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Sharepoint 365 migration


#1

Our server is old and we are migrating to Sharepoint 365 for data storage, with files syncing on demand to everyone’s computers. Essentially, through file explorer, all of our files will show but only as placeholders, but only the ones we open will download to our machines, saving hard drive space.

Does anyone have experience with TaxCycle and DoxCycle on that platform? Any tips or best practices?

I was going to run a test to see how the client manager handles it as I suspect there may be issues there being only placeholders. Any feedback on that?


#2

Hi Fabien,

Good luck with the transition, I’d be very interested to hear how it goes. Our server is getting a bit long in the tooth as well, and we are considering next steps.

Unfortunately I have no direct experience with Sharepoint 365 other than for cloud storage through their web portal; however, my brother works in the IT industry and his company adopted that platform a number of years ago. He mentioned that the sync engine was troublesome to begin with - they had quite a few issues with file type restrictions, sync errors, etc. Up until a couple of years ago he thought it was considerably worse than their consumer grade product, but in the last couple years in particular he has said it has become much more reliable. I might suggest just putting a little research into any remaining sync engine issues to see where this is at before you make the leap. Hopefully someone else here will have more relevant experience with the product though!

Thanks,
Rick


#3

We’ve tested individual Caseware and TaxCycle files with it.

With Caseware, it’s actually running faster than throught our server - presumably because the file is directly on the computer. The only issue identified is that only one person at the time can open the Caseware file, and we will explore if Caseware SmartSync can resolve that.

With TaxCycle, we have been able to work normally on the few test files we uploaded to it. This testing was done with two or three files and two users, so our next step is to extend it to multiple users and higher file volumes.

I have not tried DoxCycle yet, or the Client Manager on SharePoint.


#4

We use Sharepoint/Office 365 and have it syncing to file explorer through OneDrive. I have all files syncing to my hard drive, but my boss has it set up so he sees the full file directory, but not all files actually fully download (like I believe you are looking at doing). The only problems we’ve had is when two people open the same TaxCycle file at the same time and both save it as it then creates two copies (usually when one person leaves it open and then goes away).

We have a folder in SharePoint where we save the options profile. We each navigate to where the profile is saved locally in OneDrive/SharePoint in our own TaxCycle settings. All of the options sync except for the file folders for saving files and the client manager. We set up our own computer each as a local server, but all files/settings etc. are then synced through OneDrive. I don’t use Client Manager very often, but it still works using this method as long as you point it to the correct folder(s).

When a file is saved the process is essentially:

  1. Create/Open/Edit TaxCycle file
  2. When it saves, it is saved to the local computer HDD in a shared OneDrive/SharePoint folder
  3. The file is uploaded to OD/SP
  4. The file is downloaded to other staff computers or shows in their OneDrive/SharePoint file directory as available for download

This process didn’t work before we were using OneDrive to sync - if we just used the “Open In File Explorer” option in SharePoint we had all sorts of issues (not with TaxCycle) because it kept forgetting authentication so we’d have to log back into SharePoint online. Using OneDrive we haven’t noticed any issues - sync for TaxCycle files is basically instant (I close a file and a few seconds later my boss can see my changes).

Note that if we want to access files online we still go to SharePoint - nothing shows in OneDrive, it just uses OneDrive to sync the files locally. OneDrive also lets you choose specific folders to sync, so if all TaxCycle files are stored in one folder you can just choose that folder to fully sync and have everything else just showing in the file directory but not downloading local copies.


#5

Thanks William. That’s exactly the set up we are looking at rolling out, so it’s great to hear it’s working as good as it is. Thanks for pointing out the possible issue regarding multiple users concurrently opening a file, as well as the work around for sharing option settings and configuring the client manager.

Much appreciated!


#6

Oops - just saw I was logged into the wrong account!

Glad I could help. The multiple user issue may depend on your TaxCycle subscription as well. If you have trouble setting it up the support people should be able to help - it was someone at TaxCycle that explained how to do it when I first did it so I can’t take any credit!

I didn’t mention above, but this syncing works for the templates too (same process - save them all in one SharePoint folder and point it to the local version on each computer).

Edited to add: here’s a link to an explanation on the TaxCycle site with a diagram! https://www.taxcycle.com/Documentation/Client-Manager/Client-Manager-setup/Cloud-storage