldn't be necessary but it really isn't that difficult and it is so much less frustrating.  I try not to respond to posts regarding the Express Web Connect connection method simply because we don't use it.  I just thought you might want to consider alternatives.

    Just seemed odd that you would respond something to the effect of "too bad" - seems like a case where it would be better to not respond at all.  But I'll drop that aspect of the conversation.

    Unfortunately in my case I now have 5 accounts using EWC (now that Schwab has moved to EWC+) so manually downloading that data every day, I might as well stop paying for quicken and reinstall 2017 or use Excel.  One of my main uses for Quicken is to monitor my accounts for any fraudulent transactions etc, and if I were to start manually updating, I would do that much less frequently and potentially miss something.  I think trying to justify the issues with EWC is counterproductive and letting Quicken "off the hook" for their portion of the problems (which understood, it is not always their fault).

    I see two problems with EWC:
    It takes Quicken and/or Intuit too long to update their scripts/code when the FI makes a change.  I'm assuming they are understaffed, like pretty much any company owned by Venture Capital.  One of my FIs was down for 3 months last year, and I escalated it pretty high with the FI and got to a guy there that actually works this with Quicken and he said they had given them months of notice and had also provided them code to update their scripts but it just wasn't happening.  Sometimes an account won't work for a couple days, not a big deal, but the extended outages are a real problem.  It isn't frequent, but when it does happen it is unacceptable for a subscription based product that advertises that your firms are supported before you buy it.

    Issues between the client and the aggregator (Quicken or Intuit or whoever runs it) - this is in the client software and/or on the aggregator and is well within the control of Quicken to avoid causing issues in the first place, or roll back/fix issues quickly.  That is where my current issue lies.
    I certainly didn't intend for it to sound like "too bad".  I tend to be a tenacious pragmatist.  Sometimes it's better to stop doing something that isn't working.  Note: If you do decide to revert back to Quicken 2017, you'll lose the ability to import QFX files.

    We also use Quicken to catch fraudulent transactions.  All our active accounts support either the Direct Connect or the Web Connect connection method but there's only one Web Connect account we download every day.  The other Web Connect account's we'll pull once a month. 

    We had an OptumHealth HSA.  The cash account supported Web Connect but we had to manually maintain the investment account.  It really wasn't too bad but, after about 10 years, we moved the account over to Fidelity last year.

    And, as we happened closed our Schwab account a few years ago, we avoided the Schwab mess.

    To me, it's not so much about justifying Express Web Connect issues.  It's figuring out what we can do about it.  The obvious answer is simply not to use it.  And, if you must use it, use it as little as possible.

    As to the restore issues, you've probably seen my recommendations regarding deleting the cloud account before opening an earlier version of a Quicken file.  It's possible they also apply to using Validate and Repair unless you perform the Validate and Repair on a Copy which should generate a new cloud account.  

    Personally, we have not needed to use a validated Quicken file in many years.  We prefer to maintain sufficient Quicken file backups so to reduce that risk.  I've already stated my opposition to the suggestion by others that users should perform frequent Validate and Repairs instead of restoring a backup as if the Validate and Repair would some how inoculate their files.  The best a Validate and Repair can do is find and correct some issues but it may also cause damage.
  • Drinkingbird
    Drinkingbird Member ✭✭✭
    Sherlock said:

    I certainly didn't intend for it to sound like "too bad".  I tend to be a tenacious pragmatist.  Sometimes it's better to stop doing something that isn't working.  Note: If you do decide to revert back to Quicken 2017, you'll lose the ability to import QFX files.

    We also use Quicken to catch fraudulent transactions.  All our active accounts support either the Direct Connect or the Web Connect connection method but there's only one Web Connect account we download every day.  The other Web Connect account's we'll pull once a month. 

    We had an OptumHealth HSA.  The cash account supported Web Connect but we had to manually maintain the investment account.  It really wasn't too bad but, after about 10 years, we moved the account over to Fidelity last year.

    And, as we happened closed our Schwab account a few years ago, we avoided the Schwab mess.

    To me, it's not so much about justifying Express Web Connect issues.  It's figuring out what we can do about it.  The obvious answer is simply not to use it.  And, if you must use it, use it as little as possible.

