Feature Article: Resetting Users

October 2018    Tags: , , , , ,

Resetting users incorrectly can be a costly practice in terms of lost time and productivity. It is important to realize the risks involved when users reset other users.

If you are using a Platinum version of Tabs3 and PracticeMaster, performing any exclusive function when other users are in the software is easy. Use the Log Off Users function to safely close any Tabs3 programs that other users have open, even when users are away from their desks, without worrying about data loss. However, performing those same exclusive tasks in a multi-user system with active users in the software requires that you ask each person to close the software because resetting a user who is in the software can have consequences.

So why is resetting a user not recommended? When the software is used, files are opened, saved, and closed by the server as they are requested by the workstation. When a user exits the software improperly, either by an unexpected computer shutdown, or being reset by another user, files that were opened by the server are not closed. Therefore, errors can occur when another user tries to access the same files. Users should always exit the software properly, and the resetting of users should only be performed for specific scenarios.

For example, let’s say Cathy left several Tabs3 files open and went out for lunch. While Cathy is gone, Michael needs to use the Renumber Timekeeper program (which is an Exclusive function). While loading the program, Michael sees a Conflicting Activities window telling him that Cathy is in Fee Entry. Michael discovers that Cathy is at lunch and resets her in the software.

When Michael runs the Renumber Timekeeper program, Tabs3 opens numerous files to change the timekeeper he is renumbering. However, since some of the files that were accessed by Cathy’s workstation are still open, an error message is generated and the Renumber Timekeeper program is aborted. Now Michael must restore from the last backup created for the software. This situation could have been avoided if he had not reset Cathy’s User ID, but instead went to her computer and logged her out of the software or waited for her to come back from lunch.

So when is it ok to reset a user?

  • Once you have confirmed that the user is not currently logged into the software on any computer.
  • In some situations, such as if the computer shuts down unexpectedly, a “Duplicate User IDs were found. Would you like to reset the User ID?” message is displayed. In this scenario, because the User ID is locked in the software, you must reset the user.

When resetting a user, a Reset Confirmation window will be displayed. You must select each checkResetConfirmation box before the Reset Now button is available. This is intentionally designed to help prevent unnecessary resetting of users.

Manager access rights are required in order to reset other users. Users who are not managers can reset themselves, but cannot reset other users.

If you suspect that users are being reset at your firm without first verifying that they are out of the software, there is an easy way to check. Each time a user is reset, an entry is made to the Reset Log (View | Log Files | Reset Log). We strongly recommend that you periodically review the Reset Log to help ensure best practices are being implemented.

For more information on resetting users, refer to Knowledge Base Article R10789, “Resetting Users.”

Taking the time to be prepared and educating your employees about resetting users and how to properly exit the software can prevent future problems and save you time and money.

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