When I opened my copy of Premier 2011 recently, an update dialog window popped up that surprised me. I wasn’t expecting an update (I was already running the most current “R#” release).
Wait a minute, QuickBooks is telling me that there is an update? I’m already up to date? Is this a bogus message like those ones you see when browsing the web that tell you that you have a virus infection and should run a scan?
Well, no, this isn’t a bogus message. It is a valid update. It is just an off cycle update. These happen often, and aren’t announced. There isn’t a good way to detect if one of these updates has occurred, usually. In fact, I can’t think of a time in the past where one of these off cycle updates has actually given me a message like this. Very unusual!
I talked about background or off-cycle updates last year.
I went ahead and performed the steps that the window recommended, and in the last step an error window popped up.
Not a great error message, it doesn’t leave me with any action to take to resolve the issue, it doesn’t really explain what is going on clearly. I hate error messages like this.
What is happening is that a number of different updates have come together to change how your QuickBooks desktop product manages your online services. Several updates are involved as I understand it.
- The 2011 R4 update installed a new online services management program.
- The 2011 R6 update changed that program so that it could accept off cycle updates, which are updates that Intuit will push out to your QuickBooks desktop without any notification to you (normally), outside of the “R#” update cycle.
- One of these off-cycle updates modified the online services management program to provide it with a way to look at your services in a particular way.
The first window, the one that talks about there being an update, is the QuickBooks telling you that an off cycle update has occurred and that you need to take some steps to implement it fully. This is odd because I don’t believe there has been an off cycle update that ever opened a message like this. It is disconcerting because we weren’t asked if we want to install the update, and it happens at a time we don’t expect it.
If you click Don’t Exit in the first message, you will not see this message again. Even if you reset the “one time messages”. However, this does not stop the update from occurring. it is there – if you restart your program later and then run Online Services /Manage Apps and Services, the update completes anyways.
The second window, the error message, has to do with how my online services were set up (or not) on this particular installation. You might not see this in your installation. I have an account for Intuit Data Protect. It is a part of my ProAdvisor account, and I have it enabled in my online services account, but I never actually installed it on this computer. This error relates to that in some ways – I have a service set up, but not fully. To be honest, that all is a bit murky because I have many different services that are or are not set up on different company files and computers in my office.
So in my case, it wasn’t really a big error to worry about – but the error message really doesn’t make that clear. This could have been done better.
None of this indicates any big problems. I’m bringing it up because you or a client may run into this, and it can be a bit of a surprise if you aren’t expecting it. I already have had two clients call me who had the first message, and they were concerned. I hate it when they call me with an update notice that I don’t know anything about.
I also am not happy with the way this was presented. I think it is poorly thought out from the end user’s perspective.