    As to the restore issues, you've probably seen my recommendations regarding deleting the cloud account before opening an earlier version of a Quicken file.  It's possible they also apply to using Validate and Repair unless you perform the Validate and Repair on a Copy which should generate a new cloud account.  

    Personally, we have not needed to use a validated Quicken file in many years.  We prefer to maintain sufficient Quicken file backups so to reduce that risk.  I've already stated my opposition to the suggestion by others that users should perform frequent Validate and Repairs instead of restoring a backup as if the Validate and Repair would some how inoculate their files.  The best a Validate and Repair can do is find and correct some issues but it may also cause damage.

    Optum supports EWC now (they blocked it for quite a while like a year ago, but its been back since last year).  The investment account never has but that one is easy enough to update manually.  There are actually some signs that the investment account may be in the works.  When re-activating Optum (which I've had to do several times due to this issue) it now lists both accounts, but the investment is listed as a savings account.  However if you use one of the other Optums (I think just plain optum bank) it comes up as an investment and allows it to be added but then gives an error on download.  So who knows.  Not a big deal there, I'm not too concerned with the investment portion since I can monitor the main account and that's the only place you can take money out of.

    I have no cloud account, all accounts are deactivated and synch is disabled and that will never change (every time you re-activate online services it automatically adds the account to synch, even though synch is off I'll still go in and uncheck it).  However I am thinking next time I need to restore a file I will potentially try signing out of Quicken ID first to see if maybe that avoids the issue.  I think I may have already tried that in one of the iterations of trying to deal with this but can't remember exactly.

    I hate validating my file.  It has only ever caused issues, especially since my file was originally converted from MS Money.  However this new CC-800 error that is popping up, validate is a required step (I did not notice the problem until I restored a backup file, it was only during the fix that I noticed validate causes the problem too).  I've tried several variations of the process without validating and it will not work.  Validate does find and fix some error with each of the EWC/EWC+ accounts when the problem occurs.  It is probably just some invalid identifier or expired encryption key.  Obviously when you deactivate EWC something is not getting removed from the account. 

    Luckily, over the years I've done a lot to clean up and fix errors in my data file that were caused by previous validate operations, so at this point it no longer seems to cause any new issues, but I wouldn't be surprised if each time it is making more mess than it is fixing within the data structure.  Once every year or two I'll do a file copy.  It does seem to reduce file size and make things a bit quicker.  My file has about 18 years of data in it and is around 90 megs in size.  I realize that quicken support says files should be no more than 5 years but that is simply unreasonable and unrealistic.  I'm tracking long term investments and retirement accounts, not balancing my checkbook.

    I have about 2 years of daily backups.  Not that I would restore a backup from 2 years ago but should I find something missing or corrupted I can go back and retrieve the data to re-add to my current file.  But often I do "try something" - typically trying to figure out a workaround or fix for a bug - and when it doesn't work will restore a backup.  But now that is a huge hassle.
  • Sherlock
    Sherlock SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Sherlock said:

    I certainly didn't intend for it to sound like "too bad".  I tend to be a tenacious pragmatist.  Sometimes it's better to stop doing something that isn't working.  Note: If you do decide to revert back to Quicken 2017, you'll lose the ability to import QFX files.

    We also use Quicken to catch fraudulent transactions.  All our active accounts support either the Direct Connect or the Web Connect connection method but there's only one Web Connect account we download every day.  The other Web Connect account's we'll pull once a month. 

    We had an OptumHealth HSA.  The cash account supported Web Connect but we had to manually maintain the investment account.  It really wasn't too bad but, after about 10 years, we moved the account over to Fidelity last year.

    And, as we happened closed our Schwab account a few years ago, we avoided the Schwab mess.

    To me, it's not so much about justifying Express Web Connect issues.  It's figuring out what we can do about it.  The obvious answer is simply not to use it.  And, if you must use it, use it as little as possible.

    As to the restore issues, you've probably seen my recommendations regarding deleting the cloud account before opening an earlier version of a Quicken file.  It's possible they also apply to using Validate and Repair unless you perform the Validate and Repair on a Copy which should generate a new cloud account.  

    Personally, we have not needed to use a validated Quicken file in many years.  We prefer to maintain sufficient Quicken file backups so to reduce that risk.  I've already stated my opposition to the suggestion by others that users should perform frequent Validate and Repairs instead of restoring a backup as if the Validate and Repair would some how inoculate their files.  The best a Validate and Repair can do is find and correct some issues but it may also cause damage.

