Share Customer Data on an Office Network using Contact Management Software / CRM Invoicing Software

How to Share CRM Software Customer Data and Documents on a Network

As your business grows you may need to access customer data from more than one PC. With Amphis Customer CRM Software you can easily Share Customer Data and documents across multiple PCs on an Office Network. The customer details are stored in a centralized customer database.

You need to decide where you are going to store the database and other files that are going to be shared eg the document templates and the customer documents. This needs to be on a central server or desktop PC that all the other PCs can access and you need to Share a Folder on the server so that the client PCs can access it. In the example below the server is called Server1 and the folder that has been created is called CRM. The public folder has been shared so that it can be accessed from the client PCs as \\Server1\CRM

Tip: Use a single name for the folder share eg Public not Public Data. Some users have reported problems attempting to use a share with a space in the name.

Share Customer Data across multiple PCs

You can set up Amphis Customer to run in the above client-server configuration as part of the free 30 day trial and try it out for yourself. Amphis Customer also supports using Microsoft SQL Server as the database instead of Microsoft Access, which we would recommend for 10 or more users.

To Share a Folder on the server or central PC, right-click on it and select Sharing and Security... Click the Share this folder option and click Maximum allowed. Click the Permissions button to check the access permissions. By default users probably only have Read access which is not sufficient so you need to give users Change (Update) access.

Note that you don't need to have a powerful server for this. You can create a shared folder on a desktop PC if you prefer, as long as all the client PCs have access to the shared folder.

Also note that on Windows Vista and Windows 7, folder sharing is disabled by default.

On Windows Vista, you'll need to go into Start->Control Panel->Network and Sharing Center. You'll see an option called Public folder sharing and you'll need to click the down arrow to the right and then choose the middle option which is Turn on sharing so anyone with network access can open, change, and create files and click Apply.

On Windows 7, you'll need to go into Start->Control Panel->Network and Internet->Network and Sharing Center. In the left pane, click Change advanced sharing settings. Click the chevron to expand the Home or Work network profile. Under Public folder sharing, click Turn on sharing so anyone with network access can open, change, and create files. Click Save changes. If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

Create Folder Share

On the Tools->Configuration menu, use the Test Permissions and Test Connection buttons to test that the client PCs can connect to the database and create/update files in the public folder.

You will need to purchase a separate license for each PC that you use to connect to the central database. You can purchase three licenses for 50% more than the price of one.

You can set up all the client PCs you need as part of the 30 day evaluation.

If you have any problems getting this to work, we also have a Troubleshooting Guide To Setting Up A Shared Database

Note that for more than 10 client PCs connecting to the same database, we recommend using the free version of SQL Server (called SQL Server Express Edition) for the database, which you can install from here (we recommend installing the SQL Server Express Edition and the SQL Server Management Studio Express)

Also if you have less than 10 client PCs but you experience any performance or network problems then we recommend that you upgrade to SQL Server Express Edition.

By default, Amphis Customer CRM Software uses a Microsoft Access database (customer.mdb) but the Microsoft Access database technology is not recommended for more than about 12 users, and it is recommended that a SQL Server database is used instead.

You would need to install SQL Server Express Edition on the server eg myServer.

Using Access 2007, you can use the Access Upgrade Wizard to upgrade the customer.mdb database file to a SQL Server database and just change the .config files on the client PCs to point to the SQL Server database instead of the customer.mdb database file.

The Amphis Customer license fee includes using SQL Server for the database instead of the default Microsoft Access database.

Please contact customer support if you need help using Amphis Customer with multiple PCs.

Step By Step
For a step by step guide to configuring Amphis Customer to Share Customer Details across multiple PCs, click below.
Configure Shared Customer Data in Easy Steps.