I promised in my first post that I would talk a bit about performance, I do have some tips and the list will probably grow over time, however a lot of things will affect the performance on your individual PC, so it is very hard to give hard advice on this. At the same time there is a lot of information online about how to make your PC run faster, so as you probably guessed already I am not going to even try to cover everything here, instead I will try to mention a few of the things I have seen have an effect on Office Accounting … enough disclaimer J here it goes ….


If your Office Accounting experience feels very slow there are a couple of things you should check (most tips would have affect on Small Business Accounting if that is the accounting program of your choice).


Running processes: Are you running a lot of programs and / or processes on your machine at the same time? A lot of people like to run a lot of programs at the same time (I am definitely one of them), and while that is very convenient it will take up a lot of resources on your PC! Your experience in Office Accounting may improve if you try to limit the number of applications that you are running. The same thing goes for the processes on your machine! And you may not realize that you are running a lot; often when you buy a new PC it will be pre installed with all kinds of programs and some of them may be running as processes on your machine. I highly recommend removing these programs if you don’t use them anyway.


Enough RAM? This one is a bit like the one above, one of the important resources on your PC is your RAM, and so another way to go rather than closing down everything before using Office Accounting could be to add a bit more memory to your machine (we have seen this have a huge impact before). Yeah, yeah… I know you will be thinking that developers just user more and more RAM without thinking about it, but we are actually using a lot less memory in this version of the application than the last one and we hope to improve even more in the future.   


Running old SQL database instances; if you were using Small Business Accounting 2006 before upgrading to Office accounting 2007 there is a good chance that you now have 2 SQL instances on your machine. If you are no longer using SBA 2006 you should uninstall the SQL server for it. In Add or Remove Programs it will be called “Microsoft SQL Server Desktop Engine (MICROSOFTSMLBIZ)”. Same thing goes if you have been experimenting with installing to different SQL instance names, you should uninstall the ones you are no longer using.


SQL needs “Repair”: Sometimes the database that Office Accounting is running on gets in a state where it can be helpful to run some optimization scripts on the database. We have build this into Data Utilities in Office Accounting, in this dialog go to the “Advanced Tools” tab and click “Repair” (Data Utilities can be found under File/Utilities/Data Utilities… in the program or as a separate program in your start menu). In some situations this can magically have a huge impact on the performance that you experience in the product. It will mostly affect time used in the database such as time used while saving.


Cold performance: After each restart of the machine (or if it has been a while since you used Office Accounting), the Office Accounting files will be removed from the cache of your PC and the application will feel somewhat slower, this is normal. This also goes for the speed of the database… you will feel this the most if the first document that you are creating is a quick small document, as you will get to saving the document before we have been able to fully cache the program in the database. (You may notice that CPU usage goes up for a while after the first time you open any kind of document, this is because we are doing the caching). I know that you are probably thinking; “why should I care about stuff like this”, and naturally you shouldn’t. Just think happy thoughts if you get into this situation often (or simply give the application a few seconds to put stuff in the cache - let the CPU usage settle - before you hit save the first time), and you now know that the next saves should be faster.


First install: You might feel a similar thing after the first time you install the program. To speed up the install process we moved some of the optimization of our files out of setup and we are now doing it at a later. This means that the experience that you get the very first time you run the program may be a bit slower than what you will see later in your everyday use of the program (if you are the technical type I am talking about running ngen on our files).


If any of this (or anything else for that sake) made your experience running Office Accounting better, please let me know! We may be able to use your feedback to make future versions even better…