    Optum supports EWC now (they blocked it for quite a while like a year ago, but its been back since last year).  The investment account never has but that one is easy enough to update manually.  There are actually some signs that the investment account may be in the works.  When re-activating Optum (which I've had to do several times due to this issue) it now lists both accounts, but the investment is listed as a savings account.  However if you use one of the other Optums (I think just plain optum bank) it comes up as an investment and allows it to be added but then gives an error on download.  So who knows.  Not a big deal there, I'm not too concerned with the investment portion since I can monitor the main account and that's the only place you can take money out of.

    I have no cloud account, all accounts are deactivated and synch is disabled and that will never change (every time you re-activate online services it automatically adds the account to synch, even though synch is off I'll still go in and uncheck it).  However I am thinking next time I need to restore a file I will potentially try signing out of Quicken ID first to see if maybe that avoids the issue.  I think I may have already tried that in one of the iterations of trying to deal with this but can't remember exactly.

    I hate validating my file.  It has only ever caused issues, especially since my file was originally converted from MS Money.  However this new CC-800 error that is popping up, validate is a required step (I did not notice the problem until I restored a backup file, it was only during the fix that I noticed validate causes the problem too).  I've tried several variations of the process without validating and it will not work.  Validate does find and fix some error with each of the EWC/EWC+ accounts when the problem occurs.  It is probably just some invalid identifier or expired encryption key.  Obviously when you deactivate EWC something is not getting removed from the account. 

    Luckily, over the years I've done a lot to clean up and fix errors in my data file that were caused by previous validate operations, so at this point it no longer seems to cause any new issues, but I wouldn't be surprised if each time it is making more mess than it is fixing within the data structure.  Once every year or two I'll do a file copy.  It does seem to reduce file size and make things a bit quicker.  My file has about 18 years of data in it and is around 90 megs in size.  I realize that quicken support says files should be no more than 5 years but that is simply unreasonable and unrealistic.  I'm tracking long term investments and retirement accounts, not balancing my checkbook.

    I have about 2 years of daily backups.  Not that I would restore a backup from 2 years ago but should I find something missing or corrupted I can go back and retrieve the data to re-add to my current file.  But often I do "try something" - typically trying to figure out a workaround or fix for a bug - and when it doesn't work will restore a backup.  But now that is a huge hassle.
    We knew the OptumHealth HSA supported Express Web Connect but chose to use Web Connect instead.

    Every Quicken file has a cloud account even if we have never enabled Sync or selected any accounts to be synchronized.  
  • Drinkingbird
    Drinkingbird Member ✭✭✭
    edited February 17
    Sherlock said:

    We knew the OptumHealth HSA supported Express Web Connect but chose to use Web Connect instead.

    Every Quicken file has a cloud account even if we have never enabled Sync or selected any accounts to be synchronized.  
    Mine doesn't seem to.  None listed under quicken id/cloud accounts at the bottom where it would normally be, and if I go under mobile and web and enable synch and click reset data nothing happens.

    I've never enabled it and never set up any mobile devices so maybe that is why.  When I originally installed whatever version it was introduced in I chose not to set it up and have done the same any time I've reinstalled.


  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    They have hid played a hiding game with it, but it is certainly there.  If you were to create another data file and connect it to sync to Mobile/Web you would get a link to all the Quicken cloud datasets connected to the Quicken Id, and you would find that your first data file is there.

    In fact, that is the procedure for deleting the Quicken Cloud dataset, since on the same dialog one can delete the Quicken Cloud dataset of another data file.  But note even after deleting it, it will just get reconnected on the next update you do.  What is stored in the Quicken Cloud dataset can range form pretty much nothing to all kinds of stuff.

    Since the beginning of last year they changed the flow for Express Web Connect from:
    Quicken -> Intuit Server -> financial institution’s web server

    To:
    Quicken -> QCS (Quicken Connection Services/Quicken cloud dataset) -> Intuit server -> financial institution’s web server

    So if you use Express Web Connect you are syncing your transactions so the Quicken Cloud dataset.  Want proof?
    Add an attachment in one of those accounts and then look at it, you will see that it gives the “cloud icon” instead of the “local icon”.  Note that before they only stored images in the cloud dataset, but now the added the feature request to store PDFs too, and as such they have started syncing too.

    Basically the only difference between Express Web Connect syncing to the Quicken Cloud dataset and “Sync to Mobile/Web” is that with the later they allow Quicken Mobile/Web to access the data.

    And note even if one isn’t using Express Web Connect or Sync to Mobile/Web, information about the Quicken Id seems to be there, and the Credit Score/Zillow seems to be stored there, and for sure Quicken Bill Manager is storing information there.
    Signature:
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    This is my website: http://www.quicknperlwiz.com/
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    Actually what I said isn’t 100% correct.  If you turn on Sync to Mobile/Web it will sync your budgets, memorized payees, and who knows what else.  With Express Web Connect it seems to only be the account/transactions/attachments.
    Signature:
    (I'm always using the latest Quicken Windows Premier subscription version)
    This is my website: http://www.quicknperlwiz.com/
  • Drinkingbird
    Drinkingbird Member ✭✭✭
    Chris_QPW said:
    Actually what I said isn’t 100% correct.  If you turn on Sync to Mobile/Web it will sync your budgets, memorized payees, and who knows what else.  With Express Web Connect it seems to only be the account/transactions/attachments.
    I'm assuming encrypted passwords are probably stored there since they converted to that thing where your passwords for EWC are no longer stored in your password vault.  I'm not surprised there is something there associated with my ID, but in order to delete it (or what little is in there) I'd have to create a dummy file, delete the cloud dataset, and then restore my real file from the backup?  Seems almost as convoluted.  Maybe doing it once would somehow reset something or clear out some stale passwords or encryption data or something.  Who knows, maybe I'll give it a shot.

    I'm not surprised that EWC stores at least for a period of time the downloaded data on the aggregator, I'm sure it did even before cloud was introduced.  Yet another reason I'd prefer direct connect.


  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    I'm not totally sure the usernames/passwords are stored there.  They always needed to be stored on the Intuit server since from the start it would do the updates "nightly".  So, that might be the only place they are stored.  When they changed over to the new flow that gave them the motivation of removing them from the Password Vault, but in doing so they said that they were never really needed there.

    And yes, it is a very convoluted system, with very little transparency, that leaves the users having to guess what it really going on.

    BTW the Express Web Connect + connections don't use usernames/passwords.  That is at least going in the right direction, and it is the reason they stated that it is more secure than how the old aggregators were doing it.  They are now using OAuth2 security that works with rotating tokens.
    Signature:
    (I'm always using the latest Quicken Windows Premier subscription version)
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  • Drinkingbird
    Drinkingbird Member ✭✭✭
    Chris_QPW said:
    I'm not totally sure the usernames/passwords are stored there.  They always needed to be stored on the Intuit server since from the start it would do the updates "nightly".  So, that might be the only place they are stored.  When they changed over to the new flow that gave them the motivation of removing them from the Password Vault, but in doing so they said that they were never really needed there.

    And yes, it is a very convoluted system, with very little transparency, that leaves the users having to guess what it really going on.

    BTW the Express Web Connect + connections don't use usernames/passwords.  That is at least going in the right direction, and it is the reason they stated that it is more secure than how the old aggregators were doing it.  They are now using OAuth2 security that works with rotating tokens.

    Yeah who knows - all my EWC accounts update in near real time, maybe that didn't used to be the case or maybe it varies with FI.  So they aren't downloading mine once a day and waiting for me to then retrieve it from their servers.  Though maybe they do that if you use the online features so that those are updated daily even if you don't update via desktop app.  If you don't use online, maybe they don't need to keep your password on the server, or maybe they do regardless.  Like you say, most of it is a mystery, and that's a good thing as if hackers had a clear view of how it was set up they would have better luck getting access to stuff.

    EWC+ I'm guessing just uses your password for the initial setup (but that password goes direct to the FI via the popup window) then they set up a cipher with Quicken so your password never goes through them.  Fine by me.

    I guess I'm not as big of a hater of EWC as many - it isn't an ideal system but that can't be avoided.  My main issue with it (other than this latest one that is a software issue and not an EWC issue) is that it takes Quicken so long to update when banks make a change.